Magic: Eldritch

We thought we had her cornered— she was one, we were many. Yet a horrid grin stretched across her face, as she pulled on some invisible string and screamed as if in pain. A horrid, bladed limb burst from her flesh. The others were cut down in seconds, I lost my legs.
— An unfortunate victim
  Eldritch magic is rarely seen, at least— in the hands of humans. This powerful magic allows one to draw on the power of things unseen, at a great cost to themselves.

Playing with Magic

Eldritch magic is obtainable by any character in the Qet TTRPG!   Just make sure that your character can handle the cost...
 

Terrible Magics

The eldritch, things beyond human understanding— carrying a connotation that sends shivers down one’s spine. Humanity does not innately possess this magic, and must obtain it from beings who do. Eldritch magic can do truly impossible things.  
Beginners can summon forth a bladed alien appendage, grow extra legs, close and heal ally wounds, curse themselves and their enemies, or divert projectiles.
Experts can send forth a shape-warping shockwave, make allies or enemy weapons briefly incorporeal, or summon eldritch creatures to fight for them.
  Eldritch magic is power that comes at a cost, always. What this cost is, exactly, varies from case to case.  

Knowing the Unknowable

Eldritch power must be given by a patron— an eldritch being which one may commune with or otherwise gain power and knowledge from. There are many such beings throughout Qet, though finding them is another matter.   One must first be aware of their existence— possessing the proper insight is a prerequisite. Then, they must delve into the occult. Reading forbidden scrolls, gleaning hidden knowledge, finding those who have already gained power, or even simple luck can all lead one towards these beings. This knowledge is often hidden, and feared— so those seeking it must be careful in this pursuit.  
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Sacrifices

Once one has found a patron, they will need to make a sacrifice to prove their worthiness, their dedication, or simply amuse them. What, exactly, this sacrifice may be varies from patron to patron. One may tear out one of your eyes, another may ask you perform certain duties for the remainder of your life, and yet another may curse you with a chronic illness.   Either way, one cannot decline their patronage once it's offered, so one must ensure that they are prepared for the potential consequences before seeking eldritch magic. Each patron will have their own method of contacting their followers, should they wish to sacrifice more— and gain more power in return.   Once one has a patron, they may finally begin to choose what type of magic they wish to pursue. Each branch of eldritch magic will have a different set of spells, and a cost for casting them. One may sustain an injury, take on a terrible curse, or lose their lifeblood with each spell they cast.  

Protoplasmic Pugilist

Those who pursue this branch of magic will find themselves able to grow eldritch limbs. These limbs often act as weapons— including bladed arms, flesh whips, or utilities such as relocating their vital organs in order to evade attack.   A third hand will grow above one of the caster's own. This hand is invisible, except when needed. It has full range of feeling, but cannot move on its own. To cast a spell, they must break a certain number of its fingers.

Anatomical Artillery

Those who pursue this branch of magic will find themselves able to grow eldritch limbs. These limbs often act as weapons— including tendon bows, finger-spewing cannons, or utilities such as raising their eyes for a greater range of sight.   A third hand will grow above one of the caster's own. This hand is invisible, except when needed. It has full range of feeling, but cannot move on its own. To cast a spell, they must break a certain number of its fingers.
 

Sanguine Stanchion

Those who pursue this branch of magic will find themselves able to manipulate blood and wounds. This includes vampirism, clotting wounds, sewing wounds shut with capillaries, or boiling an enemy's blood.   Each time they cast a spell, their own blood will be siphoned off by an unseen force. This can be offset with vampirism.

Abyssal Aegis

Those who pursue this branch of magic will find themselves able to summon things from The Abyss. This includes profane walls, incorporeal barriers, swarms of eldritch beings, or rifts that lead directly to the Abyss itself.   They will gain a terrible curse for each spell they cast, but can shift these onto their enemies.
 

Comments

Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!


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Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
20 Oct, 2019 22:19

Annnd not disappointed. Its a lovely concept and I find myself wondering about the awesome ways this could work in a dnd campaign, as well as general storytelling. I do wonder if there are specific reasons for the sacrifices. Like, does everyone who gets the power from that entity need the eye on a hook or can it vary from person to person. Furthermore I'm also curious about whether the power is from focus or not. It seems like the Eldritch beings toy with lesser beings and just have them do this as a joke in a way. The punch line just happens to be power. Any chance I'm on the right path?

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
21 Oct, 2019 01:06

Mainly, I want a kind of low-magic setting. Wizards and sorcerers aren't just running amok— they are rare, and feared. I'm not terribly fond of the generic fantasy magic system that just...is magic with little to no explanation. So, I wanted players to have a price to pay for magic— and that price is different from patron to patron and player to player. Gryiinph, for example, requires the user to collect and consume the sap of man. Yuhlhezot plays an ironic joke on them, often to the user's detriment. Yaesheuhnahl requires a job to be done, and I've got an entire list of patrons to go down! The brakes are on for a little while though as I just need the 3 for the basic pre-alpha campaign.
  The focus is mostly another avenue for sacrifice, and furthering the idea that "hey, this is serious work— you aren't born magic. It's a commitment." It IS needed for casting, but it simply needs to exist to operate— acting more as a key than the door. As magic is outlawed in most of Qet, wearable, obvious focuses like classic D&D would NOT work here!
  Only some eldritch beings enjoy toying with lesser beings, some don't even know they exist— seeing us as mere ants or even bacteria. Some get something in exchange for offering power, some see it as entertainment, and many have motives we do not understand.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
21 Oct, 2019 03:59

PERFECTION! your answer is perfect. excellent analogy too with the key.

Mar Qaroll
Mar Qaroll
3 Mar, 2021 23:11

Flesh whips?! Moving vital organs?? Moving eyes?? D: Oh, my gosh, this is terrifyingly awesome magic! Eldritchy stuff indeed! I like it.   Being able to shift a curse, eh? Brilliant.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
3 Mar, 2021 23:31

Glad to hear I made a good choice mentioning specific spells in the rewrite! Thank you!

Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
6 Mar, 2021 15:19

Very good and scary take on magic! Well done!

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
6 Mar, 2021 18:46
12 Mar, 2021 20:56

Really good overview! I love the descriptions of the different branches of eldritch magic. They're all so interesting and delightfully weird! :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
13 Mar, 2021 02:52

Thank you! Hopefully they'll be fun in game, too!

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