Ghosts of Gallifrey
The best way of staving off Eclipse is for a Time Lord to form a symbiotic bond with characters who are “native” to time and space. In other words, they pick up Companions. Not anyone can become a Companion however. The Time Lord needs to find a being whose future is in flux – poised at a crossroads with different possible personal futures. Human beings are renowned for being a “flux race” of great individuality and autonomy, making Earth (and its future colonies) a good source of potential companions.
In game terms, the Time Lord needs to find a Companion who matches his Companion Card. Companions tend to sense that the Time Lord in some way complements their nature and don’t strongly resist the call to travel and adventure.
The Time Lord now guides the Companion towards their destiny – either the upright or reversed meaning of the Companion Card. This can happen quickly, over the course of a single story, or slowly, over the course of many adventures. “Good” Time Lords push Companions towards positive futures, developing their self-worth, inner heroism, moral values etc. “Bad” Time Lords corrupt and degrade companions, demeaning and subjugating them (eg the way the Master treated Lucy Saxon). Either way, once a Companion has fulfilled his or her destiny, their time with the Time Lord comes to an end and a new Companion is needed. The Time Lord draws or chooses a new Companion Card.
Occasionally, a group of Companions come as a “package”, perhaps because they are a romantic couple, siblings or partners in some way. The Companion Card then refers to them both.
The advantage Companions bestow is that the Time Lord recovers from Eclipse by being cared for and valued, “dropping” a stage at a time until the symptoms are all gone. The down-side is that, if a Companion is harmed or killed (except in direct fulfillment of the Companion Card), the Time Lord gains one or two stages of Eclipse straight away. In situations like this, it’s useful to have multiple Companions (see the Power).