||Mardrash is the Chief Priest of Temple Hengroth, charged with training promising local followers of the dark masters in the art of Dark Magic. Mardrash is a human of Vassan (Arabic) descent; all his acolytes are of mixed origin, however. Mardrag is not particularily fond of his students; he doubts they hold the same reverence for the Dark Masters that he holds. Mardrash is even more disdainful of the goblins of the village. He dislikes goblins anyway and hasn't found any reason not to dislike these as well. It is difficult to see why Mardrash dislikes them; he is uncouth, unkempt, foul-mouthed and ill-tempered — all qualities he shares with them. He manages enough of a veneer of civility to keep relations with Shardakh cordial. He does appreciate the added security the village provides his temple.
Mardrash, Senzal and Thuram will not actually show hostility to the party unless it is discovered that the Priests are Dark magicians. In actual combat they will work at cross purposes. Mardrash and Thuram will attempt to throw the acolytes into the front ranks of the fray while Senzal will act to protect his charges. If the Priests are fighting together and they are clearly winning, Thuram will magically lock any exits which might allow the party to escape. If things go poorly the Priests will flee, using Thuram's ability to cover their exit. None of the characters, Priest or acolyte, will fight to death by choice.
In his position as a priest of the Dark Religion, Mardrash possesses a rod and amulet of power, both bearing the sign of his masters. The amulet must be worn on the forehead while using the rod for it to exhibit any sign of Black Magical power. The rod acts as a spell power enhancer for all Black Magical spells (x3 range or intensity).
The use of these artifacts, or, indeed, the use of black magic spells, has a corrupting effect on the user. Any adventurer who retains these items and uses them to cast Dark spells will find his actions and his attitudes affected, slowly being seduced to the lure of evil. (For play purposes, the GM needs to take a hand, directing the Player's actions if need be.) These items have great resale value, though, fetching upwards of 1200 gp apiece if the seller patiently searches out an appropriate buyer (a Lord who secretly wants to skill himself in the Dark arts, for example).
Note: The GM must use his discretion in regards to those items having a resale value listed. Such items, particularly those with a high money value, can only be sold in the larger town and only after some effort on the part of the player. The GM should probably roll to determine whether a buyer even exists for each unusual item. Attempting to sell an item of Dark Magic should also constitute a hazard in its own right, with the possibility of encounters with agents of the Dark forces or with suspicious local officials.
Autonomous, Resist (willpower)
A sorcerer may attempt to blind a target of up to 3 SIZ per intensity. If the target fails to resist, it loses any vision based senses for the Duration of the spell. It is often used in enchantments subtly inscribed into the covers or pages of dangerous books, or runes warding the doors of private libraries.
Autonomous, Resist (willpower)
Causes onlookers within range to become completely fascinated with the object of the spell, forgetting to eat, drink or perform any other task required of them. If threatened or attacked they will defend themselves long enough to defeat the opponent and then return to contemplating the object. The caster can affect targets of up to 3 INT per per intensity.
Each version of this spell affects a different sense of perception but the object itself must provide the discernable stimulus. A perfumed flower could be used as the target of Enthral (Scent) or a harp for Enthral (Sound). If the object ceases to produce its stimulus or can be cut off from the enthralled victim’s perception, they are immediately released from the spell. For example, Enthral cast upon a dancing flame would work only as long as the victim could see the flame or the fire was extinguished. Likewise enthralling music would last as long as the instrument played.
Mardrash uses his in concert with phantasm to make a will o the wisp that faintly glows and changes color, leading people off the path to the temple to be sacrificed, required the use of the combine option.
Silence provides a spherical area cut off from its surroundings by a sound-proof barrier. The volume inside is still able to carry noise but anyone standing outside the warded area would be unable to hear it. Likewise any noise outside the sphere cannot penetrate into the sphere. The sphere may have a radius of up to one tenth of the caster’s invocation skill in metres. Due to the two-way nature of the sound barrier, this spell has little tactical use as a method of improving stealthy movement, since the recipient cannot hear the approach of foes. However, it does provide a method of suppressing noisy activity in hostile territory, such as breaking down a door inside a garrisoned fortress.
Autonomous, Resist (willpower)
The Subvert spell twists the loyalty of the target to the caster, potentially causing him to betray his friends and convictions. A caster can affect targets of up to 3 INT per per intensity. If the target fails to resist, the sorcerer perverts their allegiance until the spell expires. Although the target still possesses free will, they cannot betray the caster or reveal any hint of their magical subversion to others.
Despite any change in ideology, the spell is immediately broken if the victim is ordered to perform a suicidal action. Orders contrary to the target’s ethics (other than those concerning loyalty) allow another opposed Persistence roll to break free of the magic.
Concentration, Resist (Special)
Establishes a telepathic link with the target but instead of mental communication it provides a physical link. This allows the sorcerer to control the target like a puppet. Normally this spell is used to substitute the sorcerer’s own skills for the recipient’s but can be used in a more versatile manner. If used offensively the target is permitted to make a willpower roll to resist the spell. Any attempt to force the target into performing an act contrary to their ethics or instincts, such as attacking a friend or attempting suicide, permits an unopposed willpower roll to break free of the spell.
If the target of the spell is injured, then the caster shares any pain experienced – possibly causing them to become unconscious if a Serious or Major Wound occurs, although the sorcerer does not suffer any actual damage. If Telesthesia is manipulated to affect more than one target, they all act identically in perfect synchronisation.