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The symbolic significance of the eldest son.
The Heir embodies the notion of inheritance, that which one day shall come to pass rather than what is presently. As such the Heir's strength rests largely on the one who he expects to inherit from, his Parent. The inheritance may be a position of rank and power, or money and possessions; what is important is that the Heir is the groomed successor who stands to gain by the Parent's death or resignation. Heirs may be male or female, although traditionally the Heir is associated with the eldest son.
Frequently Heirs are found as children or trusted lackeys of True Kings or Demagogues, these being archetypes particularly suitable for an Heir to be attached to. Only slightly less common are Heirs to Merchants and Warriors.
The Heir may change his Parent if another offers to make him their successor, but having made the change, the Heir's link to the original Parent is severed permanently and cannot be reinstated.
The Heir's taboo is tripartite. Firstly, the Heir may not deliberately act in such a manner as would bring harm on his inheritance. Secondly, he may not increase his temporal power or possessions beyond those of his Parent; in doing so he loses the subordinate nature of the archetype and hence weakens his link. Thirdly, if disowned by his Parent or if he should come into his inheritance, he completely loses all connection to the archetype.
The white horse, the dolphin, the plume of three ostrich feathers and the heraldic "label", the mark of cadency denoting the first-born son, all have strong ties to the archetype. Symbols appropriate to the Parent may also be appropriate to the Heir.
Thor (Norse), Isaac (Jewish), Horus (Egyptian), Hector and Icarus (Greek).
Suspected Avatars in History:
The Black Prince was almost certainly an Heir, as have been a great number of other crown princes including the Babylonian Belshazzar. Socrates is sometimes thought to have been Plato's heir among dukes of a philosophical bent.
When acting in the interests of his Parent or his inheritance, the Heir is tenacious and determined. Once per session, you may reroll any failed roll against your Avatar: Heir skill or the skill or stat that failed, whichever of the two is lower.
The Heir comes to resemble his Parent by following in his or her footsteps. You may now use one non-magickal or Avatar skill possessed by your Parent as though it were your own. Rolls made against this skill are successful only if they are also under your Avatar: Heir skill.
If the chosen skill is an Avatar skill, you may use only the first channel. If the skill is an obsession skill, you may flip-flop rolls made against it. Once a skill has been designated, it cannot be changed unless you find another Parent willing to install you as successor.
If your Parent should die or retire or otherwise pass on the inheritance, you will gain that skill permanently in place of your Avatar: Heir skill. If the inherited skill is an Avatar skill, however, you gain it at a level equal to only one half your Avatar: Heir skill.
By closing your eyes, concentrating on your Parent and making an Avatar: Heir roll, you may see through your Parent's eyes and hear through your Parent's ears for up to a minute. A further Avatar: Heir roll while doing so allows you to implant a solitary thought in your Parent's mind; the more complex the thought, the more likely it is to be misunderstood.
The Heir may now inherit immaterial benefits from those who die. You may request of a friend, ally or subordinate in advance of their death that they leave you something: this may be a skill or ability, or simply one of their memories. On their death, roll against your Avatar: Heir skill, and add the sum of the dice to one agreed-on skill in which their ability exceeded yours, as long as this does not bring your skill higher than its governing stat. While you can even gain a school of magick this way, the mental conflict engendered by doing so is likely to drive you insane in short order.
Additionally, if by some mischance you should be killed, you can make a last Avatar: Heir roll. If you succeed with a roll greater than your Parent's Soul stat, you can successfully steal your Parent's body and cast your Parent out. Doing this is a rank-7 Self check, and counts as the inheritance being passed on.
Tobermory | profile | May 21, 05 | 2:54 pm
My first proper Avatar write-up; any advice or thoughts on balance would be appreciated.
Tobermory | profile | May 21, 05 | 2:55 pm
problem: the usual heir is viewed as a succesor to his parent, also in his line of wrok. so a succesful heir of the merchant will be a merchant too - and that's without talking about hereditary monarchies...
I'm thinking Paris Hilton here, in many ways THE heir of the moment, and totally not fitting in. Or rather, could fit in just fine if it wasn't for one third of the taboo.
Mattias | profile | May 24, 05 | 5:31 am
I realise this is incredibly pedantic, but Plato was Socrates' pupil (if that term can be applied) and therefore Socrates couldn't be Plato's heir.
pedant | profile | May 24, 05 | 7:38 am
I really like this archetype, compared to others, it's idea is a very good one : it is an international and intemporal position, there always had and will be heirs.
beghinre | profile | May 25, 05 | 8:58 am
Ok, let's address some of these...
Tobermory | profile | May 25, 05 | 6:20 pm
Perhaps I misinterpreted, my complaint was primarily that you say Socrates was Plato's heir, but it was Plato who followed on from Socrates' teaching. As far as Plato being Socrates' heir I think that works very well, because there is an extent to which he did inherit a lot of Socrates' thinking.
pedant | profile | May 26, 05 | 7:48 am
Well, whoops. I misread that totally, and yes, had some kind of brain-fart that put the two the wrong way round. Thanks very much for correcting me there.
Tobermory | profile | May 27, 05 | 2:15 pm