The Horse Eater



Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 3 November 1997
Last Updated On 3 November 1997
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1997

There is a Red Star in the Sky over Prax that appeared within the lifetime of some of the people. It has been growing brighter ever since it appeared and does not wax and wane like some other Red Stars. Shamans who go to the Star return with tales of Demons and Monsters yet also return with new powers against their old enemy the Horsemen of Pent. These shamans have formed spirit cults to worship the Horse Eater.

When the Lunares invaded Prax, they first sent missionaries and Priests to persuade the Praxian Nomads to accept Lunar ways. One group of Missionaries came from the Yara Aranis cult and were sent to the north of Prax, near the Pentian border. These missionaries contacted some shamans and told them of the secret ways to a new Red Star. Some shamans contacted the Star and returned with the power of the Horse Eater. This followed the Red Emperorís orders as he wanted the Horse Eater to be introduced into the border clans to provide a buffer against the Pentians, to act as a focus to concentrate aggression and to help make the coming of Yara Aranis more acceptable to the Praxians by instigating worship of one of her forms.

Yara Aranis is worshipped amongst the nomads of Prax purely in her guise of Horse Eater and purely as a Spirit Cult. However, the Twin Stars were originally only worshipped by the Sables as Spirit Cults and they led to wholescale acceptance of the Lunars.

Restrictions

In Prax, the worshippers in the Spirit Cult may never ride a horse and may never eat horse flesh. All slain horses must be desecrated, using the Butchery skill, their legs must be broken so their spirits will hobble, their eyes must be torn out so that the spirits will not find their way back to Hippoi and their sexual organs must be removed so that their spirits will not be fertile upon rebirth. A portion of the horse, usually the heart or genitals, must be kept for sacrifice in the worship ceremonies. Sometimes the horseís tail is added to a Ball of Tails.

Spirit Magic

Ball of Tails (3 pt, Ritual Enchant)

If a horse is killed its spirit may be bound into its tail and the tail can be removed and kept as a binding enchantment. At a cost of 1 POW, the horseís spirit is bound into the tail and may be accessed as a POW spirit. Further tails may be added to the first, at normal cost, to create a Ball of Tails. The holder of a Ball of Tails may use the Magic Points of all the Spirits bound into the tails. As with normal enchantments, further restrictions may be added to the Ball of Tails by expending extra POW.

Each horse spirit added to the Ball of Tails will have a cumulative 5% chance of alerting Hippoi ton the fact and will cause her to send hordes of nomads on vengeance missions against the holder of the Ball of Tails.

A Waha Peaceful Cut will not free the spirit of horses bound into a Horse Eater Ball of Tails, but a Free Ghost or a Hunter Peaceful Cut will. Some people may find it odd that Waha is hostile to the creation of Balls of Tails of Praxian herd beasts but accepts the Horse Ball of Tails. This is because Waha dislikes the binding of Praxian Herd Beasts, he does not care about the Ball of Tails ritual itself, also Waha has no love for horses.

Divine Magic

The Horse Eater gives the following spells reusably to her Praxian Shamans and on a one-use basis to her Praxian initiates.

Command Horse, Panic Horse, Command Horse Scarer.

Panic Horse (1 point, Stackable, Reusable, Duration 1 round)

This spell must be stacked with Magic Points for it to function. The spell causes all horses within the casterís POW in metres to panic and, if ridden, forces each rider to make a Riding roll. When the spell is cast a POW vs POW roll is made and all horses within the area of effect whose MPs are overcome are Panicked and their riders must make a Ride reduced by MPs Stacked x 5%, all horses which were not overcome are spooked and the Ride reduction is equal to the MPs stacked.

Each point of spell stacked with the first adds the casterís POW to the area of effect. All effects last for one round only, but if the spell is extended, the riders must make a Ride roll each round.

Unintelligent, riderless horses will run from the caster of the spell until they are obviously safe.

This spell does not affect true zebras or unicorns. Cross breeds such as mules or war zebras are affected at half level.

For instance, Slayer of Horses is attacked by a Pentian warband and casts Panic Horse with 16 MPs stacked with the spell and an Extension 2. His POW is 15, so all horses within 15m are affected by the spell. He rolls 55 on the POW vs POW roll and affects all horses with POW 14 or less. Those horses begin to panic and the riders must make a Ride - 80% to calm them down. The other horses are spooked and their riders must make a Ride - 16%. They must make this roll for 3 rounds. In the meantime, Slayer of Horses is happily killing the riders trying to control their horses.

Command Horse Scarer (2 Point, Non Stackable, Temporal, Reusable)

This allows the user to command a cult spirit known as a Horse Scarer. Horse Scarers are Passion Spirits which possess horses. They panic the horses at various times and cause the riders to make Ride rolls - Horse Scarerís POW x 5%. They panic the horse for their POW in melee rounds before giving up. This normally happens during combat but can be funnier when the horse is navigating a path along a cliff or along a rive bank. Horse Eater worshippers may also summon and bind Horse Scarers.