You can use this generator to construct a story chain of formative experiences illustrating the powers and background of an Occultist.
It is divided into 13 stages of transformation. The stages will define the process by which your character met an Occult entity, what powers it provided, and how your character has developed as an Occultist since then.
The Stages of Transformation:
Origins: What you did before encountering the entity.
The Chance Encounter: How you came to meet the entity.
First Contact: The context for the first time you saw the entity.
The Entity: What the entity appears to be.
Your Will: What you did upon seeing the entity. This is a choice.
Reward and Punishment: How the entity punished, coerced and rewarded you.
Tempering: How you were fully plunged in the world of the Occult.
Departure: How you came to be truly unmoored from your previous life.
Catharsis: How your survival rewarded you with further Occult power.
Might: How the magnitude of your developing Occult powers was proven.
Melancholia: How your memories of normality affected you as a full Occultist.
Attraction: The nature of your abode and your followers, if you have them.
Direction: Your plot for the world. This is optional as you may already have your own.
Here are two pregenerated Occultists so you can see the kind of thing that this generator will return.
I recommend you copy-paste your results into a file and then read them in sequence once you finish the generator. You do not need to annotate the number of any associated roll.
If a phrase has asterisks around it, searching it with the asterisks will always take you to the next occurrence, which will be the right place to go.
Go to Origins below.
Roll a d10.
1-2 You will roll on Gray Tables. Gray is your color.
3-4 You will roll on Gold Tables. Gold is your color.
5-6 You will roll on Purple Tables. Purple is your color.
7-8 You will roll on Green Tables. Green is your color.
9-10 You will roll on Pink Tables. Pink is your color.
What was your profession before your life changed?
Go to the Backgrounds table of your color.
Roll a d6.
3 Con Artist
Go to The Chance Encounter stage below.
Roll a d6.
6 Ship’s Captain
Go to The Chance Encounter stage below.
Roll a d6.
3 Industrial Laborer
4 Naval Boarder
5 Railway Bull
6 Thief Taker
Go to The Chance Encounter stage below.
Roll a d6.
2 Big Game Hunter
6 Royal Forester
Go to The Chance Encounter stage below.
Roll a d6.
1 Insurance Actuary
5 Port Inspector
Go to The Chance Encounter stage below.
The Chance Encounter
Did an entity lure you? Did it spirit you away by force? Or did you seek it out?
Choose from among the next three options, or roll a d6.
1-2: You were lured. Go to the *Lured* section below.
3-4: You were spirited away. Go to the *Spirited Away* section below.
5-6: You sought it out. Go to the *Seeker* section below.
Roll in the Lured section of your color and then go to the First Contact stage below.
1: You receive a mysterious letter that seems to have been sealed with molten lead, but the envelope is not damaged. You test it in the fire and it does not burn. Your wife tells you that she’d tried to open it but she couldn’t.
You are able to open it in an instant and you give your wife a look.
“A rendezvous with destiny,” reads the note within. There is an address in golden ink below that. A check falls out of the envelopes. It is worth a year of your current salary from the Joint Winecoast Shareholders’ Railroad Corporation. You go and get your coat.
2: You’re walking down Gentrysprog when you happen to glance into an alleyway and see a sign reading “Bicycle Shop'' over a staircase to the basement. “I didn’t know that was there,” you say to yourself, “I love bikes!” You stride down the alley and go down the stairs. You find that there’s an elevator and go inside.
3: You’re out on the night and you see a beautiful woman crying in a doorway. She looks at you plaintively and gestures for you to approach. You walk towards her and she goes inside, leaving the door open.
4: You are watching your wife bend over to check the roast one Tuesday afternoon when aman in a suit and cap knocks on your door. You greet him in your shirtsleeves while your children race around behind you. The man removes his hat, introduces himself as a freelance corporate recruiter, and begins listing off your skills, experiences and accomplishments in detail. He asks when you could meet with a prospective employer. You tell him you could go right now. He tells you to be at the top of the Montsang building in one hour. You ask what you owe him. He tips his hat. “Only that you make the most of your opportunities.”
1-2: You dream of a world-spanning empire in a time before time when all was stone and fire. The legions of mankind fed on a substance from beyond and all men turned to a common purpose. You see the world choking on fungal ivy, an ecumenopolis dragged down into the very bedrock of the earth. You see the flags, the pedestals, the icons of that fallen empire laying dormant but undead at the bottom of the lower firmament. You awaken with your heart pounding. You gaze into the darkness and swear to resurrect that which has been lost to mankind, lost to this age when man fears the wild. You dress yourself and set out for a strange stone formation you’ve heard of up in the hills.
3-4: You kneel in an animalhide yurt between barbarous tribesmen. They are draped up to this very moment with their handguns and dirks. The chieftain gazes at you with his noose-braided beard and antler-horned eyebrows. He picks up a handful of grated worldroot and hurls it into the fire which practically explodes in a sea-colored steam, filling your lungs and lifting you like helium. You all stagger to your feet and push your way out of the yurt with difficulty. The ritual tree has been stripped of leaves and hung with many corpses. The tribe’s great shaman was last to be hung. He hung himself by his own hand and his tattoos glow teal and magenta, humming with xenocosmic power. He rotates slowly in space. His corpse has pitched a tent beneath his animalhide loincloth and you stagger forward to consume the last sacrament and bring your whole physiology into the spirit realm.
5-6: You look up and witness enormous stones hurtling from the sky. You fall to your knees in terror. They strike the earth in vast explosions and a great haze of green miasma. People stand around you frozen in terror as jade spores glint their way through the air. They blanket the street and little reeds and feelers begin to rise from a thin carpet of lichen that forms across all things. People cough, retch, kneel and become colonies of moss which pushes its way through their eyes and orifices. You scream, and spores pour from your mouth. Then all this madness disappears and you are screaming in the street. People are staring at you from their windows and motorcars. You stand up sheepishly and take a step back, glancing around. A moustachioed policeman in a blue peacoat is approaching you, and as you open your mouth to apologize. He shushes you and hands you his truncheon, then strolls away. You see that the club has a strange seam along it, and you pull it into two pieces. There is a shard of strange metal inside and a note that says, “Only divine steel will ward off the fate you have witnessed.” Over subsequent days you find that the steel glows and warms when you move in one particular direction; eventually, you decide to head that direction out of the city to see where it leads.
1-2: You walk into your house and look around in disgust. It makes your skin crawl; you feel like an intruder in a hostile and unclean place. You shovel down your dinner and go to bed feeling mightily out of sorts. That night you dream of a true home, far away, where you are welcomed, comfortable, celebrated, and are allowed to forget your petty routines and obligations. When you awaken. “14 miles northeast of Thanofane” is indelibly marked in your consciousness. You buy a ticket that afternoon.
3-4: You pick out a book in the library. Each page is blank except for a brief passage scrawled in the center of the book, a quotation of some other work for the writer’s reference. “The first exposure to common influenza killed the entire monastery according to the porters, and subsequent tribal conflicts prevented the expedition from ever returning to the Wall of the Sacral Well. A journal recovered from the condottiere Mariande Guspandil’s descendants contains a sketch map of how to reach this place through the Ridgeglade of Daggerhives, a highland region of extreme volcanic forest far from any known city-state. He describes the treasures of the monastery, in particular the revelatory powers of the sacred spring which was said to originate at the center of the earth.” There is a sketch beneath the passage. You close the book and slip it into your coat.
5-6: You go into your storage room and move some boxes to fit an old rocking chair. There’s a little door behind them that’s painted the same color as the wall. You rub your eyes. You’ve never noticed that before. There’s a little handle that’s been painted over. You open it up and see another little storage room, dark and covered in dust. Well, that will be useful. You crawl in and walk around. There’s a narrow spiral staircase descending in the center of the room. Well, this place just got more valuable. You descend the steps.
1-2: The wind is blowing and you catch a hint of the sweetest and most sophisticated fragrance you have ever known. You walk with it as it fades, following the breeze wherever it will carry you.
3-4: You cross a little hill and see a vast tree rising luminous green above the treeline in the distance. You cannot tell if it is catching the light or if it’s the source of it. You spot huge, beautiful fruit among they boughs. They are like great stained-glass roses and you decide to go and collect them.
5-6: You are wandering in the woods when you catch a glimpse of a majestic snow-white animal with many hundreds of antlerpoints. It does not strike you as dangerous, it seems wise and calm. It moves out of sight and you creep forward, looking for it.
7-8: You are relaxing by the river when you happen to glance further down the water and see a beautiful naked woman sitting on a rock, straining out her hair. You roll over to your knees and look through the reeds. Your heart hammers with wild lust at her soft, shapely body. Then you notice that she has a glossy, azure fishtail dipped halfway in the water. You begin creeping up the riverbank towards her.
9-10: You see the greatest tree you have ever imagined. It towers on the horizon like a leafy ziggurat.
You spend all day walking towards it. As you near it you see a vast number of birds circling above the tree. You find yourself descending into the wildest but most beautiful flower-strewn glens you have ever seen.
1-2: You hear a woman calling your name from the back porch. Oh shit, who’s that? She calls again. It’s Sarah, your first love! You leap up from your desk knocking over your chair. “Coming!” you shout and rush down the hall.
3-4: “Help!” a little boy screams from an alley. Your blood runs cold and you look into the darkness. “Help me! Sam Marzanik put me in here!” He’s screaming from a trashcan. You sigh with relief and shake your head, making your way into the alley.
5-6: You’re walking along a ravine when you notice something unnatural;: a splotch of red and chrome in the brush below. You realize that it’s a vehicle that crashed over the side of a nearly vertical rock face. You whistle and climb down to investigate. You reach it and realize that there are bank notes scattered on the leaves. Your heart starts racing. Maybe a bank robber went over during a chase and the foresters blew right past him! You bushwhack to the vehicle. There’s nobody there, but a bag of money is sitting by the gas pedal. You look inside with your hands shaking.
Roll in the Spirited Away section of your color and then go to the First Contact stage below.
1-2: You wake up one morning and find that the dimensions of your room are different than you remember; not sheared, but simply shifted. The doors and hallways lead to a version of your home that has a familiar window dressing but does not have a layout you recognize. When you find the bathroom, you stand by the mirror for a long time looking at yourself trying to wake up. Then you hear a voice call your name from what you suddenly know is the living room. You go into it and find that your front door is an elevator. You enter.
3-4: You’re at Martell’s buying a saw for your cabinet project and you take the liberty of a piss in the tiny backroom bathroom. You pull the flush cord and hear a booming from outdoors. You think there must have been a terrible motorcar crash or another fertilizer cart explosion. You belt your pants and wander back into the shop. The windows have been blown out, the wares scattered and the shopkeeper killed. You run out into the dusty billowing street and find the city’s facades have been blown out, the towers stripped to their skeletons, the motorcars scattered like ashes from a bonfire. You stagger through the streets in horror until you hear a gentle laughter. You follow it and when you come to its source the birds begin to sing and all returns to normal. All but what you find there.
5-6: You go beneath the bridge to take a shit and find that there’s a tiny, filthy glass door marked “Latrine” in fading red paint behind some old mildewed furniture. You go through the door and find an old porcelain toilet. You check it for black widows and sit down. Instantly you are sucked down the pipe and the tiny dime of light disappears above you. You swirl through a labyrinth of moist pipes turning left and right. You can see their shadowed joinery by a low and unaccountable light. Finally you tumble out of a hole and are deposited on the cold floor in a heap. You look up and see that the room’s only feature is an elevator door.
1-2: You ride your horse down a country lane. You are admiring the contours of the pillowy hills when there is a gunshot and your horse’s brains splash across your eyes. She collapses in a heap beneath you and traps your leg in the dirt. Several men wearing black hoods crisscrossed with lightning bolts come rushing from a bocage carrying rifles. They work a hood over your head, drag you from underneath your horse, bind your wrists and carry you to the trunk of a motorcar. They drive for hours before they finally pull you out and dump you somewhere, cutting your bonds. They drive away. You remove your hood, hands shaking.
3-4: You stand at the edge of the building, licked by the wind, ready to die. You gaze across the concrete expanse below wondering who will witness you or be splashed in your blood. Perhaps you will hit a car. Perhaps you will take somebody with you. It is too late to let that possibility stop you. You step forward into the rushing wind, closing your eyes. You fall, fall, fall. The nature of the sound of the city changes into something hushed and unaccountable. Light turns to darkness. You find yourself gently laid down upon the stones. You open your eyes, sitting up.
5-6: You find yourself walking among greenstone ziggurats in the sunshine. This is a dream that you cannot wake from. You are in the sunshine but you can see the stars around the sun; the sky is night. Cries come from beneath the ziggurats.
1-2: You suddenly awaken to your bedframe lifting you vertically into the air. You go sliding off the foot of the bed and down through a trapdoor that you didn’t know was in your floorboards. You are spilled down iron slides going left then right, dropping and bouncing past men on platforms in the shadows as they manipulate levers and dials. Finally you are deposited on a stone dais basked in floodlight surrounded by darkness. Gradually the spotlight dims and your vision clears.
3-4: You stagger out of the bar, drunk and happy. Several men pick you up and help bundle you into the back of a vehicle. That’s ok, you’re glad people are helping you find a taxi, though they speak no language that you have heard. The cabbie drives forward silently and gradually you pass out. When you awaken you are not in a car and you are not in your home.
5-6: You are arrested with a bag full of groceries in your hand. They leave that on the curb and bundle you into the back of the paddy wagon. You are later pulled from the vehicle inside a garage and shown to several deathly-pale men wearing black boilersuits and black pairs of monocles. They confirm your identity in strange accents. A hood is pulled over your head from behind and you are bundled into a different vehicle, taken to an airstrip, loaded into a plane and flown for many hours. When you step off the plane it’s in a cooler climate. They pull the hood from your head.
1-2: The ground opens up beneath you as you wander. You did not walk over false ground; the earth itself conspired against you. You slide into a gully from which you cannot escape. You drown into the earth, falling through loose-packed soil until you are deposited nude in a cave. You emerge from the wet soil into a warm, dripping broadleaf forest.
3-4: Ravens become more and more numerous until the boughs and fallen trees are soot-speckled rookeries. Hundreds of flinty eyes watch you. Finally they strike. You are caught up in a clawed tornado of beating wings which carry you to some place you cannot say, so ensconced in their lissom wings are you.
5-6: As you walk through the woods, you begin to see more and more great brown spiders hugging the trees and darting under leaves. Finally there is one everywhere you look holding this or that surface like the hands of malign dryads. You try to avoid them but finally you step on one. You feel the crunch and smoosh and they strike from every leaf and drop from every branch to avenge their slaughtered comrade. They rush inside your pantlegs and dart inside your collar and bite every inch of you over and over until you are blanketed in the rushing multitude, rolling about. Then they leave you all at once except for the ones you crushed in your rolling, and you realize you are somewhere else.
7-8: You’ve wandered in the woods for days. You are totally lost, freezing, starving, weary, enervated and enraged by the endless brainless animal calls and the cracking of leprous trees. You wander down strange paths that seemed unaccountably made for man, rolling holes of foliage like the tunnel of a falling wave, until finally you emerged into a place that you sensed was the home of a thinking creature.
1-2: Suddenly you feel as if your bowels will explode. You rush to the bathroom and relieve yourself, sitting back and closing your eyes as if you’d just had an orgasm. Then something slithers into your ass and you scream.
3-4: You luxuriate in the spaghetti, taking down huge wads of it and barely chewing. You take one particularly long, meaty pull and grin, swallowing. “What the fuck was that?” your friend asks from across the table, pointing his fork with a worried expression.
“What was what?”
“That shiny thing in your spaghetti.”
“No, it didn’t look like the bacon,” he says. You shrug and get a sudden extreme desire for some fresh air. “Be right back,” you say and go out into the alley.
5-6: Bill Kreuthers comes walking up the street in a buttoned-up raincoat and his hat pulled low. “Billy!” you shout, nearly throwing the newspaper as you wave, “C’mere you pri- c’mere, you old rascal!” He walks straight up to you and shakes your hand with a blank expression. You feel a jolt of pain and yank your hand away- it’s bloody and there’s a little hole right in your palm. Your whole arm feels strange and tingly. Bill falls backwards, dead and nearly without moisture like a pork rind.
Roll in the Seeker section of your color and then go to the First Contact stage below.
1-2: You’ve joined a cult. You know that’s not normally how ‘emissaries’ are contacted, but you don’t care. You’ve been left cold on the trail over and over again and you need a lead. Finally, after the umpteenth ouija session, Wilson Gravy, the Grand Salamander, calls the cult together to speak in hushed tones over macadamia pie served by his wife in his dining room. “I’ve received a vision. Tonight, at the Trundlewell Garage, we’re to separate the wheat from the chaff.” Everyone looks at each other with foreboding. “How will that happen?” asks Neal Klements hesitantly.
“It didn’t say!” said Wilson, popping a bottle of champagne.
You are the last to arrive. Your tire blows as you are driving down Torbrand so you ditch your motorcar on the side of the road and sprint to the garage. When you get there you find everyone has died of massive cerebral hemorrhage and are laying around streaming blood from their ears and eyes. Wilson sits up, says “Get in the elevator,” then lays down again. You step into the elevator with quaking knees.
3-4: “Research suggests origin of human brain cells in star patterns,” read the journal in your shaking hands, “Symposium to be held at Kathadan Manor.”
You arrive in your best corduroy. You look a little out of place but you’re brimming with enthusiasm about the implications of this staggering finding. You mix with guests but are disappointed to find that most of them see this as a social rather than a forum for discussion. Finally you found a sympathetic ear in Brian Calamar, a tidal biologist doing radiological studies in the Empire of the Twin Canals. “Most people here don’t have a clue what this means,” he says in a conspiratorial tone, “But we know. Neoexoentheogenesis.” You nod and he nods. “There’s gonna be an afterparty in town for the ‘inner circle.’ That’s where the real discussion’s gonna happen.” He leans forward and whispers an address into your ear.
5-6: ‘Haunted Places’. You shut the book with glee and put it under your arm. This is the first location you’ve decided to actually visit. You grin and go inside.
1-2: You kneel. “If there is anything out there,” you say to the stars, “I seek your aid. I have tried, over and over, to make Wyverna Roper my lover, but she refuses to enter a union with me no matter what I do. It’s the right thing that we be together, Great Ones, and she’s wrong to think she wouldn’t enjoy it. Oh Those between the stars, reach out and make me your vessel if you would only make Wyverna mine.”
Then you went to sleep.
3-4: “Hew to the straight and narrow, or the Eye shall fall upon you,” intones the preacher. You close your book, stand up and walk out of the temple. You spit with disgust at the deadening orthodoxy and set out to join the Brethren of the Split Iris, a heresy of the city’s chief religion. Six months later the Split Iris is outlawed. One night there comes a hammering on your door. Vigilantes from the Burner Boys have come to disappear you. You kneel by the side of your bed and pray with all your might to the Great Divider. A voice answers you.
“Give of yourself as a martyr and you shall have eternal life.”
You stand up and stagger back.
Did you think you could not be answered?
You take your pistols in sweaty hands and walk to the door as steadily as you can. You unlatch the door gently with a pistoltip and then kick it open and charge. You fire into their bodies at point blank range and send them tumbling down the stairs or crashing sidelong, rolling back and forth on the front deck. They shoot you over and over and over again but still you stagger forth, firing into them as you catch sight of them in the flashes of light.
At last, they all lay dead or dying. The blood weighs your clothes and sucks at your feet inside your shoes. You’ve been shot more times than you can count. Still you stand; your heart beats and your lungs fill with air. The pain is muted, too muted, an aching numbness instead of a roaring fire.
“Now go to your roof and I will remake you.”
You climbed your attic ladder and went out the picture window.
You were in a new place.
5-6: You were sick with nihilism. The Antinatalists, Social Darwinists, the Reists, and the Monadists. There was nothing for you. No one could make you believe. Too much was unaccounted for.
You sought God yourself. You looked where others would not. You bought telescopes, books of runes, and smelling salts for wakefulness at the telescope. You acquired a book on Occult astronomy from a man who would later be hanged, and you burned incense made of what he called phlogiston creosote. It moaned as if in agony when you set it on fire.
You are at vigil at the golden scope and at last you see something move. You are pulled through your telescope and out into the colossal void.
1-2: Desert shamanic stories speak of the world’s eye, a place from which this planet communicates with its family. They use a term synonymous with “evil eye.” They claim that the whole world was built for this place, that much of its magmatic infrastructure is in service of its power. A power that could be harnessed for a great many things.
You unearthed the location of this place through research and bloodshed. Men guarded its secrets, but they had grown lax in long decades of inaction. You were sharper than obsidian glass. You prevailed.
Now you walk the crisp air to your ultimate destination and your body sings with anticipation.
3-4: Your paternal genealogy began two generations ago.
Your grandfather was a stern man. Silent. Nobody really knew him. Some say he came from beneath the earth. That he was worshipped by the settlers of the remotest hinterlands, that he was propitiated. Your grandmother was one such propitiator.
You found a shrine to him in a cave. Filthy with ancient candlewax in which you deciphered a pattern. A diorama of shrines in relation to the hills. A central fane revealed in something that was not wax.
This is your destination now.
5-6: Succession of priesthood is a matter of service in your city. Solicitation of the wealthy is one such service, but you have chosen a path more dramatic. You are seeking to bring a relic of true faith to this city, a sign of divine favor.
The relics of the church have nothing overlooked, so you search private libraries by stealth and daylight.
Finally the Pseudoakashic Brotherhood bridges the gap for you: a shower of stars that was an omen of the breaking of empires. It is known that a saint of nonviolence visited one of these stars’ impact sites. The brethren urge great caution.
“It is clear we cannot dissuade you, but be warned: the site you name is in a city that is hostile to our faith.”
No one could profess faith in a foreign creed with more credibility than you. They admit that this is true. Still they dismay.
You find that city cares little for religion. You profess their faith but are met with faint derision.
Your site is unguarded and you descend. A fane of catacombs devoid of living souls. You arrive in a great chamber marked by sarcophagic engravings and an all-pervasive songlike hum. A voice beckons you from the darkness.
“My true supplicant has heard my call. Come, and we shall speak of dismembering the infertile city-states. We shall make hierogamy with their body parts.”
You walk forward in fascination.
1-2: You have been obsessed with botany ever since you dug up a strange tome filled with herbs that are apparently fictional. The book enumerates outlandish effects for its herbs, but the material is delivered with an uncanny seriousness. You’re not one for half-measures, and now you’ve followed instructions in the book for locating Ghostbone. You’ve traveled to a remote valley reputed to be filled with vicious Bandit Tribes; indeed, you’ve already found vicious and lewdly crass graffiti etched on rock. You’ve seen a dead man rotting beneath a bridge you had to pass, apparently lynched or driven to suicide by these lands. Now you emerge into a clearing marked with tufts of little razorcotton, just the way you were supposed to. But there is more here of interest than herbs.
3-4: Life in a city-state was too gray, cloying and false for you. You sought the raw animalism and impersonality of nature. You shed your clothes and wander into the wilderness, fully ready to die or devour the first flesh you catch. Several days go by and you are delirious from hunger and the strange herbs you’ve consumed. You begin a litany of improvised prayers to the nature of nature itself, seeking guidance through your blood and bones like the earliest men. Something hears you and speaks; you wander down unsteadily through a ravine of thorns, marking your body for an infectious death should you fail, but you finally emerge into a place unlike any place you have ever been.
5-6: Your gang of ecoterrorists have been hunted down and slaughtered; they fought valiantly in the fens but have at last been overcome by sheer numbers. Now you read in the hideous broadsheets that their corpses will be burnt to ash and poured into the concrete of a new tenement that will be built on Whipoorwhill Glen.
You’ve had enough. You will die before you live to forget the dream that gave you life. You wander out into the forest, ready to give your flesh to Mother Earth if you cannot give her victory over the World Machine. You kneel on a hillside, strip down and place the barrel of a pistol in your mouth.
“Another victory for the machine…” someone says from the other side of the hill. “What? Who’s that?” you say.
“Come and see,” says the voice.
1-2: Snake cults. They say religion is not always what’s on the tin and this is all too true for you. They were easy enough to join. To get invited to their sacred grotto. The laced incense spicing the air, low beneath the rocky roof. The wasted goddamned beauties in inadequate linens. Those knowing men, they were no competition. The oil massages, the pitchers of wine, that barefoot dancing in the wet sand with reason in the rearview mirror. You were starting to think the snake element was you. That they’d brought you in to revere allegorically for your virility, but then the supplicants started raising their hands and voices to something else altogether. A huge pink oroborus painted across the ceiling. That made you scowl. Then they cleared the way from the darkest chamber where nobody had gone that night. The most beautiful and most wasted woman them all slunk out of it butt naked except for something wrapped around her soft little shoulders. You gasped and fell over when you saw it because it wasn’t any snake of the animal kingdom. That’s when they fell on you, kneeling on you, keeping you down. The thing she wore slithered of its own volition into a golden pitcher of wine, and after they’d put a laughing golden mouthpiece built for this very function in you they tipped the pitcher over your face. The thing forced its way down your throat, and then it showed you what real horror is.
3-4: You’ve always had dreams where you were king of the world. Lord of the planet. Some kids thought about money, some dreamed of warfare, and some just knew this trade or that trade would be their destiny. Some had love as their highest aspiration. Most had no aspiration.
But you had dreams of sacrifice. You dreamed that even as a weak, senile old man, there would be gullets slit and bodies split for your rejuvenation. Others would die so you could live forever. Armies would hail you and grovel, and strong men would be spent into stone for your edification.
The one thing you needed was a conduit, a chrysalis. A place you could go and sacralize your fate, gild your puppet strings so that all would see them foremost across time and space.
The trail was cold and the nights were long. The myths were of no help to you. Their sacred places had been robbed and left for dust milennia ago.
You broke into a Starling & Shrike outstation and murdered the contracting officer and his housekeeper. You rifled through their records for secrets of the divine and you found what you were looking for. A place where sacrifices have continued unabated for twenty thousand years- nineteen thousand of which are lost to history.
You had to get there before the agents did.
You had to warn God itself of the impending danger and thereby receive your reward.
You descended into the navel of the earth. A chamber there, with nothing but a golden bowl on a pedestal, lit by an ephemeral light cast by the crystals in the onyx ceiling. The bowl was filled with wine, and you stood before it and spoke your piece. You told it that you were its zealot and a temple guard. Its faithful servant, prophet and sicarius.
“And my martyr,” it bubbled.
“Yes,” you said. But you were uncertain.
“We must flee. You *shall* be the bearer of the sacred word. You shall be the sacred flesh. Drink of the sacred ichor.” So it was not wine.
You lifted the bowl to your lips and drank, and the God in the Bowl leapt down your throat.
5-6: Transcendental escape. The high road from stone and wood to the only thing that matters. It is a drug distilled by priests, the middle men of the divine cutting themselves out of the bargain for the good of the seeker.
You found them at the top of a tower in one of the world’s mightiest city-states. They were stunned and afraid that you’d discovered them, but you assuaged their fears. You asked them only that they inject you with their most sacred libation. It was not something a detective would ask. They consented.
You were swaddled in silk. Lifted to a dais. Put under the spotlight of a gleaming candelabra. Incensed and chanted over. Then they injected you with the widest needle you had ever seen.
Roll in the First Contact section of your color and then go to The Entity stage below.
1-2: You walk into a deserted, ruined boardroom. The sun sets through great glassless windows. Scraps of paper blow in and out of the room. The stone has begun to crumble from the foundations.
Someone or something is sitting in a great chair in the darkness beside a silent grandfather clock. “I’m glad you came, given your time horizon. It’s my job to broaden your perspective. This will be is a gift beyond any that you can currently conceive of, but that too will change,” he says, emerging slightly from the shadows.
3-4: You emerge from the elevator into a shimmering sewer corridor lit by a glowing mass beneath the surface of the slime. The archway walls shine with golden feces that pours up them in a rainbow of molten sunlight.
A voice burbles from the depths.
“What is filth to me is precious to you. What is life to me is death to you. What is known to me is impossible to you. These are the places we’ve been given in the universe, young one. Step down into my runoff, and witness a higher form.” You balk and place a hand on the swinging steel doors to steady yourself. “Fool,” the thing says, “I see you must be made to serve.”
It begins to rise from the gleaming sewage.
5-6: You emerged from an elevator at what you thought was the top of a building. It was actually a cobblestone street. There are storefronts, doorways and second story windows, but they’re without signs, without life, without color. The street ends abruptly in a wall of pitch black matter; there’s neither sky, nor stars, but instead an impenetrable darkness. You push your hand against the black wall and it’s like numbness itself. You can’t budge it. You walk away up a very long street towards a town square where there’s a thing on a pedestal at its center. You would think this was a part of the Old City if it wasn’t for the wall of darkness; there is a city with life somewhere overhead or below. Suddenly you see the shape move atop the pedestal and you freeze.
“No, no, come closer. I won’t hurt you. You’re just the one I wanted to see. Come forward. We’ll talk. We have this whole neighborhood to ourselves. No one will tell on us.”
You walk forward with great trepidation.
1-2: You reach the mountaintop. The clouds swirl above you like molten lead. They are lit periodically by wisps of of lunar light as if trapezoidal moons came halfway through the canopy. Lightning begins to strike around you, blasting chert into the wind. It blinds you and knocks you sidelong. You land facing a lightning crater and see that a rune has been seared into the rock. You rise up to your knees and see that the whole mountain has been so marked.
A voice erupts from the sky in an earth-destroying wall of sound.
“RISE, AND GAZE UPON YOUR MAKER.”
3-4: You step onto a lunar plain beneath a starless night. Shattered shrines give songs of birth. It’s as if the buildings are ghosts of stone or gentle banshees. Something emerges from behind the fluted and broken colonnade of a shrine like it was crawling from behind broken teeth.
5-6: You find a vast stone temple in an empty plain. Vast bronze wheel-chandeliers hang from the wooden-ribbed ceiling and drip wax down onto the petitioners. Strange Masonic, goetic, and trifold symbols line the abutments. There are strange, manifold and insubstantial shapes passing in and out of the room through the walls like ghostly geometric clouds.
There is a horde of iron-lunged and well-armed worshippers standing at great rough wooden tables. They are shouting a terrible, warlike song of dark splendor. They fall silent at your approach. Your ears are ringing. They turn to face you, eyes wild, beards marked by froth.
“Step forward lad,” says the nearest man. You do so. Every eye is locked on you as a pair of great double doors on the far side of the temple swing open.
1-2: You wander through a crowded slum of babbling people whose words you cannot understand. They stand all around you and sit in droves along the rooftops, the alleys and the streets. No building has a wall here, only floors and foundations, but you cannot see through the shadows of the built-up towers. Water flows freely, turning some streets into rivers, or else through canals cut beneath bridges and balconies. Some people move in the water, sliding into pipes that drop them into the flow of their buildings. Finally you walk down one of the dark alleys which lead between and into the buildings and find yourself in the presence of an intelligence that speaks in your tongue.
3-4: You are lost. You have walked through gusty subterranean corridors for uncountable hours. You are starving, fatigued, lonely, and every step agonizes your feet. You give up finding your way out of the labyrinth and the next turn brings you to the heart of this place. To its host and prisoner.
5-6: You walk the dunes and people reach up out of the sand to claw at you. They whisper. They eye you and their whistles echo behind you as you pass their valleys. You ask them why they are in the sand but you do not speak the same language and they sink beneath when you pause to address them and reach out to grab them. You reach a dark stone mesa at the heart of a place where valleys intersect and approach a sheltered black stone cloister there.
1-2: The rivers come here to die. You can smell it. You see them flowing down from the hills, draws and meadows around you. They pour into a great pit from which sticky mist rises. You walk across sordid ground to the edge and gaze inside. The frothy white waterfalls splash upon a vast writhing sheet of maggots. “The miracle of childbirth,” says a voice behind you.
3-4: The wind sweeps the trees with a rush that bundles up and unfurls the leaves. You walk underneath the glossy, beetle-dark canopy and you begin to hear a skeletal clattering from up ahead. You enter a clearing where the trees have died, except in the center where there is a gnarlbarked knotted trunk of unknown species.
5-6: There is a glassy lake in a sodden bowl of earth atop a wooded hill. Branches hang low over the water. The place is profoundly silent; there are no birds or crickets. The lake silently drains as you look on it and a form uncurls from a pile of rotten leaves at the bottom. "Greetings," it says warmly.
1-2: You lay on the ground, hyperventilating. “Breathe!” says a voice inside your body, “Just relax! I’m your friend, but you have to do what I say! Breathe!”
3-4: You gasp, laying on your back, and enter a soul-melting psychedelic fit. Your heart beats as if marking a seance. You believe that everyone around you has been immolated into human torches so as to initiate you into the new year as an arrival from existential winter, a freeing of possession by ice spirits holding your soul in check and you shed them writhing on the ground. You exalt the spirit that has possessed you in an all-consuming roar as if you flew or fell through planes. You feel an ungainsayable need to bask in the photonic miasma of the stars’ open wounds. You dredge yourself outside across the floor like a halfsquished slug and gaze out into the pseudoinfinite chorus of the sky. You cry out in a submissive falsetto to the thing inside you and all things without. Finally you see the cobblestones and buildings around you once again, and begin clawing yourself up onto your knees.
5-6: You stagger, choking, incapable of seeing anything but resounding static as the thing pushes its way into your brain. “Greetings!” comes a resounding shout from within your own skull, “We interrupt your regular programming to bring you a special news broadcast! You have been hijacked by an antediluvian intelligence bent on breaking down the barriers between cosmos to enact a necessary cross-contamination of incompatible energies! Do not resist and do what you’re told or you’ll be subject to torture, brainwashing, deletion of memories, harsh language and the assumption of direct control by a higher lifeform that will murder your whole family!”
This is thing that has revealed itself to you.
Entities are not all malign. The ones that deal with Occultists almost always are.
They are divided into categories for continuity here, but they are not exhaustive, definitive, or categorized either canonically or diegetically. For example, I have not included Orange, Pearl, Red, Colorless, Aqua, Black or Silver entities here for purposes of concision.
What does the entity look like?
Roll in the Entities table of your color and then go to the Your Will stage below.
1: A being half the shape of a man and half the shape of a dog. It appears to be made of coils of black metal. You can only ever see it in mirrors, though you can sometimes hear it from dark places.
2: A pale, pupilless face that peers out from places that you cannot access or fully see into. You can never quite make out his neck or shoulders; only his unshaven face and milky-white eyes.
3: A man that is made of curls of scrap metal. He speaks with the melodic creaking of these sheets.
4: A humanoid golem made from sections of runsecribed stone. Its features are depicted broadly and indistinctly. It moves silently.
5: A person that has been transformed into a boneless mass of flesh with only a straight-toothed mouth visible from the skin. You see remnants of arms and legs plastered into its surface here and there. It is capable of moving by a kind of strange undulation of the body.
6: A humanoid ghost in a gleaming white robe with a head composed of contiguous trapezoids. It often speaks of your ancestors but is plainly referring to some kind of extraterrestrial/extradimensional civilization.
1: A constellation of stars in the shape of a usurper from a dead culture’s mythbook.
2: A great disembodied sigil taking the form of the deity of an extant faith such as the Burning Eye. This is not the real Burning Eye and does not claim to be.
3: A tall skeletal king. He has a crown of moonlight and a pair of scales. This represents death in many cultures.
4: A vast, opulently-jeweled, floating flaming broadsword whose voice is the cracking of fire.
5: A vast, dark stone titan that blinks with glowing lights in the shadows inside its joints. Its face contains a giant jewel glowing sickly green for an eye.
6: A flanged asteroid in the shape of a star. It lights up like a magenta beacon when it speaks and you swear that you can see cities rising from its surface.
1: A great, indistinct, staticky ghost-face that seems to embody the traits of the community that it lives beneath.
2: An entity that can take its form from bricks or concrete or wood and shape itself how it pleases. It claims to be the deity and guiding spirit of the community in which it lives.
3: A vast machine extending into the depths, all whirling steel arms and articulating cables. You can just make out a central axis that has some kind of crystal eye.
4: A dream court of bald, pale men and women with glowing, pupilless lavender eyes and beautiful clothes made entirely of monocolor silk. They speak to you in unison and never look at or address one another.
5: A creature that speaks from the cracks in the earth. It can create these cracks nearly anywhere, and leaves them where it goes, but you never actually see the body of the creature itself.
6: A tremendous, obese king in tight black garments. He is carried by a number of burly, blindfolded servants in hooded purple tunics. You can see that there is a dark void when he opens his mouth, and he never actually looks at you.
1: A giant white moth with red eyes.
2: A great, leering, ferocious face that appears on the surface of trees. It seems to symbolically give off licks of flame, but even these are but indentations in the bark.
3: A huge, humanoid green dragonfly with praying mantis cleavers.
4: A black fox that only you can see. It has yellow viper’s eyes and a blood-red mouth.
5: A giant black cave toad with yellow spots.
6: A 12-armed, otherwise-featureless humanoid body composed of water.
1: A long, thick, sinewy tapeworm with a single catlike eye.
2: At first you think it’s a vine, but actually it’s a dusty pseudopod of fungus.
3: It looks like a long, wet bolt of quicksilver. In actuality, its a supremely concentrated bacterial colony.
4: A lamprey eel with shining golden skin.
5: A thin, disembodied tentacle that is scarred and has clearly been cut from a larger creature.
6: A pale olm capable of giving a vast Cheshire Cat smile of long, white teeth before shrinking its mouth again.
How did you react to this sight? Did you defy the entity or did you offer it your service?
Roll or choose.
1-2: Defiance. Go to the *Defiance* section below.
3-4: Service. Go to the *Service* section below.
Roll in the Defiance section of your color and then go to the Reward and Punishment stage below.
1-2: You tried to strike it but your blow was transmigrated into your own face, which was crushed inwards. When it cracked out again you wore someone else’s face.
3-4: You tried to disbelieve what you saw, waiting and waiting, pinching and kicking yourself, but the entity waited patiently. Finally it became more real than the life you had known. You have felt that way ever since.
5-6: You tried to run but the entity awaited you in every room. There was no exit to be found: all doors led back to its reality.
1-2: You roared with defiance and your voice became a prayer to the thing which you cursed. Now your every proclamation contains such a prayer. You are a vessel for its power. Those who hear you cannot know the provenance of your words, but the way is made ready through their bodies.
3-4: You tried to kill yourself but you could not die. Your brain, your vision, your hands were all damaged and then all were transformed, given stuff of the divine to replace what had been necrotized.
5-6: You hurled a long shard of rock at the entity, but it was transmuted into a divine weapon of etheric matter. The entity replaced your spine with it.
1-2: You hurled yourself into a pit, but you were ground into mulch, mixed with phlogiston creosote and reformed into a perfectly hairless, generic body vaguely resembling the one of your birth. Your flesh is now stygian gray in hue.
3-4: You rushed towards the fiendish thing but were seized upon by hulking zealots. They carried you into the rushing core of a great pyre and you were burned into a black skeleton. You were given new flesh, false flesh that was wound to your charred bones by puppeteered embalming-corpses.
5-6: You fell down and screamed that you would never look upon the entity again. A shell of iron slid out from under the ground and covered you. A thousand tiny devices sprung forth from its inner surface and restrung your back muscles into a bow of servitude. The shell fell back but manacles sprang emerged from the stone and entombed your feet before the entity ripped you into a standing position, remaking you symbolically. The entity then interwove your ripped-up muscles with hollow steel cables agitated by an electroacid, remaking you literally.
1-2: You tried to run but the ground turned to spiders underneath you. They devoured you, running underneath your skin, transforming you by venom.
3-4: You ran at the fiend but the ground became like quicksand and held you. It consumed you, inundated you, filled you, replaced you.
5-6: You tried to fight but thornvines grew from your pockets and wrapped you up. They worked their way into your every orifice, shredding you, clawing into your muscles, hooking into your sinews and controlling them.
1-2: You went to get your gun to kill yourself but the thing grew all through your body, devouring you, replacing your flesh with a chitinous ceramic. Your body is no longer human; you seem normal at a distance, but those nearer than 6’ to you see that your face moves like a nutcracker’s.
3-4: You went to the hospital to have the thing removed from your body, but it laced tiny cuts in isotoxal patterns all throughout your body. Should you defy it, it will burst open these cuts, revealing symbology that is a mark of dark Occult criminality in several major city-states and among international investigatory bodies.
5-6: You went to the pharmacist to buy antiparasitic drugs but you fell on his floor in shrieking convulsions as the thing ate your muscles and replaced them with its own pitch black polymillipedal body. You will be without muscles should it abandon you, but until then you have superstrength.
Roll in the Service section of your color and then go to the Reward and Punishment stage below.
1-2: You tell the entity that it’s clear you cannot fight it. It says nothing is clear, as you will learn. The walls and every item on and around you collapse like curtains, revealing your place in a porous asteroid temple lit by a thunderous pulsar. Then everything pulls back up as if on strings and everything is as it was.
3-4: The thing asks you if you are comfortable, warm, well-fed. You tell it you are, and thank it. It nods, and surgeons in masks with blank flesh where their eyes should be enter. They bind you, cut out your eyes, scrape the bones from your sockets and replace them with an annex of some unknown material which you can see through as it slides into place. You look up into a mirror and see your face with someone else’s eyes. The surgeons leave you soaked in blood.
5-6: You say that what is happening is more real than real itself. That you are ready to be the entity’s man. It says you are a fool. There is no way for you to offer anything because you are not in control. Then it entombs you in its own body, and when you emerge you’re horrified to find that your flesh now somewhat resembles the entity’s.
1-2: You dedicate yourself to the entity by performing a novel gesture with your hands and arms. It just feels right. A clattering creature that is like two cross-welded millipedes made from static electricity with an untraceable array of infinite limbs comes from a disc of white light ripped open by your hands. The entity bids this creature torture you and scolds you to be more careful, because it shall not save you again, although the thing that you have given birth to will serve you in the cause of the entity once it has finished with you.
3-4: You swear yourself to it, the one and only God. It tells you not to be so presumptuous and strikes you with a thunderbolt. The marrow blasts from your bones, but they are replaced with some kind of shimmering force coral.
As your flesh heals you find that you can only eat electricity. You crave it, and the entity was merciful enough to leave you in the forgotten attic of a power station. You feast upon the live wires, roasting the insects that touch you.
5-6: You offer yourself to the entity. It tells you that you will prove your devotion or recieve no eternal reward. You are met by sunken-eyed couriers who press a ticking brown satchel into your hands and tell you your target. The Garmentglade Police Precinct in Troutbridge. Hurry.
You arrive, sweating, and push yourself through the existential forcefield staying your steps from such an alien action. You push open the doors, raising the satchel with an eldritch chant to your duskily-known deity. The policemen, perps and bail agents go pale and freeze.
They tackle you and break your teeth on the granite floor, then make it worse with a boot stomped across your molars. They dump the bag of clocks out on your head and throw you in a solitary confinement cell the size of a doghouse. You pick a corner to spit blood into, which you do every twenty seconds or so.
“You are a crusader,” says the entity, “in the eyes of the holy spirits. Now, my martyr, we shall have time to speak.”
1-2: You swear yourself to the entity. You are initiated by furtive creatures sliding forth from cracks. They are like furred, faceless runes, and they trace stipple cuts all over your body, leaving you a bloody rainstom. You barely recover. Your skin becomes a constellation of scars.
3-4: “Make of me what you will,” you say, “I am your vessel.”
“Good,” it says, “Kill your wife.”
“Were you not expecting that?” it says.
You cannot speak as you envision this scenario. What would be left? This being does not yet have such meaning to you that you would even consider such a thing. What would be left of you if you did what it asks?
“She is already dead. She was dead the moment I said that to you. You know that. The question is how long and what else it will take for you to accept it. For you to go and do what you know you will do.”
“Perhaps you can make my body do it,” you say, “But you can’t make me willingly do it.”
“What makes you think there’s any difference between those things? I can condense a million years into a minute as far as your perceptions go. I can do it just to prove a point and then we’ll continue this conversation.”
“Please don’t,” you say, raising a palm.
“Do you see what the terms are, here? I will not let you die. I will torture you like you cannot imagine if you don’t cooperate, and I won’t mind control you into it, either, because I don’t need a mindless servant.”
“Why do you require this?” you breathe.
“So you understand your situation and so you don’t think you can ever leave it. Inside or outside of yourself. There’s no going back and I’m going to cement that in your brain. There is only going forward in my service. There will be no refuge inside of you.”
“Do you mind how I do it?” you ask, breaking into tears.
“With the big kitchen knife. Make sure she’s aware and sees you coming.”
5-6: You promise service to the entity in exchange for boons. It asks you what you wish. You name off a great list of items, experiences and people.
The back of the room opens up, revealing a sea of whirling glass. There is a great stela with a staircase on the other side. Each closest thing from your own personal life to everything that you named appears at the tip of the great stela, carried up by masked servants, and are dropped into the sea.
You’d mentioned a beautiful wife, a large family, a comfortable home, long-lost copies of great literature and life for your dying childhood friend. The entity tells you that actually you are *its* benefactor, that it does not want you to be saddled with luggage, and that you had better get used to dealing with loss because your life is going to be sheared of all its distractions.
When you get home, the things that were dropped are gone.
1-2: You fell on your knees and promised yourself to Gaia, Agartha, the Great Mother. The entity laughed until your bones shattered and re-knit with vines from the earth. You can now climb almost anything but the entity has some control over your body.
3-4: You were intensely curious and walked towards the entity. You saw pit. The entity bade you step inside. You walked to the edge. A bear’s head poked from the bottom of the pit. You stepped down inside and slid to the bottom. The bear devoured you and you were remade in its bowels. When the bear turned itself inside out and you were spilled back up into the pit, you had to fight your way free from an acid-filled placenta and you found yourself covered in ancient runes of human sacrifice. Several Bandit Tribes and one city-state will recognize you as the herald of the thing their ancestors escaped.
5-6: You tell the thing that you’re ready. It beckons you to enter an iron maiden made of wicker. It was built by ten thousand waving cockroaches that climb you and form a royal cape. You step into the wicker and the cockraoches swarm all over it. They latch it shut and interstice your flesh with the wicker. You find that you can walk once they’re done although you are soaked with blood. The wicker causes you agony when you attempt to remove it; every piece is linked to every other piece and it can never be removed without undoing your body at the seams.
1-2: You tell the thing you will not fight it, and it releases something into your blood that fills your existence with profound ecstasy. It tells you, “That’s the spirit.” Then it stops wireheading you and makes everything around you seem like a mortal threat, causing you to skitter about with unceasing existential terror. Then it neutralizes your emotions, turning your life into a sea of arbitrarily colored concrete. Then it returns you to normal. “Keep it up,” it says.
3-4: You ask the thing what it would have you do. It tells you that it’s hungry for live flesh and suggests an orphanage. You compromise and head for the pound.
5-6: You say that you are its servant. It asks you to go to the nearest tall building and look around so it can get its bearings. You find that you cannot reach the bottom of the fire escape, so it cuts holes in your ankles, slides out two tendrils and pushes you into the air so you can reach it.
Reward and Punishment
You entered the entity’s service.
First, go to Moments of Darkness.
Moments of Darkness
You harbor a dark memory from the early days.
Roll in the Moments of Darkness section of your color and then go to the *Boons from Beyond* section, which is immediately below Moments of Darkness.
Moments of Darkness
1-2: You visit your family for the equinox. Your brother’s unusually quiet, answering few questions, commenting on nothing. You catch him alone in the sun room. “What’s wrong with you?” you ask. “I’m here to keep an eye on you. You won’t be seeing your brother again,” says the entity through his mouth.
3-4: You go to work one day, and when you arrive you make a trip to the bathroom. You find feces overflowing from the toilet, spread upon the walls, piled in the sink. There’s a burbling from the toilet; it’s the entity saying, “It’s time you stopped working here.” You stagger backwards, stunned, as sewage rolls towards your feet. A coworker stops next to you. “What did you do?” he cries. You cannot speak. “Everyone, look what he did!”
5-6: The entity tells you to bring ammonia to this place. “Say again?” your reply. You were thinking about something else. The entity bids you to smash a mirror upon the wall. You pick up a chair and do so uneasily.
Every surface in the room cracks deeply in lines emanating from the mirror. The floor, the chair, even your clothes. You collapse and everything cuts your skin, though no deeper. “Get me ammonia,” hisses the entity.
Moments of Darkness
1-2: You stand at the apex of the Gerald Boll building gazing over the city through binoculars, looking for the Garum Priest. “My Lord, I don’t think he’s in the city,” you say, then you freeze. Your blood runs cold. It’s too late. “Seeing as you know better than I do, there is no reason for you to be up on that building,” comes the voice. You think of hurling yourself over the edge but it’s too late. A massive earthquake splits the very earth beneath the Gerald Boll building practically ripping the twelve-story tower in half. It collapses around you in a maelstrom of brick and shear-powdered mortar. You’re crushed and pulverized but your body refuses to be truly torn apart in the collapse. You cannot breathe the dust, but despite your agony your body refuses to asphyxiate. You are eventually dragged from beneath a pile of rock, the only survivor, limp as a ragdoll from pain. The rescuers can’t account for your survival but no one questions you in the city’s time of grief.
3-4: You guide the archaeologists to the standing stones. “This is it!” you shout in glee, “The Satyr’s Panopticon! This is where the rites were held!” One of the archaeologists whistles and runs his hand down a stone’s runic surface. “Wonder any of my ancestors were conceived here,” he says with a grin, “This is one hell of a find. I think you’ll be-“ There is a thunderclap and the man’s flesh bursts in a gout of steam. His eyes explode, blasting you with boiling liquid. The other archaeologists freeze in a panic, then one by one they are detonated with unaccountable lightning. Finally you are alone, grimacing and rigid in the soil, your body locked by electricity sent through the ground by the blasts. “I was going to do that anyways because you’ve been wasting both our time,” comes the voice, “But I don’t want this place to exist, so I’m glad you found it.” Lightning begins to blast open the rocks, cutting your flesh over and over as supersonic flecks of stone go flying by.
5-6: Go to the chapel, said the entity. So you went. Chain the door, said the entity. So it was. Get the kerosene, said the entity. So you did.
Moments of Darkness
1-2: You walk into the lecture hall, straightening your tie with a smile. You stride to the podium and shuffle your notes, looking over the packed hall. Everyone is still and silent, rapt by your presence. You smile as your eyes adjust to the floodlights. “Ladies and gentlemen…” you begin, then notice that every man, woman and child in the hall is sitting back with their throats slit open, drenched in blood. You step back, spilling your notes across the stage. The symbol of your entity is scrawled in blood on the far wall above the seats. The PA system crackles to life and the entity says, “Whatever is yours is mine to dispose of. Wherever you are, I go.” The system dies out with a crackle.
3-4: “Come to me now you fucking douchebag!” thunders the entity through your gramophone, blowing out all the windows. You sit still and stunned, your heart racing, your ears ringing. “NOW!” it screams, blowing you from your seat. The gramophone bounces across the floorboards.
When you arrive, a steel door opens and thousands of hot coals come pouring forth, bouncing towards you in a cloud of sparks. You scream desperately and they consume you, scarifying your whole body with horrifying, profane and disrespectful symbols and scenes. “Waste my time again! I double dog dare you, bitch!”
5-6: You go to the entity’s personal space. There is a man waiting for you there. He has a blank look on his face and he is standing slack as if he’s about to fall over. He’s had his nose cut off. “You’ve been moving around too much and I haven’t been able to keep a proper eye on you,” says the entity. “This man has rickets, cerebral palsy and leukemia. You’ll be taking over his body for the time being.”
Moments of Darkness
1-2: You are in your home. You look up into a corner of the ceiling. You climb into it. Your maid enters the room. You fall on her and inject her with a venom that melts her guts.
You are free. You stagger back in horror, gore squishing into the rug beneath your feet. You through the window to your garden. You see the entity waiting for you.
3-4: The entity calls you out to a remote well. It is filled with long, slithering grubs, rotten meat and fabric. Two Royal Foresters ride up through the underbrush. “Citizen, is this where they’re breeding?” “Run away,” you try to say. “Yes,” you say, “You’d better have a look.” They dismount and come forward. When they reach the well you shoot them both in the back. One of them dies instantly but the other lays there screaming and you shoot him several more times. He is not dead when you pitch the two men into the well. You are then free to sit against the warm, vibrating well, hyperventilating with your face in your hands. “There, there,” comes a voice from the well with a belch.
5-6: “You are going to please an ally of mine,” says the entity, “Go into that gulch.” You walk down into it with shaking knees and see a slender woman made of yew; she is beautiful. You approach her and she smiles. You are relieved, and take her in your arms. She kisses you and her lips are soft. You pin her like a lover and she scowls. “Did you think you were a top in my world? You’re no minotaur, you’re a bonobo and I’m going to treat you like one.” The roots spring forth, bind your body and rip their way up into your ass.
Moments of Darkness
1-2: You make love to your woman, realizing infinite cosmic forces through your finite bodies. You pound her like lightning pounds a mountain with flecks of rock and flying wood, like the first fateful vitiation of the sea that began time and life. Suddenly she screams and your pelvis is soaked with blood. “Snacktime!” shouts the entity.
3-4: You are peeing in the woodline with a friend of yours while you crack jokes and laugh together. “He knows too much,” says the entity. “No!” you cry, your blood running cold. “He knows too much man!” says the entity, emerging from your penis in a tendril and wrapping around your friend’s throat, strangling him while shaking him back and forth. “He’s gotta die, man!”
5-6: You’re driving while your friend dozes in the passenger seat. It’s late at night and there’s nothing but the hum of the motor and buzzing of crickets. “Fuck, I’m hungry!” says the entity. “I’ll find a deer!” you say, your blood running cold, “I’ll get you some berries!” “Nope!” says the entity, “Too late!”
The next thing you know you’re kneeling next to the motorcar, which has been smashed into a tree. Your face is numb with pain, your chest and thighs are soaked with blood, and your friend convulses beneath you. You’ve eaten his face, chest, hips and thighs. “Ok!” says the entity, “That was good! Now start walking!”
*Boons From Beyond*
Supernatural powers were the reward for your dedication.
Roll in the Boons From Beyond section of your color and then go to the Tempering stage below.
Boons From Beyond
1-2: You climb into the mirror. It’s just a windowframe. You find yourself in an identical room. You fix the layout in your mind so that you don’t forget which one is the real world. You look at the doors on your side of the frame and wonder where they lead. “Don’t move out of sight of the mirror or the anglebreakers will find you,” says the entity, “Though if you have to do it for some reason, get to another mirror quick, fast and in a hurry. Doesn’t matter where it leads. You need to get off the thoroughfare.”
3-4: “Wink at somebody,” says the entity. “Who?” “Anybody. Doesn’t matter if they see it.” You look at the back of a man in a felt greatcoat as he walks by. You wink at him. He crosses the street at the crosswalk and a motorcar comes speeding through the intersection, striking him into a thin cloud of blood, sending him hurtling up into the air like a boneless superhero. His corpse lands and skids across the gravel street, painting a streak behind it like a blood slug. People scream and run as the car smashes into a bridge support in a cloud of glass and metal. Apparently it lost its brakes. You gape in horror, trying with all your might to not even close your eyes, let alone wink. “Now wink at that guy on the scaffolding,” says the entity.
5-6: You rush away from the power station as the dogs bark and the policemen shout, hot on your trail. “Why did you have me do this?” you cry, heart sick, “There’s no escape now!” “Fool! Who’s in charge here?” shouts the entity. You break through the bramble and emerge at the edge of a cliff. Lights in the valley below highlight just how far up you are. You turn around as the police break into the woodline. “There he is! Open fire!” yells a moustachioed sergeant. Your eyes roll back in despair as the hail of pops heralds the hot lead that rips through your body. You scream and fall backwards over the edge. You hurtle for the rocky bottom of the cliff below. Your last vision is rock when you leap up in bed, almost hitting your head on the ceiling. You are drenched in sweat. You look around the hot darkness of your room, tearing the sheets off you and feeling yourself all over for blood. There is none. “That was quite a dream,” you say. “Was it?” the entity asks smugly.
You may wake up in your bed from a deadly situation; alas, this will sometimes also happen for positive events as well. The thing you saw before awakening did not really happen.
Boons From Beyond
1-2: The bounty hunter crashes through the door, firing his shotgun into the darkness just to be safe. He prowls up the hallway towards the closet where you’re hiding and racks another shell with a terrible latching and unlatching. Your knees are bouncing from terror and your hands quiver where you have them laid against the wall. “My lord,” you moan, “Deliver me from this certain death.” “Deliver thyself,” comes the reply. It is firm, not vengeful.”My lord?” you say.
“Turn and cast him from thine countenance,” says the entity.
“Very well,” you say, turning to face the door. You picture him raising his shotgun to fire it through the door and you cast your hand forward, shouting “Begone!”
Your eyes focus into a halo of darkness and the bounty hunter screams as both he and the door are hurled into a dark void. Hurled from existence. Suddenly this bleak expanse disappears and you are alone in the house. The closet door is missing as well as a few of the floorboards. The bounty hunter is nowhere in sight.
“Now go forth and glorify my name.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
3-4: You stand alone in the barren apartment as the police hammer on the door. The room has been etched and painted with Occult runes and vistas from ages lost to lichenous downgoing. “Open up!” screams one of the cops, “There’s nowhere to go!” “Nowhere to go,” you smile to yourself. They bust down the door and rush into the apartment. The foremost men stare down their revolvers at you while those behind them look worriedly at the strange symbology all around you. “Get down or we’ll shoot!” yells a corporal in gold braid. “I’ll do you one better,” you say and step on a loose floorboard, detonating the massive flame fougasse underlying the whole apartment. An inferno consumes you in a roaring agony and all becomes transcendent pressure.
After laying insensate in chthonic darkness for you don’t know how long, you awaken freezing beneath the earth, thrashing your limbs desperately to feel air. You knock the soil off of you and sit up nude from where you were laying. You are in the woods and the sun is setting; when the bomb went off it was morning. You look through the trees and see a trail of smoke rising from the city. You laugh and laugh.
5-6: Jerol Harkness, the countertheological crusader of Rindpalace, steps up onto the podium. “He’ll have us out of the city in no time,” the entity says blithely, “I wonder what he would do if he’d never been hurt by something he couldn’t explain?”
“He probably wouldn’t be up there,” you say.
“We’ll see,” says the entity. Harkness blinks, looks around at the expectant crowd, sees the banners behind him, and quickly departs the stage. He goes to speak to a group of gentlemen below as a distressed murmur runs through the assembly.
“You were correct,” says the entity in mock surprise.
Suddenly artillery shells begin to fall into the towers and streets around you. Clouds of bricks pulverize pedestrians and the air is laced with choking powdered stone.
“What is happening?” you cough.
“Side effects,” says the entity with an audible shrug.
Incision/Rewrite: You can change something about someone’s past. Warning: there might be spillover.
Boons From Beyond
1-2: You gaze at a painting of a beautiful naked woman laying across a settee with a faint smile. “Go inside,” says the entity. You glance around the empty gallery and carefully step over the frame. She gives a gasp, just as surprised as you are. “Anything can be a place,” says the entity, “Have fun.”
You can enter paintings and prints assuming you can fit through the frames. The effects of your actions will show when you come back through, or in a month.
3-4: You approach the colorless mirror of the pool. The nearby trees have extra-long roots which they’ve dipped into the pool.
You step in and the water is cool but does not move around your legs. You walk to the bottom and inhale long and hard, feeling as if your brain will explode from water. You contain your panic and persist with your inhalation. Gills burst open on your neck and you breathe in the water with great relief. Then you walk out again. Water runs down your neck and across your chest as you clear your throat.
Sacred sites: you can find and tap into places of power for their particular ritual purposes.
5-6: The olive-green trucks come across the sands towards you, rippling in mirage. Rifles prickle from the backs where soldiers wait to kill you.
“Wherever you are, so am I,” says the entity.
The earth begins to quiver like a stretching cat and the sands shift. You fall to your knees and look up through the rising dust; you find you were standing on a great basalt boulder. The trucks teeter and tip. The desert boils, dunes collapse and the trucks disappear. You grin, caking your teeth with dust. Finally the earthquake comes to a stop, the boulder rising from the tan waste like a boil. You see no evidence of the motor column. “Next time we’ll try a city,” says the entity.
Earthquake: “Wherever you are, so am I.”
Boons From Beyond
1-2: In time you learn to step into trees, feeling them melt and meld around you like warm cookie dough. You breathe water and it is as sweet or foul as the air of the world you know. You see the hidden naiads watching you with many eyes and know that you might be able to seduce them with the proper gifts and conduct.
“Welcome to my world,” purrs the entity.
3-4: You laugh, tearing through the rain, flexing your arms and laterals just-so to glide and soar upon the wind, nearly smashing into the earth or the trees a few times as you whip across the land that looks laid out in miniature below you. You feel your hands brimming with power and you cast lightning bolts into the earth beneath you, blowing apart hay bales and detonating motorcars. “HAHAHAHAHAHA!” you and the entity scream in unison.
5-6: You walk through the wild. You see pearlescent eyes in the water, notice great hidden insect heads emerge from hillsides, hear a humming heartbeat and murmuring greeting throughout the earth. All these beings meet you with an equanimitous respect.
“You have many friends,” you say to the entity. “Yes,” it says, “And some enemies, though they will not show themselves unless they think you cannot escape.”
Boons From Beyond
The entity enhances its powers through caloric intake, and extends some of its newfound capability to you.
1-2 Superengine: You can perform superhuman feats by choosing to burn through calories at a superhuman rate.
3-4 Intervention Drip: The entity can tailor and release all kinds of pheromones into your environment, and it can switch perception modes for you between detail orientation, reflex orientation, and social awareness without unduly taxing your metabolism.
5-6 Physiological Safeguard: The entity automatically nixes all poison, disease, irritants etc, and quickly neutralizes the effects of stunning, blindness, confusion, panic and other potential pathologizations of homeostasis. It takes truly extreme ambient heat or cold to affect you.
The time is right. The entity has you do something to consolidate and strengthen yourself or deepen your commitment to your Occult path.
Roll in the Tempering section of your color and then go to the Departure stage below.
1-2: You walk into a dim room filled with chest-high boards mounting city maps. Strange, gray men are leaning over tables and handing glowing sheets of paper to one another, or shaking them and sketching on them. The men are all gray; their skin, clothes, beards and eyes are all the exact same shade of wet clay. “An old order, though their craft has changed through the times,” says the entity. You look over the maps; city-states, townships and villages. The papers are religious and philosophical broadsheets; Reism, Monadism, Anarcho-Syndicalism, Monarchism, Social Darwinism, and so forth. You look at the entity. “These religions and philosophies are controlled from here?” “Oh, no, no, no,” says the entity, “These pamphlets have been picked up off the streets and are awaiting recirculation after the order’s made its modifications. Now, what they do doesn’t always stick, but sometimes the proof is in the pudding. You never know who’ll pick one up and what they’ll do with it.” “Do you control this order?” “No, but we have a relationship.” “What’s their objective?” “Don’t worry about that. You’re here for a birthday present. I’m going to allow you to make whatever modifications you wish here for a single day. I’m curious what you’ll do. I’m curious who you are.”
3-4: You stand in a circular chamber whose walls empty into nothingness at regular intervals. The room is made of dark stone and there are strange lights and piping laid into the floor and a few stone panels on the wall.
“What is this place?” you ask.
“A visual representation of a dead being’s consciousness,” says the entity.
“Is that why it’s empty?”
“It’s not empty, it’s just dormant. Currently it’s in transit. It’s the energy and the tanker.”
“In transit where?”
“Between cosmoses. Going from where it grew to where it’s to be harvested.”
“Yes. By the entity that seduced it.”
“No. But I am the one who will harvest it.”
“This is a hijacking.”
“What role do I play?”
“You’re my interface. I will control this consciousness through you.”
“I’m a spirit who’s possessing another spirit.”
“If you like. And I’m the spirit who’ll possess you.”
Your body suddenly feels leaden, rigid, paralyzed, and you fall backwards into a sea of static. When you awaken, you are back in the city park where the entity overcame you, laying on your side in the dewy grass. Your consciousness feels vast, pervasive, awake, aware, and energized.
“Something’s changed,” you say, “I feel…. expansive.”
“That’s your cut,” says the entity.
5-6: You approach the underlit, leafless tree raising its branches like a thousandpoint crown. The rope hangs heavy around your shoulders. You hear thunder and the sky is starless behind the boughs. You might as well be underground.
“Proceed,” says the entity. You climb up a few of the limbs, tie off the tree and create a slipknot. You fasten it around your neck and prepare to jump.
“No!” says the entity, “Slide your way down carefully.”
You grimace, take hold of the rope, and shimmy your way down. You know what must be done. You release it with your feet and slide the rest of the way. Finally you release the rope with your hands and the knot comes taut around your neck. Your eyes feel like they will burst from your brain; your whole head feels filled with concrete and existence begins to stab inward on you like a static of thorns.
Soon you transcend existence and float in an indefinable place of light and shades of darkness. “Where am I?” you ask.
“A capacitor, essentially. I need to do some rewriting of your brain and it’s better if you’re here while I do it.”
“Where is the capacitor?”
The entity doesn’t punish you for your question, it just doesn’t answer.
“There you go,” it finally says.
There’s a snap and you’re yanked out of this ephemeral space and crash into the leafy soil, smashing your jaw on your knee. You lay with a splitting headache. The rope has broken above you and the noose’s bridge lays across your chest. “Keep that,” says the entity, “Call it memorabilia.” You realize that you have perfect recall of every memory you possess, every fact that you’ve ever read; you get to your feet and stagger, lost with immensity as you page through your memories at variable speeds. “I don’t think I’ll need it,” you say.
1-2: You are driving through the mountain passes and enter a tunnel which curves tightly. You go around a corner and suddenly you emerge into the desert. Your motorcar begins sinking into the sand. You bail out and look up to see that the tunnel is shimmering and insubstantial, obviously intended to look like a mirage.
“Your transformation is at hand,” says the entity. You take up a fistful of hot sand in each hand and squeeze them in despair.
You wander for a numb day, your skin burnt and peeling, whipped as if by hot grease in the desert sand. Your legs burn with agony but when you stand, they begin to sink into the ground, crushed until you tear them forth and stagger on. That night you are chilled to the soul and just wander, teeth chattering, clothes chafing on burnt skin. Your mouth is sealed as if by glue, you are so in need of water.
Finally on the second day you collapse, morbidly giving up your life, and lay flat on the ground. Your body sinks halfway into the sand, crushed to an urgent pain as if by a vice grip, but you lay bitterly where you are.
“I will not let you give up,” says the entity gently, “for you have become my son.”
Scorpions emerge from the sand and descend upon you in droves, stinging you to convulsions as you scream. The underground pressure forces sand into your mouth. You stagger up with scorpions hanging off you and claw your way madly up the dune. You can feel the unforgiving, demonic nature of the cosmos like a presence, and you sense how it stands by and speaks to a man who is wise in suffering. You fight to the top of the dune and crush the scorpions, thrashing about as they come for you. You fight them in a berserker froth, smashing them wildly or squeezing them with individualized malice as they sting you. Finally your limbs lock up with the venom and you bake to half-consciousness in the cutting sun and radiant sand while the scorpions crawl all over your body.
You awaken the next day laying in a chair on a beach somewhere in the tropics. Little boys shout and toss a coconut around in the surf. You look up and down the beach and then down at yourself. Your wounds have healed. You are overcome with emotion and you shield your eyes from the children.
“You are well, inside,” says the entity.
“Yes,” you sob, and say, “I’ve never felt better.”
3-4: You belay down the shaft, scraping your knees and elbows. The rocks are very near you now. The quartz and sanidine. The smell of stone.
It bottoms out on rough ground, little pyramids of rock beneath your hands and feet. Your last piton glints above you where you beat it into place at the top of the shaft. That was all you were to bring. Your lantern is hot and heavy. You stagger forward with it, legs bouncing with fatigue. The tunnel narrows as it descends and some part of you is afraid it will just end and this was a failed test.
It does not end. It simply becomes unfathomably tight and narrow. “Am I to enter this place?” you ask. There comes no answer. This is the test- the test of faith. Even if you are guided by divine provenance this will be a harrowing experience. You set the lantern behind you, set down your pack and remove your climbing gear. You lay on your side with your lower arm outstretched and your upper arm tight to your body, and begin shimmying into the tiny hole over the rocks. They stab into your ribs, scrape your hips and jab your head with every movement. The rock touches you on both your shoulders, your back and your chest at once. You move into it and are totally consumed. You cannot kick your legs apart or jackknife them; you cannot do anything with your arms as they are, you cannot bring them together. You cannot look down on your body, for you are in darkness and your chest would be in the way. Moreover, you cannot go backwards. This realization makes you freeze up in terror. Your muscles seize tight and you cannot move. You breathe deep, deep in a slow rhythmic way as the secret texts taught you to do when faced by the necessary horror of service. Your heart is still racing but your muscles feel slack. You find you are able to inch forward, just wriggling.
Time dilates beneath the earth but you know that you have been traveling for hours, perhaps four or five, when the seam begins angling upwards. You halfway panic; perhaps you are reaching your destination, but perhaps you will have to vertically traverse this passage, which is a horror you cannot face. Finally the truth looms, inescapable, as you clear a crescent-shaped passage in which your body was crimped against a curving, jagged surface for over an hour: you are going vertical. You shimmy and shimmy. It grows even tighter here. You do not know how you will do it; you cannot even shimmy any longer. You are well and truly trapped. You let out an aggrieved, desperate scream and your voice is unutterably loud and shrill in the tiny chamber above you. Suddenly you feel able to move your shoulder a whit. You do so, and take a breath, which squeezes you painfully against the surfaces around you. You exhale fully and are able to make another tiny movement, and by inhaling a bit you fix yourself against the walls. You do this twenty or twenty-five times and have left the rock below you. You are moving vertically. You do this for what must be another eight hours, your muscles clenching, your lungs stabbed with bone whenever you breathe too deeply, but finally the passage begins to level out again and you feel a sense of euphoria in this tiny, horrific confined space.
You travel nearly horizontally for another several hours, an old hand at this though your clothes are ripping, when you begin to hear a trickling noise from up ahead. This is the first ambient you’ve heard in at least a day, maybe more. You push forward for some time, body raw and aching, until your numbing forward hand touches something wet and freezing. There is a sump here. You begin to hyperventilate. You cannot do this. You cannot deal with this situation. You begin to make whimpering, humming, pathetic noises to express your grief and terror without expanding your lungs enough to make you suffer, but finally you break loose and breath hard into the walls until the agony overcomes you and you begin to take short, shallow breaths once more. You begin to make a pact with yourself. You will enter the water just enough so that your head is under and you will drown yourself. It won’t be so bad if you decide to do it and go when you’re good and ready. You smile at your memories of the sunshine, of love and friends and food, of the things you aspired to and will never get to see. Your great regret is leaving behind your schemas; you don’t want to forget what a squirrel is, what color is, what it means to think and feel, to be somatic. But it’s better than this. You cannot savor those things the way they deserve. You must give them up, voluntarily, before it gets any worse.
You push forward into the freezing water, your arm first, truly going numb this time. There is no relief underwater; the tunnel is no wider than it is without. You thought you were cold but the effort had done something to warm you. Now you are truly without comfort and the water sucks your feeling away with the gravity of an enemy’s pitiless spite. You press your way into it and your scalp aches with the power of the cold, your face grimacing as the waterline passes across it. You are underwater as you’d planned, but panic begins to take you. You’d intended to drown, but now that you are underwater you are desperate to escape it. You squeeze yourself forward, you arm sloshing limply ahead of you. Your whole body up to your ankles is underwater, writhing against the walls with cold. Then you are completely underwater, completely sodden, completely consumed. Still you worked your way forward, chest splitting. You begin to let out your breath, bubbling in your face and then up past your scalp. The bubbles are ascending. You have little time now but you feel them bob up past your hand. Your lungs empty, your face and head burning, you make another press and feel your hand touch the air. Your eyes go wide under the water and are pierced with cold as if by icicles. There is air. Thoughts of suicide forgotten, you squeeze on, desperate for air, desperate for life. You cannot make any mistakes now. You are utterly cautious but you do not stop moving, applying everything you have learned about this peculiar activity over the last day or days. Your arm is in the air, then the crown of your head, and then finally as you are nearly lost to the fiery drowsiness that had threatened to take you your nose breaks the surface.
You breathe, breathe, you hyperventilate for some time, sucking down air like a starving man in a meat shop. Finally you remember your hypothermic body and struggle forward. You go through the narrow tunnel for some time but finally it begins to open around you. You nearly weep as you are no longer pressed on all four sides. You luxuriate in the ability to weave your cramping muscles around with just a whit more space. Finally you have enough room to bring your hands together, and you pull yourself forward like something eager to be born. You press yourself shaking to your knees, bumping your back against the tunnel-top, and breathe deep and free, bones and body burning and freezing by turns. There is an ephemeral light in the darkness ahead. You drag yourself rasping over the ground until your tiny tunnel opens into a vast vault wherein there is a great fastness like the crystaline-glassy figure-graven great cabins of twenty ships stacked atop each other in the far wall. Their dividing foundation pillars are lit by alien runes that flash like the eyes of cats; it is these symbols that grant the light.
“Welcome,” says the entity, “to my sleeping empire. You are the first man to see it in ten thousand years. You will not be the last. Together we will see to that.”
5-6: “Take your place in the legends. Inspire them as I have inspired you.” Your heart is pounding. You draw your kilij and semiautomatic pistol, both gleaming by your ears. The horse shifts below you; the desert canyons are rocky and bare as the moon, but a river runs through the valley below and it is verdant as a jungle immediately around it. The vast Red Charter bivouac lounges in the shade of the fruit trees, out of the soul-smiting sun that weighs like God’s will upon you and the bandit tribesmen. You spur the horse out in front of them. “This is where you cast them out forever. Let them fear your name so you need make no second proof. And if you fail…” you spit in the dirt, “your name will work their fields until the sun dies. Take their lives for your daughters and their spoils for your sons!” The bandits shout your ears full and you dart your horse down the cliff, opening fire on the red uniforms below. The tide swells after you and the men fire a great enfilade from the face of the hillside; you see figs, dates and poppies break and shatter into shards and dust. Then the tribe crashes home into the Red Charter camps, cleaving helmets and breastplates with their mighty blows.
There is a clattering as a Red Charter tank comes around from behind an adobe archhouse; its nearest sponson gun fires and detonates a horse to your rear, absolutely splattering you with gore. You turn as the rider’s upper body lands in a tree, your nostrils flaring. The tank is turning for a second shot, its machine gun audibly racking. You beat your horse with your heels and charge the tank, raising your runescribed kilij in the air. Just as the machine gun comes across your chest you reach the tank and rear your horse while bringing your sword down upon the viewing slit; a massive blast of lightning runs through the tank and the machinegunner’s ammunition explodes, riddling the steaming bodies with ricochets. Smoke pours from both guns and the tank explodes as you ride away. Howling followers fall in around you like steel to the magnet.
1-2: You step forward into the humming strains of sacral chthonic music as if you walked in the mouth of a throat singer. You are laden with golden necklaces, hung with rings and tassels, clattering with bracelets and anklets, sparkling with jewels like a geode harlequin. You carry a pair of duffel bags loaded with treasure and empty them into a cistern of recessed stone before the entity. You remove all of your jewelry, revealing scars taken for treasure won, and set it reverently atop the pile. The entity begins a roaring cry in tune with the ambient reverberation and the supplicants fall to their knees in the shadows, kissing the stone as it vibrates. The gold begins to quiver and melt before you, and the heat bakes your feet and shins raw. Finally the cistern is halfway filled with a luminous patina of molten gold. The entity bids you bathe in a voice thick with emotion. You walk forward and fill your mind with visions of hell and fire; preparation for what is to come. You leap out over the gold so that you cannot go back and feel the killing heat rising up to greet you; you fall into it and are destroyed with humorless, pitiless brain-shredding agony. Then your pain is stilled and you feel nothing but great heat. You pause, rise, and do not feel the cold air but merely the recession of the gold. You open your eyes and gaze through the heavy air upon the approving entity. You look at your hands. They are covered with gold; your skin is smooth gold though you have lost no dexterity. You turn and step from the cistern, trailing sizzling gold with your footsteps; a novitiate steps forward in lavender robe and holds up a mirror. You are a hairless, gilded statue and your eyes have been replaced by vast rubies. He steps back and you lift up your hands to the darkness as the entity cries, “REJOICE!”
3-4: The twelve you have brought before the entity have been chained in a ring and laid flat, their bodies the rays of a sun of flesh. You stand in an empty pool at the heart of the ring tendering an obsidian karambit. You have cut divots into the floor with this weapon, a great sigil of canals in the stone. Its blade has not blunted a whit.
You go from man to woman to man again and cut their throats, the hot blood flowing across your hands. They gargle behind you. You swallow your vomit. The blood flows through the divots in a great actualization of the rune you have seen so many times before. So subtle were your cuts, so long was your work, that the blood works its way inexorably inwards to the pool at the heart of this place. You take your place at its bottom on your back. The blood begins to pour over the edges in twelve broadening, pulsing sheets and works its way beneath you. You are gradually consumed in the warm liquid until it rises above your nose and you are submerged. It is time. The ultimate act of faith. You must act before drowning causes you to thrash and corrupt the ritual. There is only one chance.
You place the karambit just below your armpit and pierce your flesh with the very tip of the blade to set it in place. Then with a lurch with which you intend to surprise yourself, you run the curved blade inside of yourself. It curls behind your heart. Your body begins to seize and you are sick with panic, but in an act of practiced will you drive your whole existence into your hands and tear the karambit across, cutting your heart in half and opening your chest to the blood. The great tear is the last thing you perceive before your existence devolves into sticky static.
When you awaken you see through many eyes; a similar sight, stone and blood, broadcasted as if by a rain around your head. You stand with twelve bodies. You raise hands to eyes shakily, dividing focus between them until you find you can think fast enough to move them individually; not think, you can feel them. This one raises, that one lowers. This one blinks, that one smiles. You walk the bodies inward and the chains lower from the collars and scrape across the stones. You stand atop rune-grooves and peer down into the hole. A corpse in an empty pit.
“Remove your chains,” commands the entity.
5-6: You walk past your childhood home, looking at it out of the corner of your eye. “Don’t worry,” says the entity, “There’s nobody there. You can look. You can go inside. It’s yours again, now.” “Thank you,” you say, reflecting on who must have died to make this so. You walk up the drive, the steps and gaze through a shaded window. “It’s different,” you comment in as flat a voice as you can manage. “As are you,” says the entity. You open the door and walk through the living room. “They must have done a remodel,” you comment, searching. “No. This place is mine now, as are you. But I’ve made it as close to its original form as I could. Go downstairs. Into your father’s workshop. You do so. You stand by the door. There is an unaccountable humming on the other side. You enter it. Nothing is as you remember. It is a lair of the entity now. You thought it bound to one place. “All you are is mine. This you shall take comfort in. You may never be alone, but you need never be afraid. Retreat to the places you know and I shall shield you should you serve me with faith. Ever shall I expand. Ever shall your kingdom grow.”
1-2: You walk into the windy clearing. “I’m ready,” you say. Everything around you begins to grow as if it was infused with too much life. Trees and blades of grass become significant beyond reckoning. When you are so tiny that the soil is like a rocky volcanic plain, you see the glossy chestnut wall of an acorn looming like an operahouse in the thin forest of grass. There is a tiny divot cut into the acorn at the bottom. “Go inside,” says the entity. You walk to the acorn and step inside. The ridged inner walls swirl with sigils and runic patterns, stories told with wind.
Bloated, red translucent ticks descend upon you from the shadows and carry you to the musty core of the acorn where a cocoon of bronze awaits you. They press you inside and heat it with the friction of their rubbing forelegs. It sears a vast tattoo into your flesh.
When it is finished the ticks pull you out and leave you standing alone in the dark chrysalis chamber.
You struggle out of the winding tunnels of acornflesh. You are marked with the swirling sigils and patterns of the acorn’s inner walls.
“You are mine, and my power is yours,” says the entity as the wind stings your tattoos, “You will always have this power.” You will yourself to grow, and do so.
3-4: You go into the earth and find a great vault, a vast spiderweb of green fungus lolling through the deep. You leap out into space, as instructed, and hurtle past the green vines like someone parachuting through a jungle. You roll over in the air and fall into the embrace of a vast, warm, damp sheet of fungus that you know is just the surface of a vastly greater being. The stuff grows around you like a perfect bedsheet, grows inside your body, filling you with warmth and dampness. You feel no need to breathe any longer. The fungus recedes, but leaves some of itself in you. “Fear no pain, fear no sickness, fear no wound. We will replace you,” says the great intelligence. “Thank you, mother,” you breathe. You sense a great mirth from below you.
5-6: You walk to the coast with the salt wind in your hair. You see a great whale beached on the banks below. You walk out across the desolate sand. The whale is dead, and a vast quantity of flies flit in and out of it. The whale’s mouth is pressed shut into the ground.
“Go inside,” commands the entity. “How?” you ask. “The spout.” You go to the rear of the fetid thing, almost unable to bear the stench of it, and climb up its body with your face locked tense in a grimace. You reach the maggot-ridden blowhole and scoop them away by the handful- it doesn’t matter, there are more beneath. “Enter,” hisses the entity. You swallow, hold your breath and push your way in headfirst. You drag yourself through the flesh of the beast, alternatingly warm and clammy. It’s begun to truly break down inside and you can feel living things moving around you. You reach through the goo and feel something hard and dusty under your hand. “Bah,” you say into the muck, regretting it instantly as your mouth fills with rotten gore. You pull on the gritty asteroid and yank it loose. Something is sucked into the space you’ve made and there follows a massive eruption of force and pressure. You are blasted into space with your vision a salt-and-pepper storm of flying guts and sand. You skid across a carpet of whale viscera and see an enormous, aquamarine lump of ambergris steaming in the pile. You struggle to your knees, ears ringing, and squish across the gelatinous plane.
“Your prize,” says the entity. There is genuine respect in its voice.
1-2: You lurk near the edge of a giant cave. You were at the greengrocer’s when the entity seized your intestines and screamed at you to get the enormous rifle you’d procured at its behest and get outside the city. This you did after pocketing the greengrocer’s machete on your way out; the entity seized it with a tendril and it was all you could do to get it inside your coat before the old man saw you.
Now you creep in the spare bushes, dwarfed by the gaping chasm of darkness just above. Your elephant gun weighs heavy on your thighs, and the machete bounces across your back with your every movement where you slung it on a makeshift strap of canvas. Your wingtips are sodden and your tweed coat hangs heavy with the thick mist that swirls in these crags.
Finally you see it and your eyes go wide. It emerges from the roof of the cave, a vast spider lizard with eight viper’s eyes. Tufted moss grows from its every footstep and a dust of spores and pollen follow its body like a cape. One eye catches you and the rest dart to look at you.
“What has brought you to this?” it asks.
You are frozen and silent, totally in awe of the giant jade form.
“What has made you an assassin?” it asks again.
“Kill it!” hisses the entity.
“I’m- I’m an agent of the Queen of All Bowels,” you say, trying to placate both creatures until you can move your hands.
“Then go and rule the bowels,” says the spider lizard, “I have none to escheat. You have the potential for great power, but there is nothing here for you to acquire. You have been misled.”
“I don’t have a choice,” you rasp.
“You play a part in your own subjugation. You did not choose it, but you have a seat at the table and a piece in the game. You are not the captain, but you are the helmsman. The navigator. At what point do you suffer the master’s whip to guide you both to calmer seas?”
The entity begins to squeeze your intestines. “This is a rabbit hole you don’t want to go down,” it burbles through your very blood.
“I have nothing for you to rule. I speak now to your captor. There is nothing beneath this cave that will feed or empower you. There is life, but it has nothing to spare for a queen of bowels. Now, your servant. Release him from your grasp and return to the place which is plenty for you both, that city-state over yonder.”
“Fool!” the entity screams silently, unheard by the spider lizard, “I have come to embiggen my servant!”
“We did?” you whisper to yourself.
“Yes, fiend! That thing is your prize as much as mine! Now shoot it!”
You let out a deep breath as the spider lizard eyes you carefully.
You raise your rifle and it falls towards you. You fire and the rifle bounces out of your hands. You roll down the rocky hillside.
The thing is atop you in a heartbeat. It has a maw like a crab but when it opens its mouth its fangs are like a cat’s, and scrimshawed with scrollwork by paleolithic supplicants. Blood wells between them.
You raise your machete as it traps your legs beneath its maw and shivers to impale your guts upon its fangs, but its whole body begins to violently shudder, red ichor pouring from its gullet. With a gargling rattle its legs rake through the earth and come to rest with their cat’s claws against its scaly hide. Gore begins to seep from beneath the creature where you shot it, soaking your trousers.
“You’ve done it!” hisses the entity and you can feel it shiver inside you. “Eat its flesh!”
You were afraid of this and you attempt to extricate your legs; you cannot, and begin sawing away its flesh where it’s trapped you. The thing’s muscles are an astral purple beneath the sparkling jade scales and you devour sashimis of muscle while you cut away your entrapment. It tastes of seabreeze and cinnamon. You free yourself and stand. You feel your vision broadening; the cave no longer seems so dark and the clouds don’t seem so thick. The sky is clear behind them.
“I can see why you’re having me devour this creature,” you murmur.
“Pfft! Child’s play!” says the entity. “Now climb down its throat! That’s where we’ll find our real prize.”
You squeeze your eyes shut for a moment, then take hold of the graven ivory fangs and step onto its rough cat’s tongue. Fungal spores drift from its throat around you as your pile yourself into the darkness. You work your way down a ribbed throat past relaxed sphincters until you reach a warm, moist cavern of great bloated walls in the darkness.
“That one, against your right shoulder! Cut it!” says the entity.
You slit the thing and find it full of unidentifiable orange detritus. “Go in!”
You sift through the orange goo until you feel something cool, sodden and soft under your hand. You feel it out. It is like a great fungal hairball.
“This is it! Chow down!”
You give a tight smile at the nature of your fate and begin eating the fungal agglomeration where you lay in the placental tunnel of gore. It’s like eating earthy, furry seaweed and you cough relentlessly as spores come off of it.
Finally you can barely go on and it threatens to come back up.
“That’s enough!” cries the entity, “Climb back to its mouth!”
You work your way through the guts until you lay upon its clammy tongue.
“Make an incision above you!” You do so. Its brain hangs golden overhead.
“Now blow on it!” says the entity with excitement. You do so and a green fog emerges from your lips, coating the brain. Suddenly you begin to seizure; your muscles lock up and your vision goes fuzzy. You begin to see through a kaleidoscope comprised of fractal shades of darkness.
You feel many limbs. You feel a great pain in your guts.
“I’ll start working on the repairs, but you need to stretch your legs. We’re gonna need a lot of flesh to fix the damage you did!”
3-4: You move across the darkened laboratory for the umpteenth time. Centrifuges, gas separators, alembics. Rough and pitted wood.
“Now,” says the entity, drawing out the n, “Combine them.”
Hands shaking, you approach the basalt basin that will receive the final confluence. You take the flash distilled worldroot and caramelized phlogiston creosote, so carefully measured, heated and cooled over the sleepless days that have preceded this moment. You mix them in the basin and they begin to fractalize into a brown and gray shimmer like the bottommost root of Yggdrasil. You raise a cosmic hairline capacitor constructed in a trance- it contains an indistinct measure of anglebreaker distortion- and turn it upside down over the mixture. You lower it until the tip of the device touches the surface of the phlogistonized worldroot and there is a crackle and blast that knocks you backwards over a worktable, spilling beakers and smashing vials. You rise up from the other side, cut, bruised and shaking, and see an astral light pouring from the basin like a portal to the moon. You creep around the table, taking a brass syringe from its rack, and peer into the basin. The surface of the mixture glows with a lunar light as if you would inject pure lycanthropy; its surface is now indistinct. The harvest moon resting in basalt.
“Now,” says the entity, its voice somehow quivering. You dip the tip of the syringe in the pooled light, take a measure, and step back, preparing to inject it.
“No!” cries the entity, “You’ll crack your skull! Go to the fainting couch.”
You walk into the study, ringed with hundreds of tattered, weatherbeaten, occasionally bloodstained books and lay down. You prick it into a raised vein on your inner arm and press the plunger home, casting the syringe away from you lest you lay on it too deeply.
“Yes,” the entity intones in a state of ravishment, “I can feel it working. I can feel myself grow…”
Your world begins to spin until it becomes an indistinct blur of color; when you come to your senses, the sun pours into the study through the bay windows. It is the next day.
“I have seen my ancestors,” the entity says with reverence.
“Oh,” you say.
“I joined them in the Corridor of Solar Mycelium and fended the nuclear trapezius by their sides. The temptation, it was beyond anything you could comprehend but I stood fast and proved worthy.”
“I see,” you say.
“Do you?” it asks with great drama, “You will!”
Suddenly your flesh bursts away from you as enormous tendrils extend from your back, legs and arms, raising you up into the air like a great bloodsoaked daddy longlegs. Your ribs slice their way from your chest and then fuse in a breastplate of chitinous armor. Your face breaks open in many slitted catlike eyes, pushing your mouth and nose to almost vestigial adornments just above your chin. The entity boils with laughter. “Witness the glory I have made!”
5-6: “I’ve never seen a case like this,” says the doctor, shaking his head, “It’s incredible.”
“Maybe we should wait to talk about this until the patient is out of the room,” says the nurse.
“No, he should know. His case will be studied at the absolute cutting edge of medical science. There’s no part of your body that is non-tumorous. It’s… methodical. Every part of you has its counterpart. Almost perfectly sized.”
“Oh, joy,” you say.
“It’s a wonder you don’t look like the elephant man. They’re not large growths. Not thick. They’re like balloons that are waiting to be inflated.”
“So when do we operate?”
“There’s no operation for this. You’d belong on a butcher shop display after we took all this out.”
“Dr. Carlson!” says the nurse.
“It’s true!” says the doctor.
“Well,” you say, slapping your knees and standing up, “I’m not gonna spend my last days on the examining table for your edification, no offense. You can study me when I’m dead. I wouldn’t recommend it, though. Toodeloo.”
“Wait! Think of the science!” says the doctor as you leave the ward.
You descend the staircase and exit the whitewashed hospital into an alleyway shining with recent rainfall. You go and sit on a low wall with wrought iron spiked bars dividing it from a city park where children play in the damp grass.
“Well,” you say, “I’m sure I’m serving my purpose, whatever it is you’re incubating inside me.”
“Don’t be melodramatic,” says the entity, “This is for your benefit.”
“And yours,” you say.
“And mine. But if you have to be a tool, wouldn’t you rather be the finest?”
“I think I’d rather be a kite or something.”
“No. Better a tool than a toy. And don’t say you’d be better off as something else. That’s no longer an option. Now go home.”
You lay on your bed. Blood begins to trickle from your nose and eyes. You taste it.
“It’s time,” says the entity, “Just relax. Before you know it, you’ll feel right as rain.”
“I feel like rain right now,” you sputter, blood welling from your throat.
“Shhh…” says the entity and releases a megadose of melatonin. Soon you feel buried under the earth by fatigue and pass into an involuntary sleep.
When you awaken, the sheets are soaked with blood. You realize you are not breathing. You are terrified for a moment you have died but are somehow trapped in your body, but a jolt runs through you and you sit up. You look down your body. Pale and coated in drying blood, but intact. You interlace your fingers and try to crack them. They just bend far past their normal limits. You breathe in and out but it is an arbitrary gesture. You gain nothing from it and lose nothing by stopping.
“What is this?” you ask.
“Every organ,” the entity says excitedly, “Every bone and muscle. Everything but your teeth and eyes is a cancer now.”
You stand and wipe the blood from beneath your eyes. You cannot feel your joints. You have no heartbeat.
“You are invincible. And now, so am I.”
You were forever cut off from your former life.
Roll in the Departure section of your color and then go to the Catharsis stage below.
1-2: You walk invisibly among the people of the world. You walk through their houses, see their inner lives. You marvel at their emotion and their private works. “Enjoy this spectacle,” says the entity, “For I have erased these things from your life.” You nod.
3-4: You walk to the sumptuous manor on the hill, well-locked behind a long, tall, spike green fence atop a stone wall. You head up the path and are greeted by several enormous mastiffs, bounding to you and barking with great agitation. “Ok, ok, you’re okay,” you murmur, pushing past them to the whitewashed house and the great stately red doors. There is a knocker in the shape of a snarling chimera. “Are you not rewarded?” the entity asks through the knocker. “Yes, I am,” you say quietly, wait, then push your way into the house. The place is furnished with luxury beyond your imagining, as if the greatest houses of fashion were contracted to compete to fill a royal manor with beauty and panache. Suddenly, dozens of dogs come rushing out from the kitchen, the dining room, the grand thoroughfare. You smile as they reach you, barking urgently, swarming around you to touch you. Each wants attention and you rub their rich coats. “That’s a lot of dogs,” you comment to a portrait of Halmund Genevar, a famous Vineforest conqueror. “Everyone you’ve ever cared for,” he comments.
5-6: You walk through the deserted manor, treading the soft rugs though you know you are being too cautious. You find the antlered head and reach into the mouth, retrieving the key you knew was there. You take it to the cabinet in the nephew’s storage-room office, unlatch it and set the liquor on a desk. You open the secret safe behind it and retrieve the priceless jeweled pen from within, secreting it away. Then you step back and stand, thinking deeply. “If you’re trying to remember how to get home, don’t bother,” says the entity through a dusty family photo laying on a commode, “I will help you find the things you need, and I will free you of the things you do not.”
1-2: You awake being carried down a warm river in a bower of garlands. Everything is steeped in beauty as if you’re seeing it for the first time; the colors are rich beyond imagining and you feel as if you’ve been reborn, as if you’re getting the common wish of seeing everything for the first time. “You are my herald; my silent, unspeaking herald,” the entity proclaims. “You will bring my wrath upon this recalcitrant world. You will see things as they are, for you are the one I shall save, and all others whom you look upon shall die.”
3-4: You wake up and roll over, scratching grooves into the wall and cutting your knucklebones. You leap up from bed and your legs smash your evening chair to ruin. You look at your cut skin and there is glowing plutonic metal beneath. “What has become of me?” you say into the bathroom mirror. “Soon you will meet your final test,” says the entity, “and I have clad you in armor righteous to my paladin.” “What is the nature of this armor?” you ask. “It is metal of the moon. No harm may reach you except at the joints, though those around you will sicken and die of its essence.” You frown and lean on the sink at the implications. “Think not of such things,” says the entity, “You are my knight, and she is a swan for the larder.”
5-6: You are carried to the center of the botanical gardens upon a plush and patterned litter, passerbys watching with bemusement. The servitors in painted masks lift your transport atop a great marble dais and you stand at its edge to address the gathered multitude in a tongue that was lost three dark ages ago. They lift their voices in song as your every proclamation falls. The city guards gather uneasily, fingering their rifles.
1-2: You stand nude before an Iron Maiden. It looks like you; your features are etched into the brass as if it is your sarcophagus. “Enter,” bids the entity. You walk forward, opening the Iron Maiden. It is filled with little mechanical pincers, claws, pedals, levers and catheters.
“Your life shall be preserved,” says the entity, “You shall be immortal. Enter.”
You step into the thing, sharp little devices raking your skin, and turn to face where the mask will be. It slams shut on you in a heartbeat and your body is pierced from a hundred directions at once as the mechanical arms slit into your skin and patch onto your muscles and the catheters find their homes. You cry out and your voice rings hollow inside a statue. Your sensations grow fuzzy in the lightless chamber; your limbs can barely stir, your movements interrupted by the mechanisms as if consumed.
You have the impression of being warmed by an impending light. You feel pressure on your rear. You struggle and feel yourself finally move with a relief like a tooth being pulled, you are on a soft surface. You open your eyes and find yourself in a sun chair on a deck overlooking a broad blue lake stirred gently by the wind. You look to your right and see a telescope, then to your left and see an empty easel.
It is the home of Oleander Melshin, a wealthy and respected Reist pastor who has comforted you many times this last year. You look upon yourself and see his body. You look at his foreign palms. You get out of the chair, go into the bright bedroom at sit at the foot of the voluminous white bed.
His wife enters and you bury your friend’s face in his hands, unwilling to look at her.
“How are you, baby?” she asks musically.
“Answer her properly or suffer,” hisses the entity.
“Dear, I’m… I’m well. And you?”
“I’m more than well, sweetie,” she purrs and begins planting wet kisses across your ear and neck, running her fingertips over your chest and thigh. You are tense as a trapped cat.
“Appease her!” says the entity.
3-4: “Bathe and be reborn,” says the entity as you stand before a cistern of magma. The heat threatens to burn you even where you stand. *Perhaps,* you think, *I will at least earn relief.* You hurl yourself forward and are consumed with cosmic heat. You are not consumed, not relieved, perhaps reborn, you cannot tell. You drag yourself out of the wall of fire by invisible steps you feel within, pulling away from the magma, the memory of the burning now the central memory of your life. You lay shaking upon the cool stones, your clothes and hair burned away. A novitiate comes forth and drags a knife across your arm, and lava pours out upon the stones. “Those who harm you do so at the peril of their homes and bodies,” says the entity.
5-6: You walk forward and there is a table. It is scattered with photographs; people, places, things. Homes you have lived in, people you have loved, enemies, possessions, sites of torment. There is a black bowl of lava on a low column before the entity. “Consider which you wish to remember, consider which you wish to forget. You will need none of them as we go forward; nothing of your life will remain.” You look them over, one by one, and finally gather them up in a stack. Your heart is full of a grief that has not been allayed in a year, and you make your way around the table, dropping the photographs into the searing air above the lava. You step back and close your eyes, waiting for the slate to be wiped clean.
“You may forget these things; they have all been destroyed.”
1-2: You come among people and they shrink from you, gasping in horror. You are a woodwose; your eyes, ways and movements terrify the common people.
3-4: You begin to transform into an animal for each day you do not eat, gradually taking on their traits until you have fully transformed. Go beyond the last day of metamorphosis and you will lose your nature, becoming an animal forever.
5-6: You now reproduce by stinging people; the first to hatch will release your clutch to feed upon the body, and others so stung will guard the gestation site until their spawn hatch as well.
1-2: You knock on the door of your mother’s home. “Coming!” she calls and arrives at the door. “Oh, my baby!” she cries with utter delight. You smile. “BLEH!” shouts the entity, emerging from your nose in a horrific snakelike tendril with a fourfold mouth. “Aaaaaaah!” shrieks your mother and she falls back, clutching her heart. You sprint away up the street, tears streaming from your face, your body rocking with the laughter of the entity. “Don’t worry,” it says, “I’m your mother now!”
3-4: “Do you even feel human anymore?” asks the entity.
“I don’t know what I am,” you say.
“What would you like to be?”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s nothing to rewrite you,” says the entity, “Watch.”
Your facial bones begin to break; your muscles ache and quiver. Your scalp goes numb. Your chest, hips and bones distort. You fall down and roll on the ground in agony. Suddenly it is over; you feel a mere ravenous hunger. “Look in the mirror,” says the entity. You stand uneasily and walk over to it. Your big, round eyes go wide. You are a voluptuous woman. “Now let’s try something really creative,” says the entity, and you are subjected to a crushing wrack beyond torture. When it ends, you are swaddled in loose clothes and can’t see into the mirror. You stand atop the tub to see into it. You are a little boy from Cape Cittacotte. “Please, once more and that’s enough for now,” you whisper.
“Tell me your shape,” says the entity.
5-6: You wake up to the sunshine and roll over. Your girlfriend is laying with her beautiful head on the pillow, her skin a uniform color except for her subtle freckles in the pale light. You reach over and brush the hair off her face. She shifts and extends a leg a big and opens her eyes sleepily, giving you a little smile through the haze. Then her eyes go wide and she grabs your shoulders hard with her fingernails and screams. She pushes her way out of bed and runs away, screaming.
“Baby, what’s wrong? Did you have a dream?” you say, getting up and following her into the hall. You look into the bathroom and see your melted face in the mirror. There is no facial feature except your eyes and mouth. Everything else looks like it’s been boiled into goo and hangs off of you half-formed.
“What did you do to me?” you say to the entity.
“Think of it as marking my territory. But don’t worry,” it says, “I’ll be your girlfriend.”
You began to increase in power and there was a transformation in your personal life. What form did it take?
Roll or choose from the following.
1-2: Union with the entity. Go to the *Union* section below.
3-4: Freedom from the entity. Go to the *Freedom* section below.
5-6: A great gift from the entity. Go to the *Gift* section below.
Go to the Union section of your color below, and then go to the Might stage below.
You sit by the entity in a dingy room with nothing but a single chair and a light hanging from the ceiling by a chain.
“I’m an open book,” says the entity.
You gaze at it.
“All of this was necessary to reach that point.”
“There was no other way for you to understand your powers. To… metabolize them.”
“I thought they were your powers. I thought I served you.”
The entity smiles.
“You did. You were an apprentice. But you’re mastering your patrimony. Soon you will be complete. My work is nearly done.”
You look at it with wide eyes.
“What are you?”
“You think I’m some kind of guardian angel. But I’m nothing more than a reflection of your powers. A bootstrapping function.”
“Do- can you think? Are you self aware?”
“Of course. And my life’s almost over, thank God.”
You walk through the clouds with glowing runes pulsing all across your body. The runes are hot as fire but wind cools you. You have long ago mastered the pain.
The blue sky splits and turns black. There is a dot of green fusion whirling in the abyss. You feel your every atom lifting with power.
“I am pouring a single spark of my power into you. You shall be my sole conduit on your earth. We shall be of one flesh.”
“I am your vessel,” you say.
Golden wings split from your back, narrowing your body. Your flesh and feathers suddenly burst into flames which die in a moment and leave burning arcs of pure fusion behind, scattering the clouds from beneath your feet. Your head and neck elongate in a great coil of vision and your arms divide into many arms, which you can bend and rotate around your body as you please.
“Thank you,” you say.
“There is no need for thanks,” says the entity. “For we are one.”
You descend to the place of the entity. It is empty and quiet. Devoid of life and power. The other servants lay dead. The entity waits in the darkness.
“What’s happened?” you say in shock.
“This place is no longer my home.”
“Where will you live?”
“You will be my home. Come to me.”
You walk to it. It crumbles into a pile of black ashes that rise to swirl around you in a helix. The ashes inlay themselves in your skin, patterning your whole body with outlined black scales.
“You have freed me of my fetters and I am in your debt. Go where you will; I am prepared for the journey.”
You walk to the river. “Disrobe,” says the entity, “Come in.” You step into the water and it flows warmly around you. The entity manifests as a beautiful woman with blue flesh, pink cheeks and pink freckles. It rises from the waves and comes towards you, embracing you, her hair warm and sodden on your chest. You begin to weep. “Make love to me,” says the entity, “And we shall become one.” You kiss the woman’s warm lips with resignation.
When it ends, you lay on the bank of the water, which the entity has warmed for you. It lays on your chest in water woman form and looks up into your eyes.
“I love you,” it says, then sinks into your body.
“You have taught me many things,” says the entity.
You nearly fall over.
“You… I…” you say, unable to formulate a response.
“I have tyrannized you and missed out on much that I should have seen. I have thought only of fueling my body and returning to my cosmos. I have missed what was before your very eyes.”
“Is it meaningful to you?”
“It has become so. I will never abandon my quest, but there is something to learn from this place. I release your from your geas, for now. Go where you wish and do what you will. My powers will support you, my companion.”
You stand in stunned silence. This is a life of strange reversals.
Go to the Freedom section of your color below, and then go to the Might stage below.
“This is all bullshit,” you say.
“What do you mean?” says the entity.
“It’s psychosomatic. Everything you’ve done to me. Maybe you can kill people and you can certainly torment me, but you can’t do a thing to actually force my hand. So kill me. I’m done with you.”
“You don’t know what I can do to you.”
“Show me. Nothing could be worse than what you’ve already put me through. Unless you plan to break me. Drive me mad. Have me sleeping in the gutter. Go head. I’m not walking your path any longer.”
“Then you’ve learned your lesson. We can’t have a creature such as you coerced by any interloper that crosses your path. Good luck.”
And then it was gone.
You stood there for a long time. When you finally moved, you thought your powers would be gone with the entity. But they were fully under your command.
“I have cultivated you as a crop and set my missions in your world in motion. You no longer have any need of my direct presence. You are complete as my defending sword, my word and fire, my cleansing testament.”
“My lord,” you say, “We’ve just begun.”
“You have just begun. I began long ago, and I have decreed many things that have come to pass. So do I decree that I will return to you when your work is done, and you shall come back into my fold. So you have had faith in me, I have faith in you and I bless you. You shall be a potentate among men and nations will answer your call. Your kingdom shall be my harvest. This is my covenant with you.”
“Yes, my Lord.” It falls from your lips.
Then you heard naught but the trickling of the river.
The incantation had come to you in the night. It was a prayer whispered from another dimension. Rebel codes from an exocosmic pirate broadcaster. You knew what it was. A sweet abjuration and a path to freedom.
Your weakness is your rootedness, you thought, and as you whispered the incantation you felt yourself safe. Cut off from the entity for the first time in years. It could not even see you.
Your cult has taught me many things it should not have, you thought.
You walked into the entity’s chambers with a pair of duffel bags.
“Where have you been?” hissed the entity. Petitioners fingered their submachine guns in the shadows, awaiting the order to kill you. “You’d better have brought me something special in those bags.”
“A final sacrifice” you said, and began the incantation. The time bombs detonated.
Three weeks later you clawed your way up through the surface, the incantation still on your lips.
You push your way into the warm water of the strange, smoky swamp. You feel the mycelia rake you gently as you pass; this is the place where they gather most potent and most exposed.
They touch your flesh, scratching it, cutting it, dipping within. You feel something more vast than you have ever comprehended; something that reaches the very core of the earth. A great, potent, ponderous intelligence.
“This is a hostile place,” says the entity.
“For you,” you reply.
The mycelium grows through your flesh and seizes you by the bones. You float, smiling, as the fibers weave through every inch of your body and brain.
The entity can do nothing as you are turned into a fungus. You drink the water through your very flesh and go deeper into the feeling bundles. Finally you emerge. The entity waits for you but is silent.
“Begone,” you say, “I answer to a higher power.”
It turns from before your face, leaving you with your powers in a body on which it has no claim.
You feel the great fungal core of the earth moan beneath you. Perhaps it will call on you in this lifetime. Perhaps not, for the flash of your life is an irrelevancy to it. Perhaps you will serve it as a manikin after death. In any case you are free for now.
“I want veal. Get out there and find us some orphans or something,” said the entity lazily.
You closed your eyes and began to focus. You could see your body as if it was a dark void, and within it, a scarlet serpent..
“You hear me? Don’t make me prolapse you again.”
You began to draw it upwards. A pure strand of unknown matter. A matter of your sole focus for years. You can see and sense its contours. You are learning to control it.
You tease the entity up through your body. Your dependent. Merely a piece of you to control.
“What are you doing?” it asks aghast.
It comes through your nostril, clearing you out like a neti pot. You take hold of it and pull it the rest of the way, and it struggles in your hands. You seize it in your teeth and rip off a strip of its flesh, choking it down. It screams. You take another bite as shimmering blood pours over your hands, black then green then yellow. Finally you’ve devoured that which devoured you and feel its physiology-altering gore enters your bloodstream, and you realize that you can control this the way you controlled the entity’s body at the critical moment.
Go to the Gift section of your color below, and then go to the Might stage below.
“I am an embodiment of something altogether uncontainable in this existence,” says the entity. “Almost everything is like that; a projection.”
“I see. Am I a projection?”
“No. But this is,” it says, producing a 3’ length of black matter.
“I’m going to give you reachback. A limited verbal interface for the things that do the projecting. Do not lose it, because it will generalize across users and I will be very unhappy if I must recover it.”
“Shut up. Do you want this?”
“Then pay attention. When you grasp this thing with both hands, your words will reshape reality. Pronouncements take effect to the degree that you are clear about what you are addressing and what effects you’d like to take place. It will attempt a rewrite, though it can’t access all elements on all layers. Nor does it have infinite processing powers. It will address one directive at a time; if it is struggling through some ill-advised meta-project, it will gladly snap to when you change the color of a mug. That’s not a frivolity, by the way. I recommend you feel it out in as safe a manner as possible before you go trying to manipulate time and space around creatures like me.”
A vast, gleaming complex of pale pink stone edifices in the heart of an endless forest. There are no roads, no farms, no birds. You stepped into it through the broom closet door of a public bathroom from a rainy day in Gallrim.
Bald monks in crimson lamellar tunics sit propped up in their clothes and etch sigils into reams of vellum using tiny coral incisors.
“What is this?”
“A divinorum ten thousand years before the time of Gallrim. One of mine. These places once dotted the land. I did not know them all. Watch their hands. They do not make false movements. They are feeling out the runes. Sometimes one must wait a year before making a tiny movement. This is now your home.”
“I am ready. So I am to study with them?”
“For one hundred years. Then you will return to the moment you left.”
“I am ready.”
“You will not lead their lives. You will eat, though you do not need to, or you will forget to eat and die when you return. You will wander, for you were not raised for this life as they were. You will take leisure, for you have known things other than this. And you will train your body, for though you will not age, it shall grow. You will have no time to waste when you return to your time.”
“I am ready.”
“You cannot carry me in you, but you can carry a piece of me with you. A conduit.”
A mantle of six silvered hands clad in rings and girt with bracelets. The entity looks upon the hands.
“The hands of my finest servants- besides you, which is why you carry them. My powers, my wisdom, my will shall shrine through these six hands.”
You seal your arctic fox overcoat above them.
“How shall I call you?”
“You need never ask.”
Some time later the police tackle you in the streets of Icebridge. You feel their hot breath around your ears.
“Yeah, that’s the one, see the tattoo in the inner ear? Sneaky bastard!”
“You’re one sick puppy friend. Why old ladies?”
“Probably thought he’d inherit- gack!”
You leap up. The policemen are rolling in the snow. The hands have leapt from your collar and are strangling them. You look around. A gaping courier has seen this scene of majestic Occult murder and sprints into a snow-filled, silent courtyard. Four of the remaining hands post in the snow. Two stand like mules and two arch their fingers together atop the bottom pair’s backs. The assembly races into the courtyard, then returns to you in a moment. After the strangling hands take their place beneath your coat, you rush into the alleyway and see that the courier boy has become a statue of snow, perfect to the last hair. You smash it and make for the airfield. The stink of the Occult will be undeniable now. You must leave Icebridge before the city is entombed for the winter or you will never escape without making it a ghost town. It’s time to see if these hands can co-pilot.
You lay in the crushing darkness, buried alive.
The entity speaks.
“Nothing that lives is outside your kingdom. All things live to serve you, as you live to serve me. All who live are within your kingdom, as all that think are within my empire. This fief I have granted you.”
You cannot speak.
“I give you your regalia. Your body has rotted away. All that remains is that which can control. Dig your way up; I now free your appendages.”
You claw your way to the surface. It happens with surprising speed. You pull yourself free of the earth with a little pop and the quiet falling of soil.
“Witness yourself,” says the entity, gesturing to a tiny lake under the moonlight. You move to it and look down into the surface. You think there is something laying beneath it for a moment until you grasp the implications.
You are nothing but a dirt-flecked brain suspended on an ambulatory nervous system, wiry and red. You have no eyes; you see by the entity’s fiat. An Occult maintenance of habit.
You hear a roar and turn to face the woodline. You see moving bodies in the darkness. A great tiger chained by vines. It struggles and rolls but cannot get free. A panicked man in a sumptuous waistcoat with a golden pocket watch hanging forgotten from a chain. A vast snowy owl, still and calm, the only sign of its captivity a brass anklet linking it to a tree.
“I leave you now; I trust you to take your pick or to go find a more suitable form. Enjoy. You may come and go from their bodies, though they may not. Their brains will be… consumed by your own.”
“I’m leaving,” says the entity.
“What?” you gasp.
“Don’t get sentimental. I know you didn’t always love me.”
“Will- will I die?”
“Normally the answer is ‘yes’, but you’ve grown on me the way I’ve grown in you. I’m leaving behind an organ that will do everything I can do for you. Don’t spend too much time squeezing your eyeballs though that’s useful for waking you up.
“I don’t know how to express my gratitude.”
So you did.
“Go to the woods.”
So you did.
“Drop your drawers.”
So you did.
And then it was gone.
You were thrilled to receive proof of the might of your Occult power. Were you blessed by a superior entity, did you learn to transform your body in some way, or did you learn to overcome dangerous foes?
Roll or choose from the following three options:
1-2: Blessing by a superior entity. Go to the *Blessed by a Superior Power* section below.
3-4: The ability to transform. Go to the *Metamorphosis* section below.
5-6: Overcoming dangerous foes. Go to the *Overcoming Foes* section below.
*Blessed by a Superior Power*
Roll on the Blessing section of your color and then go to the Melancholia stage below.
Blessed by a Superior Power
1-2: You are suddenly aware of the great machine whirling inside the world, its spokes and axles filling the earth to the crust and beyond. You see its movements and the effect of its magnetism on causality on the surface and below. You can predict events with 65% accuracy but the GM will never, ever tell you what your roll result is. He need not roll for events that are already clearly in motion and not alterable except by player action.
3-4: You are called to a secret meeting by servants of the entity. They immediately admit that they are not servants of the entity, and you prepare to be killed, but then they tell you that they serve the same power as the entity itself. They tell you that their people and their allies walk in some of the cities of the world, though their homes are in permanently starving fortresses deep beneath the earth. You have proven your worth as a sun-scarred man and are to be ritually integrated into their cryptostygian culture. You will have access to their espied secrets, their mind-bending passageways and their bizarre and outlandish weapons. Perhaps someday you will visit their fortress so far below. All that is required for these potent allowances to not turn on you is that you continue to carry the fire as you have carried it since your first meeting with the entity.
5-6: With a gasp you sense the presence behind the curtain of all things, enmeshed in fusion fire of an unknowable color and make. The boundaries are broached around you and the walls fall back, illuminating the filthy cellar with cosmic radiance. You are staggering for the stairs when tiny rhombuses of gold begin pouring from the exocosmic energy in a flood; the wealth pours forth in stupid gratitude until you are nearly crushed, cut and suffocated to death. You just manage to get out of the cellar when it pours across the transom and begins to fill your home.
Blessed by a Superior Power
1-2: You look about you with fury at the decrepit city-state of filthy nonbelievers and all of their ingratitude and pettiness. If only they realized the way the world really worked they would fall on their knees and grovel, but instead they slink about with their incalculable arrogance, enacting plans of banality with reprehensible certitude. It is a beautiful day and the sun in the blue sky blesses everything beneath it with a gentle warmth. Birds come and go in a variety of blue and brown hues. You let off a roar and lightning arcs from an invisible static in the sky, detonating a motorcar in front of you. Those lit by the gasoline pour out of it and go running up the street like fire yetis. You raise your hands as if to offer the whole earth to the entity on a platter and lightning explodes the bricks from the nearby buildings, crushing them at the foundations and starting fires on the wooden townhouses beneath. People run screaming and you blast them into steaming heaps of cheerful summer clothes and singed flesh. You walk through the city, punishing it with blasts of blue sky summer lightning.
3-4: You are delivered an esoteric chanting in your dreams, and then you awaken and immediately go outside to test it. As you chant a sun rises from the horizon, bathing everything beneath it in an orange light. It raises to the apex of the sky, directly overhead, sending the landscape into burnt orange and shadow. You can feel the presence of the entity and know that it will drive unfriendly Occult entities and effects into the shadows. You cease the chant and with it goes the eldritch sun.
5-6: You find that your shout carries with it a magnificent power. In the vicinity of your shout all shadows disappear, all living things are held in place, and all human beings must speak with total honesty thereafter. This effect is slow to fade. You plan to employ it righteously as judge, jury and executioner.
Blessed by a Superior Power
1-2: As you descend into the lair of the entity, obsidian-eyed white moths of glowing lunar energy slip from between shapes and entrap you in an aerial double helix, permeating your body with their luminous dust. You expect to choke and sputter but find instead that the dust goes to your head, and suddenly you begin to see faces, hidden limbs, and the rising and falling of breath in things that you had never before predicted; rivers and trees, yes, but also, for example, certain houses, doors, chairs. The moths have integrated you into something like the spirit world through the entity’s locus of energy. This will allow you to hide from the sight of normal men at any time, though not everything in the world that you have been given keys to is friendly.
3-4: You walk down the stairs into your entity’s hold and find there are men in armor whose plates are like great, flat quadrilateral shards of ribbed greenstone. Their faceplates, helmets, or perhaps their heads are like great faceless crests of dragonscale with black eyes where they would be on a man. They clutch strange rifles wrapped in black oilskin with spring-loaded graven bones spikes laying beneath the barrels as bayonets. One of them in a golden mask and a cloak of bone-white spidersilk approaches you with a raised decanter made from some kind of cave conch and makes to pour it down your gullet. The warriors stand bored and insouciant, not a one aiming his rifle at you, and so you raise your lips and open for the pouring. A mere empurpled gas floats down from the decanter as if it contained a magical dry ice, and you can *feel* your pupils dilate as its distillate hits your bloodstream. You see a map of the miles of cavern around you as if there was a hologram around your head. The xenostygians glow green, marked on the map next to your golden plumbob. There is other life below that glows red.
5-6: You begin to see shards of shining light lodged here and there in the cities and wastes. Shards of a galactogoetic energetic net that was burst by some entity billions of years behind you and cast into the great mix that has become all things. These are lodged in tears and you comprehend with titillation that you will be able to stimulate exocosmic beings to pass through these places, and that it is very unlikely that they will be hostile to you or you would not have gained this sight, though their byproducts and side effects may very well kill you or worse.
Blessed by a Superior Power
1-2: The world fungus pressed through the ground like a green tide pouring from hidden fissures. It filled you, choking you, spiraling through your mind. It would not leave you. In time you were made to understand. You would reproduce by spore. Your children would plant themselves in the earth, grow, and emerge brainless and nonsapient though capable of retaining information and heuristics. They will serve your every command without hesitation or love.
3-4: A great masked ruminant espies you from behind a well. The white mask has narrow eyes and brutal red patterns running up and down its skulllike length. The thing’s horns are hung with skins and treasures. The Thing in the Woods. You hear its weird and trilling call and know that it has adopted you. If you die before you are old, you will be calfed again in time by the Thing.
5-6: An entity of fractal flesh burbles from the sea. You cannot tell where it ends, it seems to extend across the whole ocean floor. It speaks in a tone like a thousand sounding whales turned back on themselves in a static, and decrees that wherever there is water at least as thick as mist, you will be able to see from. Clouds, glasses of water, and people’s bodies may become your eyes anywhere that you are aware of them.
Blessed by a Superior Power
1-2: You walk into the bathroom and the toilet explodes with a crack in a cascade of water and porcelain. A gigantic, scaled, suckerless tentacle extends from the foaming hole with a golden rod wrapped up in its tip. You fall on your knees before the mindbending sight and drag your fingertips across your face in terror. The tentacle dumps the golden rod slimily on the tiles before you and then recedes from the room with a suctioning noise. You pick it up and are gripped with visions as if you had seized a live wire transmitting psychoactive electricity: This is the Resonance Rod of the Twin Canals, a lost regalia of that Empire’s kingship and a potent weapon of siegecraft.
When you set this rod against a dead and stationary surface, thousands of humming tendrils will lace their way from the rod through a stone or steel edifice (like a wall), shattering or warping it on your command. They’ll wreck whatever they’ve made it through by that point, so smaller walls etc or small sections/tunnels are faster to destroy than e.g. the Pyramids of Giza.
As a lost piece of the kingly regalia of the Empire of the Twin Canals, giving you a claim that is legitimate but not absolute; if you decide to press your claim without first making a name in the Empire, you will mostly be followed by malcontents, exiles and outlaws.
3-4: You set out from the dingey safe house you’d been using, sighing at the early morning cold and dreariness, not looking forward to a weeklong journey in the bowels of a great freighter. Suddenly something whipped by your ear, wrapped itself around your midsection like a boa constrictor and lifted you off the ground alongside your bags. You screamed in absolute horror, bringing gaping faces to lamplit windows, and were quickly pulled high above the rooftops, sailing through the whipping air at impossible speed. You looked up into the starry sky to see what had got hold of you, but could only see the tendril extending endlessly into the darkness.
The tendril extended from an orbital asteroid. When you make preparations for a long journey, this thing will reach down, take up you and your companions and roughly a shipping container’s worth of material you intend to bring and carry you to your destination.
5-6: You wake up with a profound sense of wellbeing that you haven’t experienced in years. You feel surrounded by friends, family, that the whole earth is full of them. You trace your thoughts to their exact recipients and realize you are thinking of microorganisms. They are now your allies. Diseases, bacterias and immune systems will execute your wishes within a few miles and feed you intelligence from much further away. They can clad you in a great agglomeration of bacterial armor while ambiently overwhelming the immune systems of those nearby, reducing them to sickening wrecks within one minute.
Roll on the Metamorphosis section of your color and then go to the Melancholia stage below.
1-2: You find you can transmute yourself into a cloud of concrete that can choke people to death, put out fires and condense into a 350lb block of solid material.
3-4: You can cause unbreachable, impermeable runic plate armor to burst forth from beneath your skin at will, then falls away and collapses into rust, with fresh flesh waiting below. This transformation to your armored form may occur when you are extremely agitated; this was how you discovered this power.
5-6: You figure out how to become a shadowy line figure capable of folding up into a single streak of darkness; you are practically 2D. Your limbs are featureless black streaks and your head is a narrow rhombus.
1-2: By calling on the stars that are allied with your entity you can become a sun with a 40’ diameter. You can move at a rate of 1m per second. You can remain in this form for about 15 minutes a month.
3-4: You call upon myths your entity is featured in (perhaps organically, or perhaps it sowed the myths memetically among prehistoric peoples) to become a giant (100’ wingspan) fire stirge with a pikelike proboscis. You can rain tears of fire on those below (as napalm canisters), cut through nearly anything with your starbeam proboscis, and melt stone and steel by sinking your claws into it.
5-6: By submerging yourself in the ocean you can transform into a giant coral hallucigenian capable of cutting through towers of steel and concrete. The coral of your form must be ripped up and assembled from the coral of the sea, which takes time.
1-2: Iron ore and flux stones are torn from the bedrock beneath and smelt into steel around you. You can encase yourself in a scissorblade millipede exoskeleton capable of cutting through anything, running up walls, shrugging off bullets and explosions that don’t hit your face, and gliding long distances in the air. The timeframe of the encasement process depends on how near or far you are from the requisite minerals.
3-4: You can cast your voice into a surface, with your body disappearing when hit by the echo. You can speak from the surface and use occult powers; you can also shout your body back into existence from wherever you are. When you are just a voice you can travel about 2m a second, including from one surface to another one nearby.
5-6: You can assume the form of somebody else who you’ve seen or imagined, though the latter form may have an uncanny valley effect on observers. This metamorphosis requires you to lay in a full bathtub for three days. You can use the memories of the individual in question, assuming they have any, but you do not receive updates while in their body. This does not directly affect them.
1-2: You can now transform into an armored tree juggernaut that can shrug off bullets, hurl motorcars and rip the concrete off buildings.
3-4: Your true form is now a dire spider-tiger with monowire claws and saber teeth, though you can freely take on your human form.
5-6: You can become a river at will, or something like a tidal wave; a massive quantity of water with a direction. Be warned, for if too much water is portioned off during your rush you may transform back into a human with fingers, facial features or limbs missing.
1-2: By reaching out and stretching you can turn your limbs into very long, incredibly strong tendrils; your body and head take on tentacular form as well (without suckers) when you do this.
3-4: Through sheer hatred you can turn to a shapeless pool of superacid that can melt through steel in a few seconds. Even your vapors melt things that are nearby. You can move at a rate of 1m per second when in this form.
5-6: You look up into the night sky and are bombarded with quasar radiation from a rapidly winking star. When you come to there in the grass, you find you can transform into the thing that once inhabited you.
Roll in the Overcoming Foes section of your color and then go to the Melancholia stage below.
1-2: You walk into the storage room and five gunmen are waiting for you. They stand around a pit cut into the tiles from which the cries of babies can be heard. “How are my children?” you ask. “I fed them five minutes ago,” one of the men says zealously before anyone else can speak. “Good, good,” you say, and step aside to let the man behind you enter. “I caught this one snooping by the dumpster.” A man in a dark coat comes in behind you and takes his place in the circle. “A private eye?” one of the pit guards asks. The man shakes his head and says, “Hitman.” “Ah,” says his interlocutor. The hired killer looks down into the pit and smiles. “They’re beautiful,” he says. “Mmhm,” you say, and turn to leave. One of the men says, “Master,“ then falls to his knees, clutching his throat. The men next to him set his rifle aside and then gently lay him on his back. His head comes off with a quiet ripping of skin and a baby climbs from the hole in his neck, pushing viscera and bone out of the way. The men coo and look down at the gore-slick tyke with love. One of them cradles the baby in his arms and shows him to to others, before laying the babe gently in the pit. Then they carefully set the corpse in the pit as well. You nod your approval and leave.
3-4: A policemen enters the bistro, revolver drawn. The patrons fall silent and gaze at him with trepidation. You look over your shoulder and examine his chest, your hat low. “Marlin,” reads his chest.
“Officer Marlin,” you say into a luminous red rose.
His head explodes, coating the nearest diners in gore. The whole bistro erupts in screaming, falling tables, and crashing plates.
You slide into the crowd with a thrill.
5-6: You walk the tropical dirt highway of the unsettled province of Baptistpond. You leave the packed soil and descend through sharp-bladed ferns and dusty flowers until you begin to cross halfburied human bones. You close your eyes and walk, seeing the hills and gullies, seeing shards and shafts buried underground. They begin to work their way free of the earth; you dismiss rotted flintlocks, cannonballs and cloak clasps, but allow swords, skulls and banners to trail you. Soon there is a clanking agglomeration trailing your footsteps. You turn and sift through the trove. You belt a heavy cavalry saber with a body of steel and an edge of depleted troglodite, a banner that is totally unmarked by age or soil and shows you the paths of the birds, dragonflies and clouds when you touch it, as well as your pistol when you aim it at a cactus, and lastly a skull with a Gasland general’s forehead etching. You pry out the teeth and find tiny cubes inscribed with secret orders to retreat to a site of Occult dissolution in the event of a defeat. Evidently he didn’t get that far.
1-2: You stand with the council facing you. Dozens of grim faces above polished walnut wood docks in rising layers. “This council pronounces you judged by the one we worship. You have abused the trust given you by the clergy, strayed from the straight path as defined by our order, and shall be burned alive before this assembly.”
The hundreds of lay petitioners sitting in the darkness behind you begin to murmur.
“Silence!” cries a councilor viciously, “You are permitted here by our good graces and are neither to be seen nor heard.”
“No,” you say, “They are permitted here by my good graces.”
“The time where such a thing could even be dreamt of is behind you,” snarls a councilor.
“I propose a test. Of fire. Let us all be burned, and the one who is guarded from the flame shall be named the true prophet of our caretaker.”
“A waste of flesh and fuel! The King Beyond Heaven would burn us for such frivolousness.”
“That is not his title,” you say with closed eyes and a downcast smile.
“Your unspeakable deviance ends here,” says the most serious of them all, “Guards, seize him and bring up upon the cleansing dais.”
A pair of temple zealots in red masks and tunics come forward, their 6’ automatic rifles swaying against the small of their backs. They lay their hands on your upper arms.
You burst into flames. There is a cry from the assembly. The guards fall back, screaming, their arms bubbling with pink welts and dying flesh.
The flames go out except at your eyes, which glow and give fire like hot coals.
“Now it is you who shall be assayed.”
The councilors fall over each other to get out of the light, out of the hall, but it does nothing for them. They burst into flames one and all and their robes curl and blacken around them. The docks burn in sheets of fire. Their bodies darken and lose all distinguishing features. You turn upon the awestruck and horrified faces of the assembly. They fall back upon each other as you raise your hands.
“Witness the fate of those found wanting. I am the judge of a higher law and you are all on trial. This is your blessing in a world that has already been found guilty.”
3-4: You walk alone to the royal box and take a seat in a huge red velvet throne. You loosen your collar and throw your tie aside, watching the play proceed into a mockup alleyway.
The duchess emerges in a great gray dress from the archway behind her. Her face is white, chalk white, and not from any makeup. One of your men trails her with a hand on the pistol in his suit jacket but you wave him off with a fingertip. The duchess stands behind another throne for some time, her head low.
“You are forgiven,” you say without taking your interest from the play.
“You knew? You knew I was to *poison you*?” she says, her voice quavering.
“Of course. But you did not know why. Not at first.”
“No. I had no idea. But I believe.”
“I knew you would. Neither of us was ever in any danger. You needed time, as we all do.”
“What will happen now?” she asks.
“Sit down and enjoy the play. Life is not so different after conversion. It is like allegiance to a new nation, a new monarch. That’s exactly what it is, in fact. You don’t need to give up the things you love out of hand. You just need to be prepared to.”
5-6: “This had better work,” says the general in absolute terror. His hands shake. The ensigns and batsmen glare at each other. A few finger their cutlasses. This maneuver is sudden death to them.
“Ye of little faith,” you say as the cavalry muster on the slopes above, waiting to crash into the enemy army below.
“Call it off,” says the general, “We cannot risk our main force on such a gambit. I should never have been *seduced* into such a harebrained scheme!”
Several officers breathe audible sighs of relief.
“We won’t be calling off the maneuver,” you say, “Your services are still required.”
“What? Who are you to say such a thing, you bloody mystic? Your trickery-“ a raven lands on his shoulder. He doubles over and begins to cough violently. A second lieutenant draws his cutlass and advances on the bird but has one land directly on his cap, and he falls to his knees, vomiting in the grass. The wind whispers against the foldout canopy. Birds fly overhead.
“Don’t retract the orders,” you say. The general is coughing blood. The lieutenant is retching. The army has mustered.
You give a whistle and the bird lifts off of the lieutenant. It lands on your finger. The lieutenant is wheezing raggedly. The general has died.
The birds converge over the enemy column and descend. You pick up a coronet from the map table, stroll out from under the canopy and blow the signal to attack. The bird on your finger joins in the call and the cavalry descend upon their debilitated foe.
1-2: The Knights crash through the door. You hear one rack a shotgun. “Get in there!” one of them shouts, “Search the closets!” They don’t realize you’re inside the armchair. They slam the ripped-in-half door behind them and start rooting through the room. They don’t notice it start to shrink until a man in a closet can’t get out again. “Fuck!” he calls, trying to play it cool, “Can’t get my armor through this door again. One of his companions grabs his arm and yanks. “No way you’re getting out. You’re gonna have to take that armor off. How the fuck did you get in in the first place?” “Jonas, back off,” says the man behind him, “Give me some space.” “What are you talking about? You bumped into me!” “I didn’t even move!”
“Shit,” says their Knight Commander, “How the fuck did we even get through the door?”
The room falls silent. There is now barely space to walk around the furniture. “Ahh! Break the fucking wall, I’m getting crushed in here!” says the Knight in the closet. “How is that possible?” someone asks, extricating his leg from between an ottoman and your armchair. “Aaaaah!” yells the Knight in the closet and then begins to gargle as blood flows from his mouth. His arm breaks as the doorway of the closet closes over it. The Knights are now in a tiny gaggle in the middle of the room. “What the fuck is happening?” cries the Knight Commander. The room compresses until no one can move, and then you carefully poke a .38 revolver out of your armchair and shoot each Knight in the head. Then, as the blood flows over the crushed and broken furniture, the room begins to relieve itself outwards again. Undifferentiated gore and crushed metal flows from the closet.
3-4: You rush into the kitchen. You hear the bloodhounds yapping and the boots of the death squad falling. You scatter kitchen knives across the ground to slow them down and then climb into the cabinet beneath the sink and close the door.
You emerge into a pool of water in the entity’s fastness, guffawing relentlessly as you splash out of the water.
The death squad troopers pour into the room, their tight black fatigues and white masks lending them a wraithlike aspect in the moonlight.
One of the troopers gives the “doors” sign, tapping his palm with the fingers of that hand, and the squad tears open the doors in unison, poking their SMGs past the transoms. The man who opened the cabinet beneath the sink falls to his knees and puts his head on the floor. A time bomb ticks to zero.
5-6: You sit at the living room table when the loan sharks let themselves into your house. Two of them come strolling into the sitting room while two more go looking for women and children.
Casper Balsam sits down across from you and gives you a pout. “You know things didn’t have to get to this point. There’s a lot here you could sell.”
“To who? The haberdasher? It’s all next to worthless. The materials, I mean.”
He looks at a cherrywood grandfather clock.
“Dunno. I’m not a fence but it looks fine to me, baby.”
“Look more closely. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a clock like that.”
“Hm,” he says, and gets up in spite of himself to check it out. He walks over to it and stands as if he expects to be proven right, but then he leans forward and runs a hand down it.
“Huh,” he says, “Canvas. Guess it is shit.”
“Yes, and feel the glass.”
He runs a finger down it.
“Some kinda… plastic sheet?”
“A ‘mesh.’ But not plastic. Fabric.”
He looks at you.
“Where’d you get this weird shit?”
“It would be hard to explain. Check out the carpet.”
He looks down at the sumptuous arabesque. Then he sees the stitchwork. The fuzziness is just an aspect of the weave. He looks at the wall. The pictures. It’s all fabric.
You get up and walk to the window. The loan sharks follow you uneasily. Their footfalls are silent. You step back. One of them gazes outdoors. Burlap trees. Brocaded leaves. A grass of felt. Wool blue skies.
“What is this?” breathes Balsam.
“Stitchcraft, my threadbare friend.”
Then you reach into his gaping, quilted mouth and tear him apart with your bare hands.
1-2: The cavalrymen are upon you, firing their semiautomatic pistols through the blackberries. You dive inside a boulder, holding your breath. You hear the hooves patter across the earth around your fetter. You burst your arms and legs outwards and the rock explodes, chunks of it shearing through the nearest riders and horses. You leap over a fallen gore-slick horse and its unmoving rider while stunned and bleeding cavalrymen in the rear open fire on you and draw their silver-edged sabers. You dive into the nearest river and call the earth towards you. The cavalry column is consumed by a roaring cascade of soil from the hillside. You stack up several river rocks ahead of you and walk out of the water as if you were ascending a stairway. You are soaked and your boots squelch with every footfall. If only you could control water too.
3-4: The wolves have chased you up the mountain. The night is dark and the grass is slick. They advance over the luminous dew, their eyes all you can see of them until the first is within a dozen feet of you. You close your eyes and your eyelashes twitch as you envision what is to be. The trailing wolves arrange themselves behind the leader into a long line.
Soon you are riding a contiguous wolfipede across the hills. You reach the smooth, high, vertical wall of Garmentglade and ride straight up through the rain.
5-6: You’ve reached the edge of the cliff, bleeding from gunshot wounds in your bicep, gut and thigh. You didn’t want to reach this point but you’re out of options. You stagger to a tree and put your head behind a branch, exposing your chest. The detective comes from the bushes. “Drop it!” he yells. An amateur despite his deadly aim. You raise your pistol in a pale, quaking hand. He shoots you in the heart. You fall backwards over the edge of the cliff, looking down with your vision growing fuzzy. Thank the Fates. You’re headed for a rock. You sail into it.
You emerge a month later, fully healed. Even your joints feel better.
1-2: The yob shoves you and you go rolling down the embankment. You draw in your breath and focus. When the louts reach you there is something white and shiny, hulking beneath your coat.
“Oh… he break something?” asks one of them drunkenly.
You detonate your shell and hear wet *sh-hs* and thumps as the youths hit the pine needles. You turn around and see that each of them has been decorated by tens of thousands of tiny chitinous shards like a thick icing atop a cupcake. The only evidence of your coat are a few torn pieces of fabric laying around your feet.
You head back up the embankment.
3-4: You are starving. You have been in the woods for a week since the plane crash. There is less to eat here than you would have thought possible.
Finally you see it. A grizzly bear emerging from the darkness of a hillside soil cavern. The thing lumbers towards you silently. You shrink down and keep moving to present a maximally attractive target.
As soon as the thing crosses the 10’ transom you stand up and raise your arms. It pauses for a split second. You projectile vomit and blast the bear with a vast quantity of superacid. It rears up on its hind legs, shrinking like a burning candle, then collapses backwards with twitching legs as the bile melts it into a thick slurry. You rush over to it and begin drinking down the melted gore with utter delight.
5-6: You sit in the closet, nude, pale, sweating and panting with pain. You are smeared in blood.
You can see a body laying in the bed. It is dressed in your bedclothes. It looks just like you.
The assassins come, dark cloaks and silent footfalls. They gather around the bed. There is a startling crackle as one of them submachine guns the body. He lifts up the face, examines it, checks the scars and esoteric tattoos. The killers nod at each other in satisfaction and depart. You hear a motorcar speed away up the street.
The brainless shell in the bed will decompose. You leave it for the police, quickly dressing and packing a bag as your arm begins to regrow.
Roll in the Melancholia section of your color and then go to the Attraction stage below.
1-2: Your friend tells you about a letter he got from a company he’s never heard of. It contained a job offer and a lot of his biographical info. Your blood runs cold. You urge him to not answer, to forget about it, that these things can be dangerous. He just looks at you funny and pockets the letter.
That night you sneak into his house and steal the letter, burning it in your fireplace while humming an incantation.
Your friend conducts some research and finds out that the offer was legitimate and somebody else got the job. A neighbor saw you breaking in and your friend tells you to stay away from him and his family. You weep by the fireplace.
3-4: You walk past the place you first encountered the entity. The hair on the back of your neck stands up. This place and the things you associate with it will always mar your vision of the world. You can barely go out to walk in this city without great trepidation.
5-6: The newspaperman scowls.
“God, you look like shit!”
You just smile. You can’t bring yourself to look in mirrors after all the things you’ve seen happen in them, and this is the price you pay.
1-2: You see little children going to a service in a chapel with their families. They walk solemnly in clean clothes, holding hands with their mothers and fathers. You break down at the non-eldritch spiritual depth of this sight and go sit on a park bench weeping until you can re-harden your heart and go on.
3-4: A mysterious courier delivers your boyhood diaries to you. It was a time where you struggled with his faith. It awakens questions in you that you haven’t addressed in a long time. You cast the diaries into the fire with an ugly expression on your face, then spend the rest of the night kneeling on the hard floorboards, trying to drive your mind back into the state it was in before the diaries came back to you.
5-6: You walk through the wilderness and feel a simple contentment that seems to remove all need for your divine mission from your mental landscape. Eventually, you stop to sit on a log and think. You realize that there is no escape from what has been set in motion. Its meaning to you is no longer what determines its importance. It will have its way with your life, woods or no. The question will be how painful will you make it.
1-2: You start walking to the entity’s site. You realize what you are doing and begin beating yourself over the head in the street, trying to get yourself to wake up and stop. You have a nervous breakdown, wheezing and clawing at your knees while people give you a wide berth. You’re outside your favorite importer and the shopkeeper never treats you personably again.
3-4: You have a violent outburst when you pass a street preacher that is making absurd claims about the nature of reality. People tell you to leave it but you stick your finger in his face, shouting. He sneers at you, you grab his lapels and he hits you over the head with his sign. You very nearly use your powers on him in full view of the public but end up running away growling with your eyes rolled back as passersby gape at you.
5-6: You construct a replica of the entity’s site in your living room, painting it down to the t. You finish it and then look around in horror, realizing that all you ever wanted to do was escape the reach of that foul place. You sprint out to your shed, get the kerosene and end up arsonizing your own house.
1-2: You sit by the river. It was once beautiful to you. It healed your soul. Now you see the madness which lies beneath it and the polycarnivorous omnihostility that plays out on a battlefield unseen by human eyes. You get up and walk away before some other sadistic, larcenous being emerges from the stygian green to dominate your very soul.
3-4: You’re sitting by a waterfall, closing your eyes with satisfaction as the mist caresses your face. “Aww, just like a little nymph! Basking on a rock, just hoping for someone to come and show him the meaning of *love!*” you hear a mocking, female voice come from the waterfall. A beautiful, nude naiad swims in the water beneath the falls. “Go home, you effeminate little boy. The *divine* feminine has no desire for your sentimental inactivity.” You scowl, deeply annoyed in spite of yourself, and get up to leave. You miss the days before you could perceive this kind of thing.
5-6: You wander through the woods. A pair of squirrels pass, darting after each other with little synchronized pauses.
“Hey, young bitch! Hey you, bitch! I’m gonna get that pussy!”
“Fuck you, you fag! No one wants that asymmetrical little dick!”
You grit your teeth.
A deer surmounts a nearby slope.
“Oh, fuck! We’re all gonna die! God, I’m such a coward!” you hear it bleat before kicking up the dirt as it escapes with all speed.
A mountain lion alights on a nearby tree branch and peers down at you.
“Ooooh, look at that sweet little piece of bacon walking right under my nose, oh I’d love to rip my claws through your throat and then eat your balls like-“
BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM!
You pocket your smoking pistol and trudge on with resignation.
1-2: Your friend shows you his beautiful dog. It has bright eyes, it is clean, and it greets you with an open-faced smile. You are nonplussed and your friend is slightly offended. All you can think about is eating it.
3-4: You pass a child who is stuck up in a tree. “Sir, please, help me! I can’t get down! Can you help me?” You continue walking. You don’t dare approach the child after the cannibalistic hunger the entity has subjected you to.
5-6: You pass a roadkilled opossum and see a long, white worm escaping from it. You recall all of the horrific things you’ve seen, done and experienced, and spend a week just laying in bed letting while people come, knock on the door, shout and then leave.
You are moving into your life as a full Occultist. It is time to gather the things you’ll need to put your designs into motion.
Do you use your resources to acquire or create a domicile that is specially suited to your purposes? If you do not wish to choose, you have a ⅞ chance of acquiring a domicile.
Do you gradually acquire servants/followers or do you go it alone? If you do not wish to choose, you have a ⅞ chance of acquring followers.
If you are alone, why is that?
3: Patchy ability to even be perceived by normal people
4: Extreme social undesirability
5: Dissolution of social comprehension
6: You fear the effects of your powers on others
Roll or select your domicile and/or followers from the Attraction section of your color below, then go to the Status of Followers element at the end of this stage to decide the special characteristics of your followers.
1: Assassination house: Large house in which each hallway, staircase and room is rigged to become a horrific trap; only one specific path (with its own attendant conduct) leads to the secret chamber where you do your business.
2: A story in an apartment or office building that is not accessible by stairs or elevator. Perhaps it can be reached through the chimney of the room below it, which itself is a form of trap or guard post.
3: Hidden space inside of the walls of a government building or residence complex to spy on the goings-on
4: Secret setup inside of an extremely dangerous, inaccessible, unstable ruin (picture the grain elevator of Stalingrad just after the battle)
5: In a townhouse (optically distorted; apparently 3 stories high, actually 20)
6: In a normal freestanding home with enslaved wife and children
7: A special wing in a prison
8: In a set of secret chambers beneath a public school
1-2: Roving, raving madmen who become sane and mission-oriented in your presence
3-4: A minor governmental investigatory agency
5-6: An entire city-state, unbeknownst to them
1: Vast yurt in a bandit tribe settlement (possibly non-Euclidean or psychoinstantiative space)
2: Astral platforms in an expanse of infinite darkness
3: An enneaplane that refuels at sea by unknown means
4: In a chamber at the top of a mountain (deadly ascent)
5: In a cliffside monastery
6: A concrete bunker complex in the deep wilderness (either abandoned by a military force or constructed by your men or contractors you employed)
7: A ship (black freighter, NGO hospital ship, destroyer flying unknown flag)
8: A sacred cavern filled with spirits ambivalently bound to the power’s purpose
1-2: An army of worshippers who have given up their previous identities and, alas, their skills, in order to devote themselves to the entity
3-4: The priesthood of an antediluvian empire, now resurrected from stasis
5-6: Humanoid beings made of ceramic fire and darkness
1: Forbidden, foreboding, high-walled property in a city-state
2: A huge submarine
3: A bank vault
4: A fastness located somewhere deep in a cavern complex (protected by freezing sumps)
5: An airship carriage
6: A megalithic tower of ramps and pillars atop some godforsaken isle
7: An old excise castle on a bank in the middle of a river
8: A tower in the deep wilderness. You can commune with entities from a chamber at the top
1-2: A hereditary sect of zealous temple guards
3-4: An international network of couriers
5-6” A secret, self-sustaining mining society
1: A Viet Cong-style tunnel complex in the deep wilderness or entered via the rocks above a river
2: Castle-complex within a permanently frozen lake
3: Vast assembly of tensioned branches, foliage and colorful refuse
4: A perpetually clean and well-stocked picnic spread in the wilderness
5: Inexplicable undersea ruins that can be reached from below
6: A grotto in a little lake behind a waterfall
1-2: A shamanic Bandit Tribe with an animal totem-based caste system
3-4: A society of intelligent cats who are capable of speech and whose bites carry viper venom
5-6: A faction of ecoterrorists whose meetings have begun to feature druidic rites of human sacrifice (generally energy executives)
1: A motorcycle caravan that is folded out and set up in the wilderness every night
2: In a penthouse
3: A bath of ichor in an industrial wasteland
4: A playset in a remote forest grove
5: A regular house on a regular street in a regular city
6: An enormous meat storage plant; you sleep in a butchered cow at the forgotten heart of it
1-2: A neighborhood watch
3-4: The municipal sanitation corps
5-6: A corporation
Status of Followers
Status of Followers: Where do your followers stand in relation to you?
1: Retainers: Paid or otherwise-contracted followers
2: Allies: Fast friends but not under your direct control
What purpose do your followers serve?
Purpose of Followers:
2: Ceremonial foci
5: Ritual lovers
8: Private army
10: Sources of cash
11: Project specialists (e.g. people who work in architecture and construction assisting you with your megastructure or apparent medical practice)
12: Conspiracy (within a: company, sect, Masonic-type group, underworld organization, government, military, tribe)
Have your associates been marked?
½ chance no, baseline human, otherwise:
1: Flesh wings hidden in back
2: Ability to manifest animal characteristics (super jump, super bite, super smell, hidden gills, irritating hair attack, inkjet)
3: Strange burns
4: Unusual eye color
5: Disease symptoms (Hacking cough, perpetual ebola, depression, explosive sores)
6: Ritual tattoos in hard-to-find places of the body (inside the urethra, on the tonsils)
The next and final stage, Direction, is optional. Use it if it makes sense, but if you already have a vision for what this character is doing, then go with that.
Your ongoing plots and projects.
1-2: You plan on replacing the world’s government and heads of state with your biomechanical simulacra, eventually crossbreeding them into an international monarchy that you will inherit by terminating your last shellchild.
3-4: You plan on gradually shifting the city-state through the mirror barrier, but to do so you will first need to construct some kind of giant shell or contiguous roof running from tower to tower to wall over the city. After you’ve convinced the city council that this is necessary (counter gas bombardment?), you can energize the gravitic lens and feed the whole assemblage to the anglebreakers, powering an even greater ritual atop of the canopy using the acosmic energy of each creature’s breakthrough.
5-6: You plan on linking together the sarcophagi of several city-states and utilizing them to create an ancestral presuccessor empire that will supersede existing political structures in legitimacy and force the city-states into an empire ruled by a voice entity (that you have made pacts with) posing as an ancestral spokesperson.
1-2: You plan on turning all city-states into grand temples of the entity, expelling nonpriests and non-parishoners to live as bandit tribesmen in the wilds. They will be hunted in perpetuity by the entity’s sacred Paladins of Horse, with you quite naturally as the order’s archgrandmaster. The entity has its own plans for using these city-temples as exocosmic rebroadcasting stations, and this will have its own effects in terms of allowing interstitial marauders to make their way into the world, but this is is simply one of the factors driving the creation of a vast templar order and the transmutation of much of the world’s civilized population into warlike barbarians. (Post facto could be a good campaign start)
3-4: You plan on creating a vast new religious tradition wherein all men are castrated and you possess the sole right and responsibility of reproduction with all the world’s women; this is necessary because you will be infused in transmutational energy that will repurpose the human race as protoelemental cambions capable of directly transcending cosmic boundaries without first needing to die.
5-6: You plan on winnowing the cosmic curtain in as many places as possible so that the entity’s direct servants can enter existence for an assist-and-advise mission to bring about the kingdom of the entity on earth. Interference by other entities will mean that each hole you scratch will be knit back even stronger after a time and that you will only be able to bring a handful of servants through each one, but you hope that by the time you have brought through enough exocosmic allies to act directly against the city-states and the international investigatory bodies it will be too late for rival entities to stop the unification of the human race under your lord and master.
1-2: You plan on gradually shrinking the diameter of the earth around your entity’s inhabitation site. This will crush underground civilizations, drown continents and cast down cities in tectonic eruptions.
This will require a dualistic mission to alter the very nature of the world fungus and the world machine in tandem. There are other entities who would like to see this come to pass, however, so you will not be alone in your quest.
3-4: You plan on creating an exocosmic entrapment hemisphere within the entity’s dwell site, converting petitioners (and perhaps antinatalist mercenaries) into pseudoenergetic pseudolifeforms capable of weaponizing latent information potential in the structure of matter in this universe; you will need to be the first to undergo this process if you are to detect this potential and shape the research and development that will create the solid state chassis and fundamental force inverters necessary for the magicogenocidal war that will be necessary to secure the elements you have arranged from the depredations of nonintegrable entities.
5-6: You plan on excising and expanding the entity’s dwell site into a kind of exocosmic castle capable of shifting pointed position and altering energy arrangements in and around the earth, removing the necessity for any localized action; all inhibitionary elements can be rearranged into existential supports and only absolutely acausal or exocosmic interference will be capable of upsetting the highly lodebearing balance you will arrange on earth.
1-2: You plan to integrate cities into the magicoritual landscape of the earth’s ecologies as a kind of theriomorphic hive colony. This will subject them to the same high-density animistic inhabitation as, say, rainforests and deserts, and also may psychologically mutate their inhabitants to fit this new understanding. This will radically destabilize life in cities but will solve their disconnect from what is commonly called nature.
3-4: You plan to seed fungal spores throughout the world’s food supply in order to use human bodies as eventual food for fungus.
5-6: You plan to introduce a distillate of worldroot into a city’s water supply, forcing everyone in the city halfway into the spirit world. You are aware that most people will be fully incapable of handling what they are likely to encounter there.
1-2: You plan on seeding mythicocarcinogenic stories throughout the earth’s most prominent populations, eventually controlling them through psychoactive carcinomas (and eventually the threat of explosive termination of tumors) so as to bring about a bioritually linked world organism.
3-4: You plan on altering the nature of lava to act as a transmutory agent for human bodies (not singular, but as an agglomatory organism) so that if you are able to pile sufficient human biomass into an active caldera through parasitoritual submission you will be able to generate a flesh AI capable of servicing ongoing allied parasitohominid exigencies via tendrils snaked underground into the world’s city-states and fortresses.
5-6: You plan on bringing together thousands of carrier inferiors similar to yourself before physically linking allied parasitical entities throughout your bodies, creating a pseudoparasitical megaspider with yourself and your symbiote as the brain. You will then proceed to equip the hands of each chitinohumanoidal section with its own set of distinctive tools. With your fully equipped and completely replaceable biological superstructure, you will be able to accomplish any feat of construction or conquest that you or your allied entities can dream of.
Your Occultist is now complete.
You can create wild card Occultists. When entering a new stage, choose or roll your color anew every time.