The Act of Hubris
INITIATE OF DEATH (●)
Ectoplasmic Graffiti (Death ●/Covert/Signifying) The caster makes marks with unmanifested ectoplasm, fogging surfaces with their breath or tracing letters with a fingertip to produce a residue only ghosts or others sensitive to ghosts can see.
Ghostsight (Death ●/Sensory/Unveiling) Despite its name, this spell allows ghosts to be seen, heard, and even felt, though not actually held or fought. It also reveals the ghostly objects and buildings ghosts sometimes interact with.
Soul Search (Death ●/Sensory/Knowing) This spell reveals the qualities of a soul to the caster, whether that soul is untethered or anchored to an object or person. Scrutiny successes can reveal the soul’s general health (generally corresponding to Morality), recent trauma, and supernatural qualities. The caster might realize their subject has no soul at all, contains a soul that didn’t originally belong to them, or bears the altered soul of a once-human supernatural creature.
APPRENTICE OF DEATH (●●)
Feign Death (Death ●●/Covert/Veiling) This spell casts a pallid shroud over a living creature, giving it the aspect of a corpse. Wounds barely bleed, breath shallows into near-imperceptibility, and body temperature drops, hindering attempts to gauge the subject’s health.
Ghoul Stink (Death ●●, Life ●●/Covert/Veiling) This spell causes a living subject to give off the subtle telltale signs of having drank a vampire’s Vitae and become her ghoul. This spell replicates all of ghouldom’s outward changes to a mortal’s body, though a vampire examining the subject through mystical means can see through the ruse by successfully contesting the spell’s Tenacity.
Hasten Rot (Death ●●/Vulgar/Perfecting) This spell causes perishable inert material to rapidly rot, corrode, or spoil, as appropriate.
Imperishability (Death ●●/Covert/Ritual Ruling) This ritual laces inanimate objects with resistance against decay, preventing rot, spoilage, or other inherent deterioration for as long as the spell’s aftereffects linger.
Preserve Ectoplasm (Death ●●/Covert/Ruling) This spell’s caster can bid ectoplasm to remain coherent despite the absence of whatever ghostly phenomenon left it behind. With a container, the mage can thereby store, transport, or study that ectoplasm for as long as the spell remains active.
Reassert Mortality (Death ●●/Covert/Perfecting) Resisted by Gnosis plus Stamina, this spell inflicts direct lethal or aggravated damage, but only enough to undo all healing the subject enjoyed this scene or, failing that, the single last instance of healing the subject enjoyed prior to the scene – one wound healed or downgraded through time or medicine, one turn’s worth of supernatural regeneration, or one use of a healing spell or power. This spell doesn’t literally reopen wounds, but instead introduces sudden weakness as though those wounds had never healed.
DISCIPLE OF DEATH (●●●)
Deeper Darkness (Death ●●●/Vulgar/Knowing, Perfecting, Weaving) This spell, usually cast with area factors, sculpts and concentrates existing shadows to fill a space with pitch black darkness. The caster can’t see through the shadows, but can sense their exact contours and so pinpoint things inside them.
Hurry to the Grave (Death ●●●/Vulgar/Perfecting) Resisted by Gnosis plus Stamina, this spell inflicts direct damage on a living target of a kind that target is already suffering from, whether bashing, lethal, or aggravated. This damage manifests as creeping weakness and sudden chill, and disappears at the end of the scene unless it kills its target entirely. A creature incapacitated by lethal damage from this spell doesn’t begin bleeding out. This spell also works on characters who are sick or otherwise ailing. Generally, obstructive but nonfatal diseases can be extrapolated into bashing damage, while deadly conditions become lethal.
Quicken Corpse (Death ●●●/Vulgar/Fraying) This spell makes a zombie servitor from a dead body. Zombies are mindless and uncoordinated, but can perceive their environment regardless of illumination, discern humans from animals and the living from the dead, and follow simple commands. They inflict bashing damage on their own, but can boost the caster’s attacks and hinder enemy reprisal and movement. Cast ritually, this rote creates permanent zombies as an aftereffect which can serve as Staff or weak Retainers.
Reap Mana (Death ●●●/Covert/Weaving) Cast as a minor action and resisted by Composure, this spell is always cast with one damage factor and uses its net successes to claim a portion of its target’s health. Any lethal or aggravated damage the caster does to the target, up to damage equal to the spell’s net successes, becomes Resistant and generates Mana for the caster. If this spell is successful and sustained through its subject’s death by the caster’s hand, even if all claimed health boxes have been consumed, the caster can choose to instantly benefit as though performing a blood sacrifice on the target. Target factors allow the mage either to lay claim to multiple targets or to designate a beneficiary besides themselves, but such a beneficiary must inflict any wounds they draw Mana from themselves. This spell may be cast in the turn immediately following someone’s dealing lethal damage to render that damage Resistant and cause that someone to draw Mana from the wounds.
ADEPT OF DEATH (●●●●)
Arms of Ahriman (Death ●●●●/Vulgar/Weaving, Patterning) This spell solidifies darkness into crushing tentacles that deal lethal damage or grapple as the caster wills. Area and size factors determine the spell’s dimensions. The arms draw on the Twilight presence of whatever surface they spring from and can support at least as much weight as a solid block of that substance. The arms are rooted in place, but it’s possible to draw the arms out of the folds of a coat or the underside of a speeding car.
Lay Waste (Death ●●●●, Prime ●●●/Vulgar/Weaving, Patterning) This spell causes a burst of reified death-energy to erupt at a location in the caster’s sensory range, inflicting lethal or aggravated damage contested by Defense to living or perishable targets. Without area factors, the burst is generally wide enough to envelop one person, but might strike two or three people if they’re squeezed together. The necrotic power swirls in place for as long as the spell is sustained, posing a continuing hazard to anyone trapped within or crossing through. A version of this rote using Death ●●●●● and Prime ●●● can slay steel walls, spirits, or other targets normally beyond Death’s grasp.
Twilight Shift (Death ●●●●/Vulgar/Unraveling) This spell translates its subject into deathly Twilight. Unwilling subjects resist with Composure and Gnosis and are only completely banished with a severe consequence.
MASTER OF DEATH (●●●●●)
Just Matter (Death ●●●●●/Covert/Unmaking) This spell denies the metaphysical status of being dead to corpses, fallen trees, and other once-living organic matter. Such objects therefore become invalid targets for lesser Death magic, and also probably cease to serve their purposes for most non-supernal necromantic powers.
Spectral Fortress (Death ●●●●●/Covert/Ritual Weaving, Making) This ritual weaves a Twilight structure from the caster’s surroundings. The structure’s design and dimensions are limited only by the spell’s Area and Size factors; since Making allows the caster to draw unlimited material from the source, an iron-hard citadel could be pulled and molded from a single nail.