Temperance

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XIV. Temperance

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Grace has been defined, the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.

Overview

The Temperance Arcana is the #14 Major Arcana, and is a card of control. It most often depicts a winged woman or an angel mixing two cups of water, one red and one blue. Sometimes the red cup is actually wine, and so the angel is watering it down. The person depicted can also have one foot in a pool of water and the other on land.

Temperance is the first Arcana to belong to the 'Greater Mysteries'. As a result, it and all the Arcanae following are discussed slightly differently to the Lesser Mysteries. Whereas the Lesser Mysteries focused primarily on facets of an individual's personality, the Greater Mysteries spend more time discussing the Arcana in the context of the individual's experiences, both in what they have experienced in the past, what they're experiencing now, and what they might experience in the future. They will still discuss the Arcana's role in the individual's personality, however the Greater Mysteries exist as a firm way of demonstrating the mark that life has left on the character- or will leave. Indeed, through choosing a Greater Mystery you might very well be portraying what might happen in the character's near future…

Temperance is often associated with self-control, moderation, balance, virtue, inner harmony, the reconciliation of extremes, and personal spiritual trial. The word 'temperance' is used as one of the cardinal virtues, meaning voluntary self-control, of choosing to not do something even though it might be easy, rewarding or pleasurable in the short term. The virtue itself divides into forgiveness (non-violence, mercy and forgiving of others harming you), humility (resistance of arrogance), prudence (being careful with one's resources, refraining from recklessness and overcoming self-negativity or deluded positivity) and self-regulation (resisting temptations, exhibiting discipline, sacrificing the short term for the long). By and large it ties into an idea of living in balance with the world around oneself, of not taking too much, but still pursuing one's own goals with the benefit of a harmonious soul. In this way, Temperance could be seen as kindred to the gentleness of the Priestess and the wise delight in life of the Empress. However, there is another facet to the Temperance, an important one, and that is that self-control and will of this level is undeniably a struggle, an inner spiritual one. It is a long, hard-fought battle, one that can be rather simple at times, but is often very difficult and sometimes nearly impossible. This is reinforced by the mythopoetic interpretation of the card: It is after Death, but before Devil. Simply put, the person of the 'story' of the tarot is dead, and now they are facing the judgement of the afterlife: first their virtues will be weighed up, and this is Temperance, whilst their vices are weighed up in Devil. Indeed, Temperance can never really avoid the fact that it is next to Devil; the two combined create an intriguing and exciting combination.

Thus, whilst Temperance is associated with achieving a harmonious inner self, it is also associated with being scrutinised. Sometimes the scrutiny is from others, sometimes it's from oneself, often a mixture of both. Temperance is being tested, Temperance is being tempered. Temperance tends to, more than other Arcanae, be forced into situations where they are made to justify themselves or something they did. Sometimes it's something they cannot control, like their ethnicity, sexuality or gender, but sometimes it is tied to their choices and decisions. This is highly trying and stressful, because such harsh glares tend to magnify one's failures and minimise one's successes. Indeed, many find such pressure overwhelming, and they end up breaking beneath those harsh glares. Nonetheless, for those who can withstand such a test, the rewards are great: they gain control over all parts of themselves, and are able to reconcile the irreconcilable within their soul, becoming ever stronger for it.

Considering the stress of Temperance, it is easy to see how one might reverse. A very obvious example of Temperance reversing is someone being unable to manage self-control- they're indulgent and give into their impulses or the bullying, pressuring or tempting of others. They have a powerful inner self-ideal that they want to reach, but constantly fail to do so. Alternatively, Temperance may go too far and tip into an ascetic mindset where they vigorously oppose any sort of pleasure or happiness, which can actually hinder growth.

Example Inner Conflicts for Temperance include having to justify one's beliefs or values to others; having a massive struggle within that seems difficult to overcome, such as a mental health issue; finding it hard to stand one's ground against peer pressure; or feeling haphazard and disorganised.

Mechanically, Temperance is more weighted toward support than offense. It is adept at healing and support, especially technique-based support.

Aptitude-wise, Temperance is excellent for accentuating other Arcanae. Agility is always useful, whilst Knowledge is excellent for skills, and Resolution is good for mental defense and leadership. Together, they don't quite manage a specific synergistic set, but their eclecticism makes them popular to round out other builds.

Arcana Qualities

Characteristic Bonus Aptitudes Magic Characteristic
+5 Intelligence, +5 Willpower Agility, Knowledge, Resolution Willpower

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Arcana Exemplary

Exemplary Base Effect Rank 4 Improvement Rank 7 Improvement Rank 10 Improvement
Equivalent Exchange Once per encounter as a free action, you may select one enemy benefitting from an augment; you now gain it as well, and persists for as long as it does on them, to a minimum of the start of your next turn. If the target has multiple augments, you may only choose one. Struggle makes Strength: Once per encounter or Investigation round, you may spend 10 Realisation on a single test; all penalties on that test now become bonuses, stacking with any existing bonuses. When using Equivalent Exchange, you may now transfer an ailment or a hex to your opponent in exchange for a an augment. Furthermore, you may now, when using Equivalent Exchange, transfer the taken augment to a Confidant within line of sight. This transfer ignores resistances against ailment or hexes, but the targeted enemy must possess an augment for you to trade. Once per day, Equivalent Exchange allows you to trade all of your ailments and hexes for all of the augments of a single enemy.

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Arcana List

Grade One: Qīng Lóng

The Celestial Symbol of the East in Chinese astrology. It protects the east and ushers in the springtime as the seasons pass.
Details
Grade: 1 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Two: Ammit

An Egyptian goddess with a crocodile's head, a lion's upper body and a hippopotamus's lower body. When Egyptians died, their hearts were weighed against the feather of truth; if they failed, then the heart was fed to Ammit, who devoured it and caused the Egyptian to die a second death and be restless forever.
Details
Grade: 2 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Three: Akem Manah

An evil demon in Zoroastrian lore. Akem Manah creates bad thoughts in people and throws them off-balance. He causes people to lose control of themselves. He sent demons to tempt the prophet Zoroaster, but was rebuffed.
Details
Grade: 3 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Four: Vaisravana

One of the four heavenly kings of Buddhism. He rejects greed and hatred, and gives wealth away. He is associated with the mongoose, which fights the evil and tempting serpent. He is known as Bishamonten in Japan.
Details
Grade: 4 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Five: Leviathan

A massive sea monster in the Book of Job. It cannot be defeated by human means. It is a representation of envy, and only by living by God's truth can it be overcome. Its flesh will be served to the faithful at Judgment Day.
Details
Grade: 5 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Six: King Yan

A deity in East Asian buddhism who presides over hell. He constantly warns humans to behave well. When a person dies, he personally reviews their record, then files them off to the appropriately marked fate for them depending on his mandate.
Details
Grade: 6 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Seven: Melek Taus

The Peacock Angel and one of the central figures of Yazidi faith. He is a glorious and radiant angel. At the beginning of the world, he refused to bow to Adam when God asked, but was not cast down for it, and even though God could have forced him to bow, he let Melek Taus have the choice. He fell from God's grace, but managed to repent. He demonstrates the importance of choosing between good and evil, as not even God will abrogate your choice.
Details
Grade: 7 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Eight: Raphael Sanator

The Archangel of Healing. He binds Azazel, rescues Sarah from Asmodeus and imbues the Pool of Bethesda with the power to heal infirmities. He is one of the seven to stand before God, and will sound a trumpet at the Last Judgment.
Details
Grade: 8 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Nine: Anubis

The Wolf-Headed God of the Egyptian Underworld. He protects tombs and guides the departed souls. He weighs the hearts of the departed on his scales, against Ma'at's feather of truth; should the heart be lighter than the feather, they are worthy of entering paradise. Otherwise, they are fed to Ammit.
Details
Grade: 9 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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Grade Ten: Huáng Lóng

The Yellow Dragon of Chinese astrology. It stands at the very middle of all of the four celestial animals and thus the cosmos itself. He is the ancestor of the Chinese people and the protector of the Imperial bloodline.
Details
Grade: 10 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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