Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Havren

The name Havren is often used as a bogeyman in children's stories and adults flippantly blame them for unsolved mysteries. To most, they don't truly exist, and yet they do and they hide in plain sight. Its members are scattered throughout the city. They are rogues, performers, barflies, diplomats, and spies. The Havren are curators of history. Each is charged with making sure that lost things are remembered, and purposefully hidden things remain secret. They specialize in deception, mind manipulation, and special meditation practices. The Havren are able to access collective mental constructs, which each adept adds to over the course of their lives.
A Havren adept is an infiltrator and collector of information. They are movers and motivators behind the scenes, always working in secret. They can manipulate the minds that surround them, force their thoughts on others, erase memories, capture minds, and enter dreams. Yet even with this power, the Havren are devoid of ambition and even a desire for companionship or status. They expect to have no greater relationships beyond what is constructed in the Palace of Memory. They do not have friends or lovers or enemies. It may be that the Havren are devoid of true emotion, perhaps that is what drives them.
The Palace of Memory: The Havren do not keep their knowledge in a physical location where it could be discovered or destroyed. Instead, they keep all their records in the Palace of Memory. This is a mental construct, which lies within the mind of each Havren adept. Though it may seem unwise to house secrets in a number of individuals who could be captured, interrogated, or compelled, the palace is not formed equally in all adepts. It is continually built, augmented and added to as the adept increases in mastery. A low level adept will have a humble palace with precious few secrets to surrender. Complete palaces are housed safely in the minds of the greatest adepts, who guard it well.
The palace houses not only basic facts but the very memories of individuals that the Havren have been exposed to. Any knowledge deemed significant is added to the collective Havren memory. Some memories are complete enough to house full personalities. The most illustrious and knowledgeable of these are the Predecessors. They are deceased Havren adepts who have rendered sufficient service to be granted the immortality of preservation within the archived memory. The higher the Havren’s level of mastery, the more personalities are manifested within the palace. Most of these personalities are safe and will only aid the adept. However, some are dangerous and only accessible in the Protected Memory. While these personalities seem fully formed and lifelike, they are not souls or life energiesonly memories.
If the adept wishes to gain information, he may refer to the Palace of Memory. While inside he may access whatever information his age and experience will entitle him to obtain. An adept may enter the Palace of Memory while in a meditative state. If he is physically disrupted during the meditation, he must make a Will resistance check to remain there. At the GM's option, the Palace of Memory may be navigated like an actual library. Each additional level of advancement adds new characters to assist the adept in his studies. Through the use of some mental connection, the adept can also bring trusted companions into his mind to explore the space together. However, access and learned information can be simplified with a series of Knowledge checks. This can be used to derive information about anything pertaining to the Havren and their experiences.
The Hall of Protected Memory: This is a separate subset of knowledge that is under guard within the adept’s mind for their own protection. These are the shards of memory gleaned from disturbed individuals or minds too great and terrible to access normally. The adept may choose to access the Protected Memory even if he has already made a Knowledge check using the Palace of Memory. However, he does so at great peril. He must make a Will resistance check, DC 10. If he fails, he is attacked by the dark minds within the hall and must roll a d20 then refer to the result of failure as listed in the table below. The powers within the Protected Memory are malevolent and will do harm to the adept if they are able. Success means that the adept has definitely gained some useful information or a scene relating to the inquiry begins playing out and the Havren is free to participate in it.
D20; Affect
1 Adept’s mind is overcome and destroyed. He dies.
2 Adept is filled with a temporary compulsion to kill himself (1d6 rounds).
3 Adept’s mind is overcome and he is driven permanently insane and uncontrollable.
4 Adept’s mind is shattered and he loses the ability to use his adept powers.
5 Adept is permanently blinded.
6 Adept suffers greater amnesia. Lose one level including any recently acquired powers and skills.
7 Adept has permanent voices in his head that distract him. Make all future Intuition checks with a -2 penalty.
8 Adept’s will is permanently damaged. Lose 1d6 of Power (it cannot be recovered).
9 Adept is filled with a temporary compulsion to kill a party member or friend (1d6 rounds).
10 Adept has lesser amnesia. Lose 1d3 random powers.
11 Adept gains a phobia of the powers within the Protected Memory and will not willingly enter it again.
12 Adept has a permanent compulsion to self-harm in some way. Make a Will resistance check whenever he sleeps or lose 1 Life instead of healing with a full nights rest.
13 Adept has permanent nightmares. Only half as much Power as normal can be recovered from a full night’s rest. These dreams also cause the adept to wail and scream loudly while sleeping.
14 Dark powers become aware of the adept’s mind. Future Protected Memory checks must succeed DC 20.
15 Adept has minor amnesia. Lose a total of 1d3 skills.
16 Adept feels constant paranoia. Checks to sense motive are made at a detriment and failure always gives the player the impression that the NPC is a threat to the player or party.
17 Adept has a new random permanent phobia or aversion.
18 Adept becomes unconscious for 1d6 days.
19 Adept is nauseated for 1d6 days.
20 Adept becomes Confused and babbles non-sensibly for 1d6 hours.

Magdalena Zwierzchowska

Special Havren Skills
Left Hand of Darkness: Within the Palace of Memory an adept can learn many old tricks and discover lost knowledge. Some talents can be imparted to the adept, if he asks the right questions and looks in the right places. And sometimes there are weapons where there is knowledge, and they too can be imparted to the adept. One such weapon allows an adept to record the memories of others. If an attack kills a target, a fragment of its mind is added to the Palace of Memory. Thereon the adept may access the Palace of Memory and delve into its thoughts.
Right Hand of Darkness: Protracted amounts of time spent in the Protected Memory can be dangerous. Mere proximity to Arahn’s mind can spur changes within his own. This skill represents a growing similarity between the adept and the long dead Master. The adept gains access to his ancient trappings. On a successful sneak attack the adept’s weapon manifests into Arahn’s legendary sword, but only for an instant. Regardless of the weapon used, it becomes the Vorpal Sword, a longsword that lops the heads off its victims upon an attack roll of 20.
Student of Arahn: Some adepts choose to walk the perilous road of studying the Protected Memory. The most learned, complete, and devious personality in the Palace of Memory is that of Arahn, one of the 7 Masters. If an adept chooses this skill, it means he has attempted to learn a set of mental disciplines to better resist the negative effects of these memories. When rolling a resistance check in the Protected Memory, the adept may spend Power to add to the result. However, because the character is exposed to these minds more often than usual, they are able to take greater advantage of weaknesses and failures. The effects of Arahn influence are more deep-seated than those of the other Protected Memories, but they may also confer dark augmentations as well. Failed DC checks with this skill now use the following table to determine effects.
Special: Locked within the confines of the Hall of Predecessors, lies the recorded memory of Arahn, the Master. Why the Havren believe it necessary to preserve such a cruel and devious mind in the Palace of Memory is a mystery, but there are a number of safeguards to protect adepts. Firstly, he can only be contacted by speaking his name while in the Hall of Predecessors. Moreover, he appears in the center of a protective circle. The Predecessor personalities are all programed to contain and restrain him if he attempts to harm the adept. However, if the adept chooses to step within the circle he will be in grave danger. It is possible that Arahn may attempt to take possession of the character. In this event, the Predecessors will attempt to kill the adept to prevent Arahn from gaining control of the Palace. If they are unable to react in time, Arahn’s personality will possess the character, killing the old personality in the process. This would create an extremely dangerous creature. While this avatar would not have the magical or physical abilities of the true Master, he will have considerable mental powers. He would immediately begin scheming some great devilry to increase his power and prestige. He may attempt to revive the spirit of Arahn to reclaim his power. On the other hand, he may view this spirit as a threat to his own ego if he defines himself as separate from the real Arahn. There have been no recorded instances of such a creature existing, and the mentality and motives of this abomination are unknown. He would retain the physical characteristics of the adept, but he would have access to telepathic powers up to level 4.
D20; Affect
1 Adept's mind is rewritten with the mind of Arahn. He is killed and his body becomes possessed.
2 Predecessors destroy the adept’s mind to prevent possession. He dies.
3 Adept’s mind strays from the Palace to the deep recesses of Arahn’s memories. His mind comes into contact with an entity within the Shadow Realm. Afterwards, he gains access to the shadow nature of demon magic. He immediately learns 1 shadow spell equal to or less than his highest telepathic power level known. At future levels, he may choose from both the telepathic and shadow natures of demon magic. Future attempts to access the Palace of Memory require a Will resistance check, DC 15 to resist the Predecessors, who try to block his entrance. A failed resistance check results in the inability to access the Palace of Memory for 1 week.
4 Over the course of a week, the adept slowly becomes Arahn. After 7 days, his mind becomes lost and his body is possessed. In the meantime, the adept gains 1 point of Intellect per day.
5 Adept is gripped by a homicidal urge to find secret enemies and destroy them. Every week, he must make a Will resistance check to resist the compulsion to seek out a victim to murder. If the only people available to kill are his companions, the adept is allowed a second Will resistance check. Once the murder is complete, he will be free of the compulsion for one month and will receive a dark epiphany. The answer to one question will become clear to the adept in the aftermath of the slaughter.
6 Adept’s memories are supplanted. He loses 1d3 levels of adept and gains that many levels of a wizard necromancer. He loses higher-level powers if he does not have sufficient Adept levels.
7 Adept is consumed with the desire to live forever. Each time a companion is knocked unconscious or killed in combat, the adept has to make a Will resistance check to refrain from retreating to safety. Each time a demonic or undead force is encountered, the adept must make a Will resistance check to refrain from attempting to use the creature to become undead. If the adept ever becomes undead, a successful Will resistance check allows him to retain his thoughts and personality after the change.
8 Adept is afflicted with a craving for blood. At the sight of human blood, the adept must make a Will resistance check or enter a frenzy, adding +2 to attack. In a non-combat scenario, a failed check means the adept is compelled to lap up said blood. Blood confers no physical bonus and merely satisfies the craving.
9 Adept has an irrational hatred of clergy. Every time one is encountered, he must make a Will resistance check to resist the urge to kill them, DC 10. If a clergy member is in the party, this check must be made daily at a DC of 5.
10 Adept has a constant urge to kill and take life. He feels empty and listless if this has not been done recently. If the adept has not taken a life that day, he will make all actions and resistance checks with only ½ the bonus of each modifier. If he personally kills another living creature, he gains a ½ again bonus of each modifier on all actions and resistance checks for the next 24 hours. If a creature is ever at the adept’s mercy and he wishes to spare it, he must succeed on a Will resistance check, DC 10.
11 Adept is plagued by feelings of being watched. Upon entering any room or confined area an adept must spend at least 1 minute searching it.
12 Adept is plagued by disturbing hallucinations. He has a detriment on resistance checks versus illusion spells.
13 Adept is plagued by feelings of paranoia. Adept must make an Intuition check upon meeting a new character. All failures mean the he is convinced the character is threatening.
14 Adept can no longer easily tolerate opinions that differ from his and must make a Will resistance check during every argument to refrain from compelling an opponent with a telepathic power.
15 Adept becomes obsessed with consulting the Protected Memory. Every time the adept enters the Palace of Memory he must make a Will resistance check to avoid asking a question of Arahn.
16 Adept’s mind is warped with a twisted form of logic. The adept’s Intellect modifier increases by ½, conversely the adept’s Intuition modifier decreases by ½ (it cannot be recovered).
17 Adept has an irrational aversion to sunlight. In sunlight he makes all resistance checks with only ½ the bonus. The adept also has an affinity for darkness and makes ½ again bonus on all resistance checks made in darkness.
18 Adept feels affinity for undead. He is able to sense them as if a Detect Undead spell was permanently active.
19 Adept feels compelled to seek more knowledge and asks another question of the Protected Memory. The player may choose the question but a question must be asked and another Will resistance check made.
20 Adept’s memories are supplanted. His mother tongue is lost and he now speaks only an ancient dialect of Common (Ancient Common). This is a dead language and it is unintelligible to all except scholars. His mother tongue has to be relearned.
Will of Arahn: Knowledge passed down from the Masters often served to better humanity. At other times it served no purpose but cruelty. And sometimes it could be both useful and cruel. Within the Protected Memory an adept can learn to trap the soul of a dying target within its body. If an attack would kill a target, its mind and soul linger in its slain body for 3d6 minutes. In that time, he may ask it questions or use telepathic powers on it and it can answer, no matter how destroyed its corporeal body is. It cannot raise up as if it were an undead creature, but it retains some degree of mobility. When the time is up, the anchor, which keeps its soul from passing, relents and the corpse loses animation.
Magdalena Zwierzchowska