Magic is real… In mortal children flow the blood of angels, demons, dragons, elementals and the folk of Faerie, granting them a legacy of innate magic to use for good or ill. In the uncharted wildernesses, warrior-mages wield enruned blades against human and monstrous foes alike. In isolated settlements, witches stir cauldrons of mystic herbs and fashion charms to ward off the evil eye. In prosperous towns, alchemists brew potions for wealthy patrons. In secret libraries, sages study the forgotten lore of arcane rituals. In sunlit temples, sacred groves, and profane sanctuaries, the clerics of a dozen pantheons channel their belief into the making of miracles. And everywhere, the magicians draw upon the mana to shape cantrips and potent spells, bending reality to their will.
Alchemy is the Arcane discipline focused on the elemental constitution of things both physical, arcane and spiritual. Alchemists seek to understand and master the various mysteries of nature by breaking things down into their most basic elemental components and recombining them anew.
There are extreme and and subtle distinctions between the traditional Spirit, Fire, Water, Air, Earth system of Western Alchemy and the Iron, Fire, Water, Wood, Earth system of Eastern Alchemy. example. Not only are these elemental matrixes balanced quite differently, but the very way in which they were devised to begin with follows strikingly different methods as well.
Many Alchemist pay homage to the elemental spirits from which they draw their power.
Each alchemist practitioner typically selects a Eastern or Western School. Noteworthy Schools Alchemy schools exist in:
- Oxford, England
- Cambridge, England
- Alexandria, Egypt
- Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
- City of Rome
- Cambridge, New World
- Persepolis, Persia
- Xijin, China
- Kyoto, Japan
- Granite Spire, Dwarven City
Goblins and Orcs have their own unique systems of Alchemy. Not much is know of these schools of teaching. It is also said that a school of Alchemy exist in the city of Arkhangel.
Source: Monte Cook’s Arcana Unearthed Grimoir
Your truename is the name of your soul. It is different from your common name. Most people keep their truenames secret, for they can grant someone power over them—particularly a spellcaster. Characters usually go through a ceremony, called a naming ceremony, in which they learn their own truename (although others are involved in the ceremony, they do not learn the truename). The exception are the unnamed—the Unbound. They do not have truenames, do not go through the naming ceremony, and gain neither the benefits nor the drawbacks of having a truename.
Other living creatures, like animals, dragons, and medusas also have truenames, even though most do not go through a special ceremony. Many do not even know their own truenames, although creatures can meditate for weeks to discover what it is (should they be so inclined), with a successful Concentration check (DC 15). No spell can compel a creature to reveal its truename or the truename of anyone he knows. Not compelling question, not read thoughts, not even dominate. However, a truename can be discovered through a learn truename spell.
Some spells have special effects that occur if the caster knows the target’s truename, and other spells require the use of the target’s truename. Anytime a spellcaster casts a spell using a verbal component that incorporates a target’s truename, the target suffers a -1 penalty on his saving throw (if any).
When a creature dies and returns from the dead, either as an undead or because it has been raised, the creature’s truename changes. Characters who went through a naming ceremony lose the feat gained in that ceremony but can redo the ceremony to gain it back. They can, however, choose a different ceremony feat at that time, if they wish. They can even choose to become Unbound (and can gain a new talent after losing their 1st level ceremony feat). Once a character is Unbound, he can never regain a truename, even if he dies and somehow comes back. Most undead are Unbound.
Ley Lines and Power Nexuses
Reference – Durbin, B. Heroes of High Favor – Elves, 2005 Bad Axe Games]
Spellcasters of all kinds may become aware of the presence of ley lines and power nexuses. A power nexus is a geographical location, marked with some relatively permanent and immovable fixture, and suffused with magical energy. Standing stones, fairy rings, crossroads, sacred altars, mage towers— all of these are potential power nexuses.
Ley lines are invisible, intangible currents of magical energy that connect all power nexuses. Each power nexus is connected by a ley line to every other power nexus, forming a vast network of ley lines like an invisible web. Each time a power nexus is created, new ley lines are formed, and the power nexus is immediately woven into the web.
The power that runs through ley lines and power nexuses is raw magic, neither arcane nor divine. Magical energy flows through the ley lines until it terminates at the power nexuses at either end, like the terminals of a great battery. There is no “direction” to this current— regardless of where you stand on the ley line, energy flows towards both power nexuses simultaneously.