Mechanics

"By what hand are miracles wrought?"

Daemonic Interactions

To those people with needs beyond that which they can achieve with their own hands, there exist ways for them to get what they desire… At a price. Beyond the scope of total human understanding lie entities called Daemons, who are, at best, apathetic towards humanity and at worse, actively prey on its souls. However, one cannot deny the power of these Daemons, power that can be taken and used to satisfy a desperate person's needs.

Agreements between human and Daemon are called 'Pacts'. Pacts consist of two components- a Boon and a Price. Boons are benefits the Daemon confers onto the human. The Price is what the human must offer in return for this power.

Pacts are usually forged after someone summons a Daemon. Summoning a Daemon requires knowing the Daemon's name, an appropriate magic circle, and an object known to lure the Daemon in question.

Pacts

Pacts come in many shapes and sizes. The smallest of Pacts can be something as trifling as summoning a Daemon to inquire as to tomorrow's weather; such an exchange counts as a Pact, although both the Boon and the Price are very small indeed. The largest of Pacts can involve things such as granting immortality to a human being, but such a drastic and powerful Boon requires a Price of equal steepness.

The greater the Boon, the greater the Price.

A Pact does not need to be limited to a single Boon nor a single Price; the only consistent is that there is minimum one of each per Pact, and that the greater the Boons, the greater the Price.

Pacts have special terms for the parties involved. The Daemon granting the Boon is called the Benefactor; the human receiving the Boon and paying the Price is called the Seeker.

Pacts are dangerous, this goes without saying, not only to the Seeker but to people around the Seeker, and people in general; apart from the form some Prices take, a Seeker's Boons may be fueled in some cases by the misfortunes of others. Daemons are, after all, spiteful and mean-spirited entities.

There are special restrictions placed on Pacts, however, as detailed in the Boons section below.

Boons

Boons come in two overall methods- Immediate and Continual.

Immediate Boons are Boons that occur only once and incur only a single paying of a Price. This might be, for example, a Pact which grants the Seeker a billion dollars; once the money is granted, the Seeker pays the Price and that is the end of it.

Continual Boons are typically more powerful, and also more costly. They grant the Seeker power of their own, but if that power is to be maintained, then the Price paid for it must be paid as well, continually. For example, a Pact which grants the Seeker mastery over fire allows that human to manipulate fire with their minds at will; however, the Price for this Boon will have to be paid regularly, at specific intervals.

Boons are generally divided into five major categories, listed below.

Vitalis

"Growing impatient in your old age? How lamentable, King of Xerxes. OK. I’ll tell you how you can achieve immortality."

Vitalis Pacts deal with enhancing, restoring or preserving the life and vitality of the Seeker. A dying man with an incurable mortal injury can be perfectly healed in a second; a person's natural physical endurance greatly increased; and an old feeble man returned to youth and vigor.

Vitalis Pacts are powerful and are especially alluring to the desperate and the fearful. The ability to heal a dying child might seem worth any price at the time; and some people may fear death so much that they seek immortality. Little do they know that healing one child might cause the death of another at the same time, or that immortality must be fueled by the sacrifices of the innocent. Nothing is free, after all.

The power to leech the life-force from other people call into this category, and thus entities such as Vampires are considered to have originated with Vitalis Pacts.

Prices associated with these types of Pacts usually entail payments relating to the flesh. The sacrifice of innocents, profane physical acts- these are the things a Daemon might ask in a Vitalis Pact.

Impero

"But no one escapes my commands."

Impero Pacts deal with improving the Seeker's status and giving them the power over their fellow human beings. A tactless intern will suddenly find it within himself to say the right thing at the right time; a mediocre detective will suddenly be able to sense falsehoods without even trying; a powerless young man will gain the power to control others with a mere look and a word.

Impero Pacts are alluring to the powerless, the underprivileged, and the highly ambitious. In essence, the spheres of Impero Pacts deal with all of the traditional facets of the 'Great Man'- an aura of power, a burning sense of 'destiny', and unquestioned obedience from lesser mortals.

A word of caution- other people who have currently active Pacts with Daemons tend to be mostly impervious to the more direct and drastic effects of Impero Pacts.

Prices associated with these types of Pacts usually involve some sort of 'expectation' the Benefactor expects the Seeker to achieve. This might be the Seeker performing favours or tasks for the Benefactor (ironically becoming its servant), or using his new-found influence to manipulate events as the Benefactor chooses.

Vindicare

"This world is rotten, and those who are making it rot deserve to die."

Vindicare Pacts are destructive and devastating; they deal with giving the Seeker the power to inflict harm on others and to destroy. They are often revenge Pacts, created to bring about the death of a hated foe. Some Pacts will simply strike the target down with a heart attack; others empower the Seeker directly, giving them the power to wreak bloody murder on a target, or sometimes just the world in general.

Vindicare Pacts are alluring to those with powerful enemies, the vengeful, and the wrathful. They cover everything from curses to sudden death to the power to hurl fireballs at foes.

Not all of the powers of the Vindicare Pact are effective- should a Vindicate Pact be engineered to instantaneously strike down someone already engaged in an active Pact with a Daemon, the effect will be squandered.

Prices associated with these types of Pacts are typically violent and involve the abuse of those uninvolved with the Seeker's goals- they may also require the sacrifice of more abstract things, such as a person's sense of mercy.

Avarus

"I want money! Women! Status! And power!"

Avarus Pacts are made to satisfy intense desires or needs. Mountains of cash, beautiful looks, the skills to create a shocking masterpiece, a rare and powerful artifact… Avarus Pacts are most often used for Immediate Boons, but have their Continual uses as well.

Avarus Pacts are alluring to the greedy, the competitive or the average, those who wish to stand out and to change their lives.

Prices associated with these types of Pacts often involve the exchange of spiritual or sentimental affections for physical ones- sacrificing the trust of a friend, for example.

Intellego

"Discovery may be joy, but knowledge is power."

Intellego Pacts are made to grant knowledge to Seekers. All the secrets of a science, the ability to see the future, to see the past played out perfectly before one's eyes; the power of flawless recall; the power to predict someone's actions before they make them.

Intellego Pacts are alluring to those obsessed with information, to schemers and planners.

Prices associated with these types of Pacts often involve sacrificing human traits or physical sacrifices, especially that of a person's health.

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