Re: Animist Question

From: Andrew Dawson <asmpd_at_...>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 00:17:41 -0400

I have a problem/questions about this "summoning" of spirits. The way I read the rules, the shaman must embody the spirit into something appropriate such as a prepared fetish. I can see a fire as being an appropriate thing to embody a fire spirit in, but I think that the shaman must open a way to the Spirit World in order to interact with spirits. Then the shaman needs to initiate some sort of contest with the spirit in order to bind it into something or to a set number of tasks. (I don't see anything wrong with a tradition that summons spirits, but I think that this is a special case like Cast Out of Body on HW:RiG p. 207.)[1]

An alternative for the shaman is to deal with the spirit that is already inhabiting the fire (if it's an animist fire). He can use his tradition knowledge, relationships, etc. to convince it to help him. Fire spirits, due to what I see as a transitory existence in the Inner World, would probably be more inclined to help a shaman (though I think that the fire may go out as the shaman moves the spirit to a new local). Tree spirits, on the other hand, would be less likely to help (hurt to the tree spirit hurts the tree, which is a more permanent type of spirit abode).

[1] This prepared fetish/abode thing also cuts down on the "I summon 100 fire spirits between game sessions" problem. A fire with 100 flame spirits should be pretty noticeable to the future victims and a shaman with 100 prepared fire spirit fetishes is telegraphing this kind of tactic.


At 02:15 PM 10/11/2000 -0700, Roderick Robertson wrote:
>> Question: Can a shaman summon a spirit without a fetish if s/he wants
>to use
>> that spirit immediately? An example would be a sending, I want to burn
>> neighbour's crops and summon a fire spirit, instead of binding it I
>command it to
>> burn the field.
>Yes. The fetish is the way to embody the spirit in the Inner Worldso that it
>can be used later (a spirit battery, if you wish).
>It does help to have a "body" for the spirit to inhabit in the Inner world
>(a nice bonfire for your fire spirit, for example), but probably not
>strictly necessary (but then the spirit definitely suffers the Alien World
>mod for being in the wrong place).
> > Taking this to another level, could a shaman summon many spirits, with
>no fetish,
>> if he is using them immediately? An example would be for a battle. The
>> spends the night summoning spirits and sends them at the enemy line in the
>> morning. Or, he spends the night summoning spirits and sending them at
>the enemy's
>> camp harrying them all night.
>Harry them all night, as they are summoned. Think of it as getting 1
>unconditional command per un-fetished spirit. "Wait here until I send you
>against the enemy" is a command, but then once they've waited, they have
>finished their chore, and go away.
>Now, if you want to allow additional orders based on level of victory, I
>won't stop you, but I haven't worked on it either.

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