The Shroud of Silk
Basic companions are non-human helpers or allies that have no particular powers or special abilities, but are still part of an Amberite’s retinue. Though they do not have any magical seeming abilities, they still are more versitile and capable than a normal animal as with shadow folk that spend a lot of time around persons of The Blood.
Basic companions will be more intelligent and stronger than the basic animal, though they will not be able to speak or operate any kind of complex machinery, puzzle, lock, etc. Animal companions are on the whole less capable than a human retainer, but they are unfailingly loyal and will always give their all for their master.
Companions of Power
In Primal Planes, and even occasionaly in strange shadows, creatures of real power can be found. These creatures can be befriended by an Amberite, and as with basic companions, this is a bond that never breaks. As with items, companions of Power come in tiers that can be purchased with points.
Each companion of power will have some minor powers they can use. These powers should not be taken to be all the powers open to a companion of this level, they merely provide examples to give a sense of how strong a companion of that tier should be. The average companion might have 2 of these powers, depending on which ones are chosen.
Tier 1: A companion at this level is smart enough to speak, or at least communicate somehow, and learn to read. They can accomplish any task that a human could, given the limitations of their form. For instance, a bat companion will just not be able to hold a door closed, and a dog companion will not be able to type. They can push those limitations pretty far however, especially after long association with their Amberite.
Sample Powers: Venom strong enough to affect (but not kill) an immortal; Flame breath (bunsen burner strength); Psychic ability at Chaos rank; Ability to use one spell; Shifting camouflage; Shift to a couple of forms; Sense Powers
Tier 2: Companions at this level can accomplish amazing things, having a sort of minor ‘magic’ that allows them to get past some of their more annoying physical limitations. They begin to have real attributes, above Human rank, and can sometimes be quite strong in their area of expertise.
Sample Powers: Flight without wings; Shadow Travel (Established paths or to master only); Sense Shadow disturbances; Limited Regeneration; Limited Shapeshifting; Telepathic link w/ owner; Doesn’t need sleep.
Tier 3: Companions at this level are quite powerful. They must be treated reasonably well, or the bond between them and their owner will degrade. They often have substantial attributes and some abilities that mimic aspects of real Powers. Any creature that can become fully human in appearance and has the intelligence of a person is a retainer, rather than a companion. Anything beyond Tier 3 is probably not very interested in serving, even someone as powerful as an Amberite. Some kind of special arrangement would have to be made for such a creature, and the Amberite in question would have to have resources that even Amberites cannot easily gain.
Sample Powers: Shadow Travel (Very slow when not moving toward owner or on an established path); Creature Shapeshifting; Greater Psychic Senses; Limited Sorcery; Defense against Powers; Shadow Shaping; Control of lesser creatures (usually same type only)