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Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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  • Thank you very much for all of these, they are excellent. Great themes, lore and plot hooks (such as the Path of the Book).

    Could I request you do the Haruspex ? They are covered in a brief note in Left-Hand Path, but never expanded upon. After seeing the story of Artemy Burakh in the game Pathologic (he is a Haruspex), I really want to see them. That game is full of symbolism and Mysteries, so reading the lore in the wiki could be a good source of inspiration.


    New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.


    The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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    • Eternal Soul Sentinels
      Other names: Heralds of the End, Century Children, Could-Have-Been-Kings, Time Liches, Guardians of Forever

      The Sentinels originated at the end of time and are expected to pass the legacy BACKWARDS to their youth, once they achieve Time Mastery. They equate mentorship to the ancestry of the mind and thus their “lineage” is those “ancestors” that will exist in the future as part of the direct line of mentorship that propagated backwards to a given Sentinel. The “alpha member” is the member the member fartherst back in time, whose chief duty is to achieve Time Mastery and continue the propagation backwards. There are also “omega members” from collateral lineages that propagate the legacy forward in time.

      The Eternal Soul Sentinels believe they have been given a sacred charge to protect and pass backwards a sympathetic link to the “Eternal Dark”. The Eternal Dark is not a specific date but rather a metaphysical point to which all timelines lead. It is the time at which the universe ends utterly, the silent cold darkness at the end of the universe after the last ray of background radiation passes by and nothing ever happens again. The Eternal Soul Sentinels hold that it is impossible to actually pass this point as doing so would merely mean it is later in time. Those who try to use the Sentinel's temporal sympathy to actually arrive at the Eternal Dark either use magic to carefully never pass the final threshold or never return.

      The actual nature of what that sacred charge IS and what will happen meta-when the Alpha Member reaches the earliest possible point though is a … complicated subject. Due to the acausal nature of the Legacy, multiple mutually exclusive versions of the founding of the legacy are all equally true. There are even multiple Ur-Ancestors. And that's before taking into account the distortions inherent in passing an oral history through an enormous game of Telephone played by secretive Time Master across multiple linguistic and cultural drifts. And the cross contamination as different branches and lineages of the legacy work together and communicate.

      By this point in time there are many jumbled together interpretations of the purpose of the legacy that nobody can really keep straight. One posits that history is wounded and the legacy will stitch together the wound in order to protect the Sleeping soul of the Fallen universe itself. Several speculate the entire Legacy is actually a Archmaster's cult for producing quintessence. Another is that a a horde of souls stolen from across all of time will sent climbing up the ladder formed by the legacy and into the Eternal Dark in a mass jailbreak from the Lie. Another is the exact opposite, that the future will feed souls into the past and reform the wheel of re-incarnation broken by the Abyss. There are dark rumors that the Could-Have-Been-Kings are meant to be the true secret rulers, the true Seers of the Throne, guiding history as they wish and “truly living” unlike the “flatliners” that they mold like clay by controlling the timeline. Conversely some posit the immense amount of good an organization of Time Liches spread across all of time could do, not least of which is simply acting as a safeguard against extinction events.

      Perhaps the most daunting interpretation is that the Legacy is nothing less than a declaration of war against Quiescence and the Exarchs. Due to the nature of the legacy, it is possible that with enough meta-time every person to ever live will emerge from the changing tides of history stabilized from further alterations to the past by learning the second attainment of this Legacy.


      Origin
      Parentage: Moros, Adamantine Arrow or Silver Ladder

      Background: Devotion and mental resilience are key traits the Hands look for when recruiting potential immortals. Of particular interest is a strong belief in and devotion to something greater than oneself. Priests, cultists, social workers, sports coaches, and the like. Also important is an understanding and acceptance of mortality. For it is in passing that members achieve immortality, and most will die a thousand deaths before the changing past sets them on the path to achieve the fifth attainmen.

      Appearance: Century Children often appear to be callously unsympathetic to the plights of others, offering only philosophical platitudes before moving onwards with a a relentless self assurance that can seem like cocky arrogance. The constant companionship of the End casts all things into into perspective and ever is a reminder of the ephmerality of existence. And as a result, many find their comfort in esoteric philosophy.

      Doctrine
      Prerequisites: Time 2, Athletics 2 (members of this Legacy are bear within their souls a sacred trust and must be able to protect it by protecting themselves until they can pass it on). Occult 2, Two dots of Status or Mystery Cult Initiation (but not M.C. Influence).
      Initiation: The student must use a variant of Postcognition to trace the temporal sympathy of their mentor forward to the End and experience it until they naturally develop their own sympathetic connection to it. Mentor and student go through the rituals of the Second Attainment in order to extend the mentor's aegis across the moment of the student's initiation. The mentor then melds his own sympathetic connection to the End to that of the student's. and uses their third attainment to Perfect this sympathetic connection and also to animate the student's own shadow and feed it to them. Technically the student is now mystically initiated into the legacy at this point, but they haven't been socially initiated.

      The social initiation occurs as the mentor guides the student's awareness through time to “visit” each “ancestor” of their direct lineage of mentorship. During each “visit” the mentor, student, and ancestor inspect eachother's sympathetic connections to the End for issues like Abyssal taint, and then coil copies of eachothers around their own. In this way the student's sympathetic connection to the End grows to be less like a thread and more like a thick rope of many threads woven together. Plus this acts as another layer of protection for rescuing members if events in the past undo their existence.

      The last step of initiation is for the mentor to “dangle a hook” for the student's own students to “visit”

      Organization: Due to the way the legacy propagates backwards in time, no real organization beyond mentor and student exists for the alpha terminus. Though if one's mentor decides to indulge in some extra recruiting, fellow legacy members might suddenly pop up

      Theory: One of the metaphors the legacy uses to describe its attainment is that of long icicles dangling down from the obsidian ceiling of an old lava cave long since gone cold. The dark obsidian roof is the Eternal Dark and the icicles dangling from the roof are the frozen lines of temporal sympathy which the legacy protects and grows backwards in time. This was inspired by an actual site in the northern reaches of Canada that is thus held to be sacred to the Legacy.

      Beyond that the legacy teaches that the universe itself is the divine corpse of a demiurge that, when confronted with an eternity of solitude, killed itself in a deific fit of suicidal despair. The Demiurge ripped itself apart and cast the fragments of its divinity across its body so that it can lie to itself that it is not alone. Thus every soul contains a divine spark and the Awakened are those whose sparks that have found fertile fuel to ignite into the blazing fire of Gnosis which shines with the light of Wisdom.

      The legacy acknowledges 4 different types of enlightenment: Corpse Law, Flame Law, Sword Law, and Blood Law. The enlightenment of Flame Law is understanding the blaze of one's own innate divinity. It is to know one's self is a self-imposed delusion without losing hold upon the substance of that delusion. The enlightenment of Blood Law is the links and interconnections of the world, binding oneself to the community and the flaming souls of others. The enlightenment of Corpse Law is found in the suicidal nihlism of the Demiurge and drawing upon the latent divine power soaked into the Demiurge's corpse. The enlightenment of Sword Law is found in the art of severing and cutting, which the Demiurge wielded upon itself .

      Oblations: astronomy and contemplating the night sky, contemplating a growing icicle, researching potential inheritors of the legacy, studying the “mentorship family tree” and tracking your impact on your ancestors. Maintaining and studying one's own Constant Presence memoirs, as well as comparing them to the non-stabalized version.


      Attainments:
      First: Final Breath
      Prerequisites: Initiation
      The Could-Have-Been-King's mana-infused breath billows out, fogged with the chill of his icicle. The cold congeals mana into one of his Imago and rimes it with ice, greatly prolonging the spell by preserving it and stretching it out along the lines of temporal sympathy towards the End. The Century Child spends 1 mana to apply the Advanced Duration reach to his spell or spell-like attainment
      Optional: Death 1
      Instead of infusing his Final Breath with mana, the Sentinel draws forth darkness of the End. He peers into his fogged breath and in its shape and movement sees Symbols representing how to bring a thing closer to its End. When used to inspect a married couple for instance, a Sentinel capable of seeing spatial sympathetic connections might see his breath overlay the number 3 onto his view of the wife's phone to symbolize that the couple's sympathetic bond might be ended by the revelation that the 3rd contact on her phone is her boyfriend. This Attainment is an Unveiling effect for how the subject could bring about the end of a given specimen, with Potency determining the number of revealed clues. An Int+Occult roll might be necessary to interpret its results and could potentially result in an Informed condition for ending the specimen

      Second: Frozen Blood
      Prerequisites: Time 2 Athletics 3 or Occult 3
      The Eternal Soul Sentinel dances a rite honoring and symbolizing the celestial sphere. As each celestial object is honored, it is symbolically quenched and the dancer acts more and more like they are freezing to death. As the dance reaches its End, the dancer passes through paradoxical undressing, terminal burrowing, loss of consciousness, and then the final stillness of organ failure. By doing this, the chill inevitability of the End expands out from the Sentinel's lungs and into the bloodstream. The Sentinel becomes congealed in the time stream as if by a ritual casting of Constant Presence with Advanced Duration.
      Optional: Death 2
      When performed at night, the Sentinel's sacred dance shifts and drags at the Earth's shadow (aka the dark of night) and (very locally) snuffs out the light of each celestial object as it is symbolically quenched. By the end of the dance, the dancer lies still within a collapsing sphere of darkness as thin streams of the Eternal Dark begin flowing within their veins. This enacts a variant of Suppress Aura with Advanced Duration. The Sentinel's personal aura and nimbus are dampened, with Mage Sight detects him as not existing even while mundane eyes see him fine. Magical attempts to see through the effect provoke a Clash of Wills. This effect can be spread to spells cast later for the cost of a point of mana and a Reach. His emotions become harder to read in general, imposing a -2 penalty on Empathy checks.

      Third: Cracked Skin
      Prerequisites: Time 3, 3 dots in 2 of (Occult, Athletics, Status/Mystery_Cult_Initation) and 2 dots in the other
      The Sentinel's connection to the Eternal Dark develops to the point that it cracks open the boundaries of his skin and oozes out to affect the world. He speaks a sacred Mystery of the Eternal Dark, in which every word is silent. Then, as if they were blow-darts, he spits out these frozen silences to either bolster or undermine the strands of sympathy they stab into. This functions as a thrown touch-range Time version of the Web-Weaver spell, allowing the caster to strengthen or weaken an existing Temporal Sympathetic link
      Optional: Death 3
      Instead of solely the frigid temporal sympathy of his icicle, the Sentinel can also allow the umbral touch of the Eternal Dark itself to seep out into his sacred words. This functions as the Shadow Crafting spell, save that the animated shadows are silent (absorbing and blotting out any sound that tries to pass through them) and bitterly cold, leaving hoarfrost on any surface they touch. Due to the chill and being the metaphysical manifestation of the end of all things, prolonged contact with the shadows tends to be damaging to non-legacy members.

      Fourth: Organ Failure
      Prerequisites: Time 4 Athletics 4 or Occult 4
      The Sentinel curls his body slightly and then unleashes the coiled tension in a shove, as if hitting a volleyball or launching a package through zero g. But instead of space, the target is cast adrift through time as the mage uses his Icicle as a harpoon to tether a different temporal version of the target into reality. This functions as the Rewrite History spell.
      Optional: Death 4
      Strengthened by enduring prolonged exposure to the end of all things, the mage's soul can linger and persist past the death of its mortal body. Upon death (or the temporary occurrence of such via the Time portion of this Attainment) it remains in the world as if kept in a Soul Jar formed of its own gnosis. The Sentinel still retaining his personality and ability to act, so typically he seeps his soul into nearby shadows he can manipulate and form into a body via the third attainment, surviving as a shadowy wraith similar to the spell Shadow Flesh. Despite his soul remaining fundamentally the soul of a human mage, the mage's mind is subjected to new drives and needs. Instead of more mundane food, the bared soul of the wraith hungers for mana with a startling intensity. The wraith body is never satiated and even when full the mage is forced to have “Devour the mana of the living” as an aspiration. Its hunger rips mana from the bodies of those injured by its animated shadows in an effect similar to Devouring The Slain. This form of lichhood is made all the more deadly by the fact that destroying the shadow body does nothing but inconvenience the invisible lingering soul. Some speculate that there is some form of kinship with the Strix.

      Fifth: Oblivion
      Prerequisites: Time 5
      The mage spends 1 mana or a dot of willpower and takes on the fundamental nature of the legacy, twisting time back upon itself as future changes past in act of simultaneous genesis and annihilation. The mage becomes one with his connection to the Eternal Dark and traces that connection back to a previous point in his own life time. This functions as a lasting/indefinite Corridors of Time spell.
      The fact that even the shadowy liches of the fourth optional attainment can use this attainment to unwrite their own death is what earns members of this legacy the title of Time Liches.
      Optional: Death 5
      The mage spends a mana and unleashes the direct touch of the Eternal Dark upon a target viewed through the fog of the first attainment, washing the target with a wave of the most pure metaphysical Ending possible until the target ceases. This is sensory range advanced duration Unmaking effect that nigh inevitably brings about the end of the target, destroying it utterly if its Stamina (or equivalent Withstand) is not equal to or greater than the Potency (dots of Death) of this attainment.


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      • Very nice, the Eternal Dark is a cool new Mystery to explore and the use of the attainments could draw the unwary. I really like the irony that these sentinels of the end become ever more afraid of their own one as they advance down the path.

        Another possibility is that the Eternal Dark is a Lower Depth lacking all Arcana except Death. The Time Liches never noticed they scried into a Time Wound.


        New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.


        The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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        • Alchemists

          This is a Life/Matter legacy focusing on those qualities which make up the conceptual composition of a given object or creature, such that they might be transferred via the spell Wonderful Machine. Such qualities are hereafter referred to as "traits". I haven't bothered separating out the optional attainments, because one of the themes of the legacy is treating Life and Matter interchangeably, so they're all "more of the same, only with the other Arcana".

          1. Alchemical Distillation: The mage readies an alembic filled with nothing but tap water. He then crafts the imago of a spell but instead of actualizing the imago, expends a point of mana to infuse it within the alembic. As the water in the alembic steams and then condenses out of the alembic, so too must the mage's visualization of the imago. Then the purified water, now infused with the imago of the spell, is soaked into the target trait or object bearing the target trait. The target trait will now act to hold the inactive spell stored within it. The trait cannot hold more than one spell. The spell is expended once used. Furthermore the trait and the spell must be symbolically compatible with the trait in order for the spell to set. While inactive, the spell does not count against spell control, but once active will again. (ST reserves the right to tweak Alchemical Distillation as necessary).

          2. Alchemical Seperation: By ritually sowing closed every orifice in his body the mage symbolically renders themselves into a sealed container of traits. After the ritual is complete and the mage is finished removing the thread, the mage will find that they can store up to their Life dots of extra biological traits in their body and their Matter dots of traits from inanimate objects. Alternatively, they can trade storage volume for flexibility and store up to their gnosis dots of traits from any Arcana. The decision is made when they perform the ritual, which must be performed at least weekly to maintain continuous containment. Which is important because continous containment allows traits to be captured even after the effect that transferred them into storage ends (unless the trait was made from nothing and ceases to exist). Stored traits are usually suppressed but the mage can selectively allow up to their Life dots in traits to manifest on their body.

          3. Alchemical Conjunction: The mage may transfer traits between targets, per the Matter 3 Wonderful Machine spell. Potency is the primary factor so the mage may transfer up to a number of traits equal to his dots in Life. This transfer is brief and primarily useful for transfer to and from internal storage. However the mage may spend a point of mana to make the effect last for a day.

          4. Alchemical Fermentation: The mage briefly transmutes his Life rating in traits stored within him to another trait which he has familiarized himself with. For a mana this effect can last for a day. The transmutation persists even if the trait is subsequently relinquished back to it's original source.

          5. Alchemical Dissolution: The mage spends a mana and touches the target. The conceptual framework that renders the target a singular entity is Unmade. They collapse into supernal symbols describing each of their traits. This pile of trait-symbols remains stable for 10 turns after the effect, during which they may be studied, preserved, harvested, or even reconstructed into the original entity by a Lasting Making spell. After this time period though, the raw supernal symbols of the traits become unstable. They usually begin to dissolve and unmake themselves as well, but occassionally one or more trait-symbols instead merges into whatever they happen to be touching at the time. Rarely, a completely undisturbed pile of trait-symbols spontaneously reconstitutes itself into the original entity. This is an Unmaking effect with Potency as the primary factor, withstood by Stamina or Durability.

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          • The Blessed Whisperers

            Arcana: Fate and Mind

            1st Attainment: The Perfected Conversation
            Mind 1: When lying, the Whisperer adds their Mind dots to the dicepool so long as the they had a turn (3 seconds) to compose themselves first.

            Furthermore, where a normal mage can use Athletics+Gnosis to throw a touch ranged spell, the Whisperer may use subterfuge+gnosis to subtly weave the spells into their words in a conversation. This can potentially invoke a Clash of Wills against your Mind+Gnosis for others to percieve the transfer of the spell (unlike the blatently obvious ball of energy throwing a normal spell produces). Regardless of detection, just as thrown spells are defended against by Defense, this is defended against by a "social defense" of Empathy + (the lower of Wits or Manipulation). A Dodge action is possible but constitutes being extremely rude: things like shouting over you or putting their fingers in their ears to not hear your honeyed words, or punching your lying mouth.

            Note that this does NOT conceal the nimbus flare or other signs of spellcasting.

            Fate 1: The Whisperer is constantly blessed by minor good fortune as coincidences line up to make her life slightly more pleseant. Spilled drinks happen to avoid her and taxis show up as soon as she tries to hail one down. But when the Whisperer puts an active effort into it, they can lean on fate to give them a sign of who to approach or avoid to achieve a goal (this is similar to the Fate 1 Serendipty spell but only

            2nd Attainment: Subtlety
            Mind 2: The mage can fade into the background as just another face in the crowd via social pleasantries, veiled not from detection, but from identification as an outsider or of significance. When the mage learns the third attainment, they gain the ability to vanish entirely from notice by repeating a mantra of lies about not existing.
            Fate 2: convenient "evidence" supporting your lies shows up and evidence discrediting them is de-emphasized, providing your Fate dots in equipment bonus to your efforts at misdirection. You may try to specify what traits or types of evidence become apparent per Fate 2 Shifting the Odds, but this limited both by the scene and by it needing to be in support of your lies

            3rd Attainment: Gilded Speech
            Mind 3: By spending a mana the Whisperer's lie is Perfected to become the platonic ideal of lies. For mundanely plausible lies, this manifests as being able to use the Rote Action rules. On the other hand instead of the mage can tell lies blatently contradicted by the current situation, such as convincing someone in a burning building that there is no fire. This even extends to the point of temporarily suppressing Disbelief, by convincing a Sleeper that the evidence of magic is not even there. This does not so much blind the Abyss as assuage it by reinforcing the Lie.

            Fate 3: Alternatively the mage's expenditure of mana can bolster their luck per the Fate 3 Superlative Luck spell.

            4th Attainment: Wicked Whispers
            Mind 4: The Whisperer's honeyed words are so convincing that she can verbally draw out her subject's memories over the course of a conversation and "help them remember" that events proceeded differently. Mechanically this is a ritual (the conversation) casting of the Mind 3 Read the Depths spell with the reach for memory alteration and advanced Duration factors

            Fate 4: The Whisperer can also weave a fated bond into the ritual conversation, alerting her any time the subject talks about events closely related to the memories the mage altered. If the mage wishes, she can listen in on both sides of any conversation the subject is having. Furthermore the mage can also track the subject. This doesn't provide knowledge of the subject's location, only a path to the subject that is sure and swift. Though not necessarily safe.
            .
            5th Attainment: Spoken Reality
            Mind 5: The Whisperer enfolds her victim's entire reality in the nigh-inescapable grip of her lies. This manifests as the Mind 4 Hallucination spell with advanced duration

            Fate 5: The Whisperer's lies weaves a two competing narratives into fate, rendering the hallucinations of the other part of this attainment even more pernicious as events proceed to enforce the divergence of perceived reality. Any time the subject touches the hallucination, Fate conspire to place a solid object beneath that part of the illusion. Furthermore, conversational word choices and events are twisted by Fate such that the subject can interpret them as everybody else perceiving the hallucination, and everybody else can interpret the subject's words and actions as making sense in a reality without the illusion. This often leads to people talking past eachother, such as the subject talking with their friend about the dragon burning down the city while the subject's friend has a conversation with them about hot the day is and that their sports team is doing great. Mechanically this is Chaos Mastery with advanced duration----------------------------------------------------------------
            This is meant to be a translation of Bearers of the Eternal Voice, with a strong dash of the Sisterhood of the Blessed

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