Blogging (and webspace maintainence too)

Blogging (and webspace maintainence too) is so slow under this connection. :sigh:
Still working on the job thing. Went for an interview today that turned out to be mediated by a Temp agency. Not what I expected but maybe it will work out.
Been working on my own conjectural version of the old hoary Abyss power. I am borrowing lots (mainly from the Queens of Amber game) but I am putting my own spin on it. Not sure if anyone would actually ever qualify in SB to use it…but this keeps within the canonical rules of the game.


It has many names…the Abyss, the Great Pit, The Hole…the edge of the Abyss is sometimes referred to as the “Rim.” It is the perfect moat as mentioned above. The Abyss prevents physical exit from the Courts…even the shadows of Ways cannot cross the Abyss. It may not be a power in the sense of the Logrus and Pattern, but it does, in a sense, represent true entropy.
>From the Strange Bedfellows FAQ, on the Abyss

Introduction to the Abyss

Perhaps there is power there. What follows is a conjectural exploration of what an Abyss power, in the Strange Bedfellows universe, might look like, and how it would work.
First of all, if there is power to be gained in the Abyss, it could not be from a source of sentience or potential sentience, like Pattern or Logrus. The Abyss, as mentioned on the cosmology page of SB, is really a conduit, a passage from the Amber Multiverse to the even greater void beyond, which holds all of the multiverses. So its not a force of destruction or entropy in an active sense.
Also, too, the likelihood of someone actually developing these powers would be rare to say the least. Said person would have to travel to the deep depths of the Pit, but manage to stay alive in the degrading conditions down there, and manage to not leave the Amber Universe altogether. Oh, and yes, the Abyssal user would somehow have to manage to get back out of the Abyss again.

Requirements for Abyss:

Advanced Shapeshifting, or Basic Shapeshifting with significant points in Lessiman Pahth techniques
Endurance greater than Amber Rank. I’d personally say a minimum of 20. The Abyss is a BAD place.
A long term (months? years?) immersion into the Abyss to allow time for the corrupting power to manifest itself within the user.

Abyss in Action

By definition, anyone who has Abyssal powers must have spent a significant amount of time in the zone of the Abyss, and has thus become immune to its effects. As noted above, without a high amount of shapeshifting and endurance, this should not be possible–either the users mind and body would degrade to useless in a short period of time following escape, or they would not have survived the experience in the first place.
However, this Abyssal Taint then, even stable within an Initate, will be relatively easy to spot by anyone using Mage Sight, Logrus Lens and similar techniques. The catch is that the sorcerer looking at the Initiate will see the taint, but will very unlikely know what it is without further investigation. The Abyss is simply so rare, that its taint, however distinctive, would be undefinable. Abyssal powers are like an unshielded nuclear reactor, and the fingerprints of their use is fairly easy to spot, once someone knows to look for it.

Abyssal Powers

Abyssal Taint
Points: 10
The basic level of Abyss, this is the minimum investment in the power. The Initiate has been to, and somehow survived the Abyss. Said Initiate can now handle Abyssal energies, and, if they somehow return to the Abyss, have no personal danger of further damage.
Abyssal Defense
Points: 15
Requires: Abyssal Taint
This power enables the Abyssal Initiate to infuse his/her body with Abyssal energy, such that the initiate is resistant to attacks by pattern, logrus, and trump. Spells that utilize such energies are much reduced in efficacy, though they may have some effect. The initiate must concentrate for a minute or so to activate this power, but after activation the effect lingers for 10-40 minutes, during which time the initiate is protected. Note that it is impossible to contact the initiate with trump while he/she is infused with Abyssal energy. Another facet of this power is that while imbued the Initiates touch becomes harmful to non-abyssal creatures. Wounds inflicted by the Initiate while in such a state do not heal normally, and often fester, and become infected.This latter effect is somewhat less severe to high endurance and real beings.
Abyssal Sight
Points: 5
Requires: Abyssal Taint;Abyssal Defense
This power enables the initiate to percieve the presence of greater energies, in much the way that Logrus or Pattern Lens work.
Abyssal Shadowwalk
Points: 5
Requires: Abyssal Taint;Abyssal Defense
This power enables the Abyssal Initiate to move through shadow, at much the same slow rate that someone bearing the Broken Pattern Imprint does. Note that this power damages the boundaries between shadows on a temporary basis, such that anyone with Pattern or Logrus can easily track the passage of an Abyssal Initiate. Also note that the Abyssal Initiate will not necessarily walk through the most offensive shadows as a Broken Pattern Initiate might, but the tendency will be to use those, as they will provide a somewhat easier path.
Further powers and uses for Abyssal power beyond these almost certainly exist…