Imagine a world where words are so precious they are only etched into gold. A world where the Medium—an omniscient magic—responds to the subtlest thoughts and controls nature, the past, and the future. In Muirwood Abbey, young mastons learn to read and engrave and dedicate themselves to unlocking the secrets of the Medium. In a world where a person’s strength in the Medium depends on one’s family and the use of a deviant amulet, each must decide whether his or her own magic and knowledge will serve the forces of good or evil.
Locations in Muirwood
This is the oldest, most revered Abbey in the kingdom of Comoros. It was founded within an area known for seasonal flooding and brooding swamps. Muirwood is known for its famous apple orchard and as a premier location for the wealthy to send their youth to learn the secrets of reading and engraving.
Those who are elevated to this rank must swear additional oaths to the Medium before being granted the custodianship of an abbey. They teach the ways of the Medium and their wisdom is often sought by the highest political powers of the realm.
Very little is known about this secretive order which is dedicated to the eradication of mastons and their abbeys. With a medallion around their necks called a Kystrel, they can manipulate and control the Medium and the emotions of others.
Those responsible for the game and grounds associated with a noble manor or an abbey. They are skilled in weapons, tracking, plant-life, healing, and survival skills.
Deadly assassins trained in the arts of poison, daggers, and disguise. They operate in shadow to disrupt the political stability of kingdoms.
The rank of maston is achieved after a learner has studied reading and engraving at an abbey and has passed a secret test within the inner precincts, displaying their affinity for and ability to use the power of the Medium.
Magic & Lore
The magic of this world is called the Medium. It is a power than connects and binds two places simultaneously. The Medium heeds the thoughts of those who seek to coax it and will shy away if the person’s thoughts are fearful or the use of power is sought for idle things. The power of the Medium is often represented in stone--engraved with the faces or men, beasts, or even the sun--called Leerings. Faces are carved in all the natural expressions of emotions. They are usually carved for a purpose, like creating light, water, or fire. They can be made to prevent food from spoiling, water to be purified, or stitches not to fail. Some Leerings, the most powerful, can cause illness or destruction in a manifestation of the Medium called the Blight.
Mastons study and learn from ancient tomes how to control their thoughts and to harness the powers of the Medium for noble causes. But it is possible to some to force the magic to obey.
a sanctuary made of stone and set apart for the purpose of learning the ways of the Medium. Founded by the maston order.
A rank within the maston order achieved when one has been given responsibility to preserve and safeguard an Abbey and instruct in the ways of the Medium.
Apse Veil (Apps Vale)
a barrier within the most hallowed part of an abbey that can transport a maston from one abbey to another instantaneously.
a precious metal alloy made of gold and copper used for engraving tomes containing the wisdom of the ages and the secrets of the Medium in written form.
a maston rite in which information is engraved on a tome and then the pages are sealed with metal bands. The information contained is then unable to be spoken or communicated in any form. The Medium binds the tongue or hand of whoever tries to divulge it. A binding sigil may be broken if the term under which it was set passes or a password is uttered as dictated by the one who set it in place.
a brutal form of execution favored by the marauders of the northern regions.
Blue Woad (wode)
a plant that, when ground into powder, is used to treat cuts and abrasions and can also be used as a dye.
a shirt of metal mesh or cloth of silver worn beneath clothing comparable to a medieval hairshirt. A symbol of piety and one of the signs someone who has accepted the maston oaths.
Cruciger orb (Crew-sijur Orb)
a magical artifact of unknown origin. A half-sphere with golden stays that protect a compass-like series of needles and pointers. Writing miraculously appears on the lower portion of the orb written by the Medium. Used to find that which is lost or direct a person to an unknown destination. Requires considerable strength in the Medium to use.
Dochte Mandar (Dock-tuh Mon-dar)
a rival magical order to the mastons that seek their overthrow. They wear black robes and often use masks to conceal the tattoo stains which came as a result of their use of kystrels.
Queen of the Unborn, mother of the Myriad Ones. A malevolent entity who is ageless and timeless and seeks to thwart the work of the Essaios. The principle of chaos.
the race of immortal beings who lived in Idumea, a mythical world which is the source of the Medium’s power and which directs and governs the various worlds. The principle of creation.
the protectors of the royal family of the Kingdom of Pry-Ree. These are skilled hunters, strategists, and experts in the arts of diplomacy and they advise the rulers of nations.
Fear Liath (Feer Lee-ath)
a spirit creature of great power known to inhabit high mountain country. Their presence causes fog and fear to disorient and terrify their prey. There are no recorded descriptions of a Fear Liath. They cannot tolerate sunlight.
according to maston legend, the world was first populated by the first man and woman. The generations who upheld the lore of the Medium, as taught by these individuals, became exceptionally gifted in the magic.
the Dahomeyjan word for Leering
a secret maston rite where a person is given additional powers which can be temporary or permanent as imposed by the maston and according to the Medium’s will. Gifts are numerous and can include, Firetaming, Healing, Invocation (understanding and working Leerings), Meekness, Seering (seeing past or future), and Xenoglossia (languages).
an order of women opposed to the mastons who seek their murder and destruction. They worship the goddess Ereshkigal and draw their power from her. They are cunning and highly intelligent and use subtle means to influence the powers of the kingdoms.
the highest rank in the Dochte Mandar who sets strategy and directs the work of the order.
the highest rank in the maston order.
a geographic and political area comparable to a county. Each is overseen by a sheriff acting under the authority of the king.
a mythological place that is the origin of the Medium and its power. It is thought to be a world, a benevolent power, and the source of light and goodness. Some swear by Idumea’s Hand, which implies Fate turning a wheel.
irrevocare sigil (ir-revo-car-ay)
a form of magic that can only be performed by an Aldermaston and that renders a state permanently.
a group of individuals trained in the arts of murder and deception. They are skilled with poison, blades, or with their hands and feet. They have been known to slip into the most highly guarded places to assassinate their targets. No one knows the location of their training school. They work for the highest powers of the lands who pay them to influence events in their favor.
a medallion with a whorl-shape pattern that can channel the power of the Medium without becoming a maston. It is a way of forcing the Medium to obey. They can be used to alter or inculcate feelings in another person. Courage can be withered. Lust provoked. When using the power of a kystrel, the user’s eyes begin to glow silver. A shadowstain then forms on the breastbone beneath the medallion and continues to spread with use.
someone studying the ways of the Medium at an Abbey but who have not yet passed the maston test.
The face of man, woman, or animal that is carved into a work of stone. The faces are of various ages and emotional ranges. Each carving usually has a purpose, such as summoning fresh water, starting a fire, or preventing food from spoiling.
an order dedicated to the Medium and doing its will in the world. As youth they study at Abbeys to learn the ways and pass the maston test, thus earning the rank. The rites of the order are secret and not written down but the principles of self-improvement and self-mastery have been recorded in tomes by the Aldermastons throughout the ages.
a mystical energy source that is a source of power and providence in the world. It is sentient and will withdraw its power from a person who is selfish, doubtful, corrupt, or proud.
Myriad Ones, Unborn, smokeshapes
a race of unseen, spiritual beings that feed on the base natures and instincts of humanity. They are ruled by Ereshkigal and seek the destruction of all things back to chaos. They are drawn to the darker thoughts within humanity. The abbeys form a protection against these beings which cannot enter within the grounds.
the day of the ceremony where a child is given his or her name and it is recorded in an abbey tome.
a part of an abbey, made of sculpted wood, that is a barrier to the inner sanctum.
a series of engraving tools that help mastons write on aurichalcum plates. Learners practice with wax tablets before engraving metal.
a curse that comes upon the land itself when the inhabitants forsake the ways of the Medium. It can be represented by toxic plants, rotting trees, sickness, disease, war, and even flood.
The Hodoeporicon (Hode-o-pore-ick-on)
a particular famous tome written by the first ancient Aldermaston in Comoros.
A series of rectangular metal pages made of aurichalcum and bound with rings into a collection. Learners at the Abbeys are taught the craft of reading and engraving and make their own tomes as part of their instruction.
a lopsided hill in Muirwood Hundred a few miles from the Abbey. Legend has it that and Aldermaston from the past defended the sanctuary by lifting up a hill from a nearby mountain range and dropping it on an invading band of northern marauders. The Tor is the highest point near the Abbey.
a festival celebrating the end of the harvest season and prior to the winter storms.
vacuata inanis (va-cue-atah in-an-is)
translates to ‘the Voided Key,’ a belt and key worn by groom in a maston wedding ceremony dating to the First Parents.
a medicinal herb that induces sleep
A maston who travels from kingdom to kingdom and records the histories of the inhabitants.
A special Leering, connecting to a series of Leerings, that enables one to find a hidden trail. By touching and invoking the Leering, one can see the location and direction of the next one on the path as well as others standing in the general vicinity of it.
a festival celebrating the first harvest of the year. Youth of older than fourteen of any rank dance around maypoles festooned with ribbons. A courting ritual.