The first lesson all Wizards learn is that the laws of magic were broken when the god Adat was murdered. Since that day, the power of magic is present for all who would take it to learn and find a way to master it, and only the very intelligent, the very perceptive and the very bravest of all scholars were able to find a way to harness magic to gain true mastery. Research and study are the basis of all wizards’ power, but there comes a point that they must choose to delve deeper or to be satisfied with the knowledge and ability they have.
Those wizards who step back from the abyss of madness and soul-pledging are known as the Walkers of the Lesser Path. Wizards of the Lesser Path are many and are to be found amongst all races with intelligence and written lore.
The Walkers of the Greater Paths are those wizards of the keenest minds and bravest hearts who have followed their lore and learning to reach a point of choice. With the death of Adat, the laws of magic were broken and the elder races, the hidden ones, the angels of the heavens and the demons of the hells were all quick to usurp. The truth of mastery of the Greater Paths lies in bondage and soul-pledging; the risks are great but, for some, the rewards are greater.
The Lesser Path
Wizards of the Lesser Path are limited to 2nd level spells. They may continue to gain class levels beyond 4th and are able to use the spell slots of higher level spells to cast more 1st and 2nd level spells, or to use those slots to power metamagic feats. Many Lesser Path wizards will also multi-class.
The Greater Paths
It is widely known that all elven mages walk the Greater Paths as they are an elder race. What is less widely known is that the Twilight elves do not, and they must make the same bargains as other wizards to access the Greater Paths. While whispered legends and unholy texts dangle clues of secret ways to access the Greater Paths, the two most frequently followed are outlined here.
The Infernal Path: sadly this seems to be the easiest and most widely available to human wizards. After painstaking research and the gathering of the proper components, a Wizard of the Lesser Path is able to summon forth a demon and to pledge service in return for access to spells above 2nd level. Sometimes this summoning will go awry and unleash a demon to walk the earth. Many wizards who master this path claim to be in control, but in most cases, they soon come to serve the cause of an infernal master…and some do so willingly.
The Path of the Stone: the origins of the Order of the Stone are said to lie in the dark mists of the third age of the world. Their secrets and lore are passed down from master to apprentice, and often jealously guarded or even lost. While they have no hierarchy or guiding principle, the Wizards of the Order have met in conclave from time to time, in place to place, to act together against great evils. They are said to be pledged and soul-bonded with celestial powers of the heavens. The key to their mastery lies in the Power of the Orb. Each wizard of the Order possesses an orb containing a fragment of Adat’s immortal form, allowing them to use magic above 2nd level. When a wizard of the Order dies, his orb is passed to the wizard who was his apprentice, who will then and only then take on an apprentice to use his own master’s orb.
All wizards are able to become specialists in an arcane school of magic at first level. These schools are primeval and elemental so wizards may choose from the 4 elemental schools of Fire, Earth, Air and Water. There are also a small number of wizards who become masters of the elemental school of the Void as a 5th option.