The Frozen Skein is the Bloodline Limit of the Mori clan of Village Hidden in the Mist.

Background Edit

It is a poorly-kept secret among the most erudite of shinobi that those clans with natural affinity towards pure Yin chakra - with its associated concepts of stillness, complexity, perceptiveness, and reserve - possess substantially elevated intellects relative to the average population. Why, then, do they not rule the world?

Along with that poorly-kept secret is a well-known admonition: that the costs of a Yin bloodline almost unfailingly outweigh the benefits. The Yin is associated with the abstract and the mental, but it exists in balance with the Yang for good reason. Should it pre-dominate, its negative associations will prevail in greater measure than its positive - which only makes sense, as negativity is itself Yin-associated.
A prominent example: The Nara of Konohagakure. Intellectual titans, crippled by an almost immeasurably crushing laziness. Every scion born has the potential to be a Kage, and yet that potential will likely never be realized.

The Yin-natured clan of the Hidden Mist does not carry as heavy a burden, or as great a gift, as the Nara of the Hidden Leaf, but they are similarly beleaguered. From the Leaf the Yin stole motivation, but from the Mist it stole initiative. Members of the Frozen Skein are virtually unable to create original plans of action beyond the fairly basic. Furthermore, while they are able to critique and adjust plans proposed by others, they are far better at neutralizing flaws than contributing constructive improvements. They can salvage terrible plans, but are basically useless at improving already good plans. This is exacerbated by their retiring nature. They much prefer to act decisively and adjust a plan as it is executed rather than critique a plan to its creator’s face, though this can be overcome with time and socialization.

Within the desperate straits of a missing-nin’s life, where every decision counts and every action is full of pitfalls, the Skein user is in their element. Though they still need a team to function correctly and propose plans of action, they can be argued to be the most critical member of any team.

Bloodline Effects Edit

In Winter’s Grasp Edit

The bloodline user is unable to originate any plans of significant complexity. While this does not impair them too much in day-to-day ninja life, they would find it extremely challenging to thrive outside of a team.

A Frankly Terrible Idea Edit

The precise, well-timed movements and words of the Skein can turn a catastrophic plan merely bad, and some bad plans barely adequate. This is typically resolved narratively, but if a mechanical resolution is called for, their adjustments can offer an impressive (2x the user’s Frozen Skein Aspect bonus) bonus when against utterly overwhelming odds, and a significant (equal to the user’s FS Aspect bonus) bonus against bad odds. Alternatively, the negative consequences of a failure are decreased by some margin. This ability is not perfectly consistent and may fail due to QM fiat.

Monomaniacal Edit

One intelligence-related Skill can be purchased at half price. In Keiko’s case, this role has been allocated to Summoning. Since Summoning is not a skill per se, her bloodline instead allowed her to pick up the Summoning stunt for half-cost (saved 125 XP) and in substantially less time than would normally be needed.

The Best Laid Schemes Edit

The user rapidly lowers themselves into the Frozen Skein and uses that analytical power to optimise their actions in real-time. This is extremely risky, and always carries consequences; the Mori Voice is (relatively) safe to touch if you can meditate your way into it and take your time with questions, but when you need immediate answers your mind is without protection. The user may trade mental stress for bonus on a roll at a rate of +5 per stress, up to the limit that can be absorbed by their stress track and available Consequences. The maluses from Mental Consequences do not affect them until after the scene ends. Regardless of how large a bonus they gained, after the scene ends the user takes 6 mental stress.

Subjective effects Edit

"She drew the ice of apathy further up her body, past the frozen heart and into the structure of her mind. Final safety check. The words were a mould, reshaping the ice as it passed through them. Finally, the ice arrived inside her eyes, twin razor-sharp shards serving as lenses of dispassionate, merciless clarity."[1]

Dangers of usage Edit

"Rest. Sleep. Embrace the nothingness within you. Will is struggle. Will is suffering. Step aside from the world, and know peace. Let the gears of fate grind without you. Forsake the agony of choice, the crushing responsibility of action, and find the happiness of pure oblivion."[1]

When a Mori accesses Frozen Skein, waves of apathy wash over them, and they hear an endlessly repeating voice, convincing them to give up on struggling with life.

Those who succumb to this voice, enter a vegetative state. In Mori clan, those people go to the Garden of the Taken.

Greater resolve, strong sense of purpose and skill with using the bloodline allows the user to avoid those consequences.

Personification or entity? Edit

It is unknown whether the Voice communicating with Frozen Skein users is merely a personification of bloodline's effects, or an actual entity.

Pangolin Edit

Frozen Skein is regarded with hostility and disgust, and Keiko nearly lost her life for trying to access it on the Seventh Path.[2] They explicitly forbidden her from using it in the Seventh Path.

It's possible it has to do with telepathic nature of Pangolin, which makes them vulnerable to Frozen Skein's mental effect.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Chapter 13- Keiko's narration
  2. Chapter 51: The Seventh Path