30 August 2018

Class: Iron Wizard of Tolti-Aph

I came upon the idea for this magic school when playing The Reliques of Tolti-Aph, so this is where iron wizards originate from.

Six hundred years ago, a group of settlers came into the middle of nowhere and found a village of Aph. The reason they braved the wilderness and ventured so far away from all other yiggish settlements was simple - a diviner wizard came to the king with a vision she had, a vision of picks and tunnels, of toil and treasure. Aph was found upon a hill where the diviner foretold the location of abundant veins of silver, and the wizard was right. The village developed quickly, exporting silver, importing miners, and gaining on significance. It soon grew into a wealthy town and awaited even more success in its future.

Three hundred years ago, the world-famous silver mines of Aph ran nearly dry. By then, Aph grew from a thriving town into a city, and then a metropolis overflowing with opulence. Its silver bought it power and luxuries unheard of. It sponsored the largest wizard academy in the whole world, partially in thanks to the wizard it owed its fortunes to. And all of this would be jeopardised once the silver flow stopped entirely. For three hundred years, the silver of Aph bought peace and prosperity for Yig. To loose this income now could be the sign of weakness all the envious neighbour countries were waiting for.

Medieval mines.

Luckily for the Yiggish, their king was not a decadent, whore-mongering noble like so many of his peers. His name was Tolti, (soon to be known as) the Mage-King of Silver and Iron. When he heard about the plight of Aph, it is said that a dark gloom descended upon his brow and he closed himself in his great library. He was a learnt man, even apprenticing at the Academy of Aph before his knightly training and obligations of an heir apparent forced him to discontinue his studies. He was also a shrewd man and after a week in his library, he emerged with a plan.

He took a hundred of his most loyal knights, ten of his most skilled wizards, and a single legendary thief who awaited execution in his dungeon. He bid farewell to his wife and his daughters. He entrusted his kingdom to the hands of his younger brother and told him to spare no expense in preserving the illusion of stability, just till he returns.  And then he quested south, deep into the Great Swamp where ancient stone circles and fairy rings are said to lead straight into the spirit world. He was gone for a year and a day.

To this day, no one knows what terrible trials he and his fellows underwent, but half of his men never returned, and Tolti himself had his right hand turned into a lump of iron and his right eye replaced with an enchanted silver sphere. They brought with themselves the salvation for Yig, though. Hidden in a massive cage of silver, glass and gossamer, they brought with themselves a being that was meant to return the faded glory of Aph to its prime. They brought Khalybs, the god of iron, defeated, bound and chained.

Chained Khalybs.
From God of War.

Soon, the empty mines of Aph were rebuilt into a massive gaol-factory, where enormous amounts of high-quality iron were produced from bare stone with the help of enslaved divinity. Where miners and jewellers used to work now stood forges that spewed torrents of steel, and the blacksmiths of Aph seemed to be unable to produce any goods but masterworks. The grateful council of Aph decided to honour their king in the name of their city, and eventually Tolti moved his court to the newly named Tolti-Aph and made it his capital. Yig became an empire and Tolti its fist emperor.

One hundred years ago, a small group of cultists (or maybe they were adventurers) managed to penetrate the impenetrable defences of the Iron Fortress of Tolti-Aph and reach the chamber of the god-cage, deep within the immense expanse of the ancient underground. They sacrificed their lives to hold off the flood of yiggish guards and iron wizards long enough to break the seals and release Khalybs from his prison. That was the day Tolti-Aph fell and the Empire of Yig was shattered.

This is how I imagine Khalybs.
Hephaestus by Ursca

Iron wizards are the remnants of the Academy of Aph, the few who were not present in Tolti-Aph when it fell. Once, they were the jailers of Khalybs and honoured citizens of Yig. Today, they are on the run, outlawed in Yig by authorities afraid of divine retribution and always looking over their shoulder for worshippers of Khalybs.

Their current troubles notwithstanding, iron wizards are proud and strong. The days might be rough, but their predecessors imprisoned a god. There is nothing an iron wizards couldn't do and it's only a matter of time until they will reclaim lost glory of their name.

The knights of Tolti battle the god of iron
in the Second Veil of the Spirit Realm.
From Diablo III.

You are an Outsider Around Here and an Outlaw in Yig.

Starting Items: a pouch of silver needles (worth 1 gp), a small piece of silver jewelry, a pair of leather gloves.

Starting Skill: (d4) 1. Appraisal, 2. Metallurgy, 3. Prospector, 4. Religion.

Perks & Flaws:

You can imbue a silver item (usually a pendant, a ring, or a circlet) with a bit of your power. Move any number of your MD into the item. You can only access these MD when you are touching the imbued item. You can only have one imbued item at a time, but should it get destroyed, the imbued MD return to your personal pool and you may imbue another item. However, be careful about loosing the imbued item or having it stolen (the imbued MD can be used by any wizard).

When spent, the imbued MD return to the item automatically on the next midnight, even if you didn't rest. Additionally, once per day you may channel magic through your imbued item and for [wizard templates] rounds, any MD you use from the item return on 1-5. When the duration of channelling ends, Save or suffer a Mishap.

As everyone from Tolti-Aph, you were cursed by Khalybs. Iron burns you on touch, dealing 1 damage per object per round of skin contact.

  1. When you close your eyes and concentrate, you can sense metals within 30'.
  2. You can tell the composition of a metal item by sight. For example, you can distinguish different metals, or ratios of metals in an alloy.
  3. You can command a single metal coin within 30' with concentration. It will stand on its edge or roll as you wish, and always fall on the face you choose when you flip it.
by Gillesketting

Spell List:

1. Corrosion
R: touch; T: [dice] metal creatures or objects; D: 0

A piece of iron rusts and flakes away, and other metals are affected according to their resilience. Gold is covered in patina, silver blackens, copper turns into verdigris, etc.

Small objects (such as a lock), or a square foot of metal plating is destroyed in a pile of rust. Creatures and magic items are allowed a Save and receive [dice] breaks or [sum] damage, whichever your system uses.

2. Pick one of the following:
Heat Metal
R: 30'; T: metal creature or object; D: [sum] rounds

The target becomes searingly hot, dealing [dice] damage per round to any creature that touches it. It is hot enough to boil water, set easily flammable materials alight, and glow dimly.

If a creature wears an armour affected by this spell and takes any cold damage, this damage is reduced by [dice] and the creature takes no damage from this spell on their next turn.

Chill Metal
R: 30'; T: metal creature or object; D: [sum] rounds

The target becomes painfully cold, dealing [dice] damage per round to any creature that touches it. It is cold enough to freeze water, and other creatures or objects may become stuck to the target as they freeze to it, requiring a Str check to pull free.

If a creature wears an armour affected by this spell and takes any fire damage, this damage is reduced by [dice] and the creature takes no damage from this spell on their next turn.

3. Bend Metal
R: touch; T: metal creature or object; D: [dice] hours

A piece of metal bends or unbends. Metal weapons may become unusable and metal armour may impose significant penalties. Locks can be opened, or warped to prevent opening.

4. Repel Metal
R: 50'; T: [dice] metal creatures or objects; D: 0

You push the target away. Targets of about human size can be tripped, while smaller targets can be propelled farther away and at higher speed. Too large a target may force you to Save or be repelled yourself.

You can definitely use this to throw [dice] daggers in a single turn. Repelling a metal floor would allow you to jump very high.

5. Hold Metal
R: 50'; T: [dice] metal creatures or objects; D: concentration, up to [sum] rounds

The target is locked in place, as immovable rod.

6. Thousand Needles
R: 30'; T: creatures; D: 0

You enchant a handful of needles which shoot out from your palm at nearby targets. Split [sum] damage among creatures in range in any way you want, no Save.

7. Curse Needle
R: touch; T: creature; D: permanent until discharged

You enchant a needle with a terrible curse, and then bury this needle into the flesh of the target creature. When an attack next pierces the skin of the target, the needle will be there, ready to prick the claw or scratch the weapon. The needle is destroyed and the attacker is subject to a curse.

Pick [dice] of the following options to inflict on the attacker:
  • The attacker takes [sum] damage from intense pain.
  • If the attacker used a weapon, she drops it. If she was using natural weapons, she falls prone as sudden weakness overcomes her limbs.
  • If the attacker used a spell, the MD she used are burnt. If any of the burnt MD would have returned otherwise, the target gains them (up to the maximum MD they can normally hold).
  • The attacker has a minor curse bestowed upon him. This option costs 2 [dice].
  • The attacker has a major curse bestowed upon him. This option costs 4 [dice].

For every day the cursed needle remains embedded in the flesh of the target, they must Save or risk a mutation. Should the target be slain without triggering the cursed needle, they will rise as a zombie on the next midnight, as the curse takes over the body.

I stole this spell from here, where more information on it can be found. Note that the spell only triggers on taking slashing or piercing damage, as blunt attacks won't break the skin. The zombification happens because every curse is a spirit, and you just gave it a vacant body to use.

8. Iron Guts
R: 0; T: self; D: [sum] hours

Nothing you eat has any effect on you, positive or negative. You could eat glass or poison without harm, but need to get them out of your body before the spell expires. However, you also gain no nutrition from food, or boons from potions.

9. Iron Bones
R: touch; T: creature; D: [dice] hours

The bones of the target turn to iron and their body hardens too, granting them [sum] temporary hp. The target is immune to fractures and dismemberment. The iron makes them much heavier than normal, letting them count their Str as 20 against being pushed, shoved or moved, but preventing them from swimming, jumping and similar activities.

This spell just begs to be used on a flying enemy, or someone trying to climb out of water.

10. Iron Eyes
R: 0; T: self; D: [sum] rounds

Your eyes turn to iron. You are blind, but can see magnetic waves. There are tiny magnetic particles and metal dust nearly everywhere, so the world will look like a dreamscape of glowing dots to you. Solid metal will flare brightly and you may be momentarily dazzled if you look too closely at a large amount of it.

With 4 [dice], you can make the duration permanent.

Don't look at the knight and definitely don't wear a metal helmet. Aurora Borealis will probably look incredible through the iron eyes. Adapted from VotE.

11. Pick one of the following:
Touch of Iron
R: touch; T: creature or object; D: varies

The target turns to iron. Creatures and magical items get a Save to resist. Treat as petrification for creatures, except that they recover rather quickly unless 4 [dice] are used.

The spell duration is [sum] rounds at 1 [die], minutes at 2 [dice], hours at 3 [dice], or permanent at 4 [dice].

Touch of Silver
R: touch; T: [dice] weapons; D: [sum] rounds

The target weapon takes on the properties of silver while loosing none of its own virtues.

For example, an iron sword silvered with this spell would not burn an iron wizard's skin and would serve as a bane to lycanthropes, but it would also retain the hardness and sharp edge of an iron weapon.

12. Void Metal
R: touch; T: creature; D: [dice] rounds

The target becomes intangible to all metals. Metal can harmlessly pass through them and should they be wielding or carrying any metal items, those are dropped unless held in gloves or with a sack.

If [sum] is 12 or more, the duration becomes [dice] minutes instead. If [sum] is 20 or more, the duration becomes permanent. In both cases, the caster cannot dismiss the spell prematurely.

Here are two extra spells that can be chosen with your Master of Magics ability:

Melt Metal
R: touch; T: metal object; D: [dice] rounds

The target looses cohesion as if it was molten, though its temperature doesn't change.

With 1 [die], you can affect weapon-sized objects. With more [dice], larger objects can be affected.

Shape Metal
R: touch; T: metal; D: concentration

You can shape metal as easily as clay.

At 1 [dice], you can only roughly bend and twist the metal object. At 2 [dice], you can craft simple objects out of metal. At 3 [dice], you can craft elaborate objects. At 4 [dice], your creations can strain plausibility, being incredibly thin yet resilient, or too light for their mass.

  1. Your MD only return on a 1-2 for 24 hours.
  2. You take 1d6 damage as you cough up several needles.
  3. Random mutation for 1d6 rounds, then Save. Permanent if you fail. Mutations related to metal are preferable.
  4. Random insanity for 1d6 rounds, then Save. Permanent if you fail.
  5. All metal within 30' of you corrodes. Iron is coated in a thick layer of rust, silver blackens, copper is covered in verdigris, etc.
  6. Spell targets you (if harmful) or enemy (if beneficial) or fizzles (if neutral).
  1. A minor body part of yours (finger, nose, one ear, etc.) turns to inanimate iron. The iron does not burn you at the point of melding with your fleshy body, but you should take care not to touch your skin elsewhere.
  2. A major body part of yours (arm, leg, tongue, genitals, etc.) turns to inanimate iron. The iron does not burn you at the point of melding with your fleshy body, but you should take care not to touch your skin elsewhere.
  3. You turn into an iron statue. You are essentially petrified, but remain conscious and deprived of all sensory input. Such is the revenge of Khalybs. You can still be communicated with through telepathy, but you will likely be insane by the time a telepath can be found.
Your dooms can be avoided by appeasing Khalybs, or turning your imbued item into a magic jar and escaping your iron body.

Massive mines and dungeons below a city
are the wet dream of every adventurer.

Adventures in Tolti-Aph

Tolti-Aph could be a great adventuring location. Ancient ruined city, once (still?) full of treasures. Academy where you could look for lost artifacts, priceless tomes, or obscure spells. Palace of the extinct royal line, items of great value monetary or sentimental waiting to be recovered. Sprawling underground, built over centuries of building and rebuilding - sewers and cellars, prisons and dungeons and tunnels, abandoned mines and factories. The shattered god-cage itself, full of profane magics. Cultists, lunatics, escaped experiments and living statues. I smell a megadungeon material.

Edited for clarity. :)


  1. Can you move MD out of your silver item?
    The benefit is that even if you didn't rest, they automatically return, and you can channel extra power through it, correct?
    When MD is expended through the item, does it automatically return to you, or the item?
    Great, great stuff.

    1. The only way of getting your MD out of your imbued item is by breaking the item, thus the danger of having it stolen. The imbued MD return to the item, so when stolen you basically have less MD and the thief has more. However, no matter how and where the imbued item is broken, the MD return to you immediately upon it breaking.

      And yes, the benefit is regaining MD without rest and channelling for more uses of your MD.