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[Baja] [OOC] Burn the Witch: The Corrupting Influence of Sosarian Magic

Discussion in 'UO White Stag Inn' started by WarderDragon, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    Burn the Witch: The Corrupting Influence of Sosarian Magic.
    WarderDragon

    [​IMG]

    Those present at the Convocation in December might remember me refering to a notorious band of Paladins and Inquisitors known as the Caelestis Templares.

    The Order - proclaiming themselves to be the True Defenders of Stormwind and the Human Race - were convinced that all practitioners of the arcane opened themselves to corruption and demonic possession. The Templars therefore took it upon themselves to root out Witches, Warlocks, Heretics, Blasphemers, Necromancers, the Possessed, the Damned - all who would choose to disagree with their methods - and burn them at the stake.

    I used the above to illustrate that one need not be Evil to be the Antagonist. Nor Good to be the Hero. The Order - though classified as Lawful Good - became the greatest band of Villains on that server for their fanaticism and uncompromising dedication to the Light.

    But that brings me to another point. A piece of Ultima Lore that I believe has been forgotten - or rather swept under the rug - that I would see ressurected. The Corrupting Power of Sosarian Magic.

    Magic Corrupts. It burns through the Soul of the Sorcerer and over time will damn him to eternal torment if he is not mindful of his actions. Mages - who have attuned themselves to the Ethereal Void - have tapped into the spectral dimension where Daemons are born from mans emotions and primative desires. With each spell he runs the risk of becoming enslaved by the very creatures he sought to harness. (i.e. Relivinian.) Or being manipulated into believing his actions are for Good. (i.e. The Followers of Armageddon.) Some turn to Lichedom when their lives grow short and become dessicated God Kings. (Azalin of the Ebon Skull.) Others search out and join Evil Organizations such as the Order of the Ebon Skull and the Dark Tower when the conventional paths to power have been exhausted. (Kessell and Ian Shadowspire of Baja.)

    It is as addictive as a narcotic.

    Below is Magic as it is described in Ultima Lore. Sorcerers were burned as Witches in the generations before Cantabrigian British united the realm.

    Sosarian Magic - The Codex of Editable Wisdom.

    "A mentioned elsewhere in this manuscript, the practice of magic had once died out in Sosaria. The power of the mystic tradition proved too corrupting for the general populace and the lords of the land decreed that all who dabbled in sorcery were to be banished. 'Twas not until the coming of Mondain the wicked that our scholars once again unearthed the dusty tomes that contained the records of the once flourishing arcane arts, and set about to retrain adepts in the use of enchantments. Our leaders realize that once the discipline of magic is reawakened, it shall never again be put to rest. Such is our plight that even the most dreaded of the arts is laid bare to all who will try to learn it and who swear to use its powers to combat the spread of Mondain's vile influence.

    While those naturally born to the practice of sorcery, who can invent their own enchantments and forge new ground in the arts, have yet to emerge as powerful wizards in their own right, a certain progress has been made. There are four artifacts available to the budding mage which will enhance the ability to weave enchantments: Staff, Wand, Amulet, and Triangle. The latter is a magical sword that may also serve as a weapon. Several powerful spells, which will cost the buyer in both gold and experience, may be purchased in the magic shoppes of Sosaria.

    We also have the words of the Introduction Cinematic to Ultima Online.

    "...Despite Sosaria's enchanted origins, its people shunned magic, for its very use corrupted the souls of the unwary.

    But one man dared to awaken the slumbering powers of Alchemy..."

    It is surprising then that there is no modern reference to it in the Lore and RPC Fiction. Magic is seen as Good. Pure. But it is that same logic that sees LotR and D&D Races in Britannia as opposed to an adaption of the established lore.

    We do have some basis for a general distrust of the Arcane in Britannia. Students of the Arcane are forced to train on the distant Isle of Moonglow and within the Hidden Vale west of Trinsic.

    Therefore I propose this. Would it make sense that someone who doesn't practice magic be distrustful - perhaps even antagonistic - towards the Practitioners of the Arcane and Forbidden Arts? Should the populace be more superstitious towards Sorcerers and Necromancers? Should the Corruption and threat of Possession be a shadow that hangs over the greatest Mages of our time?
     
  2. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    I think the answer to your question is yes. But with the recognition that it's not the magic itself that corrupts, but the power it lends. (And I think "lends" is the proper word for it here, in this topic.) And "the unwary user", if we keep this in mind, we need to consider that not all mages are going to fall to fall into evil.

    Of course, the individual can play it as they want with a range of latitude consistent with RP. And it sounds like some on Baja are doing a great job of that.
     
  3. Merci d'Rue

    Merci d'Rue Guest

    I have always loved this premise.

    When I met a character for the first time, that didnt like mages for these same reasons, and didnt trust them I was so impressed.

    Sometimes its the little things like this that really stir me up with creative ideas.

    This part really caught my eye,
    Warder Wrote:
    I have often built alot of roleplay around just such a premise. Conflict over ideals happens regardless of alignments to good or evil. 100% with you there Warder.
     
  4. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Having a character who thinks that magic corrupts is perfectly legitimate RP.

    However, so is having a character who considers magic to be a natural process in a magical world. Remember our characters are surrounded by magic. Magic isn't something you only hear about, it's something you experience, at least to some degree.

    Ever wonder why the characters aren't creeped out the first time someone throws a Night Sight on them? It isn't just that most people don't RP this basic game mechanic, it's that it makes sense the characters would be familiar with the concept of a Night Sight spell the same way IRL we're familiar with turning on an electric light.

    Now again that isn't to say it's not legitimate RP to have characters afraid of magic or more. IRL, many people have been afraid of science too. The fate of Galileo is an excellent example. What as Galileo if not a wizard of some type?

    Just that to have characters who don't consider magic corrupting, and who aren't afraid of it, isn't illegitimate either.

    Early on in your post you raise this side issue:

    which I will also address.

    As I use the terms (and I have no idea whatsoever how common my usages are), protagonist refers to the main character in a story, the one whose story is being told and the one the audience follows. Every UO character is a protagonist in his or her own story. The antagonist opposes the protagonist in some way.

    The Hero follows the good path, the Villain, the evil one. One can surely have a story with a Villain protagonist. One needs look no further than MacBeth and Goodfellas for examples.

    To me, and to my character Galen, you needn't have always been Evil to be the Villain. When you push too far, too fast along the Good path, you run a great risk of losing it. Regrettably there is no obvious test to know when you've crossed the line, but when you get to the point of burning alleged witches, you've probably crossed it a long time ago.

    You used the D&D terms so I shall....The group you described didn't remain Lawful Good. They merely considered themselves such.

    -Galen's player
     
  5. Bryelle Vaughn

    Bryelle Vaughn Journeyman
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    As mentioned earlier in this conversation these types of idea conflicts can happen over the most basic of principles. The game mechanics themselves, as Galen mentioned, tend to be taken for granted and used as something everyone is used to whether they should be or not. Another is the simple use of the Ninjitsu skill to change form. Something several of us have experience with, should actually shock the crap out of some rp characters and almost never does. A man changing form into a frog or a Unicorn can easily garner mistrust.

    Additionally, even the small use of blacksmithing was, in olden times, seen as magic because of the way the artist to sculpt the metal to their will.

    Fortune telling also falls under this category as does healing. How many of the pagan women and even Christian women were seen as Witches because they knew of Herbs that could treat a wound or an illness. And of course Alchemy can be brought into this too. There is a whole list of *game mechanics* that could be treated as evil or unnatural and therefore attract problems from townsfolk.