"No! I swear to the Seven! Tattooed face to feet and missing three fingers! He stabbed the Lord and turned into a bird! I know what I saw! I know what I saw!" - Jamur Kafyl, former guard of Lord Shavis of Rynmere, executed for assassinating his Lord.
Long have the races of man jealously regarded the natural kingdom. Dominance was not enough, for who truly watches the flight of birds and does not wish to join them?
- 1 Introduction
- 2 The Three Sovereign Substances
- 3 Totems
- 3.1 Totem Creation
- 3.2 OOC Requirements for Totems
- 3.3 Totem Families
- 3.4 Totem Traits
- 3.5 The Self-Totem
- 3.6 Aging, Reproduction, Death
- 3.7 Totems, Mutations, and Blessings
- 4 Novice Techniques
- 5 Competent Techniques
- 6 Expert Techniques
- 7 Master Techniques
- 8 Revealed Techniques
- 9 Dangers and Overstepping
- 10 Initiation
- 11 Suggested Mutations
- 12 Competency Tiers
Becoming is a magic that uses Totems to guide the transformation of one being into another. It is not the mimicry of another life form, it is the exact duplication. Every blemish, flaw, and strength of the source that the Totem is made from will be present in a pure Becoming transformation.
Totems (unique artifacts, crafted from parts of a single creature, see below for further explanation) guide and shape transformations. Without something to Become, there is no magic. Although this restriction exists, Becomers do not have to arduously study the feathers of birds or musculature of a jungle cat in order to slip into their body. While research can be important for this magic, it tends to be knowledge born from first hand experience. It is common to find Becomers galloping beneath the stars as a stallion to fully test its endurance, the balance of its gait, and other capabilities.
Unlike some transformative abilities which eventually require a reversion to one's original shape, Becoming holds no such limitation. Becoming was a name chosen aptly, one Becomes, they do not pretend. If a Becomer decides to become a Mer, they will forever be one until motivated to transform again. Some abandon their original form for the excitement of others, but most (especially beginner mages) will cling to their old identities like a favored cloak.
Because of this fact that Becomers truly are what they Become, much of their Ether use and many of their abilities are "front-loaded". What this means is that while there is a high cost in order to Become a form, there is no cost in maintaining it. So while rapid succession of any of the transformations or abilities will drain their Ether, simply existing in a form will not.
The Three Sovereign Substances
The Three Sovereign Substances are the required materials harvested from the creature that the Becomer recreates into a Totem for their soul to fill and become. If this material cannot be gathered, the creature cannot be transformed into.
All three Sovereign Substances are variable and represent Structure, Lifeforce, and Visage. This is why scales from reptiles, cartilage from sharks, exoskeletons from insects, feathers from birds can still be used.
The following lists include common examples of each Sovereign Substance, but are not definitive.
The First Sovereign Substance: Structure The Structure of the Totem's shape. Examples of the First Sovereign Substance are:
- Keratin of nails, horns, claws, hooves.
The Second Sovereign Substance: Lifeforce The Liquid/Breath of the Totem's Lifeforce. Examples of the Second Sovereign Substance are:
- Body fluid.
- Fluid nutrients.
The Third Sovereign Substance: Visage (Surface) The Visage/Surface of the Totem's appearance. Examples of the Third Sovereign Substance are:
- Keratin of hair, feathers.
While ancient Structure and Visage might be found, unless there is Lifeforce, a Totem cannot be made. The blood must be viable and alive, and not coagulated muck. Trying to create Totems from the long dead almost never works. A general rule-of-thumb is that blood only lasts about a trial or two. The form is the creature pre-death, but any old injuries that the form has would carry through (if the creature was missing a leg days prior to death, the Totem will also be missing that leg as Totems are exact replications). This includes illnesses. As long as the illness is physical or racial based, then it will not infect the other Totems. A Becomer has the potential to heal these Totems with abilities like Chrysalis.
Totems are the means by which Becoming is possible. Totems are defined as an artifact object that has been created from the Three Sovereign Substances of a creature, bound together by Ether channeled through the Becoming spark, so that after dedication, the Becomer's soul can fill the totem thus making transformation possible. When the soul fills the Totem, the mage's form changes shape (through the use of Ether) to the creature that the Totem was made from. This includes all physical elements of that creature, such as weight.
While a Totem is more resilient than an ordinary item constructed of blood, hair, and bone, it is not invincible. Though durable against natural elements, and supernaturally tough, a Totem is vulnerable to attack when targeted by intentionally destructive intent combined with some sort of force against the literal Totem itself. Totems do not require food or drink unless the Becomer is actively using the Totem.
OOC REQUIREMENT Becomers must track their Totems via Thread Acquisitions and cannot assume acquiring them without peer review approval. These threads must be clearly linked next to the Totem in the Becomers' CS.
Please see OOC Requirements below.
Totems are not difficult to create. Anyone can create an object from three substances, but it is not considered a usable Totem until a Becomer dedicates their Ether to it.
The difference between creation and dedication is the act of Ether involved. Creation of a Totem refers to establishing the practical use of the Three Sovereign Substances into a particular shape or item. It is Totem Dedication that takes that item and converts it into a magical artifact which the mage can transform with. There is no correct way to create a Totem, so long as it primarily incorporates the three sovereign substances.
The time it takes to craft a literal Totem depends on the materials and what type of item the character is getting made. If making it themselves, this will likely depend on the relevant skill for the crafting of the item. The creation of a Totem is separate from the act of dedication, though many Becomers traditionally combine the two processes.
Totem Dedication involves channeling Ether through the Totem to awaken its potential. To dedicate a Totem, a meditative act is required with the object/item. Many Becomers perform Totem Dedication at the same time as Totem Creation, others might perform it after a craftsmanship-styled practical creation.
Dedication is simple. The Becomer meditates with the Totem for a certain period of time before attempting its use for transformation.
Though simple, due to the meditative aspect of it, dedicating a Totem is not something that can be done on the fly. It can take upward to a trial, depending on proficiency. Becomers often consider their signature to be in the process through which they create and dedicate their Totems. Some make art of it, while others stress only efficiency.
Meditation should involve the mage mentally linking to the Three Sovereign Substances and finding a personal relation to the Totem's creature and/or Totem family (see below for explanation of Totem families). Once that link is explored, then Ether is spent to create channels through which the mage's soul makes a metaphorical path to travel for transformation. A possible imagery to explain this process would be like using a machete to hack a trail through jungle wilderness, but once the path is cleared, it can be traveled again and again.
Once a Totem has been dedicated, it can only ever be employed by that same mage. Totems can't be used to store souls. A totem can only be filled with the soul of the mage who dedicated it, and by doing so, that is what causes the transformation to occur. There is no such thing as "used" Totems that can be swapped between mages. A Dedicated Totem is bound to the mage whose Ether meditated with it. For Becomers, this is quickly evident within the first few bits of meditation as they can recognize that there is ether within a dedicated totem. If another Becomer tries to fill a Totem that's been dedicated, it will fail and cause overstepping in that Becomer. The severity of the overstep is decided by how much effort the mage puts into the attempt.
A Totem is considered dedicated if the Becomer can place their soul within it, and thus change their form, without any other preparation required. Totems can be destroyed purposefully through the mage reversing the Three Sovereign Substances in a similar meditative act. This should take as long as the initial dedication took, if not longer.
- Novice - Totem Dedication: 1 day / 24 breaks.
- Competent - Totem Dedication: 12 breaks.
- Expert - Totem Dedication: 6 breaks.
- Master - Totem Dedication: 3 breaks.
- Revealed - Totem Dedication: 1 break.
OOC Requirements for Totems
All Totems, even if starting as a Becomer, must be acquired within threads and by review rewards. This includes the acquisition of the Three Sovereign Substances, as well as the actual Totem Dedication. These can both occur in the same thread, but they must occur as actual scenes on their own. Neither Sovereign Substance acquisition or Totem Dedication can be assumed. Totem Creation of the object itself can be assumed, but only after the Sovereign Substances have been acquired through a written scene.
All Becomers must have a spot on their Character Sheet where there is a list of all acquired Totems with links to the threads in which the Totem was acquired/dedicated and then rewarded.
The chosen Totem Families must be listed on the Becomers' CS prior to Totem acquisition for peer reviewers to grant them.
A Note on Totems and Skills
Just as mutations follow through Totems, so does a PC's skills. A Totem is not a way to acquire skills that your PC does not already have on their own. This includes combat-based, athletics, and strength skills. A PC can develop these skills through practice with a Totem (e.g. practicing athletics in a cat Totem), but a Totem will never be more than the PC's actual proficiency in that skill. Such things must continue to be reflected in the PC's skills and knowledge.
All Becomers automatically start with the family of their race at initiation (from which they will craft their Self-Totem, see below). Depending on the Becomer's proficiency, the mage only has access to a certain number of families and these chosen families must be listed on the Becomers' CS in order for those related Totems to be dedicated. Some creatures may appear to fall into multiple categories, so in that event, if the Becomer has access to one of those, they can Become that creature.
These lists are not definitive, but general examples of each family.
Mammalia (Mammals) - This is the animals with hair or fur, that give live birth, and nurse their young typically. This includes everything from a mouse to Humans. The bulk of PC Races are included here unless otherwise listed below.
Reptilia (Reptiles) - These are snakes, iguana, and Ithecal.
Amphibia (Amphibians) - These are the slick-skinned types like frogs. This includes everything from newts to turtles to Mer.
Aves (Birds) - Most of the flying creatures with feathers will fall into this family, usually laying eggs. This includes pigeons to eagles to Avriel.
Aquatic (Fish) - These are the creatures of the seas and lakes. Often they have gills, lay eggs, scales or slick skin. This includes tuna, shellfish, whales, etc.
Insecta (Insects) - These are the creatures who are typically defined by an exoskeleton, often laying eggs. This includes bees, spiders, and moths.
Uncanny - This includes supernatural, and things that aren't of the ordinary world we know. Tunawa, Naerikk, Yludih, etc.
- Novice - The Race of the Becomer's Self-Totem + 1 Additional Family. (2 Total Families)
- Competent - The 2 Novice Families + 1 Additional Family. (3 Total Families)
- Expert - The 3 Competent Families + 1 Additional Family. (4 Total Families)
- Master - All Families.
A totem made from a Mortalborn defaults to the MB's Racial makeup (e.g. a human mortalborn is a human totem without MB domain abilities, just like a Becomer can't take a human mage totem and use that other mage's domains).
Yludih, Naerikk, and Tunawa
Due to the unique Three Sovereign Substances for Yludih, Naerikk and Tunawa, the process to make Totems from these three races are highly intensive and should be treated as a plot in themselves through PSF. Their Three Sovereign Substances are complicated to collect and should take more than 1500 words of story to do so, as well as display the mage in question pushing their boundaries in the attempt. Similarly, these races can attempt to learn Becoming but it must be announced in the PSF and is subject to staff approval, due to the unique nature of it.
When it comes to Traits, these are purely physical aspects of a Totem. These include Racial Traits, and can also include Racial Abilities, but it does not EVER include Soul Properties.
- Physical-based traits are sensory traits such as hearing, scent, voices. Anything that stems from the physical body. Novice Becomers are often initially clumsy in new forms. As the Becomer progresses through proficiency, the time of adjustment when taking a new form becomes shorter (see 'A note on Totems and Skills' above in Totem Dedication, as well as the proficiency tiers described below).
- Racial Traits are specific to playable races, this is the various physical differences between the races such as Ithecal scales, Biqaj pointed ears, Eidisi's blue skin, Mer water-breathing, etc.
- Racial Abilities are also specific to playable races, but these are the innate (and sometimes, non-physical) abilities that the races have such as Mer telepathy, Biqaj understanding of constellations, etc.
- Soul Properties are the things that specifically interact with the soul; such as spark-based magic, blessings/immortal marks, most arcane traits in beasts, Sev'ryn's familiars, Lotharro's reincarnation, Mortalborn fracturing and abilities, etc. If it comes from the soul, if it is linked to the soul, if the Totem or mage lost their soul, they would lose it - then it is a Soul Property.
When a mage "becomes" a full-blooded playable race, they get all racial traits and abilities while they remain in that Totem.
Magic, Blessings, and Soul Properties from a Totem's source can NEVER be transferred as a Trait, no matter the proficiency. To transform into a Totem, the Becomer fills their own soul into the empty shell of the Totem. Anything linked to a soul cannot be mapped into a Totem, and thus cannot be replicated by the mage. If attempted, as experimental Becomers are known to try, this is highly dangerous and has the potential to lose parts of the Becomer's soul or even destroy it as if flayed.
Likewise, the Becomer can never rid themselves of their own soul and whatever traits they have attached to their own soul. If they have a mutation, even if from a different spark, that gives them an extra finger, then they will have that extra appendage in any Totem they transform into.
Echo can use Physical Traits and Racial Traits. To Echo Racial Abilities, one has to be at least Master Becoming.
Borrow can use Physical Traits and Racial Traits. Racial Abilities cannot be Borrowed.
When a Becomer creates a gestalt, the base Totem retains all Racial Traits and Racial Abilities. The Borrowing limitations (see Borrow) are for the supplement Totem that is being applied to the base. For fused gestalts where there is no base, Becomers can choose double whatever their limitation for Borrow is (if 4, then they can choose 8) from either Totem, but no more than that and no Traits can be assumed otherwise. Every chosen Racial Trait/Ability should be declared as non-skill knowledge on the relevant thread's review request.
Adapt can use Physical Traits and Racial Traits. Racial Abilities cannot be Adapted.
While a Becomer is in an animal transformation, they are able to communicate with the animals of the same type. The spark is able to translate for the Becomer to communicate with creatures. In the Totem of a house cat, a Becomer will understand another house cat. However, if a third party observed this, they would witness cats being cats. The Becomer immediately loses this capability when not in the totem of the same animal, unless used as a Trait through an ability like Echo.
Linguistics doesn't aid Totem Communication, nor do animals suddenly develop intelligence. It isn't literal talking, it's communication as that animal. While a Becomer is able to communicate with the animals, this does not mean that they always blend in perfectly. As the Spark grows and the Becomer's bond with their Totems grow, so does their ability to immerse themselves into the proper behavior of animals.
Totem Communication cannot be used to replace the Linguistics skill, or any languages required to be used through Linguistics. It is meant for behavioral communication between animal-types, not learned grammar and formed language structure.
When inducted, the first totem created is the user's own. Ordinarily a finger or toe is chosen as the bone component of the first Totem. Another common first Totem is a tooth.
The first Self-Totem is harmonized into the Becomer's soul by act of initiation, through the acceptance of the mage with their born self (see the initiation section below). This is the one and only time a Becomer can use harmonize without revealing and it happens through the additional magic of initiation. Whatever object that represented the Self-Totem becomes a part of the Becomer again, during this initiation (the toe returns, the tooth implants, etc.).
Essentially the mage becomes their own self as the ultimate act of self-acceptance that is required to survive a Becoming initiation.
Thus, a Becomer can only get stuck in a Totem in very rare circumstances, requiring first for the mage's access to Ether to be cut off from their Becoming spark. In these cases, they will remain fixed in whatever Totem they were in when the spark was cut off. Regardless they will always have whatever form their Self-Totem was, as part of their soul, and even if the Becoming spark is removed, this remains. Even the most minimal of Ether will allow them to change into this specific Totem. In the case that they lose all their Totems, most Becomers revert to their harmonized Self-Totem and remain as such until they acquire new Totems to transform into.
This initial Self-Totem cannot be used for any gestalt Totems, due to the fused relation with the soul. However, the Becomer can create other Totems based on the self through the acquisition and dedication process like any other Totem. By doing this, one can use the self as a Totem in a gestalt.
Aging, Reproduction, Death
When changing constantly from skin to flesh to the very bones of a Totem, inevitably the matter of reproduction and aging comes into question. Through the many arcs, Becomers have discovered the truth of these things and while some mages must learn for themselves such information, it can be easy enough to find out if one looks for the answers.
When it comes to natural and/or physical aging: A Totem ages based on the species it was acquired from. This aging occurs only when the Becomer is actively using the Totem through embodiment of the shape. This means that a Totem is only aging while the Becomer is using it. For example, if a Becomer wished to live as a different person in a remote village: as long as they remain within that Totem's shape, it would naturally age as if they were that person.
Separate from natural aging, regardless of active or not, Totems also depreciate over time at a standard rate. The depreciation process is usually double the lifetime of the Totem's species.
Becomers often need to replace Totems if they live long enough to see those shapes reach old age or depreciate. Some mages have taken so long between forms that when they go to access their Totem again, they find the creature they would have taken the form of has entirely depreciated, and they must find another. A clever Becomer could perpetually switch Totems to evade death from old age.
On matters of reproduction, a Becomer must be within the form wished to be used for parentage, when conception occurs. For a Becomer's pregnancy on the maternal side to reach full term, the Becomer must form-lock themselves into the Totem that got pregnant within the first sixty trials after conception. After the form-lock, they cannot transform without a major risk of loss. While it is not always the case, it usually is. If a Becomer dares to attempt a second transformation, it will result in loss of the pregnancy. Otherwise, the mage must care for the pregnancy like they would as if they were not a Becomer but actually living as the Totem-in-use.
As for death, when a Becomer is killed or dies unexpectedly, then all of their Totems disintegrate.
Totems, Mutations, and Blessings
Any mutations and blessings, or any other attachments to the Becomer's soul, transfer through all Totems. While physical markings like scars or ordinary tattoos do not carry over into Totems, soul-based magical markings do.
Due to the soul-based nature, mortalborn abilities and domain magic are not able to be used through such totems. A totem made from a Mortalborn defaults to the MB's Racial makeup. E.G. a human mortalborn is a human totem without MB domain abilities, just like a Becomer can't take a human mage totem and use that other mage's domains.
Some other examples:
- A Becomer is a Blessed of Yvithia and transforms into a dog. The silver mark that shows on the right eye might come through the dog's fur and create a streak of silver fur - or it could be underneath the fur, as long as the mark is on the skin and still remains in some way.
- A Becomer has a totem of a Necromancer. When they transform, they are not able to use any necromancy magic, nor do they have any of the mutations that the Necromancer had.
- A Becomer has acquired a totem of a Biqaj Mortalborn. When they transform into the totem, they are considered Biqaj (not Mortalborn) and do not have access to any mortalborn powers, abilities, or soul-based elements.
The Novice Techniques are Transform, Blend, and Echo.
The first technique any Becomer learns is Transform, also referred to as Transformation, Shapeshift, or even the namesake of Becoming. It is the hallmark of this magic discipline, and the foundation for all shapeshifting performed through Becoming.
Totems are required elements of this technique. Becomers cannot shapeshift without the Three Sovereign Substances of their target form.
An act of transformation involves the mage channeling Ether through a Totem so that their soul can take on that shape as a vessel. The more different the initial form and target form are, the more Ether it will cost and the more painful it will be. However, if the initial shape is similar to the next shape, the Ether cost is much less and the pain can be easily managed once a Becomer gets used to the initial shock. For example, transforming from a wolf to a husky to a rottweiler will be far less painful and require less Ether than transforming from a human to a tiger to a hawk.
Clothing does not follow through transformations, but it doesn't vanish. Unless an outfit is assimilated, the clothing will tear off the mage or fall around them, depending on what size is taken and the make of the clothing (e.g. metal armor is likely to get ruined by transformation into larger shapes).
At Novice, Transform is agonizing and arduous, taking 6-8 bits depending on the complexity of the new form and the size is limited to slightly larger or smaller than Self (such as a shorter or more petite human if the Becomer is human). Students are told to embrace this change and understand that to Become, one must experience the state between, of primordial nothingness. There is a sweet moment, teachers say, between what you were and what you are - where a Becomer feels nothing at all. That brief moment of oblivion is a focus point for new transformations as it marks the midway point...when you are neither yourself nor what you want to be.
At Competent, the size of creature the Becomer has access to increases to roughly 2-3 times larger or smaller than the Self-Totem. Becoming is faster at this level, taking 3 to 5 bits depending on the complexity of the change... but the process is still agonizing.
At Expert, the speed of their transformations improve with only 1-3 bits to take a new shape. A Becomer can now assume shapes roughly 5-6 times larger or smaller than the Self-Totem. The pain is still excruciating, but by this level the mage is likely accustomed to the experience.
At Master, Transform can be done in the space of 30 trills and a single bit, depending on complexity. By this level, a Becomer has picked up a curious resistance to the pain of transformation. Some Becomers develop masochism from having been made and unmade many times before this point. New shapes are as easy as slipping into an old one. At this stage, a Becomer can now become 10-12 times larger or smaller than the Self-Totem and only the largest of shapes remain beyond their capability.
At Revealed, the Becomer's imagination is all that holds them back. United with the Spark, a Becomer sees the world and the natural kingdom as a unique gallery of shapes and abilities to use and explore. All their transformations takes place in 30 trills (regardless of size), unless they wish to Unleash.
Regardless of Ether cost, pain, familiarity, or differences between Totems, Transform has defined limitations to the time it takes in-game to perform:
- Novice - 6-8 bits.
- Competent - 3-5 bits.
- Expert - 1-3 bits.
- Master - 30 trills to 1 bit.
- Revealed - 30 trills.
In addition to the time limitation, Transform also has Form limitations based on proficiency tier:
- Novice - Slightly larger or smaller than Self.
- Competent - 2-3 times larger or smaller.
- Expert - 5-6 times larger or smaller.
- Master - 10-12 times larger or smaller.
- Revealed - Form Size - Extremely large and extremely small, both limits too difficult to define
In addition, the complexity of form (multiple limbs, unfamiliar structures, etc.) should be considered accessible only while increasing in the magic while simpler familiar forms should be common for novices.
A Novice Technique, Blend uses two Totems from the same animal family to 'blend' features. This blends the two Totems into a temporary shape that is neither one nor the other, but a composite of both. Many Becomers use this ability to steal humanoid bodies and mix it with their own to create entirely new identities. Blend can be used between different species of animal (a dog’s features could be combined with a cat), as long as the Totems involved remain within the same Totem family.
How the totems combine varies wildly and will not remain consistent, even if the same two totems are used to Blend multiple times because the Becomer has no control over the results of Blend. The Totems remain separate from one another and no new composite Totem is created.
A Novice Technique, Echo borrows senses and minor abilities from a Totem and overlays them with the mage's natural form. The changes are always subtle and often temporary, such as seeing in the dark, leaping with the grace of a gazelle, or tuning into the echolocation of a bat. Unlike with Blend, Echo is precisely chosen and controlled by the mage. It is never a visual aspect such as cat ears, but instead the senses behind such things like "a panther's hearing". Echoes never transform the shape or appearance of the base form.
Temporary Echo Traits are easy to manifest, costing little Ether to summon, and very little to maintain. Echos usually last for a break, but can maintain for up to four breaks depending on the traits. The more traits involved, the harder it is to maintain them for an extended period of time. No Temporary Echos last past four breaks, though.
Permanent Echo Traits do not need to manifest, they are always a part of the Becomer, and thus cost no Ether to summon or maintain. In order to make an Echo permanent, the Becomer should spend a break or so to meditate with the Trait and then request it as detailed below.
Both Temporary and Permanent Echo Traits require the Becomer to have already acquired the Totem.
Echos should be clearly requested through knowledge in review requests with some form of the following information included:
- - Becoming: House Cat: Sense of Smell (Permanent)
- - Becoming: Bat: Echolocation (Temporary)
In order for this to be awarded, the Becomer must have acquired the Totem in question prior to Echo. As a Becomer, you may not assume success of Permanent Echos until they are officially awarded by a peer reviewer.
When a Permanent Echo is added, this cannot be changed. It is permanent and it follows through all Totems of that Becomer like a mutation would, but unlike mutations, the Becomer can choose whether to access the Echo at any given time.
There are limits of how many Traits can be Echoed based on proficiency. These are:
- Novice - 1 Temporary Trait, 0 Permanent
- Competent - 2 Temporary Traits, 1 Permanent Trait
- Expert - 3 Temporary Traits, 2 Permanent Traits
- Master - 4 Temporary Traits, 3 Permanent Traits
- Revealed - 6 Temporary Traits, 5 Permanent Traits
The Competent Techniques are Assimilate and Unleash.
A Competent technique, the Becomer can assimilate items into their Totems. Depending on the creature, carrying items can become difficult or even impossible. Assimilate makes it possible so the mage is not forced to abandon their items while traveling, fighting, or likewise.
With a lot of varied applications, most Becomers instinctively understand this technique due to initiation when the Self-Totem is returned to the mage. After the point of competency, all Totems can be assimilated into the mage for later use.
Similar to dedicating a Totem, assimilate is a meditative technique that must occur outside of other techniques. It cannot occur during transformations, Unleashes, or during anything that will distract the mage.
Once assimilated, the mage can choose whether to visually show the item(s) or to hide them from sight. The items can be worn in specific spots, but also summoned to change spots by conscious focus of the Becomer (e.g. a ring shows on the finger, but can meld into the flesh and then reappear to be held in the palm instead). While there are many ways for observers to know that the mage has items on their person, the average person will not be able to see them unless the mage chooses to reveal it. There is no Ether cost to maintain visual appearance of an assimilated item, nor to hide it.
Totems tend to assimilate automatically in-game. All other items, that are not Totems, must be consciously assimilated in-game by the mage. While there are no limits to the number of items assimilated, items must be requested as Becoming-specific knowledge in order to track Assimilated items. As a player, you must request specialized knowledge for each assimilated Totem/item.
For Totems, this can be done through either naming the Totem like:
- Becoming: Totem: Black Dog.
- Becoming: Assimilate: Black Dog Totem.
For items, some form of the following information:
- Becoming: Assimilate: Ring of Reversal.
If the item is destroyed, or the assimilation is reversed, then it is destroyed or removed with no harm to the Becomer. This must be OOCly reflected by adding to the original Becoming-specific knowledge like so:
- Becoming: Assimilate: Ring of Reversal. (Destroyed - thread link)
- Becoming: Assimilate: Ring of Reversal. (Removed - thread link)
The only limitation is that purses, satchels, pouches, trunks, chests, anything that holds many different items within (even if all the same item, like nel) cannot be assimilated. The Ether link must be clear to the spark as to what the item is, and aggregate items confuse it too much. So while a coat can be assimilated, the items within the pockets would not be included. Each item would have to be taken out and assimilated on its own, as well as requested specifically through knowledge.
If an assimilated item is unintentionally separated from the Becomer, it will try to make its way back to the mage. There are stories of such objects, having been left behind or stolen, only to reappear next to the Becomer after a good night's sleep, to suddenly be back in their usual place and rarely, there are tales of items literally rolling along the ground. Those who wish to steal assimilated items must use magic-specialized storage structures to do so, otherwise the item will eventually return and assimilate back into the mage. OOC mechanic, here, is make a story out of it.
A Competent ability, Unleash is a sudden explosive transformation that takes place in the space of a few moments. This transformation is always painful and wild. Due to the speed of the change, no other Borrowing or form-altering techniques can be used when one Unleashes (with exception to Chrysalis once the mage reaches expert proficiency).
Unleashing can be safely done, provided that the mage has also slept sometime between the Unleashing attempts, though it comes with heavy Ether cost. At Competence, a mage can Unleash up to two times within the same waking period. At expert, it can be performed four times. At mastery, a mage can Unleash six times. Once at the pinnacle of the spark's ability, a Revealed mage can Unleash without any risk or required sleep, though each Unleash will have similar Ether costs as a Becomer at mastery.
Unleashing is often an ability used of urgency, or as a surprise. No matter how much it can be used without inviting overstepping, depending on proficiency, it is considered a risky technique among Becomers due to the strain on Ether and the potential that a transformation might be too rushed to form correctly. Those who push beyond the limits of their proficiency inevitably overstep with moderate or higher consequences.
The Expert Techniques are Chrysalis, Borrow, and Feed.
An Expert technique where taking another shape also renews the body transforming. This can be incredibly taxing depending on the damage received, but a Becomer could transform into a shape free of injury, even as it is refreshing the shape they currently hold. This is an ability a mage must use carefully, as the repair may be taxing and tends to happen very slowly while each cell is replenished during a gradual transformation. Unless combined with Unleashing to quicken it along (with a high likelihood of partial healing and 1 use of Chrysalis while Unleashing always counts as 2 Unleashes), a Becomer is vulnerable through the entire process of Chrysalis.
The instinctual act of Chrysalis places the Becomer in a stasis sleep, wrapped in a cocoon of Ether that softens the usual pain of transformation, while the mage slowly transforms into one form only to revert into the injured form to heal it. For an Expert Becomer, this takes anywhere from eight to twelve breaks to accomplish depending on the extent of injury. A Becomer who has reached mastery can take anywhere from four to ten breaks. A Revealed Becomer can fully heal somewhere between two to six breaks.
Chrysalis does not affect stamina or need to eat and drink. If the proper time is not spent, then it also does not affect the need to sleep. Although they can refresh any major damage done to a Totemic form, basic necessities and the need to rest are universal to all forms.
Borrow is an Expert technique that evolves from Blend. Using one Totem as a 'base', an expert Becomer can 'borrow' traits from other Totems in their possession in order to Become a gestalt of the forms.
Unlike Echo, this can include visual manifestations from other Totems onto the base (such as extra limbs, tails, cat ears, etc.). The Base determines the form taken and the supplements determine what traits are woven into the new shape. This process can be exhausting and might require multiple sessions to perfect the new form, depending on the complexity of the borrowed traits.
There are Trait limits for Borrowed Totems that use the base and supplement approach and that is:
- Expert: 4 Traits.
- Master: 6 Traits.
- Revealed: 10 Traits.
Common among Becomers at this proficiency, Borrow can also take two Totems to fuse them into one. Depending on complexity, this also can take a long time and should be done within a meditative process of focus. The more focus that a Becomer spends on the mental image of the Gestalt form, the more successful the Borrowed Totem will be. Upon completion, the two Totems are magically bound into a single item.
Both versions of a Borrowed Totem (whether base + supplements or a fused pair) creates a new Totem, called a Gestalt, that allows the Becomer to transform into the gestalt form like they would any other Totem. Gestalts can be separated back to their original totems, and this process should be played as about double the length and focus that was required for the mage to initially make it. Once this is completed, these Gestalt Totems can also be used with Borrow again (in the case of fusing two Gestalt Totems to make a new third Gestalt).
At Expert, Becomers have a specialized technique that resembles flaying known as Feed.
Requiring both an open wound that exposes the flesh and physical contact with the living creature, the Becomer focuses on the Second Sovereign substance of Lifeforce and forcibly draws it out of the wound. This can be used on creatures with or without souls. The Becomer can Feed on themselves, but the same risks apply. If the creature lacks the Second Sovereign Substance though, then it cannot be Fed on.
This technique fuels itself, so it requires no Ether to perform but it does require the Becoming spark to channel it. The lifeforce enters the Becomer through the mage's breath. If the mage cannot inhale, they cannot Feed. Masks must be removed to allow for it. The closer their breath is to the wound, the faster the Feeding happens.
Through the Becoming spark, this lifeforce is then converted into usable Ether for the mage.
Feeding is far less efficient than flaying, and the amount of Ether obtained is proportional to the amount of lifeforce stolen, but it can be used multiple times without fear of addiction. Similar to Flaying, this process safeguards the mage from overstepping.
Depending on how much lifeforce is taken, this can kill the target but it doesn't have to. The Becomer maintains control over the choice to stop at any time. If the target does die, and has a soul, the Becomer must resist actual Flaying to consume the soul. Discipline, Meditation, and Endurance are all recommended to resist so as to not fall into Flaying and thus, the Thirst.
If the mage already has the Thirst from Flaying, then Feeding does not alleviate it but worsens the impulses that the mage must fight against.
Creatures and beings that have been "Fed" on will often appear ill and drained of moisture. Hair and fur and feathers will fall out, skin often loses color and dries out (to mummification upon death), and they are cold and stiff to the touch. Lifeforce can be gradually recovered through natural process, so if a victim of Feeding remains alive, they will naturally recover over time. Consider it similar to blood loss, the more lost, the longer it will take to recover from.
The Master Techniques are Adapt and Totem Guardian.
A Master Technique, Adapt breaks the rule of the 'all or nothing' aspect of Becoming. Adaption works like Borrowing but can be induced after a form has been taken. It's a far less strenuous technique as it does not require a full body transformation or meditation, developed by some of the first Becomers for combat and utility.
These transformations are as fast as Unleash, but temporary as they only affect the Totem shape for as long as the Becomer is in it. These transformations disappear even when the mage takes the shape again. Adapted traits are the same as borrowed traits, save for the fact they can be added after a transformation rather than requiring an entire new one and Adapt does not create a new Totem.
One can only have as many Adapted traits as they have Borrowed traits.
Totems are more than just shapes, they’re repositories for the soul of the Becomer to fill. In a way, each Totem is alive. They take a shard of the Becomer’s own personality and become something different than they were. Totem Guardian is the next step of that ability, allowing the Becomer to invest Ether into a Totem and have it resume the shape of the creature it was made from.
This Totem Guardian is an extension of the Becomer, but not a thrall like Necromancy. Instead, these Totems given form are variants of the Becomer, although filtered through that creature’s perception. They are fiercely loyal and generally obey any command a Becomer imparts. They avoid self destruction and many Becomers begin to associate them as their own friends and family. At mastery, two Totem Guardians can be manifested of separate Totems and at Revealed up to four. Any more than that will result in overstepping and destruction of the Totems involved.
If a Totem guardian is killed, the Totem is also destroyed. If a Totem guardian is badly injured, it retreats into Chrysalis for however long it would take the Becomer to recover and the mage is unable to use that shape as the Ether repairs itself in the Totem. While this occurs, the Becomer is also unable to use Chrysalis until the Totem Guardian has finished healing and returned to Totem form.
A Totem Guardian can be manifested at heavy Ether cost, but once formed they are able to remain without issue or additional Ether cost. Due to the Ether cost, to combine summoning a Totem Guardian with other techniques is dangerous and results in light to moderate overstepping at best, heavy at worst. Echo and Adapt cannot be used on a Totem guardian, but Gestalt Totems can be made into Guardians.
The Revealed Techniques are Hive and Harmony.
Only a Revealed caster can safely perform the technique of Hive! Hive allows the Becomer to split their body into multiple organisms based on their Totem.
For small creatures, a swarm of them can be released while the larger forms drastically limit the amount that a mage could split themselves into. Often, Proteans (Revealed Becomers) use Hive for insect forms.
The mage shares a hive mind consciousness with all parts but finds it much more difficult to transform back if large pieces of their body are destroyed while split. This technique can be used all at once or little by little. Transforming an arm into a snake to spy on a rival, for instance, is a perfectly acceptable use of this ability.
Often conservation of mass is maintained in these transformations, but some Becomers have been known to stretch that capability by taking a larger shape and then utilizing Hive. This makes it far more likely to result in loss of parts though, which may lead into overstepping or even loss of limbs when the Becomer transforms back. Any parts lost through Hive cannot be recovered or regrown through Chrysalis.
Something that happens once for every Becomer, upon initiation for their Self-Totem, Harmony is only available again once a Becomer reveals. It allows the Becomer to bond the essence of a Totem directly onto their soul, removing the need for a Totem and cementing the relationship with that shape permanently. This removes the physical Totem from existence, destroying it, for the essence of the animal is now truly part of the Becomer. It can never be lost at this point, only destroyed by the Becomer. This Harmonized form can be used in all abilities, with the exception of the fusing aspect of Borrowing because there is no Totem to fuse.
The requirements to access this ability are fairly intensive. It requires a deep bond with the form wishing to become Harmonized. This is reflected in having 10 threads where that form was used for at least a moderate amount of time. The form looking to be Harmonized must also have existed for a full Cycle prior to the current Cycle.
This ability requires a large amount of time, Ether, and patience. The Becomer usually goes to a place of isolation, and meditates with the Totem to be Harmonized. While meditating, they keep a constant flow of Ether going into the Totem, then return the Ether back to their soul. This typically requires 3-5 trials of intense meditation. The flow of Ether through the soul is so intense that the Becomer is only able to use this ability once per season. However, other than the time restriction, there is no limit to the number of Totems that can theoretically be harmonized.
Upon having met the OOC requirements, and performed the IC ritual, please post a PSF ticket for final approval of the Harmonized Totem.
Dangers and Overstepping
The following lists are the definitive lists for possible Becoming Overstepping consequences.
Extreme nausea, migraines, tremors, Atavistic Tendencies, Feral Resistance, and weakness in the body.
Sometimes, a lingering affectation or part of the shape remains with the Becomer. When lightly overstepping, a Becomer can bring back a habit from the form they inhabited. Perhaps they will have a taste for carrion meat when returning from the form of a scavenger, or become brutally irate if in a territorial creature. The variation of these are unknown in number as any sort of behavior can temporarily follow a Becomer from a form they wore.
An overstepping penalty that can be severe or light depending on how badly it is incurred, Feral resistance forces the Ether of a Becomer to flex on a wavelength they are not fully capable of understanding. Some Attuners may sense it but this pulse disrupts the minds and behaviors of animals. Usually a temporary penalty, it only effects the animal kingdom that the Becomer was in. Mammals, Birds, Fish, Reptiles, or Insects. Although severe Feral Resistance may effect another kingdom or all. Any and all animals within proximity to the Becomer will either attempt to flee for their life, or hurl themselves savagely at the Becomer in an attempt to kill them...depending on severity.
Temporary paralyses, weakened immune system, Atavistic confusion (Short to medium), Totem Restriction.
The state some Becomers fall into when spending too long in an animal shape or reaching beyond their limits and overstepping. Depending on severity of the overstep, Atavistic confusion can last a few moments to a few days to cycles. The human mind, the spirit is pushed to the back of the animal consciousness and the Becomer simply exists as the creature they transformed into until their memories resurface. This state can even be induced in a sentient form, manifesting as amnesia.
Sometimes, when one oversteps they damage the internal matrix of their Totem. The magic is temporarily subdued. Totem restriction is a moderate overstepping penalty whereby a Totem is temporarily 'neutralized' for a period of time. While the Totem is no less a Totem, it will no longer function till it has had time to repair itself.
Atavistic confusion (long), Temporary loss of Becoming magic, Babble Tongue, Totem Corruption, Destruction of Totems currently carried by a Becomer, Totem Rebellion, or additional mutations.
A form of Atavistic confusion, this overstep affects the language center of the brain. The Becomer, unaware, will attempt communication as a gestalt of all the forms he has recently taken. If many were animals, those trying to communicate with the Becomer may find growls, curious posture, and tweets to be the part of the nonsense babble a Becomer says. This result is usually temporary, wearing off in one to two trials.
When a Becomer oversteps, that magic can pollute the Totems currently carried. This is especially common among Totems assimilated. The corruption pollutes one Totem with some traits from another. These are always random and the Totem is forever altered. Only by creating a new Totem from the same creature can the original shape be recalled. There have been a few stories involving Becomers who corrupted their true form, doomed to forever lose it.
A severe overstepping penalty. A variant of the Totem Guardian ability will manifest, although the Totem, rather than being loyal, will attempt to destroy the Becomer or itself if it is unable to accomplish the former. Given the strong relationship some Becomers have to their Totems, this is a heartbreaking penalty that most dread. The Totem must be destroyed, as it will not stop otherwise.
For Becomers, magic is about the possibility of being all things while also remaining oneself at the core. The initiation is the novice's first introduction to this concept and the experience of the initiatory rite remains with the Becomer through their journey of learning this magic discipline.
The act of initiation for Becomers is often intimate and private. There is a tradition among some older Becomers of a series of tests for potential initiates to overcome, usually to do with the initiate's relation with their senses and personal identity. It is not uncommon to hear of whispered stories about dangerous obstacle courses built in the wilds, or hidden in the depths of mountain caves, where such challenges have taken place. Once a higher-level Becomer feels certain that the initiate might be able to handle the spark, their personal preferences guide most of the initiation but there are a few things that remain constant among all initiations.
While initiation can be attempted without a Self-Totem, the risk of failure is far greater without one. Thus, a Self-Totem is required for a safely conducted initiation into Becoming without adverse effects on either the initiate or the mentor. Those who attempt initiation without a Self-Totem will either fail if not by death then by becoming a Mimai, or any overstepping consequence listed above is possible for both mages involved.
It begins with touch. The mentor places their bare hands against a student's skin. As they transfer what will become the new spark, into the student, the skin twists and softens. Their hands lower through the flesh until they touch bones. The initiate's skin melts away. Very little pain is felt during this process, and for what pain does exist, it is usually psychosomatic. This is partly the reason for the series of tests in traditional initiations, to prepare the student's mind to handle the vision of their skin, then muscles, then veins turning into liquefied flesh before their very eyes.
The sensory experience goes haywire for the student at this point. Some swear they could smell the scorch of burning flesh, others claim unusual primal sounds of animals in the wilderness, and others still share about sour tastes that gathered as their tongues melt from their mouths. For even the physical brain melts away as the initiate is changed by the spark as it latches on to its new host. While the remembered senses can vary, it is likely that it is all imagined by the initiate's mind trying to make sense of the invasive magic as it enters their soul.
Their bones start to reform and different skeletal structures follow the path of the spark's intent as the mentor attempts to guide it to the Self-Totem, so that the spark permanently settles with the soul. If an initiate loses themselves during this process, then there is a strong possibility of failure. If identity is lost while shape gives way, and the initiate does not come to find a way to return to their original shape, then the student loses all awareness of self. This results in their body losing cohesion and the spark attempts to take over, rather than get rejected, thus mutating them into a dangerous monster called a Mimai.
Often, if this occurs, many mentors will slaughter the Mimai, right then and there, before it can even become aware. This is an easy process in terms of practical action, but the emotions involved can make it difficult. There are times where the Mimai prevails and kills the mentor instead. This is why almost all Mimai's first forms are that of the Becoming mentor.
To prevent this tragic result, the mentor will often create a Totem for the initiate before the actual imparting of the spark. This is most commonly referred to as the "Self-Totem" and it is the initiate's original form. A mentor can create this Totem as they might any other Totem, but they do not dedicate it to themselves. Instead, during the act of initiation, they help guide the student's soul into the Totem while the student focuses on returning to their identity and first experiences the process of filling a Totem with their soul to form a shape. During a successful initiation, this Self-Totem will harmonize (see Self-Totem and Harmony) with the Becomer's soul. The Becomer's soul is once again attached to their natural form that they had when they were initiated and there is no literal Totem that is the "Self-Totem".
Becoming follows the same limits as all magic initiations as detailed here, but the Becomer must be at least Expert in the discipline to safely initiate another, lest they create a Mimai due to the weaker spark's zealousness to enter a new soul.
After successful initiation, the two Becomers can smell each other in a distinct mix of fragrances that is specific to the individual. Only Becomers linked through mentor-initiate sparks can sense this unique odor. It is a way they can track each other down or mark places where they have gone for the other to know their path. It doesn't matter what form the Becomer has taken, or if either Becomer is in a form that has no olfactory system, because of the magical bond: the initiate will always be able to sense the mentor's individual fragrance and vice versa. This scent is linked to the spark so if the Becoming spark is suppressed, removed, or otherwise hidden, then the scent (although still there) is no longer viable until the same spark returns to the mage.
When a successful initiation is complete, the initiate will have returned to their body though slightly altered. A Witchmark appears and sometimes, subtle cosmetic aspects of how the initiate perceived themselves carries over (e.g. if the student believed they had green eyes when they actually had blue-green eyes, upon successful initiation, their eyes will become green and stay that way since that first transformation). The Witchmark for Becoming is always the same: Strange, branching, morphic tattoos spread in brilliant tapestry. While these tattoos are not necessarily large, they are always colorful.
Becomer Awakenings, or mutations, carry over between transformations, much like the witchmark tattoos. This includes any mutations or arcane visuals attached to the mage's soul, even if from a different magic discipline.
Sometimes the tattoos reach out across the body in a growing tapestry of moving shapes, like another wriggling skin. Sometimes atavistic features will follow a Becomer, features of their base form or transformation will haunt them between new shapes. There has even been word of a Becomer gaining an innate slavering hunger for raw meat, or the inability to consume food they do not hunt and kill. Sometimes, skin that exhibits natural camouflage or the permanent growth of ears or nose into something bestial.
A Novice at Becoming is just learning to tap into the unique power of new forms. At this stage a Becomer is limited to the Totem Family that their Self-Totem derived from and from one additional Totem Family. Size can be animals slightly smaller or slightly larger than the Becomer's Self-Totem. Whether smaller or larger, the Becomer must discover the ways in which the body changes itself to form into these different structures.
New forms are often initially clumsy as the mage learns to adapt to new centers of balance, locomotion, and body parts. This initial ineptitude is short-lived, but follows a new form for the first few times a Becomer accesses it. At this level a Becomer can learn how to temporarily Blend and Echo their acquired Totems.
Toward the end of a Novice's journey, they tend to explore innate relationships formed with their Totems. Novice Becomers struggle the most when it comes to fitting in with other animals that aren't of their Self-Totem's Family, but they can reasonably communicate with them.
- Transformation - 6 to 8 bits.
- Family - The Race of the Becomer's Self-Totem + 1 Additional Family.
- Form Size - Slightly larger or smaller than Self.
- Echo - 1 Temporary Trait, 0 Permanent.
A Competent Becomer gains a new Totem Family, as well as the abilities of Assimilate and Unleash. The mage quickly acclimates to new shapes and loses much of the characteristic clumsiness of a novice within the first few minutes after a successful transformation. Some Becomers at this rank keep to familiar forms that are comfortable, though often driven by the spark to acquire more Totems for the thrill of acquisition and experiment. Chosen shapes tend to diversify to respond to specific obstacles the Becomer may encounter.
- Transformation - 3 to 5 bits.
- Family - The 2 Novice Families + 1 Additional Family.
- Form Size - 2 to 3 times larger or smaller than Self.
- Echo - 2 Temporary Traits, 1 Permanent Trait.
- Unleash - 2 Unleashes per trial.
At expertise, a Becomer learns creativity in their craft. By now they've learned to better adapt to the forms they take and have built an impressive reservoir of Totems. Some Becomers cling to a few comfortable forms, and others even abandon their original form to pursue the multiplicity of identity. Their creativity and experiments in Becoming expands. Permanent Totems of uniquely combined forms can be created through Borrow.
An expert Becomer finds the speed of their transformations improved, even when under duress. Chrysalis is learned at this stage, protecting the Becomer's Totems from grievous harm sustained in various forms. Some Becomers will discover the potential of Feed during this stage. This is also when the Becomer is able to initiate others into the magic, splitting their spark and imparting it through the initiation rites.
- Transformation - 1 to 3 bits.
- Family - The 3 Competent Families + 1 Additional Family.
- Form Size - 5 to 6 times larger or smaller than Self.
- Echo - 3 Temporary Traits, 2 Permanent Traits.
- Unleash - 4 Unleashes per trial.
- Chrysalis - 8 to 12 breaks to fully heal.
- Borrow - 4 Traits per Gestalt.
The near pinnacle of their skill, mastery imparts an entirely new level of utility to a Becomer. At its core, Becoming completely transforms the mage into a new form and identity... becoming something wholly different from what they were before. Mastery allows a Becomer to shape that very core. Capable of Adaption, swift partial transformations can be utilized through drawing on their Totems to augment an existing shape.
A master gains access to a wide array of different shapes to collect and experiment with. By this time, most Becomers develop endurance to the pain of transformation. New shapes are as easy as slipping into an old one. At this stage, only the largest of shapes remain beyond their capability.
A Becomer has only a short period of adjustment when taking a new form and intrinsically knows how to move and even insights into how to act. Skills like Flying or Swimming still need to be focused through that skill level, to avoid mistakes in those things. Ordinary animals and beasts will no longer notice a difference between the Mage and their own species.
The Master Becomer is a terrifying combatant, flashing between shapes, often healing, and then renewing attack. Frighteningly, at this level a Becomer shatters the concept of self and often have no specific form they prefer. Instead, they choose Totems based on personal values. Many abandon the idea of fixed identity.
- Transformation - 30 trills to 1 bit.
- Family - All Families.
- Form Size - 10 to 12 times larger or smaller than Self.
- Echo - 4 Temporary Traits, 3 Permanent Traits.
- Unleash - 6 Unleashes per trial.
- Chrysalis - 4 to 10 breaks.
- Borrow - 6 Traits per Gestalt.
- Adapt - 6 Traits.
- Totem Guardian - 2 Totem Guardians.
Revealed Becomers, referred to as Proteans, are difficult to discover and track by mundane means, for they are rarely one thing long enough to be studied. The Revealed form distinct kinships with the Totems they possess. Hive is discovered upon the spark's revelation, allowing the mage to become a gestalt collection of beasts and oddities for combat, escape, or utility. Proteans can be fearsome opponents, or essential allies, but more often the mage is interested in expanding their consciousness and knowledge.
Named for the legendary Revealed Becomer of Vathrah'nal Protreani, otherwise known as "The Father of Becoming" by scholars of magical history, the Protean has come to describe those Becomers who fuse their soul wholly with the spark of magic.
As the mage's connection to the Totems evolve, so will those consciousnesses awaken within the Becomer. Each Totem is an extension of the Becomer. Their personality, loyalties, and preferences shape the behavior and personality of each Totem they possess, though the Totems maintain their own limited intelligence. For sentient beings that a Becomer turns into a Totem, personalities and desires will often merge as a melding of the Becomer’s mind and the structure of the mind they have in their Totem. The Becomer builds special relationships with each Totem, finding in them kinship and family. It is said that to destroy a Becomer’s Totem is to invite immediate and hideous wrath, as if slaying a dear sibling.
At Revealed, a Becomer’s magic works differently. No longer does a Becomer spend Ether to shift between forms but instead uses Ether to stay rooted in a particular form with exception to any Harmonized Totems (thus the Self-Totem does not require Ether for either transformation or to stay rooted in). Totems, following their own instincts and desires, will attempt to either persuade the mage or even force a change, whenever they are restless to try and move around. While a form will never exert itself if the mage’s life is physically in danger (unless that form might protect the mage), it will be aware of the outside world through the mage.
For most beasts, boredom is the usual motivator to want to walk about. For humanoid Totems, this can often result in multiple voices in the Protean's head to convince them to allow particular Totems to take control. When such forms are placated, they may remain dormant until called for. Proteans who have good relations with their Totems can keep them dormant for many trials at a time, while Proteans with poor relations might have to struggle between Totems in conflict and often changes every several trials at most.
When not maintaining their form, nor in a harmonized form, a Protean will begin to transform into any shape that would best fit the situation, or where they feel most comfortable. If any of these shapes are motivated to fear, fury, or otherwise force themselves, a Protean can spend Ether to ‘lock’ the form in place, preventing the transformation and forcibly maintaining ones shape.
- Transformation - 30 trills.
- Family - All families.
- Form Size - Extremely large and extremely small, both limits too difficult to define.
- Echo - 6 Temporary Traits, 5 Permanent Traits.
- Unleash - Unlimited.
- Chrysalis - 2 to 6 breaks.
- Borrowing - 10 Traits per Gestalt.
- Adapt - 10 Traits.
- Totem Guardians - 4 Totem Guardians.
- Harmony - 1 use per season.