The Haunting of Sulpich Wood
How Magic Works
The Savagelands have imbued the lands to the south with a high concentration of magical energy. Over thousands of years, the inhabitants of the lands have adapted to take advantage of this. The result is a complex system of gods, demigods, and otherwise powerful creatures.
The kingdoms themselves are roughly divided upon the rules of magic that these creatures have laid out. In Esuonia, there is a small pantheon of gods which watches from above (or below, depending upon the specific religion) to ensure that no others intrude upon their lands; Gimland is ruled from afar by the great giants of Agimland, who only make their appearances in times of great need. Selland is ruled by a single god, Molus, who disapproves strongly of threats to his power. Many of the people of Belia worship Molus, while others pray to the Esuonian gods. In Tunnes, there are no major gods; however, nearly every major terrain feature has been occupied by a magical being of some sort, for good or for ill. This extends from mountains and lakes to seasonal creeks and old trees.
All spell casting occurs through the gifts of these greater beings. Wizards are granted spells through their impeccable logic; for each spell, a wizard convinces one god or another that this small bit of power will be used to further the god’s goals, and thus increase its power. (Gods are big into long-term investment.) A sorcerer convinces gods on the fly, allowing spells to be cast without memorizing. Since the arguments to convince a god are generally complex, a sorcerer can’t know as many spells as a wizard—it’s just too hard to remember the arcane benefits and drawbacks of each spell as it relates to each piece of land!
Clerics either worship specific gods or specific natural things (a forest, a sacred mountain, or something similar). In order to cast spells, a cleric must spend time praying with a god and convincing it that its powers will be wisely used. And so forth. Clerical powers diminish with distance from their god (resulting in penalties), but strengthen in areas of strong magic and worship (resulting in bonuses). It is thus extremely advantageous for a cleric of a specific god to attempt to convert people in a strange land. As few as a dozen new followers might be enough for a distant god to direct his attention toward that land.
In practical game terms, this will rarely come up. For roleplaying, it could be neat. One of a caster’s priorities in reaching a new land may be to discover which gods are around, and if he might help them along/use their powers.