horns are the tools that your Shadow uses to gain control of you or cause you to slip up and hasten your downward spiral toward Oblivion. When a Shadow has gained strength through Temporary Angst points, it can then unleash its Thorns (either through a Narrator’s, your Shadowguides’s or your won choice). You choose 2 “levels” of Thorns, either one Level Two Thorn or Two Level One Thorns. The Thorns are:

Level 1 Thorns:

Spectre Prestige: The Shadow is respected by Specters and they will come to the aid of the wraith during Catharsis.

Tainted Relic (1-5): The Shadow has an important relic that manifests when it is in control: a weapon or some other useful item. Others in the wraith’s party might realize that the Shadow is in control if this relic manifests. If the relic is destroyed or used up, it will still be able to manifest next time the Shadow is dominant.

Dark Allies: The character's Shadow communicates regularly with specific Specters, and can call on them for assistance.

Infamy: Similar to Memoriam, this Background represents the measure of fear and loathing the character inspires in the living. Each time the character falls into slumber, the player must make one Simple Test per level of this Thorn. Each test that she does not win or tie gives the character a Temporary Angst Trait.

Deafened Ear: The character's Shadow may spend a Temporary Angst Trait to inflict total deafness on the Wraith for 15 minutes. This can be done once per session, and does not grant the Wraith immunity to Keening and other sound-based powers.

Mirror, Mirror: Whenever the Wraith sees itself in a reflective surface, the Shadow can activate this Thorn. Everyone who sees the reflection sees it as horribly distorted, in whatever manner the Shadow desires. This costs nothing to activate, but repeated usage mutes the surprise and shock value this Thorn can have.

Nightmares: The Shadow can inflict wracking nightmare on the Psyche. The Shadow spends a Temporary Angst Trait and engages in a Static Challenge of the Wraith's Permanent Angst against its Willpower (no Traits bid). Success means the Shadow causes the Psyche to immediately wake from slumber without the usual benefits.

Shadow Face: The Wraith can take on a completely different appearance when the Shadow takes over (should it desire to do so).

Level 2 Thorns:

Aura of Corruption: There is a subtle taint to the wraith, caused by the Shadow’s influence. If a wraith has this Thorn, all Social Challenges are bid a –1 Traits.

Shadow Traits: You can buy one Trait, either an Attribute or an ability that the Shadow possesses. If the wraith wants to use the Trait in a test, he can choose to do so, but it gives the Shadow one point of Temporary Angst. This Trait is never used up and always gives the Shadow one Temporary Angst Trait.

Shadow Call: The Shadow can use this only when the Wraith is in the Tempest or near the mouth of a Nihil. For each level of Permanent Angst the Wraith possesses, the Shadow can spend a trait of Temporary Angst and perform a Simple Test. Each win (not loss or tie) summons a Specter, the exact nature of which is decided by the Storyteller.

Wrack: The Shadow can inflict shooting pain on the Psyche during a Physical Challenge. The Shadow simply spends a Temporary Angst Trait, and forces the Wraith to bid an additional Trait per level of this Thorn. A Willpower Trait can be spent to negate the use of this Thorn.

Level 3 Thorns:

Bad Luck: The Shadow can spend a Temporary Angst point to cause the Psyche to enter a retest, making the previous results of the test to be discarded.

Trick of the Light: This is a very, very subtle Thorn as it can alter the perceptions of the wraith in accordance with the Shadow’s wishes. If the Shadow spends a Temporary Angst point and activates this Thorn, the Shadowguide can describe to the player what subtle alterations in the setting the wraith senses. Dark areas can seem to hold figures, faces can seem more menacing, red flows can appear, and the effects of this Thorn can hide suspicious movements. The change in perception lasts five minutes.

Death's Sigil: The character carries a prominent sign of Oblivion's touch: wings of choking smoke, footprints of sea water, the smell of a charnel house, and so on. Each level of Death's Sigil reduces by 1 the Wraith's effective total Social Traits for the purpose of ties and overbids. The character can spend a Willpower Trait to stifle (negate) the effects for a scene.

Silenced Tongue: The Shadow can (once per session) spend a trait of Temporary Angst to render the Wraith unable to make any sound for 30 minutes. The Wraith cannot use any sound-based powers, though it can communicate by writing, gesturing, and the like. Remember that writing implements are rare in the Shadowlands.

Honeyed Tongue: The Shadow can spend a Temporary Angst Trait and engage its target in a Social Challenge. If successful, the next sentence the Shadow speaks will be believed by the target (until irrefutable evidence is shown to the contrary). The Psyche can spend a Willpower Trait to negate this effect.

Shadow Mentor: The Shadow can tap into the Hive-Mind to produce knowledge (Lores) for the Psyche. The player informs the Narrator that he wishes to gain some knowledge, and that he is making a pact with his Shadow. The narrator then determines the level of Lore required for the information, and that number is then added to the Wraith's Temporary Angst Traits. As a side effect of these frequent Pacts, each time the Psyche gains any Lores on its own, the player must make as Simple Test for each level learned, with a loss giving the Wraith one Temporary Angst Trait.

Level 4 Thorns:

Shadow Play: The Shadow can offer an additional action to the Psyche after the Wraith uses up all of its normally available actions for a turn. The Shadow decides weather to offer, the Psyche can't ask. If the Psyche agrees, it losses one, two or three Pathos Traits (win, tie or loss on a Simple Test), and gains one two or three Temporary Angst Traits (win, tie or loss on another Simple Test). The Psyche must spend a Willpower Trait in order to resist when the Shadow offers this.

Tainted Touch: The Wraith becomes a psychic Typhoid Mary. When the character brushes against another's corpus (or vice versa), he must engage that individual in a Physical, Social, or Mental Challenge (whichever is his strongest category). If successful, the other character gains a Temporary Angst Trait. Willpower cannot be used to negate the effects of this Thorn, nor does this Thorn work when the character is in combat.

Whispers: The Shadow can speak directly to other Shadows, without the Psyche's knowledge.

Level 5 Thorns:

Devil's Dare: At the beginning of the game the shadow can write down a dare and hand it to the Psyche. This costs the shadow five temporary angst traits but the result can be worth it. If the wraith fails to complete the dare by the end of the game the Shadow gains a point of permanent angst. Dares must be reasonable; there is a world of difference between jump in a Nihil and go moon the Anacreon and sit down until his guards skewer you. An unreasonable dare costs the angst but has no compulsory effect. A narrator is the final arbitrager on the final acceptable dare.

Freudian Slip: By spending Temporary Angst point, the Shadow can cause the character to take a sudden involuntary action or blurt out a single sentence of the Shadow’s choosing. However, the Freudian Slip cannot cause the wraith to use any Arcanoi. This Thorn can only be resisted by the expenditure of a Willpower Trait.

Shadow Life: The Shadow lives a parallel life. Whenever the character Slumbers, the Shadow takes over and acts without the player’s knowledge. This can lead to some interesting situations for the Psyche if the Shadow wrongs or attacks people the wraith still gets the benefit of the slumber. However, a wraith currently living in his Shadowlife should be considered to be in an extended Catharsis and all Angst gains and losses should be treated as such.

Manifestation: The Shadow can take on independent corporeal existence, with the same Traits as the Psyche. The Shadow must spend three Traits of Temporary Angst for every ten minutes that it wishes to maintain its manifestation.