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Aether: the Missing Element (Homebrew Option)

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  • Aether: the Missing Element (Homebrew Option)

    I'm a bit of a wonk on things alchemical and pseudo-science related – hence by tremendous love of Promethean: the Created – and in my various forays into such realms of study, I came across something that fills a niche in the game. My troupe liked it enough that I polished it up, and now here it is for your enjoyment as an option to use in YOUR game. I give you the Element of Aether...

    As background, aether IS one of the Classical (Western) Elements, or rather it COULD count as such as its pedigree is as venerable as the others' are. My take on aether is that very few of the Created possess and affinity to this element, and those few – at least at my table – are all Extempore. I thought they deserved an option that wasn't quite so DIY as what's presented in Promethean: the Created Second Edition for their 'native' Torment expressions and Pyros Dreams. Don't get me wrong; I love that option to bits, but it's not terribly friendly to a newbie at the game. To reflect this, there's the Aetheric Element Merit. As ever, this is MY take on it, but it's free for you to use or not at you might want. Enjoy!

    Merit: Aetheric Element (••)
    Available only at character creation
    Prerequisite: Promethean of the Extempore Lineage

    Effect: Most of the so-called Extempore Lineage feel the Divine Fire within as something different – but still recognizable to large extent – from others of the Created. All Extempore possess one of the six Elemental Affinities as the rest of their kind, albeit in a manner tweaked by the peculiarities of Matchless creation. Unlike the rest of their kind, though, Extempore sometimes exhibit the marks of a seventh elemental affinity, the aether that lies below all other elements in perfect stillness (see below for this element’s description).

    Element of Aether

    Aristotle described aether as the first element – though thinkers who followed chose to call it quintessence, the fifth element – and this substance resisted all of the influences that drove the other elements. From this beginning, aether became known as the unmoving stuff from which the celestial spheres were made, capable of stillness and even changing the density of other elements. When Torment presses down on those Matchless with the aethiric affinity, the Promethean robs others of emotion or will to move, making all acts performed by Tormented Promethean a surreal, silent dance of destruction. Witnesses find it difficult to properly describe what the saw afterward, but they know it was nothing natural to this world. Aether can neither act nor react as the other elements do, and despite its stabilizing influence, aether responds poorly to coercion. This means that using force against the Matchless or one close to her is a shortest road to igniting Torment, but so too is giving too many choices without any direction, since aether does not choose its own destiny. When Torment fades, the aetheric Extempore is left listless, overwhelmed by the mess made to a level of near paralysis.

    Pyros Dreams: The stillness of aether demands that the Promethean sleep in silence and calm in order to replenish Pyros, but as aether holds purest potential within its apparent serenity, active thought or other unseen forms of human activity stand as expressions of aetheric resonance. Places of peaceful contemplation and study, such as libraries or temples, offer ideal environments for finding aetheric Pyros. Solitary sleep in quiet serenity – with no people around – impose a -2 to the Azoth + Composure roll to replenish Pyros.

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  • #2
    Ooh, I like this. I always assumed ephemera of the Ulgans replaced Aether/Akasha, so it's refreshing to see the real stuff come up.

    At first I was kinda worried about those poor Prometheans who have Stillness and Unchanging as their nature, when what they yearn for is to Change.... then realized Serenity is a good way to achieve enlightenment in the Zen sense, and that certainly clicked for me.

    Say, if this is a Merit rather than an example of a DIY Element, can it can 'overlap' with other Elements? Like, for example, what does an Extempore whose Element is Fire buy this Merit represent? And what Humour is it aligned with? (Or do Humours still exist? Damn, I really need to get my hands on Promethean 2E. Things have changed so much, it seems...)

    MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E