Empress

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III. Empress

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True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.

Overview

The Empress Arcana is the #3 Major Arcana, and is an admirable card indeed. It is often depicted as a young woman bearing a scepter and a crown; however, her court is not one of stone, but of bright, prosperous flowers, rich green grasses and life at its fullest. Her robe is patterned after the Priestess's veil, and she is sometimes depicted as being pregnant.

The Empress is often associated with abundance, prosperity, stability, sexuality, motherhood, nurturing and creativity. Like the Priestess, the Empress assists others; unlike the Priestess, the Empress does so by shaping the world around her, making it rich and prosperous and safe. Mythopoetically, the Empress represents someone coming to terms with the mysteries and wisdom of Priestess; having delighted in their own power, they now start to delight in the beauty of nature and all that life has to offer. In this, the Empress represents a sense of contentment but also commitment to the prosperity and joy of the world around her. This is what gives Empress her power.

People do not follow the Priestess. They seek the Priestess's advice and take it down their own paths. The Empress is different. The Empress delights in the joy and wealth of the world, but they are not so infatuated that they forget their duties. They delight in creating new things, but they take responsibility for their creations, and for their actions. They adore richness, but do not let it overpower them. They seek stability, but only enough to make it safe, not enough to stifle newness. They love others and seek to make them prosperous, but do not control them. The Empress is an exercise in self-discipline, in enjoying all life has to offer, but in a way that doesn't make her a slave to the material. The Empress thus draws power both from her potent physical presence, but also from her spiritual magnanimity. This is why people follow the Empress; not because she coerces or demands loyalty, but because she is so admirable in her mastery that they cannot help but love her and trust her. Having felt the guidance of the Empress, those who follow her believe that they can do naught but succeed.

No Arcana is truly passive, but this goes double for the Empress; do not mistake her love of peace and comfort for weakness. The Empress is well-attuned to the world around her, the world she loves so much; she is usually the first to sense when it is threatened, and never hesitates to rise up to protect it. In this, the Empress is like water; omnipresent, pure and life-giving, but in an instant can become like ice, hard and unyielding. The admirable mutability and gentle, yet indomitable power of ice and water is thus a natural fit for the Empress.

A Reversed Empress often symbolises neglect, short-sightedness, indolence and indifference. Considering all the forces the Empress tries to care for, this can cause great pain as all that rely on her start to wither and die. A reversed Empress can be blinded by pleasure and hedonism, or on the other hand so overburdened with duties and responsibilities that she's unable to find much joy at all. Often, it's not surprising- even sympathetic- when an Empress reverses, as the expectation of others can be overwhelming, especially when those she loves so dearly forget to appreciate her.

Much like the Priestess, the Empress is aligned with the feminine and the maternal, but its qualities can manifest in many ways and forms. The universally admired school idol who warmly helps anyone who needs it is just as much an Empress as the humble mother who fearlessly fends off a predatory animal attacking her child.

Example Inner Conflicts for the Empress might be feeling stressed out of one's mind, too busy with duties to just relax; feeling the need to constantly tend to every situation in an overbearing, stifling manner; someone who has, for whatever reason, been rejected or has rejected the world around themselves and refuses to see the beauty in it; or alternatively someone who is so caught up in pleasure-seeking that their commitments are left by the wayside.

Mechanically, the Empress is a powerhouse. Its Arcana possesses a great deal of offensive power, and ultimately its Personae are designed to be able to get stuck in and really apply the hurt to the enemy, especially with ice attacks, in which Empress excels. However, the Empress also has a strong defensive spread as well, along with some healing thrown in for good measure.

The Empress's Aptitudes allow it a balanced spread between social, defensive and offensive qualities. Finesse is excellent for anyone who wants to specialise in ranged combat or with light melee weapons, whilst Willpower opens up leadership and defensive talents. Fellowship is key to a whole host of social skills and talents. By themselves, the Empress's aptitudes don't exactly lend themselves to any specific specialisation; but their broadness and utility means that, when paired with an appropriate Arcana, the Empress can be a real asset.

Arcana Qualities

Characteristic Bonus Aptitudes Magic Characteristic
+5 Fellowship and Willpower Willpower, Fellowship, Finesse Willpower

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Arcana Exemplary

Exemplary Base Effect Rank 4 Improvement Rank 7 Improvement Rank 10 Improvement
Magnanimous Presence You may, at any time, spend 10 Realisation to allow all allies within 5m to activate a 5-Realisation Action for free. Nurturer: You unlock the Nurturer Personal Time Action. It is a group action, and may be used once per week. All attendants gain 1 less stress from all sources of stress for the next seven days, and any actions that reduce stress reduce it by another point. Those attending the Nurturer action may, instead of the original bonuses, regain 5 Realisation and lose 10 stress. Once per day, you may, as a free action, permit yourself and all allies within 5m to activate any Realisation action for free.

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Arcana List

Grade One: Bastet

An Egyptian Cat Goddess. She protected families, Pharaoh, and was a patron goddess of prospective mothers.
Details
Grade: 1 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Two: Hariti

A Buddhist goddess who protects children. She used to be a Rakshasa who ate human children, but repented when Gautama Buddha taught her empathy by stealing one of her own children.
Details
Grade: 2 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Three: Titania

The Faerie Queen in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Fierce and stern, she argues with her consort Oberon over the custody of a changeling that she changes the weather into a thunderstorm.
Details
Grade: 3 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Four: Ceridwen

A Celtic wise woman who brewed the potion of knowledge. When a servant boy unintentionally drank the potion and gained its wisdom, she ate him and rebirthed him as Taliesin the poet.
Details
Grade: 4 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Five: Black Maria

An aspect of the Virgin Mary. Black Marias are statues of Mary with brown or black skin, echoing a connection with ancient earth goddesses or the worship of Isis. She embodies the eternal power of Mary as well as the fertility and sexuality of those ancient Goddesses, who were suppressed by the Church.
Details
Grade: 5 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Six: Kunapipi

Northern Australia's heroic mother-goddess. She birthed humanity as well as many animals and plants. She adventured across the land with many heroes and heroines, making it safe and wholesome.
Details
Grade: 6 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Seven: Gabriel Nuntius

An archangel and one of God's messengers. She announced the birth of Christ and revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
Details
Grade: 7 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Eight: Isis

One of Egypt's greatest goddesses, she was worshipped as the ideal mother, a powerful master of magic and a friend to the downtrodden. She resurrected Osiris by assembling his body parts after his death at the hands of Seth.
Details
Grade: 8 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Nine: Hera

The formidable arch-goddess of Olympus. She was the patron of marriage and proper Greek custom, and ruthlessly protected what she felt was her's.
Details
Grade: 9 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Ten: Parvati

The loving Mother-Goddess of Hinduism and one of the Tridevi. She is the partner of Shiva, and is a gentle, nurturing aspect of the Supreme Being. Although a very calm deity, when she acts in anger she is the most powerful of all the gods, and even Shiva is subordinate to her.
Details
Grade: 10 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
Traits: Knacks: Item:
Powers
Spells: Arts: Passives:

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