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Vinga the DarkStorm

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Vinga the DarkStorm

 

 

 

Vinga found the DarkStorm in her youth, when she travelled the worlds as Adventurer and Pathfinder. Only the DarkStorm subcult knows much about the DarkStorm, other Vingans know only that Ryath, a strange god who hid in the shadows, gave it to her.

Vinga used to the DarkStorm frequently in her travels. She wandered the world spying on the foes of Orlanth, stealing from them, and where possible, slaying them using the DarkStorm’s powers to aid her. It is said that for some time, Vinga struggled to control the DarkStorm, and travelled many dark and honourless paths until she had finally mastered it. She shared many adventures with Eurmal, Yinkin, Alusar, and Desemborth during this time.

The DarkStorm subcult is small, even in Esrolia, where it is at its most popular. It is the Vingan equivalent of Desemborth, a subcult of Orlanth that is quite uncommon in Esrolia. In Sartar, most Vingans of a ‘stealthy nature’ are typically Adventurers or Pathfinders who have joined the cults of Desemborth or Tatouth. Members of the cult are spies, thieves, and scouts (some rumours speak of a cult of Vingan assassins).

Membership of the cult is split roughly 40/60 between independents (Adventurer types who like stealing stuff and spying on people), and followers of the Six EarthShadow Sisters (a highly secretive cult that serves the Earth priestesses of the Holy Country). Both types of worshipper have access to similar magics, and follow the rituals of the goddess in the same way.

 Cult members use the rituals and spells granted by the DarkStorm to aid their clandestine activities, the focus and nature of these activities depends upon the individual Vingan concerned.

Independent members of the cult are, strangely enough, independent, participating in a wide variety of activities ranging from outright theft to adventuring. They are generally not trusted by clan folk; their independence, secretive nature, and natural proclivities towards theft and spying, make them objects of suspicion. Most are however very trustworthy, they may be spies and thieves, but they are still Vingans and try to keep to the virtues of the Goddess. They tend to travel a lot.

Little is known about the Six EarthShadow Sisters, but the Earth priestesses of Esrolia speak highly of them, and so the common people respect them. It is believed by many that the Six EarthShadow Sisters serve the cult of Ernalda and the Queens, as spies, infiltrators, and possibly even as assassins (a Vingan version of CIA/MI6?). They are said to gather information about the enemies of the cult and Esrolia, hunt down Chaos cults and cultists, and generally act as a quasi-military arm of the Ernalda cult, specialising in protecting the faith (and Esrolia) against covert threats.

Independents are, in many ways, ‘organised’ in a not dissimilar fashion to the Adventurer subcult. They travel widely, rarely staying in one place for any great time, and learn their spells and lore at a number of shrines and temples. Most DarkStorm shrines in Esrolia are run by the Six EarthShadow Sisters; they allow independent members of the cult to worship, train, and learn spells at them, but expect them to work for them in exchange for such services (employment that is characterised by unpleasant tasks and attempts to recruit them). Most independents prefer to avoid the Six EarthShadow Sisters if possible, it is however difficult to gain access to many of the DarkStorm’s spells without having to deal with members of that organisation.

The Six EarthShadow Sisters organisation is far more hierarchical and much more organised. It is based at EarthShadow Lodge at the Ernalda’s Home Vinga temple. Little is known about the internal organisation of the group but it is believed it is fairly similar to the rest of the cult of Vinga (although with regional and cultural variations in ritual and initiate/priest titles). Members gain access to the full range of DarkStorm spell and abilities, and can join several hero cults only accessible to members of the Six EarthShadow Sisters. They spend most of their time working for the cult, but are well supported in return.

Little else is known about the DarkStorm subcult (and more especially so the Six EarthShadow Sisters). As previously mentioned it is a highly secretive cult and many Vingans from regions beyond Esrolia do not even know of its existence.

 

This subcult is not involved in the campaign (well, not as far as any of the players know), which is the main reason that this write-up is not slightly more detailed (it also helps to give the DarkStorm subcult a rather appropriate air of mystery).
 

 

 

 

Skills

 

Members of this subcult do not use the standard Vingan skills, instead using the skills listed below. 

 

Acrobatics, Devise, Disguise, Dodge, Earth Lore, Escapology, Fast Talk, Herbalism, Hide, Jump, Martial Arts, Missile Attack, Scan, Search, Sneak, Speak Darktongue, Track, Vinga Lore, Weapon Attack, Weapon Parry

 

Spirit Magic

 

Standard Vingan + Darkwall, Detect Magic, Detect Traps, Jump, Obscure, Silence.

 

Divine Magic

 

Standard Vingan + Dark Walk, Enthral, Follow Trail, Hide from Darksense, Nighteyes (Alusar).

 

Heroquests

 

Mask of the Goddess, Pass Without Trace, Shadow Slip, The Dark Storm, There is Always A Way.

 

Rituals

 

Defend Against Darkness, Shield Against Darkness.

 

Associate Cults (Heroquests)

 

Destor’s Sight (Destor), Scatter Shadows (Vingkot),

 

Associate Cults

 

Charisma (Eurmal), Copy Voice (Red Mynah), Run in Darkness (Vingkot), Sleep Anywhere (Yinkin), Squeeze (Yinkin), Vigilance (Rigsdal), Visibility (Alusar).

 
Hero Cults

Hero cults of the Vinga the DarkStorm subcult are noted here. The name is a link to an expanded description of the hero cult.

Estrel Dalathae

Strange foreign goddess who lurked in the shadows, and bore black knives and a cloak that could hide her from anyone. She was a boon companion to Vinga Dark Storm for a while during the Darkness, saving her on three occasions, but died fighting the Dark Maw of Vork Gar, which Vinga only just defeated. Some of her remained in her cloak, which Vinga kept. Vingans who learn the secret histories of the cult can duplicate her feats. Cult based at Ernalda’s Home in Esrolia. Only members of the Six EarthShadow Sisters can join this hero cult.

Govora SpearDaughter

Popular Esrolian hero cult. Govora was a hero of the Silver Bull Clan famed for her skill at commanding troops, and cunning tactics. She established the Spear Council of the Spear Daughter warband, to teach the art of battle command, and over time taught many Vingans the art of war. After her death the Stead Daughters grew in size, and a hero cult to her was established. The cult is found only in Esrolia. Grants the Battle Insight spell. Also a hero cult of Vinga DarkStorm.

Lallara ShadowWalker

 Esrolian Vingan who found a hero path to the Storm Age and returned with the cloak of a now-dead god. It grants the power to summon a cloak of shadows to conceal its user. Members of this cult can learn about her hero path and sacrifice for the Shadow Slip spell at Lallara’s shrine (Ernalda’s Home, Esrolia). Only members of the Six EarthShadow Sisters can join this hero cult.

Spells

 

Charisma

 

Divine, 1 point, non-stackable, temporal.

All (1 use, Eurmal).

Any Eurmal holy site.

 

This spell doubles the basic APP of the target. Now matter how high APP goes, the target remains recognisable. (RQ)

 

Copy Voice

 

Divine, 1 point, non-stackable, self, temporal.

DarkStorm (1 use/Red Mynah)

Red Mynah shrine in the Dark Woods, Esrolia

 

This allows the user to exactly copy another's voice. Listeners will be unable to tell that the user's voice is different from the copied voice. The user must have heard the voice to copy it. (RQ)

 

 

Darkwall

 

Spirit, 2 points, ranged, non-stackable, temporal.                                        DarkStorm.                                                                                                  

Taught at most DarkStorm sites.

 

This spell can create a wall of darkness 10mē  in area and 10cm thick. The Darkwall can be moved by the caster at a rate of 1 meter per strike rank. Light sources within the darkness give no light nor can any sighted being see through. Other senses are unaffected. A Darkwall can be moved or shaped into any height or width desired, so long as the total area is 10mē, and the thickness 10cm. (RQ)

 

Dark Walk

 

Divine, Heroquest, 1 point, ranged, non-stackable, temporal.                              

All (HQ), DarkStorm, Uzfighter.  

Well-known heroquest, Vinga and the Sandals of Darkness, available at almost all Vingan sites.

 

This spell allows the user to be totally invisible and soundless in darkness and shadow to anyone within range. (RQ)       

 

Destor's Sight
 
Divine, Heroquest, 1 point, self, non-stackable, temporal.                                           Adventurer/DarkStorm/Pathfinder (AssocHQ/Destor).

Sacred Top, Orlanth Victorious, Old Wind. Details of the Vinga is Saved by Destor heroquest at Tarthcaer, Notchet, and Pavis.

This is cast in any situation where the caster is in a situation where their escape looks to be almost impossible (trapped in an impregnable room, imprisoned in Aldryami brambles etc). If there is any possible escape route, no matter how dangerous, the caster will be made aware of it. If there are multiple escape routes, only one will be made known to the caster. (NE)

Earthpower

 

Divine, 3 points, one-use, special.                                                  Adventurer/Avenger/DarkStorm (1 use/Ernalda).                                                                                          At any Ernaldan temple.

Once bought, this is an automatic spell. The spell activates at the first time that the priestess touches the ground and her magic points or her POW drop to zero. It activates exactly as her POW drops to zero, preventing destruction of her soul, and allowing her to draw 1 POW and 1d8 magic points directly from the earth. If she has more than one Earthpower spell, all activate at once. (RQ)

Enthral

 

Divine, 2 points, self, stackable, temporal.                                           

Adventurer/DarkStorm.

Available at all Vingan sites.

 

This spell must be cast upon an opponent in melee combat, repartee, or any other form of interpersonal competition.  The Vingan must overcome the MP of the target with her own to have an immediate effect.  Immediate effect is to completely entrance the target with the Vingan's weapon skill, witty tongue, etc.  The target, if so affected, cannot take any offensive action against the Vingan (although they may still defend themselves with parries if the Vingan continue to attack).  Furthermore, the target should act appropriately in other ways. If the initial effect fails, the Vingan may still attempt to overcome the target's MP every time she scores a special success in the appropriate combat or interaction skill so long as the spell is in effect. Every casting of the spell will affect an additional opponent. (Critter/J)

 

Hide from Darksense

 

Divine, 1 point, stackable, touch, temporal.

DarkStorm/Uzfighter.

Can be sacrificed for at any DarkStorm/Uzfighter temple.

This spell conceals its recipient from Darksense, inhibiting the ability of creatures with Darksense to detect that character. Darksense skills are diminished by 25% per point of Hide From Darkness. Other perception skills are unaffected by this spell. (J)

 

Mask of the Goddess

 

Divine, Heroquest,1 point, self, non-stackable, temporal.

DarkStorm (HQ)

Can be sacrificed for at all DarkStorm sites, commonly known heroquest within the cult.

 

This is a general disguise spell, causing the user's face to become exceedingly ordinary and forgettable, so that one wearing this spell is likely to pass unnoticed and forgotten, especially in a crowd.
No two uses of this spell give exactly the same face, and the user's clothing also shifts in the direction of ordinariness, through a Scan will allow an observer to see that the spell user has either much better or much worse clothing concealed under her 'ordinary clothes’. The spell cannot change sex or race. This spell originates from the Esrolian version of ‘Vinga Rescues Silonia’, in which Ernalda gives Vinga magical clay to help her disguise herself.

 

Nighteyes

 

Divine, 1 point, touch, non-stackable, 12-hour duration.                                     

DarkStorm, Uzfighter (1 use/Vingkot), Pathfinder (1 use/Alusar)

Can be sacrificed for at many Vingkot and Alusar holy places, most DarkStorm temples.

 

This spell grants its recipient the ability to see in darkness. For 12 hours the target can see by any amount of available light. If there is a complete absence of light, they cannot see. (RQ/P)

 Obscure

 

Spirit, variable, self, temporal.                                                             Pathfinder, Uzfighter, DarkStorm.

Can be learnt at most sites to the above subcults, or any Tatouth site.

 

Obscure adds 15% per point of spell to the casters Hide skill. (P)

 

Pass Without Trace

 

Divine, Heroquest, 3 points, non-stackable, self, temporal.                                        

DarkStorm.

The Vinga and the Chamber of Secrets heroquest known only at the Vinga temple at Ernalda’s Home, Esrolia. The spell can be sacrificed for there only.


When this spell is cast, the recipient will leave no trace for the duration of the spell. He will leave no tracks, leaves no scent and cannot be detected by spells such as Divination or Reconstruction. (SP/J)

Run in Darkness

Spirit, variable, ranged, temporal.                                                            

DarkStorm/Uzfighter (1 use/Vingkot).

May be learnt at any Vingkot shrine or temple.

 

Each point of this spell adds two to the target's movement rating for the duration. It is only effective when in more than 70% darkness, such as a troll lair or the dead of night. (NE)

 

Scatter Shadows

 

Divine, heroquest, stackable, ranged, temporal.                                                            

DarkStorm/Uzfighter (AssocHQ/Vingkot).

The Vingkot Sunders the Dark heroquest is not well known. The temple at Notchet is believed to have details of it, as does Tarthcaer and Pavis. The spell must be sacrificed for at a Vingkot shrine.

 

This spell can destroy the magic of the shadow krjalki, such as trolls and shades. Each point of the spell counts as three points of Dispel Magic against magic connected with the Darkness rune. This spell has no effect on any other types of magic. May be cast at a target without specifying a spell; will knock out defensive spells first. (NE/SP)

Shield Against Darkness

 

Ritual Ceremony.

DarkStorm/Uzfighter.

Available at most DarkStorm/Uzfighter shines, known by almost all priestesses.

 

This ritual is used to help prepare clans warriors for battles against the Uz. Anyone in the group to be blessed must put in at least 1 MP. The ritual takes an hour to perform, and its benefits last for a day.

For every 50 MP placed into the ritual, 1 point of Protection and Countermagic is granted to all members of the group. These benefits are only gained when fighting creatures tied to the Darkness rune. The success of the ritual also depends on the degree of success of a Ceremony skill roll made by the officiating priestess, who must sacrifice a point of POW to complete it.

A normal roll has no additional effect, but a special success adds an additional point of Protection and Countermagic, and a critical success adds two points. (J)

Sleep Anywhere

 

Spirit, 2 points, non-stackable, touch, instant.

Adventurer/ DarkStorm/Pathfinder (Yinkin).

Can be learnt at any Yinkin shrine or temple

 

When cast on a willing target, this spell puts the person to sleep, no matter what the external conditions are. The target must not resist this spell otherwise it will fail. (SP)

 

Squeeze
 
Spirit, variable, self, temporal.

Adventurer/DarkStorm (Yinkin).

This spell can be learnt at any DarkStorm or Yinkin site.

 

Each point of Squeeze gives the target one less effective SIZ point for trying to squeeze through small spaces. This can only halve the character's effective SIZ, no more. (NE)

 

The Dark Storm

 

Divine, Heroquest, 4 points, non-stackable, ranged, temporal.

DarkStorm (HQ).

The heroquest ritual for this spell can only be learnt at the temple of Vinga DarkStorm at Ernalda’s Home in Esrolia.

 

It’s a secret.

 

There is Always A Way

 

Divine, 4 points, non-stackable, self, temporal.                                        

Avenger, Adventurer/DarkStorm (HQ).

The heroquest ritual for this spell is simple and widely known at Avenger shrines and temples. They are usually prepared to teach it to Adventurer cultists. Many Adventurer priestesses also know the secrets of the heroquest. The spell can be sacrificed for at any Avenger shrine or temple.

 

This spell may be used in one of four ways, to be chosen at casting.                                                           The first use is as a form of divination. It enables the caster to seek a solution to a problem by thinking of another way to deal with it. In game terms this use is heavily dependant on GMD, and whether or not the GM believes that a solution to the problem is evident through observation or character knowledge. If the solution to the problem is based on something within Ernaldan or Orlanthi mythology, a useful mechanism is to allow the caster to make a lore roll, with the degree of success adjudicating the GM’s answer (as it seems that not even the most remarkable player will have as thorough a knowledge and understanding of the mythological environment as their character, especially if the character is a priestess). Bonuses should possibly be allowed for players who do use their knowledge of the appropriate mythology to suggest an appropriate solution.                                                 

It is best used to find a solution to a problem that players cannot solve themselves, although at best any answer from the GM should be vague, only hinting about a way to go about things. The spell also enables a GM to give a little ‘shove’ to an otherwise stalled scenario or situation if they wish to.

The other three uses are called Fight Harder (combat skills), Try Harder (non-combat/communication skills), and Be More Persuasive (communication skills). These provide skill bonuses equal to 50% of the characters base skill to all skills included within their category. They cannot be used to boost any skills already used in an attempt to solve a problem, so if fighting has not worked then the character can only Try Harder or Be More Persuasive etc.                  

It may be obtained via the ‘Vinga Finds A Way’ heroquest ritual of the Adventurer subcult. (J)

 

Vigilance

 

Spirit, variable, ranged, temporal.                                               

DarkStorm/Spearman/Uzfighter (Rigsdal).

This spell may be learnt at any Rigsdal shrine or temple.

For every point in this spell the character's Scan and Listen are increased by 5% as long as the character remains motionless, or slowly walking (such as being on watch). For instance, a character standing on watch would receive this bonus, but not a character wandering around the undergrowth or a dungeon. This spell cannot more than double the characters skills. Vingans can only gain this spell by completing the ‘Vinga and the Long Night’ heroquest. (NE)