Monday, July 9, 2012

The School of the Four Winds

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Group Name: The School of the Four Winds

A.K.A.: The Way of Siriana, The Way, The Winds

Group Mark: "The Sun Above the Mountain" and "The Mark of the World"

Group Colors: Each of the four schools wear a specific shade of blue, ranging from dark to almost white, that they accent in orange with their personal style (gems, embroidery, trim, etc).

Goals: Train young sorcerers to embrace the strength that can only be found through helping others.

Leader's Goals: Siriana Mistweaver works tirelessly to find and train young sorcerers to learn to use their innate power, and eventually help those in need.

Individual Goals: The Master of the Desert School, Farandi, believes that sorcerers should rule, spreading right through might instead of using their gift to selflessly helping the needy (and unappreciative). He does not actively seek followers, but his stance is firm and his voice is loud, and he has attracted a small following of passionate, hot headed sorcerers. Some students whisper that the Desert School must eventually leave the teachings of Siriana behind.

History and Motivation: Siriana Mistweaver, an elf, is the daughter of Izmyr Mistweaver, a lesser noble. She was to wed a nobleman's son, bolstering the power of her father, but a month before the wedding uncontrollable powers awoke within her. Fearful of these powers, she hoped to keep them hidden, but sadly that was not to be. On her wedding day, the stress of marrying someone she did not love caused her to lose control, and one burned down church later, she was exiled from the realm as a threat to society.

Grieving and lost, Siriana wandered through human lands, feeling, but doubting, that life had more in store for her. After traveling for fifteen years she met a human sorcerer named Miriam. Miriam instantly recognized the elf from a vision she had received several years earlier of a young elf maid that would save countless lives if tutored in the ways of sorcery. Believing the gods had sent this vision, Miriam began to mentor the young elf. Siriana's power grew daily and within a decade, surpassed that of Miriam's. During their final meeting, Miriam shared her vision of the elf maiden saving other sorcerers and entrusted Siriana with an ancient scroll written by a philosopher named Silas.

Siriana is dedicated to the memory of Miriam and the teachings of Silas. By training her students well in their powers and the power of compassion, Siriana hopes that one day sorcerers will not be looked upon as pariahs but fellow members of the community, able to do their part for the good of all.

Organization: Overtime Siriana established four schools, in remote locations, led by sorcerers she mentored herself. It is now they who instruct others in the ways of Siriana and her teachings. The first is located deep in the heart of a swampy mangrove forests. The second stands at the edge of a great gypsum desert. The third is perched atop a mountain at the edge of a retreating glacier. And last is found beneath the streets of a large city. Siriana chose these locations to keep her young sorcerers safe from backwards superstitions.

Chain of Command: Siriana and her current apprentice Constance spend their days traveling the lands in search of new talent. She has developed a number of magical items to aid her in tracking down young sorcerers, and due to her good reputation, many towns in the human lands know of Siriana and will actively seek her aid if they suspect a sorcerer is among them. In addition to magical items, she has created a series of tests to determine if these children are actually able to tap into innate arcane ability. Siriana implicitly trusts the Masters of her schools to tutor the talent she finds.

Farandi [human]: Also known as the Firebrand, Farandi is the master of the Desert School. His talents lie in the use of fire and wind. He has bright red hair and green eyes.

Hilg [orc]: Also known as the Patient, Hilg is the mistress of the Swamp School. Known for a virtue almost non-existent in her kind, Hilg is a pacifist, using her astonishing command of earth magic for defense and building. She is most devoted to the teachings of Siriana and follows the scroll of Silas to the letter. She has dark brown hair and black eyes.

Marduar [dwarf]: Also known as the Hammer, Marduar is the master of the Mountain School. He channels the powers of storm, especially lightning, and combines heavy physical activity into his curriculum. His students are battle hardened once they leave. He has gray hair and blue eyes.

Iniria [elf]: Also known as the Coy, Iniria is the mistress of the Under School. She possesses an almost godlike beauty, a flirtatious disposition, and her specialty lies in charms. Many of the male students are hopelessly smitten by her and constantly shower her with gifts. She has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Thulla [dwarf]: Second Mistress of the Desert School, Thulla has faithfully served Farandi for almost a decade. Though she is young for a dwarf, her powers are second only to Farandi's and she runs most of the training classes. Farandi rescued her from slavery, and she has devoted her life to pleasing him (having terrible daddy issues as it was her father that sold her into slavery once discovering her powers).  She is tall for a dwarf, with brown hair and dark brown eyes.

Vilo [human]: Second Master of the Swamp School, Vilo is an individual of conviction. He has feelings for Hilg, but he hides them, as their devotion to the school comes first. He is heavily built, with a bald head and brown eyes.

Rathamar [orc]: Second Master of the Mountain School, Rathamar is as relentless as the driving rain. He believes the body must be beaten into subjection before the true path to learning can be found. Many students do not survived his tutelage, but those that do are a force to be reckoned with. He has black hair and grey eyes.

Aeolyn [elf]: Second Master of the Under School, Aeolyn is a sight to behold. She is almost as attractive as Iniria and has wooed some of her mistress's admirers away (for which Iniria is not pleased). Though not as flirtatious, Aeolyn carries herself with a grace reserved for celestial creatures. Her power lies in evocation spells. She is of average height, with silver hair and purple eyes.

Raw Recruits: The inhabitants of each school are mostly children, with the older sorcerers-in-training watching over the younger ones through a "big brother" system. Few will stray far from the school's walls.

Methods and Activities: The school works with local communities to find, test, and eventually rescue or recruit young sorcerers. Siriana will work with authorities and even speak directly to families about their children. If a child has been found and Siriana cannot make it to speak with them, she will send the first or second master of the closest school to speak on her behalf. In addition to being trained to harness their magic, students of the schools are taught a trade that suits them (e.g., alchemy, cartography, adventure, sagely knowledge etc) so that they can better fit into society. Once they complete their training and return to the civilized world the sorcerers also assist in the recruitment process. Even though some sorcerers must keep their true abilities a secret due to where they live, almost all of them strive to actively participate in their communities and bolster them in a positive way.

Third Party Abilities: In order to maintain their schools, the sorcerers work with people from all walks of life. Local farmers will frequently donate food to the schools (either out of fear or love). Blacksmiths donate nails and tools, and will often take on recently graduated sorcerers as apprentices, especially those from the Mountain and Desert schools. Due to the integration of many sorcerers back into the general populace as positive societal role models, many local authorities will the schools with information or the protection of very young "potentials".

Resources and Power: Siriana actively works to ensure that her schools do not seek power, and because of this (or perhaps despite it) many resources are given to the schools out of generosity. Two small kingdoms near the gypsum desert have begun giving large donations of gold to the Desert School in exchange for battle mages. Siriana is vehemently opposed to this, but Farandi has worked out these deals behind her back....

Areas of Operation: Siriana works primarily in the human lands as her efforts to rescue sorcerers from other races have been met with persecution and physical confrontations. In many cases, other races will quickly kill the young sorcerers or sell them into slavery, and she will buy and free slaves whenever she can.

Farandi has taken a slightly different approach and made it his goal to free all sorcerer slaves within the 100 miles of the Desert School. If their freedom is bought, so be it. If their masters are burned, drowned or disintegrated, so be it. Freedom is all that matters. He also encourages the former slaves to exact revenge upon their former masters, but no major strikes have occurred yet as Farandi must do this work in secret since Siriana "doesn't understand" him. Mistress Thulla, his second in command, is his most trusted ally in this endeavor as he once freed her from slavery. His kindness has created in her an obsessive desire to both be the best, and be at his side. She has excelled in every aspect of her training and became the second in command at the Desert School after Farandi's previous apprentice disappeared under mysterious circumstances (yup, she did it).

Allies and Enemies: Manny communities that are not nearby the schools still view Siriana and sorcery with great superstition and fear. She counts some holy orders as allies, but is still fighting an uphill battle to gain acceptance throughout the realm. Due to jealousy of sorcerer's innate power, wizards and their academies despise Siriana.

The Execution
A young person is being hauled off to the town square to be publicly executed due to a fire that destroyed the local mill. A mysterious traveler appears before the axe can fall, disrupting the event, and possibly saving the child from execution. Vengeance must be had though and the local authorities will need someone to track down this fugitive.

The Shackles
A number of the students at the Swamp School have gone missing over the past two weeks, and panic among the sorcerers of that school is mounting. Curiously, only sorcerers that could control wind or water have been taken. An evil sorcerer, Revio, has infiltrated the school and is selling these children to a group of pirates that dock in a nearby town. He has developed sets of magical shackles that allow these sorcerers to be chained to the mast of a ship. Their wind and water magic enhance the ships mobility, but the shackled sorcerer cannot use their magic in any other way. Hilg suspects Revio but her pacifist nature has filled her with doubt.  

The Civil War
Farandi hates slavery and everything it entails more than anything in the world. The fury is slowly pushing him away from Silas' teachings of strength through compassion, and creating a rift in the schools. He knows that sorcerers are capable of great power, he knows that kingdoms would grovel at their feet, and he knows that if he chooses to rule, he can bring about peace through might. He is spending more and more time actively freeing slaves, and less and less time at the school. This is troubling to Siriana, but not as troubling as the large number of young sorcerers that seem to agree with Farandi's vision of a sorcerer's "proper place".

Farandi has recently been distracted by the mysterious disappearance of his apprentice Seth and the promotion of Thulla to his place. Additionally, some of the local kingdoms are feeling pressure from powerful merchant guilds that thrive off of the slave trade that is being disrupted. Though they have paid Farandi large sums of coin to have his sorcerers clandestinely join their armies, they do not know where their loyalties actually lie. Although much in the desert is uncertain, one thing is clear, a storm is brewing.


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