The fae are at least as old as the world itself, if not older, and have always shared a powerful affinity for the very elemental substance of the world — a few legends even claim that they spun the primal fundament of reality from the inchoate mist of dreams at the dawn of time. Regardless, modern changelings can remember a time when they were kindred to the stones and when they plucked whispers from the air, when they seduced the flames and bowed before embarking upon the back of Mother Sea. Even today, they still remember many of the secrets of harnessing the elements, and Primal is one of their most useful and widespread sorcerous Arts.
It’s widely accepted that the Kithain learned Primal from their cousins, the inanimae, and that it was once the merest stepping stone toward far grander elemental magic. Those greater Arts were lost in the wake of the Shattering, and today Primal is largely associated with “salt of the earth” changelings, such as boggans, eshu, piskies, and redcaps — though many sidhe nobles quietly dabble in its useful lesser enchantments.
Unleashing: Primal Unleashings place the vast and ancient power of the elemental Arts back into the hands of the Kithain, if only for a moment. Earthquakes, firestorms, trees erupting through pavement and growing to full grandeur in moments — these are the hallmarks of Primal Unleashings, making it one of the most potent and dangerous Arts to loose into the world with little greater direction than “stop them,” “help us,” or “open a path.”
Example Bunks: Primal bunks incorporate props from nature or primal elemental forces. Examples include: Light a match or wave a lighter around, break a stick, make willow bark tea and drink it, coat your hands in mud, listen to a seashell, douse yourself with water, carve a statuette out of wood, draw your target in the dirt with a fingertip, run full speed against a powerful wind, scatter freshly-fallen leaves over your head, pluck a rose and savor its fragrance, leap into a puddle, mark a tree using a sharp stone, or craft a crown of thorns, and wear it.
O Willow Whispers
This useful bit of magic allows the changeling to speak to the world, and hear its replies. She may use Willow Whisper to speak to any plant, animal, object, or natural feature — any stone, any jeweled ring, any shining blade, any beast normally incapable of speech.
System: The Realm selected determines what the changeling may speak to the world about. Actor and Fae would allow her to ask a tree if a certain person has passed by, and what they were doing. Prop and Nature allow the changeling to make inquiries about objects or natural phenomena themselves. The changeling can ask one question per success.
Willow Whisper has two restrictions. First, the changeling must speak in a whisper, and hears all replies as whispers in return — this cantrip is useless at a stock car race or rock concert. Second, no matter how hard she tries, the changeling may never hear the voice of cold iron.
OO Eldritch Prime
This cantrip allows the changeling to conjure up manifestations of the elements of earth, water, wood, fire, or air. This appears in the most natural form possible — water pours down from the sky as rain, or bubbles up from the earth as a small spring, for example. Rocks thrust up from the ground with a rumble. Plants grow up from the ground with unnatural speed. These manifestations can occur in decidedly unnatural locations, however, such as rain happening inside of a building, or flowering branches growing from an angry math teacher’s head like beautiful antlers.
System: The Realm used determines where the element manifests. Actor and Fae could cause it to rain on someone, or for stones to weigh down their pockets, or for plants to sprout from them, or even for them to catch on fire (inflicting damage equal to the successes rolled). Nature simply permits the appearance of the elements from the natural world, while Prop could cause howling winds to blast out of an old Buick’s air conditioning system, or cause its trunk to fill up with fertile dirt.
The more successes rolled, the greater the manifestation of the element. A single success would be sufficient only to conjure a few flowers, a glass of water, a few rocks, or a torch’s worth of fire. Three successes could produce half an hour of rain, a wind strong enough to impose a two-die penalty to move against it, a bonfire’s worth of fire, or a tangle of thorny vines. Five successes could call forth rocks big enough to flip a car as they erupt from the ground, a small inferno, enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool, or a young tree.
This useful cantrip fortifies its target with a protective elemental sheath. Despite the name, this need not necessarily be a coat of armor-like bark; it could also make a person’s skin hard as marble, allow the apparently solid surface of a door to splash and reform like water when struck, or surround a getaway car with an ablative shield of powerful wind.
System: The Realm used determines who or what is fortified. Each success rolled when activating Oakenshield grants the target one extra temporary health level, which lasts until destroyed or until the end of the scene. These temporary health levels are always the first marked when damage is taken, and rather than “retaining” marked damage, the damaged health levels simply vanish. Multiple castings of this cantrip are not cumulative — a new casting always overwrites any existing protection.
OOOO Elder Form
This powerful cantrip allows the changeling to imbue someone or something with the very essence of one of the elements, transforming them into a living manifestation of elemental power.
System: The Realm used determines who or what is transformed, and the effects of the transformation depend on the element called upon.
- Those enchanted with air become invisible and may float through the air under their own power at their normal Speed.
- Those enchanted with earth are visibly made of stone and dirt, gaining an additional 3 soak dice. However, they are also very heavy, move at half their Speed, and suffer a -1 penalty to their Dodge.
- Those enchanted with water become slick, slippery, and fluid. They gain an extra dot of Dexterity. They gain a +2 bonus to rolls to squeeze through tight spaces and narrow confines, while those trying to escape from objects such as handcuffs enchanted by this cantrip take a -2 penalty as the object shifts with them. They can exist underwater without the need for air, and enchanted objects such as books won’t be ruined or damaged by submersion in water.
- Those enchanted with wood become rooted in place, and cannot be moved from where they stand or rest by any force. They become supple as a reed in the wind, adding a +1 bonus to Dexterity and Stamina-based rolls, and they may slowly regain any damage taken, at a rate of one level of bashing damage per minute and one level of lethal damage per five minutes.
- Those enchanted with fire become formed of sculpted flame, and inflict one level of automatic lethal damage per turn to anything in direct contact with them. They are themselves immune to fire for the duration of the transformation.
OOOOO Dance of the Five Kings
This potent cantrip makes the changeling the master of the five elements. She commands, and flames and earth and water leap to obey. She may guide any elemental manifestations that are already present to attack, restrain, entrap, clear a path, or simply reshape themselves to her liking.
System: The Realm used determines what the elements can be made to do. Actor and Fae can command the elements to attack individuals (one level of lethal or bashing damage per success, depending on the element used), or restrain or hamper them (the difficulty of the target’s next action rises by one per success). Prop and Nature allow the elements to be reshaped into forms fitting the Realm deployed — a tree could be reshaped into a throne, flames could become impossible burning flowers, and a stone could become an impromptu, but well-balanced, mace.