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Cult Spirits & Abandoned Temples


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So the PC's come across an abandoned temple. It happens to be of one of their gods. It has bound spirits. Its a shame to leave said spirit where it is all lonesome and sad. They are Rune Lords or Rune Priests (as required to enter) how would one go about either moving/relocating a temple? In lieu of leaving any bound spirits how would they be moved? Would Command Cult Spirit allow a PC to transfer a bound spirit to another object?

Just wanting to sort out the mechanics of it all. Thanks in advance!

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I would think that once a temple was abandoned, its wyter would retreat to the spirit world.  BUT you can say it lingers for MGF. 

But i can imagine cult spirits bound to things.  if you find MGF in having those spirits still there, I'd say they go with the thing.  Easy to do if it's a holy sacrificial dish, a little harder if it's an image (idol) - you need a  a jack, a large wagon, have dollies been invented in Glorantha? - , very hard if it is a mural - very hard if it bound to the keystone of the arch holding up the roof.

I wouldn't think entry is restricted to rune levels.  Especially not after the temple is abandoned.  I thought initiates were authorized to participate in ceremonies.  If  the temple is abandoned but retains some of the god's presence, said god should be very pleased to have his or her initiate show up.

But I would say that to relocate the temple in a new place, your players need to either recover the old wyter or get a new one.  That looks to me like heroquest material, plus having a congregation of 150+ cult members (see RQG p.284).  Anyway my gut feeling is that that relocation is very similar to just making a new temple.

i don't think Command Cult Spirit would work.  The rune spell expires in 15 minutes.  Yes you could cast extension - but also, nothing ever said that you can un-bind a spirit using that spell, move it and re-bind it.  Spirit binding is a separate enchantment. More important, Binding Enchantment (RBOM p.17) requires a sacrifice of POW, that's permanant -  I wouldn't think it could be undone by a more temporary spell. 

If your players get into a fight with someone who has a bound spirit, can your players un-bind it with Command Cult Spirit?  I would think that if that can be done then it breaks the game, because it makes it too easy to knock off a rune level who should be hard to beat.  So, a bad precedent to set.

 

Edited by Squaredeal Sten
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On 7/2/2022 at 5:34 AM, Squaredeal Sten said:

If your players get into a fight with someone who has a bound spirit, can your players un-bind it with Command Cult Spirit? 

Yes. You can cast spirit commanding spells on bound spirits in the possession of others, and take them out. You could then command said spirit to inhabit another binding or crystal.

Bindings are rarely individual spirit specific, but are just attuned to particular types of spirits, of which you then command a spirit into. There is zero inherent compulsion for a spirit to re-inhabit a binding once it's been freed/released/commanded from it.

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Only a Genus Locii is bound to a particular place. This includes the category of "Guardian Spirits"...

Bestiary entry:- "Because they are already effectively bound to the area they guard, guardian spirits cannot be bound. They must be destroyed in Spirit Combat or avoided." (p171)

However, it makes sense that there's a way to go around this if it's by cultists of the deity.

If the spirits aren't specifically Guardian Spirits, then it's up to you how to decide what to do (as per @Squaredeal Sten and @soltakss)

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you have an example in sun county supplement

 

for me the answer depends on some questions

 

is temple abandonned by its deity or only by worshippers ?

who (mundane people) did stay when the leaders decided to leave the temple ?

why did they leave ?

who (mundane people) did visited the temple before pcs after the abandonment ?

 

 

If the deity abandonned the temple, it means for me that you will not find any cult spirits They left, following their god. (at least no spirits with INT,but you may find some forgotten spirits, like elementals, those who were not able to understand).

However if the reason is ennemies succeed to invade the temple, it may have some cult spirits captured, cursed, or anything, who had to stay.

 

If the deity did not abandon the temple, maybe some cults spirits were asked to stay, waiting for some mundane worshippers (or allied) to "relaunch" the temple. But after so many years... are these spirits still devoted to their deity and follow theirs orders, or now, they stay but will do some bad tricks to pc ?

 

But that's for the cult spirits. In a temple you may find others people or spirits, Priests, Runelords, Initiates, servants, slaves, bounded spirits, prisonners, etc.. Some people did not flee, maybe they decided, maybe they were unable.. And now...they are dead (for the mortal) and some maybe are still here, as ghost or anything (and of course the spirits). Are they happy to meet the pc ? Are they mad after so many years abandonned by both their cult and their divinity, and not able to have a "good" after life ? Are they still devoted, if they were ?

 

And maybe some thieves, or scholars, or just curious people.... tried to plunder / visit the temple... maybe they met some ghosts or spirits or guardians... maybe their death is not really satisfying... and they are still here, as others

 

in all cases if pc want to be "welcomed" (by those who are still devoted, not everyone) I would say they must lead a worship ceremony during a holy day, and sacrifice enough (depending on the deity, the temple size, the "still here people" to satisfy, the duration of the abandon, ....) Then maybe propose some pact -oath, geas, ...-  with the divinity, or with the potential guardians (part of the residents) to allow them:

- to reactivate the temple (need some regalia, artifacts, crafters, ....)

- to take religiously any sacred item they may find (aka plunder your own cult)

- to free the residents (need magic points, runepoints, or power sacrifice,  any item they must find elsewhere for some specific spirit)

- to "capture" the residents (need magic point, runepoints, or power sacrifice, "good" craft to welcome the most "noble" spirits,... )

 

 

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Let's say the temple was hidden, not disturbed and the worshipers were killed or driven off never to return. The spirit had been bound by the god. Would it simply take divine intervention to relocate the temple spirit to something transportable, a crystal or maybe a spirit binding enchantment? Would it need to be a Rune Lord/Priest or could a lower level cult member be able to also attempt to relocate the spirit? I assume Rune Lord status would be required but possibly not? Still very much thinking this through and thank you all again for the input!

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My answer: of course it’s possible, but it’s a scenario, not a routine procedure. Work out how you want the players to convince (or overpower) the cult spirit: make it a fun game experience, not a case of “I cast a common Rune spell to squeeze the sacred emanation of divinity into my pet rock.”

Remember that cult spirits include spirits of divine retribution, and can marshal their temple defences; remember that the temple is literally on the other side (for some purposes), and anyone who isn’t perfectly comporting to that temple’s ritual practices (state of purity, Runic affiliation, Cult Lore, etc.) is ripe for smiting and re-education.

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On 7/2/2022 at 6:16 AM, Erol of Backford said:

So the PC's come across an abandoned temple. It happens to be of one of their gods. It has bound spirits. Its a shame to leave said spirit where it is all lonesome and sad. They are Rune Lords or Rune Priests (as required to enter) how would one go about either moving/relocating a temple? In lieu of leaving any bound spirits how would they be moved? Would Command Cult Spirit allow a PC to transfer a bound spirit to another object?

Just wanting to sort out the mechanics of it all. Thanks in advance!

I think the most likely scenario for a spirit to remain in an abandoned temple is if the structure was sacked during a military take-over and the local population were "moved on", either as slaves, or simply driven off their land.  Of course there would be abandoned temples in Dragon Pass that would date back to the EWF period because of the True Golden Horde and the Dragonkill.  As to moving spirits on, it might be more interesting if they became a source of an Allied Spirit for a newly minted Rune Priest or Rune Lord.  Otherwise, I would assume that a ritual de-consecration would serve to free the spirits, but might not help them find their way back to their deity without a bit more help potentially.  Command Cult Spirit would also definitely work imo.

Edited by Darius West
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11 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

What do the spirits want?

Maybe they want to move to another temple; maybe they want their temple to be 'reactivated'.

I'd always presume the latter, unless they're presented with an overwhelming reason not to.

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