Sortilege

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All wizards have a trait called Sortilege (pronounced: SOR-tl-ij). It determines which of the two types of magic-users a character is in this setting and measures the wizard's connection to the fundamentals of magic. This concept also reflects the idea that connections to magic have developed differently across cultures around the world.

This page provide an in-depth explanation of the two types of sortilege 'paradigms' a character can choose from. This is the fundamental philosophy behind the wizard's magic, and in some cases, this can affect how the magic takes shape.

Sorcery

As the most widely known form of magic, Sorcery is practiced almost exclusively throughout Europe and North America, and has many practitioners in other lands as well. Many of the world's most famous wizards have been sorcerers, such as Merlin, Rowena Ravenclaw, Newt Scamander, Harry Potter, and Voldemort.

Sorcery is best characterized by its formulaic approach to magic. Sorcerers think of magic in terms of weaving raw magic into quantifiable forms. They use wands to focus and channel magic more easily, and rely upon strict wand movements and verbal incantations to refine and shape their spells. Powerful and enlightened sorcerers can learn to cast spells without these methods, but even they tend to fall back on their old tools when casting difficult magic.

Sorcery Benefits and Drawbacks

  • A sorcerer can benefit from special bonuses and abilities granted by a wand's wood and core.
  • Sorcerers may purchase and use the Arithmancy Merit.

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Arendi

Why Not Medicine?

One might note that arendi and arendiwane are specific to certain languages, but are not shared among all Native American tribes. These terms were chosen because they encompass the concept behind the paradigm, and because there is no word that transcends all languages to describe it. The closest is the concept of "medicine", but since that word already has a specific meaning in the Storytelling System, another was chosen to avoid confusion. In role-play, characters are still perfectly welcome and encouraged to use more familiar terms like medicine, medicine man/woman, and shaman.

Arendi is an animistic philosophy practiced by the indigenous peoples of North America. It is named for a Wyandot word for "spiritual power", and is sometimes known as "medicine". Its practitioners are properly known as arendiwane, but are also known commonly as medicine men/women or shamans. Arendiwane believe that all things have spirits, and they learn how to commune with those spirits. To an arendiwane, a spell is simply a prayer to the spirits to request a favor, not a formula to alter reality. As such, arendiwane do not rely upon wands to focus their magic.

While most modern arendiwane do learn the incantations common to sorcerers for expediency's sake, they also have a more ritualistic approach to magic spells that bligs don't find so suspicious, though it generally takes longer to perform. These rituals are also considered more sacred to the arendiwane, and are preferred for religious ceremonies and for matters of great importance.

A key aspect of the arendi paradigm is the comparative lack of ability in transfiguration magic, particularly transformation. To an arendiwane, everything and everyone has a spirit that defines its nature. To alter something's physical form requires the medicine man to essentially convince its spirit to become something else, which is no small task.

Given the lack of transfiguration ability, it is confusing to other wizards their American Indian counterparts should have so many more Animagi among their numbers. This is due to their belief in totem spirits that the human spirit is connected to. An arendiwane shapeshifter (sometimes called a skin-walker, though this generally has negative connotations) does not learn to transform by rote and rigorous practice, but through meditative insight, tapping into the animal spirit within and giving oneself over to its form. To the arendiwane, this is not an act of physical transfiguration, but of spiritual manifestation.

Arendi Benefits and Drawbacks

  • An arendiwane may cast spells wandlessly at no penalty. An arendiwane gains no benefit from using a wand, even if the wand normally provides bonuses or special abilities.

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