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EWF Cult Thoughts


Richard S.

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Just some very rough homebrew inspired by some of the recent talk on the Glorantha board, and the fact that I had nothing else to do today. Enjoy! Feedback is welcome too.

Orlanth Dragonfriend
Arangorf the Inner Dragon
When Orlanth slew the Mover of Heaven, he gained the Dragon Power of his left hand. This power was, or brought forth, Arangorf the Inner Dragon, who danced with Orlanth and taught him the speech of dragons. Obduran learned this secret and sacrificed to Orlanth Dragonfriend, proving that Orlanthi and Dragons need not be enemies, and teaching freely the speech and dance of dragons.

Initiate Membership
Requirements: Must sacrifice 1 POW, which grants the Dragon rune at 1%. While technically a subcult of Orlanth, initiates are not required to join his cult.
Cult Skills: Dance, Dragon Lore, Elder Race Lore (Dragonewts), Meditate, Speak (Auld Wyrmish).
Favored Passions: Love (Dragons), Loyalty (EWF).
Notes: The cult of Orlanth Dragonfriend provides no magic or divine intervention, though Orlanth initiates may still receive it from the other portions of their god.

The Dragon Rune
Once gained, the Dragon rune can only be increased during your seasonal downtime, in a process similar to training one of your normal runes. Several days of guided meditation by draconic teachers, followed by a successful Meditation roll and a sacrifice of 1 POW, increases your Dragon rune by 1%.
    During Sacred Time you must roll against your Dragon rune. Success means you have awakened your Draconic Consciousness, a state similar to Illumination. You gain all the normal benefits of Illumination, but in addition your Dragon rune can now be increased by experience and normal training like any other rune. If you also receive the proper surgery afterwards, the cap on your Auld Wyrmish skill is increased from 25% to your Dragon rune rating, if it is higher.

 

Draconic Hero Cults
Though the Empire of the Wyrms Friends got much of its power through the friendship and teachings of draconic beings, very few of its people were willing to utterly abandon their old lives in search of dragon power. To rectify this, several EWF heroes Heroquested to establish ways of worshiping dragons as gods in return for magic, allowing many of the common people access to Rune magic that grossly reflected the greater mysteries. Though this greatly increased the strength of the empire and the spread of draconic wisdom, it was a horribly flawed method that forever stunted the EWF spirit.
    Each dragon cult was centered around the hero who founded it, many of whom were considered dragons. These heroes served as both objects of worship and high priests of their cults, giving them incredible personal power and giving their followers Rune magic derived from dragon powers. The mystic path followed by the founder was usually tied to the cult as well, so that worshipers who wanted to experience the true mysteries could more easily do so.
    None of the draconic hero cults can grant divine intervention.

 

Cult of Draconic Love
Death, Fertility, Dragon
This was a soldier cult established by Lord Great Burin, and became especially popular with former Humakti. It taught how to grant Utuma to foes in the heat of combat, and that the powers of death and love were one and the same.

Holy Days
The seasonal and high holy days differ from unit to unit. Lord Great Burin sets them, and presides over every ceremony.

Initiate Membership
Requirements: Standard.
Cult Skills: All Swords, Battle, Cult Lore (Draconic Love), First Aid, Meditate, Scan, Speak (Auld Wyrmish), Utuma, Worship (Lord High Burin).
Favored Passions: Devotion (Lord Great Burin), Honor, Loyalty (unit).
Spirit Magic: Befuddle, Bladesharp, Coordination, Countermagic, Demoralize, Detect Enemies, Disruption, Heal, Protection, Repair, Strength, Vigor.

Rune Magic
Common Rune Magic: All.
Special Rune Magic: Devour Magic, Dragon Head, Sever Spirit (one-use), Shield.
Enchantments: Ban, Binding Enchantment, Enchant Dragonbone, Magic Point Enchantment, Matrix Creation, Spirit Armor Enchantment.

Dragon Maw (Rune Lord)
Requirements: Must have 90% in Utuma and four other cult skills.
Special Rune Magic: Dragon Maws may use Seal Soul for twice the normal cost (6 Rune points).

 

Golden Dragon Society
Fire/Sky, Dragon
The Golden Dragon Society worshiped the Sun Dragon that sat upon the imperial throne of Dara Happa. Though many of the native Yelm worshipers saw it as blasphemy, the Sun Dragon impossibly passed all the tests of the emperor and proved its claim to the sun with powers that counteracted the most powerful fire magics sent at it. Many of the Sun Dome temples, once folded into the military arm of the empire, also worshiped the Sun Dragon alonside their god of light.

Holy Days
This cult shares the same holy days as the Imperial Yelm cult.

Initiate Membership
Requirements: Standard.
Cult Skills: Celestial Lore, Cult Lore (Sun Dragon), Meditate, Speak (Auld Wyrmish), Speak (Firespeech), Worship (Sun Dragon).
Favored Passions: Devotion (Sun Dragon), Loyalty (Emperor of Dara Happa).
Spirit Magic: Coordination, Countermagic, Extinguish, Farsee, Firearrow, Fireblade, Heal, Ignite, Light, Lightwall.

Rune Magic
Common Rune Magic: All.
Special Rune Magic: Cloud Clear, Dismiss Fire Elemental (all sizes), Dragon Scales, Radiate, Summon Fire Elemental (small).
Enchantments: Ban, Binding Enchantment, Enchant Gold, Magic Point Enchantment, Matrix Creation, Spirit Armor Enchantment.

Golden Wyrm (Rune Priest)
Requirements: Standard.
Special Rune Magic: Summon Fire Elemental (all sizes).

 

Way of the Dragon
Movement, Dragon
This was one of the most popular dragon cults in the EWF, offering obvious dragon powers within a structure familiar to the Orlanthi, adding a Storm Dragon to the Thunder Brothers. It was established by Isangdrang, but inherited much from the teachings of Obduran.

Holy Days
Windsday of each Stasis week is the seasonal holy day. The high holy day is on Wildday of Stasis week of Fire season, when Obduran ascended to become a dragon.

Initiate Membership
Requirements: Standard.
Cult Skills: Cult Lore (Storm Dragon), Dance, Klanth, Meditate, Orate, Speak (Auld Wyrmish), Worship (Isangdrang).
Favored Passions: Devotion (Isangdrang), Love (Family), Loyalty (EWF).
Spirit Magic: Coordination, Demoralize, Glamour, Mobility, Strength, Vigor.

Rune Magic
Common Rune Magic: All.
Special Rune Magic: Dragon Claws, Dragon Head, Dragon Scales, Dragon Wings, Firebreath.
Enchantments: Ban, Binding Enchantment, Enchant Dragonbone, Magic Point Enchantment, Matrix Creation, Spirit Armor Enchantment.

Dragon Voice (Rune Priest)
Requirements: Standard.
Special Rune Magic: Transform Self

 

Rune Spell Descriptions
Devour Magic
Death, Dragon
3 points
Touch, Temporal, Nonstackable

Anyone protected by this spell cannot be affected by any magic, as a spectral dragon head emerges from them and devours any spells targeted at them. This will only protect the caster, anyone else targeted will still be affected.

Dragon Claws
Movement, Dragon
1 point
Self, Temporal, Stackable (up to 4 points)

The caster turns one limb per point of the spell into a dragon’s claw, with a beginning attack of DEXx5% and doing 2D6 + damage bonus. The caster may only attack with two claws in a single turn while on the ground, but may use all four if flying.

Dragon Head
Death, Movement, Dragon
2 points
Self, Temporal, Nonstackable

The caster’s head turns into that of a ferocious dragon with a bite attack of DEXx5%, dealing 3D6 damage.

Dragon Scales
Fire/Sky, Movement, Dragon
2 points
Self, Temporal, Nonstackable

The caster’s body is covered in shimmering scales that act as both 5 points of armor and 5 points of countermagic on every location.

Dragon Wings
Movement, Dragon
1 point
Self, Temporal, Nonstackable

The caster gains a pair of dragon wings each as wide as the caster is tall, granting them a flying speed of 12. The wings each have 2 points of armor and hit points equal to the caster’s arms, but damage to them does not affect the caster’s hit points.

Firebreath
Fire/Sky, Movement, Dragon
1 point
Self, Instant, Stackable

The caster breathes out a cone of fire with a range equal to their POW. Any creature in its path takes 1D10 damage, as well as any weapons and armor. The damage increases by 1D10 for each extra Rune point spent.

Radiate
Fire/Sky, Dragon
3 points
Self, Temporal, Nonstackable

The caster emits intense heat from their body. Anything touching the caster takes 6D6 damage, though the damage decreases by 1D6 for each meter of distance. Any fire damage striking the caster has its damage reduced by the damage done by Radiate.

Transform Self (Way of the Dragon)
Movement, Dragon
3 points
Touch, Duration (special), Nonstackable

This spell must be stacked with Dragon Claws, Dragon Head, Dragon Scales, and Dragon Wings. The target transforms into a dream dragon for one full hour, with all the abilities of one.

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Interesting and very well written. But isn't the Draconic thing more about summoning dragons and maybe communicating with them. Isn't this what happened at the Dragonrise and in the late Hero Wars when Argrath sent the dragons to attack the red moon. This write up seems more to be a way of becoming a dragon thru rune spells.

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3 hours ago, Soccercalle said:

Interesting and very well written. But isn't the Draconic thing more about summoning dragons and maybe communicating with them. Isn't this what happened at the Dragonrise and in the late Hero Wars when Argrath sent the dragons to attack the red moon. This write up seems more to be a way of becoming a dragon thru rune spells.

There's certainly a lot of examples of dragon magic being used to communicate with or summon draconic beings, but there's also many references towards things like transformation and using powers like firebreath or antimagic. And in any case, this isn't true dragon magic, these cults merely emulate dragon powers through rune spells.

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This is awesome work. I love it. Not sure how I got here when doing a search for Praxian spirits, but glad I did.

I am in the process of trying to create something like this for the 'How to turn the Rough Guide to Pavis' into a campaign. I'd love to use this, with some slight adaptations, and with you credited as primary source, if that was OK for you?

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2 hours ago, Ian Thomson said:

This is awesome work. I love it. Not sure how I got here when doing a search for Praxian spirits, but glad I did.

I am in the process of trying to create something like this for the 'How to turn the Rough Guide to Pavis' into a campaign. I'd love to use this, with some slight adaptations, and with you credited as primary source, if that was OK for you?

That is a-ok with me! Thank you!

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Probably just a nitpick, and it is a great idea, but I would have the cults refer to a false dragon rune, rather than the true dragon rune. Something like Godunya's rune, or even the Dragonewt rune, as going that path you get easy power, but you deviate from the true draconic path. Alternately you might need a mechanic where you lose 1% of your Dragon rune each time you roll for a spell or power.

Reflecting a moment, the Dragonewt rune seems more appropiate for Dragon Pass, as it is a recognized rune but clearly not the direct approach. Lacking reincarnation, humans cannot follow the Dragonewt path to its conclusion, but they can yet get power out of it. That keeps Godunya's rune and its potential false dragon status to Kralorela.

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On 3/31/2022 at 5:35 AM, JRE said:

Probably just a nitpick, and it is a great idea, but I would have the cults refer to a false dragon rune, rather than the true dragon rune. Something like Godunya's rune, or even the Dragonewt rune, as going that path you get easy power, but you deviate from the true draconic path. Alternately you might need a mechanic where you lose 1% of your Dragon rune each time you roll for a spell or power.

Reflecting a moment, the Dragonewt rune seems more appropiate for Dragon Pass, as it is a recognized rune but clearly not the direct approach. Lacking reincarnation, humans cannot follow the Dragonewt path to its conclusion, but they can yet get power out of it. That keeps Godunya's rune and its potential false dragon status to Kralorela.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Godunya's rune and the Dragon rune the same thing? Or at least the shape that I know as the Dragon rune was repurposed into Godunya's in later canon.

You make a good case for using the Dragonewt rune instead, and that would also lean into the idea of how draconic hero cults spiritually stunted the empire. I used Dragon mostly because I wanted Orlanth Dragonfriends to be able to use their Dragon rune if they joined any of them, but maybe Dragonfriends also actually use their Dragonewt rune instead of Dragon. It'd still give them a leg up on entering the mystic paths, but they'd need to develop a new form of connection to the Draconic Absolute, not bound in undeveloped and terrestrial understanding.

I didn't include any sort of rune-reducing mechanic since, in my eyes, that's only a risk to the actual mystics. People who wield false theistic dragon powers don't suffer the same paradox of gaining power over the world while struggling to leave it behind. That's another point for having dragon cults use Dragonewt instead, I suppose.

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I cannot say how Godunya turned into the official Dragon rune (and most people still call it the Godunya rune), but all holders seem to be in the far east. I have a nagging feeling that 30 years ago there was a different Dragon rune but I cannot find it anywhere.

So I would use the Dragonewt rune as a sign it is a stunted draconic path, and in that case, as you say, there is no need to penalize users as they will not become a Dragon when they reach 100%. Anyway, true dragon mystics also need to get the Infinite rune, so there is something else involved besides long meditation. 

Or the true Dragon rune is Infinite, and the others are just different ways to approach it. 

I like the different ways, and as I currently play in the second age, it may be quite useful, which is why I commented. The campaign probably will move to Pavis from Kethaela. Another front in the EWF - Middle Seas Empire conflict. One of the players is a jrusteli that just got illuminated in an Orlanthi heroquest, as Orlanth Dragonfriend cultists interfered with a traditionalist quest that he was attending as Issaries silvertongue (his cover among the barbarians). 

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