The Land of Dungeons and Dragons
THE MAGE OF DOOM
Arcane Lord, the Cursed God, the Eyeless Prophet, Fatewriter
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral
PORTFOLIO: Magic, Misfortune, Invention, Torment
DOMAINS: Destruction, Knowledge
FAVORED WEAPON: Shuriken
THE MAGE OF DOOM is a god accursed, haunted by restless spirits and the spectre of despair, but despite or perhaps because of this his power over the arcane arts is second to none.
There are few tales told of the Mage, and fewer instances of his intervention in mortal affairs. He has long been an absent god, well suited to followers who prefer to look to their own interests, and from their writings his absence is usually considered the greater blessing as misfortune and ill fate follow wherever the god treads.
PANTHEONS AND RELATIONSHIPS
The Mage of Doom appears in the worship of one pantheon and a duo as well as individually.
In the PANTHEON OF BLOOD, he is a close ally of the KNIGHT OF BLOOD and sorrowing husband of the MAID OF TIME. His role is that of reluctant consultant to the other deities, who approach him for favors that only his power can grant. His place in this pantheon emphasizes his ill-fated nature and rule over the arcane, and shows him as disinterested in the affairs of others.
As one of the DREAMLORDS, his gifts of prophecy and foresight are emphasized, his insights and powers of thought forming a counterpoint to the more energetic and physical MAID OF TIME. He is said by followers of the pair to be the source of invention and the font of dedication.
Alone, he is the deity of scholarship and research, but also of misfortune and dark fate. His appearances in the legends of others are as an ill-tempered expert, prophet or guide who must be consulted to continue; rarely does he welcome the company of others, despite an apparent fondness for the KNIGHT OF BLOOD and the MAID OF TIME. Those who worship him do so in the hopes that he will either bless them with insight or refrain from cursing their efforts, and stories of his exploits often come down to either the laying or the breaking of a geas.
As an antagonist to other pantheons or deities, he is the herald of death and the spiteful warlock who sends the unwary to their deaths to remove them from his presence. His aspect is that of the maddened wizard or the unscrupulous researcher, an impression not dispelled by the fact that his more devout followers often do tend towards such natures.
APPEARANCE AND EMISSARIES
The Mage of Doom is most often depicted as some manner of half-elf, although sometimes he is shown as a twin-horned tiefling. His eyes either glow with arcane light or are hollow and empty sockets, and he usually carries fire in one hand and lightning in the other.
All creatures of arcane or eldritch origin are claimed by the Mage, in an offhand manner. He watches over summoned beings but is particularly fond of chimeras, and his followers will sometimes try to curry favor by “adopting” abandoned magical beasts.
The Labyrinth Maker
A spellcaster of great power and renown, the true origins of the Labyrinth Maker are lost to the ages. Accounts agree that he was a drow and a follower of the Mage, who traveled the world learning ever more of the arcane until there was no more for him to learn. Many cornerstones of modern magic are attributed to his research. The tales agree that the death of his beloved, a powerful spellcaster in her own right, drove him to madness. He used his power to build an impenetrable maze in which he spent the rest of his days. The entrance to this maze is known, but none who have entered in search of his secrets have ever emerged again.
Bees are the spy network of the Mage, and his messengers. They are said to know the secrets of the world, and to tell them only when their master wishes: as such, bees are sacred to his followers, and to kill one will bring ill fortune. Though not given to superstition for the most part, many wizards consider the appearance of a bee to be a sign of favor, but that to hear one without seeing it is the precise opposite.
Temples of the Mage are so rare as to be virtually nonexistent. Sufficiently large gatherings of magic users may have a small side chapel dedicated to him, and many lone practitioners- particularly witches- keep a corner aside for a small shrine, but for the most part the god is less interested in worship than his followers are.
WORSHIPERS AND CLERGY
Clerics of the Mage of Doom are Chaotic Neutral, Chaotic Good, Chaotic Evil, and True Neutral.
Followers of the Mage are spellcasters, inventors and researchers- either those with arcane magic, those who take refuge from the world in the works of the mind, or those who do both. He also has a fair contingent of half-elven followers, as the god is said to grudgingly empathize with those caught between two worlds.
The clergy of the Mage are extremely few, and tend to be either Oracles- cursed with blindness or the voices of the dead from the god’s touch- or Sorcerers who feel that their inborn abilities are a gift that deserves some return. Devout followers are most often wizards, alchemists or witches.
TEMPLES AND SHRINES
Shrines and altars to the Mage of Doom typically center on an elf-like skull, and by tradition are symmetrical in arrangement with a two-color theme. As many shrines are in workshops or labs, they rarely remain tidy, but the Mage does not seem to mind overly much so long as it is in the name of progress.
The followers of the Mage of Doom do not have holy books so much as reference manuals; it is the aim of every one of the devout to write the definitive work in their field, and the tomes shown most reverence are those that have proven their contents worth the parchment.
On Arcane Mechanics and Planar Geography
Most arcane spellcasters who wish to progress in their art own a copy of this book, which lays out the essential nature of arcane magic, divine magic, planar geography and politics, and most of the other fundamental mechanics underpinning the flow of magical energies. It is said to have been written by the Labyrinth Maker himself, before insanity claimed him.
The original copy of this strange book is lost in the mists of history, but its copies survive and turn up both in centers of supernatural learning and the huts of witches. Instructions on the creation of curses and geases are interspersed with pages of what seems to be gibberish; some copies of the tome omit the seemingly nonsensical strings of letters and numbers, but a few scholars insist that there are hints of meaning behind the mystery.
Followers of the Mage think that regular holidays are pointless and that people who take them clearly have nothing better to do. They are however noted for being almost insanely accepting of the need for sabbaticals, medical absence, research trips, compassionate leave and other circumstance-based breaks from regular working schedules.