Virtues, Faults, and Fates
(This text is reprinted without permission from the Everway Playing Guide for the benefit of my players.)
Your hero's Virtue represents some way in which he or she is particularly gifted. A card from the Fortune Deck represents you hero's Virtue.
Choosing a Virtue
Look through the fortune cards or through the list of cards in the Guide to the Fortune Deck, and select a card that represents your hero's Virtue.
Your hero's Virtue may be related to the Virtue of the realm from which he or she comes (as may the hero's Fault and Fate). For example, an intelligent, well-educated hero from a realm where learning is highly valued may have The Eagle (the mind prevails) as his Virtue, the same as the realm from which he comes.
Write the card's title (and its meaning, if you wish) in the space labeled "Virtue" on your hero sheet.
What is a Virtue?
A Virtue can mean many things, depending on what fits your hero.
A Personal Trait. You could choose The Priestess (understanding mysteries) as your Virtue to mean that your hero is in touch with unspoken mysteries. In this case, your hero's Virtue represents a special trait. (You would also want to give your hero a high Water score to fit this trait; see pp. 94-95.)
A Magical Gift. You could choose The Eagle (the mind prevails) as your Virtue to mean that your hero is gifted with forethought. Instead of being simply a personal trait, this Virtue could be a connection to the spirit world or a gift from a deity. For instance, if your hero's totem is an eagle, he or she may be gifted with intelligent insights because of this spiritual connection. (You may also want to give the hero a strong Air score to fit this gift; see pp 92-93.)
An Aspect of Fortune. You could choose The Creator (nurture vs. abandonment) as your Virtue to mean that your hero is fated to find good luck concerning nurture. A hero can have a Virtue that affects his or her life even if the hero has no personal traits or spiritual ties that connect to that Virtue.
Your hero's Fault is a way in which he or she is particularly weak or vulnerable. A card from the Fortune Deck represents your hero's Fault.
Choosing a Fault
Look through the fortune cards or through the list of fortune card meanings in the Guide to the Fortune Deck, and select a card to represent your hero's Fault. Write the card's title (and its meaning, if you wish) in the space labeled "Fault" on your hero sheet.
What is a Fault?
A Fault can represent many things, including the following concepts:
A Personal Trait. You could choose The Lion -- reversed (weakness) as the Fault, meaning that your hero is physically weak and vulnerable. Note that some physically weak people can compensate for this weakness well, but choosing it as your Fault specifically means that your weakness makes you vulnerable and can sometimes lead to your downfall. (You should select a low Fire score, a low Earth score, or both, to fit with this Fault; see pp. 88-91.)
A Magical Curse. You could choose The Dragon -- reversed (blind fury) as the Fault and define it as a curse put on your hero. Perhaps it's a curse that causes him or her to fly into a rage, a curse put on the hero by someone he or she harmed in anger. A strong Fire score would match this image, though someone with a weak Fire score and placid spirit could also be cursed with unusual bouts of wrath.
An Aspect of Fortune. You could choose The Cockatrice (corruption) as the Fault, defining corruption as the weakness that the hero is destined to face. The Cockatrice could have nothing to do with the hero's traits or spiritual connections; it could simply be part of his or her destiny.
The Fate is your hero's current challenge, where the hero is in her life's story. A card from the Fortune Deck represents your hero's Fate. The Fate is temporary; it is a stage. When your hero has completed that stage, fulfilled that potential, or faced that destiny, he or she will move on to a new Fate.
The Fate card is neither upright nor reversed. One might say that it is "sideways," to show that no one knows which way the hero's Fate will turn out. Your hero's actions will determine which of the possible outcomes indicated by the card's meanings finally comes to pass.
To represent your hero's Fate, select one card of your choice from the Fortune Deck. Choose a card that relates to something at once important and uncertain about your hero. For example, you could choose War (great effort vs. effort misspent) as your hero's Fate, indicating that the hero must face the conflict between a great effort and that effort going awry. Perhaps the hero is on a mighty undertaking that may be all for naught. Perhaps the hero is very powerful but not very wise, so that being misled is a constant danger. Maybe you don't even know for sure why this Fate fits, but you sense that it does. With time, you'll learn what your hero's Fate means.
Record your hero's Fate (and its upright and reversed meanings, if you wish) in the space labeled "Fate" on your hero sheet.
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