One of White Wolf’s recent ventures is a game called Scion. It utilizes the familiar d10 based Storytelling System rules that has become the foundation of White Wolf games like the World of Darkness and Exalted. But what does Scion bring to the game table any of the other White Wolf games, or any game for that matter, doesn’t already?
Two words: Epic Mythology. Scion allows players to take the on role of the modern day children of the gods as they struggle against their mortal enemies, Titanspawn. While the game could be played in any timeline, it is intended to be set in the modern world; a modern world without the bleak outlook of the World of Darkness… a more heroic world.
Scion is built on a three tier system, with a book for each tier that provides character options targeted at the character’s stage of development. A Scion ascends to full godhood starting with the Hero tier, progressing through the Demigod tier, and arriving at the God tier.
The original three core books: Hero, Demigod, and God included six pantheons: the Pesedjet of Ancient Egypt, the Dodekatheon of Greece & Rome, the Scandinavian Aesir, the Aztec Atzlanti, the Amatsukami from the land of the rising sun, and the African-Caribbean Loa. The new Scion Companion introduces a new pantheon, the Tuatha Dé Danann of Irish-Celtic mythology.
Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this delve into the Scion Companion I should clarify something. One, mythology (or cultural) purists may find the perspective on Celtic mythology in the book a little annoying. There is a prevalence to equate Celtic mythology to Irish mythology, which isn’t necessarily one and the same. But regardless, the Scion Companion does really good job presenting this rich mythology within the context of a game.
The Tuatha Dé Danann (pronounced too-ha day dah-nan) are the last non-human occupiers of what would become known as Ireland. Their name means People of the Goddess Danu. Having originated in four mythical cities called Falias, Gorias, Finias and Murias, where they also learned their magic and skills from the druids there.
When they came to Ireland, they found the land in the control of the Fir Bolgs. They defeated the Fir Bolgs, who had allied themselves with the Fomorians, in the First Battle of Magh Tuiredh. The Fomorians are huge, deformed, and vicious with a taste for human flesh. However, the victory was not without cost, for the king of the Tuatha, Nuada, lost his right hand in battle. This forced the Tuatha to choose a new king, for their tradition prevented anyone of imperfect body to be king.
They chose Bres to be their new king, which proved unfortunate for the Tuatha. Bres was cruel and forced the rest of the Tuatha into slave labor for the Formorians. So the Tuatha turned to magic and replaced Nuada’s hand with a silver one and forced Bres to step down and named Nuada king once again. But Bres fled to his father, the king of the Fomorians, who sent aid and met the Tuatha in the Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh.
However, the Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh was the first time the Tuatha’s Scions fought beside them and they levied the worse defeat the Fomorians had ever been dealt. The Morrigan, Lugh, and Nuada slaughters wave after wave of the titanspawn. The surviving Fomorians went into hiding and have been regaining their strength ever since.
Soon a group of mighty warriors came to Ireland, the Milesians. Their force was so strong that the Tuatha ceded Ireland to these men who are the descendents of modern day Irish. The Tuatha retreated to Tir na nÓg, the Land of Eternal Youth, where they guided the people of Ireland.
Aengus is known for his beauty and silver tongue. His scions are found in professions where these attributes are in high demand: attorneys, salesmen, models, actors and politicians.
Associated Powers: Animal (Birds), Enech, Epic Appearance, Epic Charisma, Epic Manipulation, Health
Abilities: Animal Ken, Art, Empathy, Medicine, Occult, Presence
Rivals: Aphrodite, Artemis, Hel, Izanami, Tlazoltéotl
Brigid fills the roles of maiden, mother, and crone and is the patron of poets, smiths, and healers. Her scions are creative and charismatic people with an interest in the arts or healing.
Associated Powers: Animal (Swan), Enech, Epic Stamina, Epic Strength, Fire, Health, Water
Abilities: Art, Craft, Empathy, Integrity, Medicine, Melee
Rivals: Apollo, Loki, Sobek, Tlaloc, Xipe Totec
The Dagda is known for his appetite for food, women, and battle. His scions are drawn from guardian professions (policemen, firemen), athletes (boxers, wrestlers), or social professions (salesmen, politicians) depending on what attributes they inherit.
Associated Powers: Animal (Pigs), Enech, Epic Charisma, Epic Stamina, Epic Strength, Guardian, War
Abilities: Animal Ken, Command, Fortitude, Melee, Presence, Thrown
Rivals: Horus, Huitzilopochtli, Odin, Ogoun, Tezcatlipoca, Zeus
Danu is the ancestress of the Tuatha and abhors violence. Her scions are teachers, environmentalists, and scientists.
Associated Powers: Enech, Epic Perception, Epic Stamina, Earth, Fertility, Guardian, Water
Abilities: Animal Ken, Awareness, Command, Empathy, Fortitude, Integrity
Rivals: Baron Samedi, Hera, Osiris, Raiden, Tlazoltéotl
Dian Cécht is the god healing and is responsible for Nuada’s silver hand. His scions are exclusively found in the medical fields.
Associated Powers: Enech, Epic Dexterity, Epic Intelligence, Epic Perception, Health, Magic, Water
Abilities: Craft, Empathy, Medicine, Occult, Presence, Survival
Rivals: Apollo, Damballa, Hephaestus, Isis, Miclántecuhtli
Lugh is the god of versatility. His scions usually come from backgrounds with varied jobs, but they all tend to be athletic.
Associated Powers: Animal (Dog), Enech, Epic Charisma, Epic Dexterity, Epic Wits, Guardian, Health, Illusion, Magic, Sky, War
Abilities: Art, Athletics, Integrity, Melee, Occult, Thrown
Rivals: Loki, Tezcatlipoca, Tlazoltéotl, Kalfu, Set
Adopted into the Tuatha from a much older pantheon, Manannan serves a psychopomp and a trickster. His scions are known for their humor and wit and usually hail from professions involving the ocean or death.
Associated Powers: Animal (Horses), Death, Enech, Epic Manipulation, Epic Wits, Illusion, Magic, Prophecy, Psychopomp, Water
Abilities: Animal Ken, Athletics, Brawl, Control, Investigation, Occult
Rivals: Amaterasu, Hades, Hera, Miclántecuhtli, Shango, Tyr
The Phantom Queen is fear even by her fellow Tuatha for her prowess in battle. Her scions are the strongest, fiercest, and cruelest of their ilk.
Associated Powers: Animal (Corvids), Animal (Cattle), Chaos, Death, Enech, Epic Appearance, Epic Strength, Fertility, Prophecy, War
Abilities: Animal Ken, Brawl, Fortitude, Marksmanship, Melee, Thrown
Rivals: Ares, Odin, Quetzalcoátl, Raiden, Tyr
The First King of the Tuatha is the god of justice and leadership. His scions are found in the arenas of law enforcement, armed forces, and politics.
Associated Powers: Enech, Epic Charisma, Epic Strength, Epic Perception, Guardian, Justice, War
Abilities: Athletics, Command, Integrity, Melee, Presence, Thrown
Rivals: Apollo, Huitzilopochtli, Loki, Ogoun, Set
Creator of the Ogham alphabet, Ogma is the wisest of the Tuatha. His scions strike a balance between brain and brawn and many of them come from intellectual fields of physics, chemistry, computers, linguistics, and mathematics.
Associated Powers: Enech, Epic Dexterity, Epic Intelligence, Epic Strength, Guardian, War
Abilities: Academics, Art, Empathy, Melee, Presence, Thrown
Rivals: Ares, Kalfu, Loki, Susano-o, Thoth
Geasa & Enech
The Scions of the Tuatha Dé Danann are bound by geasa which are taboos against specific types of behavior or required actions under a certain circumstance. Geas define how Scions of the Tuatha interact with the world and breaking geasa levies penalties against a Scion.
The Purview specific to the Tuatha is called Enech. Enech is honor or a measure of one’s worth. Men must constantly work to prove their honor and worth. The Tuatha Purview taps into this Enech to allow a Scion to bring up his allies and bring down his foes.
Want to learn more about Scion? Read on…
- Atomic Array: Episode 016: Scion
- Scion Preview: Demo and Adventure
- Game Cryer: Review by Chris Perrin
- Fear the Boot: Manifestation of Ichor
- RPGAggression: Celstial Bureaucracy
- Flames Rising: Companion 4 Review
Drop by RPG Now to pick up your copy today!
7 thoughts on “Scions of Celtic Mythology”
@Eddy: Your, welcome, and thanks for stopping by! I had assumed as much, but I have this… very irritable… mythology buff friend, who made some observations, and I wanted to say something on that.
I think the pantheon was very well represented in the books (I especially dig The Morrigan and Manannan!), and fits within the context of the game.
Thanks for the shout-out! Just to clarify that this section was specifically designed to be just Irish, rather than trying to tackle the depth and complexity of Celtic myth. So we were fully aware of the propensity to confuse the two, and decided to specifically and intentionally focus on JUST the Irish myths. Thanks!