The world is a strange place, with the foundations of power constantly shifting to a new hand as each generation passes. We place our faith in the gods, yet still injustice occurs every day, and the prayers remain unheard or brushed to the side as if they never existed at all. This was especially the case with Tahariae, the god of Purity and Justice - an understanding factor in the unpredictable chaos of the modern world, and in that request, the attempt at organized chaos and to try and steer the control back to the people in preparation for something far worse; out of the hands of the gods, even.
With the seal keeping Iblees away from the current scheme, Tahariae envisioned a daring plan to help prepare the sentient life for such an event - the Arbitrium. His vessels of purity, who are selected for their battle with evil and perseverance against it, before suffering at the hands of sinister presence to ensure they were fit for a fight without boundaries. They were given a connection to the Lily of the Valley, a flower which secretes a hallucinogenic drug which creates a bond to the Arbitrium - allowing them to administer sensual tricks to break down a person, and expose their faults deep inside, and to teach them how to resolve this by harnessing the power within themselves.
Although unknown to the new generation of Arbitrium, this cycle has been experimented with for almost one thousand years over nearly three thousand different people all failing miserably due to an overwhelming surge of PTSD becoming uncontrolled and causing their illusions to spin and quite literally take lives from how sadistic they could actually become. Tahariae was adamant and has sorted out a fair few of the issues within the scheme, although there still remain a lot. Unbeknownst to the operators, every emotion of the Lily’s of the Valley are actually tied to a dead Arbitrium who was left behind after forsaking his works and forced to aid the new generation for their sins against humanity.
They are teachers in a very brutal sense and aim to condition those who fall victim to their abilities to the darkness that could potentially await them, to give power back to the people and lead them further into a positive future through experience with a forgiving hand. With the spawn of Daemons rampant, and the constant echo of war looming around the corner, it echoes that the time of the Arbitrium is nearing too late but that doesn’t defeat their objective, and they will continue to try and push for a brighter tomorrow.
Connection and Disconnection
To become an Arbitrium without any present at that time, one must have had their greatest tragedy observed by the flowers while also connected in their presence which will leave them mentally connected to the network as they slowly lure the participant back to the flower mass and trick them into a hallucination to the same level as an elite Arbitrium, forcing them to relive their worst moment and further along, a rendition of their life lived in sorrow and doubt before finally the world being consumed in darkness then lit by only fire as a hypothetical Iblees decimates the worlds population - known to mentally scar the Arbitrium (This is equal to an extremely bad DMT trip), who becomes the cell lead after. While there is one active, the process is far less horrific to connect another to the network.
The Arbitrium who fared the original induction must have knowingly broken the trainee and understood the risks their power can give them. After they have been chosen, they are to lie down in the flowers and experience a similar high except they will become mentally trapped in their own mind questioning if they ever existed and if everything was just a lie to begin with which to them, can feel like weeks, or even months while in reality, the trip lasts for five minutes and is correspondent on them accepting that life is chaos and we never truly understand the reality of the situation and the best solution is to accept the flow and passage of time and make a meaningful impact on the reality of others once we understand this knowledge. With this insight, the strongest Arbitrium will surrender a region of their flowers in which other Arbitrium has no power over.
After becoming connected to the network, they won’t actually receive any contact or knowledge of Tahariae because of the experience. This is because he utilizes methods to psychologically torment them using evil methods to condition them for the worst, and draws the good in them to try and use these teachings to prepare others as well - in a very brutal, but the safety of the many over the few was his goal, but unfortunately the Arbitrium are the few in that scenario. They are now tied to their plants, and hence, can actually go rogue and use them for evil intentions. He accepts this as they become villains for the purpose of training people, and will bring people together against what they view as an evil threat who in all reality, is just misunderstood and broken. As this connection is moreso him giving them the “key” to the flowers, the only viable way to disconnect them is to burn all their flowers within their possession, which is why Arbitrium will take to growing flowers on themselves as a fallback to this risk.
After their connection with the flowers, they will be capable of growing Lilies of the Valley and Poppies on their skin, or clothes as long as they are exposed to light and not hidden. They can also conceal angelic wings formed of vapour, which will compress and form into practical feathered wings should they wish to access flight although these require an immense level of focus to maintain for flight. It has been noted that people who fall victim to their hallucination treatment, The Arbitrium have been known to embody these wings with ease as well as making their eyes glow brightly. Because of their formed wings, there are scar marks left into their back which can be used to distinguish current and former Arbitrium if they manage to remain incognito.
The Arbitrium have been left with a fractional portion of Tahariae’s power and cast back into the world to portray purifiers in an impure world and hence can be recognized by those with keen senses, or the ability to detect their connection. They are strangely affected by drugs that aren’t their original hallucinogenic in a stronger way which overpowers the effect. For reference, if a painkiller or anastasia is used to numb a wound on their leg, they would lose feeling and movement in that leg entirely for the duration of the drug. If they drink alcohol, they will become drunk far quicker than the average person, with some even blanking out from half a tankard of beer, although these never lead to overdoses - more so the overinfluence of their drug causing disruption.
As an Arbitrium learns to handle their power further, it will become more obvious to those with heightened abilities that they’re not normal and hold a subconscious link with “something” else, although it should never be clear what. If they were able to intercept that link to a further detail for whatever reason, they would likely be swarmed by hundreds or potentially even thousands of emotions and whispers across the flowers if they were not properly sectioned out - although this number and intensity will dwindle if they surrender a region to another Arbitrium.
An Arbitrium’s connection to the network is similar to a Druid and their response to nature itself, although they become very tied to the flowers to the point where they view them as family in a sense. They will have a compassionate view on people, and take a realistic view that people cover their demons and insecurities because they are afraid of the outcome they can cause if they were released and instead, seek to uncover and purify these under the guidance of Tahariae.
They are almost always predominantly good, with an understanding of evil to help purify it from existence - making them a Chaotic Good, though they will likely rarely stray from this due to the selection process, although this may change further into their time as an Arbitrium. They seek peace and knowledge for all, and will achieve it however they deem fit even if that means sacrificing a piece of the puzzle - whatever ensures the safety of the many and not the few.
Due to their entry requirements, entry ritual and the recruitment quota, a lot of Arbitrium often join in a restored broken mindset, one that at that time was in control but they can actually devolve mentally as they continue to sync the worst memories with those who they commune with under the influence of their drug and can experience an almost identical rendition of their horror to help them understand their mark. While the Arbitrium project was a theory and actually in testing by Tahariae himself, these experiences will actually begin to torment them and send them into insanity which he accepts as an acceptable cause to portray a villain which has led to former Arbitrium versions to become insane and commit sins before being eliminated by those they had wronged.
Arbitrium are always under heavy effects of the drug, which causes their vision to spiral on almost every object creating a disillusion of depth, and a mass fluctuation of colours to a similar level of LSD - incorporating an appreciative, often cheerful and giddy personality. It should be noted that the Arbitrium can flip in personality due to the same principle, if they are reminded of a traumatic event which will change the hallucination of those they affect and will terrorize those in their illusion, and the person themselves - creating a lifelike recreation of it, almost as if they were trapped in a nightmare. This will not promote evil thoughts, moreso a heightened depression and distrust similar to an anxiety attack, except extremely worse.
Name: Hallucinogenic Connection
Description of the ability: Hallucinogenic Connection allows the Arbitrium to entirely alter the sound, sight, touch and smell of those who are under the effect of the Lily of the Valley. They also gain the ability to see the world through their eyes and have access to their senses, though lack any real control, just sight.
Mechanics of the ability: As the Arbitrium is directly linked to the flowers, and always in communication with the network then the actions are instant and communicated through a simple thought or imagined picture. This will become more complicated with more people, but still remains do-able for up to thirty people if they all maintain similar illusions, this number is halved if there are two individual unique illusions. With the viewing of the affected perspective, they will also have links to traumatic memories if they are recurrent though if they are largely suppressed, they will be suppressed - this will be completed through an OOC request, which can be denied should it not be a regular thought.
While it does remain possible for an Arbitrium to connect to a Daemon, or something similarly affected, they will be able to hold it for five minutes at most and at severe risk of their mental health and potential of becoming unstable (going into a bad trip) soon after due to the strange, yet sickening connection.
They are unable to read the minds of those under the connection, although they can feel their emotions in a form of empathy and can deploy measures to ease them if they are noticeably irregular or negative, and that is not the intention.
You can hold two vastly different illusions on 15 people at one time, while one similar scenario can be displayed on thirty people at one time. Similar would be defined as identical scenarios, only reversing places.
You are also limited to the amount of flowers in the proximity of your mark as one flower can allow connection to 3 people, at a range of 7 blocks (Within 2 blocks, you will immediately feel it’s effects, beyond that it will go unnoticed until the Arbitrium begins to alter their senses.)
Because they are capable of manipulating touch, and ergo feeling, they can actually convince someone they’ve been stabbed and to the affected, it seems realistic - this will never cause anyone to go into shock unless the brain willingly falls into it, and cannot kill someone in this direct method.
These sequences may be unintentionally set off while Arbitrium actually sleep and has somebody connect, causing those affected to witness dreams, memories although more than like nightmares to help showcase the actual characters and what horrors they go through - making it difficult to maintain a hidden identity in the long run.
Due to the concentration required to maintain these illusions, they cannot be actively done while in pain or directly in a stressful situation. To put this into context, if the Arbitrium has been stabbed and attempts to cast these then they will be rendered null and the affected will only experience the standard flowers effects and be aware of their scheme. If the Arbitrium was knowingly being attacked by somebody unaffected, then they would also be unable to to control it due to the extensive stress breaking their concentration.
While a bad trip would be understandably a situation that would break concentration, they still remain transmitting to the network and ergo will begin to portray their nightmare based illusions to the affected and themselves causing them to both suffer ultra-realistic illusions and feelings until the Arbitrium regains control of the situation again. These can range from memories, to horrifying monsters forged in their imagination.
Name: Nature’s Resurgence
Description of the ability: Summoning their power and connection from the network, the Arbitrium can spark the growth of new Lily’s of the Valley in an area which can facilitate life, or even on themselves at a later stage.
Mechanics of the ability: The Arbitrium should prepare by summoning all their energy, and clearing their mind to be in full connection with the network in their first emote, before summoning the energy from the network and performing A-Okay gestures in both hands on their second emote and finally releasing and slapping down on the earth, thinking their desired effect (On themselves or into the ground) before they will begin to grow almost instantaneously.
This cannot be used in the heat of argument, battle or if there is anyone loud blocking your ability to clear your mind. Waterfalls, rapids, battles, cities, or otherwise will prevent them from causing this - leaving it only available in the wilderness.
Using this ability will cause the operator to have a “Hangover” for the next two days after creating 2 in one session, leaving them unable to cast and feeling unwell for the duration of the hangover.
If the terrain is poor and undesirable for the plants, they will die out moments of being spawned. If you create flowers on yourself while you are severely injured, malnourished or dehydrated then they will also follow suit to avoid injuring you.
They will be mentally connected to every flower within their region, and the ones they personally create will be louder in this network. This will become especially noticeable if damage comes to these, as the Arbitrium can break down emotionally if people specifically burn their spawns.
Name: Organic Airfoils
Description of the ability: If the Arbitrium commands them, they can summon angelic wings from vapour that harden and form into feathery wings on their back, capable of temporary flight and gliding which is inhibited by their constant hallucinations.
Mechanics of the ability: For them to summon their wings to begin with, they should emote a short humming and temporary standing meditation as they will shortly sprout and form a silhouette of angel wings, before making an emote after for them to solidify and take shape. They can only offer sustained flight, and may only be taken off from a running jump from height. They can also be used to reduce airspeed should they be falling and have the wings readily available and most importantly, solidified. To retract these, the process is repeated again except the results are backwards.
They can only take off when they have momentum and the capacity to gain speed through gliding, any vertical take-off will be impeded by the effects of the drug and result in failure in every scenario due to becoming off-balance.
These can actually be forcefully removed if they remain active and the Arbitrium cannot retract them, if they directly cut them off with a sharp object. This will inhibit them from regrowing, and will cause intense pain as they are considered a body part to their nerve system.
Pilots of this craft will struggle extensively, as Arbitrium are under the effects of their own drug. This will affect their depth which will screw up their landing and clearance, leading most experienced pilots to give plenty of room in dangerous maneuvers and remove “threading the needle” circumstances.
If these remain used in a combat scenario, using the wing to bash opponents is plausible except highly ineffective, will sprain or potentially fracture bones in the wing and any damage caused will temporarily prevent them from being retracted for five minutes following the event - so it is highly unrecommended you do so.
General Red lines/Restrictions
While an Arbitrium is active they are incapable of learning additional magic due to their mental inability to do so. Any attempt will work, due to the failure to concentrate.
They should not willingly attempt to kill people, or even convince people into killing each other (Except if the sanctity of life had no other alternative.) They are there to find solutions to people, and death is not a solution - it’s closing the book, and an invalid plan.
There is an almost awareness cap on the ability of Arbitrium to always function due to their constant drugged up nature, making them struggle to speak coherently, make rude comments as they misunderstand the context, lose depth awareness and true understanding on social situations.
Everybody who becomes an Arbitrium will usually be goodhearted, and display a certain level of emotional damage so they are properly understanding of people. If they join with bad intentions, then they will be pre-selected and disconnected so they should develop further into their career where these ideas go unnoticed.
This takes a more psychological role, rather than combative, so this should appeal to the more strategic player rather than the instant response player. This should be taken in mind, if you wish to use this in conjunction with combat - because it won’t work due to the drugs effects on the Arbitrium.
Throughout their lifetime, it is almost guaranteed that the Arbitrium will eventually turn rogue under the stress of what they experience being self-aware and chosen for the job. They will suffer from an ungodly amount of mental illness which will be ever elevated by their constant tripping, and will struggle to return to normal should they be disconnected.
The Arbitrium is an odd one, because it understandably has similarities between other creatures yet remains unique in its own right because it is the victim of its own power. I have attempted to incorporate this idea with my personal experiences with LSD, Shrooms and 2CB and develop something that remains true to nature rather than a cool gimmick that remains unseen by other characters. It opens a new avenue because they aren’t inherently bad, and actually plan to help people in a sort of misunderstood hero kind of way. They test people, train them without them knowing or more likely, understanding it. This will inherently make them embody the bad guys because people question things they don’t understand which is the beauty of this situation. They’re near abandoned by their own deity, and only serve as an experiment to prove more successful models in the future before the clock runs out, but have an unbelievably large amount of potential that goes unfound by any other illusion-based magic or even CA’s on the foundation of character development, roleplay interaction and general possibilities within it.
They work on a network, and can appear to anyone who passes through that from anywhere as long as the network remains unbroken. This can lead them to be seen as gods, dancing in the grass before shortly disappearing when people attempt to make contact. You could travel to towns, sell these plants and have them unknowingly give you a gateway into these places to play hero by simulating your own villains - you could be half way across Arcas, and simulate yourself and a sinister looking Daemon to have a face off in front of two people before your fake self snaps their fingers and the demon is ash (“I am Iron Man”). You can convince small armies to retreat, kill each other or turn on each other should you have the motivation. This is only a few ideas I've brought up, but I have thought of so many potential options for this which all sound fun, exciting but require dedication and coordination to see done to an effective standard.
I always seek challenges, and I realised the opportunity to introduce something of my own caliber into the scene which isn’t being done in this way with this much potential to develop on its own while also being a potential tool to the story staff, while remaining retractable itself as the influence of a hallucinogenic drug. This is my first post of this manner, and if I fail, I will just refine this idea further and further because I can visibly see the potential and many avenues this could be directed in, alongside the end result for characters as they grow older affected by this. If this gets approved, I will see to it that I make havoc with this and give some new interactions to cities and roadways in confusing yet memorable roleplays.