Within each Green Sun Prince, lies a demon. This is not a metaphorical statement of some inner wickedness, some darkness within their hearts which will lead them inevitably to sin. No, it’s actually a demon. What remains of the First Circle which bore their Exaltation dwells within them, a voice in their head providing information, assistance, and (sometimes) what it perceives to be amusing comments or a backing track.
But details on the precise nature of these half-beings are somewhat sparse. Any chapter which would shed light on them has been purged from the libraries of Orabilis as a secret known only to the Yozis. Wild and groundless speculation from Sidereal conspiracy theorists talks of complete brainwashing, of green-burning Solars passed as playthings between Unquestionable, and other such silliness, even as they luridly describe imagined details of the transformation.
The truth, as it happens, is both stranger and more complex than any of those ideas. Yes, the demon is a method of control, a conveyance for power intended to leash the Exalted of hell. But it is also a sign of the way that the Green Sun Princes are other, a prosthetic fourth soul, which is the first harbinger of the terrifying possibilities within them. It is a nascent internal soul hierarchy, and from within, it is the onlooker that shall chronicle the ascent of some of the replacements for their makers. To a mature Infernal, they may be councillor, ally, hated chain or lover in dreams.
And to a Supernal Exalt, they may be the firstborn of their pantheon, or their hidden fetich within their own flesh.
Before an Exaltation can be sent into the world, a suitable vessel must be found. After some experimentation, it has been found that simply grabbing the nearest demon off the street does not work, even if the nearest street is a demon in its own right. Most demons who have a supermote implanted into them detonate or fry, the raw Primordial power melting it from within much like how a demon possessed by the Yozis for too long dies. Only demons with a heroic edge, the scale of ambition and drive and sense of self that if they were human would make them candidates for Exaltation can contain it, and even then, they are living on borrowed time. A prospective coadjutor, called an alembic for it has become a transmutative vessel of power, will fuse with an Infernal, or it will die; there is no other way. As a result, the various Yozis use a number of methods for finding suitable First Circles. "Grabbing the nearest one of the street" and finding one which survives is always a valid option, but there are more subtle ways. The lists of citizens alone is a much more useful way of finding a candidate, and might result in only a few hundred failures before one is found, sometimes even fewer.
Demons used for the coadjutor must belong to either the patron of the caste, or to the Yozi whose Urge will be implanted. As a result, when the Sea Who Marched Against the Flame wishes to make a Defiler with one of her Urges, she must either use a Pyrian demon, or one of her own choices. It has been noticed that the failure rate with the caste-aligned demons is notably lower, the resonant essence slowing unfortunate detonations, so it tends that if the new Infernal is needed quickly, a caste-aligned one will be needed, while if the Yozi is willing to wait they will likely try using their own demons - at least until they grow impatient.
The alembic is completely immune to sorcerous and thaumaturgical binding and warding, drawn by the shinmaic machinery of the Exaltation to wherever it needs be. It is not even that it resists binding and warding; no, it is an invalid target for such things. The transcendental power of the Exaltation can pass through the thickest wards against the natives of Malfeas as if they were no more than air, and any fool who thinks to try to bind the alembic will find that their spell fails as if they had botched the roll to keep concentration when distracted during casting. Only the chains of the Yozis can leash it, and only something of a level that could contain an Exaltation can prevent its passage - in Creation as it stands, the sole barrier that can withstand it is the Seal of Eight Divinities. If that falls, Green Sun Princes will Exalt among the population of Autocthonia too, causing mixed concern and opportunity for the Yozis.
Once released, the Exaltation takes the lead. That is but one of the challenges for the alembic, for through strength of will they must stop the burning shard from tearing its way out of them as it pulls this way and that, travelling for five days across Cecelyne. This is the hardest part, where the most failures occur, for boredom or a slip in focus here is so very easy. Once in Creation, there is the distraction of life and the light of the yellow sun – which seems to lull the supermote – but under the black sky of the Endless Desert there is no such relief. Once those five days have passed, the alembic is pulled from site to site in the blink of an eye, towards each momentous event of possible heroism.
Immaterial, unseen, the demon watches, waiting, and sometimes the hero succeeds. Often, they die. That is not what it is looking for, though something in the supermote gives a lurch when it sees a success. No, what it looks for are the failures. Specifically, they are the failures in Virtues, the ones who, as humans do, crumpled rather than rise to the challenge. The ex-slave caught and thrown in jail, beaten and with knowledge that they have worse things in plan for her running through her head, cursing her lack of bravery that had her freeze up in her grand planned robbery. The failed summoner, who gave up when the ritual didn’t work, and stews in the bitterness of ignominy. The baker’s son, staring in horror at the ruins of his village and his mother who he did not defend from the monster released by a meddling scavenger lord. All these are the ones that an alembic may look for.
Moreover, the lens of the Yozis and the dictates of the Urge bleed into the supermote and what it searches for. While a Dawn Exaltation might look for a mighty warrior, a Slayer one may be more likely to search for someone who fights and endures everything that life throws at her much as the Demon City does, even though some of that might be considered more akin to what a Zenith Exaltation might look for. If the Urge bound is a Cecelynian one, there will be an extra bias directing it towards people who want or look for power, or who think in terms of law. While the other altered Solars, the Abyssals and their Black Exaltation have a direct transference of function, there are added complexities in the searching of the green sun princes which were not necessarily even intentional. Some things must be, and one cannot make something resonant with a cosmic principle without certain things coming to pass.
And so the alembic will find a suitable failure and begin tempting them, or it will die, consumed by the fires within, and will head back for five days across Cecleyne, back to Lilun. There is no other way.
The Yozis intended for the coadjutor to be yet another manacle that chained their princes and princesses of the green sun to them. Oh, the coadjutor may provide them with some help, insofar as such a lesser being can do such a thing. Oh, it may watch out for them, teach them how to speak Old Realm, make them suitably scared of the Chosen of the Stars, and other such petty things. But it is fundamentally a method of control.
One of the important roles that the coadjutor does is to moderate the Urge. Left on its own, the neo-Primordial psyche of a Green Sun Prince would create one, yes, but there would be no control over it. The coadjutor, as part of the mind of the Infernal, serves to influence it within the parameters of the overall Urge, as well as avoiding the problems of the akuma by introducing necessary flexibility. When an Infernal completes their Urge, for five days, they are left Urge-less; unlike an akuma, the fact that they possess a Motivation keeps them going. On the fifth day, a new Urge arises, based on their subconscious desires and the presence of the coadjutor, which warps the Urge into Yozi-favourable terms.
The evolution of an Urge is a complicated thing, more an art than a science. The desires of the Infernal are taken into account – how could they not be, for it is within such a mind that it will embed? However, without self-modification – which is, of course, impossible for such a gilded reflection of Yozi glory – the strictures of the Yozis will have prominence. Fed through the moderating influence of the coadjutor, any desires expressed by the Urge Yozi will be reflected in the new Urge. The directness of Resonance is not for the crippled titans to know; no, they must give orders to the Green Sun Princes, and hope that the demon-guide is enough of a pathway. Should an Infernal defect and not receive new orders from her Urge Yozi or its Unquestionable, it is likely that the out-of-date information will result in her own desires being expressed more and more in new Urges assigned. In this, both the Ebon Dragon and Adorjan tend to be ineffectual, although Adorjan would not view the randomness of her fleeting whims as a sign of ineffectuality, while the tendency for Ophidian Urges to be petty is rather more of a problem for the Ebon Dragon whose lack of Conviction means his orders tend to be invalidated quickly. The direct orders of other Yozi are rather more concrete.
Unknown as yet to the Yozis is the fact that the Green Sun Princes can, at cost, reject the strictures of Urge. Should, when the new Urge is assigned, the Infernal Exalt choose instead to spend 3wp, and undergo Torment, the new Urge is rejected outright. After another five days, a new Urge is generated, which must be qualitatively different to the previous one – the Infernal chose to fracture her own psyche rather than accept it, and so “nagging” will not work; her mind will not accept it.
In addition, the coadjutor can invalidate an Urge which becomes impossible, whereupon the same five day reassignment begins. The Green Sun Prince must subconsciously believe it to be impossible to the best of their knowledge, as must the coadjutor; if they are in disagreement, the reassignment cannot occur. This is the only method by which an Urge can be certainly revoked; in a very real sense, though they would prefer otherwise the Yozis are manipulating their juniors, rather than commanding slaves. In addition, once per Calibration, the coadjutor may attempt to change the Urge, which resolves instantly rather than having a waiting period. The Green Sun Prince may take a point of Limit to resist this change, asserting the primacy of self – as a result, the coadjutor is well advised to get their Infernal on-side with changes.
Every single Unwoven Coadjutor is a hero. This may come as some surprise to the average creation-born, for whom demons are monsters in the dark, terrifying things to worship or for the Immaculate Order to slay. But the Yozis found that the first circles they tried to embed the Exaltations in needed the edge of inner strength, of willpower, of the willingness to exceed their intended purpose. This stood as almost an insult to the Endless Desert, for such demons challenge her law by their attempts, wittingly or not, to rise above their station. No other way could be seen to convey the Exaltations to their hosts, though, and in the end it was Malfeas who overrode her. Why should their champions be weakened by inferior raw materials, he stated as the Demon City shook, and through lack of an alternative she agreed, though she continues to search for another way. Some may have expected the Whispering Flame to have her objections too, but she was in full agreement with her king. To the Primordial, another soul as close to one as one’s heart is the natural state of being, and she counselled that it would be best that a First Circle be provided which could be controlled, rather than the Yozi magic that runs through the Green Sun Princes condense into its own fetich. And since the coadjutor would be working as a prosthetic fetich, by her definitive logic inadequacy in it would render the Green Sun Princes similarly limited.
As a result, every last unwoven coadjutor is an exceptional example of its species. The angylaka who calls herself Dulmea was her master’s assassin, with Yozi-envenomed needles worn in her prehensile hair and razorwires attached to her fingers, a killer who few noticed because they did not look for the musician in the background. Marisalon, a neomah coadjutor of a young noblewoman Slayer, built herself a trading empire in the outer layer of Malfeas, her cults in Creation merely a way of obtaining trade goods and human slaves to sell to others in the Demon City. The luminata coadjutor of the Defiler who calls himself Deveh terrorised areas of the Scavenger Lands for almost half a century before being banished, and had escaped from Malfeas within three weeks of its banishment, obtaining a cult of terrified peasants which would rival some gods. A blood ape may have been a gang leader who lounged on his throne in superheavy plate forged from the proceeds of his dominion; a tomescu may have been one of Octavian’s lieutenants, administering a region of the lands of the Quarter Prince and dodging ambitious underlings and the demands of his master.
Indeed, it could be said that every single coadjutor could have earned a Solar Exaltation had they not be been born of the wrong species. And that is both true and necessary, for though the thin layer of protection woven into the Exaltation by the Yozis may prevent the once-Solar supermote from burning the First Circle demon to ash, it is a constant struggle and risk and takes exceptional drive, will, and self possession. A potential coadjutor who bears an Exaltation too long will inevitably die, burned to ashes within by the cosmic power. Even those who find a host in time are often left damaged, which explains some of the less coherent or silent coadjutors – of course, some just aren’t very talkative or sane in the first place.
Mechanically speaking, all suitable demons to be Unwoven Coadjutors must have personalised their motivations beyond the default for their species, and have all the stat benefits of a demon taken as Familiar (Demonic) 5. The Infernal’s player and the Storyteller may wish to flesh them out further; subject to Storyteller approval; to this end, up to five extra dots of abilities and three specialities may be given to customise them further.
Past the Exaltation, for many - some might say most - of the Infernal Exalted, the Unwoven Coadjutor is a constant presence in their lives. There are those who are too damaged or not sapient enough to contribute, but for the others, they are always there for their nascent prince. Some may be laconic, interjecting only once in a while, while others may be positively chatty, but they are always there. The coadjutor is aware of the internal monologue and all the sensory inputs of their Exalt. They are not able to access their memories, but humans think of things and recall the past, and so an experienced coadjutor who is not asleep on the job will probably have a fairly good idea of most of the pre-Exaltation past of their host. They are just as susceptible to forgetfulness as their species normally is, so they are not an infallible recording device of events, but, certainly, another to watch events means that many Green Sun Princes - or at least the ones who trust the demon in their head - use their coadjutor in such a manner, and for many other purposes as well. The Malefactor responsible for operations in the South-West has her agata-coadjutor apply the alien logic of the bejewelled wasps to her plans, to look for weak spots and problems. Kit Firewander, a Nexan Scourge treats the harpist in her head as the closest thing to a mother she can recall - and if the mother is a trained assassin who killed for her master in the Demon City, well, like mother, like daughter. To those who interact with the demon, it can be an ally and aide which only foreshadows how the Primordials have their soul hierarchies.
However, cooperation is not always as smooth. Some Infernals simply do not appreciate having a demon in their heads, and try to lock it out, ignore it. Some demons are uncooperative, champions and warriors reduced to a useless voice in the head of a spoilt failure - for it is an irony that the coadjutor, as a heroic demon possessing impressive will and drive may well be a more successful hero than a newly Exalted Infernal. Some Infernals will have to earn their coadjutor's respect, rather than just grudging obedience. Of course, others will simply have to psychically and socially beat down the blood ape in their mind until it stops trying to persuade them to drink the blood of their foes, but instead move to less human-scaring indulgences. It is possible to lock one's coadjutor down, hammer its psyche until it is only a thin reedy whisper, but that precludes the benefits of the Unwoven Coadjutor background, which presume some degree of cooperation. Bickering with the coadjutor actually fuses it with the Infernal's psyche in a way that a pure master-servant relationship does not, because for the higher levels there must be a sign that the Infernal cares what the demon thinks. The Infernal does not need to like the demon to receive the benefits of it - indeed, it is quite possible to reach even the highest levels in the Background through a mix of annoyance and needing its help, but they cannot simply ignore it. Most Infernals will end up with some level of accommodation; it is in the coadjutor's interests to help, and in the Infernal's interests to receive help - compromises are usually reached.
The body of the coadjutor has gone. It has no way to interact with the outside world, barring Heretical Charms which are as yet unknown to both the Exalted and the Yozis. But it still has one recourse to possess a body - of sorts - and that is within the dreams of the Infernal (and, in the future when such a Charm is invented, it will exist within the Inner World created by Spirit of the Living World). While the Infernal sleeps, their coadjutor may freely manifest within the dreamscape. This is a choice up to the demon itself; a Green Sun Prince who is suffering nightmares is probably not the most pleasant environment to exist in, especially if memories are bleeding through from the Past Lives and so there is a gold-armoured titan in there willing to beat up a helpless Demon of the First Circle. Others, though, are frequent visitors, and there are at least three known cases of relationships between the coadjutor and its host - and one of a successful conception. The coadjutor was the mother. Details beyond that are somewhat sparse, even if the libraries of Orabilis cry out for details.
Notably, the coadjutor has no access to the thoughts or memories involved in the Infernal's interactions with the collection of smeared memories, instincts, and urges woven into the Exaltation and represented by the Past Lives background, save in how the Infernal manifests them in dreams. When the Green Sun Prince references those memories, the coadjutor sees nothing of them until the Infernal internalises them personally; from its point of view the knowledge is coming from nowhere. When the psyche of an Infernal who has seen sixteen summers is overwhelmed by the remnants of a luminary of the First Age such as Merela or Salina, the coadjutor sees no thought at all from the youngster, merely a hollow void in place of a mind, which it cannot even communicate with. An intelligent demon may well be able to draw conclusions from the Old Realm dialects that such a figure uses when communicating with the outside world, but they cannot speak with them, cannot do anything save rage impotently when locked in by the loss of control.
There is another thing that will scare the coadjutor, and that is the fact that the souls and mind that they are now a part of will grow less and less human with the power they imbue. With every bit of Primordial metabiology that they staple onto themselves - called by some 'learning new Charms' - the princes and princesses of the green sun march away from the affairs of beings such as men and first circle demons, and into the lofty, terrible towers of neo-Primordialhood. Those who partake of the gifts of Adorjan are the most immediately alarming for the coadjutor, for in the Demon City there is no silence without death, and an Infernal who has swallowed her own voice forever, and calls upon the killing of the Silent Wind is not too different from Adorjan herself. If it is terrifying for a little demon to encounter such an Infernal, how much more terrifying is it to share a mind with one? The personality altering Charms taken by the Infernal do not affect their coadjutor, and so they are in a perfect place to observe the march away from mankind. To find that your host will no longer take orders because she learned Impervious Primacy Mantle, that he now sees through your ploys thanks to Witness to Darkness, to be hammered by the burning words of Crowned By Fury and have them crush your will under the force of Cecelyne's Charms, will be a sign that the relationship has completely changed, and a loss of the power and status that the coadjutor implicitly can enjoy at first.
Or perhaps they will not care so much. For to exist as part of the souls of an Exalt is power undiluted, and left to the coadjutor is the capacity to think and interact with their new greater self. And as the Primordial War showed - and as the very fact that such a demon could have become heroic in the first place shows - once a being can interact and think for itself, it can change. Coupled to the power of an Exaltation and shackled to a prince of the green sun who knows failure, it is all too possible that the demons of the first circle will be compromised by their hosts. The Yozis may well have miscalculated how strong their bonds will be. The silvery tongues of the Malefactors will erode their loyalties, the majesty of the Slayers will subordinate them, the ophidian cynicism of the Fiends will corrupt them, the clarity of the Defilers will... clarify them, and as for the Scourges? Well, would not you prefer to be on the side of a newborn Adorjan, rather than her foe? It would be best not to rely on the fact that you are inside her head, yes? A coadjutor who plays its cards right could become so, so much more than a Demon of the First Circle, and if the Yozis rage... well, they are trapped in Malfeas, and the green sun princes are not... and so neither is the demon within them.
With thanks to Revlid;
Unwoven Coadjutor X: Your coadjutor was damaged by holding the Demon Spark for too long, and remains silent, gurgling into your dreams only once in a while. Alternatively, your relationship with your inner demon is so bad that you simply cannot stand them, and ignore or silence them entirely. The only active services the coadjutor provides are as detailed in the Urge mechanics, though you automatically gain access to their species for the purposes of demon-creating Charms such as From Desolation, Life or Inner Devils Unchained, and may choose to bear mutations appropriate to them, purchased with bp in character creation as normal.
Unwoven Coadjutor 1: Your coadjutor exists within you, cogent and willing to talk to you of Hell and what it sees. This functions as per the Mentor 1 background; what the demon lacks in ability to affect the outside world, it adds in willingness to communicate – its half-life is dependent on yours, after all, and so it is in its interests that you survive – and always being available. You and your Storyteller should stat up the demon suitably, as per Demonic Familiar 5; and assign an extra 5 Ability points and 3 specialities over that. The coadjutor always counts as a valid trainer for Attributes, Abilities and Virtues it has, up to its own limits. If your demon possessed worshipers, contacts, an army, magical treasures or other external benefits, it may choose to direct its Infernal to these, but they must be purchased as separate backgrounds.
Unwoven Coadjutor 2: Your coadjutor provides a number of "free" speciality dots equal to your Essence, which must be appropriate to the coadjutor's species or personal capabilities. These dots do not count toward the maximum number of specialities a character can have in a single ability – nevertheless, you still cannot benefit from more than three dice from specialities on any given roll. If you learn actual specialities that would invalidate one of these "free" specialities, you may replace the useless specialities with new ones the next time you sleep.
Unwoven Coadjutor 3: You are intermingled enough with your coadjutor that its presence in your soul lulls the creatures of the Demon City, their suspicions dulled by your kindred nature. Your social attacks against natives of Malfeas always count as playing off an Intimacy of theirs, lowering their MDV as normal. However, your coadjutor also provides you with a single intimacy, which counts toward your normal (Willpower + Compassion) limit. This intimacy is always appropriate to the demon realm and the coadjutor; a marotte coadjutor might provide a positive intimacy toward demonic craft, greasy hair, bezoars, Malfean architecture, human babies, Gumela, Jacint or Adorjan, or a negative intimacy toward idleness. This intimacy can be eroded as normal, but you effectively spend a scene renewing it whenever you regain Willpower from sleeping or increase a trait with the help of your coadjutor. Should the coadjutor's nature undergo a significant shift, so can this intimacy, though it must remain appropriate.
Unwoven Coadjutor 4: Your coadjutor is aware enough that it can apply its own alien attentions to your surroundings, providing you with a sixth sense. You benefit from two bonus dice to all Perception or Awareness rolls, including Join Battle, which do not count as dice added by Charms. This does not add four dice when making a (Perception + Awareness) roll.
Unwoven Coadjutor 5: So woven are you and your coadjutor’s minds that playing to the mad impulses of the demon can soothe the madness of the Exalted mind. You acquire a unique Act of Villainy/Precipitous Fiat identical to the default Motivation of your coadjutor's species; spending a scene working toward that Motivation allows you lose a single point of Limit. If this Motivation would be impossible for a human, it is adapted to a more usable version that is similar in spirit; a decanthrope coadjutor, for example, would allow you to lose a single point of Limit at the end of any scene in which you acquired a useful underling, while a firmin coadjutor would reduce Limit at the end of any scene in which you built or improved your current dwelling.
Charms with this keyword require the character to have a number of points in the Unwoven Coadjutor background equal to the number listed in brackets beside it. All such Charms are Heretical in nature, and follow the same rules for costs and training times as normal Heretical Charms. The presence of the Unwoven Keyword allows Heretical Charms to be made with prerequisites from only one Yozi; the requirement of connection to a demon in essence working as a second Yozi prerequisite. Should the character’s rating in the Unwoven Coadjutor background fall below the minimum value, she loses access to it until her rating returns to that minimum value again.
Cost: - ; Mins: Essence 2; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Unwoven (1), Desecration
Prerequisite Charms: By Rage Recast, Loom Snarling Deception
Within each Green Sun Prince lies a demon of the First Circle. Why would something empowered by their own Charms draw upon a pathetic servitor race, the Yozis may ask? In that, they show their lack of comprehension of mankind. This Charm enhances its prerequisites. Firstly, the Infernal may always choose to disguise herself as the demon who became their coadjutor using Loom Snarling Deception, and enjoys the benefits of Eldritch Secrets Mastery when indulging in that disguise, even if she does not know that Charm already. When so disguised, she gains any innate powers the species may have (such as an agata’s ability to fly), but may not use its Charms. Secondly, the Infernal may choose to, either instead of, or as well as gaining mutations when her anima flares at the 11-15 mote level, reflexively and at no cost activate Loom Snarling Deception to disguise herself as her coadjutor. This deactivates if the anima banner falls below that level.
In addition, as a Desecration Effect, upon meditating or communing with their coadjutor for 8 hours, the Infernal may gain a mutation which is thematically appropriate for their coadjutor. The mutation appears as it would have for the demon; for example, armoured skin from a teodozija will make the skin jade and leonine. A similar meditation allows the Infernal to remove a mutation gained this way.
With at Essence 3, this Charm gains an additional power. When assuming that form through a normal use of Loom Snarling Deception, the Infernal may choose to take a point of Limit and seal off her normal Yozi Charms, losing access to all non-General Charms. In return for this, she instead gains access to all the Spirit Charms that the coadjutor knew, although may only use them if her Essence score is sufficient. The Infernal retains full access to her Martial Arts Charms and her sorcery, though one who flaunts this in the Demon City may have unproductive misunderstandings. Shedding the disguise restores access to her Yozi Charms, and instantly ends any Spirit Charms activated.
Cost: -; Mins: Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Unwoven (3)
Prerequisite Charms: Devil Tyrant Avatar Shintai, Fourth Soul Externalisation
The serfs of the First Circle who swell and throng through the streets of Malfeas are no threat at all, the Unquestionable know. Even those rare ones who exceed their limits are as dust before the very souls of the Yozis. But the same was thought of mankind before the Primordial War, and the power of Exaltation can do many things. This Charm permanently enhances By Rage Recast and Devil Tiger Avatar Shintai. Upon learning this Charm, the Infernal selects a new package of mutations for By Rage Recast, themed around her coadjutor as both a species and a concept. One with a teodozija coadjutor may select feline mutations, as well as one linked to freedom or opposition to holiness, to become some horrific jade-skinned sphinx with a human face and burning eyes. This pool is maintained separately, and the Infernal may not mix and match selections between the two sets when using either Charm.
In addition, any example of the same species who sees the Infernal when either of the modified By Rage Recast or Devil Tyrant Avatar Shintai Charms are active must spend 4wp, or gain an Intimacy of “Idolised Awe” towards the Infernal as an Emotion effect. Spending the willpower renders them immune to the effect for five days. Demons with an intimacy given by this Charm consider any order to attack, harm, or work against the Infernal to be an Unacceptable Order.
Cost: 1m, 1wp; Mins: Essence 4; Type: Simple
Keywords: Unwoven (2), Total Control, Desecration, Touch
Prerequisite Charms: Hollow Mind Possession
The secrets of the Whispering Flame can take the hollow within herself, filling them with her greater purpose. That the Green Sun Princes might give instead the purpose of a mere first circle demon authority over such things is nothing less than blasphemy against her sacred order. That will not stop the Infernal Exalted. This Charm enhances Hollow Mind Possession. When the Heretic would normally use the sorcerous backdoor granted by Hollow Mind Possession to take control of a suitable vessel, she may instead use this Charm. This, as a Total Control effect, downloads a duplicate of the Infernal's Coadjutor into the target, rendering them a Creature of Darkness and Native of Malfeas as a Desecration effect. The Desecration effect warps the target physically; a dream-eaten human will look like a demon-blood, while a manse or a warstrider may take a more esoteric cast hinting at the presence of the demon within it. The copy of the coadjutor takes the place of their mind, using the Physical Attributes and Appearance of the body (if applicable), but retaining all their other characteristics, including their Essence and all Charms they knew in life, and may use whatever Charms are appropriate for their Vessel. After a week of being possessed, a dream-eaten target gains (Infernal's Essence + their Stamina) points of positive mutations, which must be spent on mutations thematically appropriate to the coadjutor's species.
As an unrolled Miscellaneous action, the Infernal may touch the vessel and withdraw the mind, fusing the branch back into the main coadjutor. Alternatively, she may reflexively withdraw her committed mote from any distance, but any memories are lost, rather than reintegrated into the coadjutor. The demon-possessed target is autonomous and free willed, but obeys the Infernal as a bound demon would. The Infernal may not use this Charm on more than (Unwoven Coadjutor) targets at once. Dream-eaten who have this used will recover as with Hollow Mind Possession, but their new personalities will match the demon, not the Infernal.
Cost: -; Mins: Essence 4; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Unwoven (1)
Prerequisite Charms: Cracked Cell Circumvention, one of Kimbery Mythos Exultant or Cecelyne Mythos Exultant
The Shadow of All Things is a corruptive, antinomian influence, who cannot abide his own constraint. That such a being gave his Charms to the Green Sun Princes and simultaneously tried to leash them with chains of Urge was, in retrospect, from certain points of view a heinous mistake. With the dominant mythoses of the Endless Desert or the Demon Sea to provide the Primordial leverage into their bonds and knowledge of the weaknesses of others, was there any surprise that the Infernal Exalted might find a way to twist their Urges towards their own ends? Through the bonds of familiarity that form between the coadjutor and their host, the Infernals will learn to coax their Urges towards their own ends. This Charm permanently enhances the Infernal's native capacities. Whenever a new Urge is assigned for whatever reason, she may spend 1wp, and roll her rating in the Unwoven Coadjutor background against Difficulty 2. Only stunts which attempt to appeal to the coadjutor's proclivities or Intimacies or nature, or events in the past when she obliged the coadjutor may be used to enhance this roll. Success allows the new Urge to be twisted slightly, within the general spirit of the orders. For example, a Cecelynian Urge to "Convert Paragon to the worship of the Yozis" may be twisted to "Gain control over the Perfect of Paragon". With a threshold of three successes, she may interpret her orders... "loosely". An Malfean Urge to "Destroy Nexus, salting the earth with the tears of weeping women" may be twisted into being an Urge to "Destroy Lookshy, salting the earth with the tears of weeping women"; although the cities are in the same general area and she is destroying the place as ordered, Nexus is decidedly not Lookshy. With a threshold of five successes, the Infernal may freely set her own Urge within the general constraints of the Urge Type. One with the Urge of the Sea That Marched Against The Flame may give herself whatever valid Kimberyian Urge she feels like, for example.
Upon learning this Charm, the Infernal may immediately roll to try to twist her current Urge, should she choose to. If the Infernal learns any other Charms which would permanently modify her Urge or the method by which it is chosen, she may choose to convert this Charm back into XP.
Cost: 1m, 1wp; Mins: Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Unwoven (3)
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Factual Determination Analysis, Cracked Cell Circumvention
Before one can understand a situation, one must know the truth of it. All things can be escaped from, given time. These are two of the most basic principles of the Whispering Flame and the Shadow of All Things. This Charm might be devised as a way to bypass those who look for truth in words, or as a way to permit their fourth soul to speak to the outer world. When this Charm is active, the coadjutor controls the Infernal's voice (or voices, or telepathy, or any other means granted of communicating with the world). The Infernal may only communicate with the demon internally; she has no control over what the demon says save what she can badger it into speaking from her locked-away position. By default, she retains control over the capacity to write, but that may also be granted to the demon. As this is the product of a metaphysical fusion and of the fourth soul overriding the hun, the demon uses the Infernal's Attributes and Abilities for all social attacks made. The Infernal may choose to activate Charms and spend Willpower and Virtue channels to aid them, the force of the greater self buoying the lesser part.
When used as a way of foiling lie-detecting Charms, all statements made by the Infernal are judged as if the unwoven coadjutor had spoken them. For example, if the Infernal has recently murdered the satrap of Cherak, "Did you kill the satrap?" is truthfully answered with "No"; the coadjutor did not. However, the question "Do you know who murdered the satrap?" is rather harder to answer, because the demon does know; it was the Infernal. Hell forbid that any Infernal set up a complicated double-blind routine to fool even their own coadjutor as to the truth of an action. Any character with a Parry MDV (using Linguistics as the Ability in the calculation) higher than the Infernal's (Essence + Unwoven Coadjutor) will notice the slightly odd phrasing, and (if they can speak Old Realm) hint of a Malfean dialect Old Realm accent in their voice when the demon speaks.
If the Infernal knows Voice Like Crystal Facets, they may choose to give the demon control of only one of their voices, rather than all of them.
Cost: -; Mins: Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Unwoven (1)
Prerequisite Charms: Sun-Heart Furnace Soul, one of Holy Land Infliction or Chirality Prohibition Index or Monstrous Manse-Mother Fountainhead or Sun-Salted Fields (other large scale terrain-altering Infernal Charms are also appropriate)
The Sun-Heart Furnace Soul stirs a new soul to life inside the Infernal. But the princes of the green sun already have a fourth soul, and so, with this new realisation of one's own metabiology and knowledge of terrain and how it can be manipulated, a sanctum akin to those possessed by gods may be forged within the Infernal for the coadjutor. This Charm creates a sanctum within the Infernal. This unreal place, called a Devil Domain, has a rating which is equal to and tracks the current rating in the Unwoven Coadjutor background - which gives the demon a reason to cooperate, as a disagreement can radically decrease the living space available to the coadjutor. The coadjutor is permanently materialised within the sanctum, recovering its body, and has full access to its own Charms and Essence while in it - it still fulfils all the normal tasks of a coadjutor. Unlike normal sanctums, there is no entrance to it; the Infernal controls passage exclusively. No entity or object may exit or enter it, save by methods described in this or later expansion Charms; this is resolved as if it was a defence again any effect which would contest this.
The Devil Domain lacks the grandeur and splendour of the later Spirit of the Living World; it is a strange un-place, a product of the coadjutor and the arcane spiritual machinery of the Yozi Charms known by the Heretic. Its geography and territory is produced by a fusion between the nature of the demon, and Charms known by the Infernal. For example, a neomah coadjutor may live in a great tower shaped like a nautilus, as might be expected from its kind, but Holy Land Infliction will introduce silver sands to the walls and floors, Mother Sea Mastery will make the walls drowned and wet, or Witness to Darkness may make thick dark clouds which obscure the tiny sun of Sun-Heart Furnace Soul. Even this Charm exists within the Devil Domain; a tiny model of the sanctum which exists at its heart... and to touch it will see a giant finger come down from above, for space is folded up in this oroborus-world. The world exists as long as the Infernal possesses the necessary rating in the Unwoven Coadjutor background, and expands and contracts when the background rating changes, destroying and/or making new terrain as it does so. As a result of this bribery and incentive, the Infernal may choose to render all of her social attacks against her coadjutor undodgeable unnatural mental influence; it is now fully aware of how its comfort depends on its good relationship with its greater self, and though it may argue against her, it cannot ignore her.
The rating in the Unwoven Coadjutor defines the maximum size of the Devil Domain; there is no way to expand it beyond the size limits of that background. The Infernal may visit the Devil Domain by meditating as per Spirit of the Living World. In addition, the coadjutor may invite the Infernal in whenever she sleeps; she is free to reject this invitation, and dream normally. The Infernal's Charms are represented as features of the world, and the coadjutor may reconfigure the world within those parameters and themes as if it knew Creative Convergence of Principles, spending its own motes and willpower to do so, save any sentient beings it would produce are hollow shells as produced by Will-Crushing Force. The Devil Domain counts as Bordermarches for the purposes of any Wyld Shaping Charms used within, and may not be used to create demesnes or magical things by such methods. Changes which violate the established thematics of the Devil Domain revert over the course of one tick. Many coadjutors will change the appearance of larger Devil Domains radically; some may delight in surprising their Infernal each time they visit.
As a Miscellaneous Obvious action which may not be flurried, the Infernal may send any smaller-than-man-sized object that she owns and is touching into the Devil Domain, whether by forcing it into her own chest, tearing a hole in reality to lay it to rest, tossing the object into the air whereupon a demonic hand snatches it and it vanishes, or any other way. Objects may be recovered by taking another unflurryable Miscellaneous Obvious action, and require that the coadjutor, in the sanctum, be touching the object too. At least one Slayer with a heranhal coadjutor has put his demon to work making objects using raw materials he sends it, for which it thanks him for the appreciation of its craft and the joys of having flesh once more. Any artifacts within the Devil Domain are sent spinning into Elsewhere with the death of the Exalt, whereupon they wash up on the shores of Creation five days later. Anything else within the Devil Domain is destroyed if the Infernal dies.
Should the Infernal later learn Spirit of the Living World, she may chose to keep this place separate from her Inner World, or alternative expand it from this sanctum, which forms the omphalous of the new reality. The XP cost of this Charm is refunded if the Infernal merges the Devil Domain into the Living World.
Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Essence 4; Type: Simple (Speed 7, -3DV)
Keywords: Unwoven (1), Combo-OK, Obvious
Prerequisite Charms: Fourth-Soul Devil Domain
To enter a spirit's sanctum is a special thing, and yet comes naturally to its owner. How much more special is it to enter the very soul of an Exalt; so wondrous is it, in fact, that only its greater self may enter this special place. As she raises one hand, the Infernal's anima flares totemic, in blinding brightness. Then it collapses in on itself, folding down in a way which gives the horrifying feeling that the Infernal is retreating at an incredible velocity. When the light clears, the green sun prince has gone from this world (only actually vanishing at the end of the speed 7 action). She now exists physically within her Devil Domain. Nothing else, living or animate-dead, may follow her through, apart from attuned living artifacts - this is also a convenient way of getting rid of parasites.
Within the Devil Domain, the Exalt is physical and material, existing within herself. In this state, use of her own Charms warps the landscape of the Devil Domain, the aspects representing her Charms swelling in importance, pulsing with cosmic power. As a result, the coadjutor may well request that the Infernal not destroy or warp too much of the landscape through her use of Charms, as it does live in this place. There is no way to see in or out of the Devil Domain, so characters can only guess whether or not it is safe to leave.
To leave, the Infernal activates this Charm again. She appears in the same place she departed. However, this time she appears instantly in the real world, in an explosion of anima-light, and must wait seven ticks before acting again.
Cost: - ; Mins: Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Training, Unwoven (2)
Prerequisite Charms: Fourth-Soul Devil Domain, Wayward Divinity Oversight, Penitents Like Scattered Grains
In Yu-Shan, the gods lounge in unearned splendour, usurper-dogs sprawled about the manor-house built by their masters. It was not they who built the Heaven in which they live, nor they who constructed the mechanisms that direct the Quintessence and Ambrosia upon which they sup. The Heretics of Malfeas have likewise tugged free of Primordial chains, and likewise seek the sweet taste of faith, hoarded by the gods. Taking the immaterial flows of prayer in a titanic fist, the Green Sun Prince gives a mighty yank, tearing them loose from the conduits of Heaven until they flow toward her alone. This triggers an Essence 5 Blasphemy effect, physically centred in the offices of Heaven that handle the accounting of prayers, as all records of any Cult currently or previously directed towards the Infernal ignite, burning in cold flame the colour of her anima until only ash is left, which is carried away on an impossible gale. From this point on, the prayer to the Infernal is exclusively her concern.
Within the Devil Domain, this Charm manifests as a receptacle akin to the fountains in Yu Shan where prayer manifests. From this point on, all the Quintessence and Ambrosia she would have gained, had she been a god, comes into being in this vessel when her mote pool is full, rather than finding its way to Yu Shan. Both the Infernal and her coadjutor immediately learn the Spirit Charm "Creation of Perfection" at no additional xp cost, though it is limited to manipulating the Quintessence and Ambrosia provided by this Charm. The coadjutor also gains the First Craft Excellency, and may replace her rating in Lore, Occult, or any Craft ability with (Essence) for the purposes of working Quintessence and Ambrosia within the Devil Domain. While Ambrosia can normally be made into any mundane substance (or jade), Ambrosia generated within the Infernal's Devil Domain can also be made into any magical substance that resonates with a First (Primordial) Excellency known to her.
The Infernal may learn to draw upon the varieties and rarities of mortal prayer to enrich herself. This Charm permits the Infernal, as a Training effect, to instantly pay 3XP per dot and gain the Salary background up to a limit of her rating in Cult, just as gods in Heaven benefit from the riches of Cult. This income is not dependent on Heaven, but instead comes from within. Withdrawals of wealth must be performed using the capacity of Fourth-Soul Devil Domain to remove things from the soul-world, and raw Ambrosia and Quintessence may not be extracted in Creation without it sublimating into nothingness - though it may still be a most useful option for bribery in a Terrestrial God's sanctum.
An alternate version of this Charm exists, with the same prerequisites, but Fourth-Soul Devil Domain replaced with Spirit of the Living World. This Charm in addition also diverts any flow of prayer to the devas of the Infernal towards the Living World rather than Heaven. The deva chooses the form in which they receive their Quintessence and Ambrosia. The Blasphemy Effect generated by that Charm is Essence 10, and fills the archives of the prayer registries of Yu Shan with mocking laugher for a year and a day as a Sorcerous effect.
Cost: — ; Mins: Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Unwoven (3)
Prerequisite Charms: Sun-Heart Furnace Soul
The coadjutor interacts with the magic of the Yozis in ways yet unknown to them, considered a necessary evil by the Lords of Hell. Fusing her mental advisor with the embryonic heart-soul created in mimicry of Ligier, the Infernal invigorates herself through indulgent whispers. This Charm permanently enhances the ten-mote Peripheral Essence pool granted by its prerequisite; the Infernal may add one mote to that pool for each hour she spends acting in a manner that affirms the intimacy granted by her Unwoven Coadjutor; a Green Sun Prince with a teakettle courtier as a coadjutor might be able to gain these motes by dealing in secrets, silencing laughter, or aiding Gumela, for example. The Infernal must actually possess this intimacy for the Charm to function.
With Unwoven (5), this Charm can also fill the ten-mote Peripheral Essence pool granted by Flames Lit Within, though doing so instead requires that the warlock work toward the Motivation (or rough analogue) of the coadjutor, as described in Unwoven Coadjutor 5, fooling the strictures of the Whispering Flame with a pseudo-Urge.
Cost: — ; Mins: Essence 5; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Unwoven (3)
Prerequisite Charms: Ultimate Darkness Internalization, Sorcerous Enlightenment of (Yozi) x3
The warlock's demon-vizier is glutted on the power of her Emerald Spark, like a leech grown fat and celestial atop an endless vein of divine blood. Always loathe to let its charge sink out of the world, the coadjutor now has the power to back up its urgings, and sinks its sorcerous hooks deep into her soul, keeping it from the abyss as best it can. This Charm grants the warlock additional Dying Health Levels equal to her Unwoven Coadjutor rating.
Further, if the warlock dies, this strange union continues on its desperate spiral of continued existence. She leaves no hungry ghost. Instead, her soul emerges into the Labyrinth five days after her death, still fully conjoined by the sinewy energies of the coadjutor. This provokes a roll-off against any effect that would permanently destroy the warlock's soul upon death, with the warlock rolling (Unwoven Coadjutor) against his killer's (Essence).
This strange entity is the Infernal's ghost. As normal, it retains the Infernal's Attribute, Ability, and Virtue ratings at the time of his death, as well as his Specialties and memories. It bears Passions, which are determined as normal, though its Primary Passion is always the Infernal's former Urge. There are exceptions to the normal rules for ghosts that the Infernal's spirit benefits from, as described below:
• The ghost retains the Infernal's full Essence rating, rather than losing a dot upon her death.
• The ghost retains the Infernal's Unwoven Coadjutor rating. Note that a level-3 Unwoven Coadjutor creates a Passion, rather than an intimacy, as described in the Passion rules. Whenever the ghost would lose Limit thanks to the Unwoven Coadjutor, it instead regains a single channel for each of its Passions. Further, the ghost begins play with a Whispers rating equal to its Unwoven Coadjutor rating.
• While the ghost retains any Martial Arts Charm the Infernal knew as normal, it also retains any Infernal Monster Expansion Charms she knew. The ghost still cannot use non-Terrestrial Martial Arts Charms it knows without learning the Arcanos Charm Echoes of Enlightened Violence.
• The ghost bears (and is, by default, attuned to) soulsteel or jade copies of any artifacts the Infernal was attuned to at the time of her death, though it does not also receive grave goods stemming from such artifacts. At the Storyteller's discretion, tools created by Yozi Charms may be converted into actual artifacts for this purpose, with a rating equal to the minimum Essence rating of the Charm that created them and an attunement cost equal to that Charm's cost.
• The ghost starts with ([Essence x 2] + highest two Virtues + Unwoven Coadjutor) Arcanos Charms that it meets the requirements of, and may learn further ones as normal. It also has access to all the Spirit Charms known to the Infernal's coadjutor (though it can only use them if it meets the given requirements), and bears (Essence + Willpower) points of permanent physical mutations themed around the coadjutor. It can learn further Spirit Charms at a cost of 20xp each, with the same training times as Arcanoi.
• The ghost can benefit from the Hungry keyword as though it were a yidak, but remains unrestricted by the Hungry-No keyword.
• The ghost retains access to any General Primordial Charms the Infernal knew at the time of his death. All of these Charms function normally, except for the Sorcerous Enlightenment of (Yozi), which the ghost can use to learn and cast Emerald Circle Sorcery and Iron or Onyx Circle Necromancy, with the usual warping and mechanical effects.
• The ghost also retains access to any Primordial Charms that granted it additional (non-Overdrive) mote pools, ignoring any necessary prerequisites. These mote pools can be filled and used as normal, and remain Peripheral.
• The ghost retains its anima banner and anima power, though the former is warped to a more deathly manifestation appropriate to the Underworld. It may treat any Personal motes it spends as Peripheral for the purposes of flaring its anima.
• The ghost cannot be summoned or bound as though they were a ghost. They can be summoned through the Summon Hekatonkhire spell from resist being bound through this spell.
• If the ghost has Essence 7+, the Storyteller and player should work together to generate approximately (Essence - 6) unique panoply Spirit Charms for their usage, based off their Passions, coadjutor, known Yozi Excellencies, and general nature.