Trumps of Winter
Astrology is more than mere superstition: it is a study that relates to one of the two great sources of arcane magic in the world. Scholars of arcana largely agree that deep magic rises up from the elements, and high magic is drawn down from the heavens. While knowledge of astrology is not necessary to master high magic, certain rituals can be performed only when the stars and planets are properly aligned.
Astromancy is one of many magical traditions. There are many, many astromantic rituals, each one reliant on a particular conjunction, eclipse, ascending planet, or other celestial event. True astromancers learn their “everyday” spells under the light of appropriate conjunctions, in effect learning to grasp and shape the empyrean flow when it is at its most accessible.
Astromancers recognize five true planets as sisters to Valan; each one is reputed to affect the flow of magic in particular ways. Astrologers claim, for instance, that the influence of Veshta affects fertility, while Narduk marks fate itself.
There are fifteen signs in the zodiacal belt, repeating a triple progression of air, earth, fire, water, and aether. While the idea that a zodiacal sign might influence an individual’s personality is superstition, each sign is a strong potential channel for high magic. Enchanted gems, weapons, even golems have been crafted in sets of fifteen.
Certain stars are considered to be manifestations of dark and dangerous gods; these stars appear in ill-omened constellations, or outside star-signs entirely. Other stars are said to be living, or once-living things. Certain adepts — certainly no true astromancers — have claimed to forge pacts with dread stars to carry out their alien will, receiving strange and sinister magics in return.
The hidden constellation is a constellation that appears only at certain times. Some are composed of rogue stars; some are omens that appear when a god wills them to (a very rare occurrence). A scant few are apparent only in their absence, visible only to an astronomer skilled enough to recognize that other stars have been eclipsed in a particular pattern.