Familiars are companions to Magi. Loyal pets and, in some cases, sources of Mana, familiars are as varied as the personalities of their masters.
- Rather than using the spell Find Familar, a wizard in this setting must use the ritual Rite of the Awakened Familiar.
- Familiars -can- attack at their master's command. They can also take damage and potentially die.
Acquiring a Familiar
In order to aquire a familiar, the prospective master must first locate the kind of creature desired. This can be as convenient a task as visiting a city and purchasing a suitable animal within an appropriate shop, called a Menagerie . However, some more exotic familiars usually take more effort to locate.
After locating the familiar, the master must arrange to keep the familiar nearby for the ritual, Rite of the Awakened Familiar . Wise masters choose familiars that are friendly enough not to wander away, but sometimes the creature must be caged or otherwise restrained.
There are various rituals that bind familiars to spellcasters, ranging from a few gestures or chants to some drawings sketched on the floor around the pair – all repeated necessarily at intervals throughout the day. The ritual will fail if the intended familiar is hostile or unfriendly to the master, or has been charmed into amiability in any manner.
Number of Familiars
A wizard can have as many familiars, at one time, as he has an intelligence modifier. So a wizard with an Intelligence of 17 (+3) , can have 3 familiars at the same time. However, by binding themselves to multiple creatures can put the wizard at greater risk. Since the creature and the wizard are bonded to each other, should the familiar take damage (or die) the wizard will suffer equal damage.
- Main article: Familiar Bond
Familiars are handy tools and valued companions to Magi. In many ways they become a favored pet and trusted friend. Once awakened and bound to the wizard, the creature acquires a number of unique abilities in addition to those it possesses normally.
- Empathic Link
- Shared Sight
- Sense Mana
- Beast Speech
- Shared Resistance
Familiars possess the ability to communicate with other creatures of their type. So an owl familiar can 'speak' with other owls and gain a limited amount of information.
Dismissal or Replacement
Sometimes, a master will wish to be rid of a familiar, usually because they have suffered some debilitating injury or because the master simply wishes to acquire a new creature. To dismiss a familiar, the master simply wills it so, breaking the link that binds the two. Immediately on being dismissed, the familiar loses all abilities and becomes a normal creature of its kind, returning to life as such while suffering no ill effects, with the exception that it will likely be unable to remember most of what it experienced as a familiar.
Replacing a Familiar
Should a familiar die or a master wish to find a new one, there is no restriction on how often this can happen. However, as a familiar's bond evolves with its master there is an emotional toll to loosing such a creature more so than loosing a pet. It is for this reason that some wizards may wait one lunar cycle before seeking out another familiar; allowing them to become accustomed to the lack of another voice in their head before finding another.
Familiars are natural creatures that have been 'enhanced' through arcane magic. This being said a familiar's health is linked to that of their Master, allowing them to live as long as the wizard that awakened them. As this may be decades past the normal age of their species, when a wizard dies - so too does their familiar. Should a wizard die before the end of the familiar's natural cycle, they will simply revert to that of a normal creature - usually.
A wizard can channel arcane energy into their familiar and by doing so help repair any damage that may have been caused to them. It is not 'healing' the creature in the way that a cleric or druid heals someone but rather repairing damage.
Each form of the familiar requires the master to invest significant amounts of arcane energy into the familiar. Some familiars are kept as the simple, yet enhanced creatures that they were when they were awakened. Others are augmented with new and wondrous abilities to protect and serve their new masters.
- Awakened Familiar: The first and most basic ritual to awaken the familiar's intelligence and new, magical abilities.
- Improved Familiar: Improving upon a quality of the creature or ability (size, empathic link, etc.)
- Guardian Familiar: Allowing the creature to transform themselves, at will, into larger, more combative form to defend their master.
- Greater Familiar: For awakening creatures of above-beast intelligence (Pegasus, Drake, Griffon, etc.)