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Arcanists were Netherese individuals who wielded arcane magic in the days of the first Netherese Empire.[2] The title "arcanist" was synonymous with the more modern word "wizard."[1]

CultureEdit

The Netherese culture was extravagant, wasteful, and decadent.[3] Magic was plentiful and nearly everyone could wield it to some extent.[4] Arcanists were the elite spellcasters in society and were looked to for the defense, prowess, and prosperity of Netheril. The most powerful arcanists were known as archwizards.[5]

Arcanists were arrogant in general and looked upon divine magic with utter disdain because they felt they were on a path to godhood and to accept healing or aid from a priest was to forfeit their chance at becoming a deity themselves. Thus, arcanists of this stripe relied heavily on potions of healing and other arcane forms of healing and life preservation.[2]

AbilitiesEdit

The Netherese arcanists achieved the highest level of magical ability ever wielded by mortals. Indeed, one archwizard, Karsus, actually promoted himself to godhood for a very brief moment by stealing the power of Mystryl, the Mother of All Magic, in the Year of Sundered Webs, –339 DR.[6] While this extreme act of hubris resulted in the death of the goddess, the destruction of Netheril, and the eternal prohibition of the greatest magics from mortal minds,[7] it is nevertheless a testimony to the incredible abilities achieved by the Netherese arcanists and archwizards.

The study of magic was divided up into three specializations. Every arcanist chose a major and a minor specialization and was barred from the third. The three specialized forms were Inventive, Mentalism, and Variation. An Inventor created or destroyed matter and material things; a Mentalist operated in the arena of the mind; a Variator altered existing objects, materials, and even magic itself.[2]

PossessionsEdit

Arcanists created many quasimagical items that only functioned while in the vicinity of a mythallar, the magical engine that powered their floating cities. Few arcanists desired to leave the safety and comfort of their enclaves; nevertheless, some magic items were created either before the mythallar was invented or by "eccentric" individuals that were brave enough to venture out of the nest. Some of these rare items were:

Chardalyn 
A black rock that could hold a spell and be released when needed.[8]
Congenio's pebbles 
Later known as Ioun stones.[8]
Halavar's Universal pantograph 
A small box that could duplicate nearly anything non-magical, including cloning creatures (or people if they could be shrunk to fit in the box).[9]
Lefeber's Enchanter 
A rod that imbued items with the ability to store spells.[10]
Netherpelter 
A magical blowgun with a variety of ammunition effects.[11]
Skimmer 
A small boat propelled by an air elemental.[12]
Storm star 
A magic morning star that could release a version of chain lightning when it hit.[12]

RelationshipsEdit

The Netherese thought they were the chosen race among humans[13] and this tainted their view of all other races. In general, the Netherese had a good relationship with the dwarves of Delzoun, trading magic items and inventions for gems, precious metals, weapons, and crafted stonework. Relations with the elves of Cormanthyr started out cordial when they befriended the early Netherese settlers and taught them about magic. As the power and arrogance of the arcanists grew, the elves began to distance themselves from what they saw as an ostentatious, oafish, and reckless group of spellcasters.[14] Gnomes were used as slave labor by the early Netherese but eventually won their independence by going on strike and refusing to work. After their release, many of the former slaves fled south, migrating far away from their insensitive former masters. Half-elves were treated as second class citizens by the Netherese, reinforcing the notion that they didn't belong with either humans or elves. They were allowed to mingle if they had magical ability, but were relegated to the less wealthy districts and earned less than humans doing the same jobs. Halflings had much the same relationship to the Netherese as the half-elves. Humanoids such as orcs were usually killed on sight.[15]

HistoryEdit

Main article: Netheril

Notable MembersEdit

AppendixEdit

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 18. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  3. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 10, 16. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  4. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  5. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 19. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  6. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 11–12. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  7. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 116. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  8. 8.0 8.1 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (Encyclopedia Arcana). (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  9. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (Encyclopedia Arcana). (TSR, Inc.), p. 6. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  10. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (Encyclopedia Arcana). (TSR, Inc.), p. 7. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  11. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (Encyclopedia Arcana). (TSR, Inc.), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  12. 12.0 12.1 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (Encyclopedia Arcana). (TSR, Inc.), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  13. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 17. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  14. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  15. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.

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