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Path of the Unspoken

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The Path of the Unspoken is an arcane art of Dark Thaumaturgy known only by those who dare to tap in the infernal magic.

DescriptionEdit

Many thamaturges believe that the Path of the Unspoken is a legend, superstitious babble spawned from the absinthe-addled dreams of florid mortal poets. Even the Tremere denounce it, having found no substantial proof of its existence - at least, so the Warlocks claim. Mere mention of this path often causes knowledgeable sorcerers to prick up their ears in many domains. Those who know the truth, however, know that the Path of the Unspoken is no legend.

With the vanishing of the Tremere antitribu, many considered the path a dying one, practiced by only a few thaumaturges deranged enough to walk down the road of heresy. However, a disturbing number of rumors involving the path have surfaced in the last few years. Luckily (or unluckily), many of these infernalists have since been destroyed, not by fellow vampires, but by mortal witch-hunters.

Hell's Price: Memory Lapse

Infernalists drawn to the the Path of the Unspoken hunger for knowledge - even to the point of sacrificing their own mental integrity. The path has such a pervasive and insidious influence over the infernalist that it begins to affect his psyche, clouding memories and slowly making the thaumaturge forget what he already knows in his desperate rush to learn more.

For every level of mastery in the Path of the Unspoken, the infernalist loses more of his memories. Eventually, he forgets even who he was originally. This is memory loss is so total that even written accounts of the thaumaturge, such as diaries and journals, fail to trigger any recollections.

To reflect this effect, any time the character needs to use a Knowledge, his difficulty increases by one for every level of the Path of the Unspoken he possesses, to a maximum of 10. He simply can't remember the finer points of his vast memory. If the character's Path of the Unspoken score ever exceeds his Willpower, he has difficulty remembering even things about himself, such as his clan, the location of his haven or even his name.

SystemEdit

Blood Expenditure & Willpower Roll: Difficulty = Power Level +3

Level I: Whispers of the UnbornEdit

The infernalist opens himself to the raw power of entropy, and for a few seconds, he can hear what can only be described as the voices of the unborn. Immediately, a chorus of childlike voices and screams flood the thaumaturge, who can then discern warnings or glean information from the resulting cacophony.
System: The player rolls Willpower and spends a blood point. For each success, the player can decide to gain an answer to a single question, or receive a premonition of danger, or a combination of the two.
If used to gain information, the "voices" can articulate only rough answers of no more than three to five words (Storytellers are encouraged to be as vague as they wish), yet they do seem to be omniscient. Storytellers should also be cryptic, as the unborn have no real reason to care about the outcome of the living world's problems.
If used for premonitions, Whispers of the Unborn lasts for a scene. During this time, the player can subtract one from the difficulty of one roll for each success achieved.

Level II: Scribing the UnknownEdit

Entering a trance-like state, the thaumaturge can subconsciously scribe the contents of a written document - regardless of the language and without needing to see the original. As long as something is written down, whether on vellum on as magnetic data on a hard drive, there is no way of keeping it a secret from the infernalist.
System: For the thaumaturge to enter the trance, he first needs to know the source of the information he wants to transcribe (the name of the book, author of a letter or file name is often enough) and the player must spend the blood point and roll Willpower. the copy is rarely exact, and unless the infernalist has some skill in forgery, the transcribed material will look nothing like the original. Even that isn't enough in some cases, such as a handwritten version of a computer document.
The number of successes determines the accuracy of the transcript.

1 success: Largely incomplete. Many sentences are missing, and some words are replaced with others of different meaning; 20 percent accurate to the original document.
2 successes: Vaguely complete; 40 percent accurate.
3 successes: Partially complete; 60 percent accurate.
4 successes: Mostly complete; 80 percent accurate.
5 successes: functional; 95 percent complete

Level III: Shadow ThoughtsEdit

This mysterious power allows the thaumaturge to peer into anyone's shadow and glean information about him. As the saying goes, nobody knows one better than her own shadow.
System: Evoking this power requires the usual blood point and Willpower roll. In addition, the thaumaturge needs to be standing in the shadow of his intended victim. Any successes achieved on the Willpower roll allow the thaumaturge to look into the target's past, enabling him to witness any actions or thoughts as if the infernalist was present. She will be unable to affect the outcome of the events, though.
The number of successes determines how far back in time the thaumaturge can gaze.

1 success: 1 night
2 successes: 3 nights
3 successes: 1 week
4 successes: 1 month
5 successes: 1 year

Level IV: Fragments of the ForgottenEdit

With Fragments of the Forgotten, the infernalist can transcribe information even if the source no longer exists, or was never written down. Entering a similar state to Scribing the Unknown, the infernalist can write fragments of the original Book of Nod, paint DaVinci's lost masterpieces or pen Shakespeare's original copies of his plays.
Because these tattered memories are invariably incomplete, however, Hell has been known to "fill in the blanks" when it sees fit. As a result, no information this power generates should ever be completely trusted. Then again, if the person the infernalist reveals it to doesn't know the source...
System Fragments of the Forgotten works the same as Scribing the Unknown, except that the thaumaturge can now transcribe to paper any written document even if it no longer exists. However, this power is nowhere near as precise as Scribing the Unknown. Although Fragments of the Forgotten allows the thaumaturge to transcribe lost or destroyed documents, the hellish minions who provide the information ultimately taint the process. The final document, though close to the original, is also extremely subjective and not entirely accurate.
The number of successes on the roll determines how accurate the document is. The storyteller should conduct this roll in secret - as the information no longer exists, even the thaumaturge should have no idea what parts of it she can trust and what she can't. Demons misdirect, occlude and outright lie about such things, even to infernalists. Also, Storytellers will obviously have to make some parts of this information up for themselves.

1 Success: Occasionally sensible garble; five percent accurate to original document.
2 successes: Partially intelligible; 10 percent accurate.
3 successes: some parts form complete sentences; 15 percent accurate.
4 successes: Rambling, but largely cogent; 25 percent accurate.
5 successes: A clever reader can spot the lies by context; 50 percent accurate.

Alternatively, the thaumaturge can use Fragments of the Forgotten to write down prophecies or premonitions about the future. If used in this manner, the prophecy gives the infernalist a vague impression of what might happen. The number of successes dictates how clear the prophecy is. the nature of the premonition is again left to the Storyteller's discretion.

Level V: ForsakenEdit

The few infernalists who have attained this level have the power to literally make people and things vanish from the collective subconscious. Although the thaumaturge cannot destroy the target physically, he can cause it to disappear from the mind's eye. With Forsaken, the thaumaturge alters people's perceptions and memories about someone or something to the point that they seem to cease to exist without actually doing so.
System: Forsaken makes it nearly impossible to find, remember or even see the person or object in question. In addition to the normal mechanics for casting, the thaumaturge's player must spend permanent Willpower point and suffer a permanent loss of a health level, subsuming the person's legacy into a suppurating wound. Once this power has been invoked, anyone wishing to interact with the target of Forsaken must first make a Perception + Occult (difficulty [5 + 1 for each success the thaumaturge scored]) to do so. If he succeeds at this roll, he can interact with the target of Forsaken as normal (such as have conversations, remember the subject's location, etc.) for as many nights as he scored successes on the Perception + Occult roll. Once this time expires, the fugue of Forsaken returns.
If the thaumaturge uses this power against inanimate objects such as paintings or sculptures, the objects become virtually impossible to find, even in plain sight. Books collect dust on library shelves, overlooked by everyone, including their owners, or they sit in huge warehouses never to be read again - or even unwittingly destroyed as needless junk.
If used against a person, Forsaken blurs people's memories and perceptions so that all forget every meeting with the victim. The victim still exists, and he can act as normal, but once out of sight, he is forgotten. Even if the victim manages to remain in sight, he is often overlooked and ignored. This effect might have obvious advantages, but they are outweighed by the drawbacks. While the prince's ghoul might overlook the target, so may the bus driver.
Forsaken remains in effect until the thaumaturge is destroyed, chooses to end the effect or evokes this power on another target. If the thaumaturge ends the effect, he rises the next night with his original complement of health levels. The thaumaturge can evoke Forsaken on only one target at given time.

ReferencesEdit

Sins of the Blood, p. 91-93

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