Abyssal Dissonance

As it is, Resonance is a system that requires not only the existance of the Deathlords, but their personal interference in the Solar sparks. This system is here to provide a similar system, with more options for Abyssal origin.

The system will still consist of 10 temporary points. These represent the sort of unnatural life that is the very existance of the Abyssal. In effect, the Abyssal is a being who should be dead yet has cheated both fate and death. Dissonance is the amount that fate can see the error to erase and the dead see one of their own to claim.

This has a number of effects. The living (excepting those who have no fear of death, such as some children, the mad, Fair Folk) tend to find their presence disquieting. Social roles for any purpose but intimidation take a -1 die penalty for each two current points (round up) of Dissonance over their highest virtue.

Second, hungry ghosts within their current Dissonance of 10 kilometers can sense them and are drawn to devour their body suffused with essence. To devour their flesh or blood gives 6 motes per Health Level. Ghosts can also sense them within 1000 meters per Dissonance. These effects occur in both Creation and the Underworld. More importantly while in Creation, the area around an Abyssal becomes a shadowland at night. This shadowland extends for 2 meters per Dissonance. Note, while they are drawn to attack and devour the essence of the Abyssal, this does not mean that ghosts and hungry ghosts are not a danger to other people (who could be called appetizers).

A particularly unpleasant result of this happens if the Abyssal's Dissonance should rise over 10. Instead of increasing, the Abyssal is immediately dragged into the Underworld where a maelstorm of suprising intensity strikes around them, filled with dangers spectral and tempest related. Similarly, while in the Underworld, there is a 10% chance of a maelstorm centered on them striking every day.

Third, Abyssals all have a passionate link to their Virtues, but they have become focused through a goal or quest. When their Dissonance rises above their highest Virtue, they become unable to channel Virtues except to accomplish that goal. Similarly, their Virtues and desires tend to become focused around this goal. Should the quest be fulfilled, another replaces it.

Lastly, Abyssals are innately outside of the normal workings of fate (including Arcane Fate which they are always immune to), but when their Dissonance rises above their highest Virtue, they are vulnerable to any power fate or the Chosen of the Maidens might bring to bear. Effects placed while they are vulnerable do not fade before their time if the Abyssal's Dissonance falls below the threshold, but do not have an effect for till it rises above again.

Methods of gaining Dissonance

Basically, this system will have the Abyssal gaining Dissonance any time they are interacting with the living in a deep manner. These are not sins, but actions that emphasize their difference from the world around them.

  • Should the Abyssal save the life of a mortal, they gain two points of Dissonance.
  • Every incident of physical intimacy with the living causes a gain of one point of Dissonance.
  • Becoming a parent is particularly potent, as the Abyssal gains three points at conception and four at the birth.
  • Spending most of a day among large numbers of living people (including just being in the same building) gains one Dissonance. The threshold is usually twenty minus the Abyssal's Essence.
  • Being attuned to a Sidereal Manse is particularly dangerous, as they gain a point of Dissonance every night.

(more to come)

Losing Dissonance

  • By acting as one dead for 5 days, the Abyssal can lose a single point of Dissonance as the environment hides it. This means they dress as if they were a corpse, stay in places for the resting dead, and avoid contact with the living.
  • Similarly, by directly participating in mass deaths, they find their Dissonance lowered by 1 for each magnitude of 10. 1 for 10, 2 for 100, 3 for 1000, etc... This number of deaths is measured by the week.
  • For each number of consecutive days equal to the Abyssal's Essence that they spend in the Underworld, they may subtract a single point of Dissonance. With greater power, their spirit is more obvious.
  • By killing the Exalted of Heaven and Earth, the Abyssal finds their nature reinforced, given meaning. For reasons not known, to kill a Dragon Blood results in the loss of a point of Dissonance, a Lunar in half of their Essence (rounded down), and for Solars or Sidereals their full Essence.