Arcanix and the Arcane Congress.   Posted by DM.Group: 0
 GM, 11 posts
Mon 28 Nov 2016
at 20:51
The Arcane Congress is the premiere magical institution in Khorvaire, commissioned by King Galifar long ago to research the many aspects of magic for the good of the kingdom.  Times have changed since High Galifar, but the Arcane Congress remains.
After the Last War, the Arcane Congress has devoted itself to investigating and researching magic that could help heal the land and the many scars left by the war, at least that is the stated mission given to the people of the Five Kingdoms.  In truth, many of the masters of the four towers pursue their own interests, and the Congress is not void of political conflict.  Only time will tell if the Congress becomes a force of healing, or a force of chaos and division.

The Arcane Congress calls the floating towers of Arcanix their home.  In the southwest corner of Aundair, along the coast of Lake Galifar, Arcanix was held by Thrane before the war, but this region fell to Aundair and has provided magical support for the government and military ever since.  The floating towers are only reachable via personal magic, flying mount, or the magically powered trolleys that carry personnel and supplies up on a regular basis from the town of Arcanix, which resides along the lake below the towers.

The four towers, Glarehold, Amberwall, Nocturnas, and Skyreach, are fantastically designed and showcase magic rarely seen anywhere else in khorvaire.  Glarehold and Amberwall, the lower of the four towers, serve as residences and teaching halls for the upcoming wizards and magewrights that travel from all over Khorviare to learn.  Nocturnas and Skyreach serve as the homes and research laboratories for the masters of the Congress.
Everburning torches light every corner of the floating towers, unless a member of the Congress has a specific reason to prefer darkness. Some everburning torches burst into flame only when someone enters the room, dousing themselves instantly when the room is vacant. Others burn with strangely colored flame, adding a bluish or reddish tint to everything they illuminate.

The floating towers are a quiet place; distracting noise is conducive to neither study nor political machinations. The temperature is always mild within the floating towers, no matter what is happening outside.  The Arcane Congress built the floating towers over eight hundred years, so their walls have known many architects, both mundane and magical. Within the floating towers, there’s always a strong aura of transmutation (the spells that keep the towers aloft)and at least one other aura.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:02, Mon 28 Nov 2016.

 GM, 13 posts
Mon 28 Nov 2016
at 20:54
A note on power level and gestalt characters

just so it is understood, I am going to be pushing the power level of the Eberron setting a bit, when it comes to the Congress, the NPCs involved with the story, and some of the encounters.  For the most part, NPCs as a whole will be lower level as the setting describes.  But the characters will encounter opponents and NPCs that are beyond the normal level limit for Khorvaire, especially as they begin to climb toward that limit themselves.

The PCs are also not the only gestalt characters.  Many of the NPCs in Arcanix are similarly constructed, as they represent some of the brightest stars of the magic community.  There are also some NPCs in the wider world of Eberron that may be gestalt if the PCs ever actually encounter them (*cough* Merrix d'Cannith *cough* Lord of Blades *cough*)

But rest assured, the NPCs are not designed to take the limelight from the PCs or interfere.  They are largely story arcs for the game, plot devices, and possible allies/compatriots, if the group desires.
 GM, 14 posts
Mon 28 Nov 2016
at 20:56
The Mages of the Arcane Congress

-Lord Magister Palanis ir'Delanren- The representative of the Congress to the crown of Aundair, Magister ir'Delanen is a skilled wizard and noted diplomat.  While he held rank in the Aundarian army during the war, he served as a part of the Queen's staff, not as a combatant.  He is the head administrator for the Congress, and his vote holds a little more weight than others.

gossip- Some say Magister ir'Delanren spends more time dealing with the political situation in Aundair than he does with Tower business.  They say many magisters resent his focus on jockeying for political power in the court.  Some say Magister ir'Delanren is a spy for the Queen.  Others say he was put in his position by High Warlord Adal so he can have free reign of the towers.

Lord Magister Nazaire ir'Viel- A veteran commander of the Arcane brigades of Aundair's army and a knight phantom, Magister ir'Viel has focused his research of the last four years on developing better, more effective battle magic.  he is the Congress' expert on battle magic as it pertains to mass battles.

gossip- Many say that Magister ir'Viel has been looking for a way to restart the war.  That he wants vengeance for the two brothers he lost in battle against Thrane and Karrnath.  Some say he is working with High Warlord Adal to find a way to put him in power, and start aggression with Thrane.  Some say that he is trying to find a way to duplicate the day of mourning.  Some say he lost his mind in the war, and is looking into darker, terrible magics to find victory when it starts again.

Lady Magister Feldania ir'Lenais- The daughter of a veteran of the first years of the Last War granted title by King Wrogar, Magister ir'Lenais is a noted transmuter.  She is also known for her lost husband, Lord Damren ir'Lotho of Whitehearth, who was killed on the day of Mourning, on his family estate in Cyre.  Theirs was a love match, crossing national and racial lines, and his death devastated the half-elf for years.

gossip- Some say that sorrow has made Lady ir'Lenais incapable of performing her duties as she once did.  Some say she is trying to find a way to venture into the mournlands, to find her husband.  Some say she has begun dealings with the Karrns to find a way to bring her husbands' soul back.  Other's say she is dealing with the elves of Aerenal for the same purpose.  Some say she knew the mourning was coming, and sent her husband there on purpose.  Some say she was having an affair with one of the other magisters, and the mourning saved her from humiliation.  They say it was Magister ir'Viel, or magister ir'Delanren.

Lord Magister Orsen ir'Borgens-  A noble of Brelish blood and a veteran of the Last War, Magister ir'Borgens is still viewed as a bit of an outsider by the Congress, but his battle tested skill as an artificer is never questioned.

gossip- some say ir'Borgens was a war criminal in Breland, and he fled to the towers to avoid the high courts looking into his activities.  Some say he came to the towers to hunt down the mage that killed his family.  Some say he came to find a way to destroy the Three Hags of Droaam.  Some say it was to reconstruct the mourning.  Some say he already has found the secret of the mourning, and he is holding it over the Congress.  Some say he has personal grudges against several magisters, and is biding his time until he can act.

Lord Magister Raulo ir’Trannick- see description of Arcanix below.

gossip- Some say Magister ir'Trannick resents his position.  Some say he was an incompetent magister, and sent down to Arcanix to avoid apprentices discovering this.  Some say he has been conducting experiments on the people of Arcanix for years.  Some say he is working to find a way to use the towers to gain greater position in the queen's court.

Magister Beneth Jessel- A gnome who has worked in the towers of Arcanix for decades, Magister Jessel has focused her work on exploring the secrets of the planes and the magic they influence.

gossip- Some say magister Jessel is not actually a gnome. That she is something more, or less.  Some say she has trafficked too much with planar beings and has lost her soul.  Some say she is from another plane.  Some say she routinely brings in planar beings and hides them in the towers.  Some say she has a planar being as a lover, and he is shaping her research to his own ends.  Some say she is working to turn the towers into a full planar zone of another plane.  Some say she is a spy for the Triumvirate of Zilargo.

Magister Ielenia Liadon- An elf of great beauty and indeterminate age, Magister Liadon is rumored to be connected to House Phiarlan, which would explain her great skill as an illusionist.

gossip- Many say she is a spy for house Phiarlan.  That she is an assassin.  That she was placed in the towers decades ago, in case the house needs to eliminate a mage.  Some say she is actually a spy for Aerenal, that she infiltrated the towers to learn what magics were used here.  Some say she isn't an elf at all, but some sort of shadow being.  Some say she has many lovers among the mages of the towers, and even more admirers.

Magister Rurik Soldorak- Magister Soldorak is a veteran battle mage and artificer who spent over a century defending remote outposts in the Hoarfrost Mountains, before he traveled to the towers of Arcanix to research advanced techniques in abjuration.

gossip- Some say Magister Soldorak was responsible for many of Karrnath's darkest magics.  Some say he is really a necromancer.  Some say he is a spy for house Kundarak.  Some say he is a spy for the Aurum.  Some say he is delving into the magics of abberations, to learn their secrets.  Some say he is working with Magisters Jessel and Haaken to try to bridge the gap between Eberron and Xoriat.  Some say he was really a coward who avoided battle in the war, and came to the towers to hide that fact.

Magister Saal Haaken-
Magister Haaken is a somewhat reclusive magister of Karrnathi descent, who spends most of his time communing with creatures from other planes, and little of it dealing with students.

gossip- Many say Saal Haaken has sold his soul to the demons of Fernia, Kythri, or Shavarath.  Some say he regularly travels to these planes.  Some say he is a hunted man, that the demons are coming for him.  Some say he is already demon possessed, that he serves the dragon below, or the lords of dust.  Some say he used his magic to summon demons to aid Karrnath's troops.  Many say the congress is trying to find a way to get rid of him.

Magister Ophelis Tandrata- Magister Tandrata is the youngest magister in the towers, and reached this point by showing extreme natural talent with magic.  Her family lived in Metrol but moved to Q'barra decades before the Mourning.  She is known for her informal style and personable manner.

gossip- Some say she was only allowed into the congress to give a token representation to Qbarra.  Some say she has learned unusual sorceries from the lizardmen of the jungles of her home.  Some say she is so good at influencing minds that she used her powers to gain access to the congress.  Some say she used her sexual charms to gain leverage over several magisters.  Some say she is the lover of one of the older mages in the tower.

Magister Alina Denby- Is the resident bard among the magisters.  her research into lore and the magic of song is well respected across the continent.

gossip- Some say she is a spy for the triumvirate.  Some say she is not really viewed as a real magister by her peers.  Some say she is having an affair with a married magister.  Some say she is seeking lore on ancient songs of the giants that were used to topple mountains.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:36, Mon 08 July 2019.

 GM, 24 posts
Thu 1 Dec 2016
at 04:30
Arcanix: This village of 800 people lies directly beneath the floating towers. The residents of Arcanix owe their livelihoods to the Arcane Congress, from the innkeeper who boards the parents of would-be wizards during the Autumn Entrance examinations to the stablemaster responsible for exercising the steeds—both mundane and exotic—of some Arcane Congress spellcasters.

Most of the important wizards and sorcerers of the Arcane Congress live in the floating towers themselves, but a few reside in Arcanix. Raulo ir’Trannick for example, is the lord mayor of Arcanix and a member of the Arcane Congress. His family has long had holdings on the southeastern banks of Lake Galifar, and his position as Trannick patriarch demands he live earthbound and board a hippogriff when he’s needed for the business of the Congress. Raulo and other members of the Trannick family are the proctors of the Autumn Entrance Exams, determining which of Aundair’s brightest will get a chance to become magewrights and wizards. Raulo also serves as a de facto ambassador between the Arcane Congress and any wizards who arrive at Arcanix unannounced.

The Trannick family offers trained hippogriffs that can ascend to the floating towers for visitors unable to get there under their own power. The Trannicks collect a 25 gp per person transit fee, which they use to fund scholarships for deserving young mages.

Arcanix’s unique position makes it one of the Five Nations’ most magically aware places. Many of the residents are downright blasé about powerful arcane magic, while others take great delight in the astonishment on visitors’ faces when a carpet of flying alights on the town square or an aged wizard turns into a glorious dragon and flies away.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:51, Sat 03 Dec 2016.

 GM, 169 posts
Mon 5 Dec 2016
at 21:25
Ranks in the Arcane Congress

Mages of the towers are granted specific ranks, that denote both their skill in the magic arts, and their position among the arcane congress.  This means there is a somewhat gray area in terms of actual magical skill compared to title, as some who have good political skill have risen higher in the tower despite not being as skilled as their peers.

Novice- Those mages who have passed their initial entrance exams, and are able to study in the towers.  Hundreds of novices enter and exit the towers each year, producing Aundair's magewrights and adepts, the capable but not overly powerful magicians that fuel the continent.

Apprentice- Those mages who pass the advanced testing to enter the higher towers.  Apprentices are viewed as higher and more respected than apprentices, and are chosen for closer, individual learning with the mages and magisters of the tower.  Apprentices are given more independence than students, but do not have any real authority in the towers.

Adept- Apprentices who have reached a level of skill where they can perform research on their own are given the title adept.  Adepts make up a large part of the research force of the towers, and assist mages and masters in their work.  Adepts have enough authority to run small, less important operations on their own, but still need a mage's or master's permission to take any serious actions.

Mage- A fully recognized member of the Congress, those given the title mage have the right to vote in the congressional bodies.  The Congress is also willing to approve more dangerous, experimental research conducted by mages, and they are allowed to have adepts as assistants.

Master- Those arcanists that have shown great skill in the magic arts are granted the title master.  Masters are the most highly regarded mages in the tower, and are given great leeway in terms of research projects and independence.  Quite a few masters have retreated into their own study, to barely be seen by outsiders.

Magister- Magisters of the Towers are masters and mages who have also been given authority to instruct and run the towers teachings.  This is a political, administrative duty, and so magisters must be approved by the congress, and accept the position.  There are quite a few masters who have no desire to be magisters, preferring to focus on their own work.

"Lord" or "Lady" title- Some among the towers, and many of the magisters and masters, also have the title Lord or Lady before their tower rank.  This indicates they are of noble title.  Officially they are given no more respect than non-noble mages, in truth they are often deferred to by the tower mages, as even the towers are not free from Khorvairan politics.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:18, Sat 29 June 2019.

 GM, 260 posts
Mon 12 Dec 2016
at 08:07
The Magical Aura of Arcanix

The towers of Arcanix float in a zone of power that enhanced the potency of arcane casters and their magic.  It is usually attributed to a manifest zone of some kind, but no one outside the Congress knows for certain.

In the living areas of the towers, as well as the labs and practice areas of the lower towers of Glarehold and Amberwall, the aura is at it s base level.  This level grants the following benefits:
    -All spells gain +1 caster level when cast
    -All spells are naturally enhanced as if affected by the extend spell metamagic feat without raising the level or casting time (independent of actually using the extend spell feat, which would further extend the duration)

The aura is more potent at higher levels of Skyreach and Nocturnas, the upper towers, and grants greater potency to spells.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:13, Tue 10 Oct 2017.

 GM, 2225 posts
Sat 29 Jun 2019
at 19:10
The Towers of Arcanix

Amberwall- Named for the pale yellow stone used to craft many of its outer walls, Amberwall is the lowest tower and the home of the novice's school.  It is a broad, flat structure that is the largest of the four towers, in terms of over-all interior space.  Hundreds of students enter and exit this tower, and it is full of workshops, classrooms, and communal student housing.  Amberwall is also home to the stables and aviary of the towers, where the hippogriffs and other exotic animals are kept, as well as the less dangerous pets of the tower mages.

Interior- The halls and chambers of Amberwall look similar to most Aundairian castles and estates.  Pale cut stone lit with perpetual torches, windows where available and often skylights and hearths provide light and warmth.  The student’s quarters are fairly spartan but functional, providing enough comfort to live but not much more so.  The classrooms and workshops are of similar construction, with only the larger dining halls and lecture halls having a grander, statelier atmosphere.

access- Access to Amberwall from the ground is achieved by the hippogriffs kept by the Vadalis trainers in Arcanix.  They also possess two flying carriages to carry larger groups of people, pulled by their strongest hippogriffs.  The third, and rarest method, is using teleportation powered by the Orien station in town, or any of the masters in the towers above.  This is usually only used to move large amounts of material.

Glarehold- Second of the towers, Glarehold is an imposing tower of rough-cut basalt with four pointed crenellations that looks reminiscent of a dark raised fist in the clouded sky.  Glarehold serves as the home for the advanced students and instruction areas.  Unlike Amberwall, Glarehold's workshops and classrooms are designed for smaller groups, and are reinforced to resist any possible magical damage.
Glarehold also holds the largest library of the towers.  Though it is mostly made up of books covering mundane topics, it does possess many of primers for magical study and research.  It is a large three-story room with several mortal librarians as well as phantom servants to retrieve and replace books.

Interior- Unlike Amberwall, Glarehold’s halls are carved of darker stone, with less natural light being available.  Glowstones light most of the corridors, with stones of blue and green casting odd color mixes in many areas.  Glarehold’s workshops feel stronger, sturdier than the lower tower, with narrower windows and reinforced buttress that add to the fortress feel.  Glarehold also holds several larger amphitheater style rooms, built for large lectures and for more artistic pursuits.  There is even a smaller but still respectable ballroom for the occasional less formal social gatherings.

Access- Access to Glarehold can be made by hippogriff from the surface below, but it can also be reached through three magical gateways that use a form of dimension door to instantly transport users from Amberwall up to Glarehold.  There are also three more of the same gates that reach up to Skyreach.

Skyreach- Skyreach is the center of the Arcane Congress, and the visual image most Aundairian citizens think of when Arcanix is brought up.  A pearlescent spire of white that rises above the clouds, Skyreach is topped by a gleaming silver spire.  The halls of Skyreach are vaulted, grand affairs, lined with crystal glass windows several stories high, skylights of pure gemstone and brilliant glowstones that give the tower a breathtaking, imperious atmosphere.
Inside Skyreach is the Congressional Hall, where the mages come to discuss and vote on events.  The chambers, offices, and workshops of the magisters and any of the higher-ranking mages are also found here, with several lecture halls and the administrative centers of the Congress.
The Sivis communication office is also found in Skyreach, staffed by several house scions, a few of which are also mages of the congress.
The formal grand dining hall, built with interplanar magic to alter its size to seat every guest and mage of the towers is in the center of the Tower, alongside the Sapphire ballroom and the Congress’ gallery.  The gallery houses some of the most impressive magical works of arts and treasures the tower wishes to display.

Interior- Skyreach’s interior corridors and halls are full of natural light provided by massive skylights and windows.  Unlike the lower towers that are built somewhat like terrestrial fortresses, Skyreach’s walls are almost ore glass than stone, though through magic they are no less sturdy.  Only the lower corridors in the interior of the tower need glowstones to light the way, but even these are brighter and tinted to feel like natural sunlight.  Skyreach is an opulent, palatial building, with a feel quite different from the lower towers.

Access- Skyreach has one exterior balcony and landing platform but due to the tower normally sitting quite high in the cloud filled sky, it is rarely reached by flying creature.  The three gateways down to Amberwall are the primary access points to Skyreach, other than the personal magic abilities of the tower’s denizens.

Nocturnas- Dark, foreboding, and mysterious, Nocturnas is the least accessed and least known tower of Arcanix.  Sitting high above the others, so high that it is only visible from the ground on very clear days, Nocturnas is a tall, branching tower that reaches up to a widened top that looks like two hands cupped to catch a falling star, with fingers spread and grasping.  It is entirely constructed out of volcanic glass, black with only the occasionally chase of deep crimson.
Nocturnas is the most secured tower of the four and holds the private chambers and workshops of the greatest masters of the Congress.  Access to the tower is forbidden for anyone below the rank of master without the express permission of a master.  There are no classrooms, lecture halls, or offices in Nocturnas, and for the most part the mages of the Arcane Congress know nothing of what occurs inside.

Interior- Other than rumors of dark experiments and darker environs, the mages of the lower towers know nothing of the interior of Nocturnas.

Access- The Night Bridge- Due to the distance between Skyreach and Nocturnas in the sky, the magic used to construct the gateways from Skyreach to Amberwall was not possible.  A more powerful magic was needed, leading to the construction of the Night Bridge.  The only access point to Nocturnas, the night bridge is a stairway that seems to lead through the star light sky, all black and pinpoint lights, with nothing beneath the user.  It climbs for what seems like several stories, but in fact bridges from Sky reach up into the higher sky to reach Nocturnas.  The Night Bridge is secured at both ends, and access is only granted to those who have written permission from a master or are masters themselves.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:27, Sat 29 June 2019.

 GM, 2226 posts
Sat 29 Jun 2019
at 19:23
Rules for mages of the Arcane Congress

-Magical knowledge is to be guarded but shared- The goal of the Congress is to research and develop the greater use of magic for the good of all Galifar.  Magical knowledge in itself is useful but can be dangerous.  Therefore, mages are expected to use discretion when sharing information or learning higher magical mysteries, as them ere act of learning can sometimes lead to danger.  Always defer to the masters and mages of the tower in this.

-All mages must defer to those of higher rank- All mages must defer tot hose with higher rank, and follow their instructions as long as  they do not contradict the rules of the tower,  the safety of its mages, or the direct orders of a higher ranked mage.

-Unauthorized use of dangerous magic is forbidden-
any spell that could be harmful to other mages is forbidden from use outside of the workshops and classrooms of Amberwall and Glarehold.  Personal magics must be kept safe to all others, and violation of this rule will result in censure of the violating mage.
-personal weaponry is forbidden in the classrooms and workshops of the towers- no weapons can be carried by mages of the towers unless needed for specific research, or in the process of leaving the tower.

-personal duels and conflicts are forbidden outside the dueling circles-
any personal conflict between mages is forbidden and can only be resolved through the use of the magical dueling circles.  Any violence outside of the dueling circles is forbidden, and will result in the censure of the violating mage.

-unauthorized summoning or keeping of magical creatures is forbidden-
summoning any magical creature without permission of a Master or mage is forbidden.  Dealing with planar beings or any such lifeforms is also similarly forbidden.  Pets and familiars are allowed and encouraged, but it is the mage’s responsibility to ensure the safety of his fellow magi.