Clerical Magic is one of two main ways to cast magic, at least if you follow the definitions of the scholars in the Ximaxian Academy. Generally stated you could say that "Clerical Magic is the kind of magic which deals with believing in other possibilities of the aura, depending on the caster's faith in certain deities and supernatural support. Clerical Magic is orginal as well as meta-magic, meaning that clerics may cast either own spells but also Raw or Elemental Magic in an indirect way. What spells clerics can cast depends on their religious membership and in case other persons are involved the effect of the spell is determined by these persons' beliefs as well." (cited from the Magical Almanach of the famous Xeuátan Khaelvan III.)
Clerical spells can be very different, depending on the God the cleric believes in, so various races and tribes can also have other forms of Clerical Magic. Unlike other mages beginning clerics also don't have to rely on the use of reagents, but have trust in their faith only. However, tomes of prayers are quite common among clerics. They contain mantras and short prayers. Each mage/cleric usually carries such a book with him/her and transcribes newly learned spells into these books. Consecrated amulets, rings, wands or simple symbols of faith are also said to strengthen the bond between the Gods and the clerics and can often be found as part of a cleric's equipment.
Picture description. A priest of the Order of the White Knights. Picture drawn by Quellion.
Clerical Magic revolves greatly around faith in a
and the powers their God/Goddess
bestows upon them. The strength of the clerics'
power is directly related to their faith. Simply put:
If one believes that their God/Goddess
will give them the power to cast, then they can. On
the other hand deflecting a cleric's
magic is a difficult task
- it requires a defense through physical,
magical or clerical
skill. One cannot "disbelieve"
away a fireball, once it is generated.
Unlike Elemental Magic, unsuccessfully casting of a spell can have a mental impact on the cleric. His/her faith in his God/Goddess may decrease, making the caster less apt to cast again successfully. Many Clerics have unsuccessfully casted spells so many times they can no longer cast; they only profess a mental faith rather than a faith of the cár'áll.
Least fortunate for the Clerics is the small breadth of their skills. The God/Goddess they invoke controls what exactly can be casted. The Cleric therefore has only a limited range of spells which can make him painfully weak and an easy target for others. However, a gathering of clerics of a similar faith can produce devestating results that can far surpass that of mages; such as the Year of Darkness invoked by the Foirosian Clerics.
Background. If you ask a cleric (be it a Santharian, an orc or a Kasumarii) about how his magic works, he will of course answer you that his God endowed him with magical powers and that the spells he obtained from the godly presence prove not only His/Her existence, but also His/Her might. Scientific research in this field is often seen as contradictory to the principle of belief, on which Clerical Magic is based on. However, we'd like to give you a short glimpse on how Santharian scholars of the Ximaxian Academy try to explain this kind of magic from the scientific point of view as well:
As a matter of fact the magical powers of clerics can't be denied, but the explanation of their sources has to remain questionable - or how would it be possible that two clerics of different cultures/races both can receive blessings of their Gods, who both claim to not tolerate any other Gods?
The key to casting Clerical Magic therefore lies in the faith, the belief of the spellcaster and not primarily in the existence of a deity (we apologize in advance to all priests and clerics about this scientific reduction of metaphysical issues and fully understand if such theses are rejected from their point of view): "Belief" affects the elements and the Xeuaía (the connections between the elements). Not directly, by influencing an element in a focussed way, but in modifiying the pre-conditions for the existence/combinations of certain elements/Xeuaía so that the unreal becomes reality because the conditions changed. You don't concentrate on achieving something special with your mind, but affect your whole surroundings so that certain things become possible. As the elves would say: "As Avá [the High Elven Goddess] dreams the world, so does the one who believes in her glory dream as part of Her world. He dreams through the help of Her servants, the Gods, of a shift within the Great Dream [our reality] - and thus he dreams of dél [casts magic]." (Kára'kái, "Book of Dreams").
An easy example of belief: Sometimes people think so hard about something that they forget everything else and it becomes reality for them, simply because they have reached this state of conciousness by denying other things which influence their apperception. You might think that e.g. you visually see an apple if you meditate and deny other realities. The apple will then appear, not mainly because you focussed all your thoughts on the apple, but because you keep everything disturbing about the apple's viusal appearance away.
You see that belief not only affects yourself. Your belief can affect others as well, e.g. if you cast a healing spell - if the target believes in the success of a clerical healing spell, he/she will be healed faster as the Xeuaía are strengthened by a joined faith. If you want to heal a pagan the spell will often have much lesser effect (depending also on the belief of the caster), while inanimate objects (natural or artificially produced) usually can't negatively influence the magical energy of belief.
Scientifically spoken Clerical Magic can be explained this way: You either (re-)order the cár'állía through your belief or send vibrations through your surroundings which shake the elements and the Xeuaía (clerics of course would calim that it's their Gods' work). If you're good at this you will be able to achieve certain results you desire as if you would focus. Spells of clerics therefore are much more difficult to cast and will take a much longer time than other spells, which are focussed.
Clerical Faiths. As long as a cleric believes in a God/Goddess and has trust in the potential of his faith, he can invoke the God/Goddess to bestow power upon them. The list below covers the 12 common Santharian Gods (worshipped by humans and elves alike, called the Avaría by the elves), as well as the prime God of the dwarven faith; Trum-Baroll (the equivalent to the Santharian Urtengor):
AND ELVEN FAITH
~ THE WIND GODS
a) Eyashan Clerics
The Eyashan (ey-ya-shan) Clerics are the self-designated peace keepers. Eyasha allows them to invoke peace and calmness within the caster and the target. Hypnosis, Clouded Sense and Complacency are common invocations of these clerics. However, the Eyashan goal is not ultimate peace as one might think, as these clerics understand pretty well that there must always be an universal balance, an equilibrum of all things existing. Their goal can be described as contentment with all things, which also reflects in the kind of spells they cast and the way they do so.
b) Grotharian Clerics
Grotharian (gro-thar-ee-an) Clerics are controllers of the weather. They are capable of generating and influencing weather phenomenons remarkably similar to some Elemental Magic spells, especially wind and water ones, which also often deal with intensifiying certain enviroment structures, responsible for weather conditions. Their ultimate goal is difficult to define, but one might call it "unpredictability". Grotharian Clerics wish not to be ruled or dominated; they are free spirits.
c) Nehtorian Clerics
Nehtorian (neh-tor-ee-an) Clerics follow Nethor, the God of Healing, and as the humans and elves worship Nethor differently their powers are also not exactly the same. Human Nehtorians can detect injured or diseased creatures and address their illnesses or ailments with remedies and cures not known by the common house-wife or ranger. Elven Nehtorians are able to tap their target's life-force (cár'áll); they can drain it from the target or augment it with their own. The Nethorians' ultimate goal is always the same; to touch the creation of Avá while staying seperate from it. Nehtorians are known for seperating themselves from society; while some prefer it, some live a life of aching.
~ THE EARTH GODS
a) Arvinean Clerics
Arvinean (Ar-vin-ee-an) Clerics are some of the more frightening. These clerics are capable of heightened senses in themselves and others; however, they are only capable of being used in a hunt. The ultimate goal of any Arvinean cleric is to challenge themselves, to bring down a bigger prey, hunt a smarter animal, use less weapons and more skill.
b) Quepruran Clerics
Quepruran (quep-ruur-ran) Clerics are thought to be the most dangerous, but their skills are subtle. Waning, Silencing the Cár'áll and Death Ache are some of the stronger invocations these clerics can do. The goal of the Quepruran Clerics is to understand death and pain through all its forms, which doesn't necessarily have to be a bad or evil intention. Nevertheless it is known that certain Queprurans are disfiguring their bodies through this process to elevate themselves in the eyes of their Goddess.
c) Urtengian Clerics
Urtengian (Ur-teng-ee-an) Clerics embrace interesting talents. A rich man's kitchen is incomplete without the blessing and the hand of a cooking Urtengian. Also a good foundry or blacksmith demands that a forging Urtengian should be present at all times. Either of these professions is unkempt without one. An Urtengian's goal is quite simple: to create the best. They rate themselves on the judgement of Urtengor: Would he wield this weapon? Would he find this meal satisfactory? Those are questions they ask of themselves in order to increase the results of the productivity, of which they are famous for.
~ THE WATER GODS
a) Baveran Clerics
Baveran (ba-ver-an) Clerics are, well, "interesting", to say the least. Their ability to detect water sources and manipulate lakes and seas is unsurpassed, and their ability to read water's history and potential is as if Baveras reads it Herself. The Goal of the Baverans is to understand every spot of water, every grain of sand. It is a very difficult task, but those that embrace Her are not doomed to fail.
b) Jeyriallan Clerics
Following the Goddess of the Harvest of all kinds, the Jeyriallan (jey-ri-al-an) Clerics are seers of the birth to be. They can detect genders of children, precise fall bounty numbers in the spring, and are blessed guests at weddings, births and harvest celebrations. The closer to Jeyriall one gets in faith, the more potent Her presence becomes. Some particularly blessed clerics are said to be caplable of letting grow full trees with simply a seed and a touch... unforunately, these clerics tend to fade from the eye of society after they are blessed in this fashion.
c) Seyellan Clerics
The Seyellan (say-ell-an) Clerics are probably the most beneficial clerics. They are capable of seeing the future and the past in their mind's eye. Their accuracy on such predictions completely depends upon the faith of those they read; they are precise with believers, and stumble miserably with the skeptical. Blindness to these Clerics is a blessing, and to be fully capable of seeing without their true eyes is considered the closest they can come to Seyella.
~ THE FIRE GODS
a) Armerosian Clerics
Armerosian (ar-mer-oss-ian) Clerics are blessed with the power to invoke patriotism and strength during a battle or fight. The most beneficial clerics to any travelling party, a country may summon thousands of Armerosian clerics to invoke Armeros' might into the troops. The goal of these clerics is to win honorably. Honor is very important to them and they are steadfast in what they believe to be right.
b) Etheruian Clerics
Perhaps the most mysterious of all, the Etheruian (eth-er-roo-ee-an) Clerics are capable of manipulating the mind to excess and greed. Etheruian Cerics are not well-liked, but are used by many shady businessmen to manipulate their customers. Etheruians are always challenging themselves to manipulate stronger-willed people; knights, other clerics, crowds, and this also exert power upon others. They especially enjoy manipulating one another, they make even competitions of it from time to time. Thus Etherus is also seen by many as the God of Thieves and Rogues, of Betrayal and Lie.
c) Foirosan Clerics
Foiros is the Burning God. The Foirosan (foi-ross-an) Clerics can invoke desire in their target or rationality and calculation, if they manage to focus desire in a certain direction. The choice is up to the caster's abilities, depending on the faith in his God. It is also said that the Clerics of Foiros were capable of manipulating the circles of the sun, which resulted in the Year of Darkness (1649 b.S.). If at all, these spells can only be invoked by a large number of participants in spell casting. The Foirosan Clerics ultimate goal is to find truth. They wish to respresent and uncover morality and honesty in the whole of the world; they can become zealous. These clerics are difficult to sway as once they believe they have the Truth, and may refuse to listen to rational arguments.
ADDITIONAL ELVEN FAITH
Elven clerics can breach the span between Clerical Magic and the power of School Magic. As they can be schooled in Xeuá and Ecuá Magic, a strong faith in their High Gods, Avá or Coór, will assist them greatly in their training. However, as only elves believe these High Gods; so human Avárian or Coórrean clerics are amazingly rare, if not nonexistant.
a) Avárian Clerics
Avárian (a-va-ree-an) Clerics have the ability to create and form things with their power. Their spells are similar if not the same spells as Xeuá mages; though the Clerics' breadth and strength in spells far surpass the common mages' abilities. The main goal of the árian is to balance the power of the Coórean clerics while ensuring that all the other Clerics keep the balance within themselves.
b) Coórean Clerics
Coórrean (coo-or-ee-an) Clerics have the ability to destroy and dissipate things with their power. Their spells are similar if not the same spells as as Ecuá mages; though the Clerics' breadth and strength in spells far surpass the common mages abilities. Coórrean Clerics are fearful and destructive; they care nothing for balance and seek to destroy the Dream of the universe, in which the elves believe. They are constantly countered by the Avárian and usually can always be found within particularly close proximity to one another.
Unlike elves and humans, dwarven clerics are much more rare. One reason for this maybe is that all dwarven beliefs are focussed on Trum-Baroll (Rock-Father), the equivalent to the Santharian Urtengor, God of the Forge. Another reason may lie in their earth-boundness of the dwarves, so that they are better physical workers and/or warriors than a race of magicians.
Trum-Baroll Clerics (also referred to as Dwarven Clerics)
These clerics cast much differently than the similar Urtengor of the Avaría. They have a wider breath of power, and some clerics prefer to focus on one aspect of Trum-Baroll's power. Some focus on the forge, others in mining, while still more focus on strength or steadfastness, typical dwarven virtues. The goal of a Trum-Baroll Cleric is always to come out on top of their chosen field: to accumulate the most jewels, to construct the best weapons, to be stronger than all others. Trum-Baroll Clerics do especially enjoy competing.
Information provided by Viresse