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The Garden and the Gardener are one.
The concept of agriculture was a revolutionary one. Rather than search the world for things that are edible and desirable, and hoping that herds and vegetables are plentiful, with agriculture humans changed the world around them to create bounty.
This task requires patience, foresight, and hard work. Tending the plants requires meticulous effort and a deep awareness of the plants and their needs.
Over time, agriculture became commonplace. Human civilization flourished, as the same principle of patient world-changing was applied to other parts of the world. Roads and buildings and laws and nations formed.
While the Gardener is most originally and deeply connected to the vegetable world, the Archetype has become very broad. The Gardener is a manifestation of patient, persistent, dedicated labor. She spends her time tending to the needs of a Garden, keeping it organized and fruitful. The Gardener maintains order, but he is not a king or ruler - he controls by his constant work.
In a positive aspect, a Gardener is a keeper. She makes her Garden prosper by feeding it, removing the parts which are dead or draining, and attending to the needs of the garden. She makes life flourish. The archetype has a negative aspect as well - a Gardener can become a petty tyrant, keeping a rigorous, tiny order, preventing any form of change or evolution to her tiny world, keeping away any outside influence. Most Gardeners are a little bit of both.
Attributes: The Gardener is patient and hardworking. She makes life flourish. She is willing to destroy or remove individual parts to save the whole. Her effort is constant, without a final goal or definite ending. A Gardener does not make a Garden for any single purpose - he makes a Garden so that the Garden will grow. Over time, the Gardener becomes unified with his work - the Garden and the Gardener are one.
Symbols: Gardening tools are the most common symbols. A Shepherd's crook. Walls, especially attractive and ornamental walls such as fences and hedge mazes. Well-tended lawns, fields, and shrubbery. Small, carefully kept paths. Lamps and lanterns.
Masks: Osiris (Egyptian). Yemaya (Yoruba). Apollo (Greek). Corn Kachinas (Hopi). Gilgamesh (Babylonian). Any gods or goddess of the earth or agriculture may be appropriate.
Taboo: The Gardener must have a Garden, and must tend to it. The Gardener need not own the garden - in fact, most do not - but must constantly work to care for it. The plants must be fed and pruned and watered, weeds must be eliminated, and everything must be kept organized. Failing to maintain the Garden weakens the connection to the Archetype. So does allowing another person to tend the Garden. Usually, a Gardener must also have an appropriate skill for tending the Garden, with at least 40% skill.
The Garden: An Avatar's Garden does not need to be a literal garden or even a physical place. Anything which involves living things and requires ongoing perpetual organization, pruning, nourishing and care can be a Garden. Thus, an Avatar could be the Gardener of a wildlife preserve, a beauty salon, a science museum, a crime syndicate, a discussion board, an accounts payable department, an amusement park, or a maternity ward.
01-50% The Gardener is always aware of the health of his Garden. The Gardener can even make a roll against Avatar: The Gardener to be aware of risks or sickness to the Garden at a distance.
Furthermore, the Gardener can identify which branches need to be pruned from the Garden to make the rest flourish. If a person, object or idea should be removed from the Garden to make the rest stronger, the Avatar can use this channel to identify it.
51-70% The health of the Gardener is the health of the Garden. If something would hurt the Garden as a whole (locusts, budget cuts, reorganization), roll against the Avatar: The Gardener skill. On a successful roll, harm to the Garden is averted or reduced, but the Avatar takes damage equal to the sum of the dice. The more damage the Avatar takes, the more the harm is avoided. This will take the form of coincidences. The Gardener cannot control this, and it can be a significant disadvantage at times.
When the Garden is truly flourishing, however, the abundance bolsters the health of the Gardener. The Gardener's Body Points are replenished at a rate of 10 per day, and she gets a +30% bonus to resist poisons and diseases.
71-90% The Gardener sees what the Garden sees. The Avatar can see from the perspective of any living thing that's actively part of the Garden. This includes other people, so long as they're participating actively in the Garden. The Avatar will also always hear and know when others are seeking or discussing the Avatar within the Garden.
91-98% Wherever the Garden is, the Gardener is there also. The Gardener can teleport to any place within the Garden at will with an Avatar: the Gardener roll and a few minutes of concentration, appearing someplace inconscpicuous near the desired location.
this is very much like "the true king" and intrudes on much of the same consept...
vagina = fun! | profile | Feb 16, 05 | 11:27 pm
Yeah, it's a pretty similar concept, you're right. They both care for a land or a people, and become united with it. I think it's different in two key ways.