At first glance, the Embody Numen might seem like a strange redundancy. If Wraiths - like Ghosts - can Manifest without having to learn the Numen, then why bother to learn it at all?

What Embody does is allow Wraiths to Manifest as things other than themselves, or to create different effects while Manifested. These Embody Arts are costly to use, and maintain, but those who enjoy the use of this Numen say that it's worth every sliver of Essence and Corpus, just to be there again. {And you should see the look on those meatbags' faces...}

Note that a Wraith doesn't have to have even a glimmer of the Shaping Numen to be able to warp and change her body via Embody. In fact, the two Numen are somewhat antithetical to one another, even though their thought processes are related disciplines: modifications done with Shaping will never show up while Embodied, and Shaping cannot be used while Embodied - not even to give or take Essence, or Corpus.



Embody is unique amongst the Numina in that there are no set paths for Wraiths to follow. Just as every Wraith sees herself differently, so does every Wraith Manifest in a slightly different way, slowly navigating towards mastery of the Numen by intuition alone. This also means that there are no Crossover Arts, as each Art is its own, separate concept.

As for the names associated with the users of this Numen, it depends on what the Wraith tends to do with it. Those who make a habit of looking after the Anchors and interests of others are known as Proctors {or Guardians, in more modern parlance}, while those who use these Arts to destroy them - or just the living - are known as Shades and Fiends. Meanwhile, "ordinary," non-commercial Wraiths who happen to use Embody on a regular basis for their own benefit are sometimes referred to as Phantoms.


Those Who Know

Embody is often innate to those who died from Sickness and Starvation, as well as those who were chosen by Fate. And as it's one of the Common Numina, and almost any Wraith could develop it on her own - or learn it from another - there is a wide scattering of the Numen throughout the Necropoli. That's not to say that there are many masters of its Arts, due to The Order's concerns about its more outré {and lethal} uses, but there are places where its a rare Wraith who lacks any talent with it at all.

Out of all the Concords, the Haunters and Messengers are the ones who utilize this Numen on a regular basis. The Messengers use it to aid the living, and provide them with friendly warnings, while the Haunters take advantage of its darker aspects, and use them as a one-two combination along with Fear.


They say that the true masters of this Numen are virtuosos - completely bypassing the laws of man, ghost and Wraith when they Manifest into the Liveworld.

They are reputedly able to Manifest around the living, forming a shell of Corpus, or a strangling mask. They may even be able to take form inside of the living, either co-existing with mortal flesh - and controlling it - or doing terrible damage with a hand in the right spot. And others are said to be able to take full human form - so much so that they could be impregnated by the living...

Others are said to be able to form multiple copies of their ideal self, just as Wraiths can form themselves into swarms of small, noxious animals. These copies might be controlled individually, or in a group mind, but no one can say for certain. Others can stretch their bodies out to a ridiculous extreme - forming houses, mansions and entire villages out of their bodies, so as to harvest the fear of the mortals who step inside them.

As for the Damned, it seems that this Numen is something they simply cannot learn, much less use. They may be able to possess the bodies of the living - and the dead - via their warped version of Bios, but they are somehow kept from forming bodies of their own. And for this, we should all be eternally grateful.

Basic Art:

* Phantasmal Flourish

The first step towards learning the rules of Embody is learning that there are no rules - only guidelines. Just as each Wraith is unique, so is each Wraith's path to full interaction with the Liveworld. That said, certain techniques and understandings are very common, and while one Wraith's favorite way of Manifesting might do the same thing as another's, they will all appear slightly different to the onlooker.

To take this Basic Art, pick three of the following Flourishes. These now make up the abilities of the Embody Basic Art for that Wraith. The other Flourishes may be taken, too, but must be purchased individually as 2nd level Alternate Arts.

System: To use these Flourishes, the Wraith makes the normal Manifestation roll, and then pays the extra cost in Essence and/or Corpus. More than one Flourish can be used at once, so long as they make sense, and the Wraith can pay the costs.


* Ethereal Traces

Allows the Wraith to make an effect more "permanent," or leave "ghosts" of herself around that activate if certain conditions are met. For example, she could set an effect by the doorway of her Haunt, so that anyone who passed by heard someone whisper Get Out, or felt a sudden chill. They might also see the Wraith "reflected" in the mirror, just once, the first time they pass it.

This +1 Essence and +1 Corpus to make, and additional +1 willpower to set the "trap," +1 essence per charge

* Extended Visit

Allows the Wraith to be Manifested for one scene per success, rather than one turn. This costs 2 more Essence per application.

* Grave Voice

Allows the Wraith to speak while Manifested, or speak while at the Zero Essence level. This costs 1 more Essence per application.

* Revealed Rot

Allows the Wraith to activate a secondary, Embodied form if certain conditions are met, without having to reroll, much less re-Manifest. The successes of the roll for the first Art are transferred equally to the secondary Art.

For example, if the Wraith is using Spectral Banquet, the primary form could be a juicy, roast leg of lamb and the secondary form could be rotten meat. The moment a mortal takes a bite of the lamb, the secondary form is activated, and she receives a mouthful of disgusting, rotted slop.

That secondary form can be from other Embody Arts, so long as it's something the Wraith knows how to do. To use the Spectral Banquet example again, the secondary form could employ Tendrils of Darkness, and the food could be suddenly squirming with maggots. And if the Wraith had Storm of Vermin, a literal flood of worms could spew out of the lamb and into the poor mortal's face.

The Flourish costs 2 more Essence. The Wraith must pay the Essence costs for all Arts to be employed up front.

* Strength of Death

This Flourish allows a Wraith to make her Manifested form stronger, so she doesn't take double damage while Manifested, and can have up to three dots in her stats. This costs 2 more Essence.

* Unseen Visitor

The Wraith can Manifest for any amount of Essence, or using any other Art, and not be seen, so long as she can concentrate on maintaining a form that lets light go through it. The moment that concentration is gone, due to a sudden distraction, engaging in a fight, being attacked and/or wounded, or having to think about something else, the Flourish is dispelled. This costs 2 more Essence per application.

Embody Arts