Commune

  • Ring/Mastery: All 1
  • Range: 20’
  • Area of Effect: Self
  • Duration: Concentration
  • Raises: See below

This spell can be cast in any element save Void. It allows the caster to speak with one of the local elemental kami, asking it a few questions, which it will answer honestly to the best of its ability. Typically this spell will invoke the most active and energetic spirit of the chosen element in the area of effect; if all of the local spirits are quiescent, the GM may require the caster to call 1 or 2 Raises to “wake up” a local spirit enough to answer questions.
A spirit reached with Commune will answer two questions. The caster may Raise to get more questions (one per Raise). The caster may also Raise for clarity, to get a more accurate and informative answer to the questions. (Kami are notorious for their inability to fully comprehend human behavior, and asking questions without Raises for clarity can often result in confusing, enigmatic, or incomplete answers.) Spirits do not forget anything, so theoretically a shugenja can ask a spirit about something that happened decades ago; however, they also do not experience time in the same way as mortals, so trying to ask about something from long ago will usually require Raises in order to make the caster’s wishes clear to the spirit. The nature of the information which spirits can impart varies by element:

  • Air spirits tend to be playful and easily distracted, conveying information as emotions or as riddles and jokes. Since they are more interested in feelings than in facts, and enjoy playing games with those who speak with them, communing with an Air spirit can sometimes be very frustrating.
  • Earth spirits are straightforward and matter-of-fact, often blunt, but are also often rather uninterested in the behavior of mortals, have a poor understanding of human emotion, and tend to be overly focused on obscure details such as the color of a piece of clothing or the weight of a horse.
  • Fire spirits are irritable and temperamental, and are often angry at being summoned unless they are propitiated with an offering of something to burn. On the other hand, if a shugenja can please them they tend to offer the clearest and most accurate information.
  • Water spirits communicate their knowledge through soundless visual images. This can be very helpful to a shugenja trying to investigate a past incident, but since the spirits cannot convey scent, sound, or emotion, the information they provide can often be incomplete or misleading.

Commune

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