Incorruption puts on corruption and fires her vacuous arrows of righteousness into a darkness she cannot pierce. Not because light cannot rend it, but because you cannot play in the dirt without staining your clothes, and she has long been wallowing in filth.
Once, she had many names: Sol'Väsen, guardian, light bringer, slayer of the hordes, bane of the Mör’Väsen. She no longer deserves those titles, but she marches forward - a fraud.
At first glance nothing seems amiss, but even simple common folk can smell the rot in the air. All is not well, and the roots lie under our feet. Hidden within are the great Kabals.
Association with a Kabal is often cultural or familial. The Kabals exist as many houses or orders within three great lineages called the Väsen, descended from an original Triad of three ancient Goddesses of the sun, the moon and the night.
Originally the Väsen were broad religious movements with different cultures and values. Still, a Väsen is more than this. It is an allegiance, an identity, a culture, a perspective, a way of thinking. Most common folk identify with a Väsen and such an enmity exists that the Väsen are continually at war with each other.
The Triad of the Väsentüru
“Look upon the wicked and their abominations, which brought upon them their wars and their destructions. The wicked must be cleansed so that righteousness can rein.”
Servants of Celestial Light, Tribes of the Sun, they desire peace, freedom and the promotion of virtue.
"Without good evil destroys itself, and without evil, good becomes stagnant and as stifling as the night."
Servants of the Lesser Light, Tribes of the Moon and the Stars. The Väsen of the lesser light seek a middle ground, far away from the extremes of the light and the darkness.
“All Sol’Väsen desire and envy us in the dark closets of their hearts. We enjoy all that they dream and covet but are afraid to admit. Those holy hypocrites fear the darkness within them and chase the light. We steal the light and, in the darkness, smother her.”
Tribes of the Night, like other väsen they too desire freedom, but theirs is the freedom to operate under the cover of darkness, to indulge their deepest desires without reprisal and to destroy those who would enslave them with their false brands of morality.
Within each Väsen there are those who hold the most extreme views. They are known as the Ren, meaning the strongest.
Thus, a Ren’Mör’Väsen would denote an extremely wicked character, a tyrant who will pursue his aims no matter the cost for the ends justify the means.
A Ren’Sol’Väsen would be either an extremely righteous character or at least a very self-righteous and pious one.
A Ren’Jor’Väsen believes very strongly that both good and evil must be held in a strict balance. They may serve the Light one day and the Darkness the next, all in order to keep the scales balanced.
Boons & Curses
“We are all born with a gift,” the sages say, and if you listen carefully you will hear darkness whisper “… and we are all cursed with a curse.”
The children of the moon know this to be true, for there must be balance in all things. For every wondrous gift you bear, there is a curse you suffer and hide; for the favor of the gods does not go unnoticed by the envy of shadows.
The following are select examples of väsen boons and curses from the many dozens that exist.
Boon - Emissary of Olozuma
You have inherited the capacity for divine mercy as bestowed by the creator himself. Those around you are naturally at ease and more likely to be honest and forthright. You can allay suspicions or extend your compassion to move others to be merciful, reducing or eliminating the effects of judgement, punishment or persecution against yourself or others.
Curse - Worshipper of Indigence
You believe that money is the root of all evil. A result, after keeping only what you need for your most basic needs you find ways to give your money away or spend it frivolously on food, drink or other indulgences. Every week you will spend or give away half of any money you have. In addition, you will volunteer your party for missions without asking for payment.
Boon - Child of Kafawa
You are a child of Kafawa, spirit of chaos and destruction. How do you know? A shadow whispered it to you. Your body embraces and exudes the gentle light of the moon. Any time the moon is visible you give off a faint aura of blue light. It is too faint to provide any meaningful illumination, but it makes you easier to see. Unfortunately, the superstitious take you for a ghost or spirit. This often causes chaos and panic and leads them to flee from the sight of you.
With effort you can increase the light you emanate, enough to see things near to you for a short amount of time. This is not all. When moonlight touches you, you regenerate health at an accelerated rate.
Curse - Chained to the Zjabwa
At some point in your life you wronged a shadowy spirit. Perhaps it was a former shadow or an ancestor who made a deal with a dark entity and then reneged. Whatever the cause, it has attached itself to you and directs all of it malevolence towards you. Sometimes you can hear it whispering things to you. These things, if you listen, will drive you mad.
Any time your are spiritually exhausted you are struck with a temporary mental illness characterized by erratic behavior and paranoid delusions. Everyone will appear to you as if they are this malicious spirit and will believe that they are out to get you. When you are paranoid you will randomly fail feats and checks.
Boon - Hymn to Dark Spirits
Someone taught you a hymn as a child that, if sung during the witching hour at a crossroads or other in-between place, will bring messages from beyond the grave.
The dark hymn summons a spirit that will, if you allow it, possess you and speak as an augury. This augury can interpret omens and delivery prophecies. The answers or prophecies are never completely clear and are always open to some form of interpretation.
On rare occasions, if you are weakened in spiritual combat, a dark spirit can be called to possess you to fight on your behalf.
This hymn cannot be repeated often for the spirit is not your servant. Attempts to pester the spirit will result in it ignoring you or abusing your body in unseemly ways when you are possessed without providing useful information.
The possession ends when the divination or prophecy has been delivered or the spiritual combat has ended. You will have no memory of the events that occurred, so be sure to have the presence of another who can record its message and relay it to you.
Mör'Väsen Curse - Susceptible to Holy Prayer
Around the time you were born, an agent of the light laid a curse on you or your parents. This curse has left you susceptible to magic worked by any type of Sol’Väsen Holy Man. Any magic they cast on you affects with greater strength