Worth the Candle, Ch 105: Notes

Mary’s Notes: Toward an Optimal Build

  • Mistakes of the past are locked in via point selection w/ limited options wrt correction
  • “Floating” points should not be floating as they alter hard caps and should be put toward maximizing those caps!!
  • J right that exact functions of all skills are not known
  • J says even known skills have unknown full functions (so-called “Woodworking 100 Issue”), solvable via skill point sacrifice for information, but sacrifice indicated to be non-renewable resource, or difficult to renew.
  • J maybe right that unknown skills have comparative advantage because no one else has them or will be prepped against them — but how to unlock if we don’t know either??
  • Spirit: complement to Essentialism? Earth Shamanism? Something relating to the soul in non-obvious way? Morale? J unhelpful, spirit “too big” of topic, too many invented things. Anima ipsa and anima exa different (per F — suspect) but shouldn’t need different skill. Might relate to gods? In theory, gods are just connection like Solace and locus, but will need cleric to test. F could have answered …
  • Library Magic: J not much help. Lots of libraries in J’s games, but only three really magical ones, Boundless Library with all books, Ascentium (sp?) with books whose stories become real, and Libor Mortis w/ something like redaction magic (excluded, Bowdler). Juniper says reference maybe L-space (Pratchett, Discworld). Ties in w/ Raven? Uther’s “archivist”, part of that mystery pile, maybe alive, def missing, game character of Maddie (sp? Mattie?). J also says ref maybe “import library” elect. computer programming concept (?)
  • Tree Magic: distinct from Wood Magic. J gave six examples (from games), none obviously right: tree as totem of power, tree as connection (flower mage? similar), tree as divination re: forks (! seems good), tree as voodoo doll, tree as Dorian Gray ref (sp? maybe read, Wilde, close to historical Gray Magic (excluded)), tree as branches/timelines (less sure on that one). Large search space. Will test unlocks. Ask Solace too. Relationship to salvers from Arches re: head trees? But salvers “invented” while on Aerb, per J. DM existential fuckery?
  • 256 skills, 82 (!!!) excluded, 40 at one time for J, unrestricted # skills for others (why?), no limit for others (incl. self) (why?)
  • Difference between Skills and skills, things still learnable if not on menu & extensions available even w/o Skill changing number, see Sanguine Surge
  • Skills not transferred via symbiosis from skill point (re)distribution (sacrifice)
  • Virtues not transferred from symbiosis
  • Virtues maybe not for non-J at all? Testing confirms so far, but means for ex. blade-bound is just skills in others, needs testing. Some virtues not physically possible w/ training alone (see Shields)
  • No hard caps for non-J, see F w/ Bows >50 but WIS=5 (why? Skill vs. skill? DM fiat?)
  • Besides caps, unclear relationship wrt attribute and skill. J thinks obvious that skill outcomes are affected by primary/secondary attributes but admits no evidence. Best insight into hidden rules is game messages or virtue desc, but no help there. Obvious changes to physique from PHY make J’s hypothesis seem reasonable.
  • Unclear relationship wrt attributes and super-attributes, esp given above attr/skill Qs.
  • Attributes match bone magic theory, so make deeper inquiries next time in Cranberry Bay? Obv. “real” in ways skills are not (yet) i.e. matching to reality and observable by non-J
  • Actual mechanism for how game interfaces w/ world unclear. Granular rules, chaotic world. Roll dice, match world to fit? Observe world, match dice to fit (but dice not even exposed so far …)? Unicorn-like timeline redos? All total bullshit? J thinks not BS, admits possible.
  • Only evidence when a skill is being used is presence of skill up message to J. Ergo only able to figure out what a skill is supposed to do by doing that thing until skill up. Some things make skill go up fast, some make it go up slow, evidence of “central purpose” of skill, arbitrary game rules, difficulty, or what? Different rates of skill gain. Massive headache, sparse information, poor experimental models.
  • SOC important for many magics. Obvious in retro that gold mage would rely on it, 1 part TK control via CUN, 1 part POI as social interaction with gold (entity-like) (why not CHA? J unhelpful). Also soul value-based? F could have answered.
  • MEN more important for more magics, but PHY used in a few
  • Generalist approach gives many options, but less powerful. Maybe best for diminishing margin util on symbiosis? Skill combinations (esp. soul/bone) v. powerful
  • Virtues good for J, but not usable for us, virtues better with level, possibly a ++ for generalist
  • J has limits on attributes wrt personality, makes higher SOC/MEN less worthwhile since only game stuff affected (?)
  • J can still grow as person, personality can change, slowly move J to where he can be J and be good at SOC/MEN? DM okay w/ that? Rules okay w/ that? (J okay with that?)
  • Missing companions a problem for J’s spec, as missing companion specs are (obv.) unknown. If J specced, would C6 & C7 be “nudged” so not redundant? Would J be nudged to only spec so not redundant? Or is redundant possible despite narrative rule otherwise? Narrative rule may be broken, per J, if contrast is narrative focus, see Flash/Zoom (comic superhero).
  • Dependability/existence of current companions a problem. F says will leave if J does something “unforgiveable”, shouldn’t happen, might (wrt V, not self). G says will leave when has money, adamant, means incentive to not pay him, he knows incentive, big mess. V will stay, but vulnerable. Worried about S (obv), tho not companion. If J specs thinking all members always around, might leave too much gap when one leaves/dies & need respec. Narrative maybe a problem? J unworried wrt big-N.
  • J’s preferences important as motivates toward training, tho he’s been better of late. Worry is picking things J hates will result in failure to push himself even tho might be best for us if he did. Optimal depends on results & reality, not theory which ignores people, must learn from later Penndraig reform failures.
  • To Do:
    • Compile chart/graph of primary/secondary attributes for ALL skills in better visual/analytical arrangement. Venn diagram w/ nine circles? 72 possible p/s combos, too messy. 36 if order unimportant, still messy. Only 6 if using super-attributes, simple and clean but not descriptive. 9×9 grid w/ color coding?
    • Revisit tree/spirit/library discussion once more Earth books have been read
    • Make character sheet for Grak w/ J’s help
    • Make character sheet for Solace?
    • Compile list of known rules and modifiers as given by virtues (prob not helpful)
    • Produce 3-4 optimal builds for J, anchoring + illusion of choice (immoral?)
    • Reach Loyalty 30 and/or convince/encourage F to do same, as may impact optimal build

Juniper’s Notes: A Brief History of Histories (2009-2017)

Group, in rough order of appearance: Arthur, Ricky, Greg, Trev, Reimer, Craig, Maddie, Aaron, Tom, Tiff, Rache, Colin, Ana

Note: Campaigns are listed by first appearance, but many were dropped and then picked up later for a sequel campaign or two, with or without a shared continuity, sometimes with years between them. Campaigns run by others or set in established worlds are not included. Various one-shots weren’t included either.


Pilgrim’s Promise – First actual campaign, where the party made friends with a necromancer and he sent them on missions, despite my best efforts. They kept ignoring the fact that he was playing them like a fiddle. Eventually they destroyed the world by accident, though I gave them a lot of outs before the asteroid hit. Amateurish and derivative in a lot of ways.

Tunnels – This was back when I liked bold, one-word titles. Took place in what was basically the Underdark, turned up to 11, which was saying something, because the Underdark was already nearly as far as you could go with the subterranean concept. It was a world without any apparent bottom or top, no sun, no sky, just endless tunnels, underground seas, and rampant claustrophobia. Ran its course pretty quickly, though I had a lot of plans.


Drowned Valleys – Waterworld campaign, basically, but with a lot more land. Inspiration was more Wind Waker than actual Waterworld, though there were elements of both. Too much underwater combat, which isn’t very practical or fun. Arthur was away for the summer, leaving us with too few people, so this was one of the rare times I ran a DMPC (a drunken pirate cleric).

Eccentric Industries – Steampunk, but with more traditionally cyberpunk elements like megacorps, industrial espionage, etc. Party worked as fixers for the titular company, Eccentric Industries, meaning it was largely a patron-driven campaign. Sort of worked, but the intrigue wasn’t intriguing enough. Journeyman work.

Wickersham’s Extraordinary Adventuring Agency – Named by the players, who were making fun of the overly English names I was using for everything. The setting was nothing special, aside from the very defined gap between Civilized and Wild, with very few people crossing between the two, and lots of adventures to be had in a Wild that was absolutely chock full of dangerous places with loot. Flavor was a lot like Zendikar, but less “points of light” for the civilization.

Counterbalance – One of our only epic level campaigns, which suffered from all the problems at starting people above 20, some ridiculous builds, and all the problems of creating challenges for absurdly powerful characters. Didn’t last long.

Cranberry Guilds – Set in Cranberry Bay, which was fantasy San Francisco; it originally appeared in Pilgrim’s Promise, then was refined here and transplanted to a different world (also the literal, in-universe explanation, part of the backstory to justify the ‘points of light’ setting). Focused a lot on guilds, which weren’t all that well-designed, but provided a lot of differently-styled fodder for the group to rip through. Their Guild was the run-down Adventuring Guild, which they eventually built up into a juggernaut.


Altered Chorus – Recently discovered Eka Stones describe the true nature of reality, sort of a “new magic” setting with most of the plot and setting coming from it being a time of Magical Revolution. The nature of reality was found to be slowly changing, once copies of the Eka Stones were compared with the real thing, which always maintained a description of true reality. Heavily inspired by Fine Structure. Run twice.

Knights of the Square Table – Our longest-running campaign that largely focused around Uther Penndraig becoming (and being) king, with a few twists and turns along the way. This was the most success I ever had with one character’s motivations driving the plot. Picked back up a few times, when I had built up plot and ideas for it. Arthur’s favorite.


Scattered Asches – Intended as an Asch’s conformity experiment thing, but the campaign went off the rails way, way too quickly, and all my plans went out the window. Mostly focused on ninja stuff, rather than the Eight Realms that had most of the worldbuilding work.

Long Stairs – One of the rare campaigns set on Earth. Idea came from the internet, both in original concept, and with a lot of the setting details and conceits being similar to SCP works (especially trying to nail the feel of mission reports). Ran it twice, once as a meditation on American involvement in the Middle East, the second time post-Arthur as more of a “run friends through the thresher because of personal problems”.

Magus Europa – Fantasy 1700s, played three different times, though they were set in the same world without actually sharing a canon. First ended up being pirate-themed, second was mostly about Dracula becoming the King of England, and the third was a meditation on colonialism, set in the New World.


Hellpocalypse – Dante’s Inferno, the tabletop campaign, with a lot of focus on devils and demons. Really wanted to go character-driven on this one, but it ended up being the party stumbling from place to place (each place specially themed in terms of who was being tortured and how). Regrettably edgy, and conceived of when my parents were going through some stuff. Shares a few similarities with Aerb’s hells, but nothing that can’t be chalked up to common inspiration.

Laser Fleet – Pulpy space fantasy so much in the vein of Star Wars that I elected to use the Star Wars d20 system, which we had the books lying around for. I refused to use the actual Star Wars setting because there were a lot of things I didn’t like about the worldbuilding, and also because Craig was really into the expanded universe and I didn’t want to be called out on mistakes. Probably would have been better as actual Star Wars. Not much impact on Aerb, though a few of the races came over.

Sleeping Beauties – Weird West detective campaign that ran for two major arcs, one involving undead prostitutes, the other involving a meat-packing plant. It was steampunk with a bunch of hardboiled tropes to it. Tiff wasn’t a huge fan of how women were portrayed in those stories, but said I executed “well enough” — one of her first campaigns.


Infinity’s Edge – Eclipse Phase campaign, fairly standard transhumanist body-hopping, copyclans, virtual/actual distinctions, self-modifications, etc. We ran in that universe twice, both times because Reimer really wanted to. I tended to prefer coming at the same stuff from a fantasy angle, and not all at once. Very little overlap with Aerb (but that’s not surprising, because it was only about 50/50 my stuff and default campaign setting, and Aerb didn’t have much from the science fiction end of the speculative spectrum).

Flesh.txt – Extremely pornographic setting, never intended for anyone but me. Untitled, except the file name on my computer. I was fifteen and horny, I think it’s okay to have a depraved fantasy life like that which gets put into a worldbuilding doc. Included here because some of it crept into Aerb, including a few races and the fable of the Whore of Blades, a sexually adventurous warrior woman who wins a war for her country and then sets out to sample every fleshly delight her world has to offer (apocryphal, according to Amaryllis). I did tell Tiff about it, and she was extremely curious about what was in this forty-page document, but things fell apart before I could get around to sharing it with her.

Heaven’s Host – Superhero campaign that was set in Bumblefuck, Kansas, that fell apart when we got to a higher level of play because of disagreements over the point-buy system in Mutants and Masterminds, and whether it was appropriate to play as a person who could sit in their apartment and “work from home”. Velocity mages probably have their roots in Tiff’s speedster character, Hummingbird, which I helped make a lot of rules for.

Critter Islands – World of endless sand with miles-wide magical creatures that carry biomes on their backs. Each race had their own critter, but they were in a loose alliance, and the party was a finger of that Sand-Stretched Alliance, tasked with finding answers to ontological mysteries and exploring the dead critters that littered the sands.


Whispering Isles – Semi-pastoral one-shot set on a bunch of floating islands, which ended up lasting three sessions on accident, and because people were having fun with it. Didn’t really fit well in the mold of D&D, which too many of the group tried to play it as, but I rolled with it.

Small Worlds – This was an experiment in microworlds, which I was really into at the time. The frame was that a capital-G God had a workshop full of bottles with worlds in them, and that the party had the ability to travel between them via skyship. Fairly undirected, and we never got to the “turn” where the God died and the bottles needed to be unified against the threat of the God’s daughter selling the bottles to the highest bidder.

Small Gods – All the players were really, really weak gods of very minor things, like Tiff was the God of the Smell of Fresh-Baked Bread, and Arthur was the God of Stories Without Endings. One of my attempts to break out of the mold that classical tabletop put us in, not really that successful, partly because we were using the wrong system for it. (Titled after the Pratchett book that was the major inspiration.)


Patchwork Republic – The Dragon equivalent of Stalin dies, and his kingdom becomes balkanized, with institutions holding on for dear life, industries auctioned to the highest bidder, and crumbling infrastructure. Party ended up attempting to revive the dragon, but we never actually got to that point, and it wasn’t what I’d wanted the campaign to be about. We actually did this one four separate times, with different characters, each sharing continuity with each other.

Glimwarden – Semi-pastoral setting, but with monsters on the outskirts of town. We tried using Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine for it, but it didn’t really suit us. We revisited it a second time using Pathfinder, which went a little better, but I didn’t like the traditional fantasy kitchen-sink stuff that Pathfinder brought to the table.

Tentacles of the Third Reich – Call of Cthulhu, set in the 1940s, with Nazi paranormal superscience and cults at work in the background, sinking their hooks into the apparatus of the Nazi government and military. Heavily inspired by Stross, including the adaptation of concentration camps as actually being part of a massive occult ritual. Arthur wasn’t a fan, partly because he didn’t like alt history, partly because he (maybe rightly) thought that the Holocaust having a utilitarian purpose was in poor taste.

A Manxome Foe – Post-Arthur campaign, set in a decaying, dying world full of horrible things. A frightening number of exclusion zones come from this campaign, meaning that it’s one of the most visible parts of Aerb. Lots of names from Jabberwocky, mostly because that’s also where “vorpal” comes from. Lots of character deaths. Fel Seed.


Twilight Bloom – Never actually run, but most of the work was done. After the Fel Seed incident, my falling out with Craig and Maddie, and hitting rock bottom, I found myself wanting to not be such a horrible shitbag. In classic form, I did this through making another world. It was essentially supposed to be “humanity, fuck yeah”, but I had a lot of trouble not getting cynical, dark, or complicated with it. All the major fantasy races were united in mutual cooperation and understanding, with the major intended campaign goal being the clearing out of old secrets, healing of old wounds, etc. I’d wanted Tiff to play with us again. No trace of it on Aerb.

527 FE

Council of Arches – Intended as a one-shot, ended up having two sessions. Pretty basic, with most of the worldbuilding having been done after the first session, when it looked like it might turn into a full-blown campaign. Borrows heavily from the start of Patchwork Republic, but the intent was to take it in a different direction. Went on hiatus when one of the players died and another was brainwashed, it was this whole thing, ha ha.

Skill Virtues, by order of acquisition

Unarmed Combat 10, Hardened Knuckles: Lessens the toll that unarmed combat takes on you. Does not actually increase the hardness of your knuckles as measured by indentation or scratch tests.

Dual Wield 10, Ambidexterity: You no longer have a dominant hand. Removes the penalty for attacking with an off-hand, because you don’t have an off-hand anymore. You have no natural preference for which hand to use.

Thrown Weapons 10, Range Finder: Doubles your accuracy when determining distance. Take half the normal penalty for lack of references when attempting to determine how far away something is.

Improvised Weapons 10, Structural Assessment: You can hold improvised weapons in such a way that they’re three times less likely to break, to within one degree of reasonableness. Halves reduced durability maluses from all weapons.

Engineering 10, Material Analysis: Allows you to see weak points in materials, to within the first order of sensorium expansion.

Gem Magic 10, Gem Appraisal: Two minutes of close examination of a gem allows you to determine its carat, color, cut, and clarity of a gemstone, to within 1% of the actual values. If you have specialist tools available, this examination takes thirty seconds instead.

Skin Magic 10, Shifting Skin: Allows you to freely move and rotate tattoos around your skin with a thought, even when you cannot feel your skin. Perception of the location of tattoos is added to your sensorium. You no longer take a penalty for inexperience when in a contest to move tattoos.

One-Handed Weapons 20, Monkey Grip: Eliminates the penalty for using a weapon of a larger than usual size, to within one degree of reasonableness. This applies to N-handed weapons as well, so long as N >= 1.

Dodge 20, Thaumic Dodger: Eliminates the penalty for dodging magic, magical effects, entads, entad effects, and any supplemental physics which would appear magical to The Layman.

Blood Magic 20, Hypertension: Doubles blood volume and (as a consequence) increases blood pressure. Eliminates the penalties for high blood pressure. Allows conscious and subconscious control of blood pressure.

Athletics 20, Long-distance Runner: For the purposes of calculating fatigue, you may consider your pace three categories slower than it is, to a minimum of “Standing Still”. Eliminates the penalty for performing unskilled actions while running.

Rifles 20, Compensator: You automatically compensate for bullet drop and wind speed, even when gravitational constant, distance to target, wind speed, and wind direction are not known (or unknowable) to you. Halves the penalty for shooting at a moving target.

Parry 20, Prescient Blade: You take half the normal penalty to parry bullets, arrows, or other missile weapons. These attacks still do damage to your blade as normal.

Two-Handed Weapons 20, Lunge Striker: Eliminates the maneuverability penalty for all reach weapons. Eliminates the penalty for striking at close range with reach weapons. Allows you to more quickly cover ground when moving in short bursts and in a fighting stance.

Combo Virtue, Neophyte Blade-Bound: You have unlocked the ability to bond with a melee weapon, given a few minutes of meditation. You may only bond with one weapon at a time. When wielding a bonded weapon, double your effective skill with it, double your chance to parry, and you may cut with it as though it were twice as sharp.

Essentialism 20, Soul Slip: Allows you to make new modifications and alterations within the soul. Allows you to alter that which had been unalterable.

Bows 20, Steady Aim: Completely eliminates the penalty for firing a bow while moving. Halves the penalty for firing a bow under pressure or duress. Triples the amount of time you can hold a bow at maximum draw.

Shields 10, Bulwark: Shields you hold are twice as durable. If a force acts on your shield to move you, you will move only half the usual distance, with the reduction capped at ten feet of movement negated.

Unarmored 10, Hardened Skin: Lessens the toll that physical damage in combat takes on you. Slightly increases natural healing. Increases force required to break skin.

Combo Virtue, Monkish Warrior: While unarmed and unarmored, you may parry attacks as though you held a weapon, dodge at twice your effective skill, and automatically re-roll injuries if they are in the lowest five percent of outcomes (you keep any lower rolls).

Essentialism 40, Soul Sight: Grants a visual representation of souls, each with a unique color, which can be distinguished with acuity beyond the limits of the eye. Applies to both the soul and any magic which interfaces with a soul in some meaningful way.

Essentialism 60, Soul Saturation: Knowledge of your soul allows it to fully suffuse you, giving a number of benefits to a wide variety of magic. Your blood works as an infusion for the purposes of pustule magic. You can use your blood as though it were magical ink (4 ζ /mL) for the purposes of ink magic. Your bones are considered wood for the purposes of wood magic. Required connective power for plants is reduced by half.  You may retract your soul from your extremities for the purposes of bypassing wards. Any magic items or magics which limit projection or application to your eyes, hands, feet, or mouth, can instead be projected or applied from any part of your body. Your skin and/or carapace is treated as though it were skin and/or carapace for the purposes of skin magic and carapace magic, whichever is more beneficial. Runes may be written on your skin as though it were prepared vellum. More benefits apply in specific exclusion zones: consult the manual for more detail.

Essentialism 80, Soul Scaphism: You can carve out parts of other people to use for your own purposes. Any benefits are temporary; any costs are permanent.

Essentialism 100, Soul Symbiote: Double your effective skill in Bone Magic, Blood Magic, Skin Magic, Carapace Magic, Pustule Magic, and the flower magic aspect of Horticulture, up to a cap of 75. Double your effective connection to any magical item which interfaces with your soul, unless doing so has associated maluses. Increase your skill with any specialty or subschool of magic that uses the soul by 20 points, up to a cap of 50.

Flattery 10, Silver Tongue: Reduces the penalty for insincere flattery by twenty-five percent. When flattering in a language you are not fluent in, your penalty is halved. When flattering a group, the Forer effect is doubled.

Comedy 10, Class Clown: You may increase the speed of your wit at the expense of its comedic efficiency, up to double your base wit and half your base comedic efficiency. Take half as much damage from physical humor, so long as it’s actually funny.

Lying 10, Lesser Deceiver: You will no longer forget the details of a lie, unless you wish to. Take half the usual self-consistency penalty when telling improvised lies.

Debate 10, Shifting Sands: Removes the penalty for reframing facts and figures in the middle of a debate, so long as all raw information was memorized beforehand.

Medium Armor 10, Balanced Armor: Your medium armor counts as heavy armor for obtaining the benefits of Heavy Armor virtues or bonuses, and light armor for obtaining the benefits of Light Armor virtues or bonuses. Afflictions and maluses are unaffected. It may count as light armor, medium armor, and heavy armor at the same time.

Analysis 20, Flow State: Allows you to enter into an analytical flow state, which temporarily doubles working memory with respect to the subject of analysis, halves the penalties for thirst, hunger, and exhaustion, and increases the chance of a Brilliant Insight by five percent per hour (compounding).

Heavy Armor 20, Thaumic Defense: When wearing heavy armor, add half your skill to any defense rolls made to defend against magical attacks, attacks using magical effects, entad attacks, or attacks using entad effects, even when this is unreasonable.

Horticulture 20, Green Thumb: When you roll on the plant health chart, reroll any result lower than half your Horticulture. This reroll is done before modifiers are applied. If subsequent rolls are also lower than half your Horticulture, continue rerolling until you obtain a result higher than half your Horticulture, or until the roll history suffers from buffer overflow.

Stealth 20, Light Foot: When moving silently, reduce your sound by 10 dB, to a minimum of 0 dB. When attempting not to be seen, reduce your visual contrast by half. When attempting to not be smelled, reduce your odor by one rank. You take half the normal penalty for stealth checks against forms of perception which are unknown to you.

Bethel, Loyalty lvl 2

Bethel is not just an entad, but a meta-entad, capable of taking magical items and adding them to itself. Initially created by Omar Antoun using funds and labor provided by Uther Penndraig, it stood empty for several years until Uther returned. Once he discovered the house’s abilities, he began adding entads to it, eventually raising it to a sort of sentience, and after that, despite its objections and pleas. Five hundred years later, it had sequestered itself partway down the Boundless Pit, until you came along.

Bethel’s Notes: Entads Consumed

Amulet of Kerthar’s Grasp: The amulet allowed the application of five pounds of force with no limit on how small the area of effect could be, limited only by whether I am able to sense the location the force is applied to. Given the magnitude and versatility of my sensorium, there are no practical limits.

Anyblade: The Anyblade allows me to take on any shape or property within the ill-defined conceptual boundaries of what a house is. These transformations apply force, but only weakly. One notable side effect has been the ability to freely designate the two special rooms, one the former closet, which can now be expanded to any size or closed off entirely so no entads can be added against my will, the other the time chamber, which only requires rebuilding the control mechanism to access the years (though the metric appears to be years times volume). Furniture cannot be created unless it’s a part of me, and most attempts to circumvent this limit have failed.

Backpack of Earthly Delights: Allows the creation, ex nihilo, of any item from Earth with an act of will from myself or anyone within me. Restrictions on the items created appear to be connected to some outside entity, presumably the Dungeon Master, with denied requests resulting in a brief note written on a piece of yellow legal paper, often employing emoticons in the message. In contrast to the power of the backpack itself, I can create items of any size, so long as they fit within my confines. Created items appear to be consistent with the theory that only items which actually existed on Earth can be requested.

Blanket of Protection: Anyone who falls asleep within me may be completely protected from harm if I will it. The protection granted does not apply to mental or spiritual attacks, but is equivalent to the most powerful still mage with respect to forces applied to the body.

Bracers of King Momentus: I can transfer momentum from one object to another. I can also sense all momentum within my walls, and to one hundred feet outside them.

Bulgrew’s Breastplate: It was dull, uninteresting armor, more durable and lighter than steel but otherwise possessing no strong magic to it. Mercifully, it did not add to the sensorium, and the durability has transferred to most of my structure and cladding.

Butterfly Knife: The knife allows the creation of butterflies in the wake of any object within me of sufficient velocity, dependent on the will of either myself or the source of that velocity. I can suppress the ability of others to use the effect, if need be. The butterflies fly with a will of their own and disappear after a handful of seconds.

Cannoneer’s Pistol: Any pistols installed as part of an emplacement can fire shots which turn from normal pistol shot into cannonballs in mid-flight. In concert with the power of the Repeating Crossbow, this allows functionally unlimited cannonfire.

Concordant Cord: This entad gave me a pool of concordance to draw upon, which allows me to create wards when used in conjunction with the warder’s wands that I’ve collected over the years.

Dagger of Dreamspeech: I can enter the dreams of anyone sleeping in the house and either observe what they’re dreaming or kill them there, which will leave them permanently comatose.

Diadem of Focused Intent: This is one of the most developmentally useful entads to have been added to me. It allows hyperfocus on one particular line of thought or action, so long as it’s sufficiently narrow. Without it, I would likely have gone mad.

Eavesdropping Ring: I can understand the speech of anyone I can see, even if I can’t hear them.

Evanescent Armor: I can make various parts of myself immaterial, though there are harsh limits on how long it lasts, no more than thirty minutes of the day. Using this power selectively has allowed me to send people falling to their deaths.

Everflask: This allows the creation, ex nihilo, of any non-magical drink that has existed in Aerb’s history. The rule that defines what is or is not a drink is somewhat strict, allowing only for those liquids which have been produced for the purpose of consumption, and consumed for the purposes of pleasure, sustenance, or health. My output is limited to quart per day.

Glove of Stone Shaping: I can shape any stone that I touch. This allows some degree of movement through stone, though it’s usually slow.

Imagineer’s Vestment: I can create perfect illusions of sight and sound, so long as they’re within a ten-foot cube. I can freely recenter the cube, but at least one side of the cube must be contained within my walls. The vestments were the single largest addition to my sensorium.

Joint Striker: I can designate up to five willing people within me, and when I hold a bow at full draw, can see from and fire from their position. This is functionally useless, given my abilities and the vastness of my sensorium. It was intended as an aid to the soldiers stationed within me, but did not manifest in a way favorable to that effort.

Lightning Rod: I can shoot bolts of lightning from any surface, though I’m limited in both rate of fire and number of bolts per day.

Loyal Recurve: This one was intended as a method of ensuring my loyalty. It was sentient in its own right, leaping to defend its owner from attacks. It was successful, to some extent, but not enough.

Miasma: The armor created a cloud of poison, which I can create anywhere within me, and quite some distance beyond my walls. The Everflask can, thankfully, provide the antidote.

Orb of Brilliance: It was a glowing orb that would float around after whoever said a command word, casting bright light. I gained the ability to shed bright light from any surface, which I did continuously until I had adapted, but I cannot float, perhaps because of the difference in weight. It was one of very few attempts to give me mobility.

Pikel’s Gap: This power allows the stretching of space around a person or object, making it seem as though a square room twenty feet to a side stretches for hundreds of yards. The perspective of people outside the stretched space has been noted as confusing and unpleasant. Unfortunately, a prohibition on stretching people and objects means that both combat and mundane utility are limited. It cannot create extra space to store goods.

Repeating Crossbow: This crossbow could reload itself and generate limitless ammunition, an effect which applies to all emplacements within me, whatever form the projectiles take, so long as they are non-magical.

Ringmail of Three Wishes: I am allowed three wishes each day. These wishes can only be used in order to undo the effects of an attack launched, and only just after the attack has struck. For the purposes of this power, “attack” requires both intent to harm and some measure of success.

Robe of Tongues: Added taste to the sensorium, with a range that extends to one hundred feet outside of me. This sense can be suppressed with force of will, but I don’t often do so unless overwhelmed by the sensorium. This sense applies equally to the surfaces of objects and their internals.

Sending Slate: I can send a message to a paired slate, or read from that paired slate. The paired slate is broken beyond repair, but the ability remains part of my sensorium.

Seer’s Sword: This entad was added because it allowed the wielder to speak with any entity killed by it. The experiment was a failure; I was able to see, dimly, the spirits of those I had killed, but am unable to speak with them or summon them into material existence. The cause of the failure is unclear, but the spirit sight exists as part of my sensorium.

Somner’s Armor: Somner’s Armor was intended to provide me with another defensive ability. Non-magical projectiles or weapons which strike me turn into small creatures such as bats, mice, or birds, which will then do their best to attack whoever was responsible for the assault. It’s limited to one hundred hits per month, and the combat effectiveness of the vermin is questionable.

Soskanna: This was once an intelligent sword, which first allowed me some semblance of sentience. It added an awareness of light, dark, and color to my sensorium, which extend one hundred feet from every surface. It also allowed me the ability to see a mental connection with every intelligent creature touching any of my surfaces, which I can use to initiate and receive mental communication.

Sunlight Mirror: If I so choose, any mirror within my walls can reflect as though the reflected space was fully lit. This allows the creation of light wherever a mirror is present. For the purposes of this power, “mirror” is defined as any sufficiently reflective surface, which can include blades and armor. When I consumed the entad, a knowledge of the reflectance of every surface as well as redundant perception of all light and potential light was added to my sensorium. I can suppress the ability at will, but not the sensory aspects.

Tome of Cat Summoning: Whenever a book is read inside of me, a cat will appear on top of the pages shortly after. The cats are apparently fully real to every sense I’ve looked at them with. Each book produces a different cat, though two copies of the same book will produce nearly identical cats. The cats often take on physical characteristics of the books that caused them to appear. Attempts to harm or alter the cats cause the cats to disappear. The cats can be moved from their books, and will sometimes wander off on their own, but always disappear when the book is closed. Unfortunately, I’ve had no luck in suppressing this power, nor in controlling the cats. I know the locations of all books within me, as well as whether they’re open or closed.

Tome of Redundancy: When pressed against another book, the Tome of Redundancy would copy all text within it. It was hoped that I would be able to rapidly ingest information, but the only result was that I can copy the contents of one book into another, without having a firm grasp on the knowledge or wisdom of the words.

Warder’s Monocle: I have several of these, though they’re largely redundant. Warders try to use them sparingly, for fear of burning out their eyes, but I have no eyes. They are not entads, but I’m not limited to entads, just to the broader umbrella of magical items, which is one of the reasons it was thought that I would be able to manipulate the hyperbolic time chamber. They comprise a large portion of my sensorium.

Warder’s Wand: I have several of these as well, which allow me to make wards using any part of myself as the wand tip. They are not entirely redundant, as each warder builds theirs individually, and there is some variation in strengths and weaknesses.


7 POW 20 Unarmed Combat 21 One-handed Weapons 21 Two-handed Weapons 20 Improvised Weapons
7 SPD 21 Thrown Weapons 20 Dual Wield 20 Stealth 20 Bows
7 END 21 Rifles 20 Parry 20 Dodge 21 Athletics

10 CUN 20 Engineering 20 Shields 20 Unarmored 20 Medium Armor
10 KNO 20 Heavy Armor 20 Horticulture 0 Vibrational Magic 0 Still Magic
10 WIS 24 Blood Magic 27 Bone Magic 20 Gem Magic 0 Tree Magic

2 CHA 0 Fire Magic 0 Water Magic 0 Velocity Magic 0 Revision Magic
4 INS 21 Skin Magic 27 Essentialism 0 Library Magic 10 Debate
2 POI 20 Analysis 0 Language 6 Flattery 6 Comedy
  1 LUK 6 Romance 10 Intimidation 6 Lying 0 Spirit

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Worth the Candle, Ch 105: Notes

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