It is year one thousand, six hundred and eighty three of the Age of Light. Ushered in by the sacrifice of Amber's Six, since then the Shining Pentacles have secured the multiverse. Borne aloft in ships crafted of Light itself, they guard reality against the Neverwere - twisted and distorted shadows of the could-have-been.
And at the heart of the multiverse, there lies the Twinned Gate, from which the Neverwere would pour in unending multitude if not for the eternal sacrifice of the Pentacles. Every two hundred and seventy three years, the greatest of the Pentacles travel to the Gate and enact a ritual of remembrance. The remember the first of their kind, who rose shining from the cradle of Amber. They remember the great Fracture, the reasons behind it still unknown, that created the tear in reality from which the Neverwere leak. And they remember the forging of the Twinned Gate. A creation to which all but one of the first Mahou Shojo gave everything. Their power, their memories, and their very souls.
The Gate is Light made manifest. Power that the Neverwere cannot understand woven around the only place from which they can escape in force. Within its ring seethe the most powerful of the Neverwere, trapped and frozen in brilliant radiance. But that radiance fades in time. And it is the ritual of memory that restores it.
It was memory and faith in the sanctity of the multiverse that imprisoned the Neverwere. And it is the Pentacles' memories that keep that power alive. Without it their prison would shatter like glass.
Among one of the closest to the Twinned Gate, Amber is a world suffused with light. Permeated with the tangible goodness which the Mahou Shoujo channel and radiate like the beacons they are, it was from this plane that the first of the Magical Girls rose after the Fracture.
Amber is the beating heart of the Shining Pentacles, the base of its power both figuratively and literally. All Magical Girls, albeit some unknowing, draw their power from the shining beacon of Amber. It is the star that glitters in the night sky with a radiance all at odds with what it is. Embodied within are the qualities of kindness, mercy, and innocence that all Magical Girls share. And, inevitably, they are drawn to Amber - and by extension, the Shining Pentacles.
The Pentacles, as the name implies, work in teams of five, ranging across the multiverse and sealing away the presence of Neverweres wherever they break through. And whilst they are recognised and praised for their vigilance, they cannot be known everywhere and to everyone. And on Amber, their birthplace, they are unknown.
This is deliberate however. Amber is unique in its light. It is a modern world, but one which learnt to take care of its toys before it began to damage them. Shining cities, verdant grass, sparkling blue waters and air which makes you feel cleaner as you breath it; these are all hallmarks of Amber. And whilst those who live there are undeniably human, they have somehow created something that has never been replicated. A world and society that, somehow, shines with a brilliant and invisible radiance.
And that is the reason that the Pentacles do not allow their existence to become more than rumours there. Knowing could crack the fragile balance that maintains Amber as what it is. And without Amber, reality would fall. They act to protect if a Neverwere breaks through, but never reveal themselves fully. They act, then disappear, by their very nature not requiring the praise that other heroes might require.
Two months ago the best of the Shining Pentacles, the Golden Pentacles, gathered on Amber then left for the Twinned Gate to preform the Remembrance. The skies shone on the night of their departure, their ships filling the skies with a reflection of their own Light.
The leaders of the Pentacles went with them, to take their places in the Gate's ring and to hold it shut for the next two hundred and seventy three years.
Six weeks later, a psychic scream woke every member of the Pentacles in reality, echoing out across the multiverse from the Twinned Gate. It lasted seven seconds, each one an eternity to those who heard it. And then there was nothing. The Silvers on Amber launched a mission to try and find their comrades, but the two Pentacles which departed vanished without a trace. Their communications and presences simply...stopped.
And now the remaining three Silver Pentacles on Amber have seen the skies above them turn black. Oracles and seers across the multiverse toss and turn each night. Something is coming. Something unknown and powerful beyond anything the Pentacles have encountered. Against it, the remaining find themselves frozen in powerless fear.
Yet Amber provides. As it always has.
If the Golden are gone, then new ones must rise.
And if there are none ready to take their place, then they shall be found.
A new Golden Pentacle will be formed.
Light of Amber - Character List
Can I get a roll call please?
Character info/backstory as well as - if you want to pick one - a colour.
Intro PMs will be sent as fast as I can write them.
Current party knowledge:
Neverwere are beings whose nature is utterly inimical to reality as it is understood, impossibilities that seem to enforce their existence through sheer force of will alone. If banished back beyond the Fracture, all that they have done whilst in our universe that time may be Reverted by any member of the Pentacles.
The Neverwere entered first into our universe through a tear in the fabric of the multiverse known as the Fracture. After the Forging of the Twinned Gate, they use the cracks propogated by the Fracture throughout the inner multiverse to slips into reality and wreak havoc. Entrance through the Fracture was impossible until shortly before campaign start. The specifics of what caused that change are unknown.
The Light of Amber is the only known force capable of harming and banishing Neverwere - and theoretically destroying them, but that's something you can't be sure of. It's been done, but it was by a deity who from everything you can tell was a pure manifestation of Light.
Oh, and the big kill there was her suiciding and taking out what was left of her multiverse along with a great deal of the Neverwere who killed her.
Powerful groups of Pentacles have sometimes managed to banish specific Neverwere for decades - or sometimes even centuries - but since the death of Mystra no one has ever managed to kill one.
You have one clue on that score however, a message from Mystra herself delivered in her final moment.
"They wish for reality, yet that which they seek destroys them."
Described only as a hole in the fabric of reality, its origins are totally unknown - in fact it is described as a theoretical and practical impossibility on many occasions. It has cracked the entire inner multiverse, opening myriad pathways for the Neverwere to enter into realities all across it.
Currently sealed - at least mostly - by the Twinned Gate.
The Twinned Gate:
A product of the sacrifice of the First Pentacle, the Gate prevented any of the Named Neverwere from imposing their full power and will on the multiverse. It also trapped them there, but has apparently sustained sufficient damage that it no longer does so. Its power dampening effects are also theorised to have been disabled or lessened - hence perhaps the reason that the Silvers were defeated so easily.
The ledger given to Makoto shows the assets for the plane of Amber as up to date; comprising of three full Silver Pentacles, Archivist and Healing support as well as various 'miscellaneous' assets. Also included is the Lightbringer - flagship of the Pentacle Lightship Fleet - and her crew under Captain Kalen Mitsuki.
Assets outside of Amber flag as 'disconnected'. There are a lot of them, but mainly in the same vein as those around Amber. And no Golden Pentacles among them until you reach the MIA section.
Asking about the disconnected status reveals that communication with planes outside of Amber has been impossible since a week before your arrival. Attempts by the Lightbringer to jump to other dimensions have met with failure. Named Nevers have been known to have this level of power, so it assumed to be the work of Silence.
From what little Cymoril has the chance to read of it, the book seems exactly what the subtitle implies. A history and collection of the magic of the Saint Kings of Belka, written as one part encyclopaedia, one part textbook and, interestingly, one part test.
Not everything you need to know is in the book. Most of it is, but Cymoril finds that she needs to think - in some cases quite hard - to work out how certain pieces of magic function. As if it was given to the heir to the throne at some early point and used as a test of their right to become the next Saint King.
The book is, to be honest, priceless. There is quite literally no other archive of Belkan magic as complete as what Kaiserfarbe has shown so far.
There is also a faint aura of magic around the thin tome, but it is very clearly not compatible with Cymoril. Although it seems to remind her of someone...
Reversion (Cha) as a class skill and 1 rank in it each.
One of the Harmonic Resonance feats as shown on the player table:
Prerequisites: Pure of Heart, 6th level
Benefit: Select one of the following Elements of Harmony. You must follow the code associated with that element. If you break your Code, you take a cumulative -1 penalty to attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks for 24 hours. Each infraction resets the duration. If you penalty is as large as your Illuminator level, you immediately lose your Magical Girl abilities and must make atonement for your actions. You also know inherently whether performing a certain action would violate your code. In return, you gain a +3 bonus to your Will saves and checks to resist Intimidate checks.
|Honesty||You cannot lie or intentionally conceal information for any reason|
|Kindness||You cannot attack enemies unprovoked or deal lethal damage|
|Laughter||You must treat others fairly and you cannot attempt to intimidate or attack the character of others|
|Generosity||You cannot refuse to lend aid to one in genuine need|
|Loyalty||You cannot break any oaths or promises, or refuse the call to aid of a friend|
|Hope/Magic||You cannot lose faith in yourself or your friends or give up in the face of adversity|
The "Weapons" section of this
The Two-Weapon Defence feat from here