Path of Partnership

No, actually I think you're going to listen to me, this time.

And if you're really good, maybe I'll let you off easy.

Just as a Pardoner can conquer the Shadows of others, so can they conquer their own. In fact, they can do so with precision, using the Shadow's own powers and tricks for their own benefit without having to get their dark halves' permission.

Such Arts can be dangerous - some would say addictive, too - but a Wraith in charge of her own Shadow is both a terrifying opponent, and a good friend to have.

Wraiths can only use these Arts on themselves, and not others.


** Darken

Allowing your Shadow to know what you're thinking of doing is a near-guarantee of disaster. Pardoners use Darken to completely shield their thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams from their other half. The Shadow can still talk to the Wraith, but it can't tell what the Pardoner is really meaning behind her words.

Darken costs Willpower, and a lot of Essence, to start up, but doesn't need much to keep going after that. However, while this Art is in effect, the Wraith cannot use Dark Mirror on herself: the shield created by the Art hides both sides from one another's view...


*** Defy

Once at this stage of the Path, the Wraith's control over her Shadow has increased to the point where she can halt her other half's attempts to do her harm. The second the Pardoner becomes aware of her Shadow attempting Catharsis, a Harrowing or Dissolution, the Pardoner can try to stop it.

It requires Essence and Willpower, but success means the Shadow wasted its Tainted Essence. That said, a little of the Shadow's power always comes back for the Wraith having to wrestle her inner demon.


**** Demand

Shadows have a particular power - known as the Heart's Thorn - that allows them to hand over dice provided the Wraith performs certain actions. Under normal circumstances, the Shadow decides how much to hand over, if anything, and the Wraith is forced to bargain with her other half for "help."

Demand turns the tables on the Shadow by forcing it to hand over as many dice as it can, any time the Pardoner demands it, for whatever the Pardoner wants to use it for. This costs Essence, and the Shadow still gets Tainted Essence whenever one of those dice comes up 10 - even on a re-roll. But if it's that or certain disaster, most Pardoners bear the sting.


***** Daemon

Wraiths can elect to enter Shadowstate with their Shadows' permission and cooperation. This state of being puts some of the Shadow's powers in the Wraith's hands, but gives the Shadow Tainted Essence each time these powers are used. It also gives the Shadow a better chance at Catharsis, which makes such a bargain risky indeed.

However, such is the power of Castigate that, at this level of the Path, the Pardoner can force the Shadow to enter Shadowstate. She can also specify which Thorns she wants to use - provided she knows what they are - and can extend the state out as long as she'd like. Worse still, the Shadow cannot stop the Shadowstate, or attempt Catharsis while it's on.

This extreme feat of Shadow management requires both Willpower and a lot of Essence to pull off. It also gives Tainted Essence right from the start, along with another dose every time the Shadowstate is extended by a Scene.