Moon

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XVIII. Moon

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The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable: without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth.

Overview

The Moon Arcana is the #18 Major Arcana, and is a card of creativity. It usually depicts the moon in the sky, shedding dew over the land; before it are two tall towers. A dog and a wolf howl up at the moon, whilst below sits a pool of water, in which a crayfish or lobster sits. The moon possesses a human face, which is twisted into a frown.

The Moon is often associated with creativity, artistry, imagination, fantasy, subjectivity, the subconscious, deception and mutability. The Moon has played a great role in human history. It is the brightest object in the night sky, inspiring many myths and legends; furthermore, although its face is constantly changing, the changes are predictable enough to form the basis of lunar calendars, which are used by billions around the world. Its effects are also felt through the invisible influence it has on earth's tides. Associations have also been made between the Moon and human behaviour, with the idea of the Moon exhibiting some hidden, strange influence on the mind. In fact the word 'lunatic', meaning 'moonstruck', originally derived from an ancient belief that the moon played a role in fermenting 'madness', especially bipolar disorder and epilepsy; the latter in particular held a special place in classical Greece as being the sign of divine inspiration. To that end, then, the Moon Arcana is a subtle and clever one. It tells of creativity and of changing, of confronting the world with a thousand faces, but it can also be a deceptive and misleading card. Mythopoetically, the Moon acts as a final challenge to the quester; having been risen by the Stars out of Hell, they must now seek the root of enlightenment, the sun- the Moon can inspire them on that journey, but the quester must not mistake the Moon's light for the light of true wisdom- the moon's light is after all just a reflection of the sun's.

The Moon, then, encourages creativity and flashes of artistic inspiration; it is the card of sudden breakthroughs, of the 'spark of genius' that pulls solutions fully-formed out of the aether. It is also an Arcana of freethinking, abstract approaches and the unorthodox. The Moon, simply put, embodies the 'multitudes' that every person has. The Moon can often seem mercurial, seeing things one way yet suddenly changing their perception of it quickly. The Moon is capable of presenting many faces to many different people, yet people wonder which face is the 'true' face. But Moon suggests the answer is more complex- perhaps every face is as true as each other, and only by seeing every face can we see the whole? Or perhaps the true face is the one hidden from view that no one sees- the far side of the Moon, so to speak. This ability to see things subjectively is very much at the heart of the Moon's creativity as well as their ability to manifest that creativity in ways that people can understand and appreciate, such as art or music. It can also make the Moon highly difficult for others to understand; many people consider the Moon's ability to present multiple faces to be the same as trickery and deceit. In truth, the Moon is not a creature of deceit, but admittedly deceit serves Moon well, both as a tool and a weapon. After all, the best con artists and thieves are so ingenious that one cannot help but admire their audacity and cleverness. Worryingly, however, this predilection and ability forms the dark side of the Moon not only in the sense that it tempts the Moon to abuse its gifts, but also isolates the Moon as few people take the time to truly understand them. Admittedly there are times where the Moon struggles to understand themselves; the creativity and inspiration that the Moon eats and drinks can wax and wane with time. All too often, the Moon's creativity comes in bursts, leading to frenzied periods of creativity followed by a burnout or a crash in which the Moon does nothing. Although this seems like a curse (and it can be if taken too far), the mature Moon understands to structure this and themselves in a healthy way, working resolutely during the 'high tide' of their creative mood and replenishing themselves in the 'low tide'.

A reversed Moon can take various forms, as is fitting. A Moon who is unable to handle the coming and going of their inspiration is one example- letting it go out of control until it becomes destructive. They may also find themselves unable to do any creative 'work' at all, feeling as though their muse will never return. Alternatively the Moon might begin living too deeply in deception and fantasy and lose touch with reality- or even themselves, being utterly unable to discern their true self from their endless parade of faces.

Example Inner Conflicts for Moon include struggling with a lie that snowballed out of control; reacting to control problems in the short term but worsening them in the long; being utterly controlled between periods of energy and periods of ebb; seeing things so subjectively that they lack any real conviction; failing to finish projects because inspiration always them in a different direction; or struggling to maintain any sort of motivation at all.

Mechanically, Moon excels at bedazzling and misleading its foes with plentiful souped up status effects.

Aptitude-wise, Moon is a flexible Arcana. It generally excels in the social realm, with perception and social giving it an edge against other people, but Agility can also be used to give it a thrill to its skill set.

Arcana Qualities

Characteristic Bonus Aptitudes Magic Characteristic
+5 Perception, +5 Fellowship Perception, Agility, Social Fellowship

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Arcana Exemplary

Exemplary Base Effect Rank 4 Improvement Rank 7 Improvement Rank 10 Improvement
Occultation Your Major Persona gains an extra Knack slot, which always has the Illusion knack. Furthermore, after taking part in an All Out Attack that defeats all Shadows, you may demand a special benefit from them: select one of the defeated Shadows. Your form, through illusion, changes to match: other Shadows perceive you as being in that form, and will treat you accordingly. The illusion is broken if other Shadows see you use an ability the Shadow did not possess or three hours pass. Ebb and Flow: Whenever you gain a One More (either naturally or through a Baton Pass), you may bank it. You may activate this One More at any other time you wish within the next hour. You may bank up to two One Mores. So long as you possess a Shadow's form, you gain one of their Elemental resistances. On gaining an Occultation, you may, once per day, disguise a Confidant you can see with an S-Link Rank of 5 or higher. Ebb and Flow lets you store up to three One Mores. You may spend 10 Realisation once per day to take on a Shadow form which you have taken on in the past.

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Arcana List

Grade One: Jack Frost

A mischievous little spirit of ice and wind. It plays tricks on people, but rarely means any harm. Hee ho!
Details
Grade: 1 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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Grade Two: Leanan Sidhe

A Celtic woman of the Aos Si. She tempts people to be her lover. Should they accept, she becomes a living muse and fills them with immense creativity and inspiration. However, their lives burn out quickly, and they go mad and die.
Details
Grade: 2 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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Grade Three: Arohirohi

The Maori goddess of mirage. She is the wife of the sun. According to lore, such was the power of her illusion that she created the first woman out of a mirage, and bound the echoes off cliff-faces to her.
Details
Grade: 3 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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Grade Four: Bluetongue Lizard

A powerful old sorcerer of the Warlpiri people. A clever trickster, he tricked his children into thinking he was blind so they would hunt for him, whilst he himself ate. When they killed a kangaroo who used to whisper him secrets, he set the flames on them, which chased them into a salty lake.
Details
Grade: 4 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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Grade Five: Aradia

A messianic spirit sent to earth to teach witchcraft to the downtrodden. However, her roots are a mystery, and it is unknown if she was a spirit, a woman- or an illusion in and of herself.
Details
Grade: 5 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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Grade Six: Archimago

A fiendish sorcerer in The Faerie Queene. He uses his magic and tricks to try to derail the noble quests of various pious knights. His name means 'The First and Final Image'.
Details
Grade: 6 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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Grade Seven: Mohini

A Hindu goddess of enchantment and illusion. She inspires lovers with immense passion and beguiled demons so she could retake the elixir of immortality from them. She is actually an incarnation of Vishnu.
Details
Grade: 7 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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Grade Eight: Chernobog

An evil god of the Slavic faith. His origins are uncertain and clouded, but he seems to have been a god of curses, misdirection and bad omens. He was said to be opposed by Belobog the God of Light, but whether Belobog- or even Chernobog- ever existed is a mystery.
Details
Grade: 8 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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Grade Nine: Maya

A Hindu demon whose name means 'Deceit' or 'Illusion'. It represents the illusion of reality: not that illusion is false, but rather is true but not what it seems to human eyes. Maya's origins are myriad, and is sometimes associated with Lakshmi, an ancient king, or the dreaming mind of Vishnu.
Details
Grade: 9 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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Grade Ten: Loki

The Trickster-God of the Norse. Loki often torments the gods with tricks, plots and misdirection, but also sometimes helps them with his cleverness and creativity. He is a shapeshifter and has been both mother and father. He is imprisoned beneath the ground, and has poison constantly dripped on him. At the Ragnarok, he will slip free of his bonds and fight the god Heimdall, who will both slay and be slain by Loki.
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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