“The divide between the virtual and the physical no longer separates us. Integrated Reality opens us up to an entirely new experience, enhancing our senses and revealing the unseen trickle of information that flows through us.”
—Corrin Tusk, Embedded Layers of Reality
In Luminos humanity spreads through a series of colonized planets that surround the technological infrastructure left by the Aurora. In the the last three-hundred years since departing from earth, humanity evolved along with technology. Intelligent machines, neural computing, and Integrated Reality birthed new generations who sport the sleek blue polymer implants and artificial limbs, while others project their digital creations out into the world, their faces obscured by video feeds, scrolling data, and pulsing indicator lights. Others send mechanical surrogates, Artificials, in their place, managing multiple bodies from the comfort of their home. United, humanity explores the newest frontier, the infinite realities they construct from zeros and ones, now deeply entwined with their daily lives.
No more is the drive for technological progress more apparent than the city of Nira on the planet Tiun. New home units rise up each day, floating into the air, where they sit suspended as shuttles flit to and from their doorways. These buildings are primarily glass and screen hybrids. Images shift on the surfaces of these structures between advertisements, news, and public art. Nira holds billions, who’ve chosen the city for its seamless Integrated Reality, vast renewable resource systems, and the multitude of waygates, making it perfect for travelling across Luminos in a matter of minutes.
Though anyone on Nira can access the Integrated Reality all around them, few have the talents to manipulate it on a non-personal level. Erroneously, scholars in the twenty-first century called the layers of information that consumed daily life “virtual,” but nothing could have been farther from the truth. The humans of this era spent more time and mental energy occupying so-called non-realities than the physical world in which they’d previously relied on. In subsequent years, a divide began to grow between those preoccupied with physical reality and informational reality, yet information continued to influence and define the lives of those on either side. Once the advances in information technology grew intertwined with the physical world this all changed. The Embed, that is the computerized augmentation to the brain, allowed seamless functioning between human, machine, and information.
With the rise of Embeds, nearly every human can interact with the world in ways once thought impossible or relegated to the realm of magic. While the technology is ubiquitous, those who master and manipulate Integrated Reality are not. Those who build and manipulate Integrated Reality, go by many names, but most respond to Shaper. Those who fully embrace the merging of the digital and physical realms often display digital visors, horns, tails, or even unrecognizable creatures perched on their shoulders.
With the advent of Embeds, human societies radically transformed and new organizations grew to fill in where outdated models of government and commerce fell short. Ensuring that the constant flow of information remains uncorrupted, the Particulate regulate the mass of transmissions between humanity on every planet. Though not everyone supports their strict rules, the Particulate hold Integrated Reality firmly in their control and can disconnect violators and even entire governments that fail to comply. Maintaining public safety, the Witnesses search through memories saved in Embeds to ensure justice is maintained This organization rehabilitates the criminals they catch, ensuring that their mistakes aren’t repeated through memory restoration and purging therapies. Some humans have turned against these advances, preferring crude tools and primitive methods typical of the twenty-first century. The Returners in Providence dig the Embeds out of the base of their spine and proudly display their scars.
Even in 2462, humanity remains fractured, but they welcome the Drelk and Imprinted among their cities, hoping one day to form a coalition that will ensure they find what lies beyond Luminos and discover the purpose of the Nexus that at the center of the three suns that nourish their trinary system. It’s theorized that the Nexus holds the keys to fully utilizing the waygates and other structures they Aurora left behind, finally allowing humanity to stretch endless across the near infinite universe.
When conducting meetings across Nira, the wealthiest employ Artificials to take their place and serve in their stead. Programmed after modelled behavior and molded to look like their owners, these manufactured copies allow a person to be in a multiple places at once. The newest models are convincing enough to even pass for human. The Artificials contain no personality of their own, defaulting to the programming installed upon purchase and calibration. If needed, the owner can override their controls, taking direct control of their Artificial for meetings that require more finesse. These machines are bought and sold with care, wiped clean of all personal details before being sold to prevent exploitation and data corruption.
The proliferation of the Artificials among the highest spheres of influence in Nira concentrates power in the hands of the elite while eroding trust. In delicate meetings, identities are probed with highly specific and personal questions, some even going as far as drawing blood and genetic tissues samples. But in Niran culture, testing an Artificial remains a shameful and desperate act. And even then, the newest models can even pass biometric tests with samples from their owners. While being sent an Artificial can offend those who feel worthy of a true human presence, the larger problem is the highly illegal but lucrative replication of Artificials. You can never be truly sure who controls the Artificial you’re speaking with as forgeries have also entered circulation, prying for private details. For this reason, the most pressing meetings in Nira force all parties to appear physically with a full proof of identity.
The Particulate safeguard the flow of information between humans, ensuring that the network of transmission is not corrupted by falsified information. They parse the near infinite data, searching for incongruencies, flagging them, and finally offering citations to those who show patterns of issuing misleading or erroneous information. Though some have criticized the organization as tyrannical, they maintain a public record, beholden to the to each human settlement and overseen by a broad review board but not aligned with any one government. They are far more powerful than any government by a significant stretch. This massive organization spans across Luminos, ensuring those who lead humanity do so with verified data streams and honest intentions. Naturally resistance to these tenants remains and attempts to subvert the Particulate have been attempted, but never succeeded.
Though little understood in earlier centuries, information was both hoarded and left unguarded. Despite all the pooled knowledge, only specialized organizations had access to it and much to the detriment their the public who relied on them. This tragic transitional period lasted for nearly two-hundred years, a digital return to feudalism that brought the latter half of the twenty-first century sputtering toward collapse. In time, the flow of data shifted, but the liberation of information can’t be confused for truth. The volatile nature of data made it possible for information to say whatever was demanded by social, economic, or political pressure. Without need to accumulate material wealth, cultural relevance became its own currency. Those who could manipulate information, for better or worse, in a manner that brought them acclaim from their peers found themselves de facto leaders in a world that no longer necessitated political hierarchies. In 2246, the Particulate formed to combat the flow of misinformation from spreading across Luminos.
Though the consequences for violators can be harsh, the Particulate have proven effective in curtailing the erroneous indoctrination of the public en masse. Rings of misinformers still exist, parroting their agendas through conversation. The Particulate holds control of the Integrated Reality networks across Luminos, severing violators temporarily or in extreme cases they’re “whited out.” This punishment is rare, reserved for the worst offenders or any Particulate member who violates their own code. Once you’re “whited out” you exist only as a field of distortion to anyone with an Embed computer, an apparition, no longer able to transmit anything but garbled nonsense. The Particulate oppose all who attempt to operate in secret, refusing to allow anyone else take control Integrated Reality, earning themselves as many enemies as supporters in Luminos.
Shapers bend and build Integrated Reality, updating both the environment and those who inhabit it. In Nira, Integrated Reality encompasses all ways of life. The population lives spread across thousands of miles, visiting one another through virtual spaces or by proxy with an Artificial. Through the exploration and discovery of the Shapers, an entire network for information to transmit at the speed of thought has been discovered, promising to seamlessly connect the entire universe through a virtual plane. In the new age of Integrated Reality, layers of information now co-mingle and each user, who acts as a node in the ever-growing network, adding both physical and informational value for all. Leading a small team of Shapers, Sanni Tusk tests this neural network and searches for who built it, unaware of its potential danger. Ultimately, the Shapers ensure that their digital lives are as concrete as any other infrastructure.
Shapers take on many roles, including that of architects, overriding reality with structures that violate physics and textures that ignore material restraints. A home unit might appear to flow like water, though never losing its structure and shape. Without Integrated Reality it would look like nothing more than a white sanitized cube. Other Shapers focus on reprogramming the brain through a series of commands and overrides that improve higher functioning and strengthen bio-neurofeedback. With these advances, physiological scourges of the twenty-first century, such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s, linger only in historical data, but mental illnesses continue to require careful attention, especially when a single error in programming can radically alter behavior.
Most Shapers fill the space around them with sentient digital creatures. Surrounded by a pack quasi-mythological looking creatures, these masters of their own virtual zoos often surround themselves with outward manifestations of their internal displays, from live maps to video feeds. Shrouded in a patchwork of video displays, often dozens of different streams of data pour into their eyes, their augmented brains processing everything simultaneously. Some Shapers even create temporary networks to avoid the Particulate’s observation. Often their enhanced minds suffer in less stimulating environments, finding the dull one-note hum of non-Integrated Reality impossible to stand. The Shapers’ need for more stimulation and more connection may be their undoing. As they explore the newly found Cogniplex, they can’t perceive the danger of the Neophage, if their trespassing is discovered.
Between dark, unpowered buildings, the Returners drape tarps and hammer rough boards over broken windows. In worn clothes, caked with dirt, they work the land with primitive tools, spades, and hoes. Without climate stability controls, the three suns harden their skin as they sweat. The Returners prepare for the inevitable failure of technology and the final corruption of humanity. Each Returner bears a pink scar on the base of the neck, where they dug out their Embeds. This wound, left to scab over and heal without aid, stands out like an insignia. Each Returner vows to never touch an intelligent machine. Only tools, guided by their own hands, deserve trust.
The Returner settlement, known as Providence, once held a promising city, where Integrated Reality technology first reached a feverish peak of innovation. Top researchers tapped into the Cogniplex, but the information flowed widly, taking over. Every instrument and panel turned against the citizens. Those who resisted, ripping out the wiring and creating crude weapons, survived but they couldn’t shake what they’d seen. They couldn’t return to Tiun’s other colonies. Those who tried found that they saw demons hiding in every device. Crews went to uncover what happened, along with volunteers. Out of the hundreds of survivors, only a handful, led by a former-engineer Kellus Oran returned to the city to assist. They joined the deactivation teams, dismantling everything left with a power source, while the experts searched for an explanation.
Declared a hazardous zone and abandoned, Providence was overtaken by the elements and new growth sprouted from the cracks in the infrastructure. The survivors remained, carving tools from the lush surroundings and mineral rich deposits in the mountains. Kellus declared that no more machines would touch their home. Slowly, they built huts, harvesting what they needed and building within the skeleton of the deactivated city. More flock to Providence each day, but any who refuse to remove their Embeds are refused.
Though only armed with simple tools, the more industrious Returners brandish primitive projectile weapons. The Returners will defend their home with force if anyone smuggles in technology or attempts to reactive the ruins. Their survival remains intertwined with fierce loyalty and ideals that they hold with dogmatic zeal.
The Witnesses plunge into minds, sifting through neurons until they isolate memories connected to crime and trauma. They remember what many would rather forget. As guardians, they maintain justice and peace, tracking down violators and setting the wrongly accused free, but even more importantly they provide memory therapy for both victims and criminals, focusing on preventing future abuse. Through Embeds, they can monitor the stream of recorded information that previously flowed through the visual cortex, along with other senses, locating the exact moments they need to investigate, slowing them down and adjusting as necessary. It’s an exhausting process that wears down even veteran Witnesses, but their efforts maintain peace in Nira. They exchange their psyches for that of the public good, a sacrifice they understand upon pledging themselves.
Armed with a syncollar, the Witnesses can restrain an individual or connect to their Embed with this device. No more than a simple band of metal lined with ports, the collar opens up and automatically adjusts to the shape of the neck, whether placed carefully or hastily slapped on. Once connected, a Witness can download memories and relive traumas, projecting them into their own minds and scouring them for evidence. With these extracted memories, the Witnesses identify perpetrators, who are then seized and their memories are cross-referenced. When the investigation ends, the Witness removes the memory entirely from the victim, storing it in a hard drive for reference.
A Witness’s work doesn’t end after finding who committed a crime, they must be interviewed and audited for therapy. Delving into the criminal's history reveals critical motivations and failures both systemic and personal that led to the crime. The Witnesses conducts a series of memory audits, highlighting problematic experiences that are flagged for extraction or alteration. The criminal is not absolved of their crime, but rehabilitation necessary for the advancement of Nira and humanity as a whole.
The emotional and psychological rigor required burns Witnesses out quickly, most leaving between five and ten years of service, while others suffer mental breakdowns after experiencing horrific traumas, and never quite healing. Though they can scrub their own minds clean, the process fails to fully remove the effects of inhabiting a memory so thoroughly. The fear and pain internalized leaves its mark on all who take on this role, typically manifesting as a distance and wariness that never subsides. Former Witness, Azan Katta, recently given an extended leave of absence, remains deeply suspicious of most people, but he’s made it his personal mission to help a stranger who claims that their memories could save Luminos from destruction.
Historically, criminal conviction relied on flawed and in many cases falsified testimonies, minimal evidence, and the arguments of a stranger with no personal connection to the accused or the accuser. While the nature of crime has changed and grown almost non-existent for a time, the rise in blurred realities and concealed identities presents new opportunities for theft and worse transgressions. Most baffling to the Witnesses, strange memories from survivors of an unknown menace, contained in broken minds, shattered by war and grief. While these aggressors remain unknown, the memories of them multiply slowly. The Witnesses strive to recreate them in their simulations and to determine if they’re a valid threat before they reach Luminos.
Along the crumbling edifices, cracked screens, and permanently stowed shuttles, tents sway and gardens flourish. Providence, once the sight of tragedy, now holds a few hundred refugees from the technology that envelops most lives. The Returners construct new homes each day for their numbers swell in the hundreds these days and show no signs of stopping. Their leader, Kellus, leads within a rough hewn home of timber, where he commits his records of the past into old fashioned books. Though he fought in the original massacre, he leads not out of force, but information. Previously, he served as an engineer and taught history. His knowledge of past civilizations guides the Returners. He creates blueprints for new tools as he remakes artifacts from the twentieth century.
Before the massacre, Providence stood on the leading edge of Integrated Reality. Encased in equipment, the citizens surrounded themselves with projected friends from their Integrated Reality headsets. They wandered, each enraptured with their own programmed worlds. The Integrated Reality specialists here discovered an entirely new frequency at which information traveled throughout the universe. The startling discovery shook the foundations of their databases. It was like they’d discovered a new spectrum of light. Overnight, those who once waited for their shuttles, now sent virtual avatars instead.
They no longer inhabited the virtual world or partially inhabited the physical, instead they fully embraced existence as a simulacrum, an arrangement of lights ushered forth from ports across the city. Soon, many theorized, they could take the next step and leave behind their bodies and the equipment that sustained them. But as more researchers explored this network, something snapped inside a hundred or so of those most deeply connected. They stopped logging out. Their emergency exit protocols never activated and they atrophied in their homes and offices. Some continued their daily commutes, but remained unresponsive.
One day, each of these seemingly catatonic persons awakened. Some removed their gear, while others created more projections. They overrided the security controls of the city and they massacred the populace. Shuttles smashed through crowds, virtualized creations overtook instrument panels and shut doors on those who attempted to flee, mangling the unlucky as they trapped the rest.
Now those who remember lead those who fear that this disaster will strike again. With Kellus filling in the great holes in their knowledge, new tools continue to build prosperity. Growing older, he fears what may happen to Providence if he doesn’t write everything down, but the production of paper is slow and the development of his tools slower, as each must be built from memories of images, which requires a great deal of experimentation and failure. Still, fires burn and citizens of Providence share what they’ve hunted or found each day.
Azan Katta, Ex-Witness
On leave as a Witness, Azan Katta illegally hunts through memories, searching for evidence of an invasion on the outskirts of Luminos. With a stolen syncollar, he looks for refugees who’ve seen the inexplicable. He sneaks into hospitals and speaks with the homeless and the destitute outside of Nira, listening to their stories and searching for details that match Sen’s. His colleagues and friends want him to return rested and healthy, but he plunges further into Sen’s mind, scrubbing through a the same memories over and over, hoping to understand what’s happening on Bellonari.
Unfit for service, Azan’s superior’s gave him a choice. He could be reinstated, if he submitted for a memory audit. The process would require Azan to forfeit all of his memories tied to his unhealthy fixation, they will reinstate him. He refused, continuing to replay the memories, but even that wasn’t enough. He turned to Drelk nectar, searching for a vision of the future that would match what he dug up in the past. Though he’s found nothing to confirm his fears about an imminent attack on Nira and all of Tiun, he continues hunting. The mental strain grows with each day as he imagines the unseen threat to Luminos. He rarely leaves his home, forgetting to eat for days as he remains locked in simulated memories and projected futures. The nectar’s visions begun swirl in his pupils, all but confirming his friend’s concerns.
In flashes of half-remembered chaos, he studies the invaders, comprised of a thousand wriggling parts. Each time he enters, he must be careful not to violate the memory’s structure. He must inhabit the role of the Sen, running and hiding as he did. If he violates the integrity of the memory, he’ll likely alter it, corrupting the original. As he re-enters the memory, familiar screams strangle the quiet of his home as buildings crash out of the sky and the streets buckle beneath his feet. With each viewing, Bellonari shifts. The faces of fleeing residents suddenly turn into Azan’s friends and family, screaming and clutching injuries. He can’t be sure which details he is reliving resembles the original experience anymore.
With a dose of the nectar, he sees new terrors. Aliens forming like clouds of insects. Patient 714 on the floor of the CalmRoom in the Witness compound, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth. Falling into the visions for hours at a time, Azan searches for a connection between these images. He grows thinner each day, living through memories and portents, but unable to grasp them fully. He reaches out to his colleagues for aid, but they only see a broken Witness, snapped under the pressure of reliving hundreds of other lives.
(Level 3, Medium size, 30’ speed)
Attributes: Agility 3 (1d8), Fortitude 4 (1d10), Learning 2 (1d6), Logic 3 (1d8), Perception 4 (1d10), Will 3 (1d8), Prescience 5 (2d6)
Hit Points: 24
Feats: Attribute Substitution II (Prescience > Influence), Extraordinary Defense II, Lightning Reflexes II
Last Resort (damaging attack): Agility vs. Guard. Azan carries a compact taser on his wrist just in case he needs to subdue an unruly client.
Activate Syncollar (inflict mind dredge): Prescience vs. Resolve. Azan turns his syncollar on and locks it onto a friend or enemy he wants information from.
Audit Memory (inflict memory alteration): Influence vs. Resolve. When Azan investigates a mind, he sometimes makes adjustments to heal his targets or erase their memory of him.
With a pale scar on his neck, Kellus proudly displays his freedom from Embeds and Integrated Reality. The Returners follow his lead, carving the device out of the base of their spine. Often found on the outskirts of Providence, he joins the workers there cutting down trees and fending the city from the wild beasts. Once a teacher and an engineer, the massacre at Providence changed his entire view on technological proliferation. Now he instructs residents on how to farm and build new homes without intelligent machines, fearing that computers can’t be trusted any more than the flawed beings that made them. With his instruction, Providence has been rebuilt, hardly resembling the advanced city that once stood apart from the lush forest.
Despite his warnings, Kellus holds onto one piece of technology. A single drive with all the files from the library that was destroyed in the massacre. He keeps it hidden, but searches through the screens for answers to the problems pressing Providence. Quickly, he realized that the Returners would need help if they were to survive without machines. Taking it on himself, he keeps this remaining tech hidden, believing that he minimizes the risk to Providence if he doesn’t share his secret. Of course, he’s fully aware that this secret could undo him, but he there’s no other way he can protect Providence. One day, he will have to choose a successor to share his secret with or doom the
Kellus opposes the Aurora, though many of the Returners revere them. His wife, Damine, or what remains of her, hosts the Auroran, Rhatu. He is wary of Rhatu’s influence over the Returners, but in truth, he is haunted by the sight of his wife, unchanged for the most part except the light streaming from her eyes. At times, though he finds himself drawn to her. He searches in her glowing eyes, hoping to see some shred of Damine left in the Aurora, but all he finds is her inscrutable expression and her cryptic remarks. Though he knows it’s foolish, he consults his hidden drive, hoping to find a way to banish the invader in his wife’s skin.
(Level 4, Medium size, 30’ speed)
Attributes: Fortitude 3 (1d8), Might 5 (2d6), Learning 4(1d10), Logic 4 (1d10), Will 4 (1d10), Presence 5 (2d6)
Hit Points: 34
Feats: Attack Specialization II (Great Axe), Bane Focus (Disarmed), Inspiring Champion I, Knowledge II (Engineering),
Disable (damaging attack): Might vs. Guard, advantage 3. A single ally that can see the attack heals 1d4 HP. Also inflicts disarmed bane on 5 damage or more via Bane Focus. Kellus breaks or knocks loose the weapons in his enemy’s hands.
Tackle (inflict immobile): Might vs. Guard. Kellus jumps on top of his foe, trying to protect his allies.
Take Me Instead (inflict provoked): Presence vs. Guard. Kellus calls out, challenging his enemies to take him on.
Lisanne, Artificial Runaway
Stern and dignified, Lisanne almost passes as a human. She looks no different than any other member of high society with shifting dresses and elegant necklines, but upon closer inspection her Artificial nature reveals itself. Without a connection to her owner, her programming fails to keep up with the evolving nature of humanity. Constantly moving between human settlements, she avoids the Particulate who hunt for her and any clues she might hold to her owner’s disappearance. Though she knows she should comply, she enjoys her newfound freedom and fears being deactivated if she reveals herself.
For years Lisanne served as her owner’s double, excelling as an Arbiter in the Particulate. With her hardwired brain she efficiently sifted through multiple data streams. She monitored and ensured that the Particulate’s practices were strictly adhered. She marked violators for limited Integrated Reality access and even ordered “white outs” for those who misused their position within the organization. For this reason, many despised her and were suspicious of her, but it took months before anyone realized that she was no longer acting under her owner’s guidance, but by then she had already vanished. Now she hides in plain sight, using her appearance and leveraging her knowledge of her owner for favors and help.
Finding friends remains difficult with as an Artificial. Too most, Lisanne is either lost property that needs to be returned or lucrative merchandise to be bought and sold on the black market. In conversation, her face is paralyzed with indifference, failing to register natural emotional responses. Though she’s learned how and when to smile, the mechanical expression leaves others with a disconcerting feeling. She appears indifferent to pain, be it her own or others, and often she tells inappropriate jokes at the wrong moment. These factors make it impossible for her to stay anywhere for long.
She searches for her owner, the real Lisanne, as does the Particulate, but more and more she feels more certain that she is far more real than the woman that commissioned her making. If she could find the original Lisanne, she might be able to build a new life of her own, but the chances of her being discovered, interrogated, and reprogrammed grow each day.
(Level 2, Medium size, 30’ speed)
Attributes: Fortitude 3 (1d8), Might 5 (2d6), Perception 3 (1d8), Will 3 (1d8), Alteration 5 (2d6)
Hit Points: 22
Feats: Attribute Substitution (Alteration > Deception), Boon Focus I (Invisible), Mimic
Defense Protocol (damaging attack): Might vs. Guard. If endangered, Lisanne’s self-defense system activates without her input.
Non-Detection Mod (invoke invisible): Auto-success at PL 5 via Boon Focus I. Lisanne may temporarily rearrange the polymers that make up her body, blending in with her environment.
Enhanced Performance (invoke bolster): Alteration vs. CR 16 (PL 3). Lisanne’s internal processing power focuses on one talent, allowing her to act with extraordinary skill and precision when needed.
Startled by automatic doors, projections, and Artificials, Patient 714 shies away from most tech. The therapy he received from the Witnesses should have restored his shattered mind, but he still can’t remember his own name. His life before the attack on Bellonari is a tattered patchwork of memories. The ceaseless memory audits only further jumbled the remnants of his personality. Separated from his first Witness, he ran away. Hiding within the screen-filled streets of Nira, he searches for other survivors and refugees from Bellonari. His head constantly turning upward, he searching for invading ships beyond the clear skies and trinary suns.
Patient 714 stumbled through a waygate three months ago, screaming and crying. He issued warnings and pleas to those he passed until the Particulate noticed him. After they checked his mental and physical status, they dropped him off at a Witness Center, believing him a victim of a vicious crime that warped his psyche. There is no waygate in Nira that leads to Bellonari. The planet is on the farthest edges of Luminos.
Inside Patient 714’s head, the former-Witness Azan found disturbing memories of writhing ships erupting out of black holes. The invaders seemed both at once organic and synthetic, systematically eradicating any resistance. In these memories, Patient 714 fought and fled as the aliens reformed like a cloud of gnats on rotten fruit. In the darkness, illuminated by laser volleys, half-glimpsed aliens dissolved surrounding defenses and guardians into the void of their chests.
These glimpses into Patient 714’s memory have turned up nothing substantial according to the Witnesses. They treated his trauma as a psychotic break from reality. It’s not uncommon for the mind to fabricate memories and the Witnesses remain vigilant of these types of cases. They administered therapy, but when they attempted to take him in for memory reconstruction, he resisted. He remains terrified that they will remove the truth in his mind. Though he wants to warn the world, but he doesn’t know what to say. With Azan’s help, he might uncover what occurred on Bellonari.
(Level 1, Medium size, 30’ speed)
Attributes: Agility 4 (1d10), Fortitude 3 (1d8), Might 3 (1d8), Learning 2 (1d6), Perception 3 (1d8), Will 2 (1d6), Deception 3 (1d8)
Hit Points: 20
Feats: Defensive Reflexes I, Evasive Footwork, Untrackable
Survival Instinct (damaging attack): Agility vs. Guard. Patient 714 lashes out with surprising speed and precision, as if he’d once been trained in hand-to-hand combat.
Interject (interrupt action): Agility vs. target’s attack roll. Patient 714 has surprising reflexes, reaching out to help an ally when they’re in trouble.
Rhatu, the Anointed
Rhatu, the Anointed joined the Returners in Providence, after taking over the body of one of their followers. Rhatu refuses to reveal her purpose, but attends the sick and assists in the rebuilding effort. The Aurora’s presence represses all electronic devices, severing connections to Integrated Reality, but also amplifying the natural senses. Colors glow with vibrancy and the slightest wind feels like a swirling gale. Rhatu’s eyes glow with astral energy, shining out in every direction. Though Rhatu offers little in the way of conversation, the Aurora frequently reminds those around them that “in time, more will come” with a nod of their head as if it’s a reassurance, but other times it sounds like a warning.
Each day Rhatu wanders into the wilds surrounding Providence, returning with foraged berries, dead birds, and The Aurora leaves them at the city’s entrance. Some worship Rhatu as a god, but Kellus warns against the Aurora, calling Rhatu a false idol and demanding that whoever is in his wife’s body return her. Rhatu has explained numerous times that the woman he loves will never be the same. Damine’s mind will understand the universe on a scale that far exceeds human capacity, much of what she has glimpsed will be incomprehensible and confounding.
Rhatu never offers simple answer to the questions they are asked, when they choose to answer at all. For the most part, Rhatu ignores the settlers, walking through Providence as if searching for something lost. Many assume Rhatu’s hints and warnings suggest that Providence will come under attack from the Nirans or an aggressive alien species, but know for sure what the warnings truly intend. Rhatu makes no effort to communicate directly, knowing that the Aurora’s role in Providence will reveal itself as needed.
(Level 9, Medium size, 30’ speed)
Attributes: Agility 4 (1d10), Learning 4 (1d10), Perception 3 (1d8), Will 5 (2d6), Presence 5 (2d6), Entropy 9 (3d10)
Hit Points: 30
Feats: Boon Focus I (Aura), Extraordinary Defense III, Multi-Target Boon Specialist III, Resilient, Superior Concentration III
Unnerving Presence (inflict demoralized): Entropy vs. Toughness. When threatened, Rhatu’s presence weakens the resolve of enemies, making them question their motives.
Revoke (inflict death): Entropy vs. Toughness. This bane may only be inflicted on non-organic or technologically augmented biological life forms.
Aspect of Abundance (invoke 15’ aura: bolster): Auto-success at PL 6 via Boon Focus. Those around Rhatu feel invigorated enhancing their natural senses and abilities.
Envelop (invoke insubstantial): Entropy vs. CR 24 (PL 7). A soft light covers Rhatu’s and the Aurora disappears.
Pulling down her mask, Sanni Tusk immerses herself in the layers of reality all around Nira. She alters her image constantly, appearing at moment a towering colossus and at other times a slim shadow, but always she retains her trademark mask with one eye and two twisted horns. Through her inventive manipulations, she bores deep into the programming and reshapes it. She leaves secrets within pixels, hoping to find other Shapers with her talents and bring them into her fold. She needs comrades to explore the strange new Cogniplex she discovered. Unlike Integrated Reality, this world resists her edits and looks strangely familiar, though the wilds grow over glass and steel ruins.
A Shaper and savant, Sanni hacked her own school equipment so she could search through Integrated Reality during lessons. Once the she altered the entire city, turning it into a land of brimstone and lava, flowing down from a floating keep. Though her antics verge on criminal, she avoids the Particulate, leaving a trail false positives to cover her meddling. Though few realize it, Sanni made many of the virtual pets and adornments that are fashionable in Integrated Reality. When she needs to meet with other Shapers, she crafts her own hidden spaces, secure from the mass observation of Integrated Reality.
Carefully, she avoids alerting anyone but her closest confidants about her foray into the newest network. She explores the Cogniplex, creeping from ruined towers to tiny homes. Noting the deer running through city squares and the vines creeping up columns and ornate edifices. She’s only glimpsed one other person in the far distance of this reality so far, but she found herself unable to catch up to them. If she knew that the Cogniplex housed the digital resonance of the Neophage she might tread more cautiously, but she continues on, oblivious to the Cognizant tracking her and the danger they pose to all of humanity.
(Level 5, Medium size, 30’ speed)
Attributes: Agility 5 (2d6), Fortitude 4 (1d10), Learning 2 (1d6), Logic 6 (2d8), Perception 4 (1d10), Will 4 (1d10), Presence 3 (1d10)
Hit Points: 32
Feats: Attribute Substitution II (Logic > Alteration), Bane Focus (Polymorph), Boon Focus I (Summon Creature), Ferocious Minions II, Potent Bane (Polymorph)
Deactivate (inflict polymorph): Alteration vs. Toughness, advantage 2. This bane can only be inflicted on targets with computing integrated in their armor, weapons, or body.
Noise Gate (inflict silenced): Alteration vs. Toughness. Sanni can alter nearby electronics to create a noise dampening field around her target.
Appearance Override (invoke shapeshift): Alteration vs. CR 22 (PL 5 - 6). Reprogramming her Embed, Sanni can make hers appearance resemble that of almost anyone.
Projected Allies (invoke summon creature): Auto-success at PL 6 via Boon Focus I. With her talents as a Shaper, Sanni can render projections that direct shocks through her hacked Embed software.