Nadia's Magic, the Path of Pharaohs.
Diverging slightly from the more esoteric Egyptian path, Nadia is instead on the Path of Pharaohs. Focusing on the spiritual connection the ancient pharaohs had to their gods, the path is available only to those who can some how trace their lineage to the ancient kings. While this isn't as uncommon as you might think given the Ancient Pharaohs tendency to have hundred's of wives, it is still not often found in a common person off the street. As Nadia's father is a distant cousin to the Royal Prince of Egypt, she assumes it was through him.
Tenants of the Path of Pharaohs
The Path of Pharaohs is a Possession Tradition. The Ancient Kings were their gods. Horus was the Pharaoh, and the Pharaoh was Horus. When Nadia summons a spirit, she is channeling the essence of one of her Gods. Or at least, that's what she's come to believe. She is quite practical on the matter, in addition to being well educated. She doesn't in fact believe the spirits are gods, or she didn't. She assumed the priests and pharaohs of old were merely magicians as well, practicing the same summoning techniques. After almost two decades of following this path however, she's not as sure.
For reference, the rules on Possession.
Spirits and Schools
- Guidance Spirits connect to the school of Detection.
- Guardian Spirits connect to the Combative magics
- Task Spirits teach the building and elemental forces of Manipulation spells.
- Beast Spirits of the desert, rivers, and jungles of the Nile; and it's animal-headed gods, connect to Illusions.
- Spirits of Water of course come from the life giving waters of The Nile and Heal and enhance with the Health school.
- Initiate Grade: 3
Centering: Speaking Ancient Egyptian
A character who learns to center has an easier time resisting the Drain inherent in magical activities. By using a mundane activity appropriate to her tradition to quiet her mind and block out distractions, she adds a number of dice equal to her grade of initiation to all Drain Resistance Tests. Centering requires a Free Action, which must be taken in the same Action Phase as the Drain Resistance Test. The character must be physically able to move and/or speak freely in order to center, and may attract attention to herself. Centering techniques include acts such as chanting in Latin, dancing, making arcane gestures, and so on.
This metamagic allows an initiate to unlock the secret of creating sympathetic links for the purpose of ritual magic and astral tracking (see Sympathetic Links, p. 28). The initiate also learns how to use the symbolic likeness of a subject, often in the form of drawings, sculptures, or dolls, to establish an astral connection to the individual or thing (see Symbolic Links, p. 28).
- Sympathetic Links Initiates with the Sympathetic Linking metamagic can use a sympathetic link to target a ritual spell, if neither a material link nor a spotter is available. Sympathetic links are divided into three categories: favored objects, oft-handled objects, and recently handled objects. Favored Objects denote items—clothing, jewelry, toys, mementos, etc.—which the target frequently wears or carries on his person and have significant emotional value to him. Oft-Handled Objects include frequently worn clothing, a familiar weapon, a favorite pen, and other such objects. These items tend not to have as deep an emotional attachment to the target as a Favored Object, but they are used often and have been in his possession for some time. Recently Handled Objects have the least amount of attachment to a target. A coffee cup used at breakfast, an office toy, or a fast-food wrapper—items that have been in the target’s possession for a minimum of five minutes—all fit under this category. These objects have limited effectiveness, however; they can only be used for a number of minutes equal to twice the target’s Essence. If the ritual begins before this amount of time runs out, the link remains effective for the duration of the ritual. If the ritual is interrupted, the link is similarly lost. Also, the object in question may not be a Favored or Oft-Handled Object for someone else besides the target; not only will the Linking Test fail for the intended target, but the gamemaster may decide that the ritual group inadvertently succeeds in targeting someone else! Since sympathetic links do not have as strong a connection to the target as material links, they make ritual spellcasting harder to perform. If the ritual team is using a sympathetic link, apply a modifier to the Ritual Spellcasting Test based on the link type, as noted on the Sympathetic Link Modifiers table (p. 27). This modifier applies to all teamwork tests, as well as the leader’s final Spellcasting Test.
- Symbolic Links If an initiate with Sympathetic Linking metamagic can’t find a sympathetic link, he may instead create a symbolic link: a picture, sculpture, or doll bearing symbolic likeness to the target. The most notorious example of a symbolic link is the infamous enchanted voodoo doll seen in many horror simflicks. Though symbolic links can work in cases a material link, sympathetic link, or astral spotter won’t, they are more difficult to use. To create a symbolic link, make an Intuition + Artisan Test with a threshold determined by the Symbolic Link Creation table (p. 27) and an interval of 1 day. The creator’s Initiate Grade serves as a dice pool bonus to this test. Additional modifiers from the Build/Repair Table (p. 125, SR4) may apply, as determined by the gamemaster. Once an adequate symbolic link has been created, it can be used for ritual spellcasting. Symbolic links inflict a hefty –6 modifier to the Ritual Spellcasting Test. If the creator of the symbolic link is not a participant in the ritual sorcery, an additional –2 modifier applies.
Channeling is a metamagic power developed by possession tradition magicians to enhance their control of spirits, using the magician’s body as a vessel. Through Channeling, a magician who was willingly possessed can find a balance between the two minds (the spirit’s and her own) occupying her body and achieve greater control. The Channeling magician can use her own skills and has fine motor control over her body while enjoying the enhancing benefits of the Possession power (see p. 101). Control is still shared, however, and the magician is unable to tap the possessing spirit’s powers without expending a service. Additionally, the vessel resists any mana spells or powers with the lowest Mental attribute of the two minds (whichever is lower, the spirit’s or the magician’s). Otherwise, resolve the effects and duration of Possession normally (see p. 101).