Hedge Wizard initiation idea


My SG has been giving our troupe homework again, to help flesh out our shared view of Mythic Europe.
I have been assigned the tasks of providing a hedge wizard idea. Could people review it, as I haven't done this before.

I was originally thinking of some sort of snake handler, but I am uncertain if Purifying Touch or Immunity to snakebite would be considered a minor of major virtue. Then I got what seems to be a better idea.

I am taking the Icelandic legend of 4 Landvaettir, and saying the wizard was still under the service of Harald Bluetooth's son, King Sweyn Forkbeard when he invaded England. The wizard settled down in England, and had descendants and apprentices.

I am thinking that for un-Gifted apprentices, there is an initiation script for Shapeshifting, where the first shape is always a spekkhoggar, Norwegian for Killer Whale/Orca/Grampus. If I understand initiation scripts, this is an ordeal type.
The ordeal would be before dawn, strip naked and be covered charms written in runes from a secret grease recipe that includes whale blubber. Before the sun rises swim out to sea, and mingle and frolic with a pod of killer whales for at least an hour, before emerging from the sea under your own power after the sun sets. Assuming you didn't freeze, drown, or get eaten (presumably the charms written in the grease may give a bonus against this happening), you now have the shapeshifting virtue, with a score of 1 and the spekkhoggar shape.
Naturally you need spekkhoggar-shape Lore to know how to create the special grease, and what the charms are to written in runes in the grease.
My idea is that the troupe finds the initiation script written down somewhere, with vague hints as to where to find someone with spekkhoggar-shape Lore.

Is my initiation script inappropriate according to the rules? If so, in what way?

Thanks in advance.

Swimming with the Orcas, as you describe it, to obtain an Initiation is a Quest, not an Ordeal in the sense of TMRE p.12 Quests, Ordeals and Sacrifices.


I may be getting confused between Ordeal and Quest.

I had assumed it was an ordeal, in that it involved swimming in the cold ocean from sunrise to sunset, and frolicing with an orca pod, without rubbing off the the grease charms that prevented the orcas from eating you. I imagined that would be exhausting, which is why I thought it might be an Ordeal.

But it could also be a quest, not only to find a convenient orca pod, but also to immerse yourself in the orca-ness and take spiritual, um, sustenance/knowledge from the encounter.
I confess terminology is failing me here.

Ordeals leave you with a permanent Flaw. Quests don't.

Somehow I got that the wrong way around, and conflated it with other stuff.

Thanks for reviewing this before I presented it to my SG.