Incantations are the power of the Ancestors, as handed down to the faithful. First used by the Dark Elves at the end of the Reverie, this form of magic uses the Ancestors power to influence the target directly. Much debate has been put into whether the Ancestral magics are elemental or not, but there is no denying its power can be equal to that of the Mage, although the costs can be far higher.
The Tarantulas Faction is known as the Ancestral faction, at the time of the Sundering, it was the Dark Elves who guarded over the knowledge of Incantation magic whilst the surface realm eradicated the knowledge of the Ancestors leaving the Drow to return the Ancestors to their rightful place shortly after the Gathering agreement was created in the early 1090s.
Standard Incantation is based upon beneficial affect to life and the body, comprising of healing and defence spells, but it also has powerful dominion over Unliving, and groups of worshippers together can combine their magic to overcome even the darkest of Unliving threats.
1) The Ancestors
Main Article: Ancestors
The Ancestors are, in purely thaumaturgical terms, the conduit through which Incantors draw their power. Brought into essence by an intense emotional connection, the conduit can be anything from a fallen loved one (Lolthiriel), a great leader (Kanchelsis) or a the creator of a now-lost race (Ilsencene), or it can be an famous individual such as the late Prince Bishop Lemming of the Lions.
Many hold their Ancestor in such reverence that they will lay down their lives to defend them, and there have been many wars and much bloodshed over a nations, or an individuals belief but be tbey Light, Dark or 'Grey' it is obvious that no two Ancestors are alike, but neither are two followers of the same Ancestor.
1.1) Tarantulan Ancestors
The Ancestors of the Underdark vary in power but are highly revered by the faction. It is also accepted knowledge that Lolth (Lolthiriel) was the first Ancestor and it was her children, the Drow, who returned the knowledge of Incantation to the surface world at the Gathering of Nations in the year 1095.
2) Casting Incantations
Incantation is the magic drawn from a spirit held on the Plane of the Dead, or Ancestral Plane, by the power users worship and reverence. This power is identical in many ways to Spellcasting magic, but alters the elements so they act is subtlety different ways. A slightly outdated explanation can be found written by the Sylvan Elves, however this is clearly from biased perspective (the Sylvans regard Incantations as a form of Necromancy) and it does little to explain the significance of the actual Ancestor in the conversion of power.
3) The Dismiss
The ability to 'Dismiss' is a power unique to Incantors that targets Unliving and Planar creatures, considered are 'alien' to Erdreja. The exact method for how it works is yet to be discovered, but in all cases the target of the dismissal instantly disappears, removing them as a threat.
It is yet to be determined if the Incantors magic actually transports the target back whole or if the severing of its ties to this plane merely catapults it back to its original home; be it the Plane of Unlife, Dark Spirits, Ancestors or specific element, but the result is still the same: The target is banished, along with any held items and equipment, and cannot return until it is re-summoned.
3.1) Dismiss Ranks
Calculated in Thaums, roughly equivalent of a single thaum per rank of power, the strength of the tether between summoned creature and the living plane is measured and can be discerned by those with the correct training. This allows Incantors to know what level of power they require to banish a certain creature, or type of creature. Some of the more commonly known 'ranks' are that of the most basic level Unliving, with the most simple creatures such as Zombies and Skeletons ranking usually between 1-5 thaums, right up to the most powerful of the Unliving, the Lich, with a the legendary example of Marr the Faceless reportedly ranking at 666 thaums. Generally speaking, most summoned creatures are ranked at 10-20 thaums.
20 thaums is more power than all but the most powerful Incantor can cast alone, so to defeat a menace of this strength they are required to create a 'wedge'. By linking focusing their power on a single individual at the front their power can be channelling into this 'head' and the lead caster can then cast a dismiss (or control) of the sum of all the power passed forwards, the only limit to this power is the co-ordination of those who can cast.
This is an obvious but effective method of combating a summoned menace but a far safer option than taking on such creatures individually.
3.2.1) Control Wedges
See also: Summoners, Planar
Through different forms of Summoning power and Incantations granted by a Dark Ancestor, any kind of dismiss ability is replaced by the power of control. This works to all intents and purposes in the same way as Dismiss above, but instead of banishing the creature back to its home plane it forces it to do the bidding of the lead caster for ten minutes. This is a far more dangerous method of dealing with the creature as not only do they remain on this plane after the control has ended, but they have a full recall of what they were commanded to do.
'Standard' Ancestral magic, unlike Mage spells, concentrate more on the well being of the body and defence against evil and are generally less aggressive than their void-based counterparts. Listed below are:
4.1) First Tier
Befriend - For 10 seconds the target is charmed into defend the caster.
Confusion - For 10 seconds, or until struck, the target is dazed and unable to concentrate on battle or casting.
Countermagic - Counters a tier one or two spell targeted at yourself or anyone around you.
Cure Wound - Cures a single wound on a single location, instantly. The only healing magic that works on a Paladin.
Detect Unliving - Any Unliving within 10' become known to the caster and anyone else within hearing range.
Dismiss - Banish summoned creatures, up to rank 1. Can be combined into a wedge. (See Dismiss above)
Fear - Causes the target to flee and remain 10' away from the caster for 10 seconds.
Retribution - Magical effect that magically damages an attacker for every wound the caster takes until unconsciousness.
4.2) Second Tier
Ancestral Strike - Allows the caster to 'bless' their own weapon and strike for magical damage for 1 minute
Aura of Defence - Protects the caster from all non-magical damage and first and second tier spells until an they make an aggressive action.
Chant of Protection - Allows the Incantor (or a target) to ignore the damage and effects of the first weapon blow to strike a location.
Chant of Sanctuary - A chant that holds a bleeding body from dying in its final second of life.
Halt - Immobilises a body, preventing them from making any action for 10 seconds.
Iron Will - Grant the target the ability to resist a single first or second tier spell.
Lay to Rest - A rite performed on a dead body to dedicate its pattern to an Ancestor, temporarily removing it from the cycle of life.
Speak With Dead - The ability to ask simple yes/no questions of a recently deceased pattern that has not been laid to rest, dedicated or corrupted.
Note: The Dismiss spell works at rank two if the caster is capable of second tier Incanting. (See Dismiss above))
4.3) Highest Tier
Ancestral Weapon - Allows the caster to 'bless' their own weapon to target a nominated type of Planar or Unliving for 10 minutes.
High Countermagic - The ability to counter spells of the third tier.
High Dismiss - Banish summoned creatures up to rank 4 alone. Can be combined into a wedge. (See Dismiss above)
Mass Fear - Mass Fear - Cause a blinding panic in all targets in an indicated area of up to 10'
Paladin's Armour - Grants a magical armour bonus to the target Incantor until the next dawn
Protection from Paralysis - Protects the target from being paralysed until the next dawn
Shield from Corruption - Protects the target from the Corrupting effects of Fatal, Decay and Disease for 10 minutes.
Speak with Ancestor - A rite that allows a single question to be asked of an Ancestor. See Speak with Ancestor below.
4.3.1) True Ancestral Power
True Ancestral power is a misnomer. Through the belief that their followers have, and the number of devoted offering their power to a particular Ancestor, different Ancestors are capable of different actions on differing scales. Some Ancestors have demonstrated the power to smite their enemies from afar and change whole races such as the great prayer, whilst if the tales are to be believed, others created the sky, turned day into night and sent the Cataclysm of water of 397AF to wash away the unfaithful.
There is almost no limit to what an Ancestor can potentially achieve, however in the modern era, few have the sheer number of followers required to achieve true miracles such as those listed above.
4.3.2) 'Speak to Ancestor'
This rite can be downright dangerous if performed incorrectly, but its gives the Incantor the unique opportunity to ask their Ancestor a question directly. This question can theoretically be anything; who killed who, what nation is attacking where, what an item of power doe... the scope for the question is infinite, however the patience of the Ancestors is not.
This spell, when used wisely can be the difference between going to war for no reason and exposing a traitor, such is its access to knowledge. It can, if worded correctly and given the right niceties unlock some of the secrets of Erdreja itself should the Ancestor have knowledge of these things, so it is recommended that it is used with great caution. Wasting an Ancestors time on frivolity, especially when that Ancestor is a Dark one such as Lolth, is a sure fire way to require a new High Incantor.
5) Dark and Light Ancestors
All Incantors begin with the Standard Incantations list, but with the correct training, and by the will of their Ancestor, followers of the faiths can be gifted the ability to cast Light or Dark Incantations. These modified spell lists are a reward from the Ancestor they follow and both lists come with advantages and disadvantages.
5.1) Dark Incantation
Main Article: [[Dark Incantations]]
Gains:Control Unliving - The ability to command Unliving creatures dependent on rank. Can be combined into a wedge (See Control, above)
Gains:Repair Unliving - Repairs a single point of damage to a single part of an unliving's body
Loses:Cure Wounds, Dismiss
Gains:Chant of Wasting - Drains the life out of a dying subject, doubling the rate at which they bleed to death.
Gains:Rite of Dedication - A rite that will send a deceased body's pattern to an Ancestor of the casters choosing.
Loses:Lay to Rest, Speak With Dead
Gains:Harm - An Ancestral 'blessing' applied to a weapon that destroys the next location struck, ignoring any armour.
Gains:High Control Unliving - The ability to command Unliving creatures dependent on rank. Can be combined into a wedge (See Control, above)
5.2) Light Incantation
Main Article Light Incantations
Gains: Remove Disease - Removes and non-magical disease from a body, but heals no damage done by it.
Gains: Remove Fear - Grants immunity to fear for 10 seconds
Loses: Confusion, Fear
Gains: Full Cure - Cures all damage taken to a single location with a single thaum of power.
Gains: Remove Decay - Removes any decaying diseases that may be on a person, but heals no damage done by it.
Loses: Ancestral Strike, Halt
Gains: Courage - Grants the target immunity to fear until dawn
Gains: Fortify Body - Steels the target against crushing and armour peircing blows for 10 minutes.
Loses: Ancestral Weapon, Mass Fear
Main Article: [[Theology]]
Incantations can also grant access to the summoning discipline of Theology, which grants an insight into the inner working of their faith and how to better summon the Ancestors chosen soldiers, the Ancestral to fight for their cause.
Through Dark or Light Incantations, a summoner can also learn Necromancy and Elementalism, which are both principally found via the path of Channelling and are detailed there.
Control Ancestral - Grants a basic control over an Ancestral being. (see control above.)
Full Cure Ancestral - Use Incanting magic to repair all damage to a part of an Ancestrals body
Greater Control Ancestral - Grants a basic control over a higher power of Ancestral being.(see control above.)
7) The Incantors Guild
Main Article: Incantors Guild
Understandings of Incantation
Where does incantation power come from? From what source do these 'ancestors' draw the power they give to incantors? It has been mentioned above that incantation appears to be an amalgamation of other powers, and this would seem true. With so many mentally affecting spells coming directly from the void through magecraft, is it so hard to believe that the mind control of a Befriend takes a similar route? Likewise the power of Halt - a scaled down version of Freeze, drawing upon earth rather than water and air. - Cathanaleith, Understandings of Ancestors 1102.
The first use of Incantations
In my rage at Lord Silvanostâs words and sickened with grief for the loss of fair Lothiriel, I called upon her name and the power I knew she wielded, bidding her to smite Silvanost and so was Lord Silvanost smote by Lothirielâs power. By this action, the magic we call Incantation was born and Lothiriel became the first of the Elder Ancestors. When others heard of my actions, they too began to call on the magicâs of Lothiriel and other Ancestors dear to them. By this way did Incantation proliferate throughout the Elder World. - The Fall of Lolthiriel
Incantations Banishment and the Mordred Device
Main Article: Mordred Device
Some of the Sylvan Bloodlines opted to act independently of the Bloodline Council - as is their right - and went to intervene on their own merits. The Ranalyin, Yarinrill and Lento Bloodlines took forces to Lorest. All sustained terrible casualties from the human troops. The Lento Blood in particular suffered as a result of the Incantation Device, which slew them in their hundreds making them live out their lifespan of centuries in mere hours. It was the High Mage of the Lento Bloodline that led the Great Ritual that employed the remaining Tomes to banish the power of Incantation from the surface world. - Story of the Sylvan Elves - Unknown
Understandings of Ancestors - Cathanaleith The Lady Galantir
Musing on Ancestors - Unknown
Further research on Ancestral magic can also be found through the [[Incantors Guild]] pages