NeverTime and Dark Moments

Posted on Monday, April 4th, 2016 at 11:37

A Dark Moment is what happens when an event is Chronolithed with Twists. Not every Demonic being can Twist time, it is only really available as an ability for Temporal and Paradox Demons (Inertia Demons and their ilk), at least until the events of the Paradox War. Dark Moments have one particular flavour, where the Twists are stored to create an immunity to Time itself.

Dark Moments

Dark Moments are nothing more than an event that has Twists stored in it. Normally Dark Moments effect a single target, but larger Dark Moments (Dark Hours, Dark Days, Dark Weeks, Dark Times and even Dark Ages) do exist that can affect entire continents or universes at once. Dark Moments can be periods of terrible pain and upheaval for those suffering the effects of them. They are usually created by Plot Dæmons (although other Demonic entities and even Dark Matter and Dark Territories can create them with Twists) during the Loom of the plot’s arc (or whenever most convenient to the Ref). For most Dark Moments they don’t have a physical size, but instead only a Duration. The Duration is created by the Twists used to create the Dark Moment (see Extend Duration on the Sway Table).

Dark Moment Powers

The Twists stored in the Dark Moment can create the following potential powers. The Twists must be stored in the individual powers.

  • NeverTime Bubble (see below) – a specific form of Ignore Facet Power. 
  • Ignore Facet – this works exactly like the Dark Territory power, stored Twists dampen the effectiveness of a given Facet, for the duration of the Dark Moment.
  • Zeitgeist – The Dark Moment has an additional Tone-like effect that affects the target of the Dark Moment. The Zeitgeist can add or remove Success Levels from those it affects, equal to the Double Reduced Twists stored in the Power (1-3 success levels is suggested as a limit)
  • Soul-crushing – A Dark Moment cannot Soul Steal, like a Dark Territory, but instead becomes a living nightmare. Characters may even Flashback to the Dark Moment later, reliving the trauma, or depression of that moment. The Dark Moment will periodically create a (usually) single Facet “Fear” type Psychological effect upon the Target (or selected Targets). This is based upon a period of Twists Reduced Stored in the Power as a Limit Duration. So storing 2 Twists in the Soul Crushing power will cause it to trigger once a year, storing  38 Twists would cause it to trigger once every 24 hours (at first). Each time it triggers however the Soul Crushing power will lose one Twist.  To create “Terror” or “Horror” effects simply Double or Triple the costs.

Devil Clock Protocols

During the Paradox War, the Eelafin Arch-Magus Garner Ralliet Septimus created a magical device, that he called a Devil Clock that could produce and store Twists in a moment. He had encountered an Increated being that was able to ignore Time, and it was Garner that named that state NeverTime. He converted this Dark Matter device into a computer protocol that was incorporated into Eusaivean Temporal Drive technology. The device allowed Norridi’s forces to travel in time without creating Alternate universes. But that is not the only usage the Protocols saw during the war. By the end stages Devil Clocks were fully weaponised and still the inventiveness of the war is only a minor aspect of what Nevertime is truly capable of.

Devil Clock Protocols are a standard Descendant built into Eusavean ships or Nanites, the standard looks like this:

Devil Clock Protocols (L:I) 3d6(10)(3) = {48} 

Handicap: Vulnerable x8 (“…To Paradoxes”)

Base Cost : 61 Chi

Nevertime Bubbles

NeverTime Bubbles allow a Dark Moment to have time pass at two different rates for the Targets and the rest of the universe. NeverTime Bubbles therefore have two Durations, the first, the External Duration, is the Duration of the Dark Moment, Devil Clocks usually make this an Instant (it’s cheaper that way). The second, the Internal Duration is the Duration experienced by the Targets and is normally set by the Twists stored in the Bubble. Most Devil clocks are configured to create a Duration of less than 8 hours (for 3 Twists). The observant of you may have noticed that it is possible for a NeverTime Bubble to have a longer External Duration than Internal, this can be used as a form of time travel (or to model Time Dilation when travelling at close to the speed of light). Allowing time to pass more slowly for the targets than those outside the bubble. Refs can even allow Negative Durations (for additional costs perhaps +1 or double?) that could allow NeverTime devices to move Targets backwards in Time.

  • As the Devil Clock is moved the Bubble will move with it, if possible it will expand the bubble to include all of its targets. However this will cost additional Twists or Sway.
  • Without careful retuning of a Devil Clock, physical objects are physically locked in place (they are moving at the slower rate). However, once a Devil Clock retunes, all the effort that was placed on trying to move the object will be instantly applied. This causes physics to behave in a seemingly strange, broken manner. Where after a slight delay objects go spinning off into space when pushed.
  • The Devil clock will do its best to preserve a reality that the Targets can interact with, creating false, holographic energy effects to mimic light, shadows, sound and normal gravitation. However strictly speaking these effects cannot exist in frozen or backwards flowing time, but by cycling through a Time Quanta it is possible to simulate these effects.

Creation

Because NeverTime is just a subset of a ‘Dark Moment’ you can create one with just 1 Twist in the NeverTime Bubble power. However, that’s a Devil Clock (or Demon) just putting itself into NeverTime for single Action (that takes place instantaneously). The Internal Duration should be increased (as noted above) but also the Devil Clock will usually target a volume of space and several individual Targets in that volume.

To target other Characters the Devil Clock must establish a volume (with Twists or Sway), and pay for the Targets again in Twists or Sway. Normally the volume is paid in Twists and additional costs in Sway (usually Yarn), but as long as one cost is paid in Twists it’s valid. E.g. To establish a NeverTime Bubble over a city block (7) and keep four (1) Eusaivean targets (3 – at least one will be Mercari equivalent) moving, would cost 11 Yarn or Twists, at least one of which must be a Twist, and usually 7 would be.

Expansion

If two targets move too far apart they may attempt to move outside the bubble. When this happens the Devil Clock will attempt to expand the bubble. To include a larger volume. To do this a new larger volume must be created. This new cost can be paid in Twists or Sway. This is also the method used to include additional targets, (retuning for touched objects etc). Only the target costs must be repaid instead of the volume. Again at least one of these costs should be paid in Twists.

Expansion Lag

The Devil Clock will always lag a little before expanding or retuning. The time period is equal to the smallest of the parts of the cost (in the example the fact that there are only 4 Eusaiveans is the cheapest cost) and causes the Devil Clock to lag a round before updating. This means that the Eusaiveans pushing at the edge will feel a barrier for a round before the bubble expands. Picking up a cup would normally only lag a half-action or so.

Duration 

NeverTime bubbles are usually created by a Devil Clock with an Instantaneous (or Single Action) duration in the real world. However they have a separate internal duration, that is often different. When a Devil Clock reaches the end of the Duration it can do one of two things.

  1. Increase the Duration by buying the next longest Duration available (most Devil Clocks are set to 3 Twists (less than 8 hours), when this limit is reached at 8 hours they must pay 4 Twists (or 24 Sway) to increase that to up to 24 hours. And then again later 5 Twists when they reach hour twenty-four to extend the Duration to a few days.
  2. Let the Bubble end. Ending the Bubble is usually a fairly pain-free event as time returns to normal. It can get messy if you have travelled in time, as without the protection of a Never-Time bubble all the changes that you make will alter the future (exactly as if you had burst the bubble or broken a Chronolith). Eusaiveans usually leave the past before the Never-Time bubble ends to guarantee they return to their own future time-line and don’t spawn a new one.

Bursting the Bubble

Any attempt to create a Chronolith during NeverTime that has more Yarn than the Dark Moment has Twists (so pretty much automatically for a Coalescence Chronolith) will burst the NeverTime bubble. Time will no longer be frozen, and all momentum effects will suddenly come into play (so objects in motion return to motion, including objects that were not too carefully moved or shoved in NeverTime). Bursting a NeverTime bubble will usually create an alternate universe (altering the apparent future of the world as though all the Twists stored in the Dark Moment had been Yarn used to Metaphorically Side-step the universe). It can also be considered that the Stored Twists are released as a Soul Stealing power. Solos and equivalent entities are usually little affected by such events and can usually get back to their original universe, but lesser Characters are often trapped in the new Universe. Grunts, Extras and Descendants may even be unmade by this Soul-Stealing effect.

This effect ripples on in time, and for Characters that are displaced later in history than the Burst (including all Mercari and Solos) they will feel the approach of the change as a Chronoclysm moving towards them, altering their own personal Chronoliths.

 
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