This week’s Mummy: the Curse update is perhaps one of the most concrete examples of the rules we’ve seen so far. CAS talks about Utterances:
Hi, gang. Last week, we talked a little about the magical paradigm of the Arisen. This week, we delve even deeper to provide a look at the most powerful magic the Arisen can wield: the Utterance.
The dark miracles that are the realm of Utterances could scarcely be considered “natural” by any right-thinking person. It’s said that the power of Utterances flows from sources older than mankind, reaching back to the beginning of the universe and perhaps beyond. And yet they are also deeply personal expressions of arisen Sekhem, a focused channeling of the powerful energies instilled by the Rite of Return.
While not intrinsically malevolent, Utterances almost always convey a “great and terrible” seeming. Their magic can only be called miracles, acts of God, or terms more profane. Even at their weakest, Utterances accomplish the impossible or reveal secrets that could not otherwise be gleaned. Where they help others, they do so gloriously and often with some price attached. Fate is beautiful, but not kind.
Each Utterance comprises three tiers of power, each of which is effectively a separate spell. Each tier has a minimum requirement attached to it, each of which comes from a different [redacted]. If a mummy doesn’t meet a given tier’s prerequisites, he cannot use that tier’s effect.
Dust Beneath Feet
Tier 1: [redacted] •; Tier 2: [redacted] (Curse); Tier 3: [redacted] (Curse, Epic)
Tier 1: The mummy is ultimately a creature of dust given form and life by the Rite of Return, infinitely more permanent than the matter that clothes his soul. As this tier unleashes, the mummy’s Sekhem bonds with the surrounding earth for an hour. He can extend the duration to indefinite within his tomb, but using this benefit makes the unleashing terminate as soon as he leaves his tomb. This earthen attunement grants the following powers and benefits:
• Whenever he suffers falling damage from landing on an earthen surface (glass, sand, dust, mud, clay, dirt, stone, gravel, concrete, asphalt, etc.), he can spend the next turn doing nothing but regenerating. If he does, he heals all damage from the fall, plus all bashing and lethal damage suffered on the turn spent healing. Even aggravated damage or fatal damage from falling regenerates, causing his crushed body to physically reassemble in the span of heartbeats.
• He can choose to swim through any inanimate objects made of earthen materials as though they were water, aided greatly by not needing to breathe. He can swim in soil beneath foes or down into the walls of a concrete bunker. His carried and worn possessions come with him, though he cannot take animate passengers. The material closes behind him as it was before, leaving no trace of his passage. This power also lets him do things like jump through a metal bank vault door like splashing through a light waterfall or swan dive through a parking deck’s concrete floor to land on the level below. While displacing matter, he can see that material as though it were well-illuminated and transparent out to ([redacted] + Sekhem) yards.
• If caught in a landslide, earthquake (like that conjured by the third tier of this Utterance), or other earth-based natural disaster, he instinctively swims through earth and regenerates from falls in such a manner that he finds his way safely to the surface without injury. He can manage this feat automatically, even while unconscious.
This is the kind of stuff that fires my imagination. Aside from the fact that the power gives me more than a passing Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure vibe with regards to high-weirdness, I can definitely see how the Arisen can be pretty disturbing as opponents. Ever since Mummy: the Resurrection came out, I’ve always toyed with the idea of a single mummy making his way to the penthouse suite of a Vampire, only to tackle the bloodsucker out of the window and plunging into the asphalt below with a sickening crunch. Given this particular utterance, the Arisen gets up after one turn, dusts himself off and walks away.