Ancient Shades of Sunrise
Skill - Channeling
The beseeching of a spirit of similar ideology to the character for some type of boon. Success means the spirit, if capable, carries out the request in full. Failure, or if the spirit is incapable (asking a water spirit to start a fire, for instance), means the request is ignored. Critical failure results in an angry spirit that is immediately offended by the character’s request. Difficulties depend on the nature of the request relative to the spirit being beseeched, previous interaction with the particular spirit, and any bribes or appropriate sacrifice/gifts the character can offer. These are of course only guidelines.Very Easy:
Spirit is very familiar, on very good terms, a generous gift, the request is one quickly and easily fulfilled. A faithful Shaman offers a barrel of fresh bananas to his Monkey spirit totem, in return the spirit will harass and detain the guards chasing him…Easy:
Spirit is known, has been interacted with positively before, called with respect to the relationship, an appealing gift, the request is easily fulfilled with little effort. Bob the Medium asks his dearly departed grandfather for the whereabouts of the family crest, in return he will clean Granpappy’s tomb every Friday…Moderate:
Spirit is known, has not been interacted with before, called with formal respect, an appropriate gift, the request is easily fulfilled or takes less than a day. Druid Cecilia makes a request of a local air spirit to bring rainfall to Farmer Joe’s field by the end of the day, while slowly burning fragrant incense around the field…Difficult:
Spirit is unknown, called respectfully, a generic gift is made, the request is dangerous or takes less than a week to fulfill. Stuck in the desert, Bumble the Diviner asks the spirit world to show him to the nearest watering hole, burning the remains of his breakfast as an offering…Very Difficult:
Spirit is unknown, called with minimal respect, some sort of gift is made, the request is dangerous or takes less than a month to fulfill. Sheila the Sorceress offers her apple’s core to a random spirit in return for the spirit testing a door for magical traps…Heroic:
Spirit is unknown, called with indifference, no gift is made, the request is dangerous or takes at least a month to fulfill. Greyname the wizard sighs and asks for a nearby spirit to test the magical wards of destruction he’s placed on an empty chest…Legendary:
Spirit is unknown, rudely called, no gift, the request is long and arduous. Gandalf the Teenage Moron commands the nearest Tree spirit to take a ring to Mt. Doom by digging a tunnel with a spork.
These conditions are not strict but are fluid, for instance if the faithful Shaman called out “Monkey, give me your thrice-damned agility for a year!” he’d probably have to make a Legendary roll and even if he makes it, will have made an enemy of his Totem spirit.
Every spirit has their sphere of influence, and many overlap with other spirits. Cleansing spirits include both Water and Fire for example. Both are appropriate to ask for help in healing a wounded friend, but a friend would probably rather have the cool touch of a water spirit than the scarring burns of a fire spirit.
Most spirits have long memories and should probably be treated with respect.
Depending on the channeler’s ideology, they may be able to utilize place-spirits, evil spirits, elemental spirits, nature spirits, landform spirits, good spirits, ghosts, and so on.
Generally speaking, tribal type shaman interact with nature, landform, and elemental spirits. Druidic types interact with nature, landform, and elemental spirits. Wizards tend to gravitate towards elementals exclusively. Mediums speak with the ghostly. Priestly channelers call upon evil, good, or ghostly spirits (usually these are the ghosts of great and significant priests of the past, such as saints). There are very few full-time devotees of Channeling. It is much safer to manipulate the Power—that having been said, most Power users know something of bargaining with spirits within their idiom.
Other forms of magic can be used to deal with these spirits, such as Divination to find the right spirit, Apportation to call it, and Alteration to bind it to service however, the previously mentioned lengthy memory of spirits tends to make this something only the insane and/or excessively powerful would do.
Specifics for Ancient Shades of Sunrise
No one has ever successfully channeled a ghostly spirit from before the Gettin. All attempts to do so either simply fail or fail catastrophically, usually costing the channeler his or her life, sometimes the lives of all around them.