- Alternative Names: Bearers of Mercy, Redemptionists
- Informal Names: Hypnotists, Reallocators, Wardens (derogatory)
- Attached to Order: Pelican
Life within Alhambra, as everyone who serves the Last Empress knows, is fraught with peril and stained by grief. Only the dedication of the citizenry to the end of restoring the true Kingdom on Earth allows them to carry on. To lose that dedication, to turn aside from the goal and pursue a personal desire, is dangerous to the City, and also to oneself. And so the Protectorate of Malachite was founded, to save those who would otherwise be lost to despair, fear or rebellion, and restore them to their true loyalties. They are counselors and confessors, doctors of the mind; their duty is to relieve the mentally distressed of emotions and memories that keep them from serving the Queen and the Orders as they are supposed to.
The Protectorate is truly ancient, having been founded only two generations after the Kingdom’s fall, and broadly respected; its senior Regents have often served as Premiers in Craft. It’s well known that the secrets of its Privileges were first unearthed by the Nobles of Tears who discovered the Dreamlands’ existence, and who tried to comprehend the manner by which Light-touched souls were drawn into that grand illusion. While the plans to rescue Nobles from the Dreamlands to be properly reborn never bore fruit (the Release was as startling to the Redemptionists as anyone else) the techniques for releasing people from lesser illusions have sustained Alhambra through the Long Night, and the Last Empress has often expressed her gratitude for them.
In the modern day a Bearer of Mercy may be found in many Alhambran enclaves, serving multiple roles. First, of course, is keeping the staff from being tempted by the strange and novel experiences available on Earth, and ensuring that they stick to their assigned duties. Second is examining people who wish to join Alhambra, to establish both their capabilities and any conflicting loyalties which might lead to trouble later on. And third (the most likely to bring them into conflicts) is taking people who could be useful to an enclave, but choose not to contribute, and compelling them to do what Alhambra requires of them.
Marks and RequirementsEdit
The outward sign of a Redemptionist is a glittering object, worn on the forehead, chest or hand, that invariably catches whatever light exists and draws attention from everyone who sees it. Unless the Hypnotist specifically conceals it, anyone who notices her will see and remember this gleaming badge, because it’s designed to draw and hold the eye. Most members, in fact, use it with their Privileges as a tool.
The Embassy requires a forceful personality and the skill to influence people into a desired course; its favored Attribute is Presence, and its favored Skill is Persuasion.
A Secretary of Malachite can read the signs of psychic distress in someone’s face and posture. Whenever a person in the Secretary’s sight has a Condition gained by passing through a breaking point (or the analog for supernatural characters), or one imposed by supernatural powers that alter the mind, or a Galemark, the Secretary need only succeed on a Perception check to recognize that his mental state is not normal. Once per session, the Secretary may examine a person she has noticed in this way to identify which of those Conditions he has, the effects they are having on him, and the ways they might be resolved.
It is the duty of the Bearers of Mercy to relieve people of all cares that prevent them from being of service to Her Ever-Flowing Majesty. When she is transformed the Secretary gains an aura that makes people willing to confide in her and accept advice from her. In a social maneuver the Secretary starts with a good first impression on any target she hasn’t yet met.
However, if she has scrutinized her target with Finding Faults, and the target’s mental Conditions haven’t changed since then, the full power of the Privilege applies. The Secretary may begin a social maneuver on such a target with a perfect impression. Provided her goal doesn’t force the target to a breaking point (if it would the Privilege fails), when he does as she asked the target sheds one temporary Condition that the Secretary identified, or is unaffected by one persistent Condition for at least one day afterward. The Secretary chooses which Condition is removed or suppressed, but must remove a temporary Condition if the target has one.
Weight of CensureEdit
So few in the Rebellious Provinces are aware of their obligations; sometimes those of Alhambra are forgetful, too. On due occasion a Warden has to bring people to a proper sense of shame at their failures. The Secretary may spend 1 Wisp while transformed when she is conversing with a person; she then rolls Manipulation + Persuasion - her target’s Composure.
- Dramatic Failure: The Secretary repels her target; in future social maneuvers her impression with him starts at hostile.
- Failure: The target perceives nothing, and the conversation proceeds.
- Success: The Secretary makes her target feel his shortcomings; he immediately acquires the Guilty Condition [CofD 289]. Finding Faults will spot the Condition, and the Secretary may use Confessional on him immediately.
- Exceptional Success: The target cannot resolve or shed the Guilty Condition for a full day, without supernatural help.
Free to ServeEdit
The Queen of Tears teaches that sometimes you must lie to make people realize the truth. That’s especially true with people taken from the Rebellious Provinces who insist on placing some loyalty from their past above Alhambra’s needs. In such cases the Reallocators are called on to free them from their past.
The Governor can spend 2 Wisps to displace a memory from her target’s mind, replacing it with another more fit for the purpose the target ought to serve. The task is an extended action with a dice pool of Presence + Expression; the interval is one hour, and the threshold is the target’s Willpower dots. The Governor and her target must be together and conscious throughout. If the Governor has scrutinized the target with Finding Faults she gains a +2 bonus to her dice pool. If she reaches the threshold, the Governor inflicts the False Memory Condition on the target, with a penalty equal to her Presence.
Often in Alhambra’s service it’s necessary to learn a great mass of facts quickly, and it lies within the Hypnotists’ skills to convey great masses of facts in very little time. A Governor of Malachite may spend 1 Wisp to place one person into a receptive trance, and allow another person touching the first to commune with him, speaking without words. After five minutes in trance the first person gains the Informed Condition [CofD 289] on one subject in which the second is an expert (the Storyteller judges if a character has the knowledge needed.) The Governor may be student, teacher or neither.
Proper Instruction may be combined with Free to Serve to let the false memories created by the latter to contain true information. If this is done, each False Memory Condition exchanges the ratings of two Skills within a single category; removing the Condition will switch the ratings back.
The final mercy the Redemptionist can show is to bring the recalcitrant to realize that they want to serve, if only they let themselves see it. A Regent of Malachite can spend 3 Wisps and 1 Willpower to replace one of a person’s Aspirations. The task is an extended action with a dice pool of Presence + Persuasion; the interval is one hour, and the threshold is the target’s Willpower dots. The Regent and her target must be together and conscious throughout. If the Regent has scrutinized the target with Finding Faults she gains a +2 bonus to her dice pool. If the Regent reaches the threshold, the target must abandon one of his Aspirations and take a new one of the Regent’s choice. The Privilege cannot replace a Vocation or supply one; only mundane Aspirations are vulnerable.
Drawback: The goals that the Regent most treasures turn to dust when she uses magic to convert another to her cause. Each time she uses the Privilege, the Regent must choose one of her own Aspirations. For days equal to her Presence, all attempts to work toward that Aspiration become automatic dramatic failures. No Aspiration can be cursed in this way twice, and if all the Regent’s Aspirations have been so cursed she cannot use Conversion.