I was the primary author of the Ethereals chapter of the Liber Servitorum; about two-thirds of the entries there are mine. (Baba Yaga, the samurai spirit, and Cupid were written by other folks.) However, not all of the spirits I created made it past playtest and editing. Here are the ones that ended up on the cutting room floor:
Lord Telaron of the Seelie Court
People in the know will tell you never to trust an elf. Whatever he or she tells you is invariably only part of the truth, and their true motivation is probably a complex web of secrets, half-truths, hidden agendas, wheels within wheels within wheels, and so on. -- Stormking, by Anthony Pryor-Brown
"You find it strange that I am as nerve-wracking, as intimidating as any other of my kind?
I am a scholar/warrior in the grand tradition of my people. This means that yes, I must at times deal with the lesser races; there is no one so inconsequential that I cannot draw some tidbit of lore from them. And I am a loremaster of Faerie.
But do not mistake the scholar for an ally, though. Yes, I have great knowledge of the Marches, but no, I do not share it freely with those not of my people. If you can pay, in knowledge, in Songs, in Essence, I may deign to offer you a crumb of information. If it serves my purposes."
|Corporeal Forces - 2||Strength 2||Agility 6|
|Ethereal Forces - 3||Intelligence 7||Precision 5|
|Celestial Forces - 4||Will 8||Perception 8|
Skills: Area Knowledge (The Marches)/6, Detect Lies/4, Dodge/3, Fast-Talk/2, Knowledge (Seelie Lore)/6, Knowledge (Ethereal Lore)/6, Large Weapon (Sword)/4, Lying/4, Savoir-faire (Seelie Court)/4, Seduction/3
Songs: Attraction (Ethereal/2), Dreams (Corporeal/2, Celestial/3), Form (Ethereal/2, Celestial/2), Harmony (Ethereal/5), Light (Ethereal/2), Projection (Ethereal/4)
Telaron is something of a rarity among the Seelie: a scholar who finds fulfillment -- instead of mere distraction -- in his studies. Among the Fae he is respected as a Loremaster, a keeper of knowledge and wisdom, and he enjoys no small respect for it. It adds to his already impressive status -- among a people the least of which claim aristocratic descent, he is among the highest of the nobility, even though he is somewhat weaker than his peers.
This Faerie lord's specialties are the ancient and modern lore of the Fae, and the study of the nature and extents of the ethereal realm. He jealously hoards the knowledge he acquires and is loath to share it freely with anyone, for it is his tool of choice in the constant vicious bickering that passes as Faerie politics. In addition to more esoteric knowledge, he collects secrets, scandals and weaknesses, doling this information out as necessary to damage or distract his political opponents. He rarely dispenses his knowledge for free, and even nonpolitical data does not pass his lips unless he thinks it will profit him beyond the immediate payment he requests.
Telaron is a particularly handsome member of the Faerie nobility, affecting greying temples and an air of seeming distraction. He is as often found roaming the Marches as in the lands of the Seelie, and can frequently be found peering into the dreams of mortals for both research and tittilation. He usually bears a large sword for his protection.
In personality, Telaron resembles most closely a British nobleman/explorer from the height of the Victorian era: absolutely convinced that his people are the pinnacle of civilization, that all other cultures are at best backwards and at worst savages, and intensely curious about every little thing he might encounter while still being dismissive and condescending. In particular, he considers celestials to be mannerless latecomers, whose vast power puts him in the galling position of having to occasionally kowtow to them.
Servitor of a Pagan Deity
"In life, I was a faithful follower of the Goddess. Diana. Gaia. Hecate. The Mother.
I abandoned the Catholic Church for Dianic Wicca when I was 20. At first, it was just a political statement, a rebellious show of support for my burgeoning feminist awareness. But over the decades the political part of it faded away, and I found a certain . . . serenity in the rituals and faithful worship.
It's ironic, isn't it? I die of a heart attack at 47 and find that the patriarchal Church was right. Mostly. Heaven and Hell and angels and demons and all that. But not completely right.
The Lady is here -- all but driven into non-existence by these two oppressive patriarchal heirarchies which have jointly stolen the world from Her, but still here. And needing those to serve Her will. In exchange for a century's service in the Summerlands and its outskirts, She offered send me back to Life to serve Her further as a prophetess and leader.
Sounded like a good deal to me.
Of course I said yes."
|Corporeal Forces - 1||Strength 1||Agility 3|
|Ethereal Forces - 2||Intelligence 3||Precision 5|
|Celestial Forces - 3||Will 6||Perception 6|
Skills: Emote/2, Fighting/1, Knowledge (Wiccan Theology)/4, Move Silently/3
Songs: Dreams (Corporeal/1), Light (Corporeal/1)
Sheila Spheris is a servitor of the Wiccan Goddess. This Ethereal, who goes by many names (some originally belonging to other deities), has been enjoying a revival of popularity of late thanks in part to Feminism and a growing interest in New Age religions. With her renewed strength, she has begun to seek out new servants, and it is thus that upon her death, Sheila found herself in the Marches, face-to-face with her deity.
In the wake of that encounter, Sheila became a willing servitor. For a hundred years, she will serve the Goddess as an ethereal gofer and messenger. In addition to performing various chores across the Marches, she occasionally enters the dreams of devout followers of the Goddess, relaying rites and words of guidance and encouragement dictated to her by the deity.
However, she is still very new to both her task and her state. She is not yet quite used to being a dream-shade, and although she would deny it if asked, the presence of the celestials in the Marches disturbs her greatly. It brings back disturbing memories of growing up Catholic, and years of instruction under dark, humorless nuns. Although Sheila accepts the Goddess' version of how the current power structure came to be, she has deep within her a fear of celestials and what they imply about the way the universe actually runs. This manifests as an almost insurmountable panic in the presence of a celestial -- demons bringing it out more acutely than angels. She can attempt to resist her panic with a Will roll, but the roll is at -2 and even if successful, she staves off panic for only a number of rounds equal to the check digit.
Her panic attacks render her unable to speak, cause her to drop things, and eventually to flee wildly in any available direction in order to get away. Too many attacks will lead her to doubt how well she can serve out her time under the Goddess, but the pagan deity's promise of a new corporeal vessel as her reward is a strong motivating force.
Sheila's ethereal form is herself at around age 20: approximately 5 feet tall, blonde hair in a pageboy cut, and large, innocent-looking blue eyes. She will be dressed in white robes trimmed with blue; the robes have a hood, but she rarely wears it. If she can be successfully engaged in conversation, she will be found to be clever and quick-witted with a sense of humor that is at turns subversive and self-deprecating; even in the throes of a panic attack she will not completely lose these qualities.
"Dispenser of Wyrd I was for the Vikings, their goddess of the Past. At my well, next to the root of Yggdrasil that ran up into Asgard, my sisters and I sat and watched as the gods dispensed their justice to mortals. We saw all that was, and we knew their destinies, each and every one. We were the Norns, the Fates.
We saw the coming of Ragnarok at the hand of the one called Uriel, and we hid from his sight.
With our gifts, we saw Uriel's path and the deaths to come at his and his servants' hands, and took ourselves from danger. We knew that without us, the survivors of Ragnarok had no guidance and no purpose, and had become refugees rather than remain proud and strong. So we planned our return and guidance.
For our prudence we were reviled by the Aesir and Vanir, and cast from them.
And so we have wandered the lands of mortal dreaming for twoscore and five generations, and have waited and watched. And we have come into our power again."
|Corporeal Forces - 2||Strength 4||Agility 4|
|Ethereal Forces - 3||Intelligence 7||Precision 5|
|Celestial Forces - 5||Will 8||Perception 12|
Skills: Detect Lies/5, Dodge/4, Focus/2, Knowledge (Scandinavian History)/5, Language/2 (Norse), Move Silently/2
Songs: Spirit Speech (Corporeal/3, Ethereal/2, Celestial/2), Symphony (Ethereal/6, Celestial/6) (see p. 57, Liber Canticorum), Thunder/2
At the root of Yggdrasil, the World Tree, in Norse myth, was the Well of Urda. At its edge dwelt the Norns: three goddesses who knew the wyrds -- the destinies and fates -- of gods and men, and who tended the root of Yggdrasil which supported Asgard. Urda was the Norn of the Past, not only knowing all that had transpired, but understanding its meaning.
The Norns, through their Songs, became aware of the plans of the Archangel Uriel, and when he began his Crusade, they safely hid themselves away. They intended to emerge after Ragnarok and provide guidance to those gods who survived the conflict. Those Norse gods left after Uriel's recall saw their strategem as an act of cowardice, though; they rejected the Norns' advice and, ultimately, the goddesses themselves.
For the past 1500 years, the Norns have dwelt in the Border Marches, far from the Tree and Well which had once been their home. Over those centuries, they had begun to fade away, but in the last few years they have discovered a new source of strength and vitality.
In the early 1990s, a Japanese artist/writer published a manga(comic book) series detailing the adventures of a young college student and a very nontraditional version of the Norns. The comic book was immensely popular, became a TV series, and was eventually imported to the United States. Before long, thousands of fans were fixated upon -- and in some cases lusting for -- the young, sexy Norns depicted in the stories. Not surprisingly, spirit versions of the characters began appearing spontaneously in the Marches.
Verthandi first detected these nascent spirits and suggested using them for their Forces and Essence, already "aligned" towards Norns as they were. It was a good idea; the Norns began growing in power once more as time and again they preyed upon their freshly-born counterparts. But far too much of the proto-Norns' energies is lost in their "harvesting", and who know how much more simply vanished into the Symphony? It was the forward-looking Skuld who suggested the obvious course: Convert themselves into this new image of the Norns, and reap all the Essence sent into the Marches by their fans. Now Urda and Skuld together search for the Songs and knowledge they need.
Out loud, Urda claims that she is not sure that she wants to the Norns to reshape themselves. Secretly, though, she has come to relish the idea of abandoning the form of a cloaked and robed crone to become a stunning platinum blonde bombshell.
Dispenser of Wyrd I am for those who follow the Norse ways, the goddess of the Present. All that happens as it happens is my purview; the infinite Now is ever mine, the endless instant of all. I am Today to my sisters' Yesterday and Tomorrow. I am poised eternally between them.
On the day of Ragnarok I am the one who knows the comings and goings of Uriel and his executioners. With Skuld's foreknowledge, I lead us to safe havens, and I announce when it is safe to move on.
At this time, interlopers against our spheres do I find appearing in the Land of Dreams; they become prey and strengthen us. This Now is much improved over previous nows; but a better Now comes. Skuld sees that which we should be doing. Becoming, changing ever suits me; the present is always the point of change between future and past, and change am I.
I welcome the new Now.
|Corporeal Forces - 3||Strength 4||Agility 8|
|Ethereal Forces - 4||Intelligence 8||Precision 8|
|Celestial Forces - 5||Will 9||Perception 11|
Skills: Detect Lies/6, Dodge/2, Focus/2, Knowledge (Scandinavian Current Events)/6, Language/2 (Norse), Move Silently/3
Songs: Projection (Corporeal/3, Ethereal/3), Spirit Speech (Corporeal/3, Ethereal/2, Celestial/2), Symphony (Corporeal/6, Celestial/6) (see p. 57, Liber Canticorum)
Verthandi is the Norn of the Present, seeing what happens as it happens. To her is given insight into the motives of men and gods and the knowledge of their needs and desires, and how these shape their wyrds.
It was Verthandi who first detected the would-be usurper Norns formed from the mental energies of thousands of anime and manga fans. She realized that such spirits would be formed again and again, and would prove a bountiful windfall of Essence already attuned to the three of them. She encouraged her sisters Urda and Skuld to leave the tiny realm they had created as a refuge and join her in hunting these tiny spirits. It was a success -- the Norns, once in danger of fading away from lack of worship, have blossomed with this stolen power.
Even so, far too much Essence was lost to the Symphony when they drained their spirit-analogues. Verthandi spent many months pondering how to more efficiently reap the energies of the dying spirits. It was Skuld who found the answer -- and Urda and Skuld now work together to discover a source for the Celestial Song of Form while Verthandi remains on watch for the next crop of anime-born Essence.
Like her sisters, Verthandi's current form is a crone wrapped in black robes and a heavy cloak. Although she believes her cartoon counterpart is a little too domestic for her tastes and perhaps a bit bubbleheaded, she is in favor of the three reconfiguring themselves.
Dispenser of Wyrd I am ever to be for the descendants of the Vikings, their goddess of the Future. I will always see into the myriad turnings of fate and destiny, and I will determine the paths that mortal and god both will take in their journeys to the grave.
In the future before this one, I was to see the Crusade of Uriel. It would be given to me to know how we would conceal ourselves to avoid his wrath. But I would not foresee the disdain of the Aesir and Vanir, and our exile.
In a different future I would see our coming doom; but thanks to the gift of my sister Verthandi our threads will take on a new weave. The devotion of thousands will continue to feed us with the Essence we will need, and we will change to better become its recipients.
I will hail the coming Future and our continuing survival.
|Corporeal Forces - 3||Strength 5||Agility 7|
|Ethereal Forces - 5||Intelligence 10||Precision 10|
|Celestial Forces - 4||Will 8||Perception 12|
Skills: Detect Lies/3, Dodge/6, Focus/2, Knowledge (Scandinavian Future Histories)/5, Language/2 (Norse), Move Silently/4
Songs: Entropy (Corporeal/2), Light (Celestial/2), Spirit Speech (Corporeal/2, Ethereal/3, Celestial/2), Symphony (Ethereal/6, Celestial/6) (see p. 57, Liber Canticorum)
Skuld (pronounced "schooled") is the Norn of the Future, and in her hands is the power of prophecy and foreknowledge. She is able to view the twisting paths of the future for both men and gods, and can judge the routes that lead to their proper wyrds.
At the encouragement of her sister Verthandi, Skuld joined her and Urda in hunting the fan-spawned spirits. She was pleasantly surprised to find their wyrd altering for the better, even with the amount of Essence lost in the process. It was Skuld's gift of prophecy which led her to the better long-term solution, revealing to her the thread of events which would benefit the Norns most.
Unfortunately, in order to reshape themselves into the images of the anime Norns, they need at the very least the Celestial Song of Form. Skuld and Urda are now actively seeking a non-celestial source for the Song; because of their estrangement from the Asgardians, they dare not go to the Aesir and the Vanir. And the gods of other pantheons whom they have approached have been suspicious and unwilling or have demanded more of them than they wished to give in exchange. So their quest goes on.
Skuld shares with her sisters the appearance of an ancient woman cloaked and robed in black. Outwardly enthusiastic, she has her doubts about her own transformation, being unsure that she wants to turn into a mechanically-inclined twelve-year-old. She is unable to foresee the precise effects of the reconfiguration upon the personalities of herself and her sisters, and this worries her.