The Ash Path

The Ash Path allows necromancers to peer into the lands of the dead, and even affect things there. Of the paths of Necromancy, the Ash Path is the most perilous to learn, because many of the path’s uses increase a necromancer’s vulnerability to wraiths.

• Shroudsight

Shroudsight allows a necromancer to see through the Shroud, the mystical barrier that separates the living world from the Underworld. By using this power, the vampire can spot ghostly buildings and items, the landscape of the so-called Shadowlands, and even wraiths themselves. However, an observant wraith may notice when a vampire suddenly starts staring at him, which can lead to unpleasant consequences.

System

A simple roll of Perception + Awareness (difficulty 7) allows a necromancer to utilize Shroudsight. The effects last for a scene.

•• Lifeless Tongues

Where Shroudsight allows a necromancer to see ghosts, Lifeless Tongues allows her to converse with them effortlessly. Once Lifeless Tongues is employed, the vampire can carry on a conversation with the denizens of the ghostly Underworld without spending blood or causing the wraiths to expend any effort.

System

To use Lifeless Tongues requires a roll of Perception + Occult (difficulty 6) and the expenditure of a Willpower point.

••• Dead Hand

Similar to the Sepulchre Path power Torment, Dead Hand allows a necromancer to reach across the Shroud and affect a ghostly object as if it were in the real world. Ghosts are solid to necromancers using this power, and can be attacked. Furthermore, the necromancer can pick up ghostly items, scale ghostly architecture (giving real-world bystanders the impression that he’s climbing on air!), and generally exist in two worlds. On the other hand, a necromancer using Dead Hand is quite solid to the residents of the Underworld — and to whatever hostilities they might have.

System

The player spends a point of Willpower and makes a successful Wits + Occult roll (difficulty 7) to activate Dead Hand for one scene. For each additional scene the vampire wishes to remain in contact with the Underworld, he must spend a point of blood.

•••• Ex Nihilo

Ex Nihilo allows a necromancer to enter the Underworld physically. While in the lands of the dead, the vampire is essentially a particularly solid ghost. He maintains his normal number of health levels, but can be hurt only by things that inflict aggravated damage on ghosts (weapons forged from souls, certain ghostly powers, etc.). A vampire physically in the Underworld can pass through solid objects in the real world (at the cost of one health level) and remain “incorporeal” for a number of turns equal to her Stamina rating. On the other hand, vampires present in the Underworld are subject to all of the Underworld’s perils, including ultimate destruction. A vampire killed in the realm of the dead is gone forever, beyond even the reach of other necromancers.

System

Using Ex Nihilo takes a tremendous toll on the necromancer. To activate this power, the vampire must first draw a doorway with chalk or blood on any available surface. (The vampire may draw doors ahead of time for exactly this purpose.) The player must then expend two points of Willpower and two points of blood before making a Stamina + Occult roll (difficulty 8) as the vampire attempts to open the chalk door physically. If the roll succeeds, the door opens and the vampire steps through into the Underworld.

When the vampire wishes to return to the real world, he merely needs to concentrate (and the player spends another Willpower point and rolls Stamina + Occult, difficulty 6). At Storyteller discretion, a vampire who is too deeply immersed in the Underworld may need to journey to a place close to the lands of the living in order to cross over. Vampires who wander too far into the lands of the dead may be trapped there forever.

Vampires in the Underworld cannot feed upon ghosts without the use of another power; their only sustenance is the blood they bring with them.

••••• Shroud Mastery

Shroud Mastery offers the Kindred the ability to manipulate the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead. By doing so, a necromancer can make it easier for bound wraiths in his service to function, or make it nearly impossible for ghosts to contact the material world.

System

To exercise Shroud Mastery, the necromancer expends two points of Willpower, then states whether he is attempting to raise or lower the Shroud. The player then makes a Willpower roll (difficulty 9). Each success on the roll raises or lowers the difficulties of all nearby wraiths’ attempts to cross the Shroud in any way by one, to a maximum of 10 or a minimum of 3. The Shroud reverts to its normal strength at a rate of one point per hour thereafter.

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