Path of Atter
At the dawn of civilization, Chaos stepped forth into Creation. He bared himself, opened to the harshness of the world, and said "Test me, so that I may be worthy." The trees lashed him with their branches. The wind scoured him with bitter cold. The stones struck his feet. The water fled so that he may thirst. The animals fled so that he may hunger. The berries grew bitter and the roots grew poison and the vines grew thorns. For two weeks the world tested and tormented Chaos, trying to break his spirit, but he was strong, and his courage held.
At the end of the second week nature stilled, and the spirits approached. "Who are you?" they asked. "I am Chaos," Chaos answered. "What have you learned?" the spirits asked. "I am of the world, and the world is of me. Whether mortal or spirit or divine, we are one," Chaos answered. He traced the triquetra upon the ground, and the spirits observed. "Why have you come to us?" the spirits asked. "So that we may work together," Chaos answered, "to shape the world."
A sorcerer who follows this path does not bend or shape reality. Instead, they petition the spirits to shape reality for the sorcerer. The sorcerer does not demand a change, instead as part of the spell, they explain why the change is necessary, and the spirits deem whether the sorcerer has given a convincing argument or not.
- Attribute: Social
- School: Transmutation
- Source: The Spirit World
- Effects: Earth, Fire, Ice, Plant, Spirit, Thunder, Water, Wind
The Difficulty is changed depending on how dramatic of an effect is being performed. The more drastic a change becomes, the more unlikely it is for the spirits to accept the petition by the caster. The following table applies to all spells cast using this path. The increase in Difficulty can be offset by the expenditure of Health. For each 1 Health sacrificed to the spirits, this penalty is reduced by one. Health sacrificed manifests as damage caused by the world around the penitent, and only harms the penitent themselves. If possible, the damage done will be by natural coincidence, but if such is not possible, the damage will manifest in some way, selecting less likely but more spectacular results until it finds a proper way of manifesting. The penitent does not need to have the damage occur immediately, and can hold it off, accumulating more and more potential damage as the caster performs invocations. When the sorcerer does accept the damage however, it all comes at once, and must manifest at some point during the Scene. A sorcerer may trip upon a gopher hole and break their leg, by stung by a swarm of bees, or at an extreme example, have the ground swallow them up never to be seen again. The spirits do not like the natural order warped and perverted, and they will punish those filled with hubris.
Restoring to Nature (-2 Difficulty)
The spell restores the subject to a natural state. The spell may be restoring a person who has been transformed, or may be healing the landscape to a prestine and natural condition. The subject of the spell must be in a condition which has deviated from a natural course.
Natural Alteration (0 Difficulty)
The spell causes a natural alteration. This effect could be considered 'coincidence' or a 'freak event' which can still be explained as an act of nature. The spell must follow a natural course of actions to a natural conclusion. A lighting strike during a storm is acceptable, as is a short bout of bad fortune, but a lightning strike on a clear day is not.
Natural Alteration, Unnatural Result (+2 Difficulty)
The spell causes a natural alteration, but the end result is unlikely or unnatural. This goes beyond 'coincidence' and extends into 'bizzare'. A log rolling from a fireplace and causing the victim touched to be immediately engulfed in flame falls under this purview, as does a rainstorm which dissolves only the flesh of one's enemies.
Unnatural Alteration, Natural Path (+4 Difficulty)
The spell causes an unnatural event, though follows a reasonably natural course. Vines may grow rapidly from the ground to ensnare a target, or stone may jut from the ground to bar a person's way. Water may flow out to engulf someone and drag them beneath the waves. The spell manifests in a way which is considered unnatural, but causes the world to operate appropriate to their natural designs. Causing stone to flex and flow like ivy to wrap around someone does not apply here, nor does causing water or fire to hold an unnatural shape.
Unnatural Alteration, Natural Result (+6 Difficulty)
The spell causes an unnatural event, which can not be explained through normal means. The end result however is something which can be explained if observed. For example, the spell may turn someone into a stone statue, or may cause an animal to grow to unusual size. Causing a spell to tear open wounds on a body does not qualify for this, though having stones leap through the air to injure would.
Unnatural Alteration, Unnatural Result (+8 Difficulty)
The spell causes an unnatural event, and the end result is also something which can not be created by nature. A spell may transform someone into living flame, or may conjure a banquet from thin air. Creating crafted goods is always considered an unnatural result and an unnatural alteration. Spontaneous injury falls in this category.
Growth 0 - The Fylgja
To become a member of the Path of Atter, the penitent must prove themselves to the spirits. This is a test, similar to that of the Spirit Wardens. If the penitent is already a Spirit Warden, in fact, no further effort is needed. Once the tests are completed, the penitent gains a fylgja (pl. fylgjur) - an animal spirit who travels with the penitent and acts as both guide and companion. In times of need, the companion will take the form of a female, acting as a guardian spirit to protect the penitent or those important to the penitent (such as a family or clan).
The penitent performs a (Social + Occultism) Results Roll. The Potency of the roll becomes a pool that can be spent to construct the traits of the fylgja. The fylgja begins with the following traits:
- Attributes: All 1, and Spiritual 2. (Growth x 4 Points to divide between them)
- Skills: Awareness 4, Meditation 3, and Survival 3 (Growth x 10 Points to divide between them)
- Talents: Fearless, Mana Absorption
- Powers: Incorporeal, Invulnerable, Spirit, Telepathy, Tongues, Transform (Animal to Maiden)
- Costs: Attributes (5 each), Skills (1 for 5 Skill points), Talents (1 each), Powers (5 each)
- Effect: The fylgja chooses one Spell Effect, and can manifest the Effect as a sorcerer can. At Growth 1, the penitent can choose whether the fylgja has Aura, Dragon Breath, or Ray. At Growth 4, the penitent chooses a second Power. At Growth 7, the fylgja gains all three Powers. The fylgja gains a second Effect at Growth 4, and a third Effect at Growth 7, as the entity grows stronger and more complex.
The fylgjur, being spirits, do not need to breathe, drink, eat, or sleep, and are immune to natural environmental effects, such as heat, cold, exposure, poison, or disease. The fylgjur does not age, and can not be targeted by affects which manipulate a target's physiology (such as the Pheromone Power or any ability which affects biology).
A fylgja may be trained using the Occultism Skill, in place of both the Animal Ken and the Profession: Teacher Skill. This means that a fylgja's Skills can be trained, and the penitent may give their companion DP for improvement. Each time the penitent gains a new level of Growth, the spirit gains one Exceptional Trait.
At this level, the petitioner is capable of sensing the flow of the spirit world in a region, and any disruptions caused to it. By making a Passive (Spiritual + Awareness) Roll as a Free Action, the petitioner can scan the area for disruptions. Any attempt to conceal these disruptions must have a Potency higher than the Potency of the Passive Roll to remain concealed, otherwise the petitioner becomes aware of it. This is considered an effect which requires Concentration to maintain. Once concentration is broken, a new roll is required to keep the sense active.
The petitioner can sense any active spells or enchantments, as well as as the tell-tale presence of earlier cast spells. In this case, the spell's Potency is the number of days the presence can be detected from. (A Potency 5 spell can be detected five days after it has been cast).
The petitioner can sense any non-Training Abilities that have been used in the vicinity, as well as their tell-tale presence if used earlier. In this case, the Might of the user is the number of hours the presence can be detected from.
The petitioner can sense any active gifts, as well as the tell-tale presence of earlier used gifts. In this case, the gift's Potency is the number of hours the presence can be detected from.
The petitioner can sense any active miracles, as well as the tell-tale presence of earlier used miracles. In this case, the miracle's Potency is the number of days the presence can be detected from.
The petitioner can sense the use of any Powers except for Innate Powers, as well as the tell-tale presence of earlier used Powers. In this case, the Might of the individual who used them is the number of hours the presence can be detected from.
Other alterations may be divine or supernatural effects, actions caused by mortals, or anything which could be considered an outside influence on the natural progression of things. The penitent will not know the exact time an event has occurred, but will have an inclination of what the changes are, and what the natural state 'should be'. The use of Abilities
The petitioner is capable of enforcing the will of the spirits in a region, resisting unnatural influences. By spending up to (Might) Essence, the petitioner reinforces the local spirit world, creation a bastion of stability. This area extends in a radius of (Might) x 10 meters, and remains in place for as long as the petitioner wishes. It is mobile, moving with the petitioner.
While active, any attempt to alter the region via Gift, Miracle, Spell, or non-Innate Power is resisted, reducing the Successes of any roll by the amount of Essence spent, or reducing the Potency of a non-rolled effect by the same amount. Other effects, such as Abilities or other influences, may also be weakened, rolled effects losing Successes, while other effects losing Potency.
Each time this Benefit is triggered, the petitioner may choose to spend 1 Essence to keep the Benefit active, otherwise it is expended, having been used up to counter the effect which was countered. The petitioner need not keep this effect ongoing if they do not wish, and only need spend 1 Essence to keep the Benefit active at its initial strength.
The petitioner can create a ban upon an individual, hindering their ability to alter the spirit world - and as a result, the physical world. This is a Full Round Action and has a cost related to the duration of the ban. The victim loses an amount of Successes on any roll to use Non-Training Abilities, Gifts, Non-Innate Powers, Spells, Benefits, or Miracles equal to the cost paid. If a roll is not involved, then the target loses Potency instead. The duration is (Might) (Time Period). This ban can be removed by any petitioner of equal or greater Growth by paying the same cost.
- Rounds: Up to (Might) Essence.
- Hours: Up to (Might) Health.
- Days: Up to (Might) Essence and Health.
- Permanent: Up to (Might) Essence, Health, and DP.
For example, by paying 4 Essence, a character of Growth 1 can inflict a -4 Success penalty on a victim's rolls to use special abilities for 4 Rounds. By spending 4 Health, Essence, and DP, this is a permanent -4 Successes.
The penitent may join the spirit world by becoming a spirit themselves. The character gains the following benefits:
- Growth: The penitent is no longer bound to Growth 7 and can continue to grow.
- Attributes: The penitent gains a +2 bonus to their Spiritual Attribute but suffers a -2 penalty to their Physical Attribute.
- Talents: The penitent gains Mana Absorption as a Bonus Talent.
- Powers: The penitent gains Aura, Incorporeal, Invulnerable, Spirit, Telepathy, and Tongues. The character's natural state is Incorporeal, and must manifest by activating this Power to appear in the physical world.
- Effect: The penitent chooses three Effects, which are part of their Aura. These Effects help define what kind of spirit the penitent has become.
- The penitent, being a spirit, do not need to breathe, drink, eat, or sleep, and are immune to natural environmental effects, such as heat, cold, exposure, poison, or disease. The penitent no longer ages, but appears in a form ideal to their psychology and self-identity. The character is immune to anything which affects the biology (such as pheromones).