Azura; 10,000 CE
As is commonly known, a creature that has been irradiated by Astralite has absorbed the Astral Energy into their living tissue. Now direct exposure from a pure specimen of Astralite causes immediate effects in the form of mutation, genetic disease, or just plain tissue death. But what most arcane and divine casters don’t know is that energy is absorbed and stored in the body when receiving energy from spells. This energy level does dissipate over time, but a substantial amount of energy could last on the creature till death. This is especially true on creatures that have died from direct exposure or those that regularly use the energy.
When a creature takes the energy to death, most of the time the soul will leave the body and the energy is left behind. There are cases that the astral energy will transfer into the soul as if it were the body. This creates a being that exists on this plane of existence as a creature constructed of pure Astral Energy. They do not have senses as they do; all they have is the ability to sense different levels of energy and what types of it. They can feel the alien presence of material creatures, but they appear as wisps, just as they do on the material plane. In a way, these creatures “see” in a way as if you were to look through a thermal image. Just as we can see and interact with each other clearly, they can interact with themselves. These creatures are known to Primal casters as “Spirits.”
Spirits walk this plane past death, only bound here by their will, or the sheer amounts of astral energy. They move by flowing from one energy source to another, absorbing the energy there and then relocating it into the material plane by using their special abilities. Each Spirit has a set of special abilities over specific things in the material plane. These are the things that keep them bound here. Many spirits are bound by flame and have certain dominance over it; others are bound by wind, others by life energy, etc. almost everything on Azura has a spirit bound to it.
This binding is determined by an innumerable amount of things. The big ones are the soul’s personality, what type of energy they used, and how they died. Energy must be absorbed from the correct substance in order to unleash these powers. Once the power is unleashed, it is transferred into the physical plane to be re-located to the Spirit plane by other casters or magical creatures. Astral energy is required for everything these spirits do, including moving, absorbing, and contacting the physical world.
No one truly knows why Spirits exist or what their purpose is on this planet. There is a theory that is widely accepted by Primal Casters, though. They believe that the stage of becoming a Spirit is the secondary world after death. When on this plane, they are judged, and their destinies in the Astral Sea or the Elemental Chaos are determined by how they get there. Only the most evil of Spirits transcend to the Elemental Chaos, and only the most Good of Spirits rise to the Astral Sea.
Primal magic is the manipulation with and contact to Spirits. It is through Primal Magic that Spirits contact the physical plane and material creatures contact the Spirit World. There are many different types of Primal casters and there are many more methods that they may use to perform Primal magic.
Druids are the guides of Spirits throughout their journey in the Spirit World. Although most of them are physical beings, they can still contact and view the Spirit World for short times through an array of rituals. These rituals are quite diverse. Some may involve voodoo dances and bloodshed, while others may require days of meditation. They all lead to the same goal, however, and that’s to produce a special kind of Primal magic known as Druidic magic.
Druidic magic involves offering a gift to specific types of Spirit. This gift varies, but it’s often some sort of reagent, like a plant, blood, or a crafted symbol. The best gift, however, is pure, untapped Astral Energy. Once the gift is presented the Spirit uses their special bond abilities to aid the druid in a manner he/she specifies. Some spirits are a lot more demanding, however, and may end up taking raw life force away from the Druid to be used against them. A natural 1 simulates interaction with this type of Spirit, and the Druid’s spell will be directed against the least ideal target, usually the Druid or his/her allies.
Druids exist as a guide for Spirits in their journey. The way they manipulate spirits to use their bond powers is all part of the judging that occurs on that plane. Some druids are aware of their role in the death, most aren’t. Wardens are also a guide to Spirits, and practice Druidic magic as well.
Shamans are the most benevolent Primal casters out of all because they are a special creature all their own. Just before the moment of death, a creature exists as part of both worlds. This is because the eyes still function but the soul has began leaving the body. Everyone exists between life and death for a tiny fraction of a second, right before death. Shamans differ from living creatures and spirits because they live on this border right between life and death.
Because they’re neither living nor dead, Shamans can see both planes of existence right on top of each other. This is vary stressful on a Shaman’s mind because it’s like seeing in infrared and color at the same time. Because of this ability to see in both, every Shaman has darkvision as a class ability.
There are two types of shaman. There are those known as The Gifted and then there are the Chosen. Gifted shamans were born on the border between life and death. This may be because the mother died during childbirth or other reasons. Nevertheless, these people were pegged as Shamans from the moment they were born. Most were sent into training in Primordial magic straight away, but there are those whose sight is unknown to the world. This is why a member of any class may have the sight. The Chosen are the ones who have gone under a ritual to be ripped from the physical world and placed on the border between life and death. Every Chosen Shaman has already died once by going through this ritual. Some argue that Gifted Shaman’s sight is better than that of Chosen Shamans, but there have been no conclusive results.
Shamans are no longer alive, nor are they dead. Therefore, Shamans cannot be resurrected from the dead like regular creatures can. To bring a shaman back from the dead, it will take twice as long and require one reagent; the Spirit of a willing participant. If the dead body of the willing participant is then resurrected, they will end up being a mindless zombie or it will kill the Shaman. Every Shaman that has been resurrected like this may not be the same person they used to be. They will always have wisps of the personality of the creature used as a reagent.