Miramie Mesmer

I know you, right? You’re one of those strays who hangs out around Professor Hideo Hayashi at his archive?
…That’s right. I’m Miramie Mesmer, the Dream-Witch

So maybe you wound up adopted into one of the shrine families? They took you in so that you could learn their magic, find peace in their routines and spiritual practices, and be welcome in their home?

…no. No, that sounds like it would be awkward. I like to have privacy, sometimes.

You spent a long time asleep or maybe even dead. You trudged through stacks of books and records like a ghost or a dream. You wore a red and black chilkat blanket and a mask.

Over time you hid the bits of yourself that you didn’t like, scattered them through a place of chaos, and you built a room from the sweetest memories and keepsakes that remained to you and you played among them there.

Then one day you came out of your fog and everything had fallen apart. But you’re still Melanie Malakh, right?

….This body wasn’t her. At least I don't think it was. I think it was someone else. Then a glass shard of Melanie flew into this body through its eye and killed the brain and I was reborn as the Dream-Witch. I think that’s what happened…

I hope whoever I, or she was, whoever this body used to be, is still me, because I don’t like to think that I killed somebody. But, if you think about it I could have.

So I don’t think about it, if I can help it.

Your problem is …

Insomnia/Nightmares: … I keep having awful nightmares every time I sleep. So I don’t sleep. I drink caffeine. But then I’m jittery and half-dead from lack of sleep all the time!

Your greatest power is something called the World-Breaker’s Hand, which can destroy almost anything, even the hum from a streetlight or the shadow of a shoe. Normally it actually unmakes the target …

… which is why I never use it on people.

I’m most often seen…

…Putting together a 24-hour Pho joint. I only sleep once every four nights, and the nightlife here is not what it could be.

…Getting worked up about the fact I can’t sleep. Also, the coffee in this town is awful.

…Retreating to my hidden room. Sometimes it’s all a little much for me.

Choose your craft

…I like to make baskets and hats out of woven spruce roots. I make wooden masks too, when I can get access to a place to carve. Right now I don't have the tools or space, though.

Accursed

Stats

Skills

  • Grace 2. You move well, you move quietly, you’re good at traditional things, and you look good in formal wear.
  • Alertness 1. You’re vaguely aware of your environment.
  • Crafts 1. You’re familiar with making masks and shaping glass.
  • Domestic Tasks 1. You’re familiar with cooking, cleaning, and the like.
  • Arts 0. You’re not comfortable when you experiment too much with your art.
  • Changeling 2. You’re not human, but you’re able to seem human.
  • Superior Dreamer 1. You’re a lucid dreamer, and good at coping with strange things.

Perks

  • Bond: I must honor the debt I owe to professor Hayashi 1.
  • Bond: I am drawn to [[an as-yet unnamed PC or hidden treasure made of glass.]] 1.
  • Connection: The Wishing Boy 3. You have a mysterious connection to the wishing boy.
  • Connection: Nightmares’ Angel 1. You just feel like he’s a good person under the attitude.
  • Connection: The Archive 1. You’re familiar with the Archive.
  • Connection: Fortitude 1. You’re a Fortitude girl.

Quests

Under Siege: 7/15

Once per scene, flip from "OK" to "Twitch, Twitch"

Pho Joint 5/35

Once per scene, flip from "Innocent" to "Suspicious"

The Hidden Room 26/35

Major Goals

The HG can award you 5 XP towards this quest when:

  • Others stumble on your hidden room.
  • You establish a reason why you need the hidden room — why it’s sustaining you, why you’d be at risk without it.
  • You establish a reason why the hidden room is hurting you, breaking you, damaging your ability to live an ordinary life.

You can earn each bonus once, for a total of 15 XP.

Quest Flavor

1/chapter, you can earn a bonus XP towards this quest through:

  • guiding someone through the Archive
  • talking with somebody about your hidden room
  • talking with somebody about what dreams are, as compared to reality;
  • talking with somebody about whether the world deserves to exist, whether it’s good or bad, or whether that even matters.
  • get in a row with somebody over/about your hidden room
  • refusing to retreat to your hidden room, even though things are very bad.
  • retreating to your hidden room.

Fascination (With Shokyou) 22/35

Major Goals

The HG can award you 5 XP towards this quest when you:

  • Express your fascination with someone or something dangerous and irresponsible.
  • After that first reward, go a long way out of your way physically in order to study the operation and mechanisms of somebody else’s powers (e.g., a field trip to Horizon to watch the Wish-Granting Engine at work.)
  • Make yourself terrifyingly vulnerable, e.g. as an act of social/romantic trust, an act of folly, or as bait for a trap.

You can earn up to three of these bonuses, once each, for a total of 15 XP.

Quest Flavor

1/chapter, you can earn a bonus XP towards this quest when you:

  • confess a secret desire
  • have a troubled dream about glass, magic, and the Outside
  • investigate the shrine family magic for dealing with troubled dreams
  • dream about a Main Character or Arc related NPC
  • hang out with someone you like while they do their thing
  • get into goofy trouble for, with, or because of somebody else
  • talk with someone about the various bad ends people can come to in fairy tales, stories about wishes, and stories about witches

Issues

Sickness 2

Complex 2

Over Your Head 1/5

You’re starting to get a sense of what’s going on here. You’re building a picture in your head, even if it’s hard to put it into words.

But there’s a problem.

Something isn’t right.

There’s something here that just… doesn’t… fit.

The things that were lost to the World-Breaker's Hand

  • A dream-sky full of riders
  • A large chunk of the Yatsakaya family shrine
  • The cheer squad. Not the members of the squad; the concept of school even having a cheer squad.
  • Miramie's appetite.
  • The dirt on some dishes
  • Dulcinea D'Montrose (By accident)

Miramie's To-Do List

  • Apologize to the cats for breaking their shrine
  • Fix the hole in the archive
  • Go on a date with Seizhi???
  • Talk to Natalia about Shokyou
  • Review the morality of Pho

Changeable Stats

6/8 Will
1/3 Miraculous Will
4/7 MP

Wounds
Deadly:
Tough:
I remember that Men existed.
Normal:
Retain Memory in this Childish Body
I will teach Natalia about childhood joy.

Under Siege: 2/15
Pho Joint 1/35
The Hidden Room 5/35
Fascination 6/35

Powers

Arc Power: Sickly

Type: Special
Cost: —

You are prone to trials and your life is a sorrowful thing.

  • Once per session you may do all of the following, in order:
  • declare yourself under attack by corruption or trauma;
  • declare a suitable
    • (Suffer) Corruption or
    • (Suffer) Trauma
  • XP action — basically, you experience surreal effects and then your corruption, sickness, or ongoing psychological damage gets worse; and then
  • automatically pick up a point of the Sickness Issue unless your Sickness Issue is either at 5 or has just recently been resolved.

This power is functionally a narrative one — from an IC perspective, it’s not the power to be sickly but the power to be right about how much your life sucks.

Accursed 2

The Hidden Room

Type: Miraculous Action, Major
Cost: —

Somewhere in the archive is a hidden room containing — you.

A place where you built yourself into being, choosing bits of memory and glass to define yourself. A place of peace and sanctuary where you could wander among only things that remind you of yourself and not, well, her.

If you hide out there for a while —

  • when you spend one of your weekly XP-earning actions there, gain 1 MP (max 8).
  • when you skip one of your weekly XP actions to be there, gain 1 MP (max 8).
  • when you fail someone, miss an appointment, or otherwise let something bad happen or cause something bad to happen because you were in the hidden room, gain 1 MP (max 8).

when you come out of the hidden room with 5+ MP, at least one of which came
from the hidden room, you’re ready to face the ordinary world again —

  • You may sustain a 0-MP level 8 miraculous action that keeps you you and makes everything around you clean and orderly and free of direct Outside influence.
  • You’re carrying something cool, like old Spanish coins to sell for money or an amazing hairpin.
  • In your left eye there is a night-black shard of glass, through which cometlike bits of light sometimes flicker.
  • Your world remains clean and orderly, you remain you, the glass remains visible in your eye, and you’ll have difficulty growing as a person until either you gain a point of Sickness, somebody uses a power to poison you with doubt, or you spend down to 4 MP or fewer.

While most people need to explore the Archive to reach your hidden room, you can get there from any collection of books, records, and art large and barrier-filled enough to wander through. When you leave again you’ll always emerge into the Archive in Fortitude. If you are outside Fortitude, and there is a spiritual barrier between you and Fortitude, you may need to overcome that barrier with Strike in order to enter the hidden room. For instance, someone must use a miracle with 2+ Strike for you to enter the hidden room from a library of the Outside, and probably 4-5 Strike to enter directly from the Bleak Academy.

Other characters may accompany you into the hidden room, and exit into the Archive.

Other characters may even use the hidden room to gain MP and acquire an aura of Outside-repelling
order. However:

  • only one person can gain MP from the hidden room at a time,
  • most attempts to enter the hidden room without your presence and consent fail,
  • someone else using the hidden room might come out as you, or conversely make it so the next time you use the hidden room you come out changed to be more like them; and
  • people who try to get into the hidden room without you escorting them occasionally get hurt. The risk of failure and the risk of something going wrong are cosmological constants; if a character manages to eliminate either risk, they simply can’t get into your hidden room.

The World-Breaker’s Hand

Type: Miraculous Action, Bleak
Cost:
* 0 MP — 1/week, declare something unmade
* 1 MP — unmake something a second or later time per week
* 2 MP — unmake something a second or later time in a matter of hours
* 4 MP — unmake something a second or later time per scene

You’ve inherited some of Melanie Malakh’s power to break the world. Just focus on something you can perceive, within about a quarter-mile of you; judge it as unworthy of existence; and bam!

It shatters and turns to dust and then into nothing at all.

This power of unmaking is overwhelming — in fact, it’s worse than you’re probably thinking, because it’s not strictly limited to things. You can kill the sound of footsteps, the shine of a streetlight, the shadow of an ant, the amusement value of a puppet, or the hand of the puppeteer. You can take the weight from a door or a window from a house, and it’s basically up to you at the time whether that leaves a hole or just a “there isn’t a window there” after. You can kill time before an appointment, tone down the salt on an over-salted meal, or snipe a single feather from the wing of a flying tern. You can even do this stuff remotely when visiting someone in the guise of the Dream-Witch’s Shadow or A Waking Dream, below.

This is the power of the Bleak Academy — a power of unmaking, of the Outside. So if you blast something that people love or need, or toy with someone to excess, they may be able to invoke the rules for fighting the Bleak Academy to stand against you.

Note that you’re not really into maiming or murdering people, and that even if you try most of the really important characters can take a wound instead of just dissolving into nothingness. A few can laugh off the effects in other ways —trying to unmake the Child of the Sun, for instance, would be an exercise in frustration.

Strategist-Shard

Type: Special
Cost: —

As a special rule, any effect that causes a wound, or fails to cause a wound because you do not have the relevant
wound type available, also costs you one MP. If you run out of MP while you have the Sickness Issue at level 1+, this weakness interacts with the Who You Were Affliction below to drive you into the comfort of your hidden room.

Who You Were

Type: Affliction, based on your Sickness Issue
Cost: —
Your old self overshadows you. Even if you wanted to just be Miramie, you’re stuck with it — you are the Dream-Witch. You are spawn of, or what is left of, the Bleak Academy magister Melanie Malakh.

Anytime you have 1+ points in the Sickness Issue, the following rules apply:

  • Your simple honest work — the stuff you put your heart into — attracts the remnants of your past. You keep finding dream-witch and glass dragon and Bleak Academy motifs in your art. Nameless memories get stirred up. The dust of the Outside is drawn to you and you imagine hearing Melanie Malakh’s voice. At around Sickness 3+, this kind of stuff gets actively supernatural: you might stumble over random dolls of Melanie Malakh, masks might appear on your walls, the HG might play Melanie Malakh’s voice in your head as if it could be real, and full-fledged Outside storms might cross Fortitude’s borders to hunt you down. Your inner issues are externalized.
  • Your Miracle Points are your lifeline. If you have Sickness 1+ and 0 MP, you have the following choices:
    • Somebody uses a miracle with [Strike ≥ your Sickness] to help you out;
    • You break down in a sobbing, shivering, useless mess;
    • You fade into the appearance of your dream-self (mask and all) and head to the hidden room at all possible speed. You are allowed to pause briefly for things like picking up a baby laying on the street, blowing out a lamp that’s about to set a room on fire, or knocking on a doctor’s door and pointing the doctor towards a dying friend, but for anything less important or more time-consuming than that you’re limited to meaningful glances and turning away. Maybe a few distracted noises or moans. If you don’t do anything like that, the HG can send you into delirium-dreams, cast you in a state of delirium into the Outside, or have an NPC evil side of you take over.
  • The HG will invoke Who You Were to protect you from effects, with the specific exception of your hidden room, that:
    • stop the effects above from taking place;
    • stop you from investigating the glass dragon or Melanie Malakh;
    • stop you from talking to people about these matters; or
    • transform your mind or body into someone else.

Such effects need [Strike ≥ your Sickness] to succeed.

  • When this Affliction causes actual, meaningful trouble to you, the HG may give you up to your Sickness in MP. However, you must use these MP immediately; they fade at the end of the current scene (or, if the current scene ends almost immediately, at the end of the next scene where you take action.) In general you’ll pick up your first point of Sickness either from Sickly, from trauma, or from people messing with you, and then later points will come from the consequences of this Affliction. You can also start the vicious cycle if someone tries to corrupt you, or if you just get naturally sick!

Minions

Type: Miraculous Action, Quest Miracle
Cost: —

This is one of the crafts of the Bleak Academy — a power of Melanie Malakh. Over the course of a 15 XP quest you can create a minion — a shiki, imp, helpful spirit, floating-mask spirit, or animated object — that is not terribly useful for most things but which accurately expresses something in your heart.

You can then:

  • Kill it once it fully manifests, purifying your heart of that thing;
  • Use it as a sympathetic link to some part of yourself you wish to magically strengthen, or to some inner demon you want to face and learn to live with;
  • Use it as a messenger;
  • Use it to siphon 1-2 MP from a willing or unsuspecting associate who keeps the shiki close to their heart or sleeps beside it; later you can wring it out for the MP and use it again;
  • Empower it to perform simple chores and functions.

The minion itself usually appears at or near the beginning of the quest; however, it is not until the quest completes that it becomes useful or performs its proper magical function.

Afterwards you may stay on the quest to “sustain” the miracle; while you do so, the minion is effectively a part of your character and you have a say in what happens with it. Afterwards, it’s still a loyal minion that’s linked to you, but someone could, e.g., subvert it with the appropriate coin.

Twisted Spaces

Type: Miraculous Action, Quest Miracle
Cost: —

This is another of the crafts of the Bleak Academy — a power of Melanie Malakh. Over the course of a 15 XP quest you can create a gate, labyrinth, or pocket world — a twisted space where things do not behave properly. These things too express something in your heart, and navigating that space often teaches you something or giving you an insight; if that insight is the actual point and value of the miracle, then the labyrinth or world or gate will tend to become available at the beginning of the quest and you’ll finish navigating it for the first time after you’ve spent 15 XP; otherwise, it will generally wait to appear until the completion of the quest.

You may stay on the quest after completing it for as long as you wish to retain power over the twisted space and to ensure that it does not fray; as with minions, the twisted space is effectively a part of the character while you do so. During this time you could even defend a conjured gate with your own Health Levels, for example, if you so chose.

Sentimental 1

Later you built a new way of being for yourself. You recreated yourself from almost nothing — represented as the Arc, Sentimental 1.

You learned a Craft — it’s up to you what this is, although I assume it’s either glass-making, mask-making, painting, archiving, or interacting with people.

You learned to claim something as one of your Treasures if you have:

  • a level 3+ Connection to it;
  • a Bond that mentions it by name;
  • a Perk that binds you to it like:
    • Bond. (as long as it mentions it by name)
  • Connection. (as long as it’s level 3+)
  • Accessory.
  • “It’s OK, I’m here.”
  • “It’s like a home to me.”

And now you have these powers in addition to Malakh’s:

Miraculous Ease

Type: Miraculous Action
Cost: 0 MP
You have a limited access to your pool of miraculous Will.

That is, like everyone else you have 8 Will to spend each week to enhance your mundane actions — but if you are taking actions either for, with, or to express your feelings for the Wishing Boy or the Archive of Professor Hideo Hayashi, you also have access to your pool of 3
miraculous Will.

Miraculous Will replenishes when you complete, or are in a scene with someone who completes, an in-genre XP Action.

The Dream-Witch’s Shadow

Type: Miraculous Action
Cost: 0 MP

When you are asleep you can project yourself into the company of one of your Treasures. You float around its physical body. You can perceive through its senses. If it has none, you can dimly sense the world around it. If it’s asleep, you can perceive its dreams. You can speak to it mind-to-mind, in total silence.

Most importantly you can do this from any distance.

When you project yourself more than a block or two you become “present” where the treasure is. Any miracle that would normally target your important treasure can optionally affect you instead or in addition to it. This ought to but doesn’t have to make sense — if you’re projecting your dream-self to the Wishing Boy, for instance, and someone uses a miraculous or Imperial action to stab him with a sword, they can automatically stab you with a sword instead of or in addition to stabbing him. They don’t have to explain how that works. They don’t have to make sense of it. Ultimately that’s all on you. Further, even after you stop using this power, you can still be remotely targeted in this fashion until the end of the scene.

Lend Spirit

Type: Special
Cost: —

While you are using The Dream-Witch’s Shadow you may choose to extend your abilities and knowledge to the important person or thing that you’re visiting. This gives the following additional benefits to the person or thing in question:

  • they resist or outright ignore attempts by others to influence their thoughts or actions, unless you are also under that influence.
  • they gain a small amount of added mobility, at the HG’s discretion — for instance, if you had a glass figurine as one of your Treasures, you could make it move, but not as nimbly as a human might.
  • They may call upon your abilities, powers, MP, and knowledge in addition to its own.

People and things you lend your spirit to do not retain the knowledge, abilities, or powers that you share with them after you stop lending them your spirit. In fact, their memories of events afterwards become muddled to whatever extent they actually drew upon your knowledge and your abilities! Thus, if someone wants to remember a secret of yours from when you lent them your spirit, they’d have to write it down.

A Waking Dream
Type: Miraculous Action
Cost:

  • 1 MP — visit a Treasure astrally/spiritually while awake
  • 4 MP — do so a second or later time in a matter of hours

You may detach a bit of your spirit and send it to someone even while awake. While you do so, you’re aware of both your environment and theirs. You can’t Lend Spirit while using this power, but if you support what they’re doing, their mundane actions gain a +1 Tool bonus and (all else being equal) 1 point of Edge.

The Treasure’s Call

Type: Miraculous Action
Cost: 0 MP
You can “hear” or “feel” when one of your Treasures needs you or is desperately trying to reach you, no matter how far away it might be.

A Keeper of Treasures

Type: Miraculous Action, Quest Miracle
Cost: —
You may spend a 15-XP quest training or improving something. This can make an animal unnaturally responsive an alert or a place more convenient or functional. In both cases, that’s a +1 Tool.

Going beyond responsiveness, you can use your Craft in some fashion to teach animals or people borderline supernatural techniques. For instance, you might put them through bizarre cinematic martial arts training, magical training, use your Treasures in some weird fashion to improve them, or have many long, heartfelt conversations about what they’re really capable of until that turns out to include ventriloquism, charm, traditional Damascene smithcraft, or whatever else you’d like.

This gives them the equivalent of a Superior Skill 2. If you want to teach your dog hang-gliding or a person how to become unnoticeable using the Shadow Step, this is the appropriate technique.

If you want to do this, and you don’t have an appropriate Arc-related Craft, you can probably get away with it as long as you involve your Craft into things somehow.

Regrettably this training isn’t permanent— instead, you keep the quest card active once you finish it, and the power remains active until you use that quest slot for something else.

A Maker of Wonders
Type: Miraculous Action, Quest Miracle
Cost: —
Over the course of a 15-XP quest, you may work with one of your Treasures, transforming it
physically and spiritually to unleash its “true form” or “true power.” Or, if the Treasure is already
magical, you activate, revitalize, and control its powers without necessarily initiating a
transformation.
The power you grant and the control you take remains active and accessible until you set
aside the quest.
A Treasure typically has a single defined power — otherwise it wouldn’t be the Treasure’s
“true form” or “true power.” That said, just like you can use fire for many different things or
train an athlete in many different sports, you can often adjust the details of the power that you
create or grant as a part of enacting this quest.
If you want to create a new artifact — a wondrous mask, bit of glasswork, or whatnot —
you can generally do with a 45-XP quest. In addition to creating the Treasure itself this acts as a
quest miracle to activate and tame its power. See Glass Magic in the Chuubo’s Marvelous
Wish-Granting Engine RPG for an example of how this might work.
Later on, if you pursue the Sentimental Arc further, you’ll be able to spend MP to instantly
activate a specific version of a Treasure’s power.
END BOX

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