Eleventh Question

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Eleventh Question
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Guardians of the Veil Sourcebook.jpg
Guardians of the Veil Sourcebook 166
Primary Time
Order Guardians of the Veil
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Observe the weaving of the resonant flow.
Can you sense that the third arc is hidden between the primary two?
You were meant to believe this was the work of the Seers.

The Questions are considered, at best, eccentrics and, at worst, outcasts by the rest of the Guardians of the Veil. Publicly, they will defend the Questions as befits a member of their order. Privately, Guardians deride the Questions for unorthodox methods and an inattention to the priorities of the order. The Questions are driven to learn the truth at any cost, while the Guardians’ primary focus is to keep the Atlantean mysteries a secret. The Questions maintain that they are true defenders of the ideals of the Visus Draconis. In Atlantean times, the Eyes of the Dragon protected Atlantis from the subtle threats other orders could not hope to comprehend, much less confront. Only by honing the mind to the degree that the Questions do, are they able to face the threats that other mages (even other Guardians) can not. Only their continued successes have kept the Legacy alive. Many within the Guardians would prefer for the Questions to fail (either individually or en masse) so that the best minds can be brought back into the mainstream of the order. The rest will suffer the same fate as all failed Guardians.

  • Suggested Oblations: Solving a riddle or puzzle, studying esoteric scientific or magical theories, explaining a mystery to a colleague, obsessively practicing a musical instrument or odd hobby, disguising one’s appearance
  • Concepts: Detective, computer programmer, professor, lawyer, textbook writer, reporter, scientist, wealthy dilettante



The Questions usually cling to some idiosyncratic tic that shapes their appearance and demeanor. Some are impeccable dressers who prefer a timeless, classic look. Others lose themselves in their work and ignore most aspects of personal upkeep. In either case, the lack of attention to detail (or hyper-attention) often focuses the attention of those watching the Question. These eccentricities may not necessarily be in the realm of fashion. Some are obsessed with playing musical instruments. Others may cultivate rare plants or create works of art. These obsessive hobbies are outlets for the focused and dedicated minds of Questions, ones they attack with the same determination they do their investigations.


A 19th-century Mysterium philosopher, Lucy Caspian, coined the phrase “the Eleventh Question.” She believed that, at their cores, each of the 10 Arcana supplied the answer to a single question. Space provided the answer to questions of location. Matter could determine or shape the composition of a material object. However, she knew that even the Arcana had their limits. Therefore, an Eleventh Question could provide answers beyond the scope of magic.

Caspian’s cabal attempted to banish a ghost from its residence so that they could use the country manor as a new home. Incensed, and possessing a will and powers beyond most rest- less spirits, the ghost inhabited the bodies of each of the cabal in turn, using their mortal shells to murder another member of the cabal. The ghost then used the wizards’ own magic to complicate the murder scenes, making them impossible to solve, even by advanced magic. A reclusive Guardian of the Veil known only as “Sullivan” emerged from his hermitage to solve the mystery. Caspian’s protégé, Dr. Jeremiah Moon dubbed Sullivan “the Eleventh Question.” Together, the two solved numerous occult mysteries before Sullivan returned to his hermitage. Before doing so, he passed on his teachings to three Guardians of the Veil. These three Guardians did their best to continue Sullivan’s work, and their modern-day heirs continue on, answering the Eleventh Questions.

The Questions frequently come from a law enforcement background, though many also come from the scientific community or any background that requires mastery of specialized knowledge (the law, the priesthood, or even advanced mathematics). The common thread that joins all of the Questions is a dedication to discovering the truth, even if the truth is inconvenient or unpleasant. They were the police officers who would pursue the politically sensitive suspects or the reporters who file stories their editors are afraid to print.


The Questions have no formal hierarchy, though the sense of meritocracy that pervades the Guardians remains true for them. Questions will defer to another mage with more real knowledge of an issue. On the other hand, their inquisitive nature forces them to question an authority, just to make sure that the expert hasn’t missed something. The only constant in Question relations is the connection between tutor and pupil. Questions who are ready to take on pupils tend to retreat to their sanctums. The tutor then relies on his student to be his eyes and ears in the world. Pupils often fi nd themselves haring all over creation, doing all of the hard work (and facing all of the danger) while their teachers stay safely at home.


1st: The Unobvious Answer

Also known as “Sherlock Holmes’ party trick,” the Question simply looks at a subject or location for a round. By examining the subject for physical clues using Matter to instantly identify various infinitesimal traces of mud or stains, and then using Time to gaze backwards along the objects’ timelines, the Question is able to deduce seemingly impossible facts about the subject.

Dramatic Failure: The Question’s interpretation of the target is completely inaccurate, not just failing to provide information, but specifically misinforming the mage.
Failure: The Question fails to gather any useful information from the subject’s appearance.
Success: The mage learns basic facts about the target’s life, as well as specifi c facts about the subject’s recent activities, up to the previous 24 hours.
Exceptional Success: The mage knows intimate details of the subject’s life, including secrets no other person knows. In particular, the mage is able to reconstruct the subject’s activities for the past 72 hours.
If the mage also knows Mind 1, the Question can also ascertain emotional cues, akin to the Mind 1 Aura Perception spell. He also can combine the Attainment with the Death 1 spell Forensic Gaze, when using the ability on a corpse.

2nd: The Chance Answer

Time is of the essence to a Question on the hunt. A Question must often act quickly even when careful study would be preferred. The mage considers all of the possible answers that they are aware of to a specific question about something that has already happened (“Did this man murder the Colonel?” “Was Heinrich in this building the night of the 24th?” “Which of the three suspects owns this wand?”), and then uses his understanding of Time to pick the best answer. The question should be a simple “yes/no” question, or one that has a limited number of possibilities. It cannot be used to determine motives, thoughts or emotions, only facts.

If the true solution to the answer is not one of the potential answers the mage has, then The Chance Answer only works to eliminate one false answer. For example, the mage asks the question from above, “Which of the three suspects owns this wand?” However, unbeknownst to the character, the wand actually belongs to a fourth party. If the mage’s roll is successful, the Storyteller informs the player that none of them owns the wand.

Dramatic Failure: The Attainment provides false information, either giving a false answer, or, if there are multiple possibilities, falsely eliminating one of the possibilities.
Failure: On a simple failure, the Attainment fails to provide any result.
Success: Depending on how well he succeeded, the mage then discovers a clue or has a hunch that leads them to the correct answer.
  • Optional Arcanum: Mind 2
In addition to the factual Chance Answer he receives above, with Mind 2 the Question knows something of the motives behind the person involved in the question; basically, he gets an answer to the question of why. For example, the question, “Did this man murder the Colonel?” would not only reveal whether the man performed the murder, but why he did it (or did not do it, if he’s innocent — he might not have even known the Colonel, for instance). The question “Was Heinrich in this building the night of the 24th?” would reveal why he was (or was not) there.

3rd: Timely Answer

This Attainment requires the Question to have some degree of sympathetic connection to the subject, usually the Question’s quarry. However, this connection could be entirely secondhand, via examination of evidence or studying the quarry’s personal effects or place of residence. The mage’s understanding of her target becomes so fundamental, that she knows when her target will perform a certain action in the future. The mage must declare the action, such as “When will Hargrave kill again?” or “When will Margo return home?” The Storyteller makes a secret instant Intelligence + Empathy + Time roll, modified by the degree of sympathetic connection the mage has to her target[1]. If successful, the mage knows when the subject of the spell will perform the action. The most common use of the spell is to accurately predict when a murderer will strike next. If the mage also has Space 2, she can perform an instant Wits + Empathy + Space roll to discover where the person will act next. This roll is made by the Storyteller in secret, and is modified by the mage’s sympathetic connection to the target.

  • Optional Arcanum: Mind 3
The mage is not only able to connect the quarry to a particular place and time, but she understands why the quarry will be there. This can be used to great effect to understand a subject’s motives.
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