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Embassy:Death

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Informal Name: Reapers
Death is an end. But it is not the end.

Long ago, the nature of death was different. Before the Cataclysm, death was merely another step on a greater journey. The grief of losing a loved one was leavened with the knowledge that they were in a good hands, safe hands. And when death took you suddenly, you could always linger for a little while to say goodbye. This is no longer the case. Death is common, sudden, and often painful. Death’s old air of solemn, bittersweet tranquility has been replaced with bereaved grief and fury at an unjust or senseless death. Ghosthood, once a way for the departed to set their affairs and say goodbye, has become a torturous trap for wounded souls.

The Reapers try to ease the transition from life to death. Ambassadors to Death and the dead, they comfort both the dying and those who survive them. They both honor the souls of the departed and appease the ghosts that linger. When Death is wrongfully called down, denied, or shunted onto another, the Reapers approach to reconcile the imbalance. All Reapers hope that one day, humanity looks upon death not in fear or desperate denial, but with peaceful, solemn acceptance.

Marks and Requirements Edit

Reapers have a connection to death. Many of them have felt the pain of losing a friend or loved one, and even those who haven’t lost anyone personally have suffered vicariously through the loss of a patient. They often seem old or unusually mature for their age. Reapers tend to be calm and tranquil types, often comforting others with a soft, quiet kindness. However, some are energetic and rambunctious, living life to the fullest while the Kindly Boatman waits in the background. Either way, the key Attribute for the Reapers is Resolve, and the key Skill is Empathy.

The Regalia of the Reapers often bears the trappings of death. Many dress in colors associated with death such as dark grey or black in the west, or white in the east. Many take on a mythical symbolism. Some appear as kindly reapers in long black robes, others resemble compassionate angels of death with grey-feathered wings. (Despite his inhuman nature, the kind, solemn manner of DEATH from Discworld is a good example of how a Reaper might act.)

Secretary Privileges Edit

Still Masque Edit

Few things ever seem to faze one who entreats beyond the mortal coil. In situations where she is being directly threatened with violence or death, or in any scene where a mortal dies, the Secretary gains a "phantom" dot of Composure. It counts as a normal dot for dice pools, resistance, and all derived attributes, including initiative and maximum Willpower, though she does not gain a point of Willpower in these circumstances.

Further, she can draw strength from facing her own demise; if she takes at least 3 points of lethal damage in a single attack, she counts as having fulfilled her Vice. If she begins to bleed out from lethal damage, she counts as having fulfilled her Virtue. Note that the usual rules for how frequently Vices and Virtues can be fulfilled still apply.

Envoy to the DepartedEdit

While transformed, a Secretary can see and speak with ghosts (even if they don’t share a language), and interact with them as if they were solid. Being solid to ghosts allows the Secretary to attack or use Charms on them (and them to attack her;) all of her regalia, including weapons and armor, is as solid to ghosts as she is. She can also recognize Manifestation Conditions related to a ghost, a ghost’s Anchor or an Avernian Gate [CofD 136].

The Secretary can also see, touch and manipulate objects made of ghostly ephemera and anything that was originally material that is changed to that state by a supernatural power. She cannot, however, see or touch other ephemeral beings currently in Twilight.

Clothing the DeadEdit

Once per scene, the Secretary can spill ectoplasm out of her nose and mouth. Ectoplasm is a white, somewhat sticky film in which ghosts can manifest easily, and it can be shaped into a glossy surface that reflects images of nearby ghosts in Twilight that anyone can see. She spends 1 Wisp and rolls Empathy + Inner Light. With 1 success she produces enough ectoplasm to form 1 handheld mirror; 5 successes is enough for a full-length mirror. Coating an object or structure in ectoplasm gives it the Open Condition for all ghosts [CofD 134], allowing them to manifest through it. The ectoplasm and the Open Condition last for 1 scene.

Consul Privileges Edit

Avernian Key Edit

The Consul’s bond with death allows her to walk into the Underworld freely. She can open an Avernian gateway [CofD 136] without using its key, creating the Underworld Gate Condition; she need only touch the gateway and spend 2 Wisps. The gateway remains open for minutes equal to her Belief, and anyone may pass through it ... in either direction.

Euthanasia Edit

Pain is felt only by the living. By touching a person (herself or another) and spending 1 Wisp, a Consul can bring down a tiny touch of death onto that person, enough to utterly wipe away all pain; this gives the target the Numbed Tilt. While this power is often used to soothe the suffering of the dying, it is just as often used to allow an ally or oneself to ignore the pain of grievous wounds.

Ambassador PrivilegeEdit

Flesh without SubstanceEdit

An Ambassador to Death may throw off the bounds of solidity that hold her body in the world of flesh, and walk, as immaterial as a shadow, in the grey world that exists just beyond the visible. As a reflexive action, the Ambassador may spend 2 Wisps, or 1 lethal damage (the damage manifests in a form appropriate to her Threshold, if Geist: the Sin-Eaters is being used), and enter the state of Twilight. To leave the state of Twilight, and return to the material, she performs the same reflexive action. To those who see this change in state happen, the Princess either falls apart in a shower of grave-dust and fog, or pulls herself together from the thin air, dust-motes building a new body from the air in a sudden blur of motion. While in the state of Twilight, the Ambassador counts as a ghost, for the purposes of magic which detect, harm, ward against, or permit interaction with ghosts, though explicitly not ones which would bind or summon them. She can also be abjured as ghosts are [CofD 140]; successful abjuration forces her to avoid the exorcist or materialize.

Note that, as the ability is reflexive, it may potentially be activated multiple times in a single turn, permitting the character to “phase in”, attack, and return to Twilight, without giving an enemy a chance to attack.

Drawback: The Privilege drains the solidity and vitality of the Ambassador in a less concrete sense. Each time the ability is used, whether to enter or leave Twilight, the Ambassador suffers a cumulative -1 to all physical and social actions for the rest of the scene. Moreover, Twilight is often not a happy place; some might say that being solid to the denizens of that state of existence is flaw enough in its own right.

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