The discipline and lore of the Shek-Pvar (Pvaric sorcerers) is the dominant form of magic among the "civilized" nations of southern Hârn (well, the Triadic nations, anyway) as well as in the Triadic nations on the Lythian mainland adjacent to Hârn. The Shek-Pvar are divided into six schools of magic, or Convocations, organized around a metaphorical Great Wheel as the illustration at the top shows. From "just after twelve o'clock" and going clockwise, the convocations are: There is also the realm of Neutrality, at the centre of the Wheel. Shek-Pvar use basically standard GURPS magic rules, with a few alterations: The various spells are divided among the six convocations and Neutrality. A Shek-Pvar belonging to a given Convocation (as nearly all Shek-Pvar do) has a somewhat reduced ability with spells of the two neighbouring (or Secondary) Convocations, a greatly reduced ability with spells of the two Tertiary Convocations (the neighbours of his Secondary Convocations), and only rudimentary ability with spells of his Diametric Convocation (the one opposed to his own).

The most accomplished sorcerers of each Convocation are able to climb with great effort to the pinnacle of the Pvaric arts, which lies at the centre of the Great Wheel, where the differences between the convocations fade. Such sorcerers are known as Grey Mages, and only they may originate new spells within the realm of Neutrality (indeed, they regard all magic as Neutral, and may originate spells of any type).

Pvaric Magery

Creating a character

To generate a Shek-Pvar character, select a Convocation; you'll be stuck with it until you die or become a Gray Mage. It is not recommended that Gray Mages be created as new PCs, although it's possible. The total cost of Convocational attunement is 28 pts; this counts as "Magery 3" within your Primary Convocation and with Neutral spells, as "Magery 2" within your two Secondary Convocations, as "Magery 1" within your two Tertiary Convocations, and as "Magery 0" within your Diametric Convocation (the last means that you can learn and cast spells that do not "require Magery", and gives no skill bonus). This is, in effect, "Magery 3" with a -20% limitation.

Option: It's possible to have "weaker" Pvaric mages. For an effective "Magery 2" in your Primary Convocation, and similarly lower levels of Magery with the other convocations (which means no ability with Diametric spells), pay 20 points. For an effective "Magery 1" in your Primary Convocation (and Magery 0 in the Secondary Convocations, and no ability in the Teriary or Diametric Convocations), pay 12 points.

The "standard" beginning Shek-Pvar PC has recently finished apprenticeship and started on his "journey" -- such a character should have about 10-20 points in spells, and is only allowed to know Primary and Neutral spells. Also, some other things should have been studied: All Shek-Pvar should be Literate, and have a fair general education in such skills as Theology (Triadic), History, Philosophy (Pvaric), Thaumatology, and probably a bit of Heraldry and Savoir-Faire. Since Mavari usually have to lend a hand in housekeeping (to teach humility as much as to get the housekeeping done; Mavari are largely drawn from nobility and the upper crust of the guilded class, which are not likely to be accustomed to manual labor from childhood), they might have a point or two in skills such as Cookery or Agronomy. Also, the different Convocations have separate "recommended" (i.e., almost required) skills:

The colleges from GURPS Magic are divided among the Convocations thusly: Also, every Convocation has its own versions of the spells Enchant, Powerstone, and Manastone. These are named (Convocation) Enchant, (Convocation) Sourse, and (Convocation) Reservoir, respectively. The (Convocation) Enchant spell is used for enchanting items with spells of that Convocation only. The Source and Reservoir spells function like Powerstone and Manastone, except that
  1. a "pure" elemental object of the convocation is used instead of a gem, and
  2. they can only be used to power spells of that convocation.
Similarly, there is Neutral Enchant, Neutral Source, and Neutral Reservoir instead of (not in addition to) just Enchant, Powerstone, and Manastone; these only function with Neutral spells (any old item will do to enchant as a Neutral Reservoir or Source). In order to enchant an item with multiple spells of different Convocations, the Enchant spell of each Convocation involved must be known, and the Power of the item is equal to the lowest skill level of all involved spells. Remember that Gray Mages regard all spells as Neutral, and therefore use Neutral Enchant, Source, and Reservoir with all spells.

To become a Gray Mage, you need a thorough schooling in all Convocations; the requirement is that you have put at least one point in each of at least 10 spells in each Convocation (and Neutrality), requiring at the very least 70 points in spells. When this requirement is met, the candidate must find a Gray Mage to help him across the threshold (or somehow improvise another way -- there must have been a first Gray Mage, at least), which boils down to receiving 7 points' worth of private tutoring (equating to 1400 hours, or 175 full eight-hour days). Once this is done, the character is a Gray Mage, with global Magery 3.

Social Organization

The organization of the Shek-Pvar is rather complicated. Suffice to say that they have four basic degrees: Mavari, Satia-Mavari, Shenava and Viran. These may be translated as Apprentice, Journeyman, Master and Honored Doctor. Apprenticeship usually begins no earlier than at age 14 (cases are known of apprentices well above 50), and concludes after about seven years, at which time custom dictates that the new Satia-Mavari leaves his place of apprenticeship and spends at least a year travelling in the world and doing further studies and research on his own. If the Satia-Mavari later returns and shows himself to have made a significant contribution to the Art (usually in the form of newly researched spells or otherwise relevant knowledge gathered by his own efforts), he is elevated to the rank of Shenava; only about half of all Satia-Mavari ever qualify. The rank of Viran is a purely social one, a sort of "inner circle" into which one is only admitted by invitation. It is reserved for those Shenava who over the years have built an exceptional reputation for skill and wisdom; only about ten to twenty percent of all Shenava ever make it to Viran.

The Shek-Pvar are not numerous; there are perhaps two hundred Shenava and Viran in all of Hârn, and maybe twice that many of lower than Shenava degree; these numbers seem to be fairly stable over the generations. Most Shek-Pvar are found in Chantries, which are a sort of almost monastic magical college; most Chantries are somewhat isolated from the outside world, but there are some which lie in the middle of towns. There is a significant minority of Shek-Pvar who live and work on their own, however, and some keep their location or even existence secret from their brethren. The greatest concentration of Shek-Pvar is in Melderyn, where almost all Hârnic Chantries are located; there is a similar concentration in Emelrene (which is Melderyn's "twin kingdom" on the Lythian mainland).

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Last modified: Wed Apr 30 16:46:36 DST 1997