Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Fall of Camazotz: The Four Pillars

 The people of the Fourth Sun are at each other's throats, family against family and city against city.  The seven Great Cities rely on Third Sun technologies to grow food they can eat and hunt for their meat.  Sorcerers scientists from the previous age grow few, targeted in the Flower Wars and their hearts fed to Camazotz to keep his unlight burning.  Their position precarious King Yat Balam, Lord of Teotihuacan, has called for the 13 best and brightest to sit beside him and plot a path for the future.

Yat Balam arranged for the sharpest eyes and most calculating Astrologers to chart the future, and predict the Fifth Sun, upon a great round stone.  A reminder of their cause, Yat Balam seeks to extend the Fourth Sun as long as possible.  The four spiritual pillars of Mexica society will sift through their inititates, sending only the finest to Teotihacan.

Modeled off of the 6 Viziers system in the FATE Toolkit (p. 90) reduce Refresh by 1.  Affiliation with one of the 4 pillars grants a Virtue (an Aspect that can be tagged ), a Vice (an Aspect that can be compelled), and Domains.  When using Skills listed in the Domains, the effects are magical.  You also get two of the associated Blessings. I'll elaborate on those later.

Coryphee - When the world lacked the order of predation, the Spider took up her loom and put everything in its place.  A chain of consumption was formed and She maintained the fabric of All.  As lesser Powers rose, coalescing cults of followers She grew jealous and shook the Web of Creation.  Prey ate predator, the dead would not stay in their graves, and hearts sickened the Sun.  A group of ritual dancers silently placated her, the grace of their limited limbs entrancing.  Now they silently keep the Spider calm and moving things in their favor.
Virtue: Foresight
Vice: Jealousy
Domains: Athletics, Decieve, Investigation

Black Brides of the Death Bat
The King of Bats' immortal harem, they now speak for him in his transcendence with unquestioned authority.  None knew his desires or his secrets as well as his multitude of lovers, knowledge they now use to manipulate the Great Cities.   Pursuing their own agenda, no affiliation carries as much power or suspicion as the Black Brides.
Virtue: Secrecy
Vice: Gluttony
Domains: Provoke, Resources, Stealth

Skullfaced Ministry of Mictlan
In the Age of the Fourth Sun death and the afterlife are a judicial bureaucracy. Demises are appraised, arged, and uploaded to their just reward.  Reliant on Third Sun technology to maintain the uplink, the Ministry seeks a Third Sun wonder - Tapac-yauri, the Golden Staff.  Believed to lie south of Green Hell, they have invested heavily in expeditions to the region especially because the waters continue to rise and the land bridge may soon be submerged.
Virtue: Endurance
Vice: Sloth
Domains: Shoot, Lore, Empathy

The War Lodges
Robbed of existence the spiritual echoes of previous Suns rage in Shadow at their lot and will not be kept silent.  Bearing their Voice the War Lodges advocate a conservative course for the future, supporting further efforts to scavenge Third Sun technologies.  Incidentally the Lodges possess the largest stockpiles of Third Sun technologies, many courtiers fear the War Lodges may lead coups against the decadent nobility of the Great Cities.
Virtue: Strength
Vice: Wrath
Domains: Fight, Rapport, Notice