Table of Contents
Sixth Age World
It is the dawn of a new age for mankind. After eons of struggle beneath malicious powers far greater than their own, humanity is unshackled and let loose to choose their destiny in a world full of potential. Huge swaths of unexplored wilderness and wild, magical lands await curious adventurers, and the realm of spirits and concepts touches closely to the physical realm, blurring what is real and what is thought.
Into this world, humanity finds itself empowered to make great change. Magic flows freely, and some rise up with incredible powers beyond others, taking their place with magicians and mythical beings as the new powers in a changed world, ready to forge a new path for all of mankind.
Yet with this choice comes the risk of once again falling to the mistakes of the previous age, for without evil, good cannot rise at all.
Cosmology and Geography
Thanks to the actions of the Geographos team, Rorg, the remnant of the fifth planet, has been remade into a smaller, yet bright second sun in the sky, strong enough to bring about a twilight by itself and making the day/night cycle horrendously complex. The second sun is called Ceres, after the largest body in the old asteroid belt, which no longer exists.
Luna has moved noticeably closer to the Earth, and one particular settlement high in the treetops of one forest can actually reach it. See the Lunar Grove for more details. Luna has breathable air and a thus far unexplored landscape that is survivable but also quite alien in flora and fauna.
The Gauntlet, the barrier between the real world and the spirit world of concepts, is paper-thin, to the point that people who learn to look properly can see to the other side. Actual crossing over, outside of places where it is specifically thin, is more difficult for most of humanity, but fairly easy with the proper powers or rituals.
Various Near Realms of specialist nature have merged with the planet, making some areas actually function under different rules. There are even areas of high technology and visible data, for example. (still working on this)
The Wandering Kingdom
Most of the more enlightened survivors of the Fifth Age have come to arrive on a series of floating islands that meander aimlessly, as a group, across the new world. Linked by occasional but predictable skyways of shimmering light, the surviving airships of Vargo's fleet have come to moor here, unifying the islands into one loosely-knit cluster of communities. Most of the Warp Gates connect to here, where the rest of the Multiverse can explore the world as the islands themselves do. The artificial being WARDEN, formerly known as MESSIAH, is in the central island and coordinates traffic between them all.
Tower of Trials
The central feature of the world is the Tower of Trials, a massive spire of earth and stone that juts up into the sky. It is a few miles tall, not as extensive as some megastructures on other worlds, but climbing it presents many challenges and is a highly spiritual experience. Above this tower is Paradise, a floating island of decent size. A waterfall pours from the heavens constantly, filling a lake which in turn spills out to roar in a second 'tower' of water falling beside the Tower of Trials.
The Lunar Grove is a growth of tall trees within the largest forest of the explored territories. These trees are incredibly hardy and have wood with the hardness of near steel. Their interwoven branches provide a platform for a budding settlement atop it, fashioned largely from gathered lumber of more normal trees and the tough, fibrous dried leaves of the Grove's trees. They are very careful of harvesting, as the area is one of high spirituality and the tree spirits often speak, thus giving rise to a large number of budding Shamans in the area. Once a month for a period of three days, when the moon is full above the Grove, a mystical bridge links the Grove to Luna, allowing free passage. The trip takes roughly one hour by foot using this bridge.
Deep in one of the newborn deserts, a massive and sprawling metropolis contained within a fortress has appeared. The towers, the walls, the floors… everything is of a shining, translucent glassy material, with a slow gradient of colors throughout. As it manifest when the world was recreated, it is currently empty. As far as anyone knows. Expeditions to it are difficult given the terrain, but at least one airship has explored far enough to note that it is, theoretically, liveable if a source of water can be located inside.
Technology and Magic
On the whole the technology level is fairly low, but thanks to widespread use of magic the standard of living is decently high. A blending of magic and technology is most effective in making new cities, but naturally some favor one or the other.
It should be noted that 'technology' is simply a more stable form of low-powered enchantment in this world. Since everyone is Awakened, the difference between the two blurs somewhat. Technology, in this instance, refers to stable and predictable magic which can be used by anyone, or created by anyone, through use of rote repetition. For this reason, technology and magic cross over quite often, and the younger children fail to see much difference between them at times. It is all the same, simply different means of achieving the same effect.
The main difference between the two is that technology is crafted through effort and the spirits inhabit the result without coaxing, flowing into it naturally as the belief and effort empower it. Magical and magitech creations are formed by calling upon spirits to empower the device after a simple crafting, resulting in effects that are sometimes less predictable, but often much more varied.
Crafters of magitech are usually minor Sorcerers and Shamans with a very narrow field of specialization, though experienced Sorcerers and Shamans can work together to create items as well.
Simple spells are usable by just about anyone, though magical potential does differ.
The new world has a considerable power vacuum, as anyone above Power Level 32 or so is extremely rare. As such, new characters will not be able to app above PL34, and anything above 32 will be extremely unlikely. However, there will be a generally open ability to define your character's abilities, as at the moment powers are still being defined.
Fifth Age Awakened Beings
Vampires with a Humanity below 7 will die, moving on to the afterlife peacefully. Those above 7 will have a chance to achieve Golconda, or will lose potency to become 14th or 15th Generation equivalents. Thin-Blooded are unaffected, but may no longer make new ones.
The various shapeshifters will have a choice: stay linked to the world and become something like a powerful Chosen(usually of Luna, if Garou), or become a spirit empowered by their totem. No new Garou are born.
Mages are all depowered, at least initially, since reality has changed altogether. In fact, they will all have an affinity for Sorcery and Shamanism, and will be among the first to forge the paths into those new disciplines. Mages as they were before effectively cease to exist.
As almost all Fetters will be destroyed, and Oblivion sealed away again, most Wraiths will simply Transcend. A few will linger, and new Wraiths can be made, but they are much closer to the 'real world' now and more rarely made. The dark entity known as Grandmother will be sealed away once more, though may rise again in centuries to come, while the Neverborn return to slumber after their struggles.
Banality is no longer an issue, or not as strong a one. The Fae themselves will start returning, but Changelings will be permanently in their Seeming, if they stay in the world at all, becoming effectively Fair Folk themselves. Alternately they may choose to become mortal, sending their Fae half on to Arcadia. The Fae themselves will change drastically, but since it is in their nature to change it will not be alarming.
Hunters are initially unchanged in their powers, but soon discover that they gain more potency by working in harmonious groups. This makes them briefly one of the most powerful forces on the planet, since they are organized and their powers are not limited or changed. New ones will not be made, being replaced by Chosen.
The Fallen, those that survive, either remain bound in their bodies or are given a brief chance at redemption. Afterward, they may be bound by a Pact like a Redeemer. The Abyss is resealed, but with a tiny crack in it to give them hope for redemption… and the mass alteration of the world above will give them a /chance/ to shake out of their insanity. Demons will slowly leak out over the eons, each one given a chance to wake up and redeem themselves, either through a redeemer or their own actions. See Antagonists, below.
Sixth Age Awakened Beings
Redeemers themselves are almost always normal humans, though exceptions can be made. With the proper rites and observances they can communicate with an exiled spirit, fettered Wraith, or other entity that is seeking redemption and form a Pact, with an end goal. As long as the pair work toward that end goal and otherwise meet the terms of the Pact, the entity gains much more direct power over the material world, but is bound to the human who pact with it. Upon achieving this goal the entity is considered redeemed, and may pass on to the next life or return to spiritual duties. If a Pact fails for some reason, both human and spirit often die, though sometimes the result is less dire and one can survive. It's quite possible even then that they will be unable to ever Pact again.
Knights are strong fighters who have managed to channel the spiritual energy of the world through the purity and power of their emotions. Usually they are focused on one emotion to a greater degree, which defines both their powers and limitations, but devoting too much to that emotion can make them fanatical and unreasonable about it. Knights who have mastered their main emotion without becoming obsessive can manifest wings. Experienced Knights can draw upon multiple emotions, but in all cases experiencing the antithesis can drain powers and can potentially be fatal.
A human who has been empowered by one of the various Greater Powers(a Celestine, such as Luna or Jupiter, etc) and gained powers matching with that being's preferred expression. Luna, for example, will often deal with transmutation or protection. As they grow more powerful, they may pick up flaws or vulnerabilities from the relationship. It is possible for Chosen to learn the abilities of other Chosen, /provided/ the Chosen they are learning from is not of an opposed nature. It is also quite rare and difficult to do so. Chosen do not have specific opposing aspects by the type of Chosen, instead their opposing Aspect is determined by the stars at birth(IE, at character creation)
Chosen of Luna
Luna focuses on two aspects, for the most part: change and protection, slightly favoring the former. Chosen of Luna select a totem animal(wolves are quite popular) which give them that form of animal as a sort of free transformation. They also gain a half-form, similar to the Exalted Lunar War Form, for combat. By forming an accord of some kind with the spirit representation of an animal, they may also gain that animal's form, though this usually involves a nontrivial quest.
Chosen of Gaia
Gaia, as far as anyone has been able to tell, does not have Chosen. She loves all her children equally.
Chosen of Ceres
Ceres is reborn and has taken an interest in the new world, but his aspect is one of destruction. It should be noted that 'destruction' in this case does not mean chaos, but rather the raw force of nature which paves the way for renewal. Ceres powers mostly focus upon the offensive or ways to break down things into their component parts, for example disassembling a house into rafters, nails, and stone blocks. They gain an intimate understanding of weakness and how to exploit it, but also of how to heal, oddly enough, and how to recreate that which is broken.
Chosen of Mercury
Mercury is the traveler, and the great teacher. The Chosen of Mercury gain a number of abilities related to swift travel and the elimination of obstacles. They also grant expanded awareness and ability to those that they accompany, and have a slight reduction in the difficulty of learning other gifts of the Chosen.
Chosen of Venus
Venus is the power of negotiation, of beauty, of love and comfort. Their powers are mostly mental, with influence and charm and charisma the major focus.
Chosen of Mars
Mars is the bringer of war and of rage, of conflict and strife. A Mars Chosen will have plentiful abilities to enhance physical strength, to encourage combat and power in battle, or to incite conflict.
Chosen of Jupiter
The Seeker of Truth is Jupiter's claim, and that of the learned and lucky. Jupiter affects probability, and allows the Chosen to learn new abilities much more swiftly. Abilities as in skills, though Sorcery can be included here. In addition they often possess the ability to see through illusions and into the spirit world effortlessly.
Some concepts become tightly woven to an item, and if that item grows close to a human it will become bound to that human. The human and item work as a pair from that point onward, and gain powers specific to the concept. However, the stronger the pair grows, the more tightly-bound to the concept itself they become, risking a loss of free will and becoming a servant of the concept itself.
Bound have no easy listing of powers.
Humans who have gotten deeply in touch with the now-nearer spirit realm will sometimes merge with a spirit they have a high affinity with. This creates a half-spirit, of sorts, who can perform spirit-like powers in the physical realm. Incarnates have an extremely narrow field of powers, but have very few drawbacks for using them, unlike most of the other supernaturals.
Incarnates generally select a handful of minor powers and one or two major powers related to the spirit, and advance in potency with those powers. They cannot learn the major powers of other Incarnates, though it is possible for them to learn the minor powers of related Incarnates. For example, a Crow Incarnate could learn a minor power of an Owl Incarnate at a notable penalty, or of a Wolf Incarnate at a more severe penalty, or a Shark Incarnate at a very very steep penalty. It would not be possible for a Crow Incarnate to learn minor powers from an Oak Incarnate(plant vs animal), nor from a Fear Incarnate(emotion vs animal)
Much like mages of before, Sorcerers simply use willpower to shape reality into changing, though incantations and classical 'magic' attempts can help focus their will. This does take considerable effort and personal energy, but lacks the threat of paradox. Unfortunately it is not without its drawbacks. For one, the larger the effect, the greater a chance of a Retribution, a self-correcting action to keep the world in balance, usually in the form of natural phenomena. For another, the general amount of change that can be done is usually more subtle and less dramatic than other means of changing the world, especially if a Sorcerer is careful and takes the time to build the effect up slowly to avoid a Retribution. Sorcerers have two advantages: they are the most flexible in how they can choose their powers, and anyone can become a Sorcerer. Unfortunately Sorcery does tend to require the same personal energy that is used to fuel everything else, making pure Sorcerers much more effective at using magic than mixed. A proper pairing of Sorcery with another supernatural can be extremely potent, however.
Spells are divided into Raw Spells, which are cast on the fly from pure potential, and Rote Spells, which are developed methods and must be cast the same way. Rote Spells must be learned, and are capable of doing much more due to being easier on the caster's energies, and easier to avoid Retributions. Raw Spells are very minor effects for the energy they take, and much more likely to invoke a Retribution of some kind.
Sorcery has no defined methodology yet.
Rather than us Sorcery, similar effects can be achieved by requesting the local spirits to work for the Shaman to achieve the effect. There are no direct downsides to this… except that spirits work on a Favor-bound system, and are often very odd in their requests. Favors may be quests, sacrifices, taboos, all sorts of things. Favor may be 'banked' for later or negotiated immediately, though the former is usually more efficient.
Spirits must be nearby to request effects, or may be convinced to travel with the Shaman. For example, a Shaman heading into the desert may seek out a Water Spirit and convince them to follow through the use of Favor, giving them an advantage and enabling the use of some Water abilities in the desert, at least so long as the Favor remains positive.
The more experienced the Shaman, the more Favor they can bank from various types of spirits, and the larger their requests may be, as they gain a level of trust and reputation amongst the Spirit Realm.
Not all of the new world is clean and new and pure. There are many threats to the stability of the new world.
Most of the old supernaturals from the Fifth Age were wiped out or depowered, but a few were able to escape the purge and continue existing, though often in a reduced form. Some are inimical to the current order and attempt to destroy it, others are simply insane, while others are hostile for other reasons. A few are harmless and keep to themselves.
Sealed away ages ago, the conceptual beings known as Demons are trapped in a dark, solitary prison, able to only barely feel the world above. The shift in powers has granted many a slap that awakens hope, and a tiny crack in the prison still exists, allowing one or two out once in a great while. Some of these seek to redeem themselves, either through their own actions or through a Redeemer, but others are creatures of hatred that seek to destroy humanity.
The revision of reality was not without glitches here and there. Sometimes things are just wrong and manifest as a hostile kink in reality given form. The forms these take are many and varied, though their danger is rarely too great.
Although the driving force of corruption is defeated in the new balanced world, evil still exists. Any of the great powers can be used for the wrong reasons, and with the free will to choose a new path, mankind is equally free to choose a path no better than the one they walked before.