A New Age has begun, and a new breed of magician walks the World, born of change, ready to inherit the sundered World. Most folk reach ever outward, whether they be Warriors striving for power, Rogues grasping for wealth, Healers seeking the blessings of dead Gods or Wizards studying the World and Universe. Those born with the Gift, the Warlocks, know that all of these paths are doomed to fail. Warlocks turn their vision inward, and have discovered that self-awareness and Focus of will are the keys to true power and wisdom.
Many Warlocks attain a state of physical perfection, and learn how to push their strength and endurance to superhuman extremes through meditation and secret techniques. The true focus of a Warlock's study is not his body, however, but his mind. Warlocks learn, through Focus, to send their thoughts, hear the thoughts of others, and plant delusions or false sensations in the minds of their foes. Master Warlocks can devour memories, inflict tremendous pain, or kill with but a thought. It is said that the greatest Warlocks can leave their bodies altogether, sending their minds out to wander the World, unseen yet seeing all. The Warlocks work in secret, steering the thoughts of monarchs and spying upon the workings of the Wise, waiting for the day when the ranks of the Gifted will have grown sufficient enough to seize power directly.
Unlike all of the other Arcane Arts, Warlocks are unique in another aspect -- there are no recorded cases of Warlockry prior to the Day of the Turning. At the exact moment of the Sundering of the World, many young men fell to the ground screaming of nightmarish visions. Of those who lived, many were struck mad, and many never recovered. Some, however, emerged with new and startling Talents. Warlocks call this the Gift, the power to unchain the powers of their minds and work their will upon the World. The Warlocks are always seeking more of the Gifted to add to their ranks, and have begun a quiet crusade for the mastery of the World. In their eyes, the Gift is every Warlock's inheritance from the dead All-Father, and as his favorite of Children, the time has come to assume his throne as Masters of the Realm.
The Gift is the highest form of magic: a Warlock needs no loopholes in Natural Law to work wonders, nor do his powers arise from the Tapestry of Creation. A Warlock's will makes Natural Law, and do not depend upon the works and creations of others. Every Warlock walks a long and difficult road, for the Path of Focus demands discipline, patience, and a commitment few can muster. For those who persevere the rewards are great indeed: for he who can master himself can master the World.
Don't be afraid. Don't try to answer, either, nobody around you can hear my voice. No, I am not a ghost come to curse you and no, you are not mad. You can hear my words, but I speak them not: you are hearing my thoughts, just as I can hear yours so easily. Stop looking around, you cannot possibly see me. If you run, I will find you. Rest assured, I could sense the patterns of your thoughts more than a league away. I say again, do not be afraid. I have not sought you out to harm you, but to show you your true potential. I've come to set you free.
Who am I? I am a Warlock, master of my mind and myself. I will not tell you my name, you must learn it for yourself. That is your first test. If you pass it, you may too walk the Path of Focus, and perhaps you shall prove yourself disciplined enough to become a Warlock yourself, and join our Order. How can you possibly guess my name, when you can't even see me? You have the ability. Since the fateful day of the Turning, some in every race have been born with The Gift, that rare combination of willpower and perception that lets a Warlock escape from the prison of Delusion, which binds the potential of almost every thinking being in the World. As each Warlock can alter the minds of others through will and Focus, so our Order works to change the World, sweeping away the errors of the past to build a new age. Now that the influence of the meddling Gods has ended, the time has come for us to claim our rightful place as masters of the World. There are typically two sorts who gain the Gift. Some are warriors who without knowing it learn to control their bodies, ignoring pain and increasing their strength by will alone, while others are scholars, magi who can intuit the answer to any question because their awareness is so finely honed. To become a Warlock you must master both talents.
If you would learn my name, you must first focus on your perceptions, and learn to master them. Another test: how many people are in the tavern with you now? You should know, you set eyes upon them all as you came in, but then you forgot it, because your mind decided the information was not important. So it is with everything: every step we take, every face we pass is forgotten, just as our minds forget that they cause our lungs to breathe and hearts to beat without our focus. Consciousness, that part of the mind that must define all it sees, moves too slowly - it is the warden of the prison of delusion. So, answer the question - how many people are within the bar? Stop trying to know and simply know. Very good. You see how will and awareness can work together, bringing you knowledge instantly. A Warlock can read the thoughts of others, project his words without speech, and predict the actions of his foes. Through will and conscious control of his body a Warlock can move faster, strike harder, and render himself immune to pain. His awareness of his foe's thoughts and intentions makes him deadly in combat, and master warlocks can even bend their will upon other minds, disrupting them with storms of random, confused thought or taking control of them altogether. The greatest Warlocks can hone their awareness to an uncanny level, and even detach their minds from their material bodies, wandering the world in an astral form no wall or obstacle can bar. All of these secrets await you, if you can but pass my test. What is my name?
Guessing will not avail you. I assure you, you know it already. You must tap into your awareness and focus your will. My voice now seems familiar? Good. Yes, you remember - you were a child two years old when I visited your father. I've been watching you a long time. Yes, my name is Hallodon, or rather, that was the name I told him. Your will and your perceptions are ready. Leave the tavern if you would learn what we can teach you. Be warned, however - the offer will come only once. Refuse it, and you deny your true potential, dooming yourself to the life of one of the simpletons around you, the limited life of the past. The future is ours.
Open your mind, and follow me if you dare.