Far Corners of the World01/14/2005

Spells of the Sky
(The Hidden Realm Above)

Cloudpost - Martina PilcerovaThe Far Corners of the World has traditionally turned its eye upon the remote corners of wilderness far from civilization. For this installment, however, we look not to the horizon, but up.

Just as the steaming jungles and frozen glaciers have magic and creatures of their own, the skies above are far from empty. Even beyond the classic myth of the castle in the clouds, plenty of reasons exist to explore the upper limits of the firmament. The celestial bodies have always held a fascination for terrestrial creatures; what exactly are they? What is it like to stand upon the moon? What exactly is the nature of a star? These questions have driven spellcasters to extremes in researching new magic, and much to their delight, they find that magic sometimes awaits them above the highest cloud and beyond the deepest blue -- wondrous discoveries from the hidden realm above.

Cloud Spear
Evocation [Air]
Level: Druid 4
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 0 ft.
Effect: Spearlike beam of moonlight
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial, see text
Spell Resistance: Yes

A shaft of roiling white vapor extends from your hand. You handle this beam almost as is if wielding a spear (gaining the benefit of any feats that apply, such as Weapon Focus or Improved Critical). Attacks you make with the cloud spear are melee touch attacks. The cloud spear cannot leave your hand while the spell lasts. A cloud spear deals 1d8 points of piercing damage on a successful hit, +1 per two caster levels (maximum of +7). Since the spear is immaterial, your Strength modifier does not apply to the damage. Any creature that takes damage from a cloud spear must make a Fortitude save to resist being transformed into white vapor for 1 round. A creature so transformed is treated as if under the effects of a gaseous form spell, but cannot move or voluntarily return to solid form.

Creatures with the Earth subtype take 2d6 points of damage, +1 point of damage per caster level (maximum of +15) when hit by a cloud spear, and they take a-2 penalty on saves against the gaseous form effect.

Level: Druid 6, Sorcerer/Wizard 6
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target: A Large or smaller creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

You envelop the target creature in a globe of wind and fog and then hurl it violently into the air. You determine where the creature lands, although the landing point must be within the spell's range. The maximum height the victim's flight reaches is equal to 5 feet per caster level, otherwise, the caster chooses the height when casting the spell. When the victim lands, it takes the appropriate amount of falling damage as set by this maximum height.

Creatures may take incidental damage from objects in the path of their trajectory, such as tree branches, flimsy roofs, or other yielding barriers. If this is the case, the victim takes an extra 2d6 points of damage in addition to the standard falling damage.

A creature that would strike an unyielding surface before it reaches the height of its upward fall cannot be targeted by this spell.

Rather than hurl targets into the air, you can use this spell to hurl airborne creatures to the ground. The targeted creature must be within 5 feet/level of the ground, and, if it fails to resist the spell, it is hurled to the ground and takes damage as if it had fallen from the appropriate height.

If you cast this spell outside and the victim does not encounter any yielding barriers during his upward fall, the maximum height reached is doubled (10 ft./caster level).

Illusion (Shadow)
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 9
Components: V, S, M, F, XP
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Touch
Area: One mile radius
Duration: Permanent
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

Skyrift cloaks a large circular region with a radius of one mile in eternal night. The focal point of this region must be an obsidian stele of at least 10 feet in height carved with arcane runes by the caster. Once the spell is cast, the sun never seems to rise in the region. The affected area is either dark or lit with shadowy light, depending on the conditions outside. For example, the area has shadowy light when the sun is up on a clear day. Artificial light sources work normally within the affected area. Creatures and magical effects that rely upon night to work can function at all times in an area that a skyrift cloaks. Likewise, beings and objects that sunlight harms can exist with comfort anywhere in a skyrift at any time of day.

This spell may be cast in outdoor areas only, although its area can contain structures provided they are wholly within the area affected. Viewed from outside, a region blanketed under a skyrift seems to be dark and gloomy, as if on an overcast day late in the afternoon.

Material Component: A scepter of onyx and obsidian worth no less than 5,000 gp which must be broken upon the face of the spell's focus.

Focus: An obsidian stele. Preparing the stele takes one week and costs 2,500 gp.

XP Cost: 500 XP.

Storm Prison
Evocation (Air) [Electricity]
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 6
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Long (400 ft. +40 ft./level)
Target: One creature or object
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Reflex partial
Spell Resistance: Yes

A sphere of crackling energy shoots out of your outstretched hand to strike a single creature or object. The ball of lightning deals 1d6 points of electricity damage per caster level (maximum 15d6) to the creature struck, and then encases the creature or object struck in a sphere of lightning and powerful wind. A successful Reflex save halves the damage done and allows the target to escape being caught; in this case the spell's duration ends immediately.

If the target fails its Reflex save, it becomes trapped in the resulting sphere. The creature floats in the center of the sphere, held in place by the powerful wind. Projectiles cannot pass into or out of the sphere. A creature caught in the sphere must make a successful DC 20 Concentration check to cast a spell. Any creature that comes within 10 feet of the trapped creature immediately takes 3d6 points of electricity damage (a successful Reflex save halves this damage).

As a standard action, you can move the sphere by mental will to the limit of the spell's range. The sphere moves at a fly speed of 30 feet (perfect). You can attempt to bull rush or overrun a creature with the sphere. It has an effective Strength score of 20 and Large size, for determining the modifiers to the attempt. Any creature successfully bull rushed or overrun with the sphere takes 3d6 points of electricity damage (Reflex save half). If the sphere is empty, a creature that fails this Reflex save also becomes trapped in the storm prison. A creature inside a storm prison as it is moved suffers no ill effects from any regions or hazardous areas you move the prison into, since the powerful winds and electricity around the creature shield it. Once the spell ends, though, this protection ends as well. If the creature was in the air at the time, it falls for the appropriate amount of falling damage.

You cannot cause a storm prison to move through water or other liquids.

Illusion (Phantasm)
Level: Bard 2, Sorcerer/Wizard 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target: One creature
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Will partial
Spell Resistance: Yes

With this spell, you attempt to fill the target's mind with the inescapable sensation of being perched over a terrible precipice. If the victim makes its Will save to avoid the effects of the spell, it merely experiences a brief bout of vertigo for no apparent reason and takes a -2 penalty on Balance checks, Jump checks, and Reflex saving throws for 1 round.

If the victim fails to resist the spell, it perceives that the surroundings change suddenly and become horrifyingly vertiginous. A person standing in an open field may suddenly believe that the ground has fallen away save for a narrow pinnacle upon which she stands. A victim on a ship may suddenly see a massive waterfall nearby and believe his ship balances on the edge of it. A target in the air may see the ground below drop away at a dizzying speed, or perhaps rush up toward her. In any case, the victim realizes that to move from its position is to invite certain doom. A victim that can fly believes that for some reason its ability to fly has failed; perhaps it believes its wings have vanished, as an example. It also takes a -4 penalty on all Dexterity-based skill checks, ranged attack rolls, and Reflex saving throws, and it is considered flat-footed. The victim is not otherwise helpless, and it can act to attack or defend itself; the victim perceives other creatures nearby as suddenly being able to fly or walk on the air, if necessary.

A victim of vertigo is not physically prevented from moving, though. The creature can, at any time, choose to step off its perch and into the perceived abyss, at which point it is filled with the sensation of falling for 1 round before it hits the cold unyielding ground. At this point, the victim can make a second Will saving throw against the spell, but this time at a -2 penalty. Success means the victim is dazed for the remainder of the round. Failure indicates that the victim takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage per caster level (maximum 10d6) as it perceives itself to strike the ground with terrible force. The next round, the victim may save against this spell again (at normal chances). Success indicates the spell's effects end, but failure indicates that the victim believes it has in fact landed on yet another horrifying perch over an abyss.

A victim that is bull rushed or otherwise forced to move is treated as if it moved voluntarily.

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