Mythos and History
Gustbran was the son of Veskarthan the deep fire. He was born deep under the earth, where he was taught by his father's servants, the Dwarves. They showed him how he could use his fire to make new things from the bones of gods.
As his talent flourished, words of his deeds reached the ear of the Evil Emperor, who summoned him to his court. Upon showing his talent at making new things, the Emperor and his slaves were aghast and cast him out, for the Emperor had declared that making new things was the same as rebellion.
During his exile, he continued to make new things, and took many students, who he taught his secrets. His students and family grew until they could build their own tula, and form the Making Clan.
When Orlanth sought clans to join his new tribe, the Making Clan joined, so that Orlanth would have strong weapons and armour, although they often quarrelled with the Bad Wind and Rumbling Cliff clans, for they had opposed his father in the past.
When the Darkness came, and Orlanth embarked on the Light Bringer quest, Gustbran stayed behind to aid the Storm Tribe. He was often captured by other jealous gods who sought to steal his powers over metal, although the Thunder Brothers rescued him each time.
Nature of the Cult
Gustbran is the Boneman, the smith of the gods, and his worshippers follow in his footsteps. His worshippers are all redsmiths and smithing is as much an act of worship as it is a mundane role. As such all his worshippers are Priests, known simply as Smiths, and are accorded a high place in their clans, equal to any carl.
Few clans have more than one Smith at a time, although each Smith will have several apprentices learning the craft from him in the hopes of one day succeeding him. They perform minor acts of crafting, and when following an itinerant Smith, act as tinkers.
Gustbran is commonly depicted as a strong and ruddy Orlanthi male, his skin baked as red as the metal he works. In his hands he carries smithing tools or a brazen godbone.
Cult Organization and Holy Places
As so few Smiths live near one another, there is little communication or organization between them. Most will only know of other smiths by reputation, or through meeting at a tribal moot.
Each Smith's forge is a shrine to Gustbran, and the mighty smithies of Sartar's towns act as temples, where the greatest of Smiths practice their craft.
Gustbran's high holy place is Smithstone, which was the Making Clan's tula back in the storm age. Here many Smiths meet to exchange secrets, and many mighty treasures can be bought and bartered.
Holy Days and Sacrifices
Gustbran's cult has infrequent holy days, for Gusbran prefers his worshippers to spend their time smithing, rather than offering him homage. The few holy days they do celebrate are Forge Day, which celebrates the birth of Gustbran and is celebrated on Clay Day of Fire Season's Harmony Week; the other is Bonfire Day, held on Fire Day of Harmony Week in the Earth Season. Bonfire Day holds rites reenacting Gustbran's exile from the Fire Tribe, and his acceptance into Orlanth's Storm Tribe. At Dawn, all Smiths are thrown out of the clan's tula until nightfall, where they are welcomed once again as kin.
Gustbran cares not for gifts and treasures. While he occasionally looks favourably on a masterpiece sacrificed in a Smith's forge, his worshippers instead gift their best works to the tribe to arm champions.
Anyone wishing to become an Initiate of Gustbran must first become an Apprentice to an existing Initiate, where they spend their time learning the methods of heating and shaping bronze.
An apprentice must be a crafter, and are soon taught the common magic spell of Aid My Master.
As apprentices are unsuited for play, heroes may overcome a major plot obstacle to compress many years of training into a short period of time, and quickly become an Initiate as described below.
- After having spent a long and arduous period of time as an apprentice to an existing Initiate, during which time they must have raised an applicable ability to 1W or more, a hero can become an Initiate of Gustbran.
- Initiates may spend two hero points to be instructed in the secrets of the Scroll of Bone. This acts as a grimoire and is a breakout ability from their Crafter keyword.
- An initiate who takes a relationship to the Scroll of Bone may choose up to five spells from the grimoire as breakout abilities. These do not have to be decided all at once, and may be determined later.
The Scroll of Bone
The grimoire of Gustbran is his anvil, named the Scroll of Bone because it is made of the bones of the gods, and the scrapes and marks left by the Smith's tools resemble the Dog Scratching script of the Knowing God.
Although these marks are not magical, and do not spell out anything, they help the Smith memorize the correct way to work his magic by rote. The teachings of this grimoire contain many helpful spells, although only a handful are common to all smiths.
- Beat Metal Tirelessly: This spell combines the Movement and Man Runes, granting the smith new reserves of stamina, allowing him to carry on forging metal, regardless of fatigue or injury.
- Contain Fire in Forge: This spell commands the Fire Rune, allowing the smith to force the flames of his forge to remain there, regardless of their intensity, protecting the smith and others from their fury.
- Intensify Fire: This spell summons the Fire Rune to manifest within an existing fire, granting it new life, and a greater intensity.
- Keep Fire Burning: This spell combines the Fire Rune with the Stasis Rune, making the forges' flames last through the night, without needing to be renewed or refuelled.
- Purify Bronze: This spell separates the Movement Rune from either the Earth or Air Runes, to turn a bronze alloy into a small amount of either pure copper, or pure tin.
- Repair Metal Item: This spell separates the Movement and Disorder Runes within a metal object, bending it back into shape, rejoining any breaks, and rendering it as good as new.
- Resist Heat: This spell separates the Fire Rune and the Man Rune, making the smith resist even the greatest extremes of heat and flame.
- See into Bronze: This spell combines the Movement Rune with the Truth Rune, allowing the smith to transfer his sight into a piece of bronze, allowing him to see its strengths, flaws, and other impurities.
- Strengthen Metal: This spell combines the Fire and Earth Runes within a piece of metal, granting it great strength and resilience.
- An Initiate of Gustbran who reaches 11W in their relationship to the Scroll of Bone may become a Devotee of Gustbran. They must overcome at least one significant plot obstacle to achieve this rank.
- As a Devotee, the Smith never fails in their attempt to reach Gustbran's Forge on the Other Side; at most, these attempts are treated as Costly Successes.
- They may also discover new spells within the Scroll of Bone. By travelling to Gustbran's Forge and overcoming at least one dangerous obstacle, they may learn a new secret of Forging from Gustbran himself. They must test their rating in the Scroll of Bone against a Very High resistance. If successful, they memorize the forging technique and are now able to practice it, and teach it to others.