Friday, 10 November 2017

The First Gift of a Crimson Sorceress

The First Gift of a newly initiated Crimson Sorceress is a pet.
But let's forget those mundane animals like cats or frogs or bats. Those are just stories and fables.
No, the First Gift comes always from the fires and the maelstroms of The Beyond.

The Crimson Mothers, together with the Initiate, join in a ritual where The Reality is shredded and a creature from The Beyond is summoned to serve and obey the child.
Once the summon is completed and the First Gift is bound to The Reality, the Initiate will abandon her former title to be called, from now on, Prentice.

A child Prentice with her new pet.
The Favorite, by Omar Rayyan

But the First Gift is naught but a temporary companion, for the Sorceress must now learn to summon creatures from The Beyond herself and to control them and bind them to her will.
After few years, when the Blood Moon is high in the sky and the time has come, the Initiate will perform the summoning ritual completely by herself.
This time, however, she will make a sacrifice. A sacrifice of blood, a sacrifice of will, a sacrifice of love. For the First Gift, companion of the Prentice for many a year will be destroyed and his blood spilled to finally receive the Second Gift.

But the Second Gift is not a creature from The Beyond.
The Second Gift, sometimes called the Gift of Summon, is the power to summon these creatures at will. The Second Gift is what makes a Crimson Sorceress what she is.
And if the summon is completed, and the power to shred The Reality is in the Prentice hands, she will be Prentice no more.
For finally, after long years of study of the arcane arts and a rigorous discipline, the Prentice will be a Crimson Sorceress.

A Prentice with her First Gift, before sacrificing it during the Second Gift ritual.
The Socialite, Omar Rayyan

The Crimson Path

Sorceresses of The Crimson Curtain sisterhood do not have real families. They do not have a mother, or a father, or brothers nor sisters. They always come from orphanages, from the streets, or from the corpses of those who died by hunger or cold or plague.
Because having no real family means not missing it. It means the other Sorceresses will be their family. It means loyalty to the sisterhood.

The child will be no older than 3, and will always be a girl. She will be brought to The Crimson Curtain halls and called Initiated, and will start the Crimson Path.
At the age of 5 the ritual of the First Gift will be performed. The Prentice will start to study how to control the creature and the basics of summoning. Other subjects, both arcane and mundane, will be studied during her life as Prentice, but no other spells will be taught because learning other spells other than Summon is a prerogative of Crimson Sorceresses.

The Second Gift ritual will be performed when the Prentice is between 16 to 18 years old, when and if the Crimson Mothers agree to it by recognising her advancement in the studies of the arcane arts and the Summon spell.
And if the Second Gift ritual is successful, and the Prentice finally becomes a full Crimson Sorceress, she will have access to all The Crimson Curtain knowledge. She will be free to use the library and the laboratories at no cost. In fact, the new Sorceress will know no other spells but Read Magic and Summon and will need these privileges to advance in her arcane studies.

sunbather, by Gabriele Negri

After acquiring The Second Gift the Crimson Sorceress is free to go.
She is not bound to The Crimson Curtain halls. The only rule is to be loyal to the sisterhood. She is still part of The Crimson Curtain and always will be.
She is even free to found her own covens, congregations, groups, but they must answer to The Crimson Curtain all the same.
If her loyalty falters, she will be brought back to the Crimson Path.
However, if her loyalty fails, her punishment will be death.

There have been cases of treason of course. None of the involved Sorceresses had much time to live after that.

Crimson Sorceress Characters

Those who want to play a Crimson Sorceress creates the character as a normal Magic-User, but instead of three random spells she only knows Read Magic and Summon.

The Sorceress has, however, a greater chance to control the summoning and to dominate the creature from The Beyond every time the Summon spell is casted (she is granted a +5 bonus to the save versus Magic roll and to the Domination roll) thanks to her many years of studies in the subject.

The Sorceress also has complete access to The Crimson Curtain libraries and laboratories at no cost, and she also has access to her sister Sorceresses' covens libraries and laboratories at d100% cost.

Morgan Le Fay by John R. Spencer Stanhope (1880)

Prentice Characters

Prentice characters may be of two kinds: a follower of the Crimson Path, or a fugitive.
If following the Crimson Path, she will be most surely travelling under the supervision of a Crimson Sorceress. There would be a very good and specific reason for her to travel with the adventuring party, for this is possible only under very special permissions or orders from the Crimson Mothers.

If the Prentice is a fugitive, she will be certainly hunted by The Crimson Curtain to be sentenced to death. Again, since the bonds to The Crimson Curtain sisterhood would have been formed and cultivated very early on her life, the reason for the Prentice escape will require a very good explanation.

The Prentice will be less than 18 years old and would not have yet performed the Second Gift ritual.
She will know no other spell than Read Magic, but she will still have her First Gift as a pet, and it will be under her total control.

A Prentice following The Crimson Curtain that loses her First Gift can receive a new pet only by the Crimson Mothers, because she is not allowed to learn the Summon spell (or other spells) until she had completed the Second Gift ritual. Of course, when the time for the Second Ritual comes, she is required to sacrifice her pet.
A fugitive, instead, is supposed to be attached to her First Gift and will not want to sacrifice or replace it. Therefore she will not want to learn the Summon spell unless she loses her pet.

Once the Sorceress learns the Summon spell, either if Prentice or fugitive, she will have the +5 bonus both to the save versus Magic roll and the Domination roll.

The Crimson Curtain halls

The First Gift

The First Gift will be a 0-2 HD creature from The Beyond, summoned with the Summon spell (HD rolled randomly).
To determine the creature's features, follow the steps from Three to Five, considering the save vs Magic roll as successful.

Thanks to the special bound existing between the Prentice and the First Gift, this will "mutate" every time the Prentice levels up, following these rules:
  • The creature will gain one Hit Die.
  • All the Hit Dice will be rerolled. If the total is higher than the creature's actual Hit Points, it will keep the result as its new Hit Points.
  • The creature will gain new powers as per the Summon spell rules in the Step Five section. The new Hit Dice will be used to determine the Die Type to be rolled.

Not every pet that comes from The Beyond is cute and squishy
With her Demon, by Yoonji Lee

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