Wintermark hearth magic Revision as of 13:57, 2 August 2012 by Harry
Runes are a powerful hearth magic in Wintermark. The Winterfolk runes include several that can help to enhance the potency of magic when cut or painted into an item or person. The Artok, the great ice golems that walk out of Sydanjaa, can be controlled and trained by carving them with runes, but when the enchantment breaks you must unhitch your sleds lest they be carried back into Sydanjaa.
The Kallavesi make extensive use of masks in their magic, particularly the mask of an animal's face which can enhance the power of a ritual if used wisely. The stronger the material, the greater the effect. Bone is better than wood, metal is better still.
Birds are well-regarded in Wintermark, the Kallavesi in particular regard them as wise and powerful creatures. Every part of a bird contains magic, their feathers help provide wisdom and inspiration while their bones bring strength and good health. Winterfolk often carry the hollow bones of a bird in a pouch. These are stroked with crossed fingers for luck at times of stress or when a wish is made. It is believed that breaking a bone from a powerful bird in the face of an enemy can sometimes conceal you from its sight.
If a Winterfolk wishes a person ill, they may give them or pay them in curse coins, which bring bad luck to the recipient. The more numerous the cursed coins, the worse the luck. Curse coins are normal coins that have been blackened with soot, so they are readily visible to anyone who is paying attention, but one is easily overlooked in a pouch. Once the coin has been accepted, the curse cannot be removed by cleaning the soot off - the coin must be given to another to move the curse to them or else washed clean in the blood of an enemy, otherwise the curse remains. Wintermark folklore contains many stories of Suaq Icewalkers tricking people into accepting cursed coins or planting them on an enemy unawares.
Sulkavaris, Knower of Names
Sulkavaris, Knower of Names is the egregore of Wintermark. It appears as a tall figure, male or female in form, dressed in the traditional garb of the Winterfolk priests including a long cloak with a mantle of black feathers. More rarely, Sulkavaris appears as a Icewalker or dressed for battle like a Steinr Grimnir. Sulkavaris particularly enjoys being told riddles or shown other examples of Wintermark art and children are encouraged to create riddles of their own to tell.
In midwinter, Sulkavaris gives blessings to the virtuous but is sometimes accompanied by a malevolent figure known as the Krampus. The Krampus is a strange being that dispenses curses, but only upon those who ask for them. Individuals who feel the need to atone for something, perhaps an infidelity or a moment of cowardice in battle, will approach the Krampus and whisper their crime in its ear. The Krampus curses them, but the curse lasts only until the next winter and those who survive the curse are absolved of any wrongdoing. An image of the Krampus is often worn as a symbol by the Skeinless, although it has no particular affection for them.