Latest Material Index

Continue reading

Latest Material Index

Continue reading

Latest Material Index

. It’s once again time to get the latest material index updated and to transfer the material from the old one to the main index tabs at the top of the page. If you want the very latest material, it may be necessary to either scroll down or consult the “Recent Posts” listing-widget on the lower right. The previous Latest Materials Index can be found HERE and – for those who like to rummage at random – the full post-by-post index can be found occupying a great deal of space in the lower right column.

. Eclipse Classless d20 Character Construction Cribsheet / Sample Character ListCharacter Creation PrimerCompiled Martial Arts.

. Subindexes: RPG Design – Twilight Isles – BattletechChampionsd20Legend of the Five RingsShadowrunWhite WolfOther GamesBattling Business WorldStar Wars

. Cumulative General Index. Continue reading

Exalted Index IV

And it’s time to update this cumulative index again. There’s material here for first edition, second edition, and the 2.5 revision. Currently at well over 200 sessions (even if the log is a bit behind), I suspect the Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice to be a very long-lived Exalted game indeed.

The Dualistic Exalted:

  • The Dualistic Exalted (first edition) were designed for dimension-hopping, or lower-powered, Exalted games. They’re reasonably formidable, but no match for an army, and can fairly readily be opposed by a group of experienced mortals or by a dragonblooded character without massive delving into charm combos.
  • Zareth Elaris, Dualistic Exalt from Creation, and expert magician. Includes the Coat of Flames, the Sigil of Issilor, and quite  a few bits of alchemical magic.
  • Sergeant Jack Rackham: A dimensional wanderer from modern earth with superhuman strength.
  • Deadlands to Exalted Conversions: Characters and Magic,  Bestiary.
  • The Minions of the Dimensional Auditors (AKA “When Dice Attack”).

New Charms:

Solar Charms:

Raksha Charms:

  • Dreaming Thunder Guardian: Summoning defenses from the Wyld.
  • Mysteries of the Raksha: The sorcery and thaumaturgy of the Raksha.
  • Dreaming Narrative Conquest: Includes a couple of new Raksha charms;  one for feeding and one for accessing universal dreams. See Raksha Charms II, below for an updated Harvest of the Winds.
  • Raksha Charms: Summoning better beasties, summoning yourself, the easy button, splitting your mind, material fantasies, adding mortals,  to yourself, private realities, and temporary abilities.
  • Raksha Charms II: Bypassing Charm prerequisites, incorporating hearthstones, producing temporary grace-copies, creating temporary grace-magics, updated Harvest of the Winds (for harvesting motes from Mortal populations), entering mortal dream-nexi (update for Continuum of Dreams), updated Forge of Dreams for making better fantasies and Wyld Stunts, Wyld Stunts per Session (not “story”), finding cheaper ways to use charms, drawing on the mythic traits of your assumptions, getting passive bonus dice, virtual artifact armor, defensive Wyld Stunts, gaining multiple health tracks, and mutating mundane animals/producing shaping weapons.
  • The Aspiring Ishvara: High-essence Raksha Charms – Boosting your Glorious Hero Forms, learning how to drop the Shaping keyword,  how to Respire in Creation, how to resist Iron and order-imposing charms, accessing spirit charms, engulfing others in your narrative, and empowering better freeholds.
  • In the Style of the Renaissance Masters: Lending your own perfection to your tools and items.
  • Veiling the God’s Eyes: Raksha Thaumaturgy, updated to fit with the Errata and Grace Magic (Scroll down).
  • Transmigration Of Mortality: How a Raksha can share his or her powers with a mortal host.

Martial Arts:

Lunar Charms:

Spells and Thaumaturgy:

Primordial Charms:

Sidereal Abilities:

Nocturnal Charms:

Abyssal Charms:

Manses and Geomancy:

Geomancy and General Effects:

  • There are several geomancy-related spells in the two collections of spells, just above.
  • Geomantic Engineering: Usable rules for engineering demesnes.
  • The Way of Manse and Demesne: Charms for enhancing manses, binding artifacts, and advanced geomancy.
  • Manse Enhancement and The Dragon Vortex: An extension of The Way of Manse and Demesne to upgrade geomantic effects – and some notes on Design Beyond Limit (and why it really doesn’t work).
  • New Manse Powers: Spiritual Stronghold and Nexus, Ambrosial Font, Essence Battery, Awakened Little God, Sacred Ground.
  • Yet More Manse Powers: Integrated Enhancement Artifacts (for adding manse construction points), Staff Artifacts, Guardian Loa, Thaumic Resonance, Thaumic Puissance, Dance of the Dragon Lords (Essence Boosting).
  • Wyld Revocation and what you can do with it: Ways to use Wyld Revocation to create exotic powers.
  • Kaiju, Manses, And Building On A Cult: Mental Demesnes, the Kaiju Aspect, the Wyld Kingdom manse power, and Mechagodzilla (Kaiju Manse-5). New artifacts – the Absolute Zero Cannon, Accumulative Temporal Labyrinth, Shinamaic Lance, and Wyldstorm Cannon.
  • Factory-Cathedrals: Basic features, Helpful Artifacts (Essence Forge, Essence Charger, Essence Scriber, Wyldsphere), Narrative Construction, Forgestones (variable level crafting hearthstones), and the Prefabrication Protocols crafting charm.
  • Geomantic Focus (Artifact 1 to 5): A way to emulate Hearthstones – albeit with some serious downsides. The Belt of Cruatch (example).
  • The Path of the Smiling Tiger: Crafting and Invoking your own Inner World – and the Whispering Lore (Charm Access Bestowal) Manse Power.
  • Manse Augmentation Rules (scroll down): Rules for adding boosting artifacts to manses to increase the manses powers.
  • The Abyssal Entrapment Package (scroll down): For when you really do need to hit some Abyssal Exalts with a Manse.
  • Manse Seeds (3) (scroll down): For when you want a manse without all the trouble of actually building one…
  • Galileo (scroll down): A Synergistic Overmind – and librarian.
  • Relocating Manses: When you really need your manse moved RIGHT NOW (Scroll Down).
  • Fantastic Freeholds: Revised rules for Freeholds – to make them actually worth bothering with. Includes several new freehold elements – the Treasury, Hedge, and Manse with revised rules for the usual ones.
  • Guardians, Gods, and Devas (Scroll Down): Improving Guardians and Guardian Forces, Creating “Devas”.

Specific Manses:

  • The Orrery of Istalian (Sidereal-3): A Celestial Manse for observing the Stars of the Underworld. The Cloak of Twilight Stars power and some new Artifacts – Celestial Forge, Agathean Pool, and Veil of Maya.
  • The House of Phantoms (Lunar-1): A small library that lets you talk to simulations of authors and characters.
  • Hoenheim (Wood-5): A mystical headquarters for young mage-crafters with MANY advantages. The Willow-Branch Stone, the Lesser Provider and Local Surveillance powers, new Artifacts – Whispering Echoes and the Athanor of Devon. With it’s upgrade, a list of it’s gates can be round HERE (scroll down).
  • The Halls of Alternity (Lunar-5): A manse offering access to other realms. Two sample realms – The Last Refuge and the Temple of the Fallen Sun (with the Provider II power), and the Shadow World and it’s Eternal Spires.
  • Mardi Gras (Earth-5): The Grace Stone, artifacts – the Heart of Rakastan, Gossamer Loom, and Multitracking Amplifier.
  • The Bazaar of the Bizarre (Manse ****): A manse that empowers mortals to defend creation. The Unbindable, Binding Word, the Assumption of Purpose  and Greater Magical Conveniences. Converting Mortals into Manse Guardians.
  • Seed of Worlds (Manse *****): A recursive dimension-creation manse of nigh infinite power. The Fate-Linked power (provides proper souls for those born within).
  • Sakoda Springs (Water-1):  A minor manse now known as the Fountain of Youth.
  • Rasarin’s Vista (Water-1):  An author’s retreat, to watch the antics of small sapient water mammals.
  • Dudael, the Hierarchical Forge (Solar Celestial Manse-5): A primordial Factory-Cathedral in Yu-Shan, New Artifacts – the Veilward and Essence Scriber. New Powers – Narrative Construction, Unbindable, Advanced Magical Conveniences, the Primordial Archives, notes on Other Dimensions and their Perfect Defenses.
  • Yggdrasil, the Tree of Worlds (Wood-5): A gate to the Green Galaxies. Includes Advanced Magical Conveniences, several new artifacts  – a Portal Control System (or “Stargate”), a Pocket Dimension Generator, a Sampo, and a Thaumaturgic Forge.
  • The Oberian Geomantic Academy (Lunar-4): A manse for training and equipping Masters of Thaumaturgy. Includes seven new Artifacts; The Spirit Forge, the Breath of Magic, and the Five Thaumaturgical Foci – the Sigil of Mastery, Spellwright’s Wand, Journeyman’s Seal, Elemental Athame, and Mirror of the Essence.
  • The Roanapur Manse (Travel-5): A manse for creating dimensional overlays. Exotic Aspect (Travel), Advanced Magical Conveniences (Talisman Powers), the Alternate Gate Locations power. Also Ruki, Chosen of Battles/Alchemical Hybrid, and two Artifacts – the Necklace of Cinders and Shard of Dream.
  • The Winding Way (Sidereal-4 or Any-5): A manse that empowers greater thaumaturgy. The Gem of Vision, Major Magical Conveniences (all to boost thaumaturgy), tweaked versions of the the Five Thaumaturgical Foci – the Sigil of Mastery, Spellwright’s Wand, Journeyman’s Seal, Elemental Athame, and Mirror of the Essence. New manse powers – the Tidal Surge, Multipresence, and Thaumic Puissiance.
  • The Reiskaer: (Sidereal-5, subordinateWood-3 and Earth-2 manses). The flying cities of the Jadeborn. Includes thaumaturgy-boosting artifact Control Panels and the new powers of Wyld Spaces, Geomantic Bounding, Metric Isolation, Spatial Scaling, and Harmonic Convergence.
  • Hidden Twig Village (Wood-5): A training camp for God-Bloods, run by Oniwabanshu (“Garden Keeper”) Jun. Includes three new artifacts – the Perceptor of War, the Harp of Losselyn, and the Secret Fire. The Lesser Aspect of the Divine spirit mutation charm, Kuji-Kuri Mastery spirit thaumaturgy charm, the Talisman of Swift Fortune, and the Bracers of the Night Warrior.
  • The Hospitable Paths (Wood-5): A medical center that heals all those who come it’s way. The Advanced Life-Sustaining power.
  • Aden Shining Dream, the Third Circle: Charles’s manse-based Quasi-Devas.
  • Brigadoon Starship-Manses (Aden-5): Starship-Manses, for when you want to travel in comfort. Includes the Sympathetic Loom, Ansible, Observation Dome, Orrery of Antikythera, and Tik-Tok the Clockwork Autopilot.
  • The Pillars of Irem (Fire-1): A small firedust-collecting manse belonging to Zareth.
  • Body And Spirit Symphony Style (Terrestrial Martial Art): How to mutate yourself with inner power. Also, the Mutation Manse (***).
  • The Hundredfold Resplendent Academy: A peerless martial arts training center. Includes the Arsenal Sphere.
  • The House of Winds (scroll down): A minor wind manse repaired and amplified.
  • Starlight Path’s Manses (Sidereal-5) (scroll down): Adding additional gateways to Yu-Shan.
  • Toho Studios: Notes only.
  • Alora Nagandurga, the Citadel of Enlightenment (Aden 5): Notes. A school for Exalts and replacement for the Cult of the Illuminated. Includes the Natural Learning and Personal Training Montage manse powers.
  • The Privacy Manse (notes): A manse for restoring sanity to broken minds.
  • The Okavango Springs Manse: A manse for rendering a region once more moist and fertile – and for helping out the local tribes. (Scroll Down).
  • The Preceptor Of Ancient Ways and the Preceptor Of Rising Minds: Two infernal manses – one for the Reclamation, one for founding colonies of animal-people. Includes the Forge and Lathe of Souls, the Metamorphoses Chamber, and the Molecular Assembler.
  • Nachdenken-Dammerung– Reflection on Falling Shadows: A sun-stalling manse (notes only).
  • Mechagodzilla: A Greater Kaiju Manse and how to build him.
  • Mothra Leo, a Greater Kaiju Manse.
  • The Hanging Gardens – a Raksha Freehold of immense power. Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI. Includes the Forge Of Ways sub-manse (scroll down).
  • I AM / The Nebular Man-Of-War (Notes only).
  • The Primal Forge: How to build your own – and produce artifacts in minutes.
  • The Occluded Observatory (Celestial Manse ***, Sidereal *): A stronghold in the deserted quarters of Yu-Shan.
  • Thornhaven (Wood Manse ***): A terrestrial base in the Amazon.


  • Building Hearthstones: Rules for making and upgrading Hearthstones.
  • Hearthstones I (First Edition): Armory, Artificer, Augmentation, Essence, Eternal Forest, Eye of Issaril, Gem of Supernal Clarity, Ironhands Gem, Living Stone, Philosopher’s Stone, Powerstone, Savant’s Eye, Spellstone, Speakers Stone, Spellbinder’s Stone,
  • Hearthstones II: Ambrosial Chalice, Iron Master’s Stone, Merchant’s Stone, Pheonix Star, Prayerstone, Protean Stone, Quartz Mirror, Sorcerer’s Eye, Wraithstone.
  • Hearthstones III: Build Rules Examples – Builder’s Stone, Surgeon’s (or Franken-) Stone, Radiant Sunstone, Shadow Warrior’s Stone, Earthblood Stone. Includes rules for Biothaumaturgy.
  • Hearthstones IV: Black Opaline Inkstone, Lens of the Moon, Stone of Radiant Purity.
  • Hearthstones V: Philosopher’s Stone (second edition version), Specter General Stone, Destined King Stone, Wall of Octri Stone, Happy Wanderer’s Azurite Songstone, Earthmaster’s Stone, Soothing Heart Stone, Honorable Diamond Gem, Xaverite Cubicon, Grand Gem of Vision, Song of the Spirits Stone, Silicon Mind Stone, Phantom Castle Stone, Sardonyx of Elemental Mastery, Wyld Heart Stone, Adamant Cascade of Sorcerous Mastery, Black Emerald Before the Dawn, Nising Weirdstone, Essence Armoring Carbuncle, Fate Defying Ruby, and Grace Stone. Also, Social Units, War, and Virtual Behemoths.
  • Hearthstones and Motives: The Radiant Heart Ruby – and Charles’s Intimacies and Motives.


General Theory:

Artifact Designs:

Raksha Items:



The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice

The Chronicles are an Exalted: Modern game, most consistently played by Charles Dexter Ward (a Twilight Artificer), sometimes joined by Aikiko, Ruki, and various others. Unlike most games, however, there’s no hard division between PC and NPC; players are free to adopt interesting NPC’s and to play various other roles. Thus, at any point, any character might be a PC – and therefore the focus of things.

The Chronicles Of Heavenly Artifice CCIII – Bronze Edges

While the Sidereals did pay attention to the Carnival of Meeting, they rarely got directly involved any longer. They were much too busy these days, and normally delegated setting up booths, planning entertainment, and the like to their divine aides and – if they were really savvy – to their Half-Castes.

Which it why it SHOULD have been surprising that Valkith Vaskoda, that four-armed Chosen of Journeys who had showed such an interest in Charles’s space travel projects, had showed up just as Charles had finished up laying everything out! Even youngsters like him were busy, busy, busy!

Charles immediately sent any of them who needed it some help. He wouldn’t want quarrels to break out and possibly mess up his setup!

(Valkith) “Charles? (Looking around) Oh boy… This is big.”

(Charles, waving cheerfully) “Well, it will be a large performance! And a big audience too!”

(Valkith, over Telepathy for privacy) “Uh, Charles? The High Lord would really like to talk to you.”

(Charles, also telepathically) “Uhm… right away? Things are a bit busy… Anyplace in particular? Would a phone do? Is he having trouble?”

Valkith was somewhat shocked. The ENTIRE central pavilion and the area around it? It was worse than he’d thought! Just looking at what he could see… how much space and resources had the boy commandeered?! And essence-wards and channels attuned to all SORTS of creatures out in the seating areas? That mess ALONE would take days or weeks of study to figure out! And who or WHAT had been invited?

(Valkith, still telepathically) “He was really hot under the collar! Um… He said to get you to the Pinnacle as soon as possible! I WAS on a mission, but he told me to get my – oh, what’s the polite word? Oh yeah, my posterior. Anyway, He told me to get that back here and get you to the Pinnacle!”

(Charles) “Well, it is just for a scheduled performance… It’s on the program!”

(Valkith) “What program? Wait, are you actually performing for the Carnival? Surely you don’t need all THIS just for a musical performance!”

(Charles, still telepathically) “Well… OK! And it’s on the carnival program… towards the end, which is why all the arrangements will be shunted away to be pulled out for my slot! But I needed some setup time!”

(Valkith) “Whaa?! OK, I need to get you to the Pinnacle at once!”

(Charles cheerily handed him a program, pointing) “Here it is! “Symphony for the New Age“! Uhm… do we need to take the Canals, or is it really urgent?”

Now which was the Pinnacle again? Oh yes, where Harold and his siblings lived! Hmm… he’d better make sure that his other avatars were firmly anchored elsewhere. An Elder Sidereal could make a lot of trouble if he gets upset over something!

Valkith thought it was really urgent – so he used his transport amulet to pop over there with Mr Valkith! Just outside, so as not to upset any guards – despite the urgent objections from Gothmug!

(Gothmug) “Charles, this is a TERRIBLE idea! There’s no way he DOESN’T have some real understanding! And YOU’RE actually going!”

(Charles, to Gothmug) “Well… only a fraction! But if I trade out for a remote, I can’t do very much! And…. I doubt that he’d get directly hostile really! What does everyone else think?”

Malinda couldn’t see the High Lord actually ATTACKING Charles. Sure, he had a reputation as a behemoth slayer, but Charles was obviously more powerful than any behemoth at this point, and elder Sidereals wouldn’t be elders if they weren’t cautious.

Righteous Hala thought that he probably had some kind of psychological trick up his sleeve.

(Charles) “Well… that’s certainly possible. But better before the performance than during it!”

Oramus thought that he’d be delightful if Charles twisted him in on himself and let Yu-Shan play with him. She was probably bored senseless!

(Charles) “I think that would be both impolite and overkill!”

Wait… how did Oramus get on the private conference? Wasn’t that impossible? Oh yes, he’d let him get out a bit… Something told him that sooner or later he was going to regret that – but it would have been pretty mean not to do it!

(Oramus) “But he’s so lean! Wouldn’t he make a nice Möbius strip?”

(Charles, with some confusion) “For that you need to be literally flat! He can’t be a Mobius strip, he’s a multiply-pierced torus!”

(Oramus) “There are ways… Would you like to know them?”

(Charles) “Not right now! Perhaps later, when I have more time for topology?”

(Oramus, as Charles was being led in) “Spoilsport”.

(Charles) “Existential confusion can come later I think!”

The interior of the Pinnacle of Celestial Supremacy’s warded spaces were much as they were the last time – a small, orderly town in the midst of the abandoned regions. It was much, much less busy than before, though. The evacuation was probably nearly complete. The Manse tower itself loomed ahead, but this time it was nearly retracted into the ground and you had to enter through a hatch in the top.

Had they moved things up? Four years would be quite a jump, but it was almost inevitable that an overlap would occur and make things more difficult!

Well, unless they made things more difficult in some other way first, which was all too likely.

Valkith rushed him in too fast to do more than wave to the people on guard duty… They passed by Rosa Cress, Chosen of Serenity – but she seemed to be in a very big hurry herself, and she looked rather sad!

Charles waved to her too, and sent some happy flowers! She accepted them – but, rather oddly, looked sadder as she was heading off. He’d never seen her in obvious armor before either, although it looked quite light and flexible. She didn’t wait for him to improve it though!

There were a few other people around – mostly Ending Half-Castes. They were busily lading bags with thaumaturgic items. They got sack lunches in case they were too busy!

Which they looked at warily, and analyzed… and found that they were really very good, and with no potato chips of doom or anything, provided that you liked peanut butter cups for afterwards.

Meanwhile, Valkith was hustling Charles downstairs, to the same conference room where he’d spoken with Rosa before making the Brigadoons… It looked like the warding had been upgraded even further and there were a couple more red haired Half-Castes here. When they saw that Charles and Valkith had arrived, they headed off, presumably to get their father.

Charles upgraded the Wards some more, and then got bored and started making batches of adamant geomantic channeling pins while he was waiting. The more backup spares the better!

The High Lord of the Bronze, Kristoff Jorgensen, arrived quite shortly – before he’d had time for more than one or two batches! Charles had seen his picture in here before, and yes, he DID look almost completely like it – a lean, red-haired, bearded giant of a man in fine violet clothes (with a bit more fey ancestry then the average human most likely). He wasn’t nearly as red in the picture, though…

(Charles) “Allo! What’s up?”

(Jorgensen) “Boy! Do you have any idea how much interference the Gold Faction is running involving you?!”

(Charles) “Oh, it’s not so much on ME I think… but they wanted a school. Lots of other people are attending too though!”

(Jorgensen) “I’ve been struggling to contact you for the past few months! (He signed)… We need to talk about this ‘performance.’ Vaskoda, Rani, Othred, I’ll need you three to leave.”

(Valkith) “Sir?!”

Jorgensen just waved him away. Charles was a bit confused… Didn’t Mr Jorgensen have his phone number?

(Jorgensen) “Every time I try to call you, some OTHER Primodial energy blocks it! And the Gold interference hasn’t been helping either!”

(Charles) “Huh! That’s not very polite! I’m very sorry about that… I’ll have to set you up with a perfectly sealed link!”

(Jorgensen) “That’s not what’s bothering me. I have you here, and that’s what’s important. Milk? And . . . Peanut butter, is it?”

(Charles) “Uh-Huh! (Although he let Malinda check, and substitute if necessary – which it wasn’t). What do you need?”

(Jorgensen, thumping his palm on the table) “What in Malfeas are you doing with this performance, and WHY is no one saying anything about a boy your age doing this?! I know the Bureau of Geomancy is involved somehow! They couldn’t hide THAT from me!”

(Charles) “Mostly repair work for the Incarnae and Gaia!”

(Jorgensen) “That doesn’t answer the second question, boy… How old are you, again? Fourteen? Fifteen?”

(Charles, explanatorily) “See, Creation needs to be disconnected from Yu-Shan, and Yu-Shan needs some work, and we need a lot of new Yu-Shan gates installed, and the new planets need to be hooked up, and it’s been a lot of work! And fifteen last week! And no one is saying much since most people aren’t involved!”

(Jorgensen, looking horrified) “What the-in all my five and a quarter centuries… What gives you the right to meddle with the Celestial City in this way!?! What makes you think YOU can pull that off!?!”

(Charles) “Uhm… the Incarnae and Gaia! Didn’t I say that? I thought I did… And it’s pretty much ready now! I had the relevant sections checked by gods who never fail in their fields to make sure!”

(Jorgensen) “YOU’RE FIFTEEN! Where are your parents?! Do they know about this? Did you tell THEM you were doing this?”

(Charles) “I only found them recently, but they know now… they were outside creation, so it took a while to locate them!”

(Jorgensen, sighing) “No doubt Haldane’s work! And why haven’t they stopped you?””

(Charles) “Why would they?… Oh, I made ponies! They’re really neat!”

(Jorgensen, with exasperation) “You’re a good boy, right? You always give others what they want. Everyone should get want they want, right?”

(Charles, thoughtfully) “Mostly! Some people want bad things! Like the Arbiter of Games End… He’s very mean, and rather crazy, and I don’t talk to him any more… Couldn’t anyway; he tried to threaten me by smashing the communications drone, so I redecorated his planet with pretty colors!”

There was a brief pause.

(Jorgensen, after deciding to ignore that bit) “What about the other enemies of Creation you’re working with? Oh yes, I managed to learn about a few. I KNOW you’re working with (the venom is palpable) deiphages, boy! Do you seriously trust them?”

(Charles) “As much as the Celestial Lions do, or maybe just a bit more… They are working together on things! Most of them will be cured when the gates open up anyway; their domains will be restored.”

(Jorgensen) “How can we trust YOU, for that matter? You deal with enemies of Creation, you’re SOMETHING… Oh, you are joking. You have to be…”

(Charles) “Why? That sort of thing is why Luna gave me a writ. You can ask the Celestial Lions if you like. Surely you’ve noticed that there haven’t been any Deiphage attacks in quite some time? It needed fixing!”

(Jorgensen) “Yes, because you’re giving them support! At this rate, they’ll walk into central Yu-Shan and make it a banquet! And you still haven’t answered my questions! Do you trust those (counting) Deathlords, Raksha, Unshaped, Demons, and (more venom) deiphages you work with? How can you expect us to trust you?”

(Charles) “Because Sol and the other Incarnae do? And why would they want to make central Yu-Shan a banquet when they have the energy they need? I’m not actually working with any Deathlords though; I’ve only met two, one was crazy and hostile, so I set up defenses against what he’s doing, the other just wanted to know if I’d be eliminating death, which (and his tone went sad) I can’t… The Unshaped I contacted have taken jobs defending Creation, the Raksha took creations side during the reshaping and are a part of it now, and the Demons are just watching. Really… this is authorized by Gaia and the Incarnae and I’ve made the plans available to them. I haven’t asked you to trust me – but do you trust THEM? And if you don’t… is there any point in trying to convince you to trust ANYONE? What would it take to reassure you? Is it actually possible?”

(Jorgensen) “I know what I’ve seen. The deiphages might be playing nice for now, boy, but their ultimate aim is to destroy the Celestial Bureaucracy. They’ve admitted as much when interrogated. I can’t allow that to happen!”

(Charles, patiently) “And who’s the head of the Celestial Bureaucracy?”

(Jorgensen, sighing) “The Most High, the Unconquered Sun, of course… What are you getting at?”

(Charles) “The Incarnae have approved of this! (He produced some writs and records). Do you really think that I – at fifteen – have convinced them that they need to self-destruct? Or the Celestial Lions?”

Hm! There was something very wrong here… Poor Mr Jorgensen was a lot less than SANE on the subject of Deiphages! And it seemed to be oddly focused… Compulsion? But those would never last very long on an experienced Sidereal… Self-inflicted? People did that sometimes, but it wasn’t always – or even USUALLY – a very good idea. Was it that “Unhesitating Dedication” thing? Had he made it his personal mission to fight, or eradicate, or expel them or something?

(Charles) “Now, restoring their domains will restore the Lesser Deiphages to sanity – eliminating them as a threat. The Elder Deiphages will no longer need to drain essence once repairs are made – and so will no longer be deiphages. What’s wrong with eliminating deiphagy?”

(Jorgensen) “But… What in Malfeas! Is everyone in Heaven playing a joke on me? This isn’t funny! (More plaintively) “This isn’t funny…”

(Charles) “That would be awfully elaborate. Seriously though… would you like to attune to the privacy manse? That will let you know if something is messing with your head, and it IS just a manse attunement. You can drop it if you don’t like it.”

(Jorgensen, shaking his head) “How can I trust you!? (still very red, and now sweating.) You’re working with them!”

(Charles, calmly) “You have to start somewhere. After all, I already asked how I could demonstrate good faith – and you didn’t answer. If you don’t know what you believe in or what it would take for you to trust someone, how am I supposed to figure it out? Would you like to talk to the Celestial Lions? An Incarnae will be hard to arrange at short notice, but I could try.”

And there were voices outside. “My lord, are you all right? You seem to be under considerable stress! He’s… Not doing anything, is he, sir? It would be out of character.”

(Jorgensen) “Fine! I’ll talk to a lion! They need to explain WHY to me!”

(Charles, to those outside) “Perhaps he could use a backrub? Those are supposed to be very good for stress!”

(Voice outside) “I’ll get Mother!”

(Charles, to Jorgensen) “Are there any particular lions you’d like to talk to?”

(Jorgensen) “Implacable Shining Barrator is supposedly incorruptible. Seriously… If this is a prank, you are in so much trouble, Primordial or not!”

(Charles) “I’ll ask him to come over then – or would you prefer to send the message? That way you can sure that I’m not interfering”.

(Jorgensen, placing the call) “Oh no, if I let children do my business…”

It didn’t take too long to convince Implacable Shining Barrator to come over. Mr Jorgensen was head of the Bronze Faction – and at the moment anything involving Charles had a very high priority indeed.

And while they were waiting for an influential Celestial lion to clear out his schedule due to a matter of Heavenly Geomancy, the High Lord’s storm goddess wife gave him a backrub… Charles hoped that it would help!

(Ardent Wave) “Charles, what did you do to him?!”

(Charles) “Well… unexpected information! But he did ask! He’s worried about my current projects.”

(Ardent wave) “But why… Oh. That.” (Her hair stopped moving) “You know about it.”

(Charles) “Well, it’s my current projects, not his…”

(Ardent Wave) “Well. Let’s continue with your back massage before you get… stabby.”

That worked to some extent!

Barrator took his time – but arrived eventually.

(Charles) “It was kind of a giveaway that you were expecting major problems when you asked for ships to take refuge in. Problems need fixing!… Hello Mr Barrator!”

Implacable Shining Barrator was a truly massive Celestial lion, with even more jade ornamentation than usual.

(Barrator) “Hail and well met, Charles, or Aden. Whichever – we must resolve this issue before it gets out of hand. The safety of Yu-Shan depends on it.”

Mr Kristoff had quite a few questions ready to go!

(Jorgensen) “Milord… Thank you for granting me this meeting on such short notice. This must be a matter of great import. Please, is it true that the Incarnae authorized young (with quite some stress on that word!) Charles here to do – whatever-it-is that he is doing – with little or no supervision? Are the Celestial Lions really working with him and the deiphages with the intent to restore them to sanity? And… do you actually believe that this has even a gnat’s chance against Oblivion of WORKING?

Oooh! No shouting! Just some doubt and strong emphasis! The backrub was really working! Maybe he should try one sometime; he certainly had enough companions who’d be willing to give it a go!

(Barrator, smiling enigmatically) “Yes, the Silver Lady and the Most High have both authorized this project, and you know even I cannot gainsay them. They and the other Incarnae have judged him as competent. Yes, we are working with the deiphages. We… are responsible for their condition in some ways, and with Charles-Aden fixing it, we can double the city’s guardians. I cannot tell you more unless you accept a non-disclosure oath, which will expire in five days’ time.”

(Jorgensen, with considerable shock) “What do you mean, responsible?!”

(Barrator) “I cannot elaborate without the oath. Even at your rank, it is a matter of celestial security… I think we have gotten as far as we can. There is much I cannot say. Please. Won’t you consider it, Mr. Jorgensen? I would hate to see you even more stressed. Do think about it!”

And, after a few comments and small pleasantries, Barrator really had to go! He was helping plan the security for the concert…

(Charles after a few minutes of silent waiting) “Uhm… Would you like the oath or privacy manse link? Neither one hurts anything at all!”

(Jorgensen) “What did he mean by responsible? I don’t like what he was implying there!”

(Charles, looking a bit sad) “I can’t tell you without the oath… It’s only for five days though!”

(Jorgensen) “Can I look at your plans? I don’t have those either-no, really! My Chosen of Secrets can’t get them. Please?”

(Charles) “Well… I can show you some of the manse designs and things. For the full thing… It’s not all my secrets!”

He produced about a thousand pages worth of the non-critical information.

(Charles) “I’m sorry… the full briefing uses a LOT of compression!”

Fortunately, Jorgensen did read very quickly indeed.

Of course, an awful lot of it was manse designs for elsewhere in the universe, artifact designs, geomantic maps, and all kinds of other stuff – with little or no indication of how it all fitted together. Not that that would be easy to make out anyway given the level of compression involved!

(Jorgensen) “You ARE trusting… Okay, be honest with me. How many of my people are leaking information to you?… Oh. You can’t tell me, can you! They’ve taken that damnable oath!”

(Charles, thoughtfully) “Huh… Honestly, I don’t think any. Several people in your faction have taken the non-disclosure oath to get information, but they didn’t need to give me any for the most part – well, except for some about personal problems that I might be able to help with, and I’m not sure that counts – but most of what I got came anonymously, and I think from an ex-member of your faction. I got more of what I needed from direct examination, Primordials, the records of the Forbidden Manse of Ivy, Luna, the Primordial Archives, the Tenders, and lots of other sources! And some of the other Incarnae helped fill in bits!

(Jorgensen) “Ergh… Traitors everywhere! But… Are the Incarnae really helping you? None of these writs are forged.”

(Charles) “Yes; they know that it needs doing – very urgently – and are too busy to do it themselves.”

(Jorgensen, rather slowly) “And if I take this oath… I can still pursue my plans as usual.”

(Charles) “You can.”

And for all his probing… that was a simple truth. Save, perhaps, in defense… the boy would take nothing – not even choices – but only give.

(Jorgensen) “Even if they’re opposed to yours.”

(Charles) “You can. The Oath covers non-disclosure, not participation. Now, if you want the privacy manse link that will help you store the information and it helps with logical processing and mental stability.

(Jorgensen) “I’m perfectly fine!” (Even Ardent Wave, behind him, rolled her eyes at that one.)

(Jorgensen) “What? Just because I have a temper doesn’t make me crazy!”

(Charles) “That’s quite true – but the full briefing is about sixty thousand pages of information even with the compression. Getting it all in a fairly brief time can be quite a strain.”

(Jorgensen) “Sixty thousand… Okay, which Primordial told you your information? Since you didn’t say Yozi, a new one?”

Well… the Silver Faction Sidereals know of Gauderis, although the other factions certainly suspected that they were Primordial backed. Still, the name alone wouldn’t mean much.

(Charles) “Gaia, Gauderis, indirectly Autochthon – through one of his Devas – and another I’m not free to discuss without the Oath. The Yozi’s have not contributed; I suspect that they’d be pretty unreliable anyway. I AM may qualify as a primordial now, but I’m not too sure. It’s been very helpful anyway.”

(Jorgensen) “Never heard of Gauderis. (He sighed again)… Fine, I’ll take the oath. If other people have taken it under my nose, I need to know what they know. But no tricks!”

(Charles) “Uhm… Tricks are bad! People make poor decisions when their information is bad!”

And one Oath, and the privacy manse link (Jorgensen took it, if only so that he could absorb the full briefing in time) – and the full briefing, courtesy of the briefing manse. For good or ill… once he was linked to the privacy manse even the “add a motivation” compulsion that he’d put on himself was notably artificial, and could be easily ignored!

(Jorgensen, after some hours) “Soo… Heaven is a baby Primordial who ate something she shouldn’t have, the adult Primordials used her to power and make reality, and the deiphages are her life support system. Why would you make a life support system that EATS PEOPLE? That’s why we started the project in the first place, you know!”

(Charles) “It wasn’t supposed to; when the Incarnae took over Yu-Shan, they were forced to contain the Games of Divinity – and more and more motes have been diverted from her to powering city services and such. She’s dying – and when she dies she will become a Neverborn, the city will collapse into the Labyrinth, the lucky gods will fall into oblivion, the unlucky will become twisted creatures of the underworld, her links to Creation will drag the elemental poles after her, and it will become a race between Creation falling into the underworld and dissolving into the wyld. Rather than see the Cosmos destroyed… the Incarnae have supported my efforts to fix it.”

(Jorgensen) “And now that I look at OUR plans without certain ‘aids,’ they look like a great plan for killing a Primordial. Sure, we were expecting the deiphages to resist, but… Oh gods. How much do you know about Stanewald?”

(Charles) “Well, I have a reasonably recent copy of the project data. That’s why there are provisions for incorporating it if it goes live before my own renovations are complete.”

(Jorgensen) “Heh. You probably won’t have to worry about that anymore. But you intended that all along. Right?”

(Charles) “Well… I try to make all my projects advantageous for everyone I possibly can. It makes it much easier to gather support for them!

(Jorgensen, consideringly) “Somebody’s going to backstab you with that someday.”

(Charles, more seriously than usual) “Yes, I suppose so… but it would be far worse to stop looking for help, and friends, and to improve the universe. Giving up… is far worse than being betrayed.”

(Jorgensen) “Heh. Can’t stop being the idealist, can you?…”

(Charles) “ Probably not! And… I can’t see any reason to want to.”

(Jorgensen) “I guess it’s better than destroying the universe by accident, after someone’s been telling you that was going to happen for fifty years.”

(Charles) “I think so! There are some billions of inhabited worlds out there now. Whatever it requires of me… I will not let them die.”

(Jorgensen) “The universe wears on you after a lifetime, Charles. After SEVERAL mortal lifetimes… well, you saw how I was acting!”

(Charles) “I have set that up already. Eventually I will fall – all things do, although it is possible that the universe will go first – but I have set things up so that I can still answer those who call for help.”

(Jorgensen) “That’s a big trick. I thought you said you couldn’t conquer death.”

(Charles) “I can’t – but there are ways to work around it!”

(Jorgensen) “Teachable?”

(Charles) “I installed the necessary channels in the conceptual framework of creation for that – and yes, some ways are teachable and others can be bestowed. Do you need some?”

(Jorgensen) “You probably handed it out to my people. Yes, I would. I can’t be the top man if others are hiding power from me!”

(Charles) “Well, what I usually give out is a thaumaturgic upgrade with a lot of subfunctions: there are several other methods, but that’s the best general boost! If you want to try that, it’s basically another manse attunement; you can visionquest it – and if you want to stay remotely attuned, you envision leaving a blood droplet at the final stage to maintain the link. There’s a charm series that also works, but I’d have to bestow access to the set – which will block off other avenues of development and might not be your think anyway.”

Jorgensen) “So this is that powerful stuff Harold – or at least that toy of his – can throw around, then? Please tell me that it’s restricted somehow and can be turned off? You’ve got to have that much sense!”

(Charles) “Well, yes… Some of the early testers wanted me to be sure to!”

(Jorgensen) “Huh. Well, okay then. You know why they wanted that, right?”

(Charles) “Well, yes. They noted that someone could misuse it!”

He was already deep in manse-attunements… What was one more? He took it – and spent a few minutes considering what it included.

(Jorgensen) “Well, this should be handy against the Gold Council if they try to push me around again – if we survive the next six days. Are you REALLY sure you can pull this off? I mean, you’re still a kid, and not even a worldly one.”

(Charles) “Well… the Maidens see a future. I cannot guarantee a total success – but I have apparently taken enough precautions to ensure some level of it!”

(Jorgensen) “I hope you don’t warp Creation too much, or accidentally merge Sidereals with Devas. I… didn’t even realize we were merging Sidereals with Devas.”

(Charles) “Well… there are a lot of things going on out there! And I will do my best!”

(Jorgensen) “Argh… I have to apologize to some people now. I hate apologizing!”

(Charles) “Well… It can wait a bit if you need to! And there’s Gustav and Astrid to talk with for a start! Uhm… I’m glad you’re feeling better about things; they were kind of worried about you!

It was SO nice that the privacy manse helped a lot with not doing silly things under stress! No one will be killing themselves to destroy the universe or threatening other people’s lives to make them do it!

There were some inquiries on the way out – mostly about how he’d gotten the High Lord to calm down. He was pretty temperamental!

(Charles) “Mostly I gave him the information he wanted!”

Well… they were glad that the High Lord hadn’t drawn the reaver daiklave on him. That could have gotten ugly.

Charles had to agree that that would have been unpleasant.

The Chronicles Of Heavenly Artifice CCII – The Primal Forge, Manse-Spirits And Guardians

There were still many minor gods trying to set up arrangements for the Carnival of Meeting outside – and one of those, some sort of technological god dotted with LED lights, was watching Charles’s work with some interest. Charles, unsurprisingly, didn’t mind a bit – although it was obvious that the guards were keeping an eye out while he single-mindedly adjusted things. He did notice eventually though – and opened up a line to find out if the god needed something!

(Illuminating Cryptic Radiance) “Hello, Charles. You’re busily working as usual, I see.”

(Charles) “Lots to do! Did you need something?”

(Illuminating Cryptic Radiance) “Yes… What did you find in the Primal Forge? I’m dying to know!”

(Charles, thoughtfully) “Oh! Well, the principle is fairly straightforward really… the basic design is an optimized factory-cathedral, but it taps into the wyld through wyld revocation and an adjustable gate (more wyld revocation and some dynamic architecture there). It establishes an identity-link, and reality overlay, with the most perfectly possible optimum situation and setup for whatever task you happen to be working on right now, complete with assistants and appropriate materials. If that ideal location happens to exist in Creation, someone could open their shop and find that Autochthon – or the manse consciousness – was working in it. If it’s in the Wyld, then Creation won’t notice of course.”

Illuminating Cryptic Radiance managed to hold a poker face – but it wasn’t easy! The boy was both ABLE and WILLING to talk about how the PRIMAL FORGE actually OPERATED?! No one had ever been able to read deeply enough into it to get that much information! Attempts always gave insane results, like you were trying to… trying to analyze the structure of the Deep Wyld… The Primal Forge was designed to reach into the Wyld and pull structure out it? Did it actually date back to before there had been anything else to work with?

Oh of COURSE Autochthon operated by pulling structure out of the Wyld! He long predated Creation and had helped to build it! Was the Forge basically a quasi-independent fragment of Autochthon rather than – or perhaps as well as – a manse-artifact? And a quasi-independent fragment of a Primordial was… a Deva. Was that why it was so heavily guarded and why no one was allowed to interact with it? Was it doing little or nothing simply because Autochthon was occupied elsewhere?

Why hadn’t that – rather obvious! – thought ever occurred to him before? He’d been studying the Primal Forge and Autochthon for YEARS, bringing illumination into dark and hidden places as was his nature! Was it something to do with young Charles? The boy seemed to carry something with him… a breath of freedom, that loosened all constraints whether of the body, of the mind, or of destiny itself. Like the Wyld, but not of it.

(Charles) “The trouble is that, while interruptions wouldn’t be optimum when someone IS working, and so there won’t be any while a project is underway, when they’re not working or are just seeking inspiration the place can act as an uncontrolled gate to anywhere in the Wyld – and thus could let almost anything in. Thus the need to have it powered down and under heavy guard when no one is working there – and the varying reports; if someone without enough focus and control goes in, it will look for the optimum workspace for any project they have in their unconscious, which can get quite weird! Plus, of course, most people expect traps – so they get them!”

That seemed like enough detail. That much had been pretty obvious if you knew how to look – but he didn’t want to violate the Primal Forge’s privacy!

(Charles) “I thought about building one for myself – but since I don’t spend ALL my time crafting things, it isn’t really required and would be more than a bit hazardous! Slightly below perfect optimization is generally quite enough!”

Charles didn’t bother to mention that the manse consciousness was a Deva – not that he saw much of any difference between a Deva and a manse spirit. Perhaps there really wasn’t any if you just made them with the right modifiers in primordial demesnes? Certainly he’d cheated quite a lot while he was making his own – but it did seem like there were likely to be simpler ways; he’d actually gone quite overboard on empowering his Guardians! Now that he’d studied deva-demons a bit more… rather a lot of third circle types weren’t all THAT powerful. Hm… Were Primordials so focused because they created their Devas as expressions of particular interests, and wound up locked into those? If so, he’d been lucky! Patterning his after the various fields of Thaumaturgy did mean that they were just as magic-focused as he was, but the twenty-four fields of Thaumaturgy – of course – covered pretty much EVERYTHING.

Illuminating Cryptic Radiance was rather more interested in “building one for himself”. Was that really within the boy’s capabilities? Or was it just that… Wait. Nothing in what he’d mentioned – which DID seem to account for the properties the place was supposed to have AND for having it so well guarded – was necessarily beyond the capacity of a relatively modest network of fairly normal manses. Yes, you’d have to be a brilliant designer of manses to fit all the pieces together and you’d have to be able to design and build a Factory-Cathedral, but you didn’t HAVE to have a legendary manse or demesne to work with. That would just make it easier to keep all the pieces in one place. Had Autochthon simply been… being tidy?

On Manse Spirits and Guardians

  • Awakened Little God (1): The manse’s little god is an awakened ally of the hearthstone bearers. Such a god cannot be truly slain while the manse endures, and can usually be constructed as an Essence-3 spirit if the manse is rated at *** or less, essence 4 if it’s rated at **** or higher.
  • Awakened Guardian God (Variant on Guardian, 3): The Manse’s “little” god has essence (Manse Rating +2), but this is otherwise similar to Awakened Little God. This means that it’s a bit less powerful than a standard guardian, but comes back if it’s destroyed more quickly.
    • Improving on this is actually pretty awkward: Buying a Guardian gets you a second circle demon or creature of equivalent power – an essence range of 5 to 8, most commonly around 6-7. Adding +1 point for a Guardian Force gets you hundreds of them. That’s a lot of power and it’s hard for a single entity to improve on it much. Ergo lets just use a modifier.
  • Greater Guardian / Guardian Force (Requires Guardian or Guardian Force): For +1 point added to the base cost of Guardian you may increase the Guardians essence rating by +2 and add up to (Essence) panoply charms or abilities. Such a guardian cannot be truly slain while the manse endures. If you increase the cost of a Guardian Force one of it’s members gets those benefits and an additional seven linked to the first get +1 Essence and (Essence/2)+1 panoply charms or abilities. In either case, Greater Guardians cannot be truly slain while their manse endures.

On The Primal Forge:

The Greater Guardian of the Primal Forge is Muquinas, The Weave of Mothers and Maker – and it is through his power that the Forge produces wonders so quickly and easily. The Manse’s Gate and Overlay functions let Muquinas go Wyld-Questing in the Deep Wyld without ever leaving his chair – and he’s very good at it.

Muquinas: Ess 9, Per 13, Occult 12, Occult Speciality / Wyld-Questing 3, Madwands Lens (This Artifact-5 provides continuous Essence Sight, Spirit-Sight, +6 Perception, +6 Occult, and – due to the dazzling visions it grants – counts as using hallucinogens when the user is Wyld-Questing, reducing the time required to two intervals rather than three).

This gives Muquinas a forty-die Wyld Questing roll with a time requirement of two minutes. At Difficulty 12 he can pull Artifact-*****’s directly out of the Wyld in two minutes apiece. He mostly employs his other astounding skills to assemble groups of tailored Artifact-V’s into Artifact N/A’s – using Wyld Time to speed the assembly.

Plus, of course, there are the efforts of the seven secondary consciousness and the rest of the “Guardian Force” of Crafter-golems.

During the construction of Creation Muquinas and his minions were very busy indeed, forging intangible – but very real – artifact-links between Yu-Shan’s various aspects and Deva’s and Creation – a task that has continued (if on a far smaller and occasional scale) to this day. The splendor of his craftsmanship is evident in that those links have endured despite many tens of thousands of years and the Reshaping of Creation.

Charles, who is young, and over-enthused about making even minor artifacts with his own skills, shaping, and wyld-questing, hasn’t actually thought about the true power of Muquinas and the Primal Forge. He is thinking of it as a slightly upgraded version of Dudael – a facility that helps you work and arranges some mass-production, rather than an independent font of artifacts.

Illuminating Cryptic Radiance tapped a finger to his face, which caused some of the lights on his cheek to change color.

(Illuminating Cryptic Radiance) “Were there REALLY no guardians?”

(Charles) “Oh some! But they’re associated with the consciousness of the installation, so they weren’t deployed! If it had wanted to optimize for traps, that would have been very awkward!’

(ICR) “So if you come to it with no expectation of traps…”

(Charles) “Then there wouldn’t be any as long as the Forge accepted your presence. If it objected… it would pull the most perfectly optimized possible set of trap-tools to expel, capture, or kill you (depending on it’s judgement) out of the wyld.”

(ICR) “Hmm . . . hmm . . . if I wanted to talk to the Primal Forge, what would I need to do to get on its good side?”

(Charles) “Well, it was transferred to Yu-Shan to help create the links between it and Creation and to forge artifacts. Plans along those lines might engage it’s interests! You might want to wait a while though… at the moment access is quite restricted and – honestly – a slightly lesser facility suffices for most things!”

(ICR) “Oh… how disappointing. I was wondering if it would want an arrangement of LED lights in its honor, since it was sapient and everything.”

(Charles) “Well, it certainly has it’s own moods and ideas… it’s grand purpose is one thing, it’s personal desires are quite another – and they aren’t something I really had much time to explore.”

(ICR) “Sigh… it must be fascinating to talk to…”

(Charles) “Well, maybe I can arrange an introduction later on! At the moment… I can talk while I work, but doing two tasks at once is considerably harder!”

Illuminating Cryptic Radiance decided to be satisfied with that for the time being. It was more than he’d really expected to get after all!

Plus, of course, he had some REALLY juicy speculation to chew on.

Meanwhile Charles had – finally! – completed the layout, even if the section for the third circles was full of thaumaturgic essence-baffles designed to compensate for him not being sure who would actually come. Unfortunately… A lot of them were simply very awkward and a LOT of the rest were a bit too crazy (he wasn’t inviting anyone who was too likely to run amuck). He’d been more or less forced to limit invitations to the saner ones with reasonable manifestations (although he’d made dimensional-fold viewing space available for the ones who were just too big and such), and less than half of THOSE had responded (or even given evidence that they’d been reached and understood). Hard to blame them of course! Coming would mean setting aside a great many old arguments for the moment – and would mean putting a good deal of faith in the Occupying forces in Yu-Shan to do the same. A bit tricky for some even if it WAS guaranteed by the Unconquered Sun.

That left out a depressing number of souls – but it should be more than enough to spread the word, which was the real point. Even better, Ligier, Ninsei, Jacint, Demirkol, Michio, Orabillis, and Kochige had all RSVP’d… They might even be inclined to help! And even if they weren’t… they would be witnesses that repairs were indeed under way. Going to Malfeas to fix the Yozi’s was going to offer more than enough challenges anyway.

Meanwhile, Aikiko was considering her upcoming role as Ultraman. Finally, a major lead role! Too bad it was not going to be stunts and special effects, but real danger! Still, direct battle with the Neverborn Kaiju would provide some GREAT footage! And, unlike the Primordial War, it would be somewhat comprehensible, mostly in one dimension, and properly recorded… perfect for future newsreels!

Even if the Neverborn were pretty lovecraftian and might drive viewers a bit crazy. After the changes that are likely to hit the universe, that would just be one bizarre phenomenon among many. Despite Charles’s obvious hopes, breaking Creation free from Yu-Shan, opening hundreds of gates and erecting hundreds of major manses, along with the echoes of the song of creation rolling across a hundred or so worlds was not going to pass without a LOT of special effects. Hopefully he had enough allies and helpers to keep those effects down to “annoying” rather than “reality-shattering”.

Elsewhere, the Bronze Faction leadership was considering. The question of what Charles might be – even if it was a Solar! – paled next to the question of what he was up to. It had to be more than a concert; the INCARNAE, and only-the-Maidens knew WHAT else was coming!

It was time to ask the “boy” some hard questions!

Earthmaster Gedion, Wardforger

Atheria is not a world for men, but merely a place of refuge.
It’s ways are old beyond measure, the presence of men yet young upon it.
It’s magic runs it’s own way, it’s depths beyond men’s mastery.
In each great domain one power holds sway, binding with each new life.
A Birthright that shapes the region, and the life within it, in it’s own image.
The realms of Order, of the Sun, of Blood and Shadow, of Life – and of Death.
Men trespass upon antiquity, challenging the order of things.
They press beyond the ancient boundaries, seek to shape the world to their will.
What course shall you set? What legacy shall you leave?

Long ages past, mankind fled some terrible enemy. Their defenses broken, their lore lost, their heroes, mages, priests, and gods themselves slain, and their world fallen. They fled across the myriad worlds, the Thousand Scales of the Dragon, and sought refuge at the end – or perhaps the beginning – of creation, in Atheria. There, in the domains of the Realm Lords – powers far, far, greater than their now-forgotten original realms fallen gods had ever been – they sealed the paths between the worlds behind them with mighty barriers and, knowing that it was easier to seek forgiveness than to ask permission, begged for shelter.

And their plea was granted. If the world-slayer battered at the gates of Atheria, the barriers and the Realm-Lords barred its path – and men found new strength, healing old wounds and learning to tap into the powers that sheltered them.

But nothing lasts forever. The ancient barriers have fallen, and the ways between the worlds are once more open. The wild power of the Dragon’s Breath – the primordial Chaos between the worlds – is flowing into Atheria once more, grounding itself in the earth and stone of the world, and rising again as pools and fonts of geomantic power.

Whether or not the ancient enemy still awaits to complete its work… mankind will be visiting the realms beyond once more, finding worlds which men may shape to their will rather than being mere guests of the Realm Lords.

Gedion has seen the hints among the stars and in the coils of time – and feels the swelling power of the Dragon’s Breath flowing in, ready for those with the lore to tap. It is greatest, or course, in the realm of Dimensional Magic – where intrusions from the beyond, and expeditions into it, will soon be a common thing.

Gedion has spent years studying the art of coaxing such power into the flower of a Ward Major – and now intends to harness that geomancy. With the aid of mystic architecture he intends to build structures to focus that power and channel it outwards, to allow others to draw on it wherever they may be. If humanity is to face the unknown dangers of other worlds and the spaces between them, he will see those who go forth as well-equipped to meet the challenges to come as he can arrange. Already he has sacrificed much for his personal power, for such a goal… he would willingly sacrifice far more.

Earthmaster Gedion, Barbarian Wardforger

Atherian Bear Barbarian: +6 Constitution (12 CP), +6 Strength (12 CP), +1 Natural Armor (Defender, 4 CP), d4 Claws (Martial Arts, 2 CP), and +3 Survival. All bear barbarians have the Incompetent (-3 penalty on social skills) disadvantage, for +3 CP.

Note that Atheria uses the half-price attributes rule and that the Barbarian animalistic racial templates are Corrupted: they include obvious animalistic features and powerful animal instincts. Combined with the price break for having attributes in a Template, this means that they get some very high attribute bonuses indeed for a +0 ECL race – not that the other Atherian “Races” are weak…

Available Character Points: 132 (L4 Base +16 points towards L5) + 18 (L1, L2, L4 Bonus Feats) +8 (Duties/Preparing the Ways) +10 (Disadvantages: Blocked/Mystic Artist abilities, Poor Reputation/known Blood of The Dragon user, and History) = 172 CP.

Basic Attributes: 28 Point Buy / Purchased Str 8 (0), Int 16 (10), Wis 12 (4), Con 14 (6), Dex 10 (2), Chr 14 (6). Self-Development +1 Str (L2), +1 Chr (L4). Blood of the Dragon (-5 Str), Racial +6 Str, +6 Con.

Net Attributes: Str 10 (+0), Int 16 (22 for Skill Purposes) (+3 / +6), Wis 12 (+1), Con 20 (+5), Dex 10 (+0), Chr 15 (+2).

Basic Abilities (49 CP).

  • Hit Points: 6 (L1d6, 2 CP) +17 (L2-L4: d6, 6 CP) +20 (Con Mod x 4) = 43 HP.
  • Skill Points: 8 SP (Purchased, 8 CP) +42 (Int Mod x 7) +4 (Wealth Level) = 54 SP.
  • BAB: +2 (12 CP)
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude: +2 (Purchased, 6 CP) +5 (Con) = +7
    • Reflex: +2 (Purchased, 6 CP) +0 (Dex) = +2
    • Will: +0 (Purchased, CP) +1 (Wis) = +1
  • Combat Information:
    • Proficiencies: All simple weapons (3 CP), Light Armor with the Smooth modifier (6 CP).
    • Initiative: +0 (Dex)
    • Move: 30′
    • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +1 (Natural Armor) +5 (Breastplate) +1 (Martial Art) = 17

Other Abilities:

Adept of the College of Celestial Magics (60 CP).

  • 5 Caster Levels, Specialized in Adept Spellcasting (15 CP).
  • 6 Levels of the Spontaneous Adept Spellcasting Progression with no Caster Levels, Specialized for Double Effect / Provides spells known only, with no spell slots (18 CP). (10 Cantrips, 6L1 Spells, 4 L2 Spells: L0: Create Water, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Guidance, Light, Mending, Purify Food and Drink, Read Magic, Stabilize, Touch of Fatigue, L1 Cause Fear, Comprehend Languages, Cure Light Wounds, Obscuring Mist, Protection from “Evil”, Sleep. L2 Cure Moderate Wounds, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Scorching Ray. Most of these have geomantic or astrological special effects, but function normally).
  • 6 Levels of the Spontaneous Adept Spellcasting Progression with no Caster Levels, Specialized for double effect / Provides spells known only, with no spell slots, Corrupted for Reduced Cost; Astrological Magic / Spells known are determined by the GM according to the current state of the night sky – although they will always include “Read The Stars” (L1), which gives vague hints as to whatever the GM feels like giving out information about today. Currently this provides 10 Cantrips, 5 other L1 spells, and 4 L2 spells) (12 CP).
  • Five dice of Mana as 10d4 (33) Generic Spell Levels, Specialized/only to fuel spontaneous adept spellcasting (15 CP).

Geomantic Mastery (36 CP):

  • Shaping, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (L1 spells): Earth Magic only, only his Earthshaping spell (6 CP).

Gedion has infused himself with the Blood of the Dragon – giving up five points of Strength to forever be able to cast a Sixth Level Greater Invocation (Earthshaping) as a first level spell – producing Earthshaping effects of up to level four. Unfortunately, this is a trick that only works on Atheria (or any world that allows the use of the Blood of the Dragon) – but you can do much the same thing in superheroic worlds with Mana, essentially creating various types of elemental superheroes.

Earthshaping (Produces effects of up to two levels below the level of the Invocation used. A Greater Invocation from The Practical Enchanter.

Earthshaping covers moving and shaping Earth and Stone – opening pits, raising or crumbling walls, hurling boulders, digging trenches, faceting gems, creating bridges, raising spikes, parting avalanches, building structures, and many similar tasks. At it’s fringes, it can be used to make bricks, melt or solidify rock, smelt metal, mend flaws in crystals, turn clay into pottery, and sand into shaped glass. It’s effects on refined metal are, however, greatly reduced (-3 levels) and it cannot transmute materials at all. Thus it cannot turn one kind of crystal into another, cause (or reverse) petrification, alter the properties of earth or stone, or otherwise change the nature of earth and stone beyond what applying or removing heat will do.

  • Occult Sense / Geology and Geomancy. Gedion can sense mineral deposits, ley lines, caverns, how far he is below the surface, the likelihood of avalanches, earthquakes, and collapses, and similar things (6 CP).
  • Leadership, Exotic, Constructs: Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (the Ward Rank may equal the User’s Level, and the total number of available levels is 4 x (Level + Cha Mod)) / Wards Major Only, Wards must be called into being at magical power nexi through the construction of massive (small-castle sized at a minimum) stone structures designed by a Mystic Architect – although only the construction of the structure is required. The resulting Wards have a strong tendency to bestow Distant Gifts, but their powers will also be flavored by the designs of the Mystic Architect (12 CP).
  • Adept (Knowledge: Architecture and Engineering, Geography, History, and Nature) (6 CP).
  • Ritual Magic (Atherian Knowledge-Based Rituals version) (6 CP).

Other Special Talents (27 CP):

  • +6 Int for Skill Purposes Only (18 CP).
  • Luck, Specialized in Saving Throws (3 CP).
  • Affluent Wealth Level (6 CP). The benefits here include…
    • Armor, Shields, and Weapons are treated as “Masterwork”.
    • Exotic pets, warbeasts, and packtrains are available. Gedion’s personal steed is, of course, from the Barbarian Lands – and so is an impressively powerful beast.
    • Five Charms and two Talismans (Commonly a Lens of Memory, Traveler’s Bedroll, Vanishing Cloak, and Weave of Light for Charms, and Endless Rope and Rubydraught for Talismans).
    • Retainers: A couple of competent guards, a small entourage, and various employees. Most of them are horse-barbarian slaves, but there are a scattering of other barbarian types among them.
    • +2 Wealth Bonus to Diplomacy and Ride
    • +1 Skill Point per Level.

Skills (54 SP):

Languages: Ikunn, Illerian, Havril, Chordath, Draconic, and Varalung (Local languages of the Atheria setting).

  • Knowledge: Architecture and Engineering, Geography, History, and Nature. All +7 (3 SP each due to Adept, 12 SP total), +6 (Int) = +13
  • Knowledge: Arcana, Local, Nobility and Royalty, Religion, and Planes. All +1 (1 SP each, 5 SP total) +6 (Int) = +7
  • Rolling Earth Martial Art +7 (7 SP) +5 (Con) = +12. Known Techniques: Toughness IV, Defenses I and Blind-Fight.
  • Diplomacy +7 (7 SP) +2 (Cha) -3 (Race) +2 (Wealth) = +8.
  • Spot +7 (7 SP) +0 (Wis) = +7
  • Survival +7 (7 SP) +
  • Intimidate +7 (3 SP for Tier 2 Skill) +2 (Cha) = +9
  • Profession/Astrologer +7 (3 SP for Tier 2 Skill) +6 (Int) = +13
  • Ride +7 (3 SP for Tier 2 Skill) +0 (Dex) +4 (Wealth Bonus) = +11

Note that all Knowledges provide related magical rituals on Atheria. You can find a lost of examples HERE. The setting also uses Tiered Skills – making the less commonly used skills correspondingly cheaper.

Gedion… isn’t an enormously powerful adventurer. He’s a visionary, a builder, and a potential world-changer. If he picks up some levels and fulfills his goals he could easily leave behind a half-dozen to a dozen Epic Wards – capable of protecting cities, supporting magical industries, bestowing major powers on tens of thousands, guarding the gates between the dimensions, and of having a major impact on the development of all Atheria. Building infrastructure isn’t exactly the usual way that d20 characters make an impact – but it’s certainly a practical approach and one that’s less likely to get you killed than most.

The Chronicles Of Heavenly Artifice Session CCI – Mortal Voices

Charles was beginning to wonder if something was orchestrating interruptions… A strong destiny charm or good astrological manipulation could arrange it easily enough. That wouldn’t cover the latest one – which was coming from inside Aden, and thus was out of reach of astrology. Still, it was also minor enough to let an aspect cover it – which pretty much put it off the list. This one was probably just random.

Besides… it was just a whole bunch of people complaining on top of a few of the young women who’d moved in on him wanting his attention. A sub-process should be sufficient to deal with it!

At least it wasn’t the Kickaha again.

Not directly anyway.

It was a bunch of human and near-human adults, at one of his residential Manses.

(Charles) “Er… Do you need something? Is this about your “true inner selves”? Those letters were WEIRD! Or is this the Jyhad? I was told that there was one coming!”

(Mother) “what are you doing with our children?!”

(Charles) “Er, what? What children? Aden should be very safe!”

(Middle-aged man) “The ones you turned into wolves!”

(Charles) “Oh! The Kickaha have been recruiting again! That’s kind of naughty there… at least without permission! Well, they aren’t hurt any, but I’d better get them in here!”

(Mother) “So that’s what you call them!”

(Charles) “Well, the kids they recruit get a variety of powers, life spans of several millennia, enhanced personal attributes, extremely rapid regeneration, shapeshifting – at least to wolf-forms – and quite a few other benefits, like sensory boosts, so it’s not like they’re doing anything harmful. It’s still naughty to do it without permission though!”

He sent for the kids, and the (likely) kids who had recruited them, and the pack alphas! It was a lot of kids!

(Charles) “Hrm… Human forms please!… Now, who has parents here?”

More than a few of them did of course. That was why he’d sent for them!

(Charles) “Now then! Did you kids tell your parents what you were up to?”

Unsurprisingly, not all of them did!

(Charles) “I take it that you just ran away to play with the Kickaha packs?”

Some of them, at least… Others wanted to help out with the colonization projects.

The general babbling and child-versus-parents arguments went on for some time. Eventually, however, Charles opted to interrupt it.

(Charles, to everyone) “Now honestly… I don’t have a lot of power over this! I have some authority over the first generation – but I have no idea how many generations they’re up to now and even the first generation were and are free-willed people! Now YOUR children have run away to accept a power-imbuement, and – in at least some cases – to be pioneers, or heroes, or some such. The ones who gave it to them to them are kind of naughty here – but they certainly were entitled to take in runaways, orphans, refugees, and other kids on their own. So you Alphas… I expect you to insist that prospective recruits with reachable families at least get into touch with them and communicate about this first! You kids who have already been taken in, but have accepting families… I expect you to at least spend some time with them regularly! Staying here is a privilege you know, not a right!”

There was some complaining from some of the kids, and some grousing from some of the pack members – but the Alphas could readily deal with that. The parental complaining, however, had more of a point…

(Mother) “You would just give them all this power without knowing how they would use it?”

(Charles) “The older-generation Kickaha kids did actually. But they will make their own choices; yes, they now have more personal power than most humans do – but the Kickaha will never organize themselves to build atomic weapons or such; their natural unit is the pack. Between the two… The Kichaka are likely safer, both personally and for the universe.”

(Father) “How can you be so sure?”

(Charles) “I can be sure that they are personally safer since they are regenerative, can recover from most forms of “death”, and are superhumanly strong and durable. For the universe… they will not tend to build destructive technologies, mass armies, or similar things. The power of tooth and claw – even backed with midrange supernatural powers – cannot cause destruction on that scale. Their creation was more or less an accident of research. I think, however, that it was a fortuitous one. What with the new planets to settle… pathfinders, guides, guardians, and healers will be of great benefit – and they are ideally suited for the job. Finally, of course… I cannot take from them what has been given. It was not my gift to them, and removing it is not within my power.”

(Appalled Mother) “Wait, an accident?”

(Charles) “I had not expected the four original test subjects – all older volunteers in desperate need of transformation – to be able to pass on their new abilities.”

(Father) “Oh. So this was deliberate.”

(Charles) “When it became apparent that they could, the initial tests indicated that it should stop when they reached the limits of the original power source – some six hundred and fifty individuals. They found a way to bypass that on their own.”

(Chorus) “What? How?”

(Charles) “They found a way to make a somewhat more limited set of their basic powers self-generating. That was something of a surprise; entities with such abilities may normally pass on a small part of their abilities to their children, they cannot normally simply bestow them. I wasn’t really watching for that since it’s kind of unprecedented!”

He really had thought that they’d stop at the six hundred and fifty the manse would support. How had they done that anyway? He’d been so busy that it had never really occurred to him to look into it…

Wait. Had they just asked some of the Djinn to help them build a few more Kickaha manses? That would be a lot more limited than them turning into a major magical species on their own and it would make more sense – even most magical species started off at far lower essence levels than the Kickaha seemed to – but it would almost be a little disappointing… it wouldn’t be a major new breakthrough to look into later!

Oh well, still no time. He’d just have to check later on.

(Charles) “They went completely independent!

(Various) “We INSIST on Regular Visits!/Schooling!/Some Discipline!/Doing something about the nonhuman appearance! (That was mostly parents from earth; the extraterrestrial ones had few or no problems with THAT bit).

Charles sighed and held a discussion with the Alphas. Most of them were first generation, and should listen! Regular visits was CERTAINLY reasonable enough – even if the parents had been abusive the kids could appeal and humans attempting to abuse a Kickaha would be hard on the humans at best – and schooling was for EVERY kid in Aden! That was easy enough! And some extra instructions on a bit of Thaumaturgic Shapeshifting would let even the ones who were having a bit of trouble with their shapeshifting easily cover up the more obvious traces. And it wasn’t like they couldn’t get all the training they wanted; Aden was full of tutors.

Later on most of the parents were pleased to find out how much more useful their kids were to have around – but that would take a while.

Meanwhile… Probes were very much an ongoing thing these days, and not just from Yu-Shan and Creation. There were two from the Underworld today alone, four from Malfeas, and one from Oramus. There had been hostile shaping attempts sent from some of the Underworld ones. Of course, Adenic shaping defenses being what they were those remained attempts only, but they would have had nasty effects if they could have worked – raining the Essence from the land and setting up underworld overlay zones.

Charles promptly set up a department of answers, sneding out polite form letters, brochures, and so on to the “friendly” (or at least passive) ones, but allowing the actively hostile ones to “pass unnoticed”. No underworld overlays outside the underworld communications manse boundaries though!

Huh… Weird… At least one of the attempts to set up an underworld overlay came from Yu-Shan. Perhaps that had been the guy who handled Lethe?

Charles called Zanjaras to see if it had been – and if it had been, what he wanted or needed!

(Zanjaras) “Er… No, I would just ask through Cangha. Is there anything YOU need?”

(Charles) “Not really right now… you did get your invitation didn’t you? Unless, maybe, unbinding Yu-Shan from Creation will interrupt your work; you indicated that it wouldn’t, but the plans weren’t quite finalized then.”

(Zanjaras) “Of course. How is that proceeding?”

(Charles) “Well, it should be underway in five days now!”

(Zanjaras) “I see.”

(Charles) “Well, I don’t know who else might have been trying to set up an underworld overlay zone from Yu-Shan… but there’s not enough time for any major investigation at the moment! Maybe afterwards!”

(Zanjaras) “Hmm… Yu-Shan be with you, then.”

(Charles) “Well, thank you!”

There were thousands of last-minute checks to perform! He’d… have to delegate additional interruptions from now on for the most part!

And a very short session this time. Ah well!

Champions – The Ferret King (Child)

All Jeremy knows is that a really WEIRD thing showed up while he was at the playground, said that he was “King of the Ferrets”, gave him a cardboard crown, made him all glowy for a few moments, and started to giggle madly before vanishing. And everyone has been all weirdly SLOW since then, but ferrets will bring him candy!

And he was at school a couple of days later, and then Frank (who was eight and a little bigger) stole his pudding-cup and candy bar during lunch while he wasn’t looking, and his friends came out to pinch and bounce on Frank and to bring HIM more candy, and then people started yelling and there was running and yelling and excitement and candy and weasels! HAPPY HAPPY WEASELS EVERYWHERE! YAY WEASELS!

And soon – thanks to Ceara calling her father Samhain – there were SUPERHEROES too!

And a yucky blob, but it didn’t eat him, so that was all right.

Aurora Ward was not amused! (Well, OK… maybe they were amused given the complete lack of actual injuries or danger, but they tried to keep their faces straight) – and a little postcognitive divination showed… that Jeremy had encountered an absurd Chimera – octopus parts, fish parts, bear parts, lion parts, bird parts, bat parts, and more – which had appeared, wrapped the area in a bit of illusion to avoid general notice, used some fairly powerful chaos-transformation magic on Jeremy (classical trickster-spirit stuff) – and then had teleported away again. Unfortunately, as usual, the spirit-binding was straightforward (if power-intensive) to set up and nigh-impossible to undo. Jeremy had ferret-powers, and some sort of invocation calling on the “Great Ferret”, and that was that.

But there weren’t any geasa on the boy, or curses, or anything else. Someone had simply decided to give a small boy ferret powers and left him to his own devices.


Additional divinations eventually revealed that the Montreal area had also been “gifted” with “Kings” for Rats, Dogs, and Raccoons – as well as with “Queens” for Seagulls, Cats, Garter Snakes, and Squirrels. All, presumably, of similar ages – albeit cloaked well enough to be hard to locate until they acted up a bit…

Coyote? Loki? Spider? Anansi? Lugh? Nanabozho?

Drat it! There were just too many trickster-spirits out there!

Or maybe only one with a lot of masks. Given the Archetype, it was kind of hard to tell.

Unsurprisingly, Aurora Ward has shunted Jeremy into some special classes – as well as restraining his invocation magic a bit. He’s just a bit too volatile…


Jeremy Robinson, The Ferret King


Value Characteristic Points
8/14 STR -2
14/32 DEX 12
13/28 CON 6
8/20 BODY -4
8/14 INT -2
15/18 EGO 10
9/15 PRE -1
13/25 COM 1
3/6 PD 0
5/8 ED 0
4/8 SPD 0
8/11 REC 0
24/36 END -13
37/43 STUN 0
Total 7


Points Powers END
2 Elemental Control: Wereferret Powers (9-pt reserve); Generic Limitation (Side effects of hyperactivity, ADD, mini-ferocity, eating a LOT, liking raw meat, getting hungry very fast.): -½;

Whether as deceased humans bonded with animals or humans bonded with animal spirits, the Wereferret Package remains much the same; Wereferrets are mystically conspicuous and show a variety of physical signs of their condition (Visible, -.25), their powers are always on (and thus always remain conspicuous and otherwise troublesome, -.5), the EC is limited to classical wereferret powers only (-.5), leaves them subject to social discrimination against werecreatures (-.25), and allows them to be affected by astral beings without any special power advantages (-.25).

a-5 Regeneration (1 BODY/5 min.); Regenerate: From Death, +20
b-2 Armor (6 PD/6 ED)
c-2 Enhanced Perception (all) (+6 to PER)
d-2 Enhanced (Astral) Sight
(2) Detect (See) Astral and Magical Energies (+0 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5
(1) Ultraviolet Vision
(1) Enhanced Perception (all) (+2 to PER); Generic Limitation (Visual Only): -½
e-2 Enhanced Scent
(2) Tracking Scent
(1) Discriminatory Sense (Smell)
(1) Enhanced Perception (all) (+2 to PER); Generic Limitation (Scent Only)
f-2 Shape Shift; Ferret/Ferretman (well, kid)/Human (Single Form); Reduced END: Zero, +½; Side Effects; Animalistic Instincts.: 30/Half, -½; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +0.5 0
g-2 Shrinking-1 (DCV +2, Height 53 cm/1’9″); Mass: 2.625 kg/5.78 lbs; Knockback Increase: 3; PER Bonus: -2; Linked (With shapeshift to Full Ferret Form): -½; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½ 0
h-2 Running (+6″, 36″, NC: 72″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 36; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
i-4 Damage Reduction (Physical, 50% Resistant); Not vrs Obsidian, Dead Bone, or Magic: -1
j-4 Damage Reduction (Energy, 50% Resistant); Not vrs fire or mystical attacks: -1
k-2 Power Defense (18 pts); Only protects against attempts to remove or modify wereferret powers: -1
l-2 Mental Defense (32 pts); Add to Total.
m-8 +4 SPD
n-4 +12 CON
o-2 +9 BODY
p-10 +16 DEX
q-6 Modified Characteristic: STR; Affects Desolidified: +½; Transdimensional (Astral/Earth): Single Dimension, +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Penetrating: +1.
20 Ferret Totem Invocations Multipower (82-pt reserve); Generic Limitation (Ferret Related Powers Only): -1; Generic Limitation (No more than one-half the pool points in any one effect.): -¼; Extra Time: full phase, -½; Extra Time Required: Only At Startup, ½; Generic Limitation (Must be in were-ferret form to use.): -¼; Variable Limitations (Commonly OIF (Ferret Crown) or Gestures and Incantations or Activation Check): -½, -¼; Visible (Extremely magically conspicuous and fairly obvious to totemistic magi): -¼; Generic Limitation (Only works in places where ferrets (or other weasels) could reasonably be. ): -¾;

Unlike most invocations it may eventually be possible for Jeremy to develop some new abilities. That’s because he’s personally bonded to the Ferret Totem, not just to a ferret spirit.

u-2 Summon Magic Ferrets (32 0-point creatures); Range: 0; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Summon: Single Type, +0 0
u-2 2d6 Ferret Swarm War Dance / Energy Blast; Range: 410; Versus: PD; Active Points: 82; Variable Advantage: Max. Advantage 5¾, +6¾; Reduced END: Zero, +½

Commonly NND (Versus Immunity to Pain, Desolidification, being made of metal, rock, or similar, +1), Area Effect/Radius, x8 Increased Area (56′ Radius, +1 3/4), Autofire 15 Shots (+1), Reduced Endurance Zero (Another + 1/2 due to Autofire), with an additional +1 1/2 Variable Advantage.

u-2 Ferret Swarm Dig/ Tunneling (9″ through DEF 9); Tunnels: Not Left Behind, +10 0
u-2 1d6 Curse of The Ferret King / Transform to Ferret (Major, Single Object); Range: 410; Cumulative: +½; Trigger: Changeable, +½; Autofire: 15 shots, 1; Uncontrolled: +½; Continuous: +1; Reduced END: Zero, +1 0
u-2 Running with the Ferrets
(18) Body Surfing The Ferret Wave (+24″, 36″, NC: 72″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 143; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
(2) Clinging (Clinging STR +0)
u-2 4d6 The Ferret King / Mind Control versus Ferrets; Communication: Telepathic, +¼; Area Effect (Radius): 40″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×8, +¾; Uncontrolled: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-2 The Ferret Masque / Images (You cannot see or hear well because there are ferrets in your face and squeaking in your ears and all over the place) (Hearing, Sight group, 16″ radius); Range: 400; Observer PER Penalty: 0, +0; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½; Continuous: +1 0
u-2 4d6 The Ferret Strikes: Aid / Martial Arts Skills (Fade/min., Max. 38); Range: 0; Generic Limitation (Personal Only): -½; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Reduced END: Zero, +1; Autofire: 5 shots, ½. 0
6 +6 CP to All Attributes Blessing; Modifications to Primary Attributes do not affect secondary attributes. Aid to Defenses has half effect per standard rules.
(6) 1d6 Aid (All attributes) (Fade/turn, Max. 6); Range: 0; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1; Always On: -½; Personal Only: -1; Increases maximums only, does not speed healing: -1; Aid to Defenses is halved per the standard rules. Aid to primary attributes does not affect secondary ones. 0
6 1d6 30-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 30 CP worth of customized gear. 20
111 Total Powers  


Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
20 Followers: Ferrets (16000, 0 pts, 0 Disad.); Number: 16000, +70; Generic Limitation (Very limited sapience): -1; Generic Limitation (Very limited control): -½; Generic Limitation (Enthusiastic, bouncy, and generally harmless): -½; Generic Limitation (Falls asleep at random): -½
0 English (Native Accent); Literacy: Standard, 0
0 French (Native Accent); Literacy: Standard, 0
3 Sleight of Hand 15-
3 Acrobatics 15-
3 Contortionist 15-
3 Stealth 15-
38 Basic Ferretstrike Martial Art
(20) +5 DC for Martial Attacks
(4) Fast Strike (OCV +2, DCV +0, 9½d6)
(3) Martial Grab (OCV -1, DCV -1, STR 49)
(3) Martial Throw (OCV +0, DCV +1, 7½d6+v/5)
(4) Martial Block (OCV +2, DCV +2)
(4) Martial Escape (OCV +0, DCV +0, STR 54)
32 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  


Cost Equipment
2 Elemental Control: Safety Vest (5-pt reserve); OIF (Vest): -½; Visible (Obviously Magical): -¼; Generic Limitation (Passive Protective Effects Only): -½
a-6 Armor (6 PD/6 ED)
b-2 Power Defense (10 pts)
c-2 Mental Defense (32 pts)
d-2 Need Not Breathe
5 Healer’s Pouch Multipower (20-pt reserve); Focus: Obvious Accessible, -1; Extra Time: 1 turn, -1; Increased END: ×2, -½; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼
u-1 4d6 Healing
u-1 2d6 Transform / Removes minor rashes/stings/scrapes/etc (Cosmetic, Limited Class)
u-1 1d6 Remove Magic Drain (Return/min.) 4; Range: 0; Penetrating: +½; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼
4 5″ Fall Safety Belt / Gliding (NC: 10″) ; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 30; Trigger (Falling): Set, +¼; Uncontrolled (When triggered): +½; Generic Limitation (Only for avoiding injury from falls): -1; Focus (Safety Belt): Obvious Inaccessible, -½
3 High-End Smartphone (0kg)
1 LED Flashlight (0kg)
30 Total Equipment


100+ Disadvantages
20 Seven years old (All the Time, Greatly)
20 Code Against Killing (Common, Total)
15 Overconfidence (Very Common, Moderate)
15 Thoughtless (Common, Strong)
15 Gets easily overexcited or into a “sugar rush”; during which he is quite frantic, talks too fast to understand, and acts like a little nutcase. (Frequently, Greatly)
15 Accidental Change when over-excited or upset (11-)
10 Susceptibility to Speed Drains (2d6 STUN/Effect is Instant); Condition: Uncommon, +5
10 Public Identity
5 Rivalry: Other Animal Magi; Situation: Professional, 5; Position: Equal, +0; Rival: NPC, +0
5 Watched: Authorities (11-); Capabilities: Less Powerful, 5; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Mild, -5
5 Watched: Parents (14-); Capabilities: Less Powerful, 5; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Mild, -5
5 Watched: Aurora Ward (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Mild, -5
5 Poor (His allowance is not very big…)
5 Reputation: Since the news reports, Jeremy is – at least locally – often recognized as “that hyper kid with ferrets” (8-)
150 Total Disadvantages


COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
7 + 143 = 150 250 = 150 + 100


OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
11 11 / 13 6 32 18/12 20/12 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12

Height: 106cm (3’6″), Weight: 21kg (46 lbs), Sex: Male, Age: 7, Race: Human Wereferret

Appearance: Jeremy is a very cute (thanks to the usual shapeshifter appearance upgrades) little kid who’s just as cute when he turns into a humanoid weasel…

The cheese is strong with Jeremy; not only does he have the usual two cheese slices (the attribute-boosting aid and the equipment pool) but he’s got a multipower with massive limitations and an elemental control stuffed full of pretty much everything he needs. Of course, that’s also par for the course for Tier-2 types; being gratuitously limited to a maximum total of 225 points regardless of experience gives them implicit permission to break into the cheese larder – and being a child built on zero points plus disadvantages makes his budget even tighter. Of course that’s one major reason for having the Tiers in the first place; it gives the point-efficiency types a place to play – while the more normally built characters can keep up fairly easily because they can have a lot more points to play with.

Ponies Of The Eclipse – Queen Chrysalis

For today, thanks to a request that seemed appropriate for Halloween, it’s Queen Chrysalis from My Little Pony; Friendship Is Magic.

Of course, the problem here is that Queen Chrysalis appears in only two episodes, spends most of what little screen time she gets in disguise, and even then is mostly either being rude (and grossly out of character for Candace), singing, or gloating. That means that she only displays a handful of powers, some of which are very plot-specific. What’s more, for a shapeshifting infiltration expert she didn’t do much research on her target. Not knowing about Shining Armor’s sister? Really? Isn’t that like trying to infiltrate Microsoft without being able to recognize Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office?

OK. I’ll assume that Chrysalis is normally a lot more competent than that and was simply in a big rush or something. I think it’s also reasonable to assume that she’s had a rough and adventurous life, that she’s several centuries old, and that she’s a fairly potent mentalist. Still, while Chrysalis is a major villain, in a generally low-level world like Equestria, that doesn’t really imply being of a very high level. Luna’s build only required level eight, and Alzrius built Celestia at level nine. Moreover, Chrysalis had to be hopped up on love to beat Celestia, so level seven seems fair – and she gets the Low-Level Adventurer Template, just like everyone else.

To summarize the low-level adventurer template, those affected get:

  • A -3 penalty on unskilled skill checks.
  • Very slow level advancement, by direct session-based character point awards rather than experience points. Succeeding in goals helps, but killing things and taking their stuff does not.
  • The status of valuable trouble magnets – they’re rare and find trouble everywhere they go.
  • A +3 bonus on five skills which suit their backgrounds and training. Sadly, this cannot be applied to active magical skills.
  • Extra hit points equal to [12 + (2 x Con Mod)].
  • Two minor special talents. For the full list see the Template, for Queen Chrysalis we’ll take Hard Training (Constitution) (a +2 bonus to her constitution) and Enduring (gaining a +1 bonus on saves) – useful, if subtle and unspectacular, bonuses.

To summarize the Changeling Racial Template Modifiers:

  • Quadruped: Changelings lose half their ground movement if they can’t use all four legs and take a -4 penalty on anything requiring two hands.
  • Attribute Shift: -2 Dex, +2 Con
  • Limited Shapeshift: A physical version of Disguise Self. It does not affect clothing or gear. This is not detectable by psionics or magic.
  • Virtual Equipment: Changelings do not need to actually have basic tools, simple melee weapons, mundane light or medium armor, or clothing to gain it’s benefits and/or relevant appearance. As a side effect they are considered proficient with all such “manifested” items.
  • Innate Enchantments (Spell Level One, Caster Level One): Goo Splat, Goo Mastery, Greater Mage Hand, Sustenance, and one other of choice which may be swapped out given a couple of weeks. Innate enchantments stack with external effects.
  • Changelings may buy four skills (Bluff, Disguise, Sense Motive, and Speak Language) for half cost and gain a +4 Racial Bonus to all those skills.
  • Flight, 30′, with perfect maneuverability. Will not function if the user’s wings are entangled, damaged, or otherwise restrained (although, weirdly enough, as long as the user’s wings are free to move, it doesn’t matter if they are actually moving), is subject to dispelling, antimagic, and similar effects, and makes the user magically conspicuous
  • Love Drain 5/Day: As per Bestow Curse – but the target must be experiencing the emotion of Love or Friendship and the effect fades over the next few days whether removed or not. Victims do get a save, but do not notice making it and the “curse” leaves no traces beyond emotional draining. Each time she “feeds” by successfully cursing someone, she gains 3d “love points”. If the qualifying emotion was true romantic love use d12’s, for true friendship or familial love use d8’s, for crushes and abstract love (groups, comic books, whatever) use d6’s, and for casual affection or lust use d4’s. She can store up to (Chr x Con) Love Points. In general, staying alive costs two points a day – one for their innate Sustenance effect, one for simply functioning. If they’re trying to heal up, it’ll cost another one. Changing forms costs one, as does holding a form for a few hours (three for a day). Finally, using their Innate Enchantments other than Sustenance costs one per five minutes or part thereof.
  • Physical and Magical Hysteria. These run on “Love Points” and only work when the user is at at least 80% of their “love capacity”.
  • Changelings do NOT gain the benefit (a constant supply of Mana) of the Superheroic World Template.

Changelings are a +0 ECL Race – but a version of the “Alicorn” part of the “Alicorn Template” seems fairly appropriate; Chrysalis is pretty blatantly a corrupted/evil alicorn.

Changeling Alicorn Template (32 CP / +1 ECL Acquired Template)

  • Metamagical Theorems: Amplify (3 CP), Elemental Manipulation (3 CP), Lacing (3 CP), and Stabilize (3 CP), all Specialized: only usable with love-powered magic, makes the user a primary target, makes you bigger and more conspicuous,
  • Streamline x4, Corrupted, no more than four levels worth of metapsionics in total may be applied to any one power unless the user has fused their powers with another Alicorn, in which case four levels from each Alicorn involved may be applied, Specialized as above (8 CP). Chrysalis has an even distribution of +2 levels worth of each available, up to that maximum total of four.
  • +2 Constitution (12 CP).


There really isn’t much of any information at all available here. Chrysalis is a pretty good singer, is presumably fairly tough, and doesn’t show any startling disabilities – but neither does she show any particularly fabulous intelligence, alertness, strength, or speed. Those holes in her limbs look like a weakness when it comes to physical strength though. Ergo, Constitution and Charisma are her best attributes and Strength her weakest, with the others splitting up whatever’s left over. So, using 32-Point Buy Base Attributes, that gives here a base of: Str 8, Int 12, Wis 12, Con 16, Dex 12, and Chr 16. After her racial and template modifiers that gives her.

Attributes: Str 8, Int 12, Wis 12, Con 22, Dex 10, Chr 16. That also gives her a “Love Capacity” of 352 Love Points – a rather impressive amount!

Available Character Points: 168 (Level Six Base) + 12 (Duties as the Changeling Queen) + 10 (Disadvantages: Compulsive/Villainous gloating and explaining, Irreverent, and Outcast) + 18 (L1, L3, and L6 Feats) = 208 CP

Basic Purchases (76 CP):

  • Warcraft (BAB): +3 (18 CP).
  • Hit Points / Dice: 12 (L1, d12, 8 CP) + 26 (L2-6, d8, 20 CP) +12 (Template) + 48 (8x Con Mod) = 98 HP.
  • Armor Class 10 (Base) + 0 (Dex) +5 (Armor) + (Martial Art) =
  • Initiative +0 (Dex)
  • Movement: 40′
  • Save Bonuses:
    • Fortitude: +1 (3 CP) +6 (Con) +1 (Template) = +8
    • Reflex: +2 (6 CP) +0 (Dex) +1 (Template) = +3
    • Will: +3 (9 CP) +1 (Wis) +1 (Template) = +5
  • Skill Points: 12 (Purchased, 12 CP) +9 (Int) +18 (Fast Learner at level minus two) = 39 SP.

Other Abilities (132 CP):

  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skill Points for Double Effect (6 CP). Taken with disadvantage points at birth to maximize the benefits.
  • 10 Levels of Spontaneous-Caster Adept (Mentalist), Specialized for Increased Effect (All spell / power knowledge slots are treated as one level higher and powers may be powered with Love Points – but the list comes with no Power or Spell Slots) (60 CP).
    • Available Spells:
      • 6 L1: Energy Ray (A), Inertial Armor (A), Force Screen (A), Entangling Ectoplasm, Attraction (A), Disable (A).
      • 4 L2: Elfsight, Body Equilibrium, Knock, Cloud Mind.
      • 3 L3: Dismiss Ectoplasm, Body Adjustment (A), Dispel Psionics (Magic).
      • 2 L4: Dimension Door, Power (Love) Leech (A).
  • 10 Levels of Spontaneous-Caster Adept (Mentalist) with No Caster Levels, Specialized for Increased Effect (All slots are treated as one level higher and may be powered with Love Points rather than Power)/comes with no Power, Corrupted for Reduced Cost/telepathic powers only (20 CP).
    • Available Spells
      • 6 L0: Mindlink (A), Charm (A), Conceal Thoughts, Daze (A), Demoralize (A), Empathy (A).
      • 4 L1: Brain Lock (A), Suggestion (A), Read Thoughts, Aversion (A).
      • 3 L2: Major Image (Special), Emotion (Special), Psionic Blast
      • 2 L3: Dominate (A), Modify Memory.

Combined with her innate metapsionic enhancements, this makes Chrysalis a formidable psionic adept – at least as long as her supply of Love holds out. Unfortunately, while her potential output is higher than ordinary ponies can manage, ponies draw on a limitless flow of power. A minute or two at her peak power output will exhaust Queen Chrysalis, while ponies can keep spending mana indefinitely. If she’s going to fight ponies… she has to strike hard and win fast.

  • Ritual Magic (Psionics) (6 CP) with Power Words, Specialized for Increased Effect (can store psionic rituals and ONLY psionic rituals, at a “cost” of 1, 2, or 3 “spell levels” worth of capacity for minor/major/grandiose rituals (6 CP). That gives her a storage capacity of seven “levels” of rituals – enough for her to haul out the occasional very-specialized effect with little difficulty.

“Sink through the ground until you land in the Underdark” seems like an awfully specific and fairly high-level effect to learn – but it would be a simple enough ritual. Personally, I’d assume that Chrysalis prepared it as a backup plan to deal with Cadance if taking Shining Armor’s form and saying “Dear? I’d like to show you something down this way!” didn’t work. It did – so she had the effect in reserve to use on Twilight. I’d peg “Send to the Underdark” as a Major ritual, calling for two of her storage slots.

  • Leadership, with Strength in Numbers and Horde, Specialized/normal changelings never get beyond level one unless they’re fed MASSIVE amounts of Love to enable them to hit level two (6 CP). Chrysalis may have a few level two types (the ones with helmets) in her entourage, but for the most part she just has a swarm of fairly generic first level changelings.
  • +8 daily Bonus Uses on her Bestow Curse / Feed on Love ability (4 CP).
  • Arcane Block with Riposte (12 CP). This – with a little luck – will allow her to intercept Celestia’s shot with her own and strike back.
  • Luck with +2 Bonus Uses (9 CP).
  • Create Relic, Specialized/only for points from Enthusiast, must work in a magical location (3 CP), Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (3 CP worth)/only for creating relics, two-point relics maximum (3 CP).

There really isn’t any justification for this, but it’s a convenient way to allow Chrysalis to prepare for missions; she can forge a relic to give herself a few extra powers, to protect herself against a specific threat – or to cover some new power that pops up on the show if she should happen to reappear.

Skills (39 SP):

  • Bluff +9 (4 SP) +3 (Cha) +4 (Racial) +3 (Template) = +19
  • Disguise +9 (4 SP) +3 (Cha) +4 (Racial) +3 (Template) = +19
  • Sense Motive +9 (4 SP) +1 (Wis) +4 (Racial) = +14
  • Speak Language +9 (4 SP) +1 (Int) +4 (Racial) = +14
  • Concentration +6 (6 SP) +6 (Con) +3 (Template) = +15
  • Perform/Sing +2 (2 SP) +3 (Cha) = +5
  • Martial Art / The Adaptive Way +8 (8 SP) +6 (Con) +3 (Template) = +17
    • Known Techniques: Toughness IV (DR 4/-), Blinding Strike, Mind Like Moon, Sneak Attack II, and Vanishing.
  • Intimidate +5 (5 SP) +3 (Cha) +3 (Template) = +11
  • Spot +2 (2 SP) +1 (Wis) = +3

Chrysalis usually relies on the massed efforts of her minions to gather information for her rather than trying to get it herself – but every once in a while (such as “how Candace acts) they get it all wrong.

Chrysalis is a superb spy, an expert infiltrator, and a decent assassin – but she isn’t really a combat monster. Of course, given that she was going up against thoroughly peaceful ponies, she didn’t really need to be. Pumped up on love, she could easily boost her caster level up to sixteen – well above Celestia’s.

This is all pretty speculative of course – there’s no help for it when there’s so little actual information to go on – but it does cover what we do know and the rest ought to be reasonably plausible. Until there’s an episode which goes into more detail on Chrysalis and her Changelings this is probably about the best I can do.


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