So let’s talk about sorcery. First thing is obvious – it is very different from other magic systems. With spirit magic, you have a spirit that you know how to concentrate on (with your foci!) and it does whatever effect it can do. Makes your blade sharp, makes you strong, heals people. whatever.
With Rune magic, you wield a fraction of the power of the god. You are your god’s conduit to act in the mundane world. For that brief moment, you are the manifestation of your god in the mundane world. The limitations of this is you MUST maintain that connection to the god, which limits your actions and forces you to give time and resources (both material and spiritual) to that god!
Sorcery isn’t any of that. Sorcery is something that must be learned, and is arduous to learn. You must learn to construct vast memory palaces, and create mental connections with points in the God Time. A lot of that is just rote learning and takes years.
Then you learn spells. These are careful paths through these “memory palaces” and mental connections that enable you to create an effect in the mundane world. The limitations of this is obvious – you are slow, learning spells is difficult, only a tiny percentage of people have the time to learn how to do this (and must be supported by the rest of society).
But the advantages? You don’t need gods or spirits. You can cast any spell you are capable of learning (or creating).
So if only a tiny minority of specialists can learn sorcery, how do most Malkioni do magic?
Easy. Most people – talars, soldiers, and workers – use a combination of spirit magic and Rune magic. They also get some magic by upholding their caste duties and restrictions.For example, the talars have the ability to give commands to Malkioni from other castes. They can also worship their ancestors and gain magic from them. And they have limited access to spirit magic. The horali can learn spirit magic from their regiments or war societies, and can belong to some cults of war gods. And the dronari can join whatever cults approved by their talars.
But of course, if you are Malkioni, your options are limited by the talars (and not directly the zzaburi). If your talar says you shall not worship Orlanth, that’s going to put a damper on things. This is a bigger limitation for horali than for dronari (mainly because as long as the dronari feed everyone and do the work, it is rare to ask them questions).
Wait, I sometimes hear, but sorcery requires me to empty my mind of other thoughts so that I can use my INT to manipulate the size the spell. That means I need to “forget” my other spells (put them somewhere in a memory palace) and then spend an hour meditating on a new spell when I need to cast it. But what if I am on an adventure somewhere and need to do lots of things?
My answer is simple – you are a zzaburi. You are a magical specialist – the equivalent of a university research professor. You ought to have horali and talars there to take care of your mundane needs – including your protection!
A truly great sorcerer can probably bind some really powerful spirits. Bound spirits or Large or Very Large Elementals are the sort of things that could be bound into a matrix and be released and then Dominated.
Some Rune cults – particularly Lhankor Mhy dabble in sorcery, and their spells can be very useful in gaining information. Dabbling in sorcery works fine for player characters, but playing a full-fledged sorcerer is hard. It can be done, of course, just like it is possible to play a Mistress Race Troll or a dryad.
if you are playing a sorcerer (and I mean a real sorcerer, not a mere dabbler like LM or CA) then you are playing in a very different kind of game than most. You better be ready dive into things with what you already can do, and then see what new secrets you are capable of gaining. Because things are going to happen a lot faster than the ivory tower is used to or good at dealing with.
Alternatively, you take them out of the Ivory Tower and say, ready or not it is time to do what you can in the world. And see what they make of it.