Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fianyarr Spirits

So I've been building the Fianyarr fantasy world out of various mechanics from the World of Darkness and, naturally, I've needed to populate a bestiary.  The Hisil is a dangerous place and as it overlaps and functions concurrently with our world its important to have a few potential spirits in mind.  As most of the spirits listed in the Book of Spirits and Werewolf books can largely be reused I thought I'd talk a bit about how to get the most bang for your buck from spirits as well as providing three rather interesting spirits that have sprung from myth and which are likely to be found on our side of the gauntlet.

Using Spirits from the Books

Naturally one of the difficulties you'll have with utilising spirits found in the various supplements is that those spirits often have a modern flavor.  In truth you should be use any of the Natural spirits like spirits of dogs or cats but Artificials and Conceptuals can require a bit of thinking.  The trick is that you can often do a bit of a reskin to make a spirit that doesn't work become a spirit that does.  Car spirits can become carriage spirits.  Electrical spirits could be conjured from alchemist's laboratories or a lightning rod.  Data spirits could be linked to data crystals (hold them in your hands to download information).  Oftentimes having to sit back and justify its abilities and its background when adapting an old spirit can cause you to come up with more unique options than simply creating a new one.

Developing Your Own

You can, of course, always develop your own spirits.  Just be sure to find a way to make the ban meaningful as monsters having an achilles heel is a pretty big fantasy trope. So don't give them a ban regarding having to avoid the colour red unless that could be used as a meaningful exploit by the players during the session.  This goes a bit against the grain for those used to using spirits as the spirits' ban is only based on what makes sense to the spirit rather than what might be sensibly used and therefore they are seldom useful. As for finding the inspiration and initial concepts, well, simply dive into myth or your favourite fantasy videogames to get some ideas brewing. You can create a spirit around any concept. After all, that was kinda the idea behind White Wolf's creation of them.

Spirit of Unjust Cruelty

A hellhound is a translucent figure with glowing green fur, glowing eyes, great strength and speed, a sulphurous odor and the ability to talk.  These spirits are raised by the concepts of unfair death, hypocrisy and cruelty and thus they tend to be raised by communities who have a lot of cruel secrets where decent people suffer for the crimes of the cruel.  They are exceptionally likely to be formed in an area where a person is killed for a crime they didn't commit.

Bans (any two): It must answer five questions to any who have anointed themselves with sulphur.  It must attack any oath breakers it finds and attempt to drag them back into the Hisil.  It must strive to kill any who have seen a hellhounds' eyes thrice (even if they were different hellhounds).

Rank 2.  Influence: Fire ** and Dogs ** 

Power 4, Finesse 3, Resistance 2, Size 4, Initiative 4, Defence 4, Health 6.  Essence 15.

Numina: Terrifying Howl, Blast (fire), Abduct, Materialise, Two Numina for an extra Bane, Extra Influence.

Spirit of Vengeance
Sisters to the Valkyries and on good terms with them still, the Furies help the defenceless protect themselves but do so in a violent and controlling manner.  When a person is possessed by a Fury it is to get vengeance against some terrible wrong and the vengeance will be bloody indeed.  Even when a Fury chooses not to possess a person and fetters to them instead that person will be driven by a desire to gain revenge on others for it is that burning need to avenge oneself that feeds them essence.  The Fury's spirit form appears as a tall woman with clawed fingers spattered in blood.  They are demonics and will sometimes bless a particularly vengeful couple with a tiefling.  Pregnant women who are ridden long enough to give birth will also bear a tiefling child.  Naturally such tieflings are more predisposed to the vice of wrath with a focus on vengeance.

Bans (any two): A Fury must possess anyone who approaches them with vengeance in their heart and a plea on their lips. A Fury can't release its victim from possession until either the vengeance has been fulfilled or the target is dead. The Fury must respond to be the screams of a woman harmed by a man.
Rank 3.  Influence: Vengeance *** 

Power 6, Finesse 3, Resistance 6, Size 5, Initiative 9, Defence 6, Health 12.  Essence 15.

Numina: Materialise, Possession, Fetter, Speak Mortal Tongues (can speak any language and not just the spirit tongue), Emotional Aura, Harrow.

Spirit of Honorable Battle
These battle spirits temporarily possess warriors and grant them a measure of their power and strength.  They can also be beseeched by powerful warriors to provide them an entrance to the underworld.  They appear to be highly attractive humanoid warriors of whichever race or culture they favor at the time.  They will only favor those races that favor them with legend, song, and deeds done in their name.  Their presence in an area often marks a society's calendars with festivities and their cities with shrines to their name to which the Valkyrie spirits sometimes fetter on special days.  They don't attach to armies who have conscripts or slaves in their midst nor ones that commit rape.  It's said that in the latter case they may well inform their sisters, the Furies.  They shun squads who kill civilians though they don't depart the army.  Valkyries attached to enemy armies do not hate each other nor do they disrespect the opposing side's soldiers.  There is glory in war and both sides must be willing or else there is no sport in it.

Bans (any two): The Valkyrie never possess an individual who hasn't requested it. The Valkyrie must relinquish control over the host once the battle is over. The Valkyrie will only attack an armed enemy. The Valkyrie must exempt one person from death whom the host least wishes dead.

Rank 3.  Influence Bravery ***.

Power 5, Finesse 5, Resistance 5, Size 5, Initiative: 10, Defence: 5, Health 10, Essence 20. 

Numina: Possession, Materialise, Gauntlet Breach, Fetter, Terrifying Howl, Empower Vessel (spend essence on a one for one basis to boost one or more of the host's physical statistics for a single turn - maximum physical attribute of 10).

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