World of Darkness – Sunheart

   Here we have an unusual locus for the New World of Darkness – along with the rites used to create it.

   In the World of Darkness, Maurice Bernard Sendak is – like so many figures – somewhat different. He’s still an imaginative writer and illustrator of children’s books, but he’s also a closet mage, primarily concerned with technomagical tinkering. His wife is a changeling.

   Their son, Maximilian Sendak, is a werewolf – and the subject of Where the Wild Things Are, a loosely-described and symbolized story of his first change and first venture into the spirit realms.

One night, Max wore his wolf suit, and made mischief of one kind – and another

That night in his room, a forest grew – and grew – and became the wide world

   Despite the fact that most humans don’t understand, Max has been trying to live the book down ever since.

   The Sendaks didn’t trust werewolf society much, so Maurice trained his son himself. Rather than nature spirits, he introduced him to spirits of the high astral – in particular, ancient Egyptian god-spirits, and young Max learned his gifts and rituals from them. He – recognizing himself as a being of both spirit and earthly flesh – sought recognition from the spirit of the earth, the sun, and the god-spirits he was dealing with already.

   When he finally did meet the local garou, they weren’t especially accepting – so Max and his friends made their own place.

   Sunheart

   The Wilson office building is located on the edge of Atlanta’s business district, on the corner of Ormond and Cherokee, next to Grant Park and the Atlanta Zoo. Its fifteen floors have been (and are) home to a variety of smaller, local, businesses. Max selected it because its various tenants have always been solid, respectable, and reasonably environmentally and family friendly. He wanted to make sure that the spirit he awakened would be a decent sort – and would have a fair understanding of conservation, investment, and long-term planning. The current residents of it’s fifteen floors include:

  • Sublevels. Building support, mechanical levels, janitorial services, parking garage, and access to city electrical power, water, and other services.
  • 1’st floor: Lobby & security desk, sandwich shop, building business offices, building security, community room.
  • 2’nd floor: Tot’s All Right day care, security monitoring room, building emergency services.
  • 3’rd floor: Doctor Edward Smith, GP, Doctor Meridan, Thaumaturgic Healer, and offices for Harelink, a local ISP.
  • 4’rd floor: Athelson’s Architecture (specialists in low-cost, energy-efficient, and environmentally-friendly designs).
  • 5’th floor: Oravan Studios and Art Gallery
  • 6’th floor: Business offices for Hong Kong Asian Imports, Mickelson’s Travel Agency, and Farwell’s Title Search.
  • 7’th floor: Brinks Security Services monitoring center and dispatch center (mostly installers and repairmen).
  • 8’th floor: Hendricks Engineering (hydrology, geological structural survey, and a bit of geomancy).
  • 9’th floor: Yarelli Recording Studio, Prudential Insurance (Mr Farell), Ghiradelli’s Air Tours, Vulcan Books (small print and e-publishing), Jadwin Marshalli (law offices).
  • 10’th floor: Carlson Laboratories (water, air, and ground chemical contamination testing, analytic services).
  • 11’th floor: Leonardo’s Rare Books and Research Services.
  • 12’th floor: Allclear Eyecare Center, Atlanta Arts Festival organizational offices.
  • 13’th floor: Listed as “Dreaming Glade Garden Design”. Actually Sunheart, Max’s sanctum. Generally private, and unobtrusively sealed off.
  • 14’th floor: Dreaming Glade business offices and expansion space.
  • 15’th floor: Hensen’s Telemarketing (currently under heavy pressure to move – and experiencing a lot of spontaneous equipment failures).
  • Roof: While the roof design includes a small helipad, Max has subcontracted most of the rest as a show-place garden and opened it to the residents to “show off their design skills” – and to subtly help them out by refreshing their willpower.

   Woodrow, the Building Spirit, has taken over as building Superintendent, and is probably working on building up its power and on absorbing the minor, short-lived, workplace spirits that come into existence within it.

   Sunheart Construction Sequence Notes:

  • Set up the mundane modifications (layout, cameras, alarms, and other security systems).
  • Enact the Seal of Anubis, sealing off the area from the spirit world save for those invited.
  • Enact the Forge of Shadow (110 Essence, about 5 hours) to create a L5-Locus. It will be Sun-Aspected (light, truth, and magic).
  • Enact the Rite of the Celestial Heart to further expand the essence supply and the radius of influence.
  • Use a lot of lunar stone in the decor, on the theory that the moon absorbs the energy of the sun and transforms it into a form closely attuned to shapechangers. Hopefully this will increase the efficiency of drawing essence from the locus (or perhaps just let them get a point a day for being near something relevant to their spirit halves).
  • Enact Garden of Serenity, simply because it’s nice to have.

   The Rituals:

   Seal of Anubis (Level Four): You may create an invisible pocket-realm in the spirit world. If it corresponds to a physical location that location can be entered or exited physically, and the area can be accessed from there, but otherwise only those who are ritually invited by the ritualist(s) may enter without the use of another powerful rite. If the area contains a Locus, it will still exert its area of influence, but the energies it emits bubble up randomly in the surrounding area, making the source impossible to trace. This rite costs 20 Essence to enact.

   Forge of Shadow (Level Five): You may create a Locus of any desired aspect. This costs (10 + 20 x Level) Essence and requires (20 + 5 x Level) successes, rolling once per hour. Unlike Drawing Down the Shadow this formal version cannot gain extra Essence from wild (and exhausting) activities – but there is no limit on how much essence the participants can spend on it.

   Garden of Serenity (Level One): You may create a beautiful garden, filled with serene beauty and joy. Anyone who takes half an hour to wander through it, or sits and meditates within it (the usual for smaller or indoor gardens) will regain a willpower point – although this will only work once per day and a maximum of three times per week for any given individual. Creating the garden requires a total of 30 successes, rolling once per hour.

   The garden does need regular maintenance, whether by a good gardener (an hour or so a day for small gardens, more for larger ones), or by working this ritual again (requires 5 successes/week).

   Rite of the Celestial Heart (Level Three): This exotic rite turns a mass of at least 10 pounds of unearthly material, such as a meteorite, into a secondary focus for an existing locus, augmenting it with unearthly energies. This effectively increases the locus rating by +2, up to a maximum level equal to the Occult skill of the ritualist.

   Sunheart Point Cost:

  •    Haven V: Drawback: pays rent. Drawback: building shared with other tenants. Effective level three, half cost due to actual in-game work, for a total of six points. If it matters, it’s ratings are Size 3, Location 1 (a nice area, but just an area in the city), Security 5, and Special Facility 1 (lunar stones in decor).
  •    Nexus III. A major, L5, nexus without any special functions – at least as of yet (unless the lunar stones idea works). Drawback: Shared with his friends and the building spirit. Half cost due to actual in-game work. 3 points.

   General Note: The windows are “one-way glass”, simply for a bit of privacy. They’re also (as per the security rating) bullet-proof composites. As is typical of older buildings, the 12 support pillars are multiply redundant, the entire place is heavy construction, and the doors are both very solid and fireproof (again, it comes with the security rating).

   Individual Room Notes:

  • Lounge: This area serves as a playroom, studio, music room, and has some (especially reinforced for werewolves) exercise equipment that folds out of a cabinet. It also has a medium-sized hot tub you can look out over the city from and a small sauna. Service: The Service Room includes a small laundry room, a decent kitchen and pantry, a breakfast nook, and a backup power supply, just in case.
  • The three Apartments – Lemon’s, Max’s larger one, and the one that’s currently unassigned – each contain a small private bath, a good-sized closet, and an assortment of personal items. The small ones are 300 square feet, Max’s is 600 (if only because he’ll often have a girlfriend visiting).
  • Rituals: This is equipped for meditation (+4) and rituals (+6 with the influence of the Locus) as well as a modest collection of occult books. This may eventually be expanded to a Library, but he hasn’t had the time yet.
  • Foyer: This is the main entrance, and contains a variety of scanners and special precautions. The other stairway and elevator doors only open outwards from this floor unless they’re specially keyed. It also includes some cabinets for coats and other gear. Even here you need to get by the security systems or have someone open the door for you.
  • Baths: These are for visitors and such. They’re fully equipped.
  • Garden: This is a Garden of Serenity, and is carefully set up to both serve as a setting for the Locus and various artworks and so as to give a fair impression of being outside.
  • Office: This rather straightforward room hosts the computers and communications gear, a modest library (and a much larger, but conventional one, in electronic formats), the entertainment center, and a large table and set of displays for conferences.
  • Locus: This is an openwork metal pyramid, about three feet tall and carefully oriented. It’s made of bronze with gold plating. A heavy lump of meteoric iron on a pedestal close by serves as the focus for the Rite of the Celestial Heart.
  • Egyptian Area: This area contains a couple of small stelae, a modest altar, some statues, and a more enclosed feeling than the rest of the garden. Against the wall there is a massive mirror, with heavy metal shutters covering it.
  • Workroom: This room contains some basic tools and materials for various projects, along with a trunkful of emergency medical supplies and another one full of basic weapons.
  • Vault: This is a reinforced storage area for dangerous artifacts, masses of pirate treasure, and oddities from Max’s astral raids. It’s normally kept locked.
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