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Mystics were a special kind of priest found mainly in the rural and wilder areas of the Realms. Typically, only humans, halflings, elves, and half-elves chose to become mystics. These clergy had great personal charisma and above average wisdom and intelligence with a strong individualistic streak that caused them to shun structure and order in favor of finding their own path to enlightenment, and helping others find theirs. They were usually adept herbalists, able to brew potions and infuse ointments, concoct poisons and create antidotes, and practice a unique form of the Art known as candle magic.
Mystics sought out deities whose circle of influence dealt with emotions such as love and joy; self-centered ideals such as beauty, charisma, hedonism, individualism, self-perfection, fortune, and misfortune; art forms such as dance and music; skill with poisons and antidotes; and natural influences such as darkness, disease, the moon, fertility, birth, motherhood, and the seasons. They were granted spells from the spheres of all, animal, charm, divination, healing, protection, summoning, and travelers, with minor access to the guardian, necromantic, and plant spheres.
Mystics were drawn to the natural world and frequently journeyed through the wilderness seeking hidden beauty and elusive truths, befriending animals, studying herbs, plants, and fungi, and looking for connections between their intangible soul and the physical world. They did so, clad in loose garments that allowed freedom of movement and expression of their natural form. They did not believe that violence solved conflicts or influenced an enemy's thinking and therefore shunned armor and only used a staff, sling, net, lasso, or whip. The only armor a mystic would don were form-fitting accoutrements such as bracers, boots, or a helm. Any such item would have to be aesthetically crafted to enhance their beauty.
The structure of a church to which a mystic might belong was not likely to be rigidly hierarchical.
Charm spells, effects, and abilities were less effective on mystics because of their fiercely independent nature. Mystics could not turn undead, but they could cast sleep on creatures once per day. After some travels, following the tenets of their deity and getting to know the natural fauna, mystics were able to cast find familiar and perhaps gain a life-long companion. Advanced mystics gained the ability to charm monster twice per tenday, and eventually could mass charm just as often.
Mystics invariably had a knack for herbalism and studied the medicinal properties of all plants and fungi they could find. This gave them the ability to identify unusual flora and make nonmagical potions and unguents that mimicked the effects of many magical elixirs and ointments. As they advanced in their studies, they could concoct nonmagical potions of truth, love, and healing; magical potions and ointments of extra-healing; nonmagical potions and ointments of flying; magical elixirs of health and even potions of shape change. Their extensive knowledge also applied to poisons (usually non-lethal, such as sleeping draughts, paralytics, etc.) and their antidotes. Only those bent by evil would brew more virulent toxins.
An unusual application of herbalism practiced by mystics was candle magic. With patience and skill, a mystic could create a candle that worked like a philter of love that was effective even on races that were resistant to charm effects. As they advanced in skill, candles could be made to confer magic circle against evil or good, truth (like the potion), healing, telepathy, fortune, purification, curse, or empowerment.
A mystic that served his or her deity for many winters, sufficiently advancing their knowledge and skill, was granted the gift of longevity, aging only one year for every ten.
Mystics treated the highborn the same as the lowborn, giving aid and advice as needed, believing they were all on their own journey through life. Mystics preferred working with individuals and small groups rather than preaching before a large crowd. While they could be charming and charismatic, they usually did not lead groups of more than ten people for longer than necessary to accomplish something important. Once the pressure that urged them into a leadership role was relieved, they quickly stepped down and let someone else take the lead. If pressed to continue leading, they often left the region or shifted their focus, effectively resigning the position another way.
Because of their antipathy for structure and routine, mystics never established a temple or a shrine that was intended to serve a population. At best, they might set up a small shrine for their own use and perhaps an invited guest or two. Mystics helped others in the faith find their own paths, parallel but not identical to their own. Instead of proselytizing, they preferred to work behind the scenes and set a good example to encourage others to adopt some version of their faith.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 186. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- ↑ Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 186–187. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- ↑ Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 187. ISBN 978-0786903849.