aleficence is the power to invest beings with the power of Oblivion, usually through the medium of the Spectre's own Being and Angst. Most common among Mortwights and Apparitions, Maleficence is the Arcanos most commonly used to start Oblivion cults among the living, and to convert captured Restless to the faith of the Shadow-eaten.
Knowledge of Maleficence is not just a simple knack, but also an intuitive communication with and understanding of the goals of Oblivion. Users of Maleficence are the Labyrinth's equivalent of evangelists. Ideologically committed to Oblivion, these missionaries of entropy spread their beliefs in the Shadowlands as well as in the lands of the living. While openly proselytizing Spectres wouldn't last an hour in a Hierarchy Necropolis, some Renegade and Heretic Necropoli are less judgmental. In some of the more tolerant of these independent Necropoli, the rough voice of an Apparition or the cajoling of a strand-spliced Nephwrack street corner preacher are common sounds.
Use the Leadership Ability for retests with the Maleficence Arcanos.
Practitioners of Maleficence have an intuitive feel for where they can do the most harm. The outflow of negative emotions causes them to become aware whenever someone within meters
is actively supplicating the powers of darkness, Nietzsche, or whatever else seems appropriate for assistance.
(Maleficence level x 100, i.e.
1st basic = 100 meters,
2nd basic = 200 meters, etc.)
System: A successful Static Mental Challenge allows the spectre to sense the range and direction of the call.
System: By means of a Static Mental Challenge, the Spectre may sense when a mortal she is regarding has already had Angst invested in him by another user of Maleficence. She might not care, but she can at least tell if someone she's evaluating has already been staked out.
This art allows the Spectre to communicate directly with the mind of a mortal through "spoken" words. This art has a variety of uses, from driving deranged mortals over the brink of madness to delivering faux-infernal proclamations to the leaders of Oblivion Cults.
System: To use this art costs a point of Angst, and requires an Extended Social Challenge (difficulty is the local Shroud rating or the targets permanent willpower, whichever is higher.) The number of successes is the number of turns the Spectre may maintain contact with a mortal before being required to test again. If the Spectre loses, and the mortal was opposed to the contact, then the target may make a further Social challenge against the Spectre. If the mortal wins then they have successfully succeeded in learning to shut out or ignore the voice. In that case add 1 to the trait difficulty for every attempt after for the Spectre to make contact.
The art of Benefice allows a Spectre to invest Being (Spectre version of Willpower) into a mortal, with an eventual goal of later granting the mortal Spectral powers.
System: This art costs three points of Angst and as many points of Being as the Spectre wishes to attempt to grant the target. Next comes a Static Physical Challenge plus the number of Being points the target is being given. It is assumed that most Spectres invest Temporary Being into their pawns. The investiture of Permanent Being in a target is also possible. While Permanent and Temporary Being cannot be invested in the same target at the same time, the investment of Permanent Being is no more difficult than that of Temporary. It's just more draining on the Spectre - Permanent investment requires the expenditure of 5 points of Angst for every one Permanent Being point that the Spectre wishes to invest in the target. Targets who have been invested with Being have the difficulty of all Dark Arconoi used on them reduced by two.
Spectres grant Being to allow mortals to power abilities granted by Investiture. The important thing to remember is that if a mortal is given more Being than she has Willpower, she'll probably either end up going psychotic or sitting in a corner blowing spit bubbles. The bleak and icy revelations of Oblivion are often rather difficult for the human mind to handle.
The Art of Investiture empowers a Spectre to initiate certain processes of decay within the spirit of a mortal. These decompositions of the soul grant mortals certain limited supernatural abilities, as well as having subjectively unfortunate side effects on the mortal's sanity and health. These powers (usually granted to the leaders of Oblivion cults) are a manifestation of Oblivion's touch, and can have unpleasant side effects on the user.
System: To practice this art requires the expenditure of a number of points of Angst and Being equal to the value of the power the Spectre wishes to invest. The next step is an Extended Static Social Challenge (minus the number of points of Being the Spectre has currently invested in the target). The Spectre must achieve a number of successes equal to the rating of the power being invested. Granting the mortal the first level of an Arconos the Spectre possesses is a 5-point investment.
Discipline allows a Spectre to make her displeasure known to a mortal in whom she has invested Being. Discipline is usually used to remind errant leaders of Oblivion cults that they, too, are mortal, though some Spectres do it just to watch their pawns writhe. This art is very similar to the Thorn: Wrack in its effects.
System: This art requires a Physical Challenge. The Spectre can opt to spend up to a point of Angst for each success. Each success imposes a -1 trait penalty on the mortal's actions for a number of scenes equal to the number of successes, and also inflicts severe pain on the target. Some victims literally break their own bones with muscle spasms, bleed from the eyes or manifest stigmata. Repeated use of Discipline on the Quick can drive victims to madness, or to the abusive use of opiates and other analgesics in order to blunt the pain.
Conversion allows the Spectre to impose Oblivion-wrought despair on a captive audience, bringing them to an unavoidable awareness of Oblivion and its place in the scheme of things.
System: To use this art requires an Extended Social Test. For each success, the target's permanent Willpower is decreased by one, or his Permanent Angst increased by one. The choice is entirely up to the Spectre using the Arconos. Wraiths whose Angst reaches 10 become Doppelgangers. Those whose willpower reaches zero become Nothings.
Conversion is an extended process that works only on a captive audience. It takes several hours to use the power, and a given Spectre cannot use it more than once in a 24-hour period (though nothing stops Spectres from working in shifts). This power cannot be used on mortals, even mediums. If the Spectre fails utterly on his Conversion attempt he gains a permanent point of Composure.
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