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1001 Wonders

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  • Warpwind
    replied
    55) Red haze [4pt Talen/Charm] - A vial (or grenade) that produces viscous red smoke on use, the smoke spreads very quickly and is produced in large quantities. Any sleepers inhaling it go into complete meltdown turning into complete psychopathic killers, while maintain their cognitive abilities. They don't attack other infected and the caster, but everything else is very fair game.
    ​56) Trident of Destruction [5pt. Talisman] - a large, techgnostic trident, forged with high technologies and arcane rituals alike. It generates a force field along its infinitely sharp edge that brings entropy and destruction to the subtlest material, including souls. Everything struck by the trident is destroyed, including matter, life and spirit (deals unsoakable aggravated damage to all, including supernatural beings). Some tridents are in addition awakened and possess their own merciless mind to guide the hands of it's bearer.
    ​57) Hephaestus M1 [5pt Charm] - a futuristic revolver bearing 12 shots and being one use only. It can yet become incredibly popular due to it's unparalleled potential for destruction. Each chamber of the revolver contains a 2 meter long and 5sm wide needle-like spear of consecrated/prime infused metal. The needles had been dropped from orbit and caught with magic at the low altitudes, frozen in time within space containment chamber of the revolver. Each spear contains energy of a small orbital strike that can rip through city blocks and armored battleships with equal ease. Understandably any nation detecting the use of orbital bombardment weapons within it's borders will become very alarmed, in addition to pissed techies.
    ​58) Elms Hirdsman [varies, 4pt fetish/wonder 3pt familiar/retainer] - A modern take on zombies and golems, adapted to the modern world. This is a common mannequin prepared and consecrated to be inhabited by a lesser spirit, usually a ghost. The mannequin serves as spirit's house and is at the same time able to move under it's directions quite easily. Hirdsman uses spirit's stats, sans stamina/hp - where it uses material's toughness and structure points. and While it may not sound like much, a hardy crush test-mannequin dresses in modern armor, armed with consecrated weapons (ak47+machete) and animated by a veteran of hundred umbral battles in a nightmare to deal with. Furthermore, due to the nature of modern warfare a mannequin dressed in fatigues and sky mask avoids any sort of paradox, but for the most unnatural actions.
    ​59) Fertility Treatment S88 [4pt. Talen/Charm] - A tool of some transhumant or simply militaristic mages this otherwise normal white will contains a bound spirit (or a shard of a powerful one), and a few spells designed to aid the process. A women who has sex after 48 minutes of consuming this pill will invariably become pregnant, with a child merged with the spirit. Basically, this would create a fomory, but the spirit can be of any alignment suitable to the mage, even an artificial one. Create the child using fomory or bakemono template adjusted to spirits alignment. Mage retains a sympathetic link to the kid and can use magic or indoctrination to foster loyalties.

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  • Bluecho
    replied
    54) The Fool's Sidearm [2 pt. Trinket]:
    A worn one-handed sword with a dull, chipped edge. The crossguard is adorned with a simple circle in relief, evoking the Arabic numeral for the number 0. Those versed in the Tarot, and who know of the sword's meager power, therefore refer to it in reference to the Major Arcana's zero card: The Fool.

    Legend speaks of a European noble with multiple sons. While his first two were strong and smart, respectively, the third was unskilled and ignorant. A dull witted and clumsy boy, who could neither grasp the deadly arithmetic of combat, nor quite master the physical demands of "mere" brawling. Still, his simplicity with charming, and boyish good looks endeared him to everyone. As such, he was loved by his father. Because of this, when war came, his father lamented that he had no choice but to send all three sons to combat. For the noble was vassal to a greater monarch, and had to provide knights for that monarch's cause.

    Sons first and second could be trusted to guard their own lives. The third son, however, would surely perish, were nothing done. In desperation, the noble contacted a wizard (allegiance thought to be Hermetic, though the Order has scant records of this event), seeking guidance and aid. Knowing the boy could never survive on wits or skill, the wizard saw only one thing that could help him. So he crafted and enchanted a sword for the boy that would rely on that most mysterious and ephemeral of qualities that, blessedly, the fool seemed to possess in abundance: Luck.

    The boy's fate in the war is unknown. The sword, meanwhile, has passed down the ages, and from the hands of countless warriors. It seems enchanted, further, to arrive when a person needs it most. As its owner increases in skill, however, the sword has a habit of leaving their possession through happenstance. As if it is fated to always rest in the hands of the novice or weak fighter.


    System: Entropy 2 adds a -3 to difficulties to hit and parry with the sword. Moreover, on occasion (Storyteller's option), the sword may circumvent Armor, if it were logically possible to do so. The weave of fortune flows in the wielder's favor, allowing them to avoid injury and strike true, even if the user doesn't know what they're doing. A more skilled sword fighter could naturally gain more advantage from the blade. However, due to the item's propensity to wander when it's no longer needed, truly skilled warriors rarely hang on to the blade for long. Still, even highly trained fighter could find the sword, in their most dire hour of need. Because it works on Luck, this Wonder's effects are coincidental.

    Minor Matter enchantments protect the blade from breaking or rusting...


    Flaw: ...but not from chipping or dulling. While the overall structure of the sword remains intact, it long ago became a poor edge for cutting or stabbing. Indeed, the blade can never be sharpened, or the magic is lost. For this reason, the sword only does Bashing damage...usually. Sometimes (again, at Storyteller's choice), the blade cuts true. This is even less reliable than its ability to slip around armor, and should only occur at the most dramatically appropriate moments.
    Last edited by Bluecho; 01-16-2018, 10:19 PM.

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  • Warpwind
    replied
    49) Parma Magika. [3pt] - A golden medallion endowed with Enochian script. Cancels 1 success of hostile magic aimed at wearer for 1 pt of quintessence. Contains 10 charges.
    ​50) Merciful hand of Void [4pt] - A medallion crafted completely out of dark obsidian. Removes 1 pt of quintessence from the spells aimed at character. Spells that required that energy to function simply fail. can hold 20 charges.
    ​51) Wand of Fire [4pt] - Thig response to heavy technocractic armaments. This is a large metallic cylinder enclosing a BIG elemental of fire, metallic hose connects to the Niobium Wand that directs the elemental fire. Can work both as flamethrower and plasma beam.
    ​52) Skincard [4pt] - A card depicting a powerful astral archetype/spirit that when activated possesses the mage, lending its marvelous skills to the task at hand.
    ​53) Screaming Prayer Wheel [3pt wonder or fetish] - A modern say in the armaments of Akashiana and Chakravanti, a handheld, mechanical prayer wheel inscribed with prayers to the gods of death and destruction. When activated the wheel spins with high speeds, screaming the prayers with words to high and keen to be heard by human, sharp enough to shatter minds and flesh. The wonder version targets brain tissues with ultrasounds, fetish version has a literal screaming ghost in it.

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  • Bluecho
    replied
    48) Invitation to Pluto's House [3 pt. Charm]:
    Esoteric is the ability to cross over into the realm of the dead (without doing so permanently). As such, those groups capable of travel into the Low Umbra must at times facilitate same on behalf of other mages. This Charm - a scroll written on aged parchment, in ink partially derived from human ashes and bone dust - is the product of the mages of the Euthanatos Tradition's Greco-Roman contingent, the Pomegranate Deme. To employ the cthonic magicks contained within, the user must read the scroll's contents, then go to sleep with the scroll tucked in their arms, or in the folds of their clothing. As they drift into slumber, their spirit descends into the Shadowlands.

    System: Entropy 4 + Life 3 is used as a disposable version of the Agama Sojourn. The duration of the Effect is eight hours - enough for one night of seeming sleep - after which the user's spirit will be yanked back to the body...assuming nothing prevents them from returning. The scroll decays over the course of the 8 hour time, so slowly as to be unnoticeable until the parchment crumbles to dust. This Effect is coincidental.

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  • Warpwind
    replied
    42) Godform Tattoo [5+pt] - A tool of last resort for martially oriented mages, it allows to unleash a terrible (and vulgar) power for a short burst (scene max). The artifact consists of an elaborate tattoo, often centered on a periapt, that contains either a very powerful spirit/shard of a godly power or a very powerful and complex spell that at activation transforms the mage into an engine of destruction. Classic many handed avatar is still pretty popular.

    43) Linking Camera [2pt.] - a deceptively simple wonder that creates strong sympathetic links on the pictures it takes. e.i take a pic = get a link.

    ​44) War tattoo [4pt] - a preserved berserkergang tattoo. Gives resistant pattern (soak any damage), increased physical stats (+2 each) and +2 actions each round.

    ​45) Spelllense [1-3pt] - lenses covered in occult script that gives various ocular abilities. Most common including Mage Sight and increased perception.

    46) Monkey Paw Amulet [4pt] - a simple item possessed by a loyal spirit. Spirit gains -2 diff. on possession rolls against the wearer.

    ​47) Explode App. [3pt] - this wonder is actually an application installable on IOS and Android used for sending emails and SMS. However, it can also send an 'explosive' version of those, blowing up the machine that opens it (standard forces damage).

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  • Bluecho
    replied
    41) The Phantom Knife Tattoo [6 pt. Talisman; Arete 3, 10 Quintessence]:
    A tattoo of a dagger etched in blue and gray ink, placed on the owner's forearm. The Tass that went into the Talisman's creation was chimerical fruit, plundered from the Dreamlands and made physical with Life magick. This fruit was then dried, ground down, and made into the pigment that went into the ink.

    Fittingly, a tattoo derived from dream fruit summons an ephemeral, illusory dagger, identical in appearance to the tattoo itself. It appears in the user's hand, and is visible only to the user and their target. The Phantom Knife Tattoo puts a common Rote among Illusionists into a convenient form, one that cannot be taken from the user. More often though - if only because of the difficulty of tattooing oneself - the Talisman is etched into the flesh of others, such as Awakened allies or favored Consors. Variants of this Talisman (and the accompanying Rote) have the illusory weapon take different forms, depending on the mage's interests and skillset. From swords to bows and arrows to revolvers.


    System: Mind 3 creates an illusion of the weapon in the user's hand, visible only to the user and their target. A form of mental attack, the dagger (or whatever it is) can only be used against a thinking being, and then for only one turn. A sneaky mage will employ the Talisman's power along with their own Time 3 Effect to give them a burst of action, giving them multiple attacks in one turn.

    This, however, comes with a downside. As the attack is from an illusory weapon, it is not an automatic hit. The user must succeed on a relevant attack roll; Dexterity + Melee for a close range strike, Dexterity + Athletics for a throw, and Dexterity + Firearms/Archery for a gun or bow version. In any case, the successes rolled on Arete dictate the damage dealt for the attack(s). The Effect deals Bashing damage, like all pure Mind assaults.

    Because the weapon disappears after a hit and fails to leave a physical wound (despite the pain inflicted), this Effect is Vulgar with Witnesses.


    Flaw: Ties to dream reality mean this Talisman is noticeable to Changelings, Kinian, the Enchanted, and other Fae beings. The Wonder glows vibrantly in chimerical reality, and reeks of dream and sweet fruit. Indeed, it exists in chimerical reality just as much in the physical, and the Quintessence stored in it counts as Glamour to Fae beings. One of the reasons this Talisman often takes the form of a tattoo is because of how often faerie beings attempted to steal them. A tattoo cannot be stolen readily. Unfortunately, tying the Wonder to the person's pattern has its downsides; the arm hosting the tattoo becomes vulnerable to chimerical attack after the item's Effect is used, and continues to be so for the rest of the scene. Treat the limb in question as being Enchanted for the purposes of chimerical reality during this period.

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  • Warpwind
    replied
    36) Eye of Horus (2 pt. Fetish/Wonder/Charm)

    Magical amulet that had been in use in one form or another for uncounted millennia. Generally takes form of a culturally appropriate divine symbol with add eye somewhere on it, most widespread being Eye of Horus and All seeing eye. Amulet grants Danger Sense merit and automatic initiative in the first round.

    37) Card of Fate (4pt wonder)

    Generally made in a form of platinum visa card, this wonder depicts an account in any ATM where it is inserted and allows to barter, exchange and gamble one's backgrounds and merits.

    38) Helios I (2pt. Wonder)

    Invented by House Thig during the Massasa war this tool had proven its effectiveness in the combat with undead. The weapon consists of a unmodified, 4 barrel flare gun is either awakened or blessed by the spirits of the Sun to fire salvoes of very bright flares. Flares themselves are either Talens of the sun Spirits or are made of alchemical compounds that simulate sunlight. Doesn't burn the leaches but make most of them run in horror. comes with 20 charges. every 20 ammunition extra is 2pt charm.

    ​39) Firebrand Salve (3pt charm)

    This potioneer's wonder is made from liquefied sunlight, that is relatively easy to manufacture with plants, gives skin a healthy glow and burns the mouth of any vampire that is foolish enough to go for a touch or bite. Worth making note that undead are generally very reluctant to approach someone cowered in this cream.

    39) Evil Soap (4pt charm)

    Evil Soap is an otherwise innocuous bar of soap wither invested with powerful entropy effect or bound with a spirit of misfortune. Wetting it releases the charm and allows a cavalcade of lethal misfortunes to befall the user.

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  • Warpwind
    replied
    Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
    This would probably fall under the category of Charm, since it's a temporary enchantment. Also, I'd like descriptions in this thread to talk about specific Effects, not necessarily broad ways of employing them. Still, very creative.
    ​no. Its a magical tool that creates 'empty' charms that can be imbued with whatever spheres the user has. Ink is its own tass supply. Basically it allows mages with no Prime to create charms.

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  • Bluecho
    replied
    35) Blessing of Health [1-2 pt. Charm]:
    A common Charm among Faith-based mages, it involves the ritual blessing of a subject, endowing them with healing power in the name of their god(s). Anointing the subject with water, blood, ash, or some other substance, the mage ensures the subject will have a greater ability to bounce back from harm. A more powerful version even gives them a greater resistance to harm. Both forms of Charm are used frequently in times of conflict, on soldiers and allies to the mage. Generally, mages who have the ability to give this blessing don't use it on themselves, since they have the ability to heal themselves while others may not be so lucky. Especially since making the Charm costs Tass. A mage will usually only bless themselves if they are flush in Quintessence but light in friends.

    System: Life 2 gives the user a certain number of "charges" of self-healing (as with all Charms, the number of charges is equal to twice the maker's Arete). The greater variant uses Life 3 to make the blessed individual soak Aggravated damage, and to do so for as many charges as they have. Stronger, more expensive variants of the Charm may do both Effects.

    In any case, the blessed individual usually activates the Effect by uttering a prayer to their god(s). Non-religious variations of the Charm tend to have their own methods of application and activation. A Technocratic version, for example, might be an injection of repair nanomachines, which might be activated via wifi from a mundane device, like a phone or wrist-mounted button.

    Flaw: A Blessing of Health may fail to activate if the character is attempting to commit (or had committed) an action that violates the tenets of their religion. Even the aforementioned Technocrat nanomachines may fail if the character knowingly goes against the Union's rules or interests.

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  • Bluecho
    replied
    Originally posted by Warpwind View Post
    34) Spellscript (2pt. Wonder)

    Taking a form of either a tattoo pen, refined calligraphy brush, or some other implement well suited for writing on flesh the Speelscript is filled with prime imbued ink (tass) and is used to 'write' spells on the flesh of the mage. Of course this implement can only be used by a mystic who accepts visual designs into the paradigm. The design is basically a simple charm activated by an arête roll. After use the ink crumbles away.
    This would probably fall under the category of Charm, since it's a temporary enchantment. Also, I'd like descriptions in this thread to talk about specific Effects, not necessarily broad ways of employing them. Still, very creative.

    I've been thinking about Charms as of late, and wondered why it was necessary that the physical form of the object (or organism) be destroyed in order to make the magic work. Sure, ephemeral or expended objects work very well for Charms, but that doesn't mean the vessel should NEED to be destroyed to make it work. Having the magic be used up but the vessel remain lends itself to more stories, and a greater flexibility in a character's Focus. Of course a wizard who wants to make an Artifact wand would practice it by making lesser wands with a limited number of charges. And there's always the chance that the wizard's spell scroll could fall into a rival's hands, even if most of the magic is used up; a rival could still study the text of the scroll and the loose Prime threads. (If the wizard really wanted their scrolls to not fall into the wrong hands, they either need to keep track of them, destroy them manually, or weave an additional enchantment into the Charm that destroys its vessel when the Effect goes off, probably using Matter 2/3, Entropy 3, Forces 3 + Prime 2, etc).

    Getting back to your point, I would argue that if a mage weaved a Charm into a living Pattern (using one level greater Prime than with a physical vessel), it should allow that organism to use the magic themselves, without necessarily killing them. It doesn't break game balance (since a mage could, according to RAW, give another person an equivalent Charm as a physical object, and do so more easily), and is very flavorful from a mystic (or technomantic) perspective. In your example, the mage "writes" spells into a person's flesh using paint, ink, etc. Then they use it, and the enchantment vanishes (with perhaps some additional Spheres to undo the writing, like Matter 2 to change the ink into some other invisible substance). Another might be...well, I'll get to that in another post.

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  • Warpwind
    replied
    34) Spellscript (2pt. Wonder)

    Taking a form of either a tattoo pen, refined calligraphy brush, or some other implement well suited for writing on flesh the Speelscript is filled with prime imbued ink (tass) and is used to 'write' spells on the flesh of the mage. Of course this implement can only be used by a mystic who accepts visual designs into the paradigm. The design is basically a simple charm activated by an arête roll. After use the ink crumbles away.

    ​+1pt for a tool that creates remotely controlled charms.
    Last edited by Warpwind; 11-19-2017, 07:42 AM.

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  • Warpwind
    replied
    32) Thundergun (3pt. Fetish)

    It is well known that individuals without specialized training have trouble using energy weapons. Not to mention costs and effort spent in obtaining and using one. Not with this bebe! Refurbished from common tazer gun to make an acceptable receptacle the thing looks pretty fitting for both technocratic and mystic paradigm and can be used by both. The handgun containes a bound spirit of either electricity, lightning, or thunder. At activation spirit simply uses its Blast charm. Mostly coincidental, comes with 20 charges, charger and care pack.

    33) Mana cartridge (1pt. Charm)

    Consisting of a beautifully carved slip of smoky quartz encased in ceramics, this charm can be used as both technological and magical battery. Each charm holds 10pt of quintessence and fits Thundergun fetishes perfectly.
    Last edited by Warpwind; 11-17-2017, 05:47 PM.

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  • Bluecho
    replied
    31) Bacchus's Own(TM) Red Wine [3 pt. Charm]:
    Nestled somewhere amid America's midwest wine country, a vineyard controlled by the Cult of Ecstasy stands. The compound itself stands as a Chantry controlled by the Tradition, and is a common stop on the routes of many Tradition mages. Sleepers tend to rank the vineyard's product as above-average, too, though their visits rarely involve going too far into the restricted areas. One of these off-limits spots is a special section of grapevines, set aside and well hidden. Growing atop a well-tended Node, the owners cultivate a special strain of Tass grapes, which are funneled into the production of the vineyard's most exclusive product.

    Called "Bacchus's Own(TM)", only a limited number of bottles are produced at any given time. The Tass and labor needed for its production, as well as its rarity, make the wine the most expensive item on their list (not that the wine is listed; one needs to be "in the know" to even request it).

    But for those with the proper means, it can be worth the expense. Because Bacchus's Own(TM) Red Wine can serve as a powerful catalyst for romance (or lust, if one prefers). If the user serves the drink to another, it promotes amorous feelings. It doesn't force a person into love or overwhelm them with desire, but a sufficiently smooth buyer can use the wine as a powerful social lubricant, making the "wooing" easier.

    Bacchus's Own(TM) is so popular among the Awakened, even members of the Syndicate have been known to buy it. Since the vintners behind Bacchus's Own(TM) know that Syndicate reps can just purchase through intermediaries, the Ecstatics have given up trying to stop them and just sell their product normally. Granted, it is done quietly, and Syndicate customers are subject to a 250% markup, but the sales happen. While many within the Syndicate commission Union resources to replicating the wine scientifically, the Technocracy tends to look done on money spent just to get its agents laid. Moreover, while a simple compound added to a drink can suffice, the taste of Bacchus's Own(TM) cannot be so easily replicated. So, more often than not, members of the Convention find it's easier just to cut a sneaky deal with the superstitionists.


    System: Life 3 alters the target's body chemistry, inducing a heady buzz and strong arousal. Mind 2, meanwhile, fosters feelings of attraction, making the target more amenable to the idea of a hook-up. It's a vague enough impression that it can be easily skewed towards either romance (if the user wants to foster a relationship with the target) or lust (if sex is the first and/or only goal), depending on how the user frames the encounter.

    The Charm is used over the course of an hour or two of drinking and conversation. Many users pour out the draught over dinner or discussion, so they can better capitalize on the physical and emotional manipulation of the drink, and guide their target towards a desired outcome. The target doesn't need to drink the entire bottle, but they must finish at least one glass (though light-weights may not even require that much). A user sharing the bottle with their target is usually safe, and their awareness of the wine's effects is more than sufficient to keep them in control of their faculties (though they will still be aroused, and may well desire this).


    Flaw: True to the mythical allusions in the product's title, Bacchus's Own(TM) will sometimes inspire ecstatic frenzy in those who imbibe. More than a few users have transitioned their quiet dinners into wild drunken revelries, tearing off clothes and running laughing around. The creators of the wine have, at least, reassured their customers that there is little chance of a batch causing the imbiber to murder people and consume their flesh. Honest.

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  • Bluecho
    replied
    30) Ashgrave's Journal [5 pt. Grimoire; Arete 2, Forces 1, Life 2, Mind 3]:
    A cursed English Grimoire from the Victorian era, originally penned by obscure poet Alfred Ashgrave. Written by Ashgrave during his ten year imprisonment (for a crime he did not commit), the text chronicles his confinement and the events leading to it. Interspersed throughout are heady poems, accounts of dreams, existential and metaphysical musings, and venom-filled diatribes against everyone who ever wronged the man.

    It is guessed that the text's evolution into a Grimoire was unintentional - there is no evidence to suggest Alfred Ashgrave was ever Awakened per se. He likely could have effected his escape from prison if he had been, rather than dying there. No, given the artistry with which the journal was written and the passion that it contains, it is likely Ashgrave's Avatar reacted to his great need, and weaved magic into the text while he poured all of his ego into the work. Or perhaps he was a Marauder, who's Quiet prevented him from properly effecting his escape (it's not as though he didn't want to; his writings make his desire for freedom plain).

    As mentioned previously, the Grimoire is cursed. This is because, following his death of wasting disease in his cell (him scratching dilirious words into the pages to his last breath), Alfred Ashgrave's body and body of work were given to his only living relative. Annabelle Ashgrave, long having gone mad from the tragedies surrounding her brother's imprisonment, became obsessed with preserving what remained of Alfred. So, in their decrepit family manor, Annabelle bound the loose pages of her brother's journal with leather made from his skin, the spine of the tome reinforced with his bones. It's also worth noting that, while he frequently had parchment brought to him in prison, he either lacked sufficient ink, or simply desired to properly convey his hate; many pages in the original copy were penned in Alfred's own blood.

    Between Alfred's unknowing investment of his Will, the binding of the book with his body, and his sister's insanity, the tome was irrevocably cursed. For several years following the book's creation, the Gothic realm of Victorian England (and a few other places as well) was haunted by a shade of Alfred Ashgrave. Not a true sapient intelligence, but a specter summoned from his rage, sorrow, and hate; a floating, ephemeral version of Alfred, skin covered in scrawls taken from his journal. The shade was tied to the book, which Annabelle guarded well, and used its unearthly might to prosecute the late Alfred's vendetta against his many enemies. These included a couple moneyed families, a vastly immoral Victorian slum lord, the English crown, and agents of governmental authority in general.

    The original journal is said to be long destroyed - good men and women desiring to stop the killing and put the poor soul to rest - yet the text survives. Annabelle Ashgrave - surviving more than a few attempts on her life and attempts to destroy the book - took to making meticulous copies of Ashgrave's Journal, under the belief that her brother would never die if his beautiful words survived. She even had passages of the text tattooed all over her body; when she finally perished, her body was animated by her brother's grudge, and needed to be put down and destroyed again.

    Ashgrave's Journal was the axis around which a long series of tragedies were spawned, a pattern of haunting and disconnected revenge that has lasted to the present day. It is an item of grave danger, but also of great insight. Despite the grudge it carries for its targets of hate, it nonetheless is a work of art, from which the ecstatic, existential, and Romantic mage can learn. Ecstasy Cultists and Hollow Ones collect copies - sequestered in hidden places, where they are unlikely to encounter agents of authority - while Nephandi deliberately drop copies in the middle of crowded cities, hoping to sow mischief and suffering.


    System: It is curious how a text written by a man with no visible Enlightenment could provide insight into the mysteries of Awakening. Perhaps he was a sleepwalker or Marauder, or he Awakened shortly before death. Whatever the case, his other insights are arguably more important. Living for years in a poorly insulated cell, Alfred suffered - and therefore greatly understood - the vicissitudes of balmy summer heat and bitter winter cold. This, combined with his blazing fury and icy hate, can be instructive about matters of Forces. And his chronic, wasting illness - and his commentaries thereof - can teach a great deal about Life. As can his long poems about the virtues of the natural world, and his painful desire to see living, growing things within his cramped urban cell. Of greatest value, however, may be his extensive records of his dreams, and his travels through the dreamlands.

    The curse, meanwhile, functions on proximity. If a person falling into one of the groups that Ashgrave despised remains within a few blocks of the book for a certain period, a shade will arise from the tome and slowly seek the person out. Given the weight of centuries, the vagaries of fate, and raw attrition, most of the specific family lines that the book would target have died off (in an official, easily traceable fashion, anyway). Save for the English royal family, most normal people are exempt from the book's wrath; that said, one never knows who one has as an ancestor, or what they did. The most likely to attract a shade's attention, then, are agents of governments or government-like groups (which, to their dismay, include the Technocratic Union). Someone as low as a police officer or municipal bureaucrat can count. For this reason, collectors tend to keep the books in libraries or Chantries in remote rural estates or properties, where cops or government workers are unlikely to tread. Some Chantries even keep the book around as a defense weapon against Technocratic incursions, though this is seen by some as foolhardy and extreme.

    The shade counts as a spiritual entity - an Umbrood - and should be run as such. It wields spirit Charms (of heat, cold, and cloying confinement mostly), and can be hedged out (or kept in, though the shade hates that) by Wards or Bans. The original shade looked like a pale, ghostly Alfred Ashgrave, with skin covered in hand-written passages from his journal. If other (complete and accurate) copies of the text are bound in normal materials, the shade is generally weaker, and appears only as a figure of indistinct features with writing on the skin, or even just the writing that adheres to an outline of an otherwise invisible figure. If the copy has been bound with leather made from human skin - as many Nephandi-made copies are - the figure covered in text looks like the person or persons from which the book was bound, and is as powerful as the original copy's shade. At no point should the shade be considered a Wraith, though the appearance of such a spirit can still be disturbing.

    If the shade itself is destroyed in spiritual combat, it will remain so until sufficient passes for it to replenish its spiritual essence (like a regular Umbrood). Afterwards, it will reappear from the book, if an acceptable target is around to attract its attention (which may include the ones who destroyed its previous form, even if they didn't previously qualify; Ashgrave's shade is a being of hate and vengeance after all). Burning or shredding the book will instantly destroy the shade, as its existence is totally tied to the book.
    Last edited by Bluecho; 11-09-2017, 09:38 PM.

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  • Bluecho
    replied
    29) Das Puppenspieler Handbuch [5 pt. Grimoire; Arete 2, Prime 2, Matter 2, Forces 3]:
    Literally "The Puppeteer's Handbook", a text preserving the knowledge of an obscure European Craft called Der Puppenspieler (though this is only their most wildly known name, coined by a German follower of the primarily Italian tradition, who also happened to be the book's author). A loose group of puppeteers, puppet-crafters, dollmakers, and a few actors and set designers, united in their use of illusions and magical puppetry. The author of this tome penned it in the middle of the eighteenth century, during the waning years of the Craft, in an attempt to preserve a portion of the group's knowledge. Being craftsmen and lay performers (albeit Awakened ones), the Puppenspieler made no habit of writing down their methods, preferring instead the personal instruction of master and apprentice to pass their methods.

    Das Puppenspieler Handbuch serves partly as instruction book on crafting a life-size puppet, partly a philosophical treatise on the nature of the puppet, and partly a discussion of what the Craft called "Die Strings des Lebens" (literally: The Strings of Life). The latter is a spiritual exercise, wherein the user "weaves the strings that then command the body, rendering life upon the simulation of man". In layman's terms, a form of Thought Form, combined with finger movements or a puppeteer's controller, that connects the user to the object (living, dead, or unliving) they wish to control. Hermetic commentaries on the text are quick to draw connections to the Platonic Forms, and to the Sphere of Prime, in regards to Die Strings des Lebens.

    Ultimately, the full benefits of Das Puppenspieler Handbuch can only be obtained when the reader goes the full distance, and crafts their first puppet. They cannot be as Gheppeto and give life to an inanimate replica of a person, until they first create that object.

    The text passed quickly into the hands of collectors in the Order of Hermes, who have since put a Hermetic spin on Der Puppenspieler ways. Still, the Craft is not dead, merely reduced from the slow hardening of the Consensus (animating puppets and dolls as servants has become quite Vulgar indeed). Yet they adapt, seeking workarounds to Paradox in taxidermy (a puppet made from a living thing will more easily pass for alive) and animatronics (with technopuppeteers identifying Die Strings des Lebens in electric wires and strings of code). Others study puppetry from throughout the world, including shadow-puppets. Das Puppenspieler Handbuch, meanwhile, is an old text, and hews close to the Craft's roots.


    For those wondering "the hell is this guy on about?", just imagine the puppet-using ninjas from Naruto. As gauche as it is, I saw that early in my life, and it informed my vision of what a magical puppetmaster looks like for all time. Folks directing life-sized artificial minions with shining, probably invisible threads leading off from their fingers. I'm not ashamed of my influences, and this image is close to my heart (even if Naruto generally hasn't done it for me in years).

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