Arcanic the Learned

Arcanic is a minor demipower introduced in Council of Wyrms, as a LN deity of magic. As that setting had additional material presented in Dragon Magazine (and later included in the hardbound re-release) for sage-dragons, it seemed suitable to make Arcanic the patron of that kit. I also made his relationship with Kereska something like the relationship between Azuth and Mystra in the Forgotten Realms, with a focus on wizardry rather than magic itself.

Arcanic (PDF Version)
(The Learned, the Sage-Dragon, the Archivist)
Demipower of Mechanus, LN

Portfolio:                 Dragon mages, dragon sages, spell research, research in general
Aliases:                     None
Domain Name:           Abellio/Archive of Arcanic
Superior:                   Io
Allies:                       Aasterinian, Azuth, Boccob, Bahamut, Delleb, Deneir, Lendor, Lendys, Maanzecorian, Odin, Oghma, Rais, Tamara, Thoth, Wee Jas, Zorquan
Foes:                           Faluzure, Kalzareinad (Dead), Task, Tiamat
Symbol:                     Open scroll held in a dragon’s claw
Wor. Align.:              LG, NG, LN, N, LE, NE

Arcanic (are-CAN-ick) the Learned is a minor servitor power of Kereska. He embodies the insatiable desire for knowledge and power through knowledge that fills many dragons, particularly older dragons. He is venerated by those dragons who wish to build comprehensive libraries on specific subject matter both mundane and magical, as well as those with a desire to categorize and list knowledge and possessions.

Arcanic mostly keeps to his own affairs, preferring to study the multiverse and accumulate knowledge from his vast library deep within a mountain on the plane of Arcadia. He serves Kereska as a minor deity of magic, focusing on the collection, categorization, and systematic study of magical and mundane knowledge, and she relies on him to document and disseminate her magical creations. The Sage-Dragon is friendly, if not close, with many of his brethren in the draconic pantheon, with Aasterinian his most frequent visitor. She is said to be his on-again, off-again mate, although her flighty nature and exuberance grating on his nerves after too much time together. Their mutual love of knowledge and discovery keeping them from permanently separating, however. Arcanic is on very good terms with Rais, and it is said the two have spent years at a time discussing and debating philosophical ideas and theories. On the other side of the coin, he has a strong enmity towards Kalzareinad and Faluzure for their development of the process of creating dracoliches, which Arcanic considers a perversion of knowledge and magic. Tiamat and Task have also earned his ire for they wish to keep knowledge and magic to themselves out of greed and hunger for power.

Arcanic maintains friendly relations with other deities of knowledge and magic, and is known to visit many of them for extended discussions of magical creativity or philosophy. His closest alliances are with Azuth and Boccob, and it is said the two deities frequently avail themselves of Arcanic’s knowledge in their own pursuits of magical creativity. He is also the frequent victim of Azuth’s deadpan humor due to his serious nature, especially in the company of others. He has an odd, and very old, relationship with the leader of the Aesir, Odin. It is said the two engaged in a contest of knowledge during one of Odin’s wanderings, but neither could best the other. In the end they declared a truce, and declared each other friend for life. Arcanic’s strangest alliance is with Maanzecorian, the illithid god of knowledge and philosophy. The exact nature of their relationship is unknown, but the two deities are known to respect the other’s vast collections of arcane knowledge, and on occasion perform trades and discussions for mutual benefit.

The Sage-Dragon’s petitioners become books in his collection, detailing every aspect of their lives, including memories, feelings, and everything they saw or experienced. While these books can be read by mortals who visit his realm, he is loath to allow anyone to do so, as such knowledge is most precious to him and he fears the permanent loss of any of it. Arcanic rarely makes appearances on the Prime Material plane, usually only doing so in order to gain or protect rare knowledge, although he has been known to visit his eldest followers to debate philosophy or magical theory, and will trade his own knowledge for theirs, especially when one has developed an especially creative spell or magical item.

Arcanic’s Avatar (Great Wyrm Steel Dragon, Wizard 20, Priest 20)
Arcanic appears as a wizened steel dragon with ink-stained claws. He sometimes takes the form of an elderly, silvery-bearded human or demihuman wearing grey robes splattered with dried ink. In either form, he has blue eyes and wears a pair of spectacles. He uses spells from all schools save necromancy, and all spheres except animal, chaos, and plant.

AC −10; MV 18, Fl 45 (C); HP 205; THAC0 1; #AT 3 + special
Dmg 1d12+12/1d12+12/3d12+12 (claw/claw/bite)
MR 85%; SZ G (125 feet—body 65 feet, tail 60 feet)
Str 20, Dex 21, Con 19, Int 24, Wis 21, Cha 20
Spells P: 12/12/12/10/8/5/2, W: 5/5/5/5/5/4/3/3/2
Saves PPDM 2; RSW 3; PP 4; BW 4; Sp 4

Special Att/Def: Arcanic dislikes combat, preferring to use magic to disable foes or redirect aggression. His preferred breath weapon is a cloud of gas that mimics the effects of the feign death spell, lasting for 4d10 turns. The cloud can fill a cube 45 feet on a side, although Arcanic has precise control over the volume released. Saves against this effect are made with a −6 penalty, although coating all exposed skin in lard or similar greasy substances cuts the save penalty in half. His secondary breath weapon is a cone of dehydration, 140′ long, 5′ wide at his mouth, and 45′ wide at the base. It instantly evaporates normal, free-standing liquids within the cone, and magical liquids must make a saving throw vs. disintegration. Creatures within the cone suffer 12d8+12 points of damage, with a save vs. breath weapon cutting the damage in half. Those who fail their save lose 1d6+6 points of Strength, while those who succeed lose only 1d6 points of Strength. Victims who are carefully nursed back to health regain 1 point of Strength per day; powerful curative spells such as heal or regeneration immediately restore lost Strength as well. Creatures reduced to a Strength of 0 or less immediately die.

Arcanic can detect lie at will, and use any cantrip effect he desires, even in addition to other attacks and abilities He is able to charm person and charm monster 6 times per day and can make a suggestion 4 times per day. Twice per day Arcanic can use enthrall, antipathy/sympathy, and imbue with spell ability. Arcanic can read and use all magical and nonmagical writings, and is unaffected by harmful written traps or effects of less than artifact level. His spectacles are enchanted with a permanent true seeing power, and he knows all non-unique spells.

Arcanic’s aura of dragon fear extends to a radius of 90 yards. Creature up to 3 HD/levels who catch sight of him are automatically affected (as well as all noncarnivorous, nonaggressive creatures with fewer than 25 Hit Dice) and flee for 4d6 rounds. Trained war mounts of 4 HD or more, organized military units, and single creatures with more than 5 HD or levels do not automatically flee. Rather, they are entitled to a saving throw vs. petrification at a −5 penalty. If they fail this saving throw, they fight with a −2 penalty to attack and damage rolls. No one save another deity is automatically immune to his fear effect.

Arcanic is immune to all spells below 5th level. He is immune to all forms of poison, paralysis, petrification, death magic, gases, and mind-affecting and controlling spells and psionics. He takes half damage from fire-based attacks and is immune to nonmagical weapons.

Other Manifestations
Arcanic typically manifests by granting the effects of an idea, genius, or divine inspiration spell on a follower. He occasionally manifests as a flickering light in the distance, leading a follower near an important cache of information, such as a hidden library or lost tomb. Should a follower be attacked in such a way that rare or unique texts in the dragon’s collection are threatened with destruction, Arcanic has been known to protect them with spherical walls of force, or teleport them away to a safer location. Should the follower survive and petition Arcanic to return the text through a lengthy prayer, the Sage-Dragon will do so, or indicate the location for the dragon to retrieve it themselves.

Arcanic works through lawful dragons of all sorts and electrum dragons, as well as caryatid columns, demaraxes, fal, magic golems, metagolems, stone golems, translators, and small creatures that feed on wood and paper pests such as lizards and small cats. He shows his favor through the discovery of flawless transparent crystals of all sorts, square pieces of slate, and natural prisms, while his disfavor is shown through the discovery of worm-eaten wood, dried inkwells, broken styluses and shattered pieces of slate.

The Church
Clergy:                      Dragon-priests, specialty priests, dragon-mages, dragon-sages
Clergy’s Align.:      LG, LN, LE
Turn Undead:           DP: Yes, if neutral or good, SP: No, DM: No, DS: No
Cmnd. Undead:         DP: Yes, if evil, SP: No, DM: No, DS: No

All dragon-priests and specialty priests of Arcanic receive religion (draconic) and reading/writing (High Draconic) as bonus nonweapon proficiencies.

Worship of Arcanic is relatively rare on those worlds without large, interconnected dragon populations. Where he is revered, he is seen as the embodiment of the orderly acquisition of knowledge both mundane and magical, through detailed study and research. Those who call upon him are uninterested in haphazard learning such as that gained from wanderlust; instead, those who wish his aid want to know all there is to learn about specific subject matters. He is also called upon occasionally by those who make detailed lists and catalogues of their possessions and hoards. Lawful dragons who are aware of his existence often offer a prayer before engaging in lengthy research, and some draconic sages offer regular thanks to him for their personal knowledge and skill.

Arcanic’s temples are great subterranean libraries, filled with all manner of books, scrolls, and tablets written in dozens of languages. Such libraries are carefully and meticulously organized and cross-referenced, such that very specific topics can be quickly located. Rarely will such temples have more than two priests; single priests are by far the most common. These temples are very rare and often forgotten by the dragon population at large. They may be served by an ancient dragon-priest clinging to life or completely abandoned after the death of the last priest, but it is a dream of many young priests of Arcanic to find such a vast storehouse of knowledge and spend their lives studying, maintaining, and adding to it. An exception to the normal rule are the rare temple located with human or demihuman cities created and run by steel dragons; these typically are restricted to the dragons who can polymorph or shapechange into an appropriate form. Often, these temples will be served by half-dragon relations of the priest as well.

On most worlds, dragons do not form organized priesthoods, as there are too few of them, and they are far too individualistic. Only worlds with very dense dragon populations or very structured dragon cultures will develop hierarchical priesthoods, and the form they take are likely to be unique to those worlds. Specialty priests of Arcanic are known as wyrmscholars. Dragons of any draconic species capable of becoming priests may join Arcanic’s priesthood, although lawful dragons such as golds, silvers, bronzes, steels, irons, greens, and blues, as well as normally neutral good electrum dragons are most common. Arcanic’s priesthood is largely comprised of specialty priests (60%), with minorities of dragon-priests (20%), dragon-mages (10%), and dragon-sages (10%). Half-dragon priests and wizards will sometimes worship Arcanic, but these are never considered true members of the clergy by the draconic priests, and are not allowed to become specialty priests.

Dogma: The search for knowledge is the greatest pursuit. Knowledge is power, and greater knowledge means greater status. Acquire knowledge both mundane and magical, and use it to discover secrets lost to the ages. Ensure your knowledge is not lost upon your death.

Day-to-Day Activities: Followers of Arcanic spend much of their time in the pursuit of knowledge. Younger, more active dragons often search out ancient ruins for lost texts and ancient libraries. As they get older, they build up libraries on all manner of subjects, although many will have a favorite topic or two which they will voraciously try to gather copies of every text on the subject matter. Damage to texts is anathema to these dragons, so even evil dragons will prefer methods other than direct attacks to gain what they want, although threats of violence and coercion are certainly on their menu. Those of a more social nature will often take on students of a variety of backgrounds, or actively engage in discussions with sages of other races.

Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: Holy days of Arcanic’s clergy occur at regular intervals about every 226 months (specifically 6793 days). The reason for this number is kept a mystery by the Sage-Dragon, as a challenge to his priests to work out the mystery. It is said he bestows a great reward on a follower who works it out. For one week at the start of this period, known as The Exchange of Knowledge, the clergy are expected to meet with other followers of Arcanic and sages of all types in order to exchange knowledge, books, and spells.

Major Centers of Worship: Temples dedicated to Arcanic are fairly rare, even on worlds with significant populations of dragons. One temple, called the Beryl Archive, is known to exist within the domain of the Sharpwall clan of emerald dragons on Io’s Blood Isles, near the subterranean settlement of Bottomtown. Run by an old emerald dragon by the name of Ontorixerus, it is considered one of the best places of learning outside of the Council Aerie itself, and frequently has two or three visiting dragon-sages at any time conducting research. The temple is named for the enormous beryl crystals that can be found in the walls of the temple cavern.

Amongst those who ply the void of wildspace, there is an organization dedicated to research and collecting knowledge called the Seekers. Unconfirmed rumors indicate that one of the high-ranking members of the organization is an ancient radiant dragon who serves Arcanic and maintains a temple within the headquarters, a secret world or sphere known as Compendium. Some even speculate that the dragon is truly the leader of the organization, although most scoff at this notion and point out that it only makes sense for priests of knowledge gods to have members within the organization.

Unknown to most students and faculty at the Academy at Lirak’s Cube, the head of the geology department is actually the adult steel dragon Durologoroth. Masquerading as a knowledgeable but absent-minded old dwarf with silver hair by the name of Murobin Granitewall, Durologoroth is able to use his position to expand his personal collection of texts and discuss his favorite subjects without endangering his hoard or library. His actual lair is located within a farming asteroid near Lirak’s Cube, but is only accessible by magic. Within this asteroid is a private temple of Arcanic constructed by Durologoroth’s ancestors, and currently maintained by his juvenile sister, dwarven wife, and half-dragon children. He has at least two other siblings who regularly visit, but have made their homes elsewhere.

Affiliated Orders: None, although a number of half-dragon clerics and wizards worship him. None of these individuals have led to a long-lasting organization, however.

Priestly Vestments: The holy symbol used by Arcanic’s clergy is a small, sealed crystal scroll case with words magically carved on the inside surface; these words are representative of the priest’s interests at the time the holy symbol is created.

Adventuring Garb: None.

Specialty Priests (Wyrmscholars)
Requirements:          Intelligence 15, Wisdom 10
Prime Req.:                Intelligence, Wisdom
Alignment:                LN
Weapons:                   Any, but normally a dragon’s natural weaponry
Armor:                       Any, but normally a dragon’s natural armor
Major Spheres:         All, astral, creation, divination, guardian, healing, summoning, thought, wards
Minor Spheres:         Law, necromantic, numbers
Magical Items:         Same as dragons, clerics, and wizards
Req. Profs:                Research (PO:S&M)
Bonus Profs:             Lore (CoW), spellcraft

  • Dragons of any species capable of becoming priests may become wyrmscholars, although naturally lawful dragons and electrum dragons are the most common.
  • Wyrmscholars are not allowed to multiclass.
  • Wyrmscholars may select nonweapon proficiencies from the wizard group without penalty.
  • Unlike most draconic priests, wyrmscholars retain access to their natural wizardly spellcasting ability. However, they must learn magic as wizards do, by keeping a spell book and researching new spells. Spells learned require normal memorization as well as all components listed in the spell description. Wyrmscholars are only able to learn spells from the schools of divination, conjuration/summoning, enchantment/charm, and those spells universal to all wizards. Because of their intense magical study, both priestly and wizardly, their natural magic resistance is halved.
  • Wyrmscholars can cast light (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day per age category.
  • At the 2nd age category, can cast read magic or detect magic (as the 1st-level wizard spells) once per day.
  • At the 3rd age category, can cast locate text (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day per age category.
  • At the 4th age category, can cast comprehend languages (as the 1st-level wizard spell) twice per day.
  • At the 5th age category, can cast Alamir’s fundamental breakdown (as the 3rd-level wizard spell).
  • At the 7th age category, can polymorph self (as the 4th-level wizard spell).
  • At the 9th age category, can cast anti-vermin barrier (as the 1st-level priest spell) at will.
  • At the 11th age category, can cast missing word (as the 7th-level priest spell) once per week.
  • At the 12th age category, can cast analyze dweomer (as the 8th-level wizard spell) once per week.

Arcanite Spells
In addition to the spells listed below, priests of the Sage-Dragon can cast the 7th-level priest spell missing word, detailed in Prayers from the Faithful and the Priest’s Spell Compendium Vol.II.

1st Level
Locate Text (Pr 1; Divination)
Sphere:                    Divination
Range:                     0
Components:           V, S
Duration:                 1 rd./level
Casting Time:          4
Area of Effect:         30-yd. radius
Saving Throw:        None

With this divination, a priest is able to pinpoint a specific book or document within the area of effect, or locate a specific passage within a text the caster is holding. The caster can locate one specific text or passage per round; if he has not set the located book or marked the passage in non-magically in some way, he will lose the located text if he searches for another one.

Magical Quill (Pr 1; Enchantment/Charm, Invocation/Evocation)
Sphere:                    Creation
Range:                     5 yds.
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 1 turn/level
Casting Time:          4
Area of Effect:         1 quill pen
Saving Throw:        None

This spell is primarily used by dragons who have difficulty writing due to poor dexterity or a lack of polymorphing. When cast, this spell conjures a magical quill that is able to write as directed by the caster, so long as ink and paper is provided. The quill has two different modes of operation: It can either record the caster’s speech, or mimic writing movements; in either case, the script is exacting and error-free, although it does not correct errors the caster himself makes. In the latter mode of operation, the magical quill can either create a duplicate of a text that the caster is writing, or it can translate clumsy and illegible handwriting into clear, legible script. The caster sets the size of the script and how much of a page should be filled (i.e. margins, space for illuminations, etc.) during the casting of the spell.

In addition, this spell can be used to write magical texts, including spell scrolls, magical tomes, spellbooks, and the like, so long as the caster has the requisite knowledge to create such items and can perform all other necessary activities besides physically writing the text. For such magical writings, the magical quill spell enchants a quill (typically from a rare beast or prepared in a special way) provided by the caster. All other materials must be provided exactly as if the caster was to perform the writing himself, such as specially-prepared parchment or rare ink mixtures. If the appropriate materials are not provided, the enchantment on the written work fails and the materials used disintegrate. If the magical work requires continuous writing longer than the spell provides, the duration of the magical quill spell can be extended with another casting of the spell. For nonmagical writing, ink and writing material must also be provided, but it need only be of the quality desired by the priest.

The caster must have the reading/writing proficiency for the language he wishes to write in. Dragons with poor manual dexterity often use the mimic function to create neat, concise documents as they clumsily write on a large reusable writing surface, such as a slate or wax tablet.

The material components for this are the writing materials for the work; they are not consumed in the casting, but are obviously used as necessary for the written text.

3rd Level
Greater Locate Text (Pr 3; Divination)
Sphere:                    Divination
Range:                     0
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 1 rd./level
Casting Time:          6
Area of Effect:         25-mi. radius
Saving Throw:        None

This spell locates a specific document within the area of effect. The caster must know the title or the first words of the document in order to locate it. If the document is within the area of effect, but farther than 100 miles, the caster will get a vague impression of direction. If the caster is already within 100 miles of the document, he learns the precise direction; within 25 miles, the caster also learns the exact distance.

The material component for this spell is the priest’s holy symbol.

Research Assistant (Pr 3; Conjuration/Summoning)
Sphere:                    Summoning
Range:                     10 yds.
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 2 hrs./level
Casting Time:          6
Area of Effect:         Special
Saving Throw:        None

This spell is a more powerful version of the standard unseen servant spell, used for maintaining a dragon’s library or archive. Unlike an unseen servant, a research assistant’s sole purpose is to tend to written materials owned by the caster. In fact, the spell is cast on the library itself, binding the research assistant to it for the duration of the spell; it can never move more than 10 yards away from the library without negating the spell. (Note that a library consists of written materials in a single chamber for the purposes of this spell, not secreted in a number of separate chambers.)

Once the spell is cast, the research assistant organizes the books, tablets, scrolls into logical groupings as directed by the caster (alphabetical, by subject matter, etc.) and is capable of finding specific texts within the collection by title or first words of the text. It is also able to maintain a catalog of the texts in the library if provided with materials to do so (cards, ledger, quill, ink, stylus, etc.). It will also dust the collection and clean up the area in general, and will alert the caster of hazards such as bookworms, mice, and mildew, although it can’t eliminate such things on its own. The research assistant’s abilities are based on the caster’s own; therefore, it is not able to read the titles of books written in a language the caster does not know. Similarly, it can read the titles of magical tomes or the spells on scrolls if the caster himself has already determined them. The caster can specify that such materials be grouped in one place, however. The research assistant can also be used by dragons with poor manual dexterity to turn the pages of a book or reposition scrolls. Finally, if provided with tools and prepared materials, it can construct shelving as directed by the caster.

The research assistant is stronger than a standard unseen servant and is able to carry 50 lbs. or push or pull 100 lbs. over smooth surfaces. It can also withstand more damage than an unseen servant, possessing 15 hit points instead of the usual 6. A research assistant is identical to an unseen servant with regard to its limitations and means of destruction.

The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol, a quill pen, and a scrap of paper, parchment, or papyrus.

2 Responses to Arcanic the Learned

  1. Barastir says:

    Nice entry, good link between Arcanic and Kereska.

    • Barastir says:

      Nice “google/ ctrl+F spell”, by the way. ;)
      Can’t wait to see rhe entries for Asgorath/Io and Garyx.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *