13th Age: Wandering Spirit, An Alternate Icon
All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. Read the first ones in the series: the Usurper, Deposed Heir, Fleshcrafter, and the Herald. So now we present to you the Wandering Spirit, is the equal and opposite of the of the Lich Queen.
The Wandering Spirit was a living icon in a previous age. They were thought to have been at peace over a century ago, but the cries of pain by the living roused them from their eternal slumber to wreak havoc among the living.
“Dealing out justice after death may have less timely but no less necessary.”
The Ashen Fields, the scene of a terrible battle in a previous age. To this day, the ground is ash grey and plants still refuse to grow there. However, the Wandering Spirit can show up anywhere.
While it is said that the Wandering Spirit meters out justice, no one is exactly sure what draws their attention in the first place or how heavy-handed that justice will be. Even worse, no one knows how small of an injustice a person commits before the Wandering Spirit hands out justice. The question everyone is afraid to ask is if injustices committed by their ancestors will come back to haunt them.
The Icon and Adventurers
The Wandering Spirit frequently communicates with adventurers personally, showing up in dreams or in unperson and asks for certain jobs to be completed. These jobs range from carrying out the death sentence the Wandering Spirit has pronounced on someone to finding a lost toy for a child. Most often, the instruction are vague, requiring adventurers to investigate and find a hidden source of a problem and make a judgment call on what should be done. It is rare for adventurers to turn down the Wandering Spirit if for no other reason than the icon knows where ancient magic items are hidden away or entombed and is happy to share such knowledge for carrying out such assignments. If anything, adventurers are the only true ally the Wandering Spirit possesses.
Unlike most icons, the Wandering Spirit has no true allies. Emissaries from other icons frequently return, unable to find the Wandering Spirit. The few emissaries return having met the icon carrying a message to the icons warning them to stay away. Some simply do not return. Most believe them dead, their souls devoured by the Wandering Spirit. Other rumors about such missing emissaries tell of them serving the ghostly icon, willingly or otherwise.
Some icons that the Wandering Spirit would form alliances with see the Wandering Spirit as some sort of abomination. The Herald sees the Wandering Spirit as another unholy undead. The Deposed Heir has ordered the execution of enough of the Usurper’s agents to fear the wrath of the Wandering Spirit. While it is true that agents of these icons may have to work with the Wandering Spirit, that day has not yet come.
While few icons are stupid enough to try a direct attack on a powerful spirit who can appear in dreams, that does not mean they do not work against the Wandering Spirit either. Waylaying someone working on behalf of the ghostly icon that is interfering in their plans may not earn a reprisal, one hopes. Of course, if the offending agent of the icon dies in their sleep or is killed by some adventurers, was it the Wandering Spirit’s doing?
In his quest for power, the Usurper has sought the aid of the Wandering Spirit; those emissaries seldom return. The Fleshcrafter is both afraid of a confrontation with the Wandering Spirit and hoping to trap them. A spirit that powerful under the Fleshcrafter’s control joined to a golem would make for an unstoppable creation.
All anyone knows for sure about the Wandering Spirit is that they appeared out of seemingly nowhere approximately 5 years ago, telling adventurers to handle situations that no one else will. In fact few would even know of the Wandering Spirit’s existence were it not for adventurers carrying out such acts in the Wandering Spirit’s name. Whether the Wandering Spirit has any agenda beyond sowing chaos in the name of justice is not something widely known or demonstrated.
The Reason to Fear
Every living person should fear the Wandering Spirit, never knowing if the next judgement the Wandering Spirit pronounces will be upon their head.
One who professes to fear nothing, not even the Wandering Spirit is the Guild Mistress. Read all about this leader of organized labor as the next alternate icon we will be describing right here on the JBE Blog.