The Spiral Path
The Spiral Path
- Source: Infernals
- Affinity: Invocation
- Attribute: Social
- Effects: Acid, Chaos, Death, Disease, Metal, Poison, Profane, Vermin
- Infernalist: One who uses the Spiral Path
- Diabolist: One who uses the Path for selfish or evil means.
- Warlock: One who use the Path to hunt diabolists.
- Favored Races: Destroyer, Devourer, Enticer, Yokai
- Favored Nations: Badlands, Savage Coast, Sinking Lands
History and Flavor Text
One of the most mistrusted and despised paths of sorcery known, the history of this form of magic is shrouded in misdirection and rumour, as most texts concerning this practice are concealed within countless libraries scattered across Kith Kanaan. There have been many attempts to eradicate the path, whether in crusades performed by the Church of Joshua, or by pogroms started by a number of magical orders, but the Spiral Path always seems to find new practitioners.
In more recent times, the Spiral Path was at its height within the nation of Cordona before it fell, recognized as a path of power and given legitimacy by the noble families of the time. It was seen as a viable weapon, and the demons summoned and bound were treated as vassals and servants by the royal family and any noble desiring prominence. When Cordona descended into ruin, the nobles brought their practice to other nations, but were forced to conceal their knowledge as a new wave of prejudice rose up. Now, with Cordona rebuilt, the Spiral Path has once more seen public use.
The prevalent philosophy of the Spiral Path is found within the path’s core symbolism: the spiral. Those who study the infernal realms believe that, while demons are a force of entropy, they are also a part of the balance of Creation. Within their native realms, demons serve a purpose and are not a threat to Creation. When a demon is unleashed upon Creation, however, that harmony is disrupted, and the demon acts according to its nature. These demons, even if banished back to the infernal realms, may develop desires to control or destroy Creation, and become a very real threat.
An infernalist studies the Names of those demons who have become a threat, and may even visit the infernal realms to search for these demons. By using these Names as a part of the infernalist’s invocations, the infernalist channels the demon’s power into the spell, and weakens the demon Named. As such, the magic used by the infernalist acts as a chain on any demons they can Name. A second tool in the arsenal of an infernalist is summoning demon familiars. These lesser demons are used as a source of information and as a guide for hunting and slaying threats to Creation. With these two tools, the infernalist believes in turning destructive forces against themselves.
Obviously, there are those who stray from this philosophical path, seeing infernal magic as a path to power, as evidenced by the nobles of Cordona. However, the information gathered by nations such as R’Tal and Tarantis from the ruins of old Cordona have opened the eyes of many scholars as to the purpose of the Spiral Path, and both nations have begun to train new infernalists covertly. These warlocks are charged with hunting those sorcerers who would abuse the Spiral Path, who have been dubbed diabolists by the orders intent on seeing them eradicated.
Benefits of the Spiral Path
- The infernalist learns the true Name of one demon from their mentor or from the studies which granted the Hero the ability to perform invocations. Without access to an infernal Name, the infernalist could not cast spells at all! Additional Names require research, further exploration, or even journeys into the infernal realms to confront the demons whose Names the infernalist wishes to be able to draw from. As an Instant Action, an infernalist can invoke the long and difficulty Name of the demon being invoked as preparation to casting a spell.
- Invoking demonic Names requires a (Mental + Occultism) Results Roll. The Potency of the roll indicates how many spell invocations an infernalist may use during a Scene. At the end of the Scene, or once the Hero uses their last spell, the power of the Name expires, and the infernalist must invoke a Name once more to gather power. There is a limit, however, on how much power a demon can grant: A given Name may only be used (Growth) times a day. Once the Name has been exhausted, the infernalist must wait until sunset on the following day before they may invoke the Name once more. Because of this, most infernalists attempt to learn additional Names, thus granting them the means to invoke these Names as well. Up to (Growth) additional Names may be invoked at the same time. Each additional Name increases the time it takes to perform the invocation, requiring the infernalist to expend a Free Action for each Name used, and suffers +1 Difficulty for each additional Name drawn upon. The infernalist, however, gains a number of Additional Successes equal to twice the number of additional Names used on the Results Roll. Failure on a roll to invoke a Name prevents the Name from being usable for the Scene.
- The infernalist may summon a familiar from the infernal realms. Most familiars act as a guide or servant, assisting the infernalist to the best of their ability. Summoning the familiar takes one hour and requires a Results Roll (Social + Diplomacy). The infernalist pays (Difficulty) Essence at the end of the hour, when the roll is made. The Potency of the roll creates a bonus pool which can be expended to enhance the familiar. The familiar must be chosen from the list of demons below, and gains a Merit and additional Powers dependant on the type of demon the infernalist has decided to summon. All Merits use the familiar’s Growth or Might unless stated otherwise.
If the infernalist gives the familiar sorcery, it does not gain the benefit of a Path, and can simply cast spells using the forms it learns. In addition, the familiar may use any Effects the Hero knows, but can not develop more unless given the appropriate Talent.
|Attribute Points||4 + (4 x Growth)||1 Potency||1 bonus point|
|Size||–6||1 Potency||+1 or –1 Size|
|Skill Points||Occultism 1, Stealth 1, 10 + (10 x Growth)||1 Potency||6 bonus points|
|Talents||Devil’s Kiss||1 Potency||1 Talent|
|Powers||Spirit, Tongues||2 Potency||1 Power|
|Sorcery||None||1 Potency||1 Form|
|This demon is immune to poisons and diseases. It does not need to breathe, drink, or eat.|
|Betrayer||Beguile, Tendrils, Vulnerability||Envy (Instant Action, One Scene): The familiar is capable of creating the illusion of great skill. The target is given (Growth) Minimum Successes on all rolls for a single Skill of the familiar’s choice. The familiar may extend this benefit for up to (Growth) Scenes by reactivating the Merit at the beginning of each Scene. Once the benefit is lost, the target suffers (+Growth) Difficulty on all rolls using that Skill for an equal number of Scenes. The target’s Skill may not benefit from this Merit until the duration of the penalty has expired.|
|Deceiver||Imitation, Transform, Wings||Pride (Full Round, One Scene): The familiar is capable of making others believe that the infernalist possesses the traits that the target desires. The infernalist gains (Growth) Minimum Successes on all rolls to recruit Retainers. The familiar may extend this benefit for up to (Growth) Scenes by reactivating the Merit at the beginning of each Scene. The Retainers leave when this benefit ends.|
|Destroyer||Natural Weapons, Quills, Resilience||Wrath (Instant, One Scene): The familiar gains (Half Growth) Innate Soak. Anyone attacked by the familiar suffers (+Half Growth) Difficulty on any Soak Rolls made. Objects suffer (–Growth) Hardness when attempting to resist damage from the familiar. The familiar may extend this benefit for up to (Growth) Scenes by reactivating the Merit at the beginning of each Scene.|
|Devourer||Ambush, Cling, Tendrils||Gluttony (Instant, One Scene): Once the familiar has grappled a target of up to two Sizes less than it, it may spend an Action to devour the object instantly. The familiar can choose to inflict (Growth) Wounds to the object each Round once it has been devoured, otherwise it simply stores the object ‘elsewhere’. The bite of the familiar has (Growth) Difficulty to Soak. The familiar suffers no ill effects from anything eaten, and can regurgitate objects devoured as an Instant Action upon command as long as it has not been completely destroyed. The object is immediately expelled once the duration expires, though the minion may extend this benefit for up to (Might) Scenes by reactivating this Merit at the beginning of each sunset.|
|Enticer||Beguile, Transform, Wings||Lust (Instant, One Scene): Once per Round, the familiar can influence an individual facing the temptation of physical pleasure or vice. The familiar rolls (Spiritual + Presence) D (Resolve), and if successful, the victim must spend (Potency) Essence, otherwise they succumb to the temptation for the Scene. The familiar may extend this merit for up to (Might) days by reactivating it at the beginning of each sunset.|
|Saboteur||Emotion, Telepathy, Weakness||Sloth (Instant, One Scene): The familiar can cause anyone within (Growth x 10) metres to feel drained and listless. Anyone with less than or equal than (Growth) Resolve is incapable of spending Essence within this area of effect. Those who are capable of it find that they must spend an additional point of Essence when doing so. The familiar may extend this benefit for up to (Growth) Scenes by reactivating the Merit at the beginning of each Scene. The infernalist and the familiar are immune to this Merit’s effects.|
|Usurper||Loosen Tongue, Nightmare, Telepathy||Greed (Instant, One Scene): Once per Round, the familiar may heighten a desire within a target for a specific object or person that the victim already possesses. The familiar rolls (Spiritual + Presence) D (Resolve), and if successful, the victim must spend (Potency) Essence or attempt to claim the object or person as theirs for the day, regardless of consequences. The familiar may extend this merit for up to (Might) Scenes by reactivating it at the beginning of each Scene. The same victim can only be targeted by this Merit once per Scene.|
Once summoned, the familiar bonds with the infernalist, allowing the Hero to control the more entropic and chaotic instincts of the demon summoned. The infernalist has control of most aspects of the familiar, but this control is not total. Benefits provided below from the familiar can be invoked as a Free Action, and as long as the familiar and the infernalist are within the same realm, cannot be blocked through magical means.
- Command In most relationships between the infernalist and the familiar, the bond between the two creates a form of companionship – the familiar wants to obey the Hero, and will fulfil the spirit of any request, rather than simply the letter of the request given. The familiar always knows the intent behind any request, and what the infernalist truly wishes accomplished. If necessary, however, the infernalist can spend a point of Essence to give the familiar impetus. The familiar must obey the letter of the command given, but gains a +3d12 on all rolls that directly aid in following the command. Familiars who are mistreated and then commanded tend to ignore the spirit of the order, subverting it by following a strict or twisted interpretation of the command given – whichever would further aggravate the Hero.
- Augment Magic While the familiar is within (Infernalist’s Might) metres of the Hero, invocations are augmented. The infernalist gains (Familiar’s Growth) bonus dice on all spells and Benefits from the Spiral Path.
- Duplicate Spell When performing an invocation with Target (Self), the infernalist can spend one Essence to have the spell effect duplicated upon the familiar at the same Potency.
- Re-Summon If a familiar is slain or banished, the infernalist can summon it once again and draw it back to them. The Hero must gain a Potency equal to the familiar’s Might to summon them successfully. If the familiar is destroyed, a new one may be summoned, but manifests at beginning Potency.
- Telepathy The familiar and infernalist have an intimate bond with one another, allowing one to share their thoughts and senses with the other regardless of distance while in the same realm. The familiar immediately understands the intent and desires of the infernalist, as well as anything the Hero senses or feels, while the infernalist can only sense the thoughts, senses, and sensations the familiar sends to them.
- Share Essence The infernalist may spend the familiar’s Mana in addition to their own Essence. This is uncomfortable for the familiar, as it is also sacrificing the familiar’s vitality. If needed, however, the Hero may grant the familiar access to their own Essence, allowing the familiar to heal. Either the familiar or infernalist can draw out an amount of Essence or Mana equal to their own Might per Round.
- Malefic Rite (5 DP, Requires Growth 1)
- Infernalists are limited on how much they may draw upon any given Name before the demon they are calling upon becomes exhausted. To prevent weakening a demon too quickly, the infernalist may perform a rite, shedding some of their own life force to supplement their invocation. As an Instant Action while invoking a demon’s Name, the Hero may inflict a number of Wounds equal to the Difficulty of the invocation upon themselves and spend one Essence. If the Hero successfully performs the invocation, it does not count as a use of the Name. The wounds will not be heal until the following sunset, even with the use of magic or miracle.
- Anchoring (10 DP, Requires Growth 3)
- The infernalist empowers themselves as a means of drawing from a demon’s Name at a slow, constant rate. The Hero invokes a demon’s Name, and then performs an elaborate ritual that weakens the infernalist briefly, tethering the demon’s Name to the ritualist, allowing the Hero to recover what was lost through the demon’s strength. This ritual is a Results Roll, (Social + Occultism), and takes (Difficulty) hours to perform. The infernalist spends the Potency gained on specific traits, converting the trait into bonus traits instead.
|Attributes||For 4 Potency, one Attribute Point can become a Bonus Point in any Attribute of the player’s choice.|
|Skills||For 2 Potency, four Skill Points can become Bonus Points in any Skills of the player’s choice.|
|Talents||For 1 Potency, one Talent can be lost, to gain a Bonus Talent of the player’s choice.|
- Malefic Minion (15 DP, Requires Growth 5)
- The infernalist can perform a ritual which promotes their familiar, providing greater power for the familiar and transforming it into a more powerful demon. This ritual takes an hour, and the infernalist performs the same roll as if summoning the familiar initially. Once completed, the familiar becomes a minion, and gains an additional Potency pool for the Hero to spend on the minion, as well as additional benefits. All costs not listed below remain the same for spending Potency. In addition to these benefits, the minion’s infernal Merit is also improved, depending on the type of infernal that was originally summoned.
|Attribute Points||+4 Attribute Points||1 Potency||2 bonus points|
|Size||+6 Size Points||1 Potency||+1 Size|
|Skill Points||Occultism +1, Stealth +1||1 Potency||6 bonus points|
|Betrayer||Greater Envy (Instant Action, One Day): The minion is capable of bending reality to grant someone mastery in a Skill. The recipient of this gift, when using the Skill chosen by the minion, and gains (Might) Successes on the action. The infernalist does not roll at all. The minion may extend this benefit for up to (Might) days by reactivating the Merit at the beginning of each sunset. Once the minion has ceased to support this Merit, the Tapestry punishes the recipient for their temerity, and the victim loses (Might) Successes on all uses of that Skill for an equal number of days. The target’s Skill may not benefit from this Merit until the duration of the penalty has expired.|
|Deceiver||Greater Pride (Full Round, One Day): The minion grants the infernalist incredible leadership qualities, allowing them to immediately draw (Might) Retainers without needing to roll. Each Retainer arrives within the same Scene, and has (Might) Exceptional Points to use for their traits. The minion may extend this benefit for up to (Might) days by reactivating this Merit at the beginning of each sunset. The Retainers depart when the minion stops using this Merit. This Merit may not be used for an equal number of days once the duration finally expires.|
|Destroyer||Greater Wrath (Instant, Permanent): The minion suffers (–Might) Wounds from each attack made against them. Attacks made by this familiar ignores Soak completely, and objects struck permanently lose (Might) Hardness with each blow that lands, including armour struck or weapons that strike the minion.|
|Devourer||Greater Gluttony (Instant, One Day): The minion, as an Action, can attempt to grab and swallow a target up to (Might) Size. If the grapple is successful, the minion swallows the target whole. The minion may inflict (Might) Wounds upon the swallowed target, which ignores Armour Soak, every Round, or simply store the target object ‘elsewhere’. The minion suffers no ill effects from anything eaten, and can regurgitate the devoured target as an Instant Action upon command as long as the object has not been completely destroyed. The object is immediately expelled once the duration expires, though the minion may extend this benefit for up to (Might) days by reactivating this Merit at the beginning of each sunset.|
|Enticer||Greater Lust (Instant, One Day): Once per Round, the minion may create a desire within a target for a specific physical pleasure or vice. The minion rolls (Spiritual + Presence) D (Resolve), and if successful, the victim must spend (Potency) Essence or succumb to the temptation for the day. The minion may extend this merit for up to (Might) days by reactivating it at the beginning of each sunset. The same victim can only be targeted by this Merit once per day.|
|Saboteur||Greater Sloth (Instant, One Day): The minion can cause anyone within (Might x 10) metres to feel devoid of conviction. Anyone who has equal to or less than (Might) Resolve can not spend Essence within this area of effect. Anyone with greater Resolve finds that all Essence Costs are increased by two. The minion may extend this benefit for up to (Might) Scenes by reactivating the Merit at the beginning of each Scene. The minion and the infernalist are immune to this Merit’s effects.|
|Usurper||Greater Greed (Instant, One Day): Once per Round, the minion may create a desire within a target for a specific object or person. The minion rolls (Spiritual + Presence) D (Resolve), and if successful, the victim must spend (Potency) Essence or attempt to claim the object or person as theirs for the day, regardless of consequences. The minion may extend this merit for up to (Might) days by reactivating it at the beginning of each sunset. The same victim can only be targeted by this Merit once per day.|
- Hell’s Gate (20 DP, Requires Growth 7)
- The infernalist can transport themselves from one location in Creation to another by passing through the infernal realms. The infernalist spends 5 Essence and a Full Round Action to open the hell gate and then makes a (Spiritual + Occultism) D (kilometres to travel). The time in the infernal realm is 60 minutes, divided by the Potency of the roll. The infernalist must pass through the infernal realm, and knows where they must travel to there to open the gate out. The gate to exit does not cost the infernalist any Essence, but they may need to travel through dangerous landscapes to get to the gate and depart. The journey is often dangerous, and as such most Heroes do not use this Benefit lightly. The infernalist’s minion will attempt to keep the Hero hidden or to distract demons who may sense the infernalist’s presence. The infernalist can spend two additional Essence to open the gate as an Active Defence, and if this is done in the infernal realm, they will appear immediately in Creation at some random point within the path to their destination. Additional people or creatures may pass through the gate as the Hero wishes, at a cost of two Essence per additional person.