Ruling Planet: Moon, Mercury
This charm summons beings or beasts, providing an unfailing sense of direction and instilling an unnamable need and drive to travel to the caster. He may Summon any sort of humanoids or beasts familiar through previous personal experience, or he may choose to send out a general request to the Universe that yields random types of creatures and/or beings of representing the various races and species present in whatever corner or the GM’s world he occupies at the time of casting – random species from avian, rodent, herbivore, scavenger, predator or prey by nature, OR up to the same number of specific humanoids or beasts or of a particular single race of humanoids or species of beast with which the caster is already familiar through previous personal experience, unless he possesses some means of transcending that limitation (lock of hair, personal belonging, nail paring, tooth, bone, horn, or other artifact, etc.). The charm yields as many creatures and/or beasts as he likes in response, to a maximum (Summoning POT).
Each being or beast responding to the summons can vary up to roughly (POT) in (modified) STA score (if possible for the species or race specified), no larger than that if the caster has specified the race/species to appear, and may be magickal or mundane in nature, it matters not, just so long as it is located in or lives in the area or is native to the location and environs where it is summoned and familiar to the caster. This Summoning may be tuned to bring to the caster any type of creature or being desired, including those of fantastical races such as satyrs and centaurs, and those that commonly cross the line between beast and Man such as lycanthropes, and those who commonly cross back and forth between the Mortal and Spirit worlds such as Færies, and those that dwell between the worlds such as un-dead. In each of these cases, however, the same restriction on familiarity by type or with an individual applies, as does the allowances granted by the use of Resonance.
The proximity of the creature(s) and/or being(s) to the caster Summoning it has direct impact on the amount of time it takes for it to arrive and present itself to the caster. The farther away its native land is, the longer the caster must be prepared to wait for its arrival. The magick is considered held until the Summoned one(s) arrive in the same manner that the DUR of a magick is maintained at the caster’s pleasure, according to the optional rules.
The race or species responding to a general “Summoning” is commonly chosen from among those that are the most numerous in the area (GM’s discretion). These may range from squirrel, mouse, rabbit, raccoon, ferret, dog, cat, gopher, opossum, rat, to cows, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, or other common farm animals, etc., regardless whether it is a rural village setting or a town or city (up to roughly 25-50,000 in population), as animals are required for domestic life everywhere, even in a town or city in the agrarian society of the game – if they can be afforded (GM’s discretion), as long as the creatures/beasts responding meets the STA requirements by POT. Birds are ubiquitous, as well, a few species found just about everywhere (swift, wren, robin, crow, blue jay, mocking bird, various birds of prey, etc.).
Those born under the reign of the element of Air are granted a bonus to their casting AV in summoning birds equal to (SPT ÷ 4).
When more than one being or beast is called for with a general Summoning, all responding can be stipulated to be of the same race or species, or they may be mixed (player’s discretion). If mixed, the resulting mix is determined at the GM’s discretion.
The beings or beasts responding to a general “Summons” arrive at the site of the casting in an amount of time that varies with the distance they must travel, and when there are more than one responding they may not all arrive together, but this is determined by the GM. It could take a few minutes in a populous area or a couple hours for the beings or beast(s) in question to arrive out in the wilds, depending on who/what they are and how far they are.
The GM should roll a number of dice approximating the POT of the dweomer (the maximum number of miles from the caster the beast(s) are drawn from) + the number of creatures, beasts or beings Summoned beyond the first.
IF the result in miles is one (1), they may be closer than 1 mile, so the GM should roll a (d10 – 2) to determine how many furlongs. Once this is determined, the GM should take the beasts’ “zero” movement rate (according to the Bestiary in the GHB II) plus (1 per 4 points of POT) in mph and determine roughly how long it takes them to cover that distance at that rate.
IF in a populous area, the GM may well decide the distance rather than rolling, and in a town or city it is likely to be a matter of (d10) blocks they must travel (at c. 90ft. each), which could be crossed in a matter of minutes.
In some instances, particularly in summoning those beasts that are common to farms, those beasts responding are drawn from the neighboring district(s) and may actually arrive at the site of the casting with their owners in hot pursuit. If summoned at night while their owners are asleep, no doubt they are going to be pursued at first light when their absence is discovered. Only in true wilderness settings is this not an issue in regards to summoning common farm animals.
When summoning a specific beast, it travels at a speed in accordance with the relationship he has with the summoner as long as he is physically free to do so, shrugging off any and all burdens of the moment if able, (as applicable). It breaks away at the first opportunity to respond to the summoning if it is restrained, and the same again if detained or restrained at any point along its way.
On arriving, the Summoned creatures/beings approach as close as they may and do their best to remain there, as close as they can physically get and remain without injuring the Summoner and each other, until the caster makes his intent clear and the Encounter Reaction has been determined. The “Summoning” does NOT bind the being(s) or beast(s) to the caster either in friendship or as a “Thrall”, however. Those responding to the Summoning are allowed an Encounter Reaction check to the caster and any who might be in his company when they arrive (as applicable), according to normal procedure. Virtue and Vice scores and the uses of certain kinds of mortal mana can have a direct effect on the Reaction. For the sake of simplicity, especially if those Summoned are all essentially “dumb animals”, the Reaction Check might be disposed of with a single roll. If those Summoned are of “higher order” (humanoid) intelligence the GM should consider making individual checks but, again, it may depend on the number Summoned whether such a thing is practical or is too likely to bog down the flow of the game/story.
If the creatures/beings react well to the caster, they continue to crowd around him until they have some other business to attend to.
If the practitioner is a Druid or Witch that also has the “Commune” charm in his repertoire, he may choose to establish a line of communication with the beast(s) and offer it/them terms to fulfill some function or task, or simply beg a favor, for which an additional Reaction check must be made, adjusted according to the terms offered, or in order to question the beast(s) to find out the price for cooperating with the caster in performing or fulfilling the act or function desired.
If there is nothing to hold their interest, no reason for them to remain, especially if there is no food for them, they must drift away within (POT) hours, counted from the point in time at which they arrived.
IF any of the creatures/beings responding to the summons be shown any violence, especially direct physical violence, but including even shouted angry words – regardless of the reason or justification – those so attacked immediately turn and flee as quickly as they may, returning whence they came. Those among them that are also within melée range are most likely to lash out in anger/fear/self preservation before turning and fleeing.
Alternately, if the caster has a ready a pen or cage into which they follow him, or they have a “Binding” or “Prison” magick in a form that can be loosed without allowing the beast(s) a chance to react, neither to run nor attack, the caster can change the basis of the dynamic for bargaining for services from the beast, or subject the beast to some sort of “Behest”, as either “Guide”, “Messenger”, “Domestic”, “Mount”, “Beast of Burden”, or the like, according to his knowledge and talents. These tactics also negate and eliminate the lingering effects of the summoning. Those that cannot be ensorceled or imprisoned do their best to escape best they can.
By means of a Druid’s Behest, a flock or swarm of birds, bats, flying insects (moths, butterflies, gnats, etc.), etc. might be deployed as a Veil or even a whole Cloud to Obfuscate visibility of that which lies within or on the other side of it, in the same manner as the Cloud of Veil charms of the same name and with equal POT. This might take the form of a harrowing flock of birds, a swarm of bats to dive at and beleaguer foes, ruining their timing, obscuring their vision.
In the same vein, A flock of birds or swarm of small critters might be sent off to attack a foe, especially a passle of mice, chipmunks, rats, squirrels, or other gnawing rodents sent simply to ruin a foe’s goods and supplies, chew up books, clothing and other woven goods, leather harness and goods for dressing mounts and packbeasts, carry off grain and befoul anything they leave behind with their droppings. A flock of larger, stronger birds might be asked to grab onto the Summoner and carry him away, as the ravens did for the huntsman in the 2005 movie “The Brothers Grimm”, especially if he has come to be trapped in a place where they can get to him to effect his escape. After the fashion Disney® depicted for Snow White, a mixed bag of small creatures might be set to taking care of any number of domestic household tasks, or aiding the Summoner in completing his work, taking care of small steps to speed his progress, cutting the Time Requirement to complete the work by adding (POT x POT) to his AV for the purposes of determining it.
Alternately, the caster may stipulate that his summoning is to target an entire body of animals that by their own nature are typically found in herds or flocks, whether by nature or by husbandry, especially common farm animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, geese, ducks, or in packs or hordes, or even swarms of insects like bees, commonly kept for their honey.
The STA of the beasts Summoned still determines the minimum POT, but the number of beasts responding may be up to (POT) x [(CHM att. mod.) + (MGA att. mod.)] in this case. The POT of the Summoning dictates the POT of any swarm or mass of STA 1 or smaller animals, (magickal damage) for that POT dictating the number of wounds the group could absorb and the manner in which wounds can be inflicted on them, as per the notes on combat with such foes provided in The Bestiary.
The Compulsion for the behavior of the beasts so Summoned might be bundled with the Summoning so they get to work fulfilling the purpose the caster has in mind for them as soon as they arrive, or the caster may wait until they arrive to attempt to bind them with a Behest to fulfill his purpose.
Should any magick be assayed against the creatures or beings arriving in response to the summons and it fail or only a portion of the creatures/beings be affected by it, ALL those having appeared in response to the summons that brought that beast immediately turn and flee as quickly as they may, returning whence they came. Those within melée range of the practitioner under these circumstances are most likely to lash out in anger/fear/self preservation before turning and fleeing, however.
In regards to summoning humanoids, this dweomer may be resisted fully, every target allowed a M-RES check, normally.
Beasts may not resist this dweomer, except for those members of mythical species that have the equivalent of humanoid intelligence (GM’s discretion).
All beings of humanoid intelligence or greater may resist normally. Those that appear in response to the Summoning are presumed to be those who failed to resist. Resistance only makes a specific difference in the results of the Summoning when the practitioner is summoning a specific individual. He is allowed to resist normally, and successful resistance breaks the Summoning.