FAQ

Ohai there! This FAQ deals with the most common questions we've received about Spirit Guides. It's extensive, and some of the questions repeat information because the questions touch on the same subjects. If you notice any errors, please let us know! Also, please note that if you are confused about the contents of this FAQ, or if the FAQ contradicts the current Spirit Guide policies, please refer to the policies as the valid and most updated source, or contact us with your concern!

Introduction

What are they?

It is a being of the spiritual world, and cannot die, although it can take physical form if it wants to, for example to aid with hunting, or carry things. It chooses to guide your character, and are morally bound to aid them unless unwanted or the character no longer has ties to AniWaya. The spirit guides are wise beyond what is normal for a character which lives for a set amount of time (e.g. the mortal characters at 'Souls). They are not childish, and a young character's spirit guide is not a young spirit. They are all immortal, and it is unknown how long they have lived. Spirit guides may be inherited, although not by choice of the characters.

What is their purpose?

Spirit guides are drawn to the AniWayan set of moral, belief, custom and law. They choose a charge which they guide for life (except if the charge does not deserve their guidance), and they guide them with respect to the AniWayan way of life. Their purpose is to ensure their charge stays on the good side of the AniWayan lifestyle, and to give advice and be a companion through life (their participation in their charge's life depends on their personality). Spirit guides feel an obligation to fulfill their role by guiding their charges, but their participation in AniWayan culture is not unconditional. If they feel unwanted or are insulted or otherwise repelled (also, if they feel their work is futile), they may leave their charge and their heartfelt obligation entirely. A spirit becomes a spirit guide when it is drawn to the AniWayan culture, and thus a it is impossible that a spirit guide's advice is in conflict with those values. Thus, regardless of a spirit guide's personality, their guidance is never in conflict with the AniWayan way of life.

Behavior

How does it behave?

Your character's spirit guide is a free thing. It is not connected to your character except by the obligation to guide it. It does not do what your character asks them to do unless it wants to do it. It can leave its "owner" at any given time, and it may flee or confront other characters as it pleases. Such choices are up to you. However: It would never endanger your character's health. It is also too smart to accidentally harm others.

Can it speak?

Yes. Regardless of species, spirit guides speak the language of their charge, oftenmost high speech of different dialects. They can speak with each other, and any other being present that can understand high speech. It has a "normal" voice like your character, and when it speaks (regardless of whether it chooses to mask their voice from anyone present) it sounds like normal speech coming from the guide's mouth. Its voice will never "be in your character's head", and it can not read anyone's mind. The spirit guide can send vague impressions (colors or emotion), impressions which need to be interpreted by the receiver. It can, however, choose to speak normally in a crowd, where only one person will hear its words - although this sound will be heard normally by the listener - not in its head(!). Generally, however, spirit guides choose to speak normally to their chosen canines, just as our characters speak with each other. In short: they have two modes of speaking: impressions, and direct speech.

Are they always with my character?

Spirit Guides have a strong will like any individual, and may choose to leave your character for periods of time. They may also choose to stick with their character 24/7 - this depends on their personality. There is no permanent bond between character and guide that determines how far away from each other they can be.

Do spirit guides communicate with others?

Spirit guides are certainly capable of communicating with anyone they choose, including other spirit guides (as long as they are aware of any guide's presence). The spirit guides more rarely communicate with each other, though the guides of mates could be well acquainted through years of living together (this depends on how the guide chooses to interact with their charge). Spirit guides don't necessarily get along, though. The spirit guides are just as diverse as our characters at 'Souls. In emergencies, some guides may choose to run for help, and will then probably approach whoever they find and reveal themselves. This depends on what kind of views the spirit has on death, however. If the spirit doesn't see death as something threatening, but rather a natural occurrence, it will likely do nothing to aid their chosen character.

What are their abilities?

A spirit guide may choose to hide itself from the world completely, in sound, scent, touch and form. It can also choose to reveal itself completely, or be for example only audible, or only visible to particular characters. It is uncommon, however, that the person that the spirit guide has chosen cannot see them. It can also communicate with its chosen person through imagery or sense-impressions - telepathically, although your character cannot respond in this way. In such a setting, your character is a receiver. However it cannot keep a conversation in telepathic words - its voice will never "be in your character's head". The spirit can send impressions, impressions which need to be interpreted by the receiver. It can, however, choose to speak normally in a crowd, where only one person wilI hear its words - although this sound will be heard normally by the listener - not in its head(!). Generally, however, spirit guides choose to speak normally to their chosen canines, just as our characters speak with each other. Your character's spirit guide typically speaks the native language of your character. Your character's guide can communicate with other guides, but it cannot see a guide that chooses to stay invisible, nor hear a guide who has chosen to be audible only to other beings present.

An example: Spirit guide Akwa sits perched in a tree near her charge, John. John does not know she is there until Akwa speaks to him from the tree. It surprises him, because he had not noticed her scent, and could not now, either. All that was perceptible for him was her voice, but he could tell its direction. Lifting his head in the direction of the tree, she responded with appearing to him, her scent still masked. Hearing her voice was much less unsettling when he could see her, as well.

Fully perceptiblePartly perceptibleNon-perceptible
Visible to everyoneVisible only to a few in a crowdInvisible
Clearly audible speech and soundsSpeech and sounds audible only to a fewNot audible
Everyone can smell themOnly a few can smell them/scent is faintNo scent
Touch can be feltTouch can be felt only faintly or partlyTouch cannot be felt

Creation & Acquisition

When can I get a spirit guide for my character?

When your character is both at over 6 months of age, and have been a member of the pack for one month or more (note: born-in characters of AniWaya are granted a spirit guide upon reaching 6 months (earliest) even if they were picked up less than a month prior). If your character joins as a previous member of the Great Tribe, or has completed their 1 month of membership at an earlier time, they can bring their spirit guide in immediately, however they must still be at least 6 months of age.

What can it be?

Its species can, technically, be anything that exists on earth except for the canis genus. Their form often reflects its charge's personality in some way, which is why it is not uncommon to have a family where all members have similar spirit guides, or where all the guides are within the same genome. This is by no means a rule, however. They stay in their element, and physically does only what a normal animal of their species would - aside from being able to talk high speech regardless of species. On very rare occasions, a spirit guide will change forms, although this happens unseen and is not shapeshifting - if it changes forms, it is a permanent change in its appearance. We prefer if you pick a realistic species. An African parrot would be very a strange to find in Nova Scotia, even if it looks really cool on your character's shoulder. If your character came from Africa, however, it's different, as the link towards Africa would be stronger. Keep in mind your guide's function, and ask yourself whether its form is relevant to your character's depth, or whether you just picked it because it looks cool? It is far more interesting when players pick their guide's appearance based on something in their character's life, demeanor or with mind to a future plot. For example, if your character is a scout, perhaps a predatory bird with good eyesight would be a good match? Or if it is someone who likes to care about others, perhaps a kitten instead of an ocelot? Very many players like to pick exotic felines - please re-consider. Think of how extremely strange it would look if a tiny wolf and a huge tiger walked down the path towards you. That poor wolf would never get any prey! Remember, if you want the guide to serve a function in its relation to your character, it should preferably "fit in" with the wildlife around it as much as possible. You should have a good reason to pick a species which is another large predator - remember that large predators are fierce enemies in nature. It would be more than likely that a guide taking a form like that would have a turbulent relation to your character, don't you think?

Note that species who are capable of shifting (i.e. belonging to the canis genus) cannot be spirit guides. Please see the Spirit Guide policies for details

What can't it be?

Extinct species are not allowed. Exotic and very rare forms may also be problematic. Extinct species may be accepted if they became extinct not very long ago. We do not recommend species that are too bond to a particular element, such as fish: if you choose a fish, your character can only interact with them when they are by water. PM your leadership with questions regarding this. We recommend you pre-approve your spirit guide's form if you are in doubt.

Note that species who are capable of shifting (i.e. belonging to the canis genus) cannot be spirit guides. Please see the Spirit Guide policies for details

What gender is it?

A spirit guide can be either gender. Your character's gender is irrelevant.

How old are they?

The spirit guides are wise beyond what is normal for a character which lives for a set amount of time (e.g. the mortal characters at 'Souls). They are not childish, and a young character's spirit guide is not a young spirit. They are all immortal, and it is unknown how long they have lived.

What happens on my character's spiritual Journey?

a. Your character's Journey length is chosen by the player. It can last from a few days to a year or more. Keep in mind that you have to consider the 'Souls timeline - if you decide to set your character out on a journey that lasts for a year, you cannot continue posting - you'd have to be absent for a year. It if is about weeks you can probably keep posting right away, but date your threads forward until you have "caught up" with it.

b. Consider carefully the amount of time it would take to travel where you have in mind. Please use the RP guide's section on traveling as a reference.

c. On the Journey, your character must travel a given distance. They can travel outside or near outside 'Souls territory, but the meeting with the spirit guide must occur on unclaimed land. Its journey cannot be taking a walk in the park and then suddenly your spirit guide popped out to say hello. On its Journey, the character is alone and weaponless. Some event (chosen by the player) will happen, and when it does the spirit guide will show itself. Then, the character returns home at his/her own pace, depending on the player's wishes.

What is a read-only thread?

A long post done by only you, where no one else interacts, except any NPC's that may exist in connection with your character. You then write as you normally would, depicting what happens, and end the event. Your thread can be as long as you want it to be. Examples of such threads: 1, 2.

Personality

Can it be evil?

Yes and no. A spirit guide's personality can be immoral or even cruel. Their guidance, however, is never in conflict with AniWayan culture. A spirit becomes a spirit guide when it is drawn to the AniWayan culture, and thus a it is impossible that a spirit guide's advice is in conflict with those values. Thus, regardless of a spirit guide's personality, their guidance is never in conflict with the AniWayan way of life. As an example: a spirit guide may be vicious, cruel and rude to their charge, but it would not drive them to murder, disrespect, thievery or other crimes.

How is its personality?

Your character's guide's personality is up to the player. Note that a spirit guide's personality can be dark, evil, or whatever you may choose, but its guidance cannot be malevolent. This distinction is important: the guide will not immorally gudie your character onto paths that are in conflict with AniWayan moral, belief, custom or law. However it may be immoral in its own behavior. As long as this point is clear, the personality of the spirit guide is up to the player.

Miscellaneous

Are they like Daemons from His Dark Materials?

No. Here are the main differences:

  • Young characters do not have young spirit guides - spirit guides are very, very old.
  • There is no unbreakable bond between them.
  • Spirit Guides do not change shapes.
  • Spirit Guide advice cannot be malevolent.
  • Everyone are not born with a Spirit Guide.
  • Spirit Guides are in every way (aside for their obligation to guide) free beings with free will.
  • Spirit Guides can be lost or abandon their charge.
  • Spirit Guides are not only loyal to their charge, but also AniWayan customs and law.
  • Spirit guides can be any gender.
  • Spirit guides do not die when their charge dies.
  • It is the spirit guide who chooses their charge.
  • A spirit guide is not inferior to their charge: in their relationship, the spirit guide is the culturally powerful, not the character.

How is the relationship between character & guide?

Culturally and spiritually (by AniWayan belief) the spirit guide is sacred. Their advice is sacred, and their choosing to stay with and guide AniWayans is a much appreciated privilege. Some characters choose to honor this bond with offerings, making a special room in their house for them, or otherwise acknowledging them on a regular basis. Others might not bother with such formalities. However spirit guides are highly revered, and all AniWayans are expected to respect their own, and others', spirit guides. Offending a spirit guide purposefully is considered incredibly rude, and often AniWayans will feel offended on the spirit guide's behalf (as they do represent the belief system). An outsider who accidentally offends a spirit guide may find that their communication with an AniWayan cools significantly, if it does not turn into outright hostility.

Does my character "own" the Spirit Guide?

The spirit guide has chosen to guide your character. It is obligated to guide your character once it has chosen it, but it is important to understand that the guide is only there because it chooses to be there. The relation between character and guide can best be seen as a friendship: the Guide can run off if the character continuously refuses to appreciate their presence. The spirit guides have a strong and free will, and they decide what they do - your character doesn't have the authority to boss it around.

Can my character lose their guide?

A guide may choose to abandon their charge if the character severely disappoints them, strays from AniWayan way of life to the degree where they no longer deserve the guide's attention, or for rarer reasons such as personality shifts or mental damage. Please see the Spirit Guide policies for details

What happens if my character dies?

Since it is not bound to the characters, a spirit does not vanish when their charge dies. When the chosen charge dies, the spirit may do one of many things, depending on the relationship between them and on their personality. It is not uncommon for them to linger to ensure that the charge's body gets the proper burial it should have, and/or that any key family members are taken care of. In the case of an accident, the spirit may stay with the body until help arrives. Other times, the guide may simply up and leave, or even linger to choose to become the spirit guide of a relative of their former charge, such as a child.

What if my character leaves AniWaya?

In the case of a character leaving the AniWayan community, the spirit my or may not choose to leave their character. This depends on the length and strength of their acquaintance, and the guide's personality. Though the guide mentors their chosen character by obligation as long as they are within the AniWayan community, a lack of a friendly bond between them could be reason for its departure. Any pair that has known each other less than half a year is likely to split should the character leave the community.
Please see the Spirit Guide policies for details

Last updated on Wed, 11 Jul 2012 at 06:44 PM by Marit