The men who are Druids alone are men of great magickal talent, wizards by any other name but of a simpler world, an elemental world. They are up-lifted by their exploration of secret and sublime things. They are unfettered by social demands in their search for the secrets of the natural world. These are the Druids proper as they are commonly perceived by the players of TFRPG’s for the purposes of Realms of Myth.
Highly respected, they are very influential socially as well as in magick. In Celtic society they are the teachers (effectively equal to Magisters) and quite often Physicians as well, but consulted for answers about everything from crop failures to disputes over property (questions of law being referred to the Brehons and those concerning social precedence to the Filid first and the Bards if no Fili can be found, however). Their knowledge and expertise encompasses a vast body of knowledge about natural philosophy and the natural world, the movements and habits of animals, properties and locations of useful plants, and the movement and influences of the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars. In addition to being the repositories of such mundane lore they hold deep knowledge of Spirit and magick, responsible for all ritual and for all contact and relations with the gods. In their religious concerns they are similar to Magi, but lacking the Mystics’ direct patronage and connection to the Outer Spheres of Deity. The gods are only accessible in Celtic society through the Druids in general, except for the divine father god of the tuath (tribe) who can be contacted by any member of his tuath, his own people.
These are the pure scholars of the Druid community. They are part and parcel of the druidecht, striving to embody the ideals of the Celtic Virtues and society. While they represent the faith and where the knowledge it imparts can lead, they do not proselytize, however. They may field a few questions, but when they meet a soul hungry for knowledge of the world through the Celtic ways, they are just as likely to direct them to a nemeton or sacred well being kept by the Fathi for what they seek, unless they have a readily discernable talent for the Path that needs developing.
The Druids are known for holding long discussions between themselves and with foreign scholars, too, about the heavenly bodies and their movements, the size of the universe and of the earth, the physical constitution of the world, and the power and properties of the gods, instructing the apprentices in all these subjects, or gladly debating them with the philosophers of other cultures.
The player should check with the GM to see how he is representing the knowledge of Astronomy/Astrology in his game, how it is to be implemented in play if he wishes to take advantage of this fact.
Discussed briefly previously, the GM needs to make a decision regarding the presentation and use of an Astrology/Astronomy trade or skill, as it figures prominently in the optional rules for the use of magick.
If it is to be included formally, it should also be added to the skills available to those who have taken a degree at university (Magister trade, at least).
If the GM has allowed you to equip your character with more than one trade during character generation, Druid characters have the opportunity and are strongly encouraged during their trade training to strengthen their ties to Nature through the Allied trade of Husbandman, and/or to explore the hidden power of Nature and its world through the Allied trade of Alchemy and/or to nurture Life through the arts of the Allied trade of Leech, Midwife, Herbal, Barber, Surgeon or Physicker.
If you have been granted a sufficient allowance in trades, Allying with the Husbandman trade allows the Druid to also practice his Allied healer (Leech, Herbal, Midwife, Barber, Surgeon, Physicker) trade upon the animals he is trained to take care of, but its SL when doing so is limited to no greater than his SL as a Husbandman.
|Ars Quintates *|
|Charms *◊ 1)|
|High Magick *|
|Common Magick *|
|Low Magick *|
|Spirit Senses *◊|
|High Druids’ Cant|
|Lore Specialties (P)|
|The Physical & Metaphysical Worlds|
|History & Mythology|
|(ancient & recent)|
|(domestic & international)|
|(Church & State)|
|Plays & Poetry|
|The Gods, Religion & Theology|
|(domestic & foreign)|
|(ancient & recent)|
|Mathematics & Geometry|
|Astrology & Astronomy|
|Other Areas of Expertise †|
What other trade(s) you take on for your Druid character to facilitate his druidecht is up to you, if any at all (according to the allowance the GM has made). It is by no means required that you do so.
The True Druids differ from Wizards in that they practice only Divination, Glamourie and Naming from among the Ars Quintates.
The heart of the Druid trade and the true measure of how effective he is likely to be is determined by the charms in his portfolio, however.
What dweomers can he craft?
What can he do with his Arts?
During character generation, you must answer these questions for yourself by choosing the charms or “dweomer-crafting” skills with which your character begins play.
All True Druid characters may be equipped with up to (MGA) charms with which to be brought into play.
These are chosen from the following roster.
Anchor of Earth
Armorskin (Tree–, Dragon–, Stone–, – Adamant)
Beast of Burden (Hearty Hero; Feeble Waif)
Bonds of Concordance
Burden Charm (Carefree Burden; Wearisome Burden)
Cache, Dweomer–, Power–
Candle in the Window
Charm of Common Shaping
Charm of Direction
Charm of Finding
Cloud of Obfuscation, Veil of –
Common Caloric Charm
Commune wi’ Animals (– Elemental Spirits; – Plants)
Draw Harm, Deflect Harm
Far Flight; Earthbound
Far Speak; Eavesdropper’s Charm
Fat The Boar; Wasting Hex
Gas Bag, Bloat
Glimmerfoot, Untraceable Path
Hedge of Lances
The Milk of Mother Nature
Nature’s Saving Graces
Slick Charm; Stick Charm
Stinging Nettle Charm
Summon Spirit Hound (– Screaming Skull)
Swift Rest; Cat’s Breath
Veil of Lightning
Walksafe, Undermine Structure
It is very important that the player make a note of which of the Ars Quintates may be used to cast each of these charms, as he may not always want to use the same Art to cast it.
Due to the fact that each charm in the game may be cast by a number of different Arts, the character develops a separate SL for each of the Arts as well as for the individual charms. The SL of the Art used being used as a bonus to the AV for the charm with which it is used. The difficulty to cast a charm, or DV, is determined in part by the Art used for the casting, some are more difficult than others.
Disturbances in the Ambience:
As mentioned in the Introduction, mana is the spirit and power of magick. As a general force, it is seen by the trained practitioner to permeate and overlay every corner of the Mortal World, constituting a vast continuous energy field known as the “Ambience”, as discussed in the Primer. While the Ætherium is always in motion, both the drawing and release of the power (mana) used in crafting charms or “dweomer-crafting,” creates a disturbance that passes through it, regardless of the trade of the practitioner. This is best described as a ripple-like wave that radiates outward in all directions through the Ambience. These disturbances or waves in the Æther are created in part by tapping the Veil between the Spirit and the mortal world. This sensation encompasses a see-feel-smell-hear-taste experience that defies any meaningful description to those outside the trade.
A Druid can automatically feel the gathering of mana and the process of crafting it into a dweomer if it takes place within [(SPT) + (TR)] feet of them.
Beyond this, a successful SPT check on d100 is needed to allow him to “feel” it.
The AV to Sense Magick is equal to [(SPT att. mod.) + (AWA att. mod.) + (TR)].
The DV for these checks is equal to the number of feet by which the casting is taking place beyond the practitioner’s prescribed range,
MINUS the number of points by which the POT of the casting is greater than the practitioner’s MGA
PLUS the number of points by which the POT of the casting is less than the practitioner’s MGA.
When a magick is finally loosed or cast (whether successfully or not), it crashes back into the Ambience like a stone suddenly dropped into a still pool, causing a wave radiating outward in a sphere from the caster. This is a MUCH stronger wave than the little ripple caused by the process of crafting the magick.
This wave can be immediately and automatically “felt” if it occurs within [(SPT) + (TR)] yards, regardless of POT.
For this check, the AV is [(SPT att. mod.) + (TR)], again.
The DV for the SPT check is 1 if the practitioner Sensing Magick is located within (POT) furlongs.
IF the POT of the wave when it reaches the practitioner is greater than his CHM or HRT (whichever is greater), the roll should be foregone and the character simply informed. It is deemed strong enough to get the character’s attention immediately and automatically.
IF the POT is less than a practitioner’s CHM or HRT (whichever is less) when the wave reaches him, the DV for the SPT check rises by the difference, per point, again in a Progressive manner.
After the first (POT) furlongs the wave travels from the practitioner who loosed the magick that made it, the effective POT drops by 1 point in strength every furlong of distance, until it dies out at zero (0).
This raises the DV to sense the wave when it finally reaches the practitioner, by one per furlong per furlong traveled, again in a Progressive manner, MINUS the effective POT of the wave.
Beyond this distance, EVERY magick cast causes a ripple in the Ambience that travels outward in a sphere from the site of the casting (POT x 2) furlongs, allowing the practitioner to “feel” the wave washing over him upon making a successful SPT check on d100.
Not only is a PC able to sense the ripples caused by others’ magicks, his player must understand the fact that every magick his PC casts creates the same disturbance to alert others of the trade who may be in the vicinity.
The lesser, day-to-day activity in the Ambience, those disturbances of (CHM or HRT, whichever is less) in POT or less, are normally screened from every practitioner’s consciousness in accordance with his trade training to protect his sanity, so he can maintain some sense of continuous mortal existence separate from Spirit and his magick, allowing him to interact normally with the mortal world.
Those disturbances he “feels” or senses, whether automatically or as a result of a Sense Magick check, as above, are sufficient for him to note the general direction whence it came. This can provide a link by which any direction-finding charm may be cast to zero in on the point of origin of the disturbance.
The wave of disturbance from the casting of a magick can be used by the clever practitioner to cover the loosing of subsequent magicks, provided he stays within (MGA) yards of the original casting site and is careful to keep their POT smaller than the original magick whose shadow he is trying to use.
This raises the DV for sensing the disturbance by one per point by which the following magick’s POT is less than the one it follows, per point, in a Progressive manner.
This “shadow” of disturbance following in the wake of the wave, equal to the POT of the first magick cast, fades at a rate of 1 effective point of POT per minute.
In practice, the player should be aware of the order in which he casts his magicks if he is concerned over the possibility of disturbing other folk of power, casting rituals before spells before cantrips, and greatest POT to lowest, to use the shadow of the ripple caused by the greater magick to cover those of the lesser magicks cast in its wake.
One never knows whose elbow one may unintentionally jog.
Taking advantage of this phenomenon can be a very useful tactic when one is matched on the battlefield against another practitioner, a means of catching them off guard, of denying them any notice of more magicks to come following the first.
The players and GM alike must be aware that any other practitioner of magick in the same town or its immediate hinterlands (surrounding supporting farmlands) may well note the use of any magicks cast with POT greater than c. 10-15, especially if any of them live in a location that gives them an overview of the town. Any in the closer surrounding villages might take note, as well. Caution is prudent. Careless flinging of magick, especially at high POT, can attract unwanted attention. Rival practitioners may be curious or even irritated if they are in the least bit protective of their territorial rights to monopolize the trade in magick where a character has ventured to practice his craft. Ignorance of the presence of a local rival or guild monopoly is no excuse, in the same manner as ignorance of the law.
This is simply an occupational hazard.
Rivalries keep the already small numbers of those who practice the magickal arts even smaller, and tend to insure that those of lesser power keep a low profile until they are well and truly prepared and sure of their defenses, should such a conflict of interests arise.
There may be certain places in the GM’s world where those of power gather to practice their art by tacit approval, an unspoken bond that may be as strong as any guild charter. These places gain a general on-going disturbance due to regular magickal activity that swiftly becomes evident to those who wield the Arts approaching within range to sense it. The level of activity is rated in POT in the same manner as the prevailing Ambience and added to the DV for sensing any specific magickal disturbance (as described above) that is of lesser POT than that of the æthereal “background noise”. This “white noise” of magickal activity makes sensing other magickal activity so difficult that the SPT checks described previously are required even within the normal ranges at which the Sense Magick ability is commonly automatic and immediate. The DV’s for these checks are increased by the amount by which the POT of the magick in question is less than the POT of the ætherial “background noise” using the same procedure applied when the POT of a magick to be Sensed is less than the practitioner’s CHM/HRT (as above).
Sometimes there is no better place for a character of lesser power to hide his craft than out in the open, under the cover of the disturbances created by his greater colleagues routinely exercising their own craft.
In addition, the level of the Ambience itself may actually work to betray disturbances, high-lighting them. To keep things on an even footing, the POT of the Ambience, of the mana readily available flowing through a given location, is always rated in POT relative to the Common Sphere. The greater the POT of the Ambience, the more magickal energy that is present for the wave of a disturbance to displace. In short, it amplifies the effect of the disturbance, making it more noticeable.
The POT of the Ambience is subtracted from the DV for any Sense Magick check to feel a disturbance.
Magick that is already in existence lies quietly, as a part of the natural world, doing as it was bidden when created. It is much more difficult to sense. The Wizard has the option of casting a bit of Divination to “Reveal” the presence of magicks, should the player have equipped him with that lore, OR ply his skill with a set of dowsing rods or crystal or other pendulum for the same purpose, using it as a guide if he has this Spirit Skill, OR the Wizard may slowly walk about with his hand held out before him to try to “feel” it’s presence by “Seeking” it by Divination.
On the other hand, once a Wizard touches an object which carries an enchantment, or creature or being laboring under an ensorcelment, or steps into an area which bears a dweomer, he feels and knows it and the GM must tell the player (preferably slip him a private note), without the need for a d100 check of any kind. Of course, where Banes and Wardings are concerned, his coming into contact could be rather hazardous to his health and perhaps that of any compatriots accompanying him.
During his trade training, all aspiring Druids use their magickal talents to cultivate a meditationally keyed, tiered eidetic memory for the sole purpose of retaining their vast store of magickal lore.
The character’s special trade memory enables him to retain up to [(MGA) + (TR) ÷ 4] charms or specific skills of arcane knowledge in a single AWA-slot, rather than the same amount of space in the character’s memory that such knowledge would occupy if learned by more mundane methods (1 skill per AWA-slot).
This works in a similar manner as other groups of related skills, like languages for a Linguist character, Social Graces, Lore specialties, or weapon skills. Otherwise each skill would fill a whole AWA-slot on its own
In order to maintain the knowledge in his special trade memory, the various nuances of magickal lore in the character’s special trade memory must be refreshed periodically. In order to maintain this knowledge intact, the Druid must meditate, review the entire contents of his trade memory, and practice chanting all of the secret rhyming triads of his craft from time to time, for a period of time dependent upon the number of charms he knows and his SL’s with them and the constituent Arts and Forms of his trade.
The Druid must spend [(number of charms) + (TR)] MINUS [(AWA) + (MGA att. mod.)] in days meditating on and reviewing his Common Sphere charms, minimum one (1). Once completed, he need not meditate and practice his trade lore again for [(MGA) + (TR)] days.
For example, the TR16 Druid Rune has 18 charms, for a base study time of 34 days, and an AWA15 and MGA 16 (att. mod. +3), so he must spend 16 days in meditation, chanting in review, and practicing (18 charms + TR16 = 34; 34 – 18 = 16 days).
For every (MGA ÷ 4) days that the character does not review the magickal skills in his trade memory with one of his reference tomes, his casting AV’s drop by one (1).
For those Druids that keep a written tradition, this penalty can be momentarily avoided by casting directly from the pages of his book, open to the dweomer and Art he is working. It also places the practitioner at risk, revealing the nature of his ability and giving his foe(s) a valuable object to focus on in hopes of thwarting his efforts – one that is HIGHLY valued in the open market, whether it ends up having to be sold on the black market or not.
- IF the PC does not wish to sequester themselves away to plow through the time required (during which time no other activities might be undertaken), the time may be divvied up in the same manner as a craft project, stretched out over up to (AWA ÷ 4) times the required length so long as at least one (1) daily activity slot (by AWA) is devoted to it every day without exception until it is completed.
For example, Arnaud could spend his last daily activity slot (between supper and bedtime) working at his craft for 64 days (16 days discharged @ 1/4th a day per day elapsed is the same as 16 x 4 = 64 days) and incur no penalties as he goes.
- IF the Druid lapses in observing this practice and the time for which the character is free of the burden of study has expired, penalties begin to accumulate immediately for weaving charms of any kind, by any Art or Form until he resumes fulfilling that requirement. When he resumes, the penalty does not go away until the requirement is met, BUT it does not get any worse, either.
- Once this requirement is met, the Druid need not meditate and practice his trade lore again for [(MGA) + (TR)] days.
For example, once Arnaud has completed his 16 days, he is free for the next 32 days (MGA16 + TR16 = 32).
- IF the player decides to have his character study and practice during his freedom from it, when he doesn’t have to, each full day spent is subtracted from his requirement when he is again required to study. The character’s AWA activity-slots may be used to gradually accumulate day’s-worth of chanting and review/practice, as explained above, BUT only FULL days completed towards this requirement are counted once the time arrives to fulfill the requirement again.
For example, Arnaud’s 15 AWA gives him 4 activity slots per day. If he takes the last of those 4 activity slots to study each evening before bed (as above), to meditate, chant, practice and review for the 32 days while it is not required, he can discharge exactly 8 of those days, cutting the number remaining down to 8 (32 ÷ 4 = 8), down by half. He can continue doing this until his circumstances change due to changes in SL’s and TR.
Even only studying a half day (2 AWA-slots), allowing half the day (2 AWA-slots) for domestic things, adventuring or what-have-you, Arnaud could then discharge refreshing his trade memory in 16 days. Afterwards, he has 32 days of light attention to his Arts.
But the cycle can be varied according the character’s requirement, the number of AWA-slots the character has and the player’s preference, as desired.
The High Druids’ Cant
The great store of knowledge of things magickal and the specific charms for the dweomers of all Witches, heirs of the Druid trades in the faith of the Olde Ways, of “The Green Lords”, are handed down by the same traditions, orally. Their lore is memorized by rote in typical Celtic rhyming triads using their ancient High Cant.
For all intents and purposes of the game, all magicks in RoM are generally considered to be “formulaic.” That is to say, magick is performed through the use of gestures and some form of chants or incantations handed down from master to student over many centuries, or even millennia in some cases. These have been pre-established by the research of those who have gone before, determined to produce a similar, established effect according to the method used (Divination, Enchantment, Glamourie, Naming, or Sorcery) when performed correctly (depending directly on the caster’s talent and training). This applies primarily to Low and Common magick, (spells and rituals, respectively). Cantrips require no such physical support to cast, having been discovered at a much later date than the Low and Common forms. Cantrips are High Magick because they are the latest and greatest of the powers of magick to be discovered, most effortless in appearance, but most difficult of the three to perform.
The Druids’ training in the lore of the magickal Arts and that of the Witches their heirs has caused them to develop a system for preserving the very roots of language from deep in the past, to the first languages of the first ancient civilizations, for it is in these languages that the Words of Power are hidden that help maintain and control the energy that they draw for their spell and ritual magicks. Language is Power. The Word IS the thing.
The Druids’ Cant is based on the languages of the northern lands, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Scotland and the northern isles, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, largely Celtic and Germanic in derivation, where the magickal traditions of the Druids are rooted. The tongues of their ancient forebears, from all the regions those ancestors roamed, have been preserved and forged into one language, that of the Druids’ teachings, and of the Witches who are their heirs, the language in which the Druids call on the gods and the Druids the spirits of Nature, the language in which they converse among their own kind and weave their magicks.
Indeed, all of the magicks worked by those who follow the trades of magick are spoken/chanted in that trade’s secret tongue. Due to the sheer power that it invokes when spoken aloud during spell and ritual casting, all listeners are smitten with overwhelming images and emotions which actually blot out the words themselves. The words themselves are always completely burned out of the memories of any who overhear. The gestures that are required in spell casting and the actions and movements required in rituals always vary a bit from one Druid to the next, as well, so each Druid must discover the variation that works best for him. No two ever practice their Art exactly alike, even when using the same form (spell or ritual) of the same Art (Divination, Enchantment, etc.) for the same specific charm. All these facts make magick extremely difficult to learn, even for those who have talent and a willing instructor, while providing an effectively impenetrable barrier that prevents nosy outsiders from “stealing” the secrets of any of the arts of magick through simple observation.
The character may communicate freely in his secret tongue with any other trade member, Druid, Baird, Filidh, Fiana, Smith, Witch or any other initiated into the mysteries of the Power of their trade, such as a Huntsman of great accomplishment, but never with any not already accepted and initiated into the magickal lore of their trade.
No Druid would ever teach this secret language to any not already initiated into the trade themselves, on pain of a lingering punishment, even death, from his brother practitioners, for doing so is to betray the secrets of the trade and craft of magick – and it is not rendered easily in written language in the first place. Indeed, the trade knowledge of the craft of the Druids is held too valuable to risk writing down by many, for fear of the horrors that would befall them should their enemies obtain such secrets, but those of the Witches that are literate have been known to put their quills to work recording those secrets for fear that they might be lost forever over time.
The traditions of this trade are primarily oral, but the player must decide for himself if he is a traditionalist or more “forward-thinking”, especially when it comes to the use of the rods of the poets created first by the Bards and Filid. Those of the Druid trades are aware that there is a quiet movement to render the lore passed down to the Witches in written form, but it has been so long that they have developed lore of their own, charms that the Druid trades themselves cannot generally emulate. Nonetheless, the very thought of doing so is viewed by many across the whole spectrum of Druid trades as a violation of the ancient trust passed down to them so long ago, a point of contention between the Druids and the heirs and successors of their knowledge and power.
Each of the Five Arts has its own special jargon or vocabulary to describe its special processes and address concerns confined to its practice. If a character is lacking one of those arts, he will also lack the language skills to discuss that art with his colleagues. This will, of course, stand out as a matter of note to his colleagues, if or when it should be discovered.
For those players that opt for their Druid characters to follow a written tradition, instead, the character must be equipped with the requisite Literatus and Scrivener skills.
To meet the needs of life’s eclectic challenges the Druid needs two tomes, both for Common Sphere magicks. The first one travels with him for taking notes on lore he discovers and insights achieved while on the road, almost a diary of his magickal pursuits, while the other acts as a formal repository for ALL his knowledge, polished with glosses and commentary assembled and written as transcribed from the first book. The greater a practitioner’s SL with a given magick, his skill and knowledge with the Ars Quintates and his skills in High, Common, and Low Magick, the more he knows of its inner workings and the more he has to say about it in his tome.
Each book weighs c. 7.25 lb’s and has 100 pages in it, enough for the descriptions of 35 charms at SL1, assuming Art and Form SL’s also of 1, but these books can easily be added to and expanded with the help of a competent bookbinder up to a limit of about 200 (14.5lb’s, more than a stone) OR an absolute maximum of 300 pages (21.75lb’s). It is doubtful that any such character is going to be toting the 200-page book around in their rucksack, and the 300-page book actually requires a case or chest or some such to haul it along on travels, most likely to be carried on pack horse or in a cart or wagon with other supplies and equipment.
- IF the character is beginning play with SL’s higher than 1, the contents and size of his books must be increased commensurately, additional pages added as play progresses and the character’s knowledge grows, according to the guidelines provided in the Grimoire.
Under the Mantle of Power
Those trained to arts of magick have an invisible stamp upon them, the residue of a will that transcends the natural order. This is unnerving to animals and requires an Encounter Reaction check on d100 every time a beast is first encountered. This sets the tone for all subsequent encounters, but it may mellow with the passage of (game) time (GM’s discretion). The sorts of mana the character has used can directly influence this, also. Some of the vibrations of mana available for use are easier in nature than others.
The natural Ambience that flows throughout the mortal world is completely neutral; it merely makes the natural reaction a little more intense, one way or the other.
- IF the magick-wielding character’s Virtues should outweigh his Vices, his [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR)] is added to make the Encounter Reaction more positive.
- IF his Vices outweigh his Virtues, his [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR) is subtracted to make it worse, stoking the animal’s fear and provoking its anger.
Under the Optional Rules, there are a number of sources throughout the Mortal World from which the practitioner can draw alternate types of mana. These and the manner of their release into the Ambience for the caster’s use are discussed in detail under the heading “Tools of the Arts”: “Alternate Sources of Mana”.
For those who use Nature Mana (any element, inc. Life, Sun and Moon, Day and Night), the Reaction check roll is always increased by [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR)].
For those who use Life and/or Carnal Mana, or whose strongest skill among the Five Arts is Sorcery or Glamourie, the Reaction roll is either:
- a) increased by [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR)] if the Reaction roll is positive,
- b) decreased by [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR)] if the Reaction roll is negative side.
This makes the reaction more extreme, whether for better or worse.
IF the result is neutral, it remains that way, and the creature instinctively resists any attempts to influence that status one way or the other, the same modifier reinforcing the DV to aid in preserving that status.
For those who use Death and/or Blood Mana, or whose strongest skill among the Five Arts is Naming (Conjuring, Summoning and Binding), the Reaction roll is always reduced by (CHM att. mod.) + (TR).
One of the character’s Vices is increased one (1) point every occasion on which these types of mana are used. These are the lowest vibration of power and their use can only corrupt the character’s spirit over time with prolonged use.
On the Character Record Sheet there is provided a place on the Magick Record where all the forms of mana the practitioner might use are listed. The player is responsible for recording the greatest amount of POT used in a single dweomer of each type as they are used in play. Some of them he may never find a use for.
At the greatest extremes, animals may try to either crowd around the practitioner or follow him hoping for some attention or attack him in a rage or seek to escape his presence at any cost, violently if they are restrained, regardless of their normal temperament.
The practitioner may try any Beastmastery he or a hireling may have to try and calm down those animals that react badly, as applicable. Animals may be acclimated and domesticated through the Beastmaster’s craft so as not to react this way to practitioners of magick. This can never overcome any reaction response to those tainted with Blood mana if the beast has already reached sexual maturity. That is a visceral predator-prey response that can only be overcome by raising a beast from birth in the presence of that vibration of mana so the response is never learned.
Casting magicks near any animal commonly triggers the fight-or-flight reaction towards the caster again in the same way, unless the beast(s) have been domesticated to exposure to magick with a degree of skill (SL) equal to or less than the POT of the magicks to which it is exposed. When exceeded, the amount by which the POT of a magick exceeds the Beastmaster’s SL (as applicable) is added to the original [(CHM att. mod.) + (TR)] modifier, making the reaction even more extreme, so the Druid must be careful about using magicks around beasts, particularly if he intends to use a magick, such as a “Soothing Touch” or simply “Thrall” to eliminate all such reactions, to overcome this very stumbling block to his power. Carrying an active dweomer in hand into the beast’s presence elicits the same response. The beast’s presence in this case is defined as anywhere within (beast’s AWA) feet of it, effective POT felt by the beast being reduced by 1 point per foot of distance between the practitioner carrying the dweomer and the beast. Substances that can shield or dampen the vibration of the dweomer may allow the practitioner to approach closer. Casting while in the saddle of a beast unused to such forces is likely to get the practitioner bucked and pitched off the beast’s back before the beast takes off or continues to jump and buck, trampling the intrepid character.
In the same manner, the practitioner or his henchman who is also skilled as a Beastmaster may acclimate beast(s) to tolerate the presence and workings of magick, or he may hire a one to reside with him to work with his animals until he has accomplished this for him.
Due to his repeated and intimate exposure to the power and patterns of the charms he weaves, the Druid also gradually builds up his spiritual defenses against those magicks directed against him that can also be resisted.
A Druid’s (base) M-RES score is innate and protects him from those magicks that may be resisted, even if he is consciously unaware of them. His subconscious grows and becomes trained to be on guard so that in effect he cannot be Surprised magickally, which in the case of any other target would reduce his M-RES to one (1).
When he is aware of a magick directed at him, the Druid receives a bonus of (TR) to his normal (base) M-RES score for resisting those magicks that allow it.
Under the Optional END rules, every Druid is trained over the course of schooling in the magickal Arts to develop and harbor within his own spirit a personal reservoir of mana that can be tapped for casting magick.
This personal reserve consists of [(MGA ÷ 4) + (TR)] points-worth of POT in mana, to be used at the player’s discretion.
This resource can be used to bolster a magick that needs to be strong in POT while taking no more time to cast than normal. The player should look on this reserve as being more for use in emergencies when things look dark because it takes time and effort to restore afterwards, a period of rest and meditation where the spirit is opened to the flows of mana and the reservoir slowly refilled.
The mana may only be collected or drawn into the reservoir at a rate of one (1) point per [40 – (HRT)] minutes, but the character must make a point to take the time to settle down in a calm, quiet atmosphere and meditative state, preferably alone, to accomplish this.
IF necessary, the Druid can use the points of POT in mana in the reservoir for physical activities as additional points to add to his END to be spent normally but, to do so, the personal reservoir must be completely emptied, whatever points of POT in mana remaining in it dumped wholly into the physical body, and the procedure for replenishing the reservoir afterwards remains the same.
Unlike physical energy, a practitioner of magick can actually become over-charged with POT in mana, over-filling the personal reservoir until it is brimming-over with spiritual energy. This is accompanied by something of a euphoric feeling, and loosens the bonds between soul/spirit and the body. In effect, the number of points of POT in mana above and beyond what the practitioner can normally contain in his special trade reservoir is counted as equal to points of POT in alcohol consumed, loosening inhibitions, impairing AGL, CRD, and AWA. The same rules are used to describe the effects in play. The character remains in this state until the excess in POT is used up, burned off.
Some magickal folk become addicted to this feeling, like any drug addict or alcoholic. Pursuing this sensation for its own sake rather than for a higher purpose or for accomplishing specific works of magick contributes to the Vice of Gluttony (+1 point in that score for every incident) and leads the character to a place where he requires a HRT check vs. Vice in order NOT to indulge himself in this way anytime he meditates to draw power.
The practitioners’ bonds with the power of Life and Nature he wields with his Arts also provide a gradual benefit over time.
This life-affirming aspect of the Druid’s Power also grants him a bonus of (TR) to his P-RES score.
This is limited ONLY to the purposes of resisting disease, healing wounds, and recovering from sickness, regardless of whether mundane or magickal in origins.
Steeped so long and so thoroughly in this life-affirming Power, the Druid’s own life-energies will be reinforced, to the point where they are augmented and preserved, slowing the aging process. The GM determines the degree to which the character’s lifespan is enhanced, according to the Sphere of Power of the mysteries into which the character has been introduced.
The Druid only ages one (1) year for every [(1 per 4 TR’s) + 1] years that pass, as long as he is initiated only into the Common Sphere mysteries, to a maximum of 1 year per (MGA ÷ 4) years.
On initiation into the Noble Sphere mysteries, this slows to one (1) year for every [(MGA) + (TR)] ÷ 4 years, to a maximum of 1 year per (MGA ÷ 2) years.
On reaching the Sovereign Sphere, the character only ages one (1) year for every [(MGA) + (TR)] ÷ 2 years, to a maximum of 1 year per [(MGA) + (TR)] years.
Of course, this makes little or no difference to those of the longer-lived races, especially those of elfin blood. For others it is a little bit of insurance against any charms that age the body unnaturally. In the face of such a charm that carries great POT, it at least provides some defense to blunt the effects.
Over the course of the initiation and subsequent trade training, all Druids become highly attuned to the spirits and Powers of nature, knowing intimately the animus of field, stream, beast and fowl, of all of Life. The magick practiced by the Druid trades harnesses the energy of Life shared by all living things universally: plants, insects, animals, and all sentient beings, all forms of life no matter how great or small. In their view, Spirit is invested in EVERY-thing, every substance, every plant, every creature and every being in the world. All are connected together by common bonds of Spirit. These wise folk are bound by their training and the Path that they traverse in gaining their power and knowledge to intercede with the gods and spirits, and so are accountable to them.
Through their magickal Arts, which shine through their very auras, they absorb the vibration and Power of Life, which grants them power over the rootless, restless wandering spirits that can abound in the worlds of fantasy.
To the members of ALL the Druid trades, who are wholly in tune with the wholesome power of Life and Nature, the un-dead are viewed as fetid corruptions of the loving essence of Mother Earth. These creatures embody the antithesis of their philosophy and thus are their sworn foes, especially those whose bodies are physical/material (skeletons, ghouls, wights, vampires, liches, etc.). Un-dead live on anti-life and hunger only to consume the heat and fires of life about them. They are the ultimate perversion and abomination to Druids, to be investigated, pursued and wiped from the face of the earth where and whenever possible. When facing the physical un-dead, no quarter may be given. Un-dead spirits (unlawful ghosts, wraiths, etc.), NOT including lawful hauntings, are similarly horrible to Druids, but lack the physical corruption and may be parleyed with, their destruction postponed, if other business demands, but dispatched back to Spirit they all must be in the end, to restore and maintain the balance between the worlds of Flesh and Spirit.
This power takes the form of the Banish, Command, and Dispel commands. Each of these commands exacts a cost from the character the same as casting a dweomer.
If successful, the practitioner will cause the target creature or being to flee, speeding away along the easiest and most direct route at its maximum movement rate for (practitioner’s HRT + TR) minutes without ceasing. When the time expires and the creature or being stops its flight, the distance between it and the practitioner who Banished it will mark the radius of a circle centered on the practitioner into which that creature or being will not be able to trespass again for (practitioner’s HRT + TR) hours.
If successful, the practitioner may command any one act, including one of service, of the target creature or being. The creature or being so Commanded will remain under the practitioner’s Power for up to (practitioner’s HRT + TR) hours, or until the service commanded has been rendered, whichever expires first. Demands for information are the most common and universally useful regardless of the nature of the creature or being subjected to the practitioner’s Power. The player should be conscious of the nature of his character’s Covenant in using this Power, and its possible effects on Virtue or Vice.
If successful, this Power completely destroys the physical manifestation of the wicked or troublesome creature or being targeted, removing it from the Mortal or Material Sphere and returning its spirit or essence back to the Sphere of Spirit whence it came.
Creatures and/or beings so Dispelled will be barred from interfering in any way in the Mortal Sphere, unable to even TRY to return, for (practitioner’s HRT att. mod.) or (TR) years, whichever is greater. If a creature or being once Dispelled by a practitioner is called back by some agent or ally in the Mortal Sphere, the Dispelling practitioner (TR + HRT att. mod.) will be added to his DV to cross the Vale and manifest physically again.
If the Druid can track down such a creature or being’s physical link with the mortal world, such as the remains of its former body (but not limited to), sanctify and lay them to rest again in hallowed ground, the DV for its return is increased by the POT with which the ground was sanctified.
This power is the most commonly exercised in the Druids’ and Witches’ crusade against the unlawful dead and un-dead. The Druid will have to be careful of lawful spirits though, who may be trying to get the practitioner to redress some grievance.
The Druid’s att. mod. for the use of any and all of these Powers is based upon his CHM and HRT scores.
The powers above are tools for battling or dealing with the willful spirits of the Æther such as the fey, but also the unlawful dead and un-dead, but the Druid must be very careful how he uses them, as those creatures are anathema and Dispelling should be the first response. Banishing is for ill-behaved and wicked spirits, but the Mystic might seek to Command information from his foe before Dispelling him and sending him back to Spirit where he belongs. While also subject to his Power, lawful spirits must be treated justly, for the very fact that they returned to the mortal world in a lawful manner indicates that they have unfinished business and a right to attend to it, or seek help in so doing.
The DV for any and all of these abilities is equal to the POT of the creature or spirit the Druid is facing, the highest among them if more than one, plus the number of others he is trying to affect at the same time. If such creatures have a material form to which they are tied, as some Un-dead do, the STA will be added to this DV.
These Powers can be exercised with the speed of a cantrip, with no Action cost.
The DV’s for Commanding and Dispelling are higher than those for Banishment, and Dispelling DV’s higher than Command DV’s. This may affect his decision to use these powers when he suspects he is facing a particularly powerful foe. In addition, the DV’s for Dispelling un-dead and spirit creatures who have physical bodies or physical components to their manifestations is higher than simple spirits, as they have a physical link to the mortal world, usually some artifact of its previous existence, or a person who dwells upon their loss and lends them the strength to bridge the gap to the mortal world.
This Power extends to both the ancient wild spirits of the elements, regardless of whether they have been conjured to be present in the Mortal World or having stumbled into it on their own, and the creatures and beings of Faerie. Denizens of Færie might be approached with some delicacy and caution, however, due to their also being embodiments of Nature in their own rights, often present in the Mortal World acting lawfully, and sometimes of astounding power, some of them being dwindled nature gods at heart.
The Price of Power
It is widely said that the words of men of Power are never to be trusted, but this is a grave misconception, for the stamp of Power upon them affects the meaning of their words. They are vague, evasive, and difficult at best to come to an agreement with, but this is because of the weight that their words hold for them. One should never assume that an understanding has been reached unless the man of Power dealt with says that it is so. Unbeknownst to the public, the Witch’s knowledge and the Power he exercises are almost an entity unto itself with which the PC must come to grips. These men of Power cannot afford many of the illusions and self-delusions that common folk use to make their lives more comfortable. Their magicks depend upon the true names and speech, as mentioned in the description of the trade language. The name is the thing; and for him, the word is the deed.
It is the best kept secret of the trade that a Wizard must not swear to anything that is not so or that he does not fully intend to do. The oath of any character who wields magick of any kind is his bond and should never be lightly given for, if he fails it, his own power will seek to force him to carry it out.
- IF he swears falsely, his own Power (with POT equal to his TR) seeks thereafter to twist events, making the situation fit his words, increasing the likelihood of a Bumble and then using the event of one to set things right, or forcing him to recant his falsehood, haunting him and inflicting bad luck upon him until he does. One who fails his sworn word can be made a hollow and empty man by fighting his Power; he may even reach a point where he dares not use it.
On the other hand, there is no restriction upon what the Wizard may say. He may lie as boldly as the next man if he makes no pretense of honor and swearing to its truth. Silence is another haven of safety. A man’s words cannot be used against him when he says nothing. Niceties of definition and vague terms are the best friends of folk of Power, allowing them to live comfortably with their power, as they wish. Though tricky, the Wizard can always try to take advantage of vague wording and imprecise or misused terms and assumptions of others to leave himself a loophole even when forced to give his oath.
One of the most famous Celtic vows hinges on this very concept, and is very dangerous to the one speaking it, and so is always accepted as an undeniable guarantee:
“May the Earth open up and swallow me,
May the Sky fall upon me,
May the Sea rise and cover me,
May Fires consume me,
If I am forsworn.”
Shamanism and the Celts: The Fellowship of the Wise
To swear by ‘sun and moon, water and air, day and night, sea and land’ is another dire oath, indeed. Enforcement of this restriction in general is, of course, subject to the GM’s interpretation and discretion. In aid of this, the GM should refer to the passage concerning “Frivolous Magick” under the heading “Demands of the Trades”.
Unlike the Druids, Witches and other Bronze Age powers that are allied with Færie and vulnerable to the effects of iron and steel, Wizardry is the magick of Man and his Age of Iron and Steel. Together they go hand in hand, without complication or limitation.
The Ars Magica represent an ancient tradition spanning centuries and millennia of history, having provided many high points both light and dark in the annals. Those who practice these Arts are commonly depicted as staid, stodgy, hide-bound and conservative to the point of being living fossils, and one of the excesses of character that makes them a favorite target for the japes of mundane folk is their dignity and the honor and respect that they insist be shown for their Power.
What few understand is that there is a legitimate claim behind that demand.
Every practitioner must always approach the Power with respect.
It should never be used “frivolously” nor “profligately”, to any excess.
The daily pursuit of the craft, performing works for those who are truly in need, making the various tools which can make the practitioner better and more useful when on an adventure (dweomer caches, enchanting carts and wagons, tack and harness or beasts of burden to aid travel), aiding his compatriots to make them more effective, that is all one thing, but to impress a girl one desires or to otherwise tickle her fancy or flatter her vanity in the absence of love, to embarrass a rival for sheer cussedness, or anyone at all merely for spite or to put them down, for a lark to get a laugh – especially at another’s expense, and especially when the target chosen is downtrodden already, to pursue a lust to flatter one’s own vanity, or to accomplish for one’s self anything that could as easily be done by mundane means should be deemed frivolous, especially if the practitioner has servants already to accomplish such things for him. Exceptions to the last condition should include situations where every means available must be used to avoid what would surely be a mortal confrontation with a dire enemy, or any other circumstance where time is legitimately deemed to be of the essence, especially where life and limb of self or another is at stake.
The law of conservation of energy applies in magick, too. Why should the practitioner expend the enormous effort to cast some mighty work of magick that can shake the pillars of the Spheres of Spirit when the same effective end result can be arrived at with a much more economic and tightly focused magick applied more cleverly, after due measure of consideration of the situation and the various ways in which magick might be applied. There is ALWAYS more than one way to skin a cat – so to speak.
Knowledge and canny craft is always more effective that brute force, especially in the use of magick, and has the added benefit of causing less of a disturbance in the world, thus a smaller rebound of the power unleashed.
The exception to this should be putting on a display to give pleasure to small innocent children, providing a spectacle for the pleasure of the hard-working commons, or any other circumstances where the player can justify its use as being in line with an exercise of one of the Virtues or in due payment to alleviate a debt, particularly a moral debt.
“Frivolous” is a subjective term and requires the GM to make judgement calls throughout the course of the game.
In doing so, the GM should be sympathetic AND flexible. This principle concerning the use of magick is NOT a stick with which to beat the PC’s indiscriminately, to make them fear using their Arts, and especially not to make them regret following the trade of their choice. It is to make sure that a certain amount of respect is paid to the power those characters hold. The light usage of magick on occasion should not only be allowed but encouraged. It can help build morale and bring the characters closer together, and sometimes the craft can be used in light and entertaining ways to repay moral obligations, or to reward the deserving whose efforts so often might otherwise go unnoticed. These are all laudable uses of the craft.
The wild beast which is the Power these characters wield is nothing if not full of the Joy of Life.
Those who would “test” the practitioner’s Power are a waste of his time.
Any display of Power simply for the sake of display, to prove his ability, is frivolous by definition.
Even to request a test should be deemed insulting.
If anyone wishes a display of Power as a test they had best come with a task to be accomplished that actually requires attention, the kind of task that in its completion makes a difference in peoples’ lives, to further their goals or restore a situation or condition to its previous, desirable state, especially in a charitable cause that will benefit many.
Magick is a force with a heart and soul that is little understood, but it is known to be alive in its own right – how can it not be? The energy of Life is a major constituent of it! Like any wild beast, magick can be eventually brought to heel under the right conditions, to provide the power to manifest the caster’s desires, but the practitioner should never presume that the beast has been or ever can be tamed by his hand. Magick understands emotions, it knows dignity and honor, and it knows condescension, dismissive attitudes and disrespect, far more sophisticated than any common mortal beast. Thus, when the practitioner stays his own hand and looks for the worthy cause, the opportune moment, and matters of importance it is pleased at being so well-used, it might even be said to purr, a feeling suffusing the caster’s spirit by the time he looses the dweomer. When put to demeaning and frivolous use, however, the Beast seethes. The greater the disrespect and the more frequently it occurs, the angrier the Power can become. Like a slighted lover, all history of noble and proper use of the Arts fades and is forgotten. They are the minimum that is expected of the privilege of having been taught the Mysteries of the craft. All that matter to the Power is the slights and transgressions of the present.
In play, the practitioner should start to get a prickly and uncomfortable feeling when he looses his dweomers every time the Power is used in a frivolous or meaningless manner. The player deserves such a reminder.
The GM needs to make judgement calls on the uses of magick as they occur during play and “keep score” of the number of “Frivolous Magicks” cast. When they reach a sum greater than the practitioner’s own HRT score, the Power begins to seek to balance that score. Once that point is reached, the number of such offenses that have accumulated start to affect the character’s magickal craft.
The DV for casting ANY magick from that time forward suddenly increases by that amount until the offenses have been redressed, how pure its cause or the nature of its use may or may not have any impact (GM’s discretion). When the dice are rolled and the roll to cast a magick is missed, this Frivolous Magick score is added to push the result towards the occurrence of a Bumble.
- IF a Bumble should be indicated, this number is either a) added to the result to make the result harsher, and also to increase the POT of it, as well, or b) the POT of the Bumble plus the Frivolous Magick score combined determine the POT of whatever magick might wound the practitioner’s pride the most deeply, so as to settle the score.
- IF the practitioner has, prior to or during the time when the Power has sought an outlet, lied or violated an oath against the prohibition described for the magickal trades, any and all instances added to the Frivolous Magick score and, when the inevitable Bumble occurs, those infractions are the ones on which the Power focuses its efforts to right.
It may be that more than one infraction must be redressed. In this case, the total POT of the Bumble including the Frivolous Magick score might be divided between the issues to be addressed, OR the Power might hold its grudge until all infractions of word are addressed and corrected, saving its own honor for last.
Not until all is put to rights should the GM let the character off the hook, to start over again fresh.
All Druids are responsible for observing all holy days and all holy forms or observances of their faith, including any special restrictions on actions or activities, whether generally forbidden or by the season. The GM must make some decisions in regards to the holidays in the practices of the followers of the “Green Lords”. The bases of their festivals rest upon the high quarter day holidays (Vernal Equinox, March 21st; Summer Solstice, June 21st; Autumnal equinox, September 21st; and Winter Solstice, December 21st) and the cross-quarter days between each of these (Imbolg “IM’olk”, February 1st/2nd; Beltaine, April 31st/May 1st; Lughnasad “loo-NA-sa”, July 31st/August 1st; and Samhain “SA-wain”, October 31st/November 1st).
Special restrictions and observances can be all inclusive, of the nature of “Thou shalt not kill”, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”, “Do no harm”, or may be by the day of the week (no eating blood meats on Fridays, no working on Sunday), or by the season of the religious calendar (sacrifices of the Lenten season, gift-giving during the Christmas season), and so on. In many instances, a Fathi may find himself acting as chaplain for his pagan adventuring party in a similar vein, performing services for them when they are in the wilderlands out of reach of a temple.
In the Celtic calendar there are many candles to be lit for Imbolg and bonfires to celebrate the return of the sun, and again bonfires to be lit on Beltaine. Sheaves of new grain are presented to celebrate Lughnasad, along with feasting and games of skill and physical prowess, also a very popular time for negotiating winter lodgings and trial hand fastings in the Celtic tradition, lasting a year and a day to determine if a more permanent arrangement is acceptable. Samhain marks the end of the year, “summer’s end”, from sam “summer” and fuin “end”. It is Celtic New Years and the festival of the dead, when the gates of the Spirit World and Færie are open wide, celebrated for three nights, during which the final harvest is celebrated with bonfires and feasting and tales of dead ancestors, for whom a place will always be laid at table. All fires in the community are extinguished as the great bonfire is lit, and then all hearth fires rekindled from its flames, bonding the community together. A second bonfire is lit and couples walk between and cattle are driven between them for a blessing and to cure disease, also young men take turns leaping over the flames to show their physical prowess. With summer’s grass gone and the harvest in, the livestock that cannot be supported through the winter can be slaughtered. With the frosts come, the meat can keep for the winter, and the bones of the slaughtered beasts are thrown on the Samhain bonfires. All of these occasions are considered propitious for performing various sorts of divinations, as well.
These duties to religious attendance are required in addition to the time these characters must spend maintaining their special meditationally keyed, tiered eidetic trade memories for magickal lore.
Two specific examples of special observances and restrictions associated with the “Fairy Faith”, or Olde Ways of the Green Lords, can be found among Druids.
All Druids labor under a geis or vow/requirement to wear or carry only items made of pure metals upon their persons (copper, lead, tin, silver, gold, etc), as the mana that they draw for their works of power is tuned to the unspoiled power of Nature in the world about them. For the Druids, it is an important part of their Covenant with the Green Lords. Those who follow these trades have no tolerance for any alloyed metals either (brass, bronze, pewter, etc) either, as their earth essences have been corrupted by these processes, each warring with the other for identity and dominance. However, objects composed of many parts may have their component parts made of different metals, so long as each part be made of a pure metal. Objects constructed in this way are felt to work together, to sing in harmony rather than fight with one another for dominance.
The Druids’ Power reacts in a similar manner to that described for metals when any other materials are similarly mixed, particularly in the clothing that they wear. Mixed fiber fabrics are forbidden them. While the character may wear garments of different fibers (cotton, wool, linen, etc.) together in one ensemble, no fibers may be mixed in the spinning or weaving of any single garment that a Druid wears. Appliqués and applied borders, sleeves made of different fiber material tied on by points, embroidery and similar adornment all fall into the same category as objects made up of pieces composed of different metals, above. As long as the materials used for each part is pure, there is no problem.
Both mixed metals and garments of mixed fibers, called adulterated or adulterine materials, are considered spiritually unclean, corrupting the power worked by the Witch, especially when he is working his magickal Arts, and thus a source of corruption to the soul, leading to sickness in the body and possibly even eventually death.
Wearing any such adulterated materials actually make the Druid feel under the weather, give him flu-like symptoms. The greater the amount of such materials worn, the more sickly he feels until they are removed. Should a character try to work his magickal Arts while wearing such substances the corruption is drawn into his spirit so he falls sick in fact with a malady of POT equal to the POT of the magick worked while so clad, PLUS the number of offending items he was wearing. Until the offending materials have been removed and he has received proper medical attention, he cannot recover. Recovery is administered the same as that for any normal, mortal poisoning.
Furthermore, Druids must avoid all commercially gathered or prepared animal by-products in their dress and household goods, as the slaughter of living creatures and commercial purveyance of their flesh for profit flies directly in the face of their philosophy. While a Witch can wear any animal fur, hide, claw, horn, antler, or other by-product, he must be sure that the beast was slain out of need and that neither the creature’s flesh nor carcass was wasted. In addition, animal goods must not be “over-worked”. One must be able to readily tell what the material is, if not necessarily what animal it came from. Skins must be prepared in such a way that they retain their natural hair, feathers or fur. Feathers must either be gathered singly from cast-offs fallen to the ground or be left on the whole skin of a felled bird to be prepared so that the bird may yet be identified, horn and antler must not be so carven or shaped that they cannot be identified for what they are. Those items worn in violation of this restriction cause the same reaction when the character works his magickal Arts wearing adulterated materials, above.
Druids are steeped in the power of Spirit, but most closely that of Nature, which corresponds to Færie where the dwindling Green Lords find refuge and most comforting rest, and the era when they roamed free and the magickal traditions for those trades were created, the Bronze Age. Some of their lore and magickal traditions predate even that age, lost in the mists of time.
Iron by nature, and steel by extension, are deeply material – the strongest in the mortal world of the Age of Men. Its raw deposits can dampen local availability of mana and subdue the gathering of spiritual energies, even absorb the manifestations of magick. Iron and thus, steel, are the bane of the Powers of Færie. Its touch can dispel Færie magicks and burn the flesh of the Færie-born.
The Druids wield Power closely related and so are forbidden to have more than (HRT + TR) ounces of cold or wrought iron or the same amount in pounds of steel within (MSS) feet of them when they are casting magicks, or suffer a DV penalty to every magick they attempt while in violation.
|The DV penalty is equal to the number of ounces of iron or pounds of steel the magicker is carrying beyond the [(HRT) + (TR)] limit.|
The effects of steel are less than that of iron because in it the iron is mellowed in nature by the carbon that hardens it and the very work of the hand of Man, and sometimes also corrupted with traces of nickel and other metals.
The (MSS) distance to be kept from iron/steel is raised by 1 foot for every point by which the character’s MSS score is greater than his MGA score or lowered by 1 foot for every point by which the character’s MGA is greater than his MSS score.
Where the Optional END rules are in play, any DV penalty imposed on a casting due to violating the iron/steel restriction is added to the END cost for casting the magick, making it more taxing and tiring.
While the Witch may never have any tolerance for carrying iron, he has an allowance of (HRT + TR) ounces of steel to carry on his person without penalty.
|Again, the DV penalty is equal to the number of ounces of steel the magicker is carrying beyond the [(HRT) + (TR)] limit.|
When steel is clad in one of the two noble metals, gilded with gold or silvered instead, the power of the noble metals cancels out the base influence of the iron used to make the steel. Not only are these metals considered “noble”, but they also have great sacred significance. This is the ONLY condition under which a Witch might consider the use of such otherwise “adulterated” materials. In this case, the gilding or silvering doesn’t have the sickening effect it would otherwise.
Among the folk of their faith, the Druids are mindful of their duty to serve. How they fulfill this duty varies with the individual, however. Some stand on ceremony and command respect and gifts and/or the ancient requirement “Cross my palm with silver”. Others work humbly and ask nothing of those they help except what is freely given in return. What never changes is that every Druid serve the need brought to him to the best of his ability, but in return he must warn each and every one that, for such magickal aid as they can render, some change must come into their lives to make room for it. Change is inevitable, the only constant in the universe, and comes even more swiftly when magick’s wild power is invoked to help it along.
While the Witch never knows and cannot predict even by Divination what change may come or when, the fact that they have a little rule of thumb to judge such things is a carefully hidden trade secret. The truer the real need, the more hopeless the cause, the less selfish and more in line with the Virtues the request brought to them for magickal remedy, the more painless and positive the change in their lives once the magick has been given them. In the same vein, the closer the supposed need is to baser wanting and the mire of the Vices, the more selfish the request, the more abrupt, disruptive and harmful the back-lash of Fate in return for the work of magick.
If a follower of the Olde Ways has fallen out of the favor of the gods or offended one or other of the major spirits of the realm and comes to petition for magickal dispensation, especially after first having sought aid from the gods through a Mystic serving the Green Lords and having been denied, he bears what is known as “god-sign” that any Druid or other magick-wielder with the Sight will clearly see, or otherwise will feel upon touching them, or see upon beginning to cast any magick in their presence. It would be foolish for any Druid or Witch to disregard this warning. The sign of the will of the gods will be clearly visible to any and all Mystics when dealing with those of their faith, a sign worse than foolish to ignore. To fulfill the request of one who has been spurned by the Green Lords or the Light incurs a penalty equal to the POT of the magick worked on their behalf that will endure until such time as he has served penance for his transgression.
Though their aspects and demeanors vary, Witches are all bound by their covenant with the Lords of Nature, many aspects of which are shared by the members of the Druid trades, who share their religion. Players must get more complete information on the Lords of Nature in the gameworld from the GM in order to help determine which faction the character belongs to – IF ANY. It is far more common for a character to serve the whole pantheon equally; no specific patron is necessary.
It is of vital importance that the reader become familiar also with the passages titled “An Introduction to Magick”, “The World through a Magician’s Eyes” and “A Primer on the World of Magick” before also reading through the rules for magick contained in the passages headed “Magick in Play”. There are certain basic essential concepts in those passages that, in concert with the trade descriptions are vital to a clear understanding of magick, its place in the world and how it is created and the rules under which it is used and manifests in the game world, especially in mechanical terms.