Magic and the Prysm

Author: Michael Garrett

In this primitive world, magic originates from the mysterious bond between the material world, stars, and the afterlife which manifests as growths of crystal people call Prysm. A particular type of crystal, perhaps formed during the earliest days of the creation of the world, can interact with and store magical energy for use later in spellcasting.

These crystals, commonly called Prysm shards, recharge their magical energy when the stars come out. Some say our ancestors speak to us through the Prysm, and the crystals let us hear what they are saying. The energy of the Prysm is believed to permeate the world and influence certain aspects of existence on a deeper level. To the ordinary eye, majestic floating islands, aerial ships, and Himdrinn sky whales are obvious manifestations of the Prysm’s powerful energy, but smaller wonders are just as magical, such as a tiny Prysmcrafted amulet that alerts the wearer of someone’s ill intent.

Prysm Shards

Each piece of this crystalline substance filters starlight into different colors of light, taking on a shade permanently that reflects the motives or devotions of the person using it. The color of the Prysm can directly correlate with one’s chosen star sign, and thus path in life. Some even believe that the Prysm reflects our subconsciousness, intellect, and destiny as demonstrated by how it is altered when one attunes their mind to the shards of crystal.

Using Prysm shards

The Gnalmyr stand at the forefront of study into the nature of prysm and have discovered many ways to utilize and enhance shards of this arcane substance. Raw prysm shards are a natural conduit for magic. They are generally colorless and are regarded as one of the most valuable trading resources.

When a creature attunes to a shard that has not been used before, the color of the prysm is changed in the process. Typically the creature can direct the change as it mystically communes with the crystal, but sometimes the color will vary of its own accord. Once a prysm has attained its color, it cannot be changed. The crystal’s color determines what type of magic it interacts with and enhances. Attuned shards hold value too, but only to the right person.

Prysm shards can also hold magical energies, becoming a magic item in its own right. Rare and powerful weapons often hold a small piece of Prysm at their core, providing it with exceptional powers.

Prysm Colors

  • Red. Ranging in color from the light tones of sunset to the dark red of spilled blood, red prysms are associated with destruction, fire, passion, and destruction.
  • Green. Symbolic of the earth, growth, life,  regeneration, and vitality, these green Prysm crystals pulse in a pattern that tends to synchronize with the heartbeat of any creature that holds it.
  • Blue. Prysms that turn blue are associated with creativity, insight, vision, water, and wisdom. Their vibrant color rolls inside like a gentle wave.
  • Yellow. Glowing  with a warm, yellow light like the sun, yellow prysm crystals have come to signify blessings, radiance, rebirth,  and spirituality.
  • Purple. The soft purple glow of these crystals is  often connected to the influence of the Ethervale. Many also associate them with deception, the moon, and trickery.
  • Magenta. Magenta crystals are filled with hypnotic, shimmering light and are connected to emotions, laughter, mirth, and obsession.
  • White. Though called white, these crystals shine with inner silvery starlight Prysms of this type are  representative of honesty, purity, salvation, and virtue.
  • Black. Having the appearance of the inky darkness  between the stars, these crystals appear to absorb light rather than radiating it. These crystals are associated with necromancy magic and are viewed superstitiously as emblems of decay, death, manipulation, and the void.

Mercurial Magic & Null Zones

In some areas of the world, the magical energy of the Prysm seems disrupted, causing magic to behave erratic and different. Usually, a crystal shards’ glow changes color – flickering and trembling like a moth and flame. While the energy of the Prysm permeates the very fabric of the  world, some areas are void of magical energy. These “dead zones” nullify any form of magical power and prevents casting spells, or otherwise activating items that use Prysm energy.

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The Savage Dawn campaign setting is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except for illustrations and images. Illustrations and images are used with permission, all rights reserved.