Heart and Secrets
Heart is the very basis of your character. Order defines you, forte distinguishes you, but heart is your purest, truest self. (It is not, however, your soul. We’ll discuss souls soon enough.) It suggests your most basic nature. Each of these is keyed to one of the classical elements, important because that means that each is keyed to one of the four families of cards in a Sooth Deck. Those families have associations far beyond just the four elements, so each heart also has an animal and an object. (These associations may not seem intuitive initially, but from the perspective of the entire setting, they make more sense.) When a Sooth card of the character’s heart is turned in gameplay, that can sometimes have a specific effect for that character.
Flameheart: You are fast in thought and deed. Quick thinking means you’re good on your feet, ready with an extemporaneous plan or action. Card family: Secrets. Animal: Raven. Object: Book.
Stoneheart: You are quiet and slow to action, but thoughtful. Rarely shaken. And you have great depths should anyone ever explore them. Card family: Mysteries. Animal: Rat. Object: Mirror.
Waveheart: You touch and are touched by the emotions and thoughts of those around you. Your words are wise and fall just right upon the ears of those who listen. Card family: Visions. Animal: Swan. Object: Blade.
Stormheart: Quick to potent action, you react with strength and emotion, a veritable force of nature all on your own. Card family: Notion. Animal: Cat. Object: Clock.
Some people drop the “heart” portion of each name, simply calling themselves a flame, a stone, a wave, or a storm. With the heart, we now have three of the four choices that make the statement about your character. “I am a [FOUNDATION] [HEART] of the order of [ORDER] who [FORTE].”
Practically a currency unto themselves, secrets in Invisible Sun hold great power. While they can take many forms, some secrets grant vislae new options or character abilities. Learning this kind of secret involves both story elements and game mechanics, but these singular character abilities can really flesh out or distinguish a character with a unique benefit. Abilities gained through secrets are incredibly varied. A character with a new secret might be able to cast their spells in a different way, allowing them to use a special component to extend their range. Another might simply never be blocked by a locked door again. A third might learn a way to literally steal someone else’s face for a while and use it as their own. Imagine discovering the secret to living without needing to eat, the secret language of corpses, or the secret of projectile dreaming.
Characters unlock secrets through a combination of gameplay and mechanics. Based on their story facets and other factors, characters earn points over time that can be spent on order or forte abilities, new spells, or secrets.