14 thoughts on “How Do You Kill A Mastema?

  1. “OK, I’ve got an idea. It’s probably a very, very, bad idea, but it’s still an idea, so that’s something. The thing to do is to securely bind the Mastema to some sort of containment system (which in this case I will call a chair, with very thick ropes tying him to it). Then we get a setup that locks his head in place complete with pins that force his eyes to remain open. We then proceed to begin hard core aversion therapy with the Ludovico Technique, forcing the Mastema to associate extremely unpleasant sensations with acts of hatred and violence, until it is no longer able to commit violent or hateful acts thanks to the physical distress associated with it. It worked in ‘A Clockwork Orange,’ right? What could go wrong?”

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  2. Howard thinks for a while, and then speaks again. “This might work better. We create a kind of ecto-etheric matrix which, when released, will reshape the essence of our captured Mastema. It would be a… a device we all build. I could provide the functionality of it, and then each of you could put into it your own instinctual applications of hyperphysics into the device. Then we release it into the containment grid – it then contracts, contacts the Mastema, and reshapes it, turning it into, I don’t know, maybe a ‘spirit of purity and light?'” (This last is spoken somewhat dubiously). “Theoretically, we should be able to get a total reversal of the polarity of its ecto-theric matrix such that it becomes an Anti-Mastema, then, when it comes in contact with its brother, the result is mutual annhiliation. And in this case, it’s not so much a weapon as it is the natural result of the combination of the ectotheric equivalent of matter and anti-matter: a purely natural process. … Although we may wish to create some significant shielding before we let them come into contact.”

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  3. “Or we do it the old fashioned way: we summon it into a binding circle and all blast the shit out of it at once. Jesus, Howard, why does everything always have to be so fucking complicated with you?”

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  4. Howard very nearly hyperventilates. “Because, as we’ve already seen, simply attacking the entity will have no long term affect whatever. If there were an easy solution, Alistair would have found it a long time ago.”

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  5. “According to my occult studies,” says Sway,”the Mastema may be very similar in significance to Satan. This would might imply that he really can’t or <>shouldn’t<> be destroyed…you know, in the balance in the universe sense? How does god justify himself if not given an adversary? or (looking at Howard)doesn’t matter need to balance anti-matter?”Sway looks off for a minute…”Of course I didn’t think we’d come away alive from the King of Dragons either…”

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  6. Howard blinks, and then shakes his head. “Every particle has an antiparticle, for which each additive quantum number has the negative of the value it has for the normal matter particle, yes, but it’s not a matter of… balance?” He uses the word ‘balance’ awkwardly. “And there’s far more matter in the universe than there is anti-matter. At least as far as we can tell. Also, the sign reversal applies only to quantum numbers which are additive, such as charge, but not to mass. The positron has the opposite charge but the same mass as the electron…” Clearly, Howard has not understood Sway’s statement. Balance? God justifying himself? Now there’s an odd thought. “If there were a God, why would it need to justify itself? … Nevermind.”

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  7. After a moment, Howard speaks again, still confused by the idea of ‘balance.’ “If matter and anti-matter balanced each other, the result would be the total destruction of the universe, I think.”

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  8. “Sway love, you really should try and remember your catechism a bit better. God doesn’t need an adversary, and the Mastema certainly isn’t some kind of polar opposite from God as a balancing force in the universe. You sound like… what are them.. the… heretics from persia..” he scratches his head.“…Zero-astronauts or whatever. Point is, Satan (and the Mastema and all demons) are rebelling against, God, and God intends to destroy them. In the end times there will be no demons and no death, so we certainly don’t need to preserve the Mastema – we’re doing the Lord’s work by getting rid of it. That doesn’t mean it’s easy.”Alistair thinks for a minute.“I think yer latest idea, for the Anti-Mastema is the best yet. Though I think what you’re really referring to is basically regenerating it to its unfallen state, restoring its angelic purpose and nature, which will not so much cause it to self-annihilate as completely overwhelm its other demonic selves. No evil can stand up to heaven directly.”

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  9. “So do we strap it to a water wheel, or do you have some more ‘churchly’ idea for reinstating it’s pre-fallen state?” asks Sway.

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  10. Howard visibly struggles to control his tongue, and after a bit, he seems to succeed. Instead of saying the very first sarcastic thing that came to mind, he instead manages something that’s actually somewhat restrained: “Whatever instinctual application of hyper-physics the rest of you do, I think it needs to be done in advance. The Mastema is very strong – if we give it the opportunity to resist an effect that slowly builds, it will probably win. We need something that will hit it all at once, at full strength, that will overwhelm it right away.”

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  11. [Meta-game note]Transforming the base-nature of a powerful, independent spirit (like a Mastema perhaps) will require the highest mastery of Spirit. Alistair might have an intuitive sense that this would require the limit of his power over Spirit to succeed, if that’s the route you choose. This would be on par with completely transforming it into another kind of creature (Life 4 for living things) permanently (Prime 4 or Time 4 for anything) and also altering its personality and sense of self (Mind 5) at the very minimum.

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  12. in my notes, this is what i had as parameters of how you had to defeat the Mastema:1.It has to be generalized. The Mastema is a principle, so it has to be gathered as a principle and overcome as a principle, at least…in principle.2.It has to use no weapons. The Mastema is strengthened by weapons, and even hatred, though not as quickly. So the PCs can’t use any weapons or even hatred or else it will fail.3.It has to be thorough. They have to really go through this thing thoroughly and do it in once and for all. No skipped steps or skimping.that’s all i was looking at as you brainstormed how to deal with this thing. in the end, frustration garnered a correct response. letting it kill Alistair made him a martyr, and the blood of the martyrs is holy, and the mastemas would be undone by something truly holy. i also loved the solution because it involved sacrifice and lots of risk, and the cool scene of Alistair having his heart ripped out of his chest. it makes metaphysical and folkloric sense, at least to me, to overcome a Curse by letting it overcome you. good stuff.i wanted sacrifice and risk instead of just cleverness here. particularly in mage, sacrifice gets you a long way when other things won’t. i had some things in mind, floating around, but was mostly sitting back and enjoying the ideas you guys came up with.

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  13. plus I got to summon God.There was a tad bit of frustration when none of our ideas were panning out, but I was pretty at peace with the idea of trying to sacrifice myself and if it failed… playing a different character.I’m glad it turned out the way it did, and adding the heart/node was an awesome reward!

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