Annwn (Anoon) is a land oftern referred to as the Underworld. This land, as well as the Otherworld (also called the land of Fairy or Tir Na nOg by the Irish), is a very real idea to the Celtic people and the people of Dawn of Legends. Many of the great heros of Britain and Ireland have made journeys to the these mystical lands and dealt with the beings who dwell there. In Ireland, hills and islands in the western sea were places in which one could enter and meet the Tuatha De Danan. In Britain, the land of Fairy could be very close and fairies, the British equivalent of the Tuatha, often made their presence known in heroes world.
What is the Otherworld?
The Otherworld is a place of magic where powerful beings dwell. From the ancient Irish tales to Arthurian legend, the Otherworld is described in many adventures as a place of incredible beauty, variety and adventure. Mighty Fey kings and queens rule kingdoms of all shapes and sizes there. The Otherworld is home to powerful magical creatures and capricious fairies. The Tuatha De Danan (TOO-ah day DAY-nun) of Irish legend were given homes here were they can live forever. It is said that no human may journey to the other world and return unchanged...
In this book, the denizens of the Otherworld will be collectively referred to as fairies or the Fey. Although many powerful figures of the Otherworld may have once been regarded as gods, fairies conjure up an image closer to the ideal this book attempts to portray. These amazing creatures of myth and legend had widely varying powers and magic. Their courts were majestic affairs whose splendour was unmatched in the mundane world. Their kingdoms had thicker forests, higher hills, mightier mountains and greener plains. Time passed very differently in these lands and a human could spend time there only to find, upon his return to the mundane world, that centuries had passed. Or perhaps what he thought was the passing of years was merely the blink of an eye in the mundane world!
The Otherworld often had a strange effect on visitors. The more time a human spent in the Otherworld, the more likely it was he would gain some magical power. Often, a hero who may have been invited to the Otherworld was beset by misfortune should he choose to leave the Otherworld.
Finally, it was believed that when one died, the soul could travel to the Underworld, the Otherworldly place also called Annwn where the soul traveled as it waited to be reborn or to eternally rest.
Visiting the Otherworld
Typically, when the Otherworld was sought out by an adventurer, it was not a very friendly place. In this case the adventurers path was always fraught with perile. If the adventurer happened upon the Otherworld by chance or invitation, then the Otherworld was not so hostile. In fact, some heroes chose never to leave and eventually became gods in their own right.
The Otherworld is accessible in a number of ways. A character might fall asleep atop a great mound and awaken in the Otherworld. She might become lost in a forest and stumble into the land of Fairy. She might visit some standing stones and travel to the Otherworld as if stepping through a doorway. Sometimes a hero might undertake a sea journey and become lost in the mists. The islands subsequently discovered by the hero might very well belong to the Otherworld. It is said that powerful wizards like Druids can open a door to the Otherworld. And on the festival of Samhain, All Hallows, the Fairy gates are open and the fairies come into the world to take their revenge on those who they feel have slighted them.
It is also possible to enter the Underworld and find Annwn, the Land of the Dead whose king is Arawn. The the power of the queen, Arianrhod, is also felt as her silver palace, called Caer Sidi, forms Arianrhods Silver Wheel. This can be seen in the northern skies and is known to us as the aurora borealis.
The Influence of Fairy
Mystical creatures often had a significant impact upon the everyday life of mortals. The Celtic British wouldnt think it very odd at all, should one happen upon a shapeshifter or fairy wizard. Creatures of the Otherworld and other magical creatures of legend have a regular impact upon the daily lives of the people of Dawn of Legends.
There are many legends in which a powerful fairy might influence the lives of heros. In the Arthurian story of Lancelot, the Lady of the Lake was a powerful Fairie who raised him from the time he was taken as a baby and it was the Lady of the Lake who taught him to fight. She also presented the sword Excalibur and its scabbard to King Arthur when his first sword was broken. Old British and Irish legends describe heros with mystic powers attributed to Fairy lineage, or derived from time spent in the Otherworld, land of Fairy.
A GM may wish to add flavor to his Dawn of Legends game by allowing player characters to purchase special magical powers from the following list. After character creation, abilities may not be gained unless they are granted by powerful fairies or spell casters. Granted abilities may be paid for with Experience Points. Finally, a character may increase certain existing Fairy Abilities. For instance, a characters Shapeshifting ability may increase through game play. All increases and new abilities must be reviewed and approved by the GM.
For human characters, there should always be a good story as to how a character gained the unique ability, and the GM is encouraged to require a little effort on the players part to knit a story around how the character gained such special abilities. Some possible fairy power origins:
Monsters, true Fey, or powerful non-player characters (NPCs) may have even more powerful versions of these abilities.
Animal Command 15 OPs. This ability grants the character a measure of power over animals. When any normal animal (magical and intelligent animals do not count) is within line of sight, the character may make a WILL roll (no skill may be added) versus the animals WILL + 10. Success will allow the character to control the actions of the animal completely simply by concentrating. While concentrating, he will be at a -5 to all defensive skills. Striking the character will cause her to loose control of the animal. Note that the character can not read them mind of the animal or communicate with it.
Battle Hardened 20 OPs. This ability grants the character the power to avoid damage in combat. On any non-magical attack that the character can see coming, roll a Perception action total versus a Competent difficulty (DV 18). If successful, the character ignores 50% of the damage after armor is subtracted.
Command (Fey Only) 20+ OPs. This mystical Fey ability is common only among true Fey creatures. Occasionally, a Half Fey character may obtain this ability with approval by the GM. This ability allows the character attempt to force another to perform a single commanded action. The commanding character rolls a number of dice equal to his WILL score and compares the total with the victims Resistance score.
|If the total is:||The victim will:|
|> Resistance||perform actions he is inclined to do|
|10 > Resistance||perform actions he wouldnt mind doing|
|20 > Resistance||perform actions he doesnt want to do|
|30 > Resistance||perform any action.|
Using this ability counts as an Attack and therefore ends the characters action for the round. If the character using Command does not roll higher than the targets Resistance score, the effect fails, and the intended victim can never be Commanded by the character again. For an extra 5 OPs, the character may make the Command silently.
Enthrall (Fey Only) 25OPs. With Enthrall the character may cause another person to fall in love with them. To do so, the character rolls his Presence score in dice and totals them, comparing them with the targets Resistance score. If the roll succeeds, keep track of the points by which the roll succeeded. The Enthralling character may continue to use the ability, adding the points by which he exceeded until he has accumulated 30 or more points. At this point, the victim believes she has fallen in love with the character, and will behave accordingly for as long as the Enthralling character remains with the victim. Ill treatment of the victim, or failing to exceed the Resistance score on any roll will cause the effect to fail. If the effect fails, the character must wait 24 hours to attempt it again on the victim.
Frenzy 20 OPs. This ability allows your character to gain one extra action every other round! However, each round the character uses this ability costs the character 1 Hit.
Harming/Healing 40 OPs. When your character is struck every other blow actually heals Hits instead of subtracts them! Note that blows that do not penetrate your armor count as zero Hits taken. Also, this ability doesn't carry over to different combats. Thus, if you were hit once in one combat (Harming you) but are not struck again during that encounter, the power resets itself for the next encounter.
Healing 5 OPs. You have the ability to heal another person or animal 1 Hit and 1 Stun for every 1 END you spend. You must concentrate for a full minute while doing so, and must also be touching the intended subject. You must also repair all damage that the subject has taken. If you do not have enough END to cover the cost, then it must be paid for with Stun, and if you run out of Stun, you must pay for it with your own Hits. Each this power is used, roll 3D6 after you use the ability. If you roll a total of 8 or less, your power burns out and is unusable until you have gained a full nights rest.
Giantism 5 OPs. This ability grants you +1 STR, x2 your normal mass, 1.5x your normal height, +1 BODY, -1 DEX, and +1 to all Perception skill rolls to spot you. You are one huge guy!
Illusions (Fey Only) 15+ OPs. This ability allows you to create optical illusions in a circular area within a radius of 4 m/yds of you. The illusions are believable until they are touched, or a Perception roll is made vs. a DV of 14. For every 5 OPs extra you put into the ability, you may double the radius of effect. You can add illusory sound for +5 OPs and illusory solidity for another +5. If you purchase both illusory sound and solidity, the DV for the Perception roll increases to 18. You can use this ability while performing other actions, but so long as you wish the Illusions to remain, you must pay 4 Endurance per minute.
Immortal 10 OPs. This Fey ability goes a step beyond the Longevity Talent, and makes the character essentially immortal in terms of aging. A character with this ability will never grow old. Once a character has reached a mature age both physically and emotionally, she simply does not age anymore.
Immunity to Poison 3 OPs (One poison) / 5 OPs (All poisons). The character is immune to a poison or all poisons.
Immunity to Disease 3 OPs (Three diseases) / 5 OPs (All diseases). The character is immune to three diseases or all diseases.
Invisibility 15 OPs. This ability allows the character to become invisible for up to one hour per day. When the ability is activated, the character becomes invisible to any intelligent creature who does not have an ability to perceive Otherworldly or invisible creatures. However, the character cannot see any intelligent creatures who are normally visible! It is possible that a character with this ability may make himself invisible and suddenly learn there are Fairie people about!
Invulnerability to Magic 40 OPs. You can not be affected by human magic of any sort (even beneficial magics!). However, fairy magic could still have affect you. This ability adds +1 to a character's Defensive X.
Locate Vulnerability 20 OPs. This ability grants the character a Perception total versus a Difficulty Value of 22. If this roll is successful, the GM will provide information on the target creatures most vulnerable (least armored, perhaps) location. This will at least be a place where only half the individuals armor applies. It may be a small, hard to hit location however. For instance, this could be a missing scale in the hide of a dragon, a soft spot on the belly of a monster, or a chink in the armor of a warrior. This ability adds +1 to the characters Offensive Rule of X.
Mind Whisper 15+ OPs. You have the ability to communicate mentally with one other individual. Roll 5D6. If the total on all five dice is greater than the targets Resistance score, you are in direct mental contact. This applies only to surface thoughts. If you exceed the Resistance score by 10 or more points you can read thoughts that the victim attempted to hide. This activity counts as an attack during rounds, and thus you may perform no other activities. The user of this ability must be able to see his contactee. For each extra 5 OPs, you may have an extra 1D6 for your Mind Whisper roll.
Prophecy 10 OPs. The character may see a probable future event. This may apply to either a single individual which is present, or to the location in which the character stands. How far into the future she sees, and what event can be seend is up to the GM.
Speak with Animals 5/10 OPs. This ability gives the character mind to mind contact with any animal willing to communicate with the character, for as long as the character remains within sight. For five additional points, the character may maintain the effect after initial contact is made over any distance for up to six hours.
Speak with Plants 5 OPs. The character may speak mentally with plants. Some useful information may be gained from them, such as weather conditions on previous days or general environment information that can be provided by plants. Remember they have no eyes or ears.
Shapeshifting 5+ OPs. The basic 5 OP ability to shapeshift allows the character to transform herself into one specific animal. This creature (which must be a natural animal, not mythical or magical in nature) can be created with Character Points up to, but not exceeding, the number of character points the original player character was made with. Some of these character points may be need to converted in to Option Points to pay for special abilities such as flight or claws. The duration of this transformation defaults to one hour. Additional animal forms may be taken for +5 OPs each. For an additional +5 OPs the character may stay in animal form for 6 hours, or for +10 OPs the character may remain in an animal form indefinitely. You do not need to pay for the animal forms Skills and Options.
Spider Climb 10 OPs. This ability grants the character the power to cling to any surface. The strength of thehold is equal the strength the of character.
Weaken (Fey only) 15 OPs. The fey touch causes the victim to weaken, sometimes felt as a giddy weakening of the knees. The character may roll 4D6 and total the dice. For every five points rolled, the victim temporarily looses one point of Strength. If reduced to zero Strength, the victim falls to the ground and cannot move. The character performing the Weaken may continue apply 4D6 on subsequent rounds so long as she is touching the victim. This ability may be used four times per day.
Water Breathing 10/20 OPs. You can breathe water for up to one hour each day. For 20 OPs you can breathe water as if it were air for as long as you want!
Wings (Fey or Unusual Race Only) 20 OPs. You have fairy wings or perhaps bird-like wings which allow you to fly up to 20 m/yds per round. When flying, the character must pay one END per five yards flown.
The geas (pronounced GESH) is a mystical condition set upon a character as a form of settling the balance with the Otherworld. A geas may be placed on a child at birth, or later by the Otherworld. In addition, very famous and powerful people sometimes also may place a geas on a person. A geas is like a very firm Complication. However when these are broken, terrible misfortune and even death often follows! On the other hand, so long as the geas is not broken, a hero can often be assured he will not die.
Game Masters should plan for the geas to come up at some point in his campaign. The character should be faced with a very hard decision or breaking his geas. Such is the nature of the heroic epics of Dawn of Legends.
The following are sample geasa that fit the flavor of Dawn of Legends. The GM may certainly make any number of additional geasa. A character may start the game with one geas over and above the normally allowed number of Complications. In addition, you may take a geas in place of a normal Complication.
Half Fey characters are allowed to take up to 25 total points of various geasa and they must choose a minimum of ten points. This reflects the balancing of debts to the Otherworld for the Half Feys many special abilities.
Never refuse a gift. 5 pts.
Always accept a call for aid. 5 pts.
You may never kill (insert animal). 5 pts.
You shall not be away from (Ireland/Britain) for 7 nights in succession. 5 pts.
You must always accept an invitation to hospitality. 5 pts.
You must never put out a fire. 5 pts.
You must never cut down an oak tree. 5 pts.
You never eat cooked meat in winter (this is six months of the year!) 5 pts.
You may never eat a certain kind of meat. 5 pts.
You never use a shield. 5 pts.
You may never take plunder of any kind. 10 pts.
You never refuse a challenge. 10 pts.
You may not refuse protection to a (man/woman). 13 pts.