True to their nature, the ashar shroud the origins of their power. Constant hostilities from their enemies, and the envious regard of everyone else, has forced the ashar to rely on their mysterious powers as devastating weapons. Those who have been on the receiving end of such assault will attest to their efficiency.
Until the War of the First Kings, the ashar guarded the secrets of Invocation from the other nations and people. The Order of Salandor, the institution responsible for teaching and tracking all applicants, succeeded in this task. Then, all of Ellias, save the Dagorans, turned against the dominant ashar. To secure aid, the ashar created an accord with the Thell to the north, granting them official recognition of their country and rights to use Invocation.
Later, during the First War of the Realms, a faction from the Order of Salandor, split and fled into the lands of the Fractured Cities. They dangled the teachings of Invocation before the powerful to secure concessions of safety and autonomy. The wealthy and influential sent their children to learn, hoping for an edge in petty familial disputes or political conflicts. But the Felsendi, as the faction came to be known, allowed only the young to join, and only taught those who showed signs of shedding blood ties.
Through oversight and the laws of probability, the knowledge of Invocation has passed into hands that were not meant to hold it. The Order of Salandor has imposed upon themselves the duty of eradicating any nonmember.
Invocation requires one of five elements and applies up to three pure ideas to create astonishing spells. The power source behind such spells resides buried within the invoker’s mind. Much of the training is devoted to mental exercises and meditation to unlock the mind.
The awakened student understands the subtle nuances of the world. Awareness of the greater structure causes an aloofness often interpreted as arrogance or detachment. The effects are greatest just after awakening. With the aid of their masters, the effects lesson over time, but never permanently.
Once awakened, a student will examine each element with their heightened understanding. New properties are revealed, as well as their connection with the laws of the universe. Once each of the five elements is mastered, they move on to the next phase.
The elements are filtered through concepts known as Absolute Principles. Each concept must be fully realized in the purest form. If a student taints the understanding of a Principle with their own reasoning, they can fashion devastating effects, including death.
The five elements are: earth, fire, metal, water, and wind.
The eight Absolute Principles are: Space, Time, Statis, Motion, Admit, Deny, Alteration and Preservation.
Order of Salandor: The Order, as it is known, is the official body governing the practice and teaching of Invocation. Even their counterparts to the north, the Gidain, defer to the Order in all matters concerning Invocation. The Order controls two subsets, each tailored to a specific task. The Furies are the military branch, protecting Ellias from preternatural threats. The Dark Furies have multiple covert functions.
The Felsendi: After the War of the First Kings, the Order petitioned the Dagorans to brand three glyphs onto the bodies of all members. The intention was to prevent the slaughter the invokers visited upon the invading races, including the innocent among them. A prominent invoker named Felsend, protested such an act. He found many sympathetic ears, but guilt kept most from seeing his reason. The small group fled Ellias before the Dagorans arrived. They now reside in the Fractured Cities, governing the city of Lowden.
The Gidain: The ashar gifted the humans of Thell the knowledge of Invocation for their loyalty during the War of the First Kings. Where the Order has mastery over the art of Invocation and Summoning, the Gidain are regulated to Invocation only. The Gidain defer to the Order in all matters concerning Invocation.
Unsanctioned: When the Order fractured, and shared their knowledge with the Thell, it became impossible for the knowledge to remain secret. Whether through bribes, coercion, or other motives, the knowledge of Invocation has slipped into the hands of rogue elements. These rogues live a hunted life. The Order, through their various ties and assets, seek these unsanctioned and execute them.
Manifestations of Power
Each element produces sixteen resulting effects, for a total of eighty. Rumors of additional spells surface from time to time, but whenever a brave invoker attempts an unverified combination of element and Absolute Principles, the results are devastating.