Zoroastrian Morals, Source of Wisdom
Water is the source of Wisdom, Fire is the medium to gain Wisdom.
Water can be equated to oils and other fluids (eww)
Not about rules to live by, but inborn sense of wrongness.
Characters are comprised of clay, slogging through increasingly deep muck.
Dweller on the Threshold:
In a dark void, an expanse of nothingness where the lack of sensation starts with nearly painful relief from the lack of the mortal coil’s accumulated pains and anxieties. The void is filled in with self awareness, where the only perceptible sensation is the movement of thoughts through your mind, which start to take on a tactile feeling dependent on the nature of the thought.
Once your senses adjust to this new orientation, a red thread appears in your ‘vision’. The length travels across your perspective and you ‘feel’ the tension of the thread and see the stray fibers fade into the nothingness.
The vibration of the thread resonates with you, throwing your thoughts into your past. These experiences form an emotionally overwhelming force that threatens to rip you away from the link to your companions.
Each character experiences their own encounter individually and immediately, but will freshly recall what everyone else had experienced while they were dealing with their own issues.
A swirl of first hand experiences with shadow runners committing violence and thievery. Intermingling with those you know have reputations for terrible events to find jobs to earn money. Plenty of scenes of violence and frantic efforts to succeed. Some of the memories and feelings come from a third perspective with a sensation of great power and wisdom. Combined with this is the sensation a wire extending from each fingertip reaching out to grab each thug, criminal, and beast. Going taut, the violent elements to jerk to a halt awaiting your every whim, but doing nothing for their values.
The rush and withdraw sensations of a powerful narcotics envelope you as you recall the many people and places that you traveled with the distributors of a destructive drug. Chicago, Tokyo, Vladivostok, Caracas. Each city with it’s broken people fades and the amount of money in your cred sticks and bank accounts climbs. Intermixed are the scenes of death and destruction of those that you interact with. No comrades and no satisfied employers remain, just you with your money.
Excitement, anticipation, anxiety, and pride flow as memories of grueling training, education, and performance ebb and flow through your thoughts. With each memory, sediment is left behind like silt in a river. The common element in these moments are the people, performers, employees, competition. All victims to pranks, practical jokes, or just plain sabotage committed by you or on your behalf or that of your family. Sometimes for the sake of your family, sometimes business as usual, but frequently for revenge or entertainment, the memories of those that Fox encouraged you to exploit remain.
The first memory that comes to mind is of your moment of glory, taking that chance in the corporate meeting room to take a stand and push for an advantageous deal. Following that is the fear of reprisal for overstepping, only to have your trusted mentor take you in and show you the big leagues. The comfort, confidence, and self satisfaction of the successful white collar life fills you. The feelings sour as the understanding that these are only memories solidifies. You recall your lengthy attempts to draw the ancient spirit of protection to feel that again. It provides security to your, but you feel the entity’s presence and it’s dissatisfaction with your promise to protect others.
You are peppered with numerous memories of your early life. Each moment is minor and hardly of note, but each is of the twinge of dissonance you felt with each example teaching you to reject meta-humans and supress women. You remember the many instances where you were highly regarded in your culture for purity, piety, incredible magical power, and devotion to cleansing the taint of the land. Numerous rituals in which you sanctified a ceremony or corporate event play out simultaneously, each synced together due to the perfection you attained in your practice. However, those first recollections remain and cloud the air when you light the incense or stain the ground that you bless with the ink of that dissonance.
Each of you feel the question remain in your mind when the wave of memories hit you, “Is this who I am?”
Players will need to make a check to represent the character forcing the energy back at the thread 6, ignoring the confrontation 4, or resolving the character’s growth 2. Explain the emotions that the character experiences when confronted and how the character responds.
[Failure forces the character to reel backward, the sense of physical space coming back, but being shoved from behind back into the void to the discomfort of everyone. -1 edge]
The red thread solidifies and magnifies until you see that it is a column of flame, your ethereal body races toward the source until flames consume your senses. All sensation is then cutoff.
Place of Knowledge (Puzzle or Knowledge based Task, Biology)
Waking up in the rocky bed of a stream, you emerge from the ground. You and your companions seem to be comprised of clay and mud, recognizable, but ill defined. A mound of similar clay is washing away nearby.
It speaks, “I was born from the gravel and spent my early life fighting against the flow of the river. At the time, rushing to adulthood meant death. Once I grew into it, I was free to go out into the open world and all of the danger that comes with it. Once the peak of my life passed, I inexorably fought against the stream once more. Fighting as long as I can, I eventually pass away having paved the way for my children. Please tell me, what am I?” He seems to be too exhausted to respond further, awaiting the answer.
[After an answer]
With relief [disappointment?], he settles into the gravel, body dissolving into the stream.
Place of Destiny (Overcome Self or Prevent a Historical Event)
Trudging through ankle deep silt and muck in the bottom of a river, the players come across some dock pilings and concrete walls. They emerge from the harbor to the sight of 1999 New York where a refrigerated truck is treatened by a starving mob. Scared men and women in the truck clutch handguns. Electronics are hardly present, the vehicles are loud, and noone has any body armor on.
Place of Fear (Source of Fear)
Returning to the water, the characters are burdened by knee deep sludge and scum as they enter a deep ocean teeming with flora and fauna, from the tiny limnals whose pink bodies swarm around geysers to the immense balneals, massive enough to support cities of ice on their backs. Rising from the ocean are permanent geysers that support masses of ice. The balanced ice fields contain cities carved and grown from the chilly substance. Above the masses of ice are steaming vents to the clouds above. The clouds themselves form even more cities of condensed vapor that float along with the winds, tethered by the vents. The cloud cities shed particles of snow that help repeat the cyclic nature of the world. The sky is cast with brilliant rainbows as the omnipresent light is shattered and reflected. Your ability to rise off of the sea floor is impeded by the sucking muck steadily pulling you deeper with each step.
[Arcana or Intuition+Logic test to realize that the muck is the appropriate path]
[Composure to relax and accept the path]
Braving the cloying depths, you trade the sandy depths of the ocean depths for a black desert with slowly moving dunes under a night sky. It is deathly quiet and mostly devoid of distinct features. The journey being slow and event-less, distractions are a welcome treat. Looking at your companions, you have become accustomed to their clay forms, seeing veins of darkness and light, color and imperfection slowly changing over the days.
Your way is barred by a vast chasm. Sand from the astral sea blow out over it, creating a haze that makes seeing the bottom impossible. Assuming there is a bottom. The droning hiss of sand blowing around is the only sound you hear, the noise of your companions sucked away. Looking across to the other side, you cannot guess as to the distance, but there is a fog or atmospheric blur that obscures any details. This trench does not appear to be unnaturally straight, but varies like the ripped edge of a paper, though it does not waver much. After what seems like an hour, an outcropping of stone, roughly fifteen meters high, rises up out of the sand. This mound of stone is irregular, maybe thirty meters across. From it there seems to be some structure jutting over the chasm, maybe another thirty meters. The center area is flat, maybe twenty meters wide and continues this way as if a stone bridge should travel over the rift. Walking out to the edge and you find it very jagged and broken. Looking out, there seems to be a similar outcropping.
You step on what appears to be bone, buried in the sand. It could be human, or at least humanoid.
[Something to resolve the quest.]
Across the gap, you see something moving, like the shadow of a pacing animal, but nothing definitive. It could also be more distortions caused by the shifting sand. Overcoming the absorption of sound is a slight creaking of the stone underneath and the blown sand sometimes seems to bounce off of an unseen presence in the void between bridge supports.