Mage/Theme/The Martyr's Tree

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The Martyr's Tree
 "I am not come to you to appeal for those you believe to be Unnamed. I am not come to intercede in matters you have already brought to pass. What is done is done. You have destroyed treasures you will never hold, wisdom you will never learn, and an entire magical practice your Diamond mistakenly believed to be inferior. So be it. I am the last of them. They are no more. I cannot meddle, great Hierarch, in the innards of a corpse."

 "Instead I am come to say my good-byes. I am come to make an example of my life in the manner of its passing. I am come to give you and your successors a lesson you can learn; and continue to learn and relearn until the need for it is as absent from this world as my brothers, sisters, and siblings."

 "Watch, great and learned Masters of the wise Diamond. Watch, you self-styled inheritors of Atlantis. Watch and learn."

- The Martyr's last words

What It Is

Manteion: The arboretum of the Martyr's Tree is in itself a Manteion, one that resonates strongly with such tales as Odinn hanging himself from the world tree, Gilgamesh surrendering his life-sustaining flower, and other tales of monumental personal sacrifice in pursuit of enlightenment. Portraying the events of such tales, particularly that of the Martyr herself, impact the workings of the mages undertaking the performance. Doing so makes the Environment and Action Yantras available. The performance further serves as a sort of oblation, providing one potentia to the spell being cast. In addition, one paradox die is automatically subtracted from the resulting spell, even if it brings the number of paradox dice to zero.

The Children of the Tree frequently perform rituals here to enjoy the benefits of such communion with the Mother.

Aedes: There are numerous historical claims of Thyrsus in the area of the tree catching sudden glimpses of the Supernal when viewing the tree through either Spirit or Life sight. No other path can claim to have done so, and at no point has a Supernal Entity crossed into the Fallen World as might be the case were it a verge. On one occasion, the Thyrsus claims to have spoken with an entity on the other side, though the conversation was said to be "...grasped as though it were placed directly into my mind. I experienced perfect clarity for a moment; a sensation I had not experienced since I carved my name on the stone book. It vanished with the vision, and I felt as though a great weight had been rested upon my soul again. As though the Lie were a great stone, and I was being pressed to render my plea to a fallen world court." Such testimony, if it is to be believed, would suggest the location is an Aedes as well.

Hallow: The tree and its surrounds are a Hallow. The hallow resonates strongly with Sacrifice and Sorrow, and more weakly with Rebirth and Hope. Archivists of the Tree along with the more learned Children of the Tree claim this is evidence that the Penance is working. Slowly but surely the wrong is being undone, or at the least atoned for. Is is heavily discouraged for people to take potentia from the hallow, as it discourages the occasional production of the tree's strange and arcane fruits. Tass in their own right, they contain Mysteries of the Supernal and are much prized for the truths they reveal.

Perfecting: The Children of the Tree, and in truth many others besides, vie to rest base materials and equipment in the Manteion of the Tree, as over time the mixture of the potentia and the Mateion conspire to perfect the materials contained in its environs. The stone and glass which form the arboretum's walls and ceiling have long since been perfected, as have the metals holding up the roof. Children of the Tree often leave their weapons here to receive the blessing of the Mother. The process is by no means guaranteed or immediate. Some items have been left for years unchanged, others seem to do so within a month or so. Among the Children of the Tree this is viewed as the favor of the Mother for the petitioner, and there does appear to be at least some relation between the time it takes and the path and order of those who leave their items behind.

Transplanar: There is a Martyr's Tree in the Underworld. A Martyr's Tree in Shadow. A Martyr's Tree in the Astral Realms. On occasion, it manifests into Twilight, as though it acquired a shade of itself. Fruits gathered from these manifestations are exquisitely rare and highly sought after.

What It Isn't

Polymorphism: The effects that created the tree appear to be Lasting, and of an Imperial duration. She's not in there, however. It is believed she was either annihilated in the massive effect that spawned the tree, or that a supernal verge was created through which she traveled, influencing the area beyond to spawn the tree in her wake. This view has gained greater credence in recent decades in light of the Aedes theory.

Any Tree You Know Of: The tree is difficult to quantify. It has the appearance of a deciduous fruit tree, though its genome speaks of nearly cancerous levels of chimera. No two leaves, no two fruits, have the same genetic signatures. Sometimes not even the same fruit or leaf. At times it looks vibrant with life, at other times barren as with winter, other times it hangs heavy with fruit, others the leaves wither and fall. These occurrences are thoroughly disjointed from the seasons in the fallen world or the conditions of the arboretum.

The Tree, The Mother, The Martyr's Legacy
The Fruit, The Mother's Children, The Martyr's Tears