School of Illumination

First created by the shadow fey, the school of illumination blends observations of the heavens with the manipulation of light and shadow into an arcane tradition that's closely tied with the shadow plane. Many of its spells have much in common with divination, illusion, and necromancy. Unlike those schools, illumination magic is obscure and rarely practiced outside the shadow plane. Its practitioners have been likened to elementalists who manipulate shadow instead of fire, earth, air, or water. This school is not simply about controlling shadow, however; its focus is simultaneously light and the absence of light. Starlight, in particular, holds special meaning within this school. Illumination mages study the ever- shifting alignment of the stars in their effort to read the road map of fate—a study that inevitably leads them out of the starless shadow plane and into contact with the mortal world.

Members of the School of Illumination, called illuminators, use the stars to predict when danger is near, and draw on the power of darkness to attack their foes. This school is popular with delvers into the underworld, because its spells work best where light is dim or absent. Except as noted below, illuminators function as wizards and use the wizard spell list.

Illumination Savant

Beginning when you select this school at 2nd level, the gold and time needed to copy illumination spells into your spellbook is halved.

Omen of Warning

Starting at 2nd level, you can forecast danger for the next 24 hours by studying the stars for one hour. The stars must be visible to you for you to use this ability. Studying the stars this way gives you advantage on up to two initiative checks. The bonus remains available for 24 hours or until the end of your next long rest. Instead of using an omen yourself, you can grant advantage on an initiative check to one other creature you can see when initiative checks are being made, but this prevents you from using the benefit yourself in that combat. You can choose whether to use an omen at the moment when initiative is rolled, but you must make the decision before rolling the die.

Master of the Endless Night

At 6th level, the spell attack modifier and spell save DC for cantrips you cast in dim light or darkness increases by 1.

Illusions of Permanence

Beginning at 10th level, illusions cast by you that require concentration last for 1 round after you lose concentration or stop concentrating, provided the spell hasn’t exceeded its maximum duration.

Comprehension of the Starry Sky

Starting at 14th level, during a long rest you can consult the stars and comprehend some meaning in a cosmic event. The stars must be visible to you for you to use this ability. The insight you gather is stored as a small reserve of magic inside an item that has meaning to you; a star chart or astrolabe is commonly used, but any item that can be held in your hand will suffice. When the item is in your hand, you can consume that stored magic as a bonus action to invoke one of the following effects. The insight is expended by one use, and it’s lost if it hasn’t been used within 24 hours or by the start of your next long rest.

  • Comet: Comets are the harbingers of change and instability. You can change your appearance as if you’d cast an alter self spell, but the effect doesn’t require concentration and lasts until you take a long rest.
  • Conjunction: Planetary conjunctions destabilize minds and emotions. You can give one creature you can see disadvantage on a saving throw against one enchantment or illusion spell cast by you.
  • Eclipse: Eclipses plunge the world into darkness and strengthen connections to the shadow plane. When you cast a spell of 5th level or lower that causes necrotic damage, you can reroll a number of damage dice up to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of one). You must use the new rolls.
  • Nova: The nova is a powerful aid to divination spells. You can treat one divination spell you cast as though you had used a spell slot one level higher than the slot actually used.
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