THE CIRCLE OF LIGHT
• Forthian, Questor of Floranuus •
A stendar is the living muse of romance and the arts. Tales abound of artists paid a visit by Astendar who spent a feverish night alternately working at the easel and making love with the Passion. Such a gift of inspiration is not lightly given, and a visit from Astendar usually marks an individual for greatness.
Astendar also takes an interest in lovers, both young and old. One well-known incident involved a widow and widower who wanted to marry. Their children, however, believed their respective parents too old for romance and discouraged the courtship. Kept locked in their houses by their children, the couple appealed to Astendar for help. The Passion heard their pleas and agreed to aid them if they created a painting together. At first, the couple had no idea how they might do this, for they could not meet or see each other. Driven by their longing to marry, they finally came up with a plan.
The couple hired a thief adept they knew to carry a canvas back and forth between their two houses. Every night for many weeks, one of them added to the painting, and the thief carried it off to the other house just before dawn. As the painting neared completion, the lovers found themselves waiting more and more anxiously every night to see the other’s handiwork. Slowly but surely, Astendar’s painting turned a solid friendship and gentle affection into excitement, anticipation, and deepening love. At long last they finished the picture, astounded by the beauty of their work. The exquisite painting so pleased Astendar that she made the couple young once more. Bolstered by their renewed strength, they broke free of their imprisoning homes and ran away together. As for the thief, he was rewarded with the painting, which he sold for a handsome price.
Love, Art, Music
Astendar commonly manifests as a powerfully built male or female of any race, wearing few garments and carrying a musical instrument.
Light rain, music, beautiful clothing of intricate textures
Astendar can entrance listeners with music, instill lust or love, restore youth, and transform into the sound of a song and float through the air, leaving the melody in her wake.
Artists make up the largest percentage of questors of Astendar. These questors find sensual pleasures such as gourmet food, luxurious clothing, or a lingering kiss fascinating. Their determination to imitate Astendar by indulging their desires often leads them into trouble. Because they know their actions are inspired by their Passion, they naively believe everyone else will see their actions in the same light. Sadly, others usually view the indulgences of questors of Astendar as decadence unchecked by self-control or common sense.
Acts of Devotion
Create a work of art that requires one to four weeks of work (Minor). Deliver a love letter across a distance no less than five days’ journey (Major). Become involved in a romantic affair that might end in bodily harm to the questor (Zealous). Find the perfect
bride for the king or queen (Quest).
Enchanted Gift, Instill Love, Return Youthful Spirit
Chorrolis wanders the world, aiding those who want to strike a clever bargain or long for more wealth than they have. He inspires people to rise at dawn and work to improve their lot, and leaves them despairing if they go to bed at night without having succeeded.
Despite his status as a Passion and the extraordinary powers he possesses, Chorrolis brims over with jealousy and avarice. He covets anything of value or beauty that someone else owns, and his desire to possess such items often drives him to distraction. Because he scorns simple stealing as the act of a coward, Chorrolis must resort to other methods of acquisition. Bargaining is his method of choice. He has been known to hound the owner of a desired piece of merchandise for weeks at a time, turning up and offering a deal when the owner least expects it. Because he subtly disguises his appearance, most people do not recognize Chorrolis and eventually take the price he offers, desperate to be rid of the obsessive merchant following them around. Those who do recognize Chorrolis bide their time before selling, knowing that he will drive up his price to ridiculous heights. The patient trader can make a staggering profit by playing on Chorrolis’ desperate desire.
Wealth, Trade, Jealousy, Desire
Chorrolis often appears as a corpulent male of any race, either jovial or bitter and depressed. He wears fine clothes, and often carries silver and gold or beautiful and expensive objects around with him.
Bags of treasure, caravans, goods for sale, food
Chorrolis can incite greed, encourage cooperation in matters of trade, and travel instantaneously along any road or waterway used as a trade route.
Questors of Chorrolis rise from the ranks of capable, usually greedy merchants. Some ply their trade from market stalls in Bartertown, while others satisfy their desire to imitate Chorrolis by travelling across Barsaive in trade caravans.Chorrolis frequently inspires his questors to acquire specific objects that he treasures. Widely known for their unbeatable bargaining skills, the questors of Chorrolis usually conceal their devotion to the Passion in order to negotiate favorable deals with the unwary.
Acts of Devotion
Conduct trade involving goods valued at 50 silver pieces or more. The questor need not deal with every merchant he sees, but must negotiate at least one notable transaction every time he passes through a marketplace (Minor). Spend considerable time pursuing a rumor describing potential profit (Major). Secure a loan with outrageous interest rates and serious late-payment penalties in an attempt to make an extraordinary profit (Zealous). Obtain a rare
and legendary object (Quest).
Encourage Trade, Incite Greed, Locate Valuables
Floranuus is the perpetual optimist and the motivator of all Namegivers. He burns in the hearts of all who rise eagerly from their beds each morn to meet the new day. He inspires all people toward victory, and stands at the center of all celebrations.
As the embodiment of joy, mirth, and excitement, he lacks understanding of despair. He sends his questors to help the deeply depressed, knowing that they may empathize with such feelings
in a way that he cannot.
Revelry, Energy, Victory, Motion
Floranuus usually manifests as a humanoid shape composed of fire. However, the manifestation neither gives off heat nor burns any objects it touches.
Fire, parties, cheers, swift ships of both air and sea, wine, roads
Floranuus increases stamina, alters moods from depression to exhilaration, and can travel at breathtaking speed anywhere in the world as a ball of fire.
Because they feel a renewed optimism at the beginning of each new day, the questors of Floranuus actively encourage everyone around them to share their enthusiasm for living. These men and women find a silver lining in every cloud and recognize a positive aspect in even the most dire or depressing situations. The questors of Floranuus provide an instantly recognizable emblem of their Passion’s ideals by wearing bold, bright colors that invariably cheer people up and inspire them to action of some sort. These questors spend their lives travelling across Barsaive seeking those who have lost hope, then doing all they can to revive a spark of joy in those souls.
Questors of Floranuus willingly go to whatever lengths seem necessary to light up the world around them as brightly as the flames of their Passion. Though many people grumble that questors of Floranuus are nothing but glorified busy-bodies, none question their benevolent motives or absolutely sincere desire to change people’s lives for the better.
Acts of Devotion
Participate in or organize a race or other physical competition (Minor). Organize a celebration with at least 100 or more guests to require at least one week of work (Major). Raise your side’s flag within enemy territory at the turning point of a battle (Zealous). End a war between two enemy communities or nations (Quest).
Increase Speed, Increase Stamina, Speed Ship
During the Scourge, all the kaers and citadels called on Garlen for protection, and she remains one of the most widely revered Passions in Barsaive. People of all races call her the mother who cares for all, and Garlen considers all of Barsaive’s Namegivers her children. Garlen and her questors offer healing to the sick and injured, and comfort to the dying. In a world filled with violence and danger, Garlen watches over those who shun adventuring for the comfort and safety of home, particularly families and children.
Hearth and Healing
Garlen usually manifests as a voluptuous woman, her arms spread wide in acceptance and invitation. On occasion, Garlen appears as a kindly, comfortable-looking man.
Homes, children, kaers, enclosed spaces, water
Garlen can heal the wounded, comfort the frightened, and travel instantly to any home.
Many ordinary citizens and even some questors of other Passions mistakenly believe that Garlen’s questors seek the refuge of the hearth and embrace healing because they fear conflict. Anyone who has watched someone they love die while doing everything in their power to prevent it knows that this act of caring requires a far greater courage and strength than that required to defeat any enemy.
Most questors of Garlen are female. Some believe that Garlen attracts women questors because she so often appears as one. Others speculate that because they carry new lives within their bodies, women possess a greater understanding and appreciation for life and greater compassion for other living beings.
Garlen’s questors can be stern, but show unfailing generosity and understanding. Those who mistake Garlen’s compassion for weakness sometimes do not live to regret their misunderstanding. For example, a famous story tells of five questors of Garlen who were visiting a village near Skypoint when Theran slavers raided the village. Garlen’s questors cut down the Therans to the last man, staining their white robes with the slavers’ blood.
Acts of Devotion
Heal someone suffering from a physical injury (Minor). Provide extended care for someone suffering from a serious illness (Major). Protect a home from attackers (Zealous). Find the cure for a terminal illness (Quest).
Comfort, Heal, Seal Home
Countless Namegivers have invoked Jaspree’s name during the past hundred years as people across Barsaive have revived farmlands and forests devastated during the Scourge. Moved by his deep love of all growing things, Jaspree has answered the call of his followers. He wanders under the deep shadows cast by towering trees and stops to smell the smallest wild flowers that line Barsaive’s well-traveled roads. Thanks to his aid, the world has grown green and rich with life in the years since the end of the Scourge.
Growth, Care of the Land, Love of the Wilderness
Jaspree usually manifests as a male or female creature, half animal and half any Namegiver race.
Trees, farms, forests, seeds
Jaspree encourages growth in plants, animals and Namegivers; animates plants; speaks with animals; and travels through dirt as if swimming through water.
A majority of Jaspree’s questors devote their Passion-given powers to nurturing small patches of Barsaive where plant life survived the Scourge, and to coaxing seemingly barren areas back to life. Questors of Jaspree recognize the intrinsic, basic value of plant life as the building block for all other life. They make a point of teaching this lesson to careless travelers and those who deliberately destroy their work, sometimes going so far as to trade a life for a life.
Other questors of Jaspree seek to protect the lives of animals and Namegivers as well as plant life. These questors defend the communities in which they live against marauders who would destroy any living thing, but understand that Namegivers need to sow fields in order to eat, and that some forests must die to support other life. They see life as an endless cycle of death and rebirth, and accept both as having equal worth.
Questors of Jaspree also embrace opportunities to travel to the far reaches of Barsaive and beyond to learn more about the plant life of the world, sow life in barren lands, and to protect endangered species of plant life.
Acts of Devotion
Plant seeds over a one-acre area (Minor). Nurture a farm or forest area for one week or more (Major). Protect a farm, forest area, or herd of animals from casual or deliberate harm (Zealous). Undo the effects of the Scourge to a considerable patch of land (Quest).
Animate Plant, Command Animal, Plant Growth
Lochost is the patron Passion of slaves, rebels, and scholars. The truly educated mind seeks the inspiration to break free from the beliefs of the past and make new discoveries, and so merits the protection of Lochost as surely as any freedom fighter.
The slow spread of Theran slavery across Barsaive has stretched Lochost’s attention thinner and thinner, and he depends upon increasing numbers of questors to do his work. At the sight of the slavery she desires, the Mad Passion Dis often confronts Lochost, and she currently wields greater power than he. The two last fought at a slave camp near the citadel of Tirthon, killing every slave and slaver in their savage combat. Wishing to avoid a repeat of the massacre, Lochost spends a great deal of time distracting Dis as his questors work to free the enslaved.
Rebellion, Change, Freedom
Lochost usually manifests as a male or female child of any race, whose body and features constantly change.
Strong wind, uprooted trees, open gates
Lochost inspires rebellion, comforts the imprisoned, unlocks doors and prisons, and can fly through the air by transforming into wind.
Lochost’s questors can be found anywhere in Barsaive that oppression or inequity rules. Many questors of Lochost agitate for change in pursuit of equality and Namegiver dignity, opposing Theran rule and slavery. Others propose political reforms in established communities and within the Kingdom of Throal, acting as devil’s advocates in an effort to ensure that those in power continue to govern responsibly. Still others foment rebellion for the sake of change, imitating their Passion by constantly challenging the status quo.
As long as Thera practices slavery, questors of Lochost will actively oppose Thera’s rule, sowing and nurturing rebellion in slave camps and mining operations throughout Barsaive and all over the world. All Therans accept the edict that questors of Lochost must be exposed and eradicated in order to preserve their lifestyle, and the Mad Passion Dis hunts Lochost relentlessly, determined to extinguish the light of his inspiration.
Acts of Devotion
Comfort a person enslaved against his will (Minor). Help someone who has escaped slavery (Major). Free an entire camp of slaves (Zealous). Convince a nation’s leader to outlaw slavery (Quest).
Break Shackles, Change Thoughts, Inspire Rebellion
Mynbruje stands by the unjustly accused, those the law has passed over, and those misunderstood by their society. He is a busy Passion, for though the Namegivers occupy a special place in the universe, mere mortals are often blind to truth and understanding.
Justice, Compassion, Empathy, Truth
Mynbruje usually appears as an old man or woman of any race.
Balanced scales, executioner’s axe, stars, a comfortable place to rest
Mynbruje can read minds, ease the suffering of others, perceive obscure clues, and travel through the thoughts of Namegivers, leaping from the mind of one to any other within fifty miles.
The questors of Mynbruje wear simple garments, sometimes peasant garb, to show that they care little for status or prestige. They imitate their Passion by devoting their lives to seeking truth and justice. They dedicate all their efforts to restoring balance to lives and communities, laboring to show criminals the error of their ways, helping society administer justice compassionately, and clearing the names of those wrongly accused.
Mynbruje’s questors serve their Passion in many ways. Some act as official judges in citadels, towns, and villages. Others travel throughout Barsaive randomly or along a prescribed route, adjudicating disputes and righting injustices. Everyone accepts the word of a questor of Mynbruje as law, though such questors often travel with other adepts and magicians as protection against those who would seek to evade judgement.
Acts of Devotion
Ease an accused person’s suffering (Minor). Reveal a falsehood (Major). Prove a criminal’s guilt or a suspect’s innocence (Zealous). Uncover and expose a conspiracy to murder a king or other high-ranking official (Quest).
Ease Suffering, Increase Perception, Perceive Emotion
Thystonius is the Passion of physical conflict and valor. Most soldiers mistakenly believe him a Passion of war and try to claim him for their own, but Thystonius cares little for killing. He resides in living bones and muscles, not in the corpses of the fallen. He loves the flexing and exertion of bodies competing against the odds—a foot race, an arm wrestle, or a man swimming for his life against the impossible currents of the Serpent River give him infinitely more pleasure than the carnage of battle.
In addition to those who embrace him wholeheartedly, Thystonius rushes to aid those who feel daunted by a physical challenge. The epic poem “The War of Tears,” recounts two camps of opposing warriors, both fearful of taking the battlefield the next day. Thystonius entered both camps during the night and spoke to each army, extolling the glories of war and promising the warriors they would all emerge heroes. Inspired by the Passion’s words, both sides joined in vigorous combat the following morning. The Passion kept his promise—the warriors’ heroic deeds were immortalized in the “The War of Tears.” Nevertheless, Thystonius’ habit of encouraging people to throw themselves at each other makes many people uncomfortable.
Physical Conflict, Valor
Thystonius usually appears as a tall, muscular man or woman of any race.
Weapons, banners and pennants, armor, battlefields
Thystonius can increase martial abilities and strength, overcome pain, and travel instantaneously within a mile of any physical conflict.
Questors of Thystonius believe that diving headfirst into physical danger is the only way to fully experience life. Their primary motivation each day is to seek challenges and opponents to test their skills and valor. According to their vision of their Passion’s ideals, they must encourage others to do the same and so engage willing opponents as often as unwilling ones.
Questors of Thystonius make valiant, tireless warriors, and leap to defend entire communities single-handedly, if necessary. While this quality makes these men and women valuable allies, they cannot be counted on to consider the effects of their actions before they join battle, and so rarely learn to lead troops.
Certain people, who are willing to do almost anything to avoid conf lict, accuse questors of Thystonius of using their superior strength to force people to fight against their will, thus acting like overgrown bullies.
Acts of Devotion
Engage in a test of physical prowess; combat, leaping over a particularly wide chasm, and so on (Minor). Lead soldiers into battle (Major). Fight a powerful opponent until one or both combatants cannot continue (Zealous). Bring victory to a nation involved in a full-scale war (Quest).
Absorb Damage, Increase Strength, Increase Initiative
Upandal is the Passion of Construction. He reinforces the need to build shared by all the Namegiver races of Barsaive, helping them to create order and beauty by building structures as well as giving names. Upandal gives aid where he can, inspiring architects and craftsmen and protecting beautiful cities and towers. On occasion, he presents enchanted tools to craftsmen he deems particularly worthy of his patronage.
Building, Construction, Planning
Upandal generally manifests as a craftsman of any race, clad in dirty work clothes.
Hammer, building plans, compass, smith’s forge
Upandal can make tools quickly; fortify buildings, fortresses and city walls; create temporary bridges and towers; and travel instantaneously between cities or any other large, ornate constructions.
Questors of Upandal find their greatest joy in building, or collecting money for a construction project. They offer everything they build to the glory of Upandal, eagerly embracing each new structure as a way to enrich the world and win more questors for their Passion.
Not all their devotion is expressed on such a grand scale. Questors of Upandal find equal satisfaction in tinkering with, repairing, and reproducing small objects. They use every opportunity to express their devotion to their Passion and encourage others to join them in their quest. Whether helping a farmer repair a fence or fixing a child’s toy, Upandal’s questors do their best to imitate their patron Passion. Their analytical minds give Upandal’s questors a penchant for devising war plans and other such designs. Unfortunately, their love of the complex and ornate tends to produce aesthetically pleasing but impractical strategies.
Acts of Devotion
Spend a week creating a new tool, weapon, or design (Minor). Help build a building, castle, or other structure that requires two to four weeks of work (Major). Protect a beautiful object—a mechanical jewellery box, an ornate tower, and so on—from those who would destroy it (Zealous). Create a legendary item (Quest).
Create Structure, Create Weapon, Fortify Structure
THE MAD PASSIONS:
Before the Scourge, Vestrial was the prankster Passion, blending good humor with trickery to puncture the overblown egos of the arrogant. Insanity took hold of him during the Scourge, however, making him as arrogant as the former victims of his jokes.
Seeing himself as the sole inheritor of all the world’s Passion worshipers, he creates elaborate plans for world conquest that his questors enthusiastically carry out. He uses his vast intelligence to spin webs of intrigue that no one save himself can understand. Some believe that Vestrial has woven so many plots and deceits that even he has lost track of the ends he originally desired.
Vestrial usually manifests as a humanoid form, wearing a dark hood and cloak.
An assassin’s dagger, blood, ambush
Vestrial can confuse listeners, beguile people with lies, discover a person’s true desire, and travel instantaneously within a mile of any place where someone has just uttered a lie.
The questors of Vestrial scurry about the world dressed in the black cloaks of their Passion, carrying out the Mad Passion’s schemes. Though questors of Vestrial apparently regularly sacrifice their real goals to the goal of fostering deceit in the name of their Passion’s ideals, they should not be underestimated. For every ten questors that devote all their efforts to manipulating fellow Namegivers and events, one questor can be found guiding his fellows through brilliant, effective, diabolical plans.
The precision, subtlety, and effectiveness of some Vestrial-inspired plots suggests that the apparent incompetence of the most visible questors provides a cover for countless unrecognised questors of Vestrial hidden within all levels of society.
Acts of Devotion
Lie to someone about a matter that is important to the person and has an effect on his life (Minor). Manipulate someone into doing something illegal, immoral, or otherwise wrong that they would not willingly do (Major). Create a lie that leads to someone’s death, though the questor need not be present when the death occurs. The person who dies must have allies that will seek to avenge his death (Zealous). Create a conspiracy to murder a king or other high-ranking official (Quest).
Deceit, Discover Desire, Manipulate Desire
Raggok was known as Rashomon before the Scourge, and his ideals then were Leadership, Endurance, Tolerance, and Perseverance. Today, Raggok is the most terrible of the Mad Passions, and embodies all that is corrupted in the world.
He causes the dead to walk the earth, he sows the baseless hatreds that erupt between once-loving husbands and wives, and he tortures the insane with disembodied voices. People say he has made countless pacts with Horrors, aiding them in their evil endeavours and receiving their assistance in kind. Like the Horrors he allegedly serves, Raggok loves to inflict pain and strives to satisfy this perverse desire.
Vengeance, Bitterness, Jealousy
Raggok usually manifests as a large man with the head of a ram. Scores of open wounds continuously appear, heal, and reappear on the incarnation’s bloody flesh.
Skeletons, the undead, swords, wounds, insects, snow and ice
Raggok can call forth painful memories, raise undead, inspire hatred, and travel through the thoughts of Namegivers, leaping from the mind of one Namegiver to any other within fifty miles. As he travels, he evokes painful memories in the minds of those he passes through.
Because the ideals Raggok personifies can be found in the hearts of members of every race, this Mad Passion never lacks questors. People who enjoy inflicting mental and physical pain gladly imitate Raggok and accept his gifts in return.
Questors of Raggok divide themselves into two main groups based on their interpretation of how best to embody their Passion’s ideals. One group believes that ostentatious displays of wealth
cause mental pain in others less fortunate and so wallows in all the pleasures of the flesh that money can buy. Their constant search for even more money and treasure provides the resources needed to pay others to glorify Raggok, consciously or unconsciously, through their actions.
The second group lives ascetic lives. These questors feel compelled to imitate Raggok personally to the best of their abilities, and believe that bringing pain to the world should take precedence over their own comfort. Any wealth they accumulate is used to buy poisons, hire mercenaries to raze villages, and accomplish other acts that cause pain and suffering.
Acts of Devotion
Cause someone pain in combat—this act of devotion is rewarded for one battle against one opponent, not each successful attack (Minor). Torture a victim with expert deliberation (Major). Kill someone in the name of revenge. The revenge may satisfy the questor’s need for vengeance or simply fulfil a contract paid for by someone else (Zealous). Make an entire community suffer for the deeds of their ancestors (Quest).
Cause Pain, Inspire Rage, Raise Undead
Known as Erendis before the Scourge, this Passion once stood for the ideals of Order, Bureaucracy and Work. Now, even with her warped ideals, Dis is a popular Passion among those who make their living from the Theran slave trade. Unlike the other Passions, Dis takes her greatest pleasure in destroying people’s passion for life, rather than inspiring it. She bleeds away her worshippers’ zest for living and they in turn demoralize those they subjugate. Eventually, the slaves and bureaucrats influenced by this Mad Passion become empty husks, devoid of dreams and feelings. Dis wants to extend this death of the soul throughout the world.
In addition to the slavers, Dis also inspires bureaucrats who create paperwork merely to look busy, rather than out of a need for the records or fondness for their work. Few activities spread boredom more effectively than generating useless records and information, and Dis spends a great deal of her time encouraging people to do just that.
Confusion, Unnecessary Work, Complex Bureaucratic Hierarchies, Slavery and Mastery
Dis manifests as a thin, sickly male or female of any race, who seems to have been deprived of sunlight and exercise for far too long.
Papers, papers and more papers, contracts, tomes of ritual, slaves, chains
Dis can remove fervor from those around her and cause confusion in their minds, make people obey her will, and teleport instantaneously to any place she has visited before.
The questors of Dis imitate their Passion’s desire for unimaginative uniformity by dressing in gray and making themselves look pale. Some questors of Dis seize or otherwise control mercantile bureaucracies or slaver operations in order to embody their Passion’s ideals, living comfortably off the fruits of others’ labors. Other questors of Dis seek nothing less than complete detachment from their fellow man and the human condition, thus exemplifying the
disdain with which Dis views all living beings.
Acts of Devotion
Impose one’s will on another sentient being (Minor). Create an obscure method of controlling information and work flow that offers no practical value (Major). Force a worthy opponent into
slavery (Zealous). Set up a slave-trading network (Quest).
Confusion, Enslave, Living Death