Shepherds Of Night
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"As the shadow follows the body,
as we think, so we become
"
– Buddha

Concept: Hardcore practical-approach reversed gnosticism
Parent Order: Mysterium
Parent Path: Moros
Primary: Death
Secondary: Matter (2nd), Life (3rd)
Source: Guide to the Inner Dark
Nicknames: Spectres, Noctumancers, Imperfecti (those with the 3rd attainment)
Soundtrack: The Sound of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel

Suggested Oblations: Meditating under the stars on a moonless night, performing shadow-puppet theatre, performing their quiet and contemplative candle-snuffing ceremony, carefully mapping out the gaps and absences in the education of a given group or segment of the population (f.ex. illiteracy statistics), ritual worship in a deep cave, infiltrating groups and organizations based on the darker aspects of human nature (f.ex. hate groups) and manipulating their efforts from within. Edit a prejudice in the local community, so it takes on a more acceptable form or function.

Info: If we cannot end ignorance wholly, then we may at least manage it, keep it at levels which we can tolerate it, guide it towards more useful ends, shepherd it so it does what we wish it to.

Shepherding the darkness of the mind, making sure it never gets out of hand, managing the threatening masses of ignorance. "let's bring knowledge by commanding the ignorance" gnostic antinomian, with the contemplation of the darkness as opposed to the light. You gain power over the material world by becoming it, or perhaps taking something spiritual and immaterial and making it more material, more mundane, in order to control it better.

They KNOW that physical existence is false, and have decided to take advantage of this against what they see as 'evil'. In this way they attain power over the material and Fallen, because it's the only thing you truly can control. Then drag the ephemeral taint of ignorance and hatred into the grimy mud of the material plane, where you can manage it physically.

Where keeping the flock safe is the expected christian doctrine, here the shadows are the flock. he's just protecting everything else in the universe from them. once more the whole reversed symbolism. Also the fact that you expect someone to like or care about something which he tends and manages and watches over. not that he does it to keep it in line, to keep it controlled and manageable.

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Attainments

Degree of dark N / A ●● ●●● ●●●● ●●●●●
Ca equivalent Light cloudy;
gloom
sunset;
murky
moonlit
night
moonless
midnight
deep underground;
utterly lightless
Perception roll –1 –2 –3

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Summarized

1.Usurpando Auctoritate Hebdomad: Intensify, reshape & animate shadow, 1 yard radius, scene. Moves at Speed =Res+G. Spend 1dot/Death on: ●+1 yard radius, ●+1 degree darker, ●+1 Speed. Can direct it reflexivly. No roll, unless used as 'tool', for task, or for quality. Get perfect darkvision.
2.Manifestabo Est Scelesti: Make shadow semi-solid, 1 yard radius, scene. Spend dots =Death on: ●Size,●Dur,●Str. Boost: Touch, 1M, roll Pres+Pers+Death, spend +1/sux, max (+1/shadow lvl) each.
Matter 3: Make non-mechanic items out of shadow, size≤lesser of Matter or shadow's Size. Equip bonus =lesser of Death or shadow's darkness lvl, 2 Dur/Death. In brighter light than made in, each turn roll dice=(1+2 per diff), –1 struct/sux
3.Tenebras Respirat: Animate shadow of seen person, Pres+Occ+Death, 1M, can control 1/Res. Stats: Pow1, Fin2, Res1, with +1/sux distributed on. Vice & Size=origin. WP=P+R, Spd=P+F+10.
Life 4: Turn self into living shadow, Transitory, duration factors = Death. Prolonged at Death 5.
Matter 4: Also change held items/clothes/equipment into usable equivalents when becomes shadow

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1st: Usurpando Auctoritate Hebdomad

Prerequisites: Gnosis 3, Death 2 (Primary), Occult 2
The character gains full and unquestioned authority over all mundane shadows in their vicinity, able to reshape and move them as desired, as well as making the darkness of a place deeper and more impenetrable.

●Can Intensify, reshape and animate shadows.
-Instant action, affecting max 1 yard radius, making it move with Speed of max Res + Gnosis, which lasts a scene.
-Spend points = Death on : •Size (+1yrd radius per) •Speed (+1 per) •Make it darker (+1 Degree per)
-Can sculpt this amount of shadow into any forms imagined, but complex stuff might need a roll for quality.
-Moving and directing animated shadows is reflexive. Can even go where dark can't naturally be.
-Using this to fool or scare spectators may require a roll (f.ex. Dex+Subt, or Wits+Exp, etc).

●This attainment also enables the mage to see perfectly in darkness at all times.

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2nd: Manifestabo Est Scelesti

Prerequisites: Gnosis 5, Death 3
●Can give shadow semi-physical solidity as Instant Action, making it able to affect the Material
-Base size is either 1 yard radius (2D) or 5 cubic yards (3D). Effect lasts for one scene.
-Spend points = Death on: •Size (+1yrd/+5cu.yrds), •Durability (solidness), •Strength (to lift /push).
-Any attack that has to get through shadow must contend with its Durability, if used as cover.

●Can boost a solidified shadow by touch:
-Pay 1 Mana to roll Pres +Pers +Death, as Instant action, or reflexively if pays 1WP.
-Distribute successes between: •SizeDurabilityStrength.
-Max boost of each type = "Darkness Degree" of the affected shadow.

Optional Arcanum: Matter 3
●Create solid physical equipment out of nothing but darkness, lasting Scene.
-Can't make mechanical or electric devices, or too complex stuff in general.
-Max Size = lowest of Matter & Size of the shadow the item is made out of.
-Created Equipment, Weapons & Armor has Rating = lower of Death & "Degree of Darkness" of the shadows it's made from.
-Item has 2 Durability per dot in Death, but if there's insufficient shadows this can be modified by -0 to -3.
-Item has Structure = Size + Durability.

●Exposure to lighting conditions brighter than an item is made from will slowly erode the object.
-Each turn, the ST roll 1 die, +2 for each degree of difference.
-Item loses 1 Structure per success.

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"Who knows what evil lurks
in the hearts of men?
The Shadow knows….
"
–Walter B. Gibson

3rd: Tenebras Respirat

Prerequisites: Gnosis 7, Death 4
By rolling Presence + Occult + Death and spending 1 mana the mage can cause the shadow of a human target within sensory range to animate and become a semi-sentient being, obedient to the caster. The exact mechanics for these are given below. Though such a shadow uses many of the same traits as a ghost any Essence it requires must be supplied by the mage, either by spending mana on its behalf as it requires or by simply moving a set amount of the Sheperd's own mana to its reserves (which does not count against the normal mana per turn limit) so it can spend those when it needs to without supervision.

The mage may animate as many such shadows as he wishes, but he can only retain control over a number of them equal to his Resolve score, at least through the power of this attainment alone. Anything beyond his resolve requires him to use spells or other methods of keeping the shades obedient. If his Resolve should ever fall below the number of shadows he is currently controlling the excess number of shades immediately become uncontrolled. It's possible to use both duration and target factors when activating this attainment, with each shadow to be animated costing an additional point of mana. The basic duration is Prolonged, but becomes Advanced Prolongation once the mage learns Death 5.

The following are the basic traits, with the Shepherd assigning +1 per success between the three Attributes.

Power 1 Max Plasm: 10 Speed: P + F + 10
Finesse 2 WP*: P + R Defense: Best of P/F
Resistance 1 Corpus: Size + R Initiative: F + R

(* = they begin with no willpower points, unless the caster chooses to transfer one or more of his own points to the shadow as an instant action, or Reflexively at creation)
Size: Same as person it's based on; usually 5
Virtue & Vice: Shadows have no virtues, but do act motivated by the Vice of their original 'owner'
Numina: Choose 1 from those normally available to ghosts or specifically allowed for shadows, subject to ST approval

The shadows do not suffer wound penalties, do not fall unconscious from damage, and cannot normally heal. If reduced to zero corpus they vaporize into nothingness, and reform as a mundane shadow by the feet of their original owners within one round. The shadows are not twilight entities, they are not easier to hit with enchantments that allow you to interact with twilight. They are simply animated patches of darkness, intangible and lacking a physical substance unless magic is used to make them more tangible.

It is expressly possible to use the second attainment on these shadows, and while the first attainment can't force them to move where they do not wish it can reshape them with a contested roll of Resolve + Crafts + Death vs Resistance + Power Trait of the person the shadow is made out of. Using the second attainment to increase their Size also adds to their Corpus, though it grants them Armor rather than Durability, and instead of boosting their Strength it adds to their Power.

Optional Arcanum: Life 4
This optional attainments allows you to spend an instant action in order to become a being composed of naught but darkness. He becomes a mass of incorporeal shadows, retaining his human shape. He may remain three-dimensional (though still without apparent mass or substance) or change into a two-dimensional form. While in either form he may move up to his normal Speed, though the shape can only move by clinging to walls and floors, while a full-bodied form can walk about more freely.

Without recourse to other magic, he cannot move on ceilings or otherwise defy the force of gravity, though he can slip under doors, through cracks, or other spaces too thin for a normal person to move through, provided that any unsealed seam exists. The character is effectively invisible in areas of either normal or supernatural darkness. The mage’s Attributes and other characteristics remain the same, though he cannot make any physical attacks (any that require touch with a hand, a weapon, or a unit of ammunition), though he can interact with other shadows (both mundane and animated) as if both parties were physical.

The duration is Transitory, with one factor per dot the Shepherd has in the Death arcanum. At Death 5 this becomes Prolonged. If the caster has Matter 4 he can transform his equipment as well, retaining their full usefulness while in this umbral form. The mage can affect himself with the previous attainments in the same way as they apply to animated shadows, allowing him to become bigger, stronger, armored, reshape himself, and so forth.

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