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The spirits

"The world is alive with spirits. Spirits sit behind all things and give them purpose.  The Spirits of Ba, Po and Ko.  The spirits of things and animals and places. Everything is a shadow of the Astral perfect spirit forms. All physical things are either reflections or reflect to spirits."
Teachings of the druid  Rajo of Poi-Larre

The whole of Charron is infested with spirits that are involved in almost every activity and thing. Spirits are nonmaterial beings that are manifestations of places, things, thing-concepts, events or emotion and creatures. They are ideal images that are connected to and support creatures, things, events. They lack free will and will always act according to their natures. Spirits have the material things that are source or representation that are fetters, and domains or areas of their charge and association. Fetters are a form of anchor point for spirits that signify their domain.
Spirits are also spawned by events.  Natural things have spirits. Most made things do not. Spirits make things better, more significant and vital.  Things without individual spirits are drab, plain, mundane and lifeless.  Long familiarity, emotional connection and imagination may awaken or instill a spirit.
Spirits are not native to the mortal world and can only stay in it for a limited time without support and protection.  They "fade" and vanish if they can't feed, only to appear in the Umbra near their Fetter's image. The Umbra is the near spirit realm, touched by the Mists, and composed of memory, emotion and raw forms of things. Spirits will be the things alive and awake. Sleeping spirits seem like Mortal things, but move and shift, the Umbral fetter reflecting the memories and emotion associated with the fetter/ place. The Umbral reflections of living things are glowing dots that give off/ radiate energy (essence/ aura). In the Fringe, Mists overlap the Umbra and emotion and memory manifest most strongly.

Basic Information

Anatomy

A spirit’s appearance is as a version of it’s ideal self. Swords are swords. Trees are the tree type. A Murder is a shadow or a bloody weapon. They will be twisted by loss of Clarity - taking on forms of fear, joy, or predation or beauty by the energies that they feed upon.  That may be gossamer emotion, essence or ectoplasm.  Essence and ectoplasm do not affect Clarity and spirits feeding on these stay true to form. Spirits that materialize and feed physically become increasingly predatory and dangerous looking if consuming flesh. Leaf Eating and feeding on Ko has less of this effect.
Spirits are all of a thing: they have no mind or organs or possessions that are not a manifestation of the whole. Nothing may be broken, stolen or lost - it becomes a steaming spot of ectoplasm that soon evaporates away. A spirit with a sword or a stick only appears to have that unless it has found a material object to carry. A spirit with a sword, stick or lolipop are all equally dangerous.

Genetics and Reproduction

Some spirits spawn when they reach certain growth parameters. Others seem to do so spontaneously.  Spirits also appear from events and feelings.  Strong emotions or events will spawn tiny motes of Gossamer resonance that last a few minutes. These tiny motes can feed on others - their own sympathetic types "taste" best. Antithetic taste the worst.

Growth Rate & Stages

Motes are instinctual basic dots of spirit that last minutes. If they can feed on enough other motes and avoid being consumed by other larger spirits, they may grow into insect sized Sprites. Sprites seek a fetter. The Fetter gives a focus for the Spirit's Nether - a pocket of neither here nor there where the spirit may safely rest or reform. Spirits without a Fetter are at constant risk of predation.  As spirits grow, so do their awareness and powers. Power ranking is one measure.  Physical size is another.
0: motes: tiny spots in the material world - mindless instinct driven. Effects last rounds.
1) Sprites: Insect sized motes that last minutes or hours in the material world. spawned by storms, emotions. Effects last minutes.
2) Toki: small animal sized spirits: effects last turns.
3) Shin: child sized. effects last hours.
4) Myo: human sized: effects last half a day.
5) Zo: larger than human: effects last a day.
6) Bo: Giant or building sized. effects last upto a week.
7) Jigan: mammoth such as city, a mountain or lake or elemental dragons. Effects last upto a month.


Souls are also spirits.
The lowest is the Ko: communal soul of swarms of insects or small plants.  Some larger creatures may actually have a Ko.  Many Things have Ko spirits dispersed over multiple physical Fetters.
Po are the animal soul of the body. It dwells in the stomach. It feels, it responds. It directs hunger and thirst, pooping and peeing, healing and reproduction. It pulses with breath and drives it also.  It is capable of only simple understanding of a few words but may spout more in nonsense.
Ba is the higher thinking soul of the Naming Races. It dwells in the head. Ba may override the Po - ignoring hunger or resisting urges to pee, but it is a battle that the Po typically will win. Without the Ba, the Po has no direction. It stands around digesting or sleeping, and defending the body if attacked.  The Ba directs actions, plans and carries out directives of the mind.
It is believed that experiences and growth of skills reflect a growth of Ba.  Devils are said to like "fattened" souls, and they deal to give experiences challenge to those who make pacts with them.
Ghosts may be mindless Po ghosts. They may be memories of person, place or thing as Echoes. Or they may be true ghosts as manifestations of Ba. Some claim that ghosts are not Ba souls, only complexes of memory of "self" and not the true "self".

Ecology and Habitats

Spirits exist in Hierarchies.  From mindless motes in Mobs to Greater Avatars and Totems.  They are Natural, Created, Civil or Abstract (Math, trade). To be safe and fed, they must have a Fetter. Fetters may be manifestations - a book or scroll, or symbols like a coin as a Fetter of a trade spirit. Fetters are places and things - a road, a lake, a tree.
The Hierarchy: 

Ko: this is one spirit over a brood of the type: Insects, knives
Individual spirits of living things: these are simple and typically weak. Plants and places get stronger than animal spirits. Individual emotion, nature spirits or Abstracts get stronger as they grow. Loose associations or collections are Mobs.  Mobs will typically have a leader of the Dominion.
Kine spirits are greater type spirits: They are bosses over dominions of lessers of their own type.  Dogs spirits. Cat spirits. Rats. Harms. Streams  They may be referred to a "Great" Spirits. Terrestrial types such a Grassland, Forest or swamp
Family: all of the cat kinds. All of the dog kinds. All of the blades. All maths. Crimes.  Fears. The family of terrestrials of a kind. Lesser totems are at this level as aspects of their kind.
Choir or Order:  plants in general. animals. themes - death, killing or pleasures.

Courts:  
The Archons Court: high level abstraction or types of beings
Weaver of order and structure. Tracks of the lodges the order of seasons.
Wyld- prankster, disorder, change and chance. Wyld is free magic. Broken order.
Wyrm: Decay, death and consumption. Wyrm doesn’t destroy but seeds new cycles of essence and material.
Gaea: The Primordial who’s back is the world. Maker of elements and nature.
Chaos: It is everything and nothing all at once, a constant spill of mutation and creation.
Knosis: dreamer of shapes and forms defined by wit, will and compassion.
Celestial Court:
Sun,- The watchful sun wears a cape of night.
Moons, sisters of Wyld,
Lodges.
Lodges Progress across the night sky. Moons enter and exit. As does the Sun. The Lodges house the chorus’ of the seasons. Sleep and wake. Ripening. Lusts. Blooms. Spring, Summer, fruitfulness. Fall. Fear. Winter, Hunger. Sickness.
Elemental Courts: Earth. Minerals. Salt. Metal. Water. Steam, fog, frost. Fire. lightning.
Gaea Court/ Terrestrial: Mountain. Storm. Rain. Rivers. Lakes. Light and Lightning. Drought.
Incarna: Night. Death. Thunderbirds. Elemental Dragons.
Anima : Animals, stomach. Mouth. Heart. Breath. lust, sloth/ sleep, Trees, flowers, lesser plants and shrubs.
  Corruptors: These seek to pull nature and order aside.
The Hungry: This faction want to rule a realm of the dead returned. Fear, terror and death feed them and allow Loci. Cold.   Undead, Ghenu, Spectres, Wraiths.
The Destoyers: These want nothing less than destruction of all. They may be Abyssal, Outsider, Malice
Abyss. Carnage spirits ( murder and violence), Manitou
Malices: These feed on Harm, pain and suffering. They were exiled and hate the world and want to remake it in their image. Broken. Invaded. These include The Hells. Blood spirits. Contagion spirits (plague, filth), Shedim, Banes.
Outsiders: Beyond the shifting Wyld of dreams and the storms of purest Chaos is the Rift. Things which escape chaos but can’t be. Unreality.
Artificial Resonances: Urban, civil, productive, communal, domestic, cultured, enterprise, success, avarice, ash, trash, memory, law, intelligence, artifice, contrivance, progress, architecture, art, writing or math.
Elemental Resonances: Stone, earth, soil, water, air, metal, cold, heat, fire, ice, storms, lightning, or light.
Natural Resonances: Wilderness/ wildness, hunger, sensuality, nourishment, decay, fecundity, shelter, growth, death, nurturing, Summer, Winter, Fall, Spring, predation, passion, fog, storms, rain, snow, drought.
Negative Resonances: Pain, fear, hunger, lust, disease, hatred, anger, violence, vengeance, grief, tyranny, mourning, disease, greed, ennui, envy, gluttony, pride, sloth, deception, pathos.
  Positive Resonances: Endurance, bravery, hope, peace, love, splendor, sacrifice, nobility, compassion, justice, truth, beauty, honor, cleverness, majesty, integrity, forgiveness, patience

Dietary Needs and Habits

Spirits have 4 basic qualities/ needs:
  1. Fetters: Spirits have links to things - a tree, a place, a type. If “killed” a faded spirit will reform in the umbra at a Fetter but within it's Nether. Fetters are the base of a spirit and the umbral reflection of a fetter restores 1 essence daily. The material presence restores 3. A spirit may be bound to a empty nonfetter item: a Talen that will leave the spirit sleeping but unfed.
    Spirits without fetters ( Concept spirits or one who’s fetter is destroyed) hunger and want to find essence supplies by stimulating mortals to get emotions or actions. They will seek something to Inhabit. Spirits Inhabiting something are hidden and may sleep to stay in the material world.
    Waking/sleeping: Attempts at damaging a fetter will wake a spirit, as will rituals or Shaman magic. Spirits may chose to sleep or may be subject to bans that require periods of sleep. Sleeping spirits expend only the daily 1 essence to remain in the mortal world.   Spirits may also find Loci: small spaces with a low barrier between worlds and pools of free essence. Large emotional events - parades, musical concerts, festivals, weddings, funerals, wars, fires and the like will produce loci. Spirits may soak up 3 essence/ day in Loci until the locus is drained.  Higher ranked Locus spirits may keep a locus open.
  2. Needs: spirits have things they need related to Bans and compulsions. The basic Need is protect the fetter and promote the fetter. This gives essence. Essence feeds spirits and powers them. Spirits do need to feed - they expend Essence to function: 1 essence/ day for wakefulness. 1 essence to enact powers. 1 essence/ hr in mortal world , at 0 sleeps and passes back to Umbra.
  3. Feeding: Being in the presence of a fetter or it’s umbral reflection provides daily Essence. Offerings of essence in ritual, gifts or worship. Offerings of Food and meat, bones and goods produce Gossamer of various resonance ( hunger, loss, plenty, joy) Worshipers: 1 essence per worshiper. Offerings and prayers create 1 essence (modified by complexity and length), +1 Gossamer if offered from the “believer”.  Offerings may also be desired emotional gossamer and motes - from fear, from death and murder, from happiness or joy.
  4. Coup- a defeated spirit gives up Rank+1 Gossamer as a pool of ectoplasm. It may also be bound and commanded for 1 day +1/Rank. If “Killed” a spirit explodes in a cloud (leaves, fur and bones, gush of blood and bile, shards of crystal or ice, or broken metal) and will reform at fetter in the umbra. Destroying is much harder. ( Bigger stronger feed on smaller weaker - same types give better resonance of Gossamer). Intelligent creatures can be tricked or led to creating Gossamer, rituals or gifts. Draw from Gossamer 1 essence per sympathetic resonance, 0.5 for others. Barter for gifts or offerings from other spirits.

  5. Bans and Compulsions: Spirits have a compulsion or ban - 1 per rank size or increased scale of complexity by power 1-5 from simple to complex ( 1-5 parts) Behavior Ban: limit on actions or behavior - may not cross a drawn line, enter a doorway, limited in light or dark. or moon phase, or can’t cross water, can’t stand a reflection. 5: may not take direct action if moonlight is reflected upon it from something made of silver and washed in glacial melt water. Must sleep at night or during day, or on moonless nights. Compulsion: Something the spirit must do: come if name is called 3 times, must answer a question truthfully if the questioner has knocked upon an Iron bell, Must chase a shiny thing or something small, must eat and soak in fruit, blood, mud, ale. Urine. 1) Sensory input - sight, sound, smell, taste, touch 2) Ritual or repeated behavior 3) Sound 4) Recognitions/ acknowledgements 5) Conditions - moonlight/ rain, sun, wind. 6) Linguistic: The spirit must follow instructions or pleas in a specific incantation, language or ritual sequence of words. Repulsion: The spirit is halted or forced to flee - it’s opposite, something that has resisted it, or a Natural enemy. Vulnerability: The spirit is captured if it’s image is captured. It can’t face itself in a mirror or a statue or carving. A murder spirit is weakened by a willing sacrifice.

Additional Information

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Spirits do not physically "see" but rather sense things as waves and currents of energies, of pattern of Astral, Dream or Umbra. They may "peek" across the Barrier between worlds if in proximity to a Material Fetter or an Umbral or Dreaming reflection. While they are keenly aware of types, individuals of the Naming species are hard for them to identify. 
 
"Mortals all look the same to me."

All spirits have these powers

Knowledge: Knows about area or association • Basic childlike •• General area common knowledge and directions ••• Familiar Guide uncommon lore •••• Expert detailed rare info ••••• Specific detailed and obscure.
Spirit Vision: May look on either side of the Barrier. May see any spirit or being not Immaterial.
Reform: dissolve and transport to the Nether pocket dimension, or material fetter “lair”. It takes an action to dissolve and a full round to reform. Sleeping spirits fold in upon themselves and become undetectable and “nowhere”.
Inhabit: If in the material world - The spirit may move into it’s fetter or a thing similar to it’s type, or an empty body ( Projection or dead).
Materialize: spirit takes physical form. If already in the material world -Spend 1 pt of Essence to manifest as apparitions or translucent smokey images. To interact with material objects (including use of other Gifts) requires expending an additional 1 pt of Essence power to fully materialize.
Reach: May use a power at the fetter area 1/ Force rank of spirit. On Either side of the Gauntlet. It costs 1 essence and requires a test against the Barrier strength.

  Common spirit powers by rank: • Strengthen: improved quality and strength +1 Or degrade by 1 rank. Strengthen an emotion. 1 turn/ rank or force
•• Modify: Change color, cleaniness, condition making it stand out or blend in. Minor changes of animal action or plant, augment emotions. 1 turn/ rank or force.
••• Manipulate; The spirit can move movable parts, effect repairs, change how well or if they work in use. Twisting or redirecting emotions, directing animals.
•••• Recreate: may replicate it’s type or related type. May change the character of the item - from dagger to sword or hut to mansion, create a sapling or plant, or a new animal, or create an emotion or feeling.
••••• Creation: Multiple copies 1-6 or multiple individuals may be influenced. May be made permanent if material.
 
The spirits of evil Banes: Spirits of malice and corruption- they want to twist the world as their play things, destroy what annoys or resists, remake it in their image.
Atrocity: Pain, suffering & Torment/ Torture.
Malice: hate, rage and Wrath, abuse, balefire
Psychae: Madness/Insanity, Despair and sadness
Gluttons: Temptation and desire, envy & want.
Deceivers: Deception, falsehood and lies
Corruption - turning from true, Waste, sewage, sludge pollution
Affliction: Malaria/ smoke/fumes/ rot, decay, ash
Toxins, poisons, drugs
Genetic Descendants

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Cover image: https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/ by mutterwolf

Comments

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28 Dec, 2020 15:58

Ooo so much interesting stuff here. I really like the ranks and the sizes of the spirits - I love the idea of motes being really temporary unless they can somehow grow in size. I look forward to reading more about the courts and corruptors especially! :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!