Whether they're Japanese maho-zukai, African ngangas, or the wizards of Western Europe, Sorcerers have been around since the dawn of time. Like their Witch sisters, they possess an innate ability to manipulate magical energies in the universe through the casting of spells and preparation of amulets and elixirs. Traditionally, their magic has been offensive in nature — including a wide arsenal of illusion spells and summoning charms. Often, in fact, they are expert illusionists, well-versed in the nature of the human psyche and how to successfully manipulate it… for good or ill.

The world of Sorcery is the ultimate Old Boy's Club — at least, it certainly is in those cultures that come out of a patriarchal tradition. Whether they take the form of a clandestine secret brotherhood, a high-class gentleman's club1, or a corporate conglomerate, for centuries Sorcerers have banded together in a highly organized fashion for the purposes of furthering their own aims and interests.

That said, Sorcerers come in all shapes and sizes, and their aims and interests are as varied as they are. Their non-magical talents are as wide-ranging as any other man's, they've been found in just about every walk of life, and can hale from just about any socio-economic background.

Stereotypes suggest that all Sorcerers are shrewd businessmen, born into middle- or upper-class families that are part of brotherhoods and networks that have helped protect the well-being of their families for generations. And, it's true that, among Sorcerers, their poor or lower-class brethren are often seen as anomalies2.

Characteristic Abilities & Their Shortcomings

Regardless, all Sorcerers share certain racial characteristics that mark them as what they are surely as their physical bodies mark them as male. These are:

Magic Sense
Sorcerers can sense the use of magic — or that magic has been used recently — in their immediate environment. Frequently, this manifests as a niggling little feeling at the base of their skull, a tingle down their spine, or just some gut instinct that tells them something's up. It's not a specific information dump, however. It's more of a general sensation that provides very little detail about the sort of magic at play.

That said, an experienced Sorcerer can often — but not always — differentiate between light magic and dark magic, and between Sorcerer magic, Witch magic, and Other magic3. If a Sorcerer has had a lot of experience with a specific form of Other magic, he may potentially be able to hazard a guess about it, too, but this requires extensive contact with that sort of magic and brings with it a whole host of other knowledge as well4.

Note: If a Sorcerer has had no contact with Witch magic, he will not be able to come right out and say, "Oh, that's Witch magic." Instead, he is more likely to say something like, "It feels like it could be Sorcerer magic… but something feels wrong about it. I just don't know."5
Identifying Eye
For reasons unknown6, Sorcerers have the ability to discover a woman is a Witch by looking her in the eye. The only way this works is through direct eye-contact; he and the Witch must meet each other's gaze. Seeing her from a distance won't do it. Neither will looking at any other part of her face — or anywhere else on her body for that matter.

This only applies to identifying Witches. He cannot identify other Sorcerers this way, or any other sort of Magi or Thaumaturge. Nor can he identify any of the other Races this way.

Note: Whenever a Sorcerer identifies a Witch in this manner, he also automatically reveals herself as a Sorcerer to that same Witch, since Witches possess the same ability — only they identify Sorcerers via eye-contact, instead.
Sorcerers possess the ability to cast magical spells, thereby manipulating their environment in ways science can't quite explain7. They can also create magical spells for themselves, but this is not a spontaneous activity. Rather, it requires a certain amount of experimentation, trial and error, and it must build on those spells the Sorcerer already knows.

For Sorcerers, spell-magic often requires the recitation of words in a specific pattern8, and always includes some sort of gesture, in order to focus the will and the mind to manipulate magical energy sufficiently to bring about the desired effect. Many Sorcerers ultimately learn to forego verbalization; none of them can ever forego the somatic component9, even if it's just a small twitch of a finger. Because of this, the easiest way to incapacitate a Sorcerer and keep him from using his power is to bind his hands and gag him.

Spells may be written and recited in any language. Most Sorcerer spells are written (and thus recited) in Latin, or Ancient Greek, though there are plenty in other ancient or 'dead' languages as well. There are some few translations of these ancient spells into modern languages, but, for the most part, they've been handed down Father-to-Son in their ancient forms, in tact10.

It's possible for a Sorcerer to "hold" a spell for a brief period of time (no more than a handful of minutes). He does this by reciting the spell while withholding the gesture, thus leaving it temporarily incomplete. When he wants to actually cast it, he makes the appropriate gesture, thus completing it and releasing its energy. He cannot, however, interrupt the spell with other speech or a hand gesture akin to pointing, waving, flicking, snapping, or the like (though natural movements from walking or running will not generally cause a problem) — so it's not like he can trade fancy quips with an adversary or flip them the bird while he's prepping a spell. Further, if he takes too long to complete it, it fizzles, all of its potential energy drained away by the delay.

Most spells require line-of-sight to work and are otherwise limited in terms of distance11. The exception to those are certain communication spells, or instances where the Sorcerer is dealing with an unseen environment he knows exceptionally well12. Consequently, the best way to really incapacitate a Sorcerer, without rendering her unconscious, body-bind him, gag him, and blindfold him13.

See The Nature of Sorcerer Magic -- Common Spells for more information.
Artefact & Elixir Creation
At their most basic, artefacts and elixirs are little more than physically stored spells14. The advantage they have is that they can a) store spell energy for an almost indefinite period of time and b) pack a whole lot more punch than most spells a Sorcerer might cast on-the-fly.

Tradition teaches that the creation of artefacts and elixirs requires certain arcane (if often simple) rituals, using special or ceremonial tools — athames15, cauldrons, casting circles, altars, and the like. As with the creation of spells, however, tradition tends to ignore the fact that the earliest Sorcerers used whatever tools and workspaces they had at hand. Thus, while most Sorcerers do, in fact, use tools and spaces they've specifically set aside for magical work, it's not essential (which some Sorcerers — exceedingly few, given the heavy-handed traditions most come from — have discovered when in a pinch).

The materials used in artefacts and elixirs can range from everyday, readily-available items to obscure, hard-to-find treasures16. As difficult as obtaining some of the rarer components can be, the real trick with the creation of artefacts and elixirs is that the Sorcerer must be both familiar with and able to cast the spells required. And it's not unusual for the spells involved in the creation of such items to be different than those used in regular spell-casting17.

Nevertheless, a lot of it has to do with focus and preparation. While simple wands or common serums may only take an hour or two to complete, many of the more complex or more powerful ones can take days, even weeks to complete18.

See The Nature of Sorcerer Magic -- Common Artefacts & Elixirs for more information.

The Nature of Sorcerer Magic

The perception of Sorcerers as powerful mage-warriors and manipulative viziers comes from their tradition of disruptive and offensive magic19. In fact, Sorcerer magic grew out of their desire and — to a certain extent — need for that sort of ability, since human magic is generally practical in nature, designed to aid the spell-caster in dangerous or difficult situations20. The key to Sorcery is in its patriarchal tradition of survival-of-the-fittest. Therefore, the Sorcerer best able to manipulate or out-gun his adversaries was the one most likely to both survive and thrive.

The thing is, no Sorcerer emerges from the womb able to automatically cast any spell placed before himi. Most Sorcerers don't start manifesting magic until they hit puberty, though some have been known to start manifesting as young as 7 or 8 years old. Typically, though, a young Sorcerer first displays his aptitude for magic between the ages of 10 and 1221. Regardless, whether he is formally educated by his family's Dynasty, apprenticed to an elder able to give him direction, or largely self-taught, he has to take the time to learn how to use his magic22. Thus, Sorcerer spells are tiered, designed like building blocks such that mastery of the basic spells allows for mastery of the related intermediate spells, allows for mastery of the related advanced spells23. If a Sorcerer hasn't mastered the early spells in a spell-chain he simply cannot do the later spells.

Common Spells

The following is a brief selection of common Sorcerer spells. It's certainly not exhaustive, by any means. There are literally hundreds of unrecorded variations on these examples as well as countless other spells with other effects entirely. But, this should give a general idea of the way spells work and what sorts of spells Sorcerers have found the most advantageous over the centuries.

Spell Level Description

Common Artefacts & Elixirs

The following is a brief selection of common Sorcerer artefacts and amulets. It's certainly not exhaustive, by any means. There are literally hundreds of unrecorded variations on these examples as well as countless other such items with other effects entirely. But, this should give a general idea of the way artefacts and elixirs work and what sorts of them Sorcerers have found the most advantageous over the centuries.

Potion/Charm Level Description

Sorcerers and the Use of Witchcraft

The fact that Sorcerer and Witches are effectively two halves of the same race means that Sorcerers can, in fact, cast Witch spells or work other forms of Witchcraft. However, they simply cannot use it with the same facility as a Witch.

A Sorcerer that casts a Witch spell can only ever cast it at about 80% of the strength that an equally skilled, equally powerful Witch can use it. Of course, the same may be said of Witches attempting to cast Sorcerer magic. They can only cast it at about 80% of the strength of an equally skilled, equally powerful Sorcerer.

That does not, however, automatically mean that a Sorcerer's casting of a Witch spell will be weaker than a Witch's casting of the same spell, since it very much depends on the skill and innate power of the Witch. If she is weaker or less-experienced than the Sorcerer, his casting may well be stronger than hers… and vice versa.

It is not nearly so hard for a Sorcerer that is part of a well-supported Dynasty to get his hands on Witch spells, should he wish. It is simply rare that he would bother. Due to the fact most Sorcerer Dynasties are far more well-connected than Witch Covens, and in possession of far greater resources — including the occasional Witch on the payroll — they are far more likely to come across obscurer spell resources than the average Witch. That said, most Covens guard what resources they do have as jealously, if not more so, than Sorcerers guard their own. So while the chances of a Sorcerer having a wide array of Witchcraft at his fingertips is possible, it's still highly unlikely that he'd actually have invested the time in learning any but the most useful of Witch spells (a light orb, for instance, or perhaps a minor healing cantrip)24.

Further, Sorcerers need to have mastered the simpler spells in the Witchcraft spell-chain in much the same way they must master the simple spells in their own spell-chains before being able to perform the more advanced magic. If a Sorcerer has in his personal spell repertoire of Sorcerer magic a series of spells that are somewhat analogous to the Witchcraft spell-chain required to learn to cast a more-advanced Witch spell, he may be able to successfully cast that spell at a somewhat more reduced capacity than normal (i.e. at about 60-70% of an equally-matched Witch, rather than the usual 80%), without having learned all the Witch building-block spells first… which, for many Sorcerer, is better than nothing.

The Dynasty vs. The Solitary Practitioner

The practice of Sorcery is as varied as the Sorcerers that practise it. However, there are two major forms seen — that of the Dynasty, and that of the Solitary Practitioner. Dynasties are usually, though not always, organized along family lines. Solitary Practitioners, however, are, unsurprisingly, much more independent.


Sorcerers' Dynasties are wide, all-encompassing organizations dedicated to dominating others in some fashion — economically, socially, and politically (typically all three). Traditionally, they resemble Masonic orders and other such secret societies, though in the modern era they've often transformed themselves into corporations and conglomerates.

Most typically, Dynasties are related generations of men in extended family lines — three or four generations worth of Grandfathers, Fathers, Sons, Uncles, Cousins as available. Further, it's not unusual, in this modern era of mergers and hostile takeovers, for Dynasties to be comprised of one ruling line and several secondary lines that owe allegiance to the first. It's an almost feudal or aristocratic system, in fact, where a Sorcerer's position within the Dynasty depends greatly on his blood proximity to the Patriarch and how well he's curried the Patriarch's favour.

Thus, a Dynasty's size is limited only by the reach of its resources and imaginative use of its Patriarch's influence. More and more frequently, smaller Dynasties are aligning themselves with larger ones, in much the same way small businesses are bought out by larger ones. There are less than a dozen truly huge Dynasties in the world25But, there are always exceptions.

Too, on occasion, groups of unrelated Sorcerers will band together into Syndicates, rather than Dynasties — much like the difference between corporations and trade unions. Often, these Syndicates are the remnants of smaller Dynasties that have eschewed the protection of larger Dynasties in favour of pooling their resources in order to compete on a more level playing field. Given the fact that it is highly unusual for a Sorcerer to reveal his traditions and secrets to anyone outside of his own familial Dynasty, such Syndicates are rare.

Obviously, neither Syndicates nor Dynasties have a set size limit. They're certainly not bound to a specific mystical number (multiples of 3, 7, or 13 are the usual numbers bandied about) or configuration. While certain spells and rituals that are based on Thaumaturgic convention, rather than strictly Sorcerer magic, may sometimes require such structures for successful casting, the Dynasty itself isn't bound by such artificial limits.

Dynastic Structure

Just like everything else connected with Sorcerers, the structure of the Dynasty is deeply rooted in ancient tradition. However, size, age, and Dynasty history, not to mention the natures of its members, do have a certain measure of influence on just how the Dynasty works. However, as always, there are definite trends, most of the hierarchical in nature. Most often, Dynasties are led by the most powerful senior member of the family line26. For all intents and purposes, this Patriarch is the king — though he likely doesn't use that title specifically27. Many Dynasties, especially larger ones, also have rankings for their members commensurate with the spell levels the Sorcerer has achieved — generally something along the lines of Apprentice, Acolyte, and Master, though the actual labels will vary with the Dynasty.

Particularly large Dynasties (generally with more than 2 or 3 member families), will create other positions within their structure — Clan Lords or House Masters that are essentially the patriarchs of their own family lines within the greater Dynasty28, Instructors for teaching apprentices and younger Sorcerers, Loremasters for guarding the Dynasty's library and collection of artefacts, Justices or Inquisitors29 for settling disputes, and Sentinels who are responsible for maintaining the security of the Dynasty — physically, spiritually, and magically — when the other members are distracted by study, ritual, or other demands30.

Propagation & Succession

Traditionally, Patriarchal power in a Dynasty is handed down from Eldest Son to Eldest Son. Unless he is with a Witch — something that almost never happens — no Sorcerer can father a girl. So, there is no accommodation in any Dynasty for the rule of a woman. It simply doesn't happen. Even should a Sorcerer Patriarch bed a Witch and they end up with a girl out of it instead of a boy, that girl has no place in the line of succession whatsoever… even if she's his only child. Succession passes from him to his eldest brother and his brother's eldest son.

The only way this is complicated is if he happens to have a child out of wedlock. And just how complicated that gets depends on the Dynasty itself. There are some Dynasties that don't care who the mother of the Eldest Son is, providing his father claims him as his own. As far as they're concerned, the father can bed as many women as he wants and it's strictly the boys' birth dates that determine who's closest to inheriting the throne, so to speak.

The majority, however, that insist the bloodline be carried only through those sons born to the Patriarch's legal wife. Generally, this comes from Western social and political tradition — it worked for Christian Kings in the Middle Ages, after all, and most Dynasties find their roots in Medieval Europe. Consequently, a bastard son has no direct line to succession, either — even if his father claims him as his own. Unless his father legitimises his claim of succession by specifically naming them as an heir, he's as much out of luck as any Witch-born girl would be.

Obviously, then, there is a lot of pressure on a young Sorcerer to find himself a bride and procreate31. Consequently, marriages of convenience are not as rare as one might hope. But that also means that extra-marital affairs are not as uncommon as one might hope, too. In this day and age of more reliable contraception, bastard births are down to what they used to be, but that's about all that can be said for the trend.

Interestingly enough, however, divorce rates are not high within Dynasties. This is generally because Dynasties are not fond of letting their secrets out. So, they're not terribly inclined to let a disaffected wife totally withdraw from their scrutiny. While divorce is possible, it's not probable. More probably, a dissatisfied wife will be permitted some sort of distraction as a sort of 'compensation' for her state. It's not always effective, mind, but a clever, imaginative, and inventive woman can certainly find a way to turn it to her advantage, if she desires32.

That said, good marriages and relationships are not impossible. Neither are they necessarily rare. It depends on the man, his wife, and their willingness to work with each other within the strictures and pressures placed upon them by the Dynasty. It should be noted, though, that in this age of equal rights, it can sometimes be difficult for a modern woman — particularly one that isn't supernatural, as is usually the case — to wrap her head around the archaic, patriarchal traditions of the Sorcerer's world.

Still, love is capable of some pretty amazing things.

The Dynasty as a Corporation

Because Dynasties seek to assert control over the political, social, and economic spheres of the societies in which they exist, modern Dynasties often adopt the guise of corporations and conglomerates33. As a result, there is ample room under a Dynasty's wide umbrella for more than just Sorcerers. The primary difference, of course, is that only Sorcerers are considered part of the Dynasty. Other supernaturals are, essentially, 'the help'. Typically, they work for the corporation the Dynasty purports to be as employees. And, in fact, Dynasties are happy to employ them quite liberally.

The most powerful Dynasties, in fact, will pay their employees quite well and set them up with great benefit packages. They regularly top lists of 'The Best Places to Work'. This is primarily because, once a supernatural signs with a Dynasty, they're with them for life. Leaving a Dynasty's employ is tricky, to say the least. In the first place, there are ironclad non-disclosure agreements that legally protect the Dynasty's secrets — and every Dynasty worth the name has a legion of lawyers to enforce the contracts. But, there's also the simple reality that most people that leave the employ of one Dynasty will end up in the employ of another — likely a rival. And no Dynasty wants their precious secrets falling into a rival's hand. Thus, they have ways of preserving those secrets… legally and not.

Of course, less powerful Dynasties are less restrictive in the contractual obligations they place on their employees. They also pay commensurately less. Freedom comes at a price, no matter how you look at it.

The result, though, is that Dynasties are perceived with mixed reactions by the wider supernatural community. While Covens are given hardly any thought at all, most of the greater supernatural community treats Dynasties with kid gloves. Those with strong social ties to each other — particularly Witches and Werecreatures — rarely get involved with Dynasties. Those with more independent social structures — particularly Demi-Humans, Mutants, and Thaumaturges — are more likely to work for Dynasties34.

The fact is, however, that Dynasties love hiring supernaturals. And it's no secret that, whatever their official position and title, they're hired for their supernatural abilities as often as — if not more than — their corporate skills. Dynastic security forces are filled with Half-Demons, Shifters, and those Werecreatures that aren't tied to strong Packs, Prides, or Swarms. Their PR departments often include Fae-Bloods and Half-Angels, sometimes Psychics too. Some Dynasties have even been known to hire Witches, when they can woo them sufficiently35. About the only supernaturals that don't find themselves on a Dynasty's payroll are Vampires… and even that's open to debate36.

All that being said, make no mistake: As far as Dynasties are concerned, all other supernaturals37 are second-class citizens compared to Sorcerers. There is very little pretence of equality. Non-Sorcerers simply aren't permitted into Dynastic inner circles. Sure, they may be entrusted with extremely sensitive material, and they may wield considerable power and influence corporately, but there is nonetheless a distinct separation between business matters — those that concern the corporate side of the Dynasty — and family matters — those that concern the Sorcerers themselves38.

Solitary Practice

Not every Sorcerer has the advantage or even the choice of belonging to a Dynasty or Cabal. While this is a highly unusual situation, it does sometimes happen that a Sorcerer might choose or be forced to practise his art independently. Some Dynasties will simply exile members who have done something against them. In other cases, the Sorcerer may choose to leave his Dynasty, or be orphaned through unexpected circumstances. Whatever the reason, whether they've lost their Dynasty through misfortune, or never had one to begin with, unless they can find some other Dynasty or a Cabal with which to align themselves, they're more-or-less left to muddle through on their own.

This doesn't necessarily leave them any less skilled than their Dynastic counterparts, but it often means they have to work a whole lot harder to find the resources to expand their knowledge. The spell-book libraries owned by most Dynasties have been collected and handed down over generations. Some solitary practitioners have the advantage of collections handed down from their Fathers and Grandfathers. Just as many, however, have to cobble their own together from scratch, which usually means collecting spells one-by-one through occult artefact dealers or other antiquarians — which can sometimes be a very dangerous proposition for both the dealer and the buyer.

As a result, Solitary Practitioners tend to be highly dedicated to their art and develop remarkably strong research and authentication skills, not to mention more than a passing familiarity with ancient or obscure languages. They also tend to be more jacks-of-all-trades than specialists, since, without other Sorcerers to support them, they require a wider range of skills to survive on their own.

Busting the Myths

There are things Sorcerers simply can't do, things that are little more than exaggerated myth or legend born of fanciful imagination, mistaken identity, or outright propaganda. They can't raise the dead; that's the province of Necromancers. They don't all have long beards, gnarled staffs, or use familiars. They can't fly — though there are spells that permit forms of levitation over short distances.

They will occasionally summon demons or other spirits — though that's usually reserved for 'special' occasions and never something done with the same apparent casualness as a Thaumaturge. Their propensity for dark magic is no greater than any other magic-users, though they are more often perceived as dark practitioners simply because of the secrecy and power requirements that surround their greatest spells and rituals. They also can't transform people into animals or other such things. At most, they can enhance a person's natural senses, strengths, or abilities for short whiles, but nothing permanent39.


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