Tuesday 28 October 2014

The RPSS Endeavour

I can't draw for toffee, so I decided to borrow a pic from a computer game and design a Traveller starship to fit it. 

The RPSS Endeavour
(actually the Arcova Scout Frigate from Sins of a Solar Empire)

So here is the Royal Planetological Society Starship Endeavour

PDF with deckplans and description here.

Adventure Hooks

  • The RPSS Beagle III is a national monument of the colony of New Dorset on the planet Aquila, it being the ship which made the first landing on the planet and which established the English claim to colonise it, beating the EU by three months. Marc Ducaille, a proud citizen of Merovin, the Francophone colony on Aquila, says it is all fishy - if you look at the flight plan of the Beagle III back in 2131 the only way they could have made it to Aquila before the EU expedition was if they somehow magicked up a Warp 4 engine. Marc insists the perfidious English had help, alien help... Most of the gubbins of the vessel are gone now, but if you look at these rather fuzzy lidar images surreptitiously taken while on a guided tour of the vessel you will see a strange pyramidal hole where the warp drive ought to be. No human warp engine has a component that shape, so what the hell was it, eh? 
  • Chad Baxter, a military advisor to the Orphean League army, used to be in a certain agency - he can't tell you which or he'd have to kill you - and he knows that not all the rackety old Endeavours travelling the spaceways are what they seem. A vessel with that kind of deep space endurance, that kind of 'Astronomy' gear, built by an English academic organisation which, like all such organisations, was riddled top to bottom with commies? Come on, it's a spyship, was meant to be one from the day it was built! Look out next time you are heading off to a warp point, you might see an Endeavour class floating innocuously in deep space with its solar panel out for a second or two, then poof! the ECMs kick in and its gone.
  • Szilard Geologic are a new commercial scouting company doing rather well. They started out with a second or maybe third or fourth hand Endeavour and it's been a real lucky charm for them, taking them from one mineral rich planet to another, gold, uranium, thorium, you name it, their little scout the 'Ethelred Bennett' has found them all. Rumour has it that they were on the point of going bust until they did a refit of the vessel. What did they find stuck in its innards? A lost database of planets? A dowsing rod? Who owned it before them? Jack Szilard worked in salvage for a while, is it a reconditioned wreck?
  • The English Royal family are a dull lot. It is the tradition that the princes join the armed forces, usually the Navy since it is probably the safest, and they have been doing the same thing for a good four hundred years or more. Except one, Princess Frances, has bucked the trend by a) having a brain and doing well at university without anyone having to pull strings and award her an honorary degree; b) joining the services despite being female and by tradition being limited to showjumping as a hobby and c) saying nuts to the Navy and joining the Royal Planetological Society instead. She is out there somewhere beyond the edge of Known Space and a leak has revealed that she is flying an Endeavour. What do you do with this information?
  • While delivering supplies to a forlorn mining outpost on Torch a battered old slave miner tries to sell you a bit of electronic junk. It's a survey drone, a real old one with an RPSS logo. Where is the vessel that launched it? Wrecked out there in Torch's utterly unforgiving deserts? Could there be evidence that the English have a prior claim on the planet? Or data about an undiscovered gold mine? Or even the location of the fabled haven of the 'Torch' itself?

Sunday 26 October 2014

Driders and Nightgaunts

In a recent session of my ongoing Griffin Mountain game (though its been stuck in Dragon Pass for a good while now) the party made a bit of a nause up of a heroquest, and Tarndisi is now deceased.

The story is that the party got lost whole crossing the Colymar Wilds and ended up crossing over to the Otherowlrd. Since they included a couple of members of the Order of Black Arkat, they inadvertently got recruited into a failed/stalled heroquest by an troll follower of Arkat who was trying to snuff out one of the last Aldryami strongholds in Dragon Pass. They duly reassembled old Zorak Kang, who had been chopped into little bits by Babeester Gor while trying to steal her axe, and then belatedly balked at the idea of letting him marmalise Tarndisi. After one of the PCs got his head chopped off by the irate troll they ran off and let him do the deed, escaping the hero plane at the Wild Temple.

So Tarndisi's Grove was overwhelmed by Trolls at the start of the Second Age. Trolls took over the land between the Thunder Hills and Starfire Ridges. They became followers of the EWF, worshipping the Black Dragon and they got involved in some of the dodgy biological experiments taking place at the Zoo, as Cragspider wanted to use the EWF magic to reverse the curse of kin. Cragspider is just one of a race of troll-spider-centaurs, the Driders, and she helped create the Nightgaunts as well.

During the Dragonkill War the Temple of the Black Dragon (which included monasteries of Humakt the Claw and Zorakan the Talon) which occupied the site of Tarndisi's Grove was destroyed, and Cragspider decamped to Cliffhome.

The Colymar Wilds are a fungus forest surrounding a ruined EWF temple and a pool called the Blackmere sacred to the Night Hag, a spirit associated with Xentha goddess of Night, and with whom King Colymar negotiated the terms of his settlement in Dragon Pass. The Night Hag can manifest as an ominous black granite monolith shot through with web-like veins of quartz, as well as a Mistress Race Troll or a hooded human female.

The wilds are inhabited by Voralans, giant spiders, Driders and the ruins of the temple have a colony of Nightgaunts. Trolls are frequently found here on pilgrimage to pay their respects to the hero Zorak Kang and the Black Dragon.


A Drider has the upper body of a female dark troll on the torso of a giant spider. They mate with dark troll males and eat them in the process. They are unfortunately not immune to the curse of kin, and most Driders are puny half trollkin creatures, hungry little brigands who set traps for the unwary. Driders worship Aranea and Arachne Solara, though some use sorcery derived from the Lead Grimoire of Black Arkat and a few are shamen following the night spirits of Xentha.

The full size Dark Driders are solitary creatures but can be found in small groups in the (reformed) Colymar Wilds, Beast Valley and the Black Dragon Mountains, usually accompanied by bands of Drider-kin. The puny drider-kin habitually live in packs as they couldn't survive nay other way, and are sometimes found as pets in the lairs of Trolls in Halikiv and Dagori Inkarth. They are very dangerous in numbers, as their sticky webs, though weak, will immobilise a warrior if enough are used.

They are famed weavers and make marvellous cloths of their own silk which they dye black with the tincture of the night sky itself and can weave darkness and cold spirits into the weft. The lead weights they use at their looms are prized among human craftsmen. They demand wood from the scared trees of the Aldryami to make their looms in payment.

Dark Drider

STR 3d6+6 (16-17)
CON 3d6+6 (16-17)
SIZ 4d6+9 (25)
INT 2d6+6 (13)
POW 2d6+6 (13)
DEX 2d6+6 (13)
CHA 3d6+3 (13-14)

AP 3 Dam +1d8 SR 13

D20 Hit Location AP/HP
1          Right Hind Leg      3/6
2           Right Centre Leg  3/6
3-4        Right Front Leg    3/6
5           Left Hind Leg       3/6
6           Left Centre Leg   3/6
7-8        Left Front Leg     3/6
9-10      Abdomen            3/9
11-12    Thorax                3/9
13-14    Chest                  1/9
15-16    Right Arm           1/7
17-18    Left Arm               1/7
19-20    Head                   1/8

Typical Skills:
Acrobatics STR+DEX+50, Athletics STR+DEX + 30, Brawn STR + SIZ, Dance DEX+CHA+20, Endurance CON x3, Evade DEX x3, Influence CHAx4, Willpower POWx4, Folk Magic (INT+POW) x3, Devotion (Aranea) POW+CHA, Exhort (Aranea) INT+CHA, Craft (Weaving) DEX+INT +50%

Troll Militia STR+DEX (Excellent Footwork, Club, Mace, Maul, Spear, Sling Medium Shield); Drider Webbing STR+DEX+20 (Mancatcher, Web, Grapple, Bite)

Mace M 1d8+1d8 6/6 Bash, Stun Location
Short Spear M !d8+1-1d2 Impale
Round Shield L 1d3+1+1d8 4/9 Bash, Ranged Parry, Blocks 3 locs.
Web L Entangles Web STR = Drider's STRx2
Bite S 1d3+1d8 Venom, potency CONx2

Drider Venom
Type: Ingested or smeared
Delay: 1D3 Combat Rounds
Potency: Drider’s CON x 2
Full Effect: 1D3 hit point damage to location struck, applies –1d6 penalty to victim’s DEX (upon reaching 0
DEX victim becomes paralysed)
Duration: 6D10 minutes

Typical Spells:
Folk – Bludgeon, Demoralise, Darkness, Chill, Extinguish
Divine – Shield, Absroption, Fear, Cult specials – Carapace (inc natural armour and extends it over trollish part of the body), Spiderlimbs (increases climb skill and confers immunity to webs), Spiderbite (Truns head into a spider head, increases bite dmaage to 1d8, doubles poison potency and gves bite an impale special effect).


STR 2d6 (7)
CON 2d6+6 (13)
SIZ 2d6+3 (10)
INT 2d6+3 (10)
POW 3d6 (10-11)
DEX 3d6+3 (13-14)
CHA 2d6 (7)

AP 2 Dam -1d2 SR 11

D20 Hit Location AP/HP
1           Right Hind Leg 1/6
2           Right Centre Leg 1/6
3-4        Right Front Leg 1/6
5           Left Hind Leg 1/6
6           Left Centre Leg 1/6
7-8        Left Front Leg 1/6
9-10      Abdomen 1/9
11-12    Thorax 1/9
13-14    Chest 1/9
15-16    Right Arm 1/7
17-18    Left Arm 1/7
19-20    Head 1/7

Typical Skills:
Acrobatics STR+DEX+50, Athletics STR+DEX + 50, Brawn STR + SIZ, Endurance CON x2, Evade DEX x 5, Stealth DEX x3,Willpower POWx2, Folk Magic INT+POW

Troll Militia STR+DEX (Excellent Footwork, Club, Mace, Maul, Spear, Sling Medium Shield); Drider Webbing STR+DEX+20 (Mancatcher, Web, Grapple, Bite)

Club M 1d6-1d2 4/4 Bash, Stun Location
Round Shield L 1d3+1-1d2 4/9 Bash, Ranged Parry, Blocks 3 locs.
Web L Entangles Web STR = Drider's STR x 2
Bite S 1d3-1d2 Venom Potency CONx1

Typical Spells:
Folk – Bludgeon, Demoralise, Darkness, Chill, Extinguish


These horrible little monsters were stitched together to serve the Black Dragon as scouts and aerial infantry. They are about the size of a trollkin, maybe a little smaller, with soft moth-like wings, compound eyes and feathery antennae on a thin troll-like body. They are not particularly intelligent, but can use stone spears. They have a nest in the ruins of the Temple of the Black Dragon and conduct a never ending war with the Wasp riders. They allegedly keep the mystical tradition of the Night Dragon going, and a few have been seen sporting scales and claws.

Their combat tactics involve swoops whispering dread curses to Demoralise the enemy, then hurling javelins from above to thin the ranks, bolas to stop any escapes and then moving in with the long spear as a last resort. Their soft wings make them very hard to hear in the dark, and on moonless nights they will flutter down unnoticed beside sentries and garotte them. They cut off the skin of the face and wear it as a gruesome mask, and cut out the tongue and make a charm that enables them to copy a persons voice.

They derive great pleasure out of causing fear and confusion and will be happy to kill only a couple out of a large group as long as the rest are duly terrified. If they are feeling lenient they may let travellers pass in return for leaving them the head of a giant wasp or wasp rider, their old enemies. If they are in a less forgiving mood they will sneak into camp and paint a darkness rune on someone's forehead, and give the party the chance to sacrifice the Nightgaunt's selected victim in return for free passage. If the sacrifice is not given freely then they will take it and 1d3 more victims besides.

They live in the ruins of the Temple of the Black Dragon and anyone approaching it will have to deal with them one way or another. They do not like bright sunlight however, and will stay hidden during the day.


STR 2d6+3 (10)
CON 2d6+6 (13)
SIZ 2d4+4 (9)
INT 2d6+3 (10)
POW 2d6+6 (13)
DEX 2d6+12 (19)
CHA 2d6+1 (8)

AP 3 Dam -1d2 SR 15

D20 Hit Location AP/HP
1-2 Right Leg –/5
3-4 Left Leg –/5
5-6 Abdomen –/6
7-9 Chest –/7
10-12 Right Arm –/4
13-14 Left Arm –/4
15-16 Right Wing 2/4
17-18 Left Wing 2/4
19-20 Head –/5

Typical Skills:
Athletics STR+DEX+70, Brawn STR+SIZ, Evade DEX x 5, Endurance CONx3, Stealth DEX x 6, Willpower POWx2, Folk Magic INT+POW

Aerial Scout (Skirmishing, Javelin with Atlatl, Sling, Bolas, Spear, Dagger, Garotte)

Javelin H 1d8+1-1d2 3/8 Impale
2H Spear L 1d10+1-1d2 4/10 Impale
Bolas - 1d4-1d2 2/2 Entangle
Garotte S 1d2-1d2 ½ Stealth

Typical Spells:
Demoralise, Darkness, Chill, Extinguish, Speedart, Ventriloquism, Curse

Thursday 9 October 2014

The ESA Starbus

The ESA Starbus is a little 200 ton trading vessel from my Known Space setting.

The ESA Starbus sans modules.
For more details see the PDF here

The Starbus is modular with two 50 ton modules which can be type P (Passenger), type C (Cargo), type L (Long Haul) or type K (Low Berth).

Adventure Hooks

  • An engineer told us that Azania Lines runs a Starbus in LL configuration giving it 8 weeks extra in warp, that's 16 parsecs travel. Why? What the hell are they taking where? This one is worth keeping an eye on.
  • Sergei Veretski, a Starbus pilot, finally lost it last trip, attacking the blasted autopilot with an axe and smashing the Avionics computer to bits. The AI was using a voice/personality based on Jason Pellegrino, a noted Belgian comic actor of the 22nd century and maybe the endless fart gags got too much for poor old Sergei. But after his death Pellegrino was found to have a collection of rather dubious books and to have been involved in the occult, and the raving and gibbering Sergei did mention something about having a spell cast on him and was found to have lined his pilots helmet with tinfoil. Something weird is going on here, but Aquila Spaceways want their ship back out earning money right now and there isn't time to investigate on the ground.
  • The Ekaterina has always been a popular ship with the rich and fast living student party set travelling back and forth between Aquila and the university world of Fargen. There are some scandalous parties on that ship, it's a favourite of the gossip columnists, but something happened on the last trip, something people aren't talking about. One of the Stewardbots has gone missing, and the owners, Aquila Spaceways, have had the autodoc replaced.
  • Nice ship the Starbus, very comfortable (for the passengers), very reliable, and sadly very vulnerable to pirates as some poor SOBs have found out on a trip to Kanaloa. There are ransom demands from the Free Akrotiri Front or people start getting thrown out of the airlock. It's parked on an asteroid in the outer orbit of the system gas giant and guarded by a gunboat, but there might be a way to get in through a cargo hatch if you can persuade the AI chip to play ball. It's modeled on some late twentieth century British celebrity called Alan Sugar, will that help?

Wednesday 8 October 2014


Another adaptation of an old(ish) cult for RQ6, since one of my players in Griffin Mountain had his PC come to a sticky end during a Heroquest and would like his new character to be a Kolating Shaman. There have been a few write-ups of Kolat for Heroquest and one for RQ3; I am going to be mostly following the Sartar Companion version.

Who is Kolat?

He is a son of Umath and a member of the Storm Tribe, and defended the Vingkotlings against the onslaught of spirits that sought to drive the Gods out of the world, defeated Zzabur the Sorcerer who preyed upon the Vingkotlings after their chief gods left on the Lightbringers Quest and slew Karkajan the Monster Shaman.

Who worships him?

Oddballs. The Orlanthi are a settled agricultural people for the most part with a powerful pantheon of gods and hierarchy of kings, chieftains and priests. But there are always malcontents and wanderers and people who feel the climb up the greasy pole of tribal politics isn't worth the candle and want another kind of power, some have odd dreams, some are driven out by misfortune and injustice. Then there are other people who never did fit in with Orlanthi culture; in Sartar some families never found a place among the colonising clans and tribes and remained stickpickers on the margins of the wildlands, tramps and charcoal burners holding to an ancient hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

The typical Kolating holds no allegiance to any family, clan or tribe. He wanders the land living rough and trading his unique talents for dealing with spirits with the settled farmers. Kolatings have a reputation for being conmen and thieves, but the Orlanthi are habitually distrusting of any strangers not part of their clan. They at least accept Kolatings as part of Heortling culture and deserving of some traditional hospitality, even if it is sometimes even more grudging than that given to Tricksters.

Where is he worshipped?

He is worshipped in Heortland, the Rightarm Islands, Maniria, Dragon Pass, Ralios, all through the Lunar Provinces and Talastar, Fronela and the North West and even in Pent. He may be more widely worshipped geographically than Orlanth himself, though across most if this area his is a very minor cult. But in primitive Brolia he is the most important member of the Storm Tribe, and in the most Lunarised parts of Vanch, Holay and Sylila he is the last remnant of the storm still worshipped since Orlanth worship has completely died out.

The secondary traditions a Kolating has access to will differ throughout this range. The ones given here are found in Dragon Pass, Maniria and Tarsh; in Pent Kolat is a minor tradition kept up by shamen dedicated to Kargzant.

Common Members

Quite a few Heortling people have a basic understanding of spirits, many clans have at least one person who has a touch of the 'Second Sight' and some Binding or Trance skill, often following the Earth Witch tradition, but sometimes the Kolat Seven Winds instead or as well. They will have knowledge of Find Spirit, Spirit Shield or Witchsight. They will usually be followers of a theistic cult as well. They can bind up to ¼ of their Cha in spells, but if they have theistic magic this will be reduced by 2 spirits per Divine Miracle known, and the number of Miracles will be reduced by 2 per spirit held.

The wandering shamen have little respect for these settled types though, regarding them as mere dabblers, unless they are willing to accompany them as apprentices.

Spirit Worshipper

These members are usually found as apprentices to the wandering Kolatings. They can actually bind spirits, up to half of their CHA, but must take a Seven Winds spirit with its attendant geas as their first spirit.

They must have 50% Trance and 50% Binding (Seven Winds Spirit), and need 50% in three of the following skills: Insight, Locale, Willpower, Lore (Seven Winds), Survival , First Aid, Sing, Healing, Binding (Secondary Tradition), Deceit, Sleight.

If they are sworn as a shaman's apprentice then they need not pay for any training, but are required to accompany him and give him a share of any fees earned for using shamanic skills. If not, they can gain a place by the fire and hospitality at any shaman's encampment, but there is no obligation to feed them. They can request training, and will be asked to pay half the usual costs.


Shamen can bind up to three quarters of their Cha worth of spirits, one of which must be a Seven Winds spirit, one must be from a secondary tradition and one of which may be a Fetch. They may bind a Guardian Spirit, which confers greater protection from hostile magic, and bind Air Elemental Spirits (see Seven Winds tradition below).

They must have 70% Binding (Seven Winds), 70% Trance and 70% in two skills from Insight, Locale, Willpower, Lore (Seven Winds) Survival, Binding (Secondary Tradition), Lore (Secondary Tradition). The minimum Binding (Secondary Tradition) skill must be 35%.

The Fetch of a Kolating must have the following traits:

Autonomy – it can travel wherever the wind goes.

Elemental – it can manifest in the physical world as a Sylph.

If it has Manifest it can also appear as an eagle, and if it has Shapechange it is able to turn the Shaman temporarily into an eagle.

When rolling for the traits of a Kolating Fetch one trait must come from the following set.

  1. Hot wind – can act as a Warmth folk magic spell without spending any MP, can cast Heat for 1 mp, and can add its POW as a %age to any attempt to oppose a cold, ice or darkness spirit
  2. Cold wind – can act as a Cool Folk Magic spell without spending any mp, cast Chill for 1 mp, and can add its POW as a %age to any attempt to oppose a heat or fire spirit
  3. Howling wind – can cast Demoralise on as many targets as fit within it for just 1mp the lot.
  4. Hunting spirit – can hunt down one of the six foes; the undead, the possessed, death spirits, disease spirits and curse spirits sent by women, gains a Spirit Tracking skill of 50%+Int+Pow
  5. Hunting spirit – can hunt down one specific type of animal using its own tracking skill or enhancing that of the shaman, Track Animal 50%+Int +Cha
  6. Blow away foes – when attacked by multiple spirits the shaman can choose to have his fetch keep all but the strongest at bay with its winds. Willpower vs Willpower of the attacking spirits for this to work.
  7. Lightning – can use Disruption for 1 mp, and can target as many people as fit within it as an elemental for 1mp each.
  8. Thunderous Voice – enables the Shaman to use the folk magic Voice whenever he feels like it, and can make rolls on Influence, Oratory or Sing one step easier for 2 mp, at least when dealing with other Storm worshippers; others might ask who the shouting, bragging lunatic thinks he is.

High Shaman

Can bind his entire Cha in spirits, and need 90% in one Binding skill (any tradition, not necessarily Seven Winds), 90% Trance and one of; Lore (any Tradition), Insight, Willpower.

High Shamen are respected and feared, and are often cantankerous and eccentric from having to follow the geases of so many spirits. All can command and use Seven Winds spirits, but some specialise in the lesser traditions; Chalk Man shamen are earthy and apparently good humoured, eager for a game of gambling sticks and highly likely to tell you tall tales and try and con you, Oakfed shamen are often hot tempered, Night Listeners dress in black and are alert and penetrating, Serkos shaman are loners. Those few shamen who favour Granny Vo and Uncle are like men from another country, dressed in furs, carrying stone knives full of strange oaths and are often rude.

Spirit Lord

There is a Spirit Lord of Kolat out there up on one of the sacred mountains but no one knows who he is or where he is. Kolating shamen tend to travel a lot, it is entirely possible that he is the scruffy skin clad old man selling charcoal to the bronzesmith over there, is hiding behind that looming stormcloud over there or is sitting in a trance on the peak of Kero Fin hunting through the spirit world looking for the pernicious shamen of Jakaleel as they seek to capture and convert the spirits of the Orlanthi dead.

The Seven Winds Tradition

There are six varieties of spirits that this tradition can call on, and a Shaman can never have more than one of each kind. They are Nature spirits in RQ6, and usually augment skills and boost attributes or cast enhanced versions of Folk Magic.

Before Me. Provide charms relating to the wind, such as enhancing knowledge of the weather, using small winds to move things, sending messages via the winds, using wind to help arrows fly etc. Taboo: Never Commit Adultery. For example: Spirit casts Mindspeech spell with a range of 5xPOW in meters, a tiny breath of wind taking the Shaman's words and whispering them to the target, each point of intensity of spirit can increase range or increase number of recipients.

On My Right. Provide charms relating to cold weather, such as increasing Endurance against cold, helping the shaman survive and find food in the cold, combating fire spirits, causing frostbite and so on. Taboo: Must Tend Oak Trees. For example make Endurance rolls one step easier in cold weather

Behind Me. Provide charms that can change the weather. Taboo:Rise Early From Sleep. For example increase cloud cover over one square kilometre per intensity, can block out the light of the moon or weaken the sun.

On My Left. Water Spirits that counter spirit attacks. Taboo: Never Drink Alcohol. For example: Provide one 'spirit armour' per point of intensity to reduce mp loss during spirit combat or make Binding skill rolls half a grade easier per intensity when fighting off hostile spirit attacks.

Above Me. Fire spirits that defend against magic, track spirit magic back to the caster, or rebound spirit magic. Taboo: Must Sleep under the Sky. For example: If the shaman resists a spell equal to the intensity of the spirit or under it is reflected back at the person who cast it, at a cost of 1mp to the spirit, or make all rolls to resist a spell half a grade easier.

Below Me. Darkness spirits that fight one or more of the Six Foes; corporeal undead, the possessed, spirits of death, spirits of disease and curses sent by women, Taboo: Never Kill. Example; Add two steps in weapon damage vs Skeletons and Zombies, or make all rolls to resist hostile magic cast by women one grade easier.

The seventh wind is Within Me, and is in fact the Shaman's fetch, which enables the shaman to embody it as an Elemental spirit.

Once a person has become a shaman, the Before Me, On My Right and Behind Me spirits may be replaced by Elemental spirits that not only have the powers noted above but which can be released to fight as Elementals, but not embodied. The On My Left, Above Me and Below Me spirits can be replaced by Guardian Spirits with slightly limited abilities (ie On My Left only attacks spirits, Above Me only intercepts spells, Below Me can do either, but only against certain foes).

Shamen with the Seven Winds tradition can learn and teach a number of useful folk magic spells such as Avert, Frostbite, Chill, Cool, Heat, Shove, Speedart, Spiritshield, Voice and Witchsight

Chalk Man Tradition

The Chalk Man is a great Earth spirit who aided Kolat many times, rescuing him from Karkajan with the aid of his gambling sticks. Chalk Man lives under a hill in northern Dragon Pass, marked with his outline. The Chalk Man binding skill can be used as a Gambling skill when playing the gambling stick game, and used to help bind spirits of other traditions if the shaman can persuade them into playing. His spirits are nature spirits with a variety of odd powers, and again only one from each category may be taken at any one time. In ancient times there were shamen who followed Chalk Man alone and had Chalk Man give them fetches, but no one now knows how that is done. Going into the cave in the Chalk Man hill looks like an obvious route for research, but no one is quite brave enough to try.

Might and Vigour folk magic spells are taught by Chalk Man spirits.

Oakfed tradition

Also followed in Prax, Oakfed spirits can only be bound in the depths of winter, and anyone with one of these spirits cannot also have an On My Right Spirit from the Seven Winds tradition, and will be regarded by the Aldryami as hostile. These spirits can burn anything, and shamen can even bind one that will burn away spiritual impurities.

Night Listener

A darkness spirit also worshipped by Trolls, which wake men in the night if they are threatened by intruders (or in the day for troll worshippers), or attack intruders. The folk magic Alarm is taught by these spirits.


Serkos is another name for Odayla, and the animal spirits associated with Odayla can be found HERE.

Granny Vo and Uncle

These spirits are very old and rather mysterious and live in a tent on a vast empty plain in the spirit world. Granny Vo is the spirit of untamed nature and may have something to do with the goddess Velhara who was mother to Odayla, the foreign Balazaring spirit Rigtaina and maybe a few other spirits and goddesses besides. The Kolatings see her as old and dotty and say if they do not perform her rites correctly she will destroy the world. She gave Kolat the Three Bow, and Three Bow spirits can do a number of interesting things such as shoot magic arrows, start fires, make rainbows and read omens at the cost of keeping a unique, capricious and strange taboo set by Granny.

Propitiative Rites

Worship of chaos is not permitted, but certain chaos entities feature prominently in Kolat rituals as enemies and special rites can be used to combat them.


The chaos shaman is invoked in many Kolating rituals as an evil and corrupting influence which must be driven away. However there is a rite involving making a decorated straw man to represent Karkajan and undergoing a small heroquest which ends in burning the figure. This will confer a long term resistance to foreign spirits. The recent fashion in Sartar is to dress the strawman up in the black robes of a Jakaleel shaman or in the red finery of the Red Goddess herself; needless to say this will get you crucified if the Lunars catch you. Some shamen have always advocated putting living enemies like broo or goats inside a wicker man to add to the potency of the rite, serious hardliners among the rebel tribes are now burning Lunar missionaries alive.


Kolatings offer a fawn and a lamb to Malia four times a year, and settled Orlanthi may invite them to do so in their steads as a defence against disease, even though the practice is frowned upon by the cult of Chalana Arroy. Any shaman may attempt to exorcise a spirit of disease, but it takes a long time, and if the rite fails the shaman himself may be infected and any further attempt to cure the person, even by a theist priest of a healing god or goddess will fail.


Shamen can summon a spirit called Be'e at certain wasp nests. This spirit will ride a wasp all the way to Thed herself and tell her that Kolat knows she is there. Later, if the shaman is threatened by broo, a wasp will come and give him forewarning of the attack and then go and sting a broo.

If the broo doesn't take the hint and go back, the shaman can release a huge swarm of wasps from his mouth which will set about the broo. This rite is not easy to do, finding the wasps nest is hard enough, and its effectiveness depends on how powerful a spirit of Be'e the Shaman can summon and defeat. If it works the spirit becomes a kind of 'wasp elemental', of equivalent size to an elemental of the same intensity and all broo within it will make all rolls at one difficulty level harder.