Thursday, August 12, 2021

Totems: Raven, Part V

Raven Divinities & Darkness
Upon benighted wings, the raven sees all things. 

Characters can opt to substitute specific raven totem abilities, spells, side-effects, and totem tests for ones they would normally have, reflecting how the raven can appear more strikingly in their lives. Select or roll 1d6.

1. Odin: Following the ways of Huginn and Muninn, Odinnic types may emphasize the raven virtues of observing all things, memory, sacrifice, and wisdom. Those who salute his valkyries too might do the same, adding a special focus on slaying and death. And unlike the wolflike Ulfhednar, such Hrafnar are more subtle and esoteric in their inspiration and work. 

 The Morrighan: Fear and prophecy, martial guidance, along with foretelling of one's of doom are common in the ways of the Morrighan, and these parallels can be mirrored in the raven totem. Being Celtic, assuming full raven form could be emphasized too, as well as favoring the powers of direct slaying. Protecting one's demense from interlopers via terror would also fit well.

3. Lugh & Bran: Other Celts instead follow a tradition of decapitations and towers, bringing the totem to the fore in those ways. They would focus on using the raven's cunning to protect one's lands, cooperation with the group, along with the wisdom that such things can bring. Any deaths might also turn them into a raven- another transformative aspect of the Celtic ways.

4. Apollo: Far more a symbol of misfortune amongst the Greeks, those raven-touched would more often select those powers that bring about poor results on others, especially if bad news would be conveyed. These traits are enough to turn formerly white feathers black, and such results would match.

5. Shadow Raven: Vampires and other dark beings follow the raven too, emphasizing its cunning and understanding of death, while making their own dark natures more insightful and perceptive. The totem can even help them to work together more to drive off more formidable beings.
6. Doom Raven: Beyond just a bringer of woe, those who follow various fell lords (such as Chernobog and Maelfo) might follow a corrupted form of the raven. What wisdom it may bring is also tied to great suffering and misfortune, appealing especially to wicked thieves and magic-users. All else can eat crow.

Next week, our series on totems continues with the Eagle!