In our previous “Lore of the Realm” article, we focused on the heroic magic of Mythoss. We saw the variety of magical disciplines found in those heroic factions, but wherever there is light, there must also be darkness, and the goodly magic of Mythoss is contrasted by the shadowy, arcane powers that align against it. In this article, we will delve into this dark magic and the horrible beings who wield it.
The Circle of Poxxus
Aligned against the magic users of the Convocation of Bassylia are the dark terrors of the Circle of Poxxus - a collection of witches, warlocks, demons, Djinn, sorcerers, and assorted wielders of dark magic. Their ranks are lesser in numbers, but collectively more powerful.
The first members of this faction we would meet in the Mythic Legions line were the demon brothers, Azhar and Zazhar. Sorcerers with the power to grant or destroy life, these beings were “once an all-powerful demon king of the Netherrealm. The mighty Azahazzar was split in two when Poxxus summoned him into the world of Mythoss. Zazhar and his brother Azhar are the malicious result of that split.”
Unlike the magic users we have covered previously from the Convocation of Bassylia, most of whose powers come from years of study and commitment, one can assume that the demonic nature of this pair is a source of their innate powers.
Another magical member of the Circle of Poxxus would be introduced in the Covenant of Shadow wave in the form of the minotaur mage, Torrion. This character’s bio also details the Shadow Minotaur sub-race and the dark magic that gave them life:
Shadow Minotaur can be traced back to the first age when Poxxus’ agents stole away many woodland creatures and imbued them with dark magic. Mightily adept at magic, the Shadow Minotaur are a formidable element for the Circle of Poxxus. Torrion, a young Shadow Minotaur with an unusual proficiency for spellcasting has been given the great honor of representing Poxxus in the secret meeting of the dark factions known as The Covenant of Shadow.
While perhaps not as naturally magical as the demons who lead the Circle of Poxxus, even this character shows the differences between how the heroic magic users and the evil spellcasters gain their powers. We would meet more of the Circle of Poxxus in the Advent of Decay wave.
The Shadow Elves had a large presence in the second Kickstarter-funded wave for the line. While the bio for the Shadow Elf King, Malachi Cinderhorn, does not contain any mention of magic, one can assume that these shadowy Fae have some innate powers due to their race and lineage. Their affiliation with the magic-heavy Circle of Poxxus reinforces this belief.
One new Advent of Decay character that certainly is magical is the demon spellcaster, Xarria.
With a gift for casting dangerous and exotic spells, Xarria’s power rivals that of faction leaders Azhar and Zazhar.
Once again, we can surmise that the demonic nature of Xarria contributes to her powers and control of these aforementioned “exotic spells.”
On the subject of race contributing to magical ability, the Temptress known as Malynna certainly falls under this banner.
As one of the last remaining Uubyr in existence, Malynna has sought refuge in the dark corners of Alkyrium where she seeks to refine her dark magical abilities into a devastating and deadly weapon. An ancient mixture of orc and vampire bloodlines, the Uubyr have been shunned and despised despite their immense inherent magical potential.
This information introduces us to a brand-new race, while also detailing that the Uubyr have “immense inherent magical potential.” So it is now very clear that study and dedication is not the only path to magical power, but that some powerful wielders of the magical arts are born with these powers and can access them to devasting effect.
The wave that bore the namesake of the Circle of Poxxus gave us a number of new members of this faction, along with some brand new magical disciplines.
The evil human sorcerer, Arrizak, is not only a member of the Circle of Poxxus, but as we learn from his bio, he is actually a traitor to the Convocation of Bassylia.
Once a young wizard rising through the ranks of The Convocation of Bassylia, Arrizak is a devious and cruel sorcerer bent on promulgating the word of Poxxus. Unsatisfied with the ancient approved texts of Agbendor that his fellow acolytes were studying, Arrizak was constantly thirsting for more - more knowledge, more spells, and more power. His pursuits led him away from the realm of Ophidionn and the Tower of Bassylia and into the realm of Nethergate where he gathered with members of The Circle of Poxxus. One convening was all that it took for Arrizak to find his new home amongst like-minded sorcerers searching for insight into sinister power.
So not only do we discover that Arrizak left the Convocation due to his thirst for power, but this text mentions that there are volumes of knowledge at the great library of Agebendor that are forbidden. It makes one wonder exactly what kinds of magic are contained within those pages, and what kind of threat would require the guardians of that knowledge to free it from its bonds in combat or defense?
The Poxxus wave introduced us to a whole new race in the form of the Umangeist, Thraice Wraithhailer. Listed as a "summoner", her bio reads as such:
Illusive and dangerous, the pale skinned Umangeist are thought by many to be apocryphal. A corrupt supernatural mingling of flesh and phantasm, the ashen skinned Umangeist are all too real to those unfortunate enough to cross their path. Thraice Wraithhailer’s ambition has driven her to augment her deadly capabilities by learning the ways of summoning magic. Thraice’s inherent connection to the spirit world heightens her abilities to devastating effect. An unquenched lust for power eventually drove her into the fold of The Circle of Poxxus where Thraice Wraithhailer emerged from the shadows as a transformed being created by the horrific melding of unnatural magical powers.
In this text we learn that Umangeist’s have inherent capabilities tied to their connection to the spirit world, but in the case of Thraice, she has also learned summoning magic. This is a discipline we have not yet seen in the Realm of Mythoss, but coupled her phantasmic heritage, it has created this “horrific melding of unnatural powers.”
The final magical member of the Circle of Poxxus introduced in this wave is another new race – the Djinn named Kalizirr.
Born of an elemental fire that transcends our physical plane, the Djinn of Mythoss are an enigmatic people known for their great power and unpredictable allegiances. Considered spirits by some and demons by others, they are mighty beings who draw their abilities from the elements. Typically bound to inanimate objects by wizards and spellcasters seeking to tame their unruly strength, Djinn are both all powerful and prisoners of their own existence. The malevolent Kalizirr is a rare Djinn who has been freed from his bondage. Bent on revenge on the magic wielder that imprisoned him, Kalizirr is faithful to the cause of Poxxus and his war on honorable magic.
We have heard about elemental magic before in certain members of the Convocation of Bassylia, but the way that magic is seen in this Djinn is unique. It is also interesting to hear how these beings are “all powerful and prisoners of their own existence.” Knowing that Kalizirr is a freed Djinn makes one shudder to think of the unchecked power this being wields in service to the dark god, Poxxus.
Other Evil Magic Users
Foul magic seems to be prevalent in the terrors who make up the evil factions of the Realm. Demons from other Realms, living skeletons, and creatures whose very existence is an affront to the natural order of things make up the ranks of these armies.
In the Legions of Arethyr we find Belphegorr and his ability to “tear portals in the fabric of reality.” This faction also includes Kronnaw, a destroyer who may not wield magic, but whose very existence is due to “an abominable experiment marrying arcane resurrection magic and savagely untraditional science.”
The subject or resurrection magic brings us to the Congregation of Necronominus. Led by the children of the faction’s namesake, the High Priestess of this faction is Morgolyth. According to her bio, she has the “ability to see through the eyes of her dead soldiers keeps her perpetually aware of her armies’ actions.”
In the bio for the ghostly Hagnon, we also learn of another of her dark powers, as it states that ”Morgolyth ended Hagnon’s life and resurrected him as one of her own.” So it is clear that this aforementioned resurrection magic is within the powers of this daughter of Necronominus.
Magic seeps through so many members of the Congregation of Necromoninus, including Clavian.
Unlike other skeleton soldiers raised from the dead, Clavian and his crimson-hued brethren are reborn of magic steeped in blood. The foul sorcery used to regenerate these scarlet demons also grants them augmented strength and the ability to remove and brandish their own bones as weapons, only to regrow them again and again. The magic running through Clavian’s bones renders even his slightest touch lethally poisonous.
So this text details that many of the skeleton soldiers of the Congregation are raised from the dead, as Morgolyth did with Hagnon, but Clavian and his fellow red skeletons are something else altogether. These warriors regeneration is thanks to a kind of powerful blood magic.
The ranks of the undead are made up of so many different kinds of once-living beings, so it makes sense that powerful magic users are counted in that tally. We see this in the bio for Scaphoid.
When truly gifted magic users are killed and reborn by Necronominus’ hand, their power seeps into their bones staining them with spiritual remnants of their past life. Brimming with foul magic, these cursed skeletons have little control over their power, making them unpredictable time bombs of magical energy. Often thrown into a fight just to lay waste to all who surround them, some learn to master their unstable talents. The most accomplished of these mystical masters is Scaphoid. Chosen to represent Necronominus at The Covenant of Shadow, Scaphoid has been tasked with unleashing his dark power on all present if the proceedings go awry.
While the Congregation of Necronomimus may not immediately be associated with magical powers, as we dig into the characters already seen in this faction, we realize that magic is, indeed, core to this faction’s dark powers. In fact, they may be able to rival the Circle of Poxxus for the most magically powerful of the evil factions.
Interestingly, as we look to the vampires of the Illythia’s Brood faction, we find no mention of magic in any of the characters revealed this far, except for the Blood Armor and the curse placed on it by the demons Azhar and Zazhar. In fact, in place of magic we hear mentions of experiments in mixing bloodlines to create new warriors like the Voygrr. So it seems as if the vampire of Mythoss are more focused on science rather than magic to fuel their dark ambitions. A lack of magic would make them something of an anomaly amdist the factions of Mythoss, so one must wonder if somewhere in their ranks they do have wielders of ancient magic?
The final magic-wielding warrior to present here is technically not a member of the evil factions, nor is he a warrior for any heroic alliance. The skeletal Keltuss is counted amongst the ranks of the splinter faction known as the Sons of the Red Star.
A complete anomaly in the Mercurian Coliseum, Keltuss was the first and only fighter to meld magic with gladiatorial combat. Despised by his fellow combatants, yet adored by the bloodthirsty crowds, he could spectacularly level the mightiest of foes with the mere utterance of a magical incantation. Once he escaped the coliseum, Keltuss' fame opened many opportunities. The promise of fortune and renown ultimately lured Keltuss to join Skapular and the Sons of the Red Star.
Clearly a powerful mage, it is interesting to imagine him wielding this powers in the arena of battle. It is also interesting to wonder when he will one day wield them again on the battlefield in the oncoming battle of good versus evil.
The powers wielded by the dark powers of the Realm are almost too horrible to comprehend. While we have seen the might of the heroic magic users of Mythoss, we can only wonder if they will truly have the power to stand against the foul forces aligned against them. Only time will tell which side will preveal in the battle for the Magic of Mythoss.
Published on 12.14.21