This is a deal, not submission. You are in control here. You can handle this. Other people wouldn't understand. Not yet. Discretion is required. And discretion is not deception. But in an unreasoning and unfair world like this one, can anyone truly blame you if you are forced, by circumstance, to bend the occasional fact? For the right reasons of course. You got tired of waiting. This world is unjust, and you will not submit to that, nor to the mystical delusions of the 'Sleeping Gods', or the corrupt gerontocracy of some magical hierarchy. The cold machine of the world keeps telling you to wait, to get along, to accept what is happening, at least for a little while - a while that lasts forever while the cruel rule in glory and the weak are crushed. Always you are told that you are not enough; wrong family, wrong friends, bad blood, bad attitude, too stupid, too lazy, too ugly, too strange, intemperate, "hysterical" if you complain, a face that doesn't fit, a form that cannot get along. You live in this world like a rip in a painting, the more they try to wrench you out, the deeper in you get, you are in the image, but not part of it. But now things will be different. Now you know something they do not. Or someone. You have a friend. And for the first time, someone really understands. Not only do they understand - they want to help. There are powers at work in this world. Agents. It would be foolish to deny it. And you are close to one of them. You understand them. So few do. And they understand you, like nobody else. Maybe you meet with them in a dream, they train and educate you, giving you guidance, teaching you skills and revealing hidden knowledge. Or perhaps they communicate invisibly through intuition, inference, and invisible sign. You must watch and stay aware, attending carefully to every possible subtle sign so to catch their messages. To others, it might seem like madness, but this insanity bears real inarguable fruit. Or they may send you actual, physical messages. These might be delivered by some fey creature or magical beast, written on leaves, or scraps of ancient tomb-wrapping, scrawled in a forgotten tongue. Or even a normal letter, brought be a messenger. Whatever they teach you, it works. No fakery, no bullshit. Real, actual power, right now. The power to change things. And, maybe for the first time, real actual people value you. Your friends. You could never do this alone. You need help. Together you finally get to do all the things you've always wanted, adventure, travel, fighting evil. And recovering treasure, which will come in useful with the long-term plan. And, you get a chance to help your patron. Your friend. Not very much is needed. Just small things, a little here, a little there. And it’s all worked out so far hasn't it? Those dibs and dabs of information have let you really help people, finally you are doing good. You can't tell them everything yet, they wouldn't understand. They are good people, but. . . there are complexities. You have to keep a few things back. The plan. They might not grasp that it’s the right thing. Yet. You can't tell them everything. You need to make sure they are trustworthy. Soon though, you will tell them soon. Everything is going to work out. PATRONS An Entropic Wyrm: Only the most insane of beings would ever accept power from one of the children of Yggsrathaal. However, you may be just such a being. More likely, the Wyrm has disguised itself and passes before you as something more like one of those below. The Emperor: One of the Holy Aeth of the Grey Cities has contacted you, selecting you for a very special mission. They cannot leave their sacred reality-sustaining duties, and the guards and systems around them are corrupt, calcified with a millennia of mediocrity, ritual, and greed. But they have found a way to reach you and, though you can tell no-one, you are being tested for a mission of absolute importance. An Old Power of Uud: 'Demons' or 'Quileth', these were named in the old days. If the gods sleep, these beings nearly sleep-walk. They are distant and silent now, but a few still exist and traverse the frayed borders of reality, looking for some way to affect the world. They were once called enemies of the sleeping gods. But what do you really know about those somnolent creatures claiming to be gods? Only what their priests and servants tell you. There is another story, one that tells the real truth of the so-called 'gods' and their complicity in the Fall of Uud. The Eldritch Founder: An unusual contact to have and one most belief is simply a crazed delusion. But your powers are real enough, the Founder whispers to you, telling you where you can find certain people and objects. Sometimes they can even allow you to create these objects, forming them from the raw stuff of reality right before your eyes. A Foreign Lord: There are lands beyond Blackwater that still live. Their existence is confirmed in ancient legends. The puissant and noble ruler of one of these distant lands has found a way to contact you specifically. There are people living out there beyond the Waste and they need your help to be found again, and then bring the lands closer together once more, to begin the re-knitting of Uud. A Lifian: One of the Living Ones. Somewhere between gods and elemental beings, these are Uud’s old, old nature spirits, fragments of a living reality. A River Dragon, Eld Witch, Rain Angel, or a timeless Lightning Sage. Or else, Night herself in her iron chariot requires a champion, or Sleep, in his dripping hall. One of the Ancient Dead: Death, like all the old gods, sleeps, and this means some of the more active wraiths of ancient times - great emperors, mages, and prophets, can sometimes slip the bounds of Night and visit the world, bringing memories of the glories of that forgotten time, as well as powers and skills no longer seen in the living world.