Friday, May 29, 2009

Favod the Younger

A lifelong native of Imphomonee, Favod the Younger was the most sought
after artist of the previous century. His father, Favod the Elder,
was a sculptor of middling talent who kept the family well off with
statuary for the Eskla nobles of the city. In an attempt to woo the
heart of a crushed dame, Favod the Younger first attempted the arts by
creating a deathmask of the girl's fallen brother. The magnificent
construction won him the favour of the girl and her whole family, and
soon Favod the Younger was the famous artist of the city. Due to the
nature of his work, wealthy families would transport him in advance of
the demise of fading relatives and keep him in Opulent surroundings.
Pieces of his work exists in mansions and museums all along the
Minkush River Valley, and his success enable Favod to purchase an
immense structure overlooking the falls in Imphomonee. For a few
years, it became fashionable to hold masked balls where the courtiers
would were faux-deathmasks of themselves.

It is said that in his later days, Favod took on an apprentice, who
created a deathmask of Favod himself. The mask has never been seen
outside Favod's family, and no other works of the unnamed apprentice
have come to light.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Viljimil and His Hierarchy

Viljimil (Clan of the Mottled Bull) is known throughout magical lodges
as circumspect and devoted scholar who created the most detailed
account (Viljimil's Hierarchy) of known spirits and tales of
daemonology. But as a budding sorcerer, he was quickly found to be
lacking the willpower to command certain orders of Chlendi spirits and
instead devoted himself to more scholarly pursuits. He spent the
majority of his adult life travelling throughout the Rhiat, taking
notes and collect true names from other dweomercrafters, whether they
were Heteri shamans, Mindat theurges, or the local herbalist from a
pocket community of Chlendi.

Viljimil was well into middle age when he finally returned to Asklor
to compose the text itself. He enlisted a team of nog servants to
attend to his needs, organize texts and keep him supplied. As a
result, scholar today argue whether the taxonomical decisions on
Heteri beast forms were Viljimil's actual intent, or is pages were
taken by his chef to wrap provisions. Viljimil himself is said to
have lost his grasp on reality towards the end, haphazardly calling
down spirits for clarification, company, and energy to keep writing.
Given his lack of skill at abjuration itself, few were surprised when
his emaciated husk was found sprawled out over the completed text,
quill still in hand, but missing both eyes.

Copies of The Hierarchy are rare, but can be found amongst one or two
lodges in most major cities. The tome itself is massive, contained
folklore, charts, and drawings in additional the encyclopedia and
taxonomy of spirits itself. Though not known if simple ethnocentrism
or respect for the author is at cause, but Viljimil's Hierarchy can
only be found written in Chlendi.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Undying Mantis Myrmidons

Despite the threats of further border skirmished, Mindat
philosopher-scientists continue to make surreptitious expeditions to
the isles west of the Shn continent. They believe the mantis-folk
living the fetid hills there bear some relationship to the remnants of
experiments they have found in subterranean caverns left by the snail
people. The mantis-folk there have a warrior caste whose internal
organs are replace with an alchemical paste. The organs are in term
placed in oil covered pots which are secreted away in similar caves.
This procedure is believed to slow the aging process and make one
resilient to bleeding out from wounds in combat.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Bit of Fiction

Four more years and I'll be out of slavery. I look out at the black
obelisks lining the palace wall and that blasted massive statue the
Mindat left in the harbour, and I wonder if the "New Days of the
Heteri Kings" are any better than the old regime. At least I don't
have to listen to any crazy-hatted mystics bleating on about with
lectures from the White Book. Once a month, my debtmaster lets me
head into Dunzeldaryn - in exchange for attending the orgies at his
temple, he's knocking a month off my term. Not a bad trade, I wager -
The incense doesn't burn my eyes as much, but I doubt the scars on my
chest will ever fade away.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Vumach Sign

The Vumach sign is said to have been taught to Heteri shamans by the
four-armed frog people that lived in the mountain passes southeast of
Sofegai. The arrangement of one's fingers on a human hand requires
much more practice and flexibility. The proper display of the Vumach
Sign will make spirits and creatures of other spheres pause, allowing
time to prepare an incantation of defense (or allow those of wisdom to
flee the scene).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Clan of the Sunset Moss

The Clan of the Sunset Moss, or Qod Etherhi, are only of founding
clans of the Chlendi settlements of the Rhiat. They are historically
notable for took the Chlendi crown in one of the few interruptions of
the Black Lily dynasty. After an occurrence of the Chlendi Black Pox
on the mainland, Iminir of the Black Lily Crown offered himself in
sacrifice to Paeglaphiis, Chlendi spirit of disease. Lacking a an heir
Iminir's cousin, Shokinnan of the Sunset Moss, took the crown and seat
upon the Crooked Throne. Shokinnan and his clan held title for almost
150 years before an arranged marriage restored the Black Lily to their
rightful spot in 1687.

Shokinnan was the founder Pugshlow, and the clan remains the rulers of
the region. The town's original border can be seen in a ring of swamp
graves 3 miles out. During the border skirmished with the Maetah, the
Etherhi claim pacts with a Chlendi War Spirit,
Itil-called-the-Vengeful. They claim the blessing of this spirit
allowed acid to pour from the heavens, destroying Maetah crops and
driving back their troops.

Shokinnan's ancestors still hold the manorhouse on Eel Row in Pugshlow
and remain remain suspicious of the Lelleivantli Lodge's incursions
and their alliance with the Infaux.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Guad Idols

In 2031, just a few years after the Dispersion of the Vaporous Host, a
humble artisan in Vedeldermoush presented the Mindat Emperor Guad with
a carved set of small wooden idols in likeness of the Imperial family.
So struck by their beauty and the carver's story of the time and care
that went into their making, he honoured the man with title and a
place among the court. Scant months later, the Emperor Guad, his
family, the artisan and most of the court will slaughtered in a coup,
and the palace sacked.

The idols were presumed lost or destroyed until one, that of the Guad
infant son, appeared in a trove hauled from a shipwreck off the coast
of Givos. It was passed on to the Preceptor of the Rais-Worm Lodge in
Bolog, who purchased it from a gambler unaware of its significance.
Study showed that the wood used in the idol was taken from a Sh'n soul
tree, probably taken during the artisan's work as a shipwright during
Mindat invasion of the Sh'n homeland. The carving depicts the infant
lying on his side, huddled around a lit lantern.

The Preceptor claims he has not aged a day since taking possession of
the idol, and his hair and nails remain the same length, even restored
each morning after a cutting. Curious about effects of the other
idols, member of his Lodge will pay dearly for any information of
their whereabouts.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chlendi Laxotli Oracles

The Chlendi people first ventured south to the swampy shores of the
Rhiat 500 years ago. Despite condemnations of their elders, members of
the Clan of the Black Lily listened to the prophecies of an oracle -
one blinded to the sight of spirits but open to the sight of the
future. They narrowly escaped the pox that would ravage their

Ever since, the Chlendi have kept a keen eye for the sign of oracles.
Female descendants of the original oracle, Laxotli, are kept in
isolation, bred according to complex lineage charts in hopes they will
bear the next bringer of truth. It is said the oracles speak with
spirits will still and the womb and learn the arts of prescience, thus
not needing the arts of Chlendi sorcery. Those born with six fingers
are said to the mark of augury, and are denied their mother's milk.
By stunting the physical growth, the oracle shall focus his vision.

When the amberite mines of Asklor went dead, the Laxotli knew. When
the city-now-called-Minkaraph fell to the Mindat, the few Laxotli
resident had fled weeks before. Now they flock to the towns of
Pugshlow and Imphomonee, looking for those born with extra teeth.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shaman-Monks of Pasdani

A particularly slow moving river branch flows down from the mountains
north of Pugshlow, and merges into the Minkush River at the town of
Pasdani. If one walks upstream for a mile, you can see the river
suddenly change from a virulent green to the normal muddy brown of the
Minkush waters. Various scholars attribute the green colour to the
swamp vegetation or mountain ores from the river's source, but few are
satisfied with an explanation of why the colour disappears so
suddenly. At that spot, the earth is dead and salted - no plants
grow, and no animal approach the waters to drink.

A sect of monks, learned in the Chlendi traditions of sorcery and
shamanism, have devoted their existence to prayers and chants at this
spot, all to placate the Nuxad, a flock of river spirits known
throughout the northwest. Unlike most areas, here the Nuxad are not
peaceful and wise. For centuries that have lashed out at passing
travelers, boats, and the more innocent of deer, dragging them all to
a watery death in retribution for long forgotten wrongs done years
ago. The source of the anger is unknown, but the Shaman-Monks of
Pasdani have found the proper rites to keep the Nuxad at peace.
Please drop a coin in their offering pot when you pass by.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Codifying Magic Use in Uod

* Alchemy - achieving ultimate wisdom as well as immortality,
involving the improvement of the alchemist as well as the making or
conversion substances possessing omnessance qualities.

* Astrology - while including divinatory practices, it is also the
method of achieving change through attunement and manipulation of
astral/etheric forces. Astrology as a form of
divination is a perception of changes (often made by other
astrologers) in these forces.

* Conjuration - the magical art of evoking or calling forth spirits,
demons, or other supernatural agent to bring spiritual inspiration, do
the bidding of the magician or provide information.

* Consecration - the enchantment, dedication, or attunement of
physical objects or places.

* Herbalism - traditional medicinal practice based on the use of
plant, plant extracts, and other organic substances, and their use as
sources of omnessance. Also includes the use of tonics, humours, and
organ theory.

* Mysticism - this style is concerned with the flow of omnessence
through the natural world and attunement with it, and focusing the
mind and body in harmony with these patterns.

* Necromancy - a style encompassing elements of evocation and
divination, necromancy focuses on knowledge and conversation with the
spirits of the dead, effect garnered through ancestor worship, and
both the material and immaterial calling forth of the dead.

* Sorcery - General magickal study primarily through incantations or
dweomers. Comprised of five theoretical divisions, or Precepts: Bliss
(Atâm Ushre), Essence (Melani Ushre),
Knowledge (Sheira Ushre), Milieu (Osh Ushre), and Fury (Tzhakos Ushre).

* Shamanism - communication with, and the evocation and invocation of
the spirit world.

* Theurgy - Hermetic form of magick guided by meditation, self
discipline, and the invocation of the empyreal essense of one's self.
At the highest form, the Theurgist maintains contact with a physical
manifestation of the eidolon and moves toward henosis.

* Witchcraft - may be deprecated. To be detailed later, but often
involves dedication to the malign or uncontrolled forces of nature for
personal gain.

These styles are not explicit taxonomic categories; shamanism involves
some conjuration, sorcery involves some consecration, etc. Magical
forms, i.e. divination, evocation, apotropasim, warding, can be found
in most of the styles to some degree.

Culturally, use these of styles falls along these lines:

Maetah: Sorcery, Consecration
Chlendi: Astrology, Conjuration, Shamanism
Mindat: Alchemy, Necromancy, Theurgy, Mysticism
Heteri: Herbalism, Witchcraft, Shamanism

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fetish Pacts

"Spirit Magic in Heroquest works by finding appropriate spirits and
then, through a contest, bind them in a fetish of sorts, some obects
that fit the intended purpose and the nature of the spirits. Some of
those fetishes are one-time-only deals: Crush the fetish and the
spirit comes out doing a deal for you, after which it's free to go on
its way. Some are more permanent, giving the character an active
magical ability that he can use over and over again."

This is akin to some of the talisman and fetish ideas I stole from
Shadowrun for the Chlendi. The same idea, but Shadowrun used it to
give your character some setting flavour, but the effect was purely a
mechanical bonus. Consider this stolen.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Tall Prince

The Tall Prince is a Chlendi Spirit of Vengeance, with teeth of ivory and eyes of gold.  He is said to be the prince of a forgotten Chlendi clan, whose father poisoned him in the night so as to steal the prince's new bride.  To summon him, seek out the poisonous dewbite mushrooms in the deepest swamplands.  Prepare a broth of their stems and drink it at dusk.  When two moons appear as three, place a copper coin in your mouth, count to ten, and swallow it.  If your cause if just, you will awake when your vengeance is done.  The only cost is your little finger.

During the 3rd Century, it became fashionable in some southern cities to remove the little finger from one's offhand to give an aura of machismo.  Youths and ne'er-do-wells would graffiti a four-fingered hand on the doors and buildings as a sign of intimidation.