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Avalanche Press - Celtic Age - Roleplaying the Myths, Heroes and Monsters of the Celts by Azamor

Avalanche Press - Celtic Age - Roleplaying the Myths, Heroes and Monsters of the Celts by Azamor

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Published by Jonathan Azamor

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Published by: Jonathan Azamor on Apr 15, 2012
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03/29/2014

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Celts have strong belief in personal honor,
which they call “the Fitness of Things.” For a
person to have no honor is unthinkable; one
who loses honor feels compelled to commit
suicide. This is based on behavior, and
especially on truth. Liars lose honor, and
terrible things happen to them if they hear the
truth spoken in their presence. The truth has
power: liars are known to die, or their houses
fall down, or their herds die, simply because
someone spoke the truth to them.

Celtic society works because of this shared
belief in honor and truth. Without it, the legal
system would quickly crumble. A Celt will never

The Fitness of Things

Because Celts believe so strongly in honor and in
telling the truth, lying is dangerous to them. A
Celt who lies suffers a -1 Circumstance Penalty
to all die rolls for 24 hours. The same fate meets
someone who deals unfairly or could be said to
be without honor.

These penalties are cumulative, so if the Celt lies
more than once, he or she suffers multiple
penalties. A character who tells three lies in a week
or five in a month suffers the permanent loss of a
point of Charisma. No one will respect a liar.
Sadly, these penalties do not affect non-Celts.

97

Gora McGahey (order #19251)

69.136.21.109

take the easy way to power or riches if this
seems somehow dishonorable.

Law

For the most part, Celts lack a central
government to lay down laws. Instead they rely
on a traditional set of laws called Brehon.
Druids and vates often act as adjudicators as do
respected men and women of great learning
known simply as judges. Chieftains are subject
to the decisions of these judges in theory, but
in practice they have widespread immunity.

Celtic law covers both civil and criminal affairs.
In a civil suit, the plaintiff must go to the
dwelling of the accused and sit in front of it
while fasting. Only someone of the same social
standing may bring such a suit, of course. If a
plaintiff starts such a fast, eating nothing while
the sun shines, the defendant must do so as well.
If the defendant wishes to break the fast, he or
she must either pay what the plaintiff demands,
or accept a judge’s arbitration. To refuse is to
lose all honor, unthinkable for a Celt.

Crimes are punishable by fines known as an
honor-price. The honor-price varies according to
the victim’s social standing. If one does not
accept the honor-price, a blood feud will break
out. Killing a miscreant does not equal
punishment: the killer still owes an honor-price
to the victim’s heirs, no matter how horrid his
or her offense might have been. Crimes include
attacks against another person (murder, robbery,
rape, assault) and religious offenses as well.

Murder and assault are subject to
interpretation, however, because it is usually not
considered criminal to kill or injure someone in
a fair fight. However, judges have been known
to rule against a powerful warrior who slew or
harmed a much weaker opponent even if the
weaker combatant started the fight. Not being a
fair fight, the victor is guilty and must pay an
honor-price. Even great heroes have been
convicted of such crimes. This does not apply
to lower classes, of course: while a peasant may
not kill another with impunity, a warrior most
certainly may do so.

Once an honor-price has been paid, however,
any stain is wiped away. It is considered bad

form to hold a grudge against someone who
made good their debt in this fashion. However,
it is unusual to find a wealthy man or woman
committing strings of crimes and merrily
paying their way free; such acts would surely at
some point ruin their honor, and they would
plunge a dagger into their own heart.

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