Hermit

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IX. Hermit

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The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.

Overview

The Hermit Arcana is the #9 Major Arcana, and is a card of wisdom. It usually depicts an old man with a long grey or white beard, wearing a simple robe; in one hand he holds a traveling staff, and in the other he holds a bright lantern. The world around them is cold, barren and rough; the old sage is alone, but he continues to hold his lantern high.

The Hermit is often associated with wisdom, knowledge, self-awareness, guidance, philosophy, education, introspection and experience. Like Justice, the Hermit prefers to serve. Also like Justice, the Hermit possesses a great sense of perception; however unlike Justice that perception is introspective, an awareness of the inner, both of themselves and of others. Thus in these two traits, the Hermit is realised as one who enables others, seeing within them and kindling the light of their great potential. Mythopoetically, the Hermit represents someone retreating within themselves, coming face to face with the reality of the internal. It can also represent someone who is nearing the end of their path, and is now turning to help light the way for those behind: seeing this light, the Magician creates a fire of their own, not realising that one day the fire they make will be in its own lantern.

Although it is an Arcana tied to introspection (and as the name implies, solitude to an extent), the Hermit's relationship to other individuals is one of its defining traits. Hermits are people of wisdom, and it's something they're sought out for; in literature, Hermits are seen through the eyes of the people around them, usually the heroes who need their help. Hermits help; they use their stores of experience and their unique outlooks on life to provide missing context. Hermits are knowledgeable in a particularly insightful way, toward the inner world of themselves and others. They 'see the soul', as it were, seeing the hidden strengths and powers of those around them, as well as something of their character- both the bad and the good. But it's not enough for them to simply see; the Hermit uses their abilities to bring that potential out when and where it is most necessary. The Hermit, then, does what needs to be done both for the situation but for the individual they're dealing with. Similarly the Hermit knows they don't have the ability to order or manage others; all they can do is guide them, foster their strengths, nurse their virtues, and hope for the best.

What, then, of the Hermit themselves? The Hermit has their own challenges; they are existing in a state of introspection, giving them profound wisdom, but also confrontation. Confrontation with the self, the undesirable and unfulfilled is the lot of all human beings, but the Hermit is experiencing it most keenly. Indeed, one could argue that part of the Hermit's strong relationship with guiding others is because they're looking how to shape themselves; perhaps they are looking for their own identity in the faces of others. Furthermore, one cannot stay introspective forever. Indeed, the Hermit's path could be summarised as thus: they have spent much of their lives so far gaining these experiences that inform them as individuals, and now it is time for them to learn how to put those experiences to use. In doing so too, the Hermit must undo some of the natural separation they experience: the separation of themselves from others. The Hermit's path has led them into their own internal world, but for the Hermit to flourish it must also lead them out.

Considering the tension at the heart of Hermit, a reversed Hermit can mean many things. It can mean a Hermit so lost in introspection that they completely cut themselves away from others and the outside world. Alternatively it could be someone who absolutely, point-blank refuses to be aware of themselves; they don't want to look inwards for some reason. Reversed Hermit itself can then mean trauma and pain, a reason to turn away from either the world or one's own heart. It can also mean a sort of selfishness or abuse of power over those who seek Hermit's aid.

Examples of Inner Conflicts might be Hermit feeling lost within themselves, disconnected from reality; alternatively, shying from exposure to their inner worlds to an absurd degree. Another example is a Hermit torn between knowing their strengths lie in helping others, but desperately wanting some glory for themselves.

A note on Hermit: despite the fact that this Arcana places great emphasis on introspection, insight, wisdom and experience, it does not necessarily have to mean a wealth of rich, deep experiences. Hermit at its simplest can be interpreted as gaining enlightenment through enlightening others. A character who has a knack for helping or bringing out the strengths of others, even if they're young or inexperienced, can be a Hermit too. Remember: potential is in every Arcana.

Mechanically, Hermit excels in light, mobile-based attack and support, followed by hexes. They have a smattering of both offensive magic and physicals.

Hermit's Aptitudes are great for skills. Finesse, Knowledge and Fieldcraft are extremely useful Aptitudes for skills, and Finesse can be taken to add extra combat ability for agility-based characters.

Arcana Qualities

Characteristic Bonus Aptitudes Magic Characteristic
+5 Intelligence, +5 Willpower Finesse, Knowledge, Fieldcraft Intelligence

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Arcana Exemplary

Exemplary Base Effect Rank 4 Improvement Rank 7 Improvement Rank 10 Improvement
Master's Lessons Whenever you assist an ally, you add an extra +10 bonus (for a usual total of +20). Furthermore, you can now assist allies within 5m. Insightful Meeting: You unlock the Insightful Meeting Personal Time Action. It is a group action, and may be used once per week. All Confidants who attended gain +1 Realisation; for the rest of the week, whenever an attendant Confidant gains Realisation, they gain one extra. You may now assist allies within 30m, and may assist them with Attack or Concentration actions. Whenever you use the assist action, you can assist two allies at once. Insightful Meeting now also means that attendant Confidants lose 1 less Realisation whenever they lose it (including from spending it). Furthermore, for the duration of the Meeting's effects, you may assist any attendant Confidants at any range, so long as you are conscious (you do not need to be aware of what they are doing).

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Arcana List

Grade One: Diogenes

An ancient Greek philosopher who disdained physical possessions and challenged the affectations of society. He would walk around with a lit lantern in broad daylight, claiming to be searching for an honest man in a sea of scoundrels.
Details
Grade: 1 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Two: Väinämöinen

A mythical hero of Finnish lore. An old and wise man, he is the eternal bard who uses his magical voice to sing order into being in the chaotic lands. He condemns a strange newborn baby to death, to which the baby condemns him for his meddling and mistakes, after which Väinämöinen sings a boat into being and sails away from the mortal world.
Details
Grade: 2 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Three: Duke of Zhou

A nigh-legendary culture hero of ancient China. He became regent of Zhou and ruled without challenge, inventing many things and creating a stable government. He could've made himself king, but humbly stepped aside immediately when the true king came of age. He is the god of dreams, and whispers warnings in a person's sleep.
Details
Grade: 3 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Four: Chiron

The wisest of the centaurs. One of the great teachers of myth, he taught Achilles, Heracles, Jason, Aeneas, Asclepius, Theseus, Ajax and Perseus. He is killed by a poison arrow, and in doing so voluntarily takes on the suffering inflicted on Prometheus, allowing him to go free.
Details
Grade: 4 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Five: Radegast

The Slavic God of hospitality and sound wisdom. He cares little for the affairs of other gods, and is ignorant of the affections of the beautiful moon goddess Hors.
Details
Grade: 5 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Six: Mastema

An Angel that prosecutes evil and tests the faithful. With God's permission, he lays tests and trials for the faithful, and understands that tribulation, in its own way, is a way of knowing more about God.
Details
Grade: 6 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Seven: Iktomi

The Lakota Spider God of trickster wisdom. He has convoluted schemes and plans that often fail, but those very failures are used to teach wisdom. In reality, Iktomi plays the part of the fool so others can reflect on their failures without feeling inferior.
Details
Grade: 7 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Eight: Sinaa

The Jaguar-God and ancestor to the Jurana people of Brazil. He is very old, but can take a bath to wash off his old skin and renew his body. He avoids meeting his descendants in person, instead speaking to them and teaching them through dreams.
Details
Grade: 8 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Nine: Vohu Manah

One of the six Amesha Spenta, the great divine sparks of Zoroastrianism. He kindles the fire of the mind, filling people with good thoughts, good purposes and the willingness to do good deeds.
Details
Grade: 9 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Ten: Shakyamuni

The Enlightened One who, through meditation, came to understand the universe. He was a prince, whose father raised him in isolation so he would not see pain, but he experienced suffering and ran away. He is also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.
Details
Grade: 10 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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