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Lavinia in Adastra
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"Do people usually get better results from customizing their bodies explicitly rather than relying on their subconscious to know what's good?"

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"It depends on how much one approves of one's own subconscious concept of their ideal form. Men who are being transformed into women by the summoning process are especially likely to benefit from conscious consideration, not having had occasion to form opinions on the matter before that point."

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Well, that's not her. She supposes if she had strong conscious opinions it might be worthwhile, but all she can think of is "still look recognizably like myself," so. 

"I'll go with the subconscious option." 

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"Very well. We now come to the matter of physical refinements. Some of these are just simple tweaks. Others are derived from potent lineages, and cost Gifts, or are aligned with the goals of the project and come with extra Gifts."

"Physical Refinements are techniques for altering and enhancing the body, and so they're supported by the body. Most of the aspects these grant will only be of the first ascension, but as they belong to your form, rather than you, their profundity can rise rather than being fixed as your body grows mightier. It's a slow and gradual thing, but there. They'll generally achieve an ascension of one fifth your level of existence."

"Your options are:

Increased libido (grants 1 Gift),

Optimized capacity for sexual pleasure (grants 1 Gift),

Increased fertility and especially increased likelihood of twins (grants 1 Gift),

Improved maternal and prenatal health during pregnancy (grants 1 Gift),

Control of your own fertility,

Glamour-enhanced physical beauty,

Improved mental health and emotional self-control,

Highly enhanced senses (costs 1 Gift),

Reduced physical needs and faster healing (costs 1 Gift),

Toughness and stability (costs 1 Gift),

Enhanced grace and reflexes (costs 1 Gift),

and Enhanced speed (costs 1 Gift)."

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"I'll take all the ones that grant gifts and also the free ones. If I take any of the non-free ones, will they be passed on to my children?"

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"The refinements are in part modifications to your lifescroll, and those modifications will be passed on with some probability in the normal manner of inheritance. The Aspects that come with those refinements are not part of the lifescroll and will not be inherited."

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"...How much faster is the faster healing?"

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"Using pieces of the life-scrolls of werewolf lineages, this refinement optimizes how your body processes, extracts, and uses energy."

"More importantly, it grants the Aspects 'Physical Dynamo' and 'Physical Recovery.' These Aspects grow stronger as your Level of Existence increases, beginning as subtle changes within the human range but eventually allowing you to heal from near-fatal wounds within minutes and regrow severed limbs."

"By your 9th Level of Existence, you won't need to eat on a day-to-day level, and by your 11th you should no longer need to breathe."

"The regeneration this grants is energy intensive, so you still may find yourself eating, and any matter lost must be replaced."

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"...Aren't I starting at the twelfth Level of Existence for being a Dragonblood?"

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"Correct. If you keep your current choice of Tribe, your additional Aspects will be 'brought along for the ride' to some extent, and it will require only one or two Ascensions to cease needing to breathe."

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"I'll take that one, then." 

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"Very well. Your current selections leave you with nine Gifts. Is that all the physical refinements you wish to select at this time?"

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"At this time, yes." 

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"We are almost at the end of the selection process. The next step is to grant you several Aspect Emblems. These do not come with a cost."

"Before we learned to forge Icons, Aspect Emblems were the path to power. Some even followed it all the way to immortality. North King Zhal is still kicking around. Despite this, it has never fallen out of favor - if anything, Icons have made the art flourish more as more tools became available to forge them."

"Aspect Emblems allow people to collectively format Potential into aspect, and allow magic, technique, and glamour to be leveraged into tuning and empowering those Aspects. In this way, out-of-icon Aspects can be forged with precision and intention, and don't depend on the vulgarities of chance."

"While it's not exactly a drawback, there is a limit on Aspect Emblems. While integrating one is fast, and you can start using the Aspect gained immediately, 'digesting' it is slow, and there isn't 'space' in the spirit for a second Aspect Emblem until the first is digested. The time to digest an emblem is a function of its effective Ascension, and one's one level of existence. It takes around a year to digest an emblem mimicking an aspect at an Ascension one-fourth of your level of existence, with it taking exponentially more time as your Level drops below that, and logarithmically less as it rises above that rank."

"Many clans will start feeding Emblems to their child - it's one of the reasons children of clans with icons oft bond icons themselves. We can feed them to you as part of the final stage of templating, and the templating will digest them for you rather than forcing you to wait to integrate each one."

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"There are some Emblems that we can't rightfully leave you without. They're Ascension 0 aspects, so they aren't hard to make, the aspects they carry weak - they're mostly intermediaries, letting us share skills with you. You don't have to take any of these, and they have neither costs nor rewards; they're just here to make your life easier."

"Integrating the first Emblem will grant you knowledge of the five most common tongues of the area you'll start out in. More, it will grant a minor aspect of 'Language' that will help make learning new ones easier."

"The second emblem is for cultural adaptation. Minor Aspects of 'Social Graces', 'Social Poise', and'Social Insight' will help you navigate unfamiliar cultures and spot pitfalls, while 'Personal Presentation' will help you understand how your overall behavior, dress, and the like is shaping others' opinion of you."

"The third emblem is similar to the second, but specifically for competence in the area of romance."

"The fourth emblem contains a 'Survival' Aspect, as well as minor 'Outdoorsmanship', 'Hunting', 'Gathering', 'Camping' and 'Traveling' aspects."

"The fifth emblem will give you basic skills to cover everything you need to care for children, from the time they are newborns till they become young teens."

 

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Ooooh. 

"Will I know right off how to make them? How to feed them to my children?"

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"Not automatically. But there are many people in Adastra who will be able to teach you such things, and the Artificer Icon will ensure you master them well and quickly if you choose to study them."

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"The next set of available Emblems cost 1 Gift each. You can choose from elemental skills, combat skills, magical skills, alchemy skills, psionic skills, enchantment skills, artistic-magical skills, druidic skills, athletic skills, an Orgone-enhancing elixir field, or sexual skill. Many of those can be taken more than once, if you desire multiple abilities in a given category."

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"How many sexual skills are there?"

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"Only one. We have offered many blessing to help with this part of your life, enough so that this offer feels a little like gilding the lily, but we can offer you an emblem of sexual mastery. Even before your pinnacle aspects come into play, you'll be one of the greatest masters of the erotic arts around, with a four ascension aspect of 'Sexuality' bending the very rules of the world to enable your exploits."

"Even the most decedent nobles would balk at spending the investment of a fourth tier Emblem for something like this. But the decision was made to offer it, so it isn't my choice. I will say I think you can do better."

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"Aha, gotcha. No, I won't be taking that one. What does 'Orgone-enhancing elixir field' mean?"

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"A potent foundation for internal Orgone Arts, this will establish your internal Elixir Field as a fourth level Aspect. The Elixir Field essentially acts as a 'weight' on top of any internal Orgone manipulations you perform and increases the rate and power of the flow through you. You can also drain it as a power source, though after doing so it's hard work to restore it."

"As so much of the body is empowered by the flow of life-force, this is a great Emblem for anyone who isn't actually going to devote significant energy to the art, or a starting point for someone who is."

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"Which of the skills on offer go best with artificing?"

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