Mystra

The Lady of Mysteries, the Mother of All Magic, Our Lady of Spells

Description:

The Lady of Mysteries, the Mother of All Magic, Our Lady of Spells

Greater Power of Elysium
NG

PORTFOLIO: Magic, spells, the Weave
ALIASES: Midnight, Mystryl, the Hidden One (Rashemen)
DOMAIN NAME: Eronia/Dweomerheart
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Azuth, Kelemvor, Selûne, Oghma, Deneir, Milil
FOES: Cyric, Bane (now dead), Talos
SYMBOL: A circle of nine stars, with a red mist rising toward (or flowing from) its center or a circle of seven blue-white stars, or (older) a single blue-white star
WOR. ALIGN.: Any

Mystra (MISS-trah) is the goddess of magic and with that the goddess of possibilities, which makes her arguably the most powerful deity in Faerûn and possibly throughout Realmspace. She is said to have taught the first spellcaster of the Realms, and to have enabled many of the races to use magic. She supposedly weighs and judges each new spell or magical item to determine whether it should be permitted into the Realms. She is most venerated by wizards and those who use magic or magical items in their daily use. She differs from Azuth in that Azuth is the god of wizards (as to a much lesser degree, all spellcasters), while Mystra is the goddess of the essential force that makes all spellcasting possible. She provides and tends the Weave, the conduit to enable mortal spellcasters and magical crafters to safely access the raw force that is magic. Mystran advisers are common in Azuthian churches, and vice versa.

During the Time of Troubles, the former incarnation of the goddess of magic, Mystra, was destroyed and her essence merged with that of the land itself. A new goddess of magic, arising from the human form of the magician Midnight, took the mantle of divinity and the goddess’s portfolio. At this time, the goddess of magic’s alignment shifted from lawful neutral, maintaining the balance in use of magic, to neutral good, reflecting the new incarnation’s attitudes toward the uses and purpose of magic. Rather than forcing her worshipers to change their ways, Midnight has taken a conservative, long-term strategy by assuming the name and trappings of her predecessor to make the change as smooth as possible for her church and worshipers. Midnight is now revered within the church as the human avatar of Mystra, and her form now graces the avatar of the goddess when she walks the Realms seeking to rebalance the dead and wild magic areas of the land.

In the past, Mystra contested with Talos and Gond as rivals and with both Bane, and later, Cyric over attempts to control or usurp her power. She despises Cyric.

Mystra is fond of Kelemvor, Lord of the Dead, who was her love during her mortal life. Whether their relationship will again blossom into love is yet to be seen. She is aided in her work by Azuth, Dornal the Watcher, and by her Chosen: Elminster, Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun, and the Seven Sisters. (The powers of the Chosen are discussed extensively in The Seven Sisters accessory.) Mystra is also served by the Magister, a title borne by a single mortal worker of the magical arts chosen by victory in one-on-one spell combat to be champion of magic. The Magister is also one of the Chosen of Mystra. The current Magister, Lady Magister Nouméa, was elevated to the position in 1354 DR.

Other Manifestations

Mystra’s typical manifestation is as a blue-white, pulsing glow on items, beings, or places that the goddess wishes to draw attention to, such as a hidden door or item. She also appears as a slender, graceful, disembodied human female hand outlined in blue-white motes of light that points, gestures, writes, inscribes lines on stone with one finger—often writing the tomb inscription of a powerful dead mage as an obscure clue—or unleashes spells.

Mystra has also been known to use agathinons (in natural and magical item forms); devas; maruts; light aasimons; einheriar (former wizards and other prominent users of magic); hope, faith, and courage incarnates; radiant mephits; guardinals of all sorts, hollyphants; gem and metallic dragons (including steel and mercury dragons); pseudodragons; selkies; bluejays; sparrowhawks; white cats, dogs, donkeys, horses, pegasi, unicorns, and mules (all with blue or mismatched eyes); blue and clear gemstones of all sorts; rainbow tourmalines; amarathas; rogue stones; beljurils; and small creatures composed of translucent magical force to demonstrate her approval or disapproval or to send aid to her faithful.

The Church

CLERGY: Clerics, Specialty Priests, Wizards, Bards
CLERGY’S ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN, CN, LE
TURN UNDEAD: C: Yes, if good or neutral, SP: Yes, M: No, B: No
CMND. UNDEAD: C: Yes, if evil, SP No, M: No, B: No

All clerics and specialty priests of Mystra receive religion (Faerûnian) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency. All priests of Mystra are granted weaveglow (see below) upon their initiation.

Most worshipers of the Lady of Mysteries are human, but all natives of Faerûn who seek to become powerful in magic without benefit of divine aid must at least appease the goddess with sacrifices. (Burning items that have temporarily been enchanted with a spell is the easiest way to do this.) Wizards, especially good wizards, hold her name in special veneration, even if they primarily worship Azuth or some other deity.

All wielders of magic and seekers after arcane lore of any race are welcome in the service of Mystra. The hierarchy of the Mystran faith is wide and varied, separating into orders concentrating on one form of magical energy or another. Clerics, specialty priests, wizards, and bards can all he found in its ranks without regard to experience level or origin. The general rule of the Mystran faith is that talent and ability for the job outweighs social rank or legendary feats. Only those clergy members who gain their spells directly from a higher power gain their spells directly from the goddess, but all are welcome within the church’s hierarchy. Relations between the various orders and subgroups of the faith are very good. The priests of Mystra are known as Servants of Mystery. Higher level priests, both those with title and lands and legendary adventuring priests, are called Ladies or Lords of Mystery. Titles within the faith vary from temple to temple and follow no standard form across the whole of the church, though most temples are rigidly self-consistent.

Mystran temples can be structures of almost any size or style, and some shrines are natural carves or special grottoes. Through the grace of the goddess, Mystran priests who stand in a place sacred to Mystra can cast spells for the maximum possible damage, duration, or extent of effect (their choice of which). Such places include all Mystran temples and shrines, and most private spellcasting chambers.

All priests of Mystra can cause their own flesh—all of it, or specific areas, such as a hand—to glow at will with a soft, blue-white radiance as a boon from Mystra. This radiance, known as weaveglow, is enough to read by or to allow a priest to clearly see items and surroundings within 5 feet. Most Mystrans keep this sign of the favor of the goddess secret from nonbelievers. As something mysterious, it is more useful, allowing them, for example, to feign affliction or magical attack. Weaveglow is granted to priests after their initiation, which is often a Starflight ceremony.

Dogma: Choice, decision, and knowledge, leavened with a healthy dose of good for the most individuals, are the hallmarks of Mystra’s faith. Magic is great power, and it brings with it great responsibility. Mystra’s clergy are given the following charge upon aspiring to the faith:

“Love magic for itself, not just as a ready weapon to reshape the Realms to your will. Learn when not to use your magic, and you will have learned true wisdom. Play with magic and learn how best to wield it, but not when the price is paid by others. Strive to use magic less and less as your powers develop, not more and more; often the threat and promise of Art outstrips its performance.

“Remember always that magic is an Art, the Gift of the Lady, and that those who can wield it are privileged in the extreme. Conduct yourself humbly, not proudly, while being mindful of this.

“Use magic deftly and efficiently; eschew carelessness and recklessness in the unleashing of Art. When magic imperils you, hide it or hurl it away into other planes rather than destroy it, for any destruction of Art is a sin.

“Seek always both to learn new magic and to create new magic, but experimenting to learn to craft something oneself is better than merely buying scrolls or hiring tutors. Exult more in creation than in hurling spells, and ensure that your creations are shared with others and so outlive you. Those who succeed in this last and in maturing into true wisdom and consideration for the greater balance of things in Faerûn in the use of Art are most favored in the eyes of the Lady and will serve her beyond death as beings who have become one with magic and live on in it forever.”

Day-to-Day Activities: Mystran clergy work hard to preserve all magical lore in secret libraries, private safeholds, well-guarded research laboratories, and small, hidden stashes so that magic flourishes in the future regardless of what befalls the thinking races of Faerûn or the powers of the planes. Mystrans also search out beings skilled in spell use, seeking to keep watch on the identities, powers, and behavior of individuals likely to become magic-wielders of importance.

Not everyone can find old magic of note, but all clergy of Mystra can devise their own new magic upon gaining sufficient experience, and they are expected to do so. In this way magical study remains a growing, vibrant thing, and magic does not merely become a handy power to serve rulers and engineers as a tool to tame the Realms, but remains a thing of wonder.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: In Waterdeep, the church of Mystra celebrates Gods’ Day on the 15th of Marpenoth, the anniversary of Midnight’s elevation to divinity as the new Mystra, with a huge festival centered around the House of Wonder that ends in magical fireworks that go long into the night. This holiday is being gradually adopted by shrines and temples of Mystra throughout Faerûn.

On the whole, though, the worship of Mystra tends to be a personal thing rather than a series of calendar rituals. For some mages whom the goddess counts as devout believers, it never goes beyond a whispered prayer of thanks to her with each spell they cast coupled with some thought as to the moral consequences of the use of this or that spell. For Mystra, that is enough. The goddess gains both delight and strength, however, from beings who do more in reverence to her. Two ceremonies of personal significance stand out: Starflight and Magefire.

Starflight is often used as an initiation when an individual joins the priesthood of Mystra or a celebration when two worshipers are wed. It is a special ceremonial cooperative magic worked by several priests that empowers one of the faithful to fly so long as stars are visible in the sky. This can make long journeys easy, provide a joyous change of pace, serve as a special means of looking over the land, achieve privacy for important discussions, place one of the faithful a safe distance away from precious things in order to try hurling spectacular spells, or provide a very special beginning for one’s marriage.

Magefire is renewal; it is the exciting feeling of great magical power surging through one’s body, blazing out as flickering blue fire as it spills forth, cleansing and renewing. With enough clergy powering it, this cooperative ceremonial magic can heal all sorts of fell conditions. Mystrans describe it as “the most blissful feeling one can know.” It is spectacular to watch. The Mystran to he affected lies down on the ground and the circle of celebrants pours power into the worshiper—until his or her body, blazing with blue fire, slowly rises to hang in midair above those fueling the ceremony, humming and crackling with the power of the magic surging through it. Magefire often ends in a Starflight ceremony, provided the celebrants intone the correct incantation.

The Hymn to the Lady is a solemn ritual performed at funerals and magemoots, that calls up visions of dead mages and Mystran clergy as a plainsong dirge is intoned by the living clergy present. Mystra often uses these visions to insert her own guiding scenes. A modified Magefire ceremony may be employed at the end of the Hymn to raise the honored dead aloft into a floating pyre on high.

Major Centers of Worship: On the wooded eastern verge of Elventree stands a ruined, overgrown stone hall known as the House of Mysteries. It is reportedly the strongest place of power to Mystra in all Faerûn (along with the nearby Harper refuge, the House of the Harp).

Those who enter the House of Mysteries say that the inside is like a sound-eating dark void where soft voices whisper and glowing, varicolored motes of light drift about. No spell can illuminate this darkness, and out of it comes the Voice of the Goddess (or a senior devotee) answering questions with cryptic advice, identifying items apparently without need of spells, and (rarely) altering supplicants with spells that come “out of nowhere.” Word of such puissant divine aid and guidance has spread swiftly across Faerûn, and wizards from distant realms indeed have come to Elventree in search of grandeur.

The largest temple to Mystra in all the Realms is located in Mt. Talath in Halruaa. It occupies an entire cavern complex, and its high priestess, Lady of Mystery Greila Sontoin, is very old but still capable of performing powerful ceremonies and casting mighty spells. The grand temple of the complex is open to all who want to worship, but the storerooms and libraries are only open to Halruaans of proven good intentions and of Mystra’s faith. Non-Halruaans are sometimes admitted to certain libraries and halls deemed to contain nonsensitive items and reference works, but usually such admittance is at the price of a very steep admission fee.

Affiliated Orders: Most wizards and bards in the Mystran church are members of the clergy and belong to no special order, though the church of Mystra has close ties with Those Who Harp (the Harpers), an organization working for good and against the rise of great powers throughout Faerûn. Those bards who are not clergy members belong to the Children of the Starry Quill and often work as information gatherers and rumormongers for the church or spend part of their time in designated libraries unearthing magical knowledge and then preserving it for posterity. Some members of the Starry Quill are also Harpers.

The church also sponsors a knightly order of paladins and a small order of rangers. The paladins, the Knights of the Mystic Fire, are granted their spells by Mystra. They often accompany members of the clergy on quests to locate lost hoards of ancient magic and also form the cadre from which the leadership for the small groups of armed forces who guard Mystra’s larger temples and workshops is drawn. The rangers, known as the Order of the Shooting Star, also receive their spells from Mystra. They serve as long-range scouts and spies for the church and also deal with magical threats that threaten the natural order of things, such as unloosed tanar’ri and baatezu and creatures born of irresponsible wizardly experimentation.

Priestly Vestments: The ceremonial garb of Mystran priests is simple blue robes that are sometimes trimmed with white. They are accented by a cloak of deep blue in colder climates. Some form of headgear is required, though this may range from a simple blue skullcap for the scholarly orders of the Sword Coast North to wide, ornate, blue hats and helms in southern lands.

Mystra’s symbol was a blue-white star before the coming of the Avatars and now is a circle of stars in a ring, with a red mist rising toward (or flowing from) the center. Both symbols are still in use. Mystran priests are very tolerant of the older symbology and beliefs in Mystra, as they feel that one may only press forward by learning about the past. They let established symbols of the old Mystran faith stand, but when creating new symbols, they always use the new sigil of their goddess.

Adventuring Garb: In the field, priests of Mystra wear armor and bear the new symbol of Mystra on their shields as a display of their faith. If armor is inappropriate, they dress in the fashion of the land they inhabit appropriate for the inclement weather.

Specialty Priests Dweomerkeepers

REQUIREMENTS: Intelligence 14, Wisdom 12
PRIME REQ.: Intelligence, Wisdom
ALIGNMENT: LN, CN, NG
WEAPONS: All bludgeoning (wholly Type B) weapons
ARMOR: Any
MAJOR SPHERES: All, astral, chaos, charm, combat, creation, divination, elemental, guardian, healing, law, necromantic, numbers, protection, summoning, thought, time, travelers, wards
MINOR SPHERES: Animal, plant, sun, weather
MAGICAL ITEMS: Same as clerics, plus all items normally usable by wizards except scrolls
REQUIRED PROFICIENCIES: Spellcraft
BONUS PROFICIENCIES: Astrology

Dweomerkeepers have a +2 bonus to their saving throws against any sort of magic.
Dweomerkeepers function normally in both dead magic and wild magic areas.
Once per day, dweomerkeepers can detect magic. The ability lasts for a turn, and the dweomerkeeper has a 10% chance per level to recognize if a certain type or certain sphere of magic is present. The ability functions otherwise as the 1st-level wizard spell detect magic.
Dweomerkeepers can read magic as the 1st-level wizard spell and can also read the different mage-script used in the South in Mulhorand and elsewhere (a script usually unreadable with read magic. This does not enable them to cast wizard spells, merely to understand all magical writings.
At 3rd level, dweomerkeepers gain the ability to cast Nystul’s magical aura (as the 1st-level wizard spell) once a day. The faithful refer to this ability as Mystra’s lingering touch. Dweomerkeepers need only touch an appropriate object to use this ability.
At 5th level, dweomerkeepers are able to cast dispel magic (as the 3rd-level priest spell) once a day.
At 7th level, dweomerkeepers can cast priest spells faster than other priests. Their casting time on all priest spells of one round or less are reduced by 3 (for example, a casting time of 7 would be reduced to 4). Spells taking more than one round to cast still require the usual amount of time. Priest spells cast by a dweomerkeeper always have a casting time of at least 1.
At 9th level, dweomerkeepers are able to air walk (as the 5th-level priest spell) or convey the ability to air walk to a mount they are riding once a day.
At 15th level, dweomerkeepers become immune to the effects of any three specific spells they choose.
Mystran Spells
3rd Level

Starflight* (Alteration)

Sphere: Elemental Air, Travelers
Range: 1O yards
Components: V,S
Duration: Special
Casting Time: 2 turns
Area of Effect: One to three worshipers of Mystra
Saving Throw: None

This cooperative spell requires at least two Mystran priests casting the spell simultaneously. For every two additional Mystran clergy members (of any class) who participate in the ceremony, another Mystran worshipper can be affected, to a maximum of three worshipers. Other participating clergy have to either cast starflight or donate three spell slots of magical energy to the spell. Clergy who donate energy lose three levels of spells from memory as if they had been cast. Portions of a spell donated result in the loss of the whole spell as if it were cast. This spell bestows on its recipient the capability of magical flight. It empowers a worshiper of Mystra to move vertically and horizontally at MV 24 (A), and at MV 12 (A) if ascending and MV 36 (B) if diving sharply. The spell recipient can swoop and rise with a mere thought and can carry up to his own body weight along in flight. It lasts as long as stars are visible in the sky, normally ending with sunrise, but possibly terminating earlier because of a storm or heavy fog.

4th Level

Anyspell (Alteration)

Sphere: Charm, Creation
Range: 0
Components: V, S
Duration: Special
Casting Time: 7
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None

This spell allows the caster to read and then later cast any wizard spell of 1st to 5th level. Such a spell si readable via a read magic ability confered with the casting of anyspell, but only one spell can be read and cast for each casting of anyspell. Merely reading the titles of spells on scrolls or in spell books to find a desired spell does not exhaust the magic of the anyspell; an entire spell has to be read. Once anyspell is cast and a wizard spell is read, the wizard spell is retained in the priest’s mind until the priest casts it. Such wizard spells are cast as if by a wizard of the same level as the casting priest, except that the user of an anyspell needs no material components to work the wizard spell.

While the priest has the wizard spell in mind, she or he cannot pray for a spell to replace the still-pending anyspell. In effect, one 4th-level spell slot is “lost” until the wizard spell is cast, at which point the duration of anyspell comes to an end. Note that in order to make effective use of this spell, the priest has to borrow the spell book of a wizard friend or use a found wizard scroll. (Priests of Mystra are not otherwise able to use wizard scrolls.) Using a scroll in this fashion uses up the spell read from the scroll.

Magefire* (Abjuration, Necromancy)

Sphere: Healing, Necromantic, Protection
Range: 10 yards
Components: V, S
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: Two turns, plus one turn per additional effect desired
Area of Effect: One worshiper of Mystra
Saving Throw: None

This cooperative spell requires at least two Mystran priests casting the spell simultaneously. For every additional Mystran clergy member (of any class) who participates in the ceremony, another restorative benefit can be empowered. Other participating clergy can either cast magefire or donate four spell levels of magical energy to the spell. Clergy who donate energy lose four spell levels of spells from memory as if they had been cast. Portions of a spell donated result in the loss of the whole spell as if it were cast.

With only two casters, this spell works as a neutralize poison, cure disease, and a remove curse. For each additional clergy participating, another benefit is added and the ceremony takes another turn to complete. Benefits always take effect at the combined level of all the spell’s participants. The additional benefits are, in order: cure blindness or deafness, heal, regenerate, and dispel magic. Additional participants past this point enable any effect to be repeated (if a dispel magic fails, for instance) or allows a special fell condition to be healed or dispelled at the DM’s discretion.

6th Level

Wondrous Recall (Alteration, Enchantment/Charm)

Sphere: Charm, Creation
Range: 0
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous
Casting Time: 9
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None

This spell enables the caster to bring back into memory two duplicates of the last spell cast before the wondrous recall in order to enable that spell to be cast again twice. A cast wondrous recall appears as two phantom spells that can be carried in addition to the normal spell load of the caster. Each of these “extra” spells can be unleashed through a silent act of will a casting time of 1 and no need for material components. Casting these spells does not allow the priest to exceed the normal casting limitations of one spell being enacted in a round, however. If the caster so desires, one of the recalled spells can precisely duplicate in efficacy (hit points of damage done, area of effect, etc.) the original spell from which the recall copied its phantom spells or—if this exact duplicate is the second recalled spell to be unleashed—its recalled twin.

A priest may only carry in mind one cast wondrous recall (that is, two phantom spells) and one uncast wondrous recall at a time. Prayers for more than one wondrous recall are never granted and attempts to cast a wondrous recall while one is still in effect result in the caster being feebleminded (as the 5th-level wizard spell of the same name). Wondrous recall cannot recall 7th-level or greater spells.

7th Level

Spell Ward (Abjuration)

Sphere: Protection
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 round/level
Casting Time: 1 round
Area of Effect: One being
Saving Throw: None

This powerful magic confers upon the caster or a single living touched spell recipient complete personal immunity to one specific, named wizard spell of each level (for example, lightning bolt, not just any lightning spell), which has to be determined during casting. In addition, a spell ward affords protection against any one form of damage of both natural and magical origin (typical forms are cold, electricity, fire, acid, rot, heat, life-energy drain, and poison). However, a spell ward cannot prevent the contraction of any disease.

Casters who use this spell on themselves can—at an immediate cost of 1d6 points of damage to themselves—transfer the protection of the ward to another being through touch. (Unaware or unwilling recipients require a successful attack on AC 10 to touch.) Such a transfer does not affect the duration of the ward; only the remaining time of protection is gained. No second transfer can be made, and a being who was not the spell’s caster cannot transfer a spell ward to anyone. Spell ward does not work on automatons (such as golems) or undead creatures.

Bio:

Mystra

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