The History of the Spell Weaver
HISTORY OF THE SPELL WEAVER
Only seen on rare occasions, and always because of their involvement in some scheme to obtain magic items by trade, persuasion* or force, spell weavers are a mysterious race of powerful sorcerers. These elusive beings evidence the last descendants of an ancient, magically advanced empire that, millennia ago, spanned numerous worlds and planes,
In this forgotten time, the spell weaver umpire consisted of a vast league of colonies, called nodes, which spanned the multiverse. Huge pyramids of stone and steel powered by gigantic magical furnaces, these nodes were widely separated, often with only one existing on any single world or plane of existence. All of I hem, however, connected to one another through a complex matrix of magical portals. Thus, each node served as a huge planar travel installation, capable even of instantly mov¬ ing with all of its inhabitants to other locations or planes.
The so-called spell weaver empire was largely a noninvasive one—an advanced community of intellectual watchers who only occasionally subjugated more primitive creatures to carry out menial chores and hard labor* What te w races they encountered that posed threats the spell weavers gifted with powerful magic items and artifacts, allowing these cultures to destroy themselves from within (an act some spell weavers still practice in modem rimes). Yet; above all, the spell weavers were interested in semantics, a subject they had researched for thousands of years, traveling through the multi verse to meet and observe nearly every culture imaginable. Through the tireless study and practice of innumerable symbol and language codes, the spell weavers learned to avail themselves of their physical attributes and natural talents like no other race, developing an uncanny telepathy and the ability to cast multiple spells at once.
Few know if the spell weaver plan to acquire total knowledge of all existing communication was their ultimate goal or if they had some other purpose. What is known is that, at the height of their prosperity, the spell weavers conducted a grandiose and dangerous experi¬ ment, possibly an attempt to alter reality across the entire multiverse* This experiment; however, met with tragic failure and caused a catastrophe of colossal proportions* For unexplained reasons, the furnaces within every spell weaver node exploded one after the other in a terrible chain reaction, obliterating the pyramidal colonies and all their inhabitants within seconds, effectively purging the multi verse of the spell weaver empire in a single moment* Only the few members of the race who were away from the nodes survived, becoming the ances¬ tors of all modern spell weavers.
PHYSIOLOGY OF THE SPELL WEAVER
Averaging 5 feet in height and too pounds, spell weavers are six-armed alien-looking creatures. Their gender¬ less bodies are smooth and hairless, varying between numerous shades of gray and occasionally splotched or speckled with light colors such as beige, pink, or yellow. Their necks are long and exceptionally nimble, allowing spell weavers to turn their heads completely around with no effort. Further adding to their alien nature, spell weaver blood is metallic blue In color, similar to quicksilver.
All spell weavers carry chromatic disks, thin, 6 inch in diameter circular objects made of a silvery substance that is stronger than steel. At a spell weaver’s will, the disk can change color and show a variety of patterns and designs on its dark surface. These objects are intimate creations of spell weavers, actual living extensions of their beings. In the rare case that a chromatic disk is lost or destroyed, a spell weaver can quickly replace it through meditation, exuding blood and fluids from the palm of its hands in the form of a metallic resin. The resin is manipulated to form the disk shape and solidifies quickly. This process takes only an hour but leaves the spell weaver exhausted.
Spell weavers are extremely long-lived creatures, with a lifespan near six centuries. Age does not seem to significantly affect their physical abilities, and only lighter skin tones distinguish older individuals from younger ones. Aging, however, is directly tied to reproduction for spell weavers in a complex and mysterious pair of rituals.
Upon reaching the end of its life—a time spell weavers seem to instinctually know—an elder spell weaver can rejuvenate its body through a special hibernation trance requiring the draining of a near-priceless amount of magic items. In preparation, the spell weaver sacrifices the energies within its accumulated magic treasures, destroying them to create a cylindrical “coffin.” It then finds a secure location, as the rite leaves it effectively helpless for the trance’s entire duration, Upon sealing itself within the coffin, the spell weaver enters a state of suspended animation f rom which it cannot be awakened. This process usually takes only a month, but sometimes lasts far longer, with evidence of spell weavers languishing within their coffins for centuries at a time. At the end of this ritual, the spell weaver is physically restored, its skin darkened and its life renewed for another six centuries. This restorative process only seems to function for spell weavers, yet even so they keep its specifics a mystery from all other races. This trance only functions six times, pro* riding no benefit beyond that Despite their lengthy lifespans and these renewing trances, however, spell weavers are far from immortal.
To reproduce—an act that is for spell weavers little more than a final act of self-regeneration—an elder specimen who has gone through all six rejuvenation processes may per¬ form a complex, ritual self-sacrifice that results in the "birth* of six new adult spell weavers. The rite requires a special array of breeding vessels found only in a few rare spell weaver sites. To perform the ceremony, the parent creates six new chromatic disks and places them into the vessels where the new individuals form and grow in a few’ hours. During that time, the parent dies and decays, eventually disappearing into nothingness. The newborn spell weavers rise from the vessels with the full memories and mental abilities of the parent.
Spell weavers do not speak, for their law forbade speech millennia ago as part of the training to develop their telepathic faculties. They seldom emit noises, and only as a consequence. When they suffer pain, for example, they might squeal or grunt in a high-pitched tone, but nothing more. Spell weavers have their own incredibly complex language of clicks and whistles, which they know only from distant memories. In modern times, the spell weaver language is experienced only in its written form, as node hieroglyphs.
PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIETY OF THE SPELL WEAVER
Although they still comply with the dogmatic prohibition not to speak, modem spell weavers are free from the rigid social structure of their ancient empire. Sometimes a few individuals band together to pursue the common goal of acquiring magic items, but most members of the race are essentially loners.
Spell weavers have two complementary ways to communicate exclusively among themselves—a sign language that makes use of their flexible neck and six hands and a visual language based on the colors of their chromatic disks. Both of these communication methods can convey very complex and articulate meanings, and are totally incomprehensible to other races. They are not redundant. thought for through the combination of sign language, chromatic disks, and telepathy, spell weavers can deliver hours of explanation and dialogue in a few minutes.
Spell weavers have no religion and actively shun the worship of deities, refuting these beings’ divinity and mysteriously hinting at some undermining secret of their powers. Despite this disbelief spell weavers do revere their ancestors and often meditate to better understand the will of past generations. As all spell weavers share the memories of their forebearers, this spirituality is less like actual devotion and more a kind of pious reminiscence.
During these recollections, spell weavers often recall the Time of Nodes, the golden age of their race when their pyramidal cities still existed. They refer to the catastrophe that wiped out their empire as the Disjunction, and the following age, up to the present day, as the Scrabbling, In the hopes of restoring the Time of Nodes, spell weavers seek out particular magic items or, more specifically, ancient gems imbued with “memories” that spell weavers can telepathically read. By inspecting these rare and specific gems, many spell weavers try to collect pieces of what they call the Code of Reversion, a magical formula devised before the final experiment that destroyed the spell weaver empire. The pieces of the formula were psychometrically inscribed on a series of precious stones for security reasons, and distributed in multiple copies to different keepers throughout the empire. Any spell weaver could activate the formula, but it had to read and memorize all the pieces first. The Code of Reversion essentially formed an incredibly powerful multipart spell, designed to revert time in the entire multi verse to the point when the formula was inscribed. Aware of the risks involved in their final experiment, the spell weavers devised the Code of Reversion as a chance to restore their empire if something went wrong. The catastrophe, however, exceeded their worst expectations, and the inscribed gems were scattered and lost. As such, no spell weaver has yet been able to locate and perform the Code of Reversion, Even the spell weavers are not sure if a complete copy of the formula has survived, and most gems suffer gaps in their memory that cannot be filled. Needless to say, the successful activation of the Code of Reversion would inevitably mean the erasure of thousands of years of history and the effective annihilation of all present things.
Not ail spell weavers obsess over the past, however. While some accept the ruin of their civilization and attempt to live peacefully, others strive to rebuild the spell weaver empire. To them, the greatest impediment to renewed spell weaver mastery is the world’s infestation by innumerable humanoid races, which dominate it through their verminous fecundity alone. Hearkening back to offensive strategies utilized during the Time of Nodes, these spell weavers are all too glad to supply such races with the instruments of their annihilation.
No spell weaver or researcher from any other race knows what accident caused the ruin of the spell weaver empire and brought about the end of the Time of Nodes. While spell weavers acknowledge that their leaders were attempting some far-reaching magical feat, they remain universally secretive of its specifics. To commonly held possibilities follow:
Ascension: Through their study of language, spell weavers discovered the prime form of communication, words of reality capable of manipulating all existence. Revealing that deities were little more than bickering entities with knowledge of this language, the spell weavers attempted to take their place among the powers en masse. Their intentions discovered by the existing deities, these covetous beings warped the spell weavers’ attempt to elevate the population of an entire node* creating a magical backlash that rippled through and destroyed the spell weaver empire, along with all knowledge of the prime language.
Unification: Spell weavers came to believe that* at the beginning of creation, all of the planes and countless worlds were in fact one single, balanced reality. This equilibrium, however* was shattered by the mercurial whims of the deities. Traveling to all of these fragmented existences and creating their nodes as anchors, the spell weavers hoped to cast a multiverse spanning spell capable of drawing the shattered planes back together. The power of infinite infinities proved too great for even the bold spell weavers, though* and their first trial wiped their empire from the reality they hoped to save.
SPELL WEAVER RUINS
Ravaged by the Disjunction, the ruins of spell weaver nodes are thousands of years old—relics of an empire lost to time. Extraordinarily scarce* multiple nodes rarely exist on a single world and never on the same continent.
Every node has a similar structure, with a main pyramid that towers more than 500 feet talL At the top perches a great crystal lamp once capable of illuminating the surrounding landscape with a pulsing azure light. With all probability, these lamps acted as a magical homing beacon for other spell weaver planar travel facilities.
Inside, the most important room of any node was the breeding chamber, the home of the magic cylinders necessary for spell weavers to reproduce. Only a few of these rooms survived the Disjunction intact, and they are desperately sought out and jealously guarded by modern spell weavers. Secondary to the breeding chamber was the mortuary, a many-floored hall that protected spell weavers undergoing their rejuvenating stasis. Deeper than these rooms slept the heart of the node, a gigantic magical furnace. While those in every node ever discovered have been destroyed, an active spell weaver furnace is capable of producing effects on par with the powers of the deities. As such, spell weavers throughout the planes dream of finding a near-mythic live node furnace.