Laerdom is the power of the Living Runes, granted to the Vestenmannavnjar by Grumfather. Users of Laerdom are known as skjaeren. A skjaeren has a Rank in each of these Knacks equal to his Sorcery(Laerdom) Rank, unless he has a Specialty in one of these Knacks.

As a personal note, I got the Knacks' "Vesten" names from an online Swedish translation dictionary, and guessed the best I could, while also picking names that sounded cool. Anybody who actually knows Swedish (or Finnish, or Norwegian, etc) may feel free to give me better Knack names.

Apprentice: At the Apprentice level, the skjaeren may only perform temporary rune invocations. His rune-casting predictions are vague, and the only response he will get from such invocations is the dominant Rune concerned with his query. His spirit-speaking is limited to visions in dreams- he cannot use the ability while awake, nor may he make more than one attempt a night.

Adept: At the Adept level, the skjaeren may make temporary rune-inscribed items, either one-use items, or items which retain Laerdom power for up to one year. The skjaeren's rune-casting improves to be able to answer simple questions reliably. He may now percieve the spirit world while awake if he concentrates on doing so, and may converse with spirits, although he cannot summon or otherwise coerce an unwilling spirit.

Master: At the Master level, the skjaeren may Become a Rune, and may inscribe permanent rune-carved items with the Rune that he has Become. The skjaeren's rune-casting may now give detailed answers, or even correct the question. He now percieves the spirit world at all times, and may summon spirits and coerce them to answer questions.


Spådom requires a set of properly-inscribed rune stones, which any skjaeren may be either assumed to have, or he can make them with simple tools and sufficient time. A set of high-quality runes (from the Rune Stones Advantage) grant a Free Raise to Spådom done with them.

The Skjaeren decides upon the question he wishes to ask. The GM assigns a TN for the question, where simple questions like "What will the weather be like tomorrow?" having a TN of 10, while more difficult questions like "How can we find General Montegue?" might have a TN of 40 or more, depending on circumstances, and the willingness for the GM to give the information.

If the Skjaeren beats the given TN with his Spådom roll, the result depends on his Mastery level. For Apprentices, the answer comes in the form of a particular Rune, and he has to decipher how the Rune applies to his question. For Journeymen, the skjaeren gets a short one-sentence answer, which the GM may still make somewhat vague, if it serves his purposes. For Masters, the GM answers more completely, as much as he is willing to give away to the skjaeren.

A fundamental limit of Spådom is that it can only answer questions about the future, not about the present or past. While a skjaeren can ask, "How can we find the missing Montaigne Cardinals?", he cannot ask "Where are the Montaigne Cardinals right now?", or "Who kidnapped the Montaigne Cardinals?" Clever skjaeren might be able to push this limit a little bit, but the GM always has the right to deny any question which passes the limits of Spådom.


A skjaeren who uses Andesäga is attempting to commune with the spirits of his ancestors. This takes the form of dream trances, perception of the spirit world, and summoning of spirits.

Any skjaeren may attempt dream-trances. The skjaeren decides on the spirit he wishes to communicate with, and goes to sleep. The TN for most dream-trances is 15, although this may be increased at the GM's whim based on circumstances. If the skjaeren successfully enters the trance, he may speak with his intended spirit. Unless the skjaeren is a Master, he cannot force the spirit to say anything it does not want to.

Perceiving the spirit world while awake is only possible for Adepts and Masters. Adepts must concentrate on doing so, which causes a +10 penalty to all TNs and a -10 penalty to PD/SD regarding actions in the physical world. Each attempt to percieve the spirit world requires beating a TN of 15, and lasts only as long as the character concentrates. By looking at the spirit world, the skjaeren can easily detect active runes, other skjaeren, and spiritually-important objects or sites for Laerdom. He also may converse with any spirits that are nearby. A special exception to the coercion limitation is that an Adept may summon any spirit if he is physically at that spirit's gravesite. The attempt to summon a spirit requires beating a TN of 20. He still cannot force the spirit to speak with him unless he is a Master.

Masters of Laerdom perceive the spirit world at all times, and pay no penalty to actions in the physical world while they are interacting with the spirit world. Masters may use Social Attacks against spirits (adding twice their Andesäga Knack to all Social Attack Rolls) to persuade or coerce them into speaking about certain topics. Masters may also summon spirits automatically if they are at the spirit's gravesite, or by beating a TN of 25 anywhere else.

The power of the spirit world is derived from the memories and traditions of the living. The spirit world is naturally strongest in Vesten lands, where the nature of their religion encourages the veneration which sustains the spirit world. But there are other places outside the Vesten Isles which have their own spirits. Any memorial battlefield is a spiritual site, where Andesäga is concerned. The gravesite of a venerated hero is likewise spiritually empowered. Even Vaticine churches and holy sites have their own spiritual power. The Vesten may be the most adept at husbanding the spiritual powers of their ancestors, but anywhere that humans remember and honor their pasts, Andesäga can draw upon it.

Only certain kinds of things can be learned from looking at the spirit world, or from speaking with spirits. Looking at the spirit world can inform a skjaeren of the nature of historically significant events which took place in a certain location. A strong spirit has full memory of its former life, and may be questioned about it. Weaker spirits, those who do not have support and belief from the living, gradually lose the memories of their life, until ultimately they dissolve. Spirits perceive the world of the living only tangentially, and can only reliably perceive living beings, not objects. Spirits can recognize and identify people whom they knew when alive, and can give descriptions of other people that they observe, although it can be difficult to match an actual face to the description that a spirit provides. Spirits cannot overhear conversations among the living.

Masters of Laerdom can temporarily lend strength to a failing spirit, which is one of the chief bargaining chips that Masters have when persuading spirits to cooperate with them.

Andesäga also enhances a skjaeren's ability to communicate with the various creatures of the afterlife that even normal people can percieve, such as conventional ghosts, Mirror Ghosts, the Unravelled, and Nights. Against such creatures, all skjaeren (not just Masters) get the bonus of (2xAndesäga) to Social Attack Rolls.


A skjaeren may invoke any Rune that he has knowledge of (Learned through the Lärdom Knack). Each Rune may be invoked in two ways, a Physical Invocation and a Spiritual Invocation. Knowing any Rune allows the skjaeren to invoke that Rune in either fashion. When inscribing an item, the item's type (physical or spritual) is set at creation, and may not be changed. The skjaeren's effective Rank in Besvärjelse is reduced under the following conditions, and if the effective Rank is reduced to 0 through these limitations, the Rune may not be effectively invoked.

The skjaeren may only invoke Runes on other targets that are within 30 feet of him.

The duration of a Rune is dependent on which Rune is invoked. Some Runes last an entire Scene. Some last for a number of Rounds based on the skjaeren's effective Besvärjelse Knack. Except for those Runes whose effect is instantaneous, a Rune's minimum duration is 1 Round. A Rune whose duration is measured in Rounds expires in its last Round in the same Phase that it was originally invoked.

Invoking a Rune takes a single Physical Action. Inscribing or Becoming a Rune takes significant time, and may not be done during combat.

An Inscribed Rune may be used by anyone, but may only be used once per day (or only once ever, if the rune was a one-shot inscription). The user must touch the Inscribed object and speak its name. This action requires no roll, and the Action spent to accomplish it may be either a Finesse or a Wits Action.

Adepts and Masters can inscribe Runes on objects. Adepts can inscribe Runes that are good for only one invocation, and may also inscribe Runes which last a year. The Skjaeren may refresh the invocation at any time before the item loses its power. Masters may also inscribe permanent Runes, but may only create permanent Runes of the Rune that they have Become. Inscribing a permanent Rune also costs 3 XP, above and beyond the normal cost to inscribe a Rune.

The number of Inscribed Runes that a skjaeren can maintain is limited. He may maintain up to 2xBesvärjelse in one-shot Runes, and up to 1xBesvärjelse in year-long Runes. There is no limit on the number of Permanent Runes that a Skjaeren may create. A skjaeren may cancel any Rune that he is maintaining, in order to "make room" to inscribe a new one.

Becoming a Rune allows the skjaeren to be continuously affected by both the Physical and Spiritual aspects of that rune at all times, at an Effective Rank of Besvärjelse - 2. This does not count against the number of Runes which is affecting him, or the number of invocations he may make per day. He may still invoke the rune on himself (in either Physical or Spiritual form) actively in order to temporarily increase the effect.

Invoking a Rune takes a single Physical Action. Inscribing or Becoming a Rune takes significant time, and may not be done during combat.

In the following Rune descriptions, "P" is the physical effect, "S" is the spiritual effect, and "B" stands for the skjaeren's effective Besvärjelse Rank. Thus, +5(B-1) means that the Rune grants a bonus equal to 5x(Effective Besvärjelse Rank - 1), so if the skjaeren had Besvärjelse Rank 4, and was invoking the Rune on another target (-1), the bonus would be +10 (5 x (4-1-1)). This may reduce the Effect to 0 or less, in which case the skjaeren may not effectively invoke the Rune under those circumstances. For formulas which divide B by 2, round up. For Runes with variable Duration, the duration is always at least 1 round.

"Instant" either means that the effect is literally instantaneous, or that the effect applies to a single Knack Roll (regardless of how long the performing of that Knack might take). Instant Knacks do not require an Action to invoke.

No character may be under the effect of more than one Rune effect at a time unless they are a skjaeren. Skjaeren may be affected by a number of Rune effects equal to their Mastery+1. The target of a Rune effect which passes his "limit" may choose which effect(s) to keep, and which to lose.

Roleplaying Laerdom

Among the Vesten, Laerdom is considered a gift from their venerated Living Runes and Grumfather himself. Among the Vendel, Laerdom is seen as an expression of the natural forces of the world, and is a tool to use like any other.

They're both right. But the Vesten are a little more right than the Vendel.