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Why does everyone snap-to when wierd old Uncle Bob comes over? And why was he asking about your girlfriend? "If you two are serious?" You can pick your enemies, your friends, and your pets. You can't pick your family.
AKA Patriarchs or Matriarchs, Saltlakers , Tree-trimmers.
Drawing on ancient traditions of ancestor worship as well as ancient and modern obsessions with genealogy and with charting family relations, Geneamancy is the magicakal art of drawing power from the complex web of relatives tied together by bonds of blood and marriage. Geneamancy isnít simply about having a strong sense of family, its about being obsessed with charting your every relative in exquisite detail- the more about them the better. Who they were, what they liked, where they lived, where they died and where they are buried. It involves pouring through newspaper record rooms, requesting military papers, finding old family cemeteries, interviewing relatives, searching internet archives, and raiding other genealogists archives.
In return, you gain power over your own family, and more generally the concepts and feelings associated with family. You can instill familial feelings in a perfect stranger, or impose your will over your kin. Watch out though- your power is dependent on the health and welfare of you relatives.
This school predominates in the American south, New England, and most especially in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Mormon religion encourages genealogical research- and many good Mormons find themselves obsessed with it. A small number of those obsess to the point where their researches yield real power. Geneamancers looking to teach their art often find potential students in research libraries and record rooms.
Blast Style: Geneamancers can channel the force of their entire family and lash out at a target. This requires the Geneamancer whispers the names of his family members he wishes to channel, and gestures at his target. Unseen hands then pummel the victim. The significant blast directs the force of the Geneamancerís entire family, and it inflicts damage like a firearms attack. Victims end up looking like they were beaten and stomped by dozens or hundreds of people, almost as if they were caught in a riot. The sensation of being beaten by unseen fists while a multitude of voices whisper curses at you is very very unsettling. The stress check this imposes is 1 Rank higher than a normal blast spell.
Generate a Minor Charge: Spend an hour working on your family tree. Researching your family members, adding new ones, confirming relationships, dates, and places of origin. Each hour of such dedicated, uninterrupted work earns you a Minor charge.
Generate a Significant Charge: Uncover an entirely new and thus far unresearched branch of your family. Alternately, establish a direct blood relation to someone famous (known of by at least 100,000 people world-wide). Alternately, adopt (see below) a person of significant occult power into your family. Such a person must have a magical or avatar skill rated at least as high as your own magical skill. You gain 1 net charge from this adoption, and unlike normal, the spell pays for itself.
Generate a Major Charge: Uncover your familial relationship to an ascended Avatar, or to the Comte-Saint Germain, or some other major occult figure. Alternately uncover your direct blood relation to someone who is famous and known to millions of people (someone like Jesus, Hitler, Stalin, or Elvis).
Taboo: If you ever knowingly allow someone in your family tree to come to physical or mental harm. People get old, people die. This is the way of things, and you have dozens of names in your Tree to prove that everyone dies in the end. But if you allow any harm (at least 10 points of damage or a failed stress check) to befall someone in your family when you have any power to stop it, you break taboo and loose all your charges. The safest way to avoid taboo is to avoid all contact with your family, but often they are the best source of information relating to your charge-building research, and so many of your spells can only be used on familyÖ itís a paradox. By staying close to your family, you can use them to further your occult ends and to protect them from harm. However, by bearing witness to their risk-taking behaviors and exposing them to the dangers of the occult underground, you risk taboo. But who said magick was about easy decisions?
Random Magical Domain: The social structure and relations of family- both by blood and marriage,. The actions and behaviors of your own family. The ghosts/demons of your ancestors. The powers of fertility within your own family- the power to grant or rescind fertility. The ability to proxy family members with one another. Your greatest power comes from direct blood relations, but your magic can affect all those who are related to you even through marriage.
An Adept in the Family
Geneamancers are kind of scary. They are obsessed with their families to the point of gaining power from them- and over them. They can be like the benevolent rich uncle who looks out for all his nieces and nephewsÖ or they can be the all-powerful autocratic Old Man who dominates and crushes his family Ďfor their own goodí. A saltlakerís greatest powers flows along lines of direct blood descent, but even social relations who marry into the family are within his purview. So what happens when one of these relations- blood or otherwise- is also an Adept? Normally, not all that much. Unless the spell Pay Your Respects is used, that related Adept can go along his business normally. The Geneamancer might feel inclined to keep his relation out of harmís way- with his taboo and all- but some saltlakers come to think of their related Adepts as pawns and servants. Adepts donít take kindly to this sort of thing.
However, what happens if you find another Geneomancer in your line? War. You have two control and knowledge-obsessed adepts both trying to squeeze power out of the same structure of relationships and descent. And there is only so much power to be had. In such situations, the charges generated by the research of both adepts flows into a common pool they both draw from. Further, if one of them taboos, it all gets flushed down the mystical toilet.
There are two possible solutions. The first is a classic Occult Underground way to address such conflicts of interest- a bullet in the brain. The short term bad is that you break taboo immediately from whacking your relative. However, you no longer have to share charges with the jerkoff. Alternately- if you match up in temperament and sexual predilection- you can marry your fellow Geneamancer and become a Patriarch/Matriarch pair (at least symbolically). You have to actually marry, and you have to consummate that marriage. Preferably, you need to produce children (again, at least symbolically). You still share the same pool of charges, and you still flush the whole thing with a taboo, but now rather than being competition, you and the other tree-trimmer are bonded allies. So long as the marriage stays reasonably healthy, you both have a low-key psychic link with the other. You know their location and their general state of mind and health. With a Minor charge, you can communicate mentally in brief bursts of words and pictures (enough to communicate 1 hard and fast fact or statement). With a Significant charge, you can share each otherís senses and communicate telepathically. Still, 55% of marriages do end in divorce.
Starting Charges: Newly created Patriarchs have 4 minor charges.
Charging Tips: A dedicated Geneamancer can easily accumulate a dozen or more minor charges a week with research hours alone, but comes by Significant charges much less often. It requires fairly serious and dedicated research to uncover the kind of relationships which will earn you a Significant charge, and you can expect to generate no more than a few in any given month. But hey, everyone is related to someone famous, you know?
Geneamancy Minor Formula Spells
Cost: 1 Minor charge
Create tension between two related individuals. The initial spell creates the equivalent amount of stress in the relationship to an angry argument or an insulting remark. After the Bad Blood is injected into the relationship, the natural temperaments of the individuals will determine where it goes from there. Further applications of this spell to the same individuals will further aggravate the situation.
Head of the Household
Cost: 1 Minor charge
You magically enforce your authority over members of your family. For direct blood relations, you gain a +40% shift for all attempts to persuade, charm, browbeat, intimidate, or chastise them. They simply bow to your overwhelming authority over them. Against relations by marriage, your authority is somewhat lessened. You only gain a +20% shift against these people. The target of this spell must be included in your family tree. This authority lasts for about fifteen minutes.
Pay your Respect
Cost at least 1 minor charge
If you have an Adept in your family tree to whom you have a direct blood connection, you can draw off a measure of his power along that line of descent. For every 1 charge you spend on this spell, you can swipe 2 of the same type from your relation. So if you spent a Significant charge on this spell, you would swipe 2 from you relative. This might seem like a great deal- but remember, all that pissed-off Entropomancer nephew of yours has to do is sock his mom in the chops while you watch to taboo you, then blast you to little splattery bits. Use with caution.
Like Father, Like Son
Cost 2 Minor charges
You can emulate the skills of a relative- so long as you have their life charted. With a successful casting of this spell, you can use your Geneamancy skill as if it were any single other skill your relation was known to be good at. This lasts for about 15 minutes.
Cost 2 Minor Charges
The Geneamancerís minor blast spell. You whisper a list of your relatives first names, and your target reels as if struck and kicked by invisible attackers. It does damage like a martial arts attack.
Like a Brother to Me
Cost 2 Minor Charges
You make a person unrelated to you feel as if he were closely related- like a brother or sister. What this means depends on the target of the spell. People with strong healthy family relations will often bend over backwards for you, but people who come from shitty, weird, or abusive families- or people who have no families they can remember or relate to- will have a much more negative effect. If you use this on a person who suffered abuse at the hands of their close relatives, youíre likely to get attacked. The feelings last for about an hour.
You instill a feeling of sympathy and obligation to help into a target you are unrelated to- as if you were a less fortunate relative of theirs who could use some help. This is good for making one modest request which is likely to be granted- the loan of a modest sum (by the targetís estimation), a place to crash for the night, or a ride somewhere locally. The feelings this spell creates are fairly fragile, and if confronted with obvious evidence that you are not really in need, or clearly a total stranger, it will break leaving the subject feeling like they just avoided a con game- likely pissed off. The effects of this spell wonít last longer than a day- and thatís only if you stretch things by playacting the part. If you do anything too weird (or if the target has to make any kind of stress check) the spell also fails.
Cost 2 minor charges
You can enter a trance while meditating over your genealogical charts, finger resting over the target of this spell (who must be a direct blood relation). If successful, you can ride undetected just inside their mind, skimming their strongest surface thoughts and using their senses as if they were your own. You canít control their actions at all, and you canít communicate with them, and while the spell is active you are oblivious of your own body and condition. The spell lasts about 15 minutes per application, but because it uses your blood relation as the channel for the scrying effect it is a great way of circumventing normal defenses against scrying. Of course, if you put a relation in harmís way, you risk taboo.
Cost 3 minor charges
Geneamancers have control over both their living relations, and their dead ones. Cast this spell while meditating on your charts, and you know immediately which of your dead relations are restless ghosts. If you this spell over the grave of one such demonic blood relation, while trickling your own blood onto the grave and meditating on the family tree- especially the lines connecting you to your subject- the ghost will rise up and come into your mind. Demons raised with this spell are especially subject to your power- all the symbolic and biological lines of power you invoke to bring the demon up work in your favor. You have a +20% shift when dealing with the demon, and the demon is subject to all your other spells just as if it were a living blood relation. Be respectful though- allowing harm to come to your demon-kin is just as taboo breaking as to your living kin. Ancestors are to be respectedÖ at least openly.
Geneamancy Significant Formula Spells
Cost 1 Significant Charge
This spell creates a powerful sympathetic bond between you and a person you are unrelated to. This is the equivalent of being related to this person by marriage, and the bond is permanent. This opens up a whole new realm of genealogy for you to investigate and draw power from, and makes the person subject to your magical authority. Used twice- or used on someone already related to you by marriage- this creates a powerful bond the equivalent of a direct blood relationship. This spells is fairly involved, and requires you to research the target before hand, learn their family history, and biography, nicknames, childhood stories, and such. You must then consume a small piece of their body- hair, blood, and fingernails all work fine. However, keep in mind, the more people you are related too, the greater chance one of them might fall into harmís way while you are aware of it. Watch out.
Cost 1 Significant charge (plus see below)
You defensively channel the effects of magick down the paths of direct blood relation, so rather than affecting you it hits one of your relatives. Yes- this is a great way to break taboo if you channel a blast spell down for your uncle Bob to take in the chops. However, if the spell is benign, beneficial, or would have no contextual effect on Bob when it hits, then no problem. For example, if a Plutophage tries to make you drop your gun and you successfully shunt it to Bob who lives in a Florida retirement community, heíll get a vague notion that he should drop what heís holding, but unless it is in fact a gun, the spell will more or less crap out with no harm done.
Ties that Bind
Cost 1 or more Significant charge
You can impose your will on your relatives, forcing them into behavior patterns and ways of thinking you deem acceptable. You can rewrite their Triggers, change their Obsessions, alter their beliefs, thoughts, and hopes. You canít actually control their thoughts moment to moment, but each significant charge allows you to change 1 facet of how they relate to the world. This process is fundamentally unsettling- ask anyone who comes from a family headed by a autocratic asshole or bitchqueen Virginia Wolfe wannabee how much being told what to think and love screws you up. Each change made with this spell induces a level 5 Self stress check. You can quickly drive your relatives crazy with this, but itís a great way to get your son off the drugs, and back into law school.
Cost 2 Significant charges
The Geneamancy significant blast spell. You whisper the family names which describe the branches of your tree, and the target feels as if he is being bashed and pummeled by hundreds of unseen fists. This spell does damage like a firearm attack.
Cost 2 Significant charges
This spell creates the equivalent of Bad Blood between your target and every other member of his family. It functions exactly like Bad Blood, only on a much larger scale. Used repeatedly, it can cause the virtual exile of a person from his family (and likely Self, and Isolation stress checks). If the target does his best to make things up to his family, he can work this spell off in a moth or so. If he is sort of a dick to begin with, it will have much broader and longer lasting effects.
Cost 2 Significant Charge
In many ways, the opposite of Adoption. You mystically and symbolically cast someone- and their entire branch of relations- out of your family. You canít draw power from them or people related to you through them, and they canít cause you to break taboo. All mystical ties are severed, and it creates the equivalent of Bad Blood (as per the Minor spell above) with all the remaining members of your family.
With this Ring
Cost 3 Significant charges
This spell- symbolized through a ring- creates a potent bond between Geneamancer and the target, who must already be related to him. If not a blood relation, this spell creates a similar bond. If the subject is a blood relation, the bond is increased even further. You can use Parental Supervision on the subject for only 1 minor charge, and it lasts as long as you wish it to. Further, while looking out through the eyes of your relation, you can cast any other spell you wish through them as if they were you, or you can use any spell you wish on them as if they were in your presence. While active, this spell causes the target to act as your proxy for all mystical purposes, but serious harm to them regardless of whether they are within your observation or power will result in automatic breach of taboo. This spell lasts until the ring is removed.
Heart of the Family
Cost 6 significant charges, plus 1 per month.
You tie your own life and health into the life and health of your family. You donít age more than 1 year (physically) beyond your oldest living blood relative- this might even result in you growing younger when the spell is first invoked. Further, so long as at least 1 blood relation known to you and charted on your tree still survives, you canít die or be killed. You can be serious messed up, but never taken below 0 wound points, and given time can heal (though if the damage is bad enough you will likely be disfigured, crippled, or insane from organic brain damage). The downside is of course that if one of your charted blood relations dies- for any reason- you suffer 5 points of wound damage immediately and must make a rank 5 Helplessness stress check. This damage canít kill you so long as your blood persists, but it does hurt. It manifests as sympathetic wounds or illnesses like those which killed your relation. This spell requires you expend an additional significant charge each month to maintain it, and if you ever use it to survive past your normal lifespan, letting it lapse will result in your rapid ageing and almost certain death.
Geneamancy Major Effects
With a Major effect, a Geneamancer could render himself spiritually immortal- reincarnating with full consciousness and memories into one of his newborn blood relations. He could make wholesale Adoptions of dozens or even hundreds of people immediately without knowing anything about them. He could utterly annihilate the family ties between people, or he could bind a group of complete strangers into a perfect family. He could discorporate himself completely from the material world and exists in a measure within every one of his living relatives- like an overmind watching and directing each lesser mind. He could annihilate the minds of his blood relations, turning them into bodies into which he can hop at will in the event of death or old age. He could utterly destroy a personís sense and understanding of family leaving them a total sociopath with no ability to connect to other people on any real level.
What you Hear
The Geneamancers of Salt Lake City are a tough and brutal bunch. They have worked out their own blood lines in such a way as to prevent overlap in the local pool of families, but donít take kindly to any out-of-town tree-trimmer looking to tap local genealogy. Bodies only float in the Great Salt Lake if they arenít sunk into concrete-filled tubs. Further, just about every other kind of Adept native to Salt Lake City is somehow related to one of them, and most have learned its easier to pay a tithe in charges to their patriarch than to piss him off.
Really cool school. The concept is sound, the effects are interesting, and what it makes easy one one hand it makes difficult on the other.
Phenix | profile | Jun 06, 03 | 2:28 am
Wow, what a cool school! Well built AND fun to read! Give this person an UA supplement to write!
Hermetic | profile | Jun 06, 03 | 11:08 am
Looks good. Don't like the increased level of the Unnatural check from blast damage. I don't see why being punched by something you can't see is more disturbing than any other magical attack. Best to leave it all at the same level, or you get into irritating one-upmanship (my Significant Blast is more unsettling than *your* significant blast)
URNOVI | profile | Jun 07, 03 | 2:52 pm
Wouldn't you run out of research to do on the tree sooner or later? And that means no minor charges.
Lisa | profile | Jun 07, 03 | 4:51 pm
That's when you get them to marry or Adopt a new branch in the family, right?
Phenix | profile | Jun 07, 03 | 10:13 pm
Oh, right, cuz the whole human race is related, eventually. But the more you expand the tree, the more people you consider family, the more people you have to protect...
Lisa | profile | Jun 07, 03 | 10:49 pm
That's a beautiful school, man.
Mr Unlucky | profile | Jul 17, 03 | 5:03 am
This is giving me Clive Barker flashbacks-Galilee, anyone? O'course, that's more to do with demented families than the Genemancer itself.
I feel you on this one, Xael.
Mr Unlucky | profile | Jul 30, 03 | 7:01 am