Path of Memory

Do you see this, little man? Those are your hands, coming towards you now, out of the dark.

Yes, they are. And that is your gun, aimed at you, now. And your face, leering out the shadows... hissing orders at your new plaything...

What's that? You don't remember this? Well, you may have forgotten him, little man. But he has not forgotten you. Especially after what you did to him... there in the alley.

Now... what was it you said to him? "Let's play Master and Servant."

Ah, I see by your sudden panic that you're starting to remember! But let's continue, just to be sure?

You may scream, if you like. I know he did.

The Harbingers bring the gift of total recall, though it is often more of a burden to those they share them with. The Arts of the Path of Memory give them control over the mind's contents - both long-term and short-term. They can place a small, passing trifle into a target's mind, or implant a full memory. They can also remove memories, should they choose to.

Fear and Memory

Some may wonder what, apart from the need to be inside the target for Fear to work, is the defining difference between Regis' Path of Memory and Fear's Path of Sorrows? After all, one can use Fear on good memories, and Regis on awful ones.

The chief difference is that, while the Path of Sorrows empowers Wraiths to change memories, it will not allow them permanently implant the memories back into the minds of their victims. And while the Path of Memory lets Wraiths implant and remove memories, it will not let them alter those memories in any way.

In fact, any attempt to use Fear Arts on a memory gleaned through Regis' Basic Art, and the Path of Memory, causes that memory to disappear, as though it'd been left outside the body too long. And any attempt to use Regis to implant a memory that has been altered by Fear automatically fails.

It's almost as if the two Paths' Arts were created in such a way as to cancel one another out...

In order to use these Arts on another, the Wraith must be close enough to look the target deep in the eyes - no less than five feet away. The target doesn't have to know the Wraith is there, which is why these Arts work just fine on the Living. But if eye contact is broken at any time, the Art fizzles.

These Arts cannot directly harm the target, but they may cause discomfort and mental anguish. If someone is emotionally disturbed or bruised by what they see, the Wraith takes Tainted Essence for having set the scenario up.

There is, however, nothing to be gained by sending someone on a dangerous errand via ** Repeat or *** Remember. The Wraith just puts it in their head, and if they act on it... well, that's their own fault, isn't it?


** Repeat

This Art lets a Wraith put something small into the head of the target: an annoying song, a small thought or some idle worry {"Did I leave the stove on...?} The thought is enough to distract the target, and take dice away from activities requiring mental concentration. It's also good for nudging people in a certain direction, provided the Wraith got enough successes to seriously worry them.


*** Remember

This allows for a more involved thought to be placed into the mind. The Wraith can slip in a mental image of something or someone, or a phrase, objective or errand. She can also place certain pieces of information - such as a street address, password or safe's combination - that will only unravel from the target's mind once she's close to a certain something, or someone.


**** Rerun

* Distraction allows a Wraith to find and/or copy others' memories, and this Art allows the Wraith to run those memories through another's mind. It can also be used to replay an old memory the Wraith finds in the target's head, and boost its clarity so it seems as fresh as an hour ago.

The Art lasts for a Turn, regardless of how long the memory actually is: the target's sense of mental perception is sped up as she "relives" what she sees, unable to move or physically react in any way. Sadistic Harbingers are known to allow them to speak, if only to hear them whimper, cry or scream in sympathy with the memories they're reliving, but that's as much as the targets can do.


***** Replace

The culminating Art of the Path of Memory lets a Wraith permanently implant a memory into the mind of someone, or else take a memory out. The more successes the Wraith gets to do this indicates the skill with which it's removed or implanted, to the point where, with an Exceptional Success, the target thinks the memory's always been there, or won't notice the hole in her mind when something's taken away.