The Chimera, the harpy, the centaur, and the most debased and wretched mongrelman are all products of poorly applied Pnathic sorcery. Other terms have been used; hybridization, polymerization, beast fusion technique, all describing a standard set of skills and spells to create a single living creature from two seperate ones. While some of these pnathogenic creatures do go on to live relatively mundane lives, perhaps spawning their own races, most are not so lucky.
The Dangers of Pnathsis
Pnathsis, the magical act of fusion, is inherently dangerous. In most crude amalgams, the resultant creature is often left insane or deranged due to the magus in question's lack of skill. True Pnathsis is more than simply mashing two bodies together to create a new whole. This approach is akin to smashing severed limbs to their bloody stumps and lashing them together with twine and nails. While it might seem effective, more often than not the outcome is pain, infection, rot and death. With imcomplete Pnathsis, much the same occurs not to the corporeal body of the creature, but to it's now hybrid life force.
The outcomes of these mish-mashes is all to well known to those folk who reside near the lairs of wizards. Such creatures, once slipped free of their sorcerous bonds often become terrors, uncontrolled and deranged. Heroes are needed to hunt the things down, to destroy them and bring about safety.
Mastery of the Art
Like blood vessels infiltrating every part of the body, Pnathic sorcery is methodical, insinuating, and persistant. Artful use of this magic can create a Pnathotype, a true breeding hybrid. Unfortunately, gaining this level of mastery requires something that cannot be learned from books or dusty hours of research. Pnathic sorcery is a living magic, and to master it requires a strong and well grounded understanding of natural and druidic magics as well as arcane and ritual magics.
In modern terms, this viscous pink ooze would be termed a mutagen. In fantasy terms it is a crude alchemical concoction that is used in the creation of basic hybrid creatures. Ideally, the magus in question will taint the base sample of the elixer with his own essence and then use it to infect other creatures, creating hybrids. Such monsters emerge half human, half animal, and are almost always mad with agony and pain. More vicious magi can subsitute victims to create larger and stronger hybrids, but they suffer the same maladies, often to greater extents than the tainted hybrids.
If two of the same creature are used to create a hybrid, the resultant creature is the same type as before but has a mish-mash of abilities from both creatures (mostly in the case of sentients) but is 50% larger and stronger than the larger of the two donor bodies. If used on a dead subject and a living one, the living body is reduced by 50% of it's mass and is rendered lame by the injuries of the dead donor.
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? Responses (9)-9
An interesting subject, and a source of what may be a great deal of potentially powerful plot hooks for the poor PCs. "I'm sorry, son, your sister is now a centaur."
Are there any mages that can make that kind of magic work properly?
There should be, but in basic game terms, to master Pnathic sorcery, a mage would also have to multi-class and become a druid as well to gain the natural aspect of the magic as well as it's arcane function.
Nicely done! I've something similar...
Another magical practice to be banned and pursued by all decent folk. At last, we know where all the monsters are from!
I would still like a bit more about the workings of this magic... or maybe not. :) Not something to be used or put into a world without consideration, but it might just fit into a world's background, right into those ancient magical wars. Plus a container of that elixir, that is accidentally found, is the most expectable plot-hook. What happens if someone drinks it? (And why can it reduce the size of its target?)
Pnathsis requires living material, and the dead and undead are not, rather like putting positive and negative together, they cancel each other out. Attempting to bond life and death reduces life and as the process works out, the dead material absorbs some of the living material. The end product is a mutilated mass of flesh covered in necrotic tissue, a dismal and horrific failure.
This needs to be expanded upon. Still a great idea for evil magic of a type other than necromancy or enchantment. Lots of potential!
This has so much potential - and would be excellent for my current campaign. Work on it more, please!