Rumali

by Stacey Lawless (6 Nov 94)

[1] The Radiance of Death: The Dakini can evoke a strange aura around himself. It is barely noticeable to the eye, but is faintly dark and quite cold. Anyone who is close by the Dakini will feel the chill and a eerie sense of foreboding, as though someone had stepped on their grave. This power gives the Dakini three extra dice on Intimidation rolls. At the Storyteller's discretion, the Dakini may also get an extra die on Stealth rolls under some circumstances; this reflects the tendency many people have to try and ignore the things that disturb them.

System: There is no roll, but a Blood point must be spent to activate this power.

[2] The Honored: The Dakini can set a mystical mark on a being whom she wishes to keep track of. As long as the mark is in place, the Dakini will always have a sense of how far away the Honored One is and in what direction. If she concentrates she can easily track the Honored One to its location. The Honored may only be used on one being at a time, but the Dakini may leave the mark in place for as long as she likes, and can remove it at will. The mark is invisible to the eye, but those who have developed Rumali to at least level 2 can sense it, and Aura Perception might be able to detect it.

There is no known way to remove the mark without the assistance of the Dakini who set it, but at the Storyteller's discretion certain rituals or magicks might do it. Likewise, some magicks or rituals could temporarily block a Dakini's sense of where the Honored One is; for example, a Dakini who has Honored a Garou might not be able to sense the Garou's location while it is in the Umbra.

System: No roll is required, but a Blood point must be spent to Honor someone, and the Dakini must be able to see them. They do not need to see the Honored One to remove the mark.

[3] Kali's Eyes: With but a look, the Dakini can wrack his victim with phantasms of her own demise. The Dakini must look into his victim's eyes and make a Manipulation + Intimidation roll with a target of the victim's Willpower, getting at least two successes. If he succeeds, the victim will undergo nightmare-like scenes of her own death. This is a very frightening experience; mortals who see through Kali's Eyes must make a Willpower roll with a difficulty of 8 to avoid fleeing in blind panic. Successes mean that the victim has retained her self-control, but the visions are naturally quite distracting, and the victim receives +3 to all difficulty numbers until the visions run their course. A botch causes the victim to curl up in a fetal ball and whimper. If this power is used on a Vampire, the unlucky Lick must make a Courage roll to avoid Rotschreck. The victim will experience one "death" per success that the Dakini received. The duration and content of the visions are entirely up to the Storyteller.

The visions induced by looking through Kali's Eyes can be precognitive, and if a victim of the power can avoid panic or Rotschreck, she can sometimes discern the potentially lethal people or situations in her life.

[4] Kali's Blessing: The Dakini can tell her victim about death with such eloquence that the victim will resign himself to it, and even yearn for it. The Dakini must roll Manipulation + Intimidation with a target of her victim's Willpower, and get at least two successes. If she succeeds, the victim is plunged into a haze of sorrow, and melancholy, a resignation to and acceptance of his own death. In fact, the victim becomes passively suicidal and finds it difficult to take any action to prolong his life (Willpower roll, difficulty 8). The depression lasts 24 hours for every success the Dakini received.

[5] The Glory of Death: Similar to the Radiance of Death, this power allows the Dakini to evoke a weird aura around himself. This aura blazes with cold black light and is quite visible. It grants the Dakini three extra dice on all Intimidation rolls, and the strange cold energy enables him to do aggravated damage with his bare hands. In addition, the Glory of Death grants the Dakini three extra dice for soaking non-aggravated damage.

System: No roll is required, but a Blood point must be spent to activate this power.

[6] Dancing the Paths of the Dead: The Dakini can walk into one corpse and exit another up to a mile away. This power acts as a rather gruesome form of teleportation. The Dakini may Dance the Paths of the Dead to bypass walls and other obstacles, make quick get-aways, and even to travel. He may also try to pull others through a corpse to him, by reaching into the corpse, grabbing the victim, and pulling her through the Paths to his own location.

System: The Dakini must decide where he will emerge before he enters and make a Intelligence + Occult roll (difficulty 6). Failure means he goes nowhere, and is likely ankle-deep in rot and bone. A botch gives the Storyteller carte blanche to be evil (the Dakini gets trapped inside the corpse, Wraiths attack him, he gets lost on the Paths and is stuck in the Underworld, etc.). Pulling someone through requires at least two successes on an Intelligence + Brawl roll.

The Dakini may only Dance through corpses that were at least roughly half his mass in life (large dogs, crocodiles, calves, horses, humans, elephants, etc.). The state of the body matters little, although if a lot of it is missing the Storyteller should feel free to raise the Dakini's difficulty. The Dakini cannot step through any body that still has a soul or is undead, so while they could Dance the Paths using a Tremere's or Giovanni's zombie, they cannot step into mummies or other Kindred unless said mummy or Kindred has been extinguished.

[6] Honored Multitude: This power allows the Dakini to Honor more than one person at a time. In all other respects it is the same as The Honored. The Dakini can never mark more individuals than her Rumali rating, however.

[7] The Glory of Kali: With this power the Dakini can assume the form of the Black Mother: a seven-foot-tall, black-skinned demoness with four arms ending in clawed hands, three eyes, and terrible strength. This form is the very image of Kali Ma in Indian art, and some Dakini keep necklaces of skulls around to wear in this form on special occasions. The Kali-form is distinctly female; interestingly enough, male Dakini who use the Glory of Kali still take on the female form.

System: No roll is required, but three Blood points must be spent to assume the Glory of Kali. When in this form the Dakini's Physical attributes all increase by three and Perception increases by one (this is a mystical Third Eye, not a metis deformity), and all Social attributes drop to zero. The claws do Strength + 1 aggravated damage, and the Dakini may use the three Stamina dice gained while using this power to soak damage caused by fire and sunlight.

[8] The Exalted: The Dakini can be amazingly subtle killers when the situation warrants; this level of Rumali is in large part the reason why. With it, a Dakini can make the Exalted One's life into a thoroughly dangerous hell of accidents, chance occurrences, and freak coincidences. Cars swerve to hit him, his tuna salad is contaminated with botulism, the tasty-looking Vessel turns out to be a Lupine, the fugu chef is hungover, the disgruntled employee starts shooting while he's in the office, he gets the wrong address and walks into a Sabbat Blood Feast, and so on. There is a pretty good chance that he will die as a result of one (or more) of these accidents. The Exalted is especially deadly if used in conjunction with Kali's Blessing.

System: The Dakini must be able to see her victim, and must roll Wits + Occult, with a difficulty of the victim's Willpower. Two successes are required to Exalt someone, while a botch indicates that the Dakini has managed to open herself up to whatever bizarre, random events the Storyteller chooses to inflict. The Exalted state lasts for twenty-four hours. If the Dakini wants to extend the period, she must let the first Exalted state run its course, then sight her victim again and make another Wits + Occult roll.

[9] Kali's Gift: At this level of Rumali, the Dakini becomes capable of saving lives or ending them with only a thought. Those with Kali's Gift can, if they choose, save the life of a creature who is about to die by "borrowing" the death; that is to say, literally taking the death away from the creature, thus giving it another chance at survival. Conversely, the Dakini can use this power to slay instantly, by bestowing the "borrowed" death upon a chosen victim. The death can take many forms in mortals, but all of them are shockingly swift; depending on circumstances they can range from sudden heart failure,to spontaneous human combustion to getting shot. When Kali's Gift is bestowed on Kindred,the victim simply crumbles instantly to ash.

System: To take a death, the Dakini must roll Wits + Occult, with a difficulty of 8. Failure means that the dying being passes away, while a botch means that the dying being has become trapped in this world as a ghost, and is understandably hostile toward the Dakini.

A "borrowed" death may be kept for as long as the Dakini wishes; some have been known to carry a death around for decades, searching for just the right victim to give it to. However, only one death may be retained at a time.

To kill someone by giving her a death, the Dakini must make a contested Intelligence + Occult roll with a difficulty of the victim's Willpower, and the victim rolls her Willpower with a difficulty of the Dakini's Intelligence + Occult. If the Dakini fails, or his victim gets more successes than he does, the death is harmlessly negated. If the victim fails or botches, she dies quickly. If the Dakini botches, one of two things can happen. The death can "rebound" back at the Dakini, who must then make a Wits + Occult roll with a difficulty of 9 to avoid dying himself. Or, more eerily, the death can get loose, escaping the Dakini's power and wandering about on its own, perhaps developing sentience and a personality as it goes.

[10] Level 10: There are no known Dakini of the third generation or lower. As always, though, there are rumors...