A Watchful Eye
The Grand Orrery of the Soul
Manse 5, Sidereal Aspect
Fragility: 3 (crafted from spun starlight and whispered prayers) Vulnerability: 1 (killing Illyxip), Maintenance: 1 (seasonal offering of an object (Resources 3+) to Illyxip), Damaged Power: 1 (The exit into Creation opens at random to locations in the outskirts of the Coral Archipelago)
If one could map the Grand Orrery, it would appear as a large dome surrounded by a sprawling, geometrically complex series of circular rooms that branch outward in a fractal pattern. The manse was crafted from spun starlight and whispered prayers by an ambitious Twilight Caste Solar during the First Age named The Son of Secret Eyes. He was obsessed with two things: uncovering the secrets of the shinma and the Maiden of Secrets. He tried many times to win her love. This Temple Manse, tucked away in Elsewhere, spiraling outward in a fractal prayer to Jupiter and the shinma themselves, is just one of many failed attempts to woe her. Whether or not Jupiter ever responded to his attempts is unknown: The Maiden of Secrets is not known to share the identities of her lovers. It is known, however, that the powerful goddess of lost things known as Madame Marthesine did take notice of the ambitious young Solar, and birthed a lineage of God-blooded children that survives, if scarcely, into the Second Age.
While the architectural style of the manse is delicate and understated, its walls are intricately knit, nearly translucent sheets of spun starlight and whispered prayers to Jupiter and the shinma. They shimmer in sparkling patterns and feel soft and smooth as polished marble. Touching the manse and the objects therein gives one a sense of its awful fragility, as the starlight shudders and flickers on contact with solid objects, and the walls feel as though they might give way with a gentle shove. Lavishly appointed beds and couches that adorn the rooms, all shaped from varying densities of the two ephemeral materials used to craft the manse. It sports too entrances, one to Creation, the other to Yu-Shan. Both reside next to one another in the main entrance to the manse, though the door to Yu-Shan will only open for Celestial Exalts.
It is impossible to talk about the Orrery without speaking of Illyxip, the Warden of the Orrery. It dominates the entrance to the manse, a large, dome-shaped room on the bottom floor of the branching complex. Its form is nestled into an alcove 50 feet tall, a being composed of pure fate and living essence sculpted into an incomprehensible mass of spiritually imbued flesh that pulses with ripples of twinkling Sidereal-attuned Essence. For gameplay purposes, Illyxip can be thought of as a god or elemental. It is inside fate, and counts as such for the purpose of charms. It is naturally material, but may dematerialize as an elemental can. It will only dematerialize under dire circumstances, however, since staying dematerial for more than three hours will cause catastrophic power failure in the manse. Killing Illyxip destroys the manse utterly, causing power failure and essence buildup. More than the just the Grand Orrery of the Soul’s warden spirit, Illyxip is a manifestation of the manse’s Material Intelligence, created by The Son of Secret Eyes to serve as servant, companion, living receptacle for knowledge, and, the most important part of its duties: serving as a living hearthroom.
Illyxip’s body actually extends throughout the architecture of the Manse, hosting a vast cavern of flesh and starmetal through which luminous threads and filaments of whispered scriptures flow in an eternal pattern of geometric perfection. This room is the vast dome in the center of the manse. Entering the hearthroom is as simple as performing the right series of esoteric computations in one’s head, then climbing through Illyxip’s vast, toothy maw. The entrance to the hearthroom is located three floors up from the base floor of the manse, nestled into an alcove much like the one where the mass of Illyxip’s material form resides. Inside is a toothy prominence in the center of a vast steepled room that produces a three-dot Sidereal hearthstone that mimics the effects of the the Wood aspected hearthstone Gem of Entrance. As the embodiment of the manse’s Material Intelligence, the manse uses The Silent Voice to communicate any information it gathers about visitors and intruders using its Analytical Senses to Illyxip in tandem with its observations.
The doors of the manse are all password controlled eyelets of condensed whispers that dialate open upon activation, including those that lead out of the entrance chamber in which Illyxip resides. Private quarters all have their own passwords (which are usually abstract trains of thought or mathematical calculations), but having attuned to the manse allows one access to all the public areas of the manse. Being the hearthstone bearer of the manse does not override passwords, but generally affords one the company of one of Illyxip’s mobile bodies (usually a mass of starlight and tentacles that stands in a verticle column between 5-8 feet in tall), who is fully capable of opening doors in lieu of attuned residents and the hearthstone bearer memorizing all the passwords. Wise hearthstone bearers memorize the passwords anyway. It is worth noting that the only door that does not have a passcode is the door exiting towards Creation; leaving the manse is always an available option.
Illyxip, Warden of the Grand Orrery
Attributes: Strength 1, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3, Charisma 4, Manipulation 6,
Appearance 6, Perception 5, Intelligence 7, Wits 4
Virtues: Compassion 4, Conviction 3, Temperance 4, Valor 2
Abilities: Integrity 7 (Creatures Outside Fate: + 2), Presence 6 (Interrogating Intruders: + 3), Resistance 2, Investigation 5 (Reading Intruders + 3), Lore 7,
Medicine 2, Occult 7, Awareness 6, Bureaucracy 1, Linguistics 4 (Native: Old Realm, Others: Flametongue, Skytongue, Seatongue, Forest-tongue) Socialize 3
Motivation: Serve the hearthstone bearer of the Grand Orrery/Protect the Grand Orrery from would-be intruders and collect and hoard their secrets.
Intimacies: Learning secrets, serving the hearthstone bearer, protecting and caretaking the Grand Orrery, Jupiter, starlight, expensive objects and complicated devices.
Host Of Spirits – May make mobile copies of itself to serve attuned residents and follow visitors.
Touch Of Grace – Will heal at command or needs of those attuned to the Orrery.
Endowment – May grant the mutations Inexhaustible and Diet (Starlight) to attuned residents and long term guests of the Orrery. These do not count as Wyld mutations for any purpose, and as the manse is constructed of starlight, simply being exposed to the shimmering walls of the manse is sufficient to nourish inhabitants while they whittle away at the secrets of the universe.
Mind-Knife Sacrament – Will shape the memories of intruders it needs to dispatch to remove their knowledge and memories of the Orrery and the abstract key that allows them entrance. It may also share secrets and memories it has stolen with Memory Mirror at the command of the Orrery’s hearthstone bearer.
Geas – Will command intruders to divulge their secrets, present any object they have on them worth Resources 3+ as an offering to maintain the manse, then to leave and never return once they have done so.
Mimic Of Tongues – Can speak any language known to those inside the Orrery.
Memory Mirror – Will steal the secrets of intruders to the Orrery and plumb their mind for hidden knowledge the Orrery’s Analytical Senses cannot discern.
Intrusion-Sensing Method – Can sense the location of any visitor to the Orrery.
Scourge – Can remove those mutations granted to residents upon their leaving the Orrery.
Dematerialize – Costs 75 motes
Reserve of Will (x2)
First: Presence, Awareness, Investigation
Second: Presence, Awareness, Investigation
Divine (Ability) Subordination: Presence, Investigation
Mote Pool: 120
Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-1/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-2/-2/-4/Incap