How does the gift manifest

We are having a discussion on how the gift (Gentle, Regular or Blatant) effects children. If someone is borne with the gift, it seems it would effect social interactions immediately and probably those borne with the blatant gift would be killed shortly after birth. Now here on the forums, I have read about the "gift emerging" but what and where is the canon on that or is it more of a YSMV thing?

The supplement Apprentices will help you here.

In short, children with the Gift tend to spontaneously manifest greater and lesser magical effects - curdling new milk, spontaneously starting fires, flowers blooming out of season, partially changing shape, and various other wonders.

Infants with the Gift are often rejected by people around them, including close family and even their own mothers. Opinions on how strongly or harshly vary, as no doubt do character responses.

The Gift normally manifests in two ways.

  1. The Gifted individual is immediately disliked by anyone they interact with.
  2. The Gifted experience ' Turbulence' (strange spontaneous feats of magic as described by Tim)

In my mind, the two are wholly distinct from each other, but ought manifest about the same time (between birth and puberty)

This dislike/suspicion is reflected by the -3 response in the normal Gift, significant but not overwhelming. I've seen this played as everything from outright hostility and revulsion from the start to completely ignoring the effect.

If the question is more "when does the Gift appear?", it depends on your system. Some manifest it as small children, other prefer the Mage (you know, that other game about wizards that Mr Rein Hagen had a hand in) approach of a magical awakening occurring later on. Apprentices p20 has a paragraph on Gifted babies, and p21 says "sometimes it is evident at birth, other times it is triggered by puberty or an early traumatic event. It can also linger in a child well into adulthood."

Therefore, choose the age of Gift appearing that makes for a good story for the character in question. Yes, some babies will be accused of being changelings or abused like a character out of one of the more horrific fairy stories, but not all.

It is also possible that a mother may be repulsed by her Gifted child, but assume that the problem is with her and care for the child and try and hide her revulsion (what kind of mother dislikes her own child, what sort of wretch am I?) until she becomes acclimated to the child's gift (which according to covenants takes 15 years to completely disappear for a normally Gifted child). Or they may be abandoned and found by someone who is unaffected by the Gift.

Personally, I think a woman with Immune to the Gift could make a career for herself traveling the Order acting as nursemaid to the Gifted infants born to magi and covenfolk.