Wild magic (event)

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The Long Lead Up

  • 438-05-38(ish) (June/July 2021) - People started receiving occasional odd messaging when casting spells. During Hollow Eve 2021 (and 2022), several Merelew Greeters asked adventurers if they had been having these strange feelings, too.
  • Since at least 2021, a small portion of spell casts has resulted in "weird magic" messages about mana streams, often involving unexpected synesthesia. The weird fluctuations seem to be present across all types of spellcasting. All guilds see these sorts of messages at similar rates. The type of magic (augmentation, warding, sorcery, etc.) does not have an effect. At first, roughly 1 in 5,000 of casts. The initial batch of messages included:
Alarmingly, the familiar streams of mana seem shift entirely away from you for a moment.
You smell lush vegetation, the scent heady and intoxicating.  Your nose itches, and you sneeze.
Strangely, the familiar streams of mana seem to jitter out of your control for a moment.
The mana streams intertwine oddly, forming a curious knot.  The tangle relaxes.
As you manipulate the mana streams, you feel suddenly out of breath, and your heart begins to race.  After a moment, the feeling passes.
The familiar task is disrupted by a moment of synesthesia.  You hear the streams of mana come together as you complete your casting.
As you manipulate the mana streams, you feel like you are falling, and gasp in surprise.  The feeling passes.
The mana streams buckle oddly for a moment.
Something feels off.
  • Around December 10, 2023, these sorts of messages began appearing more frequently, reaching 0.9% by December 31, 2023 (a 40X increase). New messages also began appearing around this time:
For a brief moment, the mana responds with an unexpected surge, tingling through your fingertips like an electric current.
As you weave the mana streams together, a scream not unlike the scraping of metal on metal resounds, only to warp and be replaced with... laughter?
A momentary distortion in the mana reveals fleeting glimpses of distant landscapes, each branching and vanishing in an instant.
The ambient temperature drops noticeably as you manipulate the streams of mana, causing a shiver to run down your spine.
The mana takes on an iridescent glow, growing in brightness until you are forced to blink.  Then, the glow is gone.
As you manipulate the mana, an unexpected taste fills your mouth, reminiscent of bitter herbs.
The ambient temperature rises sharply as you weave the mana, a sudden wave of warmth enveloping you and making beads of sweat form on your forehead.
  • On January 5, 2024, a new batch of messages began appearing:
You smell the verdant scent of fresh grass.
Frighteningly, the mana streams suddenly disappear!  You blink in surprise, only to find they have returned.  Did it even happen?
The mana takes on an iridescent glow, growing in brightness until you are forced to blink.  Then, the glow is gone.
The mana streams stretch and droop languidly like ropes of elongated taffy, then snap back to normal.
The mana streams take on a sudden brittleness, snapping and crumbling under your manipulations.  After a moment, they return to normal, and you are able to complete your casting.
You are suddenly shocked with the bitter flavor of too-strong coffee in your mouth.
The mana streams twist and ripple suddenly like ribbons of seaweed underwater, then snap back to normal.
You hear a sound like cracking ice, and are struck with a sense of uneasiness.
Sounds suddenly mute themselves, until you find yourself completely deaf! Your heart pounds for several seconds, then, with a small *pop*, the auditory world returns.
You taste a myriad of fruity flavors in quick succession -strawberry, orange, lemon, lime, blueberry, grape, and taffelberry stick out to you among the chaotic jumble of sensations.
You suddenly taste an intensely sweet flavor, like too much icing on a cupcake.
Out of the corner of your eye, you sense a shifting in the mana streams, a languorous movement like that of coiling snakes.  When you turn to look, everything appears normal.
As you manipulate the mana streams, color seems to drain from your surroundings, momentarily leaving everything in shades of grey.
You smell the warmth of baking bread, the coziness of cinnamon and cloves settling around you.
The streams of mana before you suddenly appear to become shards of light, a profusion of crystallized growth blooming in clusters around them.  After several seconds, the crystals melt away and the streams appear as they always do.
Your nostrils are filled with the scent of the ocean, a mysterious depth to the smell that sinks into dark notes of salty chocolate.
The mana streams suddenly appear thin and threadlike, like the filaments of a spiderweb. They twitch slightly before returning to normal.
Your mouth goes dry with the taste of something cool and freshly alcoholic.
As you manipulate the mana streams, they rub against one another oddly, like a bow on the strings of an instrument. You hear a drawn out, discordant note.
  • 448-05-04 (March 2, 2024) - Mazrian hosts the "Investigating the Magical Mind" event, where adventurers participated in an experiment to try to recreate these oddities in a controlled way. Various mana types and spells were tested, with casters being observed, and other casters attempting to tamper with the mana streams to induce resonance or dampening, with the goal of inducing a similar state as the oddities. There were no conclusive outcomes of this investigation.
  • On March 9, 2024, all of the previous messages were replaced with more aggressive and violent ones:
The mana seethes with violent intent, thirsting for destruction and chaos.
The mana coils around you like a violent storm, ready to unleash its fury upon the world.
As you weave the mana, a violent sense of dread washes over you, chilling you to the bone.
As you manipulate the mana, a violent surge of pain shoots through your body, threatening to overwhelm your senses.
Your senses are assaulted by a violent onslaught of visions, each more disturbing than the last.
The mana pulses with violent energy, threatening to overwhelm you with its sheer intensity.
A surge of violent energy courses through your veins, causing your muscles to tense involuntarily.
Violent surges of mana erupt uncontrollably, crackling like lightning in your mind.
The mana pulses with raw, unbridled rage, eager to unleash its fury upon the world.
The mana streams twist and writhe violently, as if resisting your commands.
Your vision blurs as violent images flash before your eyes, disorienting you as you attempt to cast your spell.
As you manipulate the mana, you feel a sudden, violent pressure building within your mind, threatening to consume your thoughts.
The mana surges violently, pulsating with dark, ominous energy that threatens to consume you.
As you channel the mana, a violent surge of rage overwhelms your senses, driving you to unleash your magic with reckless abandon.
As you channel the mana, a violent sense of rage washes over you, fueling your magic with unchecked fury.
Your senses are assaulted by a violent cacophony of screams and wails as you manipulate the mana.
As you channel the mana, a violent sense of foreboding washes over you, warning of imminent danger.
A violent surge of power courses through your veins, leaving you feeling invincible and unstoppable.
The mana surges forward with violent intent, seeking to wreak havoc upon your enemies.
The mana crackles with violent energy, making you pause for a moment.
The mana surges forward with violent force, threatening to consume everything in its path.
The mana swirls around you in a violent maelstrom, threatening to tear you apart with its sheer force.
The mana twists and contorts in violent, unpredictable patterns, defying your attempts to control it.
The mana twists and contorts in violent patterns, defying your attempts to control it.
The mana surges forward with savage intensity, seeking to crush anything that dares to oppose it.
The mana surges forward with violent intent, seeking to annihilate anything that stands in its way.
With a violent roar, the mana streams surge forward, threatening to overwhelm you with their raw power.
As you weave the mana, you feel a sudden, violent pressure building within you, threatening to burst forth.
The mana surges forward like a crashing tide, slamming against the shore with relentless force.
As you manipulate the mana, a violent surge of anger courses through you, fueling your magic with raw emotion.
The mana coils around you like a violent serpent, ready to strike at a moment's notice.
  • 449-05-20 (June 13, 2024) - The magic oddities (sometimes referred to as surges) increased in frequency to 50%, eventually culminating on June 14, 2024 to occur on each and every each cast. Several meetings are held to discuss what this might signify, with no solid hypothesis. One idea that comes up is to try to reduce the amount of casting that adventurers are doing, but it's decided that would be too hard to orchestrate.

Magic is Out

449-05-184 (June 15, 2024) - Realm wide, people felt one of the below messages, depending on their mana type/Guild:

  • Pain stabs through your mind and body as your attunement to the breathing rise and fall of Life is suddenly severed! (Empath / Ranger)
  • Pain stabs through your soul as your attunement to the footsteps of the gods wavers and becomes lost! (Cleric / Paladin)
  • Pain stabs through your mind and body as your attunement to the elemental forces around you is suddenly severed! (Warrior Mage / Bard)
  • Pain stabs through your mind and body as your attunement to the heavenly bodies is suddenly severed! (Moon Mage / Trader)
  • Pain stabs through your scarred mind as your multifaceted attunement to the mana spectrum is suddenly undone! (Necromancer)

After this, attempting to use the magic system (such as prepare a spell, harness, invoke a tattoo, or use a wand) you would receive one of two messages. Magic was off!

  • [The magic system is inoperative at the moment. Sorry for the inconvenience.]
  • Strangely, you can sense absolutely nothing. It's as if magic didn't exist.

Over the next hour, we felt (in this order):

  • Your body trembles as your mind instinctively reaches toward that place where you usually feel your connection to magic. It is cold.
  • You feel a surge of mana reaching toward you! You instinctively reach out to grasp it. You struggle to hold on, but it slips away again, leaving you feeling exhausted.
  • You sense a fleeting trace of mana. It briefly grows stronger, but quickly fades away again.
  • Your senses explode and you are momentarily blinded! Mana overfills your being, and you struggle to control the flow! Just as suddenly, it seeps away, leaving you empty.
  • You feel a deep sense that something has changed. Your attunement to the breathing rise and fall of Life is restored, but it does not feel controllable!

Casting had returned, but with mixed results.

Wild Magic

Spellcasting became subject to the effects of wild magic, causing all sorts of unexpected effects while casting, and unlock a new magical research option, with results that seem to give ominous warnings about events to come.

Vile Plague Wraith Invasion

On 449-05-184 (June 15, 2024), shortly after the the Wild Magic release, there was an invasion of Vile Plague Wraiths throughout Shard, Zoluren and Therengia.

> look wraith
Held aloft by two expansive skeletal wings, the massive plague wraith towers over thirty feet tall.  Under its tattered cloak, a black mass of writhing insects and serpents cling tightly to a nearly fleshless skeleton.  Four elongated arms, covered in a tangle of scorpions and spiders, end in wickedly curved talons that twitch in anticipation of its next victim.  Practically obscured by the inky shadows cast by its voluminous hood, two flaming emerald eyes partially illuminate its malevolent hook-toothed skull.

Some of these creatures drop an emerald scarab medallion with a delicate gold inlay, which was cursed (meaning you could not drop it until it was uncursed).

Seeking out Anmuva

On 449-06-09 (June 21st, 2024): Spearheaded by Waydren of The Grey Dragons, adventurers tried to seek out the Kather druid Anmuva, to see if there was any useful information from that direction, and their connections with dragons. No firm answers were found, but it sounded like there was not a full consensus amongst the Kather, either.

See the log here.

Vigil for Phelim and Peri'el

On 449-06-14 (June 22st, 2024) Jaelia hosted a vigil seeking any aid that Phelim or Peri'el could provide in our understanding. While doing so, however, magic users were struck with a sudden experience in which they seemed to be saved by Meraud, and possibly Firulf.

The air takes on a honeyed-tone, and everything slows.  The ground seems to heave and you lose your balance.  After a moment, the sensation passes, though something feels very wrong.

The mana streams roil, and you are unable to make sense of the chaotic fluctuations!

<A message that varied by guild>

A gust of turbulent hot air billows around you, while an expanding ring of frost spreads around your feet.  You smell burnt sugar and your throat stings.

Your connection to the mana streams buzzes painfully, a pounding headache building as your ears throb and you squint against the pain!

Darkness begins to encroach around the edge of your vision, erupting with silvery star bursts.  You fight against the loss of sight, but everything begins to go black!  A wolf howls in the distance, and a golden lightning bolt forks across the darkness, restoring your vision!

The strange quality of the air fades, and the headache passes.  You take a shuddering breath and everything feels...  a little better?

The third message varied for different observers:

Cleric:

You feel yourself leaning over the edge of a cliff, empty and without Their grace!

Moon Mage:

You feel yourself leaning over the edge of a cliff, gazing upon the reflection of foreign and silent stars!

Necro (Redeemed):

You feel yourself leaning over the edge of a cliff, absent even Their snarled and threatening whispers!

Paladin:

You feel yourself leaning over the edge of a cliff, devoid of order and nobility!

Ranger:

You feel yourself leaning over the edge of a cliff, untended and incapable of growth or change!

Trader:

You feel yourself leaning over the edge of a cliff, gazing upon the reflection of dim and meaningless stars!

Warrior Mage:

You feel yourself leaning over the edge of a cliff, indistinguishable elements crackling and blurring together!

Changes to Wild Magic

In the wake of the vigil and the intervention of the Immortals, the nature of wild magic changed yet again. The highest highs and lowest lows of the wildly fluctuating magic were mellowed out, removing the mana burn and full attunement refill wild magic results. [1]


Planar Observatory Exploration

On 449-06-25 (June 25h, 2024) there was an expedition to the Planar Observatory to investigate if the view through the Planar Telescope would reflect anything to do with the changes to mana.

Adventurers gathered at the Asharshpar'i shard and those using astral guides were able to make it to the Planar Observatory, but began hearing voices which eventually resolved into the word "Liraxes". They heard from a voice that might have been Cashek gand Aldam urging them to leave, and threats from Pelag ai Aldam. They were also informed that "Liraxes is assembling itself".

The messages experienced were recorded available here.

Though typically disorienting, the Astral Plane is much more chaotic than typical. Streams of mana present as masses that ripple with a searing heat as they pass by, and you find yourself disembodied in an endless landscape of fractal light with no clear beginning or end.
Voices with no clear origin echo from every direction, whispering faintly a word that you cannot recognize, repeated as if echoing forever in the endless, formless Astral expanse that stretches beyond what you can begin to reason. The word is recursive, blending in and out of itself.

The echoing voice seems sharper -- much more focused, and aligned such that the word now comes to be as a single focus -- "Liraxes." The word itself is tangible, and yet formless, much like the remainder of the Astral Plane that you can observe.

A gentle, deliberate, seemingly benevolent voice echoes within your consciousness, drowning out the discordant chorus. "You bring yourself here with unclear purpose. There is little to gain -- only risk -- in this place with no deliberate action. Beyond here, the Microcosm is less stable than before, its integrity eroding. Even now, Liraxes assembles itself. Go -- remain safe." A pressure builds behind you, urging you in what you believe to be the direction of the Pillars, urging you to return to the comfortable safety of what you know within the Plane of Abiding.

Ominous mental static builds in the area. Incomprehensible thoughts infringe on your mind, making clear thinking about anything other than the word "Liraxes" an increasingly difficult feat. The nudging at your back becomes much more urgent. "Go! He comes!" Unlike most astral phenomena, the static does not go away after a few moments. In fact, it's getting stronger. Closer.

The benevolent voice fades, drowned out by a harsh, distorted one -- more formal, presented as if it were an incantation. "I was named Pelag ai Aldam." The benevolent voice returns, pleading that you leave before the something -- someone tears your consciousness to shreds. The benevolent pressure becomes a shove, and you find yourself in the Embalming Chamber of Telpengi'hhs Sara'a.

Even outside, a static builds in your mind. Voices with no clear origin echo from every direction, whispering faintly a word that you cannot recognize, repeated as if echoing forever in an endless formless expanse that stretches beyond what you can begin to reason. The word is recursive, and has no beginning or end.

The echoing voice seems sharper -- much more focused, and aligned such that the word now comes to be as a single focus -- "Liraxes." The word itself is tangible, and yet meaningless. The static builds to a strong pressure, before three words become very clear: "Liraxes assembles itself."

The last two messages were experienced by everyone in the vicinity of the shard, even those who had not entered.

Wild Magic and the Web of Fate

On 449-06-29 (June 26th, 2024) Miskton held an event for the purposes of performing event predictions on people who had been exposed to wild magic research. It quickly became apparent, as focusing on a character's future was followed by an unusual message:

Everything shifts weirdly, and you feel off... The feeling passes.

A number of predictions were performed on different characters, with the following visions experienced:

After a moment, you smell pine and feel the need to wipe sawdust from your hands. A wooden box rests in your hands, as yet unpolished, but expertly assembled with precise dovetails. Opposing pine and oak make for a striking contrast, and the lid appears as a fractional gap interrupting the grain. Before your eyes, the box appears to shift, and is now a smoothly interlocked orb. As you blink, the vision fades, and the box disappears.
After a moment, burning pitch stings your eyes and the sky shatters, dripping reflective shards of rainbowed light. You watch this strange skyfall, mesmerized by the tumbling images of the sky and land spinning in every direction. As you watch, the pieces pick up speed and begin to slam into the ground, exploding into crystalline fire and evaporating. Gaps in the sky writhe with bulges of nothingness, and suddenly, one of the shards slices your cheek! You gasp in surprise as crystal erupts along your face, covering your eyes, your vision skewing wildly. The vision fades, and everything returns to normal.
A bell is struck in the distance, an odd tone with several harmonics. You feel yourself yanked forward, falling to your knees, and when you look up, a large hexagonal bell etched in strange symbols hovers in the air before you. The bell is struck, and you are buffeted backward by the deafening sound. The vision fades, and you wobble uncertainty.
Your hands itch, and you clap them together in irritation. The feeling persists, and you cannot shake the sense of something left unfinished -- an orlog assembled but missing a final component. For some reason you are confident that while something is missing, the whole is operational. And you ponder this certainty, the stars begin to howl, and the sensation passes.
Acrid smoke wafts past you, and you turn around finding yourself face to face with the woman in the wide-brimmed hat, her cataract eyes staring at you as she grins a cruel half grin around a lit cigarillo. "This isn't my doing," She says, "Though I'm almost jealous at the scale. But it's calling itself Liraxes, eh? Curious choice. Well, we'll see where this lands." The smoke stings your eyes, and as you cough, she vanishes without a trace.
A rumble passes underfoot, and you cock your head straining to hear. A sound not unlike... sizzling oil? Rushes by again. You kneel, touching the ground gingerly, and feel it through your fingertips, the churn of hundreds of feet churning along. The ground erupts, and you fall, fall into a mass of appendages and digging claws, hearing the whispered word "Liraxes" echoing all around. Suddenly the feeling fades, and you look around in confusion.
The ground heaves, and a chunk of stone thrusts upward, grinding loudly. Several strange symbols burn into the sheer face of rock, and reassemble themselves into the letters "L", "I", and "R". The stone suddenly collapses into a pile of rubble, the pieces vibrating slightly. You blink, and the vision fades.
You find yourself surrounded by calm waters, a gentle sea breeze barely stirring the air. A trio of fish, one black as night, another blood red, the third a light blue, swirl circles around your feet. You look down and find yourself smiling at the three, seemingly unafraid. A fourth fish, pure white, swims in the distance, and the vision fades.
You stand before a cliff, looking down into a swirling maelstrom crackling with purple lightning. Echoes violently tear at the air around you, and you step back in fear. Far above, a slug-like creature drifts down, extending several tentacles and reaching for you. Suddenly, a lance of blinding light skewers the horizon, piercing the floating slug, which erupts into black slime as it falls into the storm below. A deafening explosion forces you to cover your ears, and the vision fades.
PAIN! Talons and barbs twist along your insides and you gasp in sudden, almost absurd agony! Your whole body tenses, and you turn slightly, finding yourself face to face with a hooded figure. A blinding rainbowed light tears from the figure's hood, and you make out a massive maw screaming "LIRAXES ASSERTS ITSELF!" before everything goes white. You blink, and your vision returns to normal, the pain receding.
Everything wavers, and you feel wildly disoriented. You find yourself looking down an endless hallway filled with featureless doors. One of the doors opens, and an old woman emerges, closing the door behind her. She turns to you, and waves a hand in irritation, and calls out in a firm but reasoned tone, "Alright, enough, you've pushed your luck enough! Go, before they take note!" She opens the door to step through, and you catch a glimpse of kaleidoscopic lights, swirling galaxies, and find your mind pulled forward. The door shuts, and locks, and the vision fades.

A short while after the last prediction, Miskton felt:

The stars vibrate slightly, and everything shudders as the mana streams realign, resettle, and briefly calm. You hear them singing, exhausted, and unwilling to share more.

And all those gathered then felt:

You feel odd a moment, and the feeling quickly passes. Everything feels... normal? again.

A full log of this event is available here.

References

  1. PM Lyneya, via Discord: link

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