Knacks: Blood Mark, Burning Blood, Frenzy, Lust, Regeneration
Apprentice Degree: The Demon’s Hand
Adept Degree: The Demon’s Head
Master Degree: The Demon’s Heart
The Cathay: Jewel of the East sourcebook describes the fierce pirate nation of Tiakhar and its black-hearted ruler, Sayari Razak. As a result of his perverse relationship with the demonic Ravana, this man has access to a unique Sorcery called Mayawi Shakti, which is presented here as a full 7th Sea Sorcery.
To some extent, mere access to the potent Knacks of this Sorcery constitutes a considerable Apprentice-level benefit, as no one may manifest this Sorcery without blood connection to the ruler of Tiakhar (i.e., the Noble Advantage and a plausible backstory) and the direct blessing of the demonic goddess, Ravana. In addition to this overt gift, however, those indoctrinated in this Sorcery prove capable of acts that would chill even seasoned killers to the bone. Sorcerers (even Half-Blooded ones) with Mayawi Shakti have no negative Reputation limit; their Reputation scores can drop below -150, to virtually any value.
Once a Sorcerer has risen sufficiently in Ravana’s favor to become an Adept, he becomes privy to the blackest rituals of this dark art. Once per Story, after the Adept has bested an opponent in personal combat, he may choose to sacrifice the defeated opponent to his goddess, removing his heart and consuming it in a profane ceremony.
Completing this ceremony provides the Adept with a number of benefits. First, he immediately receives a number of negative Reputation Points equal to the sacrificial victim’s lowest Trait. He also receives the same number of Black Drama Dice. These are very similar to regular Drama Dice: they can be used to add to die rolls, they always explode, and they convert to experience points at the end of a Story if unspent. The main difference: they cannot be used to activate a Virtue or Wile, or to prevent the activation of a Flaw or Hubris. Instead, the Adept may spend one of these dice to ask Ravana one question, which she must answer if she is capable. (A PC could conceivably use this ability to ask the GM a question; an NPC can use it to automatically succeed at a Lore Check.)
Note that while Ravana is powerful, her knowledge is limited to her sphere of influence. She can automatically answer any question about the past or present situation in Tiakhar and the waters that surround Cathay, such as where a particular ship is at sea, or how an assassin gained access to his target. Her knowledge of the rest of Cathay is limited to information considered “Very Obscure” (TN 30) at most. She can answer “Unusual” (TN 20) questions about Ussura or the Crescent Empire (including Cabora), and “Elementary” (TN 10) questions about the rest of mainland Théah. She has no knowledge of the future, nor of other continents on the face of Terra.
A servant of Ravana so blessed as to become a Master of her Sorcery may reach staggering levels of power—the sorts Sorcerers of other bloodlines can only dream of. The Master of Mayawi Shakti may raise as many of his Sorcerous Knacks as he likes to a Rank of six by spending twenty-five Experience Points per Knack. If the Master ever attains a Rank of six in all five of his Sorcerous Knacks, he is considered to have a Mastery Level of four in Mayawi Shakti.
Note that none of the Knacks below cost a Drama Die to use.
Blood Mark. When one of her chosen has marked someone with his blood, Ravana whispers information to him constantly, keeping him aware of that person’s location and allowing him to eavesdrop at will. A Sorcerer can choose to mark anyone his blood has touched (by deliberate design, or as the result of inadvertent contact in combat). By concentrating on anyone so marked, the Sorcerer can determine that person’s location in relation to himself (both direction and distance). Direction is determined along one of sixteen compass points (north, north by northeast, northeast, etc.), and distance is measured as Near (within ten minutes’ journey), Not Far (within two hours’ journey), Far (within a day’s journey), Very Far (within a week’s journey), or Extremely Far (more than a week’s journey away).
Furthermore, by focusing his thoughts on one of his marked victims, The Sorcerer can hear anything that person hears or see whatever he sees (but not both). While he does this, the Sorcerer enters a trance-like state and is completely vulnerable to attacks. The victim must be within a certain range for this power to function, based on the Sorcerer’s Rank in this Knack:
- Rank 1: within 10 feet
- Rank 2: within 100 feet
- Rank 3: within 1,000 feet
- Rank 4: within 2 miles
- Rank 5: within 20 miles
- Rank 6: within 200 miles
An Apprentice of this Sorcery may maintain only one Blood Mark at a time. An Adept may maintain four, a Master may maintain nine, and anyone with a Mastery Level of four may maintain sixteen. A Sorcerer may dismiss a Blood Mark at any time; if he is at his maximum and attempts to create another, the earliest current mark he created will automatically be dismissed. Regardless of his Mastery Level, a Sorcerer may only focus on or see (or hear) through one Blood Mark at a time.
Burning Blood. Ravana’s fury and vengeance boil in the blood of her chosen few, lashing out at anyone who would dare strike those she favors. Whenever such a Sorcerer suffers a Dramatic Wound, his blood lashes out like liquid fire. This attack automatically strikes an opponent who has inflicted a Dramatic Wound in melee combat, rolling a number of dice equal to the Sorcerer’s Rank in this Knack for damage and keeping dice equal to his Mastery Level. Each additional Dramatic Wound inflicted by the same attack adds one Unkept die (+1k0) to the damage roll.
Frenzy. Sorcerers who follow this path find their demonic blood boiling within them, until they utterly seethe with rage. The Sorcerer may add his Rank in the Frenzy Knack to a variety of rolls, based on his Mastery Level. An Apprentice may add the bonus to all Intimidate Repartee Actions he attempts. An Adept may add the bonus to his Initiative total at all times. A Master may add the bonus to his Attack rolls, and a Sorcerer who reaches a Mastery Level of 4 may add the bonus directly to his Damage rolls. All of these benefits are cumulative.
Due to his volatile temper, whenever the Sorcerer attempts to resist a Taunt Repartee Action attempted against him, he must subtract his Rank in this Knack from his roll.
Lust. The Sorcerer’s demonic blood causes him to crave carnal pleasures and exude raw, animal magnetism to attract partners. Whenever he tries to Charm or seduce a member of the opposite sex, the Sorcerer may multiply his Rank in this Knack by his Mastery Level in Mayawi Shakti, and add the product to his roll. Whenever someone of the opposite sex tries to seduce him, however, they receive a bonus on their roll equal to the Sorcerer’s Rank in this Knack, multiplied by one half his Mastery Level (always rounded up).
Regeneration. Blessed with Ravana’s blood, a Sorcerer heals more quickly than other mortals. At the end of every even-numbered Phase (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10), he reduces the number of Flesh Wounds he has taken by his Rank in this Knack.
Game Master’s Secrets
While not one of the original Bargainers, Ravana comes from the same stock, and relies on her Sorcery to extend her influence into the mortal world. Rather than manipulating the Barrier through the widespread use of Sorcery, however, she has perfected a way to focus her efforts on a handful of practitioners, allowing her (and her alone) to slip free of the Barrier.
Essentially, the further a Sorcerer of this bloodline falls into darkness, the greater Ravana’s control over that Sorcerer grows. Once his Reputation drops below -130, Ravana’s consciousness slips free of the Barrier and takes over her subject, allowing her free reign in the mortal world for as long as her host body lasts (and given Ravana’s taste for wanton violence, it is not usually very long). Upon taking control of a mortal host, the first thing Ravana does is execute any potential challengers to her throne. This generally consists of whatever children her human host had, before his domination by Ravana. She may leave a single child alive as an heir, to keep her bloodline strong so that someone is prepared to bring her back to power should her host body be destroyed.
Ravana is content to keep her Sorcerous gifts manifested in the ruling bloodline of Tiakhar. Whoever ascends to the position of tuanku will receive the gift of Full-Blooded Sorcery, while his (inevitably) many children are limited to Half-Blood status. Should one of them eventually replace his or her parent and take the throne, the new ruler’s bloodline will be purified (through the ritual consumption of the heart of the previous ruler)…and in perfect emulation of the goddess who “blesses” them, any siblings who might wish to contend for the throne will likely become the new ruler’s first sacrifices on Ravana’s altar.