by Jamison Graff
Spirits can materialize to work their will in the physical world; doing so, however, costs much Power. However, spirits who wish to gain in Power, ironically, must aid physical beings, as totems or as gods. The path from Incarna to Celestine is dependent on the actions of believers. Sometimes, to bring miraculous aid to humanity and win their worship, a spirit must choose some agent to act as their body, empowering it to act on their behalf.
Apotheosis is avaliable as a Numen to mortals and Garou, or as a Discipline to Vampires. Note that Apotheosis is never a Clan Discipline, and high rank cannot be attained without the aid of a spirit Patron, typically from the ranks of the Pack Totems, although more powerful spirits may also act through such a channel.
Secret Meanings: You are sensitive to the spiritual activity behind the mundane world, and can add your level in Apotheosis to abilities like Astrology, Herbalism or Spirit Lore where an such an intuition is useful, or even to Enigmas when appropriate.
The Voice and The Vision: You can glimpse spirits and communicate with them. Limited perception of the Umbra permits you to perceive spirits on a successful roll of Apotheosis+Spirit Thaumaturgy (note that Perception does not apply - regular senses are of no use) with difficulty and clarity of perception analogous to Aura Sense.
Moreover, on a successful roll of Apotheosis (only) against a difficulty of six, you can permit your body to become a host for a willing spirit. The spirit can typically remain only a short while without expending Gnosis, however, and will thus generally depart within a few minutes unless an appropriate ritual is employed.
The Crown and The Glory: This level can be attained only after a suitable and willing Patron Spirit has been found. You have established a regular and persistent connection with your Patron, and the supernatural presence makes itself felt through you.
If you are not a Vampire, you gain the ability to buy the Presence Discipline as if it were a Numen (see Hunters Hunted). Further, when your Patron manifests through you (see Level 1, above), you gain a level of effective Presence (even if you have none yourself).
If you are a Vampire for whom Presence is not a Clan Discipline, it becomes such; if you are a Vampire for whom Presence is a Clan Discipline, the bond with your Patron grants you a permanent new level of Presence. In both cases, an extra level is also gained when your Patron manifests through you.
The Aura of a person with this level of ability is strengthened by the supernatural energy coursing through them. This counteracts the typical Vampiric paleness of Aura; it also decreases by one the difficulty numbers of anyone attempting to read your Aura.
When manifesting your Patron, your Aura will reveal a golden emanation from the head, recognizable as a solar disk or halo ("Crown of Helios"), or as a golden lotus, or a similar symbol, depending on the cultural background of the observer.
The Crook and the Flail: As an embodiement of your Patron, your authority extends even to the Umbra. Spiritual servants of your Patron may be at your command, and abilities such as Dominate and Presence now extend into the Umbra. You automatically perceive the servants of your Patron, and they are predisposed to assist you.
Communion: You have achieved a profound union with your Patron, and are in constant communication with it.
Because you are, in effect, always manifesting your Patron, the bonus level of effective Presence (see Level 3, above) is always active.
If you are not a Garou, you gain a Gnosis pool at this time, starting with one point; if you are a Garou, you gain a point of Gnosis. The Patron can transfer its Gnosis to you to recharge your pool, if such behooves it.
Your Patron can now choose to expend Power through you, as though you were a Materialization of it. A point of Power can be used just like a Blood Point, e.g. to heal a level of damage, raise a physical attribute, or fuel a Vampiric Discipline.
After Communion, the Patron is able to teach you suitable Garou gifts, depending on its nature. Such Gifts are purchased at the same cost as for Garou, even if you are not one.
Like a Thaumaturgy path, there may be no higher level of Apotheosis than Communion; even if there were, however, it would be unlikely that a Patron spirit would expend the necessary Power to grant you so high a rank.
The high level powers of Apotheosis depend on the Patron; should a Patronage relationship end, for whatever reason, the powers of the Crook and the Flail are lost, as is the communion. Presence is retained, although mortals will be unable to advance in the Discipline unless they find a new Patron (or are Embraced). The Gnosis pool is also retained, although without a Patron non-Garou will find it difficult to replenish the pool.
Without ever finding a Patron, however, levels 1 and 2 are available to Kindred and Kine alike, and are found among Shamans and spiritualists.