Malia and Shaman thereof

From: Tim Ellis <tim_at_...>
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 10:57:55 -0000

I started to look at disease spirits in AR again last night, and think about Shaman of Malia...

Presumably Malia Shaman are succesful against disease since they can use their Tradition knowledge to augment any attempt to combat the disease spirits, always assuming you don't allow them to use Tradition Knowledge directly to persuade the Spirit to leave the victim without resorting to Spirit Combat. Other Shaman can still try and exorcise the disease spirits, but these will be out of tradition spirits, and even if bought into the shaman's personal tradition, it will be on a disease by disease basis (so Kevin the Kolati may be wonderful at curing the Creeping Chills, but not have a clue about the Shakes, while Malcom the Maliant is equally capable of dealing with any disease).

Disease spirits themselves are pretty specialised though. A disease master can spread diseases far and wide, both by being infectious themself, and by creating fetishes which contain disease spirits that will infect those who come into contact with them, but there other magic is pretty limited - I would guess therefore that most powerful Maliants have some sort of secondary tradition (For Broo it is normally going to be Thed).

Following Malia as a secondary tradition (for the purposes of avoiding/combating diseases) would seem to be a reasonable path to take too, but obviously it is not one without risks. The more you follow Malia, the more disease spirits you are going to come into contact with, and, sooner or later, you are going to run into ones that you can't handle. The "Easy" solution, of course is to integrate the weaker spirits thus "Vacinating" yourself and protecting yourself from the more powerful ones. The problem is once you have done this, you may be imune to the disease, but you are also now a carrier, hence the "bad name" Malia shaman have, even where they are not viewed as chaotic

A final thought, When you sacrifice Cows to Malia, are you actually providing a "free" target to the disease spirit(s) encouraging them to leave the clan members (or herd members come to that) they are infecting and concentrate themselves in the sacrificial victims?   

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