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For the Lore from Demon: The Fallen, see Lore of Death.
ArcanumDeath

Death is one of the ten Arcana of Mage: The Awakening, the Subtle ruling Arcanum of Stygia. As well as ghosts and the undead, its effects include things metaphysically associated with death, including darkness, decay and, most horrific of all, the stealing of souls. While it is not made explicit in the rulebook, it is implied that Death, not Matter, must be used to affect vampires and other undead. The Arcanum of Death deals, as the name implies, with the powers of death and undeath. A mage skilled in this Arcanum can steal and trap souls, speak with the dead, steal years from a target, raise zombies, and, with sufficient skill, even bring the dead back to life. It is primarily used by the Moros, as their epithet of Necromancers would suggest.

Death allows control and command of ghosts in much the same way that Spirit affects spirits. Mages draw a heavy distinction between the two, however: according to Atlantean lore, spirits are the native form of life in the Shadow, while ghosts are not proper beings at all. They are merely echoes, memories of a soul's passage left in the ephemera which only mimic consciousness, and as such few mages have qualms about using them for their own ends.

This Arcanum grants a mage unparalleled power over the soul, and is justly feared for this reason. Other Arcana can only affect souls in specific ways; for example, Fate can sever a soul if it is not bound to its original owner, and Spirit or Mind are able to affect unmoored souls drifting in Twilight.Template:Ref Tremere mages steal souls as a matter of course, and so use this Arcanum extensively.

Its associated summoning is the Spectre and the Exarch that supervises it is the Psychopomp. Within astral Space, Death is incorporated by the Aeon Typhon.

InfluencesEdit


Darkness (note that this is different from merely the absence of light), decay, ectoplasm, enervation, resurrection, soul stealing, the lifespan, undead.

Nature and PowerEdit


The Arcanum of Death is the Subtle Arcanum of the Supernal Realm of Stygia, the realm that also generates the Arcanum of Matter. Death is all around in Stygia; the tombs of the dead spring up like macabre mushrooms across the bleak and featureless countryside, and the shades of the departed wander the area or simply sit and contemplate. The power of Death is rather more diminished in the Fallen World, as with all the Arcana and the Subtle Arcana especially, but it still pervades the material realms and the Shadow World.

Life is everywhere in the Fallen World, and where life is, death is not far behind. This Arcanum evidences itself in a manner too delicate to be seen by mere Sleepers, but its malign energies hover over the world like a thick cloud. From the crushing of the tiniest insect to the thousands killed in a volcanic eruption, death’s influence exerts itself behind the scenes. And the raw energy of the Arcanum can become visible to Sleepers, subtle though it may be, in the creation of ghosts, zombies, and other such undead revenants.

The powers handed to a mage versed in the Arcanum of Death control the powerful metaphysical forces behind these events. A mage who can wield the Arcanum skilfully enough can slay mortals with but a thought, rotting their bodies into nothing. Death can give one the ability to create one’s own undead, or bolster those that already exist, and it grants many more powers to those with the stomach to seek them. Mages using Death can lengthen their own lifespan by robbing years from another, or perform the reverse and hand another years from their own thread. Death mages can destroy Mana and sunder spells, make themselves or others appear to be dead, manipulate the shadows, create, transmute, or destroy ectoplasm (the substance of ghosts), cannibalise the souls of the dying for Mana, and, at higher levels and with a little power of the Arcanum of Fate, bring people back from the dead, but at the cost of their own lives. Death is both a terrifying and alluring Arcanum, and those who use it equally so.

Common PracticesEdit

Initiate (●)Edit

The first level of mastery grants an Initiate of Death the power to see the impact of death in individual people, noting how many have died in that person’s presence. She can also see the manner in which a person or creature died, and exactly how long ago that was. The mage also gains the power to sculpt ectoplasm conjured by a ghost or other mage, examine the health of the soul, alter shadows to conceal herself or an object, or speak with the dead.

NAME OTHER ARCANA PAGE REQ SOURCE DESCRIPTION ROTE POOL ASPECT
Counterspell
123

M:tA
counter Death spells
Composure + Occult + Death
Covert
Ectoplasmic Shaping
133
(x)
M:tA
alter existing ectoplasm
Presence + Occult + Death vs. Resolve + Gnosis (mage) or Resistance (ghost)
Vulgar
Forensic Gaze
134
M:tA
learn how a subject died
Intelligence + Medicine + Death
Covert
Grim Sight
134
M:tA
Mage Sight
Wits + Occult + Death
Covert
Instill Mortality
130
TotM
item crafting, alternate cost relinquishment - Item dies as it is used
Intelligence + Crafts + Death
Covert
Pain Harvest
131
TotM
item crafting, alternate cost relinquishment - Increase damage to pattern from violence
Stamina + Survival + Death
Covert
Shadow Sculpting
135
M:tA
deepen existing shadows
Wits + Occult + Death
Covert
Soul Marks
135
M:tA
examine a soul for Derangements (extended Intelligence + Empathy to diagnose what kind)
Intelligence + Medicine + Death
Covert
Speak with the Dead
135
M:tA
see, hear, and speak with ghosts in Twilight
Wits + Occult + Death
Covert

Apprentice (●●)Edit

An Apprentice of Death, with the second level of mastery, can bestow her perceptions of the weight of death on others. She can command shadows to move as though they were alive, even making them travel from their source, and can now create the substance called ectoplasm, an energy used in matters related to ghosts. It is at this level that the mage first gains power over auras, as she is now capable of suppressing them. She can cause physical objects, but not creatures, to decay, and can enhance her touch so she can interact with things in Twilight. Also, the mage gains the ability to summon ghosts, even against their will, and create soul jars, the vessels for soul trapping. Finally, she can leech the vigour from incoming attacks, rendering them useless.

NAME OTHER ARCANA PAGE REQ SOURCE DESCRIPTION ROTE POOL ASPECT
Animate Shadows
136
(x)
M:tA
move shadows into lit areas
Wits + Occult+ Death
Vulgar
Bestow Ghostly Sight
Prime 4
29
TotM
grant ability to see ghosts
Intelligence + Empathy + Death
Covert
Corpse Mask
136
M:tA
hide the true cause of death
Intelligence + Subterfuge + Death
Covert
Corpse Unmasking
Prime 1
186
GotV
reveal the true cause of death
Covert
Decay
136
(x)
M:tA
reduce Durability of a touched object
Stamina + Intimidate + Death
Vulgar
Dislodge the Soul
Prime 1
124
(x)●
L:tA
regain Willpower by damaging a soul
Vulgar
Ectoplasm
136
(x)
M:tA
generate ectoplasm from an orifice
Stamina + Occult + Death
Vulgar
Entropic Guard
136
M:tA
Shielding
Wits + Occult + Death
Covert
Final Sight
186
(x)
GotV
view the last image a body saw
Vulgar
Forensic Invisibility
Matter 1
54
Ban
destroys fibers, dead skin, saliva, oils and hair
Covert
Ghost Summons
137
M:tA
call to ghosts in the area
Presence + Persuasion + Death vs. Resistance
Covert
Grant the Grim Sight
137
M:tA
grant Mage Sight
Manipulation + Persuasion + Death
Covert
Lighten Anchor
60
TotM
increase the range a ghost can travel
Covert
Quiet Grave
54
Ban
subtract Potency from attempts to animate a corpse
Covert
Soul Jar
137
M:tA
prevent a dying soul from departing
Presence + Crafts + Death
Covert
Suppress Aura
137
M:tA
make examination of your soul more difficult
Manipulation + Subterfuge + Death
Covert
Touch of the Grave
138
(x)
M:tA
reach into twilight
Dexterity + Survival + Death
Vulgar

Disciple (●●●)Edit

The third level of mastery allows a Disciple of Death to force ghosts to do her bidding or raise zombies for the same purpose. She can heal the corpus of ghosts and create gateways into Twilight. Her shield can now be transferred to another. She can mystically destroy objects, shunt them into Twilight, or weaken the structure of objects already there. Her mastery over shadows extends to the point where she can make them from nothing, and she gains the ability to suppress her life signs and appear dead. Finally, she gains the power to convert the souls of the dying into Mana, and to sever the souls of Sleepers from their body.

NAME OTHER ARCANA PAGE REQ SOURCE DESCRIPTION ROTE POOL ASPECT
Arm Ghost
134

TotM
allow a ghost to trigger a precast spell
Intelligence + Occult + Death
Covert
Control Ghost
138
(x)
M:tA
dominate the will of a ghost
Presence + Intimidation + Death vs. Resistance
Vulgar
Corpse Flesh
Life 3
173
(x)
AA
become halfway dead to survive damage
Vulgar
Curse of Withering
137
●●●●●
(5)
TotM
item creation, curse
Presence + Crafts + Death
Covert
Destroy Ephemera
138
(x)
M:tA
fray objects in twilight
Resolve + Occult + Death
Vulgar
Destroy Object
139
M:tA
reduce structure of a touched object
Resolve + Crafts or Science + Death
Covert
Devouring the Slain
139
(x)●
M:tA
gain willpower from wounded foes
Manipulation + Persuasion + Death
Vulgar
Dissipate Unreal Construct
Prime 3
26
TotM
reduce structure of phantasms or ephemera
Intelligence + Crafts + Death
Covert
Entropic Shroud
139
M:tA
grant Shielding
Wits + Occult + Death
Covert
Ghost Gate
139
(x)
M:tA
open a passage to Twilight
Resolve + Occult + Death
Vulgar
Ghostly Object
140
M:tA
transition an object to ephemera in Twilight
Resolve + Occult or Science + Death
Covert
Healing the Dead Mind
192
Myst
increase a ghost's Mental Attributes
Covert
Hollow Victory
54
(x)●
Ban
caster dies
Vulgar
Martyr's Bequest
Life 3 and/or Mind 3 and/or Prime 3
195
s
SL
kill self when fatally injured; grant remaining Health/Willpower/Mana to allies
Covert
Orpheus' Lament
131
GoG
all in earshot suffer penalty to deliberate rolls
Covert
Quicken Corpse
140
(x)
M:tA
raise a zombie
Presence + Persuasion + Death
Vulgar
Restore Corpus
141
(x)
M:tA
restore a ghost's body
Composure + Occult + Death
Vulgar
Sculpt Ephemera
141
(x)
M:tA
alter the form of twilight objects
Dexterity + Crafts + Death
Vulgar
Self Repairing Zombie
Matter 3
173
(x)s
AA
allow zombies eat corpses for health
Vulgar
Sever the Sleeping Soul
141
(x)●
M:tA
cut a Sleeper's soul free
Presence + Intimidation + Death
Vulgar
Shadow-Forged
Matter 3
174
(x)
AA
create weapons or tools from shadows
Vulgar
Summon Shadows
142
(x)
M:tA
create animate, physical shadows
Wits + Occult + Death
Vulgar
Summon Supernal Being
73
Summ
(Moros only) call a Spectre from Stygia, with difficulty
Covert
Suppress Own Life
142
M:tA
pretend to be dead
Composure + Subterfuge + Death
Covert
The Metal Dead
Matter 3
56
(x)
GoG
animate corpse and transform to metal
Vulgar
Transfer Anchor
133

TotM
alter a ghost's anchor to a different subject
Presence + Larceny + Death
Covert

Adept (●●●●)Edit

With the fourth level of mastery, an Adept of Death gains the power to enervate her foes, sucking out their strength and rendering them weak and powerless. She can bind the recently dead into objects or places, dooming them to haunt these locations forever. She may also rot the living flesh of a creature, and create an intelligent, driven undead creature called a revenant. Also at this level are granted the powers to suppress the life signs of another, to shift into Twilight without a gate, to bind souls into a soulless person, or to destroy her aura permanently.

NAME OTHER ARCANA PAGE REQ SOURCE DESCRIPTION ROTE POOL ASPECT
Cloak of Decay
Fate 2
175
(x)●
AA
apply Destroy Object against Melee attacks
Vulgar
Deathless Oath
Fate 2
110

GoG
swear oath that binds caster as a revenant after death
Covert
Enervation
143
M:tA
reduce a touched foe's physical attributes
Presence + Occult + Death
Covert
Ghost Familiar Pact
38
Summ
bind a Ghost Familiar to self
Covert
Ghostly Archive
Spirit 3
110
(x)●
GoG
invest in Library of bound ghosts
Vulgar
Haunted Shell
Matter 4
29
(x)
GoG
bind a ghost into a physical object
Vulgar
Haunting
143
(x)●
M:tA
bind a dying soul to become a ghost
Presence + Persuasion + Death vs. Resolve (sleeper) or Resistance (ghost)
Vulgar
Revenant
143
(x)
M:tA
raise a revenant
Manipulation + Persuasion + Death
Vulgar
Rotting Flesh
144
(x)●
M:tA
do Lethal damage with a touch attack
Strength + Intimidation + Death - Stamina
Vulgar
Scourge Ghost
134
TotM
psychicaly traumatize a ghost
Presence + Occult + Death vs Resisence
Covert
Shadow Flesh
Life 4; opt Matter 4
189
SotT
transform self into living shadow
Vulgar
Slay Own Aura
144
M:tA
prevent identification of your aura
Intelligence + Subterfuge + Death
Covert
Soul Binding
144
(x)
M:tA
attach a stolen soul
Composure + Empathy + Death
Vulgar
Suppress Other's Life
144
M:tA
falsify another's death
Manipulation + Subterfuge + Death vs. Composure + Gnosis
Covert
Twilight Shift
145
(x)●
M:tA
transition to and from Twilight
Stamina + Occult + Death
Vulgar
Undying Zeal
Time 2
55
(x)●
Ban
come back as revenant after willing death
Vulgar

Master (●●●●●)Edit

The fifth level of mastery gives a Master of Death the power to tap the souls of the perfectly healthy for Mana, to summon ghosts from the Underworld in order to gain their knowledge, or to bolster the power of ghosts already in the world. She may also steal years of life from Sleepers, destroy Mana whether it lies within an artefact, as tass, or even within a mage, and sunder any magic.

NAME OTHER ARCANA PAGE REQ SOURCE DESCRIPTION ROTE POOL ASPECT
Atonement
Fate 2
35
(x)s
L:tA
return the dead to life by dying
Vulgar
Create Ghost
Mind 4, Time 2
193
(x)●
Myst
call a ghost out of the past
Vulgar
Deathlike Journey
Life 2
104
(x)●
L:tA
send soul on journey to the Underworld
Vulgar
Destroy Mana
145
M:tA
unweave Mana that is bound as Tass
Strength + Intimidation + Death - Resolve
Covert
Devouring the Living
145
(x)●
M:tA
gain Willpower from healthy foes
Manipulation+ Intimidation + Death - Stamina (living) or Resistance (ghost)
Vulgar
Grant Ghost Familiar
39
Summ
bind a Ghost Familiar to another person
Covert
Grant Lifespan
35
(x)●
L:tA
give others years of your life
Vulgar
Quell the Spark
145
M:tA
destroy set magic
Resolve + Occult + Death
Covert
Quicken Ghost
146
(x)
M:tA
increase a ghost's traits
Manipulation + Occult + Death
Vulgar
Secret Marriage
152
(x)
TotM
bind willing Ghost to Homonculus
Intelligence + Occult + Death
Vulgar
Steal Body
Life 3
105
(x)●●(2)
FC
supplant a target's soul with your own
Wits + Science + Death vs. Resolve
Vulgar
Steal Lifespan
146
(x)●
M:tA
steal a year of someone's life
Manipulation + Subterfuge + Death
Vulgar
Summon Chthonian
Prime 3, Spirit 3
46
Summ
call a never-born from the Underworld
Vulgar
Summon the Dead
146
(x)
M:tA
call a ghost from the Underworld
Presence + Persuasion + Death vs. Resistance
Vulgar

Imperial PracticesEdit

Archmasters are rare but not unheard of. They don’t follow the same rules as the other ranks. Archmasters become Avatars of the Arcanum they studied, living embodiments of the Watchtower their power comes from. They become conduits for power and are no longer barred from their power by the Abyss and so aren’t subject to Paradox. They take on the physical characteristics of their Arcanum. They should be addressed as Arcs (i.e. an Arc of Death). Archmasters can cast all the spells from Initiate to Master, without using any Mana, and in any preferred duration. They effectively gain the powers of a God, including limited immortality (e.g. they stop getting older, and become immune to all diseases), but they’re still human beings and as such can be killed just like anybody else should they become careless. They still suffer penalties of their Inferior Arcanum; a mage can’t over come that until he/she has become an Arc of that inferior Arcanum. Archmasters no longer belong soley to the planet of their birth; they become citizens of the cosmos, so their concerns must move beyond their home planet to the wider Universe.

The powers afforded to an archmaster of Death are many and terrible. An Arc's voice takes on an echoing quality as if it were issuing forth from an open tomb, this ability allows the Arc to call forth the shades of the ancient dead and converse with them, maybe even control them. This vocal quality does not affect living humans, animals, spirits, or werwolves, just the dead and undead, Kindred included for a short time. An archmaster can perform such feats as adding years to his/her own lifespan without taking them off another, or take these years from the Awakened. They're able to raise armies of undead servitors, or consume the whole of a victim’s soul. Even these great and terrible powers pale in comparison to the full potential of archmastery of Death: the ability to bring people back to life.

Archmastery 6 (●●●●● ●)Edit

Bypassing Mage Armor or other defensive magics by automatically probing for weak points.

Destruction of Mana whenever a spell is cast in an area. Spells that alter all ghostly anchors meeting the conditions specifi ed. Altering the rivers of the Underworld.


Archmastery 7 (●●●●● ●●)Edit

Claim an unoccupied Chantry, incorporating it into the caster’s soul. “Adoption” of orphaned sub-souls using the Arcanum used in their creation. Create an Artifact that casts spells of the Arcanum. Create a Demesne of the Arcanum. Create or alter Legacies with attainments based on the Arcanum. Create Proximi with spells of the Arcanum as powers. Alter whether the targeted Arcanum is Ruling, Common or Inferior for a targeted mage. Alter how many spells of the Arcanum a mage may maintain spell control over, or how they affect spell tolerance. Alter the spell factors, target and other details of a spell of the Arcanum.

Alter ghoul, vampire or Sin-Eater templates, Disciplines, bloodlines, Keys, manifestations and krewes. Invent new ghostly numina. Alter the sins in a Morality trait or change a target’s rating in a Morality trait. Create a new soul for a target that has lost their own. Alter the Laws of a region of the Underworld.

Removal of a Legacy with attainments based on the Arcanum. Removal of a supernatural ability governed by the Arcanum (such as Mind to remove a vampire’s ability to use the Dominate Discipline). Dispelling an Imperial Spell cast using the Arcanum. Removing a mage’s ability to use the Arcanum. Destruction of an Artifact based on the Arcanum.

Immortality through removing the capacity to die or the aging process. Removing aspects of a vampire or Sin-Eater’s template or a ghost’s powers. Instant destruction of a soul. Removing dots of a being’s Morality trait.

NAME OTHER ARCANA PAGE REQ SOURCE DESCRIPTION ROTE POOL ASPECT
Imperial Dispellation
38
IM
dispel Imperial Death spells
Not listed

Archmastery 8 (●●●●● ●●●)Edit

Create a Chantry rooted in the material world. Create an Ochema that lacks the Imperial Practices or possesses archmastery of the Arcanum used. Create a portal to the Supernal Realm that has the Arcanum used as a Ruling Arcanum.

Absorb the souls of the dying into oneself, making them part of a Chantry. Absorb another mage’s soul stone. Create a Chantry rooted in the Underworld.

NAME OTHER ARCANA PAGE REQ SOURCE DESCRIPTION ROTE POOL ASPECT
Proxy
39
IM
create living sub-souls
Unlisted

Archmastery 9 (●●●●● ●●●●)Edit

NAME OTHER ARCANA PAGE REQ SOURCE DESCRIPTION ROTE POOL ASPECT
Transfiguration
39
IM
gain complete control over the Arcana
Not listed

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