The gift of the Dragons, Effigy is a form of power that can be granted to Mortals, similar in nature to the Blessing of an Immortal. However, like with all things Draconic, there are quite a number of differences between the two. The first and foremost is how exactly Effigy functions when compared to a Blessing.
The Effigy of a Dragon is not merely a fraction of their power that can be freely be bestowed on a whim, without a thought given to those who may wield it. This is due to the nature of Aesthete and how it interacts with a mortal. Aesthete is very volatile and very powerful, far more so than a Mortal body can withstand. While this is true of Divine Ether, as seen in Mortalborn, the differences in how regular Mortals interact with these two forms of Ether are at their most extreme in how they are applied to a Mortal body.
Unlike a Blessing, which allows the Mortal to channel Divine Ether through the Blessing but does not actually grant them any inherent Divine Ether, Effigy directly merges Aesthete with the Mortals body and soul, putting a massive amount of strain on them. In truth, this strain is far too much for a Mortal body to bear under natural circumstances and the Aesthete will burn their body and scorch their soul, leaving them an empty, and dangerous, husk of what they once were.
However, there are ways for Mortals to be able to bear the strain. Those who pushed their bodies beyond all normal physical limitations will find that their bodies become far more Ether-resistant than a normal Mortal, allowing them to bear the strain of Draconic Ether. There are rumoured to be other ways, but these have not yet been discovered.
There was a theory that Mortalborn might be able to bear the strain of Draconic Ether without having strengthened their bodies beyond normal limits, due to having a natural source of Divine Ether. However, this was not the case. Divine Ether is, in fact, a heavy strain on a Mortal body as well, and since Mortalborn have no regulator on their in-born Divine Ether the way a Blessed has on their Blessing, their own Divine Ether puts a notable strain on their bodies. This essentially leaves them with no greater Ether resistance than a regular Mortal.
Another notable difference between Effigy and Blessings is that Effigy has a far more pronounced effect upon the physical body of the bearer. While the exact nature of the changes differs depending on which Effigy is granted, there are some universal rules that each version of Effigy obeys. That said, when their powers are not in use, the Bearer can hide the more overt traits of Effigy.
First, the reason for these physical changes is two-fold. Some of the Effigy powers require these physical changes in order to function properly. The other reason for the physical changes is due to the Aesthete implanted in the Mortal body when Effigy is granted.
Effigy functions off of Aesthete, but the Mortal body doesn’t naturally produce Aesthete. The physical changes of the body are, in fact, a by product of the Mortal body being forcibly changed so that it does generate Aesthete entirely on it’s own. This process made the Mortal body significantly more Draconic in nature, resulting in the physical changes.
Another rule is that each Effigy Bearer is always given a mount from the flight of lesser dragons that accompany their Dragon. These mounts serve a variety of purposes, depending on which flight they belong too, though they all serve as capable mounts for the Bearer, and all of them can grow and become stronger through advancement with the Bearer's Effigy.
Finally, the last thing that is consistent across each Dragon’s Effigy is that, like Blessings, there is a certain level of uniformity in how they function. That is to say, Effigy is not a free form thing like Domain Magic, but rather deals in set powers and means of progression.
Finally, it should be noted that once a Bearer has been granted Effigy, they do not require a further relationship with their Dragon in order to advance their Effigy. While the Dragon will undoubtedly keep tabs on those who bear its Effigy, the only thing needed to progress in an Effigy is for the Bearer to become more accustomed to their Draconic Ether and more experienced in the powers they wield.
Effigy is granted by a Dragon and can only be obtained by a PC who has reached Tier 2 Skills. The Dragon has to be present when granting Effigy, though they can sense those whose natures resonate with their own, as part of their nature as intrinsic beings of Idalos. The process of granting Effigy, and the physical transformation that Effigy has upon the body of the Bearer, is all but instantaneous. Once Effigy is granted, the Bearer requires no further input from the Dragon when it comes to advancing their Effigy. They will also be granted the stewardship over a dragonling, typically, and dragonet(s). The dragon-kin familiar can sense when their associated effigy bearer is in danger, and can track them down to the ends of the world and beyond.
Each Effigy consists of 50 individual powers that can be earned. Effigy powers are earned via the expenditure of EXP. How much EXP each Effigy power costs depends on the tier it's in. The tiers are simply a means of determining how much each power costs and where it is in the Effigy progression. Please use the following table as a reference.
|Power Rank||Power Number|
|Branch Names||Branch 1||Branch 2||Branch 3||Branch 4|
The first power is the Breath Power, which allows the Bearer to emit a weaker version of their Dragons own Breath Power. This serves as the starter ability of the Effigy and is available from the start, not costing any EXP to attain.
The Branch Names refer to the four branches of each Effigy. These branches represent the forces and natures of Idalos that make up the Effigy. Branch 1 and Branch 2 both have sub-branches. The Bearer can progress up each branch or sub-branch independantly. For example, If the Bearer wants to get all the powers in the first sub-branch of Branch 1, they don't have to have any powers in the second sub-branch or any of the other Branches.
Tier 1 powers are the basic powers of each Branch and sub-branch, and are both the weakest and cheapest powers in their branch. Powers cost 25 EXP to purchase at Tier 1. Tiers 2-5 follow this pattern, staying within their branches or sub-branches and becoming both stronger and more expensive as the Bearer moves further up the tiers. The costs are as follows.
- Tier 2 - 50 EXP per power
- Tier 3 - 75 EXP per power
- Tier 4 - 100 EXP per power
- Tier 5 - 125 EXP per power
Tier 6 powers are more unique. They are the strongest powers in their Branch, and you must have every power in their Branch, from both sub-branches in Branch 1 and 2, in order to be able to attain these powers. Powers cost 150 EXP to purchase at tier 6.
The final power is the Dragon Form power. The Dragon Form tier consists of 1 power, the Dragon Form power itself. This allows the Bearer to take a form similar to that of their Dragon. While the Bearer is in this form, they gain access to a few additional powers that cannot otherwise be attained and are only available in this form. In order to be able to attain this power, every other Effigy power needs to have been attained. The Dragon Form power costs 250 EXP to purchase.
There a few supplementary abilities as well. If their Effigy requires a certain strain upon the Mortal body to use, the body will become resistant to that strain. Like their Dragon, the Bearer is immune to any powers, be they from Effigies, Blessings, Magic, or natural sources, that fall under the Aspects of their Effigy. Finally, each Bearer is granted a mount from their Dragon’s associated flight of lesser dragons. These lesser dragons can gain some abilities from Effigy, and may have some powers to support the Bearer as well.
By normal means, a Mortal can bear no more than three Effigies. However, this limit can be extended by abnormal means, if the Bearer is willing to put in the effort and incur some risk in order to expand this limit. In order to request obtaining Effigy, a PSF ticket is required, though Prophets can grant Effigy as part of a review at their own discretion.
Buying Effigy Powers
The purchase of Effigy Powers needs to be put on the PSF. Simply note in your PSF ticket which powers you have selected (both by name and number) and how much they cost. Title your post 'Effigy:[Dragon Name] [List of Powers bought by number]'. For instance, 'Effigy:Vindecaldra 2 4 9'. We will change the title if you don't put it in this format, but please make our lives easier and do it yourself.
You will then be awarded negative XP in your XP ledger for that thread, and that XP will be spent. Make sure you have enough free xp in your ledger before you put in the ticket.