A Vox Populi feels confident within his city, and he knows its pulse like no other. He gains a +1 equipment bonus to his dice pool on any Empathy or Streetwise check he makes while in the city. On the other hand, he feels particularly out of sorts in a rural area. He takes a -1 penalty to Intimidation, Persuasion, and Socialize checks as a result of his disorientation and discomfort.
1st Attainment: Call of the Urban Wild
Prerequisites: Gnosis 3, Matter 2, Spirit 1, Streetwise 2
All components of a city are part of a greater whole, even humanity's flotsam -- an abandoned swing set, a rolling recycling bin, piles of trash. They are subject to the city's mystic laws, and as such, the Vox Populi holds a degree of control over them. He can manipulate inanimate objects similar to the "Control Object" spell (Silver Ladder, pg. 198) as an instant action. He must invoke his will upon the item, such as reading the restrictions on the back of a bus ticket or a traffic sign aloud. He must maintain concentration to issue the command to the object. Breaking concentration requires him to establish contact anew.
The Vox Populi's attunement to his city enables him to observe and converse with Spirits in Twilight as the Spirit 1 spell "Spirit Tongue" (MtA, pg. 246). This effect functions continuously, although he can consciously dampen his awareness as a reflexive action and attune himself to spirits as an instant action.
2nd Attainment: Law of the Concrete Jungle
Prerequisites: Gnosis 5, Matter 3
Sleepers imbue the cities they build and inhabit with strong resonance of magic. Every time rush hour traffic obeys a sign commanding "Do not turn left," drivers reinforce their unspoken control. Symbols of the city's temporal authority litter the streets from logos stamped on trash bins to gang tags sprayed on walls. The Vox Populi tapping into the latent resonance can grant limited awareness and animation in any non-living item within the city.
By spending an instant action and rolling Stamina + Crafts + Matter, he animates an object. The Attainment functions exactly as the Matter 3 "Animate Object" spell (Sanctum and Sigil, pg. 145). Animated objects can perform simple, routine functions. With Matter 4, the Vox Populi can spend 1 Mana point during the activation to permit objects to move outside of their normal capabilities, such as allowing a statue to bend its arms and attack a target, as though affected by the "Plasticity" spell.
Optional Attainment: Spirit 3
If the Vox Populi is a disciple of Spirit, he can call spirits native to his city, as with the spell "Lesser Spirit Summons" (MtA, p. 147). He rolls Presence + Persuasion + Spirit and always phrases his summons as a request. The requested spirits should be appropriate to an urban setting; a red deer spirit is unlikely to be a target, whereas a rat or a raccoon spirit is. If no appropriate spirit is present, he may receive no answer. However, urban spirits are far less likely to be hostile to the Asphalt Medium.
3rd Attainment: Guardian of the Crossroads
Prerequisites: Gnosis 7, Matter 4
At the pinnacle of his power, the Vox Populi can shape the energies of the city into a functioning servitor. While druids traditionally seek familiars from wild animals, the Vox Populi relies upon mundane objects commonplace to urban neighbourhoods, alleyways, and dumps. In desperate situations he may make use of whatever non-living matter happens to be at hand.
He spends 1 point of Mana and rolls Stamina + Crafts + Matter as an extended action similar to the Matter spell "Stone Servitor" (Tome of the Mysteries, p. 32). The servant's base components may be stone, plastic, metal, wood or other substances found in abundance around the mage, and the construct can be modified by the Matter Arcanum normally in all ways as a homogeneous substance.
The servant created has no Mental or Social Attributes, and only obeys limited commands similar to a construct animated by the Second Attainment. Its intelligence is equivalent to that of a dog. Its size is equal to the lesser of the Vox Populi's Matter or Gnosis dots.
Optional Attainment: Spirit 4
For the good of the city and its residents, sometimes the Vox Populi needs to leave the asphalt streets and walk spirit roads to reach a destination. He must spend at least an hour wandering the city as he adopts the "shaman stride," a unique pace that varies wildly between communities and neighbourhoods. The mage does nothing more than listen for the esoteric beat that guides him where he needs to go. An Asphalt Medium adopts a totally different rhythm through the strife-torn sections of Belfast than his counterpart in posh Kensington, London would.
At the end of that hour, the Vox Populi spends 1 Mana. He may then cross the Gauntlet without need for a Spirit Road, as per the Spirit spell "Road Master" (MtA, pg. 253), save that he cannot affect access to the Spirit Roads. His Spirit dots count as successes against any wards or magical barriers preventing access.
- Wallace may be the most infamous of the Vox Populi in Britain, making no secret of his affiliations. Oddly, his urban connection is whispered to stretch between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Asphalt Mediums claim that's impossible. Who tells the truth?
- The city talks to members of this Legacy at an abstract, symbolic level. A Vox Populi divines messages in billboards and graffiti scrawled under a rail bridge, the flight of pigeons and the number of "sale" signs in shop windows.
- The Painted Ones and the Vox Populi have a fraught relationship, given they represent diametrically opposite views and approaches. The Vox Populi dislike an archaic reliance on nature and the countryside as a source of unsullied magic, and the Painted Ones reject urban environments as places of pure magic. They are unlikely to ever see eye to eye.
- If great spirits of Caledonia are missing, what are the Asphalt Mediums communing with?