The Wanderlust Legion
The Shining Tower
Magic is the single most powerful force in the entire universe, and one that anyone can access. This ubiquity can lead, and in many cases has led, to incredibly tragic accidents and horrendous crimes. In an effort to curb this danger, a group of wizards came together and founded the Shining Tower in 288 Shining Epoch. They established laws about the use of magic, bought out or coerced some of the most prolific magedust suppliers, and negotiated their way into most major Ohman governments.
Today, the Shining Tower oversees the use of magic in the vast majority of Ohma. Any mages who wish to legally practice the arcane must obtain a license from the Tower to buy magedust from certified suppliers. For years, things have gone relatively smoothly under the Shining Tower’s law, but recently some of their practices have come under fire. Originally they were content to allow local authorities to enforce their laws, but the formation of the Tower Guard in 493 Present Epoch was considered by some citizens and governments as a move toward militarization. Serenity is the first Free City to cut ties with the Tower, and Westmark followed suit soon after.
In the Right Hands. Magic must not be allowed to be misused. It is our duty to keep it in the right hands.
Foul Black Magic. Those who use necromancy or blood magic, or make pacts with otherworldly patrons, are evil and incredibly dangerous.
The Pursuit of Knowledge. The world is full of history and artifacts. We gather as much was we can so we can protect and study it.
In order to legally practice magic, mages must become licensed by the Shining Tower. However, in order to actually become a member of the Tower’s hierarchy, one must simply pledge himself to its ideals and rules. Some of the best magical academies in Ohma are directly run by the Shining Tower, and graduates often go on to become important members of the bureaucracy.
While the majority of Tower mages are wizards, anyone who practices legal magic may join. Sorcerers, Eldritch Knights, and Swordmages fill out the rest of the ranks, and likely a few secret warlocks as well.
Southern Ysgard, the Free Cities of Alnia (excluding Serenity).
The Tower Guard
The Shining Tower makes the laws that govern the use of magic in Ohma, but these laws would be useless without anyone to enforce them. Enter the Tower Guard, an elite order of mage-knights who blend sword and spell to uphold arcane justice in Tower lands. These arcane warriors wear the blue-and-white robes of the Shining Tower underneath heavy plates of steel armor, with a sword in one hand and a spell in the other.
The Guard fills many roles in their capacity as the right hand of the Shining Tower. They hunt down and capture or kill witches, those mages who refuse to submit themselves to the laws of the Tower. When diplomats or messengers travel on important Tower business, one or more of the Tower Guard will act as bodyguards. And sometimes, when the Shining Tower conducts large-scale battles, such as the War of a Thousand Wands twenty years ago, the Tower Guard makes up the bulk of the army.
Protection from Magic. Magic and those who use it are inherently dangerous. The people must be protected from those who would use it for evil.
With Great Power. Your abilities are not a gift, they are a heavy responsibility. You must use them only for just reasons.
Duty and Justice. Your charge is to uphold the law of the Shining Tower wherever you go. Execute justice with wisdom and courage.
In order to join the Tower Guard, one must obviously be a licensed mage. This immediately prohibits members from using any form of necromancy. Prospective members must pass a basic combat skills test before undergoing special training to help them overcome the problem of casting spells while wearing cumbersome armor. From there, Tower Guards will be given their first mission. Sometimes the Tower will assign Guards to the Wanderlust Legion so that they can enforce their laws all across Ohma.
Anywhere the Shining Tower’s laws are enforced, the Tower Guard will be there to enforce them. This includes the Free Cities (excluding Serenity) and the southern regions of Ysgard.
Wardens of the Grove
Founded by elves in ancient times, the Wardens of the Grove serve as guardians of the wilderness. They pledge their blades to the service of light, life, and growth, and the spirits of nature aid them with magical influence over the natural world. Their armor and weapons bear the motif of leaves, trees, and animals, reflecting their close relationship with the wild, and their helmets often have antlers, wings, horns, branches, tusks, or other decorations in line with nature.
However, these knights are not ignorant to the more savage side of nature. The primal forces to which they swear fealty are not the frolicking fey creatures of fairy tales. They are manifestations of raw wilderness, as much beast and thorn as flowers and sunlight. As such, their tenets vary slightly from those who swear a typical Oath of the Ancients.
As a Warden of the Grove, you may replace the Tenets of the Ancients found in the Player’s Handbook with the following.
Protect the Wild. Guard with your life the places that have been untouched by mortal hands, and ensure that their beauty outlives the encroachment of civilization.
Feral Beast. Fight with the ferocity of a mother lion protecting her cubs, and the toughness of a wild boar.
The Circle of Life. Every creature has a right to life, but sometimes one creature must die so another can live. This is the natural order.
Child of Nature. You may not own land or a house in civilized lands. When travelling through cities or towns, you may not sleep in taverns. Nature is your home.
All Wardens of the Grove are paladins who have taken a modified version of the Oath of the Ancients. In order to join, prospective members must cast off all their possessions and any homes or landholdings in mortal lands. They then undergo a highly secretive and dangerous initiation ritual that many recruits don’t survive.
Typically, Wardens serve as the military arm of druid circles. When a threat to the circle’s grove is discovered that is better dealt with by warriors, a retinue of Wardens will be dispatched to deal with it. In some wood elf villages, Wardens act as the militia, protecting the townspeople and carrying out military action on behalf of the village elder. Still other Wardens travel the world, alone or with adventuring groups, to actively seek out and fight any dangers to the wilderness.
The nature of Wardens of the Grove preclude them from swearing fealty to kings or kingdoms. They can be found anywhere that wild things are, including forests, jungles, mountains, and plains.