I've been thinking about "The Gift" a lot lately.
In particular I was wondering what would happen if a gifted character never sought mystical training (and managed to avoid being shanghai'd by OoH's goons, or killed by a mob or irate peasants, of course).
Would the character pick up a mish-mash of supernatural abilities by Exposure? Or, would the character's talent lie dormant and unused?
How about if the character actively avoided all things magical?
Just wondering what others think.
If you go strictly by the rules, a Gifted character would have with at least one talent, the free minor virtue at creation. So that's one thing that's guaranteed to manifest spontaneously (to the possible despair of the character's parents) or with only minor prodding (i.e. something related to the character's activity).
He could possibly learn another ability as he grows up, if you assume children have time to "practice" things they have inclinations for, so a rural character might pick up something like Wilderness Sense or Animal Ken without any formal training or exposure to the supernatural.
But beyond that, it would be difficult to get anything: you do need to get the whole 5xp in one season to learn a new supernatural ability, and without teaching, the character would neither benefit from decent xp sources, nor from a tradition's favored abilities.
It is also much more likely that the character would keep on developing the first few abilities he'd have learned than optimally seek to first acquire as many abilities as possible before the cumulated ability scores make impossible the learning of another.
This quickly limits the number of abilities the character would get, and so I'd say he'd not really end up with a "mish-mash" of abilities, but a couple at most. How developed they would be strongly depends on the character's interest, behavior and environment.
If he actively avoid all things magical, including his own manifest talents, he'd probably only have his initial virtue, and maybe a score of 1 in another (from just being a kid), if the first one wasn't so blatantly magical.
Other traditions had to develop somehow, so a few here and there clearly pressed the limits of their abilities as Bonisagus did.
I typically assume a Gifted individual with no aid (or discouragement) will develop their minor virtue, obviously, and would probably discover other minor things (herbalism, for example.)
Now, given sufficient isolation from the Order and other dangers, some not insignificant time, and maybe 1-2 (or more) other Gifted (or just such a potent Gift and keen and educated mind they don't need others, ala Bonisagus) I'd imagine they could well create something that could rival the old Cults. In the Far East, there could very well be a tradition to rival the Order, although it'd clearly have to be very different.
Hmmm the thought of Nostradamus springs to mind. Perchance he was Gifted but untrained, thus giving rise to an overly developed Premonition ability and naught else?
Or perhaps Rasputin, with his obvious Greater Immunity.
Hedge wizard. - In Mythical Europe
Depends on the surroundings. If you figure that the Gift allows people to use magic power in some way then you may be able to conclude that their culture will have a definition of magic and what it does. If the gifted person were in a culture that worships ancestors and believes that everything has a spirit and magic helps "talk" to the spirits then that is a direction that the person will initially take.