in the Shadow of Greatness


September 5, 2003

IMC :: Shadow Paths

Jvstin lays out a nice neat package of how paths work as a game mechanic and as a metaphysic element of his Amber game...

I'm a tough GM on several of the 'pathing stunts' — easy on others.

Few paths through shadow are 'natural' IMC. They are more often the result of accidents, temporary flux of primal energies, or deliberate manifestation of Significant Beings.

Conjuration is useless in this. Sorcery can only try to 'burn' a hole through shadow perimeter in a brute attempt to see what is on the other side—a dangerous stunt and probably harmful to anyone around. Trump cannot make paths. Even Primal energies are hard to manipulate to paths. Eso-elemental scholars disagree about the reasons for this. However, it is much easier to open shadow boundaries with Primal powers—though control is often a problem.

Logrus can work a shadow path in one of two ways: either cutting open shadow boundaries between two shadows and binding the boundaries together—like a gate, or laying down 'black threads' that can create a safe bridge-path of energy to travel. Flight is possible with the latter method. Both of these are linear manifestations. You travel Logrus paths over the topography of the intervening shadows.

Not so with Pattern shadow paths. Pattern works on shadow by association and perception. So paths may lead irrespective of the universe's topography to areas that are similar in perception. This makes discovery and use of Pattern made paths extremely difficult. As Jvstin says, paths are subtle things.

Navigational rutters are required is you wish to follow a path already created. Or you must have trained in Pattern perceptions to intuit the signs of association. And in both cases, you must have intent to discover the path.

So how is it that folks can follow someone through shadow? Or find their way to Amber?

Association with the Significant Being you are following is the key to holding to a shadowpath. This isn't easy. As for penetrating Amber or its shadows, this is a matter of tricky debate and is even more difficult. "All roads lead to Amber" and yet, Amber is protected from without by some subtle paradox.

When dark things cross over into Amber—there is something wrong.

Filed under : Amber, IMC at 05.09.2003