Manasvinii

The Manasvinii Call to Prayer

Inama Nushif (She is Eternal)
Al-asir hiy ayish (No malice can touch)
Lia-anni (Singular and ageless)
Zaratha zarati (Perpetually bound)

Hatt al-hudad (Through the tempest)
Al-maahn al-baiid (Be it deluge or sand)
Ay-yah idare (A singular voice)
Adamm malum (Speaks through the torrent)

Hatt al-hudad (Through the tempest)
Al-maahn al-baiid (Be it deluge or sand)
Ay-yah idare (A singular voice)
Adamm malum (Speaks through the torrent)

Inama nishuf al a sadarr (Forever her voice sings)
Eann zaratha zarati (Through the ages eternally bound)
Kali bakka a tishuf ahatt (Sacrifice is her gift)
Al hudad alman dali (One that cannot be equalled)

Inama nishuf al a sadarr (Forever her voice sings)
Eann zaratha zarati (Through the ages eternally bound)
Kali bakka a tishuf ahatt (Sacrifice is her gift)
Al hudad alman dali (One that cannot be equalled)
Alia

Inama Nushif (She is Eternal)
Al-asir hiy ayish (No malice can touch)
Lia-anni (Singular and ageless)
Zaratha zarati (Perpetually bound)

The Manasvinii

The witches of the Manasvinii Sisterhood have a very sinister reputation throughout the galaxy. Their black robes are well-known in the chambers of princes and ambassadors, for their talents for truthseeking and mind-reading make them suited to delicate negotiations and affairs of state. Lesser known are their talents for the creation of mind-shattering agony and the mastery of their Vilaksana weirding art, a martial art that depends on both limited psychic prescience and the perfect mastery of every muscle and tendon in their bodies.

The Call to Prayer

The Call to Prayer is a sign of the dominance of the Manasvinii Sisterhood on the planet of Alia and in the Otsa system in general. Three times a day, everything stops in those places that acknowledge it: commerce, travel, entertainment, everything. Those who are not Manasvinii are expected to stand silently, their heads bowed respectfully while the prayer is performed. Though the Otsa system in general is tolerant of the ignorance of strangers, in the metropoli of Alia proper, the locals take a very dim view of those who do not observe the silence and peace of these times.

The Call to Prayer is performed by a singer from atop a high tower in the nearest temple of the Sisterhood. In large cities, this prayer-song interrupts all broadcasting and emits from nearly every communications device. As this song is prayed, the Sisters of the Manasvinii stop, enter a meditative state and perform the very basic movements of the first Vilaksana form, the Prayer of Alia. Then, once this short time of prayer and movement is over, life goes back to normal. Strangers to the Otsa system can find these times odd: it is as though the entire city grinds to a halt for a few minutes and then lurches back into its normal frenzied pace afterwards.

Philosophy of the Manasvinii

The Manasvinii are a secretive sisterhood who teach a philosophy of perfection: mind, body, spirit and genetics. They believe that most sentient creatures are barely deserving of the term, driven as they are by autonomic bodily functions, primitive proto-emotional drives they are unequipped to understand and sociological imperatives beyond their ability to perceive, much less control. In short, they are animals that have fooled themselves into thinking themselves sentients.

Only those who have transcended the limitations of the feeble mind and achieved a state of preternatural awareness and control may be properly called sentient. More than simply cultivating that power, however, the Sisterhood seeks to train its priestesses in the art of mastering every facet of their minds, cultivating that they call Paramanas, or the Great Mind.

Once the simple beast-mind that most sentient-kind is born with has been merged, awakened, tamed and trained, the Manasvinii can master the techniques that allow them to become aware of and master their bodies, muscle-by-muscle and nerve-by-nerve. Meditation is merely the beginning of this process, with training in the art of Vilaksana, or the Strangeways, foremost. It is called such because watching a practitioner move through its techniques is a strange and profound experience, unsettling to watch to most creatures without preternatural awakening.

The Deep Mysteries

The most sacred and secret of the sect’s mysteries is hidden well from the eyes of outsiders. The Great Mind is not simply a philosophy or ideal: it is an entity, a pattern of thought extant in the minds of those on the planet Alia. This mind is called Inama Nushif, or “She Is Eternal.”

This great intellect, which seems godlike in its potence, is not actually some advanced race or spiritual entity: it was, in fact, human at one point, and represents for the Manasvinii the ideal of what they might perhaps one day become, should they master themselves and their techniques sufficiently.

The origins of this intellect are in the misty pre-history of the planet Alia. This planet itself is very strong in the Force, as the survivors of a shipwreck here discovered, to their chagrin: with the storms that came out of the deep desert or from off the dark waters of the planet also came a kind of strange, terrifying psychic “static” (for lack of a better term), which quickly drove them mad.

Force adepts in their midst quickly developed techniques for protecting not only their own minds, but those of their fellows, and within a few generations, these people – having taken up a nomadic lifestyle – heavily depended on the Force-wielders among them to protect them. At this time, the techniques of these nomads were used by men and women.

Eventually, however, their techniques evolved, and a particularly powerful priestess by the name of Alia experimented with techniques her peers deemed too dangerous. Slowly but surely, she expanded her mind, able to protect first her tribe, then the people of a larger geographical area. The strain of doing so took its toll, however, and she became ill.

Then, disaster struck – the Force adepts of the nomads sensed a terrible conjunction of storms: a great sand storm from out of the Deep Deserts, and a mighty typhoon from off the Vast Waters. These two storms would meet and howl their fury on one another on the main roaming grounds of the tribes, and tear the tribes apart. Even if they managed to find shelter, there was no force capable of defending the minds of the nomads against the psychic force of storms of that magnitude.

As the winds, sands and rains howled, men and women shrieked, being driven mad. Finally, though, like light shining through the darkness, everyone heard the voice of Alia in their minds. It is said that she spoke secrets to everyone of her Force-using brethren, and in an act of great sacrifice, she shed her mortal body and bound her sentience as a defense forevermore for the people of that planet. No one has suffered from the psychic “static” since, though Force users can tell it is there – it simply has no power to touch them.

Through the Manasvinii are ruled by the samya elders among them, a few Manasvinii in every generation come into contact with the true Great Mind: the sentience of Alia. She is more of an elemental force than a sentient creature, though the striguru (as those whose powers are great enough to put them into communion with her are called) claim it is because she is a being of pure thought, and even the Manasvinii are too limited in their cognitive abilities to truly commune with such idealized thought.

The story of Alia is a secret within the Sisterhood, though its origins are recalled in the old tongue of the nomadic peoples in the Call to Prayer three times a day.

Manasvinii Force Powers

Though the Manasvinii occasionally manifest unusual Force powers, these are the powers most common to the Sisterhood.

  • Farseeing: The Great Mind may be used to gain insight into the doings of those known to the Manasvinii Sisterhood. Through advanced mental techniques, an understanding of both the choices those she knows are likely to make and the way the universe’s own thousand tiny threads of probability usually intertwine, she may deduce the current logical state of events around someone she knows, with devastating accuracy. (Core, p96)
  • Force Grip: The Great Mind understands the weaknesses and tiny imperfections of character, thought and logic that plague the lesser mind. With the merest suggestion – a quirk of the eyebrow, a hum too lowly modulated to hear, sudden movement in the target’s field of vision reflected in the environment – and the lesser mind collapses under its own frailties, inflicting terrible pain and damage to the target. (Core, p97)
  • Force Stun: With but a thought, the Great Mind sets the nerves of an opponent afire with sheer, horrifying agony, leaving them to writhe and stumble in the wreck of their imperfections. (Core, p98)
  • Mind Trick: Modulation of the Voice changes the way others think and react, making them predictable and controllable, a puppet to dance at the suggestions of the Manasvinii Sister. (Core, p98)
  • Fear: Lesser minds do not have a true understanding of their own insignificance and imperfection. The Great Mind, however, can instill this on those they encounter, leaving them reeling in abject, blubbering terror. (KotoR, p50)

Manasvinii Talent Trees

Anavadya (Control) Talent Tree

This talent tree is called the discipline of “Anavadya,” or “The Perfect Body”. The Manasvinii Sisterhood studies mind-over-muscle techniques, becoming aware of every muscle in their body, and practicing to dominate its function entirely, so that their bodies are no longer a limitation, but a benefit. (Core, p101)

  • Equilibrium: Taking a small moment to slow the breathing and subsume pain beneath the Great Mind, the body’s limitations and agonies can be ignored entirely, as though they’d never existed.
  • Force Focus: The exhaustion that overtakes mind and body with the use of certain gifts is just as illusory as any other of the body’s limitations. The Manasvinii may take a moment to banish them just as capably.
  • Force Recovery: Wounds and injuries fall away beneath the onslaught of the Great Mind which refuses to accept such limitations.

Paramanas (Sense) Talent Tree

This talent tree is called the discipline of “Paramanas,” or “The Great Mind”. The Great Mind is aware and cognizant of the ten-thousand functions it performs: the Manasvinii perform these functions with deliberation and precision, rather than autonomous ignorance. (Core, p101)

  • Force Perception: Nothing escapes the notice of the subconscious mind. Fortunately, there is no such thing as conscious vs. subconscious layers in the Great Mind, which sees all and understands the motivations of simple men.
  • Foresight: Understanding subtle clues and acting on tiny intuitive leaps of prescience, the Manasvinii is ready to act heartbeats before the need to act even exists.
  • Visions: What others perceive as magical divination, the Manasvinii know is simply cognitive superiority and the ability to notice even the tiniest clues and tendencies and deduct either the origins of those they know, or where they will end up.

Manasvinii Training Talent Tree (New)

This talent tree represents the very basics of Manasvinii training. It assumes a certain level of enlightenment on the part of the initiate (generally, a woman with access to the Use the Force skill born and raised on the planet Alia). With these talents comes mastery of mind over body, an understanding of the very outer secrets of the Great Mind and the great expansion of awareness that the Manasvinii are notorious for.

  • Manasvinii Initiate: May use the Telepathy effect of Use the Force as a Move action rather than a standard action. Additionally, Use the Force becomes based on Wisdom, rather than Charisma.
  • Avagamana: Target a single target and expend a Farseeing use to “mark” them for the duration of the encounter as a swift action; may make a Use the Force roll (DC 10) as a Move Action to discern one trait about the one so marked, and one additional trait for every 5 points higher than that DC the check results in. The traits are: Defense Ratings, Base Attack Bonus and Weapon Proficiencies, ratings of Charisma-based Skills, Destiny and Destiny Points or Hit Points and Damage Threshold. Such characters are referred to as “marked” for the purpose of using other Manasvninii Talent Tree and Vilaksana Talent Tree abilities. (Prereq: Manasvanii Initiate)
  • Renewal: May regain all expended uses of Farseeing as a swift action. (Prereq: Manasvanii Initiate, farseeing)
  • Pravahati: May make a Use the Force roll as a full-round action to access multiple threads of memory and thought, gaining multiple swift “actions” (DC 15 = 2, DC 20 = 3, DC 25 = 4); may use them to make multiple Intelligence-based Skill rolls, essentially using Aid Another on self; may also spend actions to maintain powers (2 actions = Move Action, 3 actions = standard action, 4 actions = full-round action); roll is compared to Will Defense – if it is greater, it also moves the Manasvini one step down the Condition meter; lasts for that encounter (Prereq: Manasvanii Initiate)
  • Mind Over Body: May make a Use the Force roll when any Endurance roll is called for. (Prereq: Manasvanii Initiate)
  • Pathana Training: Cultivating a sensitivity to preternatural powers, the Manasvinii may add the following traits to the traits that may be gleaned through the use of the Avagamana mark: possession of Force Sensitivity, Force Points, or Force Powers and Force Talents. (Prereq: Manasvanii Initiate)
  • Dhasa Training: The Manasvinii may communicate with creatures who do not speak a language she does through the use of a Use the Force check; DC 10 = simple concepts; DC 15 = concepts that require some measure of education to discuss; DC 20 = intricate or high-education concepts (Prereq: Manasvanii Initiate)

Vilaksana Talent Tree (New)

Vilaksana – which translates into “Strangeways” in the old language of Alia – is generally thought of as the proprietary and very secret martial art of the Manasvinii. In truth, it is much more than that: Vilaksana is a kind of moving meditation, a literal syncing of mind and body. The movements of the art literally trigger biochemical reactions in the brain from which are born specific modes of thought; certain meditational thoughts cause the body to move in a certain pattern.

  • Perfected Strike: Unarmed attacks add Wisdom bonus to damage rather than Strength. (Prereq: Martial Arts I feat)
  • Nerve Strikes: Unarmed attacks inflict Piercing damage and reduce the protection granted by worn armor by an amount equal to the wielder’s Wisdom bonus (Prereq: Martial Arts I feat)
  • Vilaksana Defense: add Wisdom to Reflex Defense against target marked by Vilaksana Focus for the rest of the encounter. (Prereq: Martial Arts I feat, Avagamana talent)
  • Strike Foretold: May reroll an unarmed attack roll on a marked target once per encounter per point of Wisdom bonus as a free action; must use the second roll. (Prereq: Martial Arts I feat, Avagamana talent, Farseeing power)
  • Rujaa Strike: When striking a marked target with unarmed attack, may activate Force Stun as a Move Action, and targeting Fortitude Defense instead of Will. (Prereq: Martial Arts I feat, Avagamana talent, Force Stun power)

Manasvanii Force Techniques

Among the Manasvinii, those who master the secrets of the Great Mind sufficiently to wield these techniques (and thus take the Force Adept Prestige Class) are referred to as samya. They are accorded great respect for their skills, and often train other Manasvinii in the ways of the Great Mind. The Manasvanii who have attained the rank of samya are eligible for service on the ruling Council of Sisters, but many prefer to eschew a life of politics.

  • Vilaksana Adept: When using a Farseeing use to “mark” targets, may mark a number of targets equal to Wisdom bonus, instead of merely one target. (Prereq: Vilaksana Focus)
  • Post-Hypnotic Suggestion: X

Manasvinii Force Secrets

The rare few Manasvinii who unlock the deepest secrets of the Great Mind (and the Force Disciple Prestige Class) are accorded the respectful title of striguru. The striguru are a frightening elder sisterhood within the Manasvinii. They almost never speak, for they are in constant communion with Inama Nushif. It is thought by some that their individual personalities have been entirely excised, and they are but the vessels of She Is Eternal.

  • Vaasaana Mind: May use the Other Memories of previous Manasvinii; may make a Use the Force check instead of any other Intelligence-based Skill check. (Prereq: Manasvanii Initiate, farseeing)

Manasvinii

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