“With hatred comes power, and with power comes the ability to breath damnation upon your foes.”
- - Sorcerer-Lord Korvak the Wise
The Sorcerer-Lords of the Sorcerers of Rathan are the various acolytes, Commanders and mystics of the Rathan Organization who have dedicated themselves to mastering one or more crafts that require the rulership of their people. While many different paths are open to a Sorcerer, only one may have the strength of will and power within their blackened, pitted soul to truly master them all, and with it, master their entire race. Every Sorcerer masters the arts of "Dark Alchemy", a twisted form of essence developed by the Sorcerers long ago from the use of genetic manipulation, selective breeding and eugenics, and use of dangerous and addictive narcotics to bring out such power within themselves.
The fall of the Koatria, and the appearance of Essence-attuned Mendel, allowed the Rathan to not only harness this newly emergent power, but without the peace-keeping Koatria to keep them from falling to Darkness, allowed them to pursue this power to it's greatest highs and extremes, the power becoming twisted by Rathan ideology, and, in turn, twisting the bodies of the Rathan and it's member through it's continued use, until some could not be recognized as the species that originally spawned them. Such was seen as needed, for the achievement of their goals was the primary concern of all Sorcerers, the body secondary to this mighty goal.
The Rathan deny that any power comes from existence itself or the material world. To them, there is only destruction and entropy, and to try and stop the destruction of any, to step in and prevent it, is heretical, and goes against the very fabric of the universe. The Rathan believe further, that, since they follow this ideal to it's fullest, far beyond any other race, that only they may pursue it's power and harness it, and for this reason, avoid their own destruction until the time for the universe to die comes to them.
The Sorcerers all answer to the Supreme Warlock-King or Witch-Queen, who commands all Spires, and demands the power of authority over the other Sorcerers. The Supreme Warlock-King/Witch-Queen has the power of the Seven Pillars, in varying degrees with their abilities. Their power is such that no Sorcerer would move against them in their prime, so fearsome and brutal are they towards any traitor, and all warriors fight and die at the command of their leader. If Kirata herself so ordered it, any warrior or Janissary would immediately kill him or herself, no matter how painful, to satisfy their leader.
Next in line are the Sorcerer-Lords, the members of the Conclave that act as major governors, Sector leaders and Mandators for their Forges, colonies and the worlds they command. Each one rules a planet if they are powerful, but most command a city. The Sorcerer-Lords of the highest rank usually have 9-15 Legions under their command, made up Slave fodder, Janissary warriors, and Rathanii Warriors, ready to fight an die at their command. After them, other Minor Sorcerers dedicated to their master, and run sections of his colony or world if they are lucky, commanding forges to produce more weapons and ammunition, or to ready more warriors for battle. Under their leadership, the forges always belch out more noxious fumes and ash-laden smoke, while the groans and screams of slaves fill the air, all to the unblinking, unfeeling faces of their masters.
After, are the Hell-smiths, the warriors with some magical ability that have not yet earned the full trust to become a Sorcerer, or have been demoted. They see to the Forges to make sure they run right, and, more often then not, accompany the armies out into war, tending to the machines, repairing any damage, and make sure the gears are always greased in the blood their enemies. Their powers focus mostly on channeling hellfire and Dark Alchemy into their shots, so that every blast to their enemies feels as though a tiny part of hell itself is seeping into the wounds of their victims.
Below all are the Pawns, minor members who have the ability to tap into Dark Alchemy or Essence powers, but are not strong enough to become Sorcerer-Lords themselves. They are given Aster Blades, and some training, before their minds are surgically altered to make them perfect servants, incapable of revolt or trying to turn against their masters in battle. Though not strong with Dark Alchemy, their abilities with their blades make them among the most dangerous foes in battle.
- Warlock-King/Witch-Queen - Leads the Whole organization
- Sorcerer-Prophets - Leads their respective Spire-Paths.
- Sorcerer-Lords - Command certain worlds and cities.
- Master Sorcerers - Command sections of a world or city, and forges.
- Sorcerer Champions - Command sections of an army, slave encampments and forges.
- Acolytes - Study under and assist Sorcerer-Lords and High Lords.
- Pawn - Bodyguards and court servants.
To become a member of the Sorcerers and Prophets of the Rathan, is an undertaking few have the mental or physical fortitude for. Although many possess hatred, passion and burning desire for power within their hearts like all Rathanii, few have the ability to harness this the way the Sorcerers do, in battle and otherwise. First, is the choosing of a potential warrior to act as Acolyte for a Sorcerer. The Acolyte acts as his protégé and servant, fetching him things, and working to learn from his master. Many are provided by the Loyal Clans bound to the Head Sorcerer's will. Others, are slaves with the power needed to captivate a potential Sorcerer and convince him that this servant deserves more. Due to inter-clan politics, some Sorcerers will choose a Slave as a Acolyte so they will not have to deal with inter-clan fighting.
Soft treatment is not given. A potential Acolyte must prove him or herself constantly, and if, for any reason, falls behind his or her peers, they will be executed or killed, if not by their angered master, then by their fellow Acolytes, eager to fill their position and gain the attention of the Sorcerer-Lord in question. The knowledge a Acolyte learns is decided from the moment their master takes them under the wing, as a Master of Hellfire, will have a Hellfire student, though once he or she reaches adulthood and proves his worth, the Sorcerer in question can learn from other fields of study that catch his fancy, or can be used to supplement his own knowledge. While knowledge is their main field, and most prefer to command their powers to destroy their enemies, many are powerful warriors, and to make sure the body is strong enough to lead for centuries, they are further sent to hostile worlds, such as hellish ring of worlds called Karthx's Reach, or the horrid rotting swamps of Cthoy.
For Sorcerer-Lord and Acolyte, there is a strange relationship. While indeed, their position is of master and student, learning the weaknesses and strengths of their philosophy from one another, a Sorcerer knows that, once his Acolyte grows strong enough to stand on his own and join the Covens of other, minor Sorcerers, he will try for his position and try to undermine him at all points. Yet, to ensure the other Sorcerers cannot sabotage or gain an advantage over his forces and Clans, the Sorcerer-Lord must teach his students everything he knows, and give them access to all knowledge. No matter how friendly the relationship is, however, all Master and students know that one day, the master must either plant his boot on the throat of a foolhardy student, or the Student must tear out his master's heart with his new-found power in order to evolve further.
Pleasure and hedonism is burned out of the apprentice long before they can fight back against their master. What wasn't beaten out of them in training, will be by the Sorcerer's rigid practices and ideals. To the Sorcerers proper, all life is merely a prelude to the great entropy and destruction of the universe. To pretend otherwise, is merely lying to oneself and denying the facts of the world. Be it the application of painful tattoos that burn into the skin, branding by their master or scolding whips laced with burning metal, any pleasure an aspirant can feel is quickly burnt away, and replaced by grim uniformity and spiteful hatred.
As their training nears it's end, the Sorcerer will take the youngling to the Palace of the Witch-Queen/Warlock-King, and be brought to the Sanctum of Zharr-Nihil, where he and the other aspirant Sorcerers will fight against their greatest challenge. This ranges from their worst fears, to enemies that might be beyond their abilities. If the Sorcerer emerges victorious, and to the satisfaction of his Teacher and his highest lords, he will be made a full Sorcerer or Hell-Smith in the ranks of their leadership.
Once their training is finished, they are assigned a number of forges, warriors and slaves to command, while having minor Sorcerers, Hell-Smiths and other minor Sorcerers and Acolytes under their tutelage and command. The main Sorcerer will then keep his former student at arm's length, until they earn his favor and prove their worth. The Sorcerer then must manage his holdings, Clans and slaves effectively for his master's domain, while providing armaments and marching to war for his master when commanded. He must be vigilant against his rivals, for they will play against each other to try and take the holdings of another to further their power. When the Sorcerer-Lord of the world dies, all Master Sorcerers will compete and battle to gain his position, and this plays out when a Sorcerer-Prophet dies, and the Sorcerer-Lords desire his position.
Among the Sorcerers, there are many Paths to take for their rise to power, and not all are the same, or equal in all regards. These Pathways are called Spires, for every student seeks to climb to the top and claim eventual Lordship of their Spire and School of Sorcery. These Spires are seen as the Pillars upon which The Rathan built their society and Culture, and mastery of one gives the Sorcerer distinguished position and power. The highest Orders of their society even command multiple spheres of influence, such as Crothal the Shadowspawn, who yields undisputed command of the Spire of Chronomancy, as well as partial intelligence and knowledge in the Spire of Flesh-Sculpting and Spire Hellfires. only their Supreme Ruler, the Warlock-King/Witch-Queen, can ever hope to command all fields of knowledge and power at once, though the scope of their knowledge often varies from one to another.
- Spire of The Hellfire-Lords
“What use is armor or flesh? The core of worlds, the suns and stars over our heads, all burn hot enough to melt any pathetic armor or flesh that hangs from your useless carcass! In the end, all things will burn, as the Stars expand, and then consume themselves in an orgy of destruction. Such is the way of Rathan!”
The most common Path taken by Sorcerers, those Aspirants who learn form this path, will learn to command the fires that burn around them, and the magma and lava that boils and froths at and below their feet. The Hellfire-Lords yield command of these abilities, and those skilled enough can either summon sparks of fire from their fingers, belch and shout out fire form their mouths and eyes, and cause blasts of lava to shoot out of the ground in gigantic pillars to burn away all foes. The power they yield enables them to even wreath their forces in ethereal flames, that protect them, while burning any who dare strike their favored vessels, or, with a snap of their fingers, cause foes to scream out in horror, as though they have been lit on fire, the flames unreal, but the pain very much there. Their power also enables them command of the forges of their race and their hellish warmachines to a much better degree then any other Sorcerer, and, given the races' tendency towards unregulated industry and forge work, this leads many to aspire to be or serve a Hellfire-Lord.
The Sorcerer-Prophet of the Hellfire-Lords is Drazgoarth the Ash-bringer.
- Spire of The Chronomancers
“Time was your ally, but not it is my plaything! Time is our ultimate weapon in fact! The warrior of the today is the sickly, frail old fool of tomorrow. The Empire of this year, is the relics and ruins of next year. Nothing is forever, all things melt away like sand in an hourglass. We merely speed it up.”
The rarest of the Sorcerer-Lords, these masters never the less hold power over the very concept of Time, many able to stop, rewind, speed up and manipulate time as they see fit. Time is all around them, and the ability to bend it to their will is great and mighty indeed. Though many will die attempting to master such power, those that do finally gain power over it, are among the most feared in the Sorcerer Covens. Most of their brethren yield power over the ability to Stop Time, freezing it for, at most, 10 seconds, leaving them free to move about while their foes remain unaware. Others can rewind the time, when an injury is taken, and reversing the damage altogether. These powers and abilities come at a great cost, however, as over-use of such power, especially Time Stop, renders damage onto their hearts and bodies, which, over time, will kill them. Because of this, many Sorcerers will not take up this Spire, for it costs too much in their arrogant minds, their most important possession; their lives. But for those who do, they are nearly untouchable. Those who master time, can not only stop it, but manipulate and see the currents of time to see into the future and acquire the "Distant-Sight" that enables them to avoid and counter any potential attempts on their lives.
Their Sorcerer-Prophet is Crothal the Shadowspawn.
- Spire of The Flesh-Sculptors
“The flesh is weak, our brothers in the Metallurgists say. The Flesh is fallible, say our kin in the Hellfire-Lords. The Flesh is the source of all things, the first weapon we have in fact! What did we kill with before Axe, gun or sword, but claw and teeth! In order to make work, it requires a bit of work, but this work can turn even an innocent little child, into a murderous hell-beast with a hunger for flesh.”
For the Sorcerers, the flesh is weak, prone to breaking down, limited in scope, and will, be their first ally, but their first betrayer as well. Few have any actual interest in mastering the arts of flesh, believing it the work of peasants and flesh-cutting doctors, not proper warlords and sorcerers. This disdainful attitude, however, does not stop the Flesh-Sculptors from not only taking pride in their work, being large in number, but also having the fear and revulsion from their own peers, thanks to their many twisted and terrible abilities and powers over their victims. A Flesh-Sculptor can use his alchemic powers to turn even the smallest and simplest creatures into brutal killing machines, cause extra limbs and maws to erupt form their backs or torsos, and have them spit out poisonous fumes and acid from pores in their bodies. Flesh-Sculptors are truly the imaginative in a race of grim uniformity and crushing weight of tradition, and the chance to twist and turn the bodies of slaves with their minds is something they are always eager to indulge in. All members of this Spire bear extra limbs, a second pair of eyes, or some other growth in their body caused by their experiments on themselves, and they bear all of this with pride.
Their Sorcerer-Prophet is Xoltethip the Blessed.
- Spire of The Metallurgists
“Our weapons and armor are forged from the greatest metals we can get our hands one. It is these tools that enable us to conquer and break the weaker races under our boots. So why limit the metal to just our weapons? What can a foe do, when his feet are nothing but iron slabs? How may he hold his rifle, when his fingers are steel? Nothing! That is all the hope our foes have once our magical might is unleashed!”
For the Sorcerers, the truest form of power, is in metal. The mighty impenetrable hides of their tanks and walkers, the shells of their hellish, screaming canons, the baroque, blood-stained armor of their warriors, the mighty halberds and axes they swing to crush every foe. It is through metal that their goals of annihilation and power are realized, and it through metal that the weaklings of any universe learn to fear and feel their power to destroy all. Thus, when a Sorcerer wishes to master metal, it is not seen as completely surprising, given their races' history. Though time has separated them greatly from the Mendel, they are still Mendel in some traditions, and forging armor and blacksmithing is still deep in their bloodlines. With their powers, the metal isn't just an object they bend or shape, but becomes a mere extension of their will. With their powers, they may coat a Warrior in a flexible sheet of metal to protect and turn aside injuries, cause enemy army to grow spikes and impale their victims from within, or weaken armor so at to make it useless. Among their most terrifying of abilities, is the power to turn victims into statues of metal. Although a powerful ability, it takes years to master, and enough practice to fully complete the transformation of their foes.
Their Sorcerer-Prophet is Stragoth the Ultimate.
- Spire of the Void-Born
“All will return to the void. All will return to nothing. In this way, we honor the Way of the Nothing most in our path. Others use fire, use ash, use cinder to destroy. We tap into the power of the void, of nothingness, and briefly become one with this nothing. The most advanced software cannot find us. The most advanced sensors could not see us. And when we return to the Real-Space, it is to deliver a blade into your back. The others fear us, revile us. Yet they know better then to try and move against us...”
The Void-Born are the most secretive Spire, and the only ones who do not partake in politics on a large scale like the others. Their Sorcerer-Prophet is indeed part of the council, and makes regular meetings with the others to set policy and pursue operations, but this is all a front. The Void-Born's Sorcerer-Prophet is actually hidden, and the one who meets with others is a mere puppet. The Void-Born want nothing of their personal politics or inner-working becoming known to the others, and hide every detail of their history and arts from others. The Void-Born will remove anyone that even tries to get close to them, and regularly do random psychic checks on their minions to make sure they do not consider betraying the Void-Born Spire. Those that learn from them, can expect to be able to hide in plain sight, mask their presence from other Sorcerers and Psychically attuned warriors, and cause others to look like them to throw off their targets. Their powers make them the greatest assassins among the Rathanii, and for this reason, are the smallest but most dangerous of the Spires.
Their Sorcerer-Prophet is Nizarka the Untouched, 15th of his name. Every Sorcerer-Prophet, when the last one dies, takes the name of Nizarka, their great ancestor.
- Spire of the Cortex-Dominators
“The Flesh is weak, the mind is strong. The Flesh is weak the mind is strong! The flesh is weak, the mind is strong!THEMINDTHEMINDTHEMINDTHEMINDTHEMINDTHEMINDTHEMINDTHEMINDTHEMINDTHEMINDTHEMIND!”
The Cortex-Dominators are the descendants of the Krallir people's need to mentally dominate and control their foes and control the minds of their friends and foes alike. Such was the basis of their faith, and it has continued, in some form, among the other Rathanii for centuries now. Though other races call the Spire their own, it remains dominated and controlled mostly by Krallir and their members. Their use of mental power leaves their physical abilities lacking and weakened compared to other Sorcerers, but the powers they can call upon are many and terrifying. The time spent honing their powers has lead them to developing many more technics then what the ancient Krallir ancestors could've dreamed of. For the weak and discipled, these include illusions of the mind and body that will terrify and cause the weakest of their foes to die of terror, have their troops and enemy mental slaves fight with the exact orders they are given, and, break through mental defenses and find any secrets they so wish. As their powers are extremely useful, almost all Sorcerers go to them for knowledge and some cross training, but never more then what is needed. Dappling so long in mentally defeating their enemies, and heavy use of Dark Alchemy narcotics has left their minds fragile and unstable, though this ironically gives them a great defense against their rivals in the Spire.
Their Sorcerer-Prophet is Jadrax the Unspoken.
- Spire of the World-Shapers
“Ice will come to you in the hottest days. Lightning will strike in a clear sunny day. Floods will strike down your settlements in the deserts. All of this and more will come to pass by my will, so long as weaklings resist my divine mandates!”
The World-shapers are the last remnants of the Mirrorverse's version of the Koatria, born from a combination of their last teachings and Dark Alchemy. While the ancestors of the Rathanii destroyed any Koatria they could find, and annihilated their teachings, many other Sorcerers, having distant cousins, nieces and nephews, did as much as they could to preserve their families, and even Koatria teachings. While they had no use for it's ideals of unity and balance with nature, many thought saving such things would make for good additions to their private trophy collection. Over time, as future Sorcerers grew curious, many began to pry into the knowledge these scrolls and tablets contained. Combining what little they could glean from the scrolls, with their natural Dark Alchemy, they managed to gain the powers to command the elements. While not as strong in any one element over one element, their abilities to summon ice, electricity and jungles vines, or remove breathable air from their foes, makes them more adaptable in battle against their foes.
Their use of Koatria energy, while a powerful addition to their powers, makes them feared and reviled by other Sorcerers, who regard them as traitors and heretics on some level. They bask in the hatreds of their rivals, as they believe their mastery of the elements of nature in battle, makes among the most deadly and untouchable of the Sorcerers. The Sorcerers of this Spire are the most vulnerable to attacks by their rivals, and as such, command the best Warriors to safeguard their forges.
Their master is Zxarthii the Skald.