(Old Man Fear; The Orb of Serenity, The Black Mirror)
Description: The Black Mirror is an utterly immobile sphere of a hard, translucent-black material, shot through in its depths with faint suggestions of color. It floats at about chest-height off the ground (for an adult human) on a seemingly ordinary gentle mountain slope, in the inner sanctum of the shrine its worshipers built around it. It does not seem to do anything at all or communicate in any way, except that those in its presence find their emotions magnified.
Worshipers: Yes. A cult surrounding the use of the Black Mirror developed centuries ago, and today a moderately large shrine has been built up around it, housing a staff of a couple dozen priests and capable of holding up to about the same number of pilgrims. There are layers of both physical barriers and of ritual in place to protect the unwary from the Mirror’s effects.
Confrontation: All those in the presence of the Black Mirror take a point of strain each round as it amplifies their emotions. Those who break give in to a frenzy, expressing that emotion as hard as they can for as long as they remain, and losing consciousness soon after it ends. The priests use this effect, combined with careful meditative training, to enter calm ecstatic trances which they believe allow them to experience a heightened form of reality. On rare occasions, they will use it as a final defense by entering berserk rages. The priests believe that the calm and detachment of deliberately acting out a frenzy allows one to avoid the compulsive nature of the Mirror’s effect, and they are correct – but this means passing a Concentration check at d20 difficulty in order to focus on each discrete activity to be performed, so only the most skilled among them can achieve such a state for long.
Aspect: Void, mind, spirals, astatine. Those present at defeat lose an extra point of Humanity and boost their Psychic save, Stability meter, and Concentration skill by 2 each.
Powers – Tier 1: First, those consuming any part of Id in a literal way must make Corruption and Shock saves at d20 difficulty. Failure in either results in one point of damage taken per point by which the roll(s) failed. Those who go through this and survive, or find a different way to “consume” the fallen god-thing, gain the ability to magnify the emotions of those around them. By focusing on a target and making a Concentration challenge against their Psychic save, the character can cause the target to take a point of strain each round unless acting out an exaggerated version of their current mood. If the target breaks due to the strain, they enter a frenzy as described above.
Powers – Tier 2: The character becomes more monochromatic and cold to the touch, and gains the power of immovability. Using it transforms them, essentially, into a steel-hard obsidian statue of themselves. All their senses work normally, including touch, but they cannot be moved by any force (within the context of the inertial reference frame they inhabited before invoking this power, if you’re quibbling – they don’t get left behind by the planet’s orbit around the sun!). While in this state, the character automatically passes all Shock and Corruption saves, and automatically fails all Reflex saves. They still need to eat, drink, sleep, and be in contact with clean air. They may return to their normal form at will.
Powers – Tier 3: The character’s new perspective on human emotions gives them +1 to Leadership and all social skills. Their Tier 1 power only takes one action per round instead of complete focus, the character gains a bonus to the challenge roll equal to the number of points of Humanity they have lost, and each solid or greater success allows them to influence another target simultaneously.
Powers – Other: The character can sense emotions nearby, even when the source is unseen. This gives a rough idea of the number of entities with thoughts and feelings of some kind nearby, as well as their various moods. The character becomes even more shadowy and translucent in appearance, and ceases to naturally express emotions – see below.
Example Checks: Check to express an emotion in a natural way. This must always be a conscious effort for all but the strongest emotions – and in these cases, check to avoid expressing the emotion in an extreme, possibly-destructive way.
Notes: There is some debate over whether this strange entity is even a god. It certainly doesn’t seem to be sentient or alive in any understandable way. As the above should make clear, though, it is functionally equivalent to any of the more relatable deities.
This is the first deity that presents a serious danger to the characters even after being defeated. GMs should probably warn players who try to simply choke down a mouthful of hard, glass-like shards of alien psychoactive material by noting that it has a hideous, chemical smell or flavor.