Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Gods of Alnwich: Malä


Keeper of Flocks, Soul-Bearer, the Three-Headed, of Wiles

Greater Deity
Sphere of Influence: Messengers, Spirits, Thresholds, and Transitions.
Symbols: Archway, Butterfly, Cross, Door, Falcon, Horn, Shoe, Wind.
Favored Weapons: Rod or Sickle.
Relationships: Son of Mënes and brother to Yaunävä.

Malä is the god of boundaries who leads souls to the Underworld. His connection with crossing boundaries links him to thieves, spies, and invaders as well as honest travelers, merchants, and messengers. His mastery of thresholds also makes him lord of spirits and the ideal divine messenger for the other gods, and his connection to the dead ties him to necromancers and resurrection.

Malä appears as an impossibly pale young man with a signaling horn and is almost always accompanied by a halo of butterflies. While he can fly using his winged shoes, he often sits a pure white pegasus when delivering messages from the gods. Despite sometimes being called “the Three-Headed”, Malä only has a single head; the epithet refers to intersecting roads.


Like all of the gods, Malä’s inherent dichotomies make discussion of his morality nuanced. He is the messenger of the gods and patron of travelers and merchants, but he is also a psychopomp whose dominion over thresholds endears him to spies and thieves. Ultimately, Malä watched over those who float between worlds. He especially respects those who do so deftly – Secret for Social Stigma (Criminal Record or Minority Group) or espionage; or Trickster. He also shines his grace on devoted travelers – Vow (Own No Land or Buildings or Own No More Than What Can Be Carried). And most gods, he is always fond of those who observe appropriate Disciplines of Faith (Mysticism or Ritualism), mark his charges with a Trademark (Trace a Cross on the Forehead of the Dead) [-5], and never withhold his due – Vow (Leave Not the Dying to Suffer) [-10].

Divine Servitors

Two general groups of spirits serve Malä – those related to travel and trickery and those related to death. The former have the Travel element, often with Chaos for luck or Deception or Illusion for mischief, and the latter have Death, with the packages for Death and Death (Doubled) swapped, and possibly Order to represent the inevitability of a psychopomp. Either of these can take Good or Evil, and all have the Winged lens.


Roadside shrines to Malä are common throughout the lands of the Trollenmere. These are usually structures just off the road with an open from and cross motifs among their decorations. Within is an alter adorned with bird feathers and a small basin to receive the blood of birds sacrificed to the traveler-god. These are particularly prominent at crossroads. Because of their often remote locations, shrines regularly fall into disrepair or become overgrown with foliage. It is right and proper to clean such shrines when found; failing to do so is believed to invite bad luck on the road.

Clerics of Malä

Priests of Malä should generally be built using the Initiate template with the following modifications:

Advantages: Remove Animal Friend, Green Thumb, and Outdoorsman from the list of optional advantages.
Disadvantages: Add a required -10 points in any of the disadvantages listed under Morals, above and reduce the -30 points in disadvantages to -20.
Skills: Remove Herb Lore, Hidden Lore (Faeries), and Naturalist from the list of optional primary skills and add Poetry (H) IQ-1 [2]-12; Public Speaking (A) IQ [2]-13; Running (A) HT [2]-11; and Singing (E) HT+1 [2]-12. • Remove Public Speaking, Savoir-Faire (High Society), Veterinary, and Weather Sense from the list of optimal secondary skills and add Hiking (A) HT-1 [1]-11; Riding (A) DX-1 [1]-10; Savoir-Faire (any) (E) IQ [1]-13; and Teamster (A) IQ-1 [1]-12. • Remove Flail from the melee weapon options. • Remove Blowpipe, Bolas, Lasso, and Thrown Weapon (Stick) from the ranged weapon options and add Thrown Weapon (Axe/Mace) (E) DX+1 [2]-12. • Remove Camouflage, Cartography, Disguise (Animals), Fishing, Mimicry (Animal Sounds and Bird Calls), and Survival from the list of optional background skills and add Area Knowledge (Trollenmere) (E) IQ [1]-13; Current Affairs (Trollenmere) (E) IQ [1]-13; Disguise (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; and Mimicry (Speech) (H) IQ-2 [1]-11.
Special Abilities and Spells: Choose the following 25-point package:

Cleric of Malä: Either Power Investiture 2 [20] or Divine Favor 5 [20]. • Choose [-10] points from disadvantages mentioned in Morality, above. • 15 points total in any combination of Power Investiture 3 [10], Divine Favor 6 or 7 [5 or 15], Learned Prayers, or clerical spells.

Holy Warriors of Malä

Holy warriors of Malä are usually built using the Skirmisher template with the following modifications:

Advantages: Add Divine Favor 4, 5, or 6 [10, 15, or 20], Fearlessness [2/level] or Unfazeable [15], Higher Purpose (Slay Demons or Slay Undead) [5], and “or Learned Prayers” to the list of optional advantages.
Disadvantages: Add a required -10 points in any of the disadvantages listed under Morals, above and reduce first -20 points disadvantages to -10.

Skills: Add Running (A) HT+1 [4]-13 to the list of mandatory primary skills. • Remove Thrown Weapon (Shuriken) from the list of optional ranged primary skills and add Bow (A) DX-1 [1]-13; Sling (H) DX-2 [1]-12; Thrown Weapon (Axe/Mace or Spear) (E) DX [1]-14. • Remove Jitte/Sai, Kusari, Main-Gauche, Rapier, Saber, Smallsword, and Tonfa from all of the optional melee skill packages and add Axe/Mace (A) DX, Broadsword (A) DX, Knife (E) DX, and Spear (A) DX with similar point allocations. • Replace the background skill options with “Six of Fast-Draw (any) (E) DX [1]-14; Riding (any) or Stealth, both (A) DX-1 [1]-13; Savoir-Faire (any) (E) IQ [1]-10; Animal Handling (any), Connoisseur (Weapons), Fast-Talk, Gambling, Heraldry, Hidden Lore (Demons or Undead), Interrogation, Merchant, Streetwise, all (A) IQ-1 [1]-9; Physiology (monster type), Psychology (monster type), Religious Ritual, Tactics, or Theology, all (H) IQ-2 [1]-8; Carousing (E) HT [1]-12; Hiking (A) HT-1 [1]-11; Skiing or Skating, both (H) HT-2 [1]-10; Intimidation (A) Will-1 [1]-9; Scrounging (E) Per [1]-10; or Observation or Search, both (A) Per-1 [1]-9; 1 point to improve any selected 1-point skill (primary, secondary, or background) by a level; or 1 point in any unchosen primary or secondary skill.”

Cleric Spells

Malä grants the following spells to his clerics:

PI 1 Aura, Beast-Soother, Body-Reading, Bravery, Climbing, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Find Direction, Haste, Jump, Lend Energy, Lend Vitality, Light Tread, Recover Energy, Share Vitality, Silence, Stop Bleeding, Touch, Umbrella, Warmth, Watchdog.

PI 2 Animal Control, Armor, Awaken, Balance, Cleansing, Coolness, Death Vision, Final Rest, Hide Path, Light, Mage-Stealth, Master, Minor Healing, Night Vision, Pathfinder, Persuasion, Purify Air, Purify Food, Purify Water, Quick March, Resist Cold, Resist Disease, Seeker, Sense Spirit, Sense, Life, Shield, Slide, Summon Spirit, Test Food, Turn Spirit, Turn Zombie, Vigor.

PI 3 Astral Vision, Command Spirits (death spirits, ghosts, etc.), Control Zombie, Create Water, Cure Disease, Freedom, Glow, Great Voice, Healing Slumber, Lighten Burden, Magic Resistance, Might, Neutralize Poison, Peaceful Sleep, Repel Animal, Repel Hybrids, Repel Spirits, Resist Acid, Resist Fire, Resist Lightning, Resist Pain, Resist Pressure, Rider, Silver Tongue, Stone to Flesh, Vigil.

PI 4 Affect Spirits, Astral Block, Bind Spirit (ghosts & undead), Breathe Water, Command Spirit (any type), Command, Compel Truth, Continual Light, Create Food, Dispel Magic, Dispel Possession, Divination, Flesh to Stone, Gift of Letters, Gift of Tongues, Great Haste, Hinder, Insignificance, Instant Neutralize Poison, Lockmaster, Monk’s Banquet, Oath, Preserve Food, Relieve Sickness, See Secrets, Stop Paralysis, Strengthen Will, Suspend Curse, Swim, Wallwalker, Wisdom.

PI 5 Banish, Bind Spirit (demons), Bless, Blink, Curse, Drain Mana, Entrap Spirit, Major Healing, Regeneration, Relieve Madness, Remove Curse, Rooted Feet, Sunlight, Suspend Mana.

PI 6 Bind Spirit, Great Healing, Illusion Shell, Instant Regeneration, Instant Restoration, Pentagram, Planar Summons (Divine Servitor), Resurrection, Sanctuary, Summon Demon.

Divine Favor

Priests of Malä are often granted shapeshifting powers and the ability to speak with anything. Other miracles are often related to movement and travel or spirits. Attacks are few and generally involve unwanted transformations.

Abilities Afflictions with Advantage, Language; Allies (minor spirits), with Summonable; Alternate Form (any), often with Projected Form; Animal Empathy; Chameleon; Channeling; Detect, for illusions, projections, or transformations; Double-Jointed; Elastic Skin; Empathy; Enhanced Dodge; Enhanced Move; Growth; Hermaphromorph; Jumper (World or Spirit); Language Talent; Medium; Mimicry; Mind Reading; Mind Shield; Mindlink; Morph; Plant Empathy; Regrowth; See Invisible; Shrinking; Speak with Animals; Speak with Plants; Special Rapport; Spirit Empathy; Stretching; Super Climbing; Telecommunication (Telesend); and True Faith (Spirits), with Turning. Any advantage that represents different or extra body parts is also permissible, if it’s Switchable.

Jürä • Karalis • Korë • Liekki • Likumä • Malä • Menes • Milä • Pazamë • Sëra • Sieva • Veträ • Yaunävä

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