Ernalda initiation


Initiation for women is into the Earth Six, rather than just Ernalda, though most women find that Ernalda is the aspect to which they are closest. The test is in three parts, one for each generation. In each case, the questor is presented with a problem to solve. Many solutions are possible, but two will be obvious: one using the methods of the Light side of the goddess and one using the Dark side. Almost all candidates manage to find some solution: most choose the Light side, or an unbiased method.


The candidate is taken to the women's holy site: usually a cave. They go through the usual methods of starting any important ceremony and transferring their spirit to the Other Side, as described in my main initiation page. They are not told what the tests will be, only that they should try to use the skills of whichever of the Six they feel is most appropriate. Then they are sent, unarmed and alone, deeper into the cave: which by now seems considerably larger and deeper than they remember. And darker. Pointing out the earth spirits inhabiting the walls would be a good move round about now. Be scared....

Test 1: Voria v. Babeester Gor

The cave opens out, and there is light ahead. Not quite daylight, but light of some sort. The roof is no longer visible, and there are plants growing. In fact, someone's planted a vegetable garden, with a neat little fence around it. Cabbages, lettuces, that sort of thing. As the questor gets closer, she can see movement in the garden: lots and lots of rabbits, eating the plants. This is obviously not a good thing, and the rabbits will have to be removed. How? If the player can't come up with a solution at all, they've failed their initiation and will still count as a child when they emerge. Though how anyone with a grain of sense could fail this is beyond me.

Test 2: Ernalda v. Maran Gor

(With overtones of Esrola. Well, she's the same generation)
The questor leaves the first big cave, and pases down a tunnel (dark, spirits, scary, etc.) until the cave opens out again. They're entering an area full of crops. (Pick a crop suited to the clan and the questor. My cider-maker's daughter found  herself in an apple orchard).
At the centre of the crops is an area/a tree that seems to have something wrong with it. Close inspection will reveal that it's diseased: as usual, its spirit is visible, and looks weak and unhappy. A Plant Lore roll will tell them that the disease is highly infectious. It can be cured, but that would take time and special ingredients. By a curious coincidence, those ingredients have been provided: they're sitting in a bucket close by. There is also an iron axe, suitable for chopping trees down. (Or perhaps a scythe, if you've gone for that sort of crop.). Failing this (which takes some doing) not only results in the questor failing initation, but gives the clan poor crops that year.

Test 3: Asrelia v. Ty Kora Tek

Next cave. Tell them about the earth spirits in the walls again, get them feeling claustrophobic. Here the light is daylight, because the roof has partly fallen in. In the centre of the cave is the body of a warrior. He seems to be lying where he fell defending quite a lot of treasure. Gold, scrolls, delicate glass jars of strange liquids, pots of spices, you name it. All precious, all fragile, all being rained on. Every now and then, more rocks fall from the hole in the roof. It's only a matter of time before the whole lot comes down. There's a tunnel out at the far side, but it's going to be a tight squeeze.


Coming out holding an Axe is not a reward. It's more like benign possession.

Spells? Normally I would give each questor a single point of spirit magic, appropriate to something spectacular they'd done on the quest. Any criticals rolled, any particular initiative shown. The spell can be chosen from any of the Earth Six, or less commonly any of their associates. The player who went through this, for instance, critically Dodged a falling rock. Vinga gave her a point of Read Foe (the spell that increases Dodge).

Copyright © 1998 Jane Williams