The elf Planeswalker Freyalise is one of Dominaria’s most venerated leaders. She is known as one who gives life to her followers and swift destruction to her enemies. She led the elves to survive an Ice Age, resisted the Phyrexian invasion, and finally gave her own life to save her elvish people from the time rifts that threatened to consume Dominaria. The power of her name is twofold—not only as a protector, but also as one who completely devoted her life to the elves.
“Life cannot be created and then abandoned. It must be nurtured and fed so that it may express its ripened might.”
During the long ice age that gripped the plane of Dominaria for generations, a young half-elf orphan named Freyalise found her way to the kingdom of Storgard. There she grew to become a court mage, adept in a variety of elemental disciplines. And there she became a Planeswalker. As the years passed and Freyalise’s power grew, she protected the elves of Llanowar and Fyndhorn from the evils that sought to prolong the ice age. The elves came to revere her as a god who gave life to her followers and swift destruction to her enemies, and Freyalise reluctantly accepted that role as she sought a way to bring the ice age to an end. With the help of other mages and Planeswalkers, she eventually cast the World Spell, an elaborate magical ritual that ended the ice age and restored Dominaria’s natural climate.
Centuries later, when the Phyrexians invaded Dominaria, the Planeswalker Urza convinced Freyalise to help him fight the nightmare machines of Yawgmoth. Freyalise never trusted Urza, knowing he cared for little beyond his own goals, but she fought by his side to protect her people and her home plane. Together, they and other Planeswalkers fought not just Phyrexian troops but the magical threat of another world under Phyrexian control colliding and merging with Dominaria. At last, Freyalise and her fellow Planeswalkers took the fight to Phyrexia, detonating powerful weapons that left the plane in shambles. Freyalise was one of only two survivors of the nine Planeswalkers who traveled to Phyrexia, and she built the Martyr’s Tomb to commemorate her fallen companions and all those who died in the invasion.
For three centuries more, Freyalise kept her protective vigil over the elves of Dominaria, using her own essence to shield the elf refuge of Skyshroud from the dangers of the world beyond. But then the fabric of time itself began to unravel, and a rift opened above Freyalise’s domain. In the end, realizing that her magic could not protect the elves any longer, she sacrificed her essence and her life to seal the rift in a final act to protect her plane and her people.
In Dungeons & Dragons
Back in the days of Third Edition, the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting introduced the mechanics for circle magic: a type of cooperative spellcasting that allows the spellcaster leading the circle to increase her caster level significantly and achieve results otherwise unavailable to the spellcasters composing the circle. In that setting, both the Red Wizards of Thay and the Witches of Rashemen make frequent use of circle magic.
The World Spell was cast by the planeswalker Freyalise in 2934 A.R. to break the Shard and end the Ice Age on Dominaria. Freyalise’s World Spell started a new age known as The Thaw. Shown for the first time in the Ice Age comic, it was revised in The Eternal Ice novel. In that book, Freyalise researched a rogue plance and discovered that she could use the energy waves caused by the plane’s arrival to end the Ice Age. This version of the spell involved an artifact (the Ice Cauldron) and powerful casters such as Jodah and Jaya Ballard, along with more than two dozen druids. If this is not a clear example of circle magic, I have no idea what it is.
In order to participate in circle magic, there must be at least three spellcasters, one of which will be the leader. This spellcaster, usually the most powerful or experienced character present, stands at the center of the circle. Up to five participants can aid a circle leader in a standard circle, but it’s not unheard about circles containing up to nine participants. All participants in a circle must stand within 10 feet of the circle leader, who stands in the center.
The main use of circle magic is to empower the circle leader with the strength of all the participants. This requires 1 full hour of uninterrupted concentration on the part of all participants and the circle leader. Each participant spends a spell slot, which is consumed by the circle and has no effect other than expending it. All these spell levels expended by the circle participants are added together and used by the circle leader to create high-level slots, in a one-to-one ratio and not limited to 9th level. For example, the circle leader can create a 13th-level slot and an 11th-level slot if the total of slots provided by the other members of the circle add up to 24. These slots can be used to cast very powerful versions of regular spells at higher slots, but also to cast epic spells such as the World Spell. These effects last until the circle leader spends the created spell slots or take a long rest.
Have you brought to 5e any previous edition’s mechanics?