Imbolc Mage

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Joan of Arc Painted between 1450 and 1500

Joan of Arc Painted between 1450 and 1500

Liber Mysterium

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The following fiction and terms are considered Product Identity under the Open Gaming License: -Imbolc Mage,” -Mage of Imbolc- and -Lady Imbolc-. These terms are copyrighted© 2002 by Lisa Countryman.
All other information and text is Open under the terms of the OGL.

Fiona appeared at Tiernan’s side and pulled him to his feet as she kicked Abaddon in the chest. She had golden hair pulled back in a single braid that reached the middle of her back. Her brown eyes flashed dangerously as she glared at the leader of the coven.

“No!” Abaddon yelled as two of his men moved toward her. Fiona drew a hand and a half sword and slashed through the two men’s bellies with a brutal swing. “Go,” she told Tiernan. She shoved him toward his father’s land and turned to face the coven.

“Who are you?” the boy asked as he backed away.

“Lady Imbolc,” Abaddon said calmly. He could see her radiant aura glowing like the sun on a summer’s day. He sneered at the child. “Remember her, boy, for she will not see the sunrise”. Tiernan swallowed with an audible gulp and then spun and sprinted away from the bonfire and ran.

The younger warlocks felt their chests tighten and their bodies filled with fear. An Imbolc mage was a powerful force of light, and everything they’d heard told them that they should be running for cover, or begging for mercy; a mortal witch wielding the power of the Goddess.

Witches speak of Warlocks in hushed tones. Most are disgusted by the betrayers, but more than few also fear them. But there is one witch that even the darkest Warlocks of the Scholomance fear, for she is the righteous fury of the Goddess made mortal. She is the Imbolc Mage.

The Mages of Imbolc are so exceedingly rare that every single one has been recorded. Most have died in the pursuit of the Goddesses’ vengeance. Imbolc Mages exist to destroy evil, and they save a special hatred for those who call themselves warlocks.

Like becoming witch, one does not chose to become an Imbolc Mage, the Goddess makes that choice.

If the witch has the potential to become an Imbolc mage a series of tests and trails are performed by a coven 19 witches trained in the martial use of the sword. The witches who train the prospective are always of the strongest Neutral Good alignment. The test is a small price to pay and only a fraction of the battles the new Imbolc Mage will certainly face. The training is tough and many do not succeed. There is no dishonor in failure, it simply means the prospective was not destined to bear the mantle of the Imbolc mage. If the prospective does succeed, she is filled with the power of the Goddess and is known to all as Lady Imbolc.

History records that nearly all Imbolc Mages have come from the ranks of strong witches. Amazon and Celtic Classical traditions being the most representative, but few chaste Tantric witches and a fewer number of Lorelei have served as well. Some druids and sorceresses have also become Imbolc Mages. With the rise of evil becoming greater more Imbolc Mages have been chosen and some have come from nonwitch backgrounds. In most cases the Imbolc Mage will join the Daughters of the Flame (q.v.) coven dedicated to the Goddess Brigit, but the Imbolc Mage works alone and is not considered to be a full member of that coven. Game Masters can choose a coven that suits their game the best.

Hit Dice: d8

Requirements

To qualify as an Imbolc Mage, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.
Alignment: Any Good.
Feat: any metamagic feat, except Spell Kiss.

Knowledge (religion): 7 Ranks

Knowledge (Witchcraft): 7 Ranks Spell casting:

Ability to cast 5th level spells

Special: Imbolc Mages can only be female.

In order to understand the nature of her foe, the potential Imbolc Mage must have survived an attack from an evil outsider. Note, survived does not mean she won or succeeded in defeating the outsider. Preferences are also made to witches that come from a strong family line of witches and have high Wisdom.

Imbolc Mages are not made, they are chosen. So the GM and the Player who wishes to play an Imbolc Mage must decide on the particulars of this calling. Were her ancestors powerful witches? Did she have an Imbolc Mage in her family tree? Is there some new evil that requires a new Imbolc Mage be called? What were the circumstances with her battle with the evil outsider?

Class Skills
The Imbolc Mage’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Diplomacy (Charisma), Handle Animal (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Intimidate (Charisma), Knowledge (religion) (Intelligence), Knowledge (witchcraft) (Intelligence), Profession (Wisdom), Ride (Dexterity)(Dexterity), Sense Motive (Wisdom), and Spellcraft (Intelligence).
Skill points at Each Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier

Imbolc Mage Progression
Class Level Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells per Day
1st +1 +0 +0 +2 Awesome Presence +1 level of existing class
2nd +1 +1 +0 +3 Favored enemy +1 +1 level of existing class
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Bilocate +1 level of existing class
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Favored enemy +2 +1 level of existing class
5th +3 +2 +1 +4 Wild Shape 1/day +1 level of existing class
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Favored enemy +3 +1 level of existing class
7th +4 +2 +2 +5 Ethereal Shift +1 level of existing class
8th +4 +3 +2 +6 Favored enemy +4 +1 level of existing class
9th +5 +3 +3 +6 Astral Shift +1 level of existing class
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Favored enemy +5, Extended Life +1 level of existing class


Class Features

All of the following are class features of The Imbolc Mage prestige class.

Weapon Proficiency: Once becoming an Imbolc Mage, training in the sword begins. Regardless of original class, the Imbolc Mage can choose the sword and attack without penalty. Often the sword becomes the new ritual tool of the Imbolc Mage, replacing the athame. Unlike the athame, the sword is sharp and will be used for combat purposes.

Most Imbolc Mages eschew the use of armor since it interferes with their spell casting abilities. Many will have several piece of magical protection in place.

Special: The Imbolc Mage gains special powers at each level of her progression.

Awesome Presence (Su): At first level, the Imbolc Mage is infused with the power of her Goddess. This supernatural ability has two main effects. First all witches can “see” this presence as a bright aura. Witches that know of the Imbolc Mage will treat her with deference and respect. Enemies, in particular warlocks, can also detect this aura. Any morale checks made by enemies are at a –1 penalty. Natural animals are also calmed by her presence.

As a side effect of this change in her aura even the most good and lawful Imbolc Mages will appear to any magical scrying techniques as have a “touch of evil” about them. In all cases anyone who can see auras will see the Imbolc Mage’s aura is blinding bright.

Favored Enemy (Ex): The Imbolc Mage gains Warlocks as a favored enemy as per the ranger ability. All attacks, mundane, magical or martial, are done at a +1 bonus at second level and gain by +1 for every two levels. GMs who wish to have more flexibility or do not wish to use warlocks might extend this favored enemy status to any type of evil witch, wizard or spellcaster.

Wild Shape (Su): At fifth level the Imbolc Mage may Wild Shape once per day (take a shape and revert back). The shape maybe to any size that is one step removed from the Imbolc Mage. A medium-sized Imbolc Mage may wild shape to a small, medium or large creature. Unlike the Polymorph Self spell or druid ability, the Imbolc mage is restricted to natural animals. She may wild shape to a large dog, a lion or even a wolf, but never a wyvern or an owlbear. Typically the Imbolc Mage chooses one shape and sticks with that. This is a supernatural ability.

Bilocate (Sp): The Imbolc Mage can astral project (as the astral projection spell) onto the same plane she is currently occupying, in effect being in two locations at once. The projection is semi-real and may do anything the Imbolc Mage could do, including cast spells and assume a Wild Shape. The Imbolc Mage cannot do anything other than rest, though both incarnations are aware and conscious of the others surroundings. The Imbolc Mage may hold this projection a number of minutes equal to her level plus 10, or until the projection reaches zero hit points. Any damage to the projection also damages the Imbolc Mage at one half the amount loss. She may do this once per day. This is a spell like ability.

Ethereal Shift: The Imbolc Mage can enter the Ethereal Plane. For spell effects this is the same as if an ethereal jaunt spell were cast by a sorcerer of the same level. This may be performed once per day. This is a spell like ability.

Astral Shift: The Imbolc Mage can enter the Astral Plane. For spell effects this is the same as if an astral projection spell were cast by a sorcerer of the same level. This may be performed once per day and is a spell like ability.

Extended Life: Similar to the druid ability Timeless Body, the Imbolc Mage stops aging normally. Her aging is slowed to 75% of what is normal for her race. This supernatural ability also effects magical aging. Though this rarely aids her normal aging since most Imbolc Mages die due to violence rather than age.

Spells per Day: The Imbolc Mage continues training in magic as well as the sword. Thus, when a new Imbolc Mage level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a spell-casting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (new Occult powers, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of Imbolc Mage to the level of some other spell-casting class the character has, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.

If a character had more than one spell-casting class before she became an Imbolc Mage, she must decide to which class she adds each level of Imbolc Mage for purposes of determining spells per day when she adds the new level. Generally speaking this will be her highest spell casting class.

For example, Fionna is a 10th level witch and 2nd level sorceress. She is called to become an Imbolc Mage and passes the tests. She gains a level of Imbolc Mage. She is now known Lady Imbolc, and is a witch 10, sorceress 2, and Imbolc Mage 1. She opts to continue receiving witch spells, so she gains spells as an 11th level witch/2nd level sorceress, if she goes up a level in witch or Imbolc Mage then she will cast as a 12th level witch/2nd level sorceress. Typically though, the new Imbolc Mage will forgo any advancement in any other class she has and concentrate solely on her advancement as an Imbolc Mage.

Imbolc Mages use the same spell list as witches.

Historic Imbolc Mages

Name Unknown, Date Unknown – Youngest Imbloc Mage called. Was nine years old, but could not control her powers. In her attempt to rid her homeland of marauders she leveled an entire island. Only lived till age 12.
Nemesis - From ancient Greece, at least 500 BCE. Was raped by Zeus (her experience with divine darkness). Became known as the “Assassinator of Gods” and “The Daughter of Night”. Worked as Hera's hit-woman to punish evildoers. May have been the first Imbolc Mage.
Name Unknown – First century BCE. This particular mage destroyed a coven of witches who were using dark magic to control an island community in the Mediterranean. The mage tried to get the coven to leave, but in the end, she was forced to kill them all.
Fiona nic Teamhair - Imbolc Mage from around 600 CE Ireland. Helped drive demons from Ireland’s shores. The last known confirmed Imbolc Mage.
Joan of Arc (Jehanne Dearc) – Believed by some to have been an Imbolc Mage. Burned at the stake as a witch on May 30th, 1431. She was 19 years old.
Name Unknown – In 1883 an eruption of the volcano Krakatoa left the land destroyed. It also left it magically nulled which has some scholars to believe it was an Imbolc Mage.

The Imbolc Challenge

To become an Imbolc Mage is serious business. To be the Goddess’ active and physical force in the mundane world is challenging, dangerous but also very rewarding. Prospectives hear the Call to become an Imbolc Mage much like they did when they were called to be witches. They then must seek out the Imbolc Guardians, a special sect of the Daughters of the Flame coven (see below). These 19 women, all witches with levels of fighter or ranger, will test the prospective. There are three basic tests, Intelligence, Strength and Wisdom. GM are encouraged to devise these tests instead having the player simply role for them. A possible test will be the prospective will face 10 of the Guardians wielding swords. The Guardian will say that she may not pass without their permission. The trick is not to fight with them, but rather ask their permission. This is the test of Intelligence, not Strength.

“A Bhrigid, scar os mo chionn, Do bhrat fionn dom anacal.
Oh, Brigid, spread above my head, your mantle bright to guard me.”

- Prayer to Brigit

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