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Kargzant Tradition Knowledge

The Char-Un riders are animist worshipers of the Sun and the spirits around them. Their religion, or tradition, is led by the shamans of Kargzant and of ma-Tamara, the Sun and the Moon.

They revere the Sun as the bringer of life and vanquisher of the dark. They emulate Kargzant's ways by travelling across the steppe rather than settling in any one place.

They respect the Earth Mare by not marring her skin, the ground with the plow. They will harvest natural grains and fruits but detest the thought of planned agriculture. They will scatter seeds of plants they like across the plains around their campsites so that they will grow there, but they will not nurture them in any way.

The Char-Un religion is deeply personal with few communal ceremonies. Each person communes with their spirits on their own seeking advice and aid from the shamans as needed.

The Char-Un recognise two paths through life, the Path of Fire and the Path of Earth. There are many practises within the paths. The core practices for the Path of Fire are The Hunter Practice, The Watcher, the Pan, the Elder, followed by the Riders, Warriors, Leaders and Elders respectively. The Path of Earth's core practices are The Hunter, The Mother, The Teacher and the Elder.

These practices are followed by each age group among the Char-Un, thus the Riders follow The Hunter while the Leaders follow The Pan. As a Char-Un passes from one age group to another he will change practices to match. A Rider who completes his tests to be a Warrior will join The
Watcher practice. He will no longer be able to gain new Hunter fetishes or talents or change his existing fetishes. But he will not lose them either.

For the Char-Un everything around them represents Kargzant's wisdom and presence, even their gers. The ger is not only the centre of the universe, but also a microcosm within it. In fact, it is a map of the universe at large, and the vault of the heavens is reflected in the arched shape of the interior of the ger roof. The entrance always faces the south, since that is the front of the ger. The north side, located behind the fire, is the most honourable spot in the ger. It is here that the sacred objects, shrines and other religious images are placed on a table. The sitting place next to the shine is the most honoured and is occupied by elders, chiefs, shamans, or other respected guests. The right, west, side is the male side, and is the sitting place for men and storage place for men's tools, saddles and bows. The left, east, side is the sitting place for women, and cooking utensils, cradleboards, and other women's objects are placed there. Since the southern side is the least honoured spot, young people are usually seated on the southern part of the left and right sides.

Movement is "sunwise," in a clockwise direction. The reason why this is regarded as the path of the sun becomes readily apparent if one watches the track traced by the circular patch of sunlight entering through the smoke hole through the day. Whenever moving inside the ger, one must always move in a sunwise direction. This same movement is also required in shamanic dances, worship, and ritual.


Other Side and Afterlife
Kargzant's realm is the rolling verdant steppe of the Wandering Sun in the Spirit World. The Sun Stallion rules the Steppe with ma-Tamara. After death Kargzant's worshipers fight and hunt with Kargzant and his sons against great spirit foes.


Tradition Member
All Char-Un are members of the Kargzant Tradition. Tradition members make offerings to Kargzant and his array of companions and servants. Any fetishes they obtain are one use, as described in the rules, and may be refilled by approaching a shaman with a gift and offering. Shamen will not change the ability provided by a fetish for such worshippers. Fetishes are generally only available for abilities gained from Kargzant's Traditional Spirits.

Kargzant Tradition Magic Keyword
Membership Requirements: Must be willing to worship Kargzant.
Mental Abilities: Kargzant Tradition Knowledge.
Virtues: None particular.
Tradition Spirits: Horse Spirits
Fetishes: Worshippers receive one-use fetishes from shamans at double the normal hero point cost.

Dedicated Member
Most Char-Un are dedicated members of one of the core practices. These people are similar to a god's initiates. Dedicated practitioners pay the normal price to obtain fetishes or integrate spirits. They can perform the proper rituals between episodes to change the ability provided by any fetish, even one that can be used multiple times. They do not need the assistance of a shaman to do this.

Requirements and spirits vary by practice.
Physical Abilities: Craft Fetish
Magic: Member [practice] practice.
Core Practices: The Hunter, The Watcher, The Pan, The Elder, The Mother, The Teacher.

Sun-Speaker (Shaman)
Sun-Speakers lead the Char-Un spiritually. They commune with the spirits and the ancestors and guide the Char-Un in their interactions with the Spirit World. Sun-Speakers recognise other Char-Un who have fetches and guide their lives until they are ready for their Spirit Horse to be awakened.

Requirements: Must have a fetch that can be awakened and already be a member of the Kargzant Tradition.
Physical Abilities: Drumming
Mental Abilities: Intimidate
Shamanic Abilities: Ride Spirit Horse (Spirit World Travel), Shamanic Escape, Spirit Sight, Spirit Combat
Medicine Bundle: Each shaman returns from the Spirit World for the first time with his medicine bundle, which he uses to worship and call forth his fetch. The contents vary depending on the shaman and his relationship to his Spirit Horse, all contain different types of feathers, pieces of amber, horse teeth, sun-bleached grass and other sacred items. All are tightly wrapped in felt and wound round with horse sinews.
Core Practice: Sun Stallion (Male) or Moon Mare (Female) Practice.
Helper Practices:
Standard of Living: Prosperous.
Equipment: Drum, Ritual Equipment, Riding Horse.


Core Practices
There are many practices within the tradition, and worshippers generally progress through the core practices as they move through life. They may well take part in the rites of some or many of the other practices, but do not delve into their specific secrets. Thus, a Warrior who always observes Sunishi's rites might also take part in some within the Folien practice if he has to face darkmen. Thus, Char-Un Tradition Knowledge may replace a Relationship with any of the tradition's practices, albeit with a penalty of -6.

A practice may be seen as a cult by a theist as it is worship that is directed to a specific great spirit and his followers. A core practice is one that is essential and central to the tradition; it defines the tradition.

The Sun Stallion
Kargzant is the most powerful spirit in the Char-Un tradition. He is the Sun Stallion, the source of fire, the Guide and the Life Giver. He rides through the sky by day and shows the slain to the Steppe of the Wandering Sun at night, returning again in the morning with the promise of another day. Kargzant is served by a herd of stars, planets, horses and other spirits.

Traditional Spirits:
Ancestor Spirits (provide advice, Abilities or personality traits)
Fire Spirits (typically provide Fiery Arrows, Burning Aura, Flaming Blades, Bright Light)
Hawk Spirits (typically includes See Far, Fly, See From Above)
Stallion Spirits (typical spirits include Run Far, Run on Wind, Horizon Leap, Mount Mare, Strength of the Stallion)
Spirit Allies: Horse Spirits.
Fetch: Hawk or Stallion Spirits.
Fetish: Shamans use bones, feathers and medicine bundles made of horsehide.
Secret: Channel Clan Ancestor (Heroform a clan ancestor)

Typical Ancestor:
Ride 7w3, Archery 15w2, Close Combat 12w2.

The Moon Mare
ma-Tamara is the red mare that grazes the sky overhead and watches over the People. She is seen as the moon to outsiders. She is the Moon Mare, the daughter of Lorest the Earth and wife of Kargzant the Sun Stallion. ma-Tamara is the patroness of women, mares, mothers, homes and vengeance.

Traditional Spirits:
Ancestor Spirits (provide advice, Abilities or personality traits)
Earth Spirits (typically provide Healing Poultice, Verdant Pasture, Endurance of Stone, Warm Ground)
Mare Spirits (typically includes Run Far, Fertility, Horizon Leap, Grace in Motion)
Lunar Spirits (typical spirits include Madness, Blast Mind, Recognise Enemy)
Spirit Allies: Horse Spirits.
Fetch: Mare or Night Hawk Spirits.
Fetish: Shamans use braided horsehair, painted sigils and medicine bundles made from horsehide.
Secret: Empassion Husband (Acts like an integrated passion spirit for all attempts to motivate your husband)
Other Connections: ma-Tamara shamans are friendly with the Lunar Church.
Disadvantages: Subservient to men unless on the Path of Fire, may not deal with spirits other than those of earth or moon. Considered primitive and barbaric by most Lunars. Lunar spirits are subject to the Lunar cycle.

The Hunter
Morgzil shares his secrets with all men in the nation. He watches over young men especially and blesses archers, hunters and herders. He is the best hunter in Kargzant's camp and is the lo-Pan of the Hunting Spirits; shamans seek him out for those spirits. Every day Morgzil wanders the sky seeking prey and dangers to Kargzant's herds. This is the practice joined by all Riders.

Available Spirits:
Hunting Spirits (these typically include Find Pasture, Find Water, Ride Quietly, Smell Prey, See Invisible Tracks)

The Watcher
Sunishi is Kargzant's bodyguard. He is the patron of Warriors, Father of fathers and the Rearing Stallion. He rides across the sky every night keeping watch for his foes and a silent vigil over the People. This is the practice joined by Warriors.

Available Spirits:
Fighting Spirits (typically include Scything Blade, Arrow Fly True, Sun Shield, Burning Lance, Spirit Blade)
Valour Spirits (typically passion spirits, also Terrifying Howl, Shed Fear)

The Pan
Panishi was the son of Kargzant and ma-Tamara and the Father of the Char-Un People. He is the patron of the chiefs and warleaders and gave his name to the tribal leaders, the lo-Pans and the ur-Pan. Panishi's tent is in the centre of the sky. This is the practice joined by Leaders.

Mental Abilities: Know Ancestors.
Available Spirits:
Community (Sooth Anger, Appease Woman, Sense unrest, Voice of command)
Rule Well (Shame Warrior, Inspire Clansman, Carrying Voice, Justice, Know Truth,)

The Elder
Bornad is the chief counsellor to Kargzant. He has accumulated great knowledge at his pan's side and has seen every corner of the sky from the back of his white horse. He follows Kargzant's path through the sky. This is the practice joined by Elders.

Mental Abilities: Know Stellar Object, Know Stellar Spirit.
Available Spirits:
Stellar Spirits (typically give advice or spy on the Middle World)


Helper Practices
These are other spirits and practices that the Char-Un worship.

Durla the Warrior Woman
After ma-Tamara rose again into the sky to join her husband, a warrior came from the Moon Realm and showed the women of the People that the Path of Fire was open to them as well. This is the practice joined by female Warriors.

Mental Abilities: Intimidate Male.
Available Spirits:
Fighting Spirits (typically include Moon Blade, Burning Arrow, Stone Skin, True Strike Lance)
Vengeance Spirits (passion spirits)
Disadvantages: Frowned upon by more traditional women and sneered at by male Warriors.

 


June 15, 2000

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