Nightmare

RATIONALE: The Shadow Court supplement introduced the Unseelie Arts of Delusion and Contempt which are fine for sneaky double-agent stuff, but I think the Shadow Court deserves an Art which kicks a$$ a little bit more.

This is an Unseelie Art for harnessing the power of madness and fear and the forces of the Nightmare Realms. It is rumoured to derive from the Fomorians themselves and is often used by their Thallain shock troops. Seelie Kithain can learn this Art and some do purely to understand their enemies better; however in order to use the Nightmare Art a Kithain must adopt his Unseelie Legacy.

Attribute: Appearance


● The Shattered Lens

The changeling views the world through the fractured, grim perspective of nightmare, seeing the dark, dangerous and demented aspects of things and filtering out what is good and wholesome. The caster will clearly detect danger, tricks and traps as well as people or things attuned to dark energies (such as a haunted room, a vampire’s blood-slave or a cursed sword).
System: By rolling 1-2 successes, the caster detects the most obvious way in which the creature or object represents a danger to herself; when the subject is an intelligent being this will detect feelings of hostility towards the caster but not the reason for them. Rolling 3-4 successes detects more subtle dangers towards the caster’s plans or companions and, in intelligent subjects, it will identify madness, Bedlam and Nightmare Dice the subject may possess. Rolling 5+ successes identifies the presence of dark supernatural forces, such as wraiths, vampirism, spirit possession, etc. as well as a Fae’s Unseelie Legacy. The Shattered Lens lasts for a single round.

  • Actor – Describes a human whose vices are revealed
  • Fae – Describes a Fae creature or spell whose flaws, vices or danger is revealed
  • Nature – Describes an animal, plant or natural feature whose flaw or danger is revealed
  • Prop – Describes a weapon, machine or trap whose flaw or danger is revealed
  • Scene – can be used as a Modifier Realm to affect multiple targets or by itself to describe a location who flaw or danger is revealed

Type: Chimerical


●● Phobia

This cantrip invests the subject with terrifying energies, causing other creatures to perceive it as alien, unsettling and odd or, with more successes, baffling, frightening and disgusting. People will be reluctant to approach the affected subject or pick up or use it if it is an object. With more successes, the reaction will be fear or panic.
System: By rolling 1-2 successes the caster invests the subject with unease: the subject will experience +1 or +2 difficulty with all social rolls and other people will avoid them and not make eye contact (this effect can actually be useful and some changelings cast it on themselves to discourage interruptions); similarly items affected are +1 or +2 difficulty to use. With 3-4 successes the effect is dread: anyone must spend a Willpower point per turn to interact with the subject, pick up or use the item or enter the affected place; in combat or other stressful situations, creatures must roll Willpower to be able to confront the dreaded subject (vampires test Rötschreck and werewolves check for Fox Frenzy). With 5 or more successes the subject appears so ghastly that onlookers are stunned for a round and fear tests are at difficulty 8. The effects last for one turn per success rolled.

  • Actor – Describes the human person that is made disturbing
  • Fae – Describes the Fae creature or magical effect that is made disturbing
  • Nature – Describes the animal, plant or object that is affected
  • Prop – Describes the item that is affected
  • Scene – can be used as a Modifier Realm to affect multiple targets or by itself to make an area disturbing, making it difficult for people to enter
  • Time – can be used as a Modifier Realm to ‘hang’ the effect or extend its duration (creating a longer-lasting curse or ward)

Although this cantrip has potential in conflict, it’s real value is more subtle. It can be used to alienate friends and lovers, drive people insane, create misunderstandings and hostility and manipulate people’s choices.

Fae of House Fiona are immune to this power. The power cannot be used on cold iron objects and the touch of cold iron will instantly cancel the effect, restoring the subject’s normal appearance.

Type: Chimerical


●●● The Mark of Madness

Most Kithain accumulate Nightmare Dice when they get rid of Banality and the dice are used up when they generate dissonant side-effects when using magic (CtD p206-7). This cantrip provides another use for Nightmare Dice by investing them in a creature, object or spell that then becomes cursed.
System: Each success allows the caster to transfer one Nightmare Dice from her own store to the subject (or, if using Fae●●●●● Dweomer of Glamour, from another Fae to the caster if preferred). Nightmare Dice transferred to other Fae get added to their personal store, jinxing their own cantrips. Nightmare Dice transferred to non-Fae creatures or objects get substituted for any dice rolls that creature makes or that are made with that object. Alternatively the caster can simply roll all the Nightmare Dice at once an impose a nightmare effect straight away based on the number of "1"s rolled.

  • Actor – Describes a human cursed by this spell
  • Fae – Describes a Fae creature or cantrip affected by this spell
  • Nature – Describes an animal or natural object cursed by this spell
  • Prop – Describes an item cursed by this spell
  • Scene – can be used as a Modifier Realm to affect multiple targets or by itself to invest Nightmare Dice in a location, affecting any actions carried out there

Type: Chimerical


●●●● Brothers in Shadow

Unseelie Fae, especially the Shadow Court, take a close interest in other creatures of Nightmare: not just the Thallain, but also the Sabbat vampires, Black Spiral werewolves, Marauder and Nephandi mages and Spectres. This cantrip draws on the Mists to makes these dark creatures treat the Kithain as an ally or even a master. Some Fae use this cantrip to summon such creatures to aid them.
System: Each success on the roll should be treated as a dot in the appropriate creature’s status. If the creature outranks the changeling, they will treat him as a minion; if they are equal, as an ally; if the changeling outranks the Prodigal, he will be treated as a superior and obeyed. Vampires, Mages and Spectres have Status 1-5, Werewolves have Rank 1-5, Fae have Title 1-5 (or Prestige in the Shadow Court). The efect lasts one turn per success.

  • Actor – Describes Mages (Marauders, Nephandi, Infernalists) and mortals in organisations like the Arcanum and Inquisition so long as they do not have True Faith
  • Fae – Describes Thallain (1-2 successes), Adhene (3-4 successes), Nightmare Chimera (1-5 successes), even Fomorians (5+ successes).
  • Nature – Describes Werewolves (Black Spiral Dancers) or Vampires (Sabbat, Infernalists)
  • Prop – Describes the Fetter of a Wraith (Spectres)
  • Scene – can be used as a Modifier Realm to affect multiple targets or by itself to describe a vampire’s Haven, a werewolf’s Caern, a mage’s Sanctum or a wraith’s Haunt; alternatively the Scene Modifier can summon the requisite nightmare creature so long as it is in the area
  • Time – can be used as a Modifier Realm to ‘hang’ a cantrip but also to extend the duration of the alliance to a whole Scene, Story, Chronicle or beyond.

This is a dangerous cantrip to use, since most nightmare entities are magically aware enough to realise if they are being exploited and react; many belong to occult societies that will come to their aid if they are being abused (or exterminate them to protect their secrets).

Type: Chimerical


●●●●● The Wild Hunt

The changeling can call forth the power of Nightmare into the Autumn World to hunt down and abduct a chosen quarry. The Wild Hunt itself is an entity of Nightmare that takes various forms: a horde of demons, a spectral hunter and hounds, more typically the worst fear of any onlookers. The Hunt will erupt from the nearest Trod and proceed by land or air to the target. Witnesses are struck dumb or mad with terror, then the Mists steal their memory of the Hunt except for recurring nightmares for some of the less-Banal onlookers. When the Hunt arrives at its destination it abducts it into a Nightmare Realm in the Far Dreaming. Often true ‘changelings’ (Thallain imposters, Adhene possessors or Inanimae) are left in the place of what was taken.
System: The number of successes rolled determines the strength of the Wild Hunt and this is added to the Banality of onlookers to determine the effect of the Mists on CtD p208 (eg with 4 successes a changeling onlooker with a Banality of 3 would be affected as if his Banality was 7, recalling only “dreamlike images” and doubting the experience ever occurred). The strength of the Hunt is also used on the same table to determine how long the target disappears for, although the Time Realm could be used to extend this.

  • Actor – Describes the mortal target of the Wild Hunt (Wyrd)
  • Fae – Describes the Fae target of the Wild Hunt
  • Nature – Describes a beast or natural object that is targeted
  • Prop – Describes an item that is targeted
  • Scene – can be used as a Modifier Realm to affect multiple targets or by itself to describe a building that is targeted
  • Time – can be used as a Modifier Realm to ‘hang’ a cantrip but also to extend the duration of imprisonment in a Nightmare Realm to a whole Scene, Story, Chronicle or beyond.

If the caster is not in the presence of the target, she must either use the Scene Realm as a Modifier or incorporate a sympathetic connection to the target into a Bunk (eg a lock of the target’s hair).

Humans will always return from a Nightmare Realm unharmed physically but Dream-Struck; Fae will return in the next threshold of Bedlam.

It is possible to resist the Hunt: Fae of House Fiona are immune to its fear effect as are other characters protected by Naming●●● Runic Circle or Merits like Iron Will or True Faith. The Storyteller may allow other characters to resist the Wild Hunt by rolling Willpower against the caster’s successes; this might apply to loyal Trolls stubbornly defending a lord, Seelie Redcaps trying to intimidate the Hunt, Sidhe aroused by passion and True Lovers defending each other. If the Hunt is successfully defied it returns to attack its summoner.

Certain nights are especially associated with the Wild Hunt (eg Walpurgis Night 20 April, Halloween 31 October) as a certain places (eg Windsor Forest). Summoning it under such conditions would be a more powerful Bunk and add an extra success to the cantrip.

Type: Chimerical or Wyrd


Nightmare Bunks

Pull a gruesome face
●● Make a bloodcurdling threat
●●● Talk backwards or in nonsense words
●●●● Wear a monster mask
●●●●● Tell a child a story that makes them cry

Nightmare

Tales of New Camelot Jon_Rowe