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The Wake Mods ([personal profile] thewakemods) wrote2015-06-26 03:55 pm
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[FAQ] Ascension

Ascension FAQ

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Ascension BasicsTraining and BondsDuties of the AscendedTraveling and Other Worlds

Ascension Basics

What is Ascension?

Ascension is the act of Ascending. It is also the process in which the Wakened can become a full-fledged Deva. In Nautilus (and many other worlds similar to the city's structure), it is vital to the city's thriving. Since it's all about change. Change is a thing and a characters' personal progress is part of the Wake experience from the very beginning.

How is Ascension determined?

Every few months or so, Nautilus decides on a small group of individuals that he believes are ready to Ascend from Wakened to Angelii or from Angelii to Ashura.

The decision is based upon change. This can be either positive change or negative change. Once Nautilus has made his choices, one of the Deva will announce the newly Ascended by name over the network and inform them that they will be expected to attend training to learn their new abilities.

OOCly, Ascension is determined by a character's development within game (for better or worse, but is a constant). See the Ascension Essay page for more information on how the OOC process is handled.

What are the ranks of Ascension?

There are six levels of existence for characters. There are four ranks of Ascended status, two of which are playable by characters in game.

These ranks from lowest to highest are: Dreamers, Wakened, Angelii, Ashura, Deva, and Aeon.

Those who have not Awakened. They are still Asleep within their canon universes/worlds. Not typically in play or encountered through world exploration.

General term for characters that are Awake, regardless of rank. This is the base rank of characters played in the game. All Wakened can perform Bending but their levels are capped below the base level of an Angelii.

The first level of Ascension. Angelii are messengers who keep records and act as couriers. They have the following powers:

Teleportation: Angelii can teleport and move very quickly in non-violent manners. Teleportation cannot be used to attack someone but can be used defensively.

Speed: Angelii can move more quickly than other Wakened (including Ashura). However, this ability cannot be used to attack someone though it can be used defensively..

Flight: Angelii can use the power of unassisted flight to travel through the city and other worlds.

The Sight: Angelii possess an ability to sense and see flaws and errors in other worlds. They are also instinctively drawn towards the flaws found in other worlds like a magnet, feeling as if something was off or "wrong".

Angelii also have two other abilities:

Sensing Reality Storms: Angelii are affected by oncoming Reality Storms in the week prior to a Storm's arrival. The effects vary by Storm but Wakened take these signs as a prelude for what is to come.

Traveling to other worlds: Angelii are able to travel to worlds other than their own and even take other Wakened along with them. More details later further in this FAQ under Traveling.

Angelii typically form a Bond with an Ashura to make their work easier though this is not mandatory. An Angelii's Bending is almost always superior to a non-Ascended Wakened but a group of Wakened can overpower a single Angelii.

The second level of Ascension. Ashura are repairmen and coders. They can also be fierce fighters as they can use their abilities on the offense. Ashura maintain the balance of the worlds, fixing flaws and sorting things as they should be.

They retain the ability to travel to other worlds as Angelii do but other things change:

  • Ashura do not automatically detect flaws from a distance in a world like Angelii do. They have a general sense of something being off and they can usually see a flaw if it is right under their nose. It is typically easier to either have an Angelii find the flaw or to borrow an Angelii's Sight ability through Bending.

  • Ashura lose the ability to automatically fly as Angelii can and their speed for travel and teleportation drops. However, they can use teleportation offensively, which Angellii cannot do.

  • Ashura now have the ability to create a shield or redirect attacks.

  • Ashura are also no longer affected by the warnings of a Reality Storm.

    An Ashura's Bending is almost always superior to an Angelii. A few Angelii or several Wakened can defeat one if they work together.

    Ashura are always bound to and serve a particular Deva. Ashura will lose their status over time and become an Angelii again without the bond to maintain their elevated power. This bond is accomplished by the Ashura gazing into the exposed eyes of a Deva which is a very chilling experience when it happens. Ashura can also form a Bond with Angelii and act as a unit when they perform their duties.

    Ashura is the highest level possible for playable characters because the amount of time necessary to become a Deva and beyond exceeds lifetimes.

    Third level of Ascension. Non Playable Characters (NPC).

    Unlike the previous Ascensions, the Ascension from Ashura to Deva is deliberate. Only by braving the Labyrinth do Ashura become Deva. This journey is a harrowing one upon which might destroy a Wakened in the process so it takes lifetimes to come to the point where this is possible. Deva can do everything Ashura and Angelii do; but there are far, far fewer of them, hence why they can't just do everything themselves.

    The eyes of a Deva are always covered somehow (Blindfolds, bandages, sunglasses, bolted down pieces of metal, etc.) Wakened and Angelii cannot look into a Deva's eyes without feeling the sudden urge to avert their eyes out of a feeling of disturbance. This is because the eyes of Deva reflect the depth of their knowledge and power and it is simply too much for anyone less than an Ashura to handle.

    Deva are very connected to thoughts, ideas, and the ebb and flow of reality so they are much more strongly affected by thoughts, feelings, and wills, particularly since a Deva is essentially a creature of pure will.

    Deva also constantly feel the threads of possibility. They can see relationships between people as gossamer threads between them and can feel resonances and ways that an individual is connected to the rest of the universe in ways mortals cannot begin to understand.

    Deva are master Benders and always more powerful than Ashura. However, a collection of many wills against one can defeat them, and some Deva are only as strong as a single Ashura.

    Antovil, Calex, Klement and Areva are the Deva currently residing in Nautilus. There are also a number of known Deva who reside in their respective worlds.

    The fourth and final Ascension level. Non Playable Characters.

    Aeons are difficult to understand or explain. When a Deva becomes truly invested in a world, sometimes that Deva transcends and becomes that world. In other cases, a Deva might become invested in a particular concept, or an idea, and become that concept literally.

    Aeons do not think at all like humans. Try to imagine how a galaxy, or a black hole, or a planet, and you might have an idea of how an Aeon thinks. Maybe. Their thoughts cascade and bubble, and they have a strange perception of morality and ethics.

    Examples of Aeon include the Heart of Nautilus (formerly the first Deva of Change; now an Aeon exemplifying change), the Allspark (aka Primus, the creator of the Transformers universe), Azathoth (of the Cthulhu Mythos) and Illuvitar (the creator of the Lord of the Rings universe).

    Is Ascension mandatory?

    No. It is not necessary for a character to Ascend. This can be due to a character being content with their current level (be it as a normal Wakened or as an Angelii who does not wish to Ascend further) or due to a player's wishes or abilities to consistently handle the extra Activity Check or responsibilities that come with Ascension.

    Why is there extra Activity Check for Ascended characters?

    Players of Ascended characters must provide one additional AC per month to retain their Ascended status. Ascension comes with a power boost and extra powers but Ascension is not an empty rank or achievement for a character to put on a shelf and forget about.

    Ascended also have duties to make Nautilus a better place and so players have an extra duty to remain active and connected with the rest of the game (helping new players, leading other Wakened in tasks that require Ascended, Ascended tasks, etc).

    Becoming an Ascended isn't the end of the road. It is supposed to be a gateway to further possibility so becoming inactive and eventually idling out without fulfilling the tasks charged to them is unfavorable. Those who cannot make the activity check on a regular basis should think carefully before considering their characters for Ascension

    Are Deva good or Bad? So many people do not trust them.

    Deva are neither inherently good nor inherently bad. They all started out as Dreamers and Wakened themselves and it is their own personal journeys that make them who they are as individuals

    Saying a Deva is "good" or "bad" is thinking in black-and-white. Their positions on the moral scale depends on the individual just like with all other sentient beings. Some are technically good, some are technically bad, and some will be somewhere within the gray areas. The Deva themselves are too old to really take too much concern about popularity so gestures on their ends will vary.

    OOCly, we can't help you with your character's trust issues. That's something you decided from the get-go, but it isn't set in stone. The IC opinion can still change; anything done in-game can sway first impressions. There are veteran characters who knew and remember the good that Deva do and all Ashura are linked to a Deva after already gone through Angelii training and they can’t be all that bad.

    I want to play a Deva/Aeon! Can I?

    No. Deva and Aeon are NPCs that are controlled and played by the mod staff (in the rare case, a former member of the mod staff). Characters who are Ashura cannot Ascend to Deva/Aeon due to the amount of time it takes to gain experience and grit needed to survive the Labyrinth.

    Why aren't the Deva more involved in Nautilus?

    Deva are not supposed to get extremely involved unless the situation calls for it. They are the appointed guardians to the Aeon, not everyone's babysitter. Nautilus is the city of change and all the Deva are of the mindset that change is a personal journey. If the Wakened want to prove they can take care of themselves and handle the circumstances they are faced with without the Devas' help, then they will respect that wish. Thus, a character’s personal and interpersonal development rests mostly within their own player’s hands.

    OOCly, we don't want to take away your portion of creativity and we encourage all of you to brainstorm ways to further your characters’ stories. Just keep the game’s mechanics in mind.

    Deva will sometimes reach out to characters to establish and foster relations but it takes two to tango and characters have to do some of their own searching to come to their own conclusions in time. Again, it’s good for CR and gives characters a path to progress.

    Training and Bonds

    How does Angelii training start?

    Newly Ascended are always trained by one or more of the resident Deva. As an Angelii, a Wakened must seek out the help of a Deva to unlock and learn the powers associated with their rank. If they do not, they will not be able to use those Angelii-specific powers and eventually lose their rank if they never start.

    The first step is to approach a Deva (or multiple Deva) and let them know that they are ready for their training. Deva will not approach Angelii so it's up to the player to make that first contact. Characters can typically choose whichever Deva they'd like to primarily train with based on their own preferences for that Deva or that Deva's methods.

    Each Deva has their own way of teaching Angelii their skills which are learned through multiple lessons for each skill. No matter who you choose, it will be an interesting experience.

    What is Angelii training process like?

    Each Angelii must train for each of their Angelii skills in order to use them properly. Since each Deva has different methods, there's no set order though the typical order is: teleportation and speed, flight, use of The Sight. There's little training for traveling to different worlds and no training is needed to learn how to sense oncoming Reality Storms since those automatically affects Angelii.

    Here are some examples of each resident Deva's methods:

    Believes in straightforward methods with a slightly humorous twist. He also shoves people off of buildings when he teaches them how to fly just like a proper bird parent.

    Loves having high adrenaline sessions which tend to put her students in immediate peril to trigger their fight-or-flight modes.

    She likes to play "super ultimate dodgeball" with her students to foster a complete understanding about speed and teleportation. One of the thousands of balls might be a wrench.

    A playful spirit, Calex likes to play games of tag with his students all over the city to teach teleportation and speed.

    Perhaps the most conservative of all of the other Deva approaches to learning. His lessons utilize basic by-the-book logic and is very "go from point A to point B" but it doesn't mean he will go easy on his students.

    My character doesn't trust the Deva. Can they learn from another Wakened or on their own?

    No. An Angelii learns teleportation, flight, and The Sight by taking lessons from the city's Deva. They cannot be taught these skills by other Wakened or even prior Angelii.

    Deva hold the key to these abilities so only they can unlock them. Once they settle on a Deva, they are Bound to them. However, Angelii bound by the Deva to have to obey certain rules set by said Deva.

    What if my character never trains?

    A character that never starts their Angellii training runs the risk of losing their Angelii status if they do not start the process for a very long time. By not training it basically means they forfeit their status and go back to be an Awakened.

    How long does training take?

    It depends on the character. Typically it takes a few weeks to a few months to get the hang of things. Weeks worth of teleporting into the wrong place or flying into a tree. Please give at least two months for them to work out the kinks. Have fun with training bloopers!

    I don't have time to train!/I don't want to write out the process of training!

    That is alright. The training sections can be handwaved. However, you must let the modstaff know that your character is training and with whom so we’re all on the same page and can arrange things.

    What is the Bond between Angelii and Ashura? How is that like?

    The Bond between Angelii and Ashura are ones of partnership. Typically an Ashura seeks out an Angelii or vice versa to forge this bond. Often the two parties are already familiar with each other due to friendship, family ties, or common ground. A Bond is formed only with mutual agreement so it cannot be forced upon a character.

    The method of forging this bond is illustrated in this log in which Suzaku Kururugi forms a partnership with Death.

    The Bond itself is not physical though its existence is felt by both parties - like a strong invisible chain or a series of threads. It is essentially a link between the two characters that allows the Ashura can - over time - sense an Angelii's location and emotions via conscious, focused effort. This empathetic ability is not automatic, however, and an Ashura must focus on their bond in order to read their Angelii. It does not work the other way around; Angelii cannot pick up on the emotions of their Ashura or tap the bond to make use of it in any way. The one exception is if the two share a very close personal bond and the Ashura personally alters the Bond to allow the other access.

    Angelii do not have to be bound to an Ashura, but often are due to the convenience and security that a Angelii-Ashura bond creates.

    What happens to the Angelii-Ashura Bond if the Angelii Ascends?

    The Bond remains briefly and gradually fades within two weeks or the moment the newer Ashura takes on an Angelii of their own, whichever comes first. Both parties will feel it slip away gradually but it is not an unpleasant feeling.

    This is the easiest time for an Ashura and their previous Angelii to forge an Ashura-Ashura Bond if they wanted to since they've got something to work with.

    What is the Bond between Ashura and Deva? How is that like?

    Like a Facebook status: It's Complicated.

    Much like the Bond between an Ashura and an Angelii, the Bond between a Deva and an Ashura is strengthened over periods of time. Ashura serve their chosen Deva and typically carry out tasks charged to them. However, the Ashura are also their own people and are free to speak their minds and have some say in the matter.

    In order for an Ashura to keep their status, they must maintain their power by staring into the eyes of the Deva they are Bound to. It can lead to a really awkward moment, but this is necessary. And, in a way, it will help build a trust between them. Ashura generally stay with the same Deva that trained them or settle on one Deva but it is possible to switch with careful consideration and communication. They are all on the same team so the Deva themselves don't mind.

    Can Angelii create a Bond with another Angelii or Ashura with another Ashura?

    Angelii-Angelii Bonds are impossible to forge because both parties do not possess the required experience and power that Ashuras have. They are merely following the Ashura's lead when it comes to forging the Angelii-Ashura Bond (if they've had previous experience being bonded to an Ashura) so they do not have the power to do it on their own.

    Ashura-Ashura Bonds can be made under special circumstances as both parties already know what the bond between Angelii and Ashura is like and modify that into something new. It is very difficult to do as it requires a great deal of mental energy on both sides, even if/when they are adding onto a preexisting Angelii-Ashura bond.

    Ashura that are bound together through an Ashura-Ashura bond can pick up on each other's emotions if they allow each other to and can detect each other's locations, though it functions more as a general sense of location if one is outside of the city.

    To make this Bond, both Ashura must already know how to forge the usual bond between an Angelii and Ashura. If they were once bound together by this bond (ie: if one of the Ashura was previously the other's Angelii), this would make it easier though not by much. The two must mentally reach out to each other, grasping the bond that links them (remember those relationship bonds the Deva can see?) and unravel it. Then they must rearrange it and link it all back together - in tandem - in a way that is similar to the Angelii-Ashura bond but results in something completely different.

    Can a Bond between two characters be broken, dissolved, or severed? What happens if one goes back to Sleep?

    Yes. A bond can be broken by choice or by force. It can dissolve when one goes to Sleep and it can be severed by force or one's Unmaking.

    To break a bond by choice, either one or both parties decide to end the partnership. A bond that is mutually broken doesn't cause pain though it might startle one of them if it is unexpected. They would feel their intertwined forces within the bond unravel and loosen until they are no longer linked by the bond. Since the link exists as a mutual decision, characters cannot force each other to keep the Bond so it ceases to exist when one or both withdraw.

    A bond can be broken by force by a third party or through certain events events. Perhaps one is taken over by an enemy and switches sides, etc. A bond that has been severed by force is felt as a sudden and violent snap. If a third party is the cause of the severance, that character would be aware of that change when they force the bond to break.

    In the case of Sleep, the bond dissolves when the affected character disappears from the city. It is as if the Bond had suddenly vanished or perhaps evaporated. This is felt by the one left behind and can be rather upsetting or discomforting (as if feeling a phantom limb).

    Can a broken Bond be repaired?

    Yes. But the characters must forge a new Bond since it will not automatically regenerate if it had been previously broken. The Angelii-Ashura Bond cannot be renewed if the Angelii Ascends to become an Ashura due to the nature of the Bond.

    Does an Ascended character have to have a bond to another?

    Ascended characters are free to be their own agents. Angelii can be on their own once they've completed their training with the Deva, Ashura do not have to have Angelii working under them. These bonds are often are due to the convenience and security that a Angelii-Ashura bond creates. But if a character wants to go solo or form temporary working partnerships (without forming a bond), they are able to do so.

    Duties of the Ascended

    What are the duties of the Ascended? Are they obligated to perform them?

    Ascended were originally supposed to help the city and keep it from becoming stagnant. Another task is to protect other worlds from Flaws and/or from becoming completely Unmade. Obviously they are obligated to perform at least a few of their duties as Ascension isn't a rank only in name. With great power comes great responsibility!

    They don't have to juggle everything (unless they crazy) but it's good to do something from time to time that benefits the city and/or other worlds.

    How do Angelii and Ashura work together?

    THROUGH the power of TEAMWORK!!!1!

    Though Angelii can see and sense the flaws, they cannot fix it on their own and must seek the help of an Ashura.

    What are Flaws like? What caused them?

    The flaws take on a visual form that is initially visible to only Angelii and Deva: a shimmering violet peacock pattern of a Bending Trace that clearly belongs to Isis, the former Deva of Glass. The flaw is typically found on an object, person, or building, causing reality to shift from that point. There is something eerie about it because it glows as if it is alive and gives the observer a quiet sense of dangers.

    The short version of why her influence is spread throughout the worlds is that she was a crazy lady who sought to bring Absolute Order to everything and everyone. That includes altering things in other worlds that really should be left alone in order to find a warped version of balance. What if Mario failed to find Princess Peach and Bowser won? Things would be pretty different in that world. It might even break it.

    Though Isis has been Unmade by the Wakened in the first Battle of Kalliste, the damage that she has done still remains. It is unclear just how many worlds are tainted by her flaws but that means characters must be vigilant! If a flaw alters a world too much, that world runs the risk of falling into ruin or being destroyed.

    Flaws for now are always due to Isis rather than due to a player's actions/memories/short term presence. But don't worry. There are other ways to break a world.

    Traveling and Other Worlds

    What does traveling to other worlds entail?

    Traveling to other worlds is much like traveling through a haze. Once past the city's gates, one would come across The Between. This is the space between the worlds of the wakened (Nautilus, Kalliste, etc.) and Chaos (the swirling vortex of countless worlds and consisting of endless possibility)

    The Between is constantly shifting, its appearance typically made of abstract shimmering and shifting light and shadow. The color varies and is always changing. There's no solid ground or scenery but Wakened are able to fly or walk through this space without problem. The Between is not the same as outer space. There is no outer space in this game. It is more like an ocean. Though there is plenty of Light in the Between, it can be difficult to navigate at times much like fog can slow one's progress down even in the day.

    Once the traveler reaches Chaos, Light has a harder time shining through and the environment becomes dimmer. The Between gets incredibly thick and - depending on the situation - turbulent. It is easy easy to get lost within Chaos. Imagine trying to navigate a boat in open seas: sometimes it's calm but typically it can get choppy and even more so in a storm.

    For this reason, Traveling to other worlds other than one's own must include several Ascended. Anyone else traveling in the group has to concentrate to stick with the others because the Chaos is thick and can sweep an unfortunate Wakened away.

    Can another character tag along when a character goes back to their homeworld without being an Ascended?

    Provided that it's only one character going on the trip with them, yes. Non-Ascended can't bring a whole crew back with them. Their power only allows one.

    How are Angelii and Ashura perceived in worlds?

    Angelii and Ashura have the ability to travel to worlds other than their own canon universes and to take others with them. However, the way they are seen or interact with these worlds are different.


  • Are visible to a world's inhabitants (Dreamers) by default. However, they can use Bending to render themselves invisible though this takes a great deal of concentration and energy. Angelii can see Ashura and vice versa.
  • Can interact with and speak to the inhabitants of a world, and even live in the world if they wished to.
  • Are easily forgotten by Dreamers and easily slip from people's memories in whatever world they inhabit (though the essence and the feeling of having met someone remains).

  • Are invisible to a world's inhabitants by default. They can adjust their wavelength to become visible like an Angelii, but this takes a lot of effort. Angelii can see Ashura and vice versa.
  • Their presence can be felt, but only in abstract ways. For instance, the presence of the Ashura of Trees might make the trees in the area grow stronger and seem more magnificent. The Ashura of Caffeine might make inhabitants more energetic if the Ashura is nearby.

    Can an Angelii live in a world?

    Yes. Sometimes a Deva would think the best way to repair a flaw or to foster progress in a world is to allow an Angelii to live as part of a world and operate within it. But sometimes, an Angelii's presence can change that world too much. If they change too much, this has the effect of creating a splinter timeline which must be rectified.

    So Deva can make worlds What does this mean?

    A Deva is capable of diving into Chaos and finding possible worlds (or fragments of such) and weaving them into something new. Making entire worlds takes considerable time and effort on a Deva's part and and a Deva often needs help from fellow Deva and from their Ashura in order to be able to make a truly complete world.

    Some worlds are very simple or deliberately chaotic (e.g., Spongebob's world was probably only one Deva and its Ashura); others are huge, sprawling, collaborative efforts by many Deva and include many splinter or mirror worlds as new Deva decide they want to try a new twist on an old idea. The Transformers multiverse is an example of such a project.