Totems of Might
|Symbols||The symbols of each Totem vary. Common examples of symbols for Totems of Might are the Bear, Ram or the Sun.|
In order to enter the prayer state, a follower of a Totem spirit may do one of the following:
While the moods of the spirits can have a strong impact on the lives of those within the corporeal world, the actions of humanity also have a strong impact upon the spiritual world. It is believed by most totemic priests that the relationship between humans and spirits is reciprocal. Humans provide offerings and sacrifices to the spirits, and in turn the spirits provide their blessings.
This relationship, this pact, is often represented by the Totems the faithful carry. These sacred objects represent a specific spirit or an aspect of the spirit world. The followers of these Totems imbue these sacred objects with respect and meaning. They give them offerings and tend to their care. In return, the spirits provide them with protection, other advantages, or at least temporarily spare the faithful from their wrath. Among the Outlanders, nearly every band carries at least one Totem with them. This Totem represents what they value as a group and who they are as a people. Beyond the Outlands, adherents to totemic spirituality may reverently carry an item of significance that represents the spirit they follow, even if they worship alone.
While the spirits themselves are wildly and deeply varied, they can be roughly categorized into three main types of Totems: Might, Life, and Guile.
Totems of Might tend to be warlike spirits, or entities that place an emphasis on strength, victory, and bravery. Among the Outlanders, Totems of Might must be earned through brute strength, conquest, or other direct confrontation. Stealth, trickery, and covert assassinations play no part in their acquisition. There is no attacking someone from behind. There are no clever ploys. There is only pure skill in combat and direct displays of superiority.
Totems of Life are spirits who are focused on protection, growth, and healing. They expect their followers to have overcome obstacles through perseverance and wisdom. Their followers stand back up, bandage their wounds, and continue forward. They serve as examples to others, guiding, nurturing, and teaching. It should never be forgotten, though, that Totems of Life prefer sacrifices of blood and toil, and death is another aspect of life.
Totems of Guile are tricksters, spirits of intellect, riddles, and mystery. Their followers honor them by doing what is least expected. Misdirection, nimble fingers, and quick wits are their hallmark methods of acquiring what they need. Among the Outlanders, those who follow these Totems are famous for their strategy, sabotage, theft, and subversive assassinations.
Among the Outlanders, acquiring a Totem is a sacred trial and collective rite of passage. They must prove to the spirit that they are worthy of carrying their symbol and being associated with them. However, even after the test is passed and the Totem won, in order to continue the ongoing relationship, followers must continue to provide the totem with sacrifices and act in accordance with the expectations of the Totem’s spirit. Totems of Might expects their followers to be upfront, direct and to behave with Honor. Totems of Life expect their followers to engage in acts of wisdom and to never give up. And Totems of Guile expect their followers to be cunning and to do whatever it takes to win.
The theft or destruction of a totem is a nearly unforgivable act, and the cause of many a feud or vendetta. Those who commit such an act had better hope they are not discovered- or that the totem they stole is powerful enough and willing to protect them. Cultists who enter play as Totemic cultist may come into game with a totem, although they must describe whether the totem is one of Might, Life, or Guile, and submit details about the totem to staff in order to receive a proper item tag. If a cultist or player would like to create a totem in game they may spend glory in order to request a module in which they seek a totem imbued with the proper spirit.
Totems of Might require offerings of animal sacrifice, herbs with the steroid quality, and blood spilled in combat in their name. Other offerings include things that you pull from the earth, like precious stones or metals, or items you have taken from your enemies after defeating them in battle.
Followers of Totems of Might must always respond to aggression with aggression. Should they ever back down from a fight, not answer a challenge, or respond to aggressive actions in kind, they gain the Miserable condition for the duration of three event days or until they properly atone for their broken vow and make an appropriately impressive sacrifice, whichever comes first. This condition cannot be removed through food.
Should the follower accept their punishment and end the three event days without rectifying their broken vow, they are no longer considered a follower of the Totem, and will be unable gain a benefit from offerings until they have made amends through atonement and a precious offering.
Make an Offering
A Totem of Might promises the following gifts to those who leave offerings at their dedicated shrine. Anyone may gain the benefit of the shrine so long as they have sworn the following oath to the Totem along with their offering:
“(Totem Name), I swear myself to you. I will fight in your name. Cowards will be laid low by my blade, and I shall bring honor to you by my actions. Hear my words, and give me strength to continue the fight, even if I should fall, from this day to the next.”
Swearing this Oath places the petitioner under the Vow of Totem of Might.
The following must be written into the dedications book as if it was a prayer. The use of an Altar or Shrine spends the user’s daily prayer ability:
Common Offering – By presenting an offering of uncommon or better metal, meat, or herbs with the steroid quality, the petitioner may gain one single refresh of either a Fear, Terror, or Discipline call from a skill they possess.
Rare Offering: Bestial Ferocity – By offering a maim, a rare stone, or trophy personally won in battle the petitioner feels themselves swell with rage. They may call upon that rage by snarling, growling or yelling at an opponent. Doing so grants one Divine Fear call that expires at dawn if unused.
Precious Offering: Unto the Mighty – By offering a masterwork weapon, a sentient living creature, or a costly trophy personally won in battle you may call upon the might of your totem to increase any physical attribute by one for a scene. This expires at dawn if unused.
Requirements of an Altar
In addition to offerings at a Shrine, one may make common offerings to a Totem of Might at an Altar dedicated to them. The Altar must contain at least one weapon earned in combat, a representation of the spirit, a red stone, and a blade that has killed.
Dedicate Shrine to Totem of Might
Build and dedicate a Shrine to a Totem of Might.
“That which can be conquered should be conquered. To do otherwise is not mercy, but is merely disdain. Give those weaker than yourself the honor of knowing their place in their world, do not leave them in the darkness of confusion. Show them what you are, so they might know who they are.”
~ Carving upon a Shrine to the Totem of Lightning
Focus – The Totem representing the Spirit one has dedicated themselves to is placed on the Shrine surface. It should be in a position of prominence: for instance displayed within an intricately carved box or resting on a piece of clean fur.
Focus – At least three tagged rare, wyrd or complex objects associated with the Totem are placed around it in a counter clockwise pattern. These objects should be acquired in a way that is pleasing to the Totem, and are typically things like claws or teeth from predators, weapons taken from enemies, or spoils of war.
Offering – An animal is sacrificed to the Totem and a bowl is filled with its blood.
Offering – A trophy of battle is burned in a fire set in front of the altar. Once the trophy has burned away, the fire is extinguished with the blood of the animal.
Act – The Totem Spirit is beseeched to accept its place in the adherent or group’s life and its place at the Shrine.
Creates a Shrine to a Totem of Might that may be used to gain a mechanical benefit from offerings. Anyone can trigger the shrine, as long as they swear the Oath and use their daily prayer ability.
The rite must be reperformed if the Totem is removed from the Shrine for longer than 24 hours.