The Ogham Discipline is only found among the Lhiannan bloodline; they do not (some say cannot) share its secrets with those who do not suffer from their line’s curse. All Lhiannan share a splinter of a dark, oncevast, and powerful forest spirit. Ogham allows them to tap into that spirit’s power, and into its communion with free spirits of its ilk.
Ogham is a limited form of blood magic; it is neither as flexible nor as powerful as Tremere Thaumaturgy, nor other Clans’ blood sorcery, but within the bounds set by the Lhiannan’s territorial nature it is quite powerful. Ogham is strongest within a Lhiannan’s home territory. More than 50 miles (80 km) from her home territory, the difficulty of using Ogham increases by one across the board, as the Lhiannan’s own spirit-shard comes into conflict with unfamiliar local spirit life.
• Consecrate the Grove
The Lhiannan with this ability can use the power of her blood to awaken the spirits of plant life in her territory; they will act in her defense against any unwelcome intruder. Roots tangle feet, grass grasps at boots, trees sway unnaturally in foes’ way, and so on. Typically the Lhiannan slits a wrist and whirls in place, or stabs a palm and walks a spiral pattern through the foliage that she wishes to awaken.
System: The player spends from one to three blood points, and the character must undertake the process described above. One blood point rouses the plant life in a 10-foot (3-meter) diameter; two blood points doubles that to 20 feet (6 meters); three makes it 40 feet (12 meters). Tracing the desired area takes one turn per blood point spent.
When the blood has been sown, the player rolls Charisma + Survival (difficulty 6). If the roll garners even one success, the plant life animates as the local spirit world is roused to action. Enemies in the area suffer a -2 to all dice pools from distraction and physical interference.
Additionally, interlopers must make a Stamina + Athletics roll to avoid three dice of bashing damage from the local flora (provided the local plant life is capable of such damage; trees and brambles probably are, but a grassy meadow doesn’t contain the kind of flora necessary for such an assault). Botching this roll causes the plants to turn on the Lhiannan instead.
This power lasts for one scene.
•• Crimson Woad
The Lhiannan traces mystical runes or script on her own body in vitae, inviting spirits of war to infuse her and gird her for battle. While so imbued, she ignores many wounds and retains greater control of her mind as the spirits direct her Beast. The Lhiannan can also lash out at her enemies with a fierce, blood-borne attack. System: The character spends one scene tracing the woad on her body; this costs one blood point. The player then rolls Intelligence + Occult (difficulty 7).
Each success enables the character to ignore one die of wound penalties from injury. It also subtracts one from the difficulty to avoid frenzy or Rötschreck. This ability lasts through one scene. Additionally, if the character receives more than four health levels of damage, the mystic inscriptions are ruined, and the spirits flee her body.
The Lhiannan may also lash out at her enemies, adding the fury of the woad to her attack. The player may add the number of successes achieved on the above roll to the number of dice rolled for damage for a single close-combat attack (this ability can only be used once per application of Crimson Woad).
••• Inscribe the Curse
The Lhiannan inscribes the name of an enemy on her body in vitae, in whatever language or set of symbols she likes. When the name is so inscribed and the Lhiannan’s enemy can see it, baleful spirits become bound to the name and enact a curse upon that enemy. The curse takes effect the moment the victim sees his name scrawled in blood.
System: The player spends three blood points. The Lhiannan must write the foe’s name in blood, and it must be displayed on a part of her body visible to intended target in order for Inscribe the Curse to take effect. The player chooses which curse to enact on the target from the list below; the curse takes effect as soon as the target sees his name. He does not need to understand the language used, but if he can comprehend it, he may resist the curse with a Wits + Occult roll (difficulty 8).
The curses described below expire when the glyph is erased, worn off, or defaced by the Lhiannan’s taking four or more health levels of damage. The curse works differently depending on where the Lhiannan inscribes the target’s name.
Body: Inscribe the name on arms, legs, or belly. The victim’s body becomes ill and weak (+2 to all difficulties on Physical rolls, and all wound penalties are increased by one die) or, in the case of Cainites, the victim cannot use blood other than the one point per day necessary to remain active.
Mind: Inscribe the name across the forehead. The foe becomes confused as parts of his mind become disconnected from one another; he must spend one Willpower point in order to attempt any Knowledge roll or use any magical ability or Discipline (other than Celerity, Fortitude, or Potence). This Willpower doesn’t buy him a success on that roll; it simply allows him to make it.
Voice: Inscribe the name on the throat. The victim loses the power of speech; he can grunt or moan, but cannot say any words.
Soul: Inscribe the name down the sternum and over the heart. The subject loses his will to resist the Beast: difficulties to avoid frenzy are increased by two. Nonvampires are overcome by fear. The target must flee the Lhiannan’s territory unless he succeeds in a Courage roll (difficulty 8).
•••• Moon and Sun
The life of a Cainite is dominated by two celestial bodies: the sun, which she must fear and hate; and the moon, her only safe source of light. A Lhiannan can trace ancient sigils of those two orbs on her body to gain gifts – the spirit of the moon, ever the vampire’s friend, blesses her by its current phase, while the sun’s spirit wards off some of that orb’s fiery curse.
System: The player spends three blood points. The Lhiannan inscribes the desired sigil on her body over the course of 15 minutes. The sigil can be inscribed anywhere, but must be exposed. The character may choose to inscribe both the moon and the sun, but each symbol requires the blood expenditure and 15 minutes to trace it. She can also inscribe these sigils on any voluntary subject. The sun emblem protects a vampire from the worst effects of fire and sunlight. So long as the symbol remains on the character’s body, the player makes a Stamina roll (difficulty 8) when afflicted by fire or sunlight. If the roll is successful, the damage is considered lethal and the player may roll to soak it normally. This roll must be made every time the character faces such damage.
The moon emblem adds one to the difficulties of Self- Control/Instinct rolls to avoid frenzy (but not Courage rolls to avoid Rötschreck). Other effects of the moon emblem depend on the current phase of the moon:
New Moon: Add one die to Dexterity and Stealth dice pools.
Crescent Moon: Add one die to Wits and Occult dice pools.
Half Moon: Add one die to Perception and Subterfuge dice pools.
Gibbous Moon: Add one die to Charisma and Expression dice pools.
Full Moon: Add one die to Strength and Brawl dice pools.
••••• Drink Dry the Earth
The spirit within every Lhiannan is drawn to sites of mystical energy, whether ancient stone circles, faerie rings, or dragon tracks. That spirit-shard can wrest spiritual energy out of those places of power and use it to aid the Lhiannan. A word of caution, however: stealing too much power from any mystical site renders it barren and lifeless, much as if the Cainite had consumed the very blood of the Earth. Also, wizards and werewolves frequent these same sites, and destroying these places can rouse their ire.
System: The player rolls Perception + Occult (difficulty 8). One success determines if a given location is a suitable site (a decision generally left in the Storyteller’s hands, though a Lhiannan with a high Domain Background may have such a site within her holdings). Two or more successes on this roll grants a rough idea of the site’s power on a scale of 1 to 5. If the character wishes to tap the power of that location, she must spend a scene and one blood point marking various parts of the site with sigils of power, keys for her spirit-shard to unlock the location’s energies.
Once the site is prepared, the player makes a second, reflexive Perception + Occult roll (difficulty 7). Any successes beyond the site’s power rating are ignored. For each success, the player gains two dice, which she may add to any dice pools (except those to avoid frenzy or Rötschreck) for the remainder of the scene. These dice are gone when used, but the character may tap the same location again from turn to turn. The player must make the Perception + Occult roll each time. Each “drink” of the site’s energies depletes it, however, as described below.
The Lhiannan’s spirit-shard is a greedy thing, wearing as it does the garb of a Cainite’s Beast, and drinks the site’s energies recklessly. A Lhiannan can only garner a number of successes equal to 10 times the site’s power rating, after which point the area turns into a barren wasteland, incapable of sustaining life. This sort of activity in particular is certain to attract the attention of Lupines or wizards. A site may replenish itself over a period of years. However, a site that is tapped with Drink Dry the Earth at any point during the year is unable to replenish lost dice at all that year, and if the site is completely drained, it is irrevocably dead.
••••• • Inscribe the Forgotten Names
When the Lhiannan reaches this level of Ogham, she reverses the relationship between herself and her spirit-shard and can dominate and extract information from it. The Lhiannan’s ancient spirit knows the names of many mythical beings, and it can be bludgeoned into giving the Lhiannan one of those names so that she may invoke such a creature. These beings are dangerous, and not to be trifled with. Many are on a par with Methuselahs.
Inscribe the Forgotten Names allows its wielder to communicate with the being she summons, but it does not give her domination or control over that creature. She must appease it in whatever manner she can, and hope that it does not take offense at being called up.
System: The player spends three blood points. The Lhiannan must spend one half hour undisturbed as blood oozes from her skin to sate the spirit-shard’s hunger. At the end of this time, the player rolls Intelligence + Occult (difficulty 9, or 8 if the character has summoned this particular being before). If the roll succeeds, a powerful creature arrives in the immediate vicinity before the end of the current scene. The Storyteller is free to assign game statistics to any creature summoned. Such creatures have their own desires and demands, and many do not take kindly to being called.