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VI. Lovers

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The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

Lovers represents two people (usually a man and a woman) standing near a crossroads.

The Lovers Arcana is the #5 Major Arcana, and is a card of connections. It usually depicts two individuals, a man and a woman, standing near or separated by a crossroads. Often they are depicted naked in the garden of Eden, and sometimes Cupid or an angel hover above them, underlying the sense of destiny and purpose behind their meeting.

The Lovers are often associated with decisions, emotion, connections with others, temptation and love. The Lovers often change the world but don’t always seek to do so; rather it is through their connections to others that their decisions have power. Mythopoetically it represents the querant reaching a point in their life where they are forced to take a path; once they commit to that path, there’s no turning back.

The Lovers are both at a metaphorical and literal crossroads. Metaphorically, crossroads are synonymous with meeting places, where people from different corners of the world might meet by chance. The Lovers stands at those crossroads, meaning they naturally meet many other people who are just passing by; the Lovers meets many people and naturally connect those people with others, often in ways they never imagined, but this doesn’t always mean the Lovers have a strong connection to those they meet. Each time the Lovers learns a little more about the world and about themselves, their connections growing stronger and defining the world.
Therein lies the major challenge for Lovers: the crossroads is more than just symbolic. The Lovers are faced with paths, sometimes just two, sometimes more; they stand at the crossroads, at the point where they can travel down any one of those paths but have yet not. The major challenge at play here is one of decision and commitment. The Lovers stand at a turning point in their lives; they know one of the paths must be travelled. But once they do, the decision is final: the other paths will be sealed, and there is no going back to them. Thus the Lovers' path is fraught with doubt and indecisiveness, because not only does choosing a path mean losing others, it also means giving something up they already have: the present. The comforting sense of connection without irreversible commitment, the feeling of potential in and of itself, it too must be sacrificed: the Lovers gives up not only the paths, but the crossroads itself.

This tension lies at the heart of the Arcana, because choosing a path is necessary for the Lovers’ growth; they cannot just be butterflies forever, living life lightly on choice meetings. They most commit to a path and travel with those on it, committing to the life that lies down that road. But knowing which choice is the right one is impossible.

Reversed Lovers are usually associated with one of three things: indecisiveness, someone unwittingly stunting their own growth because they’re terrified to commit to a path and close off all those options, such as someone who is wracked with doubt and terror at the idea of committing to a relationship; individuals who shy away from not only commitment but society in general, mistaking their lonely self-blockade for independence, no matter how miserable it makes them; and individuals who are tempted by the promise of everything and desperately strive to follow two paths no matter how impossible this is- for example, someone deciding to selfishly cheat on their partners because they’re unable to choose between them.

This idea of temptation is a dangerous one for the Lovers because it ties back into the Lovers’ preoccupation with choosing the ‘right path’. Too easily, the Lovers are seduced by choosing an ‘easy’ path; an easy way out, so to speak. Indeed, the Lovers is tied to temptation in more than one way: the Devil Arcana is linked to Lovers through the cross-root of its numbers (The Devil Arcana, No. 15- 1+5 = 6, the Lovers) and also through legends pertaining to crossroads- in mythology, crossroads could be used to summon devil spirits: in some versions of the Faust tale, Faust makes his fateful pact with Mephistopheles after summoning the latter at a crossroads; other mythological traditions associate it with trickster spirits and the unseen.

Example Inner Conflicts might be the Lovers feeling indecisive about their future to the point where it becomes worrisome and uncomfortable whenever it's brought up; they might simply not know what to do with themselves, or perhaps they have multiple choices to choose from and cannot decide. Alternatively they might be obsessed with living in the moment, doing dangerous or reckless things as part of that.

Mechanically, Personas of the Lovers excels at support and healing, with some status effects on the side. Away from battle they often have abilities that aid in social situations.

The Lovers' Aptitudes are strongly focused around dealing with other people. Fellowship and Social together ensure quick expertise in social skills, whilst Perception gives access to skills that excel at watching things, including people, and reading their emotions.

Arcana Qualities

Characteristic Bonus Character Aptitudes Persona Aptitudes Magic Characteristic
+10 Fellowship Fellowship, Perception, Social Restoration, Support Fellowship

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Arcana Exemplaries

Exemplary Evoker Rank 1 Evoker Rank 4 Evoker Rank 7 Evoker Rank 10
Kiss of Life Whenever you use a Restoration spell, you may choose one of the following two options: reroll any die associated with the spell (such as a 1d5 or 1d10) or increase the range by one step. You gain a third option: if you are healing an individual with whom you possess a Social Link, you may heal them by an extra amount equal to your S-Link Rank/2, to a minimum of 1. You gain a fourth option: so long as you are communicating with someone with whom you possess an S-Link, you may cast the spell on them regardless of range. You may choose two options instead of one.
Eager Heart Whenever you use the Hangout action or variation thereof, you and any other participants lose a point of stress. You and all participants now lose 2 points of stress, and this effect applies to the Group Training action as well. You and all participants in Combat Training and Group Training now gain a +10 bonus to all tests. You and all participants now lose 3 points of stress, and this applies to Shadow Counter-Operations and Investigations.
Butterfly's Grace At the start of each week, choose one group. Until the end of the day you gain the Peer (1) talent with them, stacking with any other Peer talents. You may now choose your group at the start of each day. You may now choose two separate groups. Furthermore, you may reroll Fellowship and Fellowship skill tests made towards individuals covered by any Peer talent you have and take the preferred result. You may now choose your groups at the start of each time period (Morning, Afternoon, Night), and you gain a conditional Realisation Point which may only be spent on tests made with Peer groups.

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Arcana List

The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships
Grade: 1 Name: Helen Aptitudes: Restoration, Support Ineptitudes: Offense
Elemental Attributes
Imp Rend En Xp Fire Ice Elec Wind Light Dark
- - - - Weak - Resist - - -
Physical Attributes and Weapons
Traits: Amplify Emotion, Unnatural Fellowship (1) Wounds: 4+TB
Weapon Name Weapon Type Range Damage Penetration Qualities
Tempting Look Ranged Close (30m) 1d10+FB E 1 Status Effect (Charm, 40)
Dia, Charmdi, (Marin Karin)

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