The Shadow Network
Timothy Major "Ambassador"
Quote: “They’ll let you know if they aren’t happy, trust me.”
Description: Now in his late fifties, Ambassador is tall, sallow and reserved. He dresses and moves as though he’s always at a dinner party (or funeral), as he never knows who’s watching and doesn’t want to look like a slob. He’s a complete neat freak, and doesn’t like leaving knickknacks or loose objects around, just in case a poltergeist comes calling.
Legacy: Stygian Heralds
Arcana: Fate 2, Death 5, Matter 3, Prime 4, Space 2, Spirit 3, Time 2
1st Attainment: Heroic Armament
Pre-Requisites: Gnosis 3, Death 2 (primary), Matter 1
For centuries, mourners around the world have buried the weapons and armor of fallen heroes with them to ensure they are armed in death. The first Attainment teaches the mage to summon manifestations, physical reflections, of heroic armaments found in the tombs and treasure hordes in Stygia. This Attainment functions like an enhanced version of the Matter 2 spell, Alter Accuracy, employing the Death Arcanum to call forth the power of weapons and armor from ghostly ephemera.
To activate this Attainment, the mage must touch the equipment he intends to imbue. Only objects capable of being used as weapons or armor can be imbued, though they can be somewhat makeshift in nature. A lead pipe and leather jacket are perfectly acceptable representations of a weapon and armor for the purposes of this Attainment. With the appropriate objects at hand, the mage rolls Resolve + Occult + Death. For each success rolled the mage can add one of the following properties to the object for the remainder of the scene. Successes can be evenly divided to imbue both a weapon type object and an armor type object (no more than one weapon and one piece of armor per scene).
- +1 equipment bonus (weapon only; maximum of the Herald’s dots in Matter)
- +1 armor rating (armor only; maximum of the Herald’s dots in Matter)
- Increased lethality (weapon only); the weapon gains the 9-again quality.
Additionally, anyone wielding a weapon altered by this Attainment gains a temporary Specialty in that weapon type and never suffers the untrained penalty.
Once a weapon or armor has been imbued, anyone can use the equipment to full benefit at a price. Any character (other than the caster) who takes up the heroic armaments feels uneasy handling the equipment, almost like she’s robbed a grave.
2nd Attainment: Heroic Presence
Pre-Requisites: Gnosis 5, Death 3
The one characteristic shared by nearly every individual named hero is an ability to inspire comrades or followers to acts of valor, regardless of circumstance. A hero leads with supreme self-confidence and ability that encourages those around him to excel. Related to the Mind 3 spell, Augment the Mind, the Attainment calls on the power of long-dead heroes to boost how the target is perceived rather than providing a mechanical increase in Attributes. This Attainment may only target other characters, never the caster. The mage summons a splinter of a heroic soul and embeds it in his target. This requires an extended Resolve + Occult + Death roll (target number of five successes), contested by Resolve + Gnosis in the case of an unwilling target. The soul-splinter remains in its new host for a number of hours equal to the Gnosis of the caster. While the character plays host to the splinter, he becomes inspirational in both word and deed to those around him.
- Word: Once each scene, the host character can make a rousing speech by rolling Presence + Expression. Allies within the sound of his voice gain one temporary Willpower (this can exceed normal maximums) for each success. Unspent temporary Willpower vanishes at the end of the scene.
- Deed: Each time the host character succeeds at an action, allies within line of sight of the character gain a +3 bonus to perform similar actions. As an example, if the host character managed to leap across a yawning chasm, anyone favorably inclined towards the character who witnessed the feat would gain a +3 bonus to clear a similar obstacle.
Even willing targets are troubled by the sensation of hosting a sliver of soul yanked from the Underworld. The sliver feels restless inside them, twisting and squirming to be freed. The character is subjected to a nearly constant feeling of loss and separation, alien to the actual emotions of the character, until the soul-splinter is released. When the effect ends, hosts possessed of even the slightest sense of decency (Wisdom 5 or greater) typically suffer intense spasms of remorse and shame.
Targeting an unwilling character with this Attainment is considered an act of hubris and requires a degeneration roll for mages of Wisdom 6 or higher (roll three dice).
3rd Attainment: Heroic Soul
Pre-Requisites: Gnosis 7, Death 4
No one knows for certain the final resting place of heroic souls. Legends about Valhalla, the Summerlands or other spiritual paradises could be true or they could all refer to some aspect of the Underworld. The Resurrectionist is able to reach out to those souls and pluck them from their rest, depositing them in living bodies. A more powerful successor to the Death 4 spell, Revenant, can use this Attainment to summon up the souls that have passed beyond the Fallen World, instead of shackling the souls of the newly dead to flesh. This Attainment may only target other characters, never the caster. The mage summons the soul of a fallen hero with an extended Resolve + Occult + Death roll (target number of 15 successes), contested by Resolve + Gnosis in the case of an unwilling host. The soul remains trapped in the host body until the following sunrise. The host character remains in charge of his actions for the duration of the possession. While merged with the heroic soul, the host character gains all the benefits of the Resurrectionsts’ second Attainment and the following bonuses:
- By spending a point of Willpower, the subject may grant a Physical Skill Roll the rote action quality.
- Defense is increased by one (rather than decreased) for every opponent past the first that attacks.
- Points of Willpower spent to increase dice rolls made for Resistance Attributes add four bonus dice, rather than two.
- Wound penalties are treated as inversely proportional bonuses (a –2 penalty becomes a +2 bonus, for example).
The soul whispers in the ear of its host for the duration of the possession, haranguing him for keeping the soul from its rest. It accuses the host of vile betrayal; at the Storyteller’s discretion, the relentless invective might result in a one-die penalty to particularly complex actions.
Forcing an unwilling character to play host is considered an act of hubris and requires a degeneration roll for mages of Wisdom 3 or higher (roll two dice). Overuse of this Attainment may also be considered an act of hubris at Storyteller discretion.
Background: He was the youngest boy in a large family, and grew up surrounded by brothers, sisters and cousins. When the fever hit, though, his parents refused to seek medical treatment, believing that God would cure the children if that was His will. Apparently, it wasn’t, because not only did most of the children die, but the fever took his parents, uncles and aunts away as well. In the space of a year, he went from never having a moment’s privacy to be completely alone.
Not completely, though. The ghosts of his parents spoke first, begging for forgiveness. The ghosts of some of the other nearby kids who had died of the disease piped up next, asking for some of their favorite toys to be buried with them. He isn’t sure exactly which spirit it was that pointed him toward the Watchtower of the Lead Coin, but what he learned there only reinforced what he already knew – our obligations to one another don’t end with death.
He took up residence in the Detroit Concilium, but studiously avoided being pulled into a specific cabal. Instead he slowly grew in reputation as he settled into a role as the speaker for the dead to the Council, offering his skill with ghosts and unearthing the stygian secrets in exchange for similar favors and payments in return.
Storytelling Hints: Ambassador is polite and reserved, and doesn’t like to argue, as he knows people remember slights and insults no matter how minor or unintentional. His dour manner belies a gregarious nature, though; he loves to talk, be it with the living or the dead. He prefers to keep company with the dead however, and his penthouse is veritably swarming with ghosts to those that can see into the Twilight.
Unlike many mages, he views ghosts as sentient fragments of souls rather than static echoes of the departed. This belief has caused several loud confrontations with more mercenary Necromancers over the years, the most recent being a harsh falling out with another Moros that resulted in a shouting-match in front of the Council and a duel arcane. He has come to dislike other mages of his path and has refused to take on an apprentice since that event, despite being one of the strongest known practitioner of the magics of Death in the midwest.