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1001 Interesting Paradox Backlashes

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  • 544) One Way In, No Way Out [Flaw]: An affliction given unto Mages who employ Correspondence to gain access to secure buildings. As early as the Renaissance, even Ksirafi burglars would report using their understanding of Connection to access compounds, only to find themselves unable to leave, even by the way they came in. Even when they accomplished such feats in entirely Casual ways, such as with grappling hooks, padded shoes, or lock picks. This form of Paradox also arises from higher level Correspondence Effects, as a result of efforts to warp or fold space.

    The backlash manifests as an inability to locate an exit to the location, either magickal or mundane. The door they entered through disappears when they aren't looking, and windows are missing that, by all rights, should be around. Efforts to create new exits - through magickal or mundane means - also fail. Effects cast to teleport away do nothing, and efforts to break down walls or phase through them have the curious effect of leading to yet more rooms, hitherto unknown. Efforts to leave simply result in the Mage either getting nowhere, or seemingly traveling deeper into the structure.

    Only when the duration of the backlash subsides can the Mage finally locate an exit. There are apocryphal tales of Master mages being trapped in their own Sanctums after particularly terrible, permanent Paradox backlashes. Able to conjure all they required to sustain themselves indefinitely, but never able to leave. Some say these old masters remain lost to this day.


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    • 545) Scholar's Mark [ Paradox Flaw ] - When the affected Mage writes by hand on any writing material, a simple geometric sign - distinctly unique to each Mage affected by this Paradox Flaw - appears at the bottom right corner of the page. This sign is two to three centimetres high and wide on an A4 page, and changes size ( keeping these proportions of size relative to a page ) depending on the size of the page that the Mage writes on. Each page that the Mage writes on is affected in this way. The sign is made with the same kind of writing pigment or technique that the Mage last used on the page. The sign cannot at all be wiped off or covered with writing by the Mage except if it is destroyed by tearing up the part of the page the sign is on, or making holes in it ( a tiny bit of the sign destroyed is enough ) . The Mage could cover the sign by glueing something to the page. Another person can write over or wipe off the sign normally, including if the Mage asks her ( or him ) to do so.

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      • 546) Lingering Stay [ Paradox Flaw ] - If the affected Mage is more or less in one place ( the size of around a room ) for more than ten to twenty minutes, then after she ( or he ) leaves the place and is out of sight of the spot that she stood before she left, a thick white-teal-blue haze will appear at the spot the Mage stood at. The amount of the haze is enough to fill around two to five cubic meters, with an indistinct shape that might form geometric or abstract figures. After lingering for a few seconds, the haze will follow the route the Mage went, dissipating completely over the next five to twenty seconds as it does so. This phenomenon occurs every time the Mage stays for more than ten to twenty minutes at one place.

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        • 547) First Time Around Here [ Paradox Flaw ] The first time the affected Mage visits an area ( a place, a location etc. ) using a particular route or travels along a particular route, she ( or he ) will not remember at all the way back, nor the surroundings and details of the route that she travelled. The Mage either forgets to note the way, has trouble observing the surroundings awarely, or the memory of the route travelled slips away from her thoughts as she tries to recall it. After subsequent travels using a particular route, the Mage will remember normally the route that she used. This Paradox Flaw affects the Mage in the same way whether she travels outdoors or inside a building.
          Last edited by Muad'Dib; 01-03-2019, 06:35 PM.

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          • 548) Something In Your Teeth [Flaw]: Users of the Art of Desire (and, more recently, Hypereconomics) rely on getting their personal style just right in order to manifest their will in the world. Predictably, when Reality began to harden and swing against Mages, one of the earliest manifestations of the nascent "Scourge" were tiny but unavoidable imperfections in the miens of such willworkers. A bit of food stuck in an otherwise perfect smile. A drop of wine staining a white shirt. A bit of fluff standing out against a dark jacket. One, single errant hair ruining hours of stylist work. The problem is so small, yet cannot be ignored by everyone who sees the mage, undoing all their work to make friends and influence people. Because at the end of the night, all they can remember is how ridiculous the mage looked.

            No amount of fussing or wiping or picking or whatever will correct the problem. One historical High Financier is said to have picked his teeth until his gums bled, trying (unsuccessfully) to dislodge an errant bit of cabbage. Such was his outrage at having six months of work in the courts of Vienna come to naught from a single, incidental botch of his Enlightenment. Syndicate reps in modern times still share the anecdote to younger members, as a cautionary tale.


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            • 549) Yet Another Curiosity [ Paradox Flaw ] The affected Mage cannot help to spend a moment - or longer - looking over and admiring any small items that they handle. This Paradox Flaw occurs no more often than once every two to three minutes. The reasons for this vary from item to item, and situation to situation. It might be a glint that might seem interesting, a peculiarity of an item's surface, a fleeting idea that the item is more important then the Mage assumes, or a vague notion of some alternative use. While the results of this Paradox Flaw could lead the Mage to some new and useful discoveries, the vast majority of the time the seeming reasons turn out to be nothing more than excuses for the Mage to scrutinize and/or admire items.
              Last edited by Muad'Dib; 01-04-2019, 07:23 AM.

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              • 550) Second Doubts [ Paradox Flaw ] If affected Mage is uncertain about anything, but then manages to overcome her ( or his ) doubts or otherwise become certain in regard to a particular matter or issue, then the she will be beset by more or less the same doubts that she just put aside a moment after. The Mage will have to mentally backtrack to reassure herself to get rid of this nagging feeling ; or find new, additional reasons to be assured in regard to a particular matter. This Paradox Flaw only affects the Mage after she stop feeling uncertain about an issue ; it does influence the Mage's doubts directly in any way.

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                • 551) Special Agent Quagmire [Spirit]: No relation to the animated character, Agent Quagmire has troubled the Technocratic Union since the 1800s. A man of average height and build, clean-shaven face and bald or modest hair. He wears small, round dark glasses, a bowler hat, a now out-of-fashion suit and waistcoat, and impeccably shined shoes. He always carries a stock black briefcase, and often carries a cane and pocket watch. Despite the Technocracy's usual willful disdain for superstitionist stories about immortal spirits of "Reality's displeasure", coming down from on high to punish the Enlightened, agents have for over a century learned to watch out for a man identifying himself as Agent Quagmire, whether by name or description.

                  Agent Quagmire is the perpetual fly in the ointment, the hitch in the step, and the blockage in the cogs of the machine. He exists to complicate matters. When he appears, it is almost always when Technocrats are busying themselves with getting an important operation running smoothly. He introduces himself with a customary doffed hat, presents his credentials (which, despite everything, are always somehow legitimate), and opens his briefcase to hand over documents or files. Agent Quagmire either leaves the documents with "real" agents to sort through (or to not do so, at their own peril), or reads out what information he has. The information can take many forms, but is always 1) relevant to the situation or the individuals at hand, and 2) invariably likely to create hurdles or complications no one expected. Sometimes, he seems to even have intel on subjects - even personal ones - that should be secret or classified, and will give this intel over to whomever will act upon this information in the most disruptive fashion. Many ops have become mired in interpersonal drama, when formerly trusted allies are suddenly informed about why they should distrust one another, or are motivated to deviate from operations for personal, professional, or philosophical reasons.

                  Whatever the event, Agent Quagmire never fibs and rarely betrays Union secrets. In many ways, while few higher ups can fully account for him or even be pleased by his involvement, he is as much an instrument of the will of the Union itself as an agent of Paradox. At least, on paper he is. His actions may end up contrary to the interests of the Union and its members, but few can argue with his clearance. Even if someone does dig in and try to track down the orders in the Union bureaucracy (usually a fruitless effort), by that time the damage Agent Quagmire causes will have been done. Defeats will be snatched from the jaws of Victory, friendships will be undermined, and loyalties and trust will be tested. All because the right information was conveyed at the wrong time. If nothing else, Agent Quagmire is living proof that no plan survives contact with the enemy. In this case, "the enemy" being a recalcitrant Reality with an axe to grind.


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                  • 552) Jeweler's Mark [ Paradox Flaw | Matter, Matter in Conjunctional Effects with no more than one other Magick kind ]

                    Two or three nails on one of the affected Mage's hands become metallic in both appearance and substance. This can be any solid metal commonly used in jewelery - silver, copper, gold, iron, platinum etc. - and all of the nails are of the same metal.
                    If the Mage seeks to cut off these nails as they grow longer ( which they do as before ) , she ( or he ) will need to use either appropriate tools or Magick to do this. Matter Magick can be used for this ; thus this isn't problematic for Mages affected by this Paradox Flaw ( Life Magick can also be used to cut the nails ) . The nails crumble to fine powder and turn to ordinary, non-metallic dust when they are separated from the Mage's body.

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                    • 553) On the Move [ Paradox Flaw ]

                      The affected Mage's footsteps are heard for ten to thirty seconds after she ( or he ) stops walking or running.

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                      • 554) Baleful Secret Passage [Flaw]: One can never count on the integrity of architecture or the landscape, especially when Paradox is involved. When a mage employs magick tactically, with the intent of preventing others from coming and going through a given space, this Flaw can manifest to stymie their efforts. Wards, walls of elements, bolstering locks, or promoting undergrowth. When a mage tries to change their environment to make it harder to traverse, they may overlook hidden ways of ingress/egress. Especially if those hidden ways didn't really exist, up until Paradox created them.

                        The Flaw generates hidden doors, passages, and trails, that circumvent their barriers. Moreover, the force of Paradox manifests such that those who desire to get through will chance to find these passages, and have them be open at just the right (or wrong) time. Mages may feel secure in their barricaded room, only to find their assailants rushing through a door that suddenly opened from behind a bookcase. Other mages might be trying to corner someone, only to realize their quarry discovered a hidden trap door at the last moment, or a weakened bit of wall leading to a crawl space.

                        More than one Chantry and Construct have fallen to such chance happenings.


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                        • 555) Questionable Grin [ Paradox Flaw ]
                          The affected Mage's mood shifts for a moment when she ( or he ) hears a question, and she grins earnestly for a few seconds to overcome the troublesome uncertainty inherent in a sentence that is a question. This happens whether it is the Mage being asked a question, or she is asking one, or a person nearby asks a question to another person ( But a person speaking a question to herself or himself, or without adressing anyone, will not trigger this Paradox Flaw. ) . The Mage is aware of her grinning, but she is inclined towards giving it no attention to and rationalizing the very short shifts in her attitude.

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                          • 556) Ambiguous Hair [ Paradox Flaw ]

                            The affected Mage acquires a tendency to confuse the actual color of a person's hair ( except her or his own ) for another that is similar ; this includes shades of the same color. The Mage is both convinced of the wrong color, and her perception changes to an extent, so that she sees the hair as being of this color. This Paradox Flaw triggers very often - in regard to most persons the Mage interacts with. The Mage is affected by it until she asks, or is otherwise informed, of the actual color of a particular person's hair, while the Mage is next to the particular person and can take a look ; after this her perception shifts back to perceiving the color of the hair of the particular person as it is.

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                            • 557) Published by Paradox

                              After this backlash takes effect, the next book (or other significant work of text) read provokes feelings of anger in the affected Mage, both toward the work itself and any identifiable author or publisher. This emotional association is persistent, and any time the subject of the book or its creators is revisited, the Mage will again feel its effects. The Mage's anger will however resolve if the book is substantially altered (e.g. by being partially redacted, rewritten, or destroyed), and the Mage is instinctively aware of this fact.

                              The effect of this backlash does not compel the Mage to break normal social boundaries or take any specific actions. Still, complaints or arguments are common side effects - particularly when someone else doesn't perceive Paradox as having had any negative effect on the book.

                              Last edited by Cielle; 01-10-2019, 09:04 AM.

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                              • 558) Cautious Entry [ Paradox Flaw ] The affected Mage looks over her ( or his ) shoulder whenever she goes into a room or a building ( whether one she was in before, or one she is visiting for the first time ) . This Paradox Flaw triggers in most of such situations. The Mage can try to resist this behavior, but it is very hard to do so.

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