A call for help is circulated amongst reputed adventurers and the well-connected in Acryn.
“LADY MARANDA DECOR requests the HELP and AID of divers persons of GOOD CHARACTER to assist her in TRYING TIMES of NEED.
Applicants will INVESTIGATE the MYSTERIOUS and BAFFLING lack of any reply to her letters to LORD COSMO DECOR – and, if GRANDFATHER has been BRUTALLY MURDERED – they are to SEEK OUT the REPREHENSIBLE MALEFACTORS responsible and ensure that JUSTICE is SERVED.”
Remuneration is rumoured to be as much as 50R, which is very generous for what is, after all, but a trifling affair.
The party meet Maranda Décor at her town house. The Décor family are new money - originally fishermen, then sailors, then merchants with ‘shipping interests’. Maranda is coquettish and impetuous and having been told by the Watch they were ‘looking into’ her grandfather’s sudden silence she’s hiring adventurers instead. She mentions that her grandfather – Cosmo Décor - is an eccentric and that his house is full of puzzles designed to test the will.
After departing the town house, Paradai’s contact with the True Council sends word that one of their interests, the Phoenix Gang, appears to have run into some trouble – it’s a developing situation – and they should seek out opportunities to make sure nothing untoward comes to their leader, The Phoenix.
On the way to Cosmo Décor’s estate on the outskirts of Acryn, the party stop at a quiet market stall. Quiet, that is, until a stampede of exotic animals start trashing everything. The party give these animals short shrift, and A Man Of Many Means (in the guise of Leopold) p-p-picks up a penguin, as he’s feeling peckish, and has started hungering for flesh.
Ignoring the opportunity to investigate the stampede, the party stick to the mission, and proceed to the outskirts of the Décor Estate. It seems that Cosmo’s mansion is surrounded by a large hedge maze. Before they enter, they see a vision of two children playing and laughing, one of them taunting their mama to ‘catch me if you can’.
They proceed into the maze. There is a large, open area. On the ground is a stylised sun with a hole in the middle, and there are exits in four cardinal directions. Immediately understanding that this sun is, in fact, a sundial, Karlos tries jamming in an axe, before Paradai (in the guise of Vincent) sighs, steps forward, and places his staff in the recess instead, at which point a faint shadow flickers vaguely northward. The party then light the braziers by each of the exits, and the shadow splits and wavers – before reforming and clicking back into place, pointing north as before.
The party understand that this is neither magic nor flux, but Weird Shit is definitely happening.
They follow the instructions of the maze for a while as it points East, then North, then East – each time they come to a part of the maze that *looks* like the entryway, but which is subtly different. The sundial now points South. Feeling that this may be the final exit, Rafe extinguishes one of the braziers on the way out, and the next area is filled with smoke. At this point, the sundial points East. They follow, repeat, and see that it’s pointing South again. Leon protests loudly that they are just going back the way they came. At this, Rafe gets a leg-up to peer over the hedges, and is promptly attacked by the foliage. Two hedge beasts spring into the area and are trimmed down to size.
At this point, Emily takes a moment to commune with the spirits inside the hedge – or rather, the spirits she has created in a bud reality within the maze. These creepy spirits seem very down on Rafe’s shenanigans, and rather keen on having a home built for them here. They encourage Emily that she is doing well, is on the right track, and the party are almost there.
Spirits lifted by this news, the party quickly find themselves at the front gate to Cosmo’s mansion. They knock…and the front door swings open. After some searching, they find themselves in front of some doors bearing a plaque with some kind of bullshit riddle:
“One fool believed, in their foolishness, that they were a wise sage. The fool flaunted their shallow wisdom and made decisions with a narrow mind. They proceeded to the right without hesitation. Another fool possessed wisdom, but their knowledge led them to believe they were a fool. A fool who smothers themselves without first considering their situation. They went with the flow, and proceeded to the left. One can only hope that a true sage stands here now.”
The party ponder awhile and sense intuitively that both the left and the right choices are wrong. They step forward into a room filled with traps – two doors, each topped with a leering skull – and a large stylised sun between them.
After a lot of dark energy bullets, mesmerisation, and finding out that yes, both exists somehow lead back to the start of the room, Rafe makes a run for the sun emblem – and smacks straight into it. Ouch. But, that sound! It’s hollow! Karlos bounds gleefully towards it, jaw unhinged, and begins to chomp through the sun like so much sunny, buttery, goodness. Delicious.
In the sunlight corridor, the party bear witness to another awful vision. A horrid skeletal figure made of tar slowly dissolves out of the floorboards – in reverse. It strides forward, grinning, a ring clutched in one hand. Where it touches the party, they feel disgust, and revulsion, and loss. It is around this time that Karlos explains that – having licked the plaque, dismantled by A Man of Many Means (hereafter AMoMM) – he has understood that the place is connected to the divine power of The Beacon. He gets the party up to speed with what he knows of her backstory.
The party arrive in Cosmo’s chamber, which appears to be a shrine of some description. Rich tapestries describing elaborate tales from some legend or other cover the walls, and dozens of candles light the room lazily. Cosmo is staring out of the window, facing away from the party, and completely unresponsive.
The party try and shake Cosmo and see why he’s staring out of the window. Karlos tries to reason with him and to his horror understands that what the old man’s babbling is right – there *is* a second sun outside. The rest of the party can see this too. Quickly, they decide to wedge a shield between the window and Cosmo and talk some sense into him. Just as they’re bringing him round. AMoMM, who is habitually on fire, has caused the tapestries – and most of the room – to set light, and flames pour over the party. They’re forced to make a quick getaway and bring a vaguely catatonic Cosmo with them for the ride.
With Cosmo in the party, exiting the hedge mage is…surprisingly trivial. Every path they take leads them further and further away from the smouldering mansion. Until finally…they’re outside again, and greeted instantly by an impressive contingent of agents reporting to Ghita Darrish, who has *politely* and insistently invited them to have lunch with her. And to bring Cosmo along, too. Though they want to go to Maranda Décor and get paid, they feel that time is not on their side, and so send a runner to Maranda to come and join them for lunch.
Over lunch Ghita explains the origins of the solar corruption – the tainted God, the Beacon, who is under the thrall of Gerbera Unnuttum, her former protégé. She has a plan to perform a large ritual to cleanse the Beacon of taint, and wants to enlist the party to help as they also stand to benefit from not being turned into mindless zombies. Curiously, there are no known relics of the god herself, but instead she believes that effects belonging to her followers or favoured will suffice in their place. She presents three dossiers. One talks of hermit who lives under Acryn, one of Figaro Décor (a relative of the family?) who runs a Lost & Found store, and one of Eudamonia Gunderson, Acryn’s foremost detective specialising in the recovery of missing people.
Meanwhile, Maranda has arrived and Cosmo has come to some (temporary, qualified) senses. He is very, very, crochety about his house catching fire and berates Maranda for offering to pay these people such a large sum of money. He also chides her for presuming to become a wizard – when wizards are assuredly the corrupters of youth, and a Very Bad Influence. Maranda sticks her tongue out and tells Cosmo that he’s just uptight and overly judgmental.
Elsewhere at the dinner, a consumption mage kills several people.
The party plump for visiting the Lost & Found first. Here they come across several strange items, and evidence that the owner is long gone. Sadly, Tobias, the builder priest who they have brought with them to assist, tells them that none of the items are particularly divine – though there is some kind of divine energy at work here. Just then, a consumption mage (identifying themselves simply as ‘The Gourmet’) tries to insinuate themselves into the store and ‘accidentally’ eats a raunchy lamp of great sentimental value. The party tell the mage in no uncertain terms to leave, and Emily commands them out of the door. The door is then bitten through, and the Gourmet makes a beeline for a diamond ring, but at this point the party have had enough and start attacking. Amidst the chaos Paradai pockets the ring (to add to his collection of subtly pilfered items from the store, including a Jack-in-the-Box).
Left alone with an unconscious body, AMoMM does what any self-respecting undead would do and shatters the skull to get at the delicious brains inside. As any self-respecting human would be horrified by this flagrant murderization, the watch is swiftly called. Before the Watch arrive, Emily communes with the departed to ask why they did this. ‘Sentimental items are the most delicious thing in existence, lol’, comes the reply.
The Watch, as expected, arrive. AMoMM has fled. Emily is kinda-arrested for looking well dodgy and also for standing by and letting someone straight up kill a dude. Karlos looks on, judgementally. But perhaps, wistfully, as well? Who can say. At least he would have bundled the body into a jar.
At this point, the party are starting to feel a lot worse from having been out in the sun, but perversely, the second sun seems larger and more inviting than before. Seeing the certainty of its existence, their cares just melt away… Anyhow. What’s left of the party head for the Detective Agency. Eudaimonia Gunderson is poring over a large map of Acryn stuck with a jumble of pins and indecipherable post it notes. She seems very busy. Around her, a gaggle of children from wildly varying ages are crowding around a freshly-baked pie (made by Eudaimonia, no less), or otherwise have grabbed their slice of pie and are busying themselves combing through files, penning telegrams, or sorting evidence into bags. After some heated discussion and children playing with knives, the party agree to help Eudaimonia rescue a lost child of hers (Eriphyle Heartstrong) who was investigating the extent of the sun’s reach in the flux – in exchange for her coat, an item connected to the Beacon. About this time, AMoMM arrives (it’s the villain! It’s the villain! - the children proclaim). Rafe subtly makes a flying leap out of the window and runs away to call the Watch on him. This goes largely ignored until the party leave the building, at which point the Watch want to have a quiet word with this suspected murderer.
The party are making to play nice with the Watch (well….ish) when Watch Captain Salamandra is assaulted from behind by Two Crusts Crista and other sundry members of the Phoenix Gang, who want revenge for what they think she did to their leader, The Phoenix. (Salamandra publicly vowed to ‘make the Phoenix pay!’ after True Council lawyers got her off scott free from her latest job). Understandably, all hell breaks loose. The party end up splitting – AMoMM and Emily to the watch, the rest to a warehouse where the Phoenix Gang had some legitimate business.
The warehouse is on fire. The party can see The Phoenix, surrounded by her heavies who seemed very concerned for her safety, and are trying vainly to shake her awake. Before they can get to her – and the amulet that Karlos has learned she possesses (via the comingling of thug hair and delicious consumption magic) – they have to negotiate with her crew. The party explain the situation and that the amulet might be cursed. But the crew demand a ‘deposit of collateral’ if they are to let them have the amulet. With a cheeky grin, Paradai proffers a very expensive diamond ring (knowing that, being from the Lost & Found, it will disappear again soon enough as he is not its rightful owner). This isn’t quite enough, and it looks like the negotiations will falter, until Karlos remembers – the Phoenix Gang have a wounding mage in their crew! Karlos offers a vial of his blood as insurance. All of you, they insist. So all of them hand over a vial of blood, and the exchange is made.
Meanwhile, the intervention of a lawyer from Jimmy Hoskins’ firm smoothes over things with the Watch, and the party regroup to find Eriphyle in the flux. After fighting off hordes of improbable animals, they have added one lost teen to their number, and return her to the Detective Agency in exchange for Eudaimonia’s coat.
They have one final lead – which will take them deep into the bowels of the city. Following a tip-off from a postal worker who’s never forgotten the rugged hermit who saved her from darkness and certain death, the party make their way into the pitch black of the city beneath Acryn. Here they are assaulted by all manner of horrors: sewer rats, sewer rats grown into hulking humanoid behemoths, and horrid, clattering skeletons bound to vicious wheels of spikes. They make it through these hurdles and are met by the Hermit. Explaining their situation to him, he hands over a torch blessed of the Beacon and escorts them to the surface.
On their way, they are transported by a third and final vision: they are on a rocky crag below a lighthouse, stinking pools of tar surrounding them. Everyone they love – everyone they will ever love – they know now, they cannot protect them. The strength they have now, the strength they will gain in future – this can never be enough. All is hopeless. All is lost.
Snapping back to reality, the party are aware that the sun is painfully bright – the sunlight of the second sun, that is. The party feel uncertain of themselves, wary, hot, and lethargic. Maybe they could just stop for a cool drink of lemonade before they go to Ghita? Maybe?
As they ponder this, they find they have walked into a suspiciously quiet section of Acryn. To their horror, everyone here is staring at the sun. And then…their heads snap to face the party in unison.
“A PERFECT UTOPIA. EVERYBODY FREE FROM PAIN. CAN’T YOU SEE HOW BEAUTIFUL IT IS? BUT, OF COURSE, YOU CAN. STARE AT THE SUN. STARE AND FORGET. JOIN US IN PEACE AND PERFECTION.”
The party are overcome by deep sleep, and the mob surrounds them, muttering words of praise to Gerbera and his great Empire-to-be. Eventually, they wake, and are roused by Karlos’ rallying cry of ‘Fuck you, Gerbera. Fuck you! Fuckity, fuckity, FUCKITY’. The party make their way fairly unhindered through wave after wave of innocent people, mowing them down, and for the most part, leaving them to bleed to death in the streets.
The party arrive at the College of the Stars, and are shown to the ritual chamber. They are told to allocate the artefacts amongst themselves, which will be fully empowered by the ritual and allow them to do battle with Gerbera directly within the spirit of the God herself.
They have managed to gather four powerful tools to assist them in the forthcoming combat:
Cosmo’s worry balls – the CONTEMPLATION OF THE BEACON.
The Hermit’s torch – the ETERNAL FLAME.
Eudaimonia’s coat – the EMBRACE OF THE BEACON.
And finally – the AMULET OF THE PHOENIX.
Ghita shatters a mana crystal over each of the four artefacts before plunging a final crystal into the ritual circle at her feet, which glows with power. Bright motes float up from each of the artefacts, and snap into strings, which spin round and round, knitting themselves into a shimmering rope. This rope shoots upward, shattering the ceiling; raining fire and flame down on the party who are caught in an agonising inferno. In the heart of the fire they see a vague and wan outline flickering on the horizon. And then – the horizon stretches, and they snap to the place located in the vision (or, at least, some meaningful part of them does).
The party find themselves in landscape of washed-out scenery and monochrome mountains, with a lighthouse visible impossibly far in the distance. They can see the Beacon bound in the body of a butler – Eins – before them, wrapped in chains of tar. Behind them cowers Gerbera, filled with desperation and rage. Around them stand familiar figures – Maranda, Cosmo, The Phoenix, Eudaimonia – and behind each of them, leering tar skeletons whispering poison into their ears.
‘Gerbera’ screams at the players to get away, before commanding his forces to attack. However, his normal methods of mental manipulation seem to be having no effect against them. The party are able to free the devotees of the Beacon from the influence of the tar skeletons, and – finally- the embodied Beacon, who erupts into the sky, setting it alight with righteous anger. Left defenceless, the party turn against Gerbera, who finally turns into tar and boils away into the wind, as do his skeleton crew.
Colour returns to the landscape, and the lighthouse is now clearly nearby, on an adjacent crag. Dozens of people start to appear in the landscape, as fire pours down from the sky once more, into an indistinct outline of a woman who speaks with the voices of hundreds at once.
This is the Beacon. She thanks the party for freeing her, and bestows upon them her favour. She fully supports them in their plan to bring an end to Gerbera once and for all. Laughing at her new-found freedom, and her agency to once more protect those who have been led astray, she disappears into the sky, and the party are kicked out of this world and find themselves back in the ritual circle, the effects of their solar corruption fading.
Vowing to bring an end to Gerbera, the party are given a ship to Round Island where they suspect him to reside, and, over the next few days, make their way to the interior of the island. The island is oddly deserted. They make their way to Gerbera’s tower, then to his throne room, where they find a secret passage.
They are stopped by the cackling voice of a skull, set into a decrepit-looking oaken door. The skull demands from each of the party a memory of someone they loved most. Emily and Paradai whisper theirs to the skull, and for them, the door vanishes, and they step on through. The rest of the group are, however, nonplussed and attempt to smash the door, whereupon shards and splinters scar and wound them horribly. Weird. It’s almost as if the more decrepit the door is, the stronger it becomes. Snapping back into mage mode, Karlos recognises the door to be, like, hella magic and unhinges his jaw to chomp right through it.
Before them is a maze of tricks and horrible traps. Following these is another skull which demands a memory of something the party are especially proud of. This also gets eaten. As do the skulls demanding memories of greatest happiness and deepest sorrow.
And then…no more traps. In the chamber beyond lies a ritual circle – and in the centre, Gerbera’s limp and lifeless body next to his glowing sceptre. Emily strides into the circle to touch the sceptre, causing Karlos to scream at the very idiocy of it, hanging on to her as she drags him into the circle with her strength. Paradai disarms her when she picks up the staff, and in a frenzy Karlos shatters it, and shatters it, and shatters it again.
The party spend some time in Gerbera's hidden chamber, shaking it down for anything shiny and valuable. AMoMM makes to make off with a large cache of potions, which causes some serious coughing fits from Paradai, Rafe and Emily. “Ahhh……waste not, want not?” AMoMM intones, with an attempt at gravelly charm. The faces staring at him do not shift. Sighing, he hands out healing potions (which are useless to him) and pockets the rest.
Meanwhile, Karlos is dealing with a severe case of stomach ache. The skulls are constantly berating him for his hasty act of consumption, and worse, seem to be actively gnawing at his stomach trying to escape. With fortified consumption fading fast, he raids the cupboard around the room for the necessary components - salt, sugar, vinegar and coffee, which he divides into bowls. He comingles his blood with each of these components, and, tasting each of them in turn, he rips of his shirt and daubs his distended stomach with a circle of each of the preparations, trying to place these approximately where each of the skulls should be.
Now the ritual proper begins. He takes two mana crystals, and crushes them into the four bloodied bowls. First, he laps the salt up. One of the circles burns white hot on his stomach as the prideful skull groans and starts to melt. Next, he takes the bloodied vinegar, and laps that up. The second circle glows, and the sorrowful skull wails and starts to dissolve. Then, he takes the bloodied sugar and necks it, activating the third circle, which sends the happiness skull into a fit of nervous laughter. Finally, he chokes down the bloodied coffee, and the love skull chunters and sighs with regret, as it too, begins to fade.
Last of all, Karlos holds his fully-charged implement aloft, and taps the mana sealed within, feeling its power course over him as his stomach flesh leaps and distends wildly, like a pot of water on a roaring boil. It seems the skulls are making a last-ditch effort to escape. Gradually, though, Karlos brings them under control, and the circles on his body fade. There is a final muffled cry of what sounds like 'you are the worst person I've ever known' and then, silence.
Whilst Karlos recovers, the rest of the party set out to loot Gerberopolis for everything it's worth. Karlos stays a while to grab a couple of tasty-looking tomes which pertain to the rite of manipulation as practiced in Strossberg, as well as pocketing a sheaf of documents concerned with the prisoners Gerbera stole in the first place. Karlos is careful to separate the file belonging to the informant 'Selena' who he failed to extract last time he was on the island. He then joins the party for some more looting.
Nearly a full day elapses while the crew turn the island over for everything it's worth, and they make camp at night in the eerily-deserted campsite of Gerbera's former 'followers', who are nowhere to be seen. Though the survivalists of the group are able to find only mediocre firewood, the fire they set roars as though it was three times the size, filling the camp with light and warmth and comfort. The party sleep well.
The next day, they return to Acryn via Outset, and head first to Ghita to let them know that the deed has been done and Gerbera eliminated. She thanks them on a job well done, and the ghost of a smile crosses her lips, causing one of the attendant mages to gasp with disbelief. The party are all very gracious, that is, until a silence takes the room and Ghita makes for them to leave. “We though there would be…payment?” one of them pipes up. Ghita acts puzzled, and says that she thought that serving the interests of the city - and earning her respect - would be its own reward. Emily insults Ghita and a scene almost develops, before the others intervene and start to placate her.
A wry smile crosses Karlos' face. Here are the papers Gerbera stole…but his body is our property, technically. If you want it, what will you pay us each?'. Rafe coughs, and says '50 riel ought to do it'. '15 riel? Fine.' says Ghita. 'No, 50 riel', Rafe insists. Another scene almost develops, but feathers are once again unruffled, and the party depart with extra pay.
Before they leave, Ghita calls out to Leon. 'I'm glad that your deplorable streak of ruining everything you do in the most absurd way seems to have come to an end. I hope for your sake that it stays that way.'
Next up, the party head to the Decor town house. Here, Maranda and Cosmo are in attendance, as well as Galbadia, who Karlos and Leon recognise, plus one other, who turns out to be Figaro. The family thank the party for what they've done for Cosmo, and for the Beacon. It turns out Maranda didn't have the disposable purse to pay the party 50r each, but the rest of the family have all chipped in to make sure that they get paid properly. Leon asks to stay behind, and the Decors are more than happy to comply. The others, perhaps feeling excluded from the game of nobility, decide to leave.
Here, Leon announces that he has a proposal to make. Maranda swoons. It's so sudden, and so fast, but - yes! She accepts. Leon has to awkwardly explain that ah, no, that's not the sort of proposal - but when he looks up to see the rest of the family (minus Maranda) smiling and chuckling, he knows that it will be alright. No, the proposal he has in mind is a *business* proposal. The Decors have a profitable shipping operation, might not the protection of the Darrish family fleet serve to increase the Decor family's profits - and the Darrish family's profits at the same time? Galbadia immediately hands over a document with some terms which Leon provisionally agrees to (somewhat unfortunately, without even looking at) - and the families agree to speak later. You are speaking on behalf of house Darrish, I assume? Galbadia asks, sweetly. Leon nods and mentions that he thinks he'll definitely be able to sort something out, in a mostly-convincing fashion.
Paradai has headed off to report back to his handler. He's successfully accomplished his mission - keep The Phoenix out of trouble, and has done his best to restore her to full operational capacity. The handler is pleased. More work will be…forthcoming. Paradai also asks if they'll consider adding another member to their roster….and introduces Emily. “Do you vouch for her?” the handler asks. Paradai nods. “Very well. We'll see what you are capable of.”
Karlos also heads off to report to his True Council contact - the White Duke. Having bungled his previous attempt to extract Selena, he reports that he has her file here, and has taken steps to ensure that she is 'off the books' of the list of prisoners the Watch and Ghita are set to recapture (at least, for now) - which should give them time to extract her. The White Duke is pleased well enough with the attempts of Sir Farblade, and supposes that it sometimes doesn't matter how long a job takes…so long as it gets done, right, in the end. Karlos is introduced to the chamberlain to pay his fee (10%, which amounts to 6r) and is told that further work will be forthcoming.
Rafe invites the watch unit under Captain Salamandra to train at his school, which should be an academy shortly - to teach them anti-wizard measures. Not to be outdone, Leon also puts out an offer to train in 'convict handling', given some of the displays today. Step 1: do not idly throw grenades at unarmed prisoners…
AMoMM pens a letter to Jimmy Hoskins thanking him immensely for the help he offered getting him out of jail, free - and makes a broad general offer of help to Mr Hoskins. Eventually, he gets a brief meeting with Jimmy. Jimmy stresses that AMoMM can help in three ways. 1) Exercising Discretion. 2) Identifying Opportunities for Benefit. 3) Executing on those aforementioned opportunities. “For example,” Jimmy says, “I hear word that today you came into contact with several items pertaining to the god called the Beacon. One of these items belonged to The Phoenix, who happens to run a gang which is harmful to the security and prosperity of Acryn, and also a business rival of mine. So, can you see any opportunities there?” AMoMM thinks on this. “Ahhh…..yesss. I know where the items are now. The torch is with…Ghita. The worry balls…with Cosmo Decor. The amulet….with the Phoenix. The coat….” (here he chuckles darkly) “The coat is with Emily Anara.”
Leon meets with Olivia Darrish to propose a trading deal with the Decor family. Olivia is…cool, at best. She stresses that any such venture would reflect on the Darrish family name, and only someone trustworthy, reliable and resourceful could be put in charge of such a project. Leon asserts that he is such a person. Olivia makes no reaction. She simply states that she would also hold such a person personally responsible for any failure - and would have to take the appropriate action to correct such a threat to the family. Leon nods. Incidentally, Olivia asks idly…what age is Maranda Decor these days?
Leon is dismissed. Though, before he leaves the estate, he receives something baffling and entirely out of the ordinary - an invite to dinner on the estate. My, he hasn't had one of those in a while. Several members of the house look daggers at him, and his entreaties to pass the sauce often fall on deaf ears, but - he has a seat at the table, nonetheless.
Karlos spends the next couple of weeks studying the tomes that he filched from Gerbera's library. Very interesting. Very interesting indeed. To declaim…to announce one's intent upon the world, and force it to comply. Oh, oh, oh. There's so very much that could be done with this. Maybe Gerbera wasn't quite so wrong after all…
‘Dear Emily Anara,
I knew, of course, that you wouldn’t be returning this coat to me when I gave it to you. That’s fine. You keep it, dear. You keep it until you no longer need it - or until you become unworthy of it.
That offer of pie is still open if you want to spend some time at the detective agency. Your call.’
Wearing the coat has the following roleplay effect:
You feel, warm, cosy, and snug when wearing this coat, no matter how miserable the weather is. More than that. It’s like…your mother was always there for you. Like you never left. Like she’s really real, like she’s here right now, holding you in her arms.
Whilst worn, this coat may give you a measure of protection against adverse effects pertaining to darkness, isolation or confusion at GM discretion.
If you ever harm someone you regard as either an innocent or your junior whilst wearing this coat, please inform a GM.
Fires and lanterns comfort you. Whenever you enter a dark place, you feel a strong desire to light it; whenever you find someone who is lost, you feel a strong desire to help them find their way.
You rarely get lost. If you do become lost, you and your party do not take any penalties for exhaustion caused by this occurring.
Once per adventure, you may ask the GM for guiding visions related to an item or a person which has been lost. To receive these visions, you must stare into a large fire and invoke The Beacon’s power.
You feel a strong desire to meticulously plan and organise every last detail of your travel, and will go to great lengths to ensure safety is prioritised if there are those you regard as your juniors accompanying you. If someone challenges this behaviour, you will feel strongly that you know what is best.
Torches or other sources of light you are holding can never be extinguished by mundane means. If you are somewhere dark, you gain +2 DODGES per encounter while holding a lit torch in either hand.
Once per an adventure you may bless a source of light. The light will burn brighter and be more resistant to going out. Other effects (such as helping someone who is lost find their way home) are at GM discretion.
You feel a strong desire to comfort anyone suffering from fear or shock, especially if you regard them as your junior.
Once per an encounter you may choose to take any DOMINATE call as a QUAD instead. Make a display of obvious defiance in service of a goal you have. If you do, and this damage is not prevented, you are STRENGTHENED and may call IMMUNE to DOMINATE for the remainder of the encounter.
You may also use this ability to resist an ENRAGE or a FEAR. You will not be strengthened nor gain the immunity, but also do not need to take the QUAD. You may only use this ability once per encounter, regardless of which version you use.
You are highly suspicious of anyone with the ability to manipulate emotions or thoughts through non-mundane means, no matter how benevolent they may seem. You are prone to lecture those you think of as impressionable on the dangers of such people.
As a prerequisite for taking this ability, you must first take ‘Fire Charm’.
So long as you hold a torch in one of your hands, you are IMMUNE to BLIND and FEAR. Furthermore, you gain 1 ranged REND call you can use each encounter as fire leaps from your torch to incinerate your foes.
If you are forced drop a torch you are wielding (e.g. via DISARM), you instantly take a REND. If a torch you are wielding is destroyed (e.g. via SHATTER) you take a QUAD REND instead.
Your body emits a faint, warm, light at all times. Anything metaphysically connected to darkness is likely to be upset by your presence.
You may self-immolate to fill your companions with determination. Twice per adventure, you may lose X body hits to call PARTY HEAL X. You are not affected by this PARTY HEAL call. You may not drop below 0 hits in this way.
You are inclined to be optimistic and to encourage others towards this worldview. Furthermore, you are less concerned about your own pain, suffering, and personal safety so long as you have the opportunity to help those you think of as your juniors. If you encounter someone pessimistic or in despair, you feel a strong inclination to discover the cause of their grief and to assist them, even if the person in question finds this meddlesome
The party gains a RESIST to either BLIND, FEAR, or MESMERIZE each encounter.
In addition, if you are fighting somewhere dark, and carrying a lit torch or other source of flame, the whole party gains +1 DODGE.