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VIII. Justice

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Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.


The Justice Arcana is the #8 Major Arcana, and is an inquisitive card. It usually depicts the figure of Blind Justice: a blindfolded woman holding in one hand the scales of objectivity whilst in her other she holds a sword. Blind Justice holds the power to weigh cases based only on what matters and does not discern based on whose case it is. Thus despite being blind, she is said to have the ability to perceive the true situation instead of the visible falsehoods.

Justice is often associated with perception, objectivity, balance, rationality, honesty, fairness, perceptiveness and awareness. Like the Hierophant, Justice is fundamentally associated with truth, and like the Emperor, Justice deals heavily in the world around them and in seeing an ideal within that world. Unlike either of them, however, Justice does not seek to lead, but rather seeks to serve: protecting what exists, correcting it when it falters, and if necessary, offering alternatives. In this, Justice, Emperor and Hierophant form a noble trinity dedicated to the betterment of the world, but of the three Justice is the most worldly and most in touch with the everyday. Mythopoetically it represents someone coming to the awareness of a need for balance in the world around them and in themselves; coming off the back of Chariot, this is not too surprising.

Justice's greatest strength is its role as a preservator: a protector and a watcher. Justice exhibits a near supernatural sense for change, danger and events. Usually it is Justice that first senses when something has changed, even if they don't quite know how; this powerful instinct is then combined with a steely sense of unfaltering logic or determination, which inevitably uncovers the change. It is also usually Justice that first becomes aware of danger and calamity, usually before it actually happens. In this, Justice is something of an inquisitor and protector both, rooting out change and potential mysteries whilst protecting its world from threats both overt and hidden. This makes Justice a great enemy of deception, falsehood and subterfuge, and a natural friend to truth and honesty. It is important to remember that Justice relies a good deal on instinct and intuition but is not bound to those entirely; to reach their full potential, Justice must pair their sense that something is 'wrong' with the ability to discern and analyse a situation: instinct without knowledge becomes dangerous, as Justice knows all too well in others. In that sense Justice also justifies, when needed, clearing away ambiguities and misunderstandings in others so the real issue can be explored.

For Justice, however, the process can often be painful. People naturally hide away from the real issue because it's too painful or seems too complicated. Justice may be devoted to revealing truths for the greater good, but Justice should also seek to reveal those things in the best possible way, without causing undue harm. It's thus not enough for Justice to be aware of an issue and know what it is; they also must have a level of discernment and even gentleness that allows them to bring the issue to clarity in a way that preserves those involved from unnecessary harm. There may even be times when Justice can find no way of doing so and has to find the balance between revealing an issue or keeping it safely away, which is always complicated when it affects multiple people (as it almost always does). Justice can hurt, but it is never cruel.

Despite all this Justice is not just a force of protection, preservation and detection. Instead Justice is most exemplified as a type of moral compass, being aware of those straying from the path and seeking to warn them and bring them back to the path of goodness. And should things become so bad that the status quo has evil, corruption or deceit incorporated into its very structure, then Justice can become a force of change as they crusade for a better way, bringing the world of 'is' closer to the world of 'ought'. In this Justice's quest may never be finished, but seeking it nonetheless gives Justice a great strength.

When reversed, Justice can represent many things, none of them good. It can represent unfairness, corruption and lies, especially in someone who should be much better than that, or someone who is aware of it but does nothing for various reasons. It can also represent an overzealousness and paranoia, sensing lies and evil where there is nothing so serious; in this Justice becomes a cold, hard judge who dishes out sentences and also carries them out, which is a corruption in and of itself, a corruption of righteousness. More than this is the reversal which sees any change as evil change, and acts accordingly. More simply, however, a reversed Justice can be an issue of self-deception, always a risk with the human heart.

Examples of Inner Conflicts might be Justice learning something about a dear friend, something that should be told to someone, but doing so would probably destroy the friendship; has themselves seen or done something bad that fills them with guilt, especially since they value goodness and honesty; or overly aggressive and misaimed suspicion at others.

Mechanically, the Angelic personas of the Justice Arcana have a fine mix of abilities, but tend to prioritise Light element attacks, ranged attacks and some support.

Justice's Aptitudes offer a strong focus for Perception, having both Perception and Fieldcraft which ensures high Perception growth as well as access to some very useful skills; Fieldcraft especially pairs well, having good skill access. On the other hand, Ballistic Skill makes a good choice for characters aiming for a ranged, sniper-based build.

Arcana Qualities

Characteristic Bonus Character Aptitudes Persona Aptitudes Magic Characteristic
+10 Perception Ballistic Skill, Perception, Fieldcraft Light, Technique Intelligence

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Arcana Exemplaries

Exemplary Evoker Rank 1 Evoker Rank 4 Evoker Rank 7 Evoker Rank 10
Clear and Prescient Danger You are never taken by surprise in combat, unless you are suffering from a mental status effect or your Perception is Fatigued; even then you get a +10 bonus to any rolls that would prevent being ambushed. If, at the start of combat, the enemy has won a Surprise Round on you or your allies, even if you can act normally due to abilities or talents, you gain an extra Reaction for that turn only. Furthermore, you take a +20 bonus to any rolls that would prevent you being ambushed, replacing the bonus from Rank 1. Being fatigued no longer matters for the purposes of ignoring surprise. Furthermore, during enemy Surprise Rounds, you can sacrifice a Reaction to remove Surprise from one ally. You and anyone adjacent to you take a +10 bonus to evasion tests. You are never surprised in combat, no matter what. Furthermore, you may roll initiative twice; during enemy Surprise Rounds, you gain a full turn on both Initiatives. After the Surprise Round ends, you may choose which Initiative to keep.
Reach Out to the Truth So long as you are nearby- roughly close enough for you and they to shout at each other- everyone takes a -10 penalty to Stealth, Charm and Deceive tests against you or your allies. This also applies to the Security (traps) and Survival (hide tracks) skill uses, even if you weren't around when it happened. If anyone makes one of the affected tests and triggers this Exemplary, then you may instantly make an awareness or Scrutiny against them (with the latter only being allowed if you know about them), even if you can't see them. If they're using the test against you specifically or otherwise rolling against you then you gain a +10 bonus to your test. Reach Out to the Truth's penalty increases to -20. Furthermore, the target of their penalised tests is counted as though you are Assisting them. Your allies benefit from Reach Out to the Truth no matter where you are. Furthermore, you gain Unnatural Perception (2), and can spend a Realisation point; until the start of your next turn, Parry and Dodge count as penalised skills.
Usual Suspects You gain 'Usual Suspect' levels against individuals you meet, in certain conditions. The first level just requires a successful Scrutiny test against them, but every level after that requires knowing more and varied information about them. Each level you possess grants a +5 bonus to Perception and Perception-based skill tests against them. Your Usual Suspects level for Social Links is, minimum, equal to your Rank for that Link. At the start of each week, you may choose three individuals with Usual Suspect levels of 4 or higher. Once per week per individual, you can make a Scrutiny test with a -20 penalty (you add Suspects bonus to this). On a success, you gain some limited information about what they might plausibly be doing at the moment. You may now choose four individuals at the start of each week, and the level limit drops to 3. Once per week, so long as no one is aware of your current location and has not been for at least an hour, you can spend a Realisation Point to appear within 100m of anyone with a Usual Suspects level of 3 or higher.

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Arcana List

Holy pure-hearted Angel of Clarity and Protection
Grade: 1 Name: Ambriel Angelos Aptitudes: Light, Defence Ineptitudes: Dark
Elemental Attributes
Imp Rend En Xp Fire Ice Elec Wind Light Dark
- - - - - - - - Resist Weak
Physical Attributes and Weapons
Traits: Life Sense (Perception), Unnatural Perception (1) Wounds: 4+TB
Weapon Name Weapon Type Range Damage Penetration Qualities
Holy Ray Ranged Medium (60m) 1d10+2+PB Light (Energy) 0 -
Barrier Light, Flying Foot, (Hama)

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