Spiritism is the primary philosphy, religion, belief system and technology of the Savage Earth. The implications of Spiritism reach to the very foundations of man's understanding of the world. Spiritsm is the legacy of the Demon Kings. It was learned by Prometheus and passed to people through the Standing Stones. The applications of spiritsm range from the mundane to the magical to the miraculous.
All things in existence have an attached spirit. The spirit of an object or animal is what gives it its characteristics. Spirits consist of at least three aspects: the morphia, the anima, and the psyche. Humans and most living creatures possess all three. Some things possess less complete spirits. A creature or object's nature can be altered by altering its spirit.
Morphia: This is the part of the spirit that gives an object its shape. It is what causes a galaxy or a snail shell to be spiral in nature. It makes offspring look like parents. When a spirit is transmigrated to a new vessel, it is easier if the new vessel has a similar morphia. So for instance, to create a golem, it is easier to start with a man-shape. Since the three aspects of spirit cannot be totally divorced from each other, animals possessed by human psyches tend to become more human-like over time and generations, adopting a human morphia.
Anima: Anima is the part of the spirit that gives independent motion. Animal spirits have anima, so do plants to a lesser degree. Rocks do not, as a rule, though a falling rock can be said to be influenced by anima. Anima can be transferred from a human source to an otherwise inanimate object. Note that the object must be able to move or alter position already. An articulated mannequin could be animated, as could a pliable scarecrow. A stone statue could not. It would crumble while trying to move. Note that anima can be imparted to a normally inanimate object by leaching it from the earth itself. This sort of anima is usually simple rotational energy, but it can be altered to mimic more complex motions. (See Adept Devotions)
Anima is generally sub-divided into to sub-classes. Passive Anima is that of simple mechanical movement, the falling of objects, the rotation of the planets, the movement of a stream of water. Active Anima is movement which is directed, that of living beings.
Psyche: This is the part of the spirit responsible for thought reason and determination. Animals possess it in varying degrees; plants and rocks generally do not. This is the closest part of the spirit to what could be termed a soul. It is what makes individuals unique.
It is said that in far-off lands, there are different divisions to the Spirit, or wholly unknown aspects. This may only be rumor.
All objects in the Savage Earth setting have three non-standard Hero chracteristics. These are used for the Adept Devotions only. In general, a character's physical characteristics, Body, PD, Height, Weight, etc. describe his Morphia. Dexterity Speed, Movement and the like describe Anima, and Intelligence, Ego, along with Intelligence-based skills describe Pysche.
However, for the purposes of Adept abilities, each person and object has a value in Morphia, Anima and/or Psyche. The table below gives the formula. More information can be found here.
Double the value for every weight doubling of 100kg.
When a creature dies, its spirit is usually dissipated into the background of spirits. Normally, such energy is lost to the universe. Whether it passes on to some other existence or is re-used elsewhere is unknown. The Book of Standing Stones is rather vague about this, though it does state that the psyche is capable of some kind of transcendence.
Spirit manipulation is the heart of the technology of the Savage Earth. Only adepts can directly manipulate spirits, which makes them immensely important to a society. Lesser adepts are the backbone of a culture, while full Masters rule cities. No city could long stand against the barbarian wilderness without the protection of a Master. All adepts in the city directly owe allegiance to the ruler. This social situation may vary
slightly from city to city, but is a good generalization.
Many things can be done with spirit energy. Some have already been mentioned. People in cities enjoy horseless carriages, brute labor performed by golems, criminals identified by spirit reading and much more. Adept artisans can repair or strengthen items by strengthening their morphia. Even the recently dead can be transferred to artificial host bodies, though this is rare and difficult.
Of course, nothing is free. All this spirit shifting and altering takes energy to create and energy to maintain. A limited amount can be performed by an adept in a given amount of time, and most adepts have a fairly low ability to shift spirit. The energy to maintain is negligible, but it does fade with distance. Adepts change an object or beings Spiritual Ideal, or base state. Things want to return to their ideal for, so most spirit manipulations are temporary. Therefore, most alterations will only continue to function in a small geographical area . This is the reason most civilization is broken up intosmall isolated pockets.
Adepts charge to make golems, or to repair or strengthen or heal. A horseless carriage might operate without need of food or fuel, but it will quickly lose power outside of the city. A person would be expected to pay money to the adept who created and maintains the carriage as well. Part of that money must then be paid to the Grandmaster, or Archon, who rules the city. Cities are better than the wilderness, but people must still work for a living.
Masters can work true marvels. They have a larger range than mere adepts, more power with their abilities, and can capture and move complete spirits, not just anima or morphia. An item or animal given a full human spirit (morphia, anima and psyche) by a true Master is autonomous, unlimited by proximity to its creator. For more details, see the section on Animates.
Central to the enlightened cultures of the Savage Earth are the Standing Stones. No one knows how many of these lie scattered across the lands. They are the source of all knowledge of and power over spirits.
The Standing Stones were created by the Prometheans in the wake of their war of liberation against the Demon Kings. As the legend goes, the Prometheans were tired after the war and realized their mortality. They would not be around forever to teach the children of men how to use the spirits that make up creation. Rather than see all their knowledge and labor lost, they caused it to be contained in imperishable relics that could be read and understood by future generations. These relics were the Standing Stones. The Disciples of Prometheus wandered the globe, raising the Stones in many places. Shortly afterward, they all vanished. All that is left of them is their record.
The Stones contain much knowledge, but it is knowledge that can only be read and understood by adepts. It requires spirit sight to recognize a standing Stone for what it is. To an adept, a Stone is far more than a physical object. Its spirit dwarfs those around it with power and majesty. Touching a Stone is a deeply religious experience for an adept. Images and concepts inexpressible by words flood the mind. At first perception, the imagery is of little value. There is too much of it, and little context or organization. It is also extremely complex. Nevertheless, with years of meditation and communion, a working knowledge of Spirits will come to them. Implicit also in the Stones are history, cosmology, and a sense of social order. They contain the essence of an enlightened society. The most easily perceived concepts are those outlined as the central precepts in the Book of Standing Stones. Every Stone-based culture has a local interpretation of these basic concepts.
Most cultures record the impressions received from their local Stones. These may vary slightly from place to place as raw mental imagery and concepts are reduced to mere written language. Although it is possible to create a simple book by generations of patient labor, the truly great books are those penned by sympaths. A sympath is a rare adept indeed. They are amazingly well tuned to the Stones and can reduce the work of legions over the course of a century to a single lifetime. They are the Prophets of the Savage Earth. A book written by a sympath is named for the writer. The Tallonite Book of Standing Stones is referred to as "The Book of Shallon" for instance.
An important point to bring up here is that every set of Stones seems to have a slightly different set of images. A sympath can only dedicate their lives to a single set of Stones. Creating a complete book is a life's work.
The actual physical book penned by a sympath has a very clear psychic impression that may be read by another adept, particularly if they are skilled in Psychometry.
Standing Stones vary widely in appearance. Some are rough and natural-looking, while others may be polished megaliths of perfect precision. Some even appear as statuary. Their material is nearly always some mineral though they can range from granite to obsidian to marble to diamond. Regardless of their appearance they are always indestructible by any means known to man. They can be moved with great effort, though most culture would regard this as blasphemous or at least sacrilegious. The Stones of Niagara, for instance, were moved to their present location in the ruins of Tronto.
Because the power they bring can only be fully utilized and expressed by a culture modeled after their teachings, Standing Stones are the basis for cities. They are therefore usually located within the confines of a walled habitation, venerated and studied.
As stated above, great powers are conferred to adepts through study of the Standing Stones. Although minor powers of perception can be learned through practice or instruction, the great powers, the Major Devotions as they are called in Merikia, can only be learned if one has the opportunity to make regular communion with the Stones. There are a few rare cultures (such as the Yaraza of the Shattered Isles and possibly the Mundabans of Nunavut) that have a decent record of a sympath's impressions, but no stones. They are usually greatly skilled in minor devotions, but cannot progress to true mastery.
As stated earlier, all things in the universe generate and perpetuate an attendant spirit, just as the spirit gives the object shape, motion or awareness. Most adepts manipulate these existing spirits.
For raw anima, or motive force, most adepts steal from the earth's rotational anima. Human or animal anima can be used as a template for transforming this anima into a more useable form, such as the creation of a golem.
For most common applications of the power, an adept strengthens or weakens an object's existing anima.
These are general terms to describe the wonders of bygone ages. The term Artifact refers to creations of the Demon Kings or the Prometheans. Relic refers to a crafted item of the ancient. Usually, though only people whose business is to know the difference use the terms correctly. The common person uses the two phrases interchangeably.
Artifacts can be sources of great power. Lumina (see below) is an artifact substance, and fairly common as relics go. The blade called Annihilator, whose touch brings destruction, is another such Demon-King creation. Masters will sometimes pay handsomely for Artifacts.
Relics are not nearly so useful, and serve mostly as collectibles and items of curiosity. There is a Museum of Relics in Tallon including such diverse items as an acrylic Coke sign, a television set (application uncertain), numerous coins and a full scale restored trolley car. The museum will buy artifacts, but only if they unique or unusual. They do not pay as highly as Masters do for Artifacts.
As just mentioned, the most common artifact is lumina. Either it was an invention of the Demon Kings, or it is a natural substance which can be utilized by any adept. In either case it is only found in areas where Demon Kings used it. Lumina is a crystal of unknown composition. It can be cut and polished or just used in its raw form. It can also appear in a wide variety of colors, with yellow and red being the most common. Its most remarkable attribute is that adepts can cause it to emit light. All that is required is an act of will ,even the humblest novice can cause it to glow. The amount of light produced or the time for which it burns is roughly analogous to the power of the adept. Also a given crystal can only produce so much light. The stone typically worn by an adept can produce roughly the same light as a small hand-held flashlight, though unfocussed. The rough cut crystals used in city lamps provide more light, but are usually heavily flawed and hidden behind screens. A crystal can be activated at short range, perhaps a few feet. A Master or Grandmaster can activate one at a distance of many yards. As stated earlier, the time and brightness are inversely proportional. An adept can cause a fairly permanent weak glow or brighten it to full intensity for a minute or two before it fades. Of course, he could immediately brighten it again, but this would require constant attention. Most streetlamps, for exmaple, function at about a third of their potential, dependingon how fast the adept street lighter can make their round.
The personal crystals worn by adepts are held as a sign of status. In otherwords, only adepts wear them. There is no law against a normal person wearing one (in Tallon, at least), but it would be considered pretentious to say the least. Personal crystals are nearly always finished and set in fine settings. The better the cut and polish, the higher the quality of the light produced.
Much of the Lumina in Merikia comes from the Shattered Isles. Apparently Demon Kings must have lived or fought there, for there are deposits to be found for those who know where to look. The city of Cambridge produces most lumina. Some lumina comes from the far-off land of Bozton or its environs, where there are the remains of a court.
Raw Lumina: Sight Group Images, 4" radius (+1/2), 16 Recoverable, Boostable charges, 5 minutes each-see text (+ 1 1/4,) (27 Active Points); OAF (-1), Only to create light (-1), Only usable by adepts (-1/2). Total Cost: 8 points
Polished Lumina: Sight Group Images, 4" radius (+1/2), 32 Recoverable, Boostable charges, 5 minutes each-see text (+ 1 1/2,) (30 Active Points); OAF (-1), Only to create light (-1), Only usable by adepts (-1/2). Total Cost: 9 points
The charges are recovered in the presence of an adept. An adept may boost one charge (towards doubling the radius), for every 20 points in their Multipower. At the GM's discretion, this may be used instead to increase the quality of the light, but this is only for special effect. It cannot be made bright enough for a flash attack. (The limitation on boostable charges is so small it does not warrant a cost reduction.)
As a rule of thumb: an adept can create five minutes of light for every five points in their adept pool. For every five minutes less, they can double the radius. They can only double it once for every 20 points in their pool.
The time of the demon Kings ended in a total war. Many weapons were made by the Demon Kings during this time. For some reason, most of these were hand to hand or "melee" weapons. There are few examples of any weapon capable of causing damage at a distance. Though no one knowsprecisely why this is, there are many theories. The most widely accepted says that the weapons were made for the pawns and armies of the Kings. The Demonic Ones would need no such aids to cause destruction. Perhaps they feared ambush or treachery and made weapons that could not surrise them from a distance. Whatever the reason, there are several examples of these most dangerous artifacts.
Annihilator is a two-handed sword that is the symbol of authority in Talon. Recovered during the time of the second Archon, it has historically been worn by the city's General, particularly in times of war. During the reign of Kanukka the Red, Eighth Archon of Tallon, it was co-opted by the Archony. Kanukka desired no other to weild it. More detail on the history of the sword may be found here.
This odd looking weapon is in the hands of Iron John, a mysterious animate of Tallon. Iron John has borne the sword for as long as any have known him. Crystalwind is a marvelously light sword which seems to be made of a single piece of multifaceted crystal. Despite this, it appears to be unbreakable.
This is an ornate trident apparently made of solid gold. It is weilded by the guardian of Nemo's deep, an animate or golem also made of gold. The trident, though a thrusting weapon, seems to do significant structural damage.
This is the great Lance of Boothia. A mighty spear over twenty feet it length, it is too heavy to be weilded by a normal human. It is normally used by the city's champion mek pilot and primarily for the purpose of slaying chimeras. Unlike most demon King Weapons, Red Death does not seem to have any special ability to cause structural damage (a limited application of the Real weapon limitation). Instead, having once punctured a body, the lance seems to literally suck the life out of the victim. Few creatures can withstand its terrible draining ability.
Nulshadow is an axe of solid black. It's material is unknown and cannot even be identified by Master Morphists. It is the property of a barbarian "hero" of the Hill Tribes of Merikia, a man by the name of Darak. Darak is a mercenary of high skill and high demand. He has served in many of the armies of the League. Nulshadow seems attuned to him somehow, since the mere touch of it is physically painful to anyone else. In fact, those who have met Darak have reported feeling that Nulshadow speaks with Darak. Perhaps it even guides him, for he seems to possess a sixth sense.
Thi is a fabled flaming sword. It was originally found in the far south, in deepest Nunavut. Many tales are told of it; most of them are probably apocryphal. In any case, it has not been seen for at least a generation, when it was lost in the storming of the Sanctuary of the Abbess Gachina of Adala. Ikkuma was fabled to be able to burn things not normally considered combustible: stone and metal for instance.
Most Demon King weapons are bought as an HKA with a Strength Minimum, but no Real Weapon Limitation. Thus, they can literally cut through stone and steel with a good enough damage roll. They are almost always Armor Piercing x2, and confer skill levels with their use, as well as the appropriate weapon familiarity. Other common modifications include Penetrating or Autofire. More than a few seem to possess some kind of psyche, or are powerful repositories of psychic vibrations. They are terrifying weapons.
In general, this site describes how Spirits are used and understood with the Merikian Lands. Unless specifically stated otherwise, assume that all references to spirits, masters, adepts and devotions describe the Merikian culture. However, this is not true of the world at large.
The adepts of Merikia are slowly becoming aware of differences in the way people from far-off lands use and interpret spirits. Although it has long been known that the people of Mingatok have strange powers, only recently has substantial proof come to the Hall of Art in Tallon that the Way, or use of Spirits, seems to be broadly different in entire regions. The people of Mingaok for instance share their Way with the group of cities associated with the Ukon, instead of Merikia.
These differences stem from their Standing Stones. The current theory is that the Demon Kings had separate domains, and that Stones are loosely grouped by these domains. If this is true, the Merikian Stones would be in the old domain of the Demon King called the Wendigo.
The parlance that is coming into usage is to refer to stones as a geographical group, (i.e. the "Merikian Group"), and the devotions taught by them as the "Way" described with that Group, (i.e. the "Shifting Way")
Adepts divide their powers into Minor and Major Devotions.
These are lesser abilities, all of which are derived from Spirit Sense. They do not require a set of stones to learn and are all fairly passive. That is, they reflect how an adept sense the world and the use they can make of that information. Things like mind reading, sensing danger, analyzing materials and so forth. None of the Minor Devotions actually change or alter spirits. Even adepts from barbarian tribes may use minor devotions, though it usually takes much longer to learn them.
Major Devotions are those that actually affect spirits. Each Way is made up of discrete powers, which typify the philosophy of their group of stones. A simpler way to say this is that each group of stones teaches a different set of powers. These powers are the basis for the technology, philosophy, and to some degree, the organization of a particular society.
Most of this campaign guide deals with the Major Devotions used by the adepts of the Merikian Group, since that is the focus of the campaign. Detailed information can be found here. Some of the Ways are shown below:
Stone Group: Merikia (8 known)
Ancient Geographical Area: Eastern Canada
Associated Demon King: Wendigo
Court: The Ice Palace
Description: The Merikians hold with the general division of Spirit into Morphia, Anima and Psyche. The Shifting Way is based on moving or copying elements of spirit from one object to another. Masters can also strengthen or weaken an object by making it more or less like itself. The Merikian Way is one of the most versatile of the Ways. More information can be found on the Adept page.
Stone Group: Great Lakes Group (At least 4 suspected)
Ancient Geographical Area: Great Lakes Region
Associated Demon King: Gitche Manito
Court: Stoneroost (Kingscourt)
Description: The Time Masters of the Great Lakes specialize in altering the tempo of a spirit. Though they still use the three primary divisions, they alter them in a time-like fashion rather than altering their basic nature. Some of the Major Devotions are:
Morphia: An adept can regress a being either along its personal timeline (de-aging or simply preserving) or through a descent timeline (Turning men into apes or birds into dinosaurs.) An adept can also reverse damage to an object: the more recent the damage, the easier the reversal. In fact, this can also be done to reverse a recent death.
Anima: A person can be speeded up to move with superhuman speed or slowed to the point where they are in stasis.
Psyche: Great lakes adepts can make "Echomen", that is, they can call up the psyches of a person's ancestors and have that psyche inhabit the body. In this way they can examine the deep past by talking to people from it. Whether this is a person's actual psyche or a reasonable facsimile is unknown. The latter is more likely, given the term "echo"man.
Stone Group: Ukon (At least 2 suspected)
Ancient Geographical Area: Western Canada and Alaska
Demon King Domain: Unknown
Description: The Mortal Way is much more disturbing than it sounds. Ukon adepts have great powers over the three basic aspects of Spirit, but only as they affect living objects or those previously alive. The divisions and devotions are uncertain, but some of the powers observed include:
Ukon Grandmasters seem to be immortal and able to confer a degree of immortality upon others. They can take horrific amounts of damage without dying, though they still can be knocked out. It is rumored that only a major dismemberment or destruction by fire can kill one made immortal. Ukon Grandmasters can be frightfully old and yet appear vital. Presumably, granted immortality has a ley line.
Ukon adepts can create zombies by restoring anima and psyche to a freshly killed corpse. The person is still dead though, and possesses many of the qualities of a Merikian animate.
The Ukon Masters appear to have frightening control over the appearance and behavior of living things in general.
Vampires may somehow be linked to the Ukon Group.
Stone Group: Brethon
Ancient Geographical Area: British Isles
Associated Demon King: Unknown
Description: The adepts of Brethon are skilled at changing the appearance of things. They can virtually create any effect, though it is generally an illusion. Their term for this is a Glamour. They are also fairly skilled at triggering: creating illusions that only occur under certain conditions. They divide up Spirit somewhat oddly, but in Merikian terms the effects can be separated into three broad categories.
Morphia: A morphic glamour changes the perception of an object to all viewers. The object itself bears the glamour. Thus if Kronn the Killer is made to look like Meeka the Mouse with a Morphic Glamour, he will appear this way to everyone. He bears the glamour himself (though the ley line is still attached to the adept who created it).
Psyche: A Psychic Glamour is one that is only in the eyes of one beholder. If Three-fingered Dargo has a psychic glamour cast upon him to perceive Kronn the Killer as Meeka the Mouse, then he is the only one who perceives this. (Game Note: This is similar to the difference between the Images Power and Mental Illusions, but for conformity's sake uses the Transformation Power.)
Anima: Though they use this term, the Brethon adepts application of Anima is to actively alter their own senses. They can make their senses more acute or to extend their range past that of normal humans. The can see into far spectrums, hear sounds pitched beyond the audible, and magnify the tiniest sensations into perfect clarity. (Game Note: They can confer a number of Enhanced Senses.)
Stone Group: Gyptine
Ancient Geographical Area: North Africa
Demon King Domain: Unknown
Description: Little is known of the Divining Way. By all accounts, it is a most subtle and mystic practice. Masters of the Divining Way are able to deduce, predict, divine and otherwise extract information from the basic spirits of things. This would seem to be an entirely passive set of Devotions, that would not be classified as Major at all. A major devotion is one which is supposed to alter spirits, not just sense them. There is a suspicion among those who have encountered the mysterious Gyptine adepts that they may be able to influence what they study. In other words, by reading the future or the present or the past, they may be guiding it as well. This is all theory, though. The Gyptine lands are deadly to strangers.
Stone Group: Rift
Ancient Geographical Area: East Africa
Demon King Domain:
Description: The Chaotic Way is exactly what its name implies. The Masters of the Rift Devotions have immense power at their disposal, but little control. They generally get positive results, but cannot predict ahead of time exactly how those results will come to be. The Devotions of the Chaotic Way can duplicate the powers exhibited by any number of adepts in the world. For example, if a Chaos Maser desires a servant, they may wind up with a golem (The Shifting Way), or an echoman (The Temporal Way), or a bespoken one (The Fusing Way).
Stone Group: Grekka
Ancient Geographical Area: Northeastern Mediterranean
Associated Demon King: Olympian? Titan?
Description: The Joining Way is very similar to the Fusing Way at first glance. Masters of the Joining Way join two or more dissimilar spirits to create a single whole. There are a large number of hybrid creatures in the Grekkan lands, whose names are taken from deep ancient legend: Centaurs, Satyrs, and so on. The primary difference between the Fusing and Joining Ways is that the former creates links and combinations of property. (Giving wood the some of the qualities of gold by fusing the two substances, for instance), while the latter creates one thing out of many. A Grekkan Master could join wood to gold and make them inseparable, but he could not combine their properties. Some examples:
Morphia: Morphias can be combined to create the aforementioned hybrids. A Grekkan Master could also make a machine or construct that cannot be disassembled. A Grekkan City wall for instance is one solid piece of incredibly strong stone. Armor can be permanently made a living part of a person.
Anima: By joining Animas, a motion is shared between two discrete objects. This differs from the way in which Merikian Masters create motors and golems but is very similar to the way Nanglian Masters create puppets. In the case of the Grekkans, two separate objects share the same movement. Thus a wheel turning on one side of a city duplicates the motion of a wheel turning on the other side. A person speaking in one area will exactly mimic the speech of another. They use this as a means of long distance communication. The more closely the to objects resemble each other morphically, the better the results. Thus an Grekkan Master may have a closet full of sculpted busts of his spies which will speak to him whatever the spies are saying. It is rumored that particularly brutal Masters might just have a closet full of severed heads to do the same job.
Psyche: Two or more thinking beings may be made to think identical thoughts. This creates a hybrid individual. There is only one "mind" (yet two personalities, a difficult thing to explain to outsiders), but they have multiple bodies. They can act with total coordination, process multiple points of view and even hold multiple conversations. But there is only one awareness.
Some particularly ruthless Grekkan Psychists will first destroy a psyche by shocking a person witless. They will then join their psyche to the mindless target and get an extra body without sacrificing any loss of individuality.
In each of these cases, a Grekkan Master may duplicate the effects of the Merikian Strengthen (Type of Spirit) by increasing its bond to itself. In essence, they Join an object to itself. A Merikian Master by contrast strengthens a spirit by making it "more like" itself, a subtle difference.
Stone Group: Nanglia (3 known)
Ancient Geographical Area: Eastern Canada
Associated Demon King: Great Cthulhu?
Court: Unknown, perhaps the Strait of Madness?
Description: The Masters of Nanglia are adept at Fusing and Sundering spirits. They can take to spirits and create a link between them or cause them to share specific properties.
Morphia: Two objects can be fused into one object with specifically chosen properties. Wood can be fused with steel to give the resulting object both lightness and strength. Due to the discovery of a huge reserve of gold, Nanglian adepts often fuse gold to various objects they wish to be untarnishable. Nanglian houses often have roofs of gold that are as light as tile. Two objects can be fused morphically so that any damage occurring to one is distributed throughout the whole as well. In this way, a legion of soldiers can turn one person's lethal wound into a minor wound shared by many. Their healing process works in a similar manner, by distributing damage.
Anima: The Fusing Way is very similar to the Grekkan Joining Way. An action performed by one fused object can be duplicated by another. Nanglian adepts create "Puppets", mechanical objects in human form which are linked to an operator. The adept operator can move and sense with the puppet at a distance. The subtle distinction between the Fusing and the Joining Way is that the former results in two linked discrete objects while the latter actually makes two movements into one. A puppeteer can turn the puppet on and off at will. A joined object (the Grekkan method) retains its joined anima even if one of the humans is knocked out or killed.
Psyche: Two or more psyches can be linked in a variety of useful ways. A person can be fused with another in such a way that they have their personality and sense of identity, but have the memories of the other. This is a very useful way of divining secrets from an enemy, though you would want to make sure your enemy was unconscious during the process, because they would be able to do the same to you (have their own personalities but access to your memories.)
Another useful Psychic skill is the process of "Upspeaking and "Downspeaking". Two or more psyches can share a low level fusion. This allows an effect similar to telepathy (Mind Link). Most masters have someone "Beholden" to them. The beholden person can talk to their master as long as the ley line exists. In extreme cases, the Master can totally co-opt the beholden personality and act through their body. The person is then known as a proxy. Nanglian rulers often rule by proxy. They may fear assassination or just wish to leave routine matters to a subordinate and only become active for important decisions.
Stone Group: Ropa
Ancient Geographical Area: Western Europe
Associated Demon King: Unknown
Description: The Guiding Way refers to the practice of Ropan adepts in channeling, shunting, moving or storing of spirits. The Guiding Way is one of the more powerful sets of Devotions. Ropan Masters can move a spirit from one object to another, direct impressions or damage from one object to another or keep an aspect of a spirit within another object.
Morphia: Two objects may exchange different aspects of morphia such as form or substance. This is different from Merikian devotions in that they are not copying, but exchanging. If they turn Kronn the Killer into Meeka the Mouse, then Meeka the Moue must assume the physical shape of Kronn the Killer. Morphia can be stored as well. By storing away small amounts of morphia over time, a "bank" of morphia is built up which can be used to absorb damage. (Game Note: The effect of this is exchanging a portion of the target's Body Score for a degree of Damage Reduction.)
Anima: Movement may be stolen from one object to power another. The former loses motion as the latter gains it. The energy may be held for a very short time. A Waterwheel would cease to turn while a drawbridge goes up. A Master can take an arrowshot without damage, as long as they release it immediately (usually in the form of a devastating punch or kick.) If Anima is stolen from a large object such as a falling rock, the rock still falls, it just does less damage (possesses less inertia) when it hits.
Under prepared conditions, anima can be stored. For instance, a waterwheel could be placed in a stream and made to store its motion. The motion could then be released at a later time. There may not be an upper limit to this ability.
Psyche: A psyche can be stored in an inanimate object. This could be used to make a person immune to mind reading for instance. This is a very selective devotion. Specific memories or personality traits can be stored. If a soldier is going into enemy territory, his knowledge of troop deployments could be stored in a rock until his return. (Much like the Merikian adepts, it helps if the rock looks a little like the soldier.) That selfsame rock could be used to give that particular knowledge to another individual entirely. Similarly, an entire psyche could be transplanted in this way.
Ropan Masters are notoriously hard to kill. They usually have themselves protected in a number of ways by their ability to shunt and store damage or protect aspects of their spirit from harm.
|Domains and their associated Demon Kings are referenced quite often in the preceding section. The exact relationship between the vanished Demon Kings and the various Ways of Spiritism is not fully understood, and knowledge of individual Demon Kings is spotty. However, some research has been done, most notably by Hadrian of Tallon, who worked out a rough map of the Kings and their domains.|
Although Minor Devotions work perfectly well under most circumstances in any lands, Major Devotions are strongly tied to the Stones which taught them in some deep, inexplicable way. Many inconclusive theories about ley lines and conflicting paradigms have been advanced, but ther is no concensus. The following phenomena have been reliably reported, however:
1. Ley lines that have already been laid or transferred continue to function normally. An item enhanced in the domain of one group will hold its enhancement in another.
2. The presence of foreign ley lines increases the difficulty of laying new ley lines. If a Merikian adept wishes to perform a major devotion while in the presence of Nanglian ley lines, it will be difficult, if not impossible. It is more taxing, with greater chance of failure.
3. There is no interference within the confines of a Demon King court. All Devotions work equally well.
Although a previously established Ley Line will continue to function, laying a new one becomes more difficult as the the number of foreign ley lines about it increases. As a rule of thumb, consult the following table:
Ley lines created by adepts of one city will continue to function, but transferring them is subject to similar penalties. So if someone has a sword they want to keep an enhancement on, they would have a much greater tendency to keep it near the adept who holds the line. Furthermore, failure to transfer runs a real risk of losing the ley line altogether. Failing the roll by more than five (on the part of the original holder) results in losing it altogether.