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  • Work for Guild apprentices.

    There's a lot about the Wraith economy that bears exploration, if you are the kind of simulationist storyteller who needs it to all make sense. I'm not going to try to tackle the various issues of labor and materials here. The issue I want to bring up is one that I think gets less attention: what do apprentices do for their masters while they get trained? In a traditional apprenticeship the pupil spends a lot of his time doing menial labor. Cleaning the shop, maintaining the tools, sanding and polishing end products, etc. But a lot of that doesn't necessarily apply to the work of, say, a Proctor. The tool of his trade is his Corpus; his shop is the Skinlands where he helps other Wraiths with their Earthly concerns (by the way, I never hear story hook ideas that start with "One of your customers wants to pay you a ton of Pathos to Skinride her cheating living husband off a cliff" or other Guild-related stuff like that).

    Obviously an apprentice can start helping out with her master's actual work more as her Arcanoi develop. I'm more interested in the other stuff, that probably doesn't excite the average player all that much but I think can add useful flavor to the world of Wraith. I'll go through the main Guilds and give my ideas for the kind of mind-numbing drudgery that masters might tend to ask of their apprentices.

    All: Record-keeping and customer-facing secretarial work.

    Harbingers: Navigation, in areas where enough is known about the route that greater knowledge and Orienteering isn't needed. Spectre-spotting. Luggage carrying.

    Pardoners: Making customers comfortable while their master grapples with the customer's Shadow. Standing ready to subdue the customer if they undergo Catharsis.

    Proctors: Doing Skinlands research about the situations their masters are tasked with getting into. Watching their master's back when they are Embodied.

    Oracles: A ton of paralegal-type work, doing research relevant to various omens and courses of destiny.

    Artificers: In addition to possibly doing all the same things an apprentice blacksmith does, doing similar pre-job Skinlands research as the Proctors.

    Chanteurs: Basically being roadies.

    Monitors: A lot of record-keeping--it pays to know who has what Fetters. Routine checking up on customers' Fetters.

    Masquers: Stagehand type stuff. Surgeon's assistant type stuff (probably mostly just holding patients down). Studying wraiths' mannerisms for Imitate purposes.

    Spooks: Watching out for Centurions and other dangers. Noting property damage for those Spooks who itemize their fees.

    Haunters: Watching out for Centurions and other dangers. Making sure the master doesn't get too crazy.

    Sandmen: Research of the dreamer that would help in crafting dreams effectively. Script supervision.

    Puppeteers: Same as with Pardoners.

    Usury: Low-level accounting. Much record-keeping. Collections.


    Edit: Now that I look at my list, I think a lot of that stuff isn't so menial. Some of the research could be kind of interesting.
    Last edited by Faradn; 03-08-2016, 01:17 AM.

  • #2
    These are great. Some good plot hooks here.

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    • #3
      I do note that doing some of those scut-work tasks are going to get an apprentice turned into a proverbial ashtray for violation of the Dictuum Mortem. Especially, since, unlike their master's they really don't have the oomph to offer enough to be worth looking the other way.

      I did something very similar on a Legion by Legion basis. Dividing up the governmental tasks between them, so they actually RUN the Necropolis instead of being just a military junta & police/pirate combo.

      I explicitly set it up as "this is what the division of labor looks like in THIS Necropolis" and varied it between the two cities I ran as Wraith settings:

      All - Patrol duties (except Fate, due to small numbers, can elect to opt out of its rotation)

      Emerald - Trade, including Relics, about which they attempt to keep tabs on the more powerful ones. (You aren’t registered as being the legitimate holder of that relic bicycle, ma’am….) On the military side, this made them the quartermasters of the Legions as a whole

      Fate – Whatever they want, really. Trouble-shooters and grimcrows. They show up and people listen to them. Also, de facto mediators, as they don’t get involved in Legion v. Legion politics. Fate is largely identical to the Oracles Guild. If you have significant Fatalism you are effectively in or an “associate” of the Legion of Fate

      Grim Legion – Internal Security, including keeping an eye on Nihils and areas of known specter activity, but also keeping tabs on Renegade and Heretics. Not REALLY secret police, but also not NOT secret police. Pretty much the most militarized group of them all. They are ALL military ALL of the time.

      Iron Legion – Necropolis defense and infrastructure, including an accounting of all Haunts. Also managing buildings and building materials manifesting from Skinlands destruction. Includes overseeing the Byways (collecting tolls and the like too).

      Paupers – Investigation, a la police detectives, but also kinda claims adjustors.

      Penitent - Education, specifically of Enfants re: Shadows and such; Psych officers looking for cases of Catharsis; in charge of Castigation for Legion personnel, so I guess, Psychological Support? Lots of overlap with the informal Pardoners “Association”

      Silent – Long range patrols (mostly due to the identity of their Anacreon), so a working relationship and intensive knowledge of Argos.

      Skeletal – Census keepers which in wraith terms also involves running the “banks” and overseeing the slave and obolus-based aspects of the economy. Lots of Usurer users and a significant portion of the soulforgers.

      Some Legions have larger duties than others due to relative size. Emerald, Grim, Iron and Skeletal are roughly equal and considered the “Big” groups with the personnel to handle major league and broader jbd. The Paupers comes in slightly smaller with a smaller remit. Silent and Penitent are substantially smaller and have commensurately more narrowly defined duties. And Fate does its own thing.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ajax View Post
        I do note that doing some of those scut-work tasks are going to get an apprentice turned into a proverbial ashtray for violation of the Dictuum Mortem. Especially, since, unlike their master's they really don't have the oomph to offer enough to be worth looking the other way.
        Is Soulforging or Moliation really used for minor violations of the Dictum Mortem? Not lesser penalties, such as fines of Pathos or Corpus? Most of what I mentioned was research and observation, which I'm not sure would even be considered violation of the Dictum.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Faradn View Post

          Is Soulforging or Moliation really used for minor violations of the Dictum Mortem? Not lesser penalties, such as fines of Pathos or Corpus? Most of what I mentioned was research and observation, which I'm not sure would even be considered violation of the Dictum.
          For minor violations of the Dictuum Mortem? No - the Hierarchy has a number of lesser penalties available, including fines or prison time.

          However, being a Guild member is not a minor violation. Ever since the Breaking of the Guilds, Stygian law treats the Guilds as a cross between an organized crime syndicate and a dangerous terrorist organization. They turn a blind eye to certain Guilds (you never know when you might need a good Pardoner, after all) . . . But being outed as a Guild member is a good way to get sent to the soul forges.

          Now, rules are looser in the Shadowlands . . . but then they're sort of the Wild West of the Underworld. Most of the rule makers no longer have the Fetters to pull themselves that close to the living, so they have to rely on flunkies to enforce their laws there. Flunkies who often have their own problems and ambitions . . .

          Regardless of where you are, though, its still not a good idea to advertise your Guild membership.



          Edit: Oh, for the Harbringers - don't forget "rescue services". They consider themselves something of a Coast Guard for the Tempest, and apprentices with Usury or Moliate might well find themselves pressed into service as "paramedics".
          Last edited by One Vorlon; 03-09-2016, 03:12 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by One Vorlon View Post
            For minor violations of the Dictuum Mortem? No - the Hierarchy has a number of lesser penalties available, including fines or prison time.

            However, being a Guild member is not a minor violation. Ever since the Breaking of the Guilds, Stygian law treats the Guilds as a cross between an organized crime syndicate and a dangerous terrorist organization. They turn a blind eye to certain Guilds (you never know when you might need a good Pardoner, after all) . . . But being outed as a Guild member is a good way to get sent to the soul forges.

            Now, rules are looser in the Shadowlands . . . but then they're sort of the Wild West of the Underworld. Most of the rule makers no longer have the Fetters to pull themselves that close to the living, so they have to rely on flunkies to enforce their laws there. Flunkies who often have their own problems and ambitions . . .

            Regardless of where you are, though, its still not a good idea to advertise your Guild membership.



            Edit: Oh, for the Harbringers - don't forget "rescue services". They consider themselves something of a Coast Guard for the Tempest, and apprentices with Usury or Moliate might well find themselves pressed into service as "paramedics".
            Well said. That's what I was trying to get at, but overstated my case.

            The "Guilds Are OUT!" idea is why I had Legions co-opt some of their specialties (meaning the Legions are effectively deeply infiltrated by the remnants/(semi)covert current members/sympathizers of the Guilds, but, oh well, seems pretty par for the course for wraithly politics). Even some of the "forbidden Arcanoi" got a pass when used for "official and sanctioned purposes" like the Iron Legion getting pesky living folks out of Haunts.

            E.g the Silent Legion has a lot of the Harbingers, the Penitent a lot of what would be Pardoners, Skeletal & Usurers, etc. And those not actually IN the relevant Legion who specialize in the Arcanos who aren't in the illegal Guild (wink, wink in more than a few cases) are technically under the jurisdiction of the relevant Legion. (Status-Hierarchy 1 meant formal Legion membership, which didn't always mean actual or continual military-like service, but there were many wraiths in the necropolis who didn't have Status with the Renegades or Heretics either. Just dead folks trying to get by...) And, like I said, which Legion did what varied between the cities, though the larger Legions were in control of the "juiciest" areas.

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            • #7
              Yeah, I myself never truly got how the Guilds are supposed to operate, and how Legion and Guild membership overlaps.

              I ran with the sanctioned Guilds being out and about and sort of an advisory/for hire role for the Legions, while the other Guilds were crime syndicates.

              But even with that, Guild/Legion is the most puzzling part of Stygian politics.

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              • #8
                My understanding is that certain Guilds are clamped down on pretty hard, but most operate relatively freely if covertly. And as per what Vorlon said, few Centurions have the Fetters to stay in the Shadowlands to enforce the Dictuum Mortem--since maintaining their Fetters is illegal. Though who knows how much they enforce that rule on each other.
                Last edited by Faradn; 03-09-2016, 04:58 PM.

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                • #9
                  I think protecting Fetters isn't much of a violation. It's killing human Fetters, haunting houses and making yourself known that is. Merely watching and protecting Fetters isn't.

                  The problem with Wraith, which was fixed for Great War, is that Guilds are presented as the core splat type, when Legions probably more accurately reflect that. Every character in Stygia nominally belongs to a Legion, even if they have no rank. But only some are part of a Guild.

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                  • #10
                    The whole Dictum Mortuum edict is one of those things that speaks to the distanced and alien nature of the old wraiths in Stygia. It is a direct impediment to maintaining a Hierarchy presence in the Shadowlands, which is vital to preventing rebellion and maintaining the flow of Wraiths and Soulsteel necessary to ward off Oblivion. But the Deathlords and other old ones have been fetterless for so long that they think of the Shadowlands as minor colonies and Fetters as meaningless distractions that keep Wraiths from coming down to do their real duty. They are demanding that their Legions do a vital job yet undermining that job with yet another draconian law. It's the classic conflict between the political class and the boots on the ground, writ large and colored with the looming threat of Oblivion.

                    It's not that protecting Fetters isn't much of a violation, it's that the Hierarchs on the ground are turning a blind eye out of utter necessity*. The same with the more necessary guilds and useful Heretics. There's probably even a Fall of Rome situation with the Legions paying Renegade groups to keep order in the outlands. Compromises have to be made and you can only hope that the visiting Colonel or Inquisitor doesn't screw things up or soulforge you.


                    Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                    • #11
                      Except that system has historically applied in situations where there's a communication lag. Stygia is the product of a continual attempt to improve communications. Unless you think the Death Lords are purposely keeping themselves from using the Byways they themselves set up Stygia is absolutely in control of the necropoli to a much greater degree than you are proposing. Stygia is a massive resource magnet (relic materials up to and including entire buildings, slaves, soulfourged iron, immigrants who have lost their last Fetter, etc.). They are not going to loose control of their resource base effectively "just 'cause". You CAN use the model of the later days of the Roman Empire (which is perceived as being much less cohesive than it actually was), but that's not directly implied by the source material. Probably the British Empire at its height would be a better model with Stygia as a Sweeney Todd-esque version of London. There's no reason NOT to set up the declining and failing Dark Kingdom of Iron you're proposing. It's just dystopian in a different way. Less "fascist imperialistic Stygia" and more "barely hanging on tragically out of touch Stygia in decline", but I don't see how that is comes across as the default. Not that things aren't fraying at the edges. Of course they are. The entropy of Oblivion affects EVERYTHING. But it's more "Casablanca" than (a somewhat historically accurate) "King Arthur and the Fall of the Britons".

                      I'm not sure where the idea that Centurions are primarily from Stygia and that they gaunts is coming from. Sure, that's part of the Legions, probably the kick-ass decades/centuries of experience part (not that Stygia can effectively use them to project force), but there's no reason to assume (and every reason not to based on the balance of the material) that there aren't Centurions with Fetters comprising the rank and file of the Hierarchy's Skinlands ranks). And, sure, the Dictum is honored more in the breach than in the word. Aside from egregious uses that start causing obvious problems, it's going to be one of those things where a wraith is accused of it in addition to something else or as the obvious way to "handle" someone who is causing problem. ("Round up the usual suspects.") If the Dictum was being enforced to the levels described, it would be utterly empty. Unless a wraith was discovered doing it red-handed, the Hierarchy would have to stay so distant from the Skinlands that they wouldn't even know that a huge violation had occurred and now every station was sending news crews and all the "ghost hunter" shows and "talk to dead relative" mystics were descending on their city. Because they would keep no tabs on the acts of the Quick AT ALL. Also, the whole "feed on Pathos of the living" would be right out. That's interacting with the world of the living as well.

                      I'm not sure I'm seeing the the "Oh yeah, the Guilds are illegal, but they're all around and everyone knows it and the laws against them are a fiction that everyone winks and nods and goes about their business". Admittedly, the system is somewhat equivocal in the current descriptions, but it doesn't seem like it's THAT open. The Hierarchy is powerful enough to do the things describe above to keep the resources rolling in. Guilds that use Arcanoi that violate the Dictum are hands down illegal enterprises, almost exactly like organized crime. Other Guilds are on the serious downlow and it's entirely possible to use their Arcanoi as a private citizen without having to worry about the illegal secret society lurking way behind the scenes interfering (though getting the high level secrets might be difficult without learning the secret handshake, but even then, enough wraiths not a part of the old system anymore know the high levels and are willing to teach or there's always "learn it on your own by using your Arcanos muscles". And the most essential Arcanoi Guilds were largely subsumed into the Hierarchy system as "working associations without political aspirations".

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ajax View Post
                        Except that system has historically applied in situations where there's a communication lag. Stygia is the product of a continual attempt to improve communications. Unless you think the Death Lords are purposely keeping themselves from using the Byways they themselves set up Stygia is absolutely in control of the necropoli to a much greater degree than you are proposing. Stygia is a massive resource magnet (relic materials up to and including entire buildings, slaves, soulfourged iron, immigrants who have lost their last Fetter, etc.). They are not going to loose control of their resource base effectively "just 'cause". You CAN use the model of the later days of the Roman Empire (which is perceived as being much less cohesive than it actually was), but that's not directly implied by the source material. Probably the British Empire at its height would be a better model with Stygia as a Sweeney Todd-esque version of London. There's no reason NOT to set up the declining and failing Dark Kingdom of Iron you're proposing. It's just dystopian in a different way. Less "fascist imperialistic Stygia" and more "barely hanging on tragically out of touch Stygia in decline", but I don't see how that is comes across as the default. Not that things aren't fraying at the edges. Of course they are. The entropy of Oblivion affects EVERYTHING. But it's more "Casablanca" than (a somewhat historically accurate) "King Arthur and the Fall of the Britons".

                        I'm not sure where the idea that Centurions are primarily from Stygia and that they gaunts is coming from. Sure, that's part of the Legions, probably the kick-ass decades/centuries of experience part (not that Stygia can effectively use them to project force), but there's no reason to assume (and every reason not to based on the balance of the material) that there aren't Centurions with Fetters comprising the rank and file of the Hierarchy's Skinlands ranks). And, sure, the Dictum is honored more in the breach than in the word. Aside from egregious uses that start causing obvious problems, it's going to be one of those things where a wraith is accused of it in addition to something else or as the obvious way to "handle" someone who is causing problem. ("Round up the usual suspects.") If the Dictum was being enforced to the levels described, it would be utterly empty. Unless a wraith was discovered doing it red-handed, the Hierarchy would have to stay so distant from the Skinlands that they wouldn't even know that a huge violation had occurred and now every station was sending news crews and all the "ghost hunter" shows and "talk to dead relative" mystics were descending on their city. Because they would keep no tabs on the acts of the Quick AT ALL. Also, the whole "feed on Pathos of the living" would be right out. That's interacting with the world of the living as well.

                        I'm not sure I'm seeing the the "Oh yeah, the Guilds are illegal, but they're all around and everyone knows it and the laws against them are a fiction that everyone winks and nods and goes about their business". Admittedly, the system is somewhat equivocal in the current descriptions, but it doesn't seem like it's THAT open. The Hierarchy is powerful enough to do the things describe above to keep the resources rolling in. Guilds that use Arcanoi that violate the Dictum are hands down illegal enterprises, almost exactly like organized crime. Other Guilds are on the serious downlow and it's entirely possible to use their Arcanoi as a private citizen without having to worry about the illegal secret society lurking way behind the scenes interfering (though getting the high level secrets might be difficult without learning the secret handshake, but even then, enough wraiths not a part of the old system anymore know the high levels and are willing to teach or there's always "learn it on your own by using your Arcanos muscles". And the most essential Arcanoi Guilds were largely subsumed into the Hierarchy system as "working associations without political aspirations".
                        You'll have to forgive me if I made it sound like the system was on the verge of collapse. Barring some kind of 'Sixth Great Maelstrom' (said in a Doctor Evil voice) Stygia isn't even close to falling. I think you are reading to much into the 'Fall of Rome' comment, but I really only meant that I could see local Hierarchs outsourcing enforcement if they didn't have the resources to do it themselves. As you say, a British Empire at its height (although I would say just after its decline started) is a better model for Stygia. However, everything in Wraith is tainted by Oblivion and so the decay of the system should be more pronounced than you would expect. Supply and communication lines breaking down, misunderstandings and investigations confused by Shadow tricks, and sabotage are not rare events, they are an everyday occurance, It is a testament to the sheer inevitability of Stygia that it keeps grinding forward anyways.

                        I'm not sure where the idea that Centurions are gaunts (edit: Domem) is coming from either, as every Hierarch in a Necropolis up to and including the Anacreons would, by definition, have Fetters. The gap has little to do with rank, and everything to do with location. The gulf between Stygia and the Necropoli is real and dramatic. The leadership of Stygia not only doesn't understand the conditions of the Necropoli, they can't. They literally live in an entirely different world. They can hear reports and they might even be able to see the odd relic picture, but it is a world they are separated from by time and metaphysics. Lifeweb can overcome the Metaphysics, but not the time. If there was ever a situation that would drive a wedge between the local authorities and the state, it is one like what we see in the Hierarchy. And the Dictum Mortuum is one of the things that underscores this because, from the point of view of the Necropoli it is a completely dysfunctional law that pretty much has to be ignored at times to get anything done.

                        However, passive pathos feeding is not against the Dictum Mortuum. Wraiths can absorb ambient emotions without affecting the living at all.

                        The guilds, though, are a strange matter. Because even though the legions are the primary source of Arcanoi, the stains that Arcanoi use leave on the body are still viewed with suspicion (especially if its not black fingertips). I think the implication is that there is a general awareness that breaking the guilds just drove them underground, and forcibly inducting specific members into legion service just made them hide their membership. It's pretty much default assumption at this point that anyone who gets up to the higher levels of an Arcanoi has had enough contact with a hidden guild to be inducted, but the Arcanoi are too useful to look too deeply into the matter.
                        Last edited by Ramnesis; 03-10-2016, 04:06 PM.


                        Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                          The guilds, though, are a strange matter. Because even though the legions are the primary source of Arcanoi, the stains that Arcanoi use leave on the body are still viewed with suspicion (especially if its not black fingertips). I think the implication is that there is a general awareness that breaking the guilds just drove them underground, and forcibly inducting specific members into legion service just made them hide their membership. It's pretty much default assumption at this point that anyone who gets up to the higher levels of an Arcanoi has had enough contact with a hidden guild to be inducted, but the Arcanoi are too useful to look too deeply into the matter.
                          Some of the books towards the end of the original run basically call this general awareness out. Book of Legions has the Beggar Lord point out the contradiction between about 10% of wraiths belonging to a Guild and most wraiths claiming ignorance of the Guilds - basically, there is no way that's for real, and a lot of wraiths are paying lip service to the Guilds not existing. Doomslayers also notes the Guilds' non-existence is a publicly accepted lie.


                          Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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                          • #14
                            There is a HUGE difference between "non-existence" and "existence is not recognized". And even that is below "existence is recognized negatively and visible membership is actively and decisively punished". Most criminal organizations in modern countries don't fall as far into the later category as Guild membership does in the Dark Kingdom of Iron. Sure, they are out there and sure everyone knows it, but no one is going to walk around just giving lip service to that distinction. Where Guilds aren't folded into the Hierarchy in some fashion for providing necessary service (or just getting a by in the case of the Artificers),being a secret member of a guild is probably a somewhere between being a black martketeer and a member of something like the French Resistance.

                            Or was... no way to be sure about how this will all play out, but, from the mention that Status mentions Guild membership at the same "level" as Hierarchy or Renegade membership/influence, I the position of the Guilds is going to be at least clarified and probably redefined in Wr20.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

                              You'll have to forgive me if I made it sound like the system was on the verge of collapse. Barring some kind of 'Sixth Great Maelstrom' (said in a Doctor Evil voice) Stygia isn't even close to falling. I think you are reading to much into the 'Fall of Rome' comment, but I really only meant that I could see local Hierarchs outsourcing enforcement if they didn't have the resources to do it themselves. As you say, a British Empire at its height (although I would say just after its decline started) is a better model for Stygia. However, everything in Wraith is tainted by Oblivion and so the decay of the system should be more pronounced than you would expect. Supply and communication lines breaking down, misunderstandings and investigations confused by Shadow tricks, and sabotage are not rare events, they are an everyday occurance, It is a testament to the sheer inevitability of Stygia that it keeps grinding forward anyways.
                              Isn't "at it's height" and "the decline started" always pretty much the same thing with empires for some reason? I don't see why the Hierarchy wouldn't work with non-Hierarchy organizations where it was feasible and useful to do so, perhaps even some that would be considered Renegades or Heretics. (Especially since it's entirely possible that, to some, not being a member of the Legions = being a Renegade). It is an interesting idea to play with that something like an Iron Kingdom is not only a defiance of Oblivion but might be an inevitable part of the process of entropy a well. After all, every major culture seems to end up in something like this place... Is it really raging against the final dying of the light? Or might it just be something akin to that last tortured breath a drowning victims take even though its water and its going to bring about the inevitable end....

                              Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

                              I'm not sure where the idea that Centurions are gaunts (edit: Domem) is coming from either, as every Hierarch in a Necropolis up to and including the Anacreons would, by definition, have Fetters. The gap has little to do with rank, and everything to do with location. The gulf between Stygia and the Necropoli is real and dramatic. The leadership of Stygia not only doesn't understand the conditions of the Necropoli, they can't. They literally live in an entirely different world. They can hear reports and they might even be able to see the odd relic picture, but it is a world they are separated from by time and metaphysics. Lifeweb can overcome the Metaphysics, but not the time. If there was ever a situation that would drive a wedge between the local authorities and the state, it is one like what we see in the Hierarchy. And the Dictum Mortuum is one of the things that underscores this because, from the point of view of the Necropoli it is a completely dysfunctional law that pretty much has to be ignored at times to get anything done.

                              However, passive pathos feeding is not against the Dictum Mortuum. Wraiths can absorb ambient emotions without affecting the living at all.
                              The Dictum is like any law. It can be a really useful thing to handle a very serious problem. The essence is even partially altruistic. Very seldom does interaction between the living and dead profit the living very much at all and it often doesn't help the dead in the long term either. After all, shedding Fetters is something that SHOULD happen. It's like flower petals falling. Would you pin the petals back on the rose? Causing a crap ton of chaos can lead to other consequences as well. Pandemonium bioexorcists who go over the top and lead to the destruction of a Haunt ends up being a pretty bad thing, especially when the next Maelstrom comes. Even though wraiths are the least affected by the "mortals might know about us" problem (+ they have the Veil to help them out too), it could still be a problem if enough people know wraiths are real and start trying to interact with them. If the Hotel Cortez had been the Citadel of the LA Hierarchy, having a psychic doing special after special and every professional and amateur psychic and wannabe walking around would cause problems.

                              And, like any law, it can be applied in ways that, while true to the intent and spirit, end up violating them as well. Not to mention selective application as a power play. Which obviously happens. A LOT. The Dictum is a kludge the Hierarchy uses to try to enforce compliance in whatever fashion they can use it.

                              While passive pathos feeding doesn't affect the mortals involved (essentially it's just feeding off radiation), I'm sure the right asshole Hierarch with an axe to grind could make an entirely legitimate case that its dealing with the Quick enough to violate it. After all, the Fetter-less get by just fine without feeding from mortals, so the newly dead should be able to as well...

                              Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                              The guilds, though, are a strangematter. Because even though the legions are the primary source of Arcanoi, the stains that Arcanoi use leave on the body are still viewed with suspicion (especially if its not black fingertips). I think the implication is that there is a general awareness that breaking the guilds just drove them underground, and forcibly inducting specific members into legion service just made them hide their membership. It's pretty much default assumption at this point that anyone who gets up to the higher levels of an Arcanoi has had enough contact with a hidden guild to be inducted, but the Arcanoi are too useful to look too deeply into the matter.
                              I'm sure that if you have the high level marks of a forbidden Arcanoi, you get looked askance at and are probably assumed to be trouble. Perhaps even arrested for it outright If you have the marks of one of the "useful" Arcanoi whose Guilds are effectively part of the Legions now, other wraiths probably just think you're a powerful person who might or might not have some connection with the more salacious side of the history of the users of same, but since we're talking the probability of being trained by someone who was trained by someone back a few more iteration to being trained by someone back when the Guilds were a thing, why would the default assumption be that such a wraith was a part of the defunct ancient society?

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