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Vinga the Avenger

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Vinga the Avenger

 

 

This section presents the subcult of Vinga the Avenger as used in our campaign. It is principally derived from material in Storm Tribe, although it does include some of our own material.

Vinga first swore the Red Vows when a wandering chaos monstrosity killed her lover and hearthmates. With the assistance of Gustbran, who forged her grief into the blade called Vengeance. Vinga hunted down the monstrosity and its spawn, destroying them so utterly that not even their names are known (from the Storm Tribe write-up of Vinga, it should be read for the additional material on the Avenger subcult that it contains). The Avenger subcult is also called the subcult of The Red Woman.

Vinga is the last defence of all women, and will aid all who call upon her. She is also a source of strength for those women who seek to avenge a grievous personal loss or defend their kin from overwhelming odds.

Any woman may join this cult. Generally only those from the cult of Ernalda apply, especially in more traditional areas, but Vinga is the defender of all women and will accept sincere worshippers from almost any background.

Ernaldans may enter the cult on a temporary basis by taking The Red Vows can be taken at any communal meeting or ceremony. The form they take varies by clan; typically, the worshipper cuts her hair short, dyes it red, and swears the Red Vows before a clan moot or at a Vingan ceremony.

Ernaldans who take the Red Vows are called Red Women and lose their fertility. They can sacrifice for/learn any spells available to all Vingans and the spells from the Avenger subcult listed below. All such magic is one use. Red Women remain worshippers of Ernalda and can still learn, and sacrifice for, magic from that cult as normal.

Red Women may not join other subcults or become priestesses unless they choose to join the cult of Vinga on a permanent basis. If they achieve their aims and leave the cult, reverting to the worship of Ernalda, any Vingan divine magic they have becomes one-use ever. Any spirit magic that they have learned is retained. They also regain their fertility.

Any woman seeking to avenge a personal loss may enter the cult. They do not have to take The Red Vows, but cannot succeed at the Blade of Vengeance heroquest unless they do.

Initiates of Vinga the Avenger who take the Red Vows are referred to as Red Sisters; priestesses are called Red Daughters (Red Ladies if they run a temple). Their duties include training, hunting down rapists, and assisting women in need (especially Red Women). They help others to avenge their losses, and seek to punish the guilty (but do not generally act as a divine crusader, more as a guide to women who seek strength from the Goddess).

The cult is uncommon in peaceful times but increases it’s following in times of strife.

This subcult is structured as per the Vingan standard, but is not as organised as other subcults of the Goddess. Vengeance is often a solitary affair; most Avenger initiates tend to concentrate on their own goals or are Ernaldans, temporarily members of the cult. Most clans have one Avenger priestess at most, responsible for initiating new Red Women, and training members of the cult.

     The Avenger cult does not lack a sense of community, but members tend not to be as closely linked as members of other Vingan subcults. For most women, membership in the Avenger subcult is a temporary thing, at a time of great stress. Avengers support one another unequivocally but act on an individual basis much of the time (this is however an appropriate time to mention the Pavic saying, “If you make an enemy of one Vingan, you make enemies of them all”).

       There are few Avenger sites that are more than a shrine. Avengers tend not to accumulate in large numbers, mostly because there are not large numbers of them, and they are spread over a wide area.  There are several hero bands dedicated to Vinga Avenger, but none are much larger than a clan warband.
 

 
 

Skills

 

Standard Vingan + Earth Lore, Listen, Search, Track

 

Spirit Magic

 

Standard Vingan + Endurance, Fanaticism, Protection, Shimmer

 

Divine Magic

 

Standard Vingan + Follow Me, Now I’m Angry, Surprise Yourself, There is Always A Way, Truesword (+geas).

 

Heroquests

 

Blade of Vengeance, Last Ditch Effort

 

Rituals

Blood Sister, Face of Death, The Red Vows.

 

Associate Cults (Heroquests)

 

Scream Of Fear (Babeestor Gor).

 

 

Associate Cults

 

Earthpower (Ernalda), Ignore Pain (Urox), Restore Health-CON (Ernalda), Scream of Pain (Babeestor Gor), Stay Awake (Voriof), True Parry (Babeestor Gor).

 
 
Hero Cults

 

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

 

Berestha Earthsister

 

Berestha was a Vingan whose mother and sisters suffered an unpleasant death at the hands of raiders. She studied ancient myths and swore a powerful oath to the Earth Avenger before seeking her vengeance, spending the next twenty years tracking the raiders down and killing them brutally. Berestha is said to have hated men so ferociously that a look from her could render a man impotent for life. This is partly based on truth, Babeestor Gor granted her the power to do so (among others) as rewarded for her devotion to revenge and the powerful geases she had sworn. Those who would follow her path can join her hero cult to do so. It is based at the Vinga temple in Notchet.

 

Morfanwen Keenspear

 
Small hero cult of the Dundealos tribe of Sartar commemorates a hero of the Grey Alynx clan. Grants access to Screaming Javelin. Also a hero cult of Vinga the Avenger.

 
 

Spells

 

 

Blade of Vengeance

 

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

Avenger.

Myth can be learnt at most sites, but requires the assistance of a Gustbran follower to complete the heroquest. The Blade of Vengeance heroquest can only be performed by a Vingan who has taken the Red Vows.         

 

Blade of Vengeance is cast when a Vingan is fighting someone who “has personally wronged her by killing or raping a battle companion or close family member” (Storm Tribe/177). The spell acts as an improved version of Now I’m Angry, but doubles the casters attack skills rather than increasing it by half again. (Storm Tribe/J)

 

Blood Sister

 

Ritual Ceremony

Known at all Babeester Gor and Avenger shrines and temples.

 

Some Vingans feel the call of revenge too strongly to remain within the Avenger cult, their hatreds start to transcend social rules and impair their relationships with society.  This ritual enables an Avenger cultist to change the object of her veneration to Babeester Gor without occurring divine displeasure or attacks by spirits of retribution. She loses all Vingan magic, geases, and abilities, and must then apprentice herself to the nearest Babeester Gor priestess, testing for initiation as soon as she is ready. The ritual also works in reverse but is hardly ever needed. The ritual requires the presence of both a Babeester Gor and a Vingan priestess. (J)

 

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)

 

Face of Death

 

Ritual Ceremony.

Avenger.

Uncommon ritual that is better known in Esrolia than elsewhere.

 

Ritual used to prepare a woman for vengeance. It requires the assistance of a Babeester Gor priestess and takes a day to perform. The subjects face is painted in arcane runic script (using enchanted woad), dark vows are sworn, and prayers to the War Women chanted continuously. The subject of the spell must sacrifice 2 POW to the Goddess.

When a recipient of this ritual blessing is in combat with someone they seek (personal) vengeance against, they have the ‘Face of Death’ (but only if the foe has committed a crime against the Vingan or her kin, this is very much a personal thing). Their foe(s) must make a resistance roll for each round that they can see the Vingan’s face, or be subject to a Demoralise effect.

The benefits of the ritual last until the next High Holy Day, or the Vingan’s vengeance is attained, whichever comes first. (J)

 

Follow Me

 

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

Avenger.

Available at all Spearwoman sites.

 

Follow Me grants the caster a 50% bonus to any one communication skill of the casters choice, if it is used to persuade Orlanthi to follow the caster into battle or defend a clan. (J)

 
Great Parry
 
Divine, Heroquest, 3 points, self, non-stackable, temporal.                         
All (Heroquest), Avenger (1 use/Babeester Gor).                                                     
The Shield of the Earth heroquest is widely known. One use available only at Avenger sites with a strong Babeester Gor association/link, or at temples to the Earth Avenger.

 

This spell must be cast upon a shield. The shield has an infinite number of armour points for the spell’s duration. Knockback still affects the holder of the shield. (RQ)

 

Ignore Pain

 

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

Avenger (1 use/Urox).

This spell can be obtained at any Urox shrine that can grant it.


Once cast the Vingan can ignore the effects of her wounds and pain. Since this normally has no effect in RuneQuest it is of limited effect, but in certain situations will be of use (for instance, to ignore the effects of torture, or not to cry out in pain when struck). (NE)

 

Last Ditch Effort

 

Divine, 3 points, self, one-use, non-stackable, special.

Avenger, Adventurer (HQ), Spearwoman (HQ).

Details of the Last Ditch Effort heroquest available at many different sites (Orlanth, Thunder Brothers and Vingan). Can be sacrificed for at most Orlanth, Thunder Brothers or Vingan temple, generally not available at smaller sites.

      

If the owner of this spell reaches a point where she is technically dead, either through Hit Point loss, through a spell such as Sever Spirit or by characteristic loss then the spell will automatically fire, even if the character is unconscious. The character is restored to full Hit Points, spells such as Sever Spirit or Fang of Wachaza are countered and the character will receive 1D6 points to any characteristic brought to 0. The spell is then lost as it is one-use. The character also gains a single combat action to be used immediately. (SP)

 

 

Now I’m Angry

 

Divine, 2 points, self, temporal, non-stackable.                                        

Avenger.

Available at any Vingan site.               

 

This spell is a variant of the Berserk spell. It raises the casters attack skills to 150% of their current value, allows them to Dodge (at full percentages), but does not allow them to parry. (P)

 

 

 

Scream of Pain

 

Divine, 1 point, ranged, non-stackable instant.

Avenger (1 use/Babeestor Gor)

 

This must overcome the target in a POW vs. POW contest; if the caster is victorious then the target is rendered functionally incapacitated for 1D3 melee rounds due to intense pain. It has no effect on those who can feel no pain, for instance, Zombies. (SP)

 

Shout of Fear

 

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

Avenger (AssocHQ/Babeester Gor).
Only a few Avenger sites in Sartar and Heortland (Tarthcaer, Vingaford, Last Cast) preserve the details of The Blood Sister’s Blessing heroquest, it is very widely known in Esrolia. Can be sacrificed for at any Babeester Gor shrine or temple, and at Vinga temples with a strong association with the Earth Avenger.

 

This spell affects all foes within earshot. The caster must overcome each  target in a POW vs. POW contest, if the caster is victorious then the target is affected by a Fear spell and will react appropriately. (J)

 

Surprise Yourself

 

Divine, 2 points, stackable, touch, temporal.                                               

Avenger.

May be sacrificed for at many Vinga temples.

 

This spell the caster to do lend either skills (1 skill per point) or her spell knowledge to a willing individual. If a skill is lent then the caster cannot use that skill for the duration of the spell. If spell knowledge is lent out then the recipient can use any of the casters re-usable spells if they are within 100 metres of the caster. The caster has no control over which spells the recipient uses, although the recipient uses his or her own MP’s to power the spell. The spell also provides a Soul Sister link between caster and recipient with a range of 100 metres. (J/P)

 

The Red Vows

 

Ritual Ceremony.

Avenger.

Known by all priestesses of the Avenger subcult, taught to any woman who asks.

 

Women who wish to call upon Vinga’s aid to help them, either to gain revenge for a personal loss, or defend their clan against powerful foes, take the Red Vows. The Vow ritual has two forms.

The first ritual of the Red Vows is used by Vingans of the Avenger subcult. It renders the effects of the Earth Vows permanent, and Vingans who undergo it can never regain their fertility. The Vows are often taken to enable the Vingan to perform the Blade of Vengeance heroquest.

The second ritual enables a follower of Ernalda to temporarily join the cult of Vinga the Avenger, and draw upon her strength

The Red Vows can be taken at any communal meeting or ceremony. The form they take varies by clan; typically, the worshipper cuts her hair short, dyes it red, and swears the Red Vows before a clan moot or at a Vingan ceremony.

Ernaldans who take the Red Vows are called Red Women and lose their fertility. They can sacrifice for/learn any spells available to all Vingans and the spells from the Avenger subcult listed below. All such magic is one use. Red Women remain worshippers of Ernalda and can still learn, and sacrifice for, magic from that cult as normal.

Red Women may not join other subcults or become priestesses unless they choose to join the cult of Vinga on a permanent basis. If they achieve their aims and leave the cult, reverting to the worship of Ernalda, any Vingan divine magic they have becomes one-use ever. Any spirit magic that they have learned is retained. They also regain their fertility.

Initiates of Vinga the Avenger who take the Red Vows are referred to as Red Sisters; priestesses are called Red Daughters (Red Ladies if they run a temple).

The vow-taker must sacrifice 1 POW to the Goddess.

 

This ritual was inspired by the description of the Red Vows given in the Storm Tribe write-up of the Avenger subcult.

 

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. This 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)

 

True Parry

 

Divine, 1 point, touch, non-stackable, one melee round.

Avenger (1 use/Babeester Gor).

Can be sacrificed for at any Babeester Gor site.


From the instant True Parry is cast until the same segment the following round, the recipient will parry all attacks (including missiles) directed against her with whatever she holds in her hands. She will even parry attacks she cannot normally sense. The recipient cannot block area attacks (e.g. acid spray or boiling oil) with weapons or small shields, or prevent excess damage from getting past the parrying weapon/shield/arm. The recipient must be willing. (RQ)

 

Vow of the Black Earth

 

Ritual Ceremony.

Avenger

Known at many Avenger sites and by many priestesses.

 

This powerful ritual is to prepare a group of women who seek just revenge against a common foe.

The intention of the group must be to kill the foe or the ritual will not work. The Vingan priestess must name the foe specifically and they must have wronged the women of the group sufficiently to deserve death (deserve in the eyes of a Babeester Gor priestess anyway). It would not be enough for example, to declare the Lunar army as the stated foe because the women’s village had been burnt and their relatives killed, the specific unit(s) responsible (i.e. The Silver Shields) would have to be named.

The foe against which revenge is sought must be known; if unknown assailants are guilty of the actions that the group seeks to avenge, then the ritual will not work (i.e. the group must know that it was the Black Spear weaponthanes who killed their husbands, they cannot seek revenge against “the men who killed our husbands”).

Women who undergo this write are referred to as Black Earth Sisters; they normally paint their faces in red and blue woad (50/50), a signal of their intentions that is designed to warn people off and avoid unnecessary conflict where possible (although this varies by clan and area).

The ritual requires the assistance of a Babeester Gor priestess and the sacrifice of a red deer. . It takes a day to perform and c

All women who wish to gain the blessings of this ritual must sacrifice two points of POW to Vinga, and one POW to Babeester Gor. The leader of the ritual must sacrifice a point of POW in addition to this at the conclusion of the ceremony. On the morning of each day that the ritual benefits are sought, the leader must expend 6 Mp +1 MP/group member in a sacrifice to the goddess (in a sanctified or holy place; a failure to do so, or any break in the pursuit of the foe(s) will end the ritual (GMD).

If the ritual is to be continued for more than three days, the ritual leader must expend another point of POW (at a holy or sanctified place). After seven days, a point of POW must be sacrificed each day (by any member of the group), and the intense mental and physical strain causes all group members to suffer the permanent loss of a point of CON; another CON point is lost for every 3 days after that the pursuit continues.

The ritual provides the following bonuses to the group;

 

        They need not eat or sleep

        Are immune to Fear and Demoralise

        Do not fatigue

        Gain + 10% to Attack, Parry, and Dodge

        All gain the benefits of an Ignore Pain spell.

 

When fighting the named foe, members of the group gain a further + 20% to Attack and do an extra 2d6 damage.

They move at +3 if they can see one of their named foes, as long as that movement is made to pursue or engage the foe(s) directly; i.e. it could not be used to outflank or move into ambush, it represent uncontrollable hatred at the sight of the foe(s) and an instant charge or frenzied pursuit; members of the group who chose not to use this increased movement in the presence of their foes, are considered to have kept a semblance of control, and may thus apply themselves more tactically.

While under the effects of this spell, Communication skills are reduced by three-quarters (the intense focus given by the ritual makes it difficult to concentrate on anything other than thoughts of revenge and the path ahead, never mind chat or Orate). Communication between members of the group is unaffected by the spell.

All Black Earth Sisters must fight to the death against the named foe(s); retreat will instantly cancel the benefits of the ritual for the individual(s) concerned.

The benefits of this ritual end if the last foe is slain. When the ritual ends, the effects of all wounds and sleep/food deprivation will be felt.