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On the Creation of Imperatives

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  • On the Creation of Imperatives

    So, I've only recently gotten my hands on the Storyteller's Guide and I found the section on Imperatives quite interesting - lesser servants of the Machine which entirely lack self-will and self-awareness, but there was very little there on the kinds of measures that the G-M employs to create them. I ask because I had an idea for a G-M cult whose schtick is that the Machine has given them knowledge of magic to create/summon Imperatives as 'familiars' to act out its will. Issue is that I can't really think of any ideas for how such rituals might look, the kinds of resources that might be necessary etc, beyond being less costly than that to summon a full angel. So, what do you guys think a ritual to create/summon an Imperative would look like?

    EDIT: To take a more specific example, what would the ritual for an Imperative intended to warn people away from a person look like?
    Last edited by ajf115; 02-23-2018, 10:23 AM.



  • #2
    I love this idea.

    Go for weird little rituals that mix modernity/technology with random occult and/or creepy stuff. There needs to be a cost/power source, which might be power in the form of work/electricity/pain/blood/etc. If interested, the ritual might feed into the appearance of the Imp.

    For this specific Imperative I'd definitely aim for the 'ole sympathetic magic angle...
    Building a crackling sigil made from exposed, sparking cables and burning a photograph of the target person at the center while chanting their name in a dead language.
    Anointing a sacrificial animal with blood from the target before ritually killing it with automated industrial tools.
    Start an email chain with a number/code that identifies the target (social security number, national insurance number, etc) in the title warning people to forward the email or be cursed. This must be done using a specific computer (Infrastructure) and you must accept and endure the promised curse.
    Make an effigy of the target, complete with a sample of hair, immerse in oil blessed by a priest and place inside a hollowed-out (but still powered) surveillance camera.

    Imperatives ideas based on the above rituals:
    A photo-negative doppleganger of the target.
    Bloody, smeared occult runes that manifest on the target 's skin (visible only in Twilight)
    A smoky collection of chains, each chain made from alphanumerical characters, that moves like a cephalopod.
    An oily, dripping creature with a CCTV camera for a head.
    Last edited by Eremite; 02-23-2018, 05:50 PM.


    Onyx Path Freelancer: Demon Storyteller's Guide, Dark Eras, Night Horrors: Enemy Action
    Storyteller's Guide Extra Material
    After the Fall: Bonus Material

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Eremite View Post
      I love this idea.

      Go for weird little rituals that mix modernity/technology with random occult and/or creepy stuff. There needs to be a cost/power source, which might be power in the form of work/electricity/pain/blood/etc. If interested, the ritual might feed into the appearance of the Imp.

      For this specific Imperative I'd definitely aim for the 'ole sympathetic magic angle...
      Building a crackling sigil made from exposed, sparking cables and burning a photograph of the target person at the center while chanting their name in a dead language.
      Anointing a sacrificial animal with blood from the target before ritually killing it with automated industrial tools.
      Start an email chain with a number/code that identifies the target (social security number, national insurance number, etc) in the title warning people to forward the email or be cursed. This must be done using a specific computer (Infrastructure) and you must accept the promised curse.
      Make an effigy of the target, complete with a sample of hair, immerse in oil and place inside a hollowed-out (but still powered) surveillance camera.

      Imperatives ideas based on the above rituals:
      A photo-negative doppleganger of the target.
      Bloody, smeared occult runes that manifest on the target 's skin (visible only in Twilight)
      A smoky collection of chains, each chain made from alphanumerical characters, that moves like a cephalopod.
      An oily, dripping creature with a CCTV camera for a head.
      I'm glad you liked the idea. I just love the way that Imps (heh) fall somewhere between familiar and a sort of curse, given their lack of self-awareness.

      The ideas are great, though, and the imagery too.


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      • #4
        Imperatives: Angels you can actually see people making and binding.

        Their limited awareness removes the problem that full Angels have regarding access to the G-M's data streams. I can also easily see the G-M not caring nearly as much if they get suborned by the odd cult or occultist.

        Any thoughts to drafting this up as a Closed Rite?


        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
          Any thoughts to drafting this up as a Closed Rite?
          I'm all for it, but I've no idea how Closed and Open Rites work mechanically, as I haven't been able to get my hands on the Dark Eras yet.


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          • #6
            Alright, having bought the PDF, here's my go at it:

            Rite of the Emissary (Closed Rite)
            Practiced by a number of cults of the God-Machine - and a few renegades who stole its secrets or in a moment of inspiration divined its principles themselves from occult study - the Rite of the Emissary summons or creates (none but the Machine knows which) an Emissary, a single-minded entity on the border between a curse and a creature. Although weak compared to many Ephemeral entities, Emissaries are far easier, safer and more practical to employ.

            The Rite has three components. Firstly, the ritualist constructs a large, complex sigil of materials appropriate to his tradition - God-Machine cults might use sparking cables, while a more nature-oriented sect might build in green branches. The Emissary's task must be inscribed on a solid tablet of some kind - a piece of sheet metal, a section of wood - in less than 9 words. The tablet must be immersed in a mixture of the blood of a sacrificial animal at least the size of a cat and a few other materials, again determined by tradition - a cultist of the Machine might use motor oil while a naturalist sorcerer might employ the sap of a sacred tree. The sacrament is then placed in an open space at the centre of the sigil. Nine hours pass, during which those with the ability to perceive Twilight can see Essence welling up from the vessel, gathering over it in a wavering column. At the ninth hour the Essence condenses into the form of the Emissary, which immediately leaves to perform its assigned task according to the letter of what is written on the tablet.

            Build the Emissary as an Imperative (Demon Storyteller's Guide p. 76). Every Emissary's Purpose is identical to what is inscribed on the tablet.
            Last edited by ajf115; 02-24-2018, 03:43 PM.


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