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Of Demesne and Manses

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  • Of Demesne and Manses

    Hi everyone.

    Basically my whole point is : I like the idea of Demesne and Manses, but I find there is very little support and inspiration from the core books for them. I'm creating this topic so that if you had any idea about Demesne and Manses, you can share them with others, and maybe others can propose suggestions to improve them or give you perspectives you didn't have.

    I'll start with the manses I'm conceiving for a campaign I'm planning next year if I can find people to play with in my new town. Long story short : People in my last Campaign did a Damn huge boat the size of a city to sail around the Dreaming Sea because their prophet predicted an Apocalypse on their land, so they decided to exile. The manses are on this boat.

    The Lighthouse of the Neverlost, Major Manse of the Earth.

    A big lighthouse that is built on the right side of the boat, dominating the sea along this side. The tower itself seems to be able to endure the torment of the sea and its merciless weather. Being close to the tower feels reassuring yet restricting, as if you could not escape its immensity. Built from what looks like one only stone, on top of it glows its powerful Hearthstone, guiding lost souls on the sea to its safety.

    Hearthstone themes : Gravity, stability
    The Hearthstone effect is basically that boats that are close enough (certainly something less than Long) to the side of the city where the Lighthouse glows can easily keep their relative distance from it thanks to the gravity power of the stone, allowing safer travels along the moving city, even in terrible weather or when pirates or sea monsters decides to attack. Getting under the effect of the Hearthstone is not instantaneous, your boat has to either starts its day in the harbor next to the Lighthouse, or spend some time sailing along it.

    I could see some Evocations being developped along the line of calling a certain boat that is known to the master of the Manse to the Lighthouse, allowing even long lost lambs to find their way back to the Lighthouse.

    Bring your ideas ! (Or the topic that is already dedicated to it, if there is one already, in which case I'm sorry)

  • #2
    Back in the old wiki, AstraKiseki had dozens of Manses and Hearthstone ideas. There was a thread here about hosting that somewhere? I've lost track of it, but if you're willing to do the investigative work, there's a treasure trove awaiting you.

    Also check out Oadenol's Codex from 2e pages 57-107. There as a whole point-buy system for constructing Manses with various features like 'hidden passages', 'dangerous traps', and 'sympathetic dream link'. It was pretty neat.

    Here's a short Demesne and a short Manse I wrote for the fan project Lunar Castebooks:

    Window to Luna’s Sanctum
    Lunar Demesne 2
    To most appearances, the Window to Luna’s Sanctum resembles a Celestial Gate. Yet, instead of starmetal filigree around an adamant arch, this one has moonsilver. At night, the very wise (Intelligence+Lore difficulty 5) or the very familiar with Luna (Wits+Occult difficulty 3, only attemptable with a Luna specialty in Occult) will recognize either this filigree difference or that the soft moonlight exiting the door mingles with starlight, and thus could not be the result of the Moonlight of Yu-Shan. The heavenly city’s sky holds a lone shining moon when Luna leads the Games of Divinity. They realize it is not a Celestial Gate and must be leading somewhere else, though only by doubling the difficulty do they learn exactly where before entering.

    That somewhere else is the surface of the Silver Chair of Night, Luna’s sanctum (see Glories of the Most High: Luna, page 12).

    This Demesne has no harvest, and no known way to attune to it. It has no fixed location, darting about Creation at random. It seems to serve no function other than to allow the Creation-born access to Luna’s madhouse, or for the Truculee to wander off and terrorize someplace before calcifying. When considering Luna’s work, for the sake of one’s sanity, it is best not to dig too far into her motives.

    Statue to the Perceived Self
    Lunar Manse 3
    Deep in the Burning Sands lies a Manse that drinks in the cold moonlight of the desert night. In the blistering day, heat shimmers for miles around, bending sight and creating illusions. The Manse is a legend in the South, and even has a common phrase associated with it, “May the Righteous Devil see you as you are.” Some come seeking their true self. Many more shun the place for the truths about themselves they would rather not witness. But most have forgotten it. Just as its owner, Tamuz, prefers.

    Any who approach are changed, though only temporarily while within the Manse’s influence, which extends invisibly from the central statue. To any who look upon those so changed, they show themselves in a reflection of their inner mental state, not as they outwardly are. Some within the Manse's magic change their demeanor from calm and collected to anxious and skittish. Some lose their regal bearing and finery, clothed in patches and dirty from an honest day's work, and others undergo the opposite transition. Yet others change their sex or their ethnicity. Some patricians and mortal Dynasts have been known to develop the Aspect markings of their betters. It is all an illusion; any mirror transported within the Manse shows the actual body of the inhabitants - the Manse’s magic does not penetrate reflections.

    The Manse has an intelligence to it that only answers the question, “What am I?” to which the Manse will describe yourself as you appear within its boundaries. Most are not ready for the bland declarations the Manse emanates about its residents’ self-image, but Tamuz has acquired a taste for it. He sees it as a calibration, a chance to correct his efforts towards the change he wants to see in himself. Its brutal honesty has worn off on Tamuz, who will occasionally slip into a method of description much like the Manse’s when distracted from his usual social grace.

    The Statue to the Perceived Self Manse is itself a porous non-reflective rock shaped like a regular pentagonal prism, whose top is a sphere about four feet at its thickest. Podium and sphere combine to stand twelve feet tall. At least, most think it is. Some believe the Manse’s magic does alter reflections, but only of itself, and that its true self it hidden from all. Regardless of an attuner’s belief, any who attune to the Manse by placing their hand on this prism or its cap-sphere pull their hand away with a hearthstone, the Sight of Self Stone, made of the same porous rock seemingly materialized from nowhere. Its power is a link to the intelligence of the Manse. The hearthstone owner can ask, “What am I?” to the hearthstone anywhere within Creation or the Wyld and the Manse will describe the attuned being’s residual self image to the best of its ability.

    You can find more in my signature links in the 'Gifts' works, 'Demense, Manse, and Hearthstone' chapters.

    The Lunar Castebooks fan project - Complete! (Changing, Full, No, and Casteless)


    • #3
      I'll read everything tonight or during the weekend but thank you for the useful documentation !