Mhirrian Rage

An Ozolithian Legacy

He felt the pain again as the stick struck his side. He gave a yelp and collapsed to the ground. He was young, about 17 and the man who towered over him looked rough with scars on his face. His grey hair made him look much older than a man in his 30s should look.
"Two weeks now. You don't feel it?" The boy shook his head in reply. "Get angry, boy." The man talked low and angry but never yelled. He struck the boy again and the boy brief out in pain writhing on the ground.
"If I was trying to kill you, you'd be dead. Your enemy won't show you mercy." The boy cried again as the man struck him once more.
"Stop!"
"What?" The man took a step back and tried to hide his smile. The boy was getting mad...
    Rage is the term used to describe a meditative trance-like frenzy that one enters when in battle. While this a broad definition it should be made clear that many warriors experience a state similar to this, but it is not the same thing. Rage is a specific experience that requires training and conditioning to take advantage of as most forms of Battle Meditation do.
The particulars of rage differ from one person to another. Different people have different ways of achieving it and different ways of using it.

3ef0f84b3e8d22c68938ac375068350e.jpg
 

Let It Go

While difficult to fully explain to anyone who has not experienced it, rage is a blend of psychological conditioning and a latent arcane power that exists within most living things While it is not an Arcane Genre in and of itself, Mage towers in Estoya have worked closely with the The Mhirrian Circles, who worked hard to preserve rage and ingrained it in the cultural genome in The Provinces of Mhirriah.

This correspondence has greatly increased the understanding of rage for both parties. For example, the circles once taught that one should not indulge in their rage too often and that the whole reason rage exists is because of the demonic forces that took their Homeland who act as a source for rage.

This idea made the people of Mhirriah believe that they are cursed. The towers proved this wrong and in a very surprising move the high matriarch acknowledged the religion's mistake and rewrote the doctrine which led to a huge rise in those who use rage in the nation. While the reasons why were hidden from the flock she did send a letter to each druidic circle explaining herself.  
We admitted the mistake for several reasons but the biggest issue is that there are so few things that bind the tribes together. We are a compilation of many cultures and rage is one of the few things that connects our nation. We've been able to suppress Pyromancy and when the towers refer to our beliefs on pyromancy as false we refuse to acknowledge it for that very reason, but this is different. We've never had something so integral to Mhirrian culture questioned. Call it into question and people are going to start looking at the Faith with skeptical eyes. It'll create a schism and that is something we cannot afford.
— The High Matriarch
   

A science and an Art

The power of Rage developed in the Empire of Ozlith, but it was the Mhirrians who perfected it. the sheer amount of work that went into the development of this unique art of fighting has developed a series of different ways of doing so. All of these schools of thought, however, seem to agree on two distinct elements that must be present to fully experience rage.  

Triggers

Triggers are the psychological element I've rage. A trigger, when talking about rage, is a condition or a scenario that must be present for the effects referred to as direction and manifestation to emerge. For some, this is as simple as the sight of blood or more specifically the sight of blood being spilled during battle, usually from one's enemy.
Other forms, however, emerged that instead decided to focus on personal injury. These individuals can often be seen going into battle with whips that they would hit themselves with to increase their rage, and like The Mad Legion before them, would carry ritualistic daggers into battle that they would carve themselves with.
Another common form is the use of intoxication where an individual will enter rage upon experiencing the effects of a narcotic usually a very powerful stimulant or hallucinogens.    

Direction

There are two directions rage can go the first is internal the second is external. Internal rage is the act of empowering the self-making one very difficult to kill and able to sustain significant damage before even be given to feel the pain or possibly to make themselves stronger than the average person possibly could be. The external direction is where the arcane elements come in and show themselves. Rage can affect those who see it just as much as those who experience it. It can demoralize foes or send them into a frenzy that is uncontrolled and makes them prone to mistakes. Some have even heard maddening whispers that cause confusion and hallucinations while fighting enraged opponents.
"Please..." The boy stammered and the man hit him again before kneeling down to him.
"Do not beg me to stop. Make me stop!" The pain of another blow hit him but at this point he was numb. The boy stopped writing, confused at that fact. Why didn't that hurt? He thought to himself. The man struck again in the same place and he felt it even less. The boy cracked a smile of disbelief. Maybe the old man was onto something. Pain is only temporary. The man noticed his silence.
"Brandon? Are you alright?"
"I said stop." The boy muttered. Strange, he thought, that's not what i intended to say but it works just fine. The boy stood and felt almost dizzy. The first thing he saw was his father, smiling wide for some reason before winding back for another swing of the stick...
 

young-june-choi-digital-fantasy-artist-31.jpg
 

Blaze of Glory

The way rage manifests can vary depending on who you are and how you were taught. The way it manifests, however, is often the clearest indicator that one has actually successfully entered a rage. Due to the incredibly subjective nature of the art, it is difficult for someone to determine whether they are experiencing rage or not. While it does vary there are a few key indicators that determine an active state of Rage. A few good examples would be a massive dump of adrenaline into the bloodstream, complete dilation of the pupils and a series of sensations that differ from person to person.
One such example would be going temporarily color blind and only being able to truly see the color red or some other color the individual fixates on. For those who are more magically inclined, certain magical effects that are unintended may occur such as red electrical arcs emanating from the body to the ground and a glowing of the eyes. The first time an individual experiences rage I can be a very terrifying experience. This fear dissipates very quickly as the rage takes over and begins guiding individuals actions.

Mhirrian Rage cover
     

Origins Of Your Rage

What rage truly is or does cannot fully be explained as previously stated but one can infer based mostly on where you're rage comes from, in other words, your triggers.    

Blood

The so-called blood rage is very much so the most common form of Rage. The trigger is obviously blood through either the sight or smell of blood the individual enters the rage sometimes almost immediately without even having to think. The experience is often described as if one is going to sleep or lulled into a drunken stupor. The more blood the more powerful the rage becomes. The towers and the circles are both in agreement that the primary reason that this rage works is due to a primal instinct that can be unlocked by conditioning it to be a psychological trigger. Some individuals who utilize the blood rage condition themselves to only trigger when the blood of an ally is spilled. This often results in more external effects meant to boost and allies resolve or give them strength to overcome the wounds they have sustained. Most, however, respond to an enemy's blood resulting in primarily internal effects. Many claimed that they pass out witnessing the events almost as if they were dreaming. This dream-like concept adds to the idea of primal instinct in that something buried within the psyche takes hold and the conscious mind gets put on the back burner.  

Pain

Another very common form of Rage, what is also referred to as scaling rage focus is far more on personal injury than that of an enemy or an ally. This form of rage is incredibly similar to blood rage as one can fixate over the spilling of their own blood. Like blood rage, it is thought that this form of Rage also comes from a primal instinct as most living organisms do not like seeing their own blood spilled. Some actually go so far as to fixate on the feeling of pain itself. Instead of focusing on the blood spilled the individual will focus on the sensations that the wound is causing both before during and after the application of the wound. This usually applies internal effects and very rarely are there external effects applied. mostly the external effects have very little to do with the mystical channeling of magical energy and more to do with the horror of seeing an individual willingly put themselves through pain to make them more adequately able to kill you.    

Intervention

Some individuals are not triggered by the sight of blood be at their own or another's. They are also unfazed by the feeling of pain or rather unwilling to fix upon it. In such circumstances, rage can actually be gained by tapping into some form of arcane power. Sometimes this power is one of the many energies of the universe other times it is the will of a Celestial being. This form of rage is directly translated from that of the Mad Legion as it was their chosen form. The Rage of the Mad Legion came directly from the Mad God and the many horrific sites he showed his centurions. While the source of this rage varies based on the cosmology of the world, it has proven to be remarkably effective.  

Intoxication

A newer form of rage involves taking various substances to achieve an intoxicated state. This state often triggers the rage and can be used both for internal and external effects. The practice was first seen in the highlands when a Berserker chose to infuse his blood Rage with the effects of a hallucinogenic mushroom that grows in the forest. The berzerker found new effects the previously he was unable to utilize. Such effects include seemingly slowing down time allowing more time for reaction and euphoric sensations that enhance the rage. Since then the people of Erzhabell took the reins and began making various cocktails to achieve the best possible rage for a given situation. One often has numerous poultices and tinctures they can use to achieve specific results. Magic often has nothing to do with this form of rage. Since everything is artificial one needs very little in the way of arcane training. On top of this, the overall conditioning happens much quicker as it is much easier to learn how to enter the rage state.  
cb27874fcbde11a1860079b66973954e--writing-characters-female-characters.jpg
     

unchained

The Chosen form of Rage Mhirriah, The Warrior Empress herself used, the Unchained rage is the most psychological form of rage. While Magic has its place in this form the focus is more on teaching the mind to let go physical tethers like pain and fear and in some cases death. Mhirriah championed unchained rage and found that own can actually condition the body to forget its mortality, hunger, pain, and other negative nonsense that gets in the way of battle. Those who are unchained are remarkably vicious in battle and tend to throw themselves into light blows for a chance at landing a killing blow of their own.
Type
Natural

Magic and Rage

The fact that many who use it channel some form of Arcane, those who use the arcane find it incredibly difficult to do so while enraged. Usually, the only magic that can be used with rage effectively is that of Ozlithian Branding, Ozolithian Axioms, and Arcana Formulae. Arcana Sanguis is also an exception though it could take years to learn how to manage the genre while enraged.          

Training

The training of this unique skill is often a personal experience and only the one training can determine if they are improving. Many small groups have emerged that have their own systems of training. The berzerkers in the highlands, for example, have a master-apprentice system whereas the sea shaman if the highlands often seek the aid of hurricane spirits to teach them how to feel what they refer to as the Rage of the Inner Ocean. One of the main differences between learning the process of entering a rage and improving your ability to use rage is an experience. Some forms of rage cannot be taught but instead show up randomly as if a beast Within has been Unleashed. In some rare occasions, ancestors of the enraged are the cause of the rage filling the mind with sensations of countless battles. In these cases getting better is often a difficult thing to do but generally comes with using the skill and analyzing your own abilities after the fact. Those who enter a blood rage often find themselves able to focus that rage on copper targets and become far less damaging to allies near them the more they use the skill. In the case of the sea shaman, their rage can often be accentuated if they prove to the spirit that they fully understand the rage of ocean storms. Even with the Berserkers, the master can only teach so much and it is up to the student to fully understand their capabilities and practice using them. Often times the progress made is small but noticeable enough. The process of mastery is lengthy and rigorous. Rage can be exhausting and often times at least, in the beginning, it is an everyday activity.    
Time seemed to slow for the boy, he saw his father winding back for the swing and the moment seemed to last ages. He felt his blood boil, and an urge to move. The color in the world seemed to fade away. He reached out impulsively and caught the stick in his hand while his face twist into the happiest anger he ever felt in his life.

Comments

Author's Notes

Don't forget to like if you enjoyed the article and I am aware that there are all kinds of grammatical errors here. Once I hit a lull I will be adding links, more flavor text, and proofreading the articles thoroughly. For now, im really looking for ideas on how to expand the article with more content for my players to enjoy. A major inspiration for this particular article is this here link. While many didn't fit the setting i thought the idea of delving into rage more thoroughly would be fun. Thanks for taking the time to read my work and any critiques are welcome. http://www.infobarrel.com/50_Shades_of_Rage_Flavoring_The_Barbarians_Signature_Power


Please Login in order to comment!
18 Dec, 2018 16:54

Thank you for the Authors notes. This article certainly needs some proofreading but conceptually and content wise it is on point. You do a great job exploring the topics of this physical law. It almost feels like a condition as well, an affliction on these souls to grow into such a rage.   You mention training a few times in the article, stating that it requires training to get a mastery of it. Is there a place or process you have to go through to hone your ability to enter this rage? From a players standpoint it might help to learn how they can refine this ability to use it more efficiently. Also I feel like if you really wanted to go the extra mile, you could intersperse a narrative within this article. A warrior learning to use his rage or something of the sort.   Keep up the great work!

18 Dec, 2018 18:47

This is a really cool way to try and contextualise a game mechanic into the narrative world. I'm assuming this is an RPG setting. If so you might want to highlight any house rules your using that may differentiate this from standard rage rules (if any).   I think that some of your spelling, punctuation, and grammar needs improvement but that's already been stated. Moreover I think that some of your stylistic word choices need improvement, for the sake of consistency and tone. For example, a High Matriarch using the phrase "mash up" seems a little anachronistic to me. There's a few other instances like this.   My question would be: If it's not wholly magic, and not wholly psychological; what is it? Maybe this is thing you want to keep secret from players... But it would be interesting to think about the origin of this type of 'semi-magic'. Who were the first people to use it and hone it to an art? How were the different types of rage in your side bar discovered? Who discovered them? Etc.   I'm also thinking that there might be a tenuous link with warlocks here...? Like maybe the rage comes from a demon, and you're just channelling them in the moment?

18 Dec, 2018 19:27

Ok so firstly thanks for the comment and in-depth critique. I'll keep an eye out for yours and respond in kind :)   Secondly yes it's a rig setting for a system i built and use and hopefully, one day may publish. I always want mechanics to be reflected in lore so thanks for showing i succeeded. The rules themselves will be added in meta articles I'll be making once WE are over as they are written and would buffer my word count too much. That be cheating to me. Lol, grammar stuff is lacking and I'm sorry about that. I write in a frenzy and don't consider it lol what i mean to say about magic and psychological stuff is that it depends on what kind you use. Some are entirely magical other such as unchained is entirely psychological. I haven't added the links but rage initially came from the mad legion and I'll be sure to add how each kind of rage was discovered. Didn't think about it and now i am inspired. Thanks. The main difference is that a warlock (in5e i assume) makes a pact. While this is certainly a way to get rage it isn't the only one. Rage is an anomaly that blends magic within everyone and psychological conditioning. I need to clarify this. Mages discovered that in a rage, the individual is channeling arcane energy but it isn't directed. Therefore it isn't magic, just a form if meditation.

18 Dec, 2018 23:00

You are right in that there are some gramma things (and the first sentence in triggers i think is messed up) and some links with little nice excerpts would be really nice, but sounds like you'll be adding that too. I really liked the general structure of the article, especially the part with the story where you get bits all the way through. Maybe some more examples of it actually being in "use" would be nice, maybe some famous users or battles, or a description of how one would go about training for it, to make understanding the practical uses of the ability/condition easier. Also can i just say, those images are gorgeous. I hope this was useful to you, and nice job.

18 Dec, 2018 23:09

Yeah I'll be reworking it and ill proofread more thoroughly before posting as well. I'll work on adding some more examples of use and i have a battle in mind so I'll work on that during revision as well hmm I'll try to add some more specific details about how its used. It took me a whole to get the images as well. Credits will go up soon WE is almost over and I'll be going through, oriofreading linking and citing all articles. Thanjs for the kind words and the awesome critique. I'll respond in kind sion

Powered by World Anvil