Mage: New Orleans
Kyphis Talrathian, Experiment Notes
Also known as the “Enlightened,” or the “Awakened.” People (Humans) who have developed understandings of, or connections with, the Luminiferous Aether, and have thus become capable of manipulating Reality. Numerous sub-classes exist, including our own Tradition, the Scions of Ether, or “Etherites” for short.
Adherents of a scientific and technological approach to Reality manipulation, often called “technomages,” include the Scions of Ether and the Virtual Adepts, the five Conventions of the Technocratic Union, and a few small independent groups. Technomages are benefitted by having a more open, and less biased understanding of the Aether, with the exception of the hyper-reductionist Technocratic Union.
Other “Awakened” get by on a corrupted, misinformed, or instinctive approach to working with the Aether.
Also known as “Spooks,” “Spectres,” “Poltergeists,” … [Entry continues for several lines; Dr. Smith is fond of this topic] These designations sometimes refer to specific sub-classes of entities, but “ghost” is generally understood to refer to a type of nonliving entity that resulted from the death of a living entity.
Vulnerable to many of the same limitations and weaknesses of “Umbrood” (see entry for “Spirits”).
Prominent theories claim these entities are psychic projections left behind by the death of a living thing (typically a Human, but anecdotes mention ghostly animals and at least one spectral tree). Researchers are divided on whether the entities represent an “echo” or “reflection” of the original life, or are a direct continuation of it. Be warned that other Traditions are similarly divided, and can become especially vehement if they believe an “immortal soul” is endangered. The Scientist should pay heed to the views of our allies.
Common Names: Vampire, “Leech,” “Massassa” (used exclusively by the Hermetics)
Displays improper respiration/circulation/etc., when vital signs are displayed at all. Clinically deceased. Evidences anomalous abilities, currently thought to be rooted in psionic capabilities. Lacking in ethical standards. Predatory nature, with loose pack dynamics.
Schedule: Strictly nocturnal. Maintain extensive networks of agents and informants to exert influence by proxy. Reproduction Habits: Unknown. Speculation that otherwise “normal” humans are “converted” into hemophages through unknown means. Speculation that artificial population controls are in place, but can be removed to boost numbers overnight! Feeding Habits: Ambush/mimic predator. Subsist solely on Human blood. Anecdotal accounts of feeding from animals.
Also known as “Fair Folk,” or “Fairies.” Folk belief suggests that these monikers exist to avoid drawing attention from these entities. Bear some similarities to “Umbrood” (see entry for “Spirits”), but exhibit thematic, organizational, and qualitative differences.
Possess a severe allergic reaction to natural deposits and unalloyed items made from iron. Some also exhibit allergies to sacred spaces, gestures of religious faith, or other entity-specific “banes.”
Prominent theories view these entities as psychic parasites or alien invaders. Their apparent connection to the material universe, or to Human-derived concepts, is thought to be environmental adaptation or camouflage.
Also known as “Umbrood,” in reference to being denizens of the “Umbra.” Very large and inclusive category, with radically different entities lumped together. Some appear to be anthropomorphizations of concepts, others are emanations of natural processes, and some are reflections of aspects from the material universe. Few generalities can be given for the disposition of these beings, but they range from hostile extradimensional forces of destruction, to benign and helpful companions.
Vulnerable to various “traditional” methods of exorcism or banishment, which are primitive/instinctive attempts to disrupt the Aetheric flows that bind a given entity to the material universe. If successful, these efforts can force such entities back across the Gauntlet, where most of them are less able to affect the physical realm. Obviously, more Enlightened methods can and should be used instead, such as precise manipulation of Aetheric energy patterns via electromagnetic fields.
Prominent theories tie these entities to the collective unconscious, the Platonic forms, the Gaia Theory, or the idea of multiple dimensions of reality.
[Correspondence 1] Immediate Spatial Perceptions / Landscape of the Mind
Basic spatial understanding allows a mage to sense things in her immediate vicinity even if she can’t perceive them with her normal senses. Using that perception, she can estimate the distances between objects; intuitively find a direction (North, South, East, West); notice hidden objects or characters; and spot spatial instabilities – warps, anomalies, wormholes, etc. – especially the ones caused by other Correspondence Effects.
[Forces 1] Perceive Forces
A Forces-savvy mage can sense the flow of energies in her environment. She can boost her perceptions into the infrared or ultraviolet spectrums, notice electrons, see in the dark, view X-rays, discern the flow of sound or radio waves, gauge kinetic energies, and hear frequencies beyond the normal human range.
[Life 1] Sense Life
Basic Life knowledge allows a person to read the presence and health of nearby life-forms. With such knowledge, the mage can discern a living being’s age, sex, and overall health.
By combining those perceptions with other Spheres, he can also sense distant organisms (Correspondence 2), guess their potential for sickness or misfortune (Entropy 1), perceive them through past or future states (Time 2), or read the streams of Quintessence that bind them to the universe (Prime 1).
[Matter 1] Matter Perceptions
A Primary understanding of Matter allows the initiate to perceive the intrinsic properties of base materials – their underlying structure, innate properties, and integral stability or lack thereof. With that knowledge, she can view the material composition of an object, note its less-obvious structures, find its hidden layers or spot its weak points. Combined with Life, this Sphere detects implants, enhancements, and other integrations of living tissue and inert materials.
[Matter 2] Basic Transmutation
With advanced knowledge, the mage can transmute one substance into another, so long as she doesn’t alter its essential shape, temperature, or basic state (gas, liquid, solid). Depending upon that mage’s practice, she might reshape lead into gold through alchemy, wood into stone through a hyperpetrification process, or water into wine through a sacred miracle. Rare and/or complex materials are more difficult to fabricate than simple ones; it’s easier to turn stone into iron, for example, than into gold. To reflect that challenge, such refinement requires a greater number of successes than a transmutation into a common material.
(On a related note, the mage cannot yet fabricate radioactive materials. Such elements merge their essence into the Sphere of Forces, and thus demand a greater level of expertise.)
When combined with other Spheres, this basic level of understanding allows a mage to conjure base materials from “nothing” or dissolve them into Quintessence (Prime 2), transmute matter into living tissue (Life 4 or higher), move an object through space (Correspondence 2 or higher) or time (Time 3 or higher), change ephemera into matter and matter into ephemera, or awaken the slumbering spirit within material objects (Spirit 3 or higher). In all cases, Matter 2 allows the mage to work with simple, homogenous, non-living substances. Complex mixtures of various elements usually require Rank 3 or higher, although simple combinations (like those found in bread, milk, paper, or gunpowder) are possible if the player rolls plenty of successes.
[Mind 1] Sense Thoughts & Emotions / Mind Shield / Empower Self
With basic mental magic, the mage learns to sense the emotions and surface impulses of other people. Although he cannot read specific thoughts, he’s able to perceive psychic impressions about a person or (with Matter) a place or object. Through this perception, he can guess at the nature of weak Resonance signatures and read the stronger ones outright. Even without Resonance, that mage can scan emotional auras, note mood shifts, discern truth from lies, or grasp someone’s overall state of mind by way of a successful Arete roll.
Meanwhile, the mage also learns to shield his own mind from the thoughts and emotions of other people, constructing mental barriers around his aura, emotions, and consciousness.
On a related note, he also learns how to multitask and absorb data with startling acuity. For a short period, he can even raise one of his Mental Traits by one dot, thanks to a Mind Empowerment Effect that concentrates his mental faculties.
[Prime 1] Etheric Senses/ Consecration / Infuse Personal Quintessence
A beginning study of Prime allows the mage to perceive and channel Quintessence from Nodes, Tass, Wonders, and magical Effects. She may spot energetic ebbs and flows, can sense and at least try to read Resonance and Synergy signatures, and could also absorb Quintessence into her personal Pattern regardless of their Avatar rating.
When infusing her Quintessence into an object, that mage may also consecrate the object with her personal energy. When she shape-shifts, steps sideways, or otherwise alters her Pattern’s metaphysical nature, that consecrated object will then change with her. In the process, it also picks up her personal Resonance… which, because it both identifies her and becomes essentially connected to her, is not always a good thing.
[Prime 2] Fuel Pattern / Construct Patterns / Enchant Patterns / Body of Light
Attaining a degree of control over Prime energies, the mage may divert Quintessence into new or existing forms. Combined with other Spheres, this allows that mage to create new Forces, Life, or Matter Patterns (conjuring them from thin air), and to infuse existing items with Primal Force to strengthen them or enhance their protective or destructive power.
Weapons or attacks infused with Quintessence through Prime 2 Effects may hurt spirits or inflict aggravated damage, and substances infused the same way may protect against such harm. On a related note, she may also – with Life 2 for simple organisms, or Life 3 for complex ones – consecrate a living thing at this Rank, as if that life-form were an object described above.