One of the most hotly contested prizes in the war between mages is the possession of Nodes. A character with a Node has access to a place of power where she can replenish her Quintessence and gather Tass. Your Node can be located anywhere - in a cellar, a grove, a high-rise, a glade, a crystal cave or an old church - but mages protect them like the treasures they are. Quintessence thieves may attempt to overthrow the current custodians of a Node and take the location for themselves. Your character may have to fight to keep her Node.

You and your fellow players can pool your characters' Node scores to increase the value of one particular Node rather than having several small one scattered around the area. The Node's rating determines how much Tass the place produces and how much 'free' Quintessence a character can absorb from it per week. Your character can stockpile Tass, but the magical energy may lose its potency after a short time if not used. The form this Tass takes reflects the nature of the Node. If the Node is in a cemetery, the Tass may take the form of grave-moss that your character will have to boil down to remove the Tass. Or, if the Node sits in a cave by the ocean, the Tass may take the form of salt-like deposits that your character will have to gather up and sift out to separate sand and silt.

The Quintessence available from a Node counts for all uses of absorption. Thus, characters who meditate to refresh their Avatar rating must draw on the Node and deplete it, and the Node may temporarily run out of power. The exact amount of power that a Node holds is up to the Storyteller. In this game, a Node produces 1 point of quintessence per week per dot in the background. The higher the rating of the Node, the more energy it holds and the weaker the Gauntlet in its location.

x No access to a Node: Like most mages, you only have what power you can scrape up.

• A minor Node, barely worthy of mention.

•• A small Node, holding a useful trickle of energy.

••• A significant Node, able to power several mages.

•••• A major Node, hotly contested.

••••• A powerful Node, one of the few sites of magic left on earth.