L is for Long Doors

Approximate time to read: 5 minutes.   

The rules aren’t the same wherever you go; the world just doesn’t work that way and will throw you a curve ball when you least expect it. Anyone who has travelled the depths of Dark Davokar can certainly attest to that. One moment a Seeker can be passing across moss-carpeted woodland in dappled sunlight, the next trudging between scabbed spires of Iron Trees knee-deep in powdery snow. It’s dangerous to go alone and unprepared, but at the same time it’s difficult to be prepared for anything and everything.

The Ordo Septimus wasn’t really prepared for Ambra or the great storm. The masters of the Seven-League Stride, with their Magic Circles and careful formulations of angle and distance, couldn’t have suspected anything at first when they first arrived and negotiated (relatively) peaceful transit through north-west Davokar to the coast. Ambra was a gift, a settlement fully-formed. Only later did it become clear what a nightmare they had stumbled into and just how damaged a territory they now occupied, isolated from civilisation and rescue.

Faced by such a difficult environment and limited resources, Master Tures made decisions that the Ordo Magica would never have tolerated. Amongst them, Tures has schooled individuals outside the Ordo in the Tradition, given them crash courses in the essentials without all the lore and book-learning. He has taken scouts, Seekers and others willing to put their lives at risk for the settlement and turned them into the Long Doors – a name borrowed from the great meeting hall of the Ordo Septimus back in Yndaros.

Long Door

Amongst the fraternity of treasure-seekers who ply their trade somewhere in the gray area between discovery and theft, those who take the edge use the tools available at whatever the cost. The Long Doors set themselves in the middle ground between pathfinders and conjurers, combining the lore of the wild with the sleight-of-hand of the wilder. The masters of Ordo Septimus back home wouldn’t approve; out in the unknown, confined to distant settlements and outposts, urgency and survival take over from the bureaucratic priorities of civilisation.

Important Attributes: Resolute 13+, Accurate 11+
Suggested Race: Ambrian
Appropriate Abilities: Cheap ShotMarksman, Mystical Power (usually Confusion or Displacement), OpportunistWizardry
Suggested Boons: Absolute Memory, CartographerCheat, Contacts (Seekers)Pathfinder, Perfect Alignment, Shadow Spawn
Suggested Burdens: Addiction, Nightmares, Mystical Mark

New Mystical Power

While this isn’t an Ability assigned to one specific Profession, in practice the character learning it does need to be a member of the Ordo Septimus or have had time to train with them.

Tradition: Wizardry
Material: A square of mirror-polished steel
During the time that the Ordo Septimus has explored, they have mastered the subtle arts of small exchanges of place – nothing like those achieved through Magic Circles or artefacts; these subtle movements serve as a means to confound and confused as much as anything. However, even acts so small punch small holes in the fabric of the world and none are entirely without risk; any roll of 20 when activating this Power pokes dangerous holes in the Walls of Reality (see below).

Novice Active. With a passed [AccurateQuick] test, the character can target an object in someone else’s grasp and displace it – either into their own hands or send it 10 paces away in a random direction. The Accurate test resolves the mystics co-ordination versus the targets reactions; swap outs from Backstab, Dominate, Feint, Iron Fist, Knife Play and Tactician will not work here, though Sixth Sense will.

Adept Active. With a passed [ResoluteResolute] test against a target within a range of two movement actions, the mystic and the target switch locations. Both targets briefly witness the luminous and shadowy chaos that lies outside our perception sandwiched between the planes of reality. The monstrous and alien visions force the mystic to make a [Grueling Resolute] check, else suffer 1D4 points of temporary Despair. The displacement does not draw a Free Attack, even if either mystic or target effectively withdrew from melee.

Master Active. With a [Accurate] test, the character displaces an small object inside a target. The target suffers 1D6 penetrating damage immediately and then each turn thereafter if they take any action that involves any gross body movement – encompassing most Active, Movement and Reactive actions (the Game Masters makes the call on what does or doesn’t represent a gross movement). While still or engaged in passive action, the target can avoid further damage. The effect remains active until the object can be removed – either by a Medicus of Adept level or higher or by inflicting 2D6 damage with improvised surgery.

New Boon

PERFECT ALIGNMENT (Boon) – The character has a refined awareness of direction and position, such that no matter what they can raise a finger and point toward somewhere or something they know well or have seen and be right more often than not. He or she gets a +1 bonus on tests regarding setting, space and approach, providing a level of familiarity exists with the point of reference. For example, if the character has been to an inn and then passed through a maze of alleyways, they could instinctively point back in the direction of the inn – but, they can’t point somewhere they’ve never been or only heard of.

Perfect Alignment can be acquired multiple times, up to a maximum bonus of +3 on relevant tests.

Walls of Reality

Indescribable shapes both alive and otherwise were mixed in disgusting disarray, and close to every known thing were whole worlds of alien, unknown entities. It likewise seemed that all the known things entered into the composition of other unknown things, and vice versa.

The world has soft spots, points in the fabric of existence that has been poked, tugged and sodden by magic. In the end, the weave loosens and things pass all too easily from one side to the other, if only for just a moment. In a world littered with signs of corruption, it can be hard to tell the difference between the Abominations born of Blight and those that have simply slipped through the cracks from the Yonder.

Just as certain places have become drenched with Corruption of such intensity that simply being their darkens the soul, so to exists locations where the robust walls of reality have worn paper thin. Sites around Ambra, Davokar, Lyastra, and Landfall – to name but a few examples – present locations where pushing through in either direction has become easier and a mistake can tear a hole.

The Game Master can use the table below when any character fails to complete an act of mystical transportation or teleportation with a natural roll of 20. In that case, they roll a 1D6 and suffer the noted condition.

  1. The mystic experiences intense discomfort and numbness in part of their body. If the fumbled mystical power involved a body part (e.g. use of Novice Displacement would target the character’s dominant hand), that part goes numb. Otherwise, roll for a random location on Table 9: Hit Locations (pg 108, Advanced Player’s Guide) and apply the listed effect.
  2. The mystic feels a strange chill, like a cold steel edge raking across their soul; roll 1D8 to determine a random Characteristic – reduce it by 2 points. This kind of damage affects all rolls made using that Attribute. Attribute damage heals normally, per the rules in the Core Book.
  3. The mystic’s senses become utterly overloaded for a brief moment, swamped by strange alien sensations. Until the end of next Scene, the character suffers Disfavor on all tests on Accuracy, Vigilant and attributes tested in combat.
  4. The mystic experiences a momentary vision of the world beyond, an overlapping chaos of inhuman sights and alien sensation. Make a [Grueling Resolute] check, else suffer 1D4 points of temporary Despair.
  5. The mystic experiences a lingering vision of the world beyond, a direct encounter with something grasping and utterly inhuman. The mystic suffers 1D6 penetrating damage and a temporary Mystical Mark (as per the Burden – pg 57, APG) that remains for the rest of the current adventure.
  6. Whatever effect the mystic attempted targets an ally rather than an enemy. All effects of the power apply as normal. If the effect was targeted on an ally to some beneficial end, they suffer 1D6 damage instead as an object appears out of thin air and smashes into them.

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