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Vinga the Spearwoman

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Vinga the Spearwoman

 

Vinga the Spearwoman is the most common subcult of Vinga. It is a clan-based subcult that offers martially inclined women the chance (and training) to participate in what are typically seen (in Sartar) as male activities, defending the clan and fighting its enemies.

This subcult is especially popular in Esrolia (where it is referred to as Vinga the Protectoress) and Sartar, and occurs anywhere that Orlanthi women must take up arms to defend their clan, or have traditionally always done so. In many clans, Vinga the Spearwoman is the cult joined by women who have an active desire to be warriors, as well as a source of power and inspiration for women in need.

The cult is most popular in times of strife; the Lunar invasion of Sartar, oppression of the clans, and the onset of the Hero Wars have prompted a massive rise in membership, as women have sought her power to defend their clan from the many threats of the times.

The majority of myths and stories of the goddess detail her valiant efforts to defend the Storm Tribe and fight its enemies, especially when male fighting gods are not present (or largely absent).  She often defeats such foes on her own (such as when she saved the children in ‘Why Vingan’s aren’t afraid of Trolls’), or achieves victory in alliance with another of the warrior gods, most commonly Elmal or Rigsdal (especially during the Great Darkness, see Storm Tribe/169).

Numerous variations of this subcult exist, most not deviating substantially from the outline given below. In addition, there are many small hero cults associated with the Spearwoman, most of which are unique to a specific clan or location (and even then may be largely unknown, or simply an uncommon focus for veneration, with only a devout few continuing the tradition).

The mythology of the cult is well detailed in Storm Tribes (166-180. By Issaries, go buy it; it’s well worth a read for the background information alone) and on the Questlines website (go here), and these sources should be referred to for further details.

The membership requirements, duties, benefits, and obligations listed in the main Vinga cult section represent the organisation of the Spearwoman cult more than any other Vingan subcult. Worshippers of Vinga the Spearwoman are members of the fyrd or warband, and carry out men’s duties in times of trouble.They, together with Elmali, tend to be the section of a clan’s warband detailed to guard the stead while the other warriors are away; both cults are seen as reliable and thus trusted with this important task (the Storm Tribe discovered the consequences of not doing so at the end of the Vingkotling Age, see Storm Tribe/168).

Priestesses are called Daughters (of Vinga), those who head a shrine, temple, or warband, are referred to as Loyal Daughter (of Vinga). Most serve in a clan or tribal warband, often acting as trainers (Vingan fighting styles tend to rely on skill and speed, not strength and weight), champions, or warband leaders. They are expected to defend their clan and the helpless, stand up for women’s rights, help abused women to seek redress, and act as advisors to the young people of the clan and the clan ring, resolving disputes where necessary.

 
 

Skills

Standard Vingan + Battle Command, Battle Lore, Clan Lore, Human Lore.

Spirit Magic

Standard Vingan + Demoralise, Ignite, Protection, Shimmer, Stability

Divine Magic  

Standard Vingan + Heal Body (Chalana Arroy), Inspire, Invigorate (Voria), Restore Morale, Shield Non-Combatant, True (weapon).

Heroquests

Defend the Helpless, Find Lost Child, Last Ditch Effort

Rituals

First Cast, Shield of Women, Spear Blessing.

Associate Cults (Heroquests)

Combat Healing (Bevara), Ease Labour Pains (Ernalda), Stand Ground (Elmal), Survive Battle (Bevara).

Associate  Cults

Ambush (Finovan), Comfort Song (Chalana Arroy), Defend Wall (Elmal), Ear-Splitting Shriek (Bevara), Rally Fyrd (Starkval), Sober-Up (Barntar), Speak to Horses (Redalda), Stay Awake (Voriof), Vigilance (Rigsdal).

The Loom House Vows

Members of this subcult can take The Loom House Vows (click here to view).

 
 

Hero Cults

 

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

Enyarna Stead Daughter

Small hero cult from the Far Place (HeroWars original created by John Hughes, go here to see it). Grants the Listen to This spell.

Gorova SpearDaughter

Popular Esrolian hero cult. Gorova was a hero of the Silver Bull Clan famed for her skill at commanding troops, and cunnning 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.

 

Jalassa ThreeCast

Vingan from Ralios adopted by the Blue Oak Clan of the Amad. Repeatedly defended her clan from Uz attacks and completed an experimental version of the  ‘Why Vingans Aren’t Afraid of Trolls’ heroquest, bringing back the power to help them in the future. Members can sacrifice for the Drive-Off Trolls spell at her shrine at Amadhall; there is no longer an active shrine at Blue Boar Fort, the Dinacoli have betrayed the goddess and Orlanth. Also a hero cult of Vinga Uzfighter.

Lurdaeva DarkSpear

Heortling hero cult of Lurdaeva DarkSpear, a Sylangi Vingan. She discovered a heropath that led to the Storm Age and returned with the spear of a dying  god. She fought the Uz of the Kitori Wilds to defend her clan, and died helping the forces of King Tarkalor to defeat her clans ancient foe. Cult members can sacrifice for the Spear the Dark spell at her shrine near Secondtop. Also a hero cult of Vinga Uzfighter.

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. Shrine at Pavis.

Pelessa OakHeart

Esrolian hero cult of a famous hero of the Red-Headed Lodge of the Berenethtelli tribe, who died defending her adopted clan, and whose memory has been treasured ever since. She was renowned for her stubborn nature and ’ ferocious’ loyalty.

 

Spells

 

Ambush

 

Divine, 2 points, ranged, non-stackable, special.                                   

Spearwoman/Uzfighter (1 use, Finovan).                                                                 

Obtainable at most major Orlanth sites, all Finovan shrines.

 

Ambush assists a warband to ambush its foes. Each member of the warband receives a +15% bonus to his or her Hide and Sneak skills. The bonus only applies if the force is going to ambush an enemy, not if they are merely hiding from one. (P)

 

Combat Healing

 

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

Adventurer/Spearwoman (AssocHQ/Bevara).                                      

The Three Hopping Things heroquest can be learnt, and the spell sacrificed for, at Tarthcaer and shrines on the Bevara Ridges only.

For the duration of the spell, the user may cast Healing magic on others in addition to any other acts. These spells do not take a combat action and can be combined with other actions and spell casting. All healing spells become ranged, so the user does not need to touch the injured person in order to use healing magic. (SP)

 

Comfort Song

 

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

Adventurer/Spearwoman (1 use/Chalana Arroy).

 

This spell allows the user to sing a Song of Power, which keeps all, who hear it from feeling pain, effectively anaesthetizing the body, while still permitting consciousness. It is often used during childbirth and after battles. Characters who would normally be incapacitated are not, though damage is unhealed. The spell requires a successful Sing roll to be effective. (RQ/J)

 

Defend the Helpless

 

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

Spearwoman (HQ).

The Vinga Defends the Helpless myth is known at most Spearwoman sites and the spell can be sacrificed fro at almost all Vingan sites.

 

This spell enables the caster to parry up to three attacks made on helpless creatures within range (POW in metres). These parries are in addition to their normal actions and at unmodified chances of success. The caster may not parry attacks made against her, she can only attempt to dodge them, unless she has not parried any attacks made against a helpless creature in that round, in which case she can parry attacks made against her (the caster must rely on movement and agility whilst defending the helpless but can fight normally when not doing so). (J)

 

Defend Wall

 

Spirit, variable, self, temporal.                                                                  

Spearwoman/Uzfighter (Elmal).                                                                                   

Elmal Hearthguard shrines of any clan with a Spearwoman or Uzfighter shrine/temple will normally teach this spell.

 

Each point of this spell adds 5% to the casters Attack and Parry skills, but only if they are defending an obstacle (GMD). (P)

 

Ear-splitting Shriek

 

Divine, 2 points, non-stackable, ranged, instant.                                 

Defender Storm (Bevara), Adventurer/Spearwoman (1 use/Bevara).

Any Bevaran or Vingan site.             

             

An Ear-splitting Shriek affects one target per MP expended in the casting (but can only affect those who can hear it, the spell does not make the noise carry any further than normal). A POW vs. POW roll must be made, with the casters roll applying to all targets.  (P)

Fumble: caster stunned for 2d6 SR.

Fail: No effect

Success: Target stunned for 2d6 SR

Special: Target stunned for 3d6 SR

Critical: Target stunned for 4d6 SR and deafened until healed.

 

Ease Labour Pains
 
Divine, Heroquest,1 point, touch, non-stackable, temporal.                                     

Spearwoman (AssocHQ/Ernalda, 1 use), The Loom House Vows.

Can be sacrificed for at almost any Ernalda temple. Details of the Vinga Defends Drenyan heroquest are known at almost all Ernaldan and Vingan sites.

                                                                                                                         Once cast, this spell will ease the pains of a woman in labour, reducing it to nothing other than minor discomfort. Only serious birth difficulties cause anything more than minor pain, and even then it is limited. Obviously this spell is often used in conjunction with Extension. (NE)

 

Find Lost Child

 

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

Adventurer (Kallyr the Dancer), Spearwoman (HQ).

Hall of the Red Lady (Pavis Rubble). The Vinga Finds the Lost Children heroquest is widely known. The spell can be sacrificed for at any Vingan temple.

                                       

 

This spell informs the caster of the presence of any lost children within a one-mile radius. The caster learns how far they are away, and in what direction but must concentrate for a melee round to gain this information. The caster may alternately seek a single lost child known to her either through encounters, a description, or the possession of an article of their clothing. In this case the radius is seven miles and the caster need not concentrate. The DM must adjudicate as to whether or not a given child is lost, thus coming under the remit of this spell. (J/P) 

 

First Cast

 

Ritual Ceremony.

Spearwoman.

This ritual is known by most Spearwoman priestesses.

 

This ritual is used to help prepare a group of women for battle. Each participant must contribute 1 MP to the ritual; the officiating priestess must add 1 MP to this fro every five women in the ritual.

The ritual blesses the first cast of a javelin or spear by any of the women involved in the ritual. It provides a 10% Attack bonus and a +3 damage bonus to the first attack. The benefits of the ritual will last for a day, but are discharged when the beneficiary makes their first attack of any kind following the ritual. The ritual is usually performed to give Vingans an edge in the skirmishing that normally precedes battles.

 

Inspire

 

Divine, 1 point, stackable, ranged, temporal.                                      

Spearwoman.

Available at all Vingan sites.

 

Roughly similar to the Humakti spell of Morale.  Normally cast in battle, it causes seven-times-seven of the caster's followers per point, plus the caster herself, to become Fanatical, as per the spirit magic spell. Extra points of the spell increase the numbers of followers affected, and also increase the range (multiply standard range by the number of points used). The followers need not be Vingans, and in fact are often male. They may try to resist the spell, though this is hardly normal behaviour. If they are already Fanatical then the spell has no effect. Duration is as standard for divine magic.                   

Unlike the more formal Humakti spell, there is no ceremony needed (shouting "follow me!" is normal, but not required) and no regimental standard. Instead, the caster's  hair acts as the standard: this is not a spell for those who like to lead from the back! Inspire is compatible with most other spells, including Mindlink and Mindspeech. It is not compatible with Berserk, or with being affected by Demoralise: in both cases, the Inspire will be lost. (JW)

 

Invigorate

 

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

Adventurer/ Spearwoman (Voria), All others 1 use (Voria).                                                                          

Can be sacrificed for at any Vingan or Ernaldan temple, or Voria site.

 

This spell restores the fatigue level of the target, up to the maximum of their STR+CON minus ENC. The target’s previous fatigue points may have been positive or negative. (RQ)

 

Rally Fyrd

 

Divine, 1 point, stackable, ranged, instant.                                               

Spearwoman (1 use/Starkval).

Spell must be sacrificed for at a Starkval shrine.

This spell affects a circle of radius 5m per point stacked in the spell. Within the area of the spell, the user may make an Orate, Fast Talk or similar roll to rally the people affected by the spell. If he succeeds, the user will bring the people out of whatever demoralising effect that they are under. So, this will stop people running away if routed in battle, will stop people running around in confusion and will bring them into some kind of order. It does not dispel demoralising magic, but does temper them, making them less severe. (SP/J)

 

Red Deer Shield

 

Ritual Ceremony.

Spearwoman.

Most clans know this ritual.

 

This ritual is performed only once each year (on Defence Day). The priestess uses the hide of a red deer that she has sacrificed to the goddess to create a magical shield for the bravest initiate of her congregation. The hide is used to cover an ordinary target shield or buckler, and is then ritually enchanted. This requires the sacrifice of 1 POW and successful Ceremony and Enchant rolls. The shield has 1d6+1 AP more than a standard shield, if the Ceremony roll was a special success this raises to 1d6+2 additional AP, if it was a critical success then the shield gains 1d6+4 AP. Hide-covered shields are vulnerable to fire unless they are treated, but otherwise the shield takes and absorbs damage in the usual way. (J)

 

Restore Morale

 

Divine, 1 point, stackable, ranged, instant.                                         

Spearwoman.

Can be sacrificed for at any Vingan shrine or temple.

This restores broken morale in a group of people. It can cancel the effect of Demoralise on a number of people equal to the caster's POW per point of spell. It is commonly used when an army is being affected by morale-sapping spells, such as a ghoul's howl. (SP)

 

Shield Non-Combatant

 

Divine, 1 point, self, temporal, non-stackable.                                        Spearwoman.                                                                                                                                  Can be sacrificed for at any Vingan site.

 

This spell grants the caster an extra parry each round. This parry may only be used to protect a helpless individual, and in no way provides the caster with an additional parry with which to defend themselves. (P)

 

Shield of Women

 

Ritual Ceremony.

Spearwoman.

Known by most Daughters of the Spearwoman subcult.

 

This ritual is used to prepare a group of women for battle. It draws upon the power of Vinga to defend its participants. All participants must contribute 3 MP to the ritual.

The ritual  either adds three AP to the subject, or increases her Dodge skill by fifteen percent (their choice, must be made at the beginning of the ritual). The benefits of the ritual can be stacked with other magical protections or skill enhancements. The benefits last for the course of a battle, or for a day, whichever is longer. (J)

 

Sober Up

 

Spirit Magic, 2 points, touch, instant.                                       Adventurer/Spearwoman (Barntar).

Can be learnt from any Barntar site, or from any Barntar priest.

This spell causes the recipient to recover immediately from the effects of drinking alcohol. It removes all alcohol-based toxins, prevents a hangover and removes any skill loss. (SP/J)

 

Speak To Horses

 

Divine, 2 points, self, temporal.                                                            

Voudisea (Redalda), Adventurer/Spearwoman (1 use/Redalda).

Can only be sacrificed for at the Redalda shrine at Charandar’s Rest or at Voudisea shrines.

This allows the user to speak with the type of beast for the duration of the spell. This does not impart intelligence to the beasts, but does allow the user to have a conversation. If the beast needs to be convinced, an Orate, Fast Talk or similar skill must be used. Redalda grants this spell to her friend to aid her in her travels. (SP)

 

Spear Blessing

 

Ritual Ceremony.

Spearwoman.

This ritual, or minor variations of it, is widely known. The exact form it takes depends on the caster/clans perceptions of, and interpretation of, Vingan myth.

 

This ritual requires all participants to contribute 1 MP, and takes an hour to perform. The participants all gain a +5% to Attack and +2 damage with spears and javelins. This bonus lasts for one battle, and is in addition to any other magics cast. Only women can benefit from this ritual.  Many minor variants exist; +5% Parry and +2AP on a shield, +5% Attack and +2 damage with swords, etc.

 

Stability   

 

Spirit, variable, touch, temporal.                                                           Spearwoman, Uzfighter, Voudisea.

Can be learnt at any Spearwoman or Uzfighter site.

 

Raises SIZ to half its current value again for purposes of knockback only. There is no effect on hit points or actual physical size, and normal species (not gender) maximums do apply. If you're already SIZ 20, don't bother with this spell. (JW)

 

Stand Ground

 

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

Spearwoman/Uzfighter (AssocHQ/Elmal).

Details of the Vinga Defends Elmal heroquest are known in almost all clans where both Elmali and Vingan are popular. Also held at the temples in Notchet, Tarthcaer, Last Cast, and Defender’s Fort. It can be sacrificed for at any Elmal site with the spell.

 

Stand Ground is granted to Vinga by Elmal to help her guard the stead. It is a limited form of berserk that does not allow the caster to retreat, but does allow them to take damage as if they were affected by a Berserk spell, and increases their parry skills to 150% of their start value. The spell is typically used to enable a Vingan to cover a retreat or hold a vital position. Elmal taught Vinga how to do this when she helped him defend the stead during the Darkness. (P)

 

Survive Battle

 

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

Adventurer/Spearwoman (AssocHQ/Bevara).

Details of the Vinga’s Rough Day heroquest are widely known in Sartar. The spell may be sacrificed for at any Bevaran shrine or temple, or at Tarthcaer, or at Red Larch Hill, a small Vinga shrine in the Bevara Ridges, where Bevara once healed Vinga after she had been badly wounded by Zorak Zoran.

Once cast the caster will be bequeathed with a remarkable ability to avoid harm in the middle of a battle. All parry skills and the dodge skill are doubled, and any missile weapons are at half chance to strike the caster. This spell lasts until the duration passes or the caster attempts to take any offensive actions, including casting attack spells. (SP)

 

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)