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Welcome to the House of Renunciation. Have a seat.
Everyone wants to be famous.
The power, the money, the hordes of adoring fans who would give anything just to be able to tell their friends they saw you, and of course, the sex. Fame is the new American Dream, and has become as practical as it has been glamorous.
Our nation is fast becoming a celebritocracy; government slaries are paltry sums compared to actor, sports star and singer contracts, with a tenth the pay and a twnetieth the respect. Besides, if a celebrity ever wants to go into politics, he's in good company--The Body governs Minesotta, the Terminator California. For many, many young people, fame is the ultimate prize--and the most elusive one.
Hollywood, Juliard and other such places regularly chew up and spit out folks who want that piece of the American love pie. But who knows, you could be one of the lucky ones--someone with the brains, the talent, the instinct and the will the Make It. It could very well be that you wake up today a nobody, and go to sleep well on your way to super stardom.
It happens more often than you'd think--but a lot can happen in those twleve hours. And a lot of that lot is done by the Royal Escorts of the Throne Room.
The Throne Room takes people who are going to be famous and makes them reject fame, or even human contact. It doesn't matter if you're the finest pianist ever born, or if you're trying to construct an image to get some ass, the room will take you in. It blinds you with your name in lights, deafens you with shouts of adoration, crushes you with adoring fans. Victims of this room walk away with whatever talent they had carefully hidden from the world at large.
The Throne Room has two parts: the first is called the Red Carpet Room, and contains the ideal situation for the star-to-be; a rock star wannabe may walk into a club, with thousands of people shouting his name and pre-teen girls throwing their panties, while a talented author who justs wants hier work published will find herself lead through a large scholastic library, where the lead minds of her field look up and silently acknowledge her presence. This is the room that shows what the victim wants from his or her talent, and so different people with similar skills could show radically different things. A baseball player who just wants public admiration might be led through a press conference, while another who truly desires to show his best may be led through a dugout, the whole stadium chanting his name to get out there.
Victims don't spend a lot of time there. The next room (which is always through a convinient door) is the actual Throne Room, where the Renunciation happens. It's a simple long narthex, built of tasteful white marble stone and gold trim, with a long red carpet leading to an elevated golden throne. It is exactly 333 steps from the door to the throne.
The Room seeks people who are trying to get famous for whatever reason. Whether they believe they have something to show the world or not, or whether or not they actually could benefit the world by becoming famous, this room does not care.
The Throne Room deposits its Agents in places in which they will come across a person on the way to the event that will make their career and will set them on the road to fame and stardom. When this Room is very active, people stop showing up for auditions, guest lectures, book signing parties, art shows and the like.
Also, this room has a nasty (some would say suicidal) habit of getting at Godwalkers on the way to battle for Ascension (after all, Archetypes are the ULTIMATE celebrities). Some say the reason for the Room's recent inactivity if because they messed with a powerful enough Godwalker who put them down (possibly Alex Abel), while some believe the recent Ascension of the MVP weakended the former Agents so much they were all Renounced themselves. But hey, shadows and dust, right?
When a suitable candidate is brought into the Room, they pass through the Red Carpet room. They may try to linger here, but the Royal Escorts press them along into the Throne Room.
Once there, the victim is invited to sit on the Throne. The person very much wants to sit there, and refusing to is a Rank-5 Self Check.
Once they sit on the Throne and take a moment to get comfortable, the door leading from the Red Carpet Room opens and people come in. At first, they're the kind of people similar to what was seen in the previous room: a politician will recieve congratulatory heads of state, an ambitious Bishop will find people kneeling to kiss the robes of the Pope.
The victim may take some pleasure in this for a while, but it soon gets disturbing. Fans get too fanatical, well-wishers begin to argue with one another, riots break out among the throng--which continus to fill the room. Pretty soon people are literally piling up on top of one another, until the Room is filled to the ceiling with clawing, scratching sychophants trying to get their hands on the victim.
Furthermore, if one of the people touches the enthroned one--and the fighting is so bad, few get a chance--that person turns into someone the victim would never want fawning over them, acting like the worst fan ever. What if your mother told you she'd suck your dick for an autograph (or have your child!)? What if your scholastic mentor killed another man right in front of you to get closer? What is Jesus Christ Himself came in and started to kiss your feet? You probably wouldn't be able to take it (Rank-5 Isolation check every time this happens).
The player can choos to get off the Throne and go amongst the people if he chooses, or he can just try to bolt. Either way, it's a Self Check Rank-8 to do so. If you pass, you peel yourself from the Throne, but the people aren't happy. They yell and scream and begin to riot more, even running up and uprooting the Throne and toppling the pillars in the hall. The victim had best get out of there or be swept up in it all (they can't be killed, of course, but feel free to reduce their Wound Points arbitrarily down to one point from punches, kicks, bites and weapons). If the victim makes for the Red Carpet Room, he gets a similar reaction fomr everybody out there--a Rank-7 Isolation check. When he escpaes through the door he entered into the Room through, he is back in the real world, with no time having past.
If, however, he fails his roll to get off the Throne, he still gets off the Throne just fine--but the people immediately redouble their efforts, fighting even harder to catch a glimpse of this incredible celebrity. Same thing when he escapes into the Red Carpet Room. Only when he exits through the door he entered from is he completely free.
Those who walked into the riot (i.e. Passed the Self Check to leave the Throne) are either humbled by the expereince, and go off to become responsible celebrities, or they become paranoid of falling from grace, and will do anything to stay famous, even sacraficing what little diginity they have left in their later career years.
Those who failed the roll, however, become recluses and agoraphobics, hiding from the world and practicing their arts in secret. They may master them beyond peer in time, but no one will ever see them. They fear the pblic eye like the plague.
There are currently no Agents of the Throne Room, and so it cannot function at the moment. Certain people who come across the Room approach the Throne and rather than sitting on it, kneel before it. These people swear an Oath they know automatically, and become Royal Escorts. They have the following powers, the first two of which are variations on the standard House of Renunciation powers:
High and Mighty Entrance--with a succesful Soul stat check, the Escort may open a door on the ninth floor of any building and make it a portal to the Red Carpet Room.
Make Way for the King--the Escort may shift any roll by + or -10%.
Royal Escort--This power gives the Escort ultimate connections. The Escort can take the target anywhere the target wants to go, and the Escort is treated as a high rolling regular, and the target as his honored guest. So if the target wants to go to an upscale resturaunt, there will already be a reservation made in the Escort's name, the Matrie Die will personally come out and greet the party, the string quartet will stop what they're doing and play the Escort's favorite song. If, on the other hand, the target wants to go to a rave, the Escort can get them free drinks at the bar, have the DJ announce his arrival between songs, and be greeted by all the hottest girls there (Escorts tend to use this power to convince the target that they have 'big plans" for them). If the target ever goes back to one of the places visited, no one will remember either the Royal Escort or his "guest" at the time.
Mr Unlucky | profile | Feb 02, 04 | 4:32 am
Looks good, but we have to come up with an agent for this one.
Menzoa | profile | Feb 04, 04 | 3:44 pm
Thanks for the kind words, Mr. Unlucky. Means a lot to me :).
well, when you do, it's a simple matter of emailing our beloved Mr. Tynes with the replacement text... actually, I have a couple of changes I'd like to make to Bad Influences (v2.0), but I really should wait a week, just to make sure the new version is final...
Menzoa | profile | Feb 07, 04 | 8:51 pm