The four Ascended Powers are ancient aliens that have abandoned their physical bodies and become one with the Universe, ascending into a higher state of being - immortal and powerful, but bound by esoteric laws and compacts. Although they no longer suffer from desires of the flesh, they still desire power - power that comes from remaking the physical universe in their own image. Lacking physical bodies, they are restricted in what they are able to do directly, but can offer powerful gifts to mortals who do their bidding in the physical universe. Although the Ascended have little interest in the goals and lives of mortal beings, they are useful as pawns in the great game that these Powers play amongst themselves.
The Ascended Powers offer the opportunity to play an entirely different game to everyone else at From Within. They each have different and often opposing agendas, but no way to carry them out directly. They must use the gifts that they can offer other Factions to influence them towards actions that score them points. The Ascended compete only against each other, but each is given regular updates on their score and relative position.
Ascended Powers in Play
In play, the Ascended Powers are designed to act as the equivalent of gods and demons, tempting the other Factions towards actions that benefit them, and rewarding them for doing so - or threatening to take their gifts away. Only certain players can speak directly to the Ascended, so they are limited in who they are able to influence. When Factions perform actions that align with the Ascended's objectives, they will score points - but they may lose points if the Factions act contrary to their needs. In order to convince others to do their bidding, the Ascended have an array of unique and powerful Special Projects that they can hand out.
As well as their direct gifts, the Ascended have a massive informational advantage over the other Factions. The Ascended Powers will each have access to their own shared bank of information which is updated live from the game's master database. This will allow them to see a huge amount of information relevant to their purview, as well as a live total of their score and that of the other Ascended. They can share or hide this information from other players that they deal with, or keep it to themselves and use it to their advantage.
The Ascended Powers do not compete with players from other Factions - they only compete with each other. In addition, they are able to check the point total of all the Ascended throughout the game, so they can see who is currently ahead. This allows the Ascended to work together to bring down the score of the leader - although since they cannot act directly, they must convince the other Factions to help them. The aim of this is to promote an interesting web of shifting alliances and support throughout the game.
Each of the Ascended Powers has a different way of accumulating victory points, and these are often opposed by those of their fellows. One Power may score points by promoting war and destruction, while another benefits by promoting peace and prosperity. Figuring out what the other Ascended are doing and how it benefits them is a large part of their game. At the core of the Ascended's efforts are special Stations called Resonators, which alter the physical laws of the universe around them and grant the Ascended more gifts to hand out. By convincing other Factions to build Resonators aligned with them, the Ascended gain more victory points and access to their more powerful abilities.
Ascended Player Slots
There are 4 Ascended Powers in From Within, each being represented by a single player. It is recommended that players of the Ascended Powers bring a device capable of accessing the internet, such as a tablet or laptop, with Google Drive installed. The four Powers and their areas of influence are as follows:
- The Bellost, Gestalt of Wrath (War, conflict & destruction)
- The Examplars Ascendant, Protectors of Enthalpy (Civilisation, authority & order)
- The Ascended Lutraks, Dancers on the Cusp of Forever (Chaos, inspiration & disorder)
- The Timekeeper, Guardian of Harmony (Peace, protection & construction)