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|Author:||Aperion [ Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:25 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Pale Master|
To understand the Pale Master, it is essential to understand the origins of the very first ones to enter the world.
The people of the sands, the Ammonites, originally came from another world. Through their oral traditions, it is learned that the world they came from was destroyed by the gods themselves when they decided that the world was too corrupted to continue existing any longer. As they turned on those who worshipped them, they found their Paladins, Clerics, and other divine spellcasters without power. The gods raised the dead to walk again and feast on the living, what they considered to be a fitting end for them. But the Ammonites refused to die so easily, and thus turned to the mysteries of undeath itself as a way to fight against the limitless hordes they were faced with. With the threat becoming more and more unstoppable, once shunned Necromancers came into prominence with their command of the undead, yet still free of its worst influence. Pale Mastery became critical to their survival.
It was not enough, as the gods continued raising more and more undead, and all seemed lost despite the power of the Pale Masters. However, they did give the Ammonites time they would not have had otherwise. The Ammonites made a defiant last stand against the gods, refusing to die, refusing to give up. Because of this, one god was impressed.
Tyrannos defied the will of the rest of his pantheon, and instead transported the entire desert to Wilwarin. After fighting the undead for so long, they finally saw an end to their battle in sight under strange stars. Despite the odds, they lived, and slowly began to rebuild. Pale Masters gained more permanent acceptance in Dun-Ammon as the keepers of the dead, and warriors against the undead. Under their care, the Ammonites prospered again. With Tyrannos as their guide, and other deities of Wilwarin gaining some measure of influence as well, they prospered. However, it would be generations before Clerics and other divine spellcasters would be seen without mistrust. The Grey Cabal, and its Pale Masters, became the most powerful influence in Dun-Ammon for the next several generations, overshadowing their divine counterparts. Even today, they still enjoy a great measure of influence among the people of the desert.
The Pale Master is the quintessential loremaster in all things dead, in the process of dying, or undead. Because of peoples' general revulsion around that last part, such people are shunned and actively hunted in most places in the world with some exception. For generations, Pale Masters have been and continue to be at a premium in the sands of Dun-Ammon due to the ever present threat the ancient corpses that show up walking around, spreading diseases, killing innocents, and other sorts of nastiness. However, unlike the Kingdom of Glorwing and other nations, the response Dun-Ammon had was not simply to employ Paladins or Sacred Knights to eradicate them, but instead study them and learn what they could of the advantages of undeath. It is generally accepted that Pale Mastery's birthplace in Wilwarin is in Dun-Ammon (This doesn't mean that others don't exist, but they are trained or discovered overwhelmingly in Dun-Ammon in particular).
In more recent years, Pale Masters and research into Necromancy has become an accepted wing of the Arbar University system through the Grey Cabal. Because of this acceptance, Pale Masters have become slightly less shunned in the world, especially since the most recent generations of them have shown far less interest in the study of undeath for the sake of power, but for more academic purposes. That doesn't make what they do any less grim, however. The Pale Master sacrifices part of her soul for the power over the grave. The process is called necrifying, and is reported to involve unimaginable pain. By the end of the process, the Pale Master has become a half-dead, or a proto-lich. This generally involves a greying of the skin, and at least one limb is usually sacrificed for the undead graft. As such, trying to explain the difference between a pursuit of knowledge and power, and describing necrification in the same sentence, usually ends badly.
When traveling beyond Arbar or Dun-Ammon, Pale Masters take careful pains to avoid detection, from make-up and gloves, to illusions cast to aid in their subterfuge. Most do so to avoid the predictable questions that general arise from having a skeletal arm.
What is universal is that no one does this and retains any sense of what is good and bad in the world. Once one crosses the threshold and delves into the study of Pale Mastery, such concerns are lost, no matter what the reason. People who never were interested in maintaining human morality and have a good aptitude for magic do tend to make the best Pale Masters. This moral flexibility is essential, though some manage to hold their ground against the corruption of the grave, and with each generation, there has been some improvement in the process of becoming a Pale Master.
Arcane casters of any variety may become Pale Masters. For wizards, it tends to be an intentional choice; at least more so than for bards or sorcerers. Still all three arcanists can, under the right conditions produce Pale Masters.
OOC Note: This is an interpretation of history commonly told, but there are many others that are also told. This is one that obviously favors and promotes the Pale Masters and Necromancy.
Hit Die: d6
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Special Lore Note: You are not required to be a member of the Cabal to be a Pale Master. They have a monopoly on them, but because of the Rifts, other Pale Masters have been known to show up elsewhere.
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