Pieter A de Jong wrote:

> Remember certain comments about 30th+ level elven mages, and how the
> elves should have won the original war with the humans? Yes, I agree with you. The
> existence of mages just implies a high-magic world by default. High level mages
> don't die off easily, and train apprentices. If they are immortals, they train
> lots of apprentices. I think that the domain rules in Birthright actually
> underestimate the
> effects of non-realm spells on domains. A single magic mirror spell can easily
> duplicate the results of an espionage action. And conjured/polymorphed creatures
> could be extremely devestating in combat. Regular castings of Animate dead can
> generate undead armies (with no maintenance costs) in a very short period (given
> enough corpses). Bound earth elementals could be very useful in build actions.

I think you're right. A mage with a crystal ball can do an awful lot of spying on a
daily basis, and he needn't worry about things like gates, walls, etc. He can just
listen in where ever he likes.

Here's another nightmarish (pun, pun!) possibility. (This is also an interesting
adventure idea that I think I might exploit in my own campaign....)

A mage could cast the reverse of the Dream spell, Nightmare, on a nightly basis. This
spell does 1d10 damage unless a saving throw is made by the target. While certain
people (PCs, other mages, etc.) might recognize this as an attack, most "commoners"
would not. Most of the people surrounding a regent are administrators, bureaucrats
and such. The attack would do an average of 5.5 damage, which is going to kill most
normal humans. A 10th level wizard (like the Sword Mage) gets two fifth level spells
a day. He could effectively kill as many as sixty administrators, courtiers,
advisors, etc. in some regent's domain a month.

The defenses to a Nightmare spell are some sort of magical protection or a priest
using Dispel Evil, but since the targets are commoners, how could they tell who the
next victim will be? It could be any of the low level people who work at court.

An 11th level wizard gets three 5th level spells and a 12th level wizard gets four.
Such a mage (or even a few mages acting together--how about the Three Brother Mages
doing something like this?) could depopulate a regents court in a pretty short time.
There aren't any specific rules for what might happen if the infrastructure of a
regent's court were wiped out in such a manner, but having fifty or so administrators
die would probably wipe out a regent's Diplomacy ability. His chances of even doing
domain and realm actions would also be drastically effected.

A 12th level caster could attack 120 people in a month. That would pretty much wipe
out a unit of knights or cavalry. That same 12th level wizard could cast four of
those spells in a single night, which could potentially kill some of the lower level
regents out there. If Rogr Aglondier does not sleep in a bedroom protected from such
magics he would probably not survive such an attack. Guilder Kalien, for instance,
only has 22 hp. Eluvie Cariele (Coeranys) is only a 2nd level fighter. The
Hierophant of the Live and Protection of Avanalae is only a 2nd level priest....
These are only a few examples of regents who would be vulnerable to such an attack. A
mage who had several copies of that spell on scrolls as well as having memorized it a
few times could hit these people pretty hard.

Note that to an observer these people would simply die in their sleep. It probably
wouldn't even be understood for some time what was happening. Since Cerilians are so
superstitious the majority of them would probably attribute all the deaths to a curse
on the court and it would require an adventure action or divination spells on the part
of the ruler to figure out what was going on.

Pleasant dreams,