Witch Steed

Art: Naming

Ruling Planet: Moon

Sphere: Common

This charm follows an ancient tradition associated with a child’s hobby-horse, that even the image or rough likeness of the head of the beast affixed to the end of a rod of magickal wood could in fact become a steed for those witches too poor to be able to afford a real horse to ride to high quarter day or cross-quarter day festivals. To avoid having tell-tale objects around the hut in times of trouble, the charm was cast on a broom turned upside down, the bristles suggesting the horse’s mane. Thus, the charm allows the caster to ride along the ground in a similar manner to a child on his hobby-horse stick, but actually being carried along by it and able to pull his feet up and rest them in phantom “stirrups”, behaving in very particular in the same manner as a horse until the rider puts it down again. Once put down, the Steed dissipates as surely as if it had been dispelled, unless the option DUR rules are in play and the DUR is being maintained at the caster’s pleasure, in which case the Steed may be put down and picked back up again up to (POT) times.

The Steed may be cast upon any broom, mop, branch or other staff or rod of roughly (caster’s shoulder-height) in length to imbue it with and anchor to it the animus by which it works, to function for whomsoever the caster designates (see “Fine-tuning the Magick”). It can move at speeds of up to (HRT + POT) mph (multiply mph x 7.33 to determine the Pulse move in 25mm Skirmishing Scale), with the advantage of not having to worry about uneven ground or surfaces, potholes or the like tripping the Steed as would be the case for any common mortal mount.

The Steed’s ability to jump and leap uses the rider’s own as a base, but is enhanced by the charm by up to (POT) feet, PLUS the normal effect of the increase or decrease in movement speed for the lead run (according to the allowance described in Character Creation) in the case of the Running Leap. The Steed must have half the distance leaped in overhead clearance when Leaping or making a Running Leap. They may NOT be knocked over or back, lifted or blown about by winds or any other disembodied force (such as the results of a “Manifest Will” dweomer) any more than a normal mortal steed of [(rider’s modified STA) + POT)] in STA. Witch Steeds also have no need of sustenance, neither food nor drink, nor do they require rest.

IF the CND Action Allowance rules are in play, the Steed can travel indefinitely without regard for such restrictions for its DUR.

A Witch Steed can carry no more than (HRT x POT) pounds upon its “back”. The degree to which ia Steed is encumbered diminishes the speed at which it can move according to the optional ENC rules, normally (as applicable), i.e., for every 1/4 of this ENC value used, its maximum speed drops by 1/4; so that a Steed carrying an amount equal to or greater than its 1/4 ENC but less than its 1/2 ENC value can only travel at up to 3/4th’s its stated maximum movement rate.

The rider must contrive to carry any belongings/cargo on the Steed in as well-balanced manner as he may, himself, for there is no actual “horse” to carry any burden beyond the rider himself, and riding at speed may require AGL/Horseman checks to stay seated when jumping or otherwise maneuvering around obstacles. If the Steed’s ENC allowance is exceeded at any time, the Steed must collapse and disipate, its dweomer broken as surely as if it had been dispelled.

The Steed itself is weightless as the animus that inhabits it, and so long as it lies within its ENC, supports the weight of the rider completely, so may travel on the surface of water or snow, on thin ice, or the most delicate or unstable of structures, including those produced of magick, and especially those conjured of manifestations of Spirit (Light, Dark, Shadow).

Though this Steed requires no Horseman skill to ride, those who possess that skill may earn SP’s toward it as if practicing when riding them if the POT is greater than the Horseman’s SL, to a limit of the difference between the POT and the rider’s Horsemanship SL in SP’s that may be earned from it.

The Steed is animated by a conjured low spirit; it is NOT a natural horse, and does NOT possess the instincts, senses, and especially not the sensibilities of a natural horse. It cannot even contemplate balking at such things as being ridden off a precipice, though the damage of the fall be sufficient to destroy it, nor can it be spooked by sudden actions, especially combat situations, nor even by the terror normally generated by such things as un-dead creatures or the magicks of one’s foes. It has no real intelligence or even awareness of its own (in the general or character sense), and makes NO actions on its own initiative of its own volition. When lying quiescent, it remains so until picked up again for use by one authorized to do so. If it is picked up by one that is not authorized to use it, it simply remains inert.

In combat situations this Steed certainly possesses NO combat capability such as a mortal steed might exhibit, it is nothing more than a simple conveyance.

The POT of any wound inflicted upon a Steed reduces the POT of the charm, until it reaches zero, indicating the magick is broken as surely as if it had been dispelled.

This charm cannot be resisted in any way.

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