Forthcoming: Enemies Endure

I have a new novel coming relatively soon—I’ve just finished the “junk whole sections and revise whole characters” stage of editing and am moving on to the “read over and over again, tweaking paragraphs, sentences, and words as I go” stage.

This is Enemies Endure.

It’s a ~163,000 word Hitherby legend from late chapter 2 and early chapter 3; it’s mostly new content, but some key parts are revised versions of existing legends.

I’m still making decisions on how exactly I’m going to proceed—things like:

* will I serialize it or just release it in ePub/createSpace form?
* will I focus on getting the ePub out or the print form out?
* will I kickstart, stick with stuff I can do myself, or both?

Once it’s out, then I’ll be taking the Unclean Legacy off sale, and possibly having a sale on Fable of the Swan. Or … not!

This is also a reminder that Unclean Legacy is currently available in print form from CreateSpace (see sidebar), and that there is a forthcoming Nobilis supplement:

minibook 1i, a Diary of Deceivers
(176pp, currently written, edited, mostly laid out, and about … 80%? art-complete?)

Because apparently when I sit down to just write a little bit about Deceivers, literally aiming for a 32-page supplement to dump out there for .99, a beautiful 176-page book is what happens. It’s actually going to be awesome; it’s just kind of goofy how unexpected it was. ^_^

More details on that as they come in.

Best wishes,


(Bonus) The Count, in Nobilis

The Count

Count of The Count


Aspect 0 (5 AMP)
Domain 3 (5 DMP)
Persona 0 (5 PMP)
Treasure 2 (5 TMP)

The Count: Meaning/Estate Properties

[2] The Count may bind all finite things.
[2] To Count the Count to zero is to bend the world awry.
[1] The Count commands the cardinals, and kneels only to the ordinals of the world.
[1] The Count begins in blood; and
[1] That which is true of the Count, and of the Count of the Count, is thereby true for all.


Active Immortality
Natural Weapon (Fangs)
Shapeshifting (Bat)

Bonds and Afflictions

[3] Affliction: The Count cannot tell you how to get to Sesame Street. The Count may only count the ways in which you are inadequate to it.
[3] Affliction: The Count must Count.
[2] Affliction: The Count is a blood-drinking vampiric muppet of the night.
[1] Affliction: The Count is hunted by Pope Benedict’s Inquisition.
[1] Affliction: The Count may be summoned and compelled in Romania’s hour of need.
[1] Affliction: A child must count to three hundred before the Count may feed.
[3] Bond: The Count desires to count.
[1] Bond: The Count commands through counting the fullest power of the storm.

Passions and Skills

(Superior) Counting 4
(Superior) Strength 1
Singing 2
Pedagogy 1


The Count wields both a thundercloud and the Crimson Curia, an unruly collection of counting numbers pledged and ghouled to him through the sacrament of Blood Communion. The thundercloud serves principally to protect him from the terrible light of the sun; the Crimson Curia helps children learn their letters and numbers and extorts protection money from the various residents and businesses of the Street.

(Bonus) Level 2 Persona

The man’s convulsions woke her; woke her to see his sweating ghost-pale face, his slit eyes, his drawn features. She tried to disentangle herself from the sheets, crying, “What ails you?”

He spoke no word, but she came to know his answer: that he had been awakened by the suffering of his realm, by the forest in the south. That he had touched the minds of a dozen beasts and seen through a dozen pairs of eyes before he found the source of the pain…and that, when he found it, he paid the price for his divinations…for the thirteenth beast was trapped within a fire…

—from Fire Stories, compiled by Édouard Guy

Difficulty 2: “Lesser Incarnation”

The Powers you know — that love you, hate you, or just hang out with you sometimes — can be with you even when their body is not. They can incarnate in their Estates. The Power of the Wind can be whatever wind blows past. The Power of Landslides can live in any landslide. The Power of Hope moves in any heart that hopes.

Your Avatar can do this as a difficulty 2 miracle.

When your Avatar incarnates in something, their consciousness goes off to live elsewhere in the world. This ignores the normal range for your miracles (pg. XX) and lasts until:

  • something happens back at their body that snaps them out of it;
  • a self-imposed time limit runs out; or
  • a scene ends for the thing they’re living in.

They do choose, with as much precision as they like, what they’ll inhabit, but they don’t take it over and they don’t bring their whole majesty to bear. They live with it.

The things that happen to it — the things it thinks, the relationships it forms, the experiences it has — become part of your Avatar’s life story. This is backdated a bit, so you get the memories and attachments of the things that were already happening when you arrived. And your Avatar’s dreams and hopes and passions and loves and basically their ways of living become part of its nature; and that lasts even after you pull your consciousness back, more or less until the story ends.

So if you’re playing the Power of Dogs, you can go live in any dog you want. And for the rest of your life, if that dog loved someone, like most dogs do, that person will be important to you, and you to them. And for the rest of the story, that dog thinks a bit like you (and the rest like a dog) — if they see that your parents’ home is on fire, say, even if they don’t know your parents, they’ll definitely care and they might even be able to work a fire extinguisher or dial 911!

Usually the HG will just tell the story of what you experience in abbreviated form, or let you do so, or just say that it happened and tell you to let them know if it’s relevant. If you happen to incarnate somewhere where important things are going on, though, and nothing is up back where your body is, then the HG may have you play the dog, wind, hope, ghetto, song, or sunbeam you happen to be inhabiting instead of yourself!

If your Estate exists on other worlds you can possess it there, but you need a greater (level 5) miracle to extend your consciousness into someplace primal like Heaven or Hell.

(Bonus) Level 0 Treasure

The Acme Horizon Vulcanizer was in one respect successful: the rubbery horizon bounced back the sun that tried to set, casting the houses of the sky into disorder. In its principal purpose, however, it proved entirely futile: like the devices before it, it did not win for Horace Eunice’s love.

—from Horace’s Exigency, by Keiko Takemori

Difficulty 0: “Claiming an Anchor”

You can use a difficulty 0 miracle to make an ordinary thing into an Anchor — to take something that is bound to you by your Bonds and make it part of your regalia, your iconography, your nature and your destiny.

An Anchor becomes, at your option, one of the best of its kind mundanely available. Your old clunker of a car becomes a Ferrari, or simply runs like one. Your memento wristwatch becomes as durable as a Rolex deep sea watch. That butler you hired — maybe from the papers, maybe by dragging your layabout or unruly cousin into your world — turns out, after a few days settling in, to be one of the best and most loyal butlers in the world.

An Anchor becomes, again at your option, free of charge. A car no longer requires gasoline. A computer no longer needs electricity. Phone and data service for a PDA are free. Even people stop having a resource cost—it’s not that they don’t eat, sleep, shower, or whatever, but that for some reason or another you won’t ever have to worry about it. Depending on the game the HG may play this up for comic, tragic, bromidic, or wondrous effect.

For better or worse, when you’re directly interacting with one of your Anchors, you don’t spend Will and you ignore the whole Intentions system. Your actions through an Anchored tool, or an Anchor’s actions when you’re directly involved, just add a default +3 “miraculous Will” bonus to the highest relevant Passion or Skill.

Finally, an Anchor may always communicate with you — it may call to you with its thoughts and it may hear thoughts you send outwards in its direction. This is most important with people, but the spirit of an inanimate Anchor may communicate with you as well. It is a reflexive difficulty 0 miracle to hear an Anchor trying to reach you or to open a channel of communication with it; you receive free Strike (pg. XX) on this miracle equal to your Treasure rating and can spend MP or invoke a Bond for additional Strike. Actually hearing your Anchor out and replying is a mundane action, so you’ll have to have a free moment to talk.

All of these benefits are essentially permanent; they last as long as you wish them to last and retain an appropriate Bond.

(Bonus) Prince Benedict of Amber, in Nobilis

Prince Benedict

Power of the One True World


Aspect 3 (7 AMP)
Domain 1 (7 DMP)
Persona 2 (7 PMP)
Treasure 1 (7 TMP)



Bonds and Afflictions

[5] Affliction: Invincible
[3] Bond: Student of war.
[2] Bond: I don’t want power.
[2] Affliction: Scion of Amber
[1] Bond: I’m drawn to Avalon.
[1] Bond: I have a terrifying reputation.

Passions and Skills

Superior Quality: Leadership 2
Superior Quality: Tactics 2
Superior Quality: Stamina 1
Passion: Quiet Competence 3
Passion: Plenty of information that isn’t “first in warfare” available on the web -1
Cool 3
Shine 2

Benedict’s superior qualities are a bit redundant, much like Gérard’s, but unlike Gérard he doesn’t have any miraculous abilities that are strictly better, so I left them in.

This is a pretty simple take. I don’t have Chronicles of Amber or the Amber RPG with me in China.

P.S. I’m editing the other Amberites to be Immutable. ^_^

(Bonus) Prince Gérard of Amber, in Nobilis

Prince Gérard

Power of the One True World


Aspect 0 (5 AMP)
Domain 2 (5 DMP)
Persona 1 (5 PMP)
Treasure 4 (5 TMP)


Paramount Strength

Bonds and Afflictions

[4] Bond: What I can grasp, I can crush.
[4] Bond: I’m loyal to Amber.
[3] Affliction: I’m a simple man.
[2] Bond: I command the navies of Amber.
[2] Bond: I protect the seas of the Golden Circle.
[2] Affliction: Scion of Amber.

The last Affliction is generic; every Prince or Princess of Amber for whom being a Prince or Princess of Amber is frequently problematic has it at some level.

Passions and Skills

(Superior) Sailor 1
Skill: Be the Man Your Man Should Smell Like 3*
Skill: Be Underestimated 2
Skill: Sailing Man 1
Skill: Administration 1
Shine 1

* note that this is at a lower level than the actual man that one’s man should smell like would have.

Gérard’s Strength

I’m not inclined to give Gérard superior strength or stamina because Paramount Strength, Durant, and the “What I can grasp, I can crush” Bond pretty much have that covered. If you want his strength to be non-miraculous for some reason, though, or to have both miraculous and non-miraculous strength, it’s pretty easy to replace either the “Paramount Strength” Gift or the Durant Gift with, say,

Superior Strength 3,
Superior Stamina 1, and
Superior Size 1.

(Bonus) Maya, in Nobilis


Near the city of Sodom lives a man named Lot, and he takes many guests within his house. Yet when he serves them meals, and offers them salt, his wife says, “None yet, my husband. There is none.”
— from “The Flower (I/IV)

Power of the Third Tyranny

Maya’s one of those characters who has major character traits I haven’t really mentioned. I’m going to go ahead and say that she started out as a demon, became a Noble around the time when she picked up the all-conquering treasure wheel, and picked up “I am a light along the path” in a later adventure that I haven’t shown you yet.

The Third Tyranny is a bit weird as Estates go. The simplest way to explain it is as a state of affairs: when she uses a lesser creation, say, to invoke the Third Tyranny, she’s restoring elements of that state of affairs. She takes us back, for a moment, to a world where everything had a purpose, and a truth, and a dharma; where each thing is itself, exactly; and where the world is a jewel of immaculate perfection cracking—but not yet cracked—under the burden of the suffering that it demands.

The Third Tyranny: Substance

– We have a purpose.
– We have a truth.
– We are incandescent with our love.

– We are attached to that which hurts us.
– We are suffering.
– We are causing ourselves to suffer.

– Our suffering is a wound upon the world.

The Third Tyranny: Meaning/Estate Properties

[1] The Third Tyranny is the nature of the world.
[1] The Third Tyranny is a perfect and unbroken jewel.
[1] The Third Tyranny is a wheel, and where it rolls it conquers.
[1] The Third Tyranny is shattered beneath the weight of our suffering.
[1] The Third Tyranny makes each thing itself exactly.
[1] The Third Tyranny has cracked, revealing emptiness.
[1] The Third Tyranny burns with purpose, love, and want.


Aspect 0 (5 AMP)
Domain 5 (5 DMP)
Persona 0 (5 PMP)
Treasure 1 (5 TMP)


Active Immortality

Bonds and Afflictions

[5] Affliction: I am illusion.
[4] Affliction: I am a light along the path.
[3] Bond: The Broken Wheel
[2] Bond: Demons teach acceptance.

Passions and Skills

(Superior) Goddess of Illusion 4
(Superior) Prophesy 1
Skill: Pragmatism 2
Skill: Knowledgeable 1
Skill: Cooking -1

(Bonus) The Doctor, in Nobilis

The Doctor

Saint of Hope


This is another response to an request.


Aspect 1 (5 AMP) Active Immortality, Luck
Domain 0 (5 DMP)
Persona 2 (5 PMP) [3] Hope goes beyond the impossible and kicks reason to the curb.
[2] Hope makes people stronger.
[2] Hope finds a way.
Treasure 3 (5 TMP)


[3] Affliction: I burn at the center of time and
can see the turn of the universe.
[2] Affliction: Last of the Time Lords.
[2] Bond: I have a slight flaw in my character. Passion: RUN! 3
[2] Bond: Technical Pacifist Superior Quality: Science! 2
[2] Bond: TARDIS Shine 2
[2] Bond: Companions Cool 1
[1] Affliction: Time’s Warrior Superior Quality: Health 1
[1] Affliction: Nameless Passion: Compassion 1
[1] Affliction: I can’t actually possess my Anchors. Skill: Sonic Things 1


The Doctor, as it turns out, is quite hard, specifically because you could very easily make a good case for or against every last decision I’ve made here.

I should probably note that his Bonds and Afflictions are not 100% legit; in a game, rather than a cool character sheet, you’d want to quantify them by explaining what they actually require of him. For instance, “Last of the Time Lords” isn’t simply a truth, but a mandate that he is unable to hide his alien nature very well or for very long. There’s a reason that everybody knows about him and a surprising number of people spot him as what he is. But if I wrote that you’d look at the character sheet and go “hm, is that true?” instead of “yeah, he’s the Last of the Time Lords!”

This is a companion-centric version—the version of the Doctor that can pluck some random kid off the street and seven years later that kid is blowing up Excrucian-run alternate universes. Or whatever. Other interpretations and builds would exist!