An Abyssal's Destiny has been re-written and taken by the Malfeans to serve them. This Charm asks the Abyssals dead Gods to grant him a similar servant. One who's fate is taken to be bound to his own as his servant till the end of Creation. He must carve symbols into the beast if it is still alive, then sacrifice it (which takes 6 hours to do properly). It will rise as a ghostly and improved form of itself. Horses become noble deathsteeds. And so on. Then the Abyssal lays his hand on the beast's head, and blood leaks from his hand in a symbol representing his new existance. It creates a permanent mark, that will glow a baleful crimson as the Abyssal's own anima glows. The animal is changed as so->
Assume the average familiar has Essence 2, Compassion 2, Conviction 3, Temperance 1, and Valor 2 after this Charm. This Charm only works on Familiars who have been Death Hardened.
Cost-> 5 motes Duration-> One Day Type-> Simple Min. Survival-> 5 Min. Essence-> 3 Prereqs-> Death Hardened Companion
With the understanding of how to strengthen the bond between Exalt and Familiar, the Abyssal learns how to reinforce particular aspects. Some Exalts can share their Familiar's senses, this Charm can force even those who's bond is normally to weak for such interaction to sense the pain of their Familiar. The Abyssal must touch the Familiar who's bond is to be strengthened. For one day, the Exalt of that Familiar suffers the same wound penalties as their Familiar.
Cost-> 8 motes, 1 Willpower Duration-> One Scene Type-> Simple Min. Survival-> 4 Min. Essence-> 4 Prereqs-> Death Hardened Companion
Since the bonds between Master and Familar have been woven into their very Destinies, the Master can use his Charms on the Familiar as if on himself as long as it is within sight. He might use a Dodge Charm to stop it from being harmed. Even more important when it is within a yard of it's Master, it benefits from Charms he uses for himself. It only benefits from Charms activated when it is this close, though it may move away and keep the benefit. This Charm requires a Fate-Bonded Familar. Example-> Virtuous Bringer of Rest is riding her noble deathsteed into battle against a Lunar with his dire lance at the ready. Unfortunately the Lunar is ready and attacks first. The Abyssal activates Flowing Evasion Assault and both she and her steed disappear as if smoke before the Lunar's strike, only to appear behind him and drive the lance through his back and into his heart, pinned to the frozen earth. Example-> Virtuous Bringer of Rest needs to move away from her steed to get her dire lance, which was knocked away from her. The steed had to materialize this scene. She's expecting battle so she activates Hungry Ghost Form. Now she receives motes from her unarmed attacks, and her steed will also refill it's essence pool with damage it causes.
Cost-> 22 motes, 3 Willpower, 6 experience points Duration-> Permanent Type-> Simple Min. Survival-> 5 Min. Essence-> 4 Prereqs-> Fate-Bonded Beast
Should the Abyssal's servant survive for this long, it has proven itself a worthy servant and it's Master can grant it power as his own grows. It's Essence, Perception, and Intellegence increase to 3. It gains additional Virtues to bring it to a total of 12. It gains two additional Arcanoi and the power to cloak itself in pyreflame. This has two advantages. For 1 mote, it can appear as a ghostly flame shaped like itself while immaterial. For 8 motes, it can surround itself with this ghostly flame for a scene, doing 2 Lethal a turn to anyone other than it's Abyssal Master who touch it.
The Abyssal who uses this Charm may go into a trance and take control of his Familiar as a puppet guided by himself. The beast is not roughly controlled, but rather the Dark Prince commands and it obeys. If the Familiar is a minor one, without a bond of understanding (1-3 in Familiar), the Abyssal may control it out to 100 yards. If it is a greater servant, the Abyssal can extend their range of senses and control to (100 x Essence) in yards. The character may speak through their Familiar and even use charms and spells. Any use of essence causes the symbol on the Familiar's head, the mark of ownership, to flare. This charm only works on Familiars who have had Slave Annointed by Dark Princes used on them.
Example-> Child of Endless Paths is on a mission in a living city, and is being carefully watched. He knows this and must go out without being noticed. He sends out his ghostly Raiton. It materializes, with glyph flaring brightly, before the watching member of the city guard and Child uses Soul-Flaying Gaze to crush his will and tells him to go home. Then uses Compelling Whispers Technique to make the guard later give a report that he saw nothing. Finally, uses Encounter-Banishing Gesture and he moves his Familiar away to watch. Then he leaves to go about his duties.
Meh. I personally don't like some of the more direct stealing from the Sidereal's schtik in familiar building. Fate Bound Beast and Slave Annointed by Dark Princes feel like too direct a rip. Familiars are meant to be a Sidereal thing. Ditto ditto the flavor text describing how the Familiar has been woven into the Abyssal's destiny. Additionally, they're deeply not as useful for the Abyssals, who can only have one Familiar at a time.
Additionally, Slave Annointed by Dark Princes gives an entirely new and unique ability to cross into the Underworld from anywhere, if it's going to make any sense. Cause anyone can already enter via Shadowland...
Familiars aren't something Sidereals are "better" at, if anything you could say Solars and Abyssals are better since they choose theirs. I did base those on the Sidereal Charms. The way I see it, Sidereal's do have an advantage with more Familiar-type bonds. The thing is, they also have Charms that throw away those. I tend to see Solar and Abyssal Familiars more as companions than tools. An Abyssal Familiar may be a slave, but it's one favored and maybe even loved in a dark way. And a ghost familiar still can't regain essence without feeding on people in creation, I just added flesh in.
I clarified the Underworld travel. Remember, going to the Underworld isn't new, Shadowlands Necro can do that, just you're in the Labyrinth (which is even harder to do). Also, the Underworld is alot larger, so you're not skiping travel time really.
Lastly, fate is very important to Abyssals, their own has been hijacked by the Malfeans and woven to serve them. The idea is that as a Familiar becomes closer bound to it's master's essence, it's own fate is also taken by the Malfeans. It's scary that the Familiar is bound to become doomed just as certainly as the Abyssal, and even as the Abyssal gains a better servant, he finds it harder to escape the Malfeans and Deathlords. - Haren
Er. First, you're factually incorrect about the Sidereal thing. Familiars are something they do. They can have more, for one thing, and they can have both gods and men as familiars, instead of simple animals. (Human familiars are Aquintenances- GCG mentioned, IIRC, that the bond is essentially the same).
Second, Ripping the Shroud (the Shadowland spell you mentioned) is a Damn Stupidly Dangerous Thing. It takes you right to the Labrynth with no way out save the stairs. Not something to be casually performed- it's more like an emergency escape. And nothing we've seen so far can casually cross the Shroud, save in Shadowlands- and those take everything with them when day follows night. Again, IIRC.
Third, while fate and destiny are important to the theme of the Abyssals, they are unimportant to their Charms. Abyssals Charms don't pervert people's destiny or cut their fates- they work much more directly than that, as a rule. Even when they do functionally kill or darken a destiny, however, they don't refer to it as such- the working of Destiny and Fate are, again, a Sidereal thing.
And fourthly, I generally find that directly copying/improving upon the Charms of other Exalts is a Bad Idea. One, it lessens the Neat Distinctions between them, and two, it lessens the coolness of the Moonshadows and Eclipses. If you really wanna have Abyssal Get/Improve Familiar Charms, they should at least be clearly mechanically distinct from the Sidereal versions of the same. The above, mostly, aren't-> their imitations with a few fiddly bits changed and the content mroe than superfisically similiar. - Darius Solluman?
Personally I don't get why Sidereals are supposed to be the best with Familiars. I can see why they need the Acquaintance charm, after managing to gimp themselves when hiding from the world they obviously need some way to actually interact with the world on anything more than a superficial level. Though that does bring the question of why there was already a star for it before they needed it? They should have taken the hint... But getting back to the point, I don't see any reason for them being 'better' at familiars than any others as I can't see any reason for it being their 'Thing'. And if anyone was going to be King or Queen of familiars I'd have pegged the Lunars myself.
I'd say lose the underworld bit, and change the language so that it is apparent the pet is becoming closer to the malfeans. Sometimes the pet will do things because the malfeans will it, and if the pet witnesses the master doing something resonance worthy the master gains an additional point. Due to it's closeness to the Malfeans the pet gets the power to carry people into the Labyrinth and gets some bonus dice to labyrinth navigation.
Alternatively you could have the ability to jump from creation to the Underworld, but not back. AFAIK nothing lets you go from the underworld to Creation except shadowlands - areas where the two coexist - and that's one thing I would not be happy to change - Corlan Dashiva?
How about the familiar has the ability to jump to the Underworld and back, but not by any will of its own, or its master's? Instead, it gets summoned by the Deathlord (or a Malfean if you really want to scare the player) or sent somewhere by said Deathlord or Malfean, and so is compelled to carry its master across the boundary... it also ties in with the becoming closer with the Malfeans deal. - Garden?
I've decided to go with a compromise. ->) I have decided to limit to one way travel at will, but the Deathlord (or Malfean can summon and send an Abyssal back.) And I considered the resonance gain you mentioned implicit in the Charm (ah... the joys of Big Brother). ->) - Haren