The Ashen Path
The Ashen Path
- Source: The Ankou
- Affinity: Restoration
- Attribute: Spiritual
- Effects: Blood, Death, Disease, Life, Poison, Profane, Sacred, Spirit
- Titles: Necromancer, Wardens
- Favored Races: Griffin
- Favored Nations: Cordona
History and Flavor Text
Necromancy as it is currently practised began in Cordona around 1000 A.E., when a tribe of griffin stumbled upon a series of clay tablets within the caves along Balor’s Wall. The tables are written in an ancient Arin dialect, and describe a hero’s journey into the underworld, and the hero’s ultimate encounter with powerful entities called the ankou. Upon making a pact with these creatures, the hero escaped once more into the living world, but brought with him incredible powers and magics.
To become a follower of this path, an apprentice has to perform a journey into the underworld. Any near-death experience will begin the process, allowing the apprentice’s soul to step into the land of the dead. From there, the apprentice must descend into the Deep, the heart of the underworld. There, the apprentice must find the ankou, petitioning them for the knowledge of necromancy. A living person can not remain in the Deep very long, and often find themselves ferried back into Creation. A necromancers must perform this ritual each time they would get a new Benefit.
Necromancers often fall into two modes of thought. The group known as the Wardens believe that the barrier between the living and the dead is important. They are often tasked with hunting undead, and ensuring that the souls of the dead can pass on peacefully. The Wardens study the fate of the soul, and wonder at the meaning and significance of the soul’s place in Creation. The second group, simply called necromancers, are those who consider the barrier of the underworld to be a restraint that prevents them from harnessing the true power of death. This group often attempts to bypass death, and seek immortality through the underworld, drawing upon the powers there to command undead, while holding off their own demise. Many within this group eventually become undead themselves.
Benefits of the Ashen Path
- The necromancer offers a portion of their own vitality in exchange for power. As an Instant Action, the necromancer sacrifices a point of Health as part of an invocation or activation of a Benefit. The Hero gains (Half Might) Essence which may only be used for the spell or Benefit being activated. Any excess Essence is wasted.
- The necromancer has greater ability to affect those who have a connection to the underworld. When performing an invocation upon a target which possesses a soul, or who is a native of the underworld, the Hero may sacrifice two Health to gain a (–Might) Difficulty on casting the spell.
- Death Speech (5 DP, Requires Growth 1)
- Upon gaining this benefit, the necromancer can hear the voices of the dead, and may speak to them at will. Any entity within the shallows of the underworld are capable of hearing and communicating with the necromancer, and the necromancer may speak with them and be heard in turn. If the Hero is within the shallows of the underworld, they may use this benefit to communicate with anyone in Creation. Ending this benefit for a Scene requires the Hero to spend 1 Essence as a Free Action.
- Death Sight (10 DP, Requires Growth 3)
- Upon gaining this benefit, the necromancer can see the dead. Any entity within the shallows of the underworld can be seen, and can see the necromancer in return. If the Hero is within the shallows of the underworld, they may use this benefit to be seen by anyone in Creation. Ending this benefit for a Scene requires the Hero spend 2 Essence as a Free Action.
- Death Touch (15 DP, Requires Growth 5)
- Upon gaining this benefit, the necromancer can touch the souls of the dead. Any entity or object that is within the shallows of the underworld can be touched, and can touch the necromancer. If the Hero is within the shallows of the underworld, they may use this benefit to touch objects or targets within Creation. Ending this benefit for a Scene requires the Hero to spend 3 Essence as a Free Action. To a necromancer, objects found only on one side of the threshold still acts upon them, for good or bad. A necromancer can climb a staircase which have long since rotted away, or to be burned by flames which exist only within the Shallows.
- Death Shroud (20 DP, Requires Growth 7)
- The necromancer can cross the threshold between the underworld and Creation. Using this benefit costs 4 Essence and an Action. The Hero can, if they choose, take an object they have grasped across the threshold, and pull the object across, allowing them to take objects or people into the underworld or drawing someone out of the underworld and into Creation. Each individual person after the first requires an additional 2 Essence. If desired, the Hero may use this benefit as an Active Defence as an Instant Action. If the attacker does not get at least as many Successes on the attack roll as the necromancer’s Might, the necromancer (and anyone touched), are pulled across the threshold to safety. As an Active Defence, the Essence Cost for this benefit is increased by one, plus an additional one Essence per person being brought over the threshold.