Saturday, 15 September 2012

Sample Lunar Cults


Jakaleel, the Lunar shaman

Lunar missionaries have had some success in spreading the cult of Jakaleel the Witch in Balazar, as in many ways it resembles the native cult of Votank. Five Spirit Moons and Jakaleel the Witch are separate practices, but Jakaleel shamen always follow both. The Tiger clan are almost all converted, and followers and votaries can be found in many other clans. A coven of Jakaleel shamen is based at Elder's Rock.

Cult Skills: The Lunar Way, Spirit Walk (Jakaleel), Spirit Binding (Five Spirit Moons), Spirit Binding (Jakaleel the Witch), Speak Lunar, Persistence, Lore (Ancestors), Perception, Meditation, Dance, Craft Mask.

Follower

Followers may see and identify Five Moon or Ancestor spirits within range, and may be taught the Common Magic spells Countermagic, Countermagic Shield, Detect Magic and Glamour.

They may hold one spirit fetish (the Jakaleel cult likes to use human bones decorated with silver and red cords or ribbons).

Votary

Votaries need 30% in five cult skills and can speak with ancestor spirits in their own language and with moon spirits in Lunar. They can hold up ¼ CHA in spirits, but cannot bind spirits themselves.
They may learn the common magics Spirit Bane and Bearing Witness.
They may be part of a group of six bound to a Moon Guardian (see below).

Seer

Seers need 50% in five cult skills, and may bind Moon spirits if they have Spirit Binding (Five Spirit Moons) 60%+, and ancestors if they have Spirit Binding (Jakaleel the Witch) 60%+. Ancestors will be hostile if not themselves Lunar worshippers, but may be converted to Lunarism by a successful Spirit Combat followed by a Lunar Way averaged with Influence roll. This aggressive conversion of ancestors is becoming a major source of disquiet among the Balazarings. They may have a maximum of ½ their CHA in spirits.

Balazaring Seers may also summon and bind Nature spirits of their own totem using their Spirit Binding (Jakaleel the Witch) skill.

Shaman

Needs 75% in five cult skills, one of which must be a Spirit Binding skill, and may summon ¾ of their CHA in spirits. May gain the use of a Moon Guardian Spirit, which is bound collectively to six followers of Jakaleel of rank Votary or above. Shamen can summon Spirits of the Dead using their Spirit Binding (Jakaleel the Witch) skill; the shaman need not be related to these ancestor spirits, and they will always initially be hostile. They may be converted to the Lunar Way as per ancestors but the roll is always at least hard (-20% per intensity of spirit).

Their fetch is a moon spirit and can be seen using Spirit Walk or Second Sight as an unearthly red glow around the shaman.

High Shaman

Needs 90% in five cult skills, including both forms of Spirit Binding taught by Jakaleel and Spirit Walk. Can bind up to CHA in spirits.

High Shamen can also lay the dead permanently to rest, conducting a funeral ceremony such that the person's spirit cannot be cajoled back to earth by anyone but its rightful descendants as an honoured ancestor. This will work on any spirit, even malevolent ghosts and undead if you can get hold of a part of their physical remains.

There is only one High Shaman in Balazar, Marusa the Moon-Woman, who wanders the country trying to convert the locals, and spirit plane trying to convert their ancestors.

Available Spirits

Spirits of the Five Moons Tradition are Full Moon, Half Moon, Hollow Moon, Waxing Moon and Waning Moon, and a shaman may have no more than one of each. Full Moon spirits are of the intellect and mind, Half Moon spirits are combat oriented, Hollow Moon spirits are demented curse spirits that drive people insane, Waning Moon spirits cover fertility, innocence and healing, while Waxing Moon spirits aid hunting, including hunting other spirits.

In addition a shaman may also have a Guardian Moon spirit as part of a group of six worshippers. This is created in a ritual involving a masked dance and spirit quest (Dance of the Empty Mask, Resonance 40% +10% per intensity of spirit). Combine the POW of the six worshippers, and divide by 5 to get the POW of the Guardian Moon, plus 1d6 per intensity of the spirit, combine the INT of all worshippers and divide by 7 to give the INT and combine CHA and divide by 8 to give CHA. It can donate magic points to any of the six people it is bound to, pass messages over any distance, add its POW as a bonus to any Persistence or Common Magic rolls, its INT to Insight and its CHA to Influence. It knows Countermagic at 1/3 its INT and may cast it at a worshippers request. If the mask it was originally summoned with is destroyed it will be banished, and if the worshipper loses the fetish they lose contact with the spirit.

Spirits of the Dead can be used to enhance skills and mental stats, but the best ones are curse spirits, though the shaman releasing them must be very careful that they don't turn on him. Using a Spirit of the Dead will earn the enmity of any of that spirits living descendants.

The shaman's own ancestors may be used as personal Guardian spirits, no more than one at any one time. Shamen may also bind an ancestor into a mask he has made himself, and when he dons that mask he allows that ancestor to possess him, hopefully temporarily.

Order of Jakaleel the Spindle Hag

This is a sorcerous school based on the teachings of the wizard Tetese, who journeyed to the spirit realm of Jakaleel and found other ways of working with the spirits of the dead, and going beyond what Jakaleel achieved to summon Lunar Demons. The Spindle Hag and Witch cults are separate entities, even though they both follow the same Immortal, and it isn't common for a single practitioner to join both. Jakaleel shamen are usually found on the fringes of the Empire and in poor peasant communities, Spindle Hag is more urbanised. Cyriel Endlekar is rumoured to have a Spindle Hag adept on his payroll.

Cult Skills: The Lunar Way, Manipulation (Spindle Hag), Grimoire (Book of Vile Secrets), Read/Write Lunar, Persistence, Insight, Meditation, Perception, Stealth, Lore (Demonology), Dance

Novice

Novices of the Spindle Hag order are usually only required to watch corpses to ensure they do not revive without permission, bless funerals where foul play is suspected, and perhaps cause a little light mayhem themselves, with minor curses and mischief.

They may learn the common magic spells Bandit's Cloak, Bearing Witness, Detect Spirit, Push/Pull and Fate. The only sorcery they may learn is Mystic Vision.

Apprentice

Requires 30% in five cult skills. The Apprentice may learn more common magic, with Darkwall, Demoralise, Disruption, Chill and Boon of Lasting Night. They may also learn more of the Book of Vile Secrets and can have up to INT x ¼ in spells. They must have Mystic Vision, and can learn Resist Spirit, Speak with Ghost, Manifest Ghost, Blind, Silence, Attract Spirit, Banish Spirit

Adept

Must have 50% in five of the cult skills, including Grimoire (Book of Vile Secrets). The Adept may learn up to half their INT in spells, including Bind Ghost, which enables them to take the spirit of a newly dead person and ensure it becomes a ghost. It is bound to a charm made of human bone decorated with silver and red ribbons and may be hidden in a house to ensure its haunting. They may also learn Darkvision, which enables them to see normally in darkness, Animate Darkness, Project Vision, Diminish (STR, CON, INT, POW, CHA) and Protective Ward.

Adepts sometimes find jobs as house exorcists or assassins for noble families where ghosts and spirits have been used as part of Dart Wars.

Mage

Mages of the Spindle Hag need 75% in five skills, including Grimoire (The Book of Vile Secrets) and can learn ¾ of their INT in spells, and get to use the most feared and potent spells of all, Summon (Demon), Command (Demon), Command (Monster) and Tap (Spirit).

Each class of demon has its own summon and command spells, and the size of demon is determined by the Manipulation (Spindle Hag) skill. Demons that are available include Strix, Destixin, Shades and Lunes, but others are possible, even demons serving deities such as Ikadz and Deshkorgos. Since it is not possible to banish a demon, these creatures are not summoned lightly.

Command (Monster) is also a separate spell for each class of creature. The cult knows how to command snakes and spiders of all kinds, wraiths, cave trolls, Voralans (Dark Aldryami), Broo and possibly some other chaos creatures as well.

Tap (Spirit) can only be used against disembodied spirits, but can absorb POW and CHA with the one spell.

Archmage

There is only one Archmage of the order, the crone Tetese herself, who serves at the court of Takenegi as exorcist and demonist. She has a network of loyal spies, and is trying, unsubtly, to take over the Jakaleel shamen.