For now, these are some collected musings I've had with people over the concept.
They are born of the Elemental Concatenate. They have not breath, but all their words a Prayer Contract to the lost, destroyed, and forgotten. They have not blood as we know it, kenning only the Sanguine Concept. Their bones are as dust, instead they are held together by the Osseous Compact. They have not the bile that burns and blazes, being replaced with the Barrow-flame Conceit. Theirs is not a born connection to the world of spirits and Essence, given only the Jade Concern.
As explanation of what that all meant.
Well, probably they're formed of a dead body who is basically mystically embalmed... their substances being transmuted into forms as I described. Their blood drained, and replaced with a similar but very different substance... their bones crushed to dust (at least in places like the joints), then regrown as the new "Osseus" nature infects the normal bone. Breath being prayed into their mouth till the lungs are full... their gut filled with barrow-flame so it's contained without destroying. And finally a jade talisman placed in their flesh so it's not obvious, but neither totally hidden (personally, I like the breastbone).
They are horrors hidden in a human seeming and human flesh, but they are not human. Their spiritual might is focused in temporal things, elements used and combined to produce effects within Charms with internal alchemy. They are not the resurrected, for while they might have memories from the body here and there, they are most certainly not that person except in form any more than an animated corpse.
[08:38am] [haren] Unless they... what if each virtue track was expanded? So they actually were "using the element" up, linked to the virtue, with a final pool being the Essence, for raw spiritual power?
[08:40am] [haren] So you have Valor 5 personal, 5 elemental channels... and you can use personal as elemental channels, and elemental channels come back more easily, but basically, yeah...
[08:40am] [haren] But elemental channels are only used for charms.
[08:45am] [haren] And there's one more CRAZY idea I just had.
[08:46am] [haren] They don't flare when they expend essence, exactly.
[08:50am] [haren] They flare when and while respiring essence!
[08:50am] [Le_Squide] That's a big change!
[08:51am] [haren] Yeah, but... if they're NOT spirtually linked to essence naturally, doesn't it make sense that they'd be... forced to perhaps not flare, but be Obvious while regaining it?
[01:11am] [haren] Valor is Blood, Compassion is Prayer, Temperence is Barrow-Flame, and lastly... Conviction is Bone.
[01:12am] [haren] Where is Jade? Jade is your Essence pool.
[01:13am] [Trax`] ooh, cool.
[01:28am] [haren] Also, I think their charms are NOT ability or attribute based.
[01:29am] [Trax`] oh? what are they based on then. Their channels?
[01:29am] [haren] Yep, well more their Virtues.
[01:31am] [Trax`] Hmm, I don't know..but I guess it's worth a try. it would be something different
[01:37am] [haren] Well, not exactly... 1st ed had gods being Virtue based ;)
[03:47am] [haren`sleep] Well, I think I know roughly how I want Liminal charms to work.
[03:47am] [Crowned_Sun] Oooh? :)
[03:48am] [haren`sleep] Each Element linked to a virtue has themes. The obvious one being manifestation/control of the element itself.
[03:49am] [haren`sleep] So let's say you spend a Valor/Blood... it's pretty obvious what THAT does.
[03:50am] [haren`sleep] But what happens if you spend a Conviction/Bone?
[03:50am] [haren`sleep] You have access to Blood charms, Bone charms, and Blood+Bone charms!
[03:51am] [haren`sleep] Of course, this could get "too fucking complicated"
[03:52am] [haren`sleep] Actually... no, no it would be A-OK
[03:54am] [haren`sleep] IF! my math is right... and you did that, you wouldn't have that many variations on charms.
[03:54am] [haren`sleep] But I probably don't remember how to do the math anymore ^_^ (Note not from the log: The number of elemental charm trees is 12.)
[04:03am] [Crowned_Sun] ...okay, no, I'm still not sure I follow what you're saying there??
[04:06am] [haren`sleep] Ok, their charms are elementally powered... they have a "crucible" that they force their reserves of element into (a channel) to bring about effects. Every element has themes linked to it. Think of it being almost like the Geist system, EXCEPT, there are only keys, and you can use a key alone.
[04:10am] * Crowned_Sun nodsnods.
[04:10am] [Crowned_Sun] What's the deal you were talking about at 4:48am though?
[04:10am] [haren`sleep] So if you've activated Bone, Blood, and Barrow-flame, you can use Bone charms, Blood charms, Barrow-flame charms, or any combination of the three (including all three together).
[04:10am] [Crowned_Sun] Ooo, so like, there might be Blood+Bone charms??
[04:10am] [Crowned_Sun] (:
[04:10am] [haren`sleep] Exactly!
[04:11am] [Crowned_Sun] Okay, I get it. :D
[04:11am] [Crowned_Sun] n' that doesn't sound too complicated.
[04:11am] [Crowned_Sun] I mean, maybe if you tried to make a whole shitload of... "Blood+Bone+Barrowflame" charms. ;)
[04:11am] [haren`sleep] And doing the math again... that makes for 12 total "trees"
[04:11am] [Crowned_Sun] But the concept is simple enough.
[04:11am] * Crowned_Sun would probably limit how many Keys you can have open at once by your Essence.
[04:12am] [Crowned_Sun] So, say, at Essence 1-3 you can only use one key at a time.
[04:12am] [haren`sleep] HAH!
[04:12am] [Crowned_Sun] 4-6 opens up two key combinations.
[04:12am] [Crowned_Sun] Then 6-9 allows three key charms! :)
[04:12am] [haren`sleep] Ok, not exactly the same but we had a similar idea.
[04:12am] [Crowned_Sun] What was your idea? :D
[04:13am] [haren`sleep] 1 and 2 was one element, 3-4 was two, and so on.
[04:13am] [haren`sleep] So in theory you can taste "real power" before Essence 10 ;)
[04:14am] [haren`sleep] Since while difficult, 7 isn't IMPOSSIBLE to reach in a game.
[04:14am] * Crowned_Sun tends to view 3 as still "low Essence," especially since you can get it without meditation and all.
[04:15am] [haren`sleep] Yeah, but it still allows some very strange effects.
[04:15am] [Crowned_Sun] 1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-10 wouldn't be horrible though.
[04:15am] [haren`sleep] For now, we'll take your second one (that I'd considered) under advisement. :D
[04:15am] [Crowned_Sun] Since Jade doesn't count as a key right, since it's Essence?
[04:16am] [haren`sleep] No, exactly right :D
[04:16am] [haren`sleep] Jade is the Essence element.
As I imagine it, elemental channels can be regenerated while respiring essence, focusing the incoming essence (at least in part) into feeding the reserves of element, a sort of "transcondensation" of essence droplets forming around the element left in the Liminal, slowly building up. I'm thinking they can turn their current essence draw / hour + 2 motes of essence into channels. It takes 3 (maybe 4) motes to restore a channel to your primary virtue's element. It takes 5 to restore to any other virtue's element.
Similarly, Liminals are nominally Virtue based for charms, but indirectly. Their rating in an Element (number of channels) is at minimum equal to their corresponding Virtue, but can be raised at a current rating x 2 cost. Similarly, Elemental ratings can be raised above 5 after Essence 6 is reached.
While you can only activate Charms with an active Element in play, you CAN sustain them with committed essence after the Element has died out or been flushed from the system to enable access to another tree. This encourages at low Essence for Liminals to anticipate and prepare for situations.
Liminals must buy each Excellency once per Elements they can have active at once + 1. So 2 times for Essence 1 through 3, 3 for 4 and five, and so on. Excellencies can be used on any action that fits the themes of the Element. A higher Essence (Thinking 3) post-Excellency would allow that to be expanded to also any time you could channel the relevant Virtue.