|Please note: The following information is scarcely known. As such, you cannot assume to be aware of this information unless taught about it in-character.|
- 1 Background
- 2 Power Source and Tenets
- 3 Spells, Powers, and Abilities
- 4 Tier Progression
- 5 Magic Slots
- 6 Casting Time Clarification
In the day to day, you see men and women of merit and prestige rise and assume a higher role upon the mantle of life, and the Ascended were no different. Our duty was absolute. Our methods sometimes measured, sometimes cruel, but always necessary. Another soul twisted by corrupting magics, another fallen deity to be sealed in slumber once more. But much like how a cat patrols the home of its master the feline is ill-prepared for what may be looming beyond its borders. We never saw it coming, and even had we all the years of our forefathers combined there was nothing we could have done to stop it.
It came from the Void. A writhing, fleshy creature of endless eyes and fangs like a serpent’s littered its gaping maw. Chaos had been given form, and a voracious appetite that could not be satiated by all the aengulic realms it doubtlessly passed on its way to ours. It was the scholars of men that laid eyes upon it first and likened it to a cosmic comet. But then it grew larger and larger as the days and hours passed by until its size rivaled the holy moon. Its deathly form casts the moon red, warning all of what was to come.
Time was not a luxury we had, even though we were timeless. From first sight to assured panic, less than a week had gone by. The Writhing Chaos would surely destroy this realm and all its denizens. All our histories, and our futures, doomed to the silence between its marbled teeth.
And then we saw her.
Like the sun rising from the horizon, the Archaengul arose from the lightened side of the moon in her full and unblemished glory; a shimmering silhouette of pallid moonlight that burned away the darkness of the deep sky. Her hands arose to greet the Writhing Chaos as it loomed near, her pale visage unwavering as a divine white light spurred to life betwixt our goddess’ fingers. Yet she knew she could not face such a threat alone. She turned her gaze down to our realm and released her call - a call to arms and aid.
Thus we heard her call and raised our hands to her, soulfire ablaze between our fingers. One by one, the flames shot away from our fingers and to the moon above. The flames left us, returning to where they once came. Growing in size, and in strength, we each felt the cold sting of absence as our fires left us to aid her and were called to a greater purpose. The Living Flame was the last.
In one final, blinding flash of moon fire, the Writhing Chaos that threatened our realm was stricken down by a convergence of our flames and our matron’s divinity. What little remained of the terrible beast smoldered as white flame singed its surface away. Yet once the fiend had vanished, our soulfire did not return - mortal we became once more but the Archaengul ensured we all live. We sacrificed our very power for the realm we swore to aid.
And thus, an era ended.
The Archaengul’s tears rained like waterfalls from her vantage upon the moon and our goddess wept at the sacrifice we had made. Like dewdrops in the early morn, her tears blanketed the Soulstream and flooded the pallid valleys and craters that dotted the moonscape. But even more fell beyond the lunar surface and rained upon the mortal realm, each droplet seeking out one who had sacrificed flame. To the gazing mortal eye, they were naught but shooting skies as they soared through the skies.
Wherever they may be our goddess’ tears found them. Their descent from the heavens left them frozen in shards of crystallized ice as they impacted the ground near the feet of the Ascended that made the sacrifice. We each picked them from their resting place.
They were warm to the touch and yet their surfaces frosted like ice as we held them in our hands. They emitted light in the darkness yet it was soft and pale. As we beheld them closer we saw reflections of a gentle and cold world where waters flowed freely across a land blanketed by dust. The crystals could sense the absence in our souls, I think. For each bound with a former host of flame and took residence where once an ember had been. This fulfilled us. It destroyed us. It made us something new.
Aeriel spoke to us as the connection formed anew - she saw no longer the need for us to focus solely on the conflict with the darkness, as the fight was eternal and futile. She saw now that threats laid not just within the shadows, but also within the depth of the void and in the hearts of those few of her own kind. The Archaengul knew what to do and bestowed a new purpose to us.
Cease the threats of immense power that seek to affect the mortal realm and ensure the Descendants live a normal life until Sokar comes to bring them to the Archaengul’s realm. Be not the heroes who strive for glory or power, but be the keepers of the balance of life and death.
With newfound powers, the Ascended changed. We focused less on the darkness that kept on returning, for the Archaengul knew our efforts before held no merit.
We sought to support and aid, to give the souls we protect a sworn chance to protect themselves. To ensure they lived on the longest they can, to feel joy, sadness, excitement and suffering, to grow and nurture, and witness their lives flourish. Yet death is a nature that we knew we should not disturb, for all must perish and move on to the Soulstream when their time comes forth, including our own.
Yet, there were those of grand power that sought to harm the mortals, saw them as nothing more than fleeting specks of dirt and would have their way with them. The ones who abuse their power for ideals that hold no truth, the ones who sought the elimination or slavery of mortals, the ones who cherish chaos and destruction.
No matter if they be of Aengudaemonic, of void, of darkness, or of something more – They shall realise that the mortals are not the specks they thought they were, but living beings that should not be underestimated.
No more would we be the ones to strike first and remain away from the mortals, but now the ones who stand side by side with the mortals and protect the very mortal realm that is rightfully theirs.
We seek to do what we can to assist, even if we must take on their burdens and fall so they can live on.
Power Source and Tenets
A Tearstone Shard is a divine fragment created by the Archaengul Aeriel to denote her chosen followers and bestow upon them powers and abilities which might be utilized to spread her influence and enact her will upon the Mortal Realm. The Shards were spurred into existence when the Archaengul was moved to emotion by the great and selfless sacrifice made by the Ascended. In her mourning, the tears she cried rained upon her recently powerless followers. The tears that fell upon the Mortal Realm became crystallized in their descent, resulting in these divine fragments.
Not all of the Moon Goddess’ tears fell upon the Mortal Realm, however. Most rained upon the lunar moonscape in great tides which flooded its’ many chasms and craters. These lakes, rivers, and valleys of Aeriel’s empowered tears became known as Astra.
An agent of the Archaengul utilizes their Tearstone Shard as a conduit to the Soulstream, through which they can conjure and utilize the Astra stored there. It is worth noting that Mysticism or any magic that can influence the soul would find themselves unable to affect both the Tearstone and the Crystal soul of the Ascended.
The utilization of all abilities begins with a brief ritual where an agent of Aeriel draws forth their personal shard from their soul. Once this is finished the crystal will either hover in the air around the agent up to a distance of three feet, be held within their hand, or it may be affixed to an object of the agent’s choosing such as a staff. With the shard successfully summoned the various powers attributed to Astra can begin to be utilized. When it comes to refilling a Tearstone Shard, the Ascended must have the shard physically touch the water source in order to absorb the liquid.
Astra is a finite resource in the mortal realm, and as such can be depleted; leaving an agent unable to perform. A preparatory ritual is therefore required to replenish the Astra available for use. Locating a water source in the mortal realm, be it a river, lake, ocean, pond, or cauldron and presenting an agent’s respective Tearstone Shard will result in that water being absorbed into the shard and displaced into the Soulstream. An equivalent amount of Astra will then become available for use. The Tearstone Shard can only hold a certain amount of Astra, depending on the tier of the Ascended. This limit cannot be exceeded. Any Astra expended will evaporate after an ability is ended, unless utilized in the construction of Astral Crystal.
Tearstones Shards, upon being bound to an Ascended’s, will change in both colour, appearance, and size depending on the characteristics of such soul. What this means is that no two Tearstone Shards are the same, resulting in a unique formation of appearances that represent the true side of an Ascended. Sometimes, a Tearstone Shard can even bear other aesthetical traits, depending on what the Ascended in question has been through, and can change if their owner goes through a shift in personality.
In terms of colour - a Tearstone Shard can take on one or two colours, which represents the Ascended true in terms of personality. The colour is decided based on the personality and nature of the person, being the colour(s) that represents their strongest traits. There are no direct meanings in regards to a colour a Tearstone Shard takes, as each colour holds its own unique set of meanings and representations. Red, for example, is often a representation of an aggressive nature or a violent tendency, someone who is known for their rage and fury. Yet, such colour can also be that of a warm and passionate nature. Secondary colours tend to form swirls, cracks, and sometimes faint shapes of swirls and waves amongst the primary colour.
The only exception is black and dark greys, as these colours tend to occur only when a Tearstone Shard is blackening. No Tearstone Shard can take on these colours, whenever it be primary or secondary.
A Tearstone Shard’s size and shape can vary, with some being the size of a hand, to some being the size of a head. Some can be very bulky, some can be very long and elegant. Some can be rough, others smooth. Yet, the size and shape do not change how much or how little Astra a Tearstone Shard can take on. They are still restricted to the amount of Astra, depending on their tier. Lastly, the size cannot be smaller than the size of an apple or larger than a head. The size of the Tearstone Shard must be between these two sizes.
|*Each divine ability that requires the use of Astra will deplete this resource by a differing amount, and should an agent not make wise use of their stored Astra they may run out and find themselves incapable of casting.|
|*While outside of the soul the Tearstone Shard becomes vulnerable to attack and destruction. Mundane attacks with blunt weapons perform best. The Shard itself is highly resistant to magical attacks with one exception; Voidal Water. Physical contact with this substance will cause a drastic malfunction resulting in the Shard’s destruction.|
|*The removal of the crystal from the agent’s five-foot radius will result in it malfunctioning and being destroyed.|
|*The Tearstone shard MUST be exposed and capable of being hit - meaning they must be visible in the armour and weapon it potentially rests in. Any Tearstone shard completely or covered up to the point where it cannot be struck at all will be unable to cast all spells.|
|*It's important to note, that an Ascended's Astra does not refill until the shard is refilled at a water source. The Ascended must physically touch the water with their Tearstone Shard to refill and they cannot go over the limit of Astra their Tearstone Shard can hold - depending on their tier.|
|*An Ascended’s Tearstone Shard cannot be the colour black or dark grey – as these two colours are strongly connected to Blackening, and thus cannot be a primary or secondary colour for a Tearstone Shard.|
|*The size of a Tearstone Shard does not, and will not, change the amount of Astra the shard can take in – the shard will take on the exact same amount of Astra that is defined by the Ascended’s Tier.|
|*A Tearstone Shard cannot be smaller than an average apple (palm sized) or bigger than an average human head. This is to prevent small hitboxes and giant Tearstone Shards that could crush someone.|
|*Astra cannot be manipulated by Shamans as it is not 'real' water, but water absorbed by the Shard that is converted into Astra at the Soulstream.|
|*A Tearstone Shard is resistant to Mysticism and cannot be influenced.|
Fracturing occurs when an agent of Aeriel has their personal Tearstone shard destroyed by any means, whenever it be by physical or magical means. When this occurs, an agent will be wholly incapable of utilizing Astra whilst their soul reconstructs a new shard within their crystal soul. This means that an agent of Aeriel cannot perform any spells, and are thus left magically handicapped. Any Astra that was ready to use prior to the fracturing will be lost, and a ritual of exchange will be required to store Astra once more in the reformed shard.
Depending on the tier of the agent, the durability of a Tearstone Shard will be lower or higher and the damage used on a Tearstone can vary. A tier one Tearstone shard will be the weakest, and therefore should be carefully used on the battlefield, while a tier five Tearstone Shard can take on a series of blows before being fractured.
- Tier One - Requires two hits in order to destroy a Tearstone Shard.
- Tier Two - Requires three hits in order to destroy a Tearstone Shard
- Tier Three - Requires four hits in order to destroy a Tearstone Shard
- Tier Four - Requires five hits in order to destroy a Tearstone Shard.
- Tier Five - Requires six hits in order to destroy a Tearstone Shard.
However, different attacks will often result in different forms of damage done on the Tearstone Shard, with there being the use of different forms of magic and weapons in terms of combat. How much damage a magic attack will do depends on the tier of the mage that the Ascended is facing, whereas physical attacks depend on the type of weapon being used on the Tearstone Shard.
- Pointed Weapons (a majority of polearms that do not have blades, ranged weapons, etc) - Will cause one hit on a Tearstone Shard.
- Edged Weapons (blades, daggers, axes, etc) - Will cause one hit on a Tearstone Shard
- Blunt Weapons (maces, war hammers, staves, staffs, etc - includes using the blunt side of a weapon) - Will cause two hits on a Tearstone Shard.
- Magic Tier 1 - Zero damage points
- Magic Tier 2 - Zero damage points
- Magic Tier 3 - One damage point
- Magic Tier 4 - Two damage points
- Magic Tier 5 - Three damage points
The only exception to magic attacks is Voidal Water, which will be four points of damage.
The reconstruction of a Tearstone Shard takes exactly one IRL hour and 30 minutes to complete and does not need to be emoted out due to the construction occurring within the soul.
|*An Ascended cannot, in any shape or form, emote having their Tearstone Shard after they have had the shard destroyed a few moments ago. They must wait exactly one IRL hour and 30 minutes in order to have their tearstone back with them.|
|*An Ascended cannot perform any of the spells upon this lore when their Tearstone Shard is destroyed, they must have their Tearstone in order to do such.|
|*An Ascended must emote their Tearstone Shard shattering after the necessary number of hits have been done on their respective shards. Going over the limit for their tier will be seen as power gaming.|
|*When being struck by magic from a magic user, be sure to ask them for their tier!|
|*Being struck by Voidal Water Evocation will result in four damage points, regardless of both tiers.|
The Covenants of Aeriel
The Five Covenants of Aeriel are a set of five covenants that outline the rules, promises, and the duties of an Ascended. The Covenants are the direct promises and tenets of Aeriel that must be held and kept at all cost by every single Ascended. These Covenants keep order within the Ascended, preventing them from going against the will of their patron. Breaking one of these Covenants is to result in an Ascended’s Tearstone Blackening and eventually Soul Shattering, the removal of an Ascended’s power and abilities, and thus are extremely vital to uphold and know. There are to be no exceptions.
- Do not seek to inflict the shedding of cold blood upon the souls and lives of the mortals you have sworn to protect. Do not align yourselves with the foes of mortals, the supernatural who seek to manipulate, enslave, or eliminate them from the mortal realm. May neither emotions, personal views, or hatred be what guides you all to act in violence and coldness. Even if they had done ill to you or another in the past, do not seek to harm them out of hatred for the past. For we are not murderers who allow the past and our emotions to get ahead of us.
- -An Ascended is forbidden from inflicting physical harm on a mortal in a state of cold blood, whenever it be through hatred, emotions, or personal views. This also includes torturing a mortal, as well as sending another mortal to fulfil the dirty work for you.
- -An Ascended can, however, spar with mortals in order to hone their skills but are expected to avoid killing said mortal and healing them after the spar is complete.
- -This also forbids inflicting physical harm on a person for what happened in the past, whenever they be former Ascended or someone who has harmed you or another in the past.
- -The only exception of this is self-defence or if the Ascended finds themselves in a scenario where they must harm another descendant to protect themselves, a fellow Ascended, or an innocent mortal.
- -An Ascended is forbidden from aligning with any threats that seek to harm, enslave, or manipulate the mortals for their own purposes.
- Do not bear your blades towards those who bear the same powers, those who enact and perform my will upon this realm, regardless of if they may be part of a group different from you or bear views different than yours. Each and every one of you is vital in protecting this realm, and to show violence and hatred against each other shows we are shattered than whole.
- -An Ascended is forbidden from harming and killing a fellow Ascended, regardless of their order, ideologies, and differences. This also includes methods such as sending other people after the Ascended or revealing information that would put the Ascended’s life in danger in any form.
- -This also includes enacting a forceful disconnection on an Ascended who has broken no tenets. Therefore putting the disconnector at the price of disconnection.
- -Honour duels and spars are exempt from this rule, as long as death does not occur and the wounds on both sides are tended to, as losing more Ascended is unnecessary and a drawback.
- Do not dare to assist in the wrongful corrupting of a mortal’s soul, as it defies the natural order of souls and condemns the mortal to further suffering in both this realm and the next. Do not stand idle in hesitation or fear, and do all you can to save the soul. Know this, however, for punishment shall be bestowed upon those who bear the clear intentions of permitting the soul being corrupted.
- -An Ascended must not allow a mortal soul to be corrupted by any form of darkened and unnatural magic that damns the soul to eternal suffering.
- -This applies to any form of magic that damns a soul to suffer within the Desert of the Damned, such as becoming undead, a shade, a frost witch, etc
- -By allowing this to happen with a clear understanding that such is corrupting a soul, the Ascended will be seen as an Accessory (a person who assists in the commission of the corruption but is not the one to do such corruption by their own hands) and will be disconnected for permitting such.
- -An Ascended will not be disconnected for failing to prevent a soul being corrupted if the Ascended truly did aim to stop the corruption but were killed or stopped. Failures should never result in punishment, only a lesson to be learnt to prevent the next corruption.
- Do not forget the duty that you have sworn to take on upon bearing my tears, and the very Covenants of the Soul you have sworn to uphold. Live your life in harmony with these oaths and do not abandon your duty for the full warmth of a normal life or mortal duties, for the duty you bear must come above all else in the end. Such is the sacrifice you all accepted.
- -An Ascended must uphold their duty as an Ascended, through following through with the Covenants of the Soul and not abandoning their duty fully for any other roles.
- -An Ascended is permitted to take on a range of mortal duties (from owning a shop, running a tavern, etc) but they must always out the Covenants and their duties as an Ascended first when the situation calls for them to do such.
- Do not abuse the powers bestowed upon you by I, whenever it be by bestowing connections, artefacts, and abilities for the sake of money, favours, or personal gain. To know that such gifts being bestowed come with consequences upon being stripped away, and none of such is toys or methods of obtaining something for your own gain.
- -An Ascended is expected to not connect someone purely for money, favours, or for personal gains. The person being connected must be genuinely willing to devoting themselves to the duty of an Ascended, instead of becoming one purely to avoid death or for any gains completely unrelated to the Ascended’s duty.
- -Giving out Ascended relics for money is seen as a disgrace, for it is selling powerful relics that could fall upon the wrong hands and be used to commit ill. Relics are to be given to mortals to secure their safety and should be available to all.
- -Depending on the situation, some punishments can be severe than the other. However, none of them should end up with an Ascended being disconnected.
Soul Shattering is a more aggressive ritual that is held by the agents of Aeriel to enforce her will, and punish those that violate her creed. This ritual involves the permanent shattering of an agent’s Tearstone Shard and Crystal Soul, reducing them back down to the soul and state of a mortal. However, this ritual is to be used wisely, as it can result in the loss of one’s own powers if used wrongly. Thus it is only a power bestowed upon the teachers - those who carry on the torch of the Ascended.
When an Agent of Aeriel breaks one of the Soul Covenants, their Tearstone Shard begins to lose its colouring and slowly becomes black in colour - This process is referred to as Blackening, and serves as a method to determine who has broken a Covenant. However, Blackening occurs in a gradual manner and it is only when the Tearstone Shard is completely black that Soul Shattering will be able to take place on said agent.
Elven Week one
The Tearstone Shard’s colours are much darker, and faint patches of black are forming on the shard. The agent is highly advised to seek out redemption, else they will risk their Tearstone shard becoming blackened.
By Elven Week two
The Tearstone Shard has become completely black and radiates no form of aura or light. The agent’s Tearstone weakens, allowing them to only use 10 gallons of Astra.
An Agent who has broken a covenant and is going through Blackening can be offered the chance of redemption, through the Trial of the Damned (see Trial of Damned section.) and can request to go through such. This will mean contacting any teachers and explaining the situation.
By the time the second week comes around, the Tearstone Shard will become completely black, if they had not taken up the Trial of the Damned in order to redeem themselves. Once this blackening is complete, the Agent will be put to Soul Shattering for failing to keep to the Covenants and not seeking out redemption by trial. The Tearstone Shard will permanently remain in such state, until the Agent goes through the Trial of the Damned or goes through Soul Shattering.
Performing Soul Shattering
The first thing one should note about performing Soul Shattering is that it requires one or more of the following in order to be truly performed.
- The agent must request and accept a Soul Shattering if it is clear they do not wish to be an agent of Aeriel anymore. (This is the only instance where an Agent can be permanently disconnected without having a Blackened Tearstone Shard.)
- The Agent must have clearly broken a Covenant and bear a complete Blackened Tearstone Shard.
- The ritual itself requires two agents to perform unless it is the teacher themselves who are soul-shattering their student.
The process requires for the agent performing the shattering to fracture the Tearstone Shard of the agent they seek to remove the crystal soul from. Once this is done, the disconnector places their hand upon the agent’s chest and channel Astra into the agent, pushing the energy into the person’s very being and soul. The agent’s Crystal Soul will then permanently shatter, returning the soul to its normal state and removing all abilities and boons granted to them.
Once this has happened, the victim will be forever unable to bear Aeriel’s connection again, and will suffer the following side effects from the disconnection - they will struggle to feel full warmth, only the chilling sensation of cold, even when they are within the hottest of rooms and by a fire. There will only be the punishment of coldness for those who dared to turn against Aeriel, as well as the everlasting presence of greatly missing something and longing for it. Additionally, those who received the shattering will feel as though something very dear to them was taken from them, which would be true, for Aeriel would take a very small fracture of the soul that would not affect the soul, but only create the effects.
If the shattering occurred on an agent who willingly wanted to be disconnected from Aeriel and their Tearstone Shard was not blackened, then these effects will be temporary for one elven week, as Aeriel would not be too cruel on a soul who simply wanted to return to living as a mortal and had committed no treacherous acts. In time, Aeriel will return the fracture, thus recovering the mortal of the disconnection effects. Yet if the shattering occurred on an agent with a completely blackened Tearstone Shard, they will permanently bear these effects until they are connected to another deity, as only the connection of another can fill up the fracture that was taken.
However, the two shattering effects that do not change on whenever or not the agent took the shattering with or without a blackened Tearstone are ageing and regeneration speed. The how many years they spent immune to time, those years will immediately return to them and they will age to the age they would be now if they were not an Agent. This means that any agents over their racial age limit will live on for twenty years before gently passing on and simply move onto the soul stream. A mercy from the Archaengul, for she is merciful as she is merciless. Additionally, those who receive shattering will still bear the heavily reduced regeneration speed, due to the soul fracture and the body heavily use and adapted to said change.
|*By becoming an agent of Aeriel, all members must be told of the effects of Soul Shattering both icly and oocly, and accept that by breaking the Covenants, they will risk severe effects upon their character. Attempting to avoid Soul Shattering by any OOC means can result in being reported - you must accept the consequences and take action to avoid Soul Shattering through proper RP.|
|*Only Ascended with confirmed and approved TAs can know how to perform Soul Shattering.|
|*Performing Soul Shattering will require two Ascended teachers. However, Soul Shattering can also be done alone by only the teacher of the agent being disconnected.|
|*Soul Shattering an agent with a non-blackened Tearstone Shard cannot be performed if the agent in question does not give consent both in RP and OOC. A forceful Soul Shattering can only come about when the agent as a pitch black Tearstone Shard.|
|*If Soul Shattering is performed on an agent with a non-blackened Tearstone Shard and they do not give consent both in RP and OOC for such to carry out, the Shattering process will nullify the moment the disconnector attempts to shatter the Crystal Soul. In turn, the disconnector’s Tearstone Shard will begin at Elven Week one of Blackening.|
|*The Tearstone Shard of the agent must be fractured first before destroying the Crystal Soul.|
|*Any agent who breaks a Covenant must RP out their Tearstone Shard blackening through the moment they break a Covenant and must emote the shard slowly blackening for the week. Failing to do so, or making attempts to hide such via not emoting the black colour, colour dampening, and lack of glow, etc, will be seen as powergaming and can result in a blacklist.|
|*The agent must let the other agents know icly and/or oocly that they have broken a covenant - that way, they can be offered to partake in the Trial of the Damned to remove the Blackening. Failing to do so will mean the character’s Tearstone shard becoming fully blackened by the end of the first week and risking going through Soul Shattering.|
| *The effects of post-Soul Shattering, must be emoted out by all who were disconnected via this spell. The effects are the following:
**Loss of warmth, resulting in feeling cold but not suffering from any issues that can be caused by low temperature due to this sensation. **Minor of soul fracture, resulting in the strong sensation of missing something and constantly longing for it. **The rapid ageing of the many years the agent has been an agent for once the process is complete. However, those over their race’s age limit are permitted 20 years (20 ooc weeks) to RP as their character and finish anything off as said characters. **Permanent retainment of the heavy body regeneration, resulting in all wounds healing slower than that of the average mortal.
The Trial of the Damned
This is the process between the Covenant-breaking and the completion of the Blackening, allowing the Agent of Aeriel to seek out redemption through a trial both dangerous and extreme. It is said that if an agent truly seeks to prove to both Aeriel and their order that they are sorry for breaking the Covenants, they must go through the Trial of the Damned.
The trial goes as followed: the soul of the agent who partakes in the Trial Ritual is taken temporarily to a projection of the Soulstream in order to fight and combat the forces within the projected Desert of the Damned. The projection is much like a dream - only those participating can see it and only them, as it serves as Aeriel’s holding ground for the Trial and to oversee her followers. Their soul is given a temporary body - replicating their mortal body and the items they have on them. It is here that they prove themselves to Aeriel, fighting nearly endlessly against the projections of damned souls trapped in the deserts, as well as guiding the souls of the recently passed through the desert and to the grand city beyond. However, it has been proven that agents without a Blackened Tearstone Shard can take on this trial, with such becoming a test of one’s skills and prowess amongst the agents. It allows them to hone their skills, to assist the Agents since passed, and to also ensure any souls within the Desert are kept at bay.
In the single elven week that their Tearstone Shard has started blackening or has already fully blackened, the agent must seek out the teachers of the Agents and request taking the trial. They must explain why their Tearstone Shard has become blackened, why they broke such covenants, and why they feel as though they should be given the chance of redemption. Upon such being accepted, the agent is taken to a secluded Astral Sanctuary, with their weapons and armour, and is laid within the waters in order to enter an Astral Dream. Once the agent is in such state, the teacher places their own hand within the water with their Tearstone Shard out and prays to Aeriel, reciting the following lines.
Divine Aeriel, Caretaker of the Soulstream,
Solemn Sokar, Guide of our souls
Bring the soul within thy waters to the desert,
For them to redeem or test their worth.
Permit them to fight the corrupted and the damned,
And guide the souls as they traverse to the desert.
Allow them to aid in such duties and carry the burdens,
Through the Trial of the Damned may they stride forth.
Once this is done, the consciousness and soul of the agent is sent to the Soulstream, while their body remains in a comatose that prevents the body from decaying. As for the agent, their mind is transferred directly to the projected Desert of the Damned, in a translucent glowing and solidified version of their physical body, with the armour and weapons they had on them. Their real body remain on the Mortal realm.
From then on, the agent is left to fight the damned souls within the Desert - projected forms of the souls. From necromancers and undead, Frost Witches to Shades, to creatures and beings of demonic, chaotic, and maddening origins. There have even been mentions of some lesser threats and beings that Aeriel and Sokar saw fit to condemn to the desert. On and on, the agent must fight against the threats, while also being there to protect any mortal souls passing through the desert. The agent can use their magic within the Soulstream and can communicate with the souls within and passing through the desert - but they cannot mention how they died to the agent at all. Should an Ascended travel for days within the projection, they find themselves seeing nothing but the endless expansion that is the desert. Neither Saellum or the centre in sight.What would feel like years of fighting and guiding, would only be a single elven week upon the mortal realm and can offer a blend of development, torment, and pain for the agent. If the agent’s soul is destroyed during this period, they will remanifest within the edges of the desert and will have to carry out their duty. If the soul is destroyed twice, the agent’s soul is returned to the Mortal Realm and they have failed the trial, meaning those with Blackened Tearstone Shards will have theirs blackened fully.
The agent must remain within the Desert of the Damned and fight against the darkness until one elven week has passed. Their soul would then be retrieved and carried back to the Mortal Realm, disposed back into their body and they will wake up. Should any wounds be gained upon the soul manifestation of the agent within the projection, the wounds appear on the agent’s physical body as glowing wounds that fade away an elven week after the agent’s return. Should the agent have completed enough fighting and protecting souls within the desert, those with a Blackening Tearstone shard will find the blackness gone from their shard - meaning that they are no longer risking soul shattering and have a clean slate.
This trial is to provide development for Ascended characters, through interacting with old characters in the desert and combating against foes. The development does not have to be solely focused on combat, but rather on interactions with NPCs and playable character that have PK’ed (and the player has given clear consent for the DM to use their character). This trial is to be fun for both sides, and also to allow Ascended with Blackened Tearstone Shards to redeem their characters.
The location is a dream projection version of the Desert of the Damned, which while isn’t the real version - it functions similarly to the real one. Projections of the damned souls and traversing souls can be seen and interacted with. However, Sacellum and any other areas outside of the Desert of the Damned cannot be reached. The only noticeable location within the desert is the fallen city of Haven, which was transported here during Aegis. The city is all in ruins and there are no books, or any information to be found here. A desolate and solemn reminder of the sages’ departures.
This trial can be performed by an Ascended Teacher, who has a confirmed MA and TA, and has been taught how to initiate this trial. A single instance for the trial should have at least 2 interactions, mixing between fighting and guiding a soul, and must follow with the red lines. These interactions can be emoted within the Astral Sanctuary and only the Astral Sanctuary, through the use of /q or /w chat. The teacher is advised to contact an LT if it’s acceptable for them to RP out a particular creature or NPC, if they feel as though what they are going for may break lore or if they are uncertain. A member of the LT is welcome to supervise the trial, and also assist the DM. If the participants of the trial feel as though the DM is being unjust or powergaming to make it impossible for them to pass the trial intentionally, then they must alert other Ascended Teachers so they can determine whenever or not the DM was being unfair. If this is the case - the DM will have their right to dm and perform the trial stripped away from them.
Both the DM and the Agent must follow the Redlines laid out, with both parties agreeing to follow the general LotC rules. Armour and weapons can be brought along, though everyday items will can be brought also - unless checked and deemed unnecessary by the DM. A maximum of four Ascended can partake within the trial within one instance together.
Spells, Powers, and Abilities
Requires 0 gallons of Astra for creating highlight. Requires 10 gallons of Astra for bestowing Divine Stength/Weakness
After having spent time summoning the Tearstone Shard and readying its supply of Astra for use an agent can finally begin to bring out the potential of this divine instrument. Regardless of what technique is used to direct the crystal, whether it be floating autonomously, or held in the hand, or within an object, the caster must first make a direct line of sight with their target and direct their shard at it through a process known as Highlighting.
Highlighting a target encapsulates them in a 1 block in diameter beam of faint, ethereal light and allows the shard to apply divine strength or weakness upon them. The technique to accomplish this involves the agent directing the beam with their line of sight, aiming at their target with a 20 block range. This results in the shard casting the projectile and the agent’s eyes emitting a luminous glow for a brief moment. However concentration is required and the performing agent will be unable to multitask until the highlight is applied.
Up to two targets may be highlighted at any one time, should they all be and remain in view. It will take two emotes for highlight to take effect, giving the opponent a chance to move out of the beam if they do not wish to be struck. An agent does not need to highlight themselves to apply an effect upon themselves. Targets beyond twenty meters will be incapable of being highlighted, and should a highlighted target escape this same threshold they will become free of the highlight.
Divine strength is equivalent to that of a human at normal peak condition, Divine weakness is equivalent to that of voidal weakness (i.e. no longer able to wear platemail for the duration) These will last for four emotes.
Effects require 10 Gallons of Astra per cast.
Highlights will remain unless the Ascended focusing on highlighting loses their concentration through having it broken by being struck (etc), the shard is shattered, the target perishes, the agent perishes, the target escapes the radius and line of sight of the agent, or the agent concentrates once more to remove it.
After applying a beneficial spell, or a detrimental one, all highlights are reset and the process must be repeated. Furthermore, a target must be within unobstructed view to Highlight them, if a target is behind cover, they cannot be Highlighted.
(placeholder redlines) (placeholder emote examples)
Requires 1 free Highlight slot.
This ability is one of utility, and sometimes simply comfort. The Agent can Highlight an object (as opposed to a person) and instill it with a brilliant white light.
This light brings with it a comforting feeling, while also banishing the darkness. In a 5 block radius, even magical darkness creeps away from the light of Aeriel.
(placeholder redlines) (placeholder emote examples)
Sounds of Silence
The song of Archaengul is famously known between the Ascended for its capability to lull the pain, remove suffering and clear the mind of those that hear it. The song of Aeriel is not one that can be heard with the ears, it is something that its felt on soul, its rhythm invades the minds of those that hear it, invoking images from the good moments of their past and sounding different to each individual, usually being very related with their history and the songs they have heard during their childhood.
Until now her song was something that only a few had the privilege to hear, reserved for those that have passed on to the afterlife and her agents that protect the mortal realm. But with the fall of the Tearstones that changed, now an Ascended might be capable reproduce her song to relieve those they are supposed to protect.
After Highlighting a target, an Ascended is able to command their Tearstone to orbit around the highlighted individual and reproduce the Archaegul’s melody, which only them could perceive and would remove any pain that they could be suffering, inducing calm in their minds and producing a soft desire for sleep upon the target.
(placeholder redlines) (placeholder emote examples)
Requires 5 Gallons of Astra per participant
An agent of Aeriel may use their Tearstone Shard to confer a blessing of divine moonlight upon the currently in use melee weapons of their allies, imbuing them with Moonlight Radiance. While active these weapons will exude an ethereal glow of pallid light which will illuminate the darkness and strike foes with a potent supernatural wound. These Radiant Wounds are classified by painful frostbite of the immediate area, giving a stinging and/or burning sensation and reduced sensation of touch. These faintly glowing wounds fade away after eight full emotes/turns in the RP instance. The effect will then vanish, rendering the wounds mundane. Other agents are immune to this effect and will receive wounds as normal.
Moonlight Radiance may affect up to four individuals at once. Three allies, and the caster. The quality of the effect is improved with each additional participant. Moonlight Radiance cannot be re-applied until a participant uses up all active charges on their weapon. Moonlight Radiance does not function upon enchanted weapons - it cannot be added over any items that have been enchanted by other magics.
- One Participant: One strike of their weapon inflicts a Radiant Wound.
- Two Participants: Two strikes of their weapon inflicts a Radiant Wound.
- Three Participants: Three strikes of their weapon inflicts a Radiant Wound.
- Four Participants: Four strikes of their weapon inflicts a Radiant Wound.
Items or objects struck with a radiant weapon will become coated in frost but receive no other detrimental effects. Should a strike with a radiant weapon prove lethal, or if someone inflicted with a radiant wound perishes before treating their wound, their bodies will rapidly crystallize starting at the wound and shatter into crystalline dust.
(placeholder redlines) (placeholder emote examples)
Requires: 10 Gallons of Astra per cast
Agents of Aeriel can bend their Astra in ways besides enhancing weapons, or making a shield, however. One of the arts available to them is a curious ability known as “Crystallize” an ability that serves as both an offensive, or potential defensive, quality that they can inflict upon a target. After highlighting a target an agent can pull from their store of Astra to cause a misty, vaporous cloud of visible Astra to weave around the target of their ire. An agent may then take a moment to concentrate, and bring forth a freezing vapor upon their target; assuming they do not anticipate and escape the immediate vicinity of the cloud. After the vapor has encapsulated the target, the highlighted figure will start to feel a layer of astral ice coat their form. Other agents are immune to this effect. It will take three full emotes/turns in a RP instance for someone to be under the full effects of Crystallize.
Once coasted by astral ice the foe will find their movements grow gradually slower. This does not freeze someone completely, only slowing them down by the margin indicated, but this does include all movements. For example, a sword swing, or bringing a shield up to block, and so on... This astral ice is quite insistent in its objective and is quite hard to chip away at. However, voidal water will cause the ice to melt and disperse, but otherwise will remain until they escape the agent’s highlight radius, the agent is killed, the agent spends a moment of concentration to end the effect, or alternatively they wait for the effect to fade after 5 emotes (not including the 3 build up emotes).
Up to two targets may be affected by Crystallize at any one time, and they may be highlighted and applied all at once, however as more become affected the symptoms become less intense.
- One Target: Opponent is made 50% slower - resulting in an attack or movement taking two extra emotes.
- Two Targets: Opponents are 25% slower - resulting in an attack or movement taking an extra emote.
Unprotected flesh and similar uncovered and susceptible areas will also receive Radiant Frostbite, a painful but much less harmful variant of a Radiant Wound that can be treated in a similar manner.
(placeholder redlines) (placeholder emote examples)
Requires: 15 Gallons of Astra per cast
By summoning forth and maintaining a hefty amount of Astra an agent of Aeriel may project a hovering, six-foot tall and wide mass of semi-solid crystal which radiates the divine moonlight of the Soulstream. This mirror-like shield of Astra and light will attempt to absorb and then expel any kinetic or magical energy directed at it, with a twist.
Mundane attacks by thrown weapons such as arrows, knives, javelins, crossbow bolts, and even ballistae bolts will pass through the shield and hit those behind the shield. Attacks with magical properties, as well as spells themselves, will similarly be absorbed in full before being expelled back at their source. Spells reflected in this manner will take on an ethereal hue and radiate a supernatural cold, turning any wounds inflicted by it into a Radiant Wound. Lethal hits will crystallize and then shatter the target. The one exception to this is the use of Voidal water, which will instead cause the mirror to malfunction and implode, coating the immediate area in supernatural frost.
The spell can break if the force striking it is the strength of or over that of a large boulder striking it. Should the mundane weapon be enchanted by any form of magic, the mirror will smash but the effects of the enchantment will neutralise for one turn before flickering back on the weapon.
An Astral Mirror will dissipate after one reflection unless an agent of Aeriel expends additional Astra to maintain it.
(placeholder redlines) (placeholder emote examples)
Astral Armor is a strong line of defense that an Agent can call upon to defend themselves and others in the heat of battle, in the most needed of situations. It functions by covering oneself, or two individuals that all must be within contact of you as you weave Astra from your Tearstone shard. This astra will seep on to the highlighted individuals, and quickly freeze into Astral Ice. It forms over the form of the individual, appearing as a thin transparent layer of Astra Ice. It can go over armor, but not over any armour that has been enchanted by any other magic, minus Ascended.
Astral Armor acts in similar ways to the Astral Mirror in that it deflects attacks off of itself. Though in this case, it only works on physical damage, depending on the weapon, the armor will take the blow and reflect it back and crack during the process. Astral armor can reflect up to three attacks before it shatters into shards of ice that can cut into the flesh of people within 5 feet of the agent at the time. If the weapon is enchanted, the armour will shatter fully and the weapon’s enchantment is nullified for one turn.
When Astral armor reflects an attack, it does NOT do so in as intense fashion as the Astral Mirror. It simply cause a weapon to bounce back with a moderate amount of force. If a person were to experience it for the first time it may cause them to stumble, but the main function being to keep harm from the armored individual, however different weapons can cause more severe damage. For example, a sword will take up to three blows before the armor will shatter, while a blunt weapon, like a warhammer or a strong club, will only protect the Agent from a single blow before it shatters the armor.
Should a magical attack hit the armor, it will shatter after one blow, unless the Agent spends 15 Gallons of Astra to replenish it. Projectiles such as arrows, thrown weapons, etc. Deal 2 hits worth of bladed damage. If however the armor should collide with Voidal water, then it will be shattered, and cannot be replenished unless you start the casting over again. However, the armour cannot withstand physical strikes that rival the full physical strength of an olog, causing the Ascended to receive half of the blow's strength to their body.
(placeholder redlines) (placeholder emote examples)
Requires 10 Gallons of Astra per cast.
A unique ability that an Agent has access to, reserved for the preservation of life. Should the Agent find a figure in need of saving they may place their hands over a figure and flood Astra into their system.
Doing so allows a Tearstone Shard to act as a form of “life support” and lock the figure in a sort of limbo between living and dying, locking them in a safe state. This is usually done to save an otherwise unsavable person from death, by being put in a stasis they can live long enough to be tended to by a doctor, or cleric.
A useful skill that requires constant touch with the Agent, so not particularly seen often on a battlefield. But useful should an Agent need to save the life of an individual.
(placeholder redlines) (placeholder emote examples)
Requires 0 Gallons of Astra per cast.
A strong ability that allows a single Agent to help turn the tide! By grasping their Tearstone Shard and dropping all spell effects they can allow Highlighted Agents to draw from their pool of Astra. Though they cannot cast anymore effects whilst concentrating on this, they can continuously lend this power. However, as an agent feeds Astra into their target, they will find their own physical strength being sapped as a side-effect. Therefore, the longer their contribution to the spell, the more fatigued they will become.
(placeholder redlines) (placeholder emote examples)
The art of coalescing stored Astra and shaping it into physical, solid form is a tedious and often exhausting process that can take months or even
years to accomplish for a single agent of Aeriel. Because of this, the practice of forming Astral Crystal is often undertaken by multiple agents at a time, sometimes an entire close-knit group, over a condensed area. The process itself involves the slow, constant discharge of Astra over a long period of time while the agent concentrates upon hardening it, as is seen in certain abilities. Much like a potter working clay, the process is arduous and prone to accidents which may destroy or shatter the crystal they’re crafting.
The resulting Astral Crystals, which can be of a great many different shapes and sizes, are as durable and heavy as quartz; though are as translucent as frosted glass. Whenever night falls, or in places of heavy darkness, these crystals radiate the same pale light as the lunar surface; providing soft illumination. The most common application of this process is the construction of divine pilgrimage sites and temples to Aeriel which may take the form of great crystalline gardens and structures that never grow dark.
Very large amounts of Astral Crystal in an area has the exotic effect of altering the landscape and attracting certain types of wildlife. Moths, in particular, are attracted from miles around to these crystals and will take permanent residence here, resulting in great colonies of the insects. In very extreme examples an area heavily fortified with Astral Crystal will have an entirely indiscernible night time. When Druids enter an Astral Sanctuary, they will hear the voices of nature as clear as day, alive and flourishing - as they always have. Yet should they listen carefully, the Sounds of Slience song is heard faintly and gives off a sensation of calmness and peace as they listen. Yet the calmness would be eerie and the song oddly chilling to them.
Prolonged contact with liquid Astra would modify the semblance of animals and plants that live within the Astral Sanctuaries, giving them a white hue and cold resilience, also turning them less aggressive and easier to domesticate. These changes won't affect their soul blueprint and the descendants of such living beings will be completely normal.
Whether it be an Astral Garden, or a crystalline temple to Aeriel, the massive presence of Aeriel’s power in an area may allow Astra to be physically stored in the Mortal Realm; an entirely unprecedented ability for anywhere else. Beautiful, ornate fountains and crystalline pools may hold the divine liquid and serve as a potent lure to all around; as the waters aggressively aid in the regeneration (Five times increased natural wound regeneration) of injury and disease for the Archaengul’s servants.
After a prolonged time in contact with the physically stored Astra of the Astral Sanctuaries, the Agents of the Archaengul would perceive how the deific waters start to nourish their bodies through their skin, temporarily disabling their need to eat and drink but keeping them as healthy as they could be, allowing them to bathe for indefinite periods of time.
If an Agent or descendant dives into the Astral waters and allows it to fill their lungs, they would feel how their body enters into a comatose state, losing awareness and falling into a deep sleep. This would preserve their body in perfect state, not allowing it to age.
The first time that someone undergoes this process would slightly change their physical appearance, turning their skin paler, removing wrinkles or imperfections of the skin and greatly improving the health of their hair. Once someone falls into an Astral Dream they will remain in such state for at least 7 irl days before being able to wake up, which in the case of the Ascended they can do it by themselves, but descendants need the aid of an Agent of Aeriel to do so
For an Ascended - Astral Dream greatly increases the regenerative factor of the Astra, being able to save them from deadly wounds the physical wounds on their bodies are healed away, along with any internal damage and diseases. Their limbs can also be reattached, as long as they are placed within the pool with the Ascended. Their appearance will also change also if they were to enter the Astral Dream for the first time.
For a non-Ascended - Astral Dream puts them under stasis until they are awakened by an Ascended, or if one real life month passes. Any wounds on them will gradually heal at normal rate. Their body will not age and they will not be able to be corrupted in any shape or form. Their appearance will also change also if they were to enter the Astral Dream for the first time. A descendant will find themselves unable to enter the Astra Dream until three IRL months after awakening from a previous Astral Dream. It must not be abused for the gain of remaining alive.
(Begins after creation, ends at 2-week mark)
An agent’s Tearstone Shard is newly formed and can store 5 gallons of Astra at a time. Charges 5 Astra per Emote.
(Begins at the 2-week mark, ends at 1 month)
An agent’s Tearstone Shard can store 10 gallons of Astra at a time. Charges 5 Astra per Emote.
(Begins at 1-month mark, ends at 3 months)
An agent’s Tearstone Shard can store 15 gallons of Astra at a time. Charges 5 Astra per Emote.
(Begins at 3-month mark, ends at 5 months)
An agent’s Tearstone Shard can store 30 gallons of Astra at a time. Charges 10 Astra per Emote.
(Mastered the magic at 5 months)
An agent’s Tearstone Shard can store 60 gallons of Astra at a time. Charges 15 Astra per Emote.
Ascended only takes up one Magic Slot, however, taking on additional magics will hinder one's capability to advance in Ascended. Taking on one additional magic will lock an Ascended in at a maximum of achieving Tier Four in Ascended, two will lock an Ascended in at a maximum of achieving Tier Three in Ascended, and so on.
Casting Time Clarification
Rather than focus directly on a specific spell, an Agent focuses on preparing a certain amount of Astra within their Tearstone, and then choosing a spell to cast afterwards. For example, for a T1 Agent to cast Astral Mirror without their shard out to start, the order would go like this: Summon Tearstone Shard > Shard prepares 5 Astra> Shard prepares 5 Astra > Shard prepares 5 Astra > Cast Astral Mirror.
Consequently, the order for a T5 Agent to do the same would be this: Summon Tearstone Shard > Shard prepares 15 Astra > Cast Astral Mirror.
(It is important to note, that emote examples for spells will vary based on the Tier of the Ascended. Emotes given are for lower tiers, and to clarify how the spell acts. A T5for example can cast an Astral Mirror faster than the emote example for the spell.)