Possessed/Malus Loci

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The Malus Loci

What Is A Malus Loci?

xxxxxUnlike other New World of Darkness Splats, a Malus Loci is unique in that it belongs to everyone. Regardless of your Template, you too can interact with a Malus Loci. But what is a Malus Loci?

xxxxxIt all starts with a Desecration Rating. An awful place where murder, suicide, and cruelty have reigned. This can be a haunted house with ghosts who have killed or a dark faerie wood where will-o-wisp spirits have led tourists to their dark ends.

xxxxxThe evil in these places has stained the material world, and possibly the Twilight, Shadow, and even Underworld they connect to. Such evil can be natural, but just as often it is orchestrated. A Sacrifice can be made: a mad architect has used the Architectural Attunement Merit to channel poisoned ley lines into a single point on the map, or a fallen exorcist murders Possessed in the same dark chamber.

xxxxxEvil acts can stack up and eventually the material world, or even an item, or person, suffers a Rank of Desecration. As the Sacrifices continue, the rank of Desecration increases. This Desecration isn't a Malus Loci, however.

Making a Malus Loci

xxxxxA Malus Loci is made when a Diabolus or Dominion uncovers an item or a place that has a Desecration rating equal to, or less than their Infernal Rank. Through the Fetter Manifestation Effect, or the intervention of a Pact, such a demon can enter the item or place, merging with it in what has become known as a Malus Loci.

xxxxxThis is a trade. The demon cannot leave this Fetter without voluntarily returning to the Inferno. But while it is subject to the Fetter effect, it gains earthly supernatural powers.

Reference

  • Inferno: Malus Loci, page 64.
Benefits of the Malus Loci

Benefits

Once the demon has come across an appropriate Desecration Rating and has assumed new Manifestation Effects it gains autonomy second only to the Possessed in terms of access to the material world. This typically happens when a demon is summoned to the location of Desecration, but not necessarily. For all intents and purposes, any Desecration Rating is considered the Open Condition for a demon.

Fetter and Unfetter

  • Fetter Manifestation Effect: By spending 2 Essence, a demon may create the Fettered Condition, even if it does not possess the Fetter Manifestation Effect. For game purposes, only living NPCS, objects or places can be subject to the Fetter Effect. Player characters cannot gain the Urged Condition. While under the effects of the Fetter Manifestation Effect, a demon will not be subject to Essence Bleed.
  • Unfetter Manifestation Effect: By spending 1 Essence, the demon associated with the Malus Loci may temporarily suppress their Fetter Condition for a Scene, allowing them to engage their own Manifestation Effects, whatever they may be, or to use Twilight Form and roam freely. When the Scene ends, all of their Manifestation Effects end and the Fetter Manifestation Effect is reinstated if the demon is in range of their Malus Loci. If they are not they are immediately sent to the Inferno.

Materialize

  • Twilight Form Manifestation Effect: If the Malus Loci is a place such as a grove, graveyard or house, the demon is considered by default to be in the Twilight Form Condition.
  • Materialize Manifestation Effect: By spending 3 Essence, the demon can shift from Twilight Form into the Materialize Condition for the Scene, even if it does not ordinarily possess the Materialize Manifestation Effect.

Reaching

  • Reaching Manifestation Effect: If the Malus Loci is an object such as a knife, the demon is considered by default to be in the Twilight Form Condition and must remain in five yards of the item at all times to remain safe from Essence Bleed. However, the demon gains a modified form of Reaching and may use Influences and Numina to affect the material world around the object. The Numen must possess the [R] label. Characters able to see Twilight can sense a presence with a successful Wits + Composure roll when any Influence or Numina are used in a Scene. Otherwise they gain no such special reaction to the item. Reaching can also be suppressed through Abjurations that run with a 3 dice penalty, but a success ends the Reaching for the rest of the Scene. For game purposes, items must be under Size 20, although Possessed Staff are free to make exceptions.

Summoning

xxxxxOn Fallcoast a Malus Loci has a special power for would-be summoners and cultists. The Invocation roll during a summoning gains a +3 Equipment Bonus at the location of a Malus Loci. Likewise, the Rites of those wielding the Cult of Things That Must Not Be gain a +2 Equipment Bonus to their rolls.

Drawbacks

xxxxxThe Vice of a demon in a Malus Loci leaks through Aura of Corruption. This has the following effects:

  • Embodiment: The location of a Malus Loci will eventually take on the traits of the demon and its Vice. Assume the Resonance of a location becomes permanently shifted towards the Vice after One Story (1 Month).
  • Temptation: The location of a Malus Loci can tempt characters into engaging in the Vice present. Treat this as the mild Derangement of Rote-Action Repetition with the trigger being the presence of the Malus Loci. In game terms, characters that spend more than One Session (1 Day) around a Malus Loci will begin to act without thinking, fulfilling the Vice of the demon without consciously thinking about it. They may engage in minor acts of Vice and not even notice until someone points it out. Once per Scene, the player rolls Resolve + Composure. If the roll fails, the character must engage in a trivial act of Vice and gains a -2 to all dice pools to do anything else. This penalty represents the distraction of the Vice present, and is not meant to be a full-blown obsession.
  • Vice Swap: Any character that sleeps in the presence of a Malus Loci will suffer the Flaw: Nightmares. After One Story (1 Month) the character's Vice will change to that of the demon of the Malus Loci from heavy exposure. If this exposure is broken at any time throughout the Story the effect must start again in the next Story until it succeeds. Characters may obviously leave the presence of a Malus Loci at any time.
Desecration

What Is Desecration?

xxxxxA Desecration Rating starts with a Sacrifice or an event that could be described as wholly evil. This is not a Locus or other supernatural effect, although sometimes they occupy the same space. This is about the presence of Vice and repetition, Spirits and Ghosts need not necessarily be involved. Point in fact, most Desecration Ratings are purely human in origin.

Creating Desecration

xxxxxTo create a Desecration Rating a character must commit an act or make a Sacrifice that is equal to the starting rating of the Desecration. A Minor Sacrifice would create a Desecration Rating of 1, just as a Deadly Sacrifice would create a Desecration Rating of 3. Physical and psychological abuse, acts of prolonged torture and murder, and the summoning of a demon can all create a Desecration Rating.

xxxxxWhen a demon is involved, that demon requires Staff approval first. The chief difference between this and character creation is that this demon will not belong to a Possessed, but will instead be available to the player for story purposes. Your character has no inherent control over this demon, such as you would over a Demonic Familiar.

xxxxxOne side effect of a Desecration Rating is that Whisperers tend to congregate around them. Staff can and will use this to their entertainment.

Does Desecration End?

xxxxxThe short answer is: Yes! Over time, any Desecration Rating will lower until it ceases to exist. This is not a natural part of the world's landscape and the world will eventually find a way to clean the space up. The world has a long memory, and the ruins of an abandoned hospital filled with unsavory prior acts may live on in the dust and overgrowth for a generation, but eventually time will tear it down.

xxxxxThe following do not function against a Desecration rating of 6 or higher without Staff supervision.

  • Influence: A demon who uses the site of Desecration as a Malus Loci can use any of its Influences to reduce the Desecration Rating present by one, but only as the Benefit of a Pact, requiring a Sacrifice to fuel the process. A Minor Sacrifice can reduce the rating by 1, a Major Sacrifice by 2, and a Deadly Sacrifice by 3. Such a Pact should feature promises to the demon that it will be summoned again in the future, or a Testament will be written and spread to others. Because it involves a potentially deadly Sacrifice, this is not for the cautious to undertake.
  • Destruction: A character can destroy an object, or alter a location until it becomes unrecognizable. The demon tied to it, forming it up as a Malus Loci, may have something to say about the attempt. Furthermore, so long as even one rank of Desecration remains, the demon's Aura of Corruption may slowly rebuild the Desecration to its former glory. In addition, even if destruction takes place, that same Aura of Corruption may leave a mark on the place of Desecration. The effects are up to Staff.
  • Supernatural Effects: Many supernatural effects can alter mystical Resonance and all of these may be used to reduce a Desecration Rating. This usually requires roughly twice the Potency as the Rating present.
  • Abjurations: Exorcists can perform Abjurations. This usually requires roughly twice the successes as the Rating present to lower that Rating by one.
  • Construction: A memorial constructed over the site of a Desecration Rating or entombing a Desecrated object can cut the Desecration off from touching the material world. The presence of Virtue may eventually reduce or eliminate the lingering Desecration Rating. This option is left up to Staff to decide upon the conclusion of.
Your Malus Loci

Your Malus Loci.

Overview.

Details

Details.

Your Malus Loci

Your Malus Loci

Overview.

Details

Details.

Other Spheres

What About Other Splatbooks?

xxxxxPossessed and demons are not alone in the New World of Darkness. The Resonance of a Malus Loci is immediately sensed as tainted or analogous with vice, discoverable through Scrutiny or Gifts, when it rises to Desecration Rating 3 or higher.

xxxxxUltimately, the Gauntlet will lower, Verges and Wounds may form, or even Shoals. It is highly suggested that you keep your Malus Loci at a Desecration of 2 or lower, to prevent Purified, Shifters, Mages, Wardens, Hunters, Spirits, Ghosts, and other beings from taking notice.

xxxxxOf further advice, by keeping a Malus Loci portable, rather than locational, you can grab your Malus Loci and run, avoiding pursuit.

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