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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.


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 Character Aptitudes Persona Aptitudes Magic Characteristic
+5 Fel and WP Willpower, Fellowship, Finesse Defense, Ice Willpower

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Arcana Exemplaries

Exemplary Evoker Rank 1 Evoker Rank 4 Evoker Rank 7 Evoker Rank 10
Defensive Execution As a Full Action, you may mark an Ally within line of sight. Whenever an enemy you can see attacks said ally (and the attack does not need to hit), you may instantly use an Offense power against the enemy so long as they are in range. This does not cost you any actions. Defensive Execution lasts until you lose sight of the Ally, or until you mark a different Ally. Defensive Execution-assisted powers now use half SP/TP. You now use Defensive Execution's counter-power before the enemy performs their attack. If the enemy is destroyed, disabled etc, then they will be unable to perform it. If your Ally has a S-Link with you, you now add half your S-Link Rank (rounded up) to the damage dealt with a Defensive Execution power.
Nurtured Creation During Fusion, you may reroll Inheritance tests and take the preferred result. All Inheritance success thresholds (except for Ineptitudes) are increased by 10%. When Fusing a Persona, you may grant the child Persona a single Trait from one of its parents. If this is a Trait the child already possesses, then only take the highest form of it. When Fusing a Persona, you may grant the child Persona a single Elemental Resistance possessed by one of its parents. This Element may not be one the Child is weak against.
Restful Attention You gain the Restful Attention Personal Turn Action. It is a Group Action, and anyone who participates (including yourself) gains a +10 bonus to all tests to resist or remove fatigue until the end of the week. Restful Attention doesn't stack with itself. If the beneficiaries of Restful Attention have S-Link Ranks with you, then they add an extra +2 bonus per S-Link Rank with you. You gain the same bonus, but only take the highest S-Link. The first time you use Restful Attention per week, it doesn't take up any actions. Furthermore, all beneficiaries may erase a single level of Fatigue immediately. Anyone benefitting from Restful Attention may treat all their Fatigue Thresholds as being higher by an amount equal to half your WPB.

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Arcana List

The Cat-Goddess of Egypt
Grade: 1 Name: Bastet Aptitudes: Offense, Defense Ineptitudes: Ice
Elemental Attributes
Imp Rend En Xp Fire Ice Elec Wind Light Dark
- - - Resist - Weak - - - -
Physical Attributes and Weapons
Traits: Animal Bond (Felines), Fleet of Foot (1) Wounds: 4+TB
Weapon Name Weapon Type Range Damage Penetration Qualities
Long Claws Melee Melee 1d10+AB Impact 0 Light Blade
Agi, Rakukaja, (Warrior Blessing), (Dodge Explosive)

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