charter marks

Vex’s tired steps carried her past burial ship after ship, each one fitted with resplendent carvings and intricate figureheads - the first and the second one depicting imposing men dressed in fine armor and decked with regalia, carrying scrolls that represented the Charter. The third ship she passed was unfinished, and its figurehead was different too. It was a perfectly lifelike carving of a young man - a naked young man, and Vex found herself blushing as her eyes flitted up and down his body, before settling on his face. He was tall and lean, with broad shoulders and well-defined arms, indicating that he used to work with his hands. Short hair curled around a handsome, angular face formed in a complex expression of surprise, anger, and fear. 

Much too lifelike, Vex thought and carefully stepped closer, drawing her sword. Now, she could even make out callouses on his fingers and small scars, single eyelashes and the faint impression of the baptismal Charter mark. This was with absolute certainty not the work of a woodcarver but a result of Free Magic.

Vex closed her eyes and focused on her other senses, detecting the faint residue of a spell and a soul, trapped between life and death. She wouldn’t have to go far to bring it back, not farther than the first Gate. But who was he, and why had he been trapped? Could she risk finding out in her injured state?

With a soft sigh, Vex turned around and went to look for Keyleth who she had seen skipping off towards the small stream running through the damn sinkhole. She found the cat, dozing with dream-twitching paws in a small patch of yellow flowers. Catbalm. No answer would come from her for a while. 

but in the Old Kingdom series world, can you imagine living in Ancelstierre during the present day?

what would it be like to live with a fantasy kingdom to the north?

and if you live in Bain or some other northern city, there might even be magic in your daily life

imagine an Old Kingdom royal friend giving you their iPad for safekeeping before they go home, because they may be rich but that’s no excuse to waste a perfectly good tablet

imagine classmates complaining on fieldtrips too near the Wall when their music suddenly cuts out or they can’t take pictures

using Charter magic to make Vines that drive your southern friends wild with jealousy

alternately, being the one who sees those Vines and gets jealous

arguments about appropriation when cosmetic Charter marks become popular

or going to school up north and having to justify to your parents via Skype your choice to get Charter-baptized

some smartass tries to invent mark emojis and melts their phone 

the possibilities are endless


So these are the Charter Marks I was working on the other day. There are 27 of them in the first picture and the bottom picture is my initial attempt at conceptualising how they work together (e.g. to form a Charter skin to cover something). It is a protective sigil (unactivated) of some sort but I can’t actually remember the details.

So what do people think of them then?

More thinky thoughts:

I wonder if it would work if a necromancer—possibly one who wished to be/help the Abhorsen but wasn’t of the blood and had no chance of ever being Abhorsen-In-Training—got Charter Mark tattoos on their fingers and hands and wrists to counteract/contain/balance the Free Magic of their bells (or pipes) better?

Or if it would only delay the enevitable corrosion from Free Magic? Would it help them actually bind Dead better as the Abhorsen does? Would it actually work?