While Amberites tend to think of the Logrus as 'The Chaos Pattern', it is not. The Logrus is ancient, and if Chaosians are to be believed, predates the Pattern. Whether or not this is actually true, it certainly wasn't made in the same way the Pattern was. In fact, the way in which it was made remains unknown, though some Chaosians claim it is the shed skin of the ever-changing serpent, continuing to ever change, allowing those who walk through it to be reborn by passing through the holy flesh of the Serpent. Others just say it's a Construct with Delusions of Grandeur.
Whatever its origins, it's now a large maze which twists and bends around, drifting round the Abyss from Shadow to Shadow following some path which is either random or follows a pattern so deep that no one can comprehend it. Whatever house it wanders into becomes the Keepers of the Logrus for as long as it decides to hang out with them.
In my TAMD game, the Logrus is currently under the guardianship of House Gainax, led by Anno, Keeper of the Logrus. The entrance to the Logrus wanders around the House, and has been known at times to suddenly open under people's beds, forcing them to sleep walk the Logrus. This is not the best of ideas...
Still, whoever walks the Logrus and lives gains power over shadow and a vastly extended lifespan, assuming they don't die horribly during the initial fit of madness...
Initiation into the Logrus
Walking the Logrus is fairly easy. All you absolutely need is the Ability to Shapeshift. Of course, it helps if you have the Blood of Chaos, as non-Chaosian Shapeshifters frequently freeze up and die in the process, but you can survive a Logrus walk without the Blood. Of course, Amberites can survive having all their limbs hacked off too...
What the Logrus looks like varies by time of day, time zone, your blood pressure, the price of tea in china, etc, but it's always some variation on a long twisty tunnel which bends around in all dimensions without ever crossing itself, full of constantly changing conditions. This is why you need shapeshifting--you have to let your body automatically adapt to the changes, or you will die. Many people carry items with them, which will then be empowered by the Logrus, assuming the item isn't destroyed...
Once you reach the exit, you are a raving lunatic, but you now have the power of the Logrus. Most people instinctively use it to run off into Shadow to some shadow which matches their current insanities until they calm down. A few fools try to eat the Keeper of the Logrus and have to be smacked down.
Most people eventually recover from this insanity. High Psyche usually helps and lets you recover faster. Once you aren't a raving loon any more, you can begin to master the powers of the Logrus...
The Sign of the Logrus
The absolute first thing everyone has to learn, the prerequisite to every power of the Logrus is learning to summon up the Sign of the Logrus. Like the Logrus, it's always different. There are three basic tricks you can then do with it from which all else follows:
The Summoned Sign of the Logrus can be used as a improved sensory organ which one looks through. It provides "sight" in a great many more spectrums than are normally available and can be "fine-tuned" by it's user to meet the demands of the situation. The user can see Magic, Pattern, Logrus, Trump, as well as things which are hidden. He/she can use it to analyze any of the above things to gain greater information regarding them. (This is most insightful if he possesses the power to be analyzed). Things can also be seen to be either of Shadow, of Amber, or of the Courts of Chaos.
Logrus Sight is especially important to Chaos Sorcerors, as they use it to fine tune their spells to obey the local laws of magic in shadows. They can also now hang spells on the Logrus once they get this.
Unlike many Logrus powers, Logrus sight works just fine and dandy near Amber.
The Logrus Master can actually use Logrus Sight through the tips of her Logrus Tendrils. This makes searching through Shadow much more reliable, since the Master can decide if the item that is latched onto is really what she wanted without having to drag it all the way back to herself. She can also engage in combat with the Tendrils at the other end in an effective manner, even being able to form the Logrus Shield around distant objects, for example. Logrus Scrying is mostly chaotic, as it has to follow the natural swirling of the Tendrils, at least until they latch onto something they were sent to find. Then slower continuous extension can be done from that anchor point out in Shadow.
Logrus Scry also works just fine beyond Yig, although once you hit the Golden Circle, continual Pattern emenations will gradually blind it. One cannot Logrus Scry into or beyond Arden, Harad, or Sethfore at all.
Multiple Logrus Scry:
The Logrus Master can now scan several locations at once with the Logrus,
which can be very far seperate in shadow. Once a scrying tendril
is set in place, if one possesses Tendril Servants, one can instruct it
to just keep an eye out on things and alert you when some set of conditions
is fulfilled. The more Psyche you have, the more places you can handle
scrying at once.
With the Sign summoned to mind you can fill your body with the power of the Logrus, making it resistant to the effects of Pattern, Magic, Psyche, or other forces, but providing no physical protection. Alternately, the Sign can be made into a shield of Power, blocking in any one direction, which is effective against physical, energy and most Magical attacks, but doesn't provide protection against Pattern, Logrus, Trump or Psyche. You cannot use both techniques at the same time.
Logrus Defense dwindles in effectiveness beyond Yig to some degree,
especially the second version. Within the boundaries of Amber itself,
Logrus Defense dwindles to become better than nothing, but not by much.
Extended Logrus Defense
One can now form a small dome or sphere with the Logrus to deflect attacks, keeping in mind that the dome will prevent you attacking out except with Logrus Tendrils as much as it will prevent things getting in.
If the Logrus Initiate also possesses Tendril Conduit, one can use this
to extend the sign of the Logrus into other people if they are willing
to accept you sticking a logrus tendril into them, so that they can be
protected against Pattern, Magic, Psyche, and other invasive effects.
The Logrus master now becomes adept at confusing any use of Logrus against himself. He can feed false information to Logrus Sight and Logrus Scrying if he is of superior Psyche. He can make himself or others appear to have as much, little, or none of Blood of Chaos or Logrus Imprint as he desires. He can craft Logrus Tendril Servants (Well, assuming he knows how to make Logrus Tendril Servants at all) which don't radiate any Logrus energy to observors. He can also deflect any use of Logrus to try to travel towards him or his location.
He can also work these arts against Pattern Users,
but it requires a fair Psyche advantage.
Summon and Control Tendrils
This Power allows one who has brought the Summoned Sign to mind to manifest Tendrils from the Logrus. To use these Tendrils the character must then "put his/her arms into the Arms Of The Logrus" which takes a minute or so. These extensions of the Logrus operate with a Strength that is equivalent to the Psyche of the Logrus Master who wields them. Combined with Logrus Sight, touching of the subject by Logrus tendrils will reveal whether or not a character is Shape Shifted, if they are charged with Ambient Magic (i.e.. Power Words), and the general level of the subject's Psyche, health, and mental state. The tendrils of the Logrus can also be used to "link" into the delicate web-work of magical spells and deactivate them, or it can be used to send a raw-power feedback along a mental or magical contact. Touching things of Magic with a Logrus tendril usually will tell what type of spell it is, and the exact spell if it is a common one or one known by the character. Logrus tendrils can "pry" open inactive Gates, insinuate themselves into a magical "sending" and backtrack it to its origin, spells can be cast along the tendrils into Shadow.
The higher one's Psyche, the faster one can do this. Also, the closer one is to the Logrus, the faster one can do this. Near Amber, it might take several hours to call up Logrus tendrils, while close to the Courts, even those of Chaos Psyche can do it in seconds. Within several miles of Amber City, it would take days. In Amber Castle, weeks. In the basement...forget it.
You have now refined your control of the Logrus to the point where you can use Logrus tendrils to initiate Psychic contact. If you overcome your foe in psychic combat, you can then use the tendril to remote control them around as your own personal puppet, or go in and rewrite their brain. Depending on your psyche, you may be able to handle doing this to more than one person at a time.
Logrus Tendril Servants
It is possible to separate a tendril of the Logrus, give it a simple instruction, and leave it, unattended, to perform its duty. Logrus servants have Strength and Psyche each equal to Chaos Rank, and a Human Level Warfare. In place of Endurance they have tireless Stamina, but can only heal or regenerate in a place where Logrus is strong. Their ability to take a beating is determined by their creator's Psyche. Logrus Tendril Servants are incapable of Psychic attack, but are effectively protected by Logrus Defense all the time. In practice, this means it takes at least mid-ranked Psyche to burrow into their minds and reprogram them, and high-ranked Psyche to quickly fry their brains. They also resist magic very well. However, they can be unravelled fairly easily by any Logrus user who knows how to make them, unless his Psyche is fairly inferior to that of their creator. The number of Logrus servants on "duty" at any given time depends on the Psyche of their creator.
Logrus Servants can survive beyond Yig for a number of hours equal to their creator's Psyche. Logrus users who have Hostile Environment Exploration/Adaptation, can create Logrus Tendril Servants who can survive past Yig indefinitely, as long as they don't pass the borders of Amber proper, at which point they swiftly dissolve.
At this level of skill, one can also now form the Logrus into interesting
shapes, making weapons out of logrus, forming giant shovels to move dirt,
and so on. (Such items use the creator's Psyche as Strength if they
are directly controlled by the creator of them).
Your control has now increased to the point that you understand how to insert a Logrus Tendril Servant inside someone's brain, once you beat them in Psychic combat. This servant then will control them for you in a very subtle manner. Under normal conditions, they operate under their freewill, but the servant can step in and fuzz their thinking to direct them as you want, or even take total control. If the victim has Pattern or Logrus, the power of their own imprint will tend to fuzz out the presence of the Puppeteer, unless the person scanning them has more psyche than you.
If the Puppeteer tries to make the victim do something suicidal, they have a chance to resist its commands, although usually, they won't succeed because if they had more psyche than you, they wuoldn't have a puppet in their head in the first place. However, the puppet is not quite as strong-willed as its master, and thus might not be able to overcome their survival instincts. The victim may also be able to beg for help before the Puppeteer reasserts control. Those with Pattern or Logrus Defense, if they aren't too hugely weak in comparison to the Puppeteer, might be able to call up Pattern or Logrus Defense before they fall prey again.
A Pattern Walk will purge the Servant. Of course, a smart Logrus
master instructs the servant to make sure they never take one.
Enhanced Tendril Servants
You can now create higher quality tendril servants. Your servants begin with Amber Psyche and Warfare (unless their creator has less than that), they possess half their creator's Psyche as Strength, and they can draw on the Logrus for endless stamina. Their ability to take a beating is determined by their creator's Psyche. They are now as intelligent as a stupid human. They are otherwise similar to normal Logrus Tendril Servants.
Lesser Logrus Ghost
You can now make your Logrus Tendril Servants resemble real people.
If you've taken a psychic imprint of the real person, you can impress that
on the Logrus Tendril Servant, making it into a Logrus-Charged inferior
copy of them, programmed to serve you. Lesser Logrus ghosts have
Strength and Endurance equal to half their creator's Psyche, and take their
Warfare and Psyche from the Psychic Imprint placed upon them (getting half
the Psyche and Warfare of the original). (If you aren't copying someone,
it gets up to half of your Warfare and Psyche). Strong willed Logrus
Ghosts (Psyche of Amber or Higher) will eventually develop their own identity
and agendas, so it's not wise to make huge armies of them, unless you like
losing control, but...
He/she can use Tendrils to reach through Shadow, or to reach things at a distance on the current Shadow. When reaching through Shadow, the Logrus tendrils can be made to seek anything desired, locate it, grab it and draw it back to the Logrus Master. Searching in Shadow or Chaos for something with the Logrus has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage to using Logrus is that you can find generic objects fast. Grabbing any defined object, sword, a plate of food, a lantern, anything defined in a general sense comes quickly as the Logrus finds the nearest occurrence in Shadow and snaps to it. Unfortunately, the more specific you get, and the further out in Shadow you are, the longer it takes the Logrus to locate something. If you are in a Medieval-type Shadow, trying to use a Logrus Summoning to get a specific piece of high-tech equipment will take a LONG while. The game mechanic effect is that if the player wishes to define the object in terms of points, it takes a long time (up to a day per point for items that are not anywhere near in Shadow), and the Quantity Multiplier is limited to Named and Numbered. If the player will define the object in general terms it takes much less time, but the GM will have full control over the results...
Tendril Conjuration becomes more tiring the closer one moves to Amber, conversely, it becomes less tiring near the Logrus. This is because shadow becomes flimsier towards the Logrus, and less resistant to things poking into it.
He/she can use Tendrils to reach through Shadow, or to reach things at a distance on the current Shadow. When reaching through Shadow, the Logrus tendrils can be made to seek and grab a suitable anchor, and draw him/her to the object. This way is usually the manner in which a Logrus Master traverses Shadow. This is actually easier than Tendril Conjuration, because when the undiscerning Logrus Master starts pulling objects through Shadow, they can often be the type of Shadow object that dissolves when moved across Shadow.
Shadow Travel is swift near the Courts of Chaos, and progressively slower as one moves closer to Amber. A Chaosian can go anywhere in the Courts in a day or less, often in hours or minutes. The Black Zone takes a day to reach (A Pattern User would take a week to travel this distance). A week puts you two-thirds of the way to Yig, and two weeks will bring you to Yig from the Courts. Beyond Yig, you slow down further. Six weeks puts you at the Golden Circle. Nine Weeks puts you at the borders of Arden. Beyond the borders of the kingdom of Amber, it's faster to just walk. Don't count on it as an escape route from Castle Amber.
Rapid Shadow Travel
This is the Logrus equivalent of Hellriding; you can now travel at seven times normal shadow travel speeds. It is somewhat dangerous to do this, as you may pull yourself into something ugly, faster than you can shift to adjust to it.
Hostile Environment Exploration/Adaptation
This power has several applications. First of all, during Shadow Travel, the Logrus protects the Logrus Master from the effects of his environment. This enables passage through hideously deadly environments so long as the Logrus master keeps moving. This can be extended to other people, but will slow down travel as the Logrus Master has to divert his attention.
Secondly, the Logrus Master's gear and that of anyone who travels with him adapts to suit the shadows he is passing through.
Thirdly, the Logrus Master can now travel into environments normally poorly suited for Logrus travel with greater chances of success and survival. This chiefly consists of two situations: the Abyss and the vicinity of the Pattern. By tying a tendril to something near the Abyss, the master can use the tendril as a lifeline to escape the Abyss after diving into it. This is commonly done either to find things which have fallen in/been thrown in or to explore if you're fairly insane, as all sorts of odd flotsam and jetsam can be found there. Secondly, Logrus travel close to the Pattern normally slows to a hideous crawl. With this level of skill, the Logrus master can get from Yig to the Golden Circle in four weeks instead of six, and to Amber itself in two more weeks past that. A careful Logrus wielder could use Logrus tendrils in the Pattern Chamber itself, so long as he was careful not to touch the Pattern or extend them over it.
Finally, this power helps in surviving Primal Chaos if one is exposed to it.
Summon and Bind Creatures of Chaos
As detailed in the Shadow Knight rulebook. This is the only way
Demons can be conjured. Takes 1 hour per point to summon the creature,
and ten minutes per point to bind the creature to your will. In the
Courts proper, this takes only ten minutes per point. Beyond Yig,
it takes 1 day per point. Beyond the Golden Circle, you might as
well not bother, unless you have a week to blow per point.
Using the Logrus, and the Chaos resident in any Shadow, it is possible to manipulate the structure of that Shadow, altering it to fit your wishes. In this way, for example, the physical laws of the Shadow, or the form of its inhabitants, or any simple detail, will be changed. It takes about as long as it takes Pattern initiates to Shift Shadow. Eventually, if not tended, the Shadow will drift back to its original form. The closer to Primal Chaos, the easier a Shadow is to manipulate, and Shadows near Amber are nearly impossible to change. Unlike Amberites, who simply Shadow Walk or Hellride to their perfect Shadow retreat, those of the Courts of Chaos will find a Shadow, and then manipulate it to perfection. Since Shadows modified with Shadow Molding have a tendency to lose their form and start continually changing, which is the normal way of Chaos Shadows, most Logrus Masters settle on a particular domain as home, called a Way (This naming can take one of two forms, either the character's first name is included, i.e. Mandorways, or, more commonly, the family name, such as the Ways Of Sawall). It is then shaped and maintained with a combination of Logrus, Magic, and powerful Chaos creature servants. While the personal realms of Shadow will, with precautions in place, survive a long absence, very few Chaos Lords ever maintain more than one personal realm at a time.
Mold Shadow works better near Chaos, however, molded shadows keep their
desired form longer near Amber.
The Logrus user can now either stabilize a shadow and prevent it from changing, or induce rapid changes in a shadow, given some time to work. To stabilize a shadow, the Logrus User builds a series of conduits to nearby shadows which bleed off the Chaos energies of the shadow. Those shadows now destabilize and begin to experience a higher rate of changes. This is most commonly done in the Ways. Such a process makes the shadow highly resistant to shadow molding using Logrus unless the Logrus user has higher Psyche than the person stabilizing the shadow.
Alternately, the conduits can be set to pump Chaos into a shadow.
The shadow begins to change rapidly, and the use of Pattern becomes very
difficult for anyone using Pattern, while Logrus users find their Logrus
effects become more powerful. The refinement of this effect eventually
leads to the powers relating to Primal Chaos. Shadows on the Chaos
side of things can handle this effect fairly well; Shadows on the Order
side subjected to this will tend to resist at first, then come apart at
Create Black Threads
This Power enables the character to "burn" areas of weakness in Shadow to allow for easier travelling. To do this takes a HUGE effort and is usually done by groups, such as the Shadow Masters' Guild, when they need one of their kind to travel quickly through the Shadows of Amber. They would then extend the Logrus together, meshing it's Tendrils together to form a great construct of Power. This is then thrust outward, channelling Chaos and Magical Shadow Manipulation along it's length. The effect is to produce a magical "Express Railway" which Demons, Chaos Lords, and other creatures of Chaos can travel on very rapidly. The speed of this travel is actually faster than Hellriding, and a being travelling along a Black Thread could reach anywhere in Shadow (from Chaos) in less than a day! A single character can produce these Threads but they are far more limited in range and require huge expenditures of Endurance.
Once created, they will remain for 1 day per point of Psyche of the creator. For group created Threads such a construct will remain viable for 1 day per point of the highest Psyche in the group plus one-half day per point of Psyche in the rest of the group. The nearer to Amber the more this duration is reduced, unless the destination is a Broken Pattern, in which case you can thread the Black Thread through the flaw in the Shadow. A Thread, once created, is vulnerable to the effects of Pattern and can become 'broken' by someone bringing the Pattern to mind and influencing it. It can also be cancelled from its point of origin by those who created it OR someone wielding Pattern in this vicinity.
Examples of this include the Black Road (which was one hell, er, Chaos of a Thread!), and the one created in the Courts for the demon Gryll to ride upon when he came and got Merlin for Swayvill's funeral. Note that travel along this pathway is relatively safe and can take the form of walking or flying (though flying is far quicker).
Summon Primal Chaos
Primal Chaos, a force in direct connection with the untamed Chaos at the remote center of the Courts, will bring total destruction to whatever Shadow it occupies. Once summoned it must be dispelled quickly, or it will run amuck, eventually absorbing the entire Shadow back into nothingness. When it is summoned, the tendrils of the Logrus are used to keep it in check and contain its area to a small, controllable force. While in this condition it can be moved with the Arms Of The Logrus to selected areas, utterly destroying everything of Shadow substance it contacts. This is EXTREMELY taxing on the character's Endurance AND Psyche. Only characters with Amber Rank or better in both can hope to contain the Chaos, once summoned, and even if more highly Ranked this control can only be maintained for a few minutes. After this time, the Logrus Master must either attempt to dispel it (using the Logrus tendrils to snuff it out) or release it. Once released, unless halted by some force (perhaps some disciplines of the Pattern), Primal Chaos will destroy the entire Shadow where it was summoned.
This is difficult to do beyond Yig, taking longer and longer as one draws near Amber. Beyond Arden, forget it.
Control Primal Chaos
The Logrus Master is able to exert fine control over small bits of summoned Primal Chaos. It can be incorporated into Shape Shifting (Fists of Annihilation), Items (Sphere of Annihilation), Conjurations, Spells, etc.
This power is useful in areas where Shadow is weak, such as around the Courts of Chaos. People who study this art (very common in the Courts, more so than Logrus mastery), learn to find the weakest points and use them to open Veils between shadows to connect them, to hide such Veils, and to recognize existing Veils without prior knowledge of their existence. Most of the areas of the Courts are strewn with Shadow Veils linking the entirety of the Courts together. It can also be used to warp and bend space in strange ways, given enoguh time.
This power is very nifty near Chaos, but mostly useless around Amber, except...
The holes in Broken Patterns create flaws in Shadow, which can be used
to create veils from those shadows to ones nearby.
LOGRUS IMPRINT [Chaos Psyche, Chaos Endurance]
* Blood of Chaos [4/Free if Logrus is chosen at Character Creation]
* Shape Shift: Control Primal Form
Master Logrus--100 (Cannot start with, but can acquire during play)
Exalted Logrus--105+ (This requires centuries of dedication, and is essentially NPC only)
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Last Update February 3, 2002