Magic is part of Conquest, much like it is a part of the lives of its people. With the exception of the mysterious power of the Exiles, which, after all, are not children of this world, wielders of the world's magic can be found in every faction and every race on Eä. This week we will be exploring their types, how your army will be able to field these powerful casters and how to use their powers to their fullest!
What mostly comes to mind to denizens of Eä when speaking of magic, is Primordial magic. Linked to the Primordials and the elements that created the universe, Primordial magic is associated with an imbalance of the soul. Often named “Gifted” these individuals have the ability to tap into the primordial powers that created the world due to their own… misalignment to it. While the Gift is volatile and overwhelming for characters such the Dweghom Sorcerers, humans tend to enjoy a subtler gift and spells, as shown in this extract from the second story of the “Nepenthe” series, due to be released next week:
“She picked the voice of her delegator and brought it in the middle of her attention. The ball started moving faster, the graceful rolling giving way to a nervous juggling between fingers. Then she picked another sound, then another and another, as if concentrating on a single instrument of a performing orchestra around her. The sickly cough of a man at the left side of the room drummed. The shuffle of papers echoed like cymbals. Near the center of the room, too far by all accounts, the Vice-Chamberlain sighed, tired.
…thumb and index to index and middle, index and middle to middle and ring…
She listened further, as the ball moved ever faster, between tense fingers that juggled, now obsessively. A man was talking to someone. His accent fit, even if the tone was flat. Another man commented, his voice deep and calm. There was a third person present, listening silently but he sipped from a crystal glass. They were in the second ante-room, east of the Hollow Throne.
… index and- There!
She snapped the ball inside her fist, trapping the spell in the crystal focus, a flaming wind that now danced inside it. Some of the people around her shifted uncomfortably, sensitive to the imbalance around them but oblivious to its meaning, and she leaned with her hand over her eyes, hiding a sly smile. She then sighed in fake fatigue, a noble lady tired of the loud men around her and nothing more.
And she listened to the words inside the sphere”.
The other type of magic in the world, is entirely different: Faith. Few are the individuals that know or accept that Faith is in fact a form of magic and fewer still are those that can understand its mysteries, even if not its nature. It is not uncommon for the very practitioner to not understand the nature of his power but simply accept it. If anything, Bishop Madheus would have a… strong opinion for anyone who would dare to call his powers “magic”.
“…Soon, he heard it. It whispered to him, a stream with the voice of myriads of soft prayers, uttered secretly, by the penitent and the faithful. The stream grew in intensity as more whispers where added, then more and more. Taken by this endless river, he merely exhaled with his lips moving, tracing words of the different prayers that echoed softly and distantly in his ears. His mindless muttering rose to a whisper, as he concentrated, reluctantly, to the task at hand. He searched among the stream of prayers, picking the words he needed.
He never knew if he actually spoke the words, nor had he asked or been told. Never did he feel closer to Theos than when he was opened to His Grace. The temptation to stay there, to keep feeling it forever, was almost too much. The peasants’ exclamations brought him almost violently back. His heart protested but his mind and body were thankful. Ordained or not, no mortal could withstand the connection to the Grace for long and it had been too long since he had last undergone his Confirmation”.
True to the powers of its world, Conquest has two type of casters. You can identify a Caster Character in your army list from two distinctive special Rules Wizard X and Priest X, where Wizard and Priest define the type of Magic used and X determines their Magic level as it’s shown below, an entry from the Army Builder we talked about last week! If you missed that you can check it out here!
Having selected your Caster you get to customize their magical arsenal by picking and choosing the Spells that complement your List and gameplay the most. One of the Spells we went for our Chapter Mage was Fire Dart, a direct damage Spell able to put some pressure onto enemy Regiments.
Fire Dart has the following profile:
Once the Chapter Mage’s Card is drawn you get to choose to cast Fire Dart as your Action. Once you decide your target and make sure it is within Range, you get to roll an amount of dice equal to your Magic level. Every roll that is equal to or less than the Casting Difficulty is considered a success.
Unlike Fire Dart, that inflicts more damage the more successes you get, most Spells only require one Success to take effect. However, these Spells become increasingly harder to cast the larger the size of the target Regiment.
So if you would attempt to cast a spell on a 6-Stand Men-at-Arms Regiment you would need 2 Successes, if it were 10+ Stands then 3 Successes as per the Scaling rules. It is important to remember that Scaling works for enemy and friendly Regiments alike. The power necessary to empower or hex dozens of men on the battlefield will always be greater than what you would need for just a handful of soldiers.
Always keep in mind that Conquest is a game about strategic foresight and Magic reflects that principle. Should you want to negate an enemy Spell you would have to take counter measures before the enemy Caster activates or make sure you empower the right Regiment at the right time to survive a powerful Charge. Magic is an invaluable tool that although cannot win battles on its own, it is perfect to provide that extra bit of leverage you need to turn the battle to your favor.
Stay tuned for Nepenthe part-two and don't forget to subscribe to our social media here and here as well as to our monthly newsletter, a form for which you will find at the bottom of the page! If you haven't followed up with the first part of the Nepenth series, don't worry there is plenty of time to get up to speed, find out all about it here!