Spirit Lore

Spirit Lore 1

  • You know that there are ethereal beings that live in the umbral and astral realms which are known as spirits, and that they differ in basic functioning from wraiths.
  • You know that spirits each exemplify and embody some sort of concept or function (such as emotions, elements, physical locations, thoughts or abstracts), and that they will always act in accordance with the principle they signify.
  • You know that spirits usually do not speak in a human tongue. You further know that even if this is circumvented, that spirits tend not to think in human terms, and that as a result they can sometimes be excruciatingly difficult conversationalists.
  • You know that spirits possess a wide array of powers which they may employ both upon the astral, umbral and/or material planes. You have heard of spirits possessing people, causing damage or decay to structures, taking control of their element (ex: a water elemental changing the behavior of the tides briefly), physically attacking the living, and occasionally manifesting a material form and walking the earth.
  • You know that spirits can be either bartered with or compelled by force to carry out favors for a knowledgeable shaman or magician. You know about chiminage: a certain bargain, gift or behavior that spirits ask of their supplicants. You know that spirits forced into servitude rarely react well in the long run.
  • You know that spirits often have taboos which they cannot act against (ex: spirits of peace cannot commit violence).

Spirit Lore 2

  • You can generally divide spirits into two separate camps: those more abstract ones that tend to stand for ideas, concepts and theological personae (thought of as demons, angels, gods, or platonic forms) and those who stand for primal analogs to natural phenomena, animals, elements, and material objects (thought of as elementals, naturae or totems).
  • You know that spirits are comprised of, powered by, and feed off of a metaphysical material known as "essence", and that spirits (depending on their strength, affinity and temperament) can gain "essence" in a variety of ways, including immersing themselves in principle they represent, receiving a physical offering, going into a dormant sleep-like state (occasionally called "slumber"), or consuming another spirit.
  • You know the appropriate chiminage and offerings for a few spirits within your field of specialty.
  • You know that spirits can be physically harmed, banished or even destroyed (in rare cases) if they are fought on their own plane of existence, or if they have intruded on the material realm in physical form.
  • You have heard that spirits may occasionally possess people for long periods of time, and that such people become physically and mentally changed by the experience. You hear such cases are rare though, and that spiritual possession generally only lasts for a day at most.
  • You know that spirits have some sort of complex ranking or hierarchy amongst themselves, although you're at a loss as to how to understand it.
  • You know that all spirits possess True Names, and that any who possess the True Name of a spirit may summon, bind and exert control over it.
  • You know that spirits universally must follow their taboos, lest they fall into involuntary slumber.

Spirit Lore 3

  • You know that spirits of abstract and platonic concepts inhabit a plane of "thought" (the Astral Plane) whereas primal spirits of natural things inhabit a separate plane of "being" (The Middle Umbra) and that they differ much in behavior. You know that astral spirits respond better to highly structured hermetic summoning, rituals and invocations, whereas umbral spirits respond better to spontaneous offerings, dances, sacrifices and chants.
  • You know that new spirits come into existence each time a new thought, idea, or thing is birthed, shaped from the endless substance of their umbra. You know that there are an infinite number of spirits.
  • You know the appropriate chiminage and offerings for a several spirits within your field of specialty, and the True Names of one or two vaguely useful entities.
  • You know that when a spirit (especially an Astral one) is summoned for magical purposes, they often either must materialize physically, of if they are unable to do so, have a body or vessel of some sort prepared for them to inhabit. You know that spiritually posessed objects and people tend to warp to meet the affinity of the spirit, and that
  • You have heard that spiritual possession of persons and even objects can cause the host to bend toward the affinity of the spirit in strange and varied ways. (People possesed by fire spirits may seem full of energy and have an abnormal body temperature. People possessed by peace spirits may lose their ability to feel rage.) You know that sometimes the effects of long term possession can even cause the human body to reshape itself in seemingly alien ways over time.
  • You know that the mightiest of spirits are referred to as the Aeons (or occasionally Incarnae), and that these roughly equate to Gods or Godesses and tend to represent far reaching universal concepts such as the Sun, the Sky, Love, War etc…. You further know that they are served by a series of minions and courtiers who take on the duties pertaining to specific aspects of the Aeons.
  • You know that spirits technically possess little in the way of free will, although they can seem to have very complex personalities which would make them seem to. As such, there is no such thing as an "evil" spirit.
  • You know that spirits will almost universally partake of whatever desired offering a supplicant gives them until they are cut off from it, and that if left to it's own devices a spirit will not stop partaking. You can imagine why this fact might be particularly useful to remember when it comes to such things as blood offerings.

Spirit Lore 4

  • You have heard legends stating that the first spirits were angels who refused to take sides in the War of Heaven, and that for their indifference they were stripped of the ability to make any sort of decision and set forever to their tasks.
  • You know that intrinsically demons and angels fall under a similar loose classification as spirits, and that some spirits attempt to masquerade as them. You have a pretty good understanding of whether or not you're dealing with something impersonating an angelic/demonic entity, or if you've had the misfortune to stumble on the real deal.
  • You know the appropriate chiminage and offerings for a most spirits within your field of specialty, and the True Names of a handful of useful entities.
  • You have heard rumors that mortal (and occasionally immortal wanderers within the realms of the spirits can lose their way and become spirits themselves.
  • You know that those men or animals possessed by spirits for a long time can fall into roughly three categories: Those who are possessed by spirits relating to entropy or decay (called Fomors or Fomori); those who are possessed by spirits of stasis (called Drones) or those possessed by spirits of dynamism and chaos (called Gorgons). You know that each broad group has a tendency to develop features similar to others of it's class (Drones, for example, have an increased tendency to cease aging), but that ultimately each possessed creature is still ultimately as unique as the spirit that hold it.
  • You know that roughly below Aeons are Praceptors (occasionally called Jagglings amongst the non-Astral courts) who serve specific aspects of their Aeon.(ex: The Aeon of the Moon might have a Praeceptor of the Waning Moon, or the Moon as it relates to the tides), that below them are the Minions (sometimes called Servitors or just reclassed as "lesser Jagglings") who in turn serve the Praeceptors, and that lastly are the Minor Umbrood (Gafflings) who are animal-like, only vaguely self-aware and usually lead very short life cycles in the spirit realms. You still have no clue as to how a spirit might move from one rank to another - or if they even can.

Spirit Lore 5

  • You know that a spirit can grow more powerful by devouring another spirit, and that this is how Minions become Praeceptors, Minor Umbrood become Minions, etc…
  • You know that the Aeons existed before all other spirits, and that they have never been usurped in their station. You get the impression that they existed before all things.
  • You know the appropriate chiminage and offerings for all spirits within your field of specialty, and the True Names of several useful entities.
  • You know that any living creature that wanders too long and too far into the Umbral or Astral realms (such as might be done using high levels of Auspex, will eventually suffer disconnection from their body and that they will become a spirit in their own right, usually embodying some aspect of their human personality. You know that such spirits are rare, and that they often prove extremely volatile.
  • You know that a possessed being after several years has little remnant of the host left, and that many possessed creatures have been known to die once the spirit wears through the body.