- Alternative Titles: Explorers, Vanguards of the Depths
- Informal Names: Mermaids, Magellans, Divers
Look down there. It goes for nearly a mile down here; much further in other places. Dark, cold; no air, and many creatures we don't fully understand yet.
But that doesn't mean we should fear it. It's a lovely place, really. Even in the modern world, mankind only touches on a small portion of existence. Even the larger part of the physical planet is located underwater, beyond our reach. The Ocean Embassy is comprised of explorers and trailblazers - those who seek to explore places not yet touched by the Light, and make them friends to the Princesses and mankind. The oceans themselves, being easily accessible, are an obvious place to start...though many Explorers also display an interest in the Spirit World, outer space, and areas of the Dreamlands outside the Princesses' control. And more.
The Vanguards of the Depths appear to many as a rather fearless lot, willing to dive head-on into the unknown, and able to make themselves feel at home in any environment. The Embassy, for its own part, holds that any place humans can thrive in was unknown and frightening before it was explored; the ambassadors seek to shine the Light on the places where mankind will, one day, prosper.
Marks and RequirementsEdit
When members of this Embassy transform, symbols of the sea tend to mingle with their forms: Seashells appear in their hair, while the latter seems to be blowing in a salty breeze; patterns reminiscent of designs in sand form on their skin, their eyes go deep green-blue, and if one listens, one may hear the sound of waves lapping on a far-off shore following them in their wake.
The prerequisite Attribute of the Embassy is Wits, and its prerequisite Skill is Survival.
The Explorers cannot become lost, physically or socially. The Secretary gains the Direction Sense Merit [CofD 44] if she didn't have it already; she always knows which way is north, no matter how she's been spun around, and even when blindfolded or in total darkness. She can retrace any journey she's made once before, if she was conscious while travelling; falling asleep in a vehicle driven by someone else puts a break in her memory, but she will remember any motions the vehicle made while she was awake.
Socially, a Secretary can learn to converse with anyone she meets with amazing speed. While listening to someone speak in a language she isn't fluent in, and trying to speak to that person, the Secretary rolls her Inner Light + Intelligence as an extended action; each roll represents five minutes of attempted conversation. When the Secretary has accumulated 4 successes, she gains the benefits of the Multilingual Merit [CofD 46] for the language the other person is speaking. She may use the ability again to upgrade the benefits to the Language Merit [CofD 45] gaining the same fluency in the language as the other person. The new language fades after 1 hour; if the Secretary has the XP, though, she may spend it to acquire either Multilingual or Language instantly before the magic fades.
As a transformation action, the Secretary's legs can merge together into a tail, either delphine or fishlike, and her body adapts in other ways to the rigors of swimming in deep water. On land she suffers from the Crippled Condition [CofD 288] but she swims at her Speed in yards per turn (see Athletic Feats). She can breathe water as easily as air, and never suffers from nitrogen narcosis. Finally, she gains a form of echolocation, which gives her a reflexive knowledge of all her surroundings like that from the Charm Read the Wind, out to a range of Inner Light + Wits yards in the air and twice that under water. She can sense either in air or in water, but not both, depending on whether her head is submerged.
The Secretary can switch between the mermaid form and her original transformed state with a transformation action. She has all the benefits of her transformed state as a mermaid, and all Charms that alter her transformed state stack with the mermaid form.
While transformed as a mermaid, the Secretary can pass on part of her resilience to another. She kisses the other person on the lips and spends a Wisp. Until the next sunset, the target can breathe water as easily as air, exactly as the Secretary can, and is also immune to nitrogen narcosis.
The Consul's voice, like a siren's, becomes fascinating, turning the heads of those who hear it. The Consul spends a Wisp and rolls her Inner Light + the higher of Presence and Manipulation to charm another person; the target contests the roll with his Composure + Supernatural Tolerance. If the Consul wins the contest, the target is entranced; for the rest of the scene, he gains the Swooning Condition [CofD 291] for the Consul.
When the Consul uses Mermaid's Kiss, she may spend an extra Wisp (2 total) to transform her target fully into a merman or mermaid like herself, with all the abilities and drawbacks of that form. The target may return to his human form at will at any time, and must do so at the next sunset.
The Ambassador to the Ocean reads her surroundings constantly, and adapts to anything she meets. First, she gains the echolocation sense of the mermaid form at all times, even when untransformed. When she becomes a mermaid, the range of her echolocation triples, and she can create a focused pulse of sound that lets her read the hidden structure of solid objects. To use this, the Ambassador touches the object, and rolls Wits + Composure or Wits + an appropriate Skill as an instant action - Crafts works for inanimate objects, Medicine for living beings. Success on this roll tells her something of the object's density and composition, finding any holes, cracks or embedded bits of different materials.
Second, the Ambassador can transform her body to deal with nearly any environment. Once a scene, while transformed (as either human or mermaid) she spends a Wisp and rolls Inner Light + Survival. Each success gives her 1 Merit dot, allocated among Hardy, Iron Stomach, Striking Looks, Sympathetic and Biokinesis. Successes may also be allocated to give her resistance to extreme environments [CofD 97]; one success allows her to reduce the effective level of one environment by 1. Merit dots gained this way last until the end of the scene.
Drawback: The Ambassador's mood varies with the tides. During the hour of low tide (30 minutes before to 30 minutes after the ebb) she suffers from the Broken Condition [CofD 288], and during the hour of high tide (30 minutes before to 30 minutes after the flood) she suffers from the Manic Condition.