Tales of Auriga
“Their is no torture for an Ardent Mage. There is no suffering. They’ve long forgotten the concept. For them, there is simply sacrifice; an exchange to made, where the reward is the gift of their limitless magics. Their need for dust is perhaps the greatest of any on Auriga, for it is greater than a need to survive – they would gladly die for it.” – Dust Arcanum, Volume IV
The Ardent Mages are a people who were born in struggle and pain, and these conditions dominate their day to day lives.
Though they control great powers, they pay a great price to do so. To manipulate the powers of Dust, an Ardent Mage must dissociate their mind from their body. For this they have developed elaborate pain rituals, for the more they are able to withstand the agony and ignore their physical discomfort, the deeper their relationship with Dust becomes. Pain has become a fundamental element of their society, to the point where children are taught from a young age to withstand it.
Stoicism is therefore as important as intelligence, and indifference to physical discomfort is the way in which an individual’s worth is measured – be they an Ardent Mage or a stranger.
SERVANTS OF ANGUISH
The primary power of these sorcerers comes from their anger. Having survived a long history of slaughter and starvation, the powers that the Ardent Mages discovered – and that permitted them to survive – were those based on Dust magic, agony, and rage.
While many factions on Auriga have basic control of magic, many are limited by the pain that is incurred by drawing to much power from Dust.
This limitation is non-existent for the Argent Mages, as their devotion to pain and incredible tolerance for it is what has led them to becoming so powerful. They are cursed with the agony that they must endure, but blessed with the great power it grants them. No race can match their mastery of the arcane.
PARIAH’S OF AURIGA
Their predilection for self-mutilation and distaste for the other, ‘softer’ races on Auriga have led to distrust and dislike from their neighbours. Many cities, particularly those of the Drakken and the Mezari, will disallow Ardent Mages entry to the upper class areas of their settlements.
In all Auriga, only the Broken Lords have embraced the Ardent Mages, due to their shared reliance on Dust and magic.
Despite this constant wariness, most factions still retain a small retinue of Ardent Mages in their capitals as retainers for when the greater magics must be called upon. Despite their methods, none can deny the Ardent Mages great power.
Ardent Mages follow strict schedules, particularly pertaining to their pain rituals. They become increasingly weak if not allowed to perform these rituals, and mere months spent without their regimen will often drive them to madness.