orruption is in some ways a dark form of Puppetry. Practitioners of Puppetry essentially indulge in possession, coexisting with or supplanting the soul of their targets. A user of the Arcanos Corruption seek to bring her target’s souls close enough to her own, and to Oblivion, that she can join with it and seize control without the target ever realizing he’s not the one making the decisions any more. Corruption is more difficult to master than is Puppetry, and less rewarding before great facility in it is achieved. On the other hand, success brings great rewards – a vessel in the Skinlands can last for decades if properly conserved.
Corruption relies on the manipulation of the mind and spirit of the target. The Spectre finds a victim among the Quick already like her and accelerates the similarity until such time as the host is ready for a final merger. The victim must have a strong tendency toward the Being of the Spectre, for which the Larceny art Emotional Infection often proves useful. A strongly disturbed personality with a weak sense of self is also suitable. Such victims often require serious preparation by means of Emotional Infection to be made useful, and may commit themselves to psychiatric care when they begin to experience violent or destructive urges. On the other hand, mortals who already have personalities similar to the invasive Spectre probably won’t even notice that their behavior is being altered. Spectres can prepare a target as a Consort through the investment of Being just as a wraith can attune one through the application of Willpower.
Use the Leadership Ability for retests with the Corruption Arcanos.
In order for Corruption to work on one of the Quick, he must already be tainted with Oblivion. This ability allows the Spectre to scent a target’s potential.
System: The player makes a static mental challenge against the local shroud rating. Success indicates a suitable victim for Corruption. Sense Likeness does not detect if someone is being Corrupted, since the Arconos works by primarily reshaping the target’s natural desires, rather than supplanting them with new ones. Note that this ability isn’t useful exclusively for Corruption – it also provides a good alterative starting point for Maleficence, for example.
Soul Leech is the spectral art of possession. It is more dangerous and more powerful than puppetry.
System: Spend a point of Angst and enter into an extended social challenge with the intended victim. The number of successes is the number of scenes for which the Spectre may inhabit the victim. Spectres who have possessed a victim using Soul Leech see through his eyes (and are thus able to perceive the Skinlands), but lose their ghostly vision. Treat as per the Skinriding rules for Puppetry.
This most simple of the Arts of Corruption does not involve controlling or warping the target at all. Success indicates that the Spectre implants a brief vision of some sort. Usually, the image is no more than an especially violent flash of imagination, but in the deeply disturbed, sometimes violent flashes of imagination are all it takes. Lurid visions can also be used to convey other information, but nothing more complex than can be portrayed in a brief, relatively static flash of imagery (“Go through the fire escape door,” for example).
System:Spend a point of Angst and make a social test against a difficulty of 13 traits. This and all other arts of the Dark Arconos Corruption require that the user have first used the Soul Leech ability to inhabit the victims body.
Unbidden Hands allows a Spectre to make her victim’s physical body undertake some particular task while his mind is distracted. Targets cannot be forced to perform lethal or self-destructive actions, like shooting someone with a gun or jerking the steering wheel of their car over to swerve into oncoming traffic, while under the influence of Unbidden Hands. However, Spectres can and do often push that envelope.
System: Spend three Angst and enter into an extended Mental Challenge with the intended victim. The number of successes indicates what level of task the Spectre can make the victim undertake. For example: Having the victim write “The bastard must die” a hundred times while she’s thinking about her hated ex-lover (one-success) is much easier than having her tie nooses while she’s distracted thinking about how much she’s going to enjoy playing with her new dog (5 successes). The victim may not spend a point of willpower to resist this, though repeated use of Unbidden Hands on an unwilling victim makes it much less likely that his attention will continually drift.
The art of Urges allows Spectres to overcome the target’s Willpower and make him undertake a single action of the Spectre’s choice. This action must fulfill one of the Spectre’s Dark Passions as well as be something that that victim would, on some level, like to do.
System: Spend two Angst points and enter into a Social Challenge, the victims number of willpower is the opposing trait value. If the Spectre wins the target attempts the action and the Spectre gains the Angst. If she fails, then the target does nothing and the Spectre doesn’t gain any Angst. The target may spend a temporary willpower to resist.
This art allows a Spectre to corrupt the small traces of soul that remain in a dead body, allowing it to rise briefly. In order for this art to function, the body must either be a Fetter of one of the Restless, have Risen previously, or have been attuned to a wraith for the purposes of the purposes of the Corruption of Puppetry Arconoi.
System: Spend 3 Angst points and enter into a Static Physical Challenge against a difficulty of 14 traits plus the local shroud rating. The number of successes determines the number of days the target body may be inhabited before it suffers a final and messy dissolution. Treat the Spectre, as one of the Risen, save it has no Conduit. A Spectre may spend Being (the same as Willpower) points on a corpse to attune to it, just as if it were a Consort. The Castigation art of Housecleaning can be used to drive a Spectre from a corrupted body, though nothing but the destruction of the Spectre or eternal vigilance can keep her from inhabiting it again at a later date. Wraiths who are Fettered to bodies that suffer final dissolution through the use of this Arconos lose the Fetter and are Harrowed as a result.
Through the use of this Arconos, a Spectre makes a special (and dominant) place for himself in a victim’s soul. Unlike the effects of Obliterate the body does not begin to die shortly after the use of the Arconos. Furthermore, the victim remains in control of her body, but she now follows the Specter’s orders with absolutely no hesitation. In effect, this means that the Spectre does all the thinking when it is “in residence,” but the victim uses her own Traits and Abilities.
System: To form the initial bond, the Spectre must have attuned the target as a Consort. Next comes the expenditure of five points of Angst and a point of permanent Being (Willpower) and an Extended Physical Challenge against the target. Even a single success means that the process of Corruption has successfully begun. Success or failure still gives a Spectre’s Psyche a point of Composure. 3 attempts without success indicates spiritual incompatibilities, which render the Spectre unable ever to use Blissful Unity on the target.
Strengthening the bond costs two points of Angst and one temporary Being (Willpower) to make a further challenge against the target. The Spectre must accumulate successes equal to the target’s Willpower to make the bond fully functional, though the Spectre may pursue this goal over multiple attempts. After the Spectre has accumulated sufficient successes, the victim is fully under her control, as detailed above. The victim now counts as a Fetter and the Spectre no longer needs to test for Soul Leech to possess her. Instead, it may simply spend a point of Angst to “get behind the wheel.” Those who successfully targeted with this power generally proceed to directly to Oblivion after death, though some occasionally become Spectres. Targets of this power often take steps to prepare for their episodes; though such steps are often beneficial to the Spectres they are harmful.
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