Three Orlanthi Hero Cults

From: Paul Reilly (
Date: Mon 25 Feb 1991 - 09:56:33 EET

   These are all subcults of Orlanth. The first two are for the Orlanthi in Ralios (although they might be known in Jonatela) and the third is a Fronelan hero-cult.
  Note that the first sub-cult outlined is really a sub-sub-cult; i.e., the Seven Brothers of Thunder are subordinate to Sigolf Cloudcrusher, an important Hero of Orlanth worshiped in northern Ralios.

  Seven Brothers of Thunder
  These kinsmen opposed Sigolf Cloudcrusher's desire to lead the Orlanth cult in Ralios. First he defeated them and stole their magic, then he convinced them to follow him freely and returned it. Now they are overshadowed by the greater hero, but people remember them as part of his story and still sacrifice in their shrine to obtain the magic of Thunder Voice. Normally one must be a part of the Sigolf Cloudcrusher sub-cult to obtain this spell, but descendants of the Thunder Brothers may sacrifice freely for it as long as they are friendly with the Orlanth cult in northern Ralios.

  Thunder Voice
   Self Only; Temporal; Reusable; Stackable   The user of this spell can project his voice in a thunderous tone audible for kilometers around. His speech is intelligible to those listening within approximately one kilometer per point of the spell in normal conditions and audible for about three times that. Extreme quiet or loud noise will interfere with his magically amplified voice just as it would a normal one.   The user may hush his voice down to around a normal conversational tone after he has practiced with the spell awhile. It will still have a sort of "echo chamber" quality, however, and whispering will also be amplified.

  People within 100 meters who fail a CON*5 roll will suffer tinnatus; other effects can be extrapolated by the game master. Boorish Wind Lords will occasionally use this spell to intimidate merchants or weaklings standing one meter away; its normal use, however, is to address a huge crowd, to shout orders to an army in battle, or to shout boasts at an enemy army.

  Orlanthi Hero Cult

   Wakim Hellroarer

  Wakim was a Second Age Hero who used Arkat's own Heroquesting methods to resist the incursions of the Dark Empire onto tribal land. He quested, met Orlanth and became a Hero, and introduced several new ideas to his tribe, some of which are still used today.

  The Bullroarer is used in Orlanthi clan rituals and sacred ceremonies; Wakim introduced its use as a battle signal and clan rallying sign.

  Wakim introduced the Rune magic of Howling Wind, which is available in many small shrines, usually attached to Orlanth temples, in eastern Ralios, and at a few shrines elsewhere.

  Howling Wind
  Ranged, Temporal, Stackable up to a variable limit   This spell can be cast on an existing wind or stacked with Orlanthi spells such as Increase Wind. One point of the spell causes a "shushing" sound, two points a loud wind that drowns out normal conversation, three a howling that one must shout loudly over to be heard ten feet away, and four drowns out any normal human voice over the area of the spell (which is the same as Increase Wind.) The spell must be stacked with a wind intensity at least that caused by an Increase Wind of the same force.
  The main advantage to be had in this spell is that it drowns out all normal communication, including battle commands. This typically handicaps civilized armies more than it does the barbarian Orlanthi, each of whom operates relatively independently.
  People in the Howling Wind subtract 25% from their Listen per point of the spell.

  Wakim accepts almost any Initiate of Orlanth as an Initiate of his subcult; a 96-00 roll on percentile dice indicates that the applicant has been turned down due to "bad omens". Once turned down, the Initiate may not reapply, in general.

Orlanthi Hero Cult
  Vorash the Storm Walker was an Orlanthi Hero of Retrint in the Second Age. He opposed the coming of the God Learners and the spread of the Kingdom of Loskalm into Orlanthi tribal lands; while eventually defeated, he nonetheless led many successful raids against the God Learners and was "canonized" as a local cult hero in western Fronela (Retrint, Oranor, etc.) after his death.   Vorash turned the God Learner's own methods against them and raided the Hero plane for several special powers. Two of them are available as special spells at certain Orlanth Temples.
  To buy these spells, an initiate must join the subcult of Vorash the Storm Walker. While no additional POW sacrifice is necessary, the initiate must succeed in a test of World Lore, and due to Vorash's hatred of the God Learners, must forget any sorcery known before joining. Vorash does not accept shamans or initiates of gods other than Orlanth into his subcult (even friendly gods).   Candidates are tested and accepted during Storm Season.   If a prospective initiate otherwise qualified fails the test of World Lore, he may take it again next Storm Season with a 10% cumulative bonus for knowing the nature of the test. Thus a candidate who tries every year for ten years will almost certainly get in, even if his World Lore is low. 96-00 still fails.

Vorashi Rune Magic
 Storm Strength (N point spell, check Wachaza)    Rune Magic, temporal, nonstackable, reusable   This spell will double the base strength of an Orlanth initiate on whom it is cast during an electrical storm, snow hurricane, or similarly violent storm. The spell will have a lesser effect of adding 50% to the strength of an initiate in a lesser storm.

   The recipient of the spell gains the extra strength only while in contact with the wind of the storm.

  Stsrrrrsrrorm Sense
  1 pt. Rune Magic, temporal, nonstackable, reusable   This spell will give an Orlanthi on whom it is cast a "feel" for the wind conditions about him, allowing the initiate to sense wind currents, etc. Very useful if you are flying in a storm. Occasionally seamen will join the subcult of Vorash just to get this spell.   People do learn to use the sense better after some experience with the spell; one might define a new skill of Storm Sense to fully use the information provided by the spell. This could be a Perception skill with a base of 25%.

  Spirit Cults

   Rustum Bowbreaker was a very early folk hero of the Hsunchen. He hated the new-fangled bow that allowed distant slaying, and his spirit offers the Rune Magic of Break Bow.
  Rustum can be contacted almost anywhere that Hsunchen once warred with elves during Godtime, such as most of Fronela. Many shamans know how to call him.   More than one type of Hsunchen has an ancestral hero in this niche, often with a name that sounds like Rustum, but always of their own great tribe. The God Learners concocted many possible explanations of this anomaly, but the mystery of who Rustum was and what his animal type was remains unsolved.

  Break Bow
  Instant, Stackable, Ranged.
  This spell will shatter a bow, crossbow, or similar tension-operated projectile device. Even siege weapons are not immune. Slings are unaffected.   To break a bow in someone's possession, their MPs must be overcome. The MPs of the entire crew of a siege weapon must be overcome in separate rolls. In the case of an Elf Bow, the greater of the MPs of the bow or its holder must be overcome.
  Every additional point of the spell adds 25% to the chance of overcoming the MPs of the bow-holder.

  Cunning Viper

  Cunning Viper was reputedly a dark shaman of the despised Viper Hsunchen. While they are believed extinct, his spirit still offers two Rune spells to shamans who are able to contact him (or her) via a piece of the Shattered Snake Stone. Most of the known pieces are scattered in the forest of Fronela; some are held at the Great Library of Loskalm at Northpoint, more as curiousities than as a spirit contact point. It is thought that the Stone originated in Pamaltela; there may be more fragments there.   Cunning Viper offers the spell of Slow Poison to those shamans depraved enough to want it. It is rumored that he also offers other spells if a large enough cult is built up.

  Slow Poison (2 points)
  Ranged, Duration until broken.
  This spell is somewhat reminiscent of the Trickster Lie spell. It is cast at the same time as the shaman (or initiate of the cult) tells someone a piece of information, true or false. If the caster overcomes the MPs of the victim, he or she becomes gradually obsessed with the implanted idea until either it is obviously shown to be false, like the Lie spell, the Slow Poison is dispelled, or drastic action is taken by the victim. Often it is used to plant a suspicion that will turn a loyal friend, liege man, or lover against someone they would normally be loyal to; in this case it may take weeks or months to grow.

New Spirit Magic (for shamanic peoples)   These spells can be obtained from certain spell spirits; they are not too uncommon.

  Spirit Magic

Suck Poison
Touch, Instant, Variable
  The focus for this spell is generally a black lump of charcoal or something similar held in the mouth of the caster. The caster places his mouth to the poisoned wound (or the stomach or mouth of someone who has ingested poison) and sucks while spending the MPs for the spell.

  The focus typically becomes hot and smoking and is ejected from the caster's mouth as quickly as possible.

  Each point of the spell will remove one point of CON damage from poison or 2 points of regular damage from Blade Venom or acid. Only the strongest Suck Poison will help the target if more than one is cast, e.g. a 3-point spell will repair 3 points of CON damage, but a 6-point spell cast later on the same victim will repair only 3 additional points, and a two-point spell will have no effect. Shamans often know Suck Poison 6 in areas where poison is common.   Suck Poison can be "stacked" with First Aid.

Call Arrow
  Ranged, Instant, Variable
  Calls an arrow shot by the caster back to his hand. The arrow takes three strike ranks to return.
  Can be used to call someone else's arrow if their POW is overcome.   Works on sling stones, darts, javelins, etc. also. The spell returns weapons of one ENC per point of spell. Call Arrow 2 is usually called Call Spear.

  Forest Walk
  3 Points; Touch;
  This spell must be learned by the shaman or tribesman from a spell spirit of the forest in which it is to be used; thus it is most useful in places like Rathorela which are essentially one huge forest.   The spell adds 15% each to the Stealth Skills of the target and also to the Conceal skill if it is employed using material of the forest such as leaves and mud. The spell also removes one point of any movement penalty normally imposed by the forest terrain.
  Shamans are rumored to have extracted continuing service from forest spirits which give them the effect of this spell for long periods.   A more powerful version of this spell is rumored to exist but is very hard to learn.

Trickster Rune Magic
Boratory (1 point? 2 points?)
  Ranged Temporal Nonstackable
  A spell known to priests of Eurmal and few others. Cast on a person, every word out of his mouth becomes stupefyingly dull. If he succeeds in his regular Oratory roll, people listen anyway but become restless, tapping their feet, humming, etc. A special success will send older listeners to sleep and cause yawning, heckling, etc. among the livelier members of the audience.   A critical success requires a (POW + CON) x 1 for listeners to remain awake. Even the Borator himself may fall asleep if he fails (POW + CON) x 4. Even those listeners who remain awake are stupefied and are easily surprised, etc.   Cast on an unwilling Orator, this spell is resisted; Eurmali often cast it on themselves or on pompous Orlanthi Wind Voices or Wind Lords.

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