Kolatings

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Mon 03 Nov 1997 - 20:24:00 EET


David Cake excels at giving Kolatings a distinctive note:
>Kolatings are shamans. Accordingly, don't put too much emphasis on
>Kolat himself - its his thousands of children they deal with, plus
>lots of other spirits as well.

When I had a Kolating shaman in my RQ4-AiG playtest game, I tried to give
him a spirit guide. Rather than using a hard-to-locate wind spirit, I
thought an Oread (a mountain-top nymph, much like a scaled-down version
of Kero Fin) would be appropriate.

>So the best way to make a Kolating interesting is to give them lots
>of lots of interesting wind spirits that they know of, know how to
>summon, or whatever.

It was this "or whatever" we stumbled over. I don't like the "sweep the
grey mists of the spirit plane" image of RQ3 at all, but I don't think
that a wind shaman has to discorporate to contact wind spirits at all.
After all, what point is a wind spirit if it cannot be felt? Second Sight
is somehow lame...

David gives some very good examples for powers of not-quite run-of-the
mill wind spirits. However, what do these spirits ask of the Kolating in
return for rendering their services? And how does the Kolating enter
negotiations?

>A few ideas along these lines are listed in the article on the
>Far Point area in Questlines. Give them a few spirits that are friendly,
>a few that will work for good rewards, and a few that are hostile, not
>to the point of all out attack, but can be convinced to work against
>common enemies (or pumped for information, or whatever). Make the
>shamans job a lot about roleplaying his connections to the many spirits
>(wind and otherwise) that he can contact.

This was what I aimed at, too. However, since the game was a rules
playtest, we soon complained that there were no guidelines for such
interaction. What does the Kolating have to offer these winds? Why does
it take a Kolating to do so, i.e. what keeps a Storm Voice or an ordinary
man from doing so (effectively)?

I suppose the Kolating can enter a state of enhanced perception (as has
been proposed earlier, by hyperventilation-like breathing methods - but
then I tend to suspect that the not-so-good Storm Voice "staves" are just
that, a breathing exercise with added educational benefit) not quite like
discorporation and different from a mere "permanent Second Sight".

"I sweep the country and mingle with my brethren, the winds. I touch the
winds, and I touch the land. I dance along the lines of magic."

The description of the spirit interaction cries for a story-teller
supplement, IMO, some sort of generic or synthetic out-of-body experience
description for the referee so that he can relate the otherness of the
experience. An experience the other characters should be able to share to

some extent - like lay members or initiates observing or co-experiencing
rune lords in a ceremony...

Spirit combat: probably the major disadvantage of non-shamans in spirit
combat is their inability to address the spirit in a way the spirit
understands and accepts. Spirit communication - even, and especially,
through a spirit attack - should be what a spirit-master excels in,
rather than going elsewhere and getting bound spirits back. Player
characters' spirits should better be housed rather than bound by the PC,
meaning that they provide transport for willing (well, contracted)
spirits to release them on mutual (?) agreement. Something like an open
bag of winds.

Hmm, maybe the spirit can release itself even when the character would
prefer it not to... MGF possible.

>A few spirit cults for Kolating are another logical area. The
>extensive Praxian and Troll spirit cults add a lot to shamans of
>that culture, so a few Sartarite spirit cults would help flesh out
>Kolating considerably. Anyone got a list?

Not a list, but a few ideas. Apparently the nymphs of valleys, hills,
brooks, etc - minor land goddesses - receive regular worship by the
farming communities around them. Tarndisi seems to be a well known dryad
in the Colymar land, and a fertility-bringer. I suppose that most
features named anywhere on a map have a local spirit with some power
which might come useful, or must be appeased.

RQ Vikings has a handy list of supernatural creatures which would fit
into Dragon Pass without any trouble...

One story I tried my hand at three years ago had a certain swampy meadow
inhabited by a minor nymph, well known to the shepherd boys of the
neighbouring steads (and likely their fathers as well). While not exactly
a spirit cult, I'm sure there were a couple of devotees to her who might
also have learned or been given some magic useful for lonely shepherds.

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