Geist/Custom Rivers

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River of Ash

  • Created by: Deckard
  • Description: The River is a mixture of white, grey, and black dust and flakes that flow with a consistency similar to sand. There is a sound, much like the cracking of wood on fire, when one approaches closer on the river’s shores. A slight reddish orange glow can be seen just below the surface of the ashes, presumably the embers of everything that had ever been burnt down. This River is rumoured to be able to burn bridges between people, severing the emotional contact that connects two people.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: By supping its dusty waters, the character may burn a token given to them by somebody close within the next hour, and in doing so, completely eradicate any bridges they may have had. The next time the character sees that person, they likely won’t even remember who they are. The person with whom the Sin-Eater (or whatever person drank from the river) severed ties may roll Wits+Composure-1 to remember the Sin-Eater. Possessing the Eidetic Memory merit provides a +3 bonus on this roll.
  • Location: This river may be found as the first, second, or third.


River of Broken Mirrors

  • Created by: Deckard
  • Description: This River is loud, the cracking and scraping of glass and metal and other reflective substances constantly breaking upon its shores and shattering in the waves. As terrible as this river may be to drink from, the power it bestows upon the imbiber is, as some would argue, well worth the cost.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: In order to even drink out of this river, a character must spend a point of Willpower. They then suffer the pain and the wounds that come with shoving broken glass down one’s throat; the character’s health pool is reduced by their size modifier for a number of days equal to their Stamina, and the character takes three points of lethal damage after the reduction of the character’s size modifier. If one manages to stay conscious, they gain the ability to look into the history of every reflection they come across, for as long as their health pool is reduced. This effect lasts for 72 hours, or until the character loses consciousness, whichever happens sooner.
  • Location: This river must be the fourth river, beyond three dominions.


River of Esteem

  • Created by: Kilo and Vandal
  • Description: The River of Esteem is a fast-moving, glittering, golden waterway that seems to glisten almost as if there were perpetual sun shining on it, even when only darkness is around.
    Any contact with these shimmering waters, whether it be via the subject’s hands, mouth, skin or through traditional ingestion, forces the subject’s reputation to undergo a radical transformation, causing him to suddenly be known to the general ghost population as someone with renown, prominence and even celebrity with the wraiths of the Underworld.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: This notoriety transformation begins the moment contact is made with the river waters and ends when the subject nexts walks out an Avernian gate. He gains a +3 to all social rolls and powers dealing with ghosts in any capacity, including ceremonies, rites or spells depending on the character. Word gets around the Autochthonous Depths and Lower Mysteries about the character’s apparent reputation and ghosts will flock to him; expecting help when they are in need, looking for ofrendas and possibly even gifting him with strange knowledge or items.
  • Location: Can be found before or after any dominion. This can be used in conjunction with the ‘River of Infamy as a mirror river or pair of rivers.


River of Chance

  • Created by: Kilo and Vandal
  • Description: A slick, fast moving, creepy and inky-black mess; the River of Chance appears to be littered with a shimmering dusting of gold when first looked upon. Closer inspection, however, will reveal to the perceptive that the Chance is littered with Fool’s Gold and all that you see isn’t always as it appears.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: Those who would chance fate and attempt to drink from the viscous waters must roll resolve+stamina in order to choke down its inky darkness. For each success gained on the resolve+stamina roll, the drinker is granted the benefit of rote to an equal number of future rolls. (Rote rolls must be used within 24 hours.) A failure causes the drinker to choke violently on the water and will result in their very next roll being a dramatic failure. Fate is fickle and will not be cheated. Any attempts to use magic of any type on the resolve+stamina roll (as in, use of manifestations, contracts, etc.) will totally fail and the river shrivels up immediately before the drinker, preventing anyone else from drinking from it for a 24 hour period before it finally restores itself.
  • Location: Can be found before or after any dominion.


River of Fetuses

  • Created by: Deckard
  • Description: This river reeks of formaldehyde, and within is gooey orange-red waters float the tiny bodies of unborn children. It is a slow-moving sludge, with the umbilical cords and the soft gelatinous corpses the colour of deep purple and black bruises. It is said that the waters have a texture similar to pudding, and the fetuses themselves have a texture like white button mushrooms, but both taste like slightly bitter iron and salt. In order to drink from this river, a character must scoop up a fetus, and eat it all.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: Upon finishing consumption, the character grows a fleshy resemblance of the unborn child somewhere on their body, determined by the Storyteller. While this growth exists on the character’s body, they gain the ability to hold their breath indefinitely, but suffer a -4 penalty to all social actions against a living person, if they happen to notice the growth. This growth can also be used as a sacrifice to open an Underworld gate, instead of using one’s own body-parts at no cost. The moment one drinks from the river however, they become infertile. Any woman who was pregnant at the time of drinking instantly miscarries, but gains an additional growth; the -4 penalties to all social actions do not stack. The social effects and ability to hold one's breath lasts for a week. Infertility lasts for the rest of the character's life.
  • Location: This river can be the third river, or any river beyond the third domain.


River of Infamy

  • Created by: Kilo and Vandal
  • Description: The River of Infamy is a sickly green, gloppy mess of ectoplasmic-like sludge that seems to nearly stand still rather than flow anywhere with purpose. Any contact with this putrid river, whether it be via the subject’s hands, mouth, skin or through traditional ingestion, forces the subject’s reputation to undergo a serious transformation, causing him to suddenly be known to the general ghost population as a miscreant and a dangerous bully who assaults and attacks ghosts without provocation.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: This radical notoriety transformation begins the moment contact is made with the river ‘waters’ and ends when the subject nexts walks out an Avernian gate. He takes a -3 to all social rolls and powers dealing with ghosts in any capacity, including ceremonies, rites or spells depending on the character. Word gets around the Autochthonous Depths and Lower Mysteries about the character’s apparent reputation and ghosts will either stay clear or act more aggressively toward the individual.
  • Location: Can be found before or after any dominion. This can be used in conjunction with the ‘River of Esteem’ as a mirror river or pair of rivers.


River of Iniquity

  • Created by: Kilo and Vandal
  • Description: Pale blue, crystal-clear, glittering waters beckon the thirsty and weary Underworld traveler to come drink and quench their thirst at the tranquil banks of this lazy, slow-moving tributary. But things aren’t always as they seem and the River of Iniquity beckons those of respectable morality, lures them in and sucks the virtue clean out of them. By the time they realise what is happening, it is too late.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: Any traveler tricked into drinking from the beautiful and tranquil waters of the River of Iniquity takes an automatic 2 level hit to their morality (or appropriate equivalent such as synergy, clarity, etc.) that lasts for 24 hours and affects any roll or event that might be altered by their morality level (including should a Sin Eater die during that 24 hour period). At the end of 24 hours, the drinker must pass a resolve+composure roll or risk incurring a temporary derangement which will last for a number of days equal to their altered morality rating.
  • Location: Can be found before or after any dominion.


River of Ink

  • Created By: Dante Alameida
  • Description: it appears as a gurgling mass of tattooed skin in chunks and writhing coils of blue-black watery ink, reeking of chemicals most foul, and the sound of it as it flows is akin to cicadas and static, similar to a tattoo gun firing. Every person, legend says, who dies with ink and has it rot off of them, releases a small amount of it into the waters of the river itself.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: by sampling from the muck that is the River of Ink (made by successfully rolling Resolve+Composure), the imbiber gains the ability to temporarily rearrange their skin's pigments into terrifying or relaxing patterns. For the next week the drinker can add up to their number of drinks to dice pools involving disguising their identity or frightening someone. Being enhanced by it also has the drawback that the drinker must get a significant amount of their body either covered or colored by permanent measures (tattoos being the most popular and easiest) in order to "repay" the loan of ink made. Failure to do so within 10-Synergy days will result in an equal amount of aggravated damage; the drinker's bone marrow begins to poison their body and thus dye their skin until the balance is restored.
  • Location: Found just about anywhere, could be first, could be twelfth.


River of Mercury

  • Created by: Kilo and Vandal
  • Description: This very strange and heavy-bodied river appears as a silvery-white metallic liquid resembling a substance much like Mercury, that seems as though it should be a solid but acts like a rapidly moving liquid, pilling and dripping here and there when separated from its mass. It’s namesake, the Roman God ‘Mercury’, for which the River was named, was a psychopomp who guided newly deceased souls to the Underworld. Here the River of Mercury continues that job, as wraiths may ride its easy-moving currents on simple wooden rafts, much like a ghostly regatta on their way down deeper into the Lower Mysteries
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: A draught of this highly toxic substance will cause 2 points of lethal damage, but blesses the drinker with a psychopomp’s knowledge like that possessed by Mercury. The drinker receives a +4 to all rolls involving navigation, tracking or searching.
  • Location: Can be found before or after any dominion.


River of Myth

  • Created by: Deckard
  • Description: This River closely resembles a rainbow, though its colours are far more varied, far more vivid, and far denser. Unlike a rainbow, the waters flow less like long bands of ribbon, and more like a swirling, bubbling mixture of paints. It has the consistency of honey-drenched pebbles. A few Sin-Eaters have made the joke that it should have been featured in a Skittles commercial, but the river tastes nothing like the rainbow coloured candies; it tastes more like fresh fruits.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: Drinking from this river imparts the character with powerful physical modifications for a number of minutes equal to their Stamina+Resolve, turning their fingers and toes into talons, and their teeth into fangs, both of which deal aggravated damage. Unfortunately, the character’s transformation also alters their other physical characteristics; they take a -5 penalty to any social interactions, including those with ghosts and other Sin-Eaters (this also removes any benefits gained from 'death bling' via Charms), and they lose the benefits of the Striking Looks merit. On top of that, they are wracked with a terrible urge to attack lesser beings, and must succeed at a Composure+Resolve roll, or they attack the first being they see, whether it be a ghost, a person, or even a Kerberos, until the changes disappear, the being in question escapes, or it or its assailant dies. This effect lasts for 24 hours, or until the character is dead, whichever is sooner.
  • Location: This river must be the twelfth river normally, though there is at least one known shortcut that brings the river closer by five dominions, making it the seventh.


River of Moss

  • Created by: Deckard
  • Description: This River is a thick slog of rotting weeds and other moulding plants. While it is one of the many Rivers of Death, it is not liquid, nor is it very wet. The air around the river is choked with spores and its shores are covered in virulent and poisonous fungi. If one were to drink from the River of Moss, they would have to break off a dry chunk of the slow moving river, and more or less eat it like a salad. The taste is indescribably terrible, like attempting to swallow rotten broccoli covered in fuzz.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: Consuming parts of this River render one vulnerable to disease and poisons, incurring a -10 penalty to any dice related to resisting or combating toxins or diseases of any type for the next seven days. On the flip side, however, the character becomes able to cure any physical ailment from AIDS to cancer to the common cold with nothing more than a touch, so long as they sacrifice one Willpower dot when utilizing this power. They possess this ability until the next moon cycle (for example, if a character drinks from the River of Moss on a waning crescent moon, they receive the benefits until the following waning crescent moon).
  • Location: This river must be the sixth river, past five dominions.


River of Needles

  • Created By: Dante Alameida
  • Description: an endless flow of syringes, syrettes, hypodermics, and all things pointy and sharp. The barrels on most of them are a distressing shade of rust brown, with congealed flakes fused to the clearest portions, while others are jet-black, flooded with fluids only guessed at, at best. The sound of the shoreline is a crinkling of glass on plastic, the high-frequency noise of metal being struck against its brethren, and the rustling sound of ancient leaves being crushed underfoot. Anyone breathing in the smell of it would catch scents of medical waste, chemicals, illicit substances, and decrepit blood, all mixed together into an unwholesome odor.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: to imbibe of the river is to inject a substance unknown into one's body, experiencing a euphoric delight, then a crashing sensation like being flung through a car windshield in reverse, followed by a feeling of being poked by countless tiny needles all over one's body. When it is finished, the drinker can feel an overpowering sense of biochemical delight on demand, which is transferrable by touch to others. With a successful physical contact, the target can resist the effect by garnering a number of successes of Stamina + Resolve versus the Composure + (the number of drinks taken); the contested roll will inevitably end with the "loser" unable to make a physical action more complex than defending themselves (they do not lose Defense but their Speed is reduced to 1 (one) for the duration). It lasts for 10-Synergy hours, and they can use it up to (# of drinks) before it leaves them with a pounding chemical hangover, like drying out from hard drugs. Notably, they do not test positive for drug use, regardless of the screening technique used; the river giveth, the river taketh away clean.
  • Location: This river may be found as the third.


River of Nemesis

  • Created By: Kilo & Vandal
  • Description:Whether this is the actual River where the nymph Nemesis ensnared the mortal boy Narcissus, causing him to fall in love with his own reflection, is a mystery, though it certainly shares many of the same properties. The waters are superficially inviting, appearing to flow with pure, crystalline water. Whatever is reflected in the waters somehow appears just slightly and deceptively more beautiful than it really is. A mesmerizing effect. As soon as the water is disturbed however, the illusion is dispelled and it's true appearance; thick, black, oily, stinking and gruesome, is clear to see.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks:The water can not be drunk, turning to ash upon the tongue and carrying the foul taste of a rotting corpse. Attempts to drink from the river result in an immediate Stamina + Resolve roll to resist vomiting. It is only upon contact with the skin that the benefits of the water become clear, rejuvenating and enhancing in a way that is beyond miraculous. Anyone who bathes in the waters of the river gains the benefit of the Striking Looks 2 merit for 24 hours. If they already have the Striking Looks 2 merit, the effect is doubled. The effect of the waters can even be applied to corpses - any cadaver washed in the waters of the river will appear freshly dead, no matter how ancient the body may be.The benefits of the waters can also be brought to the land of the living, the water being remarkably suited for use as tattoo ink. Upon tattooing someone with the waters of the River of Nemesis, make a Dexterity + Crafts roll. The recipient of the tattoo gains the benefits of the waters for days equal to the tattooists successes on the roll. There are rumors of cosmetics used by supermodels and Hollywood starlets containing drops of these precious waters, but these rumors are sketchy at best. The beauty gained through the use of these waters is both ephemeral and addictive. Once the effects of the Striking Looks 2 merit wear off, roll resolve + composure. On a failure the user suffers the Narcissism derangement for as long as they previously enjoyed the benefits of their enhanced beauty. The waters will not work for them again until the derangement has passed.
  • Location: This river may be found as the second river in the Underworld or beyond.


River of Phantom Hysteria

  • Created by: Kilo and Vandal
  • Description: Impossible to see to the bottom, this intense purple -- nearly black and swiftly moving river is littered with a chaos of snapping and crackling electrical currents that light it up periodically like lightning lights up a stormy sky.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: Dipping a hand in, drinking from, or in any other way coming in contact with the dark purple river water will cause a mild electrical shock leading to 3 bashing damage and requires the subject make a resolve+composure roll. A failure on the roll results in a ghost hysteria derangement lasting for 24 hours and will prevent the character from interacting normally with any ghosts they come across.
    Contact with any ghost will require a resolve+composure roll. A failure causes the character to run in fear from the immediate area and he cannot return until the Hysteria derangement is gone (24 hours later). In the event of a dramatic failure, or if the character is unable to escape the ghost, he faints and loses consciousness for the remainder of the scene.
  • Location: Can be found before or after any dominion.


River of Plagues

  • Created By: Dante Alameida
  • Description: an endless stream of murky, rainbow-hued oil slicks, congealed blobs of unidentifiable flesh, and runny, oozing fluids, the River of Plagues is where all illnesses that strike the defenseless flow either to or from, depending on what sources are contacted. It dates back to either its pronounced discovery in 1803, or 1453, or in 23BCE, lost and found repeatedly, rarely cited for its consistency as much as its ineffable power of death in abundance.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: those brave enough to sip even a single mouthful of the horrid liquids reachable from shore will find their bodies host to an incalculable amount of viral life, bacterial cultures, and fungal blooms, rendering them both incredibly ill as well as immunized against outside infections. Their merest touch can spread the nameless diseases to a number of people equal to (10-Synergy), inflicting up to their Resolve as Lethal damage per day, treatable only under magical healing or through supernatural regeneration; modern medicine falls too short of its ability to identify, let alone heal, the massive super-bugs which result. The afflicted drinker will have their Stamina reduced by 1 per drink made, but be able to spread disease for up to one target per dot of Medicine they have. When the River of Plagues is finished with their body, they will keep a persistent medical complaint which has no mechanical effect, only a cosmetic one, for the remainder of a year and a day, or until they ingest a lethal amount of anti-viral, anti-fungal, or anti-bacterial medicine (liquor does not count on any level for these purposes) which gives them 1 Aggravated damage per draught taken. The River of Plagues is nothing to be toyed with; it remembers killing the earliest versions of life on Earth and has only gotten better at it.
  • Location: This river always shows up as the second river.


River of Revenge

  • Created by: Kilo and Hoax
  • Description: The spirit of vindictiveness is alive and seething in these turbulent river waters, beckoning the drinker to indulge his base need for retaliation on those who have done him wrong. Violently bright red in colour, the toxic water is dangerous to navigate and near impossible to drink from. But if the traveler knows the secret of the River of Revenge (either by a wits/intelligence+occult roll or by reputation) he can use it to his advantage, cursing the person of his choice and garnering vengeance.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: Due to the rough, unstable water, a dexterity+athletics roll must be passed for the drinker to even be able to position themselves to get a drink. (Failure will cause the character to fall into the turbulent waters and potentially be swept downriver, requiring rescue or another dexterity+athletics roll to save themselves at the ST’s discretion.) Once positioned successfully, the revengist must spend a willpower point and say the target’s name out loud before drinking the crimson waters. Ingestion will cause 2 lethal damage (this damage cannot be bulwarked) and the drinker, now tainted with the vengeful water, curses his target with a -2 penalty on all their instant action rolls for the next 24 hours.
  • Location: Can be found before or after any dominion.


River of Rust

  • Created By: Dante Alameida
  • Description: the river runs reddish-brown and reeks of ferric oxidation. There's a perpetual din of clanging metal as the chunks of floating debris strike and grind on each other, an endless cacaphony which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to hear someone unless they're standing close by or screaming, probably both at once. The shore line is deceptively weakened, making an accidental trip into it all the easier.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: anyone who imbibes of the contents of the river must first choke down the flakes of corrugated iron and assorted metals which comprise it. That requires taking one Lethal damage per drink, which must be kept and left unhealed, lest the benefits be lost immediately on recovery. The perk of having swallowed watery rust is that the drinker's touch can dissolve metal of a Size rating equal to their Stamina, plus one for every drink after the first. It persists for around 24 hours or the healing of their accrued wound(s) from drinking the river's contents. Upon it leaving their system, they have no choice but to accept the sleepless nights and pounding headaches which will persist for twice as long as they bore the boon. The mechanical effects of that are a penalty to their Mental die rolls equal to the number of drinks; someone who took three drinks will take a -3 penalty, for example.
  • Location: This can be the first, third, or fourth river.


River of Screams

  • Created by: Deckard
  • Description: The wailing dead are restless, and their last moments of life are audibly recorded and replayed within this tumultuous river. Grey in colour and misty like white rapids; twisted faces with elongated mouths can be seen just below the surface of this fast-moving river. Much like its namesake, the river can be heard from quite a distance away, normally long before it enters visual range. Hearing protection is recommended when approaching, but isn’t required when drinking from its tasteless waters.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: After imbibing liquids from the River of Screams, one is able to discharge a supersonic scream that is capable of shattering glass, blowing out eardrums with extreme prejudice, and causing avalanches on otherwise stable mountains. The sound is easily twice as loud and booming as a lightning strike, and immediately deafens any character without hearing protection (including the screamer themselves) within a 20-meter radius for a number of days the screamer held the scream in. Any character who was not covering their ears, or who was not wearing hearing protection within the radius takes a point of bashing damage equal to the number of days (minimum 1) that the screamer held the scream in. The downside, of course, is that the character cannot speak, hum, or even whistle so long as the scream is being held within. This lasts for as long as the character holds their tone. It has a maximum amount of weeks equal to the character's Psyche (or other Power Stat). For example, a Sin-Eater with Psyche 2 drinks from the River of Screams. They may hold their voice and hold in the scream for 2 weeks, then release it, dealing 14 Bashing damage.
  • Location: This river can be the third river, or any river beyond the third domain.


River of Spiders

  • Created by: Toska
  • Description: No one's entirely certain if this river is an outgrowth of the River of Scorpions (Sinaan) or vice-versa. All that's known about it to those who come across it is that the two look incredibly similar. Similar to the River of Scorpions, the River of Spiders (also known as Uttu), this isn't so much as a river as it is hundreds of thousands of venomous spiders running over one another in a channel. Each spider is different, making it have a wild array of colors. Black widows skitter alongside brown recluses, Brazilian wandering spiders, Northern and Sydney funnel webs, red-legged widows, tarantulas of all shape and size, and so on – black on red on yellow on blue on green on brown on black. The river can be heard, skittering down the canal that contains it, before it's seen. Wading into the river means suffering the bites of a thousand upon a thousand different venomous creatures. It's a rare person that can make it through alive without the use of a ferryman. Anyone with a flaw regarding arachnophobia must succeed at a Resolve + Composure check with a -5 penalty, otherwise will flee in terror upon seeing the river.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: To partake of the River of Spiders, one must pluck a spider out of the swarming mass and swallow it. The spider will latch onto the imbiber's tongue, delivering a powerful toxin (forcing the imbiber to take three Lethal damage that can't be avoided by normal or supernatural means). Following this, the spider's toxin begins to course through the system of the drinker, who is given an incredible knowledge and lore of crafting. Spiders are well-known for being weavers, but this extends to all crafts projects the character might perform, receiving a +3 bonus on all Crafts rolls for (Synergy) days. Unfortunately, the venom of the spider ingested also causes the imbiber to see visions of threats, and become incredibly territorial. A crafter who has a workshop will not suffer anyone to enter her workshop so long as the venom of Uttu is running through her, and will attempt to threaten or scare off any potential interloper – friend or foe – and as a last resort, attack them in a berserk rage. The place claimed as the imbiber's "territory" can be wherever they spend most of their time. What's more, being away from this place causes the imbiber to become incredibly anxious, twitchy, and feel an immediate need to return to their location. In mechanical terms, the character gains the Territorial Flaw in regards to their place of choice, and the Anxiety derangement when away from it for (Synergy) days.
  • Location: This river can be found as the first, second, or fifth.


River of Terror

  • Created by: David
  • Description: This river appears as little more than a slow moving swirl, almost more a stream. The water itself is inky black and looking into it reflects the characters inner fears. A drink from the waters exposes the character to the fear the unknown that lies past death. The concentrated terror and fear of everyone who has looked into the night and wondered what chases them, of everyone who has ever been afraid of what lay across deaths doorway surges through them in the moments after drinking. Everything after that moment of terror seems a pallid weak thing, fear becomes a stranger to those who have tasted the waters of terror.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: -2 to all defenses, generally lacks desire to defend, +2 to all attacks for 24 hours.
  • Location: Must be the third river, past two Dominions.