Contempt


Mockery | Disobedience | Insolence | Devil's AdvocateCondemnation

While Unseelie nobles have been known to use the Sovereign Art, some have chosen instead on countering it with their knowledge of the Art of Concempt. Commoners within jamming and pretender cliques have also found it useful. There has been much debate over whether commoners outside the Shadow Court should learn its intricacies, but for the nonce, only commoners in the shadows practice it.

Attribute: Wits

· Mockery
(Shadow Court, pp. 80-81)

Unseelie commoners and childlings often have difficulty disturbing austere court proceedings, but Unseelie nobles and Shadow Court allies are able to work around such limitations. Before a Seelie court begins, the seneschal or chamberlain will cast the level one Seelie cantrip: Protocol on the area where the proceedings are held. Unseelie who know this cantrip can overcome protocol and "bend the rules" to their will.

The Mockery cantrip is used as an opposed roll to the sessions' Protocol roll. Unseelie nobles who fail this are bound by the strictures of the proceeding -- as the seneschal sees them, of course. Whispering to compatriots, speaking out of turn, demanding the floor, grandstanding, or even challenging others to immediate duels is unheard of. A Shadow Court ally who overcomes Protocol will be able to get away with such tactics, and the Seelie will most likely believe that the interruption is perfectly proper. After all, such behavior is expected of the Unseelie.

If the Mockery cantrip is cast on a proceeding of an Unseelie Court, an effect similiar to the Protocol cantrip will occur. The leader of the meeting can make draconian pronouncements without facing opposition, demand that Kithain with conflicting interests settle their differences with brawling and duels, attempt to browbeat Seelie attendees into kneeling and kowtowing, and so on. A more sinister variant of the normal protocols applies. Such tactics, however, build resentment in the victims of tyranny in much the same way as Seelie arrogance angers the Shadow Court.

System: You have many different choices as to how you will interrupt proper etiqueete and Protocol. Note that a fae can only attempt one of these at the beginning of the proceeding; any later in the proceedings, the attempt will not work.

Actor -- A mortal affected by Mockery will consider the proceedings ridiculous. Even if Enchanted, she will refuse to participate, and instead stands up for her own rights. Note that everyone will know that someone in the room is responsible for this.
Fae -- A member of the Shadow Court is now free of the oppressive nature of the Protocol cantrip.
Nature -- An animal will behave in a way that will disturb the proceedings.
Prop - Draconian nobles ban an object present at the ceremonies from being used in what they see as an "inappropriate manner." How dare they! If you're successful, you may use the object as you see fit.
Scene -- An aspect of the are where the proceedings are held will create a disturbance (the lights will go out at just the right moment, the fireplace will burst into an inferno, etc.) This is extremely useful when storming a courtroom.

Type: Chimerical
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·· Disobedience
(Shadow Court, pg. 81)

An individual affected by this cantrip will show a flagrant disregard for authority for one scene. It will not cause those effected to assault authority figures, but it may result in physical acts of violence. Once-logical arguments will seem shallow, and warnings or dictums against certain courses of action will seem offensive. This can be resisted with an opposed Willpower roll.

If a noble is nearby, this Art can instead be used as a counter to the level two Sovereign cantrip: Dictum. Unseelie nobles have been known to use Dictum, but usually prefer to use it only on so-called "Prodigals," or members of other races. It's opposite, Disobedience, can be used to inspire a commoner, mortal or animal (depending on the realm) to reject the Dictums of nobles. Before this compatriot  has an audience (or a conversation) with a noble, the Unseelie can give a few words of wisdom to bolster his or her (or its) confidence. For each success, the user of this cantrip lowers the difficulty of the disobedient one's Willpower roll to resist Dictum by one. If the user gets four successes, the commoner is immune to commands for the duration of the scene.

Since Shadow Court cliques are more prone to interacting with other supernatural races, this cantrip can also be used to overcome vampiric Disciplines (such as Presence), and werewolf Gifts that affect the mind.

System: Of course, the actor and fae realms of this cantrip are the most useful, but an inventive revolutionary can make good use of the other three.

Actor -- A mortal becomes disobedient.
Fae -- A commoner is immune to pronouncements and will feel disaffected.
Nature -- An animal no longer answers the commands of its owner.
Prop -- An object (such as the famed "bloody shirt") that can be used as evidence of misdoing can inspire someone (mortal or fae) to revolt. Alternatively, if a noble is using an object to command Dictums, and you know what it is, you can nullify the effect.
Scene -- The setting of a Dictum no longer matters, or an individual will become disobedient once he reaches a specified destination within the next 24 hours.

Type: Chimerical
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··· Insolence
(Shadow Court, pg. 81)

Insolence can be used to inspire groups of people to riot. It's useful at raves, rock concerts, labor negotiations, lynchings, and other such entertaining gatherings. For each success, one individual will be herded by the user into attacking something or someone else. (You can't, unfortunately, choose whom that will be!) Anyone affected by this magic can attempt to resist by using Willpower (difficulty 8).

This cantrip can also be used to negate Grandeur. If a fae can overcome the effect of Grandeur by normal means, she can rally others against it. Only one Shadow Court fae can attempt Insolence; if that individual fails, the others are on their own. For each success, the caster lowers the difficulty for everyone else present to oppose Grandeur by one. If the shadow fae gets four successes, everyone in the area is immune to it -- the remark or display was timed well enough to negate the commanding presence of the noble.

System: Again, actor and fae are the most useful, but guessing correctly with one of the other three can have surprising consequences.

Actor -- Mortals are no longer intimidated by authority figures.
Fae -- Changelings and other enchanted creatures are incited to be insolent.
Nature -- A herd of animals can be forced to stampede. Alternatively, if you can guess what a noble must touch in order to use Grandeur, you can overpower it.
Prop -- If used against Grandeur, the noble looks like a fool wielding such an obvious crutch. Anyone Kenning is now aware of how dependent the noble is on the prop. It would be a shame if someone stole it later.
Scene -- A noble's place of safety or a place associated with authority (e.g., police station, university) is no longer quite as formidable. Let's get 'em!

Type: Chimerical
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···· Devil's Advocate
(Shadow Court, pp. 81-82)

A Devil's Advocate can use oratory to convince a crowd of just about anything -- for one scene. Anyone who listens to a speech made with this cantrip must roll Willpower against a difficulty of the orator's Wits + Contempt.

The cantrip also has a specific application. If an Unseelie is present as a Geas is being executed, he can use this cantrip to petition for a reexamination of the grievance before the Geas is performed. The Geas cannot be prevented, but the noble enacting it can be asked to reconsider. The Geas will then be postponed until a later trial.

The Bunk is always more or less the same if the second application of this cantrip is used. The advocate must give a speech explaining why the subject should not be affected by the Geas. If the advocate scores more success than the noble enacting the Geas, the subject is free. Even if it doesn't work, though, the workings of a Geas also allow a Willpower roll later (see the Geas cantrip for more details).

System: Actor and fae are the most direct appeals. The other three only work as counters to a Geas if the noble is using the same realm or if an item of the appropriate realm is the subject of the oratory.

Type: Chimerical
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····· Condemnation
(Shadow Court, pg. 82)

This is an unholy ritual of the Shadow Court. It is always used with elaborate ceremony, as it defines an individual's standing within the Shadow Court. At Samhain, only a few individuals, called Instigators, are considered worthy of learning this cantrip.

At Samhain, Condemnation is used to declare new titles of authority within the court, as well as to declare whom the Instigators for the next year will be. Many of these ceremonies are protected by the Samhain Mists. Some will only remember them within their subconscious minds, and others will forget them completely.

At other times of the year, Instigators can perform various ceremonies, such as recognizing a newly formed clique, casting out a member of the Shadow Court, and subjecting his memories of it to the Mists, or recognizing a changeling as worthy of learning the Dark Arts. This "high priest" of sorts always appears in a mystical disguise.

The ceremony of Condemnation is performed with energetic ritual. The fae who wishes to be fully accepted into the court must renounce his former ties of allegiance. An Instigator must gather information about what the fae must condemn. The recruit insults former loved ones or authority figures, and pictures and portraits of rivals are spat upon and burned. Devious Instigators will even uncover a petitioner's former oaths, and, by demanding that the changeling renounce her former bonds, condemn her to further Banality.

If an instigator is present at any other ceremony or secret gathering, he can shield the members of a conspiracy. Any who have not been Condemned will have difficulty understanding what is going on. All Perception rolls are at a +3 difficulty. If the Instigator can attain five successes on a Condemnation roll, the details of the ceremony will be cloaked in mystery. Witnesses will have mental visions of metaphors of what is transpiring, and later will probably think they were drugged, hallucinating, or insane.

Type: Chimerical (or Wyrd)
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