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Manitou


Manitou is a term used by the natives in Everique for the spirit beings that inhabit the natural world around them. To the natives, all natural objects in Everique have their own manitou -- every plant, every tree, every rock, and even bodies of water. Manitous range greatly in power from tiny spirits of pebbles that barely have consciousness to giants that command seasons. The age, size, location, and uniqueness of the natural object to which the manitou is linked all affect the power of the spirit.

Manitous are made of pure aether but are also infused with the essence of three of the base elements of alchemy. Every manitou seems to be lacking one the base elements, causing them to be philosophically unbalanced. Living creatures, in comparison, possess all four elements. The elements infusing and lacking in a manitou are based on its linked object. So a manitou of a stone would be infused with earth, fire, and water while lacking air. The spirit of a river would be infused with water, air, and earth while lacking fire.

Strong manitou are able to manifest as wisps - transparent spirits that are very limited in their ability to affect the world around them as they have no solid structure. The most powerful manitou can take their manifestation a step further, crafting solid bodies that allow them to interact with the mundane world. Maintaining these bodies is difficult and requires more energy the further the manitou moves away from its linked natural object.

Weak manitou are relatively common in Everique. Stronger spirits that can manifest wisps are fairly uncommon, while manitou that can manifest corporeal bodies are extremely rare. Manitous are not found in Japethe.


Chugan

First appearance: Feathers and Frost, Page 2
Chugan, the First Crow, is a powerful manitou and a trickster spirit. He is notoriously greedy and he lines his nest with all manner of precious items. As he is the spirit of air, his lack of any earth element causes him to seek out metallic items that sparkle and gleam in the light. Chugan nests at the top of one of the tallest trees in Everique. Where this tree is and even what type of tree it is changes from tale to tale. Since it is filled with many wondrous treasures, many explorers have sought Chugan's nest. Their quest seems to be in vain as no mortal has found the nest, much less made off with any part of the First Crow's collection.


Crown-of-Bone

First appearance: A Berry from the Sun, Page 2
Crown-of-Bone is a manitou that manifests as a large stag with a mighty rack of antlers. He is a messenger spirit, capable of traveling vast distances in the blink of an eye. As a spirit, Crown-of-Bone can see souls that have lost their way after death. He would catch them in his antlers and carry them the top of hills. There, he would toss the souls into the night sky so that they could find their way to the next stage of existence. Crown-of-Bone was consumed in the confrontation with Talons-that-Seek and has not manifested since.


Eyes-like-Night

First appearance: A Berry from the Sun, Page 2
Eyes-like-Night is a manitou that manifests as a snowy-white ermine with large, liquid eyes. He is a spirit of water and a child of Father Winter even though he does not take humanoid form. Eyes-like-Night is an observant spirit, able to notice the most insignificant detail and make intuitive leaps of logic. He had a strong affinity with a spirit dancer of the Elakanois nation. Since the spirit dancer's passing, Eyes-like-Night has withdrawn into his cave in the spirit lands to spend his days in a dreamy reverie of yesteryear.


Malsum

Malsum is a sinister manitou that haunts the vast coniferous wilderness north of the Lakelands. Legends of many of the tribes in Everique say that Malsum was once a human of great power back during the Mythic Age. He quarreled with his brother, the great chief Kooskap, who slew Malsum in self-defense. Malsum's malignancy lives on in the deepest and darkest parts of the forest, where he takes the form of a great spirit-wolf and continues to torment humans and animals. He fears the light of day, and a handful of bird down will keep him at bay. Not all wolves are his creatures, but many fall under his spell of anger, pride, and savagery.


Nugget-Sleeping-Soundly

Nugget-Sleeping-Soundly is a manitou that manifests as a large hare. His fur changes color with the seasons, being brown in the summer and then lightening to all white in the winter. His ears are longer than those of most rabbits, and folklore holds that he can hear anything that is said in a snowy forest. Nugget-Sleeping-Soundly is a sedentary manitou, prone to spending days, if not weeks, hunkered in a single position. He is not particularly clever and is often the target of tricks by other manitou. His own tricks typically backfire on him, causing much of his foul, grumpy mood.


Paws-Tread-Lightly

First appearance: Chapter 3, Page 13
Paws-Tread-Lightly is a manitou that manifests as an arctic fox with pure white fur. His tail gives away his spirit nature as it fades away into mist behind him. He is considered a benign manitou and commonly takes the role of a spirit guide for mortals that he deems worthy. He does not share the criteria he uses for determining who is worthy, but he does have rules that guide his actions. As a spirit of the earth, Paws-Tread-Lightly lacks a strong connection to the element of air. No one is quite sure of Paws-Tread-Lightly's strength as he deliberately keeps it hidden, preferring to hide his power and appear as an almost normal fox.


Plays-in-Waves

First appearance: A Berry from the Sun, Page 2

Plays-in-Waves is a manitou that manifests as a harbor seal with exceptionally long whiskers and enormous eyes. As a water spirit, she prefers the comfort of the cold oceans of the north. She is playful and enjoys games, which can entertain her for days on end. She had a strong affinity to the last spirit dancer of the Maniquois nation. Since her passing, Plays-in-Waves has withdrawn from the mortal world, content to make up grand stories that only she herself understands as she frolics in the waves off the shoreline.


Sings-to-Moon

First appearance: A Berry from the Sun, Page 2

Sings-to-Moon is a manitou that manifests as a silver wolf. She is an earth spirit and renowned for her courage and loyalty. She is also a hunter and her favor brings success at hunting. Legends say that she never abandons a hunt once it begins. The wolf manitou had a strong affinity with a spirit dancer from the Liranequois. After the spirit dancer passed away, Sings-to-Moon vanished from all record and has not been seen since.


Wakes-with-a-Roar

First appearance: A Berry from the Sun, Page 2

Wakes-with-a-Roar is manitou that manifests as a great brown bear with very shaggy fur. She is an earth spirit and a mother who protects the young and growing. She is often called upon to punish the disrespectful. Her seemingly placid nature can explode into action at a moment's notice. She once had a strong affinity with a spirit dancer of the Alinouek nation. Wakes-with-a-Roar was consumed in the confrontation with Talons-that-Seek and has not manifested since.


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