Lærdom: The Magic of Names

Knacks: Kjøt, Bevegelse, Varsel, Ensomhet, Stryke, Uvitenhet, Stans, Storsæd, Kyndighet, Sterk, Velstand, Fjell, Høst, Grenseløs, Krieger, Nød, Sinne, Tungsinn, Herje, Reise, Fornuft, Lidenskap, Kjølig, Villskap, Gåte

Apprentice Degree: Discoverer of Secrets
Adept Degree: Ward of Secrets
Master Degree: Heart of Secrets

Lærdom is the study of words believed to be the “true names” of metaphysical concepts important to the Vestenmannavnjar. According to the Skjæren (Rune Carvers), these twenty-five words were spoken by their tribal ancestors, who became their pantheon of gods. Each represents a physical or emotional characteristic which is embodied by the god who first carved it. Today, Skjæren are able to tap into the primal forces of the world through use of the Lærds (Runes).

Lærds are inscribed, forged or written onto specific items, granting them the power of their god. It is not enough to speak the word; it must be brought into the world and invoked in a ritual that only a Skjæren can accomplish.

The power invoked by the Lærd depends on the level of mastery the Skjæren has achieved. Apprentices only understand the physical nature of the Lærd, the power lingering on the surface. Adepts have become familiar with deeper secrets and are able to inscribe Lærds onto items.

Masters have discovered the final secret – the Great Wisdom – and are able to summon the Lærd’s power into themselves. But they have another advantage, as well. They are able to perceive the Living Myth – Valhalla – all around them as a shadowy, indistinct place. They can faintly hear the singing of their ancestors chanting the Song of the World as they ride into battle. Most of the time this has no effect on gameplay, but Master Skjæren may occasionally receive helpful advice from their ancestors or perceive important omens invisible to their friends (at the GM’s discretion).

Apprentice Degree
At this degree of skill, you are able to invoke only a small amount of power from the Lærds, and that power is temporary. When you tap into the power, it’s like touching a live wire: the natural instinct is to pull away. You invoke the words spoken by Creation, after all, and such power could burn you if you aren’t careful with it. Most apprentices use paper and ink to invoke the Lærds, although they could also be written in the sand, on wood or glass, or on any other surface.

Adept Degree
At the second degree of initiation, you have learned to hold the power of the Lærds a little longer: time enough to mark an object with it, carving it into the item’s surface. Lærds have been found on swords, armor, doors, archways, and even goblets. Lærds inscribed on objects are not permanent and must be maintained. Each one you’ve inscribed must be renewed once per year, or they lose their power. Conventional wisdom within Vendel holds that Lærds renewed on the specific day they were inscribed gain additional effect, even allowing the Skjæren to temporarily make contact with their gods, but this may just be a liberty the irreverent Vendel have taken to sell more rune-scribed items.

Master Degree
At the final level of Mastery, the Skjæren has learned to touch the deepest heart of Lærdom: he becomes the Lærds he summons. Lærds are carved or branded into the Skjæren’s flesh and become a part of him forever.

In addition, Masters of Lærdom may inscribe an item in such a way that the enchantment is permanent instead of lasting only one year. The only restriction is that the Skjæren may not permanently inscribe a Lærd that he has not Become.

The process is similar to inscribing a rune, except that you roll Resolve + Knack versus the Lærd’s Become TN rather than its Inscribe TN and it takes ten actions, not five. During the process, the Skjæren must charge the Lærd with his own blood, taking 2k2 Flesh Wounds. He then names the object. If he succeeds, the rune cannot be destroyed unless the object itself is destroyed. If the ceremony fails, then the Skjaeren still takes the wounds, and the object is ruined.

When using a permanently enchanted object with a Lærd that adds dice, the Lærd is always in effect. For purposes of being affected by other Lærds, the inscribed Lærd counts as affecting the wielder of the inscribed item, but does not count against the number of runes a Skjæren (whether he created the item or is wielding it) may safely maintain at one time.

When using a permanently enchanted object with a weather Lærd, speaking the object’s name while holding it (or wearing it) activates the effect. The person activating it immediately takes 2k1 wounds to power the Læerd. No roll is made while using the permanently inscribed Lærd, only when inscribing it. These runes do not count towards a Skjæren’s safe limit of maintained runes, and they can only be used outdoors. The object’s enchantment can be used once per Round.

Mechanics
Most of the Lærds either add dice to specific Actions, or control the weather. These effects are explained below. In the descriptions, each Lærd is listed with three Target Numbers, used when Invoking, Inscribing, or Becoming that Lærd (respectively).

Adding Dice

Invoking: When invoking a Lærd that adds dice, you use one Action, spend a Drama Die, and roll Resolve + Knack versus that Lærd’s Invoke TN. If successful, you receive the benefit from the Lærd for one Round, plus one Round for each Raise you took on the roll.

Inscribing: When you inscribe a Lærd that adds dice, you use five Actions (this won’t be possible in combat under most circumstances) and spend a Drama Die. Then you roll Resolve + Knack versus that Lærd’s Inscribe TN, and give the object that is being inscribed a name (which the item will thereafter always be called). Keep track of the number of Raises made at this point. If successful, the Lærd is inscribed for one year to the day. In exactly one year (or before, if you desire), you may perform the ritual of inscription again, renewing the Lærd upon the item.

Once an item is given a name, it may never take another. Anyone (even someone without Lærdom) who holds the inscribed object and speaks its name is affected by the Lærd inscribed on it for one Round + one Round for each Raise made at the time of inscription. No roll is made when using an inscribed Lærd, only when actually inscribing it.

Becoming: When you become a Lærd that adds dice, you brand or carve it permanently on your own body. This takes ten Actions (and is never possible during combat) but no Drama Die, and requires a red-hot iron brand or extremely sharp ritual dagger. You suffer damage as if you had been wounded by a weapon with a Damage Rating of 2k2, adjusted for your own Brawn. Then you roll Resolve + Knack versus that Lærd’s Become TN. If successful, the Lærd permanently becomes a part of your body, giving you its benefits as long as you live.

The Lærd cannot be destroyed short of killing you, and it does not count towards the normal limit of Lærds affecting you at once (see Limitations, below), nor does it have to be maintained like an inscribed Lærd. If the Becoming ceremony fails, you take damage as normal, but it may be attempted again after seven days, as the failed Lærd fades from your skin by then.

Weather

Weather Lærds have powerful effects. Typhoons, droughts, and blizzards can all be summoned using these Lærds in conjunction. The area affected is one square mile for Apprentices, three square miles for Adepts, and ten square miles for Masters. The duration is one hour for Apprentices, one day for Adepts, and one week for Masters (assuming another Skjæren doesn’t tamper with the weather). You may choose to cancel any weather effects you’ve caused at any time.

Note that the GM has full control over the practical effects of weather. It is possible for people to be killed in monsoons or earthquakes, but the Skjæren who caused them through the use of Lærds cannot control this effect. With a successful Skill check and no called Raises, they can only turn the basic weather effect (as seen in the Knack descriptions) on and off.

Raises can be called to increase or decrease the effects with some modicum of control, however. The Skjæren asks for a specific change to the basic effect as written, and the GM assigns a number of required Raises, as with all other Actions in 7th Sea.

Invoking: When invoking a Weather Lærd, you spend a Drama Die, use one Action, and roll Resolve + Knack versus that Lærd’s Invoke TN. If successful, the weather adjusts according to the specifics of the Lærd (as shown in the descriptions, below). You can only invoke Weather Lærds outdoors.

Inscribing: When inscribing a Weather Lærd, you spend a Drama Die, use five Actions, and roll Resolve + Knack versus that Lærd’s Inscribe TN, naming the object and making note of any Raises for when the item is used. If successful, the Lærd is inscribed and good for one use. Anyone (even someone without Lærdom) who holds the inscribed object and speaks the name activates the Lærd, as if the original Skjæren had just invoked it. No roll is made when using an inscribed Weather Lærd, only when actually inscribing it. Inscribed Weather Lærds do not count towards a Skjæren’s limit of maintained Lærds, and they can only be used outdoors.

Becoming: You may Become one of the Weather Lærd, just like you Become one of the Lærds that add dice. This allows you to use its power at will and without spending a Drama Die.

Limitations

General Restrictions: Lærds are dangerous to work with. If you overstep your abilities, you’ll get burned by their power. Whenever you try to invoke, inscribe, or become a Lærd and fail the roll, you take one Kept Die of damage for every five points (rounding up) by which you missed the Target Number. Thus, if you roll 7 lower than the Lærd’s TN, you take two Kept Dice of Damage.

No one can be directly affected by more than one of the same Lærd at any time.

Invoking Lærds: You may attempt to invoke Lærds whenever you like, so long as you have Drama Dice to spend. Failed attempts and multiple invocations of the same Lærd still cost a Drama Die.

Inscribing Laerds: Lærds cannot be inscribed onto anything alive. Any individual object can only have one, and only one Lærd, inscribed on it. Ever (i.e., a sword that is inscribed with Kjøt could not be reinscribed with Sterk after the duration of Kjøt had worn off).

An inscribed Lærd may only be activated a number of times per day equal to the inscriber’s Wits.

Becoming Lærds: A Skjæren may only become one Lærd, ever, with one exception. If the Skjæren has the Legendary Resolve Advantage, he may attempt to become the Lærd of Fjell (“Mountain”) once (and only once) in addition to any other Lærd he attempts to become.

Sorcerous Knacks
In the following Knack descriptions, the effect of invoking, inscribing, or becoming the Lærd do not vary unless indicated. TN’s are listed for Invoking/Inscribing/Becoming a Lærd, respectively.

1. Kjøt (“Self”): TN 15/25/40. The first Lærd is that of Self. “Know yourself,” it sings. “That is the first lesson; the first truth…” Kjøt demands that the Skjæren be honest with himself. It is said that the god who embodies this Lærd was the most hermetic Vestenmannavnjar to ever live, never speaking to anyone but Empathy (see the next Lærd) after he solved the Riddle of Self.

Effect: adds two Unkept Dice (+2k0) to resist any attempts to fool or beguile through magical or mundane means.

2. Bevegelse (“Empathy”): TN 20/30/40. Beyond the inner Self lies the Outer World, in which others mingle and meld together in one cohesive (though chaotic) whole. Empathy is the next natural step from Self, being the union of Self with the Outer World. It is said that the goddess Empathy taught Flesh to understand himself, which made her the stronger of the two, though Solitude (see the Ensomhet Lærd) took objection, saying that “the Second would never survive without the First.”

Effect: adds two Unkept Dice (+2k0) to any social interaction.

3. Varsel (“Omen”): TN 15/25/40. The third Lærd belongs to the messenger of the gods, the Trickster who sends omens and subtle warnings. Though Omen has been blamed for being unfair in his games, making them too difficult for humans to see, he has disagreed, claiming that only those willing to listen are worthy to hear…”

Invoke/Inscribe Effect: with a successful Skill check using this Lærd, the Skjæren may speak to others in secret (all those present whom the Skjæren wishes to deceive hear only a garbled, foreign language). Those using the Kjøt (Self) Lærd are immune to the effects of this ability.

Become Effect: the Skjæren may use his Invoke/Inscribe ability at will, without rolling and without spending a Drama Die.

4. Ensomhet (“Solitude”): TN 15/25/40. The fourth Lærd cuts away the past, which is an anchor that prevents you from moving forward. It allows you to let your past angers, fears, and obsessions go, so you may concentrate on the present. This is the duty of the true hero, the one who understands that the future waits for no one. Solitude was the first to accept his gift, the first to use it, and the first to fall saving his home.

Effect: adds two Unkept Dice (+2k0) to all Skill checks based on Resolve.

5. Stryke (“Strength”): TN 15/25/40. The fifth Lærd is that of Strength, who challenges Self for supremacy of the human body. He was a warrior, within and without, with the soul of a demon and the power of the wildest ox. The epic story of his courage is well remembered among the Vestenmannavnjar; the modern sport of caber tossing (lifting the trunk of a large tree by its end and flipping it as far as you can) grew from the legend that he uprooted the tallest tree in Théah as a challenge to Legion itself. In so doing, he drew the line between this world and the demons it had embraced, a conviction shared by many Vestenmannavnjar today.

Effect: adds one Unkept Die (+1k0) to all Damage rolls.

6. Uvitenhet (“Mystery”): TN 20/30/40. The sixth Lærd hides the truth; it is mystery. What was clear is concealed, and what was known is forgotten. When the Skjæren take on the aspect of Mystery, their deceits and lies go unnoticed, veiled even from the Gateway Lærd. Many have said that those same Skjæren begin slipping away from themselves thereafter, becoming less and less as everyone knew them. As if in support of this, many who have fused with Mystery (becoming the Lærd) have permanently cut ties with all they knew, devoting the remainder of their lives to scholarly work and puzzling out the nature of all they encounter.

Effect: adds two Unkept Dice (+2k0) when deceiving someone else and counteracts the Gateway Lærd.

7. Stans (“Calm”): TN 10/20/35. Calm is the seventh Lærd, also known as Sorrow. For the sailor, there is no greater tragedy than for the sea to still. At the Skjæren’s command, winds die, the air is becalmed and quiet, and doom is brought to the sea. The god Calm observed the moment of silent revelation after Legion was thrust back into Abyss at the end of the war for Vendel. He has observed the same silent moment between each Age since.

During creation of any Skjæren with this Lærd, you must decide which one of two focuses you wish to have: weather or emotion. Each has a different mechanic that follows the Skjæren through his career. Once the choice is made and play begins, it cannot change and every degree of mastery uses that effect.

Weather Effect: stills the present weather conditions within the effective range according to the rules for weather Lærds (above). Gales fall to breezes, and blizzards are reduced to gentle snowstorms. Weather conditions cannot be changed with this Lærd (
e.g., rain into an earthquake), however.

Emotion Effect: adds two Unkept Dice (+2k0) when trying to calm another’s mood or curb aggressive emotions.

8. Storsæd (“Greatness”): TN 15/25/40. Greatness represents the fledgling hero, the young and untrained prodigy begging to be honed to a sharp edge. It is also far more than that. Greatness is encouragement for others like itself, reflecting the best in all it meets. The first to fill this role was a squire to Styrke, the man who would become Strength (Stryke). Though seemingly weak and always protected by others, Storsæd proved the most valiant of all, never wavering through the Worst Days and proving to be an example of what they were all fighting for.

Invoke/Inscribe Effect: this Lærd activates according to the same rules as any that adds dice. During its duration, and after performing any successful Action, the number of Raises made with that successful Action may be distributed among any who observed the Action (all going to one person, or one each to several). These are considered Free Raises, and must be applied to the very next Action they roll for. Note that the limit for this ability is the Skjæren’s lowest Trait (i.e., if his lowest Rank in a Trait is a two, any Raises he succeeds with beyond the first two may not be transferred in this manner).

Become Effect: at the start of every Scene, the Master Skjæren receives a pool of Free Raises equal to his lowest Rank in any Trait. He may use these himself or divvy them out to others in his presence at any point during the Scene, but any not used by the Scene’s end are lost.

9. Kyndighet (“Skill”): TN 15/25/40. According to the Vestenmannavnjar legends, Kyndighet was the stout and clear-headed mentor to the group that saved the world. He knew that victory could not be rushed, that valor could not be hurried. He always taught the value of patience until the proper moment arrived; then he showed them all what triumph meant. His Lærd has become a symbol of adroitness and instruction.

Effect: allows a reroll of one die each Combat Round. All parameters for the use of Lærds that add dice also apply here.

10. Sterk (“Wholeness”): TN 20/30/40. “Understanding one’s own weaknesses is more important than knowing those of your foes,” is a Vestenmannavnjar phrase attributed to Sterk, the warlord who never fell. His fighting style was purely defensive, focusing on protecting himself over hurting the enemy. In the end, most of his battles were won by wearing the aggressor out until he could strike one decisive blow. In this way, he was good company for Kyndighet, whose teachings were of utmost interest to him. Skjæren who worship through his Lærd are blessed with the uncanny ability to shrug off blows and dodge even crossbow bolts at close range.

Effect: adds five to the TN to hit the Skjæren. All parameters for the use of Lærds that add dice also apply here.

11. Velstand (“Wealth”), TN 10/20/35. To hear the Vestenmannavnjar tell the story, Velstand the Pauper was the richest man in the world. His altruism was perhaps the purest intent of any who walked as gods among the Vestenmannavnjar over a thousand years ago. Velstand came from a foreign land, with strange features and a voice that flirted with every wave of the ocean, and he was wise beyond his years. His homeland had been destroyed by Legion before the War, and he had come to Vendel to protect what he saw as an “innocent culture, devoid of the rampant greed and lust spreading across the world.”

His Lærd would become known as Wealth for lack of a more accurate term. Through it comes an endless wellspring of ideas, as if the Skjæren’s mind was filled with the collective knowledge of all who had come before. The early Skjæren were very careful about who learned this Lærd’s secrets, well aware of its potential for misuse, but most in modern Vendel do not share their concern. Wealth is rapidly becoming the most popular Lærd among them, especially the merchant class.

During creation of any Skjæren with this Lærd, you must decide which one of two focuses you wish to have: money or wisdom. Each has a different mechanic that follows the Skjæren through his career. Once the choice is made and play begins, it cannot change and every degree of mastery uses that effect.

Money Effect: with a successful Skill check (according to the rules for Lærds that grant dice) the Skjæren gains an additional 100 percent of all monies acquired through means other than regular income while this Lærd is active.

Wisdom Effect: with a successful Skill check (according to the rules for Lærds that grant dice) the Skjæren may tap into his hereditary memory, and may ask the GM one question relevant to his current situation. The answer will be a brief “flashback” into the life of a former Skjæren devoted to the Wealth Lærd which is pertinent to the Hero’s present state somehow. The relevance of the scene must be determined by the player.

12. Fjell (“Mountain”): TN 15/30/45. Just as the twelfth Lærd is one of heroic sacrifice, so too is it the absence of suffering. Crippling wounds are ignored by Skjæren using this Lærd. It takes away suffering, salves pain, and frees the Skjæren’s mind to live “in the moment.”

Fjell, the man who took on this Lærd in the name of his people, was a sympathetic healer. During the final hours of the Worst Days, when the mighty Krieg (“Warrior”) fell before Legion, Fell took on the Warrior’s wounds, saving Krieg’s life while sacrificing his own. Never satisfied with defeat, however, Krieg defied the Bargainer who had gifted them all, venturing into its home within the Great Tårn Mountain to find a way to bring Fjell back. When he returned, this Lærd prevented his imminent death.

Invoke/Inscribe Effect: when used, the Skjæren selects one Dramatic Wound he has suffered already. For the duration of the Lærd’s effect (determined per the rules for Lærds that add dice), that Dramatic Wound is ignored, both for the purposes of penalties from it and for determining unconsciousness.

Become Effect: the Skjæren can suffer one extra Dramatic Wound before falling unconscious, and may ignore any penalties from one Dramatic Wound (chosen when the Wound is inflicted; the Skjæren may choose another once that Wound is healed).

13. Høst (“Harvest”): TN 20/30/40. The thirteenth Lærd symbolizes the time of plenty, the Harvest. There is no famine during Harvest, and the gnawing hunger of the winter to come is forgotten. It is the season of rejoicing, for the fruits of one’s labors are at hand. But Harvest is also the lesson that has been taught along the way: nothing can be gained without work and dedication, and perseverance reaps the most precious of rewards.

The man known as Høst was the only Skjæren left behind during the Worst Days. He tended the fields and farms of the Vestenmannavnjar during Legion’s onslaught, and rallied the common folk to follow suit lest their homes and lives be forfeit. His long struggle is remembered over the first meal culled from each year’s harvest, even among those who consider Lærdom a corrupt stain on their nation.

Invoke/Inscribe Effect: prior to the start of any Story, the Skjæren may reduce one of his Knacks voluntarily by one Rank. With a successful use of this Lærd, the Rank is “stored away” throughout the adventure, not granting the die it normally would. At the end of the adventure the Skjæren receives the Rank back, along with two Experience Points he may spend only on that Knack.

Become Effect: the Skjæren may use his Invoke/Inscribe ability once per adventure without rolling, and without spending a Drama Die.

14. Grenseløs (“Unbound”): TN 15/25/40. The way is opened by the fourteenth Lærd. Those things that would try to constrain the Skjæren are defeated. Locked doors may still bar his path, but shackles, ropes, and bindings slip from him and cannot find a hold. Grenseløs, the first to exhibit this ability, was the only person ever to escape the Great Keep of Krigsfang, where even Legion was said to have been bound.

Invoke/Inscribe Effect: bindings and shackles fall off the Skjæren when this Lærd is invoked.

Become Effect: the Skjæren may use his Invoke/Inscribe ability at will, without spending a Drama Die.

15. Krieg (“Warrior”): TN 15/25/40. The fifteenth Lærd, the Warrior, is victory in battle. The arrow finds its mark more easily, and the axe’s thirst for blood quickens. The Sons of the North greatly prize this Lærd, though many look back to the days following the Great War, when Krieg the Inhuman ravaged the coasts with an army of branded followers as proof of its ultimate corruption of the flesh.

Effect: adds one Unkept Die (+1k0) to all Attack Rolls.

16. Nød (“Intensity”): TN 15/25/40. Sixteenth among the Lærds is Intensity, who diametrically opposes Stans (Calm). Legend states that the two married prior to the Worst Days, and that they were driven apart by their differences once they received their Lærds. Intensity is all that is violent, aggressive, and forthright. She (and her Lærd) are a terror on the open sea, almost as bad as her former mate. She howls with a savage wind, seethes beneath the roiling waves, and stings the eyes of all who look upon her angry shape.

During creation of any Skjæren with this Lærd, you must decide which one of two focuses you wish to have: weather or emotion. Each has a different mechanic that follows the Skjæren through his career. Once the choice is made and play begins, it cannot change and every degree of mastery uses that effect.

Weather Effect: worsens the present weather conditions within the legal range for weather Lærds (above). This can turn a drizzle into a downpour, or a snowstorm into a blizzard. Weather conditions cannot be changed with this Lærd (
e.g., rain into an earthquake), however.

Emotion Effect: adds two Unkept Dice (+2k0) when trying to incite another’s wrath or promote aggressive emotions.

17. Sinne (“Anger”): TN 15/25/40. The seventeenth Lærd is that of the bitter gale winds. Anger wells up within the sky until it bursts forth in fitful gusts of air like a godlike infant run amok; it is uncontrollable to most, and unquestionable to the rest. Sinne was the living embodiment of this fury, a ravishing beauty no one could possess, control, or even hold the attention of for very long. She remains one of the most emulated of the Vestenmannavnjar pantheon.

Effect: adds two Unkept Dice (+2k0) to all Skill checks based on Brawn.

18. Tungsinn (“Gloom”): TN 15/25/40. The eighteenth Lærd brings sullen morning showers. Gloom drains the life from all around it, casting everything in a lifeless shade of gray before it covers the world with an endless stream of lonely tears, and leeching the courage from the bones of Heroes. It reminds most of their losses and washes over the rest without care. Tungsinn was the living embodiment of this malaise, a nihilistic critic who was sure the Vestenmannavnjar would lose the War until several long moments after its end. He has been mostly forgotten, as people have better things to do than sulk and cower.

Effect: adds two Unkept Dice (+2k0) when trying to cause depression or fear in another person.

19. Herje (“Ruin”): TN 20/30/40. The nineteenth Lærd is that of disruption and the destructive forces of nature. Ruin comes unexpectedly, brutally awakening everyone it touches and thrusting them into a desperate struggle to survive. Herje was the living embodiment of this devastation, a man plagued with the worst luck of any who ever survived hildbirth. Like many of the original gods, Herje fled his homeland after the Worst Days, and nearly all images of him (save those carried by the Skjæren who “worship” him through this Lærd for its power) have been burned in the hopes that he will never return.

Effect: add your Rank in this Knack to the TN of your target’s next Action. This Lærd’s effect ends immediately thereafter.

20. Reise (“Journey”): TN 15/25/40. The twentieth Lærd is the swift Journey. Though a battle may be miles away, the Sons of the North who hear Journey’s call rush to answer, their blood burning in their veins. It is the path that matters to them, not the goal, for they have come to understand the importance of every experience along the way. If anything, they are loath to see a journey end (especially life itself), though their dedication to travel and years of careful consideration have prepared even the most fearful to pass on the mantle of their god to the next generation when the time comes. The god of this Lærd may have been the first to take this title, but he will not be the last; the name Reise has become very common in Vestenmannavnjar over the centuries.

Effect: adds two Unkept Dice (+2k0) to Perception Checks.

21. Fornuft (“Gateway”): TN 20/30/40. The twenty-first Lærd is the Gateway. Visions appear in the waters stirred by the Skjæren’s finger. With this Lærd, the Sons of the North can spy on their enemies and learn their plans. The Laerd of Mystery (Uvitenhet) forms the only certain defense against Gateway. Skjæren who have learned the secrets of Knowledge are a valuable commodity in Vendel (particularly among the various Guilds, who hire their services out for a profit).

The original bearer of this Lærd, Fornuft, was an aging artist who had gone blind while trying to paint the sun. He later received an epiphany, what he referred to as “divine inspiration,” and began creating works of art based upon the exploits of the other Vestenmannavnjar gods. During the Worst Days, he learned that his “visions” were actually happening as he observed them, across the nation and beneath the bitter, darkened sky of battle. From then on, his statements and works of art weighed more heavily, and he eventually joined in the pantheon he had once aided.

Invoke/Inscribe Effect: the Skjæren may call up visions of place he is familiar with for one Round + one Round per Raise. The Lærd of Mystery blocks the visions for a radius of fifty feet, showing only a cloudy gray haze. While calling up a vision, the Skjæren must close his eyes and cannot speak.

Become Effect: the Skjæren may use his Invoke/Inscribe ability once per day without spending a Drama Die. The Skjaeren must still make a roll (vs. the Invoke TN) and call Raises to determine how long the visions will last.

22. Lidenskap (“Passion”): TN 15/25/40. The twenty-second Lærd is Passion, or day. The clouds part, the rain ends, and the sky clears up. Fog, too, is dispelled by the auspices of this Lærd. With the use of the Lærds of Passion and Hatred, nearly every journey can be made a pleasant one. Lidenskap was a fiery man whose temper appeared as often as the sleek edge of his blade.

Effect: can increase the temperature within the range accorded by the rules for weather Lærds (above). This may include such things as blistering heat waves, droughts, and other heat-based effects.

23. Kjølig (“Hatred”): TN 15/25/40. The twenty-third Lærd is Hatred, or Night. The clouds come together, the moon smiles upon the cool ground, and the air becomes more crisp, more sharp. Kjølig was a brooding angel, whose billowing black form skirts the moonlit clouds on clear nights to this day. The bodies of those who felt her acid kisses linger still upon Tårn Mountain in the north.

Effect: can decrease the temperature within the range accorded by the rules for weather Lærds (above). This may include such things as freezing nights, snow, and other cold-based effects.

24. Villskap (“Fury”): TN 15/25/40. The twenty-fourth Lærd is Fury, or Lightning. The rumbling of the sky foreshadows the doom of the enemies of the Vestenmannavnjar. Villskap fought alongside Styrke and Krieg during the Worst Days, hurling lightning bolts down upon the Tårn. When Krieg went mad after the battle, Villskap was the one who slew him, but only after Krieg strangled Styrke in his madness.

Invoke/Inscribe Effect: allows the Skjæren to call a small thundercloud, that swirls over the head of his target, who must be within twenty-five yards per Mastery Level. If the roll to invoke the Lærd is successful, a bolt of lighting will flash down and strike the target; to determine the Damage Rating, the Skjæren Rolls a number of dice equal to his Rank in this Knack, and Keep a number of dice equal to his Mastery Level in Lærdom. Raises may be taken on the roll to invoke the Lærd to increase the Damage roll by one Unkept Die (+1k0) per Raise. Whether or not the roll is successful, the cloud dissipates almost immediately. This Lærd can only be invoked out of doors.

Become effect: the Skjæren may use his Invoke/Inscribe ability at will, without spending a Drama Die. The Skjaeren must still make a roll (vs. the Invoke TN) and may call Raises to add Unkept Dice to the Damage Rating of the lightning strike.

25. Gåte (“Enigma”). There is a twenty-fifth Lærd, lost to the memory of even the Living Runes (or most of them, anyway). Gåte is the lost god. No one remembers what his power was or what his Lærd even looked like. He has vanished without a trace.

Gåte’s Lærd is lost to the ages; however, it is possible that he may appear to a deserving Skjæren who has completed (or is in the midst of) a suitably epic quest and share his power.

(Game Masters may CLICK HERE to see the details of Gåte.)