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The Ariá are the triad of forms and emotional states exhibited by the Denizens.

Overview

Instead of Seemings and loyalty to the two Courts, each Dark-kin displays a trio of behaviors and forms peculiar to their particular race. Known as Ariá, these states are complex, subtle, and, to a changeling's eyes, alien and unfathomable. Though tied to a number of factors, they are mostly connected to the Denizen's emotional state and relationship to the Dreaming. One Ariá is always primary for each Denizen; the other two play a secondary role in their life, but may become primary as circumstances dictate. A Denizen's Ariá may change with a particularly intense epiphany (especially Rapture), an emotional/ spiritual awakening, or a tragedy of some sort. Some Denizens may change Ariá with even less cause. Ariá, while serving a role in the Dreaming, are a far more personal choice than a reflection of two great opposing philosophies (as with the Seelie and Unseelie Courts). Untethered by the Courts and human rationality, Denizens tend to be mercurial. Thus, the repercussions for changing Ariá are not nearly as severe for Denizens as they are for changelings who switch Courts. Denizen culture is both more fluid and less cohesive than changeling society. A Denizen's Ariá may have profound of subtle effects on their outward appearance, depending on there adhene. Ariá frequently age with the Denizen, but this is not always the case. For example: the moirae's three forms mimic the aspects of the Three Fates (maiden, mother, crone) and these remain constant no matter how old or young the Denizen may be.

Since Ariá are psychological as well as physical conditions, each aspect of the Dark-kin's personality is also paired with a Legacy much like a changeling's Legacies are paired to their Court affiliation. The secondary Ariá is always just below the surface and may influence the Denizen's behavior, but does not override the primary Ariá. The battle for dominance is usually between the primary and secondary Ariá while the tertiary Ariá is mostly inactive. While the tertiary Ariá usually the weakest of the three, it plays an important role nonetheless. Though the third Ariá is never more than the faintest of whispers when the Denizen is awake, it may become quite active when they are submerged in someone else's dream (most commonly by practicing Somnambulism or being caught in a Dream Trap). On such occasions, the tertiary Ariá, rather than the secondary, vies with the primary characteristic for control.

System

A player decides which of their character's Ariá are primary, secondary, and tertiary during character creation. The character's beginning primary Ariá determines their initial two Tempers: Willpower and Glamour, and has an additional "illusory" point of Willpower or Glamour for the purpose of maintaining its primacy. Once chosen, this Ariá will always maintain its primary status, regardless of its current position in the line-up. The Denizen's lesser Ariá ratings run on "parallel tracks" with the primary. Thus, if a character's Primary Aria is the Araminae, they start with Glamour 2 and Willpower 4. If the player then uses Experience Points to raise these ratings, the other Ariá likewise benefit. No Aria may ever have a higher rating than 10, though. As with changelings, a Denizen's Legacies are important components of their personality and following the Quests and Bans laid out in their current primary Legacy is important to regaining Willpower.

When a Denizen enters a situation where a change of Ariá becomes possible, the player or Storyteller may decide that a battle for ascendancy between their character's various personalities may occur. No character may change Ariá more than once a Story (with the exception of a Merit or Flaw) and the Storyteller is the final authority on whether the situation warrants a roll to alter the character's condition. The contest is usually between the primary and secondary Ariá, and the two must make contested rolls against there current Willpower or Glamour (whichever is highest, difficulty 6) with the winner taking ascendancy until the next time a contest ensues. The dethroned primary Ariá falls all the way to the bottom of the lineup, thus automatically promoting the tertiary Ariá up to secondary status. The originally chosen "primary" attribute always adds a +1 dice to its dice pool, no matter where it falls in the current lineup. In the case of a primary/tertiary struggle, the character makes the same Glamour or Willpower roll. If the currently primary Ariá wins out, then things stay as they are, whereas if the tertiary Ariá wins it takes the primary position and the primary Aria is "dethroned" and falls to the tertiary status until the next contest.

Legacies

Denizens subscribe to the same range of Legacies observed by the Kithain. Unbound by the restrictions of Court, though, the Dark-kin may have any legacy associated with any Ariá, almost without restriction. The Ariá determines how the player should interpret the character's Legacies.

For example: a character may match the Unseelie Knave Legacy to the Dioniae and the Seelie Paladin Legacy to the Apolliae... or vice versa. In the first case the primal desires of the Dioniae would make the Knave persona all the more perverse while the higher aspects of the Apolliae would add nobility to the Paladin archetype. In the reversal of this situation, the Dioniae would make the competitive, thrill-seeking aspects of the Paladin Legacy an out of control addiction, while the Apolliae would make the Knave some sort of "holy tempter" who views corruption as a holy cause (and thus, wholly justified). similarly, the Araminae would see both Legacies from a rational perspective, seeking to justify and perform the dictates of that persona in a rational, logical manner. A character may, of course, chose the same legacy for two or even all three Ariá, though the Legacy will be interpreted very differently in each case. Some of the Legacy/Ariá combinations possible are more difficult to play; the Storyteller has the final say as to what combinations are appropriate for their Chronicle.

The Three Ariá

References

  1. CTD. Denizens of the Dreaming, pp. 15, 42-44.
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