HeroQuest 1 – Sample Keywords

  • Uncolings Homeland
  • Doburdun, the Loyal Storm, Pelandan God of Thunder
  • Kolat – Shaman of the Seven Winds (also PDF)
  • Cult of Serdrodosa (also PDF)
  • The Intrepid Company
  • The Pathfinders

Uncolings Homeland

Latest revision: 11 Feb 2007

Short homeland writeup for the Uncolings, the reindeer hsunchen of Fronela, by Greg Stafford.

Occupations Available:Entertainer, Healer, Herder, Hunter, Petty Noble, Warrior
Native Abilities:Reindeer Husbandry, Uncoling Customs, Geography of northern Fronela, Leather Working, Herding, Live in Tundra, Speak Uncoling, Work Bone and Wood
Typical Personality Traits:Stoic
Typical Relationships:to Clan, to Temple
Magic:Common Magic, Uncoling Tradition
Common Magic:Survival Tricks

Specialized Religion: Uncoling Tradition

Core Practice:Uncoling Ancestors, Shapechange spirits, Survival Spirits
Helper Practices:Woodtalkers (communicate with Aldryami)
Coverlings (Hide Me, Hide That)
Mikyh Mysteries [Shamanic practice]
Enemy Practice:Valind Rites

Doburdun, the Loyal Storm
Pelandan God of Thunder

 Latest revision: 22 Jul 2004

Doburdun is worshipped in Pelanda and Dara Happa as the God of Thunder and Storms. He is a servant and protector of Entekos. When the Rebel Gods looted her realm, Entekos grew angry. A black cloud formed over her furrowed brow and stated, “I am Doburdun!” When he was born, he already bore the Thunder Addi, a club of rumbling, grumbling storm. He struck the Rebel Gods with the Thunderstick, and its shattering Thunder frightened them so that they fled.

In Dara Happa, Doburdun is the big but harmless midcontinental summer thunderstorm. He usually receives sacrifice only once each year, before the rains start. He also receives propitiatory worship when too much rain falls, to keep the storms away. When the Lunar Empire began fighting the southern barbarians, they needed people who could tame the Heortling storms, and Doburdun was the perfect choice. His initiates have been welcomed into the Lunar Field Colleges and many Provincial regiments, where his priests lead them in fighting the violent storm barbarians in the south. There, missionaries promote the Loyal Storm as an alternative to Orlanth (the Rebel Storm). Doburdun also has a very few worshippers in the Heartlands who are dedicated to taming crop-devastating storms.

The Good Storm God
What the Seven Mothers Missionary Says
In the Golden Age, Ernalda was an attendant to Yelm the Bright Emperor. At his court she met many beautiful gods, including Entekos, goddess of the air, and her retinue. One member of Entekos’ entourage was particularly handsome to behold: Doburdun the Thunderer. He wooed Ernalda, and Ernalda tested him by giving him three important tasks to complete. He did them all with honor and dignity, without complaint. He rescued Donandar’s harp from the Mostali, and fought their Snake of Long Steel. He flashed his booming light on the In Betweens, whom no one else could see, and kept them from looting Yelm’s pantry. The last test was the most difficult. When violent Orlanth came to take Ernalda away, Ernalda commanded Doburdun not to fight. “There is always another way,” she said. Doburdun suffered without Ernalda, and when the Darkness came he searched the world for her. He found her at her loom, weaving everything back together. He fought off the enemies who tried to stop her, and was woven back into the world as her Thunder Husband, who would command the storms, protect the people, and lead the men with dignity, restraint, and honor.

Entry Requirements:Must be male.
Homeland:Originally Pelanda; now, throughout the Empire.
Abilities:Addi Fighting, Addi and Shield Fighting, Devotee of Doburdun or Initiate of Doburdun, Endure Weather, Mythology of Doburdun, Predict Weather, Soul Vision, Throw Addi.
Virtues:Brooding, Combative, Loyal.
Affinities and Feats:Storm (Call Clouds, Command Air Daimon, Initiate Thunderstorm, Lashing Winds, Shrug Off Storm Magic)
Thunder Addi (Booming Voice, Command Thunderstorm, Deafening Blast, Thunder Addi)
Secret:Ride Thunder Addi (The devotee can throw his Thunder Addi at a foe and ride it to the target. This permits the hero to fly short distances and also allows him to add the secret’s rating to his Throw Addi or any Close Combat ability, such as Addi Fighting.)
Other Side:Doburdun’s throne is in his glowering Black Cloud Castle, which floats in Entekos’ Air Realm. From the castle, worshippers may exit to the Green Age, Solar Age, Storm Age, Darkness Age, or directly into the Sky. After death, initiates join Doburdun in hunting sky creatures and fighting the enemies of Entekos.
Disadvantages:None significant, inside the Empire. However, in Sartar, Doburdun is decidedly inferior to Orlanth. Nonetheless, his cult is approved by the Provincial Overseer, and is for many an acceptable alternative to being outlawed or crucified for worshipping Orlanth.

Kolat (unfinished)

Latest revision: 22 Jun 2006

Kolat – Shaman of the Seven Winds

An unfinished writeup by Greg Stafford and Roderick Robertson

Kolat’s strange family, the spirit Seven Winds,
Three names are known, the Three Good Friends.
Three names are secret, Left Hand, Above, and Below.
Kolat is the secret helper, the hidden power.

Kolat is the sole male repository of animistic spirit power among the Orlanthi. He is the male shaman of the Orlanthi, accepted by the Heortlings even as they acknowledge that he is strange.

He is the source of all good spirits, and each wind spirit bears a part of his power in the world. Worshippers always bear a part of his power with them. His shamans are called Sezings; although rare, they are a necessary part of the pantheon. They defend all Heortlings against hostile spirits, control friendly spirits, and in general interact with entities from the Spirit World, which is alien to most Heortlings.

Core Practice: Seven Winds Practice

Practitioner

Most dedicated worshippers of Kolat are generally those who are born with a powerful spirit component to their soul. Most often, these people are from specific clans or bloodlines descended from Kolat or other spirits. A few Heortlings dedicate themselves to Kolat after being initiates of a god, although surviving the transformation ritual that awakens the applicant’s buried spirit is very difficult. (A devotee of a god who tried this would never survive the attempt.)

Practitioners must attempt to explore and expand their spiritual selves by acquiring and keeping the Seven Winds. The actual magnitudes of the spirits they discover depends on the individual.

Practitioners who do not come from animist families give up their normal place in society. They can come from any profession, but their friends and fellow workers will have always recognized that there is something different, even strange, about them. Most people of society will spend certain days in worship of the god of their clan or occupation, and these ceremonies consciously exclude the practitioner. Instead, he spends his time in service to the spirits. This does not preclude their holding a job or interacting with their family. Instead, the way that they act and interact with others is always touched by their relationship to the spirits. Thus, they will always invoke the spirits before they hunt or build, and will then thank the spirits once they are done with their tasks.

To join the practice one must belong to the Storm Tribe. The hero may use Storm Tribe Knowledge as their Tradition Knowledge for the purposes of the contest (it still only takes the regular -10 modifier noted in the contest description on HeroQuest page 136, not -20). The hero must concentrate in Animism.

Abilities:Build with Snow, Leaping, Open Spirit World, Seven Winds Knowledge, Relationship to [Kolating] or Intercessor for [holy place], Sense Change in Weather, Spirit Face, Follower of the Seven Winds
Virtues:See individual entries for spirits.
Practice Spirits:The Good Friends, The Place Friends (see below)
Spirit Ally:Any one of the hero’s spirits may be turned into a Spirit Ally.
Secret:The Inner Wind. See Below
Practice Secret Requirements:Must possess the other Six Winds.
Charms and Fetishes:described individually below. None may be made or touched with metal implements
Other Side:The Horn Zone
Disadvantages:Concentration is required. Socially disadvantaged in Heortling society. The Seven Spirits of Reprisal (see below)
The Seven Spirits of ReprisalAny member of the Seven Winds Practice who violates his taboos is visited by the Seven Winds. Each night, they release one of his Seven Winds fetishes. Once all of his fetishes have been released, the Seven Winds strip him of his helper spirits. (A fetch can never be so removed.)If the practitioner does not make the proper offerings and amends to the spirits, a small bee spirit will come on the night after his last spirit power is eliminated. It will plant a smell upon the transgressor’s spirit that is like sweet food sacrifices to gods and daimones. Even embodied beings with souls will be affected in the same way; alynxes find the scent particularly appetizing.One this scent has been planted on the spirit of the practitioner, he cannot regain his lost spirit powers. Spirits from most other traditions will recognize the transgressor and will not trust him, although enemy spirits may protect him and have their shamans actively seek to recruit him into their own tradition.

The Seven Winds Practice spirits includes spirit breezes, gusts, and gales. In general, a spirit wind mingles unnoticed with the normal (theistic) Orlanthi winds. It can only be discerned by most people when it is the largest power amidst the combined winds, when a god-talker tries to change it and cannot, or when it is singled out by a kolating.

Kolat’s worshippers organize their universe through seven personal directions. Their individually organized spirits are irregular and peculiar, for they inhabit the world of each direction with the spirit of their choice. Although the method used appears to outsiders to defy logic, each practitioner understands it intuitively. The most unusual feature of this organization is their ability to fill three of their directions with spirits from three different categories, who are collectively called the Good Friends. The spirit that inhabits each of the other three directions is always the same entity, one of the Place Friends.

Practitioners regularly perform rites to obtain these spirits. A practitioner seeks to obtain all Seven Winds, because when all are there then they are “one with Kolat.” Achieving this goal is one of the requirements before a practitioner can perform the journey to awaken his fetch and be a shaman.

To obtain all Seven Winds, the practitioner must fill all six directions with spirits. At least one spirit must have a rating of 1W2 or better. In addition, he must have Follower of the Seven Winds at 1W2 or better and have concentrated his magic in Animism. If the member meets these requirements, he may spend 3 hero points to learn the practice’s Inner Wind secret. If a practitioner or kolating loses one of the six winds, they may not use the secret until they have again filled the position.

Each of the practice spirits provides a specific ability when placed in a fetish and a different ability when released. They never provide other abilities to worshippers. Releasing the spirit from its fetish involves different actions, but these must always be taken in the direction that the spirit inhabits. Thus, if Hhu Ho is the Before Me Spirit, its fetish must be thrown to the ground in front of the worshipper. If it fills the Behind Me or On My Right position, however, the bag must be thrown in that direction instead.

Kolat FetishesNormal Fetishes can provide multiple abilities to their owners depending on the spirit contained in the fetish, and one of these powers can be used when the spirit is released from the fetish (HeroQuest page 137). Kolat fetishes do not follow this rule; each gives a specific ability when contained in the fetish, and a specific different ability when released.

The Good Friends

The Good Friends are all native to the Horn Zone. They are Kolat’s best spirit helpers, the ones that came into being the first time he let out his breath.

The Three Good Friends are Hhu Ho, “Breath Buddy,” a wind spirit; Tular Varnei, “Uncle Frost,” a cold spirit; and Uuuh Hu, “Wrong Season,” a weather spirit.

Before Me:This position is called the Air Spirit, but it may be filled by any of the Good Friends.
On My Right:This position is called the Cold Spirit, but it may be filled by any of the Good Friends.
Behind Me:This position is called the Weather Spirit, but it may be filled by any of the Good Friends.

Hhu Ho

Offerings:Kolatings throw the gambling sticks the day the Defender Storm arrives, and give offerings to Hhu Ho between one and ten days later.
Virtue:Marital fidelity
Fetish:Hhu Ho must be kept in a tattoo over the navel. The worshipper releases Hhu Ho by throwing a black-fringed leather bag with some dirt in it to the ground.
Fetish Power:Make Glow in Hands 5W.
Release Power:Change Direction of Wind 17-12W2. The duration and magnitude of the change depend on the current weather conditions.

Tular Varnei

Although Tular Varnei can fill any of the places of the Good Friends, it is placed “On My Right” by most practitioners.

Offerings:Kolatings throw the gambling sticks two weeks before the Winter Solstice, and give offerings to Tular Varnei between one and three weeks later.
Virtue:Tend oak trees
Fetish:Tular Varnei must be kept in a pair of rabbit incisors wrapped in moss from the north side of any spirit tree. This is then wrapped in blue oak leaves and placed in a skin bag. The worshipper releases Tular Varnei by holding the bag and shaking it while whispering the spirit’s name.
Fetish power:Throw Accurately 16-10W.
Release Power:Cold Temperature 20-15W. When released, Tular Varnei occupies a volume of space with his chill. This area of cold air then dissipates or spreads further, depending on the prevailing conditions.

Uuuh Hu

Offerings:Kolatings throw the gambling sticks when it starts to get hot, and give offerings to Uuuh Hu sometime before the Summer Solstice.
Virtue:Rise early from sleep
Fetish:Uuuh Hu must be kept in two front femurs of a rabbit, properly painted and tied together with willow twigs. It is kept hanging from the worshipper’s belt and is released by being thrown above the practitioner’s head so that it lands on the ground.
Fetish Power:Blast Deity 5W-15W (the effect emerges from the practitioner’s eyes as a beam of power).
Release Power:Change the Weather 18-15W2. The exact change depends on current conditions: if it is hot, the spirit makes it cold; if it is windy, the spirit makes it calm; if it is raining, the spirit parts the clouds. The possessor has no control over what aspect of the weather is changed. Weak fetishes cover a small area, about the volume around a single person; more powerful fetishes affect larger areas. The spirit struggles to keep its change in effect, but since it is entering an environment greater than itself, the spirit’s effects always fades after a while, returning weather conditions to normal.

The Place Friends

The Place Friends are found within the Horn Zone, but do not seem to be native to that demesne despite their origins in Kolat. They seem to be spirits that Kolat conquered during the Great Spirit War.

The Three Place Friends are Seleran, “the Deep Well,” a water spirit; Veren Vu, “the Defender,” a sky spirit; and Zolan Zubar, “Bearpaw,” an underworld spirit.

On My Left:This position must be filled by Seleran, the Water Spirit.
Above Me:This position must be filled by Veren Vu the Defender, the Sky Spirit.
Below Me:This position must be filled by Zolan Zubar, the Underworld Spirit.

Seleran

Seleran came from Kolat’s spit, and could grow to any size that was needed. When enemy spirits attacked it grew, often leaping up like fountains or cresting waves, and simply absorbed the foes so that they all woke later in their own places.

Offerings:Kolatings throw the gambling sticks on the first day of each season, and give offerings to Seleran between the thirty-four and thirty-eight days later.
Virtue:Never drink alcohol
Fetish:Seleran must be kept in a set of tattoos on both forearms. The worshipper releases it by turning a complete circle to the left, then spitting over his left shoulder.
Fetish Power:Dowse for Water 19.
Release Power:Absorb an Attacking Spirit 3W-16W2.

Veren Vu

Veren Vu is the ranking sky spirit of the Kolat Tradition. It has rites that, in its presence, allow a kolating to defend against magic, rebound spirit magic, and track spirit magic back to its source.

Offerings:Kolatings throw the gambling sticks on the last day of each season, and give offerings to Veren Vu between one and eight days later.
Virtue:Love of the outdoors
Fetish:Veren Vu must be kept in an elaborate fetish formed from the following: two bear claws; a thorn armband; wolf teeth or alynx teeth marked with Trickster’s rune; birch wood slips marked with death signs on one side and sky signs on the other, soaked in the blood of a domestic hen or quail; and bear teeth or a green square of cloth marked with symbols of death, the practitioner’s ancestors, and a hoof from a local deer species. The fetish parts are wrapped with deerskin and formed into a unique shape that worshippers say is the body that Veren Vu had before it was destroyed and became just a spirit. To release Veren Vu, the worshipper wraps a green vine around both arms and holds the fetish above his head.
Fetish power:Resist Spirit 12 – 15W.
Release Power:Intercept Attacking Spirit 15 – 12W

Zolan Zubar

Zolan Zubar fights the Six Foes: undead corpses, possession spirits, spirits of dead people, spirits of death powers, spirits of disease, and curses sent by women. Whenever any of these things threatens a practitioner he can summon Zolan Zubar to fight directly, but the spirit is weak and usually loses. However, it is useful because its presence allows a kolating to perform ceremonies to drive out any of the Six Foes, ceremonies that all Heortlings (including theists) can support.

Offerings:Kolatings throw the gambling sticks on the Freeze Day of Truth Week in each season, and give offerings to Seleran between one and fourteen days later.
Virtue:love life and living
Fetish:Zolan Zubar must be kept in the right paw of any bear, decorated with wooden beads on leather, painted with six special marks, and blessed in a complicated ritual that includes the owning practitioner cutting himself severely. The worshipper releases Zolan Zubar by holding the fetish between his legs and letting at least one drop of his own blood drip on the fetish.
Fetish Power:None.
Release Power:Resist Magic of the Six Foes 5W – 12W2.

The Inner Wind; Cult Secret

Kolatings never name the Seventh Wind or reveal its secrets to outsiders, although they tell plenty of lies and jokes about it. The center spirit is in fact the spirit of the hero. It ties together the other six to become complete. Once this is done, the worshipper can learn the secret as described below.

Secret:Travel as Wind ritual (The hero may perform a ritual that transforms his body into a wind. He may travel in that form until he reaches his destination, at which point he automatically assumes his normal form. All fetishes and other animist ritual objects travel with him, but clothing and other possessions do not.)

Seza (Shaman Practice)

Sezings are the shamans of the Kolat Tradition. Dedicated practitioners who possess a fetch will be identified by a Sezing, who will take them as an assistant and teach them more about the Spirit World in general and Kolat in particular. After many years of service and training (during which time the assistant will master his six spirits as part of the Seven Winds Practice), the Sezing will take the assistant to the Horn Zone and leave him there. If the assistant survives, he returns with his awakened fetch to the Inner World as a shaman. A kolating fetch is a Seza, a special wind spirit that often appears or acts as if it was a great bird of prey. Although in Kolat stories Seza is sometimes treated as a separate entity, it is actually a part of Kolat.

A kolating who awakens his fetch during play must pay 3 hero points to gain the Fetch at a rating of 12. It costs him an additional 3 hero points to raise the rating of the Fetch by one point. However, he always uses all of his shamanic abilities at the Fetch rating, and does not have to increase them separately. Unusually, a Sezing can manifest his fetch as a wind in the Inner World even when he is not in the Spirit World. This allows each Sezing a unique shamanic ability; some blow as a hot or cold wind, others howl terribly, and some can hunt specific animals or spirits. The hero and narrator should work out the details of this unique magical ability.

Entry Requirements:Must have been born with a fetch and be a member of the Seven Winds Practice (see above). There is no gender discrimination.
Abilities:Follower of Seza, Open Spirit World, Seza Practice Knowledge, Spirit Face, Endure Weather
Virtues: 
Practice Spirits:None
Special Spirits:None
Secret:Awaken Seza (Fetch wind spirit).
Practice Secret Requirements:Spirit Face, Seza Practice Knowledge, and Follower of Seza all at 1W2 or better
Shamanic Abilities:Shamanic Escape, Spirit Sight, Spirit World Travel, [Wind ability].
Charms and Fetishes:Medicine Bundle: Each shaman returns from the Spirit World the first time with his medicine bundle, which he uses to worship and call forth his fetch. The contents vary depending on the shaman and his relationship to his seza, all contain several different stones, wood coals from a sacred fire, and other sacred items. The stones, coals, and other items are wrapped in a piece of deer skin which is wrapped tightly with a necklace of alynx teeth.)

Special Rituals

Kolat defended the Heortlings during the Great Spirit War. Three spirits in particular endangered the Heortlings and the whole world, and Sezings spend much time performing the rites that continue this protection. Some of these rites include all of the Sezing’s dedicated worshippers, but others are performed in secret. The communal Heortling rites held on Good Winds Day (see pg. XX) incorporate the rituals that defend against Karjakan.

Worshippers only rarely gain magic from these rites, and can never learn a secret from an Enemy spirit. If a worshipper seeks to gain magic from an enemy practice he must actually join that practice at the normal hero point cost and effort. He will most likely be declared an outlaw if this becomes known. Otherwise, there is no cost to participate in these rites.

Karjakan

Almost every Kolat rite includes a part where Karjakan is recognized, attacked and driven away, and a fetish made that is left behind when the rite is completed. In some rites, this procedure consists only of a few sounds, a couple of words, and a series of gestures ending with a mark in the dirt. Other rites require that the kolating make a straw body ahead of time, with intricate decorations and long invocations.

Malia

Four times Kolat defeated Malia, the terrible Great Disease. Now kolatings have four rites that they perform during the year, each of which offers a lamb and a fawn to Malia. Dates vary from shaman to shaman, but the rituals are performed in the same sequence each year. The worshippers propitiate Malia, feeding her the lamb, fawn, and some secret things that the shaman supplies. This done, Malia keeps the four disease families from afflicting Kolat’s people (this nominally includes anyone who attends these ceremonies).

Sometimes a new or rogue disease spirit strikes, or a disease spirit will afflict a Heortling who refuses to worship Kolat. When this happens, kolatings have two ways to deal with it: exorcism or healing spirits. In either case, the patient lies within a leather hide laid over a leather net, the shaman engages in a long ceremony, and in the end triumphs or fails. If he fails, no Kolating will try again.

Thed

At certain wasp nests that only they can identify, kolatings perform a rite to summon the spirit Be’e. Be’e rides a wasp to its own secret place and warns Thed that the kolating is alerted. Thed always kills the bug. Afterwards, when the kolating is threatened by broos, a wasp appears to him and alerts him to the threat. Another wasp alerts the broos by stinging it, and they always sense the warning that Thed received from Be’e. If they attack the shaman or his followers despite this warning, a huge swarm of wasps fly out his mouth and attack the broos.


Cult of Serdrodosa (unfinished)

Latest revision: 22 Jun 2006

An unfinished writeup by Greg Stafford and Roderick Robertson

Serdrodosa is the name of the female shaman of the Heortlings. She is also known as Earth Witch. Her followers, also known as Earth Witches (or rarely, Serdrodosans), can divine the secrets of the earth and the human heart. They provide healing potions, and some say love potions, but everything they do comes with a price.

Core practice: Earth Witch Practice

Earth Witches are usually secretive and solitary, preferring to meet other Earth Witches only rarely. Earth Witches often use charms or potions to influence others to give them property or power. They often have Wealth or Relationships far greater than their status would otherwise indicate.

New Earth Witches are normally chosen by Earth Witches or Earth Talkers. The Earth Talker will choose a likely candidate on its own or at the behest of an Earth Witch. The Earth Witch will inform the girl’s parents, who will, often reluctantly, turn the girl over to the Earth Witch to serve her. The Earth Witch will pay for the girl with some type of treasure of the Earth. If the parents refuse to turn over the girl, she will grow up cursed and unlucky, doomed to walk the earth as a ghost after death.

A heroine may become an Earth Witch after persuading her local Earth Witch to train her. Part of convincing the Earth Witch may involve a promise to leave the area after completion of training.

Earth Witches are supported by the payments given to them by their clients, both Serdrodosan and not, who come to them for magics. A community of non-Serdrodosans is under no other obligation to support an Earth Witch.

Earth Witches have access to Serdrodosa practice spirits, special training, and a spirit ally. They may also have dealings with spirits in related practices. She may summon and talk to spirits by constructing charms to attract them and whispering for them in a consecrated place under the ground, usually the cellar of her house or a nearby cellar or cave. Her spirit ally is often sent out to gather spirits that cannot hear her normally. The Earth Witch must take precautions against discovery, some of which are defined under Mode of Worship.

An Earth Witch uses Allow Spirit Possession to invite spirits to come to her and enter her, possessing her while she deals with them and asks for their aid. When dealing with spirits in this manner, her Earth Talker and any other friendly spirits can aid her. In this way, Earth Witches trade secrets with spirits and ask for their help. Lacking Spirit Face, an Earth Witch suffers a penalty of -10 when dealing with a hostile possessing spirit with Serdrodosa Tradition Knowledge. In this way, an Earth Witch can take a disease spirit from someone else and battle it inside herself with help from her spirits. However, this is extremely dangerous for the Earth Witch and will only be done for a high price.

Earth witches make few fetishes; they primarily make Luck charms and potions. The procedure for making a potion is similar to that for making a fetish. A potion’s magic is triggered when consumed or applied, and potions are one-use items that cannot be refilled. The effects of the potion typically last for one scene, though the Earth Witch can try to extend the effects during potion creation. In this case, the resistance to the magic will be modified as described in the Modifiers to Magic box on HeroQuest page 100. If the potion is meant for a specific person a personal effect, such as a small possession or a lock of hair, can aid the Earth Witch by +5. Potions use the Not Concentrated Charm column of the Hero Improvement Cost chart on HeroQuest page 141.

Contest: Create a PotionAppropriate Abilities: Follower of Serdrodosa
Typical Modifiers and Augments: Earth Witch Practice Knowledge; Personal effect (+5); Ritual magic bonuses; Community bonuses
Resistance: See “Spirit Attitude” on HeroQuest page 132 to determine the resistance.
Any Victory: One dose of potion is created.
Tie or Any Defeat: No effect. The ingredients are not usable again.

Earth Witches spend 60% or more of their time supporting themselves or providing magics to the community that supports them.

Earth Witches must obtain payment for their services. The safest way to pay an Earth Witch is in the form of treasures of the Earth such as jewelry or precious metals. Earth Witches must always accept such payments, but if such payments are not available, they may demand secrets and favors. Earth Witches may also accept personal effects for reasons that they will not divulge. If the Earth Witch is forced to provide services, the spirits of the Serdrodosa Tradition make sure that the magics provided backfire in the end. All treasure received may be used by the Earth Witch, and any unused treasures will be hidden. Earth Witches will allow theists to assume that this payment is a sacrifice.

Earth Witches have an obligation to hide and protect women and children who come to them for help. They must still charge a payment, but the spirits are inclined to be lenient in this case, and the payment is often a token amount. They must also strive to master the worship of Serdrodosa until they learn her secret.

Because of the misapplied nature of the Serdrodosa Tradition it may never be Concentrated. Earth Witches are also considered polluted by the deities and by hostile spirits as explained under Member Disadvantages (above). Earth Witches who do not attain Serdrodosa’s secret before death often walk the Earth as ghosts and they and their homes are considered unlucky for four generations.

Earth Witch Practice

This keyword combines both occupational and magical keywords for Earth Witches. Shamans and members inducted into this practice learn these abilities as they can.

Abilities:Allow Spirit Possession, Brew Nonmagical Healing Potion, Brew Magical Potion, Conceal Secret, Concoct [Poison], Concoct Spirit Possession Drugs, Cooking, Find Hidden Object, First Aid, Follower of Serdrodosa, Gossip, Hide Object , Earth Witch Practice Knowledge.
Virtues:Avaricious, Mysterious, Secretive.
Practice Spirits:Healing Earth Spirits (Close Hole 12-5W, Ease Pain 18, Heal Minor Impairment 18 , Temporarily Relieve Symptoms of Disease 14-4W)
Secrecy Earth Spirits (Adopt Disguise 15-20, Cancel Earth Magic 12-15W3, Conceal Hole 18-5W, Erase Memory 12W-15W2, Hide Thing in Earth 17-4W, Obscure Trail 17-5W)
Secrets of the Human Heart Spirits (Boost Confidence 20-17W, Bring Shame 16-18W, Cause Sorrow 12-6W, Dull [Emotion] 15-10W, Ease Heartbreak 17-12W, Endure Stress 18, Induce Love 16-12W, Induce Lust 13-17W3, Restore [Emotion] 15-15W, Seduction 16-12W2)
Special Spirits:Earth Talker (Typical ability rating: 18W) Earth Talkers travel through the earth collecting information. They can tell the Earth Witch much that is hidden. The Earth Witch can ask a question of the earth and receive an answer [resolved as a simple contest against the obscurity of the information]. Earth Talkers have the abilities of Secret Keepers and the ability Enter the Black Cave [a severely limited version of Spirit World Travel], which they can use to help the Earth Witch cross over.
Luck Bringers (Typical ability rating: 10 to 20W). Luck Bringers are typically bound into charms for worshippers. Each charm is used to aid a specific type of activity augmenting the wearer’s appropriate ability and adding the AP of the fetish to those of the wearer in an appropriate contest. Typical Luck Bringers are bound to create Discover Secret charms, Healing charms, Love charms, and Weaving charms. Luck Bringers can also be used to turn luck against the wearer. This is rare and is often a result of the spirit’s reaction to the coercion of an Earth Witch. In this case, they augment and lend their AP to the wearer’s opposition.
Secret Keepers (Typical ability rating: 5-20W2) Secret Keepers are entrusted with secrets that Earth Witches want to store safely on the Other Side, where even they cannot get to them. The secret is given to the Secret Keeper during a special ceremony. The Secret Keeper enters the mind of the Earth Witch and removes the secret, leaving only the subject in memory. To retrieve the secret, the Earth Witch must again summon the Secret Keeper that holds that particular secret and ask for it back. An Earth Witch may attempt to steal a secret from the Secret Keeper. She must know who gave the spirit the secret and what the subject of the secret is. Any Victory give the Earth Witch knowledge of the secret. Any defeat allows the Secret Keeper to remove one secret from the Earth Witch. Secret Keepers can contain hold one secret for each five points of power.
Treasure Keepers (Typical ability rating: 1W to 15W) Treasure Keepers are special spirits that can protect hidden objects from being discovered. The spirit is bound into the object to be concealed using the Create a Charm rules (HeroQuest page 137), which must be then buried in the earth. If any attempt is made to find the object, the spirit will augment whatever ability was used to resist its discovery. If the hidden object loses the contest and is discovered, the spirit is released and immediately returns to the Spirit Plane.
Treasure Seekers (Typical ability rating: 15 to 15W) Treasure Seekers can both find treasures and reveal the nature of magical items. The spirit’s might can augment any ability used by the owner to locate hidden objects. The spirit can also use its might directly in a contest against the highest magical ability of an object that was found with the aid of the spirit. If the spirit achieves any level of victory, one magical ability of the object [determined at random] will be revealed to the owner. If the object has no magical properties, this fact will be revealed. An individual Treasure Seeker can only be used to reveal a single property no matter how many times it is used or what level of victory it achieves, even if the object has multiple abilities.
Spirit Allies:Earth Talker.
Charms, Fetishes and Potions:Earth Witches generally create their fetishes and charms from natural materials drawn from the Earth element. Stick figures are common, as are objects carved, chipped, or hammered from flint, obsidian, animal bones and horns, or copper. Materials that are more exotic may be used as well. Potions use various plant, animal and earth ingredients.
Secret:Relationship with Asrelia (The Earth Witch realizes that Serdrodosa is a secret aspect of Asrelia. This knowledge allows the Earth Witch to consort with other Earth cults. The Earth Witch who knows this ability may also use it to safely cross over to the Black Cave, and from there to Asrelia’s Green Arbor. She still has an Alien Realm modifier in all other parts of the Other Side. After death, the Earth Witch may use this ability to pass beyond Serdrodosa’s Black Cave to Ty Kora Tek’s Cavern of Silence, where she joins the ancestors. Even if she does not pass through, she still successfully finds the Black Cave and has no chance of becoming a lost ghost. An Earth Talker reveals this secret, any Earth Witch revealing it will lose all of its benefits.)

Shamans

Shamans who include the Serdrodosa Tradition among their magics are rare. The practice does not teach how to awaken a fetch, it is forbidden to teach men the magics of Serdrodosa, and it is misapplied worship. Female shamans may learn the Serdrodosa Tradition magics from an Earth Witch. In return, they must often teach the Earth Witch Spirit Face. While she has a relationship to any Serdrodosa spirit, the shaman will pay the unconcentrated costs for all spirit relationships. The shaman must make peace between her other tradition and practice spirits and the Serdrodosa spirits to bring her Hero Point costs back to normal. There are few, if any, shamans who adopt the Serdrodosa Tradition, but Serdrodosans know that it can happen.

Spirits of ReprisalIf a worshipper transgresses, Serdrodosa’s spirits will withhold their aid. The worshipper is now without Serdrodosan magic.

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