Warlock Patron: Semiramis-Nebuchadnezzar-Shamsi


Semiramis-Nebuchadnezzar-Shamsi, LLP
A patron for Oblidsideryptch's lovely GLOG Warlock.

from War of Omens

Goal: The world is a delicate balance of contracts and obligations. Spirits, ghosts, demons, gods— all varying legal terms for creatures of the same substance, bound by intricate laws rebuilt and refined over epochs. You never know what family politics have been built around their ancestor’s chain of demonic pacts, or what water rights dispute might trespass on of a long-settled divine imminence tort. There is great profit to be made in keeping these threads held together, and plucking them to the advantage of paying customers.

Equipment: Formal work attire, and an attaché case containing paper, pens, legal bona-fides, and a company letter-opener.

Boon: You have a lawyer’s education. The firm has legal possession of your soul for the duration of your employment, and keeps it secured in their vault. You can file appropriate paperwork if you want to temporarily requisition its use.

Favors:
  1. With a snap of your fingers, you can cause an invalidated legal document that you’re holding to burst into flames. If you have all of the ashes in one place, you can also un-burn a valid legal document destroyed by fire. 
  2. You can call on one of the firm’s stenographer spirits, so long as you’re on the job, or can adequately explain why what you’re doing counts as being on the job. It will requisition its own paper and ink. Its records are always immaculate.
  3. You can put in a requisition order for most common ritual components with having to pay for them, so long as you can make an adequate case as to their necessity to your work for the firm. If your order is approved, it will be processed and filled by midnight.

from War of Omens
Obligations:
  1. Shamsi says: “Tragedy is when suffering is turned to no advantage. Find [Debt]/2 promising prospects, and refer them to the firm.”
  2. Shamsi says: “A client owes us [Debt]*1000 obols. They are, shall I say, unbecomingly recalcitrant. Ensure the matter is resolved.”
  3. Shamsi says: “As junior partner, brute research often falls to me, which is to say, it falls to you. I need [Debt] pieces of useful information on a particular spirit. Do try to avoid anything too obvious. They’ll be expecting that.”
  4. Nebuchadnezzar says: “Someone helped me out of a jam once, and I’ve got an opportunity to pay them back with some pro bono work. Which you’re going to be taking for me. I’m busy, and talking to them is like pulling teeth. Don’t screw me on this.”
  5. Nebuchadnezzar says: “Seems like everyone with more education than sense is a lawyer these days. [Debt] amateurs are working on clients who we should have had locked down. Make them understand the rules, or take them out of the game.”
  6. Nebuchadnezzar says: “We’ve got a client tying to play hardball with us. Some high-society type. Find [Debt] skeletons in their closet that’ll help us shut them up. A big life-ruining revelation works too. I’m not picky.”
  7. Semiramis says: “We have a special counsel for a very sensitive case who is in need of particularly intensive security. I trust you will find a way to protect them until the case concludes in [Debt]*10 days. They have a powerful enemy in a spirit of uncertain provenance and wide-reaching influence. You will need to be subtle, thorough, and uncompromising.”
  8. Semiramis says: “I have a case for you. The matter is somewhat obscure, as are the parties involved, but the crux of the matter is really very simple. I have no doubt you will handle it swiftly and effectively.” (This case is impossible. Barring a stroke of genius or a miraculous coincidence, you will lose. Semiramis simply wants to see how you approach it.)

Patron’s Gift: There is a very real possibility you will make partner some day. Semiramis nods approvingly when you pass by. Nebuchadnezzar slaps you jovially on the back. Shamsi plots to kill you. You now have access to the firm’s in-house canopic storage. You may use this to store as many of your body parts as you like out of sight of those who would want to do you harm, for as long as you need to. You’ll still be able to walk and talk and take notes and other such lawyerly things, whatever you remove. Many associates in your position take this opportunity to incorporate otherwise impractical magical prosthetics or to gild or opalize their own bones.

Spells:

the first door (is traced with the tip of your pen)
R write T contract D as specified by contract

You may write a spell known by or a spirit summoned by a signatory of a contract into the terms of said contract. You specify under what conditions of the contract the spell takes effect, exactly how it takes effect, what specific obligations the spirit is bound to fulfill, etc. If a situation arises for which you haven’t specified rules or protocol in the text of the contract, the magic bound therein operates under its own discretion. 

The signatory providing the spell or spirit must invest the [dice] used to cast the spell or to maintain control of the spirit into the contract, and does not regain use of them until the terms of the contract specify the magical effect comes to an end. 

You may invest [dice] of your own in this way to grant you a commensurate level of discretionary control over the magical effect: If you invest as many or more than the signatory, you can make a contested Intelligence check to manipulate it. You don’t have to explicitly write this backdoor into the contract, but if you don’t, using it renders the contract void.

the second door (is the space behind your teeth)
R 0 T self D [dice] sentences
Anyone who hears your voice considers with full faith whatever it is you say to them. They are fully able to reconsider, disbelieve, or reject your ideas, but they can’t dismiss them out of hand. If you lie under the effect of this spell, your teeth shatter. Lies of omission do not exist. 

the third door (is made of secret geometry)
R 0 T self D [sum] hours
Make a closed shape with your hands. Any one item passed through the shape vanishes. When you make that shape again, you can cause the item to fall back out. Each item you vanish must have its own shape. 

Inanimate items emerge in the exact context in which they were vanished, as if no time has passed at all. If you don’t reappear them before the spell ends, they’re lost forever. 

If you vanish a living thing, it reappears automatically when the spell ends, from the nearest appropriate geometric shape. Roll 1d6 when it reappears by any means, but subtract 1 per additional [die] spent to vanish it.
  1. It’s still alive!
  2. No, wait, only certain parts of it…
  3. And the parts are animated by alien intelligences from under the skin of the world…
  4. And they break off and scramble wildly in different directions…
  5. To slowly grow into grotesque beasties far from any watchful eyes…
  6. And carve out domains of their own as dread monarchs whose greedy gaze tracks your every move.

the fourth door (is only ever reflected)
R contact T person D contact maintained
Look into someone’s eyes, and you can share conscious thoughts. Each of you experiences the conscious thoughts of the other just as you’d experience your own, in your own voice. 

If you invest 2 or more [dice] and are physically touching the other person, you can share subconscious impulses, emotions, and muscle memories. 

If you invest 3 or more [dice] and touch their insides (under their tongue, in an open wound) you can share physical sensations. 

If you invest 4 [dice] and speak their name aloud, you can unlock repressed memories. 

There is a [dice]-in-6 chance that anyone you use this spell on will become desperately obsessed with you.

the fifth door (is a gate of horn and ivory)
R 0 T self D spit
You can drool a string of tiny rhinestones containing your own memories, whichever ones you choose. While they’re in the stones, they’re not in your head. Anyone who swallows them gains the memory, and believes it is their own. The string contains [dice] rhinestones, each containing a single memory. 

If you wish, you can choose to invest the spent dice, setting them aside for now. Once a rhinestone has been eaten, you can roll one of the invested dice. If it comes up 4+, the person who ate the rhinestone spits it back out, and the memory comes with it. Either way, the invested die then returns to you.

the sixth door (is shaped like a star)
R 0 T paper D as long as it takes you do do origami
Fold an appropriate amount of paper into [sum] little origami spirit traps. A spirit who enters one of these traps cannot leave without your express permission, or if the spirit trap is damaged or unfolded. Each trap can hold one spirit of [size] HD. 

If you wish, you may invest some of the spent [dice] into the spirit traps (one die per trap), setting them aside for now. If you invest in a spirit trap, you can exploit the spirit inside. Roll the die and add the HD of the spirit. If you roll under your intelligence, you can request one service of the spirit, as if it were bound to you, that it can perform without leaving the spirit trap. If you roll over your intelligence, the spirit escapes. Either way, the invested die then returns to you.

the seventh door (is written in itself)
R carve T sheet of vellum D forever
Carve an indelible symbol in an unpronounceable, untranslatable language into a sheet of vellum. No other surface will sustain it. The symbol perfectly conveys a specific idea to anyone who looks at it, with all of its nuance and ambiguity completely intact, and all of its context fully incorporated. It is impossible to have anything less than a complete and profound understanding of the idea the symbol is intended to convey. The more [dice] you invest, the more complex the idea can be. Each discrete element of the idea requires another [die]. Writing the sigil deals [sum] damage to you, and half that much to anyone who reads it, as their brain violently hemorrhages.

one edge divides 
R 0 T single discreet thing D [sum] rounds, or until you contradict it
You provide a semantic argument about why something really ought to be considered two things: legally, physically, logically. If your argument is good enough, and with a successful intelligence check, modified by the skill of your argument and contested by the intelligence of the thing (if relevant), you impose your brute reason on an unsuspecting reality, and you may treat the thing as if it were two things for all game-mechanical and semantic purposes. 

If you invest 3 or more [dice] and pass an additional check, you may specify which of the things qualities are assigned to each of its new selves (by default, both of them are all relevant qualities). You might argue, for instance, that the duke is actually two men: the one who has been known for years as a fine upstanding member of the community, and the heinous rake who stalks the city by night hunting innocents with his foxhounds, and that you intend to poison the public duke, who would have no reason to cultivate an immunity to poison. 

Failing either check results in your argument backfiring hilariously. 

two edges consume
R 0 T single discreet thing D [sum] rounds, or until you contradict it
If you can provide sufficient argument as to why a thing is not some thing that it is, which must take as its frame of reference at least two things that the thing definitely is or isn’t, you may make an intelligence check, modified by the skill of your argument and contested by the intelligence of the thing (if relevant) to impose your position such that it is not that thing, for the purposes of interaction with other things. You may, for instance, argue that you are not where you are now, because your home address is elsewhere, and you were shopping for groceries there just last week, and what are the chances you suddenly abandoned your comfortable life for one of danger and adventure, so surely that falling stalactite isn’t going to hit you, because you’re safely at home. 

Failing the check results in your argument backfiring tragically. 

three edges contain
R 0 T single discreet thing D [sum] rounds, or until you contradict it
If you can provide sufficient argument as to why a thing is something that it isn’t, taking as its frame of reference at least three things that it definitely is, you may make an intelligence check, modified by the skill of your argument and contested by the intelligence of the thing (if relevant), you may reason it into being that thing, for the purpose of interaction with other things. You may, for instance, argue that the hibernating bear, totally quiet and still, is in fact dead, and so can be raised as a zombie. The motion? Just the corpse settling, gasses moving around. The warmth is heat absorbed by the sun. Don’t be silly. 

Failing the check results in your argument failing catastrophically and nightmarishly.

my right hand writes mercy
R 0 T self D instant
Cut off a finger on your right hand. It can never be healed or replaced. You can, right this very instant, get away with one feat of astonishingly stupid rules-lawyering, even (especially) for things that make very little diegetic sense. This has and leaves no precedent. It’s a one time thing, and you can never do it again, even by casting this spell.

my left hand does not
R 0 T The GM D instant
Cut off a finger on your left hand. It can never be healed or replaced. You can force the GM to roll for some single thing they said during this scene, but didn’t roll for. This can be a piece of setting information, some event that took place, a person’s name, whatever. You each roll a die of the same size and try to beat the other. If they win, they have to say something else, and they get to choose what. If you win, they have to say something else, and you get to choose what. You could also settle this via arm wrestling, a dance contest, whatever. 

from War of Omens


Before anyone asks, everyone has exactly one right hand and exactly one left hand. If you have more than two hands, the GM decides which ones count.

Comments

  1. This still remains my favorite GLOG spellcaster. Are you returning to us?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very impressed, I'm keen to see this in one of my games!

    ReplyDelete

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