Ashes of Asgard
Ashseers have neither the freedom of a mage, nor the safety of a priest. They are a rare, special, and dangerous breed – humans who cannot help but feel the presence of the Ash and feel how their actions and emotions bend it to their will. No one is entirely sure what triggers the birth of an Ashseer, which happens approximately once for every thousand births. Some see it as a gift, but to the vast majority, the birth of an Ashseer is a very serious thread. Ashseers are intensely magically adept, more so when their psyche succumbs to the passions of hatred, anger, love, or jealousy. If caught early, an Ashseer can enter the service of a patron, and no harm is done. If allowed to develop, they can become an unstoppable arcane force.
Ashseers are considered the most dangerous type of Heretics, and will be hunted down by just about any servant of a divine patron. They may also be reported or hunted by commoners for a bounty. Ashseers learn to keep their emotions in check, so that their arcane force does not flare-up during outbursts. They radiate arcane energy, and require Spirit rolls to resist being detected by Divination spells.
Arcane Background (Ashseer)
Arcane Skill: Ashweaving (Spirit)
Power Points: 15
Starting Powers: Dispel (does not take a penalty when cast against Free Mages) and 2 more powers of your choice.
Trappings: Ashseers do not control the elements as Free Mages do, and deliver their powers with pure psionic force.
Ashseers have the largest magical reserves of any arcane background. They may use their stock Power Points to activate their powers normally.
Backlash: When an Ashseer rolls a 1 on his spellcasting die (regardless of his Wild Die), he is automatically Shaken. On a critical failure, he lets out a psychic scream that causes him to be Shaken along with all allies in a Large Burst Template who fail a Spirit roll. This can cause a wound.
In times of desperation, Ashseers may also tap into the depths of their emotional reserves to continue casting even after running out of power points. Casting in Manaburn mode works as follows:
The Ashseer may choose the power they want to activate and make an arcane skill roll. The penalty to the roll is half the power’s usual Power Point cost (rounded down). Casting the Armor power, for example, which costs 2 Power Points, is an arcane skill roll at –1. Once cast, check the results below:
- Success: The power activates as usual.
- Raise: A raise on the roll grants any additional bonuses
to the power stated in its description. Armor, for example,
grants a +4 bonus to Toughness with a raise.
- Failure: All currently maintained powers are cancelled
and the caster is Shaken.
- Backlash: If a caster rolls a 1 on the arcane skill die when using one of his powers it automatically fails and all creatures in a large burst who fail a Spirit roll take 2d6 damage.
- Ashscarred: If a caster rolls snake-eyes when casting a power in Manaburn mode, the caster gains a telltale scar on a random part of his body (determined by a random roll on the Injury table)
Characters can maintain powers as long as desired, but each power maintained inflicts a –1 to
cast any new powers. Thus an invisible mage can keep the power going indefinitely, but suffers a –1 penalty if he then attempts to hurl a bolt.
Interrupting Powers: If a character with an activated power is Shaken or suffers a wound or Fatigue level, he must make a Smarts roll to maintain all his powers. If the roll is failed, all powers are instantly dropped. A wizard with armor who suffers a Shaken result, for example, must make a Smarts roll. If the wizard suffers two wounds from an attack, he must make a Smarts roll at –2. Powers shut down automatically if the caster sleeps or is rendered unconscious.
The Ashseer may prepare a spell by concentrating for a round (no movement or other actions and avoid interruption, as described above). If successful, he ignores 2 points of penalties on all powers cast with his next action. If he does not enact any powers on his next action, the preparation is lost. The Ashseer will only suffer a Backlash from a prepared Power if he rolls Snake Eyes.
Armor, Barrier, Blast, Bless/Curse, Bolt, Boost/Lower, Burrow, Burst, Concentrate, Confusion, Damage Field, Deflection, Detect/Conceal Arcana, Disguise, Dispel, Draining Touch, Drain Power Points, Elemental Manipulation, Entangle, Fear, Fly, Havoc, Healing, Intangibility, Invisibility, Jet, Legerdemain, Mind Reading, Obscure, Pummel, Puppet, Quickness, Speed, Stun, Telekinesis, Teleport, Wall Walker, Warrior’s Gift.