The elders of the Church of the Icons are learned and wise.
They understand the Icons. They understand the holy Icons’ cycles and rhythms, and have set the calendar of the Third Horizon to their divine pattern. Each year – or Coriolis Cycle, or CC – is divided into nine equal segments, each infused and blessed with one Icon’s influence and power. These nine segments, according to the Church of the Icons, are collated into three Triads, between each of which is one day: one special day, the Void Day, where all the people celebrate the coming of the time of the Icons that rule the next Triad.
These days, of which there are three in each Cycle, are days of joyful feasting, of solemn prayer and reflection, and thanksgiving for all the people of the Third Horizon who know the Icons are there, are watching, and are at hand to help and protect them.
The birth of a child is a wondrous thing. And feeling the presence of the protective hand of the Icon under whom the child is born is both an honour and a delight. To know the Messenger is overseeing the journey of your life, to know the Deckhand keeps the dark at bay, to know the Merchant blesses your endeavours, is to know the gods are with you, is to know you are blessed, is to know your place in the Third Horizon.
But not all are born within the protective embrace of an Icon. Those born on the festival Void Days – the so-called Void Children – have no Icon to protect them, have no connection to a protective divinity. Some see this as a curse, for what could the lack of an Icon be other than a curse? But others see it as a blessing, for surely the Icons wouldn’t disown these people? Surely these people are protected by all the Icons, rather than just one of them?
But either cursed or especially blessed, these people can be shunned by many Firstcome, although Zenithians tend to take a more pragmatic “so what?” view. But, even though the Church of the Icons openly preaches tolerance and inclusion, many amongst the Firstcome take a different view: the Order of the Pariah see Void Children as abominations, and immediately put these children to death (perhaps it is pertinent that recorded Void Child births in Zalos are at a much lower rate than one would expect, but births on days either side are suspiciously high); the Draconites shun these children and those born on these days are seen as cursed and to be avoided; they are branded with fire at the age of 10, so all can identify them at a glance.
But, whether the Icons are turning their gaze away from these Void Children, or are all taking a collective interest or taking their turn to watch over them, these people hold a unique place, and a unique insight into the Dark Between The Stars.
This is reflected in the six Void Talents available to characters who are born on one of these days. During character creation, a roll of 66 on the Your Icon table on page 25 means you are a Void Child, and get to roll randomly on the Talents below:
|1||ICON SIGHT||You are one with the dimensions of portal space, and its mysticisms do not have an adverse effect on you. You are not seen as prey by the spirits and beasts while in portal space, and they do not act aggressively towards you. In effect, you can traverse portal space whilst awake (once per scenario).
Cost 1 DP for every 8 hours or part thereof.
|2||DARKENED HEART||You are not be-feared of the beasts from the Dark. You gain +1 dice for all rolls against Darkbound and Darkmorphs (but not Djinn and spirits), increasing to +2 dice for all rolls to resist effects or special attacks made by them.
Cost 1 DP per Darkbound or Darkmorph.
|3||SPIRIT WALKER||You can see through the veil of illusions projected by spirits and Djinn. At the cost of 1 DP you see through the transformed Djinn’s or Efrite’s human form and recognise its true form and nature, or recognise when a person is suffering from a Hazared’s possession.
Cost 1 DP.
|4||LOST IN THE VOID||Once per scenario you can call upon the Icons to lay a shroud upon you that hides you from the prying eyes of others. You can move at walking pace and remain under the shroud, but running or any action against another will reveal you. You can make a surprise attack from behind this mystical shroud, but the Icons may take a dim view of using this gift in this way. The shroud lasts for a number of turns equal to the character’s WITS + EMPATHY.
Cost 1 DP, +1 DP if a surprise attack is made.
|5||ICONS GIFT||Once per scenario you can call upon the Icons and they will gift you with a Mystical Power for a one-shot immediate use, with the equivalent of MYSTIC POWERS skill of 3, + the PCs EMPATHY(or, if the character already has the MYSTIC POWERS skill they get +3 dice to their roll). Two powers are rolled randomly and one must be used within 5 turns.
Cost 1 DP.
|6||MASTER IN THE DARK||You have seen beyond the veil and understand from where the Darkmorph beasts have crawled. You can soothe or becalm an angered Darkmorph or otherwise divert its attention or pique its curiosity. For the cost of 1 DP you can calm a Darkmorph: make an EMPATHY or MYSTIC POWERS roll with +1 success, the Darkmorph is calmed for a number of turns equal to total successes rolled, and will not attack the PC or anyone in her protection.
Cost 1 DP.