The Blessing of Zuuda
Zuuda is often a gift of some importance from Famula. Her abilities are not won easily and she tends to be discerning of those she marks. An attitude of subordination in addition to a strong and unfaltering devotion to both the living and the dead earns her attention and subsequent marks. Zuuda manifest as a delicate and complicated black pattern around the dominant wrist of the marked. At adored their opposite wrist is marked. At exalted the mark wraps around their neck like a collar or necklace and her champions find their eyes red and flashing, much like those of their patron Immortal. These red eyes do not impart terror, however. Those who are transfixed by them will feel at ease, as the Champion radiates a quiet authority.
OOC Note: No tattoo can cover these marks. Any attempts will see the mark bleed over the tattoo. Individuals Blessed with Zuuda cannot use their abilities on those who themselves possess the Zuuda Blessing of the same level. However, those of a higher level may use it with some degree of success upon those who have a lower tier of the Blessing.
|Ability Name||Ability Description|
|Memorabilia||The first ability granted to a Zuuda is one of quiet reverence and importance. By visiting the gravesight of any mortal, a Zuuda can drop into a state of meditation while touching the burial marker and intuit details about who was buried there. Images of what was important to them in life, flashes of what they were passionate about, and the faces of those they loved and cared about. At this level the power is not strong enough to directly ask for any information, but more experience the information unfiltered. A grave marker can be any object set to mark where a body is buried.|
|Servant's Endurance||This ability is a reward for those who provide faithful service. So long as a Zuuda is in service to another,either directly as in the case of a slave, servant or employee, or indirectly, such as when following orders or working towards a goal set by a higher authority they have nearly twice the endurance of any their race or what their skill level might suggest. This endurance can only be used in service to the person, organisation or goal the Zuuda is beholden to or directly working for. They can go longer without sleep and tend to have hidden reservoirs of energy when doing errands or work which is directly related. Depending on what this task is, this ability could be useful indeed.|
|Servant's Skills I||Add an extra three skill points to one of the following skills: Cooking, Endurance, Psychology or a craft skill related to a Zuuda’s chosen service. These points can exceed the 100 point limit.|
|Servant's Mark||A Zuuda is capable of marking a single individual with this ability. Usually, the recipient will be unaware of the mark upon them as it can only be seen by those marked with Zuuda or some other ability to perceive divine marks. This ability does two different things depending on the nature of the relationship the Zuuda has with the marked. First, this can only be performed on someone the Zuuda works for, someone they work with in service,or someone who works for the Zuuda. Only those that have a certain relationship of subservience or servitude can partake. Second, if this is placed upon someone the Zuuda works for, the Zuuda is enlightened with flashes of desires or worries from their master or employer, no matter the distance between them. Likewise, a Zuuda will always be immediately aware when their master or employer is in danger or need and exactly what the nature of that danger or need is. For a Zuuda marking an individual who works for them or alongside them in a shared endeavour, the nature of this ability changes. Instead, the Zuuda will be aware of their servant or colleagues emotions and whether the work they are handling is too straining or stressful to their being. Like marking an employer, a Zuuda will always be aware if their employee or colleague is in danger but perhaps more frequent...they will know when their employee or colleague is slacking off or if their heart is no longer in their work. Someone can only be marked once a cycle. If anything were to remove this mark, the Zuuda must wait for a new Cycle to mark the individual anew.|
|Burning Blood||Blood is sacred to Famula. Some say the soul lives in the blood and although such has never been proven, Famula does grant abilities to her chosen under that purview. This ability allows a marked to increase the temperature of their blood, and their body temperature without any harm to their internal organs. A Zuuda is always protected from the cold and has automatic control over the temperature of their own internal liquids. When in duress, a marked can confer this unnatural heat onto another without the safeguard of Famula’s protection. In others this immediately confers a raging fever, dizziness, nausea, and weakness throughout their body. Contact must be maintained if a Zuuda wishes to kill someone with this ability...in which case at least five bits (minutes) must be maintained before the damage becomes fatal. Otherwise this is a powerful and simple curse to confer on someone attempting to grapple a Zuuda. As long as their opponent has blood within them, a Zuuda can use this ability. A curious side effect of this ability, a Zuuda can usually easily tell Yludih by touch, immediately realizing that there is no blood within them.|
|See the Dead||This ability can be a mixed one for the novice Zuuda. When a Zuuda unlocks this power, their eyes open to the spirits of the dead and those the dead have touched around them, permanently. Many souls choose not to go with Vri at the end of their lives, remaining on Idalos to languish and grow Empty, or rail against their fate. A Zuuda can see all these unquiet spirit at all times. While this ability does not allow the Zuuda to touch or interact with ectoplasm, the dead do know when they are being observed and often surround a Zuuda begging for help or assistance in finishing whatever unfinished designs they’ve left incomplete. This can be an aggravating reality for a Zuuda who can only escape the dead by moving themselves out of the range of their Anchor. Most dead Anchor to only one item, place, or person. It is only the Wisp that truly defies this law with three anchors. A Zuuda can immediately identify anchors at sight, noting the corona of ectoplasm that often crown such things. Additionally, a Zuuda needs no candle to see in the darkness. The abyss holds no terror for them. A Zuuda gains complete sight in the darkness with this ability.|
|Rain or Shine||For a Zuuda, service is the greatest calling. When a Zuuda is engaged in service either directly as in the case of a slave, servant or employee, or indirectly, such as when following orders or working towards a goal set by a higher authority, they become twice as resistant as any other member of their race to diseases, infection, or any malady not caused by deliberate sabotage. Zuuda servants always seem healthy and happy in their positions, moreso than anyone else in another service. A Zuuda is also capable of being an effective taste tester for their masters, for example. A Zuuda is able to identify when poison has been added to a dish or drink with even the slightest smell. While they may not be able to determine exactly what the poison is, they can immediately tell when something would be dangerous to consume or drink.|
|Resurrected Companion||Famula truly understands the importance of companionship. Her followers often serve or become served without cultivating the close sort of friendship many mortals need. For a Zuuda, friendship in an animal companion is often preferable to friendship with other mortals. This ability compensates for that. As long as the death has occurred within four trials, a Zuuda is able to resurrect an animal companion completely, restoring it to health. At this stage, the animal companion must be fairly small. Up to medium dog height is necessary. This ability is incredibly taxing to a Zuuda who is unable to replicate it for seven trials thereafter. If the companion died of natural old age, this ability will be ineffective. Likewise this power cannot be used on any of the races in Idalos. Only animals. At exalted this ability evolves again to include mounts and other animals of greater size.|
|Know the Master||A Zuuda with this ability can see the lines of service that bind an individual. A powerful ability, the Zuuda must observe someone, concentrate on them, and use this ability. Know the Master will bring the face or the sigil of who or what the individual serves in their heart. Often a Zuuda never has to ask who someone works for, they can see the truth of their service and devotion within their soul. If the individual only serves themselves or serves nothing in particular, this ability only imparts a cold sense of emptiness.|
|Ability Name||Ability Description|
|Entreat||With an object of importance to the dead, or at their gravesite, a Zuuda is capable of entreating the soul of the dead to arrive to them to answer questions on their terms. A soul called in such a way has the option to arrive or not. A Zuuda can force the issue, compelling a soul to arrive for interrogation, but this can create a hostile situation depending on the power of the soul summoned. A Soul will arrive from any place it currently is, even if it has already passed on. Unfortunately, the soul is only able to remember its life rather than any truths of what lies beyond death or where Vri leads you. A soul is perfectly cognizant when entreated and ultimately has the choice on which questions it chooses to answer. One can only Entreat during the evening, when the sun has left the sky. An entreated soul is only physical at the Zuuda’s behest and when it is, the body is made of fragile ectoplasm. Any severe exertion on the soul’s part will discorporate the fragile body it holds and end the ability. A soul can stay for up to one break when this ability is gained, three breaks at exalted, and an entire evening for the Champion if they require it.|
|Ectoplasmic Blood||Ectoplasm is the substance of the spiritual world. Ordinarily mortals feel it as a cold sensation on their skin in the presence of spirits or souls but in the Beneath (where spirits and souls reside) it is a physical substance of varying power. Ectoplasm creates the bodies of souls and can fuel their abilities. For Famula’s chosen, when receiving this blessing there is a quality ascribed to their blood forevermore. A Zuuda can manipulate their own ectoplasm to their will. Creating objects, weapons, shelters, or shields the Zuuda becomes an invaluable resource for souls and immensely dangerous in the Beneath. A Zuuda can use ectoplasm to heal damage done to a soul or spirit, injure them, or even grant them power to manifest their spectral abilities. A Zuuda is the undisputed master of interactions with the spiritual undead. At exalted, a Zuuda can harden their ectoplasm to take shape in the physical reality of Idalos. Ectoplasm tends to be a glistening black-grey, always seeming to move in a viscous fluid shimmer. Although immensely draining, a Zuuda can create objects and items from this ectoplasm that impart a powerfully chilling shock to those who come in contact with it. Outside a Zuuda’s hands, hardened ectoplasm lasts no longer than half a break before dissipating to the Beneath (where it is cannibalized by their denizens), but pushed into a corner a Zuuda is never without a weapon to defend themselves from the dangers of the world beyond or, often enough, the physical reality they call home.|
|Servant's Skills II||Add an extra six skill points to one of the following skills: Cooking, Endurance, Psychology or a craft skill related to a Zuuda’s chosen service. These points can exceed the 100 point limit.|
|Greater Servant's Mark||Greater Servant’s mark further ties the Zuuda to their employer, colleague or employee. An additional mark can be made on an individual at this level and its effects magnify. A Zuuda is always partly aware of what the marked is thinking while within proximity. The thoughts will manifest in the marked’s own voice, snippets of ideas and desires that float through the Zuuda’s head. The Zuuda is able to find the marked no matter the distance between them, Famula’s magic pulling them steadily toward the one they serve, they serve alongside or who serves them. In addition to previous abilities, a Zuuda can choose to take any injury, sickness, or exhaustion from their marked by touch into their own body. Some Zuuda become legendary doctors for their masters, using Famula’s other abilities to more easily deal with illnesses and injuries after taking them from their master or employees onto themselves. A marked will often think more of the Zuuda who marked them, dispositioned to consider the servant or employer in a more favorable light. They will feel understood and take some measure of mental recuperation while in their presence. Some have mistaken this feeling for love, much to the dismay of the Zuuda.|
|Dedication||This ability allows a Zuuda to dedicate a new anchor for a Wisp. This new Anchor cannot be greater in number than the amount a Wisp is allowed to have. If they have lost an Anchor, they can have a new one dedicated to them with this ability. Additionally this ability can remove one Anchor from a Wisp and replace it with another. This ability cannot remove an Anchor from a Wisp without dedicating another unless that Wisp is Empty. Only then, as a means to contain or even unfetter a Wisp lost to the Empty, can an Anchor be taken without dedicating another. Curiously this ability is also adept at discerning the true owner of certain items. When walking through a home or picking up an item, the Zuuda will see, in their minds eye, the face of the person who most strongly considers this item their own and how important the item or location is to them.|
|Sever the Imposter||It is no secret that Famula considers magic to be abhorrent. Her doctrine forbids those who worship her to take part in learning the path of Domain magic or harboring a mage. Famula shares a certain secret with Treid regarding the nature of magic users, a secret she does not see fit to tell mortals, but one that does influence her decision to forbid it to her followers. Those who choose to take the arcane path often lose her mark immediately or earns the weight of her displeasure. Of the Domain Magic, she does not suffer Necromancers or Pacters to live. The war between Famula and Necromancers is an old one, but she expects her followers to take part in it, to the extent they are able. Sever the Imposter is a powerful ability and one of the few divine mark powers that directly influences a Domain magic. A Zuuda can temporarily or permanently sever a necromancer’s connection to their thrall, and sever magic to the corpse or animated creation. With but a touch, any undead can have their control momentarily severed from the necromancer’s will. With concentration, a Zuuda can even clean the magic from a body or purify a body in such a way as to reject necromancy when cast upon it. As there tends to be few Zuuda, seeing to every body is impossible. Still, a Zuuda does what they can to make sure the dead stay at rest, not to be puppeted to a mage’s whim. The most horrifying of necromancy, the soul trap, can be easily destroyed by a Zuuda if they get their hands on the well the soul is trapped within. In a flash of power, the well is destroyed and the soul released. Often this means tearing open the body of the thrall, but few Zuuda would allow a soul to be tortured as a battery for a corpse thrall. A Zuuda can disrupt beginning and competent Necromancy thralls when gaining this level, expertise and master thralls at exalted and vie even against Legendary necromancers as a Champion. Often a necromancer can simply re-cast the spell to raise the thrall, and consecutive uses of this ability can leave a Zuuda drained...but a necromancer will do what they can to assassinate or avoid a Zuuda on identification rather than risk their precious flesh servants against them. A Zuuda is immune to any necromancer magic that can ordinarily affect another. The resistance to such power follows the same chart as disrupting their magic in a thrall (Beginning and Competent magic at gaining this ability, expertise and mastery at exalted, and legendary at Champion)|
|Famula's Companion||Like many other marks, Famula grants her followers a spiritual companion for protection and company along their journey. Unlike any other Immortal, however, Famula offers a kind of spirit no other Immortal can...a soul. When a soul chooses not to leave with Vri at their death, it lingers on Idalos in much the same way a Spirit does. Deprived of all but their driving purpose, souls have trouble interacting with most mortals. Famula’s chosen have the choice of dedicating themselves as a soul’s anchor, allowing them to follow the marked throughout their journey. This ghost counts as an NPC but does not follow the seasonal expense for an NPC as they consume nothing. Usually the spirit will act as a sentry for the Zuuda, warning them of danger as they sleep. As some souls grow in power to become ghosts or phantoms, they will gain their own special suite of abilities...much as a spirit does, to interact with the world around the Zuuda. At this level, however, their power is fairly minimal. Once the soul has finished their ‘business’ a Zuuda has the option to help them pass on to the next stage, which tends to be an emotional ritual for both parties. A soul must be willing to be a companion to a Zuuda and being attached to a servant of Famula clears the Empty from their incorporeal psyche.
For those who do not choose a soul as their companion, Famula can also grant a Blood spirit to her chosen. This spirit lives within the Zuuda, within every drop of blood. When cut or stabbed a Zuuda only bleeds when they will it, and can manifest their spiritual companion in the form of a small animal or weapon created entirely from their blood through any wound inflicted. The versatility of its shape is the Zuuda’s greatest strength when pushed into a corner.
|Lead the Way||Lead the Way is perhaps one of the most important and treasured of the Zuuda's abilities. At this level, Famula finally gives her followers their own 'lantern', the light that leads the dead to a place beyond the realities of physical Idalos or the mockery of the Beneath. A soul must be ready to go, agree to follow the light, but the Zuuda can create it when those conditions are met and allow the soul to finally pass on. Wisps are exempt from this, however, as they will only pass on when they have earned it. The other souls, however, the ones who were too fearful to follow Vri at the moment of their death are abandoned in the Beneath to haunt their graves and slowly grow mad. Famula and her servants offer them another chance at passing on, at final rest. When a soul is following the Lantern, they cannot be effected by any force within Idalos save the intervention of an Immortal or a power more terrible still. Curiously, the Lantern is also effective as a personal guide to the Zuuda. A soul always remembers its home, the place in life they felt they belonged the most strongly. Conjuring the Lantern will always lead a Zuuda, with a light only they can see, toward this true home. Usually this is enough to ensure a Zuuda is never lost long.|
|Wisp Body||Approximately once a trial, when the sun has left the sky, the Zuuda is capable of taking on the night form of a Wisp for a single Break. Their form grows insubstantial, glows the ethereal glimmer of active ectoplasm, and the marked becomes capable of walking through non magical barriers as easily as pushing through water. While the marked is unable to meaningfully interact with any physical object while in this form, neither can they be interacted with. Some Zuuda have used this ability to escape physical altercation, blades and weapons passing through them harmlessly. A Zuuda is unable to cast magic in this state (if they dared to learn it in the first place), and can drift at their jogging speed in any direction. While not swift, this does impart a kind of flight. Although at the end of the break, the Zuuda comes quickly back into physical form, no matter where they are. Most Zuuda are cautious to make sure they won’t end up between objects or suspended in midair when they return to themselves. A Zuuda can return to themselves at any point before the Break, but can only use this ability again once a Trial has passed.|
|Ability Name||Ability Description|
|Banish||Banish is a powerful ability a Zuuda is given upon reaching Exalted. As souls still possess free will, many can become nuisances or, worse, dangerous to the mortals in Idalos. As souls advance in age and fury they gain abilities to interact with the physical reality. Wisps are the greatest example of this, having numerous abilities allowing them to interact with the living. Banish can discorporate any soul or spirit around the Zuuda and force it into an inactive state. For spirits it pushes them back into the Beneath or actively ends any manifestation the spirit is taken. For souls it immediately discorporates ethereal bodies and forces the soul to put itself back together at one of its Anchors. This ability immediately destroys necromancy Haunts and can damage any undead that has a Soulstone trapped within any active thralls. This is an area effect that the Exalted can use once a Trial. Wisps that are in physical form sustain heavy damage, but can maintain themselves against a Banish if physical at the time.|
|Servant's Skills III||Add an extra nine skill points to one of the following skills: Cooking, Endurance, Psychology or a craft skill related to a Zuuda’s chosen service. These points can exceed the 100 point limit|
|Grand Servant's Mark||The final evolution of a Zuuda’s personal mark, at least three can now be chosen for this ability to effect. In addition to all the abilities that come with the mark before it, the Grand Servant’s mark offers a unique and powerful protection to those that dedicate themselves to the Zuuda or to whom the Zuuda dedicates themselves to. No form of mental manipulation can compel one inscribed with the Grand Servant’s Mark to betray the one that is dedicated or to whom the marked is dedicated to. Each instance that would seek to fool or force them into doing harm or delivering secrets to an enemy will automatically fail. While Champion level abilities seem to transcend even the power of this ability, anything short of that has Famula’s complete protection.|
|Create Undead||Not all undead are created equal. While the Necromancers pretend at undeath with their thralls, a Zuuda knows that most Necromantic creations lack a specific sentience that characterizes true undeath. Zuuda, for whatever purpose they design, can choose to give a soul a chance at effecting the mortal world. Many souls find their way to embodied form on their own, but a Zuuda can choose to grant them that ability at any time. Not all undead are equal, of course, as the Wisp is the greatest those in true undeath (Besides a lich). This ability tends to be the most creative of the Zuuda's powers as it allows a Zuuda to put a soul within a body in order to effect the mortal world. They can just as easily take these bodies away so any natural sentient undead known to never raise a hand against an Exalted Zuuda or risk their own destruction. In making new undead, a Zuuda requires both a body and a soul. The process is usually prolonged but the end result is a free-willed undead that can interact with the mortal world. For new undead created, please submit ideas to the world development forum. Any undead listed in the Souls primer are also fair game for a Zuuda to create.|
|Blood Link||Blood Link is a powerful ability wherein a Zuuda can offer some of their own power to someone else, linked through blood. A Zuuda cannot be in all places at once, but often their desire to help transcends that limitations. A Zuuda may choose to blood link up to four people at any given time. This link allows one to reach out and 'borrow' skills and power temporarily from the one they are linked to. When a skill or power is being 'borrowed', the one who owns that skill is unable to use it. The link is exhausting on both parties, especially if the distance is great, but the trade off is a remarkably varied set of abilities one can call on. Due to the differences in skill levels, skill can only be borrowed at one tier higher than the character currently has. If someone is legendary at cooking and one who is blood linked wants to borrow that skill, and if their current cooking skill was at competent, they would only be able to borrow enough of that skill to work at expertise. Blood Link can only be activated once a trial. If more than one Linked try to borrow from the Zuuda or vice versa, they will find they are unable. A Champion of Famula can extend this limit by one, allowing the borrowing of skills twice in a day. Often the borrowing is reciprocal and a Linked trades a skill for a skill while they are using the skill borrowed or a marked ability for a marked ability.|
|Walk Between Worlds||An advanced skill of the Zuuda, this ability allows the marked to step into the realm of Spirits and Souls. When passing into the Beneath, most Zuuda have described the experience as uniquely cold and cloying. The world Beneath looks almost identical to the world Idalosians ordinarily occupy, but the spiritual denizens are physical and have mass. Sounds and colors tend be somewhat muted in the Beneath but a Zuuda can easily listen in on conversations invisibly from whatever vantage point they choose to take. Most use this is a form of spying, or to deal physically with spirits and souls in an area. While in the Beneath, nothing a Zuuda does can affect the physical reality. They are trapped as observers. In order to Walk into the Beneath, a Zuuda must mark a doorway with their own blood before stepping through. It is as easy as that to step out. Doors locked in the real world are likewise locked in the Beneath. As a physical being, a Zuuda will always be physically stronger and more resilient to damage while in the Beneath, much to the chagrin of souls and spirits the Zuuda may be there to deal with.|
|Turn Back Death||Famula, the Immortal of Resurrection, can be merciful to her exalted. While she often does not interfere in the progress of time or the deaths of mortals, she understands that sometimes events can go too far. This ability can only be used once a Cycle and allows for a resurrection of one mortal. Granted, the mortal must have perished within a break in order to keep their soul from being led by Vri to their natural rest. When this ability is used, any one mortal designated by the Zuuda can return from the dead healed from the wound that felled them. This ability only works on those who were killed suddenly. Age and long lasting medical conditions cannot be cured with this ability or interfered with. One who is brought back in this way cannot be brought back again using any ressurection ability that is not a Champion level ability. If the soul is somehow taken from the body during the break in which this ability is viable, it will not work.|
|Beck and Call||Sometimes a servant goes far from the master. Sometimes need can be measured in breaks rather than trials. This ability can only be used with one marked by Servant's mark and immediately consumes it to use this ability. A Servant's mark must be re-applied after this ability is activated. Simply put, this ability allows one marked by Servant's mark or the Zuuda to call upon that magic to instantly teleport themselves or the marked to the other. This ability is only able to be used once a Cycle. When teleported, the servant or Zuuda passes through Emea, much in the way an Immortal might and emerges at the side of the one who called them. A Zuuda may choose to ignore a Beck and Call from someone marked with Servant's mark but a Servant Marked cannot refuse a Beck and Call from a Zuuda.|
|Wisp||Granted to her most trusted and using the Ancient Tongue, a Zuuda is able to call a soul to becoming a Wisp once a Cycle. A wisp is one of the most powerful kinds of undead, bound by powerful Purpose before they earn the right to pass on to the beyond. The Zuuda may choose to designate one of the Wisp's anchors, but after this ability is invoked the Wisp maintains its free will and chooses how to serve its own Purpose. This gift, to allow the soul a chance to effect the world after passing, is a rare one the Zuuda can give and not one granted lightly.|
|Call Back The Dead||Although Famula honors the natural order, for her Champions she maintains a certain allowance that no other Immortal could hope to offer. For seven trials, once an arc, after invoking the Ancient Tongue, a Champion can call back any soul that has passed on. Any soul that has gone to its rest throughout history, if the Zuuda knows of it, they can call it. The soul is brought back in body, although their memory of the other side is lost in fog. For seven trials they can live an ordinary life before returning to the natural order. Some Famula have used this ability to reunite with loved ones and still others use it to ask questions of the long departed. Unlike Entreat, this ability gives the soul a body and can be used without the material of the dead to guide the summoning. For seven trials the resurrected will enjoy the peak of their own health and life. They have their own will, although many will look to the Zuuda before attempting anything truly shattering.|
The Curse of Zuuda
Famula's curse manifests as a design of twisting chain links from the wrists up the arms. As the curse strengthens, these chains trail down the back and around the chest, finally ending in an intricately tattooed lock across the heart. These marks persist past death, unlike any other divine mark
The hated of Famula will find that no one trusts in their ability to serve. People innately will not trust them to do their work well, be especially critical of their progress, and distrustful of relying on the marked for anything. Relationships become broken shambles and the marked will find it difficult to work for anyone but themselves.
Famula's despised are cursed with a heavy penalty. A Despised is unable to refuse the request of anyone. If they ask it of them, the Despised will feel compelled to obey the order regardless of how they personally feel. This request must be in the form of a directive to take effect. Distrusted by all and compelled to obey, the Despised finds themselves caught between the extremes of alienation and the inability to build any relationship of worth.
The Condemned of Famula will never feel the effects of this damning curse during their lives. Instead, when they die they will find no twins to judge them, no Vri to lead them to their rest. A Condemned of Famula is forever cursed to exist in purgatory, watching the world go by with no rest or peace for their tortured soul. They can be identified by the branding of her curse across their ectoplasmic bodies and each Zuuda instinctively knows that this soul is beyond their help.