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Level 1 Solar manse
Attuned to Laeo Stark of Lookshy.
Hidden in the depths of Lookshy's Green Hunt, this manse has fallen into disuse and was abandoned when its former owner passed away. Over the years the stone pillars have become supports for stubborn vines and thick brush, which now conceal this manse from the young explorers in the Hunt. If not for damage to those vines caused in a recent altercation, who can say how long it would have remained hidden.
A small circle of stone pillars surround an elaborately mosaicked tile floor, radiant with sunbursts picked out in small mirror bright tiles of gold and silver which reflect every speck of available sun or moonlight towards the centre of the manse even on the most overcast of days and providing a break to the chill felt even in the dead of winter. All that light is gathered and reflected towards the centrepiece, a simple circular stone altar with a breathtakingly crafted sun dial raised in the shape of a single perfect golden sheaf of corn. Subtle etchings on the pillars can still be seen. Motes of sunlight flicker off the back of tiny grains of gold picking out the shapes of mighty figures astride magical beasts, castle towers raised to the sky and ships plying the vast oceans of the West. Perhaps if the vines were cleared, it might tell the tales of a mighty warrior-king's life over the course of a day and a night to those with the patience to see it.
This Manse was only made available to Laeo Stark through strong personal ties to the Examiner Inferior of the Green Hunt district, Yushoto Cudgel-Arm.
Hearthstone - Sundial Stone
This stone is a roughly circular cut gem the color of amber. When attuned, several long black lines appear radiating from the center of the gem which look strangely like the hands of a watch. When the owner looks at the gem, she is instantly aware of not only the time of day, but the phase of the moon and the date. The stone also tells the wearer how much time has passed since it was last checked. For the expenditure of a willpower point the stone will grow warm after an amount of time has passed determined by the owner.
Drawback - Minimally habitable
Open to the elements this manse offers little better options for accommodation than any part of the surrounding woodland. If you intend to stay here for any length of time you had best bring a tent!
Perk - Geomantic Subtlety
The manse’s Essence structures are more complicated than usual, or a skilled architect disguised tell-tale architectural stereotypes. Unless an observer succeeds at a (Perception + Occult) roll, diffi culty 3, she can’t determine its aspect. Rolls to fi nd the manse’s hearthroom, damage its powers, or to otherwise fi gure out anything at all from its geomancy also suffer a -3 external penalty. This power has no effect within the hearthroom, where Geomantic Subtlety is impossible.
Perk - Well-Flavoured Aspect
Manses designed for a certain person can resonate with the core aesthetics of that individual’s Essence. Residing in such a manse is like dwelling in a universe tailored to one’s preferences. If the hearthstone bearer shares the manse’s aspect, everything about the manse subtly cooperates with her: she has dramatic lighting when she makes an important statement, nothing gets in her way when she’s in a hurry, shadows conceal her when she hides. While the character is in the manse, her player receives a +1 bonus to every dice pool for her actions.
Perk - Magical Conveniences
The manse has a few pleasant conveniences that go beyond the possibilities of mundane artifice. If a player wishes to make her Magical Conveniences accessible only to attuned characters or the hearthstone bearer, she can do so for free, but they can’t easily be deactivated (or re-activated) by anyone without additional powers. Each purchase of this power grants (manse’s rating) Magical Conveniences.
In this case the Manse shares the powers of the Hearthstone it has created - The Sundial Stone.
Wellspring of Respite
Level 2 Solar Manse
Attuned to Maximillian Madorosu
The Wellspring of Respite is an ancient manse that lies within the crater of an extinct volcano. It is a ziggurat topped by a weathered altar to the Unconquered Sun. Scree from the mountain lip covers most of the stepped pyramid, leaving only the altar as a singular summit point. Purest water trickles out from within the cracked shale further down the slopes. It is obvious that none have visited this holy place in millennia.
As a holy place, it would likely have been a place that only the most dedicated pilgrims would want to access. The near-forgotten byways to this manse run over knife-edge mountain ridges, steep gullies and piles of shattered rocks. The reason for this manse being placed here only becomes clear when one enters its internal workings.
At sunrise, noon and sunset, there is a grinding of stone on stone. Hollows in the scree pile shudder and fall away as the great marble blocks and counterweights allow access and welcome to those who have come to partake of the waters. A simple crossing of north-south and east-west passages meet in the middle below the massive weight of the pyramid. Benches and cots of worked stone line the galleries that lead to the central junction. Cleverly channelled sunlight creates a surprisingly bright interior. The hallways are inlaid with murals depicting feats of athletic strength and determination in honour of the Unconquered Sun. Each pilgrim's physical limits have been tested and pushed by the very journey to reach here, and it is now clear the very journey is a devotion. Perhaps somewhat unsettling is that no figure depicted here is human - yet all here are bent to the same purpose.
In the centre junction, a central marble podium with a deep font rests underneath a sharp point of sunlight, focused from the altar above. The merry bubble of a clear spring perpetually renewing the font can be seen rising from the bottom of the bowl. The water overflows and patters into grooves and runnels marked out to ease the passage of the stream to outside channels. The water sends reflected light dancing along the corridors, illuminating the murals a little at a time. In the small roil above the spring, the hearthstone of the manse bobs and rolls joyfully, yet never away from the shaft of sunlight.
Maximillian Madorosu found this manse after returning to Erdinghast on a soul-searching pilgrimage.
Hearthstone - Athlete's Pride
A solid topaz sphere, this Hearthstone grants its owner extraordinary athletic prowess. While attuned to the Athlete's Pride a character triples his running speed, jumping distance and will never fail a fatigue check. These powers explicitly do not stack with charms or artifacts. Only the best multipler applies.
Perk - Hidden Passages (2)
The entrances of the Manse open and close at set times, or under the control of the hearthstone bearer.
Perk - Comfort Zone (1)
Even though made of stone, the benches and cots are as comfortable as heather-sprung divans, and the interior temperature is warm and dry all year.
Perk - Well Flavoured Aspect (1)
Due to its nature as a shrine to the Unconquered Sun, the manse is inclined towards Solar Essence.