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The introductory story to "Sea of Shadows" has this little tidbit:

The Legionnaires were moving through the area, meticulously searching both sides of the street. A few of them had barghests. I laughed a little to myself, knowing the Oblivion-sniffers wouldn't find me.

Reading this got me thinking: how could a character achieve this? What in the rulebooks would hide a wraith from barghests; an application of Enshroud, or is there another power, equipment or what-have-you?

One difficulty in answering this are the innumerable rules gaps in Wraith: the Oblivion. It doesn't describe any particular supernatural perception or tracking ability for barghests (which are wraiths that have been... processed in a special way) that another ability might target. Consequently, if there were a power to conceal a wraith from barghests, it might target barghests, rather than abilities barghests would use, or be based on the abilities of the wraith (such as Enshroud, which, in the 20th Anniversary edition, adds dice to Stealth rolls; the 2nd Edition is vaguer as to effects). That said, I can find a few abilities that barghests might use:

  • All wraiths have Deathsight, which "lets wraiths view the Oblivion within all things". The epithet "Oblivion-sniffers" might be a reference to Deathsight. However, mechanically Deathsight lets wraiths identify weak spots of things in the skinlands, rather than an ability related to dead things.
  • Barghests' perception is 5, and will likely play a part of any roll. As this is a general attribute, it's doubtful any power would target it directly.
  • Barghests have a Tracking of 5. This is unlikely to be targeted directly by a power, which instead would more likely affect Stealth rolls (as an ability that opposes Tracking).
  • Barghests have Argos 3, which includes Tempestpeek in 2E, and presumably Weather Eye in 20th. Both let a wraith peek into the Tempest, thus finding anyone attempting to hide there. Enshroud in 2E explicitly states that the wraith is "unseen in both Tempest and Shadowlands", making it even more likely the ability that the line from the story is based on. In 20th, an Enshrouded wraith is "manipulat[ing] the membrane between the Shadowlands and the Tempest, drawing the sunless sea over herself for concealment", so it's less clear whether this ability would help conceal someone from a barghest (or anyone with Weather Eye).
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  • \$\begingroup\$ How do the barghests' special senses work? I'm pretty sure that Mages can do this (and they can make magic items that can cast any effect they themselves are capable of), but the exact means by which they do so might vary depending on what exactly they need to obfuscate. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Jul 30, 2022 at 8:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000: info added to the question. Since the Wraith books can be rather vague in areas, I'd expect that candidate powers/items wouldn't be in terms of barghests or their abilities but would instead focus on what the wraith could do. \$\endgroup\$
    – outis
    Jul 31, 2022 at 4:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Johnny Liar, the protagonist, has just taken advice from his Shadow, whom he calls Twin. Twin is described as "overconfident" and full of "wheedling assurances." When Twin says "use Tempest Threshold," that could be a literary depiction of offering Shadow Dice or other aid to do so. Taking and using those dice gives you Angst flavored by your Shadow archetype and can alter your personality. All this is to say that, in the fiction, which this is, when Johnny says he knows the barghests won't catch him, it may just be a strong expression of the belief that they won't. The intro isn't rules text. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Jul 31, 2022 at 11:18

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Fiction isn't rules text.

Johnny Liar, the protagonist, has just taken advice from his Shadow, whom he calls Twin. Twin is described as "overconfident" and full of "wheedling assurances." When Twin says "use Tempest Threshold," that could be a literary depiction of offering Shadow Dice or other aid to do so. Taking and using those dice gives you Angst, flavored by your Shadow archetype, and can alter your personality.

All this is to say that, in the fiction, which this is, when Johnny says he knows the barghests won't catch him, it may just be a strong expression of the belief that they won't. The introductory fiction was written by an author contracted for the purpose, who may or may not have been familiar with the rules — especially in a sourcebook that came out so soon after the release of the 1E core book.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Surprisingly, "Tempest Threshold" is rules-accurate: it's the name of a basic Argos art that opens a nihil just long enough to pass through into the Tempest. It's not that I took the quoted sentence to refer to something in the rules, but rather it made me wonder how it could be done. \$\endgroup\$
    – outis
    Aug 12, 2022 at 18:41

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