The Voidseers of Aetolia
Representing a unity of three disparate disciplines, Voidseers stand as the culmination of centuries of philosophical pondering, telepathic mastery, and occult pursuits.
Delving the Void in search of the deepest mysteries of Creation and the Planar Spiral, these maddened prophets and eruditious scholars seek now to spread the fruits of their long labours - whether the world is ready to receive such revelations or not.
Root. Sap. Trunk. Heartwood. Leaf. Branch. Canopy. Known as the seven sacred gates of enlightenment, these septenary points upon the body, mind, and soul are claimed as focal points by esoteric philosophical schools. By attuning oneself to these vast wells of possible might and achieving harmony with its energies, sages claim that practitioners are capable of feats far beyond mortal ken. Hushed tales within windswept monasteries and distant martial arts schools speak of warriors capable of truly breathtaking displays of supernatural power, including flight, endurance against pain, and even the absolute dissolution of a foe's fighting spirit.
Practised in the modern era by the dreaded Voidseers of the Sentaari Monastery, Enlightenment serves as the basis for their quest for inner peace in the face of the Void's immaterial truths.
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In the wake of the transformative events of the Monomachy, the Sentaari Guild, renowned for their pursuit of mental discipline and spiritual insight, heralded the inception of the Voidseers. This new discipline, born out of a deep exploration into the Void's endless mysteries, is unique to the new age that Sapience has entered and is a reflection of centuries of philosophical introspection, telepathic prowess, and occult practices.
The Voidseer's abilities are channeled through three distinct skillsets: Enlightenment, Cultivation, and Voidgazing. Enlightenment taps into the septenary gates of the body, mind, and soul, allowing practitioners to harness extraordinary universal energies powers and achieve a state of harmony and inner peace. Cultivation extends into the realm of the mind, leveraging psychic abilities to influence and manipulate emotional states, creating a mental battlefield where the Voidseer can dominate. Voidgazing, the cornerstone of the Voidseer's arsenal, delves into the unfathomable depths of the void itself, drawing out esoteric knowledge and employing it to impose profound, often unsettling effects on their adversaries.
Voidseers walk a path less traveled, one that weaves through the enigmatic and often perilous realms of mental fortitude and cosmic awareness. They are seekers of truth in its most unvarnished form, daring to confront the emptiness of the Void and harness its latent power. The path of the Voidseer is not for the faint of heart, but for those who dare to gaze into the Void, it offers unparalleled insights into the mysteries of existence and the cosmos.
What is the Void?
The Void is the space between the planes. It is a vast not-space of nothingness - there are no elements, no light, no land of its own, no living beings nor undead nor sentience of any kind known. In recent years, the Sentaari monastery managed to glimpse ruined pieces of forsaken Dendara that had crumbled away and fallen into the Void, but otherwise there remains a complete absence of discoveries within its interminable expanse. Though some might claim they have glimpsed other objects or things within the Void, these are oft the product of madness and mortal impressionism, not actual truth. Rumour has it that distant points of other planes can be spotted within its geographically impossible endlessness, propagating confusion amongst planar physics experts and philosophers alike.
How are the powers of the class accessed?
Voidseers practice a curious blend of telepathy, spiritual reflection, and maddening occultism that exerts influence on a foe's mental and emotional state. The most infamous discipline they utilise to make a name for themselves is the titular practice of 'Voidgazing'. By focusing upon the philosophical meaning of nothingness, as well as the actual nothingness indicative of true Void, a user of this art can thrust maddening visions, vacuous chill, and uttermost madness upon an unfortunate soul that crosses them. Wielding too much of the Void's might weighs heavily upon the Voidseer's mind, however, and thus they practice rigorous exercises to keep their minds sharp and clear.
To balance out this terrifying practice, Voidseers seek inner peace through Enlightenment. By unleashing the potential of their seven chakras, they can balance their body, mind, and soul into harmonious union that ensures they clutch tight their precious sanity. Formed through adherence to ancient sagacity, this school had existed only as a mere philosophical branch, though fables told of enlightened masters who discovered the true essence of its teachings through hard work and dedication. Rumour has it that chakral masters can achieve supernatural feats such as flight, teleportation, and even shaping one's own reality through a simple exertion of the boundless mortal potential in their wise souls. Meditation and deep focus are required to keep a chakra open, necessitating a great deal of practice to achieve complete erudition.
Cultivation focuses upon manipulating the most delicate sections of the mortal mind to subtly adjust their emotional state to something more favourable for the mentalist in question. Unlike Telepathy or Psionics, this school of mental mastery requires a great deal of focus and an external object to channel the necessary energies and evocative imagery, which gave rise to the obsidian seeing stones and tranquil lotus buds emblematic of the pursuit. The foundation of Cultivation is the understanding of five emotions referred to as 'primal emanations' - the most basic instincts and feelings a mortal can exhibit. Masters of the practice find themselves capable of instilling more complex emotions, including misery, longing, spite, and even the self-aware insignificance that comes with complete ego death. These powerful exudations adjust the elemental chemistry of a victim's brain, forcibly inclining them towards these sensations.
Visual style of the class
Voidseers gird their bodies with armour underneath their robes and myriad spiritualist trinkets, as their combat style requires a great deal of stillness that leaves them vulnerable to physical assault. Beyond this, they possess very little in common that would denote them as members of one collective, though the Sentaari monastery possesses their own uniforms, custom, and style that might take precedence over their own individuality. New students will often possess sunken eyes on account of the myriad horrors they must subject themselves to in the pursuit of understanding necessary to gaze into the Void, in addition to the long nights of study by candlelight. This often manifests as gauntness or thinness if they lose themselves to their studies, as they will fail to eat and drink even when their bodies demand it.
The actual techniques of an experienced Cultivator empath often manifest themselves within their obsidian seeing stone, rather than anything overtly evident to mortal perception. The telltale sign of their mastery is not their own focused expression, but the extremity of emotional experience and expression found upon the visages of their victim. Joy, sadness, and disgust reign in equal parts within the hearts of their foes, often to caricatured heights that would unnerve casual onlookers. Psychic imagery often appears at the heart of their foci, serving as the only hint to those that not yet put underneath their mental sway.
Enlightened sages often manifest their unbelievable feats through flashes of pastel lights indicative of chakral mysticism, creating an awe-inspiring display that bestows secondhand tranquility about all who bear witness. Peaceful and content even in the heart of battle, a Voidseer often betrays casual insouciance at odds with the violence at play around them. This chilling clarity extends even to their workings with the Void's fell magics, once more creating a dissonant clash between their demeanor and the crazed screams of those foolish enough to cross them. Much of their advanced arts bespeak a subtlety that ensures their victims find themselves mad or dead before their allies notice that battle is joined.
Side effects of use
As indicated above, Voidseers often lose themselves to the occultist pursuits that form the focal obsession of their profession. This ensures they possess wan expressions or otherwise display signs of utter exhaustion due to their late nights at work with understanding that liminal space's secrets. Adepts in training will oft abstain from food or drink by complete accident as they ceaselessly pursue the unknown or hone their mental craft, leaving them frail or unconscious as they continue the infinite climb to ever greater heights.
Voidseers who fail to exercise proper clarity or gird their psyches properly will oft find that complete sanity and lucidity elude them, for the abyss that stares back does so unnervingly. Prone to philosophising and rambling, these seers reveal their tenuous madness with every alien syllable uttered and every psychic emanation projected. Those that manage to elude this fate due so only by the grace of inspiritment brought by Enlightenment, for chakral magic serves as a natural counterbalance of tranquility.
Some Voidseers will exhibit a fear of the dark if forced to glimpse the Void too often, for it is only deepest shadow that can hold a candle to the vacuity of their true domain. A deep interest in cosmology and planar knowledge often accompanies their studies, as these serve as the closest things to grounding knowledge that a mortal can depend on. As well, experienced students of Cultivation will find themselves more likely to exhibit emotional intelligence due to their natural understanding of instinctual emanations and mental states.
Roleplaying the class
Voidseers one and all find unity in the pursuit of mental and spiritual perfection, if only for the purposes of self-preservation. Owing in large part due to the forbidding occultism they practice, they often engage in intense thought exercises in hopes of keeping their awareness sharp and their minds utterly clear in the face of the Void's utterdark. They often exhibit a hunger for all forms of knowledge, if only for the purposes of comparing its splendour to that of the lightless expanse they call upon.
Tranquility and madness serve as a dissonant duality within most that practice these arts, as there is only so much that a mortal mind can digest before it shatters into myriad maddened fragments. This often means that a Voidseer will exhibit unnerving behaviour or be prone to esoteric mutterings that are typically lost upon the uninitiated. Social interaction with them can often feel intrusive, as they oft display deep understanding of the emotional state of others and their close brushes with insanity might erode their grasp upon the niceties of conversation or behaviour.