Guide

Guide

In Greek legend, the heroes Achilles, Heracles, Jason, Aeneas, Asclepius, and Peleus learned archery and the arts from the centaur Chiron — quite a list of students, considering that Chiron himself was the titanspawn child of Cronus. Military mentors, spiritual guides, and other gifted advisors often figure prominently in legends from other parts of the World as well. Perhaps the ancient Gods find power in the form itself, because even in modern times, they are known to bless their children with guides.

Potential guides come in many forms: Sagely mortals, fellow Scions, or even legendary beings. A Greek Scion might visit a particular grove to commune with one of the “rural ghosts.” Japanese Scions might do the same at remote Shinto shrines. Loa guides have the jarring habit of dispensing wisdom through convenient passersby, often at inopportune or embarrassing moments for their students.

Purchasing this trait is no guarantee that a Scion’s guide will always be available to answer questions. Indeed, the most powerful and knowledgeable guides usually have the most distractions. Scions with guides that can be reached through a relic will usually find their mentors easier to communicate with.

In the same vein, no guide is unerringly accurate or completely honest about all subjects. They are characters with limitations and ambitions of their own. In general, however, a guide can be relied on to fulfill his archetypal role: Sometimes confusing, sometimes preoccupied, but ultimately delivering a crucial education in the way of the hero.

Because the interaction between a Scion and her divine parent is so fundamental to the game, the Guide Birthright cannot be used to define this relationship. A few Gods contact their children almost daily, some are complete absentees, but most fall somewhere in between. Regardless, an immortal mother or father is always more than just a guide (though Gods occasionally fulfill the guide role for Scions who are not their children).

Dots Effects
1 A wise mortal. The guide can offer useful advice about several aspects of mortal life (Ability specialties, the conduct of war, finances, etc.). Such guides might be knowledgeable in certain areas relating to the Gods — the mystic practices of their worshipers, unconfirmed accounts of titanspawn, and so forth — though they rarely have firsthand experience with Scions or their divine parents. In fact, many guides at this level have no idea how or why a deity would select them to mentor their children.
2 A very wise and/or powerful mortal. The guide is either an extremely knowledgeable mortal — the World’s foremost expert in his or her chosen field, for example — or one who wields wide influence. The more power guides possess, the less time they have to guide their charges. A guide at this level could also be one of the rare individuals who is aware of the struggle between the Gods and the Titans. Such guides often have direct experience with other Scions or titanspawn.
3 An experienced Scion. The guide can offer considerable insight into all things semidivine. She might know other Scions from several pantheons, or even a few Gods. Many have experience fighting various strains of titanspawn. Unfortunately, Scions mentoring Scions can sometimes resemble the blind leading the blind. Even experienced Scions sometimes misunderstand the inscrutable intrigues of their parents. Another drawback to having a Scion for a mentor is that she is often involved with her own heroic Band, leaving her less time to guide her pupil.
4 A legendary being. The guide could conceivably be any sort of creature or being. Many kami and loa serve in this capacity, as do the numerous nature spirits that crop up in Greek and Norse legend. Although they are not outright Gods, such creatures are particularly attuned to the workings of divinity. These guides often have considerable experience with titanspawn, and might even have a rudimentary knowledge of the Titans themselves. Such creatures typically have limited knowledge of the mortal World, however. Sirens know lots about sailors, for instance, but their knowledge of cars and stock exchanges is limited.
5 A minor God or Goddess. The guide possesses considerable first-hand knowledge of the Overworld, the Underworld, and destinations in between, though she is often preoccupied with her divine duties. Some Gods are notoriously cryptic or find it difficult to communicate with mortals. Such deities confound (inadvertently or otherwise) as often as they guide.

Available Guides

Aes Sídhe, The: (Guide 3 – 4) The Daoine Maite, or the “Good People.” The Gentry. The Kindly Ones. The Daoine Sídhe. The Good Neighbors. All of these are the names given to the aes sídhe, or the “people of the Sídhe.” Whether shining and beautiful or terrifying and monstrous, these are the people beneath the hills, half-divine and half something else. The aes sídhe worshipped the Tuatha before the coming of the Milesians, and when the Milesians won the right to Ireland through iron and blood, the aes sídhe agreed that these fair mortals should have all of the Green Isle above the ground, while that which was below it belonged to them. Capricious and strange, the aes sídhe withdrew from the World by way of the sídhe, the hollow hills that dot the landscape of Eire. Some fled to the bosom of the Tuatha, withdrawing into Tir na NÓg, the Land of Youth where they became more radiant and beautiful. These fairies earned a variety of names for themselves, the foremost among them given by the Scots: “Seelie” or “blessed.” Others, bitter that the Tuatha had given their home away to mortals, fled into the lands where the dead journeyed. These night-haunts and winter spirits came to be called by many names, among them “Unseelie” or “unholy.” The Seelie are those aes sídhe that dwell in the great court Tir na nÓg. This place is known by many names: The Seelie Court, the Court of Fire, the Beltane Gather and the Clan of Brigid. Though later folklore often talks of kings or queens of the faerie, no one truly rules among the aes sídhe — they simply know their place in the order of things. The closest thing they know to leadership is among the Tuatha Dé Danaan, who are revered and cherished when they make their rare appearances among the aes sídhe. In truth, the aes sídhe of these lands are free to embrace their own caprice and whimsy, though they tend to comport themselves with honor, bravery and respect. In contrast, the Unseelie dwell in the cold places of Tir na Marbh. They, too, are known by many names, including the Unseelie Court, the Court of Ice, the Samhain Gather and the Clan of the Morrigan. Though the Unseelie do not despise the Tuatha, neither do they give them anything more than the fear that powerful Gods should be rendered. While the Unseelie are cruel, mocking and hold a dear grudge against mortals for taking their home, they are not creatures of the Titans. The majority of the aes sídhe might be called hideous, though there are a number who possess a cold, dark beauty that chills the mortal heart. Traits: The aes sídhe use alfar stats, up to and including the weakness to cold iron — the material used by the Milesians to drive them from the green hills of Ireland. Aes sídhe are functionally immortal, outside of violence (or sometimes the death that comes of a broken heart). Additional notes apply, based on whether the aes sídhe in question is Seelie or Unseelie. Seelie — Seelie aes sídhe hold the Virtues of Expression and Piety in highest esteem and nearly always have at least one dot in Epic Appearance, with a focus on beauty. Many display Boons from the Purviews of Fire and Sky, as well as Sun and Health. Unseelie — In contrast, the Unseelie value the Virtues of Courage and Intellect, and they always have at least a single dot of Epic Appearance as well, though their manifestations create fear and horror in mortals (whether through a terrifying, grotesque appearance or because of a heart-stopping beauty). Many display Boons from the Purviews of Earth and Water, as well as Darkness and Death. Elf-Shot — The bronze weapons of the aes sídhe are specially made so to cause paralysis in those unfortunate enough to be struck. These weapons are infused with the legendary glamour of the aes sídhe, distilling the awe or horror their appearances inspire into the golden sheen on their weaponry. Referred to as elf-shot, this power is not part of the missiles themselves, but rather the weapons that launch them. By spending a point of Legend when making an attack roll, the wielder of such a Relic may change the ammunition of his weapon (be it bow or firearm) into a bronze material that glows slightly golden in darkness. Those struck by such a weapon must make a (Stamina + Fortitude + Legend) roll, opposed by the attacker’s (Appearance + Presence + Legend). This is a two-dot power for Relics given to Scions of the Tuatha Dé Danaan and may only be applied to weapons that use the Marksmanship Ability. Weakness — In addition to the mortal weakness to iron suffered by all elf-folk (as detailed under the description of the alfar), all of the aes sídhe suffer from a Body Forbiddance (Iron) Geas.

Bean Sídhe: (Guide 5) Though their name means “fairy woman,” not all women of the aes sídhe are considered bean sídhe. Only fairy women who are fascinated with mortal death populate the ranks of the bean sídhe — the aes sídhe are immortal, and so funerary customs, the grief of death, and the inevitability of mortality all fascinate them. Each bean sídhe adopts a mortal family and watches them carefully. They take only vague note of the births and successes of those families, however, for it is their deaths that fascinate them. Bean sídhe cannot help but appear to those families who are about to suffer a death of one of their number — their keening (learned from the Morrigan, who invented the funerary keen) can be heard on storm winds, warning members of the family. The bean sídhe may also appear to the one who is about to die, sometimes as a wailing, ghostly woman clad in funereal weeds or as a washerwoman at a ford, cleaning the blood out of the person’s own clothing. Traits: Bean sídhe have the same traits as normal aes sídhe, though many of them have mastered Boons from the Death and Psychpomp Purviews. All bean sídhe also know the Prophecy Purview, which allows them to foretell the deaths of the mortals of the families they watch over. Weaknesses: In addition to the typical limitations of the aes sídhe, all bean sídhe are also bound by a Purview (Death) Duty geas, requiring them to watch over and announce the deaths of their chosen family.

Fir Bolg, The: (Guide 3) When the Tuatha Dé Danaan first came to the Green Isle from their place of birth, they found the land already inhabited by two tribes of folk. The first were the fomorians, great of size and hunger. The others, however, were the Fir Bolg, the “people of the bags.” They were so-called for the small bags made of crane skin they wore around their necks, decorated with the colors and stones of their clans and filled with the tokens sacred to the land where they lived (and their Titanic father, Crom Dubh). Where the fomorians were massive in build, the Fir Bolg were short, with stooped postures from dwelling in the places beneath the earth, where they were driven by the bullying fomorians. As part of their war against the fomorians, the Tuatha sent mighty Lugh to speak with them, and he dazzled them with his skills and radiant brow. They agreed to help the Tuatha against the fomorians and abandoned the worship of the Titans, siding instead with the Tribe of Danu. In time, the victory of the Tuatha over the fomorians was also the victory of the Fir Bolg, and the two races dwelt in peace for a long time, though the Fir Bolg preferred to remain beneath the earth. Some of the Fir Bolg came to emulate Lugh, becoming craftsmen with the gold they unearthed and emulating his shining visage and skilled hands. The aes sídhe laughed to see such devotion, and some among the Fir Bolg were called luchchromain, or “little stooping Lugh,” for their craftsmanship and love of gold. Eventually, these Fir Bolg (and their Gaelic name) inspired the tales of the leprechaun. Others among the Fir Bolg regretted their assistance to the Tuatha, remembering other days spent beneath the earth before the coming of Danu’s people. These Fir Bolg often fell into drunken stupors, invading the wine cellars of the aes sídhe. Eventually, these clurichaun were banished to the northern climes of Scotland’s highlands, where they were known as guardians of wine cellars and little drunkard spirits.

Leanan Sídhe: (Guide 3) The feared leanan sídhe, the fairy-lover, is a terrifying muse and mistress. Always of the Unseelie and usually female, these vampiric Good Folk feed on the life of a mortal, siphoning away their health and sanity. In its place, however, the victim of the leanan sídhe gains unprecedented creativity, as the fires of imbas burn brighter within them like a once-covered flame exposed to open air. Leanan sídhe usually choose only a single lover at one time, spending all their time with them. The mortal becomes obsessed with both his new lover and his artwork; indeed, to him, they are inseparable. The victim’s artwork becomes transcendent in its beauty, though it is always of a haunting, somewhat melancholy quality, filled with cynicism, misery, and shadows. Traits: The leanan sídhe are aes sídhe with plenty of Epic Manipulation and Epic Appearance. Supernatural power: Vampiric Muse. While a mortal is composing, roll the leanan sídhe’s (Legend + Expression). Each success inflicts one health level of bashing damage on the mortal, which heals at a normal rate; however, because the mortal’s dreams are haunted by the visage of the leanan sídhe, he can gain no actual rest until the leanan sídhe leaves him alone for twenty-four hours. Each success on this roll also gives the leanan sídhe one point of Legend. Should the mortal ever have seven health levels of these wounds at once, he slips into a troubled dream-like coma for twenty-four hours, during which time the leanan sídhe feeds on a dot of his Willpower (see below). Once the mortal is out of Willpower, he either commits suicide in a spectacular fashion or simply drifts off into a coma, dying on the anniversary of the day he met the leanan sídhe. Weakness: Leanan sídhe must feed on one dot of Willpower per month while in the World, or lose one Willpower dot of her own. All leanan sídhe are also bound by an Ability (Presence) Imbas geas. Traits — Fir Bolg are shorter than humans and the aes sídhe, generally standing between three and four feet tall. They often appear somewhat hump-backed, particularly as they get along in years, and prefer to dwell underground. Leprechauns take a great deal of pride in their Craft skills, from cooking to cobbling to jewelry-crafting. They love working in gold and do so often, having accumulated piles of raw gold over the centuries of hollowing out Irish hillsides. Supernatural Powers — Earthen Affinity: As part of their connection with Crom Cruach, through their father Crom Dubh, Fir Bolg have incredible ability to shape and craft earthenworks. They prefer to work underground and are subtle in their artwork. Any subterranean construction they create completely fails to show up to mortal senses, up to and including cutting-edge seismological technology and other means that would normally reveal caverns and the like. Such approaches simply fail to detect them. Likewise, the entrances into these places are cunningly concealed, such that a mortal may actually watch an entity use one of the passages and still not see the entrance at all, appearing as though they had simply disappeared. Weaknesses — Fir Bolg all share a unique weakness: The wish-geas. Each one is bound by some required Duty Geas, often based around protecting something. Leprechauns defend their pots of gold, while clurichauns guard wine cellars. Failing in this task means that the individual Fir Bolg is required to grant a wish to the one who manages to either trick the location of their gold from them or spirit away a bottle of wine without their knowledge. The Fir Bolg themselves do not have the power to truly grant wishes, it should be noted: They must go to the aes sídhe for help in granting these wishes, as both penance and admission of guilt. If the aes sídhe do not have the power to grant the wish, they take the concerns before the rulers of the Courts, and failing that before the Tuatha themselves.

Púca: (Guide 3) Small lying tricksters, the púca (or the púca, as they are known in Wales) are shapeshifters who taken on the form of either small mammals or horses. Púca of the Seelie play pranks that make others laugh and teach fools and blowhards lessons, while the Unseelie are wicked tricksters whose jokes humiliate and sometimes even hurt their victims. Horse púca love to lure would-be riders onto their backs; the rider then adheres to the púca and cannot get off before being taken on a wild ride. Seelie púca love to play silly games, such as scaring parents who watch their laughing children ride by on a bucking stallion or dropping an arrogant vicar face-first into the mud, while the Unseelie often end their rides in briar patches or with grievous injuries. A few of the horse púca, fallen to the influence of Crom Cruach, end their rides in ice-cold rivers, where these water-horses drown their riders and consume their flesh. Traits — Whether in their natural animal form or in their diminutive three foot tall, animal-featured humanoid forms, púca use the stats as per animals of their normal type with a +2 to all Physical Attributes, and Mental and Social Attributes of at least 2. Púca have a Legend of 2 and occasionally develop Epic Attributes. They all bear the Virtues of the Tuatha, save for water-horses and other twisted púca, who hold to the Virtues of the Titans.

Púca: (Guide 3) Small lying tricksters, the púca (or the púca, as they are known in Wales) are shapeshifters who taken on the form of either small mammals or horses. Púca of the Seelie play pranks that make others laugh and teach fools and blowhards lessons, while the Unseelie are wicked tricksters whose jokes humiliate and sometimes even hurt their victims. Horse púca love to lure would-be riders onto their backs; the rider then adheres to the púca and cannot get off before being taken on a wild ride. Seelie púca love to play silly games, such as scaring parents who watch their laughing children ride by on a bucking stallion or dropping an arrogant vicar face-first into the mud, while the Unseelie often end their rides in briar patches or with grievous injuries. A few of the horse púca, fallen to the influence of Crom Cruach, end their rides in ice-cold rivers, where these water-horses drown their riders and consume their flesh. Traits — Whether in their natural animal form or in their diminutive three foot tall, animal-featured humanoid forms, púca use the stats as per animals of their normal type with a +2 to all Physical Attributes, and Mental and Social Attributes of at least 2. Púca have a Legend of 2 and occasionally develop Epic Attributes. They all bear the Virtues of the Tuatha, save for water-horses and other twisted púca, who hold to the Virtues of the Titans.

Sluagh Sídhe: (Guide 3) The fairy host of the Underworld, the sluah sídhe are not aes sídhe. Rather, they are the ghosts of the Irish dead who have been taken into the courts of the Unseelie in Tir na Marbh. They are dark and ephemeral, like pieces of black veil caught in the wind, and they follow the Unseelie of the Underworld everywhere. Hosts of the sluah sídhe ride the winds on nights of the dark moon, peeking into windows and listening to conversations, bringing their masters word of goings-on in the World. Traits — Sluagh sídhe have the same traits as normal ghosts, save for one difference: Their Move and Dash actions can take them through open air, allowing them to effectively flit about in all three dimensions. Additionally, while standing in areas of pure darkness, the sluah sídhe can be seen by those who make a (Perception + Awareness) roll with a difficulty equal to the ghost’s Legend.

Mara Secare: (Guide 5) Succubus at Large. Mara is a succubus freed from the Underworld by the wreckage wrought in the wake of the Titans’ escape. Capable of changing her appearance to suit the lusts and desires of any man (or woman), she survives by stealing the health from unwitting mortals and using it to power her own Legend through a series of one-night stands and the occasional lingering dalliance. It may sound horrible, but a girl’s gotta survive somehow, right? Of course, once she meets a Scion, Mara becomes absolutely overwhelmed. She is skittish, even fearful. She begs for clemency and a chance to explain. While trapped in the Underworld for ages as a creature of spirit, she interacted with the other spirits of the damned and came to realize her own tenuous position. She likes the World better than the Underworld, and she likes flesh better than spirit. She wants to be good, so that she can stay and enjoy living. Once she acts as a Guide to the Scion, Mara proves to be as good as her word. She uses her seductive powers to bait mortals as needed, especially if she can lick off a few points of Legend by draining them with a little kiss (or a little more). She explains the nature of the Underworld and helpfully discusses some of its movers, shakers and denizens. She is on her best behavior, slowly warming to the patron Scion like an adopted child to her parent. Whether she stays on her course of good behavior or ends up manipulating the Scion toward her own ends is up to the Storyteller. Mara typically appears as a strikingly attractive person of the preferred sex of her new friend. She is always dressed well, if perhaps just a bit provocatively. In her “real” form, she is a demonic woman with coppery skin, black hair, tiny claws, tremendous black bat-like wings that sprout from her back, tiny horns on her forehead, glowing eyes, a thin reptilian tail (complete with a tiny spike on the end) and retrograde legs with hooves. Mara is not attached to any particular pantheon. While nearly every set of myths and legends includes some sort of story about seductive life-stealers and vampires, she does not neatly fit into any pantheon’s categories. She represents a Guide whose provenance is suspect, but whose talents are undeniable.

Simon Telamon: (Guide 3) Ajax Security Elite Consultant Every generation, a few mortals stand out, head and shoulders above the masses. While not quite Scions, they certainly do not lack for courage, determination and skill. Perhaps they were Scions who never received a Visitation and were left to live up to a crippled potential, or maybe they really are just mortals who are that good. Simon Telamon is one such mortal. He is better than a veteran soldier. He’s better than a cutthroat mercenary: He is just the right man for the job. Simon Telamon has a sketchy background, as all men of his type do. He participated in a multitude of brush wars and shadow ops on various sides. He has done bodyguard detail, crack driving, wetwork, infiltration and Rambo-esque fire support missions. These days, he wears a chauffeur’s cap and a fitted suit with an armored vest. Of course, he has an abundance of weapons, from the pistols in the back to the collapsible batons in the sleeves and the plastic knives in his boots. Whether he is leaning from a helicopter door with a zipline and a machine gun or leaping from the prow of one boat to another while stabbing Nigerian pirates with a jammed spear gun, he is at home in the thick of the action, just like his former incarnation — Telamonian Ajax, mortal hero and companion to Odysseus. Simon Telamon’s far too experienced and unique to be a simple Follower. He can serve as a Guide to a Scion who treated him fairly, especially one from the Dodekatheon. It is up to the Storyteller to decide whether he knows that he is a reincarnation of a famous mortal hero or not. Most likely, his soul escaped the Underworld in the wake of the Titans and has since taken up residence in a new home to its liking. You can easily create other mortal Guides on this theme by reincarnating some ostensibly mortal person of great resolve, such as Alexander the Great, Cao Cao or JFK. Note that Simon Telamon has a Legend score, and so many of his derived statistics round up instead of down. However, he is still a mortal, and thus does not have Virtues.

Tetsu Debu: (Guide 4) Boddhisattva Oni. Found wandering the roads outside of Wakkanai on the northern tip of Hokkaido, Tetsu Debu managed to survive a tremendous storm when he took shelter in a tiny mountain shrine. Originally, the giant planned to eat the old monk that he found meditating at the shrine, but as the storm whistled and howled, the monk told Tetsu Debu amusing anecdotes and koans. When the storm finally abated forty hours later, the monk smiled, nodded his head and died. Tetsu Debu, profoundly moved by the monk’s words, buried the body with care before setting out to find his own Buddha nature. He was not entirely sure where it was, but he knew that if he wandered long enough, he would find it. Convinced of his need to escape karma, he has decided to become a Buddhist. Granted, a forty-hour lecture given to a giant with the intelligence of a lizard hardly prepares one for a life of contemplation. Regardless, Tetsu Debu still does a lot of the things that Oni do: He beats up his enemies with his club, and he consumes truly prodigious amounts of food and drink. In spite of his quirks, Tetsu Debu is very loyal to any Scion who takes him on, serving both as a combatant and as an occasional reminder of muddled-up Buddhist, Shinto and Hindu thought. He also knows some startling facts about other Oni and the weaknesses of certain titanspawn, which can be useful when a Scion’s busy with figuring out how to kill the latest horrid thing to slither out from under a rock. Tetsu Debu uses the statistics for a generic giant, except that he also has the Ability of Academics 2, and he has replaced his Dark Virtues with the Virtues of Duty 1, Harmony 1, Loyalty 1 and Order 1. A Scion who takes Tetsu Debu as a Guide hopefully has some way to feed the giant, since his appetite is prodigious, as is his propensity for “helpfully” failing at inopportune moments. Nevertheless, Tetsu Debu can also come through with shining colors, as long as the Scion remains aware of the giant’s inherent limitations.

Guide

Scion: Hero to Ragnarok Uanuiil