Smoke

Borders: Fire Air

The plane of smoke is as intangible as it sound. There is no permanence nor form to anything. Rather, it is engulfed in an ever changing dance. Forms swirl in the heated air and disperse just as quickly. While the plane of smoke seems nearly void of anything excluding the wisps of black thick air that blow endlessly about, it is a place of divine inspiration and new beginnings. Dreams are often conveyed to the mortal realm through smoke, offering inspiration and acting as a muse to those attuned to such things. However the visions offered by the realm of smoke are fickle, and cause great mischief and confusion as often as they inspire and guide. All things offer up their inherent properties through smoke. Plants release their medicinal and hallucinogenic powers. Minerals release into the skies only to return to the earth with the falling rain. Smoke conceals and communicates. The formless intelligences that inhabit the plane of smoke are fickle and greatly enjoy observing the affairs of the mortal realm, and will willingly communicate (meddle) with those mortals who know the secrets to communicate with them.

Avatar: The Watcher – The Watcher is a powerful being, made of nothing more than the substance of his home plane. Its size and shape varies depending on its need. It can form smokey silhouettes of almost any shape in existence, with amazing detail, in order to instill fear, entice desire, or conceal a battlefield. It is always intangible, no matter how solid it may seem. The Watcher is the essence of smoke, ever drifting, always without care or concern of those around. As the name implies, The Watcher is instilled with an unquenchable curiosity and, when on the material plane, will travel to places of great upheaval to observe the unfolding of time. While the watcher will often interfere in the affairs of the mortal world, it is without allegiance. Often it's meddling will be spur of the moment and dependent entirely on it ever changing mood.

Order: The Sacred Breath – The Sacred Breath is a holy order dedicated to the medicinal properties inherent in plants and minerals. It is believed that any ailment a mortal may suffer, even that of death, can be prevented or cured through the inhalation of the world around them. While air offers us life, it is only through the burning of the physical world, that we may inherit the properties we find within it. Members of The Sacred Breath are healers and spiritual guides. They explore the physical world around them for new medicines as well as things that may enhance the mind or body through the inhalation of their smoke. It is not unheard of for elaborate blends of substances to be collected and burned in order to cure disease, ensure fertility, or even create a spiritual journey. The members of the order are not bound to Aide anyone, but must entertain any request. The greatest offence a member can commit is turning someone in need away before they have made their case. This ensures that the Order is typically well versed in the affairs of the world.

Order:  Warriors of Ash and Cinder – The Warriors of Ash and Cinder (WoAC) are an unusual group. Made up entirely of homeless men and women, the WoAC are a mercenary group comprised of people whose homes were destroyed by war. Unlike a traditional mercenary operation, The WoAC do not simply offer their services to the highest bidder. In fact most offers submitted to The WoAC are refused out of hand (though not all). The WoAC typically offer their services to armies that have had war thrust upon them. They seek to prevent unnecessary destruction due to war, and will typically only offer their services to defensive actions. They offer no allegiances and should the tide of war change, may be found fighting against their former employers should they threaten the homes of others. Each WoAC lives an almost monastic lifestyle, as the funds accrued by the order are used to build a fortress monastery in which all members live. They have very few belongings beyond their weapons and armor. Most train relentlessly, driven by the painful memories each one possesses of a lost home and loved ones. The Monastery also offers shelter to those who find themselves homeless due to war. While it is not required that you join the order to live there, many do, as they have nowhere else to go, and find themselves surrounded by kindred spirits who can offer them stability in a time of need. The WoAC adorn there faces in soot and ash when preparing for battle, often lending them fearsome visages. Any member will go to great lengths on the battlefield to protect the homes of the defenseless if they are able, often times fighting to the death.

Avatar: Delacross- By all appearances Delacross is a normal member of the human race. By most standards he would be considered handsome. He of of average height and build with dark close cropped hair and sports a neatly trimmed beard. What sets Delacross apart it an overwhelming sence of power in his eyes. When meeting his gaze you sense an ever burning inner fire and a nature as unpredictable as the wind. Delacross is a powerful mage, well versed in the arcane arts. He wanders the lands in search of new magic, taking apprentices along the way. Upon these lucky individuals he imparts a unique magical philosophy, one that seems unorthodox at best. Knowledge is power, only as long as it is scarce. Therefore you must devour knowledge as a fire would it's fuel. Leave nothing left in you wake, and the knowledge you possess is of greater value. However, knowledge is of no use unless shared, and so you must always have an apprentice with which to pass on what you learn. Only by obeying this tenet can we ensure that always is there a coal to spark a new fire.

Order: Keepers of the Burnt Page – The Keepers of the Burnt Page (KotBP) are not a tightly knit order. Rather they are comprised of former apprentices of the mage known as Delacross and their own students. These mages follow the tenets outlined by their master (see above). As such they rarely stay in one place for long. In there wake usually some key tome of knowledge or ancient text has disappeared or a wise storyteller has met an unfortunate end. The KotBP roam the land collecting knowledge both arcane and mundane. If they believe they have learned something rare or valuable, they typically eliminate the source, be it object or person, as well as any other potential sources they may find. They do not do this however, until they have committed  the information to memory. They do this through an arcane ritual where by they transcribe the knowledge they wish to keep with rare inks and mystically prepared parchment. During the ritual the completed parchment is burned and it's smoke inhaled, permanently imparting an indelible memory in the mage mind. It is expected that any information gained in this way will be passed on to an apprentice. As such every member of the order who has passed his own apprenticeship is expected to take an apprentice of their own. And upon the successful education of said apprentice a new one shal be obtained. Thus the mages always work and travel in pairs.

Sign: Those on the material plane practiced in the arts of divination, or simply those mortals who are attuned to such things, have odd dreams and visions of a great cloud of smoke forming on the horizon. In the the smoke, forms can be seen ever changing. some are of war, others of beauty, most are familiar scenes to the viewer. But all have one thing in common. In the end, they all  disappear in great wisps of smoke as if fleeting and inconsequential

Smoke

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