“There is no secret I cannot uncover.”
In your first life, you died because of a secret. It could have been a secret you pursued—the identity of a murderer or arcane knowledge mortals weren’t meant to know. It could be a secret that was revealed; perhaps you were a spy exposed during a covert operation. Or perhaps you died because of a secret you didn’t uncover—the fact that a friend was actually a murderer or the way to break an ancient curse. Regardless of the specifics, secrets defined your life and your death.
Shrouded Phoenixes excel at uncovering secrets while remaining hidden themselves. No other School can match the Shrouded when it comes to stealth, and no one else has the breadth of knowledge of a Shrouded. In the Crucible, Shrouded Phoenixes study all manner of lore. History, obscure languages, arcane secrets; all of these are arrows in your quiver. Shrouded Lessons are split between uncovering secrets and being secretive. Is it more important for you to strike from the shadows or to have the ideal skill to solve an unexpected problem? Traits like Psychometry and Painful Truth give you the power to learn things no other Phoenix could discover; if you want to get to the bottom of every mystery, Shrouded is the school for you.
During the Phoenix Imperium, the Shrouded Legion served as the eyes and spies of the Empire…and when necessary, as its assassins. A love of conspiracy is woven into the School. As a Shrouded, think carefully about your Mentor in the Crucible; do they still have secret agendas they’d like you to complete on their behalf? If not, you may find the Shrouded Marshal of Dawn Command has a few special missions for you. Shrouded feed on secrets, and when everything is known, they create them.
Deception, Lore, Observation, and Spycraft. Skills are your strength, and your Specialties are exceptionally broad. Lore is at the core: If a thing can be studied, you’ve studied it. When it comes to spirits and arcane lore, you’re not as specialized as the Elemental or Devoted; but if neither of them are available, you can often fill in. Spycraft covers stealth and shadowing, breaking and entering, and anything else that could serve a spy or assassin well. Observation and Deception fill any gaps in Spycraft. You can disguise yourself or recognize a disguise; hide in the shadows and spot a hidden enemy.
When Shrouded are first reborn, most traces of them are wiped from history. Memories are blurred, pictures are smudged. It’s not that all of their deeds are forgotten; it’s just very difficult to connect anything that happened in a Shrouded’s first life to their identity as a Phoenix. Beyond this, the physical appearance of a Shrouded is more fluid than that of other Phoenixes and can be altered every dawn. Some Shrouded Phoenixes maintain a consistent appearance throughout their lives, while others have a new face every day. This can’t be used to perfectly impersonate another individual, but many Shrouded Phoenixes have wardrobes of identities that shift to suit their moods. Gender, race, and apparent age can all change, but the Phoenix’s Talon remains the same; this is how members of Dawn Command recognize their comrades.
Any Shrouded with the Lore Specialty knows every language ever spoken in the Empire. In addition to allowing you to communicate with anyone you may meet, this also allows you to have private conversations with other Shrouded by using obscure languages and dialects.
- The Investigator. In your first life, you made your living getting to the bottom of mysteries. You may have been a spy, a law enforcer in one of the great cities of the Empire, a muck-raking chronicler working to expose corruption, or a conspiracy theorist pursuing a shadowy cult. Psychometry will help you unearth secrets as a Phoenix; Brilliant Deduction and Supernatural Senses could also prove useful.
- The Assassin. Were you a Talu enforcer in your first life? A secret killer in the service of the Empire? A Shadovar guardian avenging crimes against your people? Are you seeking redemption for your mortal deeds, or did you learn the assassin’s arts in the Crucible so you could make your enemies suffer? Killer Instincts and Sneaky will serve you well, as will Supernatural Senses and a Master Plan.
- The Scholar. In your first life, you were an academic; you may have been a Skavi sage, an Imperial Philosopher, or an archaeologist investigating Old Kingdom ruins. Now you have an opportunity to explore the world firsthand. While you’re devoted to the fight against the Dread, you’re also thrilled with every new discovery you make. You’re probably the Smartest Person In The Room and you may well have Seen This Before. Alternately, you may have been studying the long-forbidden paths of magic; if so, you could be a Shaman, a Warlock, or both.
WHY PLAY A SHROUDED?
If you want to charge into combat and meet your enemies head on, play Bitter or Durant. The Shrouded slips into the shadows at the first sign of danger, appearing to strike a lethal blow against an unwary foe. While these sneak attacks make you a dangerous force, you shine when you’re out of combat. Few tasks fall outside your areas of expertise, and you have tools that let you uncover secrets no other Phoenix would ever find. Play a Shrouded if you want to learn the answers to every question…and if you want secrets others may never discover.
If you want to focus on assassination, Shadow Knife, Shadow Dancer, and Soon Forgotten are excellent choices. However, part of the fun of being a Shrouded Phoenix is always having the perfect tool to deal with a situation. Borrowed Memories gives you an additional Trait that you can swap out whenever you need a specific skill, while Rune Ink gives you an additional hand of Traits to use once each day. Psychometry provides information while also exposing an enemy’s weaknesses, and it can be an invaluable tool both in and out of combat.
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