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The fifth theme is Dwellings.

Tower of Ivory Bone - Shadowlands Circle Necromancy - by Darloth
Cost: 30 motes

the necromantic incantations set forth in this spell are costly to evoke, and require a full hour of ritual. However, their effect is permanant, assuming there are enough corpses present. The ritual itself takes a minimum of 49 human corpses and a single human sacrifice, who must have his still-beating heart removed at the apex of the ritual. In the course of the casting, the corpses will be torn apart and cast into a hurricane of razor-sharp bone (doing diff 4, 2L/4L damage to anyone standing within Essence x 10 yards of the ritual circle for the entire hour. It does not harm anyone who manages to get into and more to the point -onto- the ritual circle itself, however.) As the ritual progresses, the bones will form into an every larger tower of interlocking parts, until at the conclusion of the ritual, the necromancer will be standing on a tower of bone 13 stories high and 10 yards in diameter. A defensive spiral staircase runs the inside of the tower, and the caster can dictate basic internal structure, although nothing more complex than walls, windows or doorways (no actual swinging doors or anything complex).

If sufficient corpses are not present, the spell may be cast by replacing corpses 1-for-1 with a single mote of essence each. However, if cast in this way, the tower only lasts until the next sunrise. The human sacrifice is always needed, although it is possible that it could be researched out of the temporary version if the researcher were so inclined.

If -extra- corpses are present, however, various statistics can be increased. The base soak of the tower is 8L/12B, and it has 20 health levels per story. Every 13 extra corpses used increase the health level total by 1 (on each story), to a maximum of 30, and every 5 corpses increase the soak (by +1L/+2B) over the entire tower, up to a maximum of 16L/24B. Spending extra motes will never grant bonuses, the corpses used for this must be real.

Finally, staying in the tower counts as being surrounded with the trappings of the dead for abyssal resonance, and if it cast in creation, allows things that usually need to be in the underworld to regenerate essence at 2 mote per hour of rest or 1m per hour of light activity.

Since the spell is permanant if properly cast, abyssals will often use it as the centre-piece to a temporary fort or similar. The spell can also be negated at any time by holding the pulsing, dark heart of the tower (on the top floor, obviously) and spending 1m of essence. This causes the lowest floor to explode outwards, and then as soon as the next floor touches earth, that too explodes, until finally the necromancer (with anyone else on the top floor) is left standing on the ground, holding the burnt ash that is all that remains of the tower's heart.

(The exploding happens 1 level per turn, and inflicts the same environmental damage at the same radius as the original casting did. In addition, if anyone is standing -inside- the tower when that level explodes, the damage is raised to 3L/6L.)

Chamber of Ephemeral Refuge (Resplendence)

Celestial Circle
Cost: 20 motes + 2 motes per extra hour

Slashing the fabric of reality, the sorcerer pours Essence into the formless void beyond. It takes shape of an chamber, created from her will and wishes. Although merely a large room, the ref-uge can be lavishly decorated with whatever the sorcerer desires and finds pleasing or convenient.

The chamber can have one major feature beyond mere static decoration for every point of the sorcerer’s permanent Essence. Possible features are:

  • Servant – much like a minor spirit that exist only within the chamber. It’s highly specialized in its pur-pose and of rudimentary intelligence, but exist only to serve the sorcerer’s every whim.
  • Barrier – a spiritual obstacle that only lets those the sorcerer wishes enter or exit, but it can’t keep those of higher Essence in or out.

The refuge still counts as a part of Creation for all purposes. It lasts for a number of hours equal to the sorcerer’s Essence + Occult rating, plus one hour extra for every two additional motes spent. After this it has to be extended with a new application of the spell or it will expel everything within back to Creation as it collapses. The entrance to the refuge is visible like that of a spirit sanctuary.

The Badger's Secret Burrow (Sparrowhawk)

Terrestrial Circle
Cost: 20 motes

To cast this spell, the sorcerer must be standing on solid ground of earth or stone. When this spell is cast, an area about a yard below the surface is hollowed out to create a burrow in which the sorcerer and a few companions can hide. The burrow has an area of the sorcerer's essence in cubic yards, and has an entrance that closes and opens when the sorcerer wills it. This entrance completely seals up when closed, making the burrow undetectable by normal means.

Inside, the burrow is kept clean and well-ventilated by essence flows created by the spell. It is possible to live in the burrow, though it is not particularly comfortable. Those wishing to live in it must have a light source as well as food and water, since the burrow is completely dark.

The burrow's main feature is that it is very hard to find. The sealed entrance is indistinguishable from ordinary terrain. Ordinary mortals will not be able to find the entrance at all. Animals that track by scent will paw at the doorway if they track someone to the burrow, but getting into the burrow still requires a lot of digging as the burrow is a yard underground. Exalts and other beings with awakened essence can find the burrow through magical means. Charms or other magic that enhance the sense of hearing and touch can allow someone to detect the vibrations of underground activity, or to sense that there is a hollow space underfoot. This usually requires a successful Perception + Awareness check with a difficulty of the sorcerer's essence. Magic that lets one see the flows of essence will reveal a circle of earth essence where the entrance is. Other sorts of magic can reveal the burrow in other ways, depending on the specific charm or effect.

The Badger's Secret Burrow lasts indefinitely, or until the sorcerer decides to erase it. Doing so is a reflexive mental action, and causes the dirt or stone that was in the burrow to return and fill the space once again. Anyone inside the burrow when this happens takes 5-10 dice of lethal damage (depending on the hardness of the ground) and is ejected to the surface.

Corpse-Element Fortress (OhJames)

Labyrinth Circle Necromancy
Cost: 30 motes

This spell is used by necromancers who desire a temporary but powerful dwelling. The ritual itself involves only a perfunctory gesture on the part of the caster. After the Essence is spent, the elements will assemble themselves without supervision in just about an hour. Its appearance varies greatly, depending on the element called.

  • Ghost-Flame: A fissure rends the earth and from it issues a gout of unearthly flames. These flames gradually assemble themselves into the form of a tall, angular mansion. Anyone approaching within 20 yards of the fortress suffers 1L per minute from the searing heat. The damage increases to 1L every three turns 10 yards from the keep’s walls. If someone were foolish enough to set foot in the mansion without its owner’s consent, they would suffer 1L every turn. The casting necromancer is immune to these effects. In addition, she can extend this immunity to anyone she chooses. Should she revoke this gift, characters have a ten minute grace period to get out. Although imposing, the mansion has very little substance. There are floors and sleeping chambers made of solid flame, but the walls are actual flame. They cannot be broken, but they can be extinguished by magical water or appropriate Charms. Natural precipitation has no effect.
  • Jade: Great spikes of fine jade erupt from the earth, jerking and grinding into a squat edifice. The walls are exceptionally strong, with a soak of 15L/20B and 20 health levels. In addition, anyone inside has their Essence regeneration increased by two motes per hour. Should they be unable to regain Essence under normal circumstances, such as being dead in Creation, they instead respire at half their usual rate.
  • Bone: A leering, toothy skull erupts from the ground, followed by hundreds of other skeletons which scramble and interlock to form a truly gruesome dwelling. Although not as strong as the Jade fortress, its walls have only a soak of 10L/10B and 15 health levels, the walls can animate themselves to defend against intruders as well as to perform other tasks. Their bony hands fight with their master’s traits, minus any magical abilities or enhancements. Their sharp nails allow them to do lethal damage, but they cannot block lethal damage because of their brittleness. The hands can also serve as lab assistants, they add one success to any Craft (Necrosurgery) roll, and can perform mundane household tasks, cooking, cleaning, etc.
  • Blood: Over the course of an hour, nearby trees and rocks bleed profusely until they make a great puddle of coagulated blood. This mass then forms itself into an graceful tower. Like the Bone fortress, the Blood fortress can animate itself to a limited degree. Its walls have a soak of 5L/10B and 5 health levels, but they can also dodge attacks with a pool equal to the casting necromancer’s Charisma + Occult. The strange undulations and twists of this half-liquid keep have no effect on its occupants.
  • Prayer: Glimmering flows of devotion converge in the space the necromancer has chosen. They slowly build an ephemeral pavilion of paper, memory, and light. While inside this pavilion, the casting necromancer has an effective Cult rating equal to her Essence. In addition, ghosts respire at their normal rate, if in Creation, or regain 2 extra motes per hour, if in the Underworld. Living beings must make a Temperance roll every hour at a difficulty of the casting necromancer’s Essence or fall into a sleepy trance while inside the pavilion. However, the walls only have a soak of 3L/5B and 5 health levels.

In Creation, the Corpse-Element Fortress lasts a number of days equal to the necromancer’s successes on a Charisma + Occult roll. In the Underworld, this is measured in weeks. If there is an overwhelming amount of the chosen element near the site (Storyteller discretion), then the duration is measured in years.

Within the Outside World (FlowsLikeBits)

Solar Circle
Cost: 50 motes  or 10 motes

To prepare for this spell, the sorcerer draws up a set of plans for the dwelling. This requires special inks costing Resources-4. These plans show what the rooms are and how they connect together. All of the connections between rooms must exist at the time the spell is cast. As the spell is the cast, the sorcerer traces the lines of the plan, paying special attention to the connections(doorways, stairways etc) between rooms. Casting takes one hour per hundread sections of the dwelling, and must be done within sight of a section of the dwelling, but not in any of them. At the end of the spell, all of the rooms in the dwelling are connected togther as shown on the plan. Note, the individual sections of the plan can exist anywhere in creation. This spell effectivly creates magical connections between rooms as specified on the plan. There is no limitation on the connections between rooms other than there must be holes in the walls of each room and all the rooms must have the same orientation(so a door in one room cannot be a trapdoor in another, although a trapdoor in the floor of a room deep underground could connect to the ceiling of that was physical above it). Thus a sorcery can be in a room high in a tower in Nexus and walk out the doorway into a underground cellar beneath the Realm. This spell can create an underground room with a view, for instance. There do not need to be doors between the rooms and it is possible to look through doorways just fine. The rooms are connected for all practical purposes, charms and sorcery will work accross connections normally.

The plans may consist of multple pages, as it is quite possible to have a room layout that cannot be drawn on a plane. Additionally, the spell can compensate for minor differnces in the architecture, i.e. two rooms may be connected, even if their doorways are not exactly the same size, although gross mismatches will need to be corrected before the spell can be cast. Connections, such as doorways that are taken over by this spell disappear and become like the surrounding wall, doorways not affect by this spell work normally. In fact, it is even possible to connect two doorways in the same room, although this is considerd childish, as it's very confusing to look out of a room and into it at the same time.

Adamant Countermagic directed at a connection between rooms will sever the connection, reverting the connection to it's prevous state. Broken connections can be repaired for 10 motes each, although after a while it becomes more effient to recast the entire spell. Countermagic directed against the plan destroys the entire spell. Massive architectural damange will also break the connections between rooms(Yes, breaking down the wall may make it more difficult to get to the next room. Yes, that was a magic bearing wall)

The spell is fine for normal traffic, but if a large number of people pass through a single connection, that connection may fail for a day or so.

On a wing and a prayer by (Haku)
Celestial Circle
Cost: 30 motes
Target: 1 house or building
A spell of yore is this and one that is seldom used, for while it is of the terresterial circle, its effect is less then useful to morally upright and righteous sorcerers who would have no reason to move their house thus in the middle of night.

To use this spell, sigils and runes of power must be drawn on the inner walls of the house with silver and gold paint, and two abstract wings are drawn on two of the outside walls.

Once the sorcerer has done this, he then sits in the center of the house and stays praying in Old Realm (roll Charisma + Performance) while spending the essence. The sorcerer should also have a destination in mind before starting the prayer as once started, he is lost to the outside world as his mind is focused entirely on the house in question.

As the prayer starts, the house glows with power before a pair of ethereal wings manifests from the drawings on the outside walls. They then lift the house up and start flying at a speed equal to (result of the above roll + the sorcerer's Essence rating) miles per hour. The house will fly like a bird in the air.

This spell ends either at sunset or sunrise. If the house has not reached its destination at this time, the house will set itself down on the nearest, dry land should the sorcerer not be able or willing to recast the spell again.

While flying, the house is protected by the essence inbued in it and thus is not considered an inanimate object and posses a soak equal to 30L / 40B and has 40 health levels. Attacking the flying house is identical to attacking any other flying objects.

While normal weather conditions have no effect on the flying house, it is possible for extreme weather conditions to bring the house down. The sorcerer uses rolls wits + performance to control the house in such adverse weather, he also gets a bonus in die equal to his essence for controlling the house.

This spell lasts until sunrise, sunset, it reaches its destination, commanded to land prematurely or hit with countermagic spells (the effects of a house falling from the sky should be dramatic).

This spell when used on a manse, will move it, however, it will not shift the dragonlines that feed the manse its power, so the manse would no longer be a manse. The largest building this spell can affect is a single large mansion, and it would only work on the mansion itself and not its surroundings (such as gardens, yards, outlying buildings).


Well, there's my attempt to get it going. I know it looks powerful for shadowland... but it doesn't actually DO that much, is very inefficient, and probably has less uses than summoning a mass of skeletons... and it takes twice as many corpses as a scale of permanant skeletons would. What do you think?
-- Darloth

I really like it. Very flavorful and cool. I'll do a spell now. -- Sparrowhawk did his reply in the form of a haiku.

Merely a concept
devoid of purpose now
refinements will come
Resplendence - welcomes suggestions

Clever hiding place
Underground, a secret cave
Great for camping trips!

Writing a Haiku
surely is extra effort
to reply to spells?
-- Darloth wonders about all of those weird dashes (hyphens, '-'s) in Resplendance's spell, but otherwise likes both.

I write most stuff in an editor with automatic hyphenation. Resplendence

Oh! My mind flounders!
The strain of spell-devising
Pales next to haiku
-- OhJames is now wondering whether the power levels are correct

Building spells of the
Solar and Void circles exist now.
Should more be formed?
-- BrilliantRain who points out that 5-9-5 is perfectly legitamate for a haiku

Five may be fine, yes
But four is much too little
Won't you try anew?
-- Seiraryu who points out that "formed" is one syllable.

Thanks for the info.
I have adjusted it now.
Does form-ed work fine?

I am so sorry. The spell must stand all alone. No haiku for you. --FlowsLikeBits, who hopefully isn't to tired to get the spell right

Mwahahaha! I love Within the Outside World! I've thrown mind-bending connections like that at player groups before, and that gives me the perfect excuse to do it again with some old First Age ruins that nobody ever took over - because the architecture only made sense to the Solars who built it! -Everyl

Does anyone find that the Prayor version of Corpse-Element Fortress to be too powerful? It gives the necromancer, at minimum, a cult rating of 4. That's pretty damn high. What if it only gave the necromancer 1/2 their essence in Cult? That would make it still powerful but not overwhelming. - Halloween

I'd be more concerned about the Temperance roll at a minimum difficulty of 4. ~ WaiyaddoNoDan
Could restrict that to mortals... have exalts roll at difficulty 1 instead. How about that?
-- Darloth
Poor mortals. Fair 'nuff. I'd even be down with something like Essence / 2, rounded up or down as works best. You know, in a world where I control this spell with an iron fist. ~WaiyaddoNoDan

I simply love Within the Outside World as it reminds me of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and of Door's home, 'House with no doors'. It's cool. - Haku

Haku -- Traditionally, you get to pick a new theme! -FlowsLikeBits

Okay... coolness, will do so - Haku

FlowsLikeBits - GreenLantern here, giving you a 'ring'. I was looking through the old SpellRelay, specifically the one regarding Dwellings, and liked your spell Within the Outside World a lot. Thing is, I'm not quite going to get Solar Circle Sorcery anytime soon, so I'm interested in a Celestial (or Terrestrial, but I doubt that'd get far) version. My quick guess is that with a Celestial version, I could do a single pair of doors at a time, rather than a whole complex at once. Then again, my crunch-fu has been way off recently, so I'm looking for your thoughts. What would a Celestial version of that spell be like? -- GreenLantern

(I moved your question here actually. Hope that's not a problem. But it seemed to make more sense!). I'd say a Celestial version creates a single connection, with a cost of 35 motes. Probably takes an hour to caste. With a hour long ritual that must be done at each end. It's more of a plot device spell though(It's kinda going for a specific effect). Closest thing I can think of is the Gates of Auspicious Passage, which are NA. I'd probably say you need Artifact ** materials for the Celestial version, Artifact **** for the Solar one. It's more the type of thing where you need "quest item" though. -FlowsLikeBits