Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Eikones For Weird Adventures!

We're talking about Eikones - just over Bob's shoulder to the left

This post has a small spoiler for the first season finale of HBO's True Detective.

Trey Causey's Weird Adventures RPG setting features several different religious traditions in a D&Dified version of pulp NYC. There's the Old Time Religion (evangelical monotheism), the Oecumenical Heirarchate (Catholic/Orthodox monotheism), Native and Black diasporic religions, and numerous petty gods and spirits. And then there are the Eikones.

Pronounced "icons" (yes, just like 13th Age, although Weird Adventures came first), the Eikones are spiritual personifications of various aspects of human experience. A few of the big ones include:
  • Management - representing, government, bureaucracy, law and order
  • Phile - the spirit of solidarity, popular in the unions
  • Doll - beauty, seductiveness, sexual power (regardless of the faithful's gender)
  • Maker - technology, industry, science
Well, in the "The Anagrammatist", the Weird Adventures tale I ran at Con of the North (chronicled here, and here, and here), two new Eikones were introduced: one by the players, and one by me. 

In this post, I'll share both of them and provide some contexts in Fate for how they can be used.

A person devoted to an Eikone (i.e., one who believes in that Eikone; follows it or seeks to emulate it; and takes it as an Aspect/Extra) can invoke the Eikone for help by spending a Fate Point. Similarly, an enemy can offer a Fate Point to compel a person who follows an Eikone . In that situation, the Eikone will exert a negative influence or inflict stress on the target. 

Here are the two Eikones:

The Hand

The player who ran Dr. Haint, stage magician and occult illusionist, created the Eikone of The Hand: a personification of both the luck of the draw, and of the relationships among the cards that create an advantageous opportunity.

The Hand can be invoked by a follower to Create an Advantage when gambling, or to uncover relationships between seemly unrelated things in scene that could be turned to one's advantage; another can compel a follower of The Hand and force them to reveal a secret advantage they've been hiding.


The Eikone known as Trauma (and sometimes as TRAUMA) is the secret force behind the figure of Nicolai Limrovic - the villain known as The Anagrammatist. This Eikone is very recent; it was instantiated by the encirclement, betrayal, and destruction of the country of Carcossa during the Great War, and of the Carcossan people's subsequent expulsion from their once-bucolic homeland and their new status as exiles who are strangers in a strange land. The Carcossans suffered the ultimate indignity: their homeland no longer appears on any map.

As with the TV series True Detective, the question is not whether there is something supernatural about Carcossa. The question is what is its meaning in the story? What does it stand for?

In "The Anagrammatist", lost Carcossa was a real place, surrounded and destroyed by contending belligerent powers. Thanks to Limrovic's Recapitulations, his people's Trauma is now universalized; personal pain has become hypostatized into an Eikone that stands for loss, death, separation, and fear. A Trauma which breeds a compulsion to reproduce, reenact, recapitulate, and amplify that original pain again and again.

The Eikone of Trauma can be invoked by a follower for use in a mental Attack. The follower either projects their own traumatic emotions and experiences onto a new victim, or forces someone to relive a traumatic experience of their own - their worst experience; a follower of Trauma can be compelled by reminding them of their traumatic experience in some way. Oftentimes such a compel will trigger a trigger catatonia, a dissociative state, or flight in its target.