The Path of Twilight
Path of Twilight
- Source: The Egregoroi
- Affinity: Phantasm
- Attribute: Spiritual
- Effects: Arcane, Chaos, Force, Glamour, Profane, Shadow, Spirit, Temporal
- Titles: Veneficus, Ombramancer, Ombramagus, Shadow Magus
- Favored Races: Sphinx, Cepn
- Favored Nations: R'Tal, Shadowmire
History and Flavor Text
During the Age of Dragons, this path of sorcery was developed by the dragon queen Naydene, and was feared by any who ventured into the south of Kith Kanaan. When the dragon was captured, the resulting conflict corrupted the landscape and introduced horrific monsters into the region. The art of shadowmancy was lost for generations, and was soon forgotten except for in superstitions and in myths.
Within the last century, the path was rediscovered and refined by Kyn’Elwynn, the Shadow Mage. The path saw only limited use, however, until Naydene escaped her confinement and begun once more to terrify the people of Kith Kanaan. The dragon re-opened her lair in the Southern Wilds, but her reign was cut short and she was slain. With her lair unprotected, explorers from R’Tal were able to explore her storehouse of knowledge and find the secrets of this path, bringing it into the public eye once again. Since then, it has spread into Cordona, and beyond.
Within the heart of the shadow realm are the egregoroi, who shape and alter the region as they sleep and dream. The apprentice is brought into the Mirror, the region of the shadow realm which reflects Creation, and led to the border of the Mirror and the heart of the shadow realm. There, the apprentice remains for days or weeks, sleeping and meditating, allowing themselves to open to the dreams of the egregoroi. Once the apprentice has felt the slumbering consciousness that spreads through the Realm, the mentor begins to teach the apprentice how to alter the realm themselves.
It is believed that the dreams of the egregoroi are reflections of events within Creation, and that the Mirror is a reflection of those dreams. Things that happen in Creation are replayed in the Mirror, along within things that could have been if things had played out differently in the past. When a veneficus performs an invocation, they overlay their own imagination onto the Mirror, and rather than making the Mirror a reflection fo Creation, they draw the energy of the egrogoroi into Creation and force Creation to reflect the Mirror world they have shaped.
It is debated if the egregoroi know that their power is being used, and as such most veneficus are very careful with how they cast their spells. Stories have been told of strange things happening in regions where powerful shadow magic has been used, and some veneficus have told stories of dreams where they felt themselves observed and studied, or have seen themselves in the Mirror, repeating actions of the past, as if sections of their lives were being replayed.
Benefits of the Path of Twilight
- The veneficus believe that when someone focusses on a task, the energy bleeds into the Mirror, which recreates the event, showing what could have been if the person had been just a little stronger, or just a little weaker. The veneficus is able to seize the potential of the action and gain strength from it. This act of will by the target is the expenditure of Essence.
- By expending an Instant Action, the veneficus can sense when Essence is spent during the Round. This awareness extends out to (Might x 10) metres from the Hero, and is triggered each time Essence is expended. At this point, the veneficus can attempt to draw upon the Essence as an Instant Action, making a Passive Roll (Spiritual + Occultism) D (Resolve of Target). The target is drained an additional (Potency) Essence beyond what they normally would expend. The veneficus gains half the Essence expended, while the other half vanishes into the realm of shadow.
- While this effect is subtle, there are signs of its use. The victim can sense the draining as fatigue, while the veneficus often shows signs of their signature as part of the action. Someone who knows what to look for may recognize the Hero’s signature and realize what is happening.
- Shadow Vision (5 DP, Requires Growth 1)
- The veneficus’ vision is altered, allowing them to see into the Mirror through any shadow they look at. This effect is always on, and requires the expenditure of a point of Essence to remove for a Scene. Penalties gained from poor illumination or obscured vision – including total darkness or blinding fog – are reduced by the Hero’s Growth. Because the Mirror does not always reflect Creation accurately, the veneficus may witness things occurring with the Mirror that has no counterpart in Creation.
- Shadow Divination (10 DP, Requires Growth 3)
- By observing the realm of shadow, the veneficus can gain glimpses of what may happen as a consequence of individual actions. As long as they have some access to observing the shadow realm, the Hero may spend 2 Essence when performing an Action, declaring that this is an action observed in the Mirror. If they are content with the results of the Action, they may accept it, otherwise, they may discard the Action and perform a different Action instead. The Hero can not choose the same Action and simply hope for a better result.
- Shadow Step (15 DP, Requires Growth 5)
- The veneficus is capable of briefly passing through the Mirror, moving from one point to another. This requires 3 Essence and a Standard Action, though for an additional Essence it may be used as an Active Defence. If the attack against the Hero has less than (Growth) Successes, the attack misses and the Hero is within the Mirror, unharmed. From the Mirror, the veneficus has one Round in which to cover what ground they wish – they will reappear in Creation at the end of the following Round. The Hero may travel to another point within (Might x 10) metres within the Mirror, appearing at the corresponding point within Creation.
- Shadow Pocket (20 DP, Requires Growth 7)
- The realm of shadow shapes a domain for the veneficus, transforming a region at the furthest borders of the Mirror to the Hero’s psychology. The region is only a kilometre in radius, but within it the veneficus has some control over the contents and details. The domain responds to the conscious and subconscious of the Hero, shaping itself in subtle ways to meet the veneficus’ expectations. The Hero is capable of instantly transporting themselves to this domain by spending 4 Essence as a Full Round Action, and can transport themselves back to the point they left from for the same cost. The domain is only semi-real, however, and anything from the domain vanishes if it is brought out of the region. There are ways to increase the area controlled by the Hero, or increase the amount of control the Hero has over the domain – the game master will have further details.