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Offline [NPC] The Librarian

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« on: July 25, 2016, 10:23:46 PM »

The Min’Gollyr, the Val’Istari, the Balithryn; for many generations the mortal men and women of Entar have been wondered with stories about these beings of legend. They have been dazzled by tales of powers that not even the great Sorcerers of Anfalas could conceive, awed by visions of terrible feats, unthinkable to the master warriors of the Royal Guard of Elentári, and frightened by warnings of destruction so great that it would make the dark fate of Loriath pale in comparison. The memory of their existence lingers deep within the core of the collective mind of the Entarian civilization even though it is said to precede it. However, legends are only that and no more until they are proven real. Many a Mage has sought the power and the knowledge of these dreaded conjurers for many ages. Times have come and gone as the greed of the mortals is fed by the stories, and as their hunger grows wider and harder to appease, so does their need to search for the truth and seize this power, if it truly exist.

The Reality of the Ancients and their origins lies somewhere within these legends; however, not all mortals listen closely to the voice of History and therefore they yearn for a burden they know nothing of. The truth of the power of these beings is undeniable, as it is the price that they had to pay as an acceptance of their fate. The Ancients live doomed by the power bestowed upon them. They are revered by the breed of the Mages and seen as Masters of great Wisdom by those who know of their powers; however, they’re also persecuted by those who crave for their force with the means to do evil and enslaved by their own power. And ultimately, the magic they were gifted with shall consume them forever; yet, they are aware of such a terrible truth and accept it. Even before this all comes to pass, the path of the Ancients is not an easy one. A time of learning of the ways of magic is required, and a pure understanding of the Arcane is indispensable. This kind of life is not for everyone, and not everyone can withstand its burden; however there is always a way for those who truly wish for it and understand.

The history of the Mages and the legendary Ancients are deeply connected by this tale of old, passed down from generation to generation since before the first Elves set foot on the coasts of Entar. The details and intricacies of this story have been changed many times by its diverse storytellers; however its essence remains the same. It all started long before the tragedies of the Divine War came to pass, many ages before the free peoples of Eldanar were forced to abandon their homelands in the east in search of a new realm, in search of Entar. It was during those days, when the world was still young and the first tides had just turned, when the seed of life had just blossomed and from the first mortals the ancient kingdoms, now forgotten, were erected, that magic first revealed itself. The Origins of Magic are as obscure as the origins of the world itself. Many say that it was born of the seed of life that gave birth to everything else; others said that it precedes life and that it was the work of divinity. And there are some who say that divinity, mortality, existence and magic itself are but one alone manifested through different shades and lights. The truth is likely to lie in-between; however, Mortals may never know.

Amongst those who were dazzled by this magnificent power, there were some, chosen by the Great Magic itself; they could sense magic in ways that none other could. All others only saw magic through its manifestations in the world; through the elements it bent and the force it unleashed every time it was touched by life. These chosen ones, however, could feel magic beyond the realm of the tangible, no longer as a strange event, but as part of their own selves. Magic itself bowed to these few and made itself into their instrument. Thus is how the first mages came to be according to the old legends. This Breed of High Sorcerors received the name of Arch Magi from the mortals; however they were far more than simple Spell-casters. These Arch Magi named themselves Ancients, as they believed strongly that they had been born from magic and shaped as mortals by it, and that their purpose was to serve as bridge between mortality and the Arcane. As no mortal could truly understand the power of magic in its pure form, they wove it in word and element to craft the first spells, and from mortals they took a select few, just as they had been chosen by the Great Magic, and gave them the knowledge of the Arcane. These were just the first of many, and the breed of Mages was thus born.

New tides came to pass and, as the first kingdoms rose in power, the breed of the Mages grew large and strong. The power of these dazzled mortals as much as that of the Ancients themselves, and over time they became as respected and feared as their masters. It was this that caused the great decay of the Magi, since, as it is with all things powerful, the hearts of mortals were corrupted by their gift, and soon they sought to take the Ancients’ place and seize their power to wage war and bend the wills of the nations to their bidding. An age of darkness came upon Eldanar and many of the First kingdoms were brought to an end by the power of these Greedy Sorcerors, baptized by mortals with the name of ‘Dark Magi’ for the sorcery they wielded was obscure and foul. The Ancients, who had long thought that these ‘Dark Magi’ were a product of mortality and nothing else, rose and decided to punish their once pupils for the atrocities they committed. They marched from the temples and strongholds of magic they had forged for themselves and united they threw the Dark Magi from their defiled thrones and stripped them from their gifts, binding their magic to shadow and blood for all the ages of the world.

Once the Dark Magi were stopped, the Ancients undid the damage they had caused, restoring the fallen kingdoms and giving back the harmony to the Great Magic, the Grand Arcanum, ad they called it. Then, they ordained those Magi who have not turned their backs on them as the Dark ones did and left the future of magic upon their hands. And once all wrongs were made right in Eldanar, they vanished with their grand powers to never be seen in the same glory as in those first tides. The destiny of magic was now in the hands mortals, and as such, they left the memory the Ancients to linger in the dark and the great powers of the Grand Arcanum were almost forgotten. Many Mages grew strong and wore the title of Arch Mage as an insignia of their kind bestowed upon them by other mortals; however, their sorceries, regardless of how amazing or terrible they were, would never be as great as the Ancient Magic. However, the Ancients did not vanish entirely, as it is said that the Grand Arcanum itself chooses a few amongst those magic-wielding mortals to invigorate their waning flame.

Once a well-known scholar of the Tower of Sorcery was faced with an age old question that had tormented the minds of mages since before the first age: what is magic? Sadly, he found himself short of words, but he did make a remarkable statement that still echoes in the minds of even the youngest apprentices; “Magic is to the World what the Spirit is to us mortals.” Magic, true magic, is the force that drives the machinery of the world; the power that thrusts the elements and makes life blossom in a thousand different ways. To mere mortals, magic is only seen as a weapon, an instrument. But the Ancients, born from it, see it as a master being, a pure essence; the fuel of the planet in their own words. This magic, this energy, is eternal, never-ending, and it doesn’t linger waiting to be called upon by the Mages, but it flows through everything that is part of the world. Several names were given to this magic –the Great Magic, the Grand Arcanum, Gaia, the Great Spirit, etc; however, it is one and one alone.

Mortals are irreversibly separated from the Great Magic; they cannot even dream of feeling it or even controlling it since they don’t understand its essence and they can’t realize that it can’t be manipulated in any way conceivable by their cognition. However, they can use magic through the rituals of spell-craft; sorcery. They believe that they’re truly affecting magic, when, in reality they’re just influencing a manifestation of it that occurs upon a given element. The true power to manipulate Magic lingers within the hands of the Ancients, the beings that the Arcanum itself reshaped from mortals. The Ancients, in truth, are manifestations of the Great Magic that have been gifted with life and will. They are born of a pre-existent mortal being that is put through a mystical process that gives birth to this new form of existence that holds the essence of both Mortality and Magic; in other words, an Ancient is both Life and Arcanum. The causes of the existence of Ancients are sunk in obscurity and many theories have been conceived around them. Mostly, it is believed that they’re the product of a manifestation of what the Mages refer to as ‘The Conscience of the Arcane’ (Xanthe, perhaps), whose origins are vaguely linked to the Divine.

The Ancient is still the same being as it was in mortality; however it is also a new one. In essence and memory these two forms are one; however, the being itself experiences it as though it was not one but two; a prior set of memories that feel both familiar and unfit, and a physical construct that feels both accepting and alienating. This causes the Ancient to experience severe confusion and identity crises, especially when the change is recent; however, over time, the person will overcome this and function in a more normal way, although it will never be able to fully embrace its new nature. This is a problem the Ancient will have to struggle with during most of its new life. It is important to mention as well, that the instinctive knowledge that comes from the arcane part and the one that derives from mortal experience are also very conflictive with one another. This affects the rationality of the Ancients usually driving them to explore all the variables of a problem regardless of relevance whenever they have to make a choice of a course of action in any situation; in other words they ramble a lot, but can generate more accurate solutions to a particular problem than most regular mortals.

Offline [NPC] The Librarian

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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2016, 10:24:20 PM »
Becoming an Ancient

Many a Mage dreams with this moment since the time they started walking the path of sorcery; others barely know it is bound to happen to them and are struck by surprise when they’re called by the Great Magic. It usually takes place when the Mage has achieved a very deep level of communion with this own magical energies. It could be a year after the apprentice starts pursuing magic on its own, or even a hundred years after it has turned into an accomplished Wizard. Time and experience matter not to magic, only the level of enthrallment that the mortal has with the powers it has been bestowed with; although in most cases it takes a great deal of time and experience for the Mage to connect with his magic beyond just controlling it. The Mage’s endgame, its morale and its behavioural patterns have no consequence in the ascension either, since, in the end, the Ancient is but a servant of the Arcane and its purpose beyond its own thoughts and desires is to guard magic and to vanquish those who seek to disturb its balance.

Once the Mage has truly connected with his magic, it no longer perceives the manifestations in the elements, but the flux of the Grand Arcanum in the same way it will do once it’s been ascended. Then, the Great Magic will start affecting the person’s instinctive patterns and place a particular behavioural mechanism along with a subliminal knowledge that will guide the Mage through the path towards Ascension without making it lose its own self in the process. This is what the Ancients refer to as ‘The Calling’. At this point the Mage is compelled -but not forced- to answer the Calling and abandon its current pursuits; it is in this moment when the mechanical knowledge the Great Magic has introduced in the Mage is awakened so it guides the mortal through a journey that will end in a place where great magical energies converge; a place where the Grand Arcanum can fully manifest. Once there, the Mage will instinctively summon the Arcanum upon its mortal self. What happens at this point no one knows for sure; many believe that the body of the Mage and his soul are ripped apart and remade again, and some say that it transforms the being without destroying it, yet changing it irreversibly. Once the process comes to an end, the Mage is no longer mortal, and it’s no longer the being it used to be. It is an Ancient, and it will continue to be an Ancient until the time of the Final Crossing, when its physical self will merge with the Great Magic entirely and leave the world of mortals. This usually takes place thousands of years after the Ascension, and the Ancients’ mortal body does not age a day since the moment it ascends even though it is effectively weakened in terms of physical capacity; however, if the Ancient is struck by a deadly blow, it will cease to exist and merge with the magic prematurely, losing its own conscience forever.

Traits of an Ancient

  • Ascended: Once the Ancient has ascended, Sorcerous Magic of any kind will no longer have any effect whatsoever on its self; only the powers of this nature that come from another Ancient will cause damage. However, the major price of the ascension is that the Ancient loses all of its former powers and gifts that are not sorcerous in essence. It retains the knowledge of them, but it can’t use them ever again; and even more so, it can’t affect them through his new gifts since Ancient Magic can only affect Sorcery and the elements. In other words, a Mage who could use Mind Magic as a side power will irreversibly lose it, and the Wizard that shared a connection with a particular Deity will have its bond with the Divine effectively cut off and as a result it will be no longer able to use Faith Magic; and far more, it can defend himself from them through his Ancient Magic, but the Ancient Magic itself cannot affect these powers in any way. Also, the Ancient becomes rather vulnerable in terms of physical endurance. It can protect itself through Ancient Magic and heal its own wounds, but ultimately a direct hit from a physical weapon will cause more damage to it than it would to a normal mortal.
  • Commune with the Arcanum: As previously mentioned, the Ancients are beings of magic; half-Arcane and half-Living. For this reason they are no longer separated from the Great Magic, but bound to it in an irreversible manner. As they ‘ascend’ from their mortality and become Arcane, their life-force, their spirit, their physical strengths and even their bodies to an extent are transformed into magical energy or a manifestation of it. From them on the Ancients are connected to all present magic in the physical world; they can feel even the subtlest of its changes as though they were their own and they can affect it in the same way they affect their own bodies. From this entanglement two gifts and one accidental effect are spawned that only the Ancients possess:
    • Arcanum Omniscience: All Mages have the ability to sense magic; they perceive the auras of magical and supernatural power around them, they can feel strong convergences of magic, and they know when the Grand Arcanum (The Great Magic) is being disrupted by forces like chaos. The Ancients, however, due to their deep enthrallment with the Grand Arcanum, can feel those changes as though they were their own, and they can feel them from a hundred miles’ distance. And by knowing how the Great Magic behaves they can predict how the world is to be affected by it, thus being able to foresee any magic-related events. This derives from the instinctive knowledge the Ancients receive from the Great Magic when they merge with it.

    • Arcane Aura: Given that the Ancients are magical in nature and their communion with the magic is quite intense, the powers that rest within their physical bodies, even as they lie dormant, expel a powerful Aura that can be felt by almost any living being within a 30 feet radius regardless of their level of atonement with the magical powers. This Aura has no real purpose of use of any kind as it happens as a by product of the massive convergence of energies that takes place within the Ancient’s body, however it does have an effect on those who are trapped within its range of effect. Usually it acts as an overwhelming emotion, either awe or petrifying fear, and, although it’s not permanent since the mortal body adapts to it after a few instants, it is quite shocking the first time a person comes in contact with an Ancient.
  • Ancient Magic: The Ancient Magic, as the name indicates, is the oldest form of magical power that exists, not only in Entar, but in the whole of Eldanar as well. It is sometimes referred to as ‘True’ Arcane Magic by some Wizards and Scholars that have studied the Val’Istari myths, and not without reason; this particular kind of magic is the power that only the Ancients can wield, and it’s the mother of all known and unknown forms of sorcery. This Ancient Magic is both feared and sought after by many for two particular reasons: firstly, this kind of Magic can be used to generate the same effects as any type of sorcery known to mortal Mages; however, unlike mortal sorcery, Ancient Magic is not bound to the mediums that most sorcerers have to use – Incantations, Materials, Symbols, Rituals, Gestures – and because of this particular trait they can be conjured or ‘Weaved’ quicker and with more effectiveness than any other kind of magic. The second reason lies in the power of the Ancient’s Weavings. The Weaving is a form of spell that only the Ancients have access to; it allows them to channel and ‘weave’ magic into any given element, object, or being that they wish, thus allowing it total control over all things weaved. The Weavings can be used for any number of means; however, Ancients use them mainly in their three most basic forms, which are the following:
    • Magi-Weaving: The Mage-Weaving is the most basic form of Weaving that the Ancient has access to, but its also the most powerful of them all. It allows the Ancient to manipulate the elements in any way it wishes, thus replacing the need to use sorcery to cast magic. This power knows no limits in terms of field or element since it is the magical energy itself the one being influenced, which gives the Ancient the freedom to use any kind of element. Ancients, however, are known to choose to keep themselves from Weaving upon Elements that they’re not entirely familiarized with, nevertheless this does not imply that they cannot do it. For example, a Fire-Wielding Sorcerer is more than likely to use Fire in most of his Weavings as an Ancient; however, if he chooses to do so, he can also Weave on the Earth and the Wind to get the effect that he wants.

    • Spell-Weaving: The power to Spell-Weave is the one that the Ancients are less connected to. They tend to use it rarely depending on their closeness to mortal Mages. This ability allows the Ancient to weave magical power in a way that binds it to a mortal medium; in other words, this is the power that the Ancient have to create Sorcery from Raw Magic. The Spell-Weaving Powers are fairly useless to the Ancient since it can Wield Magic flawlessly through the Mage-Weaving. This gift, however, was never meant to aid the Ancient in any way, for it is aimed to help mortals in their paths towards a better understanding of the Arcane Forces; in other words, Spell-Weaving is the Mages that the Ancient has under its tutelage.

    • Seal-Weaving: This Weaving is part of the reasons why Ancients tend to be feared by Mages. The Power to Seal-Weave is the ultimate punishment a Sorcerer can suffer; it is used by the Ancient with the means of utterly blocking the flux of magical energies that takes place within any given entity, thus preventing it from releasing magic until it is unblocked. It basically strips a being, regardless of form or nature, from its ability to use Sorcerous Magic. It can be used to dissipate any kind of sorcery that comes from a mortal Mage, to expel the magical power of an artefact indefinitely, or to constrain the sorcerous magic of a mortal being for a time lapse of no less than half a day with the power of a single Ancient (To permanently bind the powers of a mortal sorcerer, the magic of an entire coven of nine to twelve Ancients is needed). Once the Seal has been weaved there is no power that can put a stop to its effect other than that of an Ancient.
  • Dual Being: Many forms, shapes and sizes have been given to the Ancients over the course of history by many a storyteller; some have said that they are no different in visage from any of the walking mortals, while others claim that their true selves are of shapes that most would either bow to or run from, and there are a few that state that the Ancients can manifest in ways that are nigh unfathomable to a mortal mind. In truth, the Ancients can manifest in as many forms and sizes as they wish to do so, as it is within their powers to shape-shift should they ever have a need for it. From the simple child with the least concerns to the seasoned elder with the ages’ wisdom, passing through the bizarre, the bestial, the foul and the majestic, there aren’t virtually any forms that an Ancient can’t take; however, none of them are true to their selves, but instead they’re concoctions of their powers made to shield, deceive and even frighten. Beyond all these shapes the Ancients remain dual beings; they hold only two forms or states that are believed to be true to their essences. They’re known as the Scion and the Ascendant.
    • Scion: The Scion Ancient is seemingly the lesser of the two forms, but only to the eyes of mortals, for each has its own set of assets and drawbacks. This first form is the one that all Ancients have seen, and the one that all mortals are meant to set their sights on. This form is the form of mortality, the cloak that keeps the Ancient’s true nature a secret from all the watchful eyes of those who are not of its kind; it is virtually a mirroring image of the Ancient’s prior mortal existence, and it would be a perfect copy of it should it not be for the slight discrepancies between the two. While a mortal Mage may have dark hair, once he’s ascended is it not unlikely that it turns red, golden, or even blue, and acquires a certain texture; the same applies for the eyes, the skin, the ears and several other parts of its body. This usually speaks of a predilection towards a certain kind of magic or elemental power of the Ancient, and from these changes the Ancient’s title is born. An ancient with clear hair and pale skin may be called ‘the Frostwielder’, while one with stone-rough skin and amber eyes can be known as ‘the Earthwarder’.

    • Ascendant: The Ascendant Ancient is the form that is most rarely seen, and the one that it most zealously kept from the mortal eyes. This form is the Ancient’s true self, the purest manifestation of sentient magic that can be found in the mortal world. Rare, bizarre on occasion, and even godly at times, this form varies from Ancient to Ancient as so does the Scion, and it also speaks of the being’s connection to the magic and the elements it wields. Thus, an Ancient who uses Water-Weaved magic in his spells might transform into a watery form, perhaps a Kraken-like creature, a majestic merfolk or even a torrent with ever-changing forms, while a Wind-Weaver might transform into a majestic falcon, a dragon, or even a cloud-like being.

    Each form, as mentioned previously, carries with it its own set of assets and drawbacks. While the Scion may seem as a safe form to keep, it is in fact the weakest one in terms of magical power, since only half of their full potential is allowed to be grasped by the Ancients when in this form, and their bodies are greatly weakened and more vulnerable to physical damage than a normal mortal body; however, this form is the one that provides them with the secrecy they need to live amongst mortals, and while in this form they expend much less magical power, causing their need to commune with their Seals to greatly reduce. The Ascendant form is the strongest one, not only because while in this form the Ancients can unleash the whole of their magical power without restrains, but because it is less vulnerable to physical damage than the Scion form, and it’s usually made of elemental force; however, sustaining this form takes a huge toll on their magical energies, forcing the Ancients to commune with their Seals with high frequency and also affecting their psyches, since while in this form the Ancients are more instinctive than rational. The Ascendant is usually sustained for brief periods of time, while the Scion is the one that tends to be used most of the time.
  • Enthrallment: As stated before, when a Mage becomes an Ancient, its life-force, its physical strength and its spirit all become part of the Great Magic. This is the source of all other powers of the Ancients; however it is also the source of the greatest of their weaknesses. As a result of the ‘Ascension’ the Ancient is no longer an elf, a human or whichever race it may have been born as; it is a new being like all those that came before it, and as a consequence, the weaknesses caused by Communion with the Arcane become racial weaknesses and the strengths and drawbacks that pertain to its former race are no longer part of its self. By being bound to the Arcanum forever, the Ancients lose a part of their own free will to it; a part that is rewritten by the magic as an instinctive memory of sorts that all Ancients share. By taking a part of the Ancient’s will, the Magic forces it to serve the Arcanum as a sentient guardian; it is bound to protect magic itself by instinctive behaviour that usually outmatches its own rationality. Over time all Ancients come to terms with this condition; however this is not the only consequence of suffering the enthrallment.

    In order to use magic, especially destructive magic, the Ancient is now forced to affect the flux of magical energies of the Arcanum, usually disrupting it for brief periods of time. The Arcanum might give the Ancient the power to send tidal waves and massive thunderstorms upon a city; however, the magic that has to be disrupted to do so will ultimately affect its self, and, in order to balance itself once more, the Arcanum will consume the Ancient, turning it into pure magic, thus effectively banishing it from the plane of mortals. What this does is to generate an indirect proportional relation between the Ancient and the magic it controls; in other words, the more powerful the magic is, the more negatively affected the Ancient will be; and since its whole self is composed of Magic, not only its ability to conjure spells will be diminished for a while, but its physical and mental capabilities will be severely affected as well. In order to recover, the Ancient must meditate and refrain from using magic for a period directly proportional to the amount of disrupted magical energy, and in some cases it has to converge with its seal.
  • Arcane Seal: Once the Ascension process is completed the Ancient is taken by the Great Magic to the Arcane World –the plane where all magic was born and the place from which it flows towards the world of mortals. In there the Ancient’s magical energies are fully replenished once and the instinctive repository of knowledge of the Arcanum is fully placed inside its mind. Once this has taken place, the Ancient is sent back to the mortal world; however, throughout the course of its existence in the mortal realm the Ancient will need to have its magic replenished several times by the Grand Arcanum, yet entering the Arcane World is short of impossible without first resigning to one’s mortal part. Thus, in order to survive, the Ancient creates a seal using the energies of the location where the ascension took place. This seal usually takes on the physical form of a magical circle of stones, a fountain or well of shimmering waters, or even a tree with glowing flowers that do not wither even in mid winter. Regardless of its form, the seal is merely a gateway through which the Great Magic can flow towards the Ancient and replenish its energies. The seal works much like the Ambient of a Nymph in its function; however it is as vital to the Ancient’s existence as the Phylactery of a Lich. The Ancient needs not remain by the side of the seal in order to have its magic constantly replenished, but the closer it is to it the faster the flux of magical energies within its body will be stabilized.

    Most of the Ancients remain within their seals a great portion of their time in order to ensure that their magic is fully replenished at all times, and instead of remaining by the side of mortals they provide them with means of summoning them whenever they’re needed. However, there are some Ancients who prefer to stay by the side of mortals and pay periodical visits to the seal. Whatever the case may be, the Ancients know very well that their seal is the source of their life in the mortal world and that without it they’ll have to cross to the Arcane World to never return. If something should happen to the seal, the Ancient’s physical body will immediately be cut off from any kind of interaction with the mortal world, turning ethereal and somewhat intangible, and, unless the seal is restored by the thirteenth night after it was destroyed or dispelled, the Ancient will cross over and disappear from mortal existence. Although the seal prevents anyone aside from the Ancient and its ascended brethren from using sorcery within its range, Faith and Mind Magic can still destroy it. It is for this reason that the Ancients keep them protected, sometimes crafting massive fortresses around them and/or conjuring powerful magical wards, much like the ones used by a Lich to protect its Phylactery.

Restrictions to becoming an Ancient

Ancients are beings of the Arcanum, as such their restrictions follow:

  • Racial: The only racial restriction falls inline with the magical restrictions of the race.
  • Class: An Ancient is as stated, a highly magical being.  This stems from the sorcerous nature of magic, and as such, psionic and faith are no adequate to ascend.  On top of this, hybrid users of magic, or magic and other martial abilities will only be able to ascend after demonstrating skill and dedication to this craft, effectively abandoning their other traits.

Additional Information

Ancients Society

Individually, the Ancients do not have any kind of particular behavioural traits that set them apart from any of the mortal races aside from their marked tendencies towards neutrality in any situation and their distinct devotion to the Arcane; however this does not mean that they will not lend a hand to a person in need or align with any particular group. Nevertheless all these singular traits are vastly superseded by their collective behaviour. As a group, separated from the rest of the mortal society, the Ancients are characterized by their distinct desire to keep themselves aloof in regards to any situations or events that may affect the lesser races. Throughout the course of their astoundingly long lives, the Ancients have seen many wars, revolutions and social transformations; they’ve seen empires rise and fall and they’ve stood as witnesses to occurrences of as much significance as the Divine War and the Sundering, and yet their participation in such events has been virtually inexistent. Even when they had the power to affect these events in a way which would have altered their outcome (i.e. rendering absolute victory upon either Maedhros or the Free Peoples of Entar during the Sundering through their powers or securing the utter annihilation of the Dark God at the time) they chose to step aside and let every single of these occurrences to unfold by their own means. The reasons that have led to the Ancient’s lack of involvement are found deep within the core of their ancestral beliefs.

Believing themselves to be the absolute keepers and Patrons of all things Arcane that exist in the world of mortals, the Ancients hold as a supreme canon that they mustn’t have any involvement in the events that are meant to affect the whole of the mortal kind, whether they are caused by themselves or the Divine, unless said events endanger the harmony of the Great Magic in any way or the world in which it resides. In other words, the Powers of the Grand Arcanum are not to be disturbed by the lesser ones (mortals) or the Deities, and as long as they refrain themselves from doing so the Ancients are bound to refrain themselves from interfering with their affairs as well. This is not to say, however, that the Ancients have not felt the need to interfere, nor than they have never been forced to it by the actions of either mortals or Gods. Whenever they face a time when they might be forced to interfere, the Ancients reunite in a special place that changes with every new gathering, and when the whole of their Coven is present they decide whether they’ll use their gifts to turn the tides or stay in the shadows and watch solemnly as everything comes to pass. The exact number of the Ancients that wander the lands of Entar is unknown even to them; however they believe that it might be found within the one and five thousand Val’Istari, as they usually refer to one another. The last of their gatherings took place around two-hundred years prior to the present time, when the threat of the Black Citadel and the coming of the Dark One rose upon Entar; on that particular time they chose to interfere, however the quick response of the united forces of the Elves, Dwarves, Humans and the Dragon Riders proved to be more than enough to put an end to the threat.

Aside from these occurrences, the Ancients have had their own set of ongoing feuds with another group of beings that hold possibly as much power as they do: the Avatars. The first confrontation they had was during the prelude of the Divine War, back in the East, when the forces of Darkness first looked upon the Ancients’ power and saw it as a valuable asset. The Avatars of the Dark Gods in their arrogance marched upon the Ancients without care but found themselves incapable of containing the magic of so many Val’Istari. The outcome of their confrontation was utter defeat; however, the incident planted the seed of distrust towards all the matters of the Divine in the hearts of the Ancients, and this, added to the fact that the Divine and the Arcane are basically each other’s antithesis, resulted in their decision to turn their backs on the Gods altogether regardless of their particular alignment, with the exception of the God Xanthe to whom they refer as The Conscience of the Great Magic. Since those days the Dark Gods have repeatedly tried to enslave the Ancients and sought the powers of the Great Magic; Jherad the Destroyer, example sees the Ancients, whose powers allow them to wield elemental energies as powerful as the destructive magic of his Avatars, as a direct threat and has sought to wipe them out from the face of the mortal world in numerous occasions; however, the pure magical energies that the Ancients weave cannot be undone by any of the destructive magics of the Avatars that serve the Destroyer, and as a result they have managed to survive their attacks.

Finally, it is rather easy to assume that the Ancients do not worship any Deity aside from the God Xanthe; however, this assessment, although quite logical, is not entirely true. The Ancients, as master guardians of all that is considered Arcane, are, of course, undeniably connected to the god Xanthe, and for this reason they’ve been mistakenly designated by many Wizards, Theologians and Priests as his Avatars; however, if they were Avatars of anything, it would be of Magic itself. The Ancients are exclusive servants of the Grand Arcanum and therefore it is to them the equivalent of a God; and although they do recognize Xanthe’s divine status, to the Ancients the God is merely an aspect of the power they venerate, as opposed to the source or essence itself of that power.


  • Original Concept and Write-up: Malygos
  • Revised Edition: Davin Ragal & Zyrphath