Dragonlance Incarnations

Note: This idea came about as most do from a discussion on the Dragonlance Forums.  It was spawned from a discussion on the Sage; a figure of some renown during the early Fifth Age instrumental in helping Goldmoon unlock the secrets of mysticism and later on in preventing Takhisis from conquering Krynn during the War of Souls.  For some time I have wanted to find a way to merge some ideas from Piers Anthony’s Incarnation of Immortality series with Dragonlance, and thanks to this discussion I can now proceed.

Incarnations are the personification of a particular aspect of creation.  Incarnations are immortal beings of great power, but are not deities.  They do not grant spells, gather worshipers, or answer prayers.  They are not omnipotent, nor can they create an aspect.  Incarnations are mortals wearing a mantle of Immortality.  As long as they possess this mantle of Immortality, they may exercise the powers of their Incarnation and are conditionally immortal.  They cannot die of natural causes, are immune to normal diseases, and do not need to eat, drink, or breathe.  They may be killed, injured, maimed, or even stripped of their mantle if found unworthy by another worthy bearer.  However, for various reasons an Incarnation may also willingly or unwillingly step down.

These Incarnations have either always been or arose as an after effect of the Chaos War.  No one knows for certain; even those who have been Incarnations.  The existence of the Incarnations is not widely known.   It is possible the gods of Krynn may know about these incarnations, but just as likely they too know nothing.  Rumors abound about these Incarnations.  Some say that they were a parting “gift” from Chaos, after the Chaos War. Others say that they have been around since the Graygem was first released during the Age of Dreams and after ambient magic was contained fell into some sort of slumber until they were awakened by its explosion at the end of the Chaos War.  A darker theory suggest that the Incarnations may be what Takhisis meant by “my curse is among you.”  If so, this would seem to indicate that the Incarnations are dangerous.

There could be many Incarnations on Krynn. The Sage could be the Incarnation of Mysticism. The Shadow Sorcerer could be the Incarnation of Sorcery. The Herald could be the Incarnation of Memory and so on.  I have provided a short write-up of the three best known incarnations.  There are certainly others.  If you design other incarnations, try to come up with what aspect of creation they personify and  give them a short title which sums up who they are such as the Sage, the Shadow Sorcerer, or The Herald.  This will give each of your Incarnations its own identity.

Note: I have opted not to provide game stats for the various Incarnations I name below.  This is because the Incarnations are not intended to be opponents for the characters to track down and defeat, but personages of great power and mystery which might be used to springboard the plot of a campaign.  Think of them like Dungeonmaster in the old Dungeons and Dragons cartoon.  They show up to deliver some piece of advice or information that is needed by the heroes; then vanish just as quickly as they appear.

The Incarnation of Mysticism
The Incarnation of Mysticism is the embodiment of the ambient divine magic of Mysticism which Goldmoon and many Citadel Mystics call the Power of the Heart.
Other Names: the Sage
Notable Mantle Bearers: Solomirathnius (Mirror)
During the early Age of Mortals, this mantle was born by the silver dragon, Solomirathnius (Mirror).  He was instrumental in helping Goldmoon unlock the power of mysticism.  The Night of the Great Storm he was blinded by Takhisis.  Though blind he was pivotal in learning the truth about Krynn after the Chaos War and preventing Takhisis from achieving final victory.   After the War of Souls, he sought out a successor and passed on the mantle of the Incarnation of Mysticism to a new bearer.  He was last seen with Odila Wyndlass helping the elves against the minotaurs in Silvanesti.  Though he is no longer recognized as the Sage; Mirror is still held in great esteem by both the Citadel of Light and the current Incarnation of Mysticism.

The Incarnation of Sorcery
The Incarnation of Sorcery is the living embodiment of the ambient arcane magic of Sorcery also known as wild magic, primal sorcery, and wylding magic.
Other Names: The Shadow Sorcerer
Notable Mantle Bearers: Takhisis
During the Early Age of Mortals, the Shadow Sorcerer was a guise worn by Takhisis.  It is unknown if she were the true Incarnation of Sorcery or not; but she did display great command over primal sorcery at a time when arcane magic was believed to be non-functional.  At first, refusing to share knowledge of this power, she eventually taught its techniques to Palin Majere, Dalamar, and Theo Drawde.  The Shadow Sorcerer was outted by Palin in Day of the Tempest.   If she was truly the Incarnation of Sorcery it is believed that when she was killed at the close of the War of Souls that the mantle passed to a new Incarnation of Sorcery – A new Shadow Sorcerer.  Rumor has it that this new Shadow Sorcerer has created a shadowy duplicate of the Tower of Palanthas and resides within.

The Incarnation of Memory
The Incarnation of Memory is the living embodiment of the history of Krynn.  The “memories” of Krynn are his to know and share.  The Incarnation of Memory knows the entire history of Krynn as gathered from written histories, tales told around campfires, and the dreams of her inhabitants.
Other Names: The Herald
Notable Mantle Bearers: Master Lor, Astinus?
“Who I am is meaningless. What matters is who you think I am.”  It is widely believed that the current Incarnation of Memory is Master Lor.  This has not been proven conclusively; however the theory is given much credence due to completely circumstantial evidence.  In the end it doesn’t matter who he really is.  This enigmatic bard first appeared 3 years after the Chaos War.  He claims that the memories of Krynn are his to know and share.  He shares these memories in the form of tales from Krynn’s long history.  His tales often serve the purpose of preparing a group of people for important local or perhaps global events.  No one sees him traveling he just seems to appear wherever his tales are needed most.

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  1. Great article, Kendermage! I’m a huge fan of Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series.

    I’m not sure I would have tied Takhisis in, but it works with continuity.

    What I like is that this has so many adventure possibilities. I hope that you’ll someday revisit this article and maybe expand on it. Great job!

  2. If you think about it, if Takhisis was the Incarnation of Sorcery it was during the period when her powers were depleted from moving Krynn. She finds the mantle after the Chaos War and becomes the Shadow Sorcerer; regaining some of her power. The mantle disappeared when she was killed resurfacing years later in the form of a new Shadow Sorcerer; however, there is also the question of the Blue Sorcerer.

    Perhaps the Blue Sorcerer sees him/herself as a more worthy bearer of the mantle and is determined to wrest it from the Shadow Sorcerer. Or an even more interesting theory; what if one of them is the shade of Takhisis?

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