Sunday, March 27, 2016

Remains of Atlantis: The Daughters of Burnick and the Watchers of the Stones

One of the books that's moving its way through the NUELOW Games production process has the tentative title of The Love Witch. We're especially thrilled at this one, because we're producing it through an arrangement with the legendary Marv Wolman , the co-creator of the title character. Wolfman is perhaps best known for his work on Marvel's Tomb of Dracula and DC's The New Teen Titans, but he has worked on many, MANY great series and characters over his four-decades-and-counting long writing career. Words can't express how excited we are to be able to produce The Love Witch book.
By way of preview, here's a sample of the non-comics material that will be in the book. It is by Steve Miller, inspired by Wolfman's work. The feat (Atlantean Magic) is released under the Open Game License, but all other text in this post is considered Product Identity and may not be reproduced without the express permission of the copyright holder. Copyright 2016 by Steve Miller.

Atlantean Magic
You have discovered the magical practices a lost civilization.
   Prerequisite: 3rd-level, Allegiance to the Daughters of Burnick, the Watchers of the Stones, or some other secret society that traces its roots back to Atlantis.
   Benefit: The character may cast a number of Arcane or Divine spells equal to the total of your Intelligence and Wisdom bonuses per day. The character may cast the spells at will, with no need to memorize them ahead of time, but you can only cast spells that you have mastered by learning them from someone who already knows them, or by learning them from Atlantean texts. The casting time, somatic, and verbal components of the spells remain, whatever is listed in the spell description, but all material components are replaced by this feat. The caster level is equal to the character's total number of levels.
   Special: Each spell cast drains some of the character's life force. Each spell cast drains 100 XP per spell level. The character can't lose more XP than the absolute minimum of the current character level, and any attempt to cast a spell that would cause the character to drop below that threshold automatically fails. (0-level spells of course drain no XP.)

Daughters of Burnick
After the destruction of Atlantis, the magic-using orders in the colony on the modern-day British Isles fell into a state of civil war. The Philiamancers (whose magic practices were based in personal connections and love) and Biomancers (whose magic was drawn from the savage power of nature) struggled against each other for generations, each order becoming more brutal and unforgiving of each other and even their own members with each passing decade. The last leader of the Philiamancers was Burnick the Love Witch, a woman who had been raised to wage war and whose heart was full of hatred rather than love. She was eventually defeated as much by the Biomancers as her own dark heart, and her passing also marked the end of the entire art of Philamancers.
   In the early 19th century, an amateur archeologist and mystic, Lady Elizabeth Harrow, discovered a coastal cave that had been the home of Burnick and her closest retainers. She spent 30 years translating the manuscripts and discerning the purpose of the many artifacts she located, and, upon practicing some of the rituals, she became the first person in more than 10,000 years to practice the lost art of Philamancy.
   Shortly afterwards, Lady Elizabeth founded the Daughters of Burnick, a chartable organization on the surface but in actuality a secret society made up entirely of women. Today, the Daugthers of Burnick are active around the world, openly promoting awareness about women's rights and healthcare issues, while secretly working to change male dominated societies through a variety of means. The organization is funded through charitable donations and a trust that Lady Elizabeth established in her will. The Daughters of Burnick has been headquartered in Harrow Manor, and, unknown to all but the most highly ranking members, Lady Elizabeth remains in charge, having acquired eternal youth and near-immortality through the ancient Atlantean rites.
Elizabeth Harrow, leader of the Daughters of Burnick
   Purpose and Goals: The Daughters of Burnick exists to defend women against abuse and oppression  of male dominated societies, and to promote the equality of women around the world. They generally use social activism and political means to further their goals, but the secret part of the organization use a variety of means, up to and including magic, to achieve their ends.
   Attitudes: The Daughters of Burnick are fiercely devoted to economic and social equality between the sexes, but they always use measured responses when dealing with opponents. When facing philosophical disagreements, they use words and logic in their attempts to overcome them; when faced with legal challenges, the court room is where they face them; and when confronted with violence, they use violence--or magic. Violence, magic, and other extreme measures are the province of the hidden part of the organization, and such activities are always approved and coordinated by Lady Elizabeth herself.
   Membership: Anyone can join the public Daughters of Burnick charity for a $15 annual membership fee. The organization also employs hundreds of people in all sorts of capacities worldwide, from janitors, to security officers, to accountants and attorneys. Women of particular skill-sets (such as those possessed by those with levels in hero classes), or who have an aptitude for magic and share the organization's distaste for social inequity and the mistreatment of women, may be invited to join the hidden side of the Daughters of Burnick. The vetting process is a long one, and prospective members are put through many tests before they are invited to meet with Lady Elizabeth and initiated into the ancient secrets at the heart of the organization.
   Enemies: ISIS, the Taliban, and other groups who include the oppression of women as their agenda frequently target Daughters of Burnick. The Watchers of the Stones are suspicious of the Daughters of Burnick, as they fear it will be the vehicle that will bring about the foretold return of their ancient enemy.

The Watchers of the Stones
After the destruction of Atlantis, old rivalries between the male-dominated Biomantic and the female-dominated Philiamantic schools of magic erupted into full-fledged war, as the citizens of the Atlantean colony on the modern-day British Isles turned on each other in a desperate struggle for survival. It was a conflict that lasted for centuries, but eventually the Biomancers won, completely eradicated the Philiamancers with a tremendous ritual that left the center of Biomantic power nearly drained of all energy. The victory of the Biomancers over the Philiamancers was further made hollow by the fact that they themselves were also nearly wiped out in the final battle.
   Today, the mystic traditions of Atlantean Biomancers are continued by a small and secretive cult of druids. They are based in Amesbury, a small town near Stonehenge. Long ago, a seer predicted that the last Philiamancer, Burnick the Love Witch, would emerge from the mists of time and resume the war.
   Purpose and Goals: The Watchers guard what magic that remains in the ancient structure. They fight anyone who tries to use its magic without their permission and cooperation. They also watch for the return of Burnick, and if they cannot reason with her they hope that they will be strong enough to destroy her.
Mason Garrity, leader of the Watchers
   Attitudes: Until the occult craze of the 1960s, the Watchers were secretive and kept their true beliefs and performed their ceremonies hidden from view. Now, the order owns and operates a shop in Amesbury, named Children of Stonehenge, that sells Stonehenge souvenirs and occult paraphernalia. Most of what the store offers is trinkets for tourists and toys for wanna-bes, but those with knowledge of the occult will recognize that some of the pricier items are genuine magical foci and other components needed for rituals and spells. Similarly, those extremely well-versed in occult lore will recognize the ancient druidic symbols that are plainly part of the shop's logo. If a person asks about the symbols, whoever is working in the shop will quietly acknowledge that the store is indeed run by druids who have dwelled in the area since before Stonehenge was erected.
    Membership: Membership is the Watchers of the Stones is limited to the twelve families that have been the heart of the order/secret society since its founding. The families have been prolific, however, and the Watchers have potential members everywhere in the world. They have always very carefully tracked the lineages of the Twelve Families, and they sometimes reach to a "lost member" in times of need, informing the person of their heritage and giving him or her the change to unlock the mystical potential he or she possesses.
   Enemies: Any organization that uses magic to harm innocents or twist the proper course of nature will find themselves opposed by the Watchers of the Stones. The group is also anticipating the eventual return of Burnick the Love Witch, and they stand ready to fight her when that day comes. They also have a general dislike of Lady Elizabeth, leader of the Daughters of Burnick, since she has used magic to restore her youth and extend her life.

If you found this post interesting or useful, we hope you'll check out some of our releases that tie into the NUELOW Games tale of Atlantis, such as Secrets of the Immortals and Jungle Terrors.

No comments:

Post a Comment