End of Empire
The Seven Sorceries
The Seven Great Families, descended from the seven sorcerers who founded Valyria, are as secretive as they are powerful. While the broad scope of their powers are understood, most don’t know the costs of such capacity. Surely, though, such gifts cannot come without a price.
The Mantarys healers are perhaps the most respected of the Seven Families. They maintain a hospital in the city proper that ministers to all manner of the injured and ill – primarily non-magically. Their magical healing comes at a much higher price, but for those with coin, the chance to foil death is fairly acquired at any price. Mantarys scions who do not take up direct medical practice often work as bodyguards to other Patrician families. Some few have served in the Legions as medics.
Fire-wizards of the Oros line are often drawn to military service, because that’s one of a very few socially-acceptable outlets for their distinct propensity to light things on fire. As a result, Oros trains all its children in martial skills and military strategy. Oroscian bids for the Consulship are frequent, thought Oroscian Consuls are almost always sent on military campaigns outside Valyria. The family therefore has a great deal of sway in the hinterlands, including vast swaths of colonial property. This land supports the pay of really very large Legions.
The Sehorys are kraken-herders, with the power to speak to and to tame those magical monsters of the deep. Sehorys are often ship-captains. They are highly involved in trade, since their kraken can provide unparalleled defenses for trading vessels. Their fleet is unparalleled in the world. Kraken also produce magical ink much in demand by the Volos family for their own spells.
The Therys family possesses startling powers of empathy. Their least powerful members can easily gauge the emotions of someone to whom they’re speaking. Their most powerful can sway the mood of an amphitheater. They serve the Freehold most often as diplomats, and at home as negotiators, mediators and district magistrates.
The dragon-riders of Tyronos are without question the flashiest of the sorcerous families. Like the Sehorys, they wield no obvious spellcraft of their own – rather, they keep a den of giant flying lizards. Dragons are semi-intelligent, violent, predatory creatures that answer only to their Tyronos riders. They are as terrifying and spectacular a military asset to Valyria’s legions as are the flames wielded by the Oros family. The Tyronos family also maintains several lines of lesser dragons that serve as beasts of burden in the deepest parts of Valyria’s mines. Those Tyronos who neither enter military service nor industrial production are often drawn to politics. There’s nothing a Tyronos wants as much as attention.
Blood-wizards of House Velaryon can achieve more impressive magical outcomes than perhaps any of the other families – the most powerful can move mountains, shake a city’s foundations, summon great storms, scry or speak over massive distances, even walk through dreams. The nature of the spells an individual sorcerer can perform varies based on his or her specific interests and education, but the cost is always the same. Velaryon sorcery requires time to enact, through fairly-complex ritual. It also always requires blood – and not just any blood. Those possessing the sort of blood that can be used by the Velaryon sorcerers to fuel their wizardry are sought throughout the Freehold and beyond, though only Velaryon sorcerers seem to be able to identify such individuals. Because they literally bleed people for power, Velaryons tend to be both disliked and feared.
The Volos family works its spells with the blue-black kraken ink only their close allies, the Sehorys, can acquire. A member of the Volos family generally specializes in a sort of art. Common specialties are metal and leatherwork, to create magical items. Many also work in tattoos. A Volos tattoo can grant the bearer power, or bind him or her, proscribing certain thoughts or actions or compelling them.