Fate of Damhan-Allaidh

I'm looking through the Lion of the North, doing some prep work for my saga, and I see that (at least, in 3e history) Damhan-Allaidh's body disappeared after the Battle of the Great Light (now, apparently, renamed "Battle of the False Sun," according to HoH:S, p. 101). And, according to Brude, Highland magicians have the secret of the Horcrux (for lack of a better word).

I would be surprised if this is still canon, especially considering the insert on Rumors and Stories (ibid., p. 102) mentions that Damhan-Allaidh might have feigned his death and has been seen in the ninth and tenth century, but not since the Schism War.

So. My questions are:

1.Am I correct in interpreting the canon as being "Damhan-Allaidh is dead. Probably. We think...yeah, he's gotta be dead."?

2.Has anyone used a living Damhan-Allaidh in their saga? If so, how? And how did it work out?

3.I get the feeling that 3e let you do things that aren't possible in 5e (looking at Caitlin Suil Uaine's character sheet, for example, I have no idea how to pull off the faerie aging 10:1 thing she has). But, assuming that Brude is correct, how would one do a Horcrux with 5e rules (and, keep in mind that I don't have all the books). LotN describes it as an "ability to remove their soul and place it in an object. While the soul remains undisturbed, the wizard may not die. Even the most gruesome wounds heal, though the wizard's ability to feel finer human emotions deteriorates in proportion to the special healing." I doubt that it's something as simple as a malediction of Death Prophecy.

How you choose to handle Damhan's "Horcrux" as you call it really depends on whether you interpret the Spider as a powerful Gruagach (or similar Celtic hedge-wizard) or an infernalist as both RoP: TI and HMRE describe appropriate effects.

Ultimately though both versions are pretty similar, with the character suffering Warping in lieu of injuries greater than Incapacitating...

The 5th ed gruagach rules from Hedge Magic Revised include the External Soul virtue, which gives you Unaging and makes it impossible for you to due by physical injury. It doesn't protect you from death by aging, however.

Of course, the Spider was more than just a gruagach. He may have found a way to protect himself from even death by aging, or he may be hiding in a regio, or... well, there are any number of ways a returned Damhan-Allaidh is possible.

Almost word by word how we interpreted it last time he was mentioned.

I kinda used him in a 3rd ed saga some years back, but he was still pulling strings when the saga died. The PCs never met him, or even caught whiff of him

It was a different edition, and somewhat looser in rules in many ways. I ust admit in the version of mythic scotland I'm working on, Caitlin is dead by now.

As LuciusT has already mentioned, the relevant trick is in Hedge Magic Revised - though it's mostly a re-print from Lion of the North p. 102 as I recall.
Also please note that gruagachan no longer have magic resistance though you might want to change that.
Basically though, it's the classical fairy tale trick with the wizard who hides his heart inside a duck in a pond in a fortress on and island in a lake etc...

Yup. we have used it twice. We played a short campaign where we played the actual war against him taking the place of Pralix and his companions, and then he reappeared in one of our 4th edition campaigns. He is our favorite bad guy by far :slight_smile: In the last campaign he was supposed to appear as well eventually, but we branched off in other directions and removed that story arc from the saga since it was not important at the time. In the first case he was a pain in the ass. A match for the characters (they were quite noob characters AND players at the time) but eventually we joined forces with the locals and managed to kick him. he fled from us as he fled from Pralix in the official saga. In the second case he was just recovering his power and starting to gather allies. he played though agents and we never met him head on (well, they did in one session, but they did not realize it :smiling_imp: ). he was a paint acting through Rego mentem effects and the like, a real puppet master. He did end up beating the characters at the game, and our covenant was destroyed. We have had 2 covenants destroyed so far. This one was the case were we felt defeated, even if we found that the ending was cool and fitting since we had blundered a few of the major stories in the saga. We decided that our covenant was just the second casualty of the war, and its destruction marked an escalation that ended with the OoH being expelled from Scotland in practical terms. Davnalleus and his followers formed a different kind of environment, where magicians are much more integrated with society and rule it with a loose hand, allowing the nobility and king to act as middle men for the true rulers. In a sense, what some magi want for the OoH. The environment was dark, though, and there was a situation of quiet hostility between the OoH and th scottish magicians. And we left it there. :slight_smile:
(The other case where we had a covenant destroyed was much sillier, when we opened a gate to hell in the middle of our covenant by multi-botching using infernal vis, and we had a grand time in a crazy final pitched battle, but that is another story).

As you have been told already, the gruagachan of 5th edition (and previous editions as well) have the external soul virtue. (Remember that your characters do NOT know this). This is basically the Horrocrux used in Harry Potter, yeah. Davnalleus (for us this is still his proper name :wink:) is a gruagachan from TMRE with ROP:I powers. We made him have a personal ability to transfer Warping to other beings (but not remove his V&F gained by warping, though), so he is effectively immortal since he will not warp to oblivion nor will he die of old age. He needs to perform quite a gruesome ritual to do that, though,l so he still accumulates warping as usual in the meantime, and gains flaws from it. So he is quite ugly right now. :slight_smile: He tends to play through agents that he controls via their dreams. Makes for a much scarier opponent than someone you can simply browbeat in a fight.

The general infernal powers that he would have used the most IMS would have been Incantation Consumption and (specially) Incantation Psychomachia for the far-ranging mental tricks. However, he would have known all the infernal powers that do not duplicate his gruagach abilities. And obviously Chtonic Magic and common use of sacrifices and profaning the sacred to boost totals.

EDIT:I think that the book you lack is TMRE here. The gruagachan can transform themselves and others into animals really easily, grant virtues and flaws to others (of r themselves they need to create minor magic items) and have minimal Imaginem and Intellego abilities to camouflage themselves and gain visions and premonitions. One of their really cool options is to adopt giant shape (+5 size dude). They do not have MR, though. They have similar rules for poetic justice, geas and the like that they used in the 3rd edition LOTN.


While I have no clue what a "Horcrux" is, you seem to be referring to the Gruagach External Soul Virtue. It's back in 5th edition (specifically, in HMRE), and its effects are almost identical to those of the 3rd edition Virtue.

BUT! There's a problem: Gruagach devolve into bestial troll-like beings when their warping score reaches 10, meaning that a Gruagach older than two or three centuries is no longer a sentient being. So a character like Brude Deathless is not possible (at least as a vanilla Gruagach) in 5th edition.

BUT! An infernalist can create an effect virtually identical to External Soul (RoP:I, p.106) with the two supernatural abilities Incantation and Consumption, allowing you to bypass the "Automatic Final Twilight" problem of Gruagach. Combine this with the fact that the ex Miscellanea Damhadh Duidsan (HoH:S, p.108), from the same tradition as Damhan Allaidh, have Incantation as one of their non-Hermetic Virtues...

My old Brunnaburgh saga had nasty 'ol DA as the big bad.

The background we used was thus, DA had enchanted himsefl/his armour so that while his armour survived, he could not die. He then enchanted his armour to be indestructible except to the person wearing it. Essentially he could not be killed while his armour survived and his armour could only be destroyed by the person wearing it.

Pralix however was a crafty rascal and managed to destroy DA's body. DA was thus not killed but left in a kind of weird incorporeal state, hugely weakened and unable to communicate or affect the physical world.

Centuries pass, DAs armour is divided amongst his remaining generals who scatter/die/set themselves to sleep until his return etc etc.

DA discovers that despite his weakness, he is able to possess meditating magic users as long as they have no MR. i.e. apprentices. He possesses one and promptly kills him, using his old blood magic to steal the life force of the apprentice and grow in power.

Careful to keep himself hidden, DA travels europe, offing dreaming or meditating apprentices and stealing their life to gain power. N.B. IMS the reason DA was such a badass originally was that he worked out how to get vis from human sacrifice. One pawn of corpus or vim vis per life taken. This meant he had huge vis reserves to conduct really powerful rituals against his enemies.

So, DA regains more power, wakes his sleeping lieutenants, gathers his allies and starts corrupting hermetic magi. A renegade magus who was parens to one of our PCs breaks into Brunnaburghs scandalously weakly protected vis stores and steals nearly 3 queens of vis. He runs off a presents it to DA as a gift. DA regains bodily form and starts hunting for his armour.

In the meantime, Our PCs have been noticing DAs hidden hand in all kinds of things, eventually leading to the destruction of a pair of Scottish covenants. They move against him and after a hugely long series of events it all ends up in a huge battle during which DA is again, bodily slain casting him into physical form. One of the PCs (brave hoplite Santiago), promptly dons his armour and stabs himself in the eye (through the helmet slot) with his dagger, killing himself, destroying the armour and finally destroying DAs soul forever.

It was epic.