The Cadrusat- Protector of
Souls and Supreme Masters of
© 2002 Mike McCuen
In the world of Rimat the Cadrusat nobles of Corvidea are the undisputed masters of magic. Containing the ancestral memories of generations of seers, radiating magical power, and having a truly intimidating appearance, the Cadrusat are the sole image of
sorcery that this world has. Despite their wielding of powerful magic, the Cadrusat have an almost universal reputation as deceptive cowards- doubly so in the eyes of their ancient foe the Tonkui. The tendency to preserve their own life at the expense of
their comrades is justified by the Cadrusat in their motto "I am all who came before me." This refers to the fact that within the skull of the Cadrusat resides the souls of his ancestors. If he were to die then all before him die forever.
The freakish appearance of the Cadrusat is due to their being created from the bodies of stillborn children. The great Houses of Corvidea contain the only normal human wizards who are mostly followers of Ilsiri. When these magicians die their rema
ins are prepared in a special ritual. First the head is removed and the skull removed. Then the skull and the body are cremated together in a powerful magical furnace named Agna-gazim near the Cadrus Tether. The skin of the head is then filled with
the cremated remains and sewn shut with fine iron wires. The head is then interred in the House’s catacombs in the foothills of Kallavat, where the Oronai fields will fuse the ashes into a single mass. This mass is called the Pravorn, meaning S
eed of Wisdom.
After a hundred years or so the cured head is removed from the catacombs and combined with others in the Agna-gazim furnace for their final fusing. The intense heat and magical fields render the combined Pravorn into a single crystalling lump. Within
this yellow glasslike mass resides the souls and wisdom from all the deceased wizards used in its making. The Pravorn tenders take great care not to mix the remains of different Houses. That has happened only once, and resulted in a minor civil war.
The final step in making the Cadrusat is to implant the fused soul-stone, now called Oronai into a soul-less and pure body. The only body which works for this process is that of a stillborn child. After preserving the child’s body with se
cret alchemical elixirs the Oronai is sealed into the skull. Over a period of one year the body will grow in stature, but never quite lose its childlike appearance. At the end of the year the Cadrusat mage finally awakens- a living mind within a dead body
The Oronai contains not only the wisdom of his ancestors but also magical power. It allows the Cadrusat to cast spells without depleting his own fatigue. It raises the mana level for him. It allows him to detect magical items and effects. This d
etection power also lets the Cadrusat know how far away he is from the Cadrus Tether, giving a perfect three-dimensional spacial sense.
A Cadrusat's Oronai can also be used to release a powerful blast of magical energy throughout his body which does him no harm, but shocks and burns those who touch him for 1d at the cost of one point of fatigue. The Oronai has six points of DR and has
IQx4 hit points. In a high
mana area the Oronai is considered Indestructable by any means. It raises the mana level by one, but only for Cadrusat. Among its other powers the Oronai also allows the Cadrusat to run very quickly, as the body is completely under its control. The Orona
i allows the mage to see in the dark, and the eyes of the body are irrelevant to sight.
If the Oronai comes within three hexes (9 feet) of exposed human blood it will begin taking 2 dice of damage per round. This damage is done directly to the Oronai, not the body of the Cadrusat. If the Oronai is reduced to 0 hit points it is dest
royed. Other bad side effects include a tendency for the strange and unusual to home in on the Oronai, due to the persistent powerful magical field. This is represented in the game as Unlucky and Weirdness magnet. Also, the souls of the ancestors sometime
s squabble for control of the body and this results in flashbacks and racial memory.
The dead and preserved body can not heal naturally and must be mended by spells or surgery. Leatherworking craft skills also apply here. Because it is dead attackers gain no cutting or impaling bonus, and their are no vital organs, blood to spil
l, or breath to choke off. Hits still cause a kind of pain, but this has never been explained. Since the body is unliving it gets no death check. If reduced to zero hits the body falls apart.
If the body itself is destroyed but the Oronai lives the mage can still cast spells provided they require no gestures. The mage speaks through the Oronai. If it can be retrieved and taken back to his House, the Oronai can be placed into another
body at a cost of $50,000xIQ. If no body can be found (stillborn children are not that common in Corvidea) the Oronai will be placed in the House’s library.
Corvidea is a hegemony of principalities controlled by noble Houses. Cadrusat are the ruling class, and every Cadrusat belongs to a noble House. Power is maintained by alliances between the many small Houses and the three Great Houses. The Three Grea
t Houses (Illian, Kusum, and Shafra) have the most power, with House Illian the most influencial and affluent.
The lesser Houses maintain their own armies or hire mercenaries when needed, or can call upon a patron or ally for help. Ancient rivalry and blood-feud color Corvidean politics and spies and assassins are always in demand. Open warfare between the gre
ater nobles is simply not done; subterfuge and legal trickery are the preferred means to settle disputes.
As stated before, all Cadrusat will have a title of nobility, which is often a job description as well. The status levels with official titles and responsibilities are Monitor(2), Custos(3), and Auctor(4).
Most Cadrusat that are encountered will be Monitors- those lesser nobles charged with locating citizens of magical aptitude. Under Corvidean law any citizen who demonstrates magical abilities is immediately taken into the formal training of the ruling
house. Citizens taken into training become magi and in time may be gifted the advantage of Magery.
Monitors may also bring into the House citizens who possess other useful powers, such as magical resistance. Occupations and training will be assigned based on the power. Occasionally Monitors are sent to other lands to act as spies. While abroad they
evaluate the magical skill and defenses of the nations they visit, under innocuous diplomatic or merchant "cover missions".
Above the Monitor is the Custos, who are commonly called Keepers. These Cadrusat are responsible for maintaining the magical lore, artifacts, history, and other lesser magi. If the House has sufficient Keepers sometimes each will specialize in one fie
ld of study. Keepers are sent abroad to investigate legends and myths or to locate lost spells and artifacts. They will frequently have a retinue of lesser magi and Monitors.
Critical to a House is the Auctor. An Auctor is a Cadrusat skilled in the secret lore of Oronai creation. Without an Auctor a House can not create more Cadrusat. A single Auctor may have dozens of Keepers on his staff, along with hundreds of other ret
ainers. Most critical to an Auctor is the staff of Keepers he will send to Tarmoza to barter for the stillborn. It is rare to encounter an Auctor outside of Corvidea, or even outside of his workshop near the Cadrus Tether. A House may employ more than one
Auctor. House Illian has eighty-three currently.
The higher the noble status (pg.18 Basic) of the Cadrusat, the more likely it is his House will send direct assistance. This should be factored into the cost of a House under the Patron advantage (pg.24 Basic). House Illian counts as a 3
0 point Patron, House Kusum and Shafra are 25 point Patrons.
Most Cadrusat do not worship gods. It is an irrefutable fact that gods do exist, but they do not concern most Cadrusat. House Illian is the only group of Cadrusat who have what could be considered a religion. The god Ilsiri is believed by them to be t
he creation of the very first Cadrusat, named Illian ("Grey-Eyes"). Illian left Rimat long ago but before departing he created Ilsiri to stay behind and teach mankind the secret of the Oronai.
Priests of Ilsiri are created as any other Cadrusat character, but must purchase Blessed (20) (pg. 34 Compendium I), Clerical Investment(5/level)(pg.19 Basic), and Power Investiture (10/level) (pg.42 Compendium I). A priest of Ilsiri is bound b
y an Oath to never take a life (Pacifism -30, pg.19 Basic), no matter the consequences. Breaking this oath strips the priest of all divine powers and he becomes a normal Cadrusat permanently. If a priest of Ilsiri deliberately commits murder the pr
iest is slain rather than the intended victim.
The Blessing of Ilsiri allows the priest to add his Power Investiture to his Magery bonus when casting spells of creation, knowledge, or enchantment. At no other time is Power Investiture used for skill determination.
Priests of Ilsiri frequently wander to distant lands to explore the Tethers and their effects on the world.
Cadrusat Monitors are limited to the Runic system (pg.90 Magic). Keepers who have mastered the basic 38 Runes (ie, have skill 16+ in each one) may learn Cadrus Magic. These special spells will be crafted by the GM and may be the basis of an ent
Cadrusat who use Cadrus spell lists do not keep "books" of spells, instead each spell is inscribed on a thin sheet of pure crystal. When held in front of the Oronai the magical fields pass through the sheet and etch the spell into the mind of the Cadr
usat. These sheets are terribly fragile and are well protected when travelling. It is impossible for a non-Cadrusat to read one of these sheets.
Cadrusat players of any social rank and House may purchase Judo (pg. 51, Basic) as an unarmed combat skill.
This skill enables them to successfully grapple prior to using their innate Bioelectric Shock to incapacitate or even kill opponents. Cadrusat of House Kusum may also be trained in a style similar to Karate (pg. 51, Basic), and may purchase special combat
maneuvers listed in Compendium I starting on page 162. All Cadrusat martial arts are restricted to un-armed attack forms however- only commoners use weapons to offset weakness.
Cadrusat are creatures of the mind housed within dead flesh. This simple fact makes it impossible for them to experience any emotion at all (no glands, no emotions). This lack of emotion causes no end of social problems when dealing with non-Cadrusat.
If a Cadrusat believes he is correct it is based on facts available to him and he will act on this until proven incorrect in a logical or factual way. They frequently end up hurting other's feelings, angering or enraging people, and abruptly ending argum
ents by simply refusing to discuss things further.
A Cadrusat will never act without reason, and will never seek revenge. However, once someone has demonstrated that he is an enemy the Cadrusat will take every measure possible to neutralize that enemy. In combat a Cadrusat will always attempt the most
direct means possible to kill his opponent. Unconscious or incapacitated enemies are slain as a matter of course.
Nothing is as important to a Cadrusat as its own life. They avoid any possibly dangerous situation and will think nothing of sending another to his doom instead of himself. When playing a Cadrusat try not to do things based on intuition, emotion, loya
lty, or friendship- be cold. Be ruthless. Do nothing unless it benefits you. As you can see, Cadrusat don't have many friends but their great power makes them an asset worth putting up with.
The Oronai contains the active minds of dozens of former magi, all
held together as a single being. For the most part this group mind
functions as a single mind would, but sometimes something will happen that
will splinter the group. When the mind splinters the Cadrusat may either
gain an insight from one of his past lives, or he may be paralyzed with
intense flashbacks as the dissenting mind relives a distant memory. The
flashbacks can somtimes provide useful information if the Cadrusat can
remember them. Most of the time he ends up babbling to himself in several
voices- the attempts of the other minds to reign in the troublemaker.
3D Spacial Sense(10), Bioelectric Shock(10), Dark Vision(25), Doesn't
Breathe(20), Doesn't Eat/Drink(10),
DR 6(Head only)(18), Enhanced Move: Running 3(30), Extra Fatigue 8(spells
only)(24), Inherent Magic: Detect Magic @ IQ(4), Injury Tolerance: All
(No Blood, Brain, Neck, Vitals, No Cutting/Impaling Bonus)(50), Mana
Enhancer(25), Magery 3(35), Racial Memory(15), Status 2(10), Unaging(15), Unfazeable(15)
All Cadrusat must purchase at least Status 2 (10pts) (pg.191 Basic) and Patron(Noble House)(pg.24 Basic). The cost of these will vary depending on the level of status and the strength of the patron. Starting characters with Status hig
her than 4 are strongly discouraged.
Priests of Ilsiri variant: Blessed (20), Clerical Investment(5/level), Pacifism (-30), Power Investiture (10/level), omit Bloodlust(-10)
Appearance: Freakish(-4 reaction)(-15), Bloodlust(-10), Bully(-10),
Cowardice(-10), Dependency: Mana (Constant/Common)(-25),
Flashbacks 3(-20), Intolerance: Tonkui(-10), No Body Heat(-5),
Reputation: Cowards(-2 reaction)(-10), Solipsist(-10), Unhealing 2(-30),
Unliving(-50), Vulnerability: Human Blood 2 @3hex(2d damage)(-30),
Keeps at least 10' away from human women (blood vulnerability)
At this point, before purchasing any additional ads/disads/skills it
costs sixty-five (65) points to play a Corvidean Cadrusat.
Typical Corvidean Cadrusat Skill Package:
Activate Runes, Rune Lore, Spell Throwing, Occultism, Thanatology, Thaumaturgy