The Sondeckis are a Southlands mage clan with a distinctive magical talent. They are based in the desert city of Sondeshara which lies on the Equator, but they have a significant influence throughout the western half of the Southlands. In many ways, they resemble ninjas, but their arsenal of weapons is confined more to what they can do naturally. They only use bladed weapons if they have no choice.
Like all Southlands mage clans, they have a color ranking scheme for their clan:
- Yellow - The lowest level, a novice in the art. Only meditation and centering techniques are taught at this stage. The novice must be able to find their Calm and still the rage of the Sondeck inside them before they can advance.
- Green - The initiate. They begin to learn how to move their bodies as well as some basic defensive actions. Balance is very important for a Sondeckis, as is stealth.
- Blue - The apprentice. At this stage, the training regimen begins to focus on each Sondecki's personal gifts. Some are suited to combat, some to healing, some to craftsmanship, and others to art and song. There are some rudiments of each that all Sondeckis must know, and they must master those techniques before they can advance.
- Red - The postulant. The specialization begins in earnest. Each different type of Sondeckis have their own regimen at this and future levels. Further, for the first time since they became Sondeckis, the postulant must leave Sondeshara and be visible amongst the cities. They generally go as a group and are accompanied by Purples or Blacks.
- Purple - The journeyman. The higher arts are taught at this stage, such as combat with a Sondeshike, the Longfugos technique, and weaponsmithing. The Purples are given responsibility to assist novices and initiates in their training. They also undertake missions in the lands where they are welcome.
- Black - The masters. The highest ranking, one that most Sondeckis never achieve. Only those who have mastered the techniques and can display ingenuity and discipline ever achieve this distinction. They lead the teaching of more advanced Sondeckis, and also conduct the most dangerous of missions, including any into lands where their clan is not welcome.
- White - The Sovreign. Only one White exists at a given time. They lead the Sondeckis in all matters. When a White dies or resigns because of advanced age, the Blacks select one of their one in secret ballot to become the new White.
There are several abilities all Sondeckis have in common.
- Increased Strength: Without training, a Sondecki can lift with a force twice or three times what their muscles alone can accomplish. With proper training, a master can increase this to nearly ten times.
- Force Projection: A difficult skill, but one they are all capable of, is force projection. A Sondecki can throw a punch, literally. It will feel like a rush of air crushing against the intended target. It severity of the impact depends on the distance and their inherit skill.
- Longevity: Due to the nature of their lives, many Sondeckis die in combat. But the power of the Sondeck keeps them young and healthy, providing them with comparitively long lives.
- Mutual Death: No Sondecki can kill another Sondecki. The power of the Sondeck will not allow this, and it will sap the lifeforce of any Sondecki who tries.
- The Calm: One of the most important skills a Sondecki can ever learn is to attain their Calm. It is different for each one, but it is a place they have in their mind that allows them to still the churning anger that burns inside of them. A Sondecki that cannot find their Calm will be unable to control their power, and it will kill them.
There are also specialized techniques that only certain Sondeckis learn:
- Sondeshike Dancing: Most Sondeckis can handle the Sondesike, but few can dance with it. Sondeshike dances can be done solo, or as a duet. They are combat techniques meant to both impress the enemy, and sweep them away like chaff. The most famous is the Danze wie Zherd, which Charles and Zagrosek used during the Winter Assault. It means 'Dance of Death', and is one of the most effective fighting techniques for a pair of Sondeckis surrounded by attackers.
- Healing: Some Sondeckis can heal with a touch and an expenditure of force. This is restricted to battlefield wounds, so only the most gifted of Sondeckis could hope to fight an infection this way.
- Lightning Touch: While Sondeshike dancers are taught to move fast, soe Sondeckis are able to master the technique of moving quicker than sound. It is a difficult gift to master, and it is very taxing. Most will only use it for short quick jabs.
- Songing: All Sondeckis can sing the Song of the Sondeck, but few can add to it or use it to create marvellous effects. Those who study art and song learn the nuances of the Song, and will be able to stir the very wind with their voice. Can you imagine fighting a foe who sings their blows? Generally, it is only used for defence.
- Longfugos technique: Named after the Sondecki who first used it, this technique creates a wall of air useful for disrupting magical effects. The Sondecki moves their arms in a 'V'-shape downwards, and the flow of force will break apart fireballs, elemental walls, and other attacks. It is not powerful enough to disrupt more arcane magical effects.
- Sondeshike Crafting: Only the greatest of weaponsmiths can ever attempt to craft a Sondeshike.
- Brothus - Previous White of the Sondeckis. Died in 704 CR from a brain tumor.
- Charles Matthias
- Jerome Krabbe
- Krenek Zagrosek
- Ladero Alenez
- Yoenel - Current White of the Sondeckis as of 707 CR
There has long been some confusion over the use of names for Sondeckis. Here are the rules for them:
Sondeck - This refers to the magical power within a person that makes them a Sondecki.
Sondecki - An individual in the Sondeckis order is a Sondecki. It is the singular form of the word.
Sondeckis - The name of the order, as well as the plural form of Sondecki.