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[Legacy] The Ecstatic Spiral

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  • [Legacy] The Ecstatic Spiral

    The Shadow is humanity’s birthright.

    The first Daimonomikon was found scoured into the trunks of a grove of sycamore trees—at least half of it anyway, the rest etched into the ephemera of their spiritual counterparts. Its contents, to those with the proper Sight, revealed a poignant truth: Creation had long ago been split in twain, and mankind will only be able to ascend through the synthesis of the two reflective worlds. Such a proclamation doesn’t deviate terribly from, say, Silver Ladder orthodoxy, but it is the entailing steps of the tome, plus the identity of its creator, that rocketed the encoded Legacy into Left-Handed territory.

    Already a long-standing bête noire among the Bellerophon Group, the revelation that the Rapt mage known as Spiral had founded her own Legacy sent multiple Consilia around the globe into Red Alert mode, with Guardians and Mystagogues working in tandem to lock away every text penned by her warped hand deep in Censoria (that the majority of Spiral’s texts—and they are myriad, as it seems the Rapt has been very, very busy these past few months—come in forms not exactly suited for easy transportation makes this quest all the more arduous; you try Banning an entire state park sometime). What it means that this infamous public enemy to mainstream Awakened society has committed to shaping her soul remains a hot topic of debate, but observers have noted that the particulars of Spiral’s Legacy allow for adherents to further her Obsessions without necessarily becoming Rapt themselves.


    Origins

    Parentage:
    Thyrsus

    Background: Spiral’s homegrown Legacy hasn’t been around long enough to attract more than a handful of curious and/or naïve mages, including at least one Censor who found the Mystery lying at the heart of the Daimonomikon too intriguing to pass up (especially as it held resonance with a peculiar Gauntlet-weakening soul stone in his collection called the Mari Lwyd). In addition, some Seer devotees of the Raptor or Nemesis have become interested in the Legacy, which in time could prove catastrophic (though for whom exactly remains to be seen).

    Appearance: With a focus on the Path’s two Ruling Arcana, the few Ecstatic Spirals that do currently exist tend to come off as stereotypical Thyrsus, at least at the lowest levels of initiation into the Legacy. As adherents grow in power and learning, their forms become increasingly inhuman from the spirits they invite (or coerce) into their bodies—or they will, anyway, once someone finally reaches that point.


    Doctrine

    Prerequisites:
    Life 2, Spirit 2, Occult 2, and one of the following skills at 2 dots or higher: Expression, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, Survival

    Initiation: So far, all Legacy adherents have been initiated through one of the ever-growing number of Daimonomika Spiral has left in the wake of her recent crusade. If a devoted-enough mage managed to find her and convince her to personally initiate them into the Legacy, the price would most likely involve allowing whatever spirit the Rapt deems appropriate to inhabit the seeker’s Pattern—a scenario with potentially lethal consequences.

    Organization: The Ecstatic Spiral is too small for sort of convening or hierarchy, nor is one likely to form naturally. At most, adherents might view Spiral herself as a role model to emulate, and perhaps to compete for her attentions, should such a situation arise. Currently the Bellerophon Group is hoping to track down and detain at least one Legacy member in order to exploit their sympathetic connection to Spiral.

    Theory: The separation of Shadow and Flesh is unnatural and, at heart, a perpetuation of the Lie. Humanity can only benefit from increased spiritual influence in their lives, guided by those with power to compel proper behavior in our ephemeral compatriots.


    Magic

    Ruling Arcanum:
    Spirit

    Yantras: Commanding a spirit toward a desired action using mundane means (+2); bloodletting (+1, or +2 if it results in lethal damage or wound penalties); symbolically appropriate talens or fetishes (+1 or +2 respectively, add one if used as a Sacrament); casting within a Locus (+1); expending spiritual Essence as a Sacrament (+1, or +2 if sacrificing more than the highest required dot rating of the spell in question); casting on a subject on the wrong side of the Gauntlet (+1).

    Oblations: Scrutinizing a spirit or Claimed; observing a possession or Claiming; eroding the Gauntlet; binding a spirit; harvesting Essence; holding an audience with a spirit noble; preparing a vessel for Claiming.


    Attainments

    First: Tuning the Instrument


    Prerequisites: Initiation

    In preparing themselves as powerful vessels for the denizens of the Shadow, Legacy initiates can be Claimed without any subsuming of ego. The mage can hold their Spirit dots in spirits inside themselves without risk, ignoring the deleterious effects of the same number of Manifestation Conditions. They may develop (and dictate) up to their Life dots in Dread Powers from a given Claiming, though these last only for as long as the actual Claiming does. As a side-effect of this Attainment, the mage no longer treats spiritual possession as an Act of Hubris. Note that these powers do not apply to other classes of ephemeral entity, only denizens of the Shadow.

    Second: Drums of the Limbus

    Prerequisites: A second Skill from the initiation list at 2 dots

    Apprentices into the Ecstatic Spiral learn to compel creatures to follow their hard-encoded instincts—specifically, whatever instincts the adherent deems most valuable. This Attainment mimics Control Instincts against living organisms, and Command Spirit against spirits and Claimed. Reach is assigned to instant casting.

    Third: Flute of Smoke

    Prerequisites: Spirit 3, Occult 3, another initiation Skill at 3 dots

    The Ecstatic Spiral masters the secret flow between the Flesh, Shadow, and Supernal, allowing for an even further mixing of natures. With this Attainment, they may spend Essence and Mana interchangeably on any effect that costs one or the other. However, every three Essence spent on a spellcasting roll (including for Attainments and Paradox-mitigation) adds one die to the Paradox pool.

    Optional: Life 3

    The Ecstatic Spiral gains the ability to scour their Pattern for Essence at the same rate as Mana. In addition, add the adherent’s Life dots to their total daily number of scouring attempts.

    Fourth: Symbiotic Crescendo

    Prerequisites: Life 4, Spirit 4, a third initiation skill at 2 dots

    At the adept level, the adherent learns the secrets of synthesis and growth through careful pruning of the Lie of flesh. By performing a scene-long ritual and spending a point of Mana, the mage replicates the Regeneration spell, with reach assigned to Advanced Duration. Regenerations affected in this way do not have to conform to the body part’s original appearance, and can come in whatever shape the adherent desires, including incorporating a single feature from the Transform Life list (so long as it relates somehow to the restored organ). If the adherent wishes, a regenerated part can interact with the spirit frequency of Twilight, or be composed entirely of spirit-Ephemera. Each part regenerated by this Attainment reduces the Essence cost for spirit Manifestations targeting the subject by one. Performing the ritual of this Attainment again on the same part before its duration expires resets the duration.

    Fifth: Ecstasy’s Completion

    Prerequisites: Spirit 5, Occult 4, a third initiation skill at 3 dots

    This Attainment replicates the Essence Fountain spell, with Reach spent on instant casting. The mage may keep this Essence, or grant it to any spirit, Claimed or other entity with a spirit-Essence pool they touch. Since this Attainment is non-Lasting, recipients are incentivized to spend it as quickly as they can.

    Optional: Life 5

    With a scene-long ritual comprising ecstatic chanting and dance, the adherent gives shape and breath to a living organism, as the Create Life spell. Reach is assigned to Advanced Duration. If the adherent spends a point of Mana when activating this Attainment, any spirit may Claim the organism even if they don’t possess that Manifestation, and bypassing all other prerequisite Conditions; attempts to undo this process force a Clash of Wills with the adherent.
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