Aeon (updated 10/9/14) - Page 112
  1. #1111

    For great justice!

    Mind finally healed from studying the diagram bump!

  2. #1112

    Epic Spells, how do they work?

    Fellow readers (and esteemed author),

    I have a little experience with D&D, from playing computer games and the like, but not enough to completely understand how epic spells work in Sep's campaign. It's clear they cost XP to develop and cast. My questions are:

    - is it possible to lose levels when developing / casting epic spells?
    - if yes, how "far down" can you go?
    - does XP expended on epic spells in any way regenerate?
    - if yes (e.g. Chtonics, anyone else?), how quickly and how much? It's ok to answer "not public knowledge for the sake of the flow of the game/campaign".
    - story characters are occasionally said to have "untapped reservoirs". Is a reservoir strictly "XP earned since most-recent level-up" or something more? Can one choose to forego leveling up to increase one's reservoir?
    - the protagonists were at times said to be "spent", yet in subsequent posts they were again casting epic spells. Did they get XP back or were they simply running off XP they had earned since then?
    - when Temenun summoned Shvar Choryati, his asking price was 2000. 2000 what, exactly?

    As an aside, re: this post, is Guho dead now? Wait, let me rephrase that: insofar as can be deduced by someone familiar with the story, spells and the rules behind it, but not privy to insider knowledge, and without spoiling anything, will it take a larger than normal effort to once more bring Guho to the battlefield? Also, it's my understanding that liches as well as Guho herself (prior to this latest confrontation) don't need outside help to re-corporeate; is the situation for her(?) now changed?

    I'm not nitpicking and I don't expect the spell-casting system and XP economy to be watertight (though the references to quantum physics and Markets are very much to the author's credit). I just want to get a handle on as many of the rules in play here as I can. Thanks for your patience.

  3. #1113
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal Rasha
    - is it possible to lose levels when developing / casting epic spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal Rasha
    - does XP expended on epic spells in any way regenerate?
    By accruing more XP. In addition, DvR0 and equivalent types typically have a floating buffer of 5000XP per week; demigods 15,000; lesser deities 30,000. These numbers are not hard-and-fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal Rasha
    - if yes (e.g. Chtonics, anyone else?), how quickly and how much? It's ok to answer "not public knowledge for the sake of the flow of the game/campaign".
    Chthonics never pay XP for epic spells; they automatically enjoy up to a -200DC mitigating factor against any spell which they cast - the normal XP limit on a single epic spell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal Rasha
    - story characters are occasionally said to have "untapped reservoirs". Is a reservoir strictly "XP earned since most-recent level-up" or something more?
    See previous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal Rasha
    - Can one choose to forego leveling up to increase one's reservoir?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal Rasha
    - the protagonists were at times said to be "spent", yet in subsequent posts they were again casting epic spells. Did they get XP back or were they simply running off XP they had earned since then?
    A combination of buffer and earned XP; also ritual components and backlash, which may circumvent the need for XP altogether.

    Spent may also simply mean out of spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal Rasha
    - when Temenun summoned Shvar Choryati, his asking price was 2000. 2000 what, exactly?
    Nominally, free subsequent mitigating factors (supplied by the cabals) for spells to be cast at Temenun's discretion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal Rasha
    - is Guho dead now?

  4. #1114
    Awesome. Thanks.

  5. #1115
    Sepulrchave, I know it was certainly asked of You before ... but for some reason I can't find Your Chtonic template, and remember You posting it on the forums somewhere. Could You share it again, please ?

  6. #1116
    Midwinter Goddess

    After the fall of Visuit the Butcher, Nwm lingered for a day in Sisperi in order to aid Lai with the resurrections. Mostin removed his tower to eastern Nizkur, attaching it again to his manse – now the home of Orolde and Mei. Rhul and Mesikammi travelled to Afqithan to assess the danger in that realm with Ortwine. Eadric returned with Hlioth, his saints and remaining knights to Galda, there to receive mixed news.

    Prahar had withdrawn his cavalry – their raids had been punishing for both sides in the conflict – and established a more distant perimeter. Obfuscatory magicks prevented Temple scriers from penetrating the Cheshnite ranks and determining their exact movements, but it was known that the main host was again marching, taking many hours to pass through the gates at Thond.

    "She can be no worse than Visuit."

    "You should not underestimate Dhatri," Hlioth cautioned. "She is a symbol. An all-consuming mouth and gullet. She has had long to prepare; she must time her momentum precisely. The Pall is more than half expired, and there are too few now amongst the cabals to renew it: many have died; some have moved to new centers of power. But she has had a month to work her necromancy uninterrupted. And a million ravenous undead accompany her. Sheer numbers may prevail."

    "And when they meet the perimeter established by the scions?" Eadric asked.

    "A test occurs."

    "Then our lever must be at this point."

    "We have a brief lacuna," Hlioth advised him. "Use the time wisely."


    Mulissu sat in Mostin's – now Orolde's – study, brooding. A fire burned steadily in the hearth, and the smell of musty books and burned toast filled the air. Outside, snow piled heavily against the window, diffusing the afternoon light as it streamed in. The savant had been absorbed in her own thoughts since witnessing the destruction of the city she had sworn to protect. Mostin could not determine whether it was guilt, rage, or some other emotion which consumed her and had caused her fugue.

    "Crumpet?" The Alienist asked, proudly presenting a long fork which displayed an over-charred circle of dough.

    Mulissu sighed, and took the proffered dainty, scraping off carbon before smothering it with butter and jam.

    "We need to find a way to eliminate the effluxia," she remarked distractedly.

    "That would involve finding and confronting," Mostin observed. "I suspect that our energies would be better deployed elsewhere."

    "I assume that you are speaking of your Ús"

    "I am," Mostin nodded sagely. "I am also of a mind to reengineer the Quiescence to allow for selective teleportations amongst those whom I designate. Furthermore, Daunton informs me that a number of wizards are willing to demonstrate a more unified front in the face of the latest events."

    "Which?" Mulissu sounded suspicious. "Why this sudden reversal?"

    "The threat is now more imminent. Daunton himself, Hlioth, Jalael, Wigdryt, Gholu, Creq, Droom, Poylu, Troap, Muthollo, Sarpin. Even Waide. Tozinak appears to be sulking, and refuses to answer Daunton's sendings."

    "And Shomei?"

    "Her path, as always, is her own," Mostin sighed. "But Sho is willing to participate."

    "And her sibling?"

    "Still awaits her pseudogenesis: as to that, I have given thought to a spell."

    "What did you have in mind as a basis?"

    [Mostin]: Look: A_N = \int D\mu \int D[X] \exp \left( -\frac{1}{4\pi\alpha} \int \partial_z X_\mu(z,\overline{z}) \partial_{\overline{z}} X^\mu(z,\overline{z}) \, dz^2 + i \sum_{i=1}^N k_{i \mu} X^\mu (z_i,\overline{z}_i) \right)

    [Mulissu]: You can reduce it to this: A_N = \int D\mu \prod_{0<i<j<N+1} |z_i-z_j|^{2\alpha k_i.k_j}

    [Gihaahia]: You are both idiots. Use this: \int_{-\infty}^\infty \exp({a x^4+b x^3+c x^2+d x+f}) \, dx = e^f \sum_{n,m,p=0}^\infty \frac{ b^{4n}}{(4n)!} \frac{c^{2m}}{(2m)!} \frac{d^{4p}}{(4p)!} \frac{ \Gamma(3n+m+p+\frac14) }{a^{3n+m+p+\frac14} }

    [Mostin]:!! (Gratitude)

    [Mulissu]: Eleven dimensions works for me. I suppose that's as good a place to start as any.

    [Gihaahia]: Don't disappoint me, Mostin.

    "What is her involvement in this?" Mulissu asked, confused.

    "I have no idea," Mostin was dubious. "She has never evinced any interest in my work prior to now. Although, she reconfigured Daunton's transvalent repertoire, and bestowed the Instant Convocation on him. Perhaps she will do the same for me?" [Inquiry?]

    "Apparently not," Mulissu said drily. "Still, you have something to work with. What will you need?"


    "You, me, Sho, Orolde…and Mei herself. That is all." Mostin was dumbfounded.

    "Where is Mei?"

    "In the parlour," the Alienist said intensely, his eyes rotating in excitement. "I will inform her immediately. Her time is close…two or three days will be enough."

    "Can we afford even that much?"

    "Mei has placed her trust in me without question!" Mostin was aghast. "I won't fail her now."

    "You are an odd one," Mulissu sighed. "I don't believe I'll ever understand you."


    The errand-runner was beside himself with terror. Only moments before, archons had apprised Eadric telepathically.

    "Ahma, a messenger from Shomei the Infernal. He purports to be one Yeqon; he styles himself the Fifth Prosecutor."

    Hlioth scowled. Shomei was making a point. No Goetia so grand as the binding of one such as this had ever before been accomplished. Prosecutors, Antagonists – among the greatest of fiends and the most recondite. Signatories to the pact. Now atavisms, whom Shomei alone possessed the power to conjure and coerce. The Agent of Will had dispatched him as an errand-boy.

    Oronthon! Eadric swore silently and reflexively upon encountering the devil.

    Yeqon towered above him, and – saving Hlioth – none others amongst those present might even approach the devil, such was the magnitude of his presence. A fallen seraph, close kin to Enitharmon: vast, dark wings shrouded his form. The Fifth Prosecutor had been brooding in grim obscurity for an aeon, hatching impossible schemes for the renewed assault upon Heaven. A Heaven which might be no more; or one so far removed from thought and knowledge that it might as well no longer be.

    Yeqon knelt and sat upon his heels, his eyes meeting the Ahma's.

    "What do you want?" Eadric sighed.

    The Fifth Prosecutor briefly pressed his forehead to the ground at the Ahma's feet.

    "Saizhan," the devil replied.

    Eadric squinted suspiciously. "Then it is to the Sela you must speak, not I."

    "In due course," Yeqon's voice was calm and mellifluous. "But what I want and why I am here are two separate questions. My mistress has sent me as an ambassador; she is reconvening the Dark Choir. Bolstering its numbers. She asks that you remember your prior words to her, and that you continue to trust her."

    "Pah!" Hlioth spat.

    Eadric raised his hand, and addressed the Prosecutor. "Reconvening? With what? Only Irel remains."

    "No devil is lost to Shomei the Infernal," Yeqon replied. "But some are more freshly-fallen. Did you not stand with Rintrah above the Blessed Plain?"

    The Ahma recalled the Migration of Light he had witnessed; that some of the Host, in their haste to enter the burgeoning Viridescence, had crashed in smoking ruin. But to where?

    "Into the Thickets of the Four Kings," Yeqon read his face precisely.

    "Nets cast by the Hazel?"

    "Yes," the Fifth Prosecutor answered. "And the Holly."

    [Hlioth]: Beware this devil, Ahma. Blackthorn may rot and putrefy and eliminate; Hazel dominate and involute; Cherry lust and crave. But, for sheer wickedness, none can match Holly.

    "And which words would Shomei have me remember?" Eadric asked wrily.

    "That you need not miss the opportunity of a good friendship," Yeqon replied.

    "And I assume that some demonstration of my friendship is asked for?"

    "Those arms and armor which you have under guard. Of Visuit the Butcher; Yeshe the Binder; Prince Graz'zt."

    "She suggests I release these items to her?" The Ahma was incredulous. "Is there even any savage enough to bear Visuit's sword?"

    "I, for one," the devil said steadily.

    Eadric scowled. "I would speak with her directly."

    "She is presently indisposed, but I will convey your request," Yeqon bowed, and departed in a pillar of dark fire.

    "Indisposed?" Eadric turned to Hlioth.

    "Shomei conjures," the Green Witch replied. "Goddess help us all."

    He issued a mental summons to his steed.

    "Wherever you are going, I can get you there faster," Hlioth observed.

    "I need to ride," Eadric replied.

    Straddling Narh, he sped away.


    As he rode northwards, winter began to assert itself: not merely by virtue of latitude, he noted, but because of distance from the unnatural energies which lay over the whole of the Thalassine and Wyre's southern marches. He reached Hrim Eorth by mid-morning; by noon he had passed Groba and was galloping over frosty fields in Hethio. In the wan sunlight, Nizkur loomed.

    Narh knew the route well, and required no prompting from Eadric. The forest – although quiescent by season – seemed unusually subdued. With barely a faltering of pace, the stallion ran through webs and thickets impenetrable to those without permission: the Green bulwark which surrounded Qinthei, the Womb of the Goddess. Snow blanketed the ground; the air was frigid. A slender figure stood waiting beneath the Tree. Eadric reined in before her. Nebulous figures – the barely perceptible shades of vanquished foes – moved like mist in some adjacent world, but did not seem to register his presence.

    Steam rose from Narh's flanks and nostrils; Nehael extended her hand, rubbing the horse's muzzle, tugging at his forelock, and sending him into an ecstasy.

    "I come for counsel," Eadric dismounted and bowed.

    "Come," she said. "Walk with me."


    "The thing which destroyed Fumaril – Kaalaanala's avatar – what has become of it?"

    Nehael paused and pointed at the frozen earth beneath her feet. "It is below us. A cancer at the heart of the world. It will irrupt again if the goddess at Jashat becomes sufficiently angry."

    "Mostin said there were others," Eadric grimaced.

    Nehael nodded. "One rages amid nightmares; another has set itself up in mockery of the Enforcer; the last…may prove the most dangerous."

    "You offer little reassurance," the Ahma said bleakly. "This last – what can you tell me of it?"

    "It is her," Nehael spoke carefully. "The Fires of Death. Or as close as you will come to encountering her without actually meeting her. She may bring cohesion to the remaining hierophants amongst the Cheshnite sect. She is abroad, but I do not know where, or exactly why. Powerful magic obscures her."

    "Even from you?"

    "Especially from me."

    "And there are no limits imposed upon her actions? Why was I led to believe that Kaalaanala was confined; her remit strictly curtailed?"

    "So it is," Nehael scowled. "Or all of Wyre should burn."

    "Then is it as Nwm asserts? That the Goddess grows dark?"

    "Our mood is various," Nehael observed laconically. "Or had this fact escaped you?"

    "The movement is chaotic. I cannot find purchase," Eadric stopped walking.

    A long silence followed.

    "What of Soneillon?" Nehael inquired archly. Her gaze penetrated him.

    Eadric replied with a pointed look. "It is a meeting which I am content to forestall for as long as possible."

    "I ask because you should expect her. She perceives your Flame, albeit indirectly; she knows how bright it burns. She covets it, or is drawn to it like a moth. And it is Midwinter; the Sun is weakest."

    "Your words are not comforting. Mostin informs me that she has undergone a 'great rapture.'"

    "Her power is formidable," Nehael said plainly. "She is her own locus: of Dream, Oblivion, Delirium – imbued by the Blackthorn. Trace her passage, Eadric: she has been celestial, infernal, demonic; unbecome, a nightmare; something impossible, now perylene. More infinities collide in her than can be counted. She may be insane – psychotic – by your standards, but to characterize her as evil would be to reduce her complexity to a single dimension. Although I believe you already know this."

    "You sound sympathetic."

    "That would be natural: it is who I am. She is as I, maybe, on a different path. Perhaps we run contraparallel; each anathema to the other. Force cannot overcome her now, unless some sovereign strength is invoked. And it is she who is in possession of the Urn."

    "Then how would you suggest that I deal with her?" He groaned.

    "Naturally," Nehael laughed, "…naturally. But I see this prospect somehow disturbs you?"

    "She remains my greatest weakness," Eadric acknowledged. "Or one of them."

    "Maybe less than you are hers. And what of Shomei?"

    "Must you always be so perceptive?"

    "Goddess is manifold," Nehael smiled. "And little escapes my notice. Perhaps you understand Nwm's dilemma a little better."

    "Shomei makes inquiries in my direction to gauge my disposition."

    "You sound sympathetic," Nehael remarked drily.

    "I am," Eadric admitted. "Insofar as I trust her; I understand her."

    "As she was, maybe. But as she is?"

    Eadric considered. "Shomei is always in process; I think she would reject any static characterization."

    "I have spoken with her," Nehael's voice was subdued. "She has set herself tasks which are suitably unattainable. My concern is that she may drag the World into ruin in her effort toward self-mastery. Her revelation within the Fane at Morne: what is your reaction to that?"

    "I am unsure," Eadric said apprehensively. "Although I find myself in a state of at least partial agreement with the Irrenite faction, and how they have chosen to interpret it."

    Nehael raised an inquisitive eyebrow.

    "They are calling it the Third Turning of Saizhan."

    "The Third?" A look of mild puzzlement crossed the face of the goddess. "Did I miss one?"

    "Skôhsldaúr, the Gate of Demons," Eadric explained. "I am designated as its unfortunate patron and exemplar. And there are enough demons left in the World. Faheth, any advice you have to offer on how to proceed would be appreciated."

    "You choose now to name me thus?"

    "It is how I would relate to you."

    Nehael sighed. "Somehow you must impress the notion of compassion upon Shomei. She still conflates it with sentiment; she needs to understand that it is rational."

    "I was unable when she was mortal; how am I to believe that it will be possible now that she is a devil?"

    "I didn't say it would be easy," Nehael smiled. "I, for one, have met with little success. But, as you have pointed out, she is in process."

    "And otherwise?"

    "Exercise compassion yourself. You cannot teach what you do not demonstrate."


    Nivorn – a rocky peninsula eighty miles long, extending into the sea to the east of the conflict – was attached to Wyre by a broad isthmus and boasted impressive natural defenses. Much of its coast was sheer cliff, pierced by a handful of protected harbors. An encircling row of peaks enclosing a high plateau, cloven by a wide, deep lake comprised Nivorn's interior.

    Successive Wyrish kings had attempted to annex the foreland; all had met with failure. By their own vows, the lairds were bound in tribute to Morne. In practice, it had not been exacted for generations from most: like the inhabitants of Ardan – to whom they were related – the Nivornese were generally considered intractable, often maniacal, and best left to their own devices. They feuded interminably amongst themselves; vendettas a thousand years old still raged. A previous king, Tulgus – regarded as the greatest of the Gultheins – had established a line of border forts in southern Wyre to prevent major incursions; drunken raids to abduct womenfolk and livestock still occasionally occurred, but were immediately met with fierce punitive strikes. An uneasy truce prevailed.

    It was upon a densely wooded island within the lake – called Sooile by the natives – that Temenun had elected to establish a stronghold, placing himself under the protection of the Cherry which now grew there.

    The Tiger’s choice to defy the other immortals – and the Fires of Death herself – was not made lightly. But Temenun was ever his own master; he would not bow now, even to a Bhiti such as Kaalaanala, and throwing himself at the mercy of the Cherry – on the surface a highly risky proposition – was made in full consciousness: whatever dark prolepsis had served the Ak’Chazar for twenty millennia and had prompted him to his action, was the same faculty – the only thing, in fact – that he had come to trust.

    His Naztharunes, who may have numbered in the dozens or in the thousands, accompanied their overlord without question. A clique of Anantam magi – those most uncomfortable with the current political climate and the direction offered by Anumid – also joined him. His armored legions, for the most part half-giants from Danhaan, the Tiger had left to whatever fate might befall them – such were the vicissitudes of service to an immortal such as Temenun.

    Only hours after he had established his redoubt – a region of twisted vines and briars, from the center of which the Cherry scion itself emanated invisible lures across the island – news reached the Tiger of Kaalaanala’s fourfold effluxion, and he breathed a silent sigh of relief. Here, at least, he was now safe from the Embassy; the last, most potent, most deadly of the avatars. The one which might force him to do the bidding of the Fires of Death. The others – even Idyam – would necessarily capitulate to whatever demands were imposed upon them.

    Thoughts of Void, of Tamasah – the final darkness – he allowed to slip from his mind. Nothing was so pressing; or rather, Nothing now seemed less pressing. The poisoned fruits which grew nearby – familiar fruits, from beyond the southern deserts – were a source of comfort to him. And, finally, it was warm.

    Temenun relaxed. Throile was but a footstep away. Perhaps he would pay a visit: the jungles there held many secrets. And Soneillon’s cabal – now that their mistress had abandoned them – might prove amenable if offered sufficient inducements.


    It was dark when Eadric returned to Galda. Wearily, he dismounted and gave an ironic smile: Narh was tireless, and despite having been ridden hard for six hundred miles that day, the steed seemed fresh as though led from a month's pasturing. He realized that he himself had had no real rest for weeks – since long prior to his own reincarnation. Eadric unharnessed the stallion, bade him run free until dawn, and trudged through the camp on foot, his saddle cast over his shoulder. Bestowing nodding blessings upon sentries as he went, and a glare in the direction of rowdy Ardanese mercenaries celebrating the winter Tagamuos, he made his way to his pavillion.

    He pulled the heavy fur drape closed across the opening to the tent, and illumination was dimmed; canvas filtered the light of campfires to a dull, flickering glow. Eadric unbuckled Lukarn, set his shield upon its stand, threw off begrimed armor, and sat for an hour in saizhan before entering the Fultum meditation: a steadfastness in the face of all doubt, and a protection against forces – or impulses – which might otherwise assail him.

    He lit a narrow taper and placed it on a simple altar with a winter garland, and offered prayers to the Eleos: for the protection of the souls around him; for the safe passage of those lost at Fumaril; for mercy upon those within the orbit of the scion at Deorham; for the succour of his servants and those within his own household. Finally, he arose, extinguished the light, and cast himself, exhausted, onto his pallet. As visions and half-remembered ideas played across his consciousness, for a fleeting moment, the recollection of an insight which had been instrumental in shaping his understanding of the World.

    Immediately, the familiar scent of lotus and sandalwood as lips and hair brushed his cheek; a soft body pressed eagerly against him. An oval face. Eyes, like pits of ravenous darkness. Power, as he had never before sensed. Somehow, Eadric wondered whether he had himself, in fact, invoked her.

    "This tack will not be effective," he said plainly.

    "May I stay?" Her whisper conveyed urgent need.

    "I am in no mood to argue, Soneillon. I am tired. Let me sleep."

    Fingernails briefly threatened to become talons – or something far worse – and then relaxed.

    "As you wish, Ahma." Her eyelids closed; a fuliginous wing cracked open and encompassed him, settling over him like a blanket.

    "Your egregiousness would seem undiminished," Eadric sighed. "Although I see you are not otherwise as you were. What do you hope to achieve by this? Do you really expect me to trust any façade which you present to me? That I can say with surety that you have not previously placed a spell on me? Perhaps I'm now to believe that I am the last thread of sanity to which you cling?"

    But the demoness was silent; she was already enmeshed in some chthonic nightmare.

    Or do not. Again, as always, her passivity – her apparent vulnerability – confounded him. In the dim light he studied her, touching her neck and shoulders uncertainly and tracing brutal scars: the legacy of wounds bestowed by his own hand. After so long, were they real, or an artifice? Was she? Did it matter? And what reason did he actually have to doubt her? Had she ever been anything other than entirely honest with him? No, he was obliged to concede. Saizha, Ahma?

    One must encounter the Void on its own terms.

    She stirred uneasily.

    He closed his eyes, and slept.


  7. #1117
    Note on Soneillon and the Urn

    The compound-templated Soneillon, technically an Elite Advanced Paragon Pseudochthonic Spellwarped Monster of Legend Succubus, in possession of the augmentations granted by the Urn and by her normal suite of transvalent buffs. Soneillon's abilities include +5 inherent bonuses. Soneillon is also considered an abomination, and gains the abilities normally associated with such.

    Although technically without DvR, Soneillon's approximate power is that of a lesser goddess; she is the third of the triune which includes the DvR6 Viridescent Nehael and a DvR3 Enkindled Shomei. All can be considered coëval multiparadigmatic expressions of Goddess within the larger framework; although, perhaps Antigoddess is a better way of describing Soneillon in more conventional terms: she challenges the limit to which notions of Goddess may be applied.

    Ontically, the triptych can be superficially undersood as representing Being (Nehael), Becoming (Shomei) and Non-Being (Soneillon). In fact, the relationship is more complex, with Soneillon also representing Nothing Becomes (a positive assertion of the reification of Void); Shomei acting to place Being secondary in importance to Becoming (expressed as Nothing Is), and Nehael negating the existential(?) truth of Non-Being – i.e. Nothing Is Not.

    The totality is reflective of the central transmetaphysical paradox of Saizhan itself. Alternatively, the sexual connotations are arousal (Nehael) and crescendo (Shomei), with Soneillon herself linked with the annihilation of the self at the moment of orgasm.

    She arguably interfaces with more infinities than any other entity, and – as Nehael observes – Soneillon's history from her own perspective appears to be celestial, then diabolic, then demonic, then chthonic, then oneiric, then pseudonatural; finally manifested in a context which is Green. The paragon template is bestowed by the Blackthorn-ludja, but at a price: her autonomy is compromised when she manifests within finitude, and she must accept a kind of "mundanity;" Void is captured by Ens and given discrete form. Furthermore, Soneillon's distancing of herself from the Cherry-ludja (representative of desire) – which eagerly seeks her – can be understood as a denial of her own implicit nature, or a relegation of her sexuality, as well as a transcendence of it.

    Within the Cheshnite paradigm as interpreted by Temenun, Soneillon is Pramaade Gu Kaamaah (In Delirium, Void Lusts), Asampra-Gyaata Pramaadah (Delirium Dream-Ecstasy), Kaalakamala (Lotus of Death), or, more informally, Aasyacheshna Phalam (lit. "The Mango in Cheshne's Mouth" – i.e. the apple of her eye). She is also understood as Taarakacheshna (the Eye of Cheshne) both literally and figuratively; she is linked with the star of the same name, and her esoteric "day" begins with its anticulmination at the Necropolis of Khu.

    The involvement of Delirium as a precursor state somehow necessary for the irruption of the Apparition – the manifestation of Demogorgon-Cheshne within the bounded cosmos – is not clear. Nor is the extent of the identity of Delirium with Uzzhin – the Far Realm of Metagnostic praxis: it should be noted that Mostin asserts that they are unidentical, and that Delirium is best understood as possessing elements of Void and Dream as well as "Outside-ness." Soneillon thus also describes an elemental, chaotic-disintegrative process of unbecoming in which Nothing Becomes becomes Becomes Nothing.

    Soneillon is extraordinarily resistant to all forms of attack: epic spells or SDAs are an absolute requirement when dealing with her. I've tagged her CR at 60 – or 72 in possession of Pharamne's Urn – but even that seems a little conservative: template combinations are somewhat unpredictable. To reliably penetrate her SR and Saves would require a spell of approximately 350th order (unmitigated DC) by an epic caster such as Nwm or Mostin.

    Soneillon's stats are constructed like this:

    8 14 13 12 10 15 elite array
    10 16 15 18 14 31 succubus racial adjustment
    10 16 15 18 14 37 advancement by HD
    15 21 20 23 19 42 inherent bonuses
    25 31 30 33 29 52 chthonic
    47 41 40 33 39 52 pseudonatural
    51 43 44 37 39 52 spellwarped
    61 49 54 39 41 56 monster of legend
    76 64 69 54 56 71 paragon
    76 104 109 54 56 111 epic buffs
    86 114 119 64 66 121 profane bonuses from Urn

    Soneillon Aasyacheshna Phalam

    Size/Type: Medium Outsider (Abomination, Augmented, Chaotic, Chthonic, Dream, Extraplanar, Evil, Paragon, Pseudonatural)
    Hit Dice: 30d8+1620+360 (2220hp)
    Initiative: +56
    Speed: 360ft.; fly 600ft. (perfect)
    Armor Class: 181 (+55 deflection, +52 Dex, +12 insight, +12 luck, +40 natural), touch 141, flat-footed 129
    Base Attack/Grapple: +30/+118
    Attack: Void tendril +132 melee (2d6+58/15-20x3 plus ontic corruption)
    Full Attack: 12 void tendrils +132 melee (2d6+58/15-20x3 plus ontic corruption)
    Space/Reach: 5ft./10ft.
    Special Attacks: Augmented critical, aura of unlight, energy drain, frightful presence, improved grab, ontic corruption, spell-like abilities, spells, summon demon, tenacious wounding, utter corruption
    Special Qualities: Blindsight 500ft,. DR 20/cold iron and epic and good, darkvision 60 ft., fast healing 20, immunities (ability drain, ability damage, acid, death effects, electricity, form-altering effects, mind-affecting effects, negative energy effects, and poison, sonic effetcs), nondetection, ontic flux, regeneration 20, resistance to cold 20 and fire 20, see in darkness, spell resistance 150, spellwarp, telepathy 1000 ft., tongues, true seeing
    Saves: Fort +114, Ref +112, Will +88
    Abilities: Str 86, Dex 114, Con 119, Int 64, Wis 66, Cha 121
    Skills: Appraise +70 (embroidered items +74), Balance +99, Bluff +102, Climb +81, Concentration +97, Craft (embroidery) +70, Decipher Script +70, Diplomacy +114, Disguise +98 (+102 acting), Escape Artist +95, Forgery +70, Gather Information +98, Handle Animal +98. Hide +95, Intimidate +104, Jump +217, Knowledge (arcana) +70, Knowledge (history) +70, Knowledge (nature) +74, Knowledge (nobility) +70, Knowledge (the planes) +70, Knowledge (religion) +70, Listen +79, Move Silently +95, Perform (dance) +98, Profession (courtesan) +71, Ride +99, Search +70, Sense Motive +73, Sleight of Hand +99, Spellcraft +177 (scrolls +181), Spot +79, Survival +71, Tumble +99, Use Magic Device +98 (scrolls +102)
    Feats: Dark Speech, Dodge, Epic Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Critical (void tendril), Improved Initiative, Mobility, Negotiator, Persuasive, Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Spell Penetration, Weapon Finesse
    Challenge Rating: 72 (60)

    Special Attacks
    • Arcane Spellcasting: Soneillon casts spells as a 30th-level sorcerer; in addition, she can cast any Darkness, Destruction, Dream, Evil or Madness domain spell as an arcane spell. She need not utilize material components in her spellcasting, and incurs no experience point cost for spells which normally demand it: Soneillon can hence apply up to a –200 DC mitigating factor against any epic spell which she casts.
    • Augmented Critical: All of Soneillon's natural attacks threaten on an attack roll of 15-20 and
      benefit from a x3 critical multiplier.
    • Aura of Unlight (Su): Soneillon radiates an aura of unlight which extends to 10 feet. Treat this as a deeper darkness spell, but nonchthonic creatures within the aura automatically gain 1d4 negative levels every round. Spell resistance is effective against level loss from the aura of unlight, but even creatures normally immune to energy drain and negative energy effects are otherwise subject to it. The aura of unlight may be suppressed or resumed as a free action. It may be dispelled, but Soneillon may reactivate it as a free action on her next turn. Caster Level 30th. A DC 93 Fortitude save must be made after 24 hours to recover each negative level. The Save DC is Charisma-based, and includes a +13 insight bonus.
    • Frightful Presence (Ex): Enemies within 20 feet with fewer HD than Soneillon must make a Will saving throw (DC 93) or become shaken - a condition which lasts until the opponent is out of range. A successful save leaves the opponent immune to Soneillon's frightful presence for 24hrs. The frightful presence may be suppressed or resumed as a free action on Soneillon's turn. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. The Save DC is Charisma-based, and includes a +13 insight bonus.
    • Improved Grab (Ex): If Soneillon hits an opponent of size medium or smaller with a tendril, she deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.
    • Ontic Corruption (Ex): An enemy struck by one of Soneillon's void tendril attacks is permanently drained of 2d4 points of Constitution and gains 1d4 negative levels. At the same time, Soneillon regains 10 lost hit points. The DC after 24 hours to reisist permanent level loss from the ontic corruption is 93. The Save DC is Charisma-based and includes a +13 insight bonus.
    • Summon Allies (Sp): Soneillon can summon 1d4+1 chthonic succubi as a standard action. This ability is the equivalent of an epic level spell.
    • Tenacious Wounding (Ex): Damage sustained from Soneillon's narural attacks resists healing. Healing spells only restore 1 hit point per spell level, and natural healing of such wounds takes twice as long as normal.
    • Utter Corruption: All of Soneillon's spells and spell-like abilities gain the [Evil] descriptor, regardless of their function. Against good creatures, Soneillon benefits from a +4 bonus to the DC of any special abilities and to spells and spell-like abilities which she uses.

    Spell-Like Abilities: Soneillon can use the following abilities at will: blasphemy, detect good, detect thoughts, dream travel, greater dispel magic, greater teleport, haste, suggestion, unhallow, unholy aura. All spell-like abilities have a caster level equal to Soneillon's Hit Dice.

    Special Qualities:
    • Change Shape (Su): Soneillon can assume the form of any Small or Medium humanoid.
    • Ontic Flux (Ex): Soneillon benefits from an effect similar to a blink spell, except that attacks which target incorporeal or ethereal creatures gain no special benefit, nor does Soneillon receive any special benefits to attack creatures in this state. The ontic flux may be suppressed or resumed as a free action.
    • Nondetection (Ex): Soneillon is treated as if under a nondetection spell (Caster Level 30th)
    • Regeneration 20. Epic good-aligned weapons and good-aligned spells do normal damage to Soneillon.
    • See in Darkness(Su): Soneillon can see perfectly in darkness of any kind, even that created by deeper darkness spells.
    • Spellwarp (Ex): Spell effects which target Soneillon and fail to penetrate her spell resistance grant temporary Hit Points equal to 5x the spell's level. Temporary Hit Points gained in this fashion last for 1 hour.
    • Telepathy (Su): Soneillon can communicate telepathically with any creature within 1000 feet which has a language
    • Tongues (Su): Soneillon has a permanent tongues ability (as the spell, caster level 30th).
    • True Seeing (Ex): This ability extends to 500ft. and is always active.

    Soneillon has a +8 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks.

    Spells Known

    The Save DC to resist spells cast by Soneillon is 78+ Spell Level and includes a +13 insight bonus. Against good-aligned targets, she gains a further +4 bonus. Soneillon does not require material components or foci in her spellcasting; she need pay no XP for spells which normally demand it. She gains a +6 bonus to penetrate an opponent's spell resistance.

    Spells per day: 6/20/20/20/19/19/19/19/18/18. Soneillon may also cast 3 epic spells per day.

    9th – Implosion (DC87), power word kill, reality maelstrom (DC87), shapechange, utterdark, weird (DC87), wish

    8th – Bestow greater curse (DC86), demand (DC86), discern location, earthquake (DC86), maddening scream, power word blind, power word stun

    7th – Disintegrate (DC85), insanity (DC85), greater scrying (DC85), limited wish, sequester (DC85), vision

    6th – Create undead, dream sight, false sending (DC84), harm (DC84), mass suggestion (DC84), probe thoughts (DC84), prying eyes

    5th – Baleful polymorph (DC83), bolts of bedevilment (DC83), dispel good (DC83), dream, mass inflict light wounds (DC83), mirage arcana (DC83), nightmare (DC83), sending, summon monster V

    4th – Armor of darkness, black tentacles, confusion (DC82), dimensional anchor, inflict critical wounds (DC69), know vulnerabilities (DC82), phantasmal killer (DC82), unholy blight (DC82), voice of the dragon

    3rd – Anticipate teleportation, arcane sight, blacklight, contagion (DC81), deep slumber (DC81), glimpse of truth, magic circle against good, nondetection, rage (DC81), spell vulnerability (DC81)

    Ongoing Transvalent Augmentations
    Soneillon gains a +40 enhancement bonus to Charisma, Constitution and Dexterity. These protections are renewed on a monthly basis; they have a CL of 150 for purposes of opposed dispel checks.

    Voice of Demogorgon
    Evocation [Evil, Sonic]

    Order: 450
    Spellcraft DC: 186
    Components: V, XP, Backlash, Dark Speech; see text
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: 200ft.
    Area: Nonchthonic entities in a 200-ft. radius spread centered on you
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    Seeds: [Energy] (+19), [Afflict] (+14), [Ward] (+14). Factors: penetrate immunity (ad hoc +20), overcome keyed epic [Ward] (+18), emulate blasphemy (+27), increase effective blasphemy CL (+60), increase area by 400% (+16), increase spell penetration (+240), 1-action stilled (+22). Mitigating: XP (-200), 60d6 backlash (-60), Dark Speech (ad hoc –4).

    Soneillon speaks a syllable in the Dark Speech which cannot be heard. Creatures normally immune to sonic attacks are affected by this spell, and the Voice of Demogorgon is not subject to any kind of magical silence.

    Nonchthonic entities with less than 50HD are automatically slain when subject to this spell. Creatures with at least 50HD but fewer than 60HD are dazed for 1 round and weakened for 2d4 rounds when they hear the Voice of Demogorgon. Chthonic creatures or creatures with 60 or more Hit Dice are not subject to its effects.

    For the purposes of penetrating spell resistance, the Voice of Demogorgon has a Caster Level of 150.

    Possessions: Pharamne's Urn

    Pharamne's Urn in Soneillon's Hands
    Whilst Soneillon remains in possession of Pharamne's Urn, she gains the following benefits. They are already factored into her stat block:

    +10 Profane bonus to all abilities
    +100 Competence bonus to Spellcraft checks
    +10 resistance bonus to saves
    +10 luck bonus to saves

    The Urn

    Pharamne's Urn has no fixed set of qualities, although some aspect of its generative power is technically accessible to any who posesses the item; fundamentally, it magnifies power. As a transcendental artifact, the Urn is properly associated with or belongs to the DvR20 realm; as such, its reality is impervious to effects generated by entities of fewer than 21 divine ranks. Only meta-transcendental beings or phenomena (Oronthon's Radiant Form, Cheshne's Dream-manifestation, the Sela etc.) can act upon the Urn to change or negate its essential nature.

    Magical manipulation of the Urn is impossible: for example, it cannot be teleported, or subjected to polymorph, and it always appears as it is (within the area of an illusion, the Urn remains the Urn). It can only be physically handled (lifted or carried, placed inside a box or a bag of holding etc.) In this regard, it behaves as any other physical object. The Urn appears as a stoppered clay amphora around twenty inches high and weighing some thirty pounds.

    The power bestowed by the artifact is otherwise linked to the stature or cosmic gravitas of its owner/wielder; entities of greater potency hence derive commensurately more benefit from the Urn.

    Attunement to the Urn requires one complete day. Once an entity is attuned to the artifact, it remains so thereafter, regardless of whether or not the Urn stays within that creature's possession. Only entities who have undergone three or more transcendences or paradigm shifts are capable of attuning themselves to Pharamne's Urn. The benefits granted by attunement to Pharamne's Urn are only available for as long as the Urn is actually within that being's possession – held, carried on its body, or kept in an adjacent extradimensional space.

    For purposes of eligibility, a transcendence is indicated by an acquired template, a shift from one paradigm to another, or a metaphysical migration of some type: a resurrection, reincarnation, a Fall (in the case of a demon or devil) and so on. A number of characters within the story are eligible in this regard; only one of the PCs – Nwm the Preceptor – is ineligible to actualize the Urn's potential for purposes of attunement. As Nwm is under a Vow of Poverty, ownership of the Urn would be impermissible in any case.

    When the initial attunement to Pharamne's Urn is made, the attuning entity chooses the benefits which the Urn will convey upon it. Attunement to and possession of the artifact always conveys magical benefits equal to the total predicted wealth of a PC with a level equivalent to the creature's CR (63M in Soneillon's case). All magical benefit costs are directly additive: there is no reduction in costing multiple similar effects within a single item, nor a surcharge for multiple different effects or 'uncustomary' effects. Unslotted effects – those that would normally require a space limitation – incur double the normal cost as usual. No restrictions exist on other items in the character's or entity's possession; careful selection of abilities to avoid overlapping bonuses or abilities can provide an enormous boost to the owner's power. Assume that the Urn increases the effective Challenge Rating of any creature which possesses it by around 20%.

    Once determined, the benefits remain fixed for that entity; if the possessor of the Urn later increases in (unadjusted) CR – for example by acquiring class levels or a template – these benefits may evolve and increase, or additional benefits may be accrued. The Urn always bestows at least three discrete magical benefits; none of these benefits may exceed one third of the total value of the Urn relative to the creature's unadjusted CR.

    For example, a 20th-level Sorcerer in possession of the Urn (total predicted wealth value 760,000gp) and capable of attuning herself and actualizing it might choose the following benefits:

    an ongoing CL20 nondetection effect [no space limitation] (120,000)
    a +30 competence bonus to Bluff checks [no space limitation] (180,000)
    a +30 competence bonus to Spellcraft checks [no space limitation] (180,000)
    a +5 luck bonus to saving throws [no space limitation] (100,000)
    a +5 deflection bonus to AC [no space limitation] (100,000)
    a +6 enhancement bonus to Charisma [no space limitation] (72,000)

    If the base CR of the character subsequently increases, he or she may improve existing bonuses or add additional effects up to his or her predicted wealth by level.

    Generative Power
    The Urn's generative power is available to any in possession of the artifact. The owner of Pharamne's Urn may create a demiplane coterminous with his or her current location as though using a genesis spell; alternatively, the Urn's power may be invoked to override prevailing conditions on the plane upon which the user is situated, replacing them with a local genesis effect. The user must, however, pay the normal XP cost associated with genesis (5000XP). Subsequent uses of genesis may increase the size of the demiplane normally; in each case, the XP cost must be paid. Using this ability nominally requires 1 week.

    The size of the demiplane created, the speed of creation, and the extent to which the creator of the demiplane may determine its various traits are otherwise governed by the DvR of the entity manipulating the Urn, or by direct magical or supernatural power:

    • Creatures without divine rank or creatures of DvR0 use an unmodified genesis effect

    Demi-powers (DvR1-5) may add an additional 180ft. radius for each divine rank which they possess, and the limit of the demiplane is reached instantaneously (there is no "slow growth.") For example, a DvR4 entity could create a demiplane with an initial radius of up to 900ft., and subsequent uses would increase the radius by a like amount. Demi-powers require only one day to use the Urn's ability. Demiplanes created by a power of DvR1-5 are finite, have an alterable morphic, normal magic, and normal time; any demi-power may also determine the following planar traits:

    o Gravity: A demi-power may imbue the demiplane with normal, heavy or light gravity; with no gravity; or with either objective or subjective directional gravity.
    o Mildly Aligned: A demi-power may apply mildly-aligned lawful, chaotic, good or evil traits to the demiplpane.
    o Elemental and Energy Traits: A demi-power may create an Air-, Fire-, Water-, Earth-, Positive- or Negative-dominant demiplane

    Lesser powers (DvR6-10) increase the initial radius to one mile for each divine rank which they possess, and the limit of the demiplane is reached instantaneously: for example, a DvR8 entity could create a demiplane with an initial radius of up to 8 miles, and subsequent uses would increase the radius by a like amount. Lesser powers require only one hour to use the Urn's ability; any lesser power may also imbue the demiplane with these additional planar traits:

    o Self-Contained: A lesser power may create a demiplane which is recursive, self-contained, or otherwise "bends back" on itself
    o Magically, Static or Highly Morphic: A lesser power may create a demiplane which is subject to specific magical manipulation, resists manipulation, or is subject to frequent and easy manipulation through spells, supernatural abilities, or force of will
    o Temporal Traits: Lesser powers may bestow flowing time, erratic time or timelessness upon demiplanes which they create
    o Flora and Fauna: A lesser power may populate the demiplane with a range of nonmagical and nonsapient life as it sees fit

    Intermediate powers (DvR11-15) increase the initial radius to one hundred miles for each divine rank which they possess, and the limit of the demiplane is reached instantaneously: for example, a DvR13 entity could create a demiplane with an initial radius of up to 1300 miles, and subsequent uses would increase the radius by a like amount. Intermediate powers require only one minute to use the Urn's ability. In addition to traits already noted, any intermediate power may also imbue the demiplane with the following planar traits:

    o Divinely Morphic: An intermediate power may create a demiplane which is subject to divine manipulation, in whole or in part, by itself or other deities or powers of its choosing
    o Strong Alignment Traits: An intermediate power can imbue the demiplane with a strong chaotic, evil, good, lawful or neutral alignment trait
    o Magic Traits: An intermediate power may create a demiplane with dead, impeded, wild or enhanced magic

    Greater powers (DvR16-20) experience no limit to the size of the plane created by the Urn's generative ability. Greater powers require only one round to use the Urn's ability; any greater power may imbue the plane with any physical, elemental, energy, alignment or magical traits. It may populate the plane with flora and fauna, or sapient and/or magical life as it sees fit.

    The Urn is also amenable to more direct magical or supernatural power: spellcasters or creatures with spell-like abilities may make a caster level check in lieu of divine rank; the DC to achieve the benefit of a specific divine rank is equal to 30 + (10 x the DvR to be emulated). A creature with a supernatural power which has a caster level equivalent is eligible, as is a psionic creature – in this case use the creature's manifester level.

    Last edited by Sepulchrave II; Sunday, 4th December, 2011 at 07:45 AM.

  8. #1118
    Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)

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    /reaches for thesaurus

    Fantastic! Absolutely fantastic!

  9. #1119
    Quote Originally Posted by carborundum View Post
    /reaches for thesaurus
    Mine exploded when I tried looking this stuff up and my spreadsheet deleted it's self when I tried running some of the numbers.

    Great update as always Sepulchrave! Some surprising tenderness from Soneillon in there. Hmm, Eadric does seem to have some sort of deep attraction for demonesses. I'd almost wonder if she wasn't some sort of aspect or echo or past/future part of Nehael.

  10. #1120
    Freaking wonderfully mindbending stuff Sep!

    I have been following this story for... a decade now I think, since 2001. It's one of the few things I still come to EnWorld for these days.

    Thanks for keeping up with it! We appreciate it...

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