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Secrets

Secrets work like this, right now. This is subject to change.

Possession of a Secret grants arcane power. The more people who hold a Secret, the less power it grants. If we were playing a D20 game, then you could have up to +20 in your Secret skill if you were the only one who knew a Secret. If two people knew the Secret, the maximum would be +15. Ten people? +10. And so on.

A Secret must be significant.

Secrets are defined by five elements: the secret; that which the Secret’s holder can control; that to which the Secret’s holder is vulnerable; that which the Secret’s holder can perceive; and that to which the Secret’s holder is blind. This is most often drawn as a compass rose. In the South, the element of control is at the north; the element of vulnerability is at the south; the element of vision is at the east; and the element of blindness is at the west. The North is precisely reversed. In the South, they say that Northern occultists are fools, because surely the element of vision should be positioned ahead of the Secret’s holder. In the North, they say that Southern occultists are idiots, because how can the element of control not be positioned beneath the Secret’s holder?

The Aratain Church’s Secret, which is held by all ordained Church members, is that the Church’s founder was the son of a courtesan. Aratainians thus control virtues; they have the ability to, in very small degree, inflame them and encourage them. In theory they might also dampen them. The ability is limited, since tens of thousands hold that Secret. Likewise, Aratainians are slightly vulnerable to those who exchange sex for money. The vulnerability is again limited, but nonetheless it is the practice for the cathedrals of the faith to employ non-believers as a line of defense.

Aratainians perceive money. At a touch, an Aratainian faithful can discern a small degree of the emotional content pertaining to a given piece of currency: if it was most recently part of a violent transaction, for example, the Aratainian touching it might feel some measure of that anger. Aratainians are blind to bedrooms. Their perceptions are slightly obscured in bedrooms; no bedroom, no matter how well lit, will ever seem completely clear to them.

The Mayor of Vain’s Rest holds a Secret which will not be revealed. He is the only holder of this Secret. He has control over the undead; he can call them up, or dismiss them, as he sees fit. This is balanced by his vulnerability to those of Geoffery Vain’s lineage. It is no wonder that he allows a representative of the Banegard to recruit in his town. His perceptions extend out over the entirety of Vain’s Rest, but he is nearly blind once he leaves the gates.

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