by Benjamin van d'Grift (30 Mar 94)
This is the discipline of the Detrius bloodline.
On avatars, quintessence, Zen and the art of Magick: Everyone, everything has an avatar. Mortals, Garou, Kindred, Wraiths, Faeries (geh!) and all the Evil Nasties From Beyond. Existence is inherently magickal, but I'm waxing philosophical. (and it's getting shinier) *wax wax*
A vampire's avatar is composed of the avatars of others. When the vampire drains even the smallest quantity of blood from anyone or thing, mortal or immortal, a bit of the creature's avatar is picked up. Maybe a bit, maybe a lot. The life essence is what the Vampire feeds on. This is because in Becoming, a Vampire loses it's own avatar. A body cannot live without an Avatar. So when the mortal soon to be vampire loses all of their blood, they are devoid of said avatar and are DEAD. Then, the vampire creator gives the corpse a portion of her own avatar (composed of the avatars of others) and it once again has an avatar, and is alive again. Vampires feed off of avatars. The easiest way (and possibly the only way) to get to a living creatires avatar is the blood. Therefore, Vampire live off of blood. So: Vampires have an avatar. Their avatar is composed of the avatars of everything they have ever fed off of. Thus, in the Umbra, Vampires are recognizable by the whirlwind shroud of spirits that surround them, the avatars of their victims. The Areal discipline is the manipulation of that spirit cloud.
Which leads to quintessence. A vampire can absorb quintessence like any other being, and does. It is stored in the cloud of avatar around her. They are veritable sinks of quintessence, due to the avatar cloud. The blood they have represents this quint essence. If a vampire has 5 blood points, they have 5 points of quintessence. They spend this as mages do (for a vampire's avatar is most certainly awake) but on their disciplines. Can Vampires generate paradox? YES!
So, the bottom line: A vampire needs an avatar to survive. The quest of unlife is to gather an avatar, to become mortal again. (Areal 10: The Integration) Quintessence is used in this quest and is stored in the spirit cloud around the vampire. Vampire quintessence is gain ed by drinking blood.
If you want a clearer follow-up, just say so. There are a lot of things to clarify.
Just my two cents,
Benjamin van d'Grift
Prepare for a following article on The Beast and the Wyrm.
This discipline's power comes from the cloud of avatars that surround the Vampire in the Umbra. This cloud makes up the Vampire's own avatar, and it is possible to manipulate the avatar.
Those seeking to learn this discipline must seek out those that already know it, for it originated with a Malkavian named Seer, in Boston. The Kindred community thought that it was her particular derangement, butwhen she turned up one day mortal again.....
 Eyes of the Tormentor: This discipline allows the Kindred to see into the Umbra as if she were seeing through the numerous eyes of her Spirit/Tormentor cloud Avatar. It allows vision into the Umbra, but because she is constantly seeing her whirling spirit cloud, she cannot have a wits score greater than her areal score. It is a great feat of willpower to suppress this power. Areal conveys a Derangement upon it's user that she is actually in the Umbra, and is capable of all that entails.
System: The Kindred can see into the Umbra as if she were standing on the other side of the gauntlet. She is not, however, actually in the Umbra. With the expenditure of a willpower point, she can suppress this sight for one scene. This power is always on. A creative ST will take advantage of the fact that the Kindred using this power is constantly seeing the spirit cloud surrounding her.
 The Bite of a Hundred Souls: This power allows the Kindred using it to attack/defend against other creatures in the Umbra. She sends out bits of the cloud to swarm and 'bite' the opponent. This is useful when being attacked by creatures in the Umbra.
System: With the expenditure of a blood point, the Vampire's spirit cloud becomes the equivalent of a Spirit with Rage equivalent to the vampire's Willpower (current) + Areal, and Gnosis equal Intelligence + Areal. The 'Bite' does not do aggravated damage, and does not affect creatures whose physical bodies are not in the Umbra.
 The Invisible Horror: This power allows the kindred to manifest her spirit cloud into the physical world, causing fear and distraction to all those observing. The spirit cloud extends over the immediate area and can be seen, heard, and makes the skin crawl. All seeing this horror must make a fear check (morale or courage or whatever) or flee from the scene for 10-courage rounds (Insert alternate idea here).
System: With the expenditure of a willpower point, the Kindred can make her Spirit Cloud visible and audible. This causes the viewers (in the Physical Realm) to make a fear check, the difficulty of which is equal to the users Manipulation + Intimidation + Areal. If they make the check, they may remain, but are at a penalty to all their dice pools equal to the user's Areal score. (e.g. Areal 4 causes a -4 to all dice pools)
 Gate to Beyond: This power allows the user to be pulled into the Umbra by the Spirit cloud. This effect is instantaneous. The Kindred's physical body is transported into the Umbra. To the observer, there is a brief flash of the spirit cloud and then the Kindred vanishes. No sound is made.
System: The Kindred must make a Manipulation + Empathy roll, difficulty equal to 12 - Humanity to convince the Spirit Cloud to pull her into the Umbra. She will remain there, invisible to the physical world, until she leaves the Umbra (same roll).
 Tormentor: This power allows the Kindred to sent one of her tormentors to haunt someone else. This is a nasty power and should be used with caution. This power attaches the haunt to the victim PERMANENTLY!!!!!!!
System: The Kindred must spent a blood point (To manifest the spirit), and use a willpower point (to reconcile the loss of avatar) and make a Manipulation + (empathy/intimidation) roll, difficulty equal to the victim's humanity to comvince the spirit to haunt the individual. The victim must make a courage check when first seeing the Haunt or pick up a Derangement. The reciever of the torment must make a intelligence + Spirit Lore roll (diff 8) to realize exactly what happened. The victim recieves the Haunted flaw (3) permanently.
 Spirit Vortex: This power allows the user to draw others through the gauntlet and into the Umbra. This is a one-way trip. This power traps the victim in the Umbra until they can find their own way out.
System: The kindred must make a manipulation + empathy roll, difficulty the target's humanity, to convince the Spirit Cloud to pull the target in. Once in, the target must find their own way out of the Umbra.
 The Shattering: This power allows the user to shatter the gauntlet completely in one location. Again, this is permanent, and should be used with care. It allows All Kinds of Nasty Critters access to the real world. This Gate can be used by anyone, and few such Gates exist.
System: The user must make an Areal roll, difficulty 4 + Gauntlet strength for that area. (See Mage: The Ascention) This creates a gate to the Near Umbra that is permanent. ST note: This will make the Technocracy VERY upset.
 Spirit Knight: This power allows the user to take a powerful spirit from the Spirit Cloud and anchor it to a person, place, or thing to guard it. The Knight created can be made very powerful and will remain there. Such knights are used to guard havens, chantries, gates, etc. They are used to great effect.
System: This is not an instantaneous thing. The Kindred must choose the spirit to use. This requires an Areal roll, difficulty 10. The number of success x 10 is the spirit's Power. (see W:tA) Then the user must make a Manipulation + intimidation roll, difficulty is the Spirit's Willpower + Power/10. (Base spirit willpower in the Cloud is 2, plus one for each time the the Kindred has committed Diablerie). This convinces the spirit to remain on that spot. Once this is done, The kindred can empower the spirit by using Blood. One blood point raises the spirit's power by 1. Determine the spirit's stats as the ST sees fit.
 The Scattering: With this power, the Kindred sets free her entire Cloud of Spirits, and allows them eternal rest. They are no longer bound to the Kindred and are free to go into the Umbra/Afterlife as they will. This is an act of extreme humanity, for although it frees the Kindred who uses it from Caine's Curse, they also die the Final Death.
System: The Kindred expends a point of willpower to send her tormentors away, and dies. If your players ever get this, roleplay it.
 The Integration: With this power, the Kindred coalesces her entire spirit cloud into one Spirit/Avatar, to replave the Avatar lost during the Embrace. This is the only known way for a Kindred to become mortal again.
System: The Kindred using this power must expend all of their blood and willpower coalescing the spirits, and 'rewiring' the spiritual energy. NO PLAYER WILL EVER ATTAIN THIS!!!! The ritual takes a number of hours equal to the number of years on unlife and cannot be interrupted, else the Kindred dies the final death as per Areal 9. At the end of this time, the newly made Avatar (fully awakened) enters the kindred, who becomes a mortal.