RE: Failed initiation

From: Chris Lemens <chrislemens_at_...>
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2012 09:03:11 -0800 (PST)

Andrew asks:
> A PC tried to initiate into the cult of Odayla and failed to kill the bear. So I'm trying to figure out

> what to do. My first thought would be to say it's a sign that he's not meant to worship Odayla,
> but he's really keen on it (and he has the Bear rune, which isn't very useful without worshipping Odayla).
> I could just let him repeat the ceremony, but that seems sort of dull story-wise. It seems like he ought
> to do something else to initiate, perhaps discover some deeper reason for his failure or do a ritual to
> erase the stain of his failure, or do an alternate initiation, but I'm coming up dry.
I would spin it that the Great Bear thought the PC was just a normal initiate, but the bear spirit that the Great Bear sent to participate in the initiation discovered that the PC is not. Realizing that the PC needed to be more, the spirit defeated the PC to allow the Great Bear to require more of one who could be more.  
The night after the failed initiation, the Great Bear appears in the PC's dreams, and tells him he has a greater task ahead of him. The Great Bear gives him a quest he must fulfill to awaken his inner bear fully. The Great Bear gives him a thingamabob (knowledge, a ritual, where to find something physical along the way, whatever) that he has to take with him on the quest and use at the right time. The PC now has to try to obtain support for his quest from his clan. (It won't matter whether he succeeds or fails. It just makes for allies and rivals.) He then sets off on the quest with his friends, encountering strangers, making friends and enemies, etc. He should ultimately succeed, so you might have another, deeper layer of the quest prepared, to give the PC another try if he fails a second time. (Like how tough bears shrug off an apparently fatal blow.) If he fails a third time, then it just wasn't meant to be. To plan for that, you might think about  having someone opposing the great bear, and give the PC the opportunity to become a bitter opponent of the bear. Maybe he becomes a great bear-hunter.  

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