Image by Brendan McCarthy
There is an old saying amongst the wanderers of Vaarn: “What you can’t see won’t hurt you. But it might kill you.” From the dangers of hypergeometry and nano infestations to fatal fungi and deadly mystic powers–there is always a chance that the blue wastes might end your life early. Indeed, to make sure that their path along the azure dunes is long and secure, many travelers have awoken their own mystic gifts, ingested the hard-won sacchar, installed a favourable cybernetic, or even sought a self-preserving mutation.
But there are also those who open the pineal eye. They wield mystifying powers.
Here are the various methods they take.
How to Attain a Pineal Eye
This process has the individual stare into the rising and setting sun for the first half-watch and the last half-watch of the day. Although it is the most accessible method, it takes time and dedication. If a single sunrise or sunset is missed, the user must begin again. It is said that it will take five straight days of focused glaring at that dying, red sphere. Blinking is discouraged, but not forbidden. Sun-staring is popular amongst the equinoctial cultists as well as the adherants to the Church of the Promised Sun.
The second method to opening the pineal eye, and by far the most well-know, is the consumption of a recently harvested pineal gland. But not just a pineal gland from any creature. The donor must be highly sentient. The extractor must use due diligence so as not to contaminate the gland or damage it in any way. Also, only a handful of extractors wander the ruins of Vaarn. They are difficult to find. Even more difficult is trying to barter for their services. If the individual cannot find an extractor, they may try to extract a pineal gland with a very high INT check). After ingesting this sacro-circadian tissue in a careful ceremony, the devourer is considered imbibed.
Another process for opening the pineal eye, self-enucleation is definitely quickest and closest at hand. But it is also the most scarring. This method requires the seeker to gouge out their own eyes while in the presence of a being who already possesses a pineal eye. There is nothing more to it.
Cynosurean Drug Trip
The fourth and most daunting is a day-long drug trip on a mixture of the four different types: a stimulant, a depressant, a hallucinogen, and an opioid. Analepts and rain-shamans alike favour this method. But it doesn’t come without risk. Yes, there is a possibility that you will awaken the powers of that small and powerful eye inside the mind. There is also a possibility that you will spend the rest of your life in a catatonic psychosis.
If you have no way of ingesting a gland, no way of consuming ungodly amount of drugs, eye-gouging is fruitless, and sun-staring does nothing but burn out your optical sensors, you might be a synth. Synths do not have a pineal gland, per se. And they are designed to remain within the breadth of their polytronic circuits. But cyberopticians, an esoteric conclave of science-mystics, have ways of making pineal sight possible for even the most circuit-bound of Vaarn’s inhabitants.
Note: if the character has a history of drinking fluoridated water, they must first de-crystalize their own pineal gland before undertaking any of these methods.
How It Works
Once an individual has consummated one of the above methods, they may engage and disengage their pineal eye at will. When the eye is engaged, they have access to their pineal power for the number of hours equal to their HD. After each hour of use, they must make a roll under their PSY defence. Once the pineal eye is disengaged, the devourer experiences loss of some minor faculty (second column in the table). This loss lasts the equal amount of time that the eye was recently engaged. In order to re-engage their sight again, the individual must undergo a long rest for each engaged hour of sight (minimum of one).
Pineal Sight Table
The first time a player consummates a method, they choose three abilities from the first column (or alternatively, roll three times). If they desire different results, they will need to repeat the method (or another one of their choice, unless they are a synth, in which case they must revisit the cyberoptician). After each disengagement of pineal sight, the player rolls on the second column.
|WHICH GRANTS SIGHT OF |
|BUT LEAVES YOU |
(Roll each time)
|5||Love and hatred||Starving|
|9||Honesty and dishonesty||Unemotional|
|13||Life and death||Nearly mute|
|18||A remote view||Bloodthirsty|