The Scions of Amber
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The Logrus is perhaps the oldest of all the Powers. It dominates the Chaos end of the universe, coloring everything around it and the Abyss. It is an unceasingly changing mass of silvery tendrils and blobs that could easily have been conjured from the nightmares of HP Lovecraft. Though it is the signature power of Chaos, it isn’t nearly as ubiquitous as Pattern is among Amberites. Instead, it is Shapeshifting that marks nearly every Lord of Chaos, and Logrus is something more rare.
Mastering the Logrus is the mark of someone willing to take risks for power. The Logrus kills a few aspiring Lords of Chaos every year. It drives more of them mad, or turns them into strange demonic horrors that roam its caverns or sneak off to the Rim and are never seen again. The majority who attempt it succeed, because there’s a lot of preparation that most lords and ladies of Chaos undergo before they make the attempt.
Every House of Chaos has a few Logrus Masters. Some are more heavy on such adepts than others, and the Great Houses who have the real power in politics tend to have many more than the minor houses do. The head of a house or great house is almost always a Logrus Master. Without the Logrus, there is often a glass ceiling for political advancement.
Basic Logrus – 35 points
The basic level of Logrus is the power that is burned into the blood of a Shapeshifter who manages to not just survive the ordeal in the Caverns, but thrive there and make it to the primal center of the maze. It forms a sort of ‘personal Logrus’ inside the character that can be called upon for a number of potent effects.
Eye of the Logrus: This is the most foundational power of the Logrus, one that is required for nearly all other uses. The Logrus user summons up their personal aspect of the Logrus by concentrating, and performing some slow movements that bring the body in tune with the shifting power. Once the power has been summoned, the character can see with a sort of mystic sight. In addition, he has access to the majority of his Logrus powers, and is infused with the energy of the Logrus, which provides some minor protection against other Powers.
- Summoning the Logrus does take some time, so it’s best prepped ahead. It’s not too slow, especially if the character has a decent Psyche. The Logrus can be brought up in Combat, but it’s slow compared to the speed of a fight, and reduces the character’s ability to defend himself while he’s summoning it.
Logrus Tendril: The tendrils of the Logrus are extremely potent tools in the hands of a skilled user. They have a number of interesting powers, some of which will get their own section below. They are the primary tool of the basic level Logrus Master.
Logrus Tendrils at their most simple can be used to interact with physical objects. They cannot be controlled totally precisely, there is a certain amount of chaotic fluctuation that can never be eliminated. Given that limitation, they are pretty good at manipulating objects, lifting things, grabbing people, opening doors, and what have you. A Tendril operates at more or less a Strength level equal to the character’s Psyche. Like the tendril’s shape, that strength fluctuates as well, so it’s not as useful as actually being that strong, but it can provide a nice option for a less robust Lord of Chaos. The tendrils can be cut by a good blade, or at least repulsed, so it’s good to be careful with them lest the character suddenly lose his advantage.
Tendrils in Shadow: A Logrus tendril can also leave the shadow its in, to move through the worlds in search of things. It can scout out a route for the character, it can grab objects and retrieve them. When grabbing an object, the tendril must be strong enough to pick it up, and it isn’t super specific on what it gets. It simply grabs the closest shadow object that meets all the requirements that the user sets. It’s possible to be very particular about what a character is sending her tendril out for, of course, but that results in a much longer search time, as the tendril searches in a totally random fashion, rather than in a directed way.
A character cannot actually see where the end of her tendril is, but can get a sense of what’s going on around it, general shadow environment, basic information on inhabitants, and so on. This is very useful for scouting out paths for when the character wishes to start moving in shadow.
Black Path: When a Logrus Master chooses to move in Shadow, it’s not particularly subtle, hence the need for some scouting. The character forces Logrus energy into a specific point in the current shadow with a Tendril, where the journey will begin. That area warps and changes, and these changes are not entirely under the control of the character. They will make the shadow more like Chaos in that small area, and begin to tear a road between worlds. Those changes will be reflected in every shadow the character walks through, an unmistakable ‘creepy’ or ‘evil’ looking path is generated. At the basic level, the Logrus Master can project a road a couple of shadows, 2-4 or so, ahead of where he’s walking. This process is a little slower than Shadow Walking, and there is no option to speed it up with some kind of analogue to Hellriding.
Black paths, as mentioned, are not subtle. Not only does the path retain its sinister character for quite some time, as long as days or even weeks after the character has passed, but the path itself remains. It may atrophy a little, it may not permit every resident of those shadows to move from world to world, but it creates holes in the shadows that will be the source of strange tales and missing people for a long time.
Chaos Evocation: This is one of the few powers that can be used without summoning the Eye of the Logrus. It infuses chaotic Logrus energy into the nearby area, as in literally the space around the character. This has the power to provide a number of benefits, but is hard to direct with any kind of preciseness. Whatever happens will be somewhat random-seeming, but because it is directed by the character’s personal Logrus. Some examples of helpful effects follow.
- The character gets a lucky break of some kind, an opponent makes a mistake in combat, a ledge just happens to be in reach when falling, a guard decides it’s not worth the trouble to investigate the character, and so on.
- A magical spell behaves just a little bit differently, not quite unleashing it’s full effect on the character, a helpful person is easier to find, a moonbeam breaks through the clouds and illuminates something important for a moment, something in the building breaks and a section of ceiling cuts off the approaching fire as it falls.
These effects are not under the character’s control. The Player can’t say to the GM, “I use my Chaos Evocation to get a positive first impression with the bouncer.” Instead, something happens that seems like random chance, and it always benefits the character, but the GM chooses exactly what that is. Over-use of this power is redundant, because lots of positive effects off in different directions are ultimately not that useful, the character will have to abandon the benefit of some of them to enjoy the help from others.
Tendril Mastery: Logrus Tendrils are foundational for so many effects, it’s natural for Logrus Masters to want to learn to use them better.
- Cost: 10 points for the first Specialty, 5 points per additional improvement.
- Polytendrils, the character can summon and simultaneously use more than one tendril.
- Tendril Tactics, tendrils can be used to simulate Warfare instead of Strength, but not both at the same time.
- Seeker Tendrils, tendrils move through shadow more quickly, speeding up item grabbing and scouting both.
- Titan’s tendrils, the tendrils become more reliable when physical and harder to cut or slap aside..
Chaos Mastery: The Logrus has so-shaped the regions around it that someone versed in its power can force obedience from the creatures that live there.
- Cost: 10 points for the first specialty, 5 points per additional improvement.
- Logrus Servants, very short lived servitors of pure chaos energy.
- Chaos Dominion, subjugate minor creatures of the Black Zone.
- Abyssal Baptism, empower creatures of Chaos to be stronger or learn new powers.
- Sculpt Shadow, change shadow objects and small areas of terrain according to design.
Silvery Eye: The power of the Logrus is good for sensing what’s going on with respect to powers and other important things.
- Cost: 5 points for this specialty and the same for further improvements.
- Pathsight, enabling tracking of shadow walkers and the discovery of often-used routes.
- Deep Vision, explicit and detailed views into the workings of powers and their effects.
- Web of Power, feel ‘vibrations’ that result from the use of a Power, even without the Eye of the Logrus up.
- Shadow Judgement, gaze into the stuff of Shadow and visualize it’s unique properties, uncovering information about the rules, time differential, and other facts of a shadow.
Well of Power: A deep and potentially dangerous connection to the true Logrus develops, allowing access to a great deal of chaotic energy.
- Cost: 10 points for this specialty and 5 for further improvements.
- Dark Passage, black roads and other infusions/manipulations grow greatly in power and persist much longer.
- Chaos Cloak, the aura of the Logrus is much stronger, giving substantial power protection.
- Reign of Chaos, manipulations and infusions can now spread outward through shadows, creating whole multi-shadow domains, and converting entire shadows.
- Call Forth The Void, the ability to summon pure chaotic energy. Pushed too far it will reach a critical mass, become Primal Chaos… and destroy everything around it.