the medium

White ink “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” tattoo on the ankle. Tattoo artist: Jon Boy · Jonathan Valena

Class Feature Friday: Archmage Spirit (Medium Spirit)

The spirits of the dead linger on in places, both where they died, and in places that resonate strongly with who they were in life. It is those spirits that mediums invite into their body, to aid them, but also to let the spirit live out vicariously a mortal life of sorts once more. Of course, that’s assuming that the spirit was even mortal to begin with. Some mediums draw upon decidedly immortal beings to inhabit their bodies.

I wasn’t originally going to start doing medium spirits, since there were so few that they could be covered with a review of the class as a whole, and mediums could change them from day to day anyway. However, that changed with the advent of legendary spirits and the like, adding even more options to the class, assuming they meet the prerequisites.

In any case, today we focus on the spirits collectively known as archmages.

Referring both to arcane skill and scholarly knowledge, the archmage, named for the mythic path of the same name, represents the spirits of mages both arcane and presumably psychic, scholars, teachers, and the like. Regardless of their origins, they can be called forth from anywhere where arcane magic is prevelant or where knowledge is collected and distributed, such as schools or libraries.

Regardless of how powerful they actually were in life, these mystically-minded spirits can aid a medium who is interested in squeezing out a little extra magical power out of what they are normally capable of.

The spirit naturally does what it can to aid in concentration when casting magic, as well as lend its knowledge and cunning to the medium. Furthermore, they also add potency to the offensive magic of them, as well as any who participate in calling the spirit to the medium in the first place.

Of course, every spirit has its drawbacks, and mediums under the influence of an archmage tend to behave as if their bodies were weakened by age or lack of exercise, regardless of their actual physical condition.

Additionally, the medium can accept taboos to bargain for a little more power, with archmages typically either rejecting all divine magic, even helpful spells; compelling the medium to learn at every opportunity; or coming up with solutions on their own with their magic, regardless of practicality.

The least, but also the most powerful and important abilities of archmage spirits, empowers the medium with raw spellcasting potential, increasing the amount of spell energy they can draw on to that of a middling caster, as well as providing them with knowledge of arcane spells.

Normally the mediums draw upon their own, enhanced potential to cast their spells, but on occasion they allow their spirit to provide the energy instead, offering a bit more influence over them in exchange.

They can take that notion further, however, by both expending energy, the medium and spirit can cast any spell widely known to wizardry or sorcery, the medium providing the spell energy, the spirit providing knowledge in exchange for influence.

Furthermore, the most powerful mediums, channeling the most powerful spirits, can draw upon an inner reserve to cast any one spell of arcane lore, once in a single day, without losing energy or grip of their own mind to the spirit.

Need a bit of extra spellcasting for an in-game day? The standard archmage spirit can work wonders here, temporarily turning the medium into a much more powerful caster, customizing their spells to what is needed that day. If you plan on focusing on the archmage spirit, I recommend plenty of caster feats, particularly expanded arcana, to add to their otherwise limited list of spells known.

Archmage spirits can vary a lot. Some may be particularly famous mystics, or perhaps ordinary mages that met an untimely end with their potential unrealized. Some may be distinct enough to have their own granted ability sets, which we’ll get into with legendary spirits. Regardless, their motivations can vary, but it is important to establish them in case the medium loses control to them.

 

Warded by guardian scrolls and magical traps, the tower of Ixipin had been left relatively untouched after his death. However, that all changed when a youth, claiming to be guided by Ixipin himself, came to the tower, striding past each hazard as if he had placed them there himself.

The Inquisition of the Sanctified Mind reject all occult practices, including psychic magic, believing them to be the reason that otherworldly entities take interest in the mortal world. Their refusal to understand it, however, leads to dangerous misunderstandings, such as when a medium, thought rendered harmless by a mindshackle cap, unleashes powerful arcane spells, unaffected by the psychic restraints.

Not every archmage spirit was a true mage in life, but rather, a magical being known for the spells they cast. Thus is the case for Elbion, whose archmage spirit is a trapped and angry marai rakshasa. With her help, he has bested many foes with a storm of magical rays. However, he dreads the days when her influence is too great to contain, for there is always bloodshed.