The Vigiles Amicae is a roleplaying guild in Everquest 2, on the Freeport and Antonia Bayle Servers.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

In-Character Introduction Letters

Are you a new member of Vigiles Amicae and still needing to interview in-character? Are you a current member of the guild, but have a stable of alts that you would also like to introduce and role play with? We only require interviews for new players, not for every new alt, but this post may still help even old hands.

An excellent idea for introducing a new character is writing an introduction letter. It's by no means required, of course, but it helps prepare you, your character, and all the characters and players involved in introducing your character to Vigiles Amicae. A letter of introduction can include anything you want, but will likely include things like your character's motivation for joining Vigiles Amicae, what they want out of it, and what they feel like they can contribute. It doesn't even have to be written by the character in question if another of your characters or a throw-away NPC if it would make more sense.

Ultimately, an introduction letter is most important to you as the player, as it allows you to nail down details of how and why your character is joining the guild ahead of time without feeling any pressure to figure out such things on-the-fly in the middle of live play. In my personal experience, I often do not find a character's "voice" to play them well until I have written something for or about them outside of live play. Even if you never publish such an introductory letter and no one else ever sees it, it still might be useful exercise for you as a player.

Below is an introduction letter written for my new wood elf channeler alt, Hissaelien Rowanbough. Note that it is not actually written by Hissaelien herself, nor is it technically addressed to the Vigiles Amicae, but it alludes to what personalities, histories, and conflicts have led her to the guild. It also details what her current skills are and how she might hope to build on them.


To Whom It May Concern:

As one of the foremost institutions of magical research and education in Norrath, the Concordium of Magi of Qeynos formally requests to transfer and highly recommends Hissaelien Rowanbough to the tutelage of the training division of a duly-licensed militia or mercenary company.

Hissaelien recently came to the Tower of the Concordium seeking to expand her magical knowledge. Unfortunately, though she meets most entrance requirements, we feel that her background, prior education, and natural talents are unsuitable for our stringent academic standards, and seem much more suited for the kind of hedge witchery common among small villages, militias, and mercenary groups. As such, we are passing her along to an educational environment where we feel she will better fit.

From what she has told us of her background, she joined a caravan of vagrant entertainers following some minor political squabble in her home of Kelethin. Her earliest training was as apprentice to the caravan’s fortune-teller and medium, and she was with the group for some time. Hissaelien claims no family in Kelethin or otherwise, and with no-one else of sufficient rectitude to vouch for her, the staff of the Concordium feel that she will not have the support she needs to meet our demanding academic standards.

In regard to her training and talents, though she seems adequately capable of the most basic elemental magic, her talents strongly favor, and in many ways are dependent upon, spiritual and necromantic aspects, and as such, cannot be encouraged or developed by an honorable arcane educational institution such as this one.

As Hissaelien did pass the Concordium’s entrance examination, and we at the Tower bear her no ill will or prejudice in our rigorous admissions process, we have presented her this letter of transfer and recommendation to the training division of one of the many well-organized militias and mercenary companies we have contracted with in the past. We wish her luck in her future educational endeavors.

Augurer Rho Hippnal
Associate Dean of Admissions
Concordium of Magi of Qeynos

Report: Undercover in the Order of the Rime

From the desk of Zer Sonantius Strigidae
Report for Praetor Ariahdnia Z'Ress
3 Stargazing, Fenin Ro, Age of Veeshan

Zer Praetor Ariahdnia Z’ress,

I address this report to you personally for fear of it falling into the wrong hands. Over the last five months, I have taken on a personal duty to infiltrate the Order of the Rime to gather evidence of its crimes and see to its downfall. I have spent a significant portion of that time deep undercover among their ranks in both Kunark and Velious, and have compiled quite a list of injustices against all the inhabitants, both native and immigrant, of those territories. My cover was recently blown as I moved through their ranks, and so I report to you now, seeking advice and aid in moving forward.

The Order employs brigands and vagabonds from all races, its ultimate goal being to bring about some kind of ice-bound apocalypse in which only the Order of the Rime and their warlord, an apparent half-ice-giant named Kraytoc Killingfrost, will be the survivors. Their magic is incredibly effective at chilling any climate, as evidenced by the deep freeze they have instituted in the northern areas of the Fens of Nathsar, an otherwise tropical region. (An injustice against nature itself, in my opinion, to change a climate so drastically.) To bring about their goals, they seek powerful magical artifacts and also seek to sway or enslave any being whose powers might be used toward their ends.

I was motivated to infiltrate them when I discovered from the coldain of Velious that the Order of the Rime was capturing and enslaving the local ice and wind elementals for use in their nefarious plots against other races. As I am sure you are aware, most such nature elementals are indeed sentient beings (if a bit alien to corporeal persons such as ourselves), and as such, I felt this was a grave injustice to be addressed as swiftly as possible. I resolved that the best way to accomplish this would be from within the organization, where I could collect records of the unwilling enslavement of sentient creatures like the elementals to bring as evidence before the powers of Norrath. Ultimately, I did find this evidence, and so much more.

To gain access to the Order, I first enlisted the aid of the Rilissian Iksar of Kunark, who are attempting to use the chaotic presence of the Rime in their lands to their own ends. Ultimately, the Rilissians provided me with a quite effective disguise, and I was subsequently able to pose as an enlisted soldier of the Order of the Rime.

Most of my activities while undercover in Kunark were of a logistical nature, acquiring and transporting food and supplies for their camps and armies. They are largely extremely poorly organized in this aspect: there seems to be little or no standardization or rationing among the troops, and as such, all three of their largest camps in Kunark are in need of constant resupply. My other duties with the Rime in Kunark tended toward sabotage: destroying or tainting supplies of other, native factions in the areas they were operating in. I am conflicted about these tasks, as some of them required or resulted in unjust violence against local populations. My only rationalization is that these orders were assigned to many soldiers of the Rime, they would have been carried out regardless of my presence, and the orders gave me further opportunity to gather evidence of the crimes of the Order. I have written records of these orders and others to other Rime soldiers which should be strong evidence against them.

The Order's main goal in Kunark is the acquisition of ancient, powerful artifacts; a goal which aligns well with the Rilissian warlord Dominus Rile's goal of reconquering his ancestral homelands. The Rilissians are using the Rime as first wave shock troops in their campaign, and the Rime is hopeful of using this front line position to claim powerful artifacts. Both factions fully intend to betray each other as soon as their goals are accomplished.

After sufficient time in Kunark, I was promoted to service in Velious. I contacted the coldain to explain the work I had already done and the evidence I had collected. They enthusiastically encouraged me to continue my deep cover work, even if it meant acting against coldain interests to maintain my cover. My investigation proceeded similarly as before, though the Order in Velious is much more highly organized than in Kunark. Very little of my service there involved resupply as before, and tended much more toward sabotage and thinning the ranks of coldain defenders, both directly and by reducing coldain morale. Every new assignment provided new records and new evidence of injustice against the natives of Velious, though again I remain conflicted about my participation. The administration of Thurgadin have legally absolved me of action against them in light of the information I have provided them. My only hope is that the evidence I have brought to them might aid them in bringing the Order to final justice.

The ultimate goal of the Order of the Rime in Velious seems to be the enslavement of the dragon Yelinak. They believe that the ancient and powerful being will be key in bringing about their frozen apocalypse.

In discovery of this goal, I worked closely with their commander in Velious, a sage and mystic of the Order named Grand Restorer Lingwal. Unfortunately, his considerable clerical abilities permitted him to see through my disguise, but he did not reveal his discovery of my deception until after I had already completed my assignment of disabling the dragon Yelinak's coldain honor guard.

This is the point at which I request aid and advice. My cover is blown, and the Order of the Rime still moves freely in Velious. Though I doubt the Order actually has the resources available to reach the dragon Yelinak and defeat it, it may soon. The Order of the Rime in Kunark has managed to open a chamber in the ruined city of Charasis called the Emperor’s Athenaeum. Within, they expect to acquire artifacts, or evidence of such, allowing them to enslave a being as mighty as Yelinak. As such goals are reprehensible, it is of utmost importance that a group of seasoned explorers including myself enter the Athenaeum and retrieve these artifacts before the Order can get them. Tracking down and preventing access to any resources which might allow the Order’s true goals to continue is likely to be of high importance in the future of Norrath.

In the name of Justice,
Zer Sonantius Strigidae

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Selections from: Notes on Diverse Magicka - Elemental Arcana

Notes on Diverse Magicka


Legatus Pax Sytan Fiac

Author's note:

This is a series dedicated to informing those with limited or non-extant abilities in arcana on the various forms of magic and their uses. This is not intended as an in depth study, nor does it go into all details. For many, the usage of leylines or nodes will never manifest, nor will the finesse to guide the blood magicka explicitly.

This discourse will cover the concepts of similarities and differences among the branches, and peel back some of the mysteries.

The first section will cover my specialties of hematurgy and necromancy.
The second will cover natural magicka.
The third will touch on the psionic talents.
The fourth will delve into the divine controversy.
The fifth will touch upon the delicate and complex question of void.

It is to be hoped that the interested student will find the more technical treatises on the above topics more readily accessible for this humble offering. Any errors or elisions in this work must be attributed to the difficulty of enumerating in plain language what becomes a nearly reflexive, intuitive impulse for the grand adept.

Whatever the degree, a Mage has a personal well to draw from in some finite means. The inclination of each Mage will determine how it can be used. For example, some incline towards creating fire through the manipulation of thermal energies, and others to the formation and direction of ice through the same means. Others develop towards what may be broadly defined as kineticism, which mechanisms have been of vital importance to the stability of Industry and numerous mechamagical developments.

Elemental magicka can be broken down into the two base components that are very much related to blood magicka. The first we shall discuss is considered by most academia to be “pure elementalism”, or working only the elements and not adding a layer of compulsion or animation.

As such, elemental mages tend to work like a hematurge, casting by intuition and intent rather than full ritual as they advance and age. Many of the same principles apply, especially the possibility for an elementalist to work some magics generally considered beyond their reach through cooperative or ritualistic forms. The biggest main difference, however, is incredibly stark: there are no Grand Adepts among Hematurges, howsoever much blood may be spilled for their art.

An elemental mage may not necessarily became as powerful in their art. Some are born with the predisposition towards working with leylines and nodes, as in the case of the previously discussed Master and Adept rank mages, and some are not. The issue cannot be forced without serious and usually deadly consequences: cooperative Workings which would touch one of the Greater Nodes must place one arcanist of Grand Adept potential - even if they are untrained - in the central working position, or the Node will consume the entirety of the circle that dared to attempt the harnessing. Similarly, a ritualized Working meant to mimic the praxis of a higher-level magus has an exponentially increasing chance to consume the working Mage as part of its power source as the demands of the Work also increase.

The so-called “weaker” elementalists tend to be called hedge wizards, though it would be folly to assume that someone working the lines and nodes would always represent a more formidable power, whatever the formal designation for them.

This main division causes interesting effects, as a hedge wizard is able to refine their arts gain a vast understanding of what they can and cannot do. Masters and adepts, for all they handle more power, tend more towards be a channeler of energies and act as a funnel. They tend to miss many of the finer details of spellcraft as so much is transpiring during a casting, and to direct such vast power toward anything requiring finesse invites disaster. It would be as well to chain a greater fire-drake to light a single candle. Additionally, there tends to be a higher cost to the castings they make and are too exhausted to immediately set themselves to examining how their spell worked and “felt”.

These classifications are vital to understand as the training either branch will get is vastly different from the other, and again vastly different within their division to further narrow a particular specialty.
Not all people can do all things, and not all mages can cast all spells or work with all elements.

Regardless of form, elementalism can be broken down into intention and connection, and kineticism can be broken down into subjugation and animation. The first style tends to be elemental in nature, such as calling forth Fire or Water, or manipulating the properties of Wind, Wood, or Stone. That is not to say a personal affinity or talent for any one element precludes a kenetic's working upon them: it is more a question of whether the mage works with potential or actual manifestations of their chosen element.

The pure elementalist may seem to create physical manifestations of their magic from nothingness, but in practice they are manipulating the latent potential in a given medium, supplemented by what proverbially "raw" mana is available to them.

The kineticist frequently seems to work in a more accessible fashion, for example, by directing where existing mundane water should go to, and in what form. The reader may rest assured the matter is more complex and wonderful than it may first appear, and do well to remember that nothing whatever prevents the emergence of a Grand Adept among the kinetica.

Intention gives shape to the elemental spell. From a simple fireball to a complex ice wall, the elementalist guides the form of the casting, and again it can be done almost intuitively. Most mages undergo extensive training in the focus and refinement of their will, for a vague intention predictably creates a vague result, but it is entirely common - especially among the shorter-lived races - to encounter a particular innate talent for such focus which requires very little help to manifest exactly what the mage desires.

The major difference comes in connection. Rather than a sympathetic connection to a target, an elementalist relies on an innate understanding and connection with the element of the spell. This, of course, is the reason why pure elementalists are often surrounded by - and work with - creatures of elemental magical nature, even though the nature of their talents frequently preclude any possibility of actually ordering them to assist or carry a Working. The greater the connection, the more strongly the mage may channel, manifest, and manipulate that element.

From that point, the target will find harmony with the spell, or it will not. Elementalist training frequently focuses on internalizing the properties of every possible material relative to the element or elements which the student has the strongest talent for. For example: a fire spell used on water will find harmony if it is shaped to manifest in diverse mage-fed particles throughout the water, exciting and infusing the water with immense heat for an explosive result, even at a great distance from the fuel source. A fire spell which asks the water itself to burn, however, will pull immense power only to fizzle in disharmony as the spell seeks and fails to find sufficient potential Fire in the water itself.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What time is it?

A handy visual map of world time,
drawn by the awesome Randall Munroe at .
If it's rude to call their area at a given time,
it's also unlikely you'll see those people at an online event.
Keep this in mind when scheduling RP or hunting!

Nearly Midnight News, March 28th

*crawls up to a pile of ashes*

“Oh gods, oh gods... get me drunk and then mess with my place in time..."

*looks at the pile*

“Someone burned my desk… I mean - seriously... Make me crawl from bar to bar..."

Kyrafym tells RPLFG, "well... thats an awkward realization... "

"And then my - oh. right. desk was defiled… Need to remember to post that around. Bloody Erollisian priest..."

*slowly stands, wobbling*

"Welcome to the Nearly Midnight News, Vithing Erollisian edition.... Or was it Bloody Chronomancers edition… Perhaps Turn Off The Light I Have A Hangover Edition… ... Or the Why Does This Bovid Have Wings Edition."

"Anyways! News! With hangovers! Hurrah.”

*not amused*

"In tonight's news, we go to The Past (TM) and find out.... just what the hell."

"In Antonica, a rare sighting of Fippy Of Yesteryear allowed us to get a brief interview. We asked him why he tries so hard to break the wall."

"His response: "Not break! Climb! Those dumb Qeynos people just ruin my exercise! So I hit them!" Truely an endeavoring spirit, he has tried for years just to do a pole vault and wall climb. And those darn humans..."

Kyrafym tells RPLFG, "the irony is ... i could see fippy doing that -.-"

"There is no irony here. Only news. Pure facts. Can't make up facts."

"In other news, my Holy Of Holy - er - Fizzlethorpe's Holy Days are upon us! Many are celebrating in the time honored tradition of killing other people in creative and sadistic ways! Less noted are those who are putting poo in a bag and lighting it on fire on Old Dave's doorstep."

Kyrafym tells RPLFG, "-shocked and terrified face- "

"Flaming bags of poo are just so naive and juvenile compared to death. Other festivities include buckets of water over doorways, and transporting someone into a full replica of their home, minus all the people there. And one spirit known only as the Prankageddon has sold the Qeynos Claymore to at least three different scrap companies."

Kyrafym tells RPLFG, "BUNNEH!"

"And we must never forget the easiest of pranks - setting a cup of water on someone's bedside and easing their hand into it. This can be done by nearly anyone. And just goes to show, if you set your sights low enough, you can do anything."

"A new strain of degenerative cubism has been released in Odus. It seems to affect something like 47% of all Erudin."

"So far, it has remained isolated in Paineel, though if it were ever to become airborne, the general block-shaped head you see today would spread, and incubation would likely affect the entire body after a critical mass. Experts agree - Erudites would be one block representing the forehead, an egg that might be the body core, and three sticks, possibly representing a cry for help, or a new spell."

"Work is underway to reverse it, and this so called Realism vaccine has had interesting effects. Sadly, one of them is a slight chance of surrealism, making the affected erudin become an angry badger, a book, and a loose pile of string being chased by a cat."

"Paineel has never been more awesome. And that is a professional opinion as Grand Poobah of Fizzlethorpe."

"Elsewhere in Norrath, and less awesome by leaps and bounds, we find our next story in New Halas where Fae unions have been authorized."

"The measure was passed despite worries of regions developing condensed sugar and unmitigated energy. Most experts suspect that it was this phenomena that took down the spire network so long ago."

"Dissenters hold that the Fae can unionize just like any other race, and that there are no side effects to this. Except for the dissenters of dissenters - Nerians hold that Fae unions would not only have side effects, but they would be almost pointless, and therefore able to be ignored."

"A side effect of this measure causes discussions of the hitherto illicit Fae days to resume. New Halas has become a hotbed of Fae activity, and all other sentient races are smart enough not to touch that with a ten-point-two foot pole. Which is a little obsessive, rally, as most Fae are only 3 to 8 inches."

"The NMN would like to point out that pigs were proven not to fly last month, and Bovids are just as unlikely this month."

"However, we seek grant monies to do a thorough and expensive investigation. For those who wish to waste - er - participate in this, please send all inquiries to NMN staffers directly. This is totally Tax Deductible. Meaning that yes, taxes will still be deducted. It will just be harder to calculate."

"In sports this week, we were going to go live to a new team in Enchanted Lands, but when we got there, we only found a huddle of goblins."

"They were calling themselves The Profits, and wanted to play against the halflings. When pressed, the leaders could not say what they wanted to play, or how to play it. Only that they were the True Profits."

"Goblins. Need I go on?"

"Odd weather today - Half of antonica experienced a snowstorm, and the other half experienced the worst case of 72 card pick up in recorded Bristlebane history."

"Residents of Windstalker were torn, sometimes literally from papercuts, in how to respond to this. Some opted on snow forts, and others on houses of cards."

"Rivervale had three inches of spaghetti at about noon, and it was all cleared up by weevils by 4."

"Thurgadin didn't have snow, causing mass panic."

"There was a small bit of continental drift when D'Lere wanted to demand it's land back from Karan, but after a brief talking-to by the Feerrott, went back home. This happened at about 7 pm, and was saved from becoming an Incident by sheer force of smell by the Feerrott."

"I am your anchorette, Folodu Amrunrosse, which I did not say earlier I don't think, and This Is Sparta!"

"Er… Nearly Midnight News. Good night and good luck."

editor's note: 
Maiden’s Fancy's and Vanesh's multiple advertisements during the broadcast have been excluded. The NMN staff does not look kindly upon opportunistic spamvertisements.