Warlocks of Altera

Warlocks

  • Casting Style: Pact Magic
  • Strengths: Strong Combat Magic and Self Protectives
  • Weakness: Weak Healing and Protectives for Others

Edgar closed the cellar door behind him. He knew the end for his masters was coming. He did not fear death. He had seen death before. The others did not understand. He and his masters only wanted to have balance. Why could they not see that to be free others must be enslaved? Why could they not understand that light is only of value if there is first darkness? He knew history would likely call him a traitor. History was a fool. It was fear of the unknown, of the misunderstood, of the outcast that drove this war. His masters were like him. Despised because they did not fit some preordained social acceptability and in that fear, the fools would strike at his masters, but he knew the truth. Binding the darkness would also bind the light. This war would not destroy demons but it would destroy magic itself. He would not let the wonders of the world fade away if there was something he could do about it.

He had worked his way into the King’s castle. He had a place of anonymity and now deep within the cellar of the Fool King he would stop this war for good. He drew out a slip of paper with terrible writing on it. The paper, if found, would have been more than enough to have him executed, but it was needed. A needle pricked his finger and a single drop of blood smeared the page, but then, a drop was all that was needed.

“Master Kalaladun, Marquis of Vengeance, Firebrand of the Dark Host in the South, your servant calls you forth!”

The slip of paper ignited and smoked in his hand. The smoke was oily and dark. Far more smoke than such a small flame would have normally produced.  It slowly curled around him creating a blackened circle and he could only hope this would be done before anyone came to investigate. From the smoke, two burning eyes peered out. Claws occasionally appeared to almost emerge and the shape of cloven hooves could just barely be made out. The Beast’s voice was equal parts guttural growling and spoken words.

“You have done well, slave. Your deeds are known in the Other Realms. What have you summoned me for this day?”

“Master, I am prepared. I seek your power that I may finish this.”

The Demon looked upon his servant. “All power comes with a price. What more do you possibly have left to give me?”

Edgar was taken aback for the briefest of moments. After all he had done, the Demons demanded more from him? No… that was their way. Nothing was freely given. Everything had a price. This should have been expected. In truth, he had only one thing left to give. He knew it was the price to unlock the full power of a Demon. He also knew that it must be freely offered. It would never be asked for.

“In truth, master, I have given you my flesh and all that I have in this world. I give you all I have left. In trade for your power I give you all that I will have when I am dead. I resign whatever comes next and will eternally be yours.”

“Accepted.”

That was the only thing said. The Demon reached into Edgar’s chest and pulled out his beating heart. Into that cavity a dark fire ignited filling the empty space. Edgar, if he could be called that anymore, knelt before his master, full of dark and grim purpose.

“I become a villain in order to save the heroes from themselves. I do only what has to be done.”

The Demon’s smoke vanished from the room and took Edgar’s heart with it to wherever it had been summoned from.

Edgar’s body stood in the dark, covered in scars. Each one a different compact that had been made and sealed within his flesh. Each runic scar emanating the dark power with which he had bound himself to. With a mere thought, dark fire wrapped around his hands and black smoke followed his every step. There were no disguises any longer. He walked out of the cellar to kill the King…

Cost Chart

Warlock Tiers Pre-Req Tolerance Range Tolerance Cost Abilities
1st, 10 XP None 1-2 5 XP/Tolerance Spell Flux,
8 XP each
2nd, 10 XP 3 Tolerance 3-4 10 XP/Tolerance Counterspell,
10 XP each
3rd, 15 XP 5 Tolerance 5-6 12 XP/Tolerance
4th, 15 XP 7 Tolerance 7-9 16 XP/Tolerance
5th, 20 XP 10 Tolerance 10+ 20 XP/Tolerance

Rules Summary

  • Foci:  No
  • In-Play Verbals:  No. All Warlock spells are called as “Activate – Magic [modifier] [Spell effect]” which is considered to be expressly out of play.
  • Soul Mark:  Yes.
  • Book/Text Prop:  No

Warlocks draw their magic from Patrons with whom they have forged a Pact.  They bind themselves a supernatural power and draw power directly from that source.  Demons are the most common participants in such Pacts due to the inherent nature of Demons to make binding contracts.  However, a Pact can be made with any supernatural being assuming that they can be found.  When a Warlock makes a Pact with a selected Patron there is always a clause established to allow either party to leave the Pact but that must be agreed on in advance.  The most common clauses involve the Warlock bringing a replacement and then transferring her pact to the newer Warlock.  The Soul just like the body wants to heal and overtime will start to erase the mark of any pact.  Each Pact must be renewed at least once a year in order to maintain it’s power.  Other escape clauses may be found in play.

Making a Pact is a binding contract that is written on both flesh and soul of the Warlock.  The Patron agrees to allow part of it’s own power to be channeled for use by the Warlock in exchange for being bound to do certain favors.  These can be minor favors or neigh impossible.  They may be requested only once or they may require a long term adjustment to behaviors.  Legends abound of Demons who used Pact bound Warlocks to seek revenge on another Warlock who broke a Pact.  Others are less malign and speak of a Warlock only being able to access their Pacts after the blood of another has been shed.

Regardless of what specifics are made the mechanics of using Pact magic is fairly universal.  Each character can only have <Warlock Tier> Pacts with separate supernatural Patrons at any given time.  Each Pact cannot be stronger than the lowest current pact minus one.  Each power must be separately prepared by the  Warlock tracing the Pact Brand and saying “Activate Pact to [Patron]’s power of [name of power]”.  Doing so always triggers an irresistible “Torment Self” from the sheer physical strain of wrestling to power far greater than the Warlock’s own.

Once activated the Warlock may leave that Power active indefinitely and channel as much magic as their Tolerance will allow.  The Warlock can have <Warlock Tier> Pact powers active at any given time.  These can all be powers from the same Patron or from a combination of Patrons to whom they are bound.  The power to channel magic through the Brand as allowed by the Pact ends when the character wills the Brand to close,  when they exceed their personal Tolerance, when the character dies, and they close automatically at sunset.  Pacts cannot be closed while unconscious.  To close a Pact willingly it must be done at a time calling “Revoke Pact [name of power]”.

As an additional cost the total Bleed Out time for a Warlock is reduced in minutes by the number of Pacts they currently have open at the time with a minimum Bleed Out time of 30 seconds.

 The Tolerance that even the most hardened Warlock can endure is limited.  Each pact, however comes with small deeds that or short prohibitions that, when practiced will restore a limited amount of the Warlock’s Tolerance. If no Deeds are done all Warlock Tolerance recovers 30 minutes after the last activation (Active Pacts do not stop the reset from happening).

Brands and Soul Marks

The Brands of a Pact are both physical (either an obvious scar or tattoo on exposed skin or easily noticeable with a simple 10 second search) as well as Spiritual (Each brand has a 2-5 word description that must be given if the ability “Detect Soul Mark” is used in play.  Each Pact will have it’s own unique description.  All descriptions must be given when “Detect Soul Mark” is asked for.  The exact nature and influence of a marked soul must be discovered in play.

Unless otherwise expressly stated all Warlock powers cost 1 Tolerance to cast.  Each spell cast has a source (magic) as well as a more specific modifier denoting the specific flavor of the spell and its specific origins.  While most creatures treat all modifiers the same there is always the possibility that something may take increased or reduced effect based on this modifier.  Players are informed as to what modifier they should use at the time the Pact is made.

Example:  If William the Warlock had Beliaus, Jester of Flame and Lackey of the South as a patron then he would use “Fire” as his modifier.

If instead he had Kilsdrame, Messenger of Earth and Scion of Silence of the East as a patron he would likely use “Earth” as his modifier.

Examples of Warlock Powers

Power of Directed Spite

Verbal:  (Out-of-Play) “Triggered Magic [modifier] Shard 2”

Effect: Allows the Warlock to cast Shards 2‘s as a triggered effect when struck with a melee weapon.

Power of Dread Sickness

Verbal:  (Out-of-Play) “Activate Magic [modifier] Disease”

Effect: Allows the Warlock to cast Disease effect’s so long as they still have Tolerance available.

Power of Infernal Strength

Verbal:  (Out-of-Play) “Activate Magic [modifier] Strength”

Effect: Allows the caster to cast a Strength effect, self only, so long as they have Tolerance available.

Examples of Rites

Rite of Stalking Blade

Duration:  5 minutes

Effect: Restores 5 Tolerance

The Warlock must choose one target and silently follow them for the duration of this rite.  During this rite the chosen target must be the Warlock’s sole focus.  They can use no in game abilities, speak, or interact with any person in any shape.  If the target flees for any reason the Warlock must give chase.

Rite of the Consuming Flame

Duration: 5 seconds

Effect: Restores 2 Tolerance

The Warlock must burn an in play item such as a tagged text prop, Research Theory tag, or a production formula.  The item should be turned over to plot at the end of this Rite.  It is considered to be destroyed in this rite.

Rite of the Butcher’s Knife

Duration: 1 Minute

Effect: Restores 3 Tolerance

The Warlock must spend one minute mutilating the corpse of a freshly dead sentient being.  This must be done without explanation or interruption.  If interrupted for any reason the Rite fails and may not be attempted again on the same corpse.

Rite of the Judge’s Advocate

Duration: 5 minutes

Effect:  Restores 5 Tolerance

The Warlock must speak of the benefits in the rule of absolute law and submission to the will of those in superior standing to a group of at least 3 people.  This can be a single speech where the Warlock is the only speaker or it can be as a discussion or debate with others.  While the Warlock does not need to be speaking the whole time however must be an fully active participant.  If at any point the discussion or audience becomes less than 3 people the Rite fails and must be restarted.

Inspiration Images