- She sits in an empty palace, the tapestries are moth eaten and threadbare. The floor is covered in dust, no one has been this way in years. In a ghostly whisper she answers petitions from courtiers and subjects long departed from their mortal coil. And yet she carries a presence about her, she still radiates with the power of her magic. The Princess is dead but her subjects still need her. Long live the Princess.
Princesses do not naturally form ghosts; the cycle of reincarnations draws the royal soul onwards with a gentle call that cuts the threads of anchors. To the followers of Tears this is a problem - ghosts are useful and the ghost of a Princess is more so. With the powerful Charm named Long May She Reign they can help a Princess remain on this plane after death and continue her duties to Alhambra.
In most respects the ghost of a Princess is much like any other ghost; all the rules for ghosts [CofD 122-140] apply to her. However, she is consistently more powerful than ghosts tend to be outside the Underworld, thanks to her ties with the Light in life. Every ghost Princess is self-aware and retains her memory, and has a Rank of at least 2; a Princess with an Inner Light of 6 or more in life rises as a ghost of Rank 3. Moreover, ghost Princesses retain lucidity equal to one of the living - they have the Belief trait, suffer breaking points, and may improve their traits without going to the Underworld. The person who cast the Charm on her is always an anchor for a ghost Princess, as are the people in her Circle and things or places associated with her Mandate Merit (if any), and the Storyteller may give a ghost Princess more anchors than these. Ghost Princesses generally have Influence: Anchors 2 and the Image and Materialize Manifestations at minimum, gaining more if their Rank rises.
When it comes to Numina, the ghost Princesses again are atypically powerful. Instead of picking from the list of Numina, a ghost Princess knows the Charms she knew in life as Numina, substituting her Rank for Inner Light, an Attribute + Rank for activation rolls (or Attribute + Attribute when the Charm uses two Attributes) and Essence for Wisps at a 1-to-1 rate in the activation costs. A ghost Princess also keeps Invocations she had while alive, and may apply them whenever a Charm allows it, spending 1 Essence instead of 1 Wisp to do so, except when the Invocation is free. Ghost Princesses cannot learn more Charms or Invocations on their own, and have none of a living Princess’ innate abilities other than their Charms - though they always count as transformed, and thus may use Charms at any time.
The Banes of ghost Princesses vary widely, usually related to what the Princess hated or feared in life (although, due to the affiliation of most of them with Alhambra, creatures of Darkness are a distressingly common type of Bane.) However, all ghost Princesses share a Ban among them, inherited from the Charm that creates them. All possess Sensitivity and are subject to Hauntings, as they were in life; the dice pool for the roll begins equal to the ghost’s Rank. The Shadows a ghost Princess has at the moment of her death become permanent and cannot be removed by any means.
As a royal ghost acquires more Shadows from Hauntings her pure form loses its shining light; her Corpus becomes marked with signs of obvious decay and Darkness while her mind grows cracked and damaged. Each Shadows dot adds 1 to the points of Essence a ghost Princess must spend each day to remain active, and when she finally acquires a number of Shadows equal to her Belief, she experiences a crash similar to what happens when a living Princess falls to Belief 0. For most this just means that as their Willpower fades their Corpus fades along with it and quietly dissolves into motes of Light until they run out of Willpower and pass on, but an unlucky few have become Dethroned.
Unlike the living, a ghost Princess cannot cleanse herself of Shadows unaided. The Protectorate of Amethyst are responsible for caring for the ghosts of departed Princesses; they keep them in walled luxurious palaces far from any sight that might trigger their Sensitivity, and when a ghost is called to perform royal duties for the Last Empress the Protectorate endeavors to travel with the ghost to keep her safe from infection by the Darkness.