Mostly shamans

From: David Cake (davidc@cyllene.uwa.edu.au)
Date: Wed 05 Nov 1997 - 11:07:24 EET


>Certainly there are craft guilds in Loskalm, and powerful guilds in
>Safelster.

        The craft guilds of Loskalm are very important, as successfully
completing an Apprenticeship is the same as fulfilling all the Farmer caste
requirments (its the urban equivalent). A journeyman guildsman officially
qualifies for Soldier caste, and is inducted into the city militia, but the
vast majority choose to go no further, and instead continue working their
way up through the guild ststem.

>Steve Martin mused:
>>On Illuminates -- do people think they can still see the sacred meanings
>>of these rituals, or is that one of the things they lose.

        I absolutely think they can see the sacred meanings of these
rituals. In many cases, better than anyone else. Addi most definately does
as several points in the Entekosiad (and yes, I know she gets it wrong
about the goddess - but it takes the goddess herself to correct her, and
I'm not even sure Addi is illuminated at the time). And there is Arkat, etc.
        What illuminates gain is the ability to see these things and also
maintain a more objective viewpoint at the same time.
        I could go on and on about the nature of Illumination, but I won't.
Suffice to say - I am absolutely sure that Illuminates are able to perceive
the sacred meanings of rituals.

>>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.

        I've never believed that the spirit plane consists of grey mists
anyway. But in any case, give them a spirit magic 'Summon Wind Spirit'
spell and your away. They summon using ritual magic, but they can only
summon a being they know the true name of (including anything they have
summoned or bound previously). True names of wind spirits are secrets,
whispered to apprentices by senior shamans - and the really powerful ones
jealously guarded (partly because the consequences of summoning a powerful
spirit who does not wish to be summoned can be disastrous).

>After all, what point is a wind spirit if it cannot be felt? Second Sight
>is somehow lame...
>
        You can feel the wind without Second Sight, but without Second
Sight or the spirit becoming Visible, its just a wind.

>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?
>
        The major ones want spirit cult worship. What do the minor ones
want? POW, I guess, but maybe also sacrifices, knowledge, the destruction
of their enemies. Most of them are associated with a particular area, or
particular type of thing in their area, and want that preserved - an oread
wants her meadow preserved, a flower spirit wants lots of flowers growing.

> 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)?
>
        Firstly, even to summon a spirit you need a summon skill and the
spell. Most people could only learn a spirit magic summon spell from their
shaman anyway (and he is not going to teach it to anyone who isn't an
apprentice). Or you need Second Sight and you need to travel to where the
spirits live - this is still a big deal (its a 3 point spell), it can be
dangerous (you are 3mps down if you don't have stored power, just when you
meet a spirit), and only lets you meet very limited spirits. Once all this
is done, you have no means of commanding them.
        A Storm Voice is a bit better off - he has Command Cult Spirit, so
he has many spirits he can command that way, and Command Sylph. But by and
large, the Storm Voice is just going to stick with Command Cult Spirit -
Cult Spirits are easier to deal with, and well known. So a Storm Voice does
have spirits he can call one, but tends to stick with the ones he knows.
        A shaman, on the other hand, is easily able to contact spirits he
runs into, and is also easily able to search our a new spirit.
        Say the tribe has a plague, and they want a health spirit.
A normal man has no means of contacting such a spirit, so he puts out a
sacrifice and hopes. Possibly he journeys to where such spirits live (a
small pilgrimage) before making sacrifice, possibly they just pray to CA
(more reliable than spirits).
Someone with a bit of spirit magic knowledge (say, Second Sight) journeys
to where the spirit lives (possibly a difficult journey) then casts Second
Sight and then begs. Maybe they can convince it, maybe they can bargain
with it.
A Storm Voice doesn't know how to summon any health spirits, because they
are Orlanths servants. He might summon a righteous wind spirit that drives
out evil disease spirits, but he can't summon the health spirit they really
need. He goes to see the CA healer, who can Command such spirits, and gets
help.
A shaman, he might know the name of a health spirit already. He summons it
up, and then bargains with it. Or perhaps if he knows of no such spirit, he
discorporates, travels to the region of the spirit plane where such things
live (his master told him where is was) and when he meets one, either
offers it incentives to aid him, or captures it with spirit combat.

>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.

        Ah, but perhaps first we need to have such experiences. An
experiment in substance abuse and sleep deprivation in a Gloranthan
friendly setting perhaps? Sounds like a project for the next Glorantha
Con...

I'm not going to discuss them in detail, but both Joerg and Patrik had
really good suggestions for spirits that might be known in Sartar. I
particularly like the idea that a binding enchantment might be more like a
house for your spirit, rather than a prison.

One day I'll get around to finishing those shaman rules.....

         Cheers

                David

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