Ink : Cypher

Published December 23, 2013 by

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Ink is a drug made near the coast cities that lets the user experience a memory that is not theirs.  These memories are powerful and vivid.


Apply as a tattoo

Roll D100 on the table for the effect.


You are standing in a hot place where the ground is copper, and the sky is brass.  Surrounding you are bodies that get rolled against iron brambles and bronze scorpions until they are nothing more than a fine dust.

You look to the horizon and the wind blows by carrying with it the putrid smell of the bone dust and the sounds of agonized moaning.  Flat.  Flat metallic landscape as far as you can see.  The bone dust is everywhere and in everything.  It stings your eyes.  It makes a pasty film on the inside of your mouth.  You spit, wiping it away with your finger, but the taste has fouled your mouth.  You look down at the “key” in your hand, a small platinum orb that is cool to the touch, and picture the face of the man who had just sold it to you.  “The key to Elysium!  Heaven, paradise, this realm has many names.”  You look behind you, the portal you entered now gone, of course.

A welling stirs inside of you.  Hot rage iron tempered by a cool disappointment bath.  Someone, somewhere, was going to pay for this.

Receive great conviction for an amount of hours equal to the cypher’s level.  The conviction allows you to ignore a point of damage as if you had one point of armor and gives you training in mental defense.


“It’s just booze.  How good could it possibly be?” you think, eyeing the burgundy liquid across the table from you.

“Please sir, try.” The old man whispers to you. His voice like leaves blowing across the cobbled street.  “It will more than live up to your expectations.”

You nod at the man and lift the crystal goblet into the air, the light playing tricks as it shines through the crimson liquid.  You were a conneisuer and you’d be damned if you let a beautiful draft such as this escape you now.  Not after all that searching.  You raise the glass to your lips, and are assailed by the stuff’s aroma.  Light, sweet, smooth, almost intoxicatingly so.  You had tasted many drinks, and written tomes about their flavor, scent, and manufacture.  But this.  This stuff was legendary.  The stories were ridiculous, but even if they were only slightly true, this would be a fine drink.

You take a cautious sip.

In all your years you had never experienced anything quite like this.  The flavors rushed over your palette as if the dam of a river of taste burst suddenly.  You look up to the man, startled to find your glass already empty.  You wipe your eyes with the back of your hand, not sure when you had begun to cry.

You request  another.
“Surely.” he replies.  Filling your glass.  Despite your best efforts you cannot help but down the entire glass in a single gulp, ringing your finger around the side of the glass in an attempt to save some precious drop of the liquid love.

Several more times he fills the cup and each time you gulp the stuff as if dying of thirst.

“A drink like this…” he chuckles to himself, “A man would do most anything for it, yeah?”

You nod without hesitation, a sense of horror creeping over you.

User receives training in healing and receives a +2 to any recovery rolls made in the next amount of hours equal to the cypher’s level.


You can see it now.  The crown gleaming upon the marble pedestal.  Less than 10 feet from it.  With this, you could control the armies by right of royalty and wrest control of the armies away from your brother and restore your father’s kingdom.  A fool, your treacherous brother was… you smile grimly at the thought… to leave the king’s only daughter alive, thinking nothing bad would come of it.

A sound reached your ears.  The creak of leather sandals, by that pillar over there.  She was close.  Ryatrada the Medusa, guarding the crown her servants had stolen for her long ago.  Taking cover behind a pillar you wrapped your hand around your trusted javelin.  With your Anti-Gravity Boots and your Reflect Shield, even a beast such as this was no match for you.  A moment now and even if she turned away from your shield, the javelin would find her abdomen.

With this, the deed would finally be done.  The final stretch of the longest marathon you had ever run in your life.  The story would be recorded for thousands of years.  The lone survivor of the massacre turned into hero of the kingdom.  This was it.  The die was cast.  Victory in sight.

At that last thought you felt a gentle touch on your shoulder.  You gasp, spinning to face – of course – the medusa.  Unable to accept the inevitable you let out a piercing cry of frustration from your lungs before they, and every other part of your body, solidifies into cold, gray stone.

User is trained in throwing weapons, and might defense for an amount of hours equal to the cypher’s level.


Several imperial servants rush in front of you shouting “Long live the empress!  One thousand years of fortune!  Long live the empress!”

Right outside the threshold, you are approaching the castle.  Local warlords, kings in their own right, adorned in fine armors and expensive cloths drop to their knees and bow to you as you pass them by on route to the imperial throne.  The bottom of your new dress lagging slightly behind you.  It’s a little big, but no one will notice.

As you turn and face your minions, sitting on the throne, you allow a small, sly smile to creep across your face and your carefully painted lips.  There is a powerful stir in the frontal lobe of your brain and one though absolutely occupies the entire volume of your mind.

The body of the young empress, Alikar Froth, lies beaten, bloodied, and broken at the bottom of a well in a small town far away from here, and that you, Rimmier Lafreet, a cow merchant’s daughter, are poised to take the empire and bring the Froth dynasty to its grave.

User receives training in sneaking and all social interactions for an amount of hours equal to the cypher’s level.

2 thoughts on “Ink

  1. Interesting. Taken from the Tales of the Ninth World short stories, perhaps (though the Ink in that was ingested, I believe)?

    1. ThomasJefferson says:

      The idea of the ink is taken from the Ninth World Short Story, and the visions are paraphrased from Planescape: Torment.
      You know what they say, good writers copy, great authors steal. 😉

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