Overview

In Wintermark, mystics are characters who use their skills to help others unravel their skein and make auspicious decisions. The Kallavesi emphasis on wisdom and insight means that many fall easily into the role of the mystic, but there are Steinr and Suaq mystics in some halls. Most mystics are skilled magicians, using a mastery of Night magic to help them unravel the skeins, but even this is not mandatory. In Wintermark, any character that acts as an advisor or counsellor to others, helping them to make wise decisions, is called a mystic.

Playing a Mystic

Any character can aim to be a mystic; magic can help you, but it is not a requirement. What you need is to be able to effectively convince other players that your character can help them predict the future. This is not an easy skill but three suggested methods are discussed below.

Using Magic

There are some Day and Night rituals that allow characters to make prognostications, effectively guesses at what will occur in the future. Of the two types of magic, night magic is likely to be more useful to a mystic, as the results are more open to interpretation and more suited to the numinous approach of the mystic. Although magic provides access to an external source of answers, it is unwise to try to rely solely on it to play the part of the mystic. The answers that magical rituals provide are available to anyone who plays a magician with those skills, and it is easy for other players to treat your character's skills as the basis for advice, rather than your character.

Divination

Mystics use a bewildering array of divination methods to unravel the skeins. The flight of birds is favoured when it is available, as is oneiromancy, the study of dreams, but droplets of hot wax in water and even runes from a bag can all be used. There is no external source of answers when using divination methods, it is entirely up to you to create whatever omens and interpretations you feel are valid. Because many players know this, this method is the least likely to produce answers that other players accept. The key is to make the roleplaying portentious and impressive, the more you involve other players in what you are doing, the more they enjoy the roleplaying the more llikely they are to respond positively to the advice you give them.

There are countless methods that people have invented to divine the future, it is worth having a read through the list and if you are planning to make use of this style, then spend some time thinking about what methods you can use that will be enjoyable for you and other players.

Because you are making up the answers, there is the potential to produce advice that supports or helps your character, rather than the person you are advising. This is fine, but it is worth appreciating that the more transparently self-serving your advice is, the less likely anyone is to want to follow it. The Kallavesi earned their position as advisers and counsellors by developing a reputation for delivering impartial wisdom - you will need to strive for this if you want to be valued as a mystic.

Giving Real Advice

Mystics act as advisers and counsellors to thanes and other important Winterfolk; their role is to help work out when decisions are important and what the most auspicious option is. Your character can have magical skills that help them do this or you can use the inherent mysticism of divination to create your own answers, but you can also just offer real advice. The more alert you are to the political situation, the more aware you will be when important decisions are being made. These are moments to point out that an individual's skein can be forked, that they have the opportunity to make a decision that will fundamentally affect their future. By staying alert to these moments you can help other players see when important decisions are being made and avoid them falling into things without spending time thinking about them and deciding what to do.

If another character turns to you for help, you should ask for as much information about the situation as they can give you. The more you know about the decision they face, the more you can simply give them some good advice based on whatever seems best to you. People making decisions often want validation of the decisions they have made, so that they feel more confident about them, or you can simply act as a counsellor and give as wise and shrewd advice as you can.

Like using divination to create answers, giving good advice means you will need to be careful to try and give impartial and genuinely useful advice when you are trying to build up a reputation as an effective and useful mystic.