At the Edge of All Things
Agents of the Signal Tower
Agents of the Signal Towers
All mages know that the Abyss separates the Supernal from the Fallen World. Fewer, however, are aware that the Exarch’s pride also sundered the Higher Realms from each other. After World War II, a sub-faction of Project Nightfall was tasked with recovering Atlantean artifacts across the world before they could be claimed by unprepared sleepers, banishers, the Seers of the Throne, and those members of the pentacle orders deemed to lack requisite wisdom. One such mission in the late ’60s recovered a tablet from an archaeological dig near Massaga. Translated into Hindi (and English), the tablet read:
सभी साये में नामित
(He bears the names of all shadows)
वह दिव्य टावरों पुल
(He is the tower that bridges the divine spires)
शोर संगीत दिया है
(He makes music from noise)
हीरा पहिया बदल जाता है
(The signal turns the adamant wheel)
विरोधाभास मर जाता है
Upon learning of the tablet’s words the Guardian who recovered the artifact, a Mastigos known as Morley, was convinced that they were a true insight into the coming of the Hieromagus. Driven by this, Morley forsook the Shadowman legacy chosen by other members of the Project such as his contemporary, the FBI agent known to mages as Poole. He sought out members of the Ahl-i-Batin and Bearers of the Eternal Voice to see what insight they might give him. Hearing of research being conducted by libertines of the Cryptologos legacy. The young mage’s belief was so strong that he was able to convince members of these disparate paths to join his cell and search out the truth of the Guardians’ prophesied savior.
Through study of recovered relics, the cell determined that the Abyss not only kept the Fallen World separate from the Supernal Realms, but that it distanced the Supernal Realms from each other. After all, signing one’s name to the Stone Book instantly distanced a mage from the Iron Gauntlet. Yet, Mind and Body would obviously have to be joined in a truly enlightened being. The cell surmised that this was the truth that would signal the arrival of the Hieromagus. By mastering disparate spheres themselves, the distances between the Watchtowers might be reduced thus easing the arrival of the Hieromagus. As time passed the cell welcomed new mages versed in the language of signals analysis and intelligence. The insight brought by these younger awakened suggested that the HIeromgaus in some sense would erect new towers that would boost the ‘Signal’ of the Supernal Watchtowers so that they could communicate to each other through the ‘Noise’ of the Abyss. From this melting pot, the legacies of the Signal Towers were born. Each legacy member serves as a symbolic representation of a Signal Tower by studying an arcana that is either inferior to his path or to which his path’s ruling arcana is inferior. One such legacy are the Agents of the Signal Tower, who master life and mind in order to know themselves and serve as enlightened operatives of the Project
Parent Path or Order: Thyrsus, Mastigos or Guardians of the Veil
Nickname: Spooks, Secret Agent (Wo)Men
Organization: Each member of a legacy of the Signal Tower is inducted by a member of the sub-faction of Project Nightfall. Inductees can be expected to be called upon to undergo missions for the organization, but can also call upon resources (provided they hold requisite dots of status). As believers in the coming of the Hieromagus, mages of the Signal Towers are somewhat looked down upon by members of the Shadowmen, who hew to a more secular path.
Suggested Oblations: Listening to radio static or watching an old television with no signal. Study ancient riddles or artifacts. Listen to multiple conversations in a crowded cafe to discern the ‘core truth’ of the crowd.
First Attainment: Pure Tones
Prerequisites: Gnosis 3, Mind 2, Life 1, Subterfuge 2, Intimidation 2
The Agent’s first attainment descends directly from the techniques of the member of the Bearers of the Eternal Voice who first followed Morley. Through precise understanding of both the mind and body, the Agent can confuse or disorient a person with whom they are conversing, temporarily allowing them to be supernaturally convincing. When attempting to mislead a small group of people they can reflexively add a number of successes equal to their dots in Mind to the Wits or Manipulation + Subterfuge roll needed to successfully tell the lie. The mage can invoke this power a number of times per scene equal to his Gnosis.
The mage can also causes a momentary tone of sound in a sleeper’s mind. The noise counteracts the effects of Disbelief for the scene. The Agent spends an instant action talking to the Sleeper, and the player rolls Presence+Intimidation minus the Sleeper’s Composure. Success cancels the effects of that Sleeper’s Disbelief for the rest of the scene, and each success lowers by one the Sleeper’s Willpower for the purposes of consulting the Disbelief chart on p. 274 of Mage: The Awakening (the Sleeper’s actual Willpower is unaffected). This power can only be attempted once per scene against the same Sleeper; if it fails, he cannot try again for the rest of the scene.
Optional Arcanum: Space 2
As per the Bearer’s Perfected Conversation attainment.
Second Attainment: Alter the Harmonics
Prerequisites: Gnosis 5, Life 3 or Mind 3
This technique was brought into the legacy by the member of the Ahl-i-Batin who Morley met on his travels. The Agent takes on another identity and fashions his or her abilities to match. Upon activation, the mage may choose to base the attainment on either Life or Mind as long as he has 3 dots the corresponding arcanum. If based on Life, the attainment generates an effect similar to the Life 3 spell “Two Faces”, where the mage may alter a number of features equal to his or her dots in Life. If based on Mind, the attainment functions as per the Mind 3 spell “Imposter” with the number of senses affected equal to the mage’s dots in Mind.
In the cases of both arcana, the Agent may alter his or her aura to cover either the emotional state or nature. This effect has Potency of the lower of the mage’s Life or Mind dots minus 1.
Optional: Life 3 AND Mind 3
If the Agent is a Disciple of both arcana, then he or she may choose to add an effect similar to the Mind 2 spell “Gain Skill.” If the mage chose to base the activation of this attainment on Life then he or she may add up to Mind dots worth of Mental or Social skills. If the agent based activation on the MInd arcanum, then he or she gains Life dots worth of Physical skills. In either case the dots may be spent across multiple skills and the effects last for a scene’s duration.
Third Attainment: Low Pass Filter
Prerequisites: Gnosis 7, Mind 4, Life 4
The Agent may filter the memories of others, causing an effect, similar to the Mind 4 “Breach the Vault of Memory” spell. An instant action is required and Manipulation + Subterfuge + Mind is rolled. If questioned by another regarding the subject of his or her altered memories, an effect akin to the Life 3 “Enforced Silence” spell is triggered—physically preventing the target from discussing the topic.
Optional Arcanum: Space 2
With Space 2, this attainment may function over telecommunications devices. The mage can also sense when the target is questioned regarding the subject of his or her altered memories.