The Vitriarchs of the Shattered Plain are strange and mad and make others mad. The practice of Glass magic is forbidden in the White City, and indeed in most other city-states. Only the Port of Glass permits (and indeed encourages) the worship of the Glass Powers.
More information on the Faceless Lord, the King in Fragments, the Never-Queen, the Master Complete, the Bride of Brittle Tears, the Broken Gardener and the Absent Lord can be found here on the Gods & Cults page.
Glass Magic is maddening. Literally. Working Glass magic involves opening one's mind to the Shattered Plain and to the Glass Tower of the Vitriarchs. This wrecks the minds of all who try it. In game terms, you take Psyche Hits when casting Glass magic. The difference between Ordained and non-Ordained Glass Sorcerors is the effect of hitting zero Psyche Hits from casting Glass magic. An Ordained Glass Sorceror loses a Psyche hit for the rest of the Adventure every time this happens - thus if they had a maximum of nine Psyche hits beforehand, they now have a maximum of eight Psyche hits until the end of the Adventure. A non-Ordained Glass Sorceror loses a Psyche hit permanently every time this happens. In addition, every time they hit zero Psyche hits as a result of casting Glass magic any Glass Sorceror has the damage they inflict in Psychic combat reduced by one for the rest of the Adventure (Singles become Halves, Halves become no damage at all!). Furthermore, the Sorceror collapses as usual for someone on zero Psyche hits, their spirit temporarily departed to the Glass Tower. Their spirit will return to their body with half their (new) maximum Psyche hits restored at the end of the Encounter. While unconscious their eyes are mirrored and cracked.
If a Glass Sorceror tries to cast a spell for which they do not have enough Psyche Hits to pay the cost, (for example if they find out after casting that the target has Shattered Blood or they try to Vitrify someone who has more Psyche Hits than they expected,) then they lose their remaining Psyche Hits but the spell is not cast.
Due to the innate insanity of the Vitriarchs and their "gifts", Glass magic is very variable and GMs may occasionally vary its effects.
The Spells - First Level
Clarity - For the cost of one Psyche Hit this spell lets the caster see clearly, where otherwise they would not be able to. They can see in the dark, and while under the effects of Bind the Eyes. Physical impediments to vision, such as walls and Ashen Clouds, are not removed. The caster can see through all non-glass illusions (should any arise), and will see the 'natural' form of shapeshifters, superimposed over their current form. They will also be able to see spirits, even if they don't have the Exorcist skill. Anything seen while under the effects of this spell tends to be tainted by horrible visions from the Shattered Plane, which should be roleplayed appropriately by the caster. The spell may occasionally grant the caster *useful* visions, entirely at the discretion of the GM.
Storm of Shards - This simple direct damage spell projects shards of razor sharp glass at the target. These shards can be Dodged but not Parried. They inflict a Double to one of the target's locations (chosen by the caster), and the caster takes a single Psyche Hit. If the target is not living then this spell only inflicts a Single, since the lacerations are less of a threat.
Eyes of Glass - The caster's eyes become as mirrors for the rest of the Encounter. During this time, anybody who looks into their eyes takes three Psyche Hits for every Psyche Hit the caster is willing to take in return. Anyone who loses their last Psyche Hit to this spell falls unconscious and spends the rest of the Encounter in a coma, plagued by nightmarish visions of the Vitriarchs. At the end of the Encounter they return to consciousness with half their Psyche Hits restored, but may suffer other side effects at the GM's discretion.
Unlike most other magic, this spell can also be used during Psychic Combat. Furthermore, since an opponent in Psychic Combat is in direct contact with the caster's mind they cannot avoid looking into the caster's (metaphorical) eyes.
Reflection - The caster can take on the appearance of anybody they're looking at. The illusion lasts until the noon on the next day, or until the caster takes on another appearance, and cannot be voluntarily dismissed. This spell costs one Psyche Hit.
Cloak of Razors - The caster calls up a storm of razor edged glass shards which circle about a yard away from their body and slice into anyone nearby. Anybody approaching the caster takes a Single to an appropriate location every three seconds or so. The caster takes a Psyche Hit when they call up the cloak, and it costs another Psyche Hit for every minute they wish to maintain it. The cloak moves with the caster. The cloak has no effect on arrows, crossbow bolts and polearms used to attack the caster from a distance.
Call Forth the Glass Tower - This spell does what it says on the tin. It calls up a great glass tower. This tower is ultimately as fragile as glass but has value as shelter. Calling up the tower costs three Psyche Hits, and anyone spending the night in the tower loses one Psyche Hit as they are plagued with dreams of the Vitriarchs. Anybody who loses their last Psyche hit to the tower is taken to the Shattered Plain, perhaps never to return. Nobody may ever get a good night's sleep in the tower and nobody may ever recover Psyche Hits through sleeping in it. The Tower may also be used to access the Shattered Plain. The standard glass tower conjured up by this spell is about ten feet across and thirty feet high, and can sleep a group of four or five adventurers and their equipment in reasonable comfort. For every additional Psyche Hit the caster spends, the dimensions of the tower are increased by this much again. There may or may not be furniture in the tower depending on the whim of Vitriarchs, there may be a lockable door or no door at all.
Vitrify - This spell turns a subject to glass, either literally or metaphorically. It requires eye contact with the caster (if the target has eyes) and either transforms a living or inanimate subject to glass or utterly depletes the Psyche Hits of the target. This costs the caster either three Psyche Hits or a number of Psyche Hits equal to half those of the victim, whichever is greater. The physical limit of what can be turned to glass is about 27 cubic feet (enough for a large human sized object), though this amount may vary due to the erratic nature of the Vitriarchs. A target stripped of all Psyche Hits by this spell becomes a vessel for the Vitriarchs. The spirit of a living creature turned to glass by this spell may be consigned to the Shattered Plain, may travel on to the Burned Realm (especially if given Last Rites) or may be bound to the glass remnants of their former body, depending on the whim of the Vitriarchs.
Channel the Shattered Plain - The caster opens part his mind to the Shattered Plain and it breaks; the resulting madness is contagious. The Glass Sorcerer spends 2 Psyche hits + 1 for each other person present that they wish to effect. The Sorcerer picks one thing that they know to be untrue; they now believe it to be true, and so do their victims.
The belief created must either pertain to the sorcerer himself or to a general grouping or concept rather than an individual. For example "I'm a close personal friend of Rebecca de Courci" would work as would "The Cloistered Brethren are secret servants of the Namers." "Brother Bob is a secret servant of the Namers." would fail.
For the sorcerer the delusion is permanent, they will persist in the belief despite all evidence to the contrary. Victims of the spell will recover from the madness after a good night's sleep
(Note that Glass magic is inherently unpredictable: while the Sorcerer always picks the theme of the madness, the GM may choose to twist it to better suit the needs of the plot)
Call Forth The Vitriarchs - The Vitriarch who answers the summons need a host. This will be either the caster, a Vitrimorph, or a character who has lost all their Psyche Hits to Glass magic. The Vitriarchs are powerful, malicious and maddening. They can cast largely unlimited Glass magic and are almost impossible to defeat in psychic combat.
Soul-Shattering - The caster expends all of their remaining Psyche Hits, turns to glass and shatters. This is fatal to the caster and their spirit is consumed by the Shattered Plain. Everybody within five yards or so is hit by the caster's shards, those hit take a Single to the torso and lose one Psyche Hit. They also gain Rank 1 Glass Magic and, if the caster was Ordained, become Ordained Priests of the Vitriarchs. This happens to them whether they want it to or not, regardless of whether they have any levels in a Sorceror Class or whether they are already Ordained to another Power. They gain a level as a Glass Sorceror at the end of the adventure, even if this would not normally be allowed by their Primary Class levels (in which case they must raise their Primary Class levels at every available opportunity thereafter until it is legal). They must spend their next 10 experience points on paying for their Rank 1 Glass Magic skill, and if the caster was Ordained must spend the 6 experience points after that on paying for their Ordained skill.
Someone who is already a Glass Sorceror does not gain the additional Glass magic but is still subject to the Ordination and may well be eligible to gain another level of Glass Sorceror for the experience.
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This page last updated: 16th September 2009
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