The Path of the Chorister
Path of the Chorister
- Source: Unknown
- Affinity: Transmutation
- Attribute: Social
- Effects: None
- Growth 1: Acolyte
- Growth 2: Chorister
- A group who works together is known as a Choir.
- Favored Races: Angel, Archon, Daeva, Omi-Kami
- Favored Nations: Heartlands
History and Flavor Text
Scattered in ancient books and writings, hidden in the darkest recesses of libraries and ruins, lie stories of a forbidden magic. These writings tell of a magic that challenged the power of the gods, and which brought with them divine punishment if used. Those who used this magic were destroyed with their own hubris, and it was thought that this path of magic was lost forever. At the turn of the last century, a group named the Reclaimers unlocked the final secrets of this path, piecing together the lost fragments and rebuilding the path slowly and surely. What they had was not perfect, but was enough that they were able to refine the path and eventually turn it to their own goals. To their dismay, they discovered the dark secrets of the path as well, and disaster fell upon them. It has only been a few decades since the path has existed, and the secret of this strange magic has slowly spread through Kith Kanaan. The path has slowly been refined, wrest from the hands of the Reclaimers by fate. There are not many who would practice this dangerous and cursed path, but it has begun to find acceptance with the Church of Joshua, who has slowly adopted the path as their own.
The Church of Joshua has taken great pains to study and refine the path, and their careful research has granted them a deeper understanding of this sorcery than any practitioners save those lost by time. The Joshuites’ scholars have learned that the Tapestry holds a musical counterpart, called the aria, and that this path codifies this sound into a symphony, filled with complex notes and harmonies which can, in theory, be mimicked by mortal voices. Only recently, these scholars have discovered a method from the books taken from the Reclaimers which allows the subject to hear this aria, opening the subject’s senses to the pattern and rhythm of the Tapestry. This ritual, called the aria of genesis, is taught to an apprentice, note by single note. Once the apprentice has the notes memorized, they are instructed sing the harmony. If the harmony is sung correctly, the newly-made acolyte falls into a trance as they are connected to the aria itself, their mind seized by the perfection they hear. If the apprentice fails, they fall into madness and are regretfully locked into an asylum for the rest of their lives. Upon awakening from their trance, the acolyte is welcomed into the community and trained further. The aria is theirs to hear, but to use it requires concentration and dedication. The Joshuite’s teachers take great care to teach that the magic granted to the acolyte is a gift granted by Adonai, and that to use it in a way that He does not approve of will result in tragedy.
Outside of the Church of Joshua, the aria of genesis has not been unlocked. There are various cults who attempt to use the path without hearing the harmonies of the Tapestry, and the results of this mis-use of the path leads often to destruction and madness. The Church has attempted to find these people, not because the Joshuites feel the path is rightfully theirs, but because these sorcerers are entirely too dangerous to leave to their own devices.
Benefits of the Path of the Chorister
The first step a would-be acolyte does is perform an invocation which opens them to hearing the aria. Those who fail to perform the aria of genesis correctly are discussed in the game master section – though it is assumed the Hero was able to perform this aria successfully.
Hearing the aria is automatic, the chorister can sense the movements of the Tapestry, each thread vibrating to a specific tone that the chorister can decipher. By singing in harmony with the thread, the chorister attunes to it, then shifts it by changing their own tone subtly, causing the thread to alter vibrations to match the Hero’s voice. With practice, the chorister finds that they can sing more than one harmony at a time, affecting multiple threads. This singing is impossible for most mortals – their voices are not made to carry more than one note at a time.
- As a Full Round Action, the chorister listens to the harmonies of the aria, searching for those threads suited to the Hero’s desires. This is a (Mental + Perform) Results Roll, gaining (Actions Sacrificed) Additional Successes. If successful, the chorister finds the threads needed for proper invocation, and reduces the Spell Difficulty by the Potency of the roll. Without the aria of genesis, this technique can not be used. A chorister does not need to use this technique, and instead rely on their instincts to guide them through the harmonies needed for an invocation, but a sorcerer without the aria of genesis is deaf to the threads of the Tapestry, and instead suffers a (10 – Growth) Difficulty increase to all invocations.
- The path of the Chorister does not give the Hero access to any Spell Effects. As such, the chorister is incapable of performing a manifesting effect as other sorcerers are. However, when performing an invocation which requires a Spell Effect, the chorister has the entire list of standard Spell Effects to choose from. Any additional Effects the Hero wishes to add to the spell must be done as normal.
The Church of Joshua believes that there is divine will behind this path of sorcery, and the evidence they show is that there are times when the aria seems to lash out at the chorister or the region that surrounds them. This is more prone to happen to those who have not used the aria of genesis, as the chorister is not capable of aligning their voice with the harmonies of the Tapestry.
- All Aria Spells are cast with Perform and a specialty of Singing or Voice while instruments can provide equipment bonus for harnessing the Aria.
- Refrain (5 DP, Requires Growth 1)
- The chorister learns how to quell their own thread within the aria, causing the melody of their thread to fade into the background in comparison with the rest of the aria. By spending one Essence as an Instant Action, the chorister shields themselves from being noticed. The chorister seems mundane and unimportant, and is overlooked as long as they perform no action which would cause them to stand out. If the witness is actively looking for the chorister specifically, they suffer a (–Might) Potency on any roll to notice the chorister. Any divination or attempt to discern the chorister’s location also suffers the same penalty. This effect remains for one Scene, or until the chorister performs an obvious action which would normally draw attention to them.
- Harmony (10 DP, Requires Growth 3)
- The chorister learns how to enforce their place within the aria, not allowing any outside influence to manipulate the melody that they are supposed to produce. By spending two Essence as an Instant Action, the chorister roots their melody within the aria, preventing it from being affected. All non-mundane affects that would target the Hero during the Scene suffers (–Might) Potency. The chorister need not be aware of the source of the effect, but can immediately sense the attempted influence, thus allowing them to use this Benefit as an Active Defence for no additional cost. Mundane use of Skills can not be negated with this Benefit, only effects which are not natural.
- Chorus (15 DP, Requires Growth 5)
- The chorister learns how to subtly influence the melodies of those around them. As an action, the Hero may touch an individual and spending three Essence, the chorister may use refrain or harmony upon the target. The target is subject to the effects and rules of the Benefit for the Scene. This may be done as an Instant Action by spending an additional point of Essence, thus allowing it to be used as an Active Defence.
- Symphony (20 DP, Requires Growth 7)
- The chorister learns how to perfect their manipulation of the aria, performing a flawless invocation. By increasing the Casting Time to Rounds, rather than Actions, the Hero gains (Might) Additional Successes on the roll to cast the spell, and may also choose to spend four Essence as an additional cost to gain (+Growth) Potency for the spell.
If the chorister fails to roll any Successes on an invocation before counting minimum successes, than the aria responds in an unpredictable and dangerous fashion. The chorister suffers an immediate number of Wounds equal to the base Difficulty of the spell, which can not be Soaked. In addition, the intent of the spell happens, but in a chaotic, devastating, and unpredictable fashion, as determined by the game master. A spell to engulf a city block in fire may instead engulf the city. A spell to turn someone invisible may be irreversible or cause the target to fade away permanently.