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"The Instruments of Our Leader's will and the People's Power are the Imperial Edicts. These Laws make our Enemies tremble and scatter while even Nature herself obeys them..."
Auronius, Encyclopedia Imperium
Magical explosion

The immense power of an edict

Edicts are spells of immense power employed by the Minthras Imperium. Edicts can destroy entire cities, ravage whole countries, change the laws of Nature, alter Reality itself. Nothing short of an intervention by a divine being could hope to break an Edict.

Creating an Edict Edit

Not much is know about the creation of Edicts, only that they are prepared by channeling the arcane powers of hundreds of wizards for months into a single scroll. There is no known method to contain such a vast amount of magical power, no wonder that the exact methods of this ritual are secret and only known inside the highest circles of the Directorium. The first Edicts were cast during the reign of Marius the Great, the first emperor of Minthras.

During the Battle of Oringrad the party captured and cast an Edict. Based on their experiences Vilgefortz managed to ascertain certain details about how Edicts might work. He theorized that the actual scroll of the Edict does not contain the magical power of the spell, instead it is tied up in the Astral Plane. Most Edicts utilize the powers of the Inner Planes (e.g. fire, cold) which is anchored to the scroll by using souls. His explanation was very complicated but in layman's terms Edicts use the fact that the souls of the recently deceased try to reach their gods' domains. By binding souls to the (yet) uncast spell the magical energy can not flow back to the Inner Planes (souls are attracted to the Outer Planes which are in the "opposite" direction). By casting the Edict one creates a way for the magical energy to "spill" into the Prime Material Plane (creating blizzards, firestorms etc.) while the souls are finally free to depart. This is the likely explanation to the strange thoughts and voices the party heard when handling the Edict: the bound souls wanted to be free. In short: an Edict always wants to be cast.

This also makes it clear that the power channeled into an Edict when creating it has to be pre-specified as one of the Inner Plane powers (e.g. fire, cold). An Edict can be rendered impotent by contaminating it with an incompatible power channeling (e.g. channeling cold into a fire Edict or vice versa).

Supply of souls in the Minthras Imperium Edit

It is not a small feat to acquire hundreds of souls for the purpose of a single magical scroll. In principle, the following options are possible for the Imperium:

  • Volunteers sacrificing themselves for their emperor;
  • Making a deal with a devil or demon, thus purchasing damned souls;
  • Forcibly killing and anchoring souls to the Edict (e.g. souls of criminals, slaves).

Reports of spies of Rubia and of neutral kingdoms suggest the Minthras Imperium mostly relies on the third option.

Origin of the Edicts Edit

It is not known how rulers of the Minthras Imperium acquired the knowledge to create Edicts. The following excerpt, however, can be found in the Greater Temple in the Protectorate of Sol, which suggests the way the Imperium uses them isn't completely aligned with their intended use.

"Several years after the Ancient Wars and the Divine Intervention, a terrible drought was raging through the Old Continent. Thousands of people were dying every year, so the rulers of the kingdoms sent envoys to Libros to find a way to end the drought. 

The knowledge of Edicts was provided in response to this plea. Hundreds of willing subjects sacrificed their lives just so huge clouds and storms can be conjured to resupply the lost water. Thus, the drought was over.

Libros required querents to obey three rules only:

  • Sunset clause: Edicts need to have a specified ending (e.g. „storms rage until...”);
  • Free will clause: The souls of an Edict must be offered by willing humanoid creatures, as a sacrifice for the cause the Edict serves; and
  • Silence clause: The knowledge of Edicts mustn’t be passed on by anyone else other than Libros himself."

Some theorize that the Imperium is allowed to violate the "Free will clause" only because they didn't receive the knowledge of Edicts from Libros but from an outside source. This would explain why the Protectorate only frowns upon such blatant misuse of Edicts on the Old Continent, but this doesn't provide any clues for how and where the Imperium found this knowledge.

Note that although The Faultless Arrow found the recipe for creating Edicts and gave it to Archmage Vilgefortz, it does not put Rubia and the other kingdoms on the same footing as the Imperium. That knowledge came from the Great Library, directly from Libros, so the three rules apply, anyone violating them would risk divine retribution.

A list of Edicts known by The Faultless Arrow: Edit

  • Edict of Nightfall, cast on the Elderwoods: "Those who resist the Light of Civilization deserve to suffer in Darkness. Let the Sun not rise over the Elderwoods as long as anyone within defies the just rule of the Imperium!"
  • Edict of Storms, cast on Adamant during the invasion of Rubia: "Those who cling to old idols and resist the bright and just future we bring deserve to be swept away by the Winds of Change. Let Our Storm rage until the last brick of Adamant is ground to dust!"
  • Edict of Frost: cast on the Dragon Mountains during the invasion of Rubia: "It is our solemn duty to shield the people from Monsters who take the guise of False Gods. Let the air and all who breathe it freeze in the Dragon Mountains as long as the great dragons Rhaegos and Zoralth draw breath!"
  • Edict of Fire: cast by The Faultless Arrow on the Orin Valley to destroy the invading Imperial armies (and the city of Oringrad) during the Battle for Oringrad: "Let those who, in pride and arrogance, stand against the peace and order of the Imperium be consumed by Our wrath. Let the flames of our storm rage in the Orin Valley until the last Rubian blade be broken, or the bloodline of Rubian kings falls!"
  • Edict of Orc Army: This edict was prepared solely by Quintis Fulvianus. He wanted to use it to take control over the orcs that were gathering in the Valley to celebrate the Gruumsh Games. The Faultless Arrow managed to kill Quintis and take the edict from him. It disappeared during the Winefest in Surujabâzar just a few days later. Since it was prepared by only one wizard and has a more limited effect than other edicts, it might not be regarded as a true edict by some. “The greyskins who live in the Valley shall surrender their souls to me. My word shall be their command for as long as I live.”
  • Edict of Expulsion: This Edict was hastily created by Archmage Zykora to expel the Sorrow who was set loose in her laboratory by The Faultless Arrow. "This Plane belong to Mortals, loyal servants of the True Gods. Let the Sorrow and her Corruption forever be cleansed from this World". This Edict notably lacks a sunset clause, likely because Zykora did not feel the need for one.
  • Edict of the Great Mistake: This Edict was prepared on the order of Archmage Travenus as an emergency measure if the Punisher (a Godwoken the Imperium hoped to turn into a divine protector of the empire) would turn on the Imperium. "It is the greatest foolishness for mortals to pursue the power of the Gods. Let Magic in all its forms flood this place and wash away the failure our hubris has wrought". This Edict also lacks a sunset clause, likely because it was only meant to be used as a last resort against a divine foe. Due to the unspecific wording The Faultless Arrow managed to turn this Edict against Virginia, preventing her ascension to divinity.