Grey Tower Library:Masteries/Descriptions
List of Masteries
- Artisan (specific profession)
- Breaking Blocks
- Daes Dae'mar Mastery
- Dexterous Weaver
- Dirty Fighting Mastery
- Dual Wielding
- Field Marshall
- Forgery Mastery
- Herbcraft Mastery
- Hounds of War
- Linguistics Mastery
- Masking the Ability to Channel
- Master Diplomat
- Master Merchant
- Master of Disguise
- Master Scholar
- Master Strategist
- Mounted Combat
- Psychological Healer Mastery
- Reformed Thief
- Shadow Specialist
- Ship & Sailing Mastery
- Stalking & Tracking Mastery
- Strong Will
- Supplemental Healing Skills
- Veterinary Healing Skills
- Virtuoso (specific instrument)
- Warder Rehabilitation
- Waygate/Portal Stone Specialist
- Weave Mastery (specific weave)
An artisan is a highly skilled craft worker such as a blacksmith, glassmaker, illustrator, jeweller, sculptor, etc. He or she creates things by hand and through experience and aptitude has reached the expressive levels of an artist. To an artisan, his or her craft is no mere hobby. It is a profession and skill built from thousands of hours of dedication. Example: Artisan (blacksmith)
A berserker is someone who becomes consumed with rage or bloodlust during a fight. Berserk characters attack without fear and have no awareness of exhaustion or injury. This combination of aggressiveness and apparent disregard for their own safety can be intimidating but does not actually affect their fighting skill. (Berserkers make powerful attacks but disregard defence, so the net result balances out.) Also, a berserker who loses control may attack friends and allies if he or she runs out of enemies.
Wilders almost always come to the Grey Tower with a block against their channelling, only able to utilise it in certain ways and/or in certain situations – if at all. Someone who has attained this mastery has the ability to break through these blocks and help the channeler utilize their abilities.
Daes Dae'mar Mastery
Some people play at the Game of Houses, and others have mastered it. A character with this proficiency knows how to interpret the motives of others from their words and actions, sometimes even from an expression or a gesture. Armed with this intelligence, the character can also manipulate others, often without the victims' knowledge. They are keenly observant in their interactions with people, as well as capable to interpret potential meanings in broader situations and even the written word.
Some channelers are known for their strength, but dexterous weavers are known for their agility. Most channelers can handle three or four weaves simultaneously, depending on the difficulty of the weaves. However, dexterous weavers can spin up to six or seven weaves at a time, offering diversity in both defence and attack.
Dirty Fighting Mastery
There are ways to fight that involve propriety and formality, having rules and order, and notions of honour. Then there's the other side. People who have achieved this mastery have developed a fighting skill and style that is not very nice and employs what most would call "underhanded" tricks to gain the upper hand over their combatants. They know how to use their wits, their body, and anything they can get a hold of in their immediate vicinity to cause trouble for their opponent.
Those who have this ability can use two weapons at once. They must be able to utilize each weapon on its own and then have the mental control and situational awareness to wield them simultaneously in a fight. This character will know proper movements, forms, and tactics to go along with both of the weapons they wield and with them together. (Requirement: At least two points in each weapon to be dual-wielded.)
Those who have attained this mastery have been taught the forms of hunting involving falcons, hawks, eagles and owls. They are skilled in the maintenance of their raptor and can make them take out rats, which are the Dark One's eyes. Falcons aren't big enough to take out ravens, however a hawk or an eagle can manage this without any problem. They know all ranges of the birds, as well as how to care for and train them.
To earn this title, one must be a fighter as well as a leader. A Field Marshall will be able to lead any unit or any size with skill, and they will have full knowledge of battle tactics and battle lore, to support their ability to command the fighters that serve them.
For those with this mastery, they have the ability to see and then replicate the writing and the written "voice" of another person in order to mimic their missives. It requires a great deal of study to learn the finer details of a person's handwriting as well as the linguistics that someone reveals in their writings.
People who have attained this mastery know all they can about herbs that grow in the world and about what their medicinal values are, or are not as the case may be, and any dangers or side effects. Not only are they a compendium of the knowledge, but they know how to put it into practical use – how to take each herb and make it something that can be used on patients – and what mixes to make.
Hounds of War
For one who has this ability, they have mastered the full range of knowledge regarding war hounds. They understand the traits of the breeds suited to the task, and are able to care for and train. They understand the gear and armour that can be used and in what situations it should be used, as well as the full range of commands – hand gestures and whistles, for example – and know tactics for the dogs to work singly, in pairs, or in pack formations. They also know the spectrum of the dogs' use, such as sentries (to guard a camp and alert for danger), scouts (to locate traps and ambushes or track and hunt), or messengers (to be able to be loosed in battle and locate a second master, if trained to one). A well-trained war hound will know how to fight humans, other animals, or Shadowspawn; and they will be eventually trained to sense shadow-creatures near by.
A linguistic master is an expert of the written word. By identifying patterns in sentence structure and secret messages, ciphers and codes are easily broken. With expert knowledge of the Old Tongue, a character with this benefit can also read and interpret texts in original context.
Masking the Ability to Channel
Once thought to be impossible, this weave has been rediscovered by the Indigo Ajah and is now taught to advanced channelers. It hides a channeler’s ability to channel from detection by other channelers and is thus useful for stealth missions. It cannot hide someone who is actively channelling the One Power.
Relations between nations can be as tumultuous as the Sea of Storms, but a master diplomat navigates these waters with supreme tact and efficacy. A character with this skill has knowledge of the laws and customs of many nations and the ability to mediate, negotiate, and persuade.
Those versed in the world of trading material goods are given the edge when it comes to both buying and selling. They know how to drive a 'hard bargain' and revel in their ability to buy things at the lowest possible prices. These men and women make excellent liaisons when dealing with traders, and can be relied upon as quartermasters when travelling.
Master of Disguise
A master of disguise seems to be a person with many faces. Someone with this ability can utilize their clothing, their facial expressions, and their body language to convey that they are someone else altogether. They are a master of accents, and of changing the tone and pitch of their voice to complete the disguise.
A scholar is a master of many pieces of knowledge, and to be truly a master scholar one must possess no less than considerable knowledge about history, literature, prophecy and artefacts. Must be well read and able to recall these facts, while also knowing where to find more information about each of these things and be able to direct others on the proper course of this knowledge.
Tactics and strategy are game-changers in almost any fight. A Master Strategist knows how to use what they have to their best advantage, including knowledge of ambush and other covert tactics, siege warfare, and small unit strategies as well as those for larger forces.
Master of mounted combat is to combine a highly competent rider with the ability to use their weapon from horseback. They will be able to fight just as effectively while mounted as while on foot and will be aware of the weapons to unseat them and possible means to avoid it. They also understand any relevant tactics for their weapon when fighting mounted. They are not as skilled with a horse of war as those with Warhorse Mastery, but they will know better than the average rider how to care for their horse and handle them, as well as the breeds best suited for the task.
Psychological Healer Mastery
The human mind is a complex thing. Those who obtain the speciality of the mind will have a thorough knowledge of psychology/theories of the mind and the ability to analyze information in a person's words and actions to reasonably deduce motivations and causes. They also have the ability to take that result and put it forward into therapeutic action and act as a counsellor for one emotionally.
Those with this mastery were once thieves, or something equally roguish, but have now turned away from that path... or at least, they now use their powers for good. Skills like pick-pocketing, scamming, burgling (and so forth) took these characters time to learn and master, and now they find ways to put them to good use on behalf of the Tower.
The Shadow comes in many forms and it has a history stretching back as far as we know. Someone who has attained the level of Shadow Specialist knows much, if not all, there can be known about it. At the very least, they are thoroughly versed in the lore of the Blight and the Blightborder's fight against it, in the lore of Shadowspawn and the creatures therein, as well as knowledge of the Forsaken.
Ship & Sailing Mastery
Some come to the very inland Tower with skills from the seas, and such things are not easily forgotten. Those with this mastery know about ships, how to use them and how to maintain them, and they also know about sailing in matters beyond the ship itself.
Stalking & Tracking Mastery
Those who have attained this mastery know both how to be quiet and how to look for the right signs. They are skilled at sneaking up on people and situations, unheard and unseen, even "shadowing" them without their knowledge. This ability can tie directly into being able to read "signs" around one, to be able to follow someone or something by the signs they've left behind and track their movements.
Some people are born with or develop a degree of resistance to Compulsion and similar weaves. It does not extend to fully ignoring orders given by means of Compulsion, but the effect will wear off quicker and may take more effort on the part of the channeler – depending on their strength and skill – to get it to fully set into the victim.
Supplemental Healer Skills
Even the best of Healers using the One Power need to know more than just how to form and use the weaves. This skill set includes first aid: being able to tend wounds and ills without the One Power, and knowing the best first response actions; triage: recognizing injuries upon first seeing a patient and knowing enough about the inherent risks so that the most serious cases are treated first; and midwifery, the ability to help deliver babies.
Veterinary Healer Skills
Not only people get ill, and a healer may seek to treat all living things. Veterinary Healer Skills encompasses knowledge of animal anatomy – all "common" creatures, especially horses and dogs, as well as the less common ones – and the ability to use the One Power and non-Power skills to treat their injuries and illnesses as well as one can treat a human.
A virtuoso has reached such heights of musical performance as to dazzle the public. He or she is a distinguished musician who has mastered all aspects of musical excellence, including music composition and at least one instrument (voice, harp, flute, etc). A true master is admired as both an awe-inspiring performer and dedicated teacher of music. Example: Virtuoso (flute)
It is an unfortunate reality that those bonded to Aes Sedai or Asha'man will not long survive the loss of their bondmate. It is of paramount importance that the channeller understands the bleak suicidal nature of a broken bond, and that the Warder in question is not at fault; he or she literally cannot control themselves. Those who earn this mastery have proven that they have the mental, emotional, and physical fortitude required to save the broken Warder.
A warhorse master is one who knows fully the breeds best suited to each type of warhorse and how to train them, as well as how to properly outfit and armour them, how to ride them, the proper signals, as well as the tactics that can be utilized by a well-trained warhorse. These horses can be used as weapons as surely as their rider's armaments, and a master of the warhorse will know how to use them. The bond between a rider and their warhorse is a strong one, rivalling even humans in battle together.
Waygate/Portal Stone Specialist
To be a specialist in Waygates and Portal Stones meaning understanding them and being able to read the inscriptions on Portal Stones to such a degree that one can discern something about the worlds represented and they can navigate the ways with confidence, finding alternate routes when one has crumbled away.
For those who wish to be more than "proficient" at a weave but less than "Talented," any weave/set that is a Talent (with the exception of Reading Residues, Stretching Shields and Ter'angreal Affinity) can instead be a Mastery. This shows great study and skill on the part of the channeler and is more than "good" but not as skilled as someone who was born with the Talent.
Specific Weave Masteries that are not on the Talent list include:
- Battle Weaves: The ability to create Battle Weaves using your top affinities and/or Talents
- Delving (Earth): Delving involves the identification and location of metal ores
- Delving (Humans): The ability to diagnose a person's physical condition with the One Power
- Inverting Weaves: Inverting is a means of hiding weaves of the One Power. An inverted weave is thought to be invisible to anyone except the person who originally wove it.
- Unweaving: The ability to pick apart a weave so as to leave no evidence of it behind