Arts: Sovereign & Wayfare

[This is the third in a series of post on the Arts in Arcadia. Read this post for context and the variant rules that are referred to below.]



Sovereign is an Art closely associated with nobility, even if nobility do not use it all that often. The Art of Sovereign is used to force people of lower social standing to do their will, and is therefore particularly unpopular with commoners. From the Changeling handbook (page 183): “In ancient times, the sidhe used Sovereign to regularly enforce their noble dictates upon commoner kith. A few highly conservative (and unpopular) nobles still adhere to this custom. The Art of Sovereign forces commoners and nobles of equal or lesser rank to obey the caster’s dictates. Thus, a knight could not use Sovereign on a baron. This Art is the most widespread grievance that commoner fae have against the sidhe nobility. As such, wise nobles use this Art sparingly, lest they risk a revolt among their subjects. Traditionally, this Art was jealously guarded by the nobility, but in recent times this Art has surfaced in some commoners’ use.”

Since Sovereign is so closely linked to nobility and social rank, it would make sense to limit it to noble Characters in Arcadia. It is particularly associated with House Fionna. For more on the nobility in Arcadia see this post of mine.

There are five Sovereign Arts in Arcadia: Protocol, Dictum, Grandeur, Weaver Ward, and Geasa. These correspond exactly to the 5 Sovereign cantrips in Changeling, except that Geasa has been made a 6-point Art (from a 5-point cantrip).


Protocol *

Exhaust to force any noble to miss their next Day. – Exhaust to force any nonnoble to exhaust 1 Savvy Ability. (TWH)

Protocal basically enforces protocol. From the Changeling book (page 184): “This cantrip allows nobles to conduct business and hold court functions without being perpetually interrupted by noisy childlings or commoners. Protocol ensures that everyone affected behaves as noble etiquette requires, although a roll is required to determine if the target(s) can fathom the dictates of the proceedings (see the sidebar). When this cantrip is cast, no one may speak out of turn, and sudden combat and tomfoolery are out of the question. Duels between persons of equal rank to settle disputes are acceptable, if the reigning noble permits it.” So, if the target is a noble, she will be forced to join the courtly rituals. If she is a commoner, she will loose her Savvy because she won’t be able to join.

Dictum **

Exhaust and enter into a Resolve Test against a non-noble character in your League or in any adjacent one. If you’re victorious you may make him move in the direction of your choice for 2 Days. (TWH)

Dictum is used to force commoners to do the biddings of nobility. The Changeling book explains (page 184): “This cantrip enforces the power of authority and command over commoners and underlings. The target is simply unable to disobey the requests of the caster, although the target is aware when Dictum is used upon him (even if he is unfamiliar with the Arts). A target under the sway of Dictum attempts to carry out the caster’s requests to the spirit and the letter, unless the request would somehow place him in immediate danger. A target couldn’t be told to attack a werewolf, but he could be asked to guard the door against werewolves, as the command does not place the target in immediate harm. This cantrip, more than any other Sovereign cantrip, is the major point of contention between commoners and nobles. Commoner kith seem to take less of an affront to a user of Grandeur (see below) than a user of Dictum. After all, most Kithain already respect and feel a certain sense of awe for the nobility, but they do not appreciate being forced to bow and scrape before every noble whim.”

Grandeur ***

For the next 2 Days, you may exhaust a Savvy Ability to make the results of any Tests you undergo a Stalemate. This exhausts Grandeur. (TWH)

This one too is rather straightforward. From the Changeling book (page 184): “Grandeur impresses upon others that element of the majesty of Arcadia that every noble and sidhe carries. It is the component of noble poise and refinement that later mortal rulers attempted (but ultimately failed) with their divine  pageants and coronations. Anyone who views a caster of Grandeur is overcome with awe; he can take no action (violent or otherwise) in the presence of the noble (even if that noble attacks the target). Holding court is not possible for a caster of Grandeur, as most of the attendees would be unable to speak.”

Weaver Ward ****

Discard to force another character into a Resolve Trial difficulty 7 when attempting to recover a Quest Treasure. As his encounter each day, that character may test again to try to defeat the Ward. Weaver Ward remains on the Treasure until defeated. (KIM)

Weaver Ward is used to create a barrier that prevents someone from entering into a certain place or obtaining a certain object. The Changeling book explains (page 185): “Use of this cantrip prevents a door or entranceway from being passed by certain persons or inanimate objects. Alternately, a caster can use Weaver Ward to insure that no one picks up or uses an object (if the cantrip is used in this manner, the caster must also possess the Realm that represents the object).” You could decide that a caster of this Art may attempt to prevent a Character to enter a particular League from a specific direction unless they pass a Resolve Trial difficulty 7, if he rolls only successes.

Geasa ******

Exhaust to enter a Resolve Test against another character. If successful, choose a League on the map that the targeted character must travel to before he may resume his Quest. As his encounter each day, the target may make a Resolve Trial difficulty 7 to dispel the effects of this Art and resume his Quest. (KIM)

For more on Geasa, see this post of mine.


wayfareThe Changeling book (page 186-187) states: “Wayfare is the Art of efficient travel. Originally developed by scouts and messengers, this Art has also found use in noble circles as a means to spy, because the powers at higher levels allow one to move into seemingly impossible places. For this reason, the overt use of Wayfare at higher levels is carefully watched by some nobles (and outlawed by others). At the lower end, the Art is considered more of a useful tool than a dangerous weapon. In general, commoners, noble retainers and eshu are the most likely to possess Wayfare.”

There are six Wayfare Arts in Arcadia: Hopscotch, Quicksilver, Portal Passage, Wind Runner, Flicker Flash, and Shooting Star. Shooting Star is unique to Arcadia.


Hopscotch *

Exhaust to skip any 1 League. You will encounter the second League. (TWH)

With Hopscotch your Character can make enormous leaps. In Changeling the cantrip can be cast on others too, including inanimate objects, so you could modify the card’s text to also allow others (Characters or Waylays) to leap into another League.

Quicksilver **

Exhaust to move 3 Leagues. If you encounter any Waylays along the way your movement stops. (TWH)

Quicksilver allows you to move immensely fast, but only for a brief moment. In Changeling this is not limited to travel, but any type of physical action, so you could modify this card to allow you to take any additional action, as an alternative to moving 3 Leagues. If you use the variant rule for Arts mentioned in the first post in this series, you could decide that the number of Leagues a Character may move depends on the number of successes rolled.

Portal Passage ***

Exhaust to instantly move from 1 League to another. The two Leagues in question must have at least 1 identical Terrain feature (Forest to Forest, Ruins to Ruins, etc.) and cannot be farther than 4 Leagues apart. Exhaust to automatically pass any Terrain Trial. This must be done before you roll. (TWH)

In Changeling this cantrip allows you to create a passage way through any wall or hedge or other barrier of a reasonable thickness. As you can see, in Arcadia, this cantrip is a lot more powerful: it creates a portal to any place similar to the one you are currently in.

Wind Runner *****

Exhaust to fly 4 Leagues. You only encounter Terrain Trials or Waylays on the League you finally enter. After moving 4 Leagues you must pass a Resolve Trial difficulty 7 or become winded and spend your next available Day Resting. If you Fail this Trial, you will encounter any Waylays on that League before you may Rest. (KIM)

Wind Runner gives you the ability to fly. If you use the variant rule for Arts mentioned in the first post in this series, you could decide that the number of Leagues a Character may move depends on the number of successes rolled. (This is only a 4-point cantrip in Changeling.)

Flicker Flash *****

Discard and make a Resolve Trial difficulty 7 to move instantly to any League you have previously visited during this game. If you fail, your Opponent may move you to a League of his/her choice. Ignore Enter and Leave Trials when using this Art. (KIM)

From the Changeling book (page 188): “This is the cantrip feared by the nobility for its ability to allow anyone to get anywhere. With Flicker Flash, the changeling can disappear and reappear anywhere in creation that she desires”. You can only use this to travel to Leagues you have previously visited, because “The caster must know, see (or scrye) or possess a part of both her target and the destination. If she cannot fulfill this limitation, there is a chance the cantrip will go awry (the Storyteller should have as much fun as she likes thinking up a really creative place to send the character!).” You could therefore allow this Art to be used to travel to an unvisited League, but if the Character casting this has less than all successes (when using the variant mentioned in the first post in this series), the opponent may choose where to place the Character—including Leagues that are added to the board for just this purpose!

(This is only a 5-point cantrip in Changeling.)

Shooting Star ******

Exhaust this art and roll a die. Move as follows: Odd: move left, Even: move right, the following number of Leagues: 1-2 = 2 Leagues, 3-4 = 3 Leagues, 5-6 = 4 Leagues. Ignore the Enter requirement for the new League and any Waylays in the old League. If this would put you off the map, then your character stays in place and the Merit remains exhausted. (KIM)

Shooting Star has no cantrip counterpart in Changeling. I have listed it here as a 6 point Art, as it says on the main side of the card, but the “Exhausted” side of the card says it is a 3 point Art.


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