Tale Craft


Agemo's Blessing | Flickering Firelight | Murmur in the Crowd | Sticks and StonesMoment of Truth

Stories represent a living link to the duties Olorun assigned to the Eshu himself as a messenger and linguist of the orishas. Over time Elegbara developed the Art of Tale Craft to represent this mastery of their sacred duties. As a potent though subtle tool in the repertoire of many an eshu wayfarer, Tale Craft helps even the odds against hostile audiences or a gang of enemies set on taking advantage of the kith's solitary ways.

Usually only Elegbara may master all forms of this Art. Occasionally they may share a rudimentary knowledge of Tale Craft with satyrs, pooka, piskies, clurichaun, and rare individuals among the other commoner kith. By ancient custom, it is forbidden to teach this Art to this sidhe in retaliation for stealing the secrets of the Naming Art when they fled to Ilesha during the Shattering. Those Elegbara who are discovers to have done so are severely punished by the rest of the Tribe, and the sidhe in question often "disappear."

Some form of storytelling must be included in addition to or as part of all Bunks for this Art. It can be in a variety of forms (poetry, song lyrics, etc.), but it must always be present.

Attribute: Charisma

· Agemo's Blessing
(Kithbook: Eshu, pp. 89-90)

Sometimes performers must change their material to match the mood of the crowd. For the Elegbara who find themselves facing hostile sidhe courts or svage redcap cannibals, this pressure is even more tangible. This cantrip allows wily Elegbara to ascertain the mood o the audience before beginning their tale in order to choose a story that fits the occasion. Additionally, it offers a way to save a failing performance by discovering the source of the crowd's displeasure. The Elegbara "sees" the determining mood of the crowd in the form of shifting shapes and colors, which offer symbolic clues as to the tenor of the audience. Dark colors indicate sadness or tragedy. Red slashes portend anger. Bright colors and pleasing shapes represent a desire for amusement or laughter.

System: The Realms most often applicable are Actor, Fae or Scene, though clever Elegbara may discover how to use other Realms to determine the audience for the cantrip. Most Elegbara disguise their Bunk for this cantrip as a prologue, joke or other mood-setting device.

Botches mean that the crowd reacts in the exact opposite way that the eshu expected, ruining the first impression.

1 success -- A vague idea; monochromatic visuals; no subtlety, shapes or texture.
2 successes -- A good guess; one color, with slight shading differences and rough shapes.
3 successes -- A solid notion; multicolor, with some shading and defined shapes.
4 successes -- A great grasp; a dance of colors and shading, with multiple defined shapes.
5 successes -- An amazing read; everything you need is in this tapestry, if you can interpret it.

Type: Chimerical
Top ↑


·· Flickering Firelight
(Kithbook: Eshu, pg. 90)

This cantrip snatches wisps of incidental chimera born from the audience, allowing the Elegbara to create lighting and sound effects appropriate to the tale. Though the frgile chimera generated by this cantrip may only enhance the entertainment value of a tale, a clever caster can turn these creations to mischievous uses, such as dropping a room into near darkness, making phantom sounds echo out of nowhere or similar theatrical tricks.

System: The Realm determines the type of effect being generated -- Actor or Fae for the representations of people or changelings (or elements of them, such as voices), Prop for music or set pieces, Scene for lighting and so on. Thus, truly elaborate productions often require multiple casting or perhaps several eshu acting in concert but garner commensurately impressive results.

Chimeria created by Flickering Firelight possess only the barest of substance. They have no resistance to Banality, nor can they harm another in any way. Touching them causes them to dissipate, and they have no will of their own. Suspicious onlookers may pierce the illusion y gaining more success than the caster on a Perception + Kenning roll (difficulty is of the caster's successes +3). The effects last only as long as the story being told.

1 success -- A muffled sound or poor image; no substantial lighting or sound changes are possible.
2 successes -- Not bad from about 25 feet away; dim or raise lights and music.
3 successes -- Convincing except for small details; a good likeness.
4 successes -- Exact reproductions, down to the smallest details; spotlights and highly specific sound cues are possible as well as shifts in sound or lighting.
5 successes -- Absolutely amazing creations; most special effects are possible.

Type: Chimerical unless the caster has called upon the wyrd.
Top ↑


··· Murmur in the Crowd
(Kithbook: Eshu, pg. 90)

After reading an audience and setting the stage, Elegbara next learn to stir up their listeners' passions, nudging them in the direction of the desired emotion or response. Thought most Elegbara consider it undignified to augment their natural abilities without good cause, performers faced with a tough crowd have no problem doing so. The idea or emotion must be simple enough to be expressed in or or two words and does not constitute a direct order. In addition, the Elegbara has no real control over how the crowd chooses to react. An audience of redcaps moved "celebration," for example, will have a response very different from that of an audience of boggans.

System: By appealing to the emotion or idea in question in their story, the eshu sends a temporary but powerful pulse of that particular passion through the crowd. Success moves an audience one step closer to the eshu's desired position. Multiple castings of this cantrip on an audience have cumulative effects, but even one failure immediately sets the audience back to where they were originally. The prahse "a hail of sneakers and rotten fruit" is the nicest way of expressing what happens to the mood of the audience when a botch occurs. The effects generally last only a few minutes after the performance.

1 success -- Barest glimmer; the cantrip's effects last until the end of the performance, maybe. The audience feels a slight nudge in the desired direction but may easily ignore it. Enemies are unmoved.
2 successes -- Murmur of approval; exterior events may still disrupt the effects before the end of the performance. The audience feels a definite inclination in the desired direction.
3 successes -- Mass appeal; for the duration of the performance, the audience feels the desired emotion. Incident enemies of the character are swayed.
4 successes -- Tour de force; the passions stirred by this cantrip last up to 10 minutes after the performance ends, and only those who've had a lasting grudge against the eshu don't feel the pull of the desired emotion.
5 successes -- Lasting impression; even bitter enemies are moved. The passion gradually fades away over the course of an hour after the performance.

Type: Chimerical
Top ↑


···· Sticks and Stones
(Kithbook: Eshu, pg. 91)

One of the survival secrets of the largely solitary Elegbara in their time on the road lies in this highly adaptable and effective cantrip. Used in conjunction with a story, this cantrip creates a chimerical shield from the chimerical words and images formed from the story. These images swirl in a protective circle around the caster, deflecting attacks.

The Elegbara may perform other actions while maintaining the shield, but she cannot move faster than a brisk walk and suffers a two-dice penalty to all such efforts due to the concentration required. She also cannot interrupt it to say more than one or two words ("Run!" and "Get help!" are popular) without breaking the cantrip.

System: So long as the eshu continues weaving his tale, the shield persists and is treated as normal soak dice, effective against all forms of direct chimerical attack. With an additional Glamour point, the shield may even protect from such hazards of as fire or gas, though it cannot protect the character from total immersion effects such as drowning. The eshu may include others within the shield, but each additional person beyond the first costs an additional Glamour point and adds +1 to the cantrip difficulty, and everyone protected must remain in physical contact with the caster or lose protection. The effect ends when the caster finishes the story or consciously drops the shield.

The number of successes determines the number of additional soak dice the cantrip provides.

Type: Chimerical or wyrd, though if wyrd the shield tends to fail quickly in front of truly banal observers.
Top ↑


····· Moment of Truth
(Kithbook: Eshu, pg. 91)

At this level of power, the Elegbara can use the power of words and names to create substantial illusions. Similar to the Legerdemain Art of Phantom Shadows, any creates must be characters or other elements of the story the eshu is telling. Most are dismissed at the end of the tale or perhaps the evening's entertainment, though they may still gain sentience in the same manner as Phantom Shadows do and require the same Glamour costs to maintain if the caster wishes to keep them longer. Elegbara are considered responsible for any actions taken by their Beings of Truth (the name for entities created with this cantrip), and most keep close track of their creations until they are dismissed.

System: This cantrip is handled exactly the same as Phantom Shadows, inlcuding all costs and Realms required; see Phantom Shadows.

Type: Wyrd
Top ↑