Kindred of the East: Crimson Empires
Speak with Local Beasts
Speak with Local Beasts, lvl 4
This rite is in some ways similar to Sensing the Earth’s Sickness but has much greater general applicability. Through the means of this rite, the dragon makes a formal request for an audience with an important members of the local animal kingdom. The rite must be performed under the new moon, and the meeting takes place at the full moon immediately thereafter, in the place where the rite was performed.
In the city, the rite will call forth the princes and princesses of the rats, dignitaries and ambassadors of the pigeons, the ranking magistrate of the cats and the feudal barons of the local dog population. In the wilderness areas, one can expect any sort of creature- the count of the local bears, the priests of the fallow-deer monastery or even the bandit-kings of the wolves and the rajahs of the tigers. Also, if there is a Xiong Ren holy place nearby, its keeper will sense the call and know it’s origin, so the request for audience is likely to draw some of the local skin-changers, if there are any about.
The circumstances under which a vampire might perform this rite vary. Some elder dragons hold a regular court every season or year to make sure that matters in their demesne are running smoothly. More often, this rite is used during times of need in order to gain information or animal allies.
The dragon performs a three-hour entreaty under the new moon, and the player makes a charisma + animal ken roll, with a difficulty euqal to the degree to which the dragon follows the proper forms. Dignified speech, formal garb and many food offerings appropriate to the local animal population will cause the difficulty to be only 4 or 5, while a stumbling rant by a naked, blood-smeared vampire in her Godbody of the Demon will set the difficulty to 8 or 9.
The number of successes the player rolls indicates how well-attended the gathering is. One success means a few of the lower grade dignitaries arrive, three successes makes the gathering an unqualified success, and five or more brings about a grand fete. The animals summoned must be fed and entertained properly, though predator and prey will generally put aside their antagonisms for the sake of being polite guests. These ambassadors will speak to the ritualist about local matters that could use the intervention of a powerful spirit being like the thrashing dragon, and in return, they’ll provide what help they can on matters that might be of interest to the vampire. This is the reciprocal arrangement – the dragon should expect to give as well as get.
If Xiong Ren appear, they are unlikely to be particularly happy that their job as warden of the local area is being usurped, and they may have a negative impact on attendance if they choose to come in their war forms. However, an adept host who has strong social graces may well be able to turn the evening into a success nevertheless. A host with poor socials skills will probably not survive to see the evening’s end.