|Bloodlines:||Old Clan Tzimisce|
OverviewEditKoldunic Sorcery is similar to Thaumaturgy in idea but very different in practice. Major differences include Koldunic Sorcery requiring the service of the spirits of nature rather than memorized rites and rituals, Koldunism tending to be much more subtle than Thaumaturgy at lower levels, and Koldunism requiring not so much an extension of will as being a master of the very material a Fiend wishes to manipulate.
Despite being considered a form of Blood Magic it generally requires no expenditure of blood by the caster. The ancient Tzimisce who cultivated this power knew the difficulties of hunting in their territories and thus instead invoke their powers through enslaving the spirits of the land.
Practitioners of Koldunic Sorcery are known as koldun and are almost exclusively Old Clan Tzimisce. Many "regular" Tzimisce are unable to practice Koldunism, having turned away from the spirituality and perfection this form of sorcery requires to master. However, Koldunic Sorcery is by no means "good"; constant use will cause the very land and earth to eventually warp around the user.
It is hinted that Koldunic Sorcery is made possible through the Tzimisce connection with the earth demon Kupala, who helped drive the Garou away from the Carpathians and allowed the Fiends to establish the area as their homeland.
Standard Paths and AbilitiesEdit
There are five primary paths of Koldunic Sorcery: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Spirit. Lesser paths, such as the Way of Sorrow, do exist, but are rarely followed and are usually specialized extensions of the five primary paths.
The Way of EarthEdit
- Grasping Soil - A koldun can use dirt to immobilize a target.
- Endurance of Stone - A koldun can harden their flesh to the consistency of stone.
- Hungry Earth - A koldun can drag a target completely underground, smothering them.
- Root of Vitality - Similar to Hungry Earth, except the target is now able to breathe underground and can be healed.
- Kupala's Fury - A koldun calls on Kupala to create a powerful earthquake.
The Way of WindEdit
- Breath of Whispers - A koldun uses the wind to communicate with a target over long distances.
- Biting Gale - A koldun creates frigid winds that slow or freeze a target.
- Breeze of Lethargy - A koldun summons winds that bring exhaustion.
- Ride the Tempest - A koldun can ride the winds at incredible speeds to any destination.
- Fury of the Night Sky - A koldun may project the full measure of his anger into the night sky. Churning gray clouds blot out stars and moon, unleashing spiraling gusts and a driving downpour of freezing rain. Lightning arcs overhead, each thunderous flash casting jagged shadows.
The Way of WaterEdit
- Pool of Lies - A koldun creates detailed illusions on the water's surface.
- Watery Haven - A koldun may merge with water to protect themselves from the sun and foes, much as those who use Protean can merge with earth.
- Fog Over Sea - A koldun can walk on water.
- Minions of the Deep - A koldun summons water elementals to do his bidding.
- Doom Tide - A koldun creates a massive whirlpool that can sink ships and drag targets to the depths.
The Way of FireEdit
- Fiery Courage - A koldun permanently diminishes the difficulty to resist Rötschreck regarding fire.
- Combust - A koldun causes a target to spontaneously combust. (Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy)
- Combust - A koldun causes a target to spontaneously combust.
- Magma Surge - A koldun causes magma to bubble up to the surface. (Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy)
- Wall of Magma - A koldun summons magma from deep beneath the earth to protect themselves.
- Heat Wave - A koldun creates a blistering wind that can kill a target.
- Volcanic Blast - A koldun can create a volcanic geyser to erupt anywhere within their sight.
The Way of SpiritEdit
This way may expressly exceed a rating of 5, but no distinct powers exist for each level of the Way of Spirit. Instead of levels of ability, a koldun extends their spiritual awareness over a larger area the more powerful they become on this path - once a koldun extends his senses with this path perceiving everything in the vicinity (even obfuscated Cainites). Additionaly, he may evoke powers of other Koldunic Sorcery paths anywhere within this territory.
- 50 feet/15 meters radius of effect
- 100 yards/90 meters radius of effect
- Quarter-mile/half kilometer radius of effect
- 1 mile/1.5-kilometer radius of effect
- 5 miles/8 kilometer radius of effect
- Radius of effect increases 10 miles per dot over level 5
Within this territory, the koldun sees, hears, smells and even tastes everything at once. As with Auspex, the mystical senses conferred by the Way of Spirit may confound Obfuscate and other forms of illusion or concealment.
However, no power may be used in this fashion if that power has a level exceeding the vampire’s rating in the Way of Spirit. Elder koldun who achieve such an inhuman power grow detached from individual people and events that do not concern their domains as a whole.
The Vampire: The Dark Ages 20th Anniversary Edition seem to have transformed the Way of Spirit in the power called genius loci. This is described as a spirit kraina learned by many koldun. It is prized because it greatly expands the Koldun power, but none have it as their primary path. With this path, the koldun extends his awareness through the land upon which he treads, becoming the Genius Loci of legend.
While in effect, the koldun is aware of everything that transpires around him, out to a distance determined by dots in Genius Loci (see below). Even Obfuscate cannot deceive the Tzimisce who has established himself as a Genius Loci. Furthermore, the koldun may invoke any koldunic power he possesses anywhere he can perceive, so long as the level of that power is equal to or less than dots in his Genius Loci ability.
- Perceive everything within a fifty-foot/fifteen-meter radius.
- Perceive everything within a hundred-yard/ninety-meter radius.
- Perceive everything within a quarter-mile/half kilometer radius.
- Perceive everything within a one-mile/1.5-kilometer radius.
- Perceive everything within a five-mile/eight-kilometer radius.
The Way of SorrowEdit
- The Frustrations of Nestretcha - A koldun makes it so that the target can not use willpower for successes or to use them for disciplines. This last for turns equal to the koldun's successes
- The Insults of Krivda - A koldun causes a target to fly into an uncontrollable rage and target the koldun
- The Weeping of Kruchina - A koldun causes a target to cry uncontrollably in intense misery
- The Misfortune of Chernogolov - A koldun makes it so that the target loses two successes on every roll. This last for turns equal to the koldun's successes
- The Starvation of Marena - A koldun can create a frosty gale that blast the victim and leaves him emaciated as if he had just survived the coldest of winters
Specific Paths and AbilitiesEdit
No vampire is embraced into Koldunism. Koldunic sorcery is always learned as an out-of-clan discipline. Similar to thaumaturgical paths, koldunic sorcery is divided into kraina, which are as varied as the demesnes the Tzimisce rule over.
A sorcerer from the windswept peaks of the Tatras will practice different magic than those dwelling amid the hills and pine forests of Samogitia, or their coastal brethren who feel the tides of the Black Sea rippling through their veins. A koldun may learn the magic of many krainas, but they will always have one greater than the rest — that of their homeland, the place whose native soil they rest most comfortably in.
Upon earning their first dot in Koldunic Sorcery, the koldun learns the first power associated with their primary kraina. With each new dot, they may take the next power in a kraina they already know, or learn the first power in a new kraina. Regardless, it will always be easier for them to use magic from their primary kraina.
Below are a pair of kraina to serve as example. Players are encouraged to create their own kraina to reflect the unique qualities of their homelands, using the following kraina to guide them.
The Transylvanian KrainaEdit
Koldun of the Transylvania region practice the following magics.
- Burebista’s Throne - the koldun can send his senses soaring high into the air, or extend them beyond their body;
- Pietrosu’s Hospitality - a powerful, frigid wind arises all around the koldun, but also makes him immune to cold and the force of winds;
- The Banks of The Basca - bolsters the flow of running water, causing it to swell and surge forward creating a flash flood with magical life;
- Kupala’s Exhalation - summons deadly cold (but highly flammable) gasses from the ground (that they claim to be the breath of Kupala himself).
- Restless Medias - by exercising his willpower the koldun may create an earthquake.
The Black Sea KrainaEdit
Koldun of the Black Sea region practice these rites.
- Danubian Voices - invokes a river spirit that can converse with the koldun, sharing whatever they know, or act as a messenger;
- Grave of the Marea Neagra - imbues a body of water with protective properties against sunlight, natural deterioration and detection;
- Pontos Euxeinos - the koldun may submerge into a large enough body of water to heal his wounds;
- Minions of Deep Marmora - splashing his blood upon the surface of water, the koldun may invoke strange humanoid creatures, combining the features of frog and fish to perform one task for him.
- Pontos Axeinos - dripping his blood into a large body of water the koldun may manifest storms, whirlpools, fogs and rocky barricades where there were none moments before.
Reawakening the Dead Water (Level One)
The koldun must drop one point of blood into pool of water and then drink the equivalent of one blood point from that source. The koldun will be able to ingest this water without difficulty.
System: If the ritual is successfully performed (with at least one success), the koldun regains a point of spent Willpower. This cannot raise his Willpower above its normal maximum. This ritual can only be performed once per night.
Invoke the Lesser Sign of Power (Level Two)
The koldun may invoke the authority of the spirits which are the source of her magical birthright. She must concentrate for a single turn and then make the Lesser Sign of Power with her hands. If the ritual succeeds, her eyes glow with power.
System: For one hour per success, the koldun gains a -2 difficulty reduction on all Intimidation or Leadership rolls made against mortals, provided that she can make eye contact with them.
Cowing the Servant (Level Three)
The Tzimisce enjoy the feeling of control over their servants, even more so when those servants quake with fear. This ritual heightens the normal devotion of a ghoul, revenant, or other blood bound servant. The koldun mixes a sheep’s brain with soil from his domain and a point of his own blood, while chanting an ancient Slavic incantation. Then, he forces the servant to eat the foul mixture.
System: For one week per success, the difficulty of any roll made for the koldun to manipulate the servant is reduced by -1.
Ties That Bind (Level Four)
The koldun must spill four points of her own blood onto a patch of earth that she has claimed. Then, she must ritually devour a handful of the blood-soaked soil. Doing so reconnects her with the spirit of the land and facilitates the workings of koldunism. This is often used by kolduns outside of Eastern Europe to offset the distant connections to their homeland.
System: For one night per success, the koldun reduces the difficulty for all rolls pertaining to Koldunic Sorcery by -1. This ritual cannot be performed more than once per week.
The Inmost Tug (Level Five)
The koldun may alter the emotional characteristics of any blood bond he holds over a thrall. In place of the normal feelings of love and devotion, he can cause the thrall to feel a debased lust, a terrified obedience, a fraternal devotion, or any other emotional context he chooses. The koldun need only speak a word in the presence of the thrall to invoke the ritual’s power.
System: Each success represents one scene in which the thrall is compelled to feel an emotion of the koldun’s choice towards him.
- DAV: Players Guide to High Clans, p. 182-189
- VTM: Clanbook: Tzimisce Revised, p. 64
- VTM: , p. 131-132
- V20: Rites of the Blood, p. 156-158
- V20: Vampire: The Dark Ages 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 274-278
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