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Broken Patterns

Each of the Upper, Middle and Lower Realms has a full complement of Shadows, and in each of these sets of Shadows, Broken Patterns can be found. There are nine Broken Patterns in each realm, of which three are dark, three are "grey" and three are light: for a total of twenty-seven Broken Patterns across three realms of Shadow. Each particular kind influences the nature of the worlds on which they are located, and the experience its users have when moving in Shadow.

The Middle Realm (ie the game realm)

Of the nine Broken Patterns in the Middle Realm, four are held by Sable, two are held outright by the Reich, one is a joint protectorate between the two powers, and two are unaligned. All of them are located the Seventh Veil out from Magical Superior. For the ones in the Sable System itself (rather than the sea or sky realms) , the security is made interesting by the fact that many of the Aussenhandel Shadows are between them and the Commonwealth.

Each individual instance has its own signature, so for someone adept in exploring such things on an arcane level, it is possible to know which version was walked by an individual user. If such people come across a particular trail in Shadow, they will also be aware of which instance the walker was an initiate.

The Light Patterns

These are located on the three Sable external Military Regions: Lothian, Ceredigion and Uaithen. For PCs who request to walk a Broken Pattern, the chances are that it will be one of these three that they will be taken to. They are relatively benign, with no known side-effects from walking them, and using any one of them to travel Shadow is quite straightforward as these things go.

The Grey Patterns

These are found on the worlds of Verrien (under Sable control), Columbia and Kazan. Grey instances are somewhat harder to walk, and can have draining effects on their users. They can be used to walk Shadow, but the effect can be tiring, and the walker is more likely to encounter less-desirable places and individuals en route.

Verrien has been under Sable control since Spring 151, when it came to the attention of the Sable authorities because attempts to manipulate it had caused instability in the surrounding Shadows. Previously the realm of the vampire Philip le Bel, Verrien itself has a somewhat gothic feel to it.

Columbia and Kazan are independent Shadows, although their social structures are diametrically opposed: Columbia is ramapantly capitalist and somewhat corrupt; while Kazan tends more towards the Bolshevik model.

The Dark Patterns

Of the dark iterations, two - Sachsen and Thuringia - are firmly under Reich control and are long- established Reichsprotektorats. The dark iterations, if left to their own devices, have a significant corrupting influence on those who walk them. However, it is believed that in the early days of Sable, Reichsführer Delatz manipulated the nature of the two instances under his control, such that the corrupting influence was specifically focused towards the more fascistic and racist outlook preferred within the Reich.


The third, Manira, was left to its own devices, and for many years was fought over by the Reich and Sable. It is this one which most demonstrated the corrupting influence, as evidenced by the fact that successive leaders of invading forces from both sides eventually turned their loyalty away from their original masters - be they Sable or the Reich - in favour of setting up their own kingdoms on Manira. Two of these, Sable nobleman Francis Edwards, and Reich officer Gregor Konstantin, eventually became two of the three Triumvirs who ruled once the Brotherhood of the Royal Martyr became established.

The Brotherhood found a way to harness the influence of the Broken Pattern for their own use, and to instil in its initiates a far more powerful kind of initiation than that encountered with the other eight instances. Instead of just being able to use it to travel Shadow, the Brotherhood found a way to incorporate it into their magic - both ritual and normal sorcery - such that its initiates could use its power to back their spells in a way otherwise only seen with the full Royal Power, and it is more useful for channelling energy. Working with the Master of the Machine, with whom they appear to have had an unexpected alliance, they also managed to successfully initiate certain of the living models of Machine drones to the Power, and train them to use it with almost human skill.

The Brotherhood took their research one step further in late-153/early-154, when they managed to drain the power of the Broken Pattern completely, channelling it to what is now believed to have been Veil Fifty, where New Oceania is now located. This led to significant instability in the surrounding Shadows - far worse than that seen when Verrien was interfered with - and began trying to drain almost everything on Manira of life.

To stabilise the area once more, a ritual to redraw the instance there was undertaken by Reichsführer Delatz, which would defintely not have been legal within Sable, involving the death of a powerful Maniran Broken Pattern initiate.

Since then, jurisdiction on Manira has been split, with Sable controlling the overall Shadow, and the Reich holding Martyr's Island, where the newly redrawn Broken Pattern is located.