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The Ascended

Older versions of the Ascended:

"There are three real things: Matter, Mind and Spirit.
"Of Matter, there is Form, Pattern and Substance.
"Of Mind, there is Perception, Reason and Will.
"Of Spirit, there is Po, Hun and Essence.
"Between these things lies emptiness. In this emptiness, we perceive Creation.
"By treading the Nine-fold Path, we transcend the illusory and become Real."
- from The Way of the Nine-Fold Path, by Silver Dawn

On rare occasions, those touched by the Wyld come away with a new sensitivity to, and power over, the Essence that comprises the world. Such people become shamans and sorcerers of a magnitude unparalleled by other mortal occultists. It was inevitable that those with the knowledge and the will would eventually learn to replicate such fortunate accidents. Some two hundred years after the Contagion, a mortal occultist named Silver Dawn devised the Nine-fold Path by which mere mortals could learn to channel Essence. Now a little god, she has spent half a millennium refining the process and shepherding others along the path to Ascension.

The Nine-fold Path involves a series of occult disciplines by which the practitioner learns to open herself to the flows of Essence. The doctrines of the Path state that when Gaia created mortals, she gave them infinite potential to master the Essence that flowed around them and through them. But the Celestial Gods feared the possibilities of unfettered mortal potential, and so Gaia laid down an intricate sequence of wards to seal the paths by which Essence flowed through the mortal body. But these wards can be unlocked, and the initiate of the Nine-fold Path essays to open these inner gates and allow the Essence to blossom within her.

Each step of the Nine-fold Path requires nine months of private meditation and study before the initiate may attempt to unlock a new Essence flow. Once the initiate completes these preliminaries, she may begin rolling for success. Each month, she rolls Intelligence + Occult towards a goal of nine successes. The three physical flows each have a difficulty of 2, the three mental flows have a difficulty of 3, and the three spiritual flows have a difficulty of 4. While the initiate may occasionally divert herself from her meditations to deal with the outside world, prolonged involvement in other matters will increase all time requirements at least twofold.

Every time that an initiate unlocks one of her Essence flows, she comes closer to mastering her potential. Unlocking each triad of flows grants further benefits, and once all nine Essence gates have been unlocked, the initiate finally gains the power to channel her Essence in the way of elementals and spirits, becoming something more than mortal.

The physical flows are simplest to unlock, and straightforwardly improve the sorcerer’s physiognomy, granting her increased mastery over her own body. Botching a roll to unlock a physical flow results in physical deterioration and debilities.

Form: +1 Strength.
Pattern: +1 Dexterity.
Substance: +1 Stamina.
All Physical Flows: Longevity (age at half normal rate); soak lethal damage, stop bleeding, halt infection and recuperate from injury as an Exalt.

The mental flows are more complex, inasmuch as they involve transforming the mind using the mind. One who unlocks the mind’s Essence gates magnifies her own mental capabilities. Botching a roll to unlock a mental flow results in mental damage or psychological derangement.

Perception: +1 Perception.
Reason: +1 Intelligence.
Will: +1 Willpower.
All Mental Flows: +1 Wits.

Mastery of spiritual Essence is the most difficult of all. Botching a roll to unlock a spiritual flow can have terrible results, ranging from spiritual degeneration to utter annihilation of the soul.

Po: +1 Manipulation, +1 Conviction, +1 Valor.
Hun: +1 Charisma, +1 Temperance, +1 Compassion.
Essence: +1 Awareness, +1 Presence, may perceive Essence flows as the Exalted do.
All Spiritual Flows: Gain Essence pool equal to Willpower; able to attune to Manses and Hearthstones.
All Nine Flows: Increased longevity (age at one-tenth normal rate); Essence pool increases to (Essence x 5) + (Willpower x 2) + (sum of Virtues); may learn Spirit Charms and increase Essence.

Comments: I'm feeling like the Ascended are sort of like, to make a bad Matrix analogy, the Free Minds to the Agents that are the Fair Folk, with respect to the Matrix of the Wyld. The Fair Folk are creatures of the Wyld, and their powers are implementations of Wyldness brought into Creation. Likewise, the Ascended feel to me like those that have defeated the Wyld within themselves; they are consequently very human, very Creation-bound, adepts of order. - FourWillowsWeeping

Oooh. Pretty excuse to have enlightened Masters that aren't Exalted.  :) I don't get the Matrix vibe that FourWillowsWeeping does so much (although I can see it, the Ascended don't jump out at me as Agenty). I like :) -DariusSolluman

Thanks for the comments! I hadn't looked at them as champions of Order, though it does make a good take on them. In any case, I'd already rewritten them a week or so ago; here's the current draft. I'm not too happy with all of the stat bonuses I incorporated in the rewrite. I haven't decided yet what to replace the bonuses with yet. - Quendalon

Sweet I'm gonna use this for an explanation of how a mortal created the 12 deadly Fist cause it's a hell of a lot better than mine. - Issaru

BTW sorry bout the shameless plug but since it's there tell me what you think.
Couple of questions. 1)how much XP does each gate cost?( my suggestion is 10 each.) 2)Can the Mortals now learn MA's like a spirit?( i'd hope so.) 3)Can the Mortal's now gain more than three essence?( i'd hope not.)4) how much does essence cost for these mortals?(i'd keep it the same as in the PG but i wanna know what you think.)

Do the stat bonuses transcend the normal maximum? - Malikai

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