"Spirits of Filgaia, protect our land. Give it life, so the sins of the past do not bring our beautiful world to its grave."
- --Old Baskar Prayer
The Guardians are spirits of Filgaia. Many people, especially those living in more urban areas, consider them to be distant gods or even superstition. However, members of the Baskar Tribe, Drifters, and others who live a marginal life in the wastes know the truth: the Guardians are not distant spirits, represented only by battered stone tablets and ancient statues. They are spirits who make their presence felt, providing aid and even magic to those who venerate them.
They are spirits tied to a single element and concept. There are numerous types, ranging from Schturdark, the Guardian of Water, to Luceid, the Guardian of Desire. The true form of a Guardian is a monstrous and often wondrous thing. Most are enormous in size and wield powerful sorcery. However, they do not have the strength to manifest in the world without assistance, and their visages are known mostly through artistic interpretations that rarely do their true forms justice.
It is said among the Baskar that the Guardians once existed openly on the surface of Filgaia, working in concert with the Elw. The truth of this passed with the Elw.
Mediums and Manifestations
The Guardians reside within a spiritual realm, unreachable by humans, and can do little to affect the world directly without human intervention.
The Guardians typically only manifest to their followers. They do so most often as a voice, speaking directly into someone's mind while they stand near their shrine. Guardians are typically connected to shrines, which are often located inside of ruins; however, a few shrines are kept by the Baskar near their villages.
Someone with a Guardian's blessing, however, can make them manifest -- if only temporarily -- through a Medium. A Medium is a tablet that has the Guardian's likeness carved in relief upon it, which lets a shaman use their magic. Spells tied to the Guardian's element can be cast through it. Furthermore, someone with a Medium can briefly make a Guardian manifest in their physical form. This allows them to engage in truly titanic displays of power. Summoning Fengalon to rampage through one's enemies matches the greatest ARMs in power. However, these summonings are brief: a few seconds, and the Guardian returns to their spiritual domain.
One Guardian can have many Mediums. Baskar elders know how to create the ancient stone tablets, and they bestow them upon those with the spirit to use shamanism. Thus, multiple individuals may come into possession of a Medium for the same Guardian. However, these stone tablets are based upon the originals: Silver Mediums.
As the name suggests, these tablets are solid silver. A Silver Medium is often more detailed and contains greater sorcerous power. It offers stronger spells to a shaman using it and can briefly summon a Guardian, as a regular Medium can. Each Guardian has only one Silver Medium, and they bestow them only upon their champions. A shaman with a Silver Medium can summon a Guardian to fight in their stead, briefly rendering their body incorporeal so the Guardian assume physical form for longer than a few seconds.
The possession of Silver Mediums will be tightly regulated by the administration, and will typically favor characters who focus on their thematic role as shamans. Characters cannot start with a Silver Medium.
The Guardian Lords and Golden Mediums
The Guardian Lords are the four highest of the Guardians. In the Baskar's faith, they are the heads of their pantheon and embodiments of the four great virtues that define mankind. Unlike some Guardians, they have not been directly encountered in generations.
These four Guardians represent the four most important emotions to mankind: hope, desire, courage, and love. Zephyr, the Guardian of Hope, is their leader. Raftina, the Guardian of Love, and Justine, the Guardian of Courage, are also important as his lieutenants. Luceid, the Guardian of Desire, is said to be missing in Baskar lore.
Unlike normal Guardians, the Guardian Lords do not have regular or Silver Mediums. A Guardian Lord grants their blessing to only one individual at a time through a Gold Medium. This works much like a Silver Medium, bestowing powerful magic upon the individual and the ability to summon the Guardian Lord for short and long durations of time. However, it also serves as a mark of destiny. Someone possessing a Gold Medium is a person with great importance in the eyes of the Guardians.
Characters cannot start with a Gold Medium. Furthermore, possession of these artifacts will be tightly controlled by the administration, and won't come into play until later in the MUSH's story. They will reward specific characters with them.
List of Guardians
The following is a list of Guardians. It should not be taken as comprehensive, as more may be revealed in the course of play. As the wielders of their Silver and Gold Mediums are chosen, we will also note those.
The Guardians are sometimes collected into groups, based upon their purviews. The lists below are common among shamans from the Baskar in Ignas. However, some prefer other groupings or might quibble about one Guardian's placement. The Greater Guardians, especially, are a source of disagreements; some argue they are not greater, but others claim they are the effective leaders of the Guardians because their purviews are especially mighty. Regardless of one's beliefs, though, the Greater Guardian's powers must be respected.
Shaman characters can begin with a single (regular) Medium from the Elemental Guardians or the Terrestrial and Celestial Guardians.
The Elemental Guardians
- Moor Gault, Guardian of Fire
- Grudiev, Guardian of Earth
- Fengalon, Guardian of Wind
- Schturdark, Guardian of Water
- Noua Shax, Guardian of Lightning
- Aru Solatu, Guardian of Ice
The Terrestrial and Celestial Guardians
- Dinoginos, the Mountain Guardian
- Lucadia, Guardian of the Sea
- Solais Emsu, Guardian of the Sky
- Celesdue, Guardian of the Moon
- Rigdobrite, the Star Guardian
The Guardians of Ideals
- Ione Paua, the Saint Guardian
- Equites, the Sword Guardian
- Zeldukes, the Castle Guardian
- Duras Drum, the Hades Guardian
- Stare Roe, Guardian of Light
- Leitea Stark, Guardian of Darkness
The Greater Guardians
- Dan Dairam, Guardian of Time
- Odoryuk, the Life Guardian
- Ge Ramtos, Guardian of Death
- Chapapanga, Guardian of Luck
The Guardian Lords
- Justine, Guardian Lord of Courage
- Raftina, Guardian Lord of Love
- Luceid, Guardian Lord of Desire
- Zephyr, Guardian Lord of Hope
Strange and mysterious artifacts from a previous age, Artificial Mediums are essentially just what they say on the tin -- Mediums that have been artificially created through a combination of magic and technology. Where and when they come from is unknown, but these strange disks emulate regular Mediums almost exactly, save for one slight change: one need not be a Baskar or even a practicing Shaman in order to make use of them.
It is unclear precisely how Artificial Mediums work save for their superficial similarities to regular Mediums in forging a connection to Filgaia. There are two varieties of these Artificial Mediums: copies, and Originals. Copies are by far the most abundant, but their uses are more restricted. Many copies start out as blanks, and must be "imprinted" with the data of a Guardian through an Original Medium, like creating backup files. While copies function identically to regular Mediums, and allow a broader variety of people to use them, their use is restricted to native species of Filgaia, or species the planet seems to recognize. As such, species like the Metal Demons and Veruni are incapable of making use of these Mediums.
Original Mediums, on the other hand, do not have this restriction; anyone is capable of making use of them, and anyone is capable of forging a connection to Filgaia through them. The technology used to make the Original Mediums is truly beyond that of anyone in the current era, and replication is close to impossible: there is exactly one Original Medium per Guardian, and no more. Originals can be used to imprint data on blank copies, and can accomplish things their copies cannot, such as storing and accessing memories of their users, or forging connections between people instead of Filgaia itself. However, though Original Mediums can be used by anyone, they seem to have a tendency to gravitate towards specific people... and have been known to slip out of the grasp of others if not their 'intended' owner as if by fate.
Aside from the six Original Mediums from Wild ARMs 5 (Sea, Sky, Sword, Moon, Mountain, Luck), the additional Originals will be regulated by administration; players cannot start with an Original, but can work into owning one.