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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    The Veil of Immortality

    After writing up some of the issues regarding elves, humans and half-elves an idea occurred to me that I thought might prove amusing in the _Secrets of the Sidhe_ document. Humans relationships with the Sidhe (under the half-elves section) are described thusly:

    "From time to time, a particularly handsome or beautiful human with courage and a gracious manner may walk among the Sidhelien unscathed. A few humans have been accepted as equals in the elven courts. Mortals (by elven standards) quickly become lost in the elven spell; the years reel by in splendor and celebration, while the world outside comes to a halt or leaps centuries ahead. Such a mortal may return home to find that only a single night has passed, or that a hundred years have flown by. More often than not, a mortal`s life runs out in a heartbeat."

    Well, we have no guidelines for handling anything like that, and for anyone who is a fan of the kinds of myths and folk tales that this concept is based that lack is a shame. So here`s a write up of a spell that I think is a good place to start.

    ---ooOoo---

    The Veil of Immortality
    Transmutation
    Level: Wiz/Sor 6
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: Creature touched
    Duration: Permanent; see text
    Saving Throw: Will
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    The subject of a Veil of Immortality will retain his youthful appearance despite the passage of time. His body still ages normally, but he will show none of the signs of aging. The spell must be cast while the subject is within lands controlled by the Sidhelien. The spell is ended when the subject dies or leaves the sylvan lands.

    Once the spell is broken the years come rushing back, and the subject takes on the physical appearance of his true age. Once lost, no second casting of the spell can restore youth and beauty to a mortal even if he should return to elven lands. A second casting will only preserve the appearance of the mortal at his current age.

    Humans who have left elven lands after having had this spell cast on them often describe the experience of years under its influence as magical and mysterious. Some say the years simply rushed by as if everything that happened while under the influence of the spell was in a dream. However, these effects may be the shock of physical age returning so quickly when the spell is ended.

    The material component of this spell is a wearable piece of jewelry worth at least 1,000gp. This item is given as a token from the spellcaster to the subject of the spell. It is not consumed in the casting or breaking of the spell, nor is the spell broken if the token is destroyed, lost or stolen. However, if it is willingly returned to the caster the spell is broken.

    ---ooOoo---

    Some comments/notes and questions:

    1. Essentially, the spell is a form of Alter Self or Polymorph, depending on how one wants to look at it....

    2. The spell level there is debatable.... What do you guys think? I`m thinking it could be as low as 4th level (allowing a 7th level caster) and not be an issue. As written, the spell doesn`t really DO much of anything, so lowering the spell level should be fine. However, one change I`m thinking of making that would make a difference is:

    3. Given the text that inspired it, the spell might keep a mortal alive past his normal lifespan. Off the cuff, I think this might be best handled by simply having a lesser and greater version of the spell. 4th and 6th level?

    4. The bit of jewelry is important as it keeps the spell from being bandied about all over the place, but I`d like something more specific than just a gp value. Other than the cliche "diamonds are forever" can anyone think of something appropriate? (Many D&D material spell components are puns, so the "diamonds" bit might be work....)

    5. This spell alone does not fully cover the concepts in the section quoted above. Various charm and/or spells that alter the senses of the target might be appropriate too.

    Anything else that should appear in this spell description?

    Gary
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 02-07-2008 at 10:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    My own approach to this is perhaps the core mechanic of the book Fey Magic from Mongoose's Encyclopedia Divine series: the reverie. Now I don't consider elves as Fey, but only as a consequence of the sundering of the daylight and shadow worlds. So once humans experience the reverie, I think they begin to experience some of the things you have described. I prefer the effects to be more a consequence of the reverie itself, rather than a token of the reverie, but what you have described in terms of this necklace is very much a fey token. Fey tokens are used to store the fey essence and so on, and its certainly reasonable that they fey token you describe is storing the essence to provide the effect you describe (the youthfulness).

  3. #3
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:06 PM 2/6/2008, kgauck wrote:

    >My own approach to this is perhaps the core mechanic of the book Fey
    >Magic from Mongoose`s Encyclopedia Divine series: the reverie.

    That`s interesting. Do they have effects for forgetfulness,
    enthrallment or other things described in the BR quote?

    Gary

  4. #4
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    I don't think it is a spell at all but rather an effect from the elven woods itself.

    Something similar to the Thorn Throne - it is inherent in the land (elven wood) itself and when the land "recognizes someone as being worthy of being elf-like" then they get that "extended time" going on. A sort of Rip van Winkle effect.

    This inherent magical effect could also be used to rationize elves being able to move so quickly from one part of the woods to another to defend them from invaders (without having to really use transport spells per say).

    This "effect" can be reflected in the blood ability Forest Walk (great ability part) as the way that the gods were able to reproduce this effect. (well the travel portion).
    Duane Eggert

  5. #5
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    First off, I like the idea. I`m already casting about to think of ways to
    integrate something like this IMC.

    In a message dated 2/7/2008 12:49:47 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
    geeman@SOFTHOME.NET writes:

    Some comments/notes and questions:
    2. The spell level there is debatable.... What do you guys think? I`m
    thinking it could be as low as 4th level (allowing a 7th level caster) and not
    be an issue.
    I could go for that.

    3. Given the text that inspired it, the spell might keep a mortal alive past
    his normal lifespan. Off the cuff, I think this might be best handled by
    simply having a lesser and greater version of the spell. 4th and 6th level?
    That works, too.

    4. The bit of jewelry is important as it keeps the spell from being bandied
    about all over the place, but I`d like something more specific than just a gp
    value. Other than the cliche "diamonds are
    forever" can anyone think of something appropriate? (Many D&D material
    spell components are puns, so the "diamonds" bit might be work....)
    No, I think diamonds are appropriate, especially for the pun.

    On a variant idea, perhaps bouncing off of the other thread, "Are
    genocidal elves Evil?" I wonder if the sidhe`s immortality, and the spell effect
    here, are directly linked to the preservation of mebhaigl? That is, elves are
    immortal, as long as they stay near a source?
    Bouncing off the half-elf thread, could a stronger version of this
    spell, or a very prolonged exposure to living in a source-thick province, allow a
    non-sidhe to become a half-sidhe?
    I point to a half-remembered prestige class in Races of the Wild,
    "elf-friend," that I think did something similar, generating benefits within elven
    culture for a non-elf.


    Lee.
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 02-07-2008 at 10:18 PM.

  6. #6
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 09:43 AM 2/7/2008, Lee wrote:

    > On a variant idea, perhaps bouncing off of the other thread,
    > "Are genocidal elves Evil?" I wonder if the sidhe`s
    > immortality, and the spell effect here, are directly linked to the
    > preservation of mebhaigl? That is, elves are immortal, as long as
    > they stay near a source?

    Yeah, I`ve been wondering how exactly to rule on that. Is it the
    province or the source? Could a human under the effects of this
    spell be part of an elven army that invaded a nearby human realm
    where the local source was controlled by an elf, but not the province?

    I`m thinking it has to be the province ruler and the predominant
    population as that scenario doesn`t really work....

    > Bouncing off the half-elf thread, could a stronger version of
    > this spell, or a very prolonged exposure to living in a
    > source-thick province, allow a non-sidhe to become a half-sidhe?
    > I point to a half-remembered prestige class in Races of the
    > Wild, "elf-friend," that I think did something similar,
    > generating benefits within elven culture for a non-elf.

    Now that`s interesting too.... I`m leery of too many permanent
    effects, but the kind of thing you`re talking about is a definite possibility.

    Gary

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    In a message dated 2/7/2008 1:06:59 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
    geeman@SOFTHOME.NET writes:

    At 09:43 AM 2/7/2008, Lee wrote:

    > On a variant idea, perhaps bouncing off of the other thread,
    > "Are genocidal elves Evil?" I wonder if the sidhe`s
    > immortality, and the spell effect here, are directly linked to the
    > preservation of mebhaigl? That is, elves are immortal, as long as
    > they stay near a source?

    Yeah, I`ve been wondering how exactly to rule on that. Is it the
    province or the source? Could a human under the effects of this
    spell be part of an elven army that invaded a nearby human realm
    where the local source was controlled by an elf, but not the province?

    I`m thinking it has to be the province ruler and the predominant
    population as that scenario doesn`t really work....

    > Bouncing off the half-elf thread, could a stronger version of
    > this spell, or a very prolonged exposure to living in a
    > source-thick province, allow a non-sidhe to become a half-sidhe?
    > I point to a half-remembered prestige class in Races of the
    > Wild, "elf-friend," that I think did something similar,
    > generating benefits within elven culture for a non-elf.

    Now that`s interesting too.... I`m leery of too many permanent
    effects, but the kind of thing you`re talking about is a definite
    possibility.


    Then, I had a creepy idea, for my campaign. I have a half-elf PC, with a
    definite background, that does not include half-elves being manufactured, or
    inspired, or anything other than the child of an elf and a human.
    ... unless that`s what the highly secretive sidhe WANT her and everyone
    else to think! There`s a "Programmed memory" spell out there, right?

    I think I need another fix of "illuminati",
    Lee.
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 02-07-2008 at 10:18 PM.

  8. #8
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck
    My own approach to this is perhaps the core mechanic of the book Fey Magic from Mongoose`s Encyclopedia Divine series: the reverie.
    Quote Originally Posted by geeman View Post
    That`s interesting. Do they have effects for forgetfulness,
    enthrallment or other things described in the BR quote?
    "From time to time, a particularly handsome or beautiful human with courage and a gracious manner may walk among the Sidhelien unscathed. A few humans have been accepted as equals in the elven courts. Mortals (by elven standards) quickly become lost in the elven spell; the years reel by in splendor and celebration, while the world outside comes to a halt or leaps centuries ahead. Such a mortal may return home to find that only a single night has passed, or that a hundred years have flown by. More often than not, a mortal`s life runs out in a heartbeat."

    The Reverie is a powerful, seductive ability. Many seek to understand it, but the path cannot be found alone. While the fey view most outsiders with suspicion, they have a fondness for brilliant passions in mortals. These fierce desires are the lure that keeps the fey intersted in mortal affairs.

    A character needs a patron among the fey to inititate them. This occures at a great feast.

    Those who have proved themselves to the fey are led to a faerie circle where the Great Feast is to be held. The feast is a grand and raucous affair, capturing the sense of the wild, chaotic spirit of these creatures. The feast is attended by all the Seelie fey within the glade, along with other creatures who live in harmony with them. During the feast, food and drink are served and the air is filled with song. It is a festival of the highest order. At midnight the tone of the Great Feast changes dramatically. Songs are silenced and dances are halted. One of the fey steps forward to begin the ritual at the center of the feast. Each participat falls into a magical slumber. Those without knowledge of the reverie fall asleep, while others enter a trance and draw power from the plane of fairie. At this time fey patrons enter the dreams of their charges and bring them into the reverie. They guide them into this enchanted state and then back to their mortal forms.

    The Unseelie also hold a cerimony, but it is not a feast, but is called the Great Hunt. The dark fey race throughout the countryside savagly attacking and killing any non-fey that cross their path. After the hunt, the Unseelie gather and perform the reverie.

    The Great Feast can be handled as an encounter with checks. Failures result in forgetfulness, confusion, and even the Feeblemind effect.

    Many of the descriptions involve people disappearing. The Great Feast is a controlled visit to the plane of faerie, but there are portals as well, and the fey amuse themselves by luring mortals into such portals. Most who drift into these gateways become so disoriented and lost on the plane of faerie that they are unable to return. Those who somehow manage to return may find that time passes differently on the plane of faerie.

    Changes
    Obviously we're talking about elves not the fey, but its clear this material has a common folkloric source. Second, instead of coming into contact with the plane of faerie (at least as far as elves are concerned) I'd bring characters into contact with mebhaigl the way the elves encounter it. Enter a altered state where awareness of the physical world decreases and you encounter pools of radiance, a promenade of color and sound, laughter, joy, vinbrancy, the landscape is kaleidoscopic, unending sensations of enchantment, pure life, chaos, spirit, &c.

  9. #9
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Given that we are talking about 'fluid' time and the like I'd consider the shadow/spirit world making an appearance. Several setting have the elven realms as close to 'faerie' or a similar plane. If the elven lands are closely connected to the shadow plane (a brighter part of it barring Tuar Annwyn) then these poor mortals could have crossed over the border and been entertained by the Sidhe - and simply hit a more fluid area in time terms than usual in the shadow plane.

    As regards a spell what stops a mortal human mage learning it and using it to make themself immortal? Immortality is a powerful prize and any spell that effectively grants it should be treated with caution. For immortality an emperor of Anuire could easily have barred anyone from logging 'his' forest to ensure a sufficiently mebhaighl rich environment for example as the 'loss' of one province would barely register given the size of the empire against the benefits of gaining immortality.

  10. #10
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    Given that we are talking about 'fluid' time and the like I'd consider the shadow/spirit world making an appearance. Several setting have the elven realms as close to 'faerie' or a similar plane. If the elven lands are closely connected to the shadow plane (a brighter part of it barring Tuar Annwyn) then these poor mortals could have crossed over the border and been entertained by the Sidhe - and simply hit a more fluid area in time terms than usual in the shadow plane.
    The problem I see is that according to Bloodspawn, elves don't go to the Shadow World becuase of the split between Sidhe and Seelie.

    If I were using the kinds of stuff I described for an actual fey reverie, I would certainly use the SW, because of its role as a faerie world.

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