Shaman

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Contents

Overview

Shamans consider themselves at one with nature, it explains their ability to converse with the Animal Spirits and take on their aspects. They understand the need for a balance to be struck between civilisation and the animals around them, only taking enough to eat, ever grateful and never wasting what nature provides.


Shamans do not seek audience with the Spirits the way Druids seek the Gods; they interpret their will from the natural world, from encounters in The Other Place, and from what they perceive to be the heartbeat of the land. A Shaman will not wait to be told that Elk is angry; they will work it out from the signs and portents, they will listen to their dreams, and they will instruct the Hunters on what, and how much, sacrifice will assuage Elk's rage.


The Shaman is to the Hunter as the Druid is to the Warrior; two sides of the same coin.


Features

  • Base Hit Points: 2
  • Short weapons, bucklers
  • Interface for and to the Spirits
  • Can grant characters Aspects of the Spirits


Archetypes

The Wise One

I knew you would come to me for advice. I saw it in the dying embers and the dances of the ants.
  • Most communities have a wise figure to whom they go in times of need; someone who knows how to treat with the Spirits, to call down their blessings, and to dance between the conflicting priorities they bring. These are the interpreters of dreams and omens, the ones who can watch the flight of birds and know whether the omesn for the battle are good.


The Magical Warrior

You were foolish to underestimate me. More foolish still not to see the marks of Boar upon my arms...
  • Sometimes a shaman will not fear direct conflict and will associate with a warband, using their gifts to strengthen themselves and act as a warrior. Such shamans dance a fine line between embracing the call of the wild and serving as an asset to their community, and often they are drawn to the more physical animal spirits such as Bear and Boar. Beware the warrior shaman of Osprey though - for though rare, they possess near-supernatural insight in combat.


The Sinister Presence

Deep in the dark woods, it's said there lives one who knows secrets
  • Not all shamans live to serve their community. For some - those who have gone too close to one of the Spirits, or lived too long in their shadow and been marked by it - solitude and isolation allow them to keep their mind clear and their thoughts human. They do not care to be disturbed but sometimes if the need is great they will venture forth to rejoin human society for a time.


One With The Wild

Feel the pulse of the land, the strike of its wrath in the lightning
  • Close association withthe spirits can lead a shaman to become lost in the oneness of everything, to see themselves as a part of a whole rather than an individual being. Such shamans become lost in the great wild, seeing themselves as agents not of the animal spirits themselves but of the great system of which they are a part, the all-encompassing Wild. For such shamans, the preservation of the land becomes paramount, over any considerations of the people dwelling on it.


The Agent of the Spirits

I understand that you are disappointed to be so betrayed, but I have never made a secret that I serve Pike...
  • Some shamans focus their dedication to the exclusion of all else on a single animal spirit. These shamans try to become embodiments of the principles and lives of the spirits without succumbing to the feral call of their natures; trying to strike the balance of being a perfect embodiment while still human. At times, they can tip over into obsessiveness or strange behaviour.


Priest of the Beast

Elk demands your sacrifice. If you intend to lead, don't imagine you can do it without their favour.
  • Some shamans see the Druids relationship with the gods as one to emulate, and try to interpret and serve the will of the Animal Spirits in the same way, with varying levels of success. Even though the Spirits do not communicate as directly as the Gods, shamans who have learned how to interpret their whims and oblique communications can direct sacrifice from Hunters to the Spirits, to try and gain their favour or learn secrets.


Assuming the Aspects of the Animal Spirits

One of the greatest gifts of the shaman is the ability to call down some of the power of an animal spirit to inhabit someone for a short time. Individually through the ritualistic application of white face and body paint, Shamans commune with the great Animal Spirits of Alba, it prepares the body and spirit for receiving the power gained when taking on an aspect of a particular Animal Spirit.


When completed, the target of the rite becomes empowered, they feel the presence of the Animal Spirit with them, influencing them. This wearing of another’s spirit does come with risk though, with the strength and knowledge gained comes the urge to give one’s self to the spirit and embrace the life of the wild, forsaking tribe and home.


In all the lands those who succumb to the call are known as the Feral. They are feared, they become savage and no longer remember the faces of family or friend. They roam in packs of varying sizes and only with those who have fully embraced the wild, together they hunt and punish those who would enter their territory uninvited.


Taking on the Aspect of an Animal Spirit

Each Shaman is aware that there are three commonly known aspects of each Animal Spirit which can be worn by mortal humans. As part of the rite the Shaman must apply symbols, long passed down through generations to the skin of the person accepting the aspect, which may include themselves.


Examples of these symbols can be found under the description of each aspect, however you may also use iconography of your own which is easily recognisable as being related to the chosen Animal Spirit.


Limitations

  • A character may only ever be under the effect of a single aspect at any one time
  • A character must be willing to accept the power of the Animal Spirit.
  • Each Shaman may only call on two Animals Spirits per event, and they must choose which will be their primary patron and which their secondary in accordance with their preferences.
  • A Shaman may call upon their primary patron three times a day without risking the target wearing the Aspect succumbing to the Call of the Wild.
  • A Shaman may call upon their secondary patron once a day without risking the target wearing the Aspect succumbing to the Call of the Wild.
  • A Shaman may only ever call on a Greater Gift from their primary patron
  • A Shaman must always be carrying a bag of seven beads, six black and one white, and they must be the same weight, shape and size.


Animal Spirit Enmity

The Animal Spirits do not all get along and some downright despise each other. As part of a Shaman's training these intertwined relationships are taught in great detail with a young Shaman unable to progress until they can demonstrate a detailed understanding.


This enmity runs so deep that some Animal Spirits will not grant their aspects to a Shaman who chooses their rival as a patron.


When choosing your primary and secondary patron for your character you should consult the information below. It is not possible to have two Patrons where there is enmity between them.


  • Adder fears and distrusts Pike; an agent of death they are always waiting for an opportunity to strike. Anyone taking Adder as their primary patron may consider Boar, Rat or Osprey as their secondary patron.
  • Bear considers Rat and Adder cowards who would allow their domains to be surrendered rather than fight and risk it all. Anyone taking Bear as their primary patron may consider Boar or Elk as their secondary patron.
  • Boar is unpleasant, a bully. They hate the arrogance of Elk and mock the solitary life of Bear. Anyone taking Boar as their primary patron may consider Adder or Osprey as their secondary patron.
  • Elk is majestic and noble, they have no time for those like Adder who would rather hide form danger and Boar whom cannot control themselves. Anyone taking Elk as their primary patron may consider Rat, Osprey or Bear as their secondary patron.
  • Osprey believes Bear to be foolish, fear is good sometimes, and Pike, well Pike is dinner. Anyone taking Osprey as their primary patron may consider Boar, Adder or Elk as their secondary patron.
  • Pike finds the noise that Boar and Bear make annoying, it drives away prey they have carefully waited for. Anyone taking Pike as their primary patron may consider Rat or Elk as their secondary patron.
  • Rat fears being hunted by Osprey and do their best to avoid them. Boar can be unpredictable and dangerous, Bear is simply too loud and too scary. Anyone taking Rat as their primary patron may consider Adder, Pike or Elk as their secondary patron.


The Call of the Wild

  • It is up to the Shaman performing the rite whether they will be using their limited favour with the Animal Spirits to mitigate danger, or taking the risk and exposing the target of the rite to the Call of the Wild.
  • If not using their favour then the target of the ritual must draw a bead from the Shamans bag.
  • Should the bead be black then the rite has been performed as expected and the character may take advantage of the Aspect placed upon them.
  • Should a first white bead of the event be drawn the character will succumb to the Call of the Wild until the next sunrise or sunset (whichever comes first). In the descriptions of the Aspects you will also find some detailed instruction on what role-play and mechanical effect the character suffers when they become Feral.
  • If the white bead is the second one pulled in the same event then the character will succumb to the Call of the Wild permanently unless the effect is removed by a character using a story token before the end of the event.
  • The speed at which the character succumbs to the Call of the Wild during an event is up to the player of the effected character, however it must be resolved within an hour of the end of the event and on the understanding that the player of the character will have no control of their story at future events.


Characters on this path may not wear other Animal Spirits.


Spirit Aspects

Adder

Lesser Gift of Adder: The Adders Bite

The fang may be small but the bite is deadly.

  • Whilst under the influence of this aspect a character feels unnanturally cold inside. They intend to strike and when they do, it will be hard, fast and deadly. They feel a deep need to complete the task for which Adder was called upon; other tasks seem petty and of no consequence.
  • Whilst under the influence of this aspect the character may use a dagger to strike for poison once in each violent encounter they are involved in.


Lesser Gift of Adder: Shed the Adders Skin

Shedding the skin can heal some wounds.

  • The invoking Shaman will feel a deep connection with Adder, which lasts until the ritual has been completed. They become obsessed with cheating death and ensuring no living thing suffers the same fate.
  • This rite allows the Shaman to transfer an injury* from a single character to another. Both parties must be present, marked with the symbols of the Adder and be willing. It should not be used to end the life of a character; any attempt to use it for such a purpose will cause great offence to Adder.

(* - this can mean reduced hit points, a fatal injury, an injury card effect, a curse or anything else reasonably defined under roleplaying as "an injury")


Greater Gift of Adder: Snake in the Grass

A Shaman at one with the Adder can pass unseen in the most dangerous of places

  • Whilst under the influence of Snake in the Grass a character feels a strong urge to seek out a place of safety and secuity as swiftly as possible.
  • This aspect may only be laid upon themselves by the Shaman. This aspect will allow a Shaman character who is in the Other Place to supernaturally return to their campfire immediately - they are caught in the coils of Adder and deposited safely back home. The shaman character immediately goes out of character and returns to their encampment directly and with all speed.
  • Under this aspect the Shaman can leave a camp in the twilight hours and enter the Other Place without any additional negative effect should they be reduced to zero hits. Through sheer force of willpower they are able to ignore the effects of passing close to death.


Adder: Becoming Feral

Adder Feral have one goal; to live until the end of time, no matter the cost.

As the power of adder penetrates further into the very being of the Feral they become venomous, they may make the poison call with a dagger once each violent encounter they are involved in. At this point they will seek to spend very little time around others who are not of Adder (Feral). They become cold and rational and emotionless; the ties of sentiment, family and hearth are cast away in favour of whatever will improve their chances of survival.

With the close of an event looming the character will no longer tolerate the presence of others and will savagely attack any who stop them leaving to seek out life ever after in the wilds.


Bear

Lesser Gift of Bear: Strength of the Bear

The ferocious power of the bear is not only hard to control but extremely taxing on individual wearing the aspect.

  • Whilst under the influence of the bear’s strength a character feels the raw energy of this massive animal coursing through their veins, they become confident, bold but also extremely protective of others. The urge to violently leap to the defence of family or those they care about, even for the most trivial of reasons, becomes irresistible to all those not trained in the way of the Shaman.
  • Whilst under the influence of this aspect a character may make the splinter call three times in each violent encounter they are involved in.


Lesser Gift of Bear: Mother and Cub

The bear fears nothing, even death. This aspect is commonly used to help cure those who would succumb to deep seated life threatening fear.

  • Whilst under the influence of the bear’s will a character feels a sense of unrivalled courage wash over them, there is nothing to fear. The urge to face one’s misgivings or confront perceived wrongs becomes irresistible to all those not trained in the way of the Shaman.
  • This aspect will aid in resolving some of the injury and poison effects encountered in play.


Greater Gift of Bear: The Heart of the Bear

A Shaman at one with the bear walks freely in the face of the unseen horrors in the darkness.

  • Whilst under the influence of the bear’s heart a character feels a calmness deep inside themselves, they feel anchored in the real world but also ultimate freedom.
  • This aspect may only be laid upon themselves by the Shaman. This aspect will allow a Shaman character to name a person with whom the Shaman is travelling - and while in The Other Place, the Shaman or whomever this aspect is placed upon may extend their protection to that person by choosing to take on injuries or ill effects on behalf of that person, as long as they are close by (within ten feet).
  • Under this aspect the Shaman can leave a camp in the twilight hours and enter Other Place without any additional negative effect should they be reduced to zero hits. Through sheer force of willpower they are able to ignore the effects of passing close to death.


Bear: Becoming Feral

Bear Feral seek solitude and a place to roam away from the noisy world of humans. Groups of people will make the character act violently, they will struggle to hold it back and if exposed for a long enough period will snap and attack until left alone again.

As the power of the Bear penetrates further into the very being of the Feral they become stronger and more solitary. At this point they will seek to spend very little time around others, instead roaming as much as possible. The character may call splinter three times in each violent encounter they are involved but also must attack any character who is not family, should they foolishly get within reach.

With the close of an event looming the character will no longer tolerate the presence of anyone and will savagely attack any who approach including family.


Boar

Lesser Gift of Boar: Blood Rage

The boars rage is all consuming, a power so great it physically protects those who embrace the aspect.

  • Whilst under the influence of the boars rage a character become easily agitated and violent if harassed. They will feel compelled to seek out a target to unleash the rage upon.
  • Whilst under the influence of this aspect the character may enter an uncontrollable rage, for the duration of each violent encounter they are involved in they can enter this rage, allowing them ignore the first three melee blows and any associated damage calls which strike them.


Lesser Gift of Boar: The Boars Stomach

The boar consumes all in its path. Stale, rotten or diseased, the boar does not care.

  • Whilst under the influence of this aspect a character will feel a hunger which seems bottomless and can only be sated by the devouring of a hearty meal. Note that you the player does not need to physically eat a meal and it can simply be role played if desired.
  • This aspect can be used in one of two ways;
  • Firstly, at the end of the meal a character who is not poisoned will be able to ignore the poison card effect of any poison call directed at them. Note that the character will still be reduced to zero hits as normal and can only be under the influence of one aspect at a time.
  • Secondly at the end of the meal some injury and poison effects affecting a character may be resolved.


Greater Gift of Boar: The Scent of the Other

A Shaman at one with the boar knows that, once the scent is caught, the hunt is on.

  • Whilst under the influence of the Scent of the Other a character feels a longing to explore the Other Place, any fear of the unknown is overridden by this search for something.
  • This aspect will allow a Shaman character to name a thing, person or place - and while in The Other Place, the Shaman or whomever this aspect is placed upon will have an unerring sense of the direction and distance of the target. If it is within reach of a single night's hunt, the person bearing the aspect will have a strong urge to pursue it and bring it to ground. While on such a hunt, if this aspect is laid upon the shaman themselves it will allow them to leave a camp in the twilight hours and enter Other Place without any additional negative effect should they be reduced to zero hits. Through sheer force of willpower they are able to ignore the effects of passing close to death.

This aspect is designed to allow a Shaman to lead a group onto an adventure they might otherwise not be able to access. It does not guarantee an adventure will occur, however. Use it wisely, and give the referee team plenty of notice for best effect.


Boar: Becoming Feral

Boar Feral seek to explore the fruits of the forests, they hope to find new feeding grounds untainted by human kind. Attempting to get in the way of this exploring will make the character act violently, they will struggle to hold it back and if exposed for a long enough period will snap and attack until left alone again.

As the power of the boar penetrates further into the very being of the Feral they become stronger and uneasy when remaining still. At this point they will seek to spend very little time around others, instead exploring new places as much as possible, anyone stopping this exploration should be violently attacked.

The character may ignore the first three melee blows and associated calls in each violent encounter they are involved in.

With the close of an event looming the character will no longer tolerate the presence of others and will savagely attack any who stop them leaving their old life behind.


Elk

Lesser Gift of Elk: To Stand on the Brow

Elk stands tall and proud, an inspiring presence.

  • Whilst under the influence of this aspect a character feels a sense of pride in their herd and a deep longing to keep them safe.
  • Whilst under the influence of this aspect the character may use close up rousing roleplay to help three other characters recover all of their hits instantly in each violent encounter they are involved in. This does not remove any injury cards (or restore any associated base hits). It must involve roleplaying helping the injured character to steady themselves and inspiring them.


Lesser Gift of Elk: Proud Shadow

Their company calms the soul.

  • Whilst under this aspect a character feels less inclined to seek out danger or trouble, instead they look for those in panic and distress so that they may help.
  • A character under this aspect can aid in the resolution of some injury and poison cards found in play simply by spending time in their presence. You should discreetly inform the players of characters you believe you can assist of this effect.


Greater Gift of Elk: Spirit of the Forest

Elk roams where they wish.

  • This aspect may only be laid upon themselves by the Shaman. This aspect will allow a Shaman character to name an obstacle or supernatural barrier within the Other Place which blocks a path or prevents access to an area. The Shaman can invoke the Elk to strike down the barrier or obstacle for the shaman and his accompanying party, or invoke Elk to show them a way to circumvent or bypass the barrier. Should the barrier prove beyond Elk's power to overcome, tyhe shaman will suffer a Curse from Elk.
  • Under this aspect the Shaman can leave a camp in the twilight hours and enter Other Place without any additional negative effect should they be reduced to zero hits. Through sheer force of willpower they are able to ignore the effects of passing close to death.

This is intended to allow Shamans to seek alternative routes around barriers or obstacles, not to give access to areas that are out of game or blocked for safety reasons. Beware Elk's Curse.


Elk: Becoming Feral

Elk Feral appear calm and relaxed but underneath an urge to run to the wild builds. They begin to feel distant from the affairs of humans, except for those they see as their herd.

As the power of Elk penetrates further into the very being of the Feral they become more distant from human affairs but all become obsessed with convincing others to join them in the wild. Those who refuse are dangerous to the herd and should be kept at bay. If defending “their herd” the characters hits are doubled and they may use the call splinter three times in each violent encounter they are involved in.

With the close of an event looming the character will no longer tolerate the presence of those who will not leave human life and will savagely attack any who stop them leaving to seek out their new life in the wilds with those who will go with them.


Osprey

Lesser Gift of Osprey: Sight Far and Wide

The osprey flies where we cannot travel.

  • Whilst under this aspect a character will experience a vision of a far-away place, perhaps another country or simply another part of Alba. Before performing the ritual element to take on this aspect please find a Keeper or go to games control where you will be able to get a copy of the vision your character is about to experience.
  • After the vision the character will feel light, but also focused on retaining the knowledge of the vision by passing it on verbally or by creating art work representing what they saw. Please remember that you cannot write the vision down!


Lesser Gift of Osprey: Dance of the Gulls

Sharp sight avoids dangers.

  • Whilst under this aspect a character will experience a sense of apprehension, always on the lookout for incoming attacks the character will find it hard to focus for long periods. A need to keep a close eye on those around them can often come across as paranoia.
  • Under this aspect the character may ignore the first arrow which strikes them in each violent encounter they are involved in.


Greater Gift of Osprey: A Dream of Flight

There is no place the Osprey cannot reach.

  • This aspect is highly ritualised. It may only be laid upon themselves by the Shaman, and only used during the hours of daylight. The Shaman can invoke the Osprey to shape the Other Place in such a way as to show the shaman a glimpse of the future. This rite can only be invoked once per event, and will require time to prepare. The Shaman may go alone into the Other Place or may take others with them; they will experience things that may provide clues and glimpses into the future. The Other Place will still be dangerous, and this rite does not confer protection on anyone but the shaman.

This allows the Osprey shaman to ask for a "dream adventure" into which they can take others of their community. The more notice that can be provided to the game team, the more likely the shaman will receive an interesting and vivid dream. Any shamanic quest created by this power will occur during the day.

Note that depending on the will of the spirits, it is possible two Osprey shamans of differing villages might find their dream quests merging in The Other Place, or Osprey and Pike shamans may fid themselves in the same place for differing purposes. Let's hope they can come to a friendly agreement if that occurs.

  • Under this aspect the Shaman can leave a camp in the twilight hours and enter Other Place without any additional negative effect should they be reduced to zero hits. Through sheer force of willpower they are able to ignore the effects of passing close to death.


Osprey: Becoming Feral

Osprey Feral are sometimes considered the least dangerous of those who succumb to the Call of the Wild. In the early stages they will seek out knowledge from others and explore the unknown.

As the power of Osprey penetrates deeper into their being the Feral will become obsessed with knowledge and discovery even when there is a serious risk to themselves or others. Any who stand in their way (including family) are seen as an obstacle to overcome.

With the close of an event looming the character will leave forever, the feel no emotional connection to their home. The world must be explored.

Pike

Lesser Gift of Pike: Strike from Below

The pike strikes unseen with deadly force.

  • Whilst under this aspect a character will shy away from crowds or groups, they will flee direct confrontation to find a better angle of attack. They will become frustrated by noise and excessive movement which gives their position away until they are ready to strike.
  • Whilst under the influence of this aspect the character may strike for impale once in each violent encounter they are involved in with any bladed weapon if attacking a target from behind.


Lesser Gift of Pike: The Dark Depths

Mercy is for the weak.

  • Whilst under this aspect a character will become ruthless and cold, injured family and friends are a hindrance to be abandoned when weak prey is close by. If a perceived enemy or victim is injured/unresisting it will be very hard for them to resist executing them.
  • Under this aspect the character becomes a cold killer, in each violent encounter they are involved in they may make the execute call with any melee weapon three times.


Greater Gift of Pike: Stand In the Jaws of the Pike

The dark depths comfort the pike

  • This aspect is highly ritualised. It may only be laid upon themselves by the Shaman. The Shaman can invoke the Pike to shape the Other Place in such a way as to show the shaman the gateway between the Other Place and the lands of the dead. This rite can only be invoked once per event, and will require time to prepare. The Shaman may go alone into the Other Place or may take others with them; they can, under the Pike's influence, try to bring things back from the Other Place that by rights should be in the land of the dead. If an imbalance is created then Pike will seek to redress it. The Other Place will still be dangerous, and this rite does not confer protection on anyone but the shaman.

This allows the Pike shaman to ask for a "adventure into the borderland between life and death" into which they can take others of their community. The more notice that can be provided to the game team, the more likely the shaman will receive an interesting and vivid experience. Any shamanic quest created by this power will occur during the day.

Note that depending on the will of the spirits, it is possible two Pike shamans of differing villages might find their quests into the lands of the dead merging in The Other Place, or Osprey and Pike shamans may find themselves in the same place for differing purposes. Let's hope they can come to a friendly agreement if that occurs.

  • Under this aspect the Shaman can leave a camp in the twilight hours and enter Other Place without any additional negative effect should they be reduced to zero hits. Through sheer force of willpower they are able to ignore the effects of passing close to death.

Pike: Becoming Feral

Pike Feral are arguably one of the most dangerous threats to the Albanni. They succumb quickly and often with deadly consequences. In the short early stages they seek solitude and prey to hunt.

The power of Pike penetrates quickly into the very being of the Feral and they become cold heartless killers. The open sky makes them very uncomfortable and they seek dark places to hide and await the night or prey foolish enough to stray into their domain. During this time the character may use the call impale once in each violent encounter they are involved in regardless of attacking from the front or rear.

The urge to execute the fallen is almost overwhelming and can be done with any weapon.

With the close of an event looming the character should have already sought solitude away from others and will attack anyone who dares approach.


Rat

Lesser Gift of Rat: Eyes In The Shadows

Even when you cannot see them rat is watching.

  • Making a pact is considered sacred amongst the Albanni, so much that in many cases a Shaman will be called in to witness the act in the name of Rat. Before the pact is finalised the Shaman performs a short rite in the area where both parties are gathered, they call on Rat to witness and empower them should either break their oaths.
  • You do not need a Keeper or to register this rite. Should either party believe the other has broken their oath they may petition the Shaman involved to bring down a curse upon the responsible party. Once the Shaman has made their decision they should speak to Keeper who will assist in providing a curse laminate to be given to the target.
  • Be wary though. Rat does not like bullies and any perceived abuse of their power can lead to the Shaman themselves being cursed.


Lesser Gift of Rat: Flee!

When the tide turns, it is time to flee.

  • Whilst under this aspect a character will experience will struggle to hold their nerve, violent encounters will seem more dangerous than normal, and enemies seems bigger, stronger, smarter and faster.
  • Whilst under this aspect and moving to escape a violent encounter as fast as they can the character may ignore the first three blows and special calls striking them. The character must cry "Flee!" loudly if hit to signal to the attacker that they have noted the hit, but are unaffected by it.


Greater Gift of Rat: Often Unseen

Rat moves carefully, always.

  • Whilst under this aspect a character will feel the need to be more cautious.
  • This aspect may only be laid upon themselves by the Shaman. This aspect will allow a Shaman character to pass unseen for a short period of time (30 seconds maximum). The shaman character raises both hands above their head, crossed at the wrist - while doing so, they cannot be seen or effected by other characters, or by the majority of creatures in The Other Place. Nor, however, can they affect or interact with other characters. Once they uncross their hands, they become visible and influenceable once more, and lose all but one of their hits.

Some very powerful creatures, spirits, gods and entities may be able to penetrate the gift of Rat, so it is not foolproof.

  • This aspect will allow a Shaman character to leave a camp in the twilight hours and enter Other Place any without negative effect should they be reduce to zero hits. Through sheer force of willpower they are able to ignore the effects of passing close to death


Rat: Becoming Feral

Rat Feral understand the power of the whole working as one. They will often seek to include others in their plans and quickly leave those who seem disinterested behind.

As the power of Rat penetrates deeper into their being the Feral will become obsessed with schemes aimed to achieve even the most difficult of tasks. Those under an Aspect of the Rat seem more trustworthy regardless of any history that has passed between them.

With the close of an event looming the character will leave to seek out a nest to join, the human world holds nothing for them now.

The Watcher in the Marsh (A tale of Alba)

The trek across the dank and misty marshes had been bad enough; the Watcher in the Marsh lived a long way from the village – from any civilised people – and only those who were bold, who were in need, or who were desperate risked the crossing to the hillock on which the ill-thatched hut crouched like a shaggy bear. But what lay inside was much, much worse.

Eired had no tales of their own. Too young and no chance yet to blood a spear on a foe, not had a chance to build their own legend. But now Carrec was laying in their hut with a wound in the belly that would go bad before the week was out. Eired needed the kind of miracle that only heroes could hope for – heroes, or those desperate enough to come and treat with the Watcher of the Marsh. Desperate enough to answer the price.

Inside the hut was dank with smoke, the smell of herbs drying, something awful boiling in the pot over the fire, and the sour smell of someone who had grown too accustomed to living unaccompanied. The watcher crouched opposite Eired; a shadowy shape easily mistaken for a bundle of rags and sticks if you ignored those eyes. Those terrible, terrible eyes. Eired looked at the floor, a yawning pit of fear opening in their stomach.

If I tell you a secret, it may earn you what you need. But there will be a price.

There is always a price.

Five days later, to the astonishment of all, Carrec was sitting up and eating solid food. Eired had gathered a strange mix of herbs and clay and used it to make a poultice and Carrecs wound – which Meurig the Woundbinder had looked at and shaken his head sadly at – was half-healed. Meurig went before the Keepers and told the tale, and they accorded to Eired the title Cutward, in respect of the tale.

Eired never spoke of their trip into the marsh to anyone. As time went by they even, sometimes, managed to forget, briefly, that they owed a life for a secret.

But debts always – always – come due.