The Flowing Stillness of Stone
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By SkinaStonedottir

The Flowing Stillness of the Stone

The sorceress has been enlightened by meditating upon the nature of stone. It is widely known that stone is permanent, immutable, and as unchanging as the very laws of creation. Yet, stone flows subtly, moving and changing through the earth. Stone is eroded by the winds and the waves, it is cracked by the roots of trees, and it can be melted by flame, Indeed, the unchanging, permanent nature of stone can be changed even by mortal hands. Such is the nature of creation; that which seems permanent, immutable and fundamental may yet be transformed.

The rituals of this initiation embody the nature of stone. They are slow moving, powerful, and permanent. But their power is tempered by their inflexible nature. The weight of a mountain is enough to crush an entire nation, yet the mountain is helpless before stonemasons and their chisels.

Shaping Rituals

Essence flows through the earth, slowly and imperceptibly, and when the flow of this essence hits a snarl it begins to crystallise, transforming base stone into precious stones and jewels. The sorceress has learned to draw upon the essence contained in the treasures of the earth. At any time, she may consume the essence contained in jewels and semiprecious stones in short range, gaining (Resources value of jewels + Essence) sorcerous motes. The jewels are utterly consumed by this process, turning to chalk, sandstone, glass or even powdery dust. The sorceress may choose which jewels to consume, and if the opportunity presents itself she may even draw power from an enemy's treasures. The sorceress may also draw up to essence sorcerous motes from earth elementals and other spirits of the earth. When casting her control spell, jewels are only reduced to a lesser form, losing 1 dot of their resources value.

The stone is still and immutable, and the flow of essence through the earth is directed and constrained. The sorceress may harness this power by inscribing a great mandala into the stone. First, she must spend a month studying the flow of essence through the earth around a certain site. She then choses one of her spells, and carves into the earth an occult diagram to direct essence into the shape of the spell. This is an Intelligence + Occult roll, difficulty five. Whenever she is standing at the centre of this diagram, she may gain (essence + extra successes) sorcerous motes to cast that spell. This diagram must usually be cut directly into the stone of the earth, rather than bricks, cobblestones, stone slabs, or other artificial such surfaces. A well constructed diagram may also aid summoning spells, granting (Essence) dice to the binding roll of these spells. While the power of these diagrams is significant, they are limited. While a sufficiently capable sorceress might construct a diagram sufficient to cast "death of obsidian butterflies" nearly every turn, she is exceptionally vulnerable while she does so. She stands in the middle of a clear stone diagram, with no cover, leaving her vulnerable to hidden snipers or stealthy assassins. Should an enemy approach her, she is limited in her capacity to dodge. Enemies might choose to wait her out, forcing her to come to them, and and savvy enemies might even disrupt the geomancy of the local area until her diagram no longer functions.

Other Benefits

Follow the Flow of the Earth (Merit •••):

The sorceress has gained a deep understanding of the flow of essence in the earth, and can feel the subtle, timeless currents that run through the stone. She recognises a curve in the grain of stone that speaks to a passage beneath it, and the subtle distortions that suggest the presence of a vein of ore. May roll intelligence + occult to find geological features (such as caves or passages leading in her preferred direction), or to prospect for jewels, ores, or magical materials. The storyteller should bear in mind that while she may be better at finding them than most, such treasures remain scarce; while the sorceress might be able to follow the currents of stone to find a deposit of jade on the other side of a small kingdom, she is unlikely to find more nearby.

Kin to the bedrock (Merit ••):

Through her meditations on the nature of stone, the sorceress has taken the essence of earth into her very self. Creatures of stone, such as earth elementals and spirits associated with the earth, recognise her as their kin and gain a minor positive tie towards her. The nature of this tie depends on the spirit. Least gods and minor earth elementals might feel awe, love, or filial piety, more powerful beings might have a tie of respect, solidarity, or loving jealousy, and ancient creatures such as the gemlords might have a tie of proud parental indulgence, or perhaps more possessive feelings.

Even the least forms of stone accept her as their sister and welcome her; she treats damage from falling onto stone surfaces as though she had fallen one less range band, and other sources of environmental damage from stone are similarly reduced.

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