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Argos

Harbingers
The Underworld's unsettled spaces are vast and hostile. Spectres, Plasmics, Maelstroms, and
stranger hazards threaten the unwary traveler. Subjective distance and protean terrain render
cartography an exercise in futility. The only reliable method of navigation through the Tempest
is Argos, the ancient Arcanos of travel. Only the desperate and foolhardy sail the Sunless Sea
without a Harbinger guide, whose expertise can make the difference between a narrow escape
and an unexplained disappearance. When unencumbered by companions, a traveler versed in
Argos can evade or outrun even the Tempest's greatest dangers.
Guildmarks
As Argos affects the Tempest, so too does a bit of the Tempest soak into each Harbinger. A
wraith skilled in these arts gradually develops jet-black eyes, and her clothing flutters in
intangible winds that gust with her emotions.

The Guild
Harbingers' Guild folklore holds that the guild existed long before it became the dominant body
of Argos practitioners. Its apocryphal founders were victims of the first shipwrecks who
continued their seamanship after death. The tale's accuracy is debatable, but the Harbingers
have always been closely associated with mariners, and guild culture shows heavy influence
from maritime (and, later, aeronautical) customs.
Harbingers have always been travelers; their Arcanos' very nature enables and sometimes seems
to compel it. Some are messengers, vital in an environment where communication moves at the
speed of travel. Others are explorers, plumbing the Tempest's depths or seeking the farthest
shores or Dark Kingdoms. Those of a more mercantile bent become traders or guides, moving
wraiths and their goods throughout the Underworld. All but the most cynical, however, adopt
the sailor's ethos of always aiding vessels in distress, adapting it to the Underworld. Many
wraiths owe their continued existence to a Harbinger's timely intervention. Stygian tradition
holds that interfering with a Harbinger brings ill luck.
In the Guild's heyday, its members' constant motion forestalled any attempt at rigid organization.
Harbinger society was a loose meritocracy ranked by navigational prowess and deeds of
exploration or rescue. What structure existed hinged on the Harbormasters, veteran Harbingers
who retired from travel to serve as a given Necropolis' trade factor, lighthouse keeper,
shipwright, weather forecaster, and occasional lifeboat captain. The Harbormasters also
maintained the Harbingers' relationship with the Hierarchy, working closely with the Stygian
government but never becoming part of it.
Focused on the Tempest, the Harbingers had few conflicts with Charon's laws. Any
participation in the revolt was individual choice, not guild mandate, and most Harbormasters
counseled early withdrawal. The Breaking had little impact on the Harbingers' comings and
goings or their roles in the Underworld. Most Harbormasters remained discreetly in place; the
few Necropoli that did eject them quickly became Maelstrom-wracked backwaters.

Factions
Beyond the Harbormasters, the guild's internal divisions mark out the Harbingers' trades and
agendas. Circuit Riders travel between smaller Necropoli, either alone or as part of like-minded
Circles, providing skilled services that the Hierarchy can't or won't. The Anemographers study
the Tempest and plumb the Underworld's darkest recesses. Privateers enjoy a mixed reputation,
capable of moving any sort of goods but also likely to flout Hierarchy law and common decency
for the right price. By contrast, Emissaries cultivate an aura of incorruptibility, serving not only
as messengers but as trusted mouthpieces for wraiths who can't themselves travel to conduct
critical business. The most-respected Harbingers, though, are those for whom patrolling the
Tempest and rescuing distressed wraiths is not a duty but a calling one which yields a complex
and not always warm relationship with the Ferrymen.

Argos Systems
Unless otherwise specified, a wraith using an Argos art may apply it to additional voluntary
traveling companions, providing the same benefits that she herself receives. All members of the
group must hold hands. Each "passenger" who lacks Argos increases the difficulty of all
associated rolls by 1 (maximum 10). Any passenger who loses his connection to the wraith falls
into the Tempest.
When the wraith uses any Argos art to travel to one of her Fetters, the difficulty of any associated
rolls is reduced by the Fetter's rating (minimum 4).

Weather Eye (Modern)


The wraith is constantly attuned to the Tempest's local fluctuations. In addition to providing
awareness of nearby events in the Tempest, this allows swift travel between two Shadowlands
locations via momentary shortcuts through the storm.
System: The character is always aware of current "weather" conditions in the Tempest.
Looking into the local Tempest requires a Perception + Argos roll (difficulty 6). The number of
successes determines the clarity with which the wraith perceives the Tempest.
When the wraith uses Tempest shortcuts to speed Shadowlands travel, the player spends 1 Pathos
and rolls Perception + Argos (difficulty 6). Successes reduce travel times:
1 success

Normal for the mode of travel (walking, driving, etc.) but without incident

2 successes

Three-quarters normal travel time

3 successes

One-half normal travel time

4 successes

One-quarter normal travel time

5 successes As 4 successes, but the wraith arrives at a dramatically-appropriate moment, even


if her arrival violates causality

Enshroud (Ancient)

The wraith can manipulate the membrane between the Shadowlands and the Tempest, drawing
the sunless sea over herself for concealment or plunging herself into it without entering a Nihil.
System: When the wraith attempts to enter the Tempest, the player rolls Wits + Argos (difficulty
7). One success is enough to open a momentary portal, which irises shut as soon as the wraith
slips through it.
To use the Tempest for concealment, the player spends 1 Corpus and rolls Wits + Argos
(difficulty 7). Each success adds one die to all Stealth dice pools for the rest of the scene.

Phantom Wings (Modern)


This art enables the wraith to fly in both the Tempest and the Shadowlands. Unless aided by the
Tempest's winds (which carries its own hazards), flight isn't particularly swift, but the added
mobility can be convenient. The power's eponymous wings always assume the same
appearance for a given wraith and are translucent and insubstantial.
System: The player spends 1 Pathos and rolls Wits + Argos (difficulty 6). Each success grants
one turn of flight at any speed between a stationary hover and the character's normal jogging
speed. Tricky maneuvers or tight quarters may require a Dexterity + Athletics roll at the
Storyteller's discretion.
In the Tempest, the wraith's maximum speed doubles, though she is still subject to any inclement
weather. In a Maelstrom, this factor increases by the storm's force (e.g., a Three-Bell Maelstrom
multiplies the wraith's maximum flight speed by 5), though, again, Phantom Wings provides no
protection from the Maelstrom's damaging effects.

Wayfarer's Resolve (Ancient)


Many wraiths find travel into the Underworld constrained by the spiritual weight of their Fetters.
This art frees its user to move between the Shadowlands and Tempest-bounded destinations
without suffering this constraint.
System: The wraith ignores the difficulty penalties that normally apply outside the Shadowlands
while she has unResolved Fetters (see Underworld Travel, p. XX). This art is always active,
requires no roll, and can't be shared.

Flicker (Modern)
This art harnesses the Tempest's natural currents, enabling rapid leaps to nearby destinations. A
wraith using Flicker may appear to teleport, or may seem to be sucked into a
spontaneously-forming Nihil only to be ejected violently from another. While this effect
resembles that of Enshroud, use of the lesser art is not necessary for Flicker.
System: The player selects a destination within (Perception x 100) yards, spends 1 Pathos, and
rolls Wits + Argos (difficulty 7). Each success reduces travel time by one turn. If the
destination is within the wraith's line of sight and within one turn's running movement, she
teleports there instantaneously and this use of Flicker does not cost an action.

While traveling via Flicker, the wraith is submerged in the Tempest. Characters in the
Shadowlands can't perceive or target her without using Weather Eye or another appropriate
power.

Turn the Anemoi's Wrath (Ancient)


Stories abound of Harbingers plummeting through the fury of a Maelstrom, untouched by its
acidic rain and barrow-flame lightning, to succor travelers in need. Turn the Anemoi's Wrath is
the source of many of these stories, an art that makes the wraith nigh-invulnerability to the
Underworld's most savage weather.
System: The player spends 1 Corpus and rolls Perception + Argos (difficulty 7). For a number
of scenes equal to the successes rolled, the wraith's dots in Argos add to her soak pool against
environmental sources and Pandemonium arts. In addition, while this art is active, the wraith
can soak aggravated damage from these sources with her full soak dice pool.

Stormreader (Modern)
Superficially similar to lesser navigational arts but far stronger, Stormreader gives the wraith an
intuitive sense of the Tempest that enables her to navigate safely over vast expanses of the Sea of
Shadows. This art is the cornerstone of the Harbingers' ancient mastery of Underworld travel,
allowing journeys in relative safety between destinations in the Tempest.
System: When the wraith begins a journey to or from a destination in the Tempest, the player
spends 3 Pathos and rolls Perception + Argos (difficulty 8). Successes reduce travel times as per
Weather Eye. Additionally, the number of successes also reduces the effective level of any
Maelstrom through which the character passes during the journey, to a minimum of 1.

Tempest-Rider's Canceleer (Ancient)


Infrequently taught in recent centuries and always rare outside the Harbingers' Guild, this martial
transformation melds aerobatic flight and vicious scything attacks. When a wraith invokes
Tempest-Riders Canceleer, black-gleaming metallic wings erupt from her back. Impossible to
mistake for Phantom Wings, these are solid, knife-edged, and limned in cold fire.
System: The player spends 2 Pathos and 1 Corpus and rolls Wits + Argos (difficulty 7). Each
success manifests the wings for one turn. The wraith can fly as per Phantom Wings, except her
maximum flight speed is her running speed. In addition, her brawling attacks inflict Strength +
2 damage bashing if she buffets her target, lethal if she slashes with the wings' edges. Against
Spectres and Plasmics, slashes do aggravated damage.
Alternately, if the wraith neither flies nor attacks with the wings during her turn, she can mantle
them over adjacent characters to block incoming attacks. When so interposed, the wings
provide the wraith and any beneficiaries with armor whose rating equals the wraith's dots in
Argos. While mantling, the character can use her hands normally for example, to attack with
a weapon.
This art cannot be shared.

Oubliette (Modern)
Feared by all who've seen it in action, Oubliette is an art of unwilling travel. With a glance, its
practitioner can open temporary Nihils directly beneath other wraiths, plunging them into the
Tempest. Alternately, she can pin targets in place, preventing them from escaping into other
parts of the Underworld.
System: For either application of this art, the player spends 3 Pathos and makes a resisted Wits +
Argos roll against the target's Strength + Athletics. The wraith also gains 1 Angst.
If the wraith successfully uses this art to cast her target into the Tempest, a small Nihil opens
under his feet, sucks him in, then immediately closes. The victim suffers lethal damage equal to
the wraith's net successes. Once pulled into the Tempest, he may use all Arcanoi normally
though if he lacks Argos, getting out of the Tempest may be more of a problem than the damage.
If the wraith successfully pins her target in place, the victim may not move for one turn per net
success. Nor may he use any powers that facilitate travel between or within the Tempest,
Shadowlands, or Skinlands. The imprisoning wraith must maintain at least minimal
concentration (-1 die penalty to all social and mental dice pools) to keep her victim in place, and
may release her hold at any time. Other wraiths may target the pinned character with arts that
affect or force travel for instance, hurling him into the Tempest with another use of Oubliette.
Success on any such invocation breaks the pin but does lethal damage equal to its net successes
as the unfortunate soul is torn between two irresistible forces.
This art cannot be shared.

Matre aprs Dieu (Ancient)


This art has always been rare, due not to any Harbinger recalcitrance but because of its limited
applicability. With Matre aprs Dieu, a wraith can apply much of her command of Argos to a
relic or artifact vehicle. This, of course, requires the wraith to control and command such a
vessel. If she does, even the unlikeliest of conveyances can sail, soar, or speed across the
Tempest itself.
System: To use this art, a wraith must be at the helm, wheel, or other steering control of a
vehicle. The player spends 4 Pathos and 2 Corpus; no roll is required. As long as the character
remains aboard, in command, and in control of the vehicle, she may apply any other
travel-related Argos art to the vehicle and all its occupants. All occupants are considered
"passengers" of the Argos arts in use, but the Harbinger does not suffer increased difficulties for
their presence.
Sharing this art is as impossible as it is unnecessary.

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