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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Aevylmar's Avatar

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    Default Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    This is the OOC thread for Lords of Sea and Storm, where questions are to be asked, comments are to be made, character sheets are posted, and OOC discussion is to be had.

    The Introduction

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    To: Her Imperial Majesty, the Scarlet Empress, Heir to the Shogunate, Savior of Creation, Defender of the Realm, etc, etc, etc
    From: Her most obedient servant, Cathak Merre
    “Upon the prospects of a Western Expedition to reclaim Tianrasia, and the History and Status of the aforesaid metropolis.”

    It is with great sorrow that I write to you, Your Eternal Magnificence, with the results of my study of the city of Tianrasia. I can only apologize most humbly for my dismal failure to discover the fate of that city in response to your imperial request. Happily, it did prove possible to recover much information, but the eventual fate of the city is not in our imperial records. Nevertheless, I offer unto you a summary of the information as to the city’s fate that I have gleaned from divers and sundry records scattered across all five directions, in hopes that this may help me atone for my great failure.

    Tianrasia was founded in RY -1773 by that tyrannous Unclean One whose name has been passed down to us as Radiant Zyantian of the Nine Wonders. Zyantian despised what he called the imperfection of his Exalted slaves and so used magic now lost to us in one of the many attempts by the Anathema to forge an automated city, protected by invulnerable walls manned by bound elementals, fed and purified by elsewhere-cycling plants, protected from Wyld influence by jade obelisks. Under the auspices of this advanced sorcery, Tianrasia became one of the safest and most prosperous cities in that day and age.

    Upon Zyantian’s overthrow by the Terrestrial Host in RY -1415, Tianrasia was - miraculously - nearly untouched, and he was entombed within its walls in an attempt to placate his spirit. The city was chosen as the capital of the province referred to as the Mithric Isle. With the majority of the city’s magitechnological artifacts remaining undamaged, it became a major hub of immigration and a nexus of art and science, expanding beyond its original walls. Under the rule of the lesser House called Gens Ryanno, Tianrasia prospered, as did the isle.

    Then came the Great Contagion. Your Perfected Radiance knows how deadly a blow that was to all of Creation, but Tianrasia suffered most of all. The remaining First Age engines still allowed much of the population of the city to survive, with nearly fifteen percent of the population resisting the disease. However, none of the survivors included members of Gens Ryanno, and we can conclusively say that the primary branch of that bloodline is extinct. Though the disease passed quickly and did not return, the damage was done and Tianrasia and the surrounding regions suffered a near-total collapse of civilization, order, and rule of law.

    It is at this point that we lost direct contact with the city. Occasional reports by sea and air traders remain, but the larger picture is lost. We know of a group of Princes of the Earth who, arriving in Tianrasia by ship in the year RY -113, took over leadership of the city and began projects to help restore it, but our reports cease completely in the year RY -107. We may assume that at approximately that date, the Raksha invasion reached Tianrasia.

    Only one record remains, Your Divine Mercy, and this not reliable. Among the island peoples of Thesser, there still exist today legends about a great and glorious city, ruled by the ‘Lords of Sea and Storm’, who dealt justice, slew dreadful monsters, and held back the tide of the Wyld for decades of war. Even now, the legends say, the last of the Lords holds court in a fortess of civilization within the Wyld. I theorize that this is Tianrasia, and that these legends were created by visitors to the city. However, I must sorrowfully confess that I have no evidence beyond the words of barbarians. Therefore I must beg your merciful pardon that I cannot answer your primary question: Did it survive? I cannot say. Tianrasia was ruled by true Princes of the Earth; the walls were forged of alloys now lost to us, the jade obelisks would repel the touch of the Wyld, but the armies of the Raksha were near-limitless, and few others survived the attack.

    Your Virtuous Diligence, I beg an opportunity to atone for my failure. According to ancient maps, its location is very near the borders of the Wyld; were I to be provided with a fleet, I would hope to honor your name by bringing back conclusive proof of its survival or destruction.

    Your humble servant,
    Cathak Merre


    Stuff From The Recruiting Thread I Want To Preserve

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    Character Creation:

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    To begin with: I would like to see an introductory ficlet before I see the character sheet, preferably either including or attached to a backstory. It doesn’t have to be long; my assumption is that it will be somewhere between half a page and four pages, but the only real restriction on how long or short it can be is indirect: ficlet quality is the main grounds on which I’m selecting players. If you can write a good story that’s a paragraph long or fifty pages long, feel free.

    I am assuming that the players are not local to Tianrasia; you may be refugees fleeing from the Balorian Crusade, survivors of the Great Contagion heading to a relatively safe city, officials from the East enjoying a brief period of stability to try and settle the frontier, or any of the dozens or hundreds of other possible origins for Exalts.

    The system of character-sheet creation uses the rules for creating Dynasts, with the following exceptions:
    • It is acceptable for your ability allocation to fit either the Realm or Lookshy requirements, so long as it fits one of them.
    •*All Crafts have been combined into one. Purchase any Craft and you know all Crafts.
    • The Arsenal, Command, Henchmen, and Retainers backgrounds are not available. Followers and Cult, however, are. All characters have 12 background points.
    • While the Connections, Contacts, and Resources and Reputation backgrounds certainly are available for purchase, they may be limited in use. As a result, when you buy the first dot, you get the second dot free.
    •*Similarly, Familiar is absurdly overcosted normally; Familiar of rank x works as Familiar of rank x+2.
    • Only the first purchases (whatever the level) of Artifact and Manse are at the traditional Realm rate; later purchases buy Artifacts and Manses at the Solar rate.
    • Players may choose to purchase hearthstones which are explicitly west of Tianrasia; when the manses that fuel them are destroyed, the points you paid for the hearthstones will be refunded as double the xp purchase cost (6xp for a 1-dot, 12xp for a 2-dot...).
    • Black Paper Moon’s ‘Ten Thousand Dragons’ charm rewrites will be used, slightly errata’d for 2.5.
    • All characters start with Elemental Internalization Technique as a bonus charm, regardless of whether or not they met the prerequisites.


    Expectations for Players:

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    I feel as though I should note, though I don’t think I should have to, that I would like to ask people to try to have proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization in their posts and ficlet. In the event that your introductory ficlet has never met a spellchecker, you will not get in.

    Once the game has started, I expect about a post a day - more if there are lots of people posting, less if there’s a really slow combat scene - and that, if there’s going to be a while when you can’t make it, you give me prior warning of that fact.


    City-Building:

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    Essentially, I’m using a homebrew system based on the ‘Creation-Ruling Mandate’ system in Masters of Jade.

    Tianrasia has a collection of aspects - like, say, Reach of Law, or Craftsmen, or Military Harbors - normally ranked from 1 to 5. Each of them gives some useful bonus to rolls inside the city, or provides a supply of well-trained NPCs, or something along those lines, based on the level*. For instance, Military Harbors determines how large a fleet you can have; Orchards provide food for the city; Craftsmen determines how high Resource cost items your city can produce in large quantities, and so forth and so on. Given the state of the city you start with, most of the aspects are going to start off fairly low-rated.

    In intermissions between adventures, competent city officials and agents - including, but not limited to, the PCs, though NPCs will act with your direction - will have opportunities to raise them as extended rolls with 1-month intervals. The main abilities involved are going to be (in approximate order) Bureaucracy, War, Socialize, Craft, and Sail. The main attributes are going to be (in no particular order) Charisma, Manipulation and Intelligence.

    The difficulty of raising an aspect from Level x-1 to Level x is (2x+4) successes, with a (-x) external penalty on the roll.

    Similar rules will be used for leveling military units, with each of their abilities, attributes, or non-derived traits (Drill, for instance) being treated as an ‘aspect’. The difference is that the difficulty for raising an aspect from Level x-1 to Level x is 2x + magnitude successes, with a (-x) external penalty on the roll, unless the aspect is Magnitude, in which case it’s 2(magnitude) + (highest aspect) with a [-(highest aspect)] external penalty on the roll. Raising military units is always going to be (Charisma+War), or in rare cases (Intelligence+War).

    (* In addition, of course, to the effects on flavor and adventure hooks and things of that nature. A city with low Reach of Law but very good Trading Harbors is going to feel very different from one with the opposite traits.)


    Game Plan:

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    Since this is an odd sort of game, I’m writing a brief digression on the expected structure. Basically, you’re going to be having adventures alternating with periods of stability, eventually leading up to one long dramatic siege by the Raksha. During the periods of stability, you can train, improve the city, and all that sort of thing; I feel as though it is worth making the promise, given the Exalted XP rules, that you will have time in the periods of stability to train.


    The Shogunate Setting:

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    In the Exalted universe, the Shogunate is one of these times when we know that stuff was happening, but not much about what it was like. We know that it was ruled by a Shogun, that it lasted for ‘70 mortal generations’, or about 1400 years, that it turned into the Realm, and that it called its Great Houses ‘gens’ the way Lookshy does.

    Based on that, I am assuming that it was fairly similar to the Realm, except with more power in the hands of the provincial lords and less held by the central bureaucracy or the central ruler; that a series of shoguns held power, in some cases inheriting from a relative, in other cases winning a civil war to attain power; and that the Dragon-Blooded were a powerful military aristocracy who led (and, in some cases, fought in) the legions. As the story starts, the Blessed Isle is in a state of political chaos due to the Shogun, her expected heir, and all the other people with any strong claim to the direct succession being dead of the Great Contagion. Whoever currently holds the title of Shogun is making no more than sporadic attempts to maintain control over the provinces in the four Directions.

    For purposes of the story, I am assuming that the Great Contagion did not have a one-to-one overlap with the Balorian Crusade - though, of course, the Crusade did hit a Contagion-ravaged Creation. At the start of the story, the Great Contagion is largely gone from this region of the West, while the Balorian Crusade hasn’t quite reached it yet.


    On Leveling Up:

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    Solar XP costs will be used whenever they're lower than Dragon-Blooded costs, which is pretty much always.


    This is also where I’m posting various information your characters may have access to:

    A Map of Tianrasia

    Major NPCs that you may well know about.

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    Crazy Ninja Girl
    ???

    Russet claims she’s being taught martial arts by a crazy ninja girl. Nobody else has ever seen her - or, for that matter, observed any evidence that she exists.

    [Deceased] Daimyo Ryanno Eiyo
    Terrestrial Exalt, Wood-Aspected
    Born RY -396, appointed Governor of Tianrasia in RY -179, converted to the Immaculate Faith in RY -173, died RY -112 of the Great Contagion at age 284.
    Daimyo Ryanno Eiyo, Chosen of the Dragons, was the Governor of Tianrasia until she died of the Great Contagion. She was generally agreed to be competent but not especially ambitious, focusing her career more on building up the wealth of Tianrasia than on personal political advancement.

    [Deceased] Taimyo Ryanno Shisho
    Terrestrial Exalt, Earth-Aspected
    Born RY -313, joined the Legions in RY -294 at the rank of Chozei, promotion to Taizei in RY -282, promoted to Shozei in RY -266, promoted to Kazei in RY -237, promoted to Taimyo in RY -225, died RY -112 of the Great Contagion at age 201.
    Taimyo Ryanno Shisho, Chosen of the Dragons, was an able military politician who supported the present Shogun’s faction in the Succession War of RY -227, for which he was awarded with command of all troops in the Mithric Isle province and authority to lead punitive expeditions against local barbarians and Raksha raiders.

    He was a supporter of his cousin, Ryanno Eiyo, and was probably influential in her appointment.

    Ryanno Sei IV
    Mortal, Age 16
    Born RY -128
    Ryanno Sei IV is the youngest of the five children of Ryanno Eiyo and is betrothed to Russet / Bianfu Xujia. According to his family’s ambassadors and Russet’s minders, he is a young gentleman, possessed of proper education and distinguished manners.

    She has no idea if they even share a language, but he’s probably not dead. He is not to be confused with his great-uncle, Ryanno Sei III.

    Ryanno Sei III

    Ghost, Age ???
    Born ???

    Ryanno Sei III is a ghost capable of acting in the physical realm. He's working for his niece Ryanno Eiyo. He's surprisingly affable for a dead man.

    Rai-zhi-rya
    Deity
    “Born” RY -1773
    Rai-zhi-Rya is the city goddess of Tianrasia. She is generally agreed to be friendly, apolitical, and interested solely in her passions of poetry, genesis art, and medicine. A handful of reports from the First Age suggest a close relationship with Zyantius, but she accepted the imposition of the Immaculate Faith quietly enough.

    It is unknown if she is alive or dead.

    Mar-rak-kan
    Deity
    “Born” Early First Age.
    The ancient god of the Mithric Isle. Ceased association with mortals and Terrestrials after the Usurpation, aside from a handful of paramours and the resulting children.

    Believed to be deceased.

    Gochei Tiba
    Mortal, Age 43
    Born RY -145
    Commander of the troops in the Seaside District. Alive. Glad to see Aria.

    Third Logothlete Kanryo Yori
    Mortal, Age 19
    Born RY -121
    The guy running the palace district. Used to be a minor treasury clerk. Good friend of Sei.

    Lieutenant Niwa Zuka
    Mortal, Age 20
    Born RY -122
    She's the lady running the palace guard. Actual rank unknown.

    Stratega Laoban Vari

    ???, Age ???
    Born ???
    The "Tyrant of Eastgate", a popular military leader and a possible opponent of the PCs.



    Edit: General categorization of types NPCs, in spoilers, ranked by How Important They Are.
    Spoiler
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    Basically Unimportant

    Random Scenery Extra
    No name unless mandated by the story, extra, can't stunt. Probably doesn't have stats; if he does, they're generic.
    Example: Random Fisherman #97.

    Soldier Extra
    Personally unimportant, can't stunt, but is important in that he is Representitive Of A Larger Body. Might do things, but doesn't have a real name. Has defined bu generic stats, probably because they need to be averaged for something.
    Example: Random Army Mook #13.

    Elite Mook
    Probably doesn't have a name, can't stunt, but is supposed to be enough of a threat so that he gets full health levels and can roll dice. Isn't just scenery, so isn't quite an Extra.
    Example: Hobgoblin #4.

    Basically Important

    Minor Heroic Character
    Has an actual Motivation, a name, and at least a minimal backstory, but can't stunt and can't Channel unless directly aligned with his Motivation. Might be able to help run the city if he's on your side.
    Examples: Gochei Tiba

    Major Actor
    Like the above, but more important. Can stunt, though stunts may be discounted. Will channel in rare situations where his life is in danger, or where it aligns with his Motivation. Can definitely help with the city-running if he's on your side.
    Examples: Ryanno Sei

    Setting Factor / Big Bad
    Is a Really Important Person. Has a Motivation, will channel as if he was a player, has full stunt abilities, Trying To Get Things Done. Approximately one or two will be introduced per adventure; many of them ("Arc Villains") will get demoted downwards after their arc is over, if they survive. Probably too busy to help running *your* city.
    Examples: Daimyo Ryanno Eiyo; Crazy Ninja Girl


    I’m stealing Industrious’s stunt dice rules from Return of the Scarlet Empress, which some of us are involved in - that is, roll three stunt dice when you make a roll, and I’ll tell you it's value in my next post. Stunts less than three will have dice chosen left to right.

    Experience rules... we’ll have to see. There will be XP awarded after each adventure, and XP awarded for each long period of downtime that occurs in the story, and XP awarded for each ‘session’, which is defined as whenever I think a session’s worth of gameplay has occured. And XP for 3-die stunts, of course.

    Given the degree to which waiting for a battle to start slows down the game, Join Battle rolls for PCs who haven't made them yet when the GM notices someone has joined battle will be made by the GM, in spoilers, once the first person rolls. If you want to use pre-roll enhancement charms, just use them before you look at the spoiler for your roll. I trust my players.
    Last edited by Aevylmar; 2013-03-16 at 05:14 PM.
    R.I.P. Skandi the Wolf of Return of the Scarlet Empress

    Fate/Heroic: A homebrew conversion of the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying system to the Fate/stay night setting.

    Friendplug: Arpista Editing!

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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    Reposting character sheet:

    Kailea Seven Blossoms
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    Name Kailea Seven Blossoms
    Exalt Type and Caste Wood
    Anima A colorful bloom of flowers and growing things, accompanied by the intoxicating smell of nectar and honey
    Motivation: Protect her people and help them grow

    Description: Long dark hair, skin the color of honey, a full figure and lovely inviting lips make Kailea the perfect image of an island beauty; one could almost think she stepped out of a sailor's fantasy. She is poised and graceful, with a warm smile and an unaffected friendliness towards most everyone she meets. Her usual garb is a banded green-and-white dress woven from silk and plant fibers; it leaves arms and shoulders bare, wraps tightly around her torso, and flares out to give her legs plenty of freedom before ending just. Several necklaces of beads, shells and driftglass are strung around her neck, and she wears a pair of brightly colored bead bracelets. She typically goes barefoot or sandaled, and likes to wear a garland of flowers in her hair.

    Background
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    Kailea is born on a tiny island tribe far to the West, where the Shogun and the Blessed Isle are as distant as the Incarnae and Yu-Shan. Here the world shrinks to sky and sea, sand and jungle; the people live simply, hunting and fishing when the weather is fair and retreating to the high cliffs when the monsoons come. Sometimes the storms bring rains that never fell from Creation's skies, wind and waves straight out of the Wyld, and when this happens they must entreat Nan-i-Anan, patron goddess of the island, to allow them to take refuge in her sacred caves.

    Sometimes the storms bring other troubles. At times sharkmen come to the island, lurking outside the lagoon to steal fishermen from their rafts and raiding up the beaches, and then the men take up their barbed fishing-spears to do battle. The losers on either side are eaten; sharkmen are fair game. This is in accord with the law of Siakal. Worse are the hobgoblins who ride the chaos-storms in monsoon season; these the tribe endures by hiding, by fleeing, and by sending the godspeaker to plead for the help of the local spirits. Nan-i-Anan, and Ihanu who rules the current that flows past the island, and Basorl the reef god, and Longest Leap, first among the local dolphin-gods; all these will give aid, if they are appeased and given the proper tributes.

    Kailea is born here. Her mother teaches her to hunt, as all women here do, and to gather clams and crabs in the shallows—but no further; it is forbidden for a woman to catch fish, or wade more than knee-deep into the sea. (She does not know her father.) She grows into a young woman. Because she is very pretty she is picked by the godspeaker to accompany him when he goes to treat with Basorl and Longest Leap and spirits of their ilk, who are fond of pretty human women. She is not his apprentice, because becoming godspeaker is another thing women on the island do not do. But she listens and learns. She likes Longest Leap, who is clever and warm and funny; she likes Basorl, who is old and rough-mannered but kindly beneath it, and does not mind breaking taboo to show her the reefs; she even likes Ihanu, cold and erratic though he is, and proud Nan-i-Anan.

    In the spring after her sixteenth monsoon season her blood shows itself; the sweet scent of nectar and honey wafts from her skin, and growing things unfold around her. She is touched by a god, the islanders say, and Nan-i-Anan tells her she is blessed by the Emerald Mother. When age and sickness carry away the godspeaker he chooses her to follow him, for she knows the spirits of the island better than any other. Seven flowers of a kind that no-one has ever seen spring up around her hut overnight; after this she is called Kailea Seven Blossoms.

    Time passes. She is a woman in spirit as well as in body, now, with children of her own. A shadow comes over the island, a terrible sickness that takes a thousand forms but leads almost always to death. The sacred smoke of the bala tree does not keep it away, the poison of the whitespine eel does not purge the body; the sacred remedies fail. She calls on Longest Leap, but it is days before he answers, and when he comes he says the sickness is among his people too. They cannot help. They are fleeing west, in hopes that the strange waters there hold a cure. The island itself is dying. Proud Nan-i-Anan, who looks down on humans and sees herself as an exile of Yu-Shan, she sickens and does not speak, not even to rebuke Kailea when she comes to tend her ailing body. When the goddess passes Kailea Seven Blossoms goes to the other tribes to confer. It is an ill omen, and they decide they cannot stay. Some wish to follow the baiji west, hoping that the Wyld holds an answer to the sickness. Others say only madness awaits that way, that they must flee east and ask the Children of the Dragons who rule there for help. In the end they are divided. Mahon Pearl-Eye, son of the Ocean Father and chief among his tribe, leads those who go west. Kailea Seven Blossoms leads those who go east.

    Rafts and canoes are lashed together, and huts are built atop the largest; the children stay in here, and the women, so that the storm mothers will not take offense. The journey is long, and all they meet have encountered the same sickness. Others speak of terrible goblin warlords coming out of the West, riding storms worse than any others, and Kailea knows she was right to go east. She mourns Mahon, and implores the spirits for fair winds and swift currents.

    At last, they find a land which—though not untouched by the sickness—still holds life.

    Attributes

    Physical
    Strength ●
    Dexterity ●●●●●
    Stamina ●●●

    Social
    Charisma ●●●●
    Manipulation ●
    Appearance ●●●●●

    Mental
    Perception ●●
    Intelligence ●●●
    Wits ●●

    Abilities

    Linguistics ●
    [F]Lore ●●●
    [F]Occult ●●●●● (Art of Warding ●)
    Stealth
    Thrown

    Awareness ●
    Craft
    Integrity ●●
    Resistance
    War ●

    Athletics ●
    Dodge ●●● (unarmored ●●●)
    Melee ●
    [F]Presence ●●●
    Socialize ●●● (gods and spirits ●)

    Bureaucracy
    Investigation
    Larceny
    Martial Arts ●
    Sail ●

    [A]Archery ●●●●● (elemental bolt ●)
    [A]Medicine ●●●
    [A]Performance ●●●●● (prayer ●●●)
    [A]Ride ●
    [A]Survival ●

    Backgrounds
    Artifact ●●● (elemental lens, hearthstone amulet, silk armor)
    Breeding ●●● - Though her bloodline has lain dormant for long enough that the ancestor who bequeathed it to her is forgotten, Kailea is touched strongly by the Dragons. Some seeds are buried deep.
    Connections (Western spirit courts) ●● Kailea maintains friendly ties with a number of the local deities and elementals near Three Moons Island, and through them has access to many of the larger Terrestrial courts. Her major contacts include Longest Leap, a respected figure among the dolphin gods, and the old reef-god Basorl, who was in ancient times a companion to both Baxishun and the Ocean Father.
    Followers ●● - While over two hundred people followed Kailea east, only a couple dozen are both skilled and personally loyal enough to qualify as Followers. Among them are Haseo, her nine-year old son, a God-blood of baiji descent; Laka, an old fisherman from her tribe and the most likely replacement for chief if the tribes settle back into the old ways.
    Manse ● - A nameless Air-aspected demesne on the highest ocean cliff of her home island, capped by a simple stone circle. This is a sacred place where godspeakers for generations have invoked the spirits of wind and storm; it is also the place where the people gather for shelter during the worst autumn storms. It provides a godspeaking trillion in the form of a twisted glass shell; the hearthstone can be used as a whistle in addition to its normal function. (Note: this manse is west of Tianrasia.)
    Reputation ●● - Kailea is well-known and respected among the western island tribes as a skilled godspeaker, and (lately) a reliable source of leadership. And though Terrestrials are not well-liked in the spirit courts, Kailea is known for her piety, honesty, humility, and (among a certain subset of mostly-male gods) her willingness to bed almost any spirit who shows interest. However, the Shogunate's elite are likely to consider her an unrefined barbarian, while devout Immaculates consider her religious practices unseemly if not outright blasphemous.

    Artifacts and Equipment
    Elemental lens - A piece of pale green drift-glass on a string, carved smooth by wind and wave. The world as seen through the glass is strange and vibrant, more like a fanciful painting than a true depiction of the world. One of Kailea's predecessors found it on a beach hundreds of years ago and deduced (correctly) that it had come out of the Wyld and still held power. It has been traded and passed down to shamans and priests ever since, though until Kailea none have uncovered its power. (Doubles all damage dealt by Elemental Bolt Technique and other Charms that evoke elemental energy)
    Silken armor - A gift from Longest Leap, this raiment of rippling white and green is much tougher than the woven plant-fiber it appears to be. In addition to providing armor, it sets off Kailea's assets quite nicely, and counts as an exceptional tool for appropriate social rolls.
    Hearthstone amulet - A simple jade loop designed to hold a single hearthstone.

    Charms
    Elemental Bolt Technique
    Elemental Internalization Technique

    First Occult Excellency
    Spirit-Detecting Mirror Technique

    Auspicious First Meeting Attitude

    First Socialize Excellency

    First Archery Excellency

    First Performance Excellency
    Intoxicating Primal Dance

    Join Combat: 3

    Defenses
    Dodge DV 7
    Parry DV 4

    Soak: 3B/1L (6B/6L in armor)

    Health
    -0 [ ]
    -1 [ ][ ]
    -2 [ ][ ]
    -4 [ ]
    -X [ ]

    Mental Defenses
    Dodge MDV 7
    Parry MDV 5

    Virtues
    Compassion ●●●
    Conviction ●●
    Temperance ●●●
    Valor ●●

    Primary Virtue: Temperance
    Limit: 0/10
    Crazy Aspect Mode: In Limit Break, Kailea is overcome by guilt over failures both real and imaginary, and lapses into self-pity and shallow indulgence. Depending on the triggering circumstances and her mood, this can produce a variety of reactions, ranging from ritual purification and ascetic moping to comfort sex accompanied by self-loathing.

    Intimacies
    Haseo (motherly love)
    Longest Leap (affection and lust)
    Basorl (fondness)
    The Fair Folk (fear)
    Storm mothers (fear and reverence)
    Spirits in general (reverence)

    Willpower: 10
    Temporary Willpower: 10/10

    Essence
    Permanent: ●●
    Personal: 15/15
    Peripheral: 21/29 (8 committed)

    Bonus Points
    Willpower +5
    Performance +2 (2)
    Archery +2 (2)
    Specialties (2)
    Occult +2 (2)
    Thaumaturgical degree (warding) (4)
    Temperance +1

    Experience Points
    Last edited by The_Snark; 2013-01-25 at 08:56 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    Adara Xeifan

    “Glass Knife” - Advanced Reconaissance Armor

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    The Advanced Reconaissance Armor combines several magical materials in order to obtain an harmony of essence-resonance. Nodes of starmetal hum quietly behind small pannel of soulsteel that shatter the light, channeling distorted essence through orichalcum lenses; the complexity of this assemblage makes it both delicate to repair and extremely costly to attune to, but as long as it is powered, it makes one into a whisper quieter than a ghost.
    Made in the First Age, the Glass Knife belonged to the cutting edge of a peculiar class of Artifacts known as “utility armors” - power armors whose main purpose was not to protect the wearer and enhance his combat capabilities, but to support a wide array of “tools,” magitech devices focused on precise tasks. The ARA's main purpose was to allow infiltration and reconaissance of enemy territory, and as such she was designed not just with a cloaking device, but with flight and sensors, allowing the user to observe without being observed and to penetrate where no one wants him.
    Recuperated by Dragon-Blooded after the Usurpation, it saw use by several families in the most heated period of the Shogunate as a tool of espionage and assassination. Its highly complicated construction made it difficult and expensive to repair, and when the Adara family lay its hand on it, the armor was in a state of high decay. It took Xeifan years to repair it to its full capabilities, but it was her smashing success that granted her prestige in her family and made her accepted as their leading engineer.

    Heavy Chassis
    Soak:*9B/9L
    Hardness:*5B/5L
    Mobility:*0
    Fatigue:*2
    Attune:*12
    Maintenance Requirement:*Every 200 hours. Every missed 40 hours causes one of the armor's systems to fail.
    Hearthstone Requirement: the armor has two hearthstone sockets, and cannot function until at least one is filled with a 3+ Hearthstone; this hearthstone brings no other benefit to the bearer than powering the armor. The second socket can be used normally.

    Subsystems:

    Flight System: Orichalcum repulsors channel essence into starmetal vibrators, denying gravity its rightful hold over the owner. The wearer may fly at 25 yards per tick in normal circumstances, or enter a long-travel stance in which she travels As the Crow Flies in long-distance trips.

    Cloaking Device: By reflexively spending 5m per hour, the wearer can make the armor blur and fade from view. Players must succeed at a reflexive (Perception + Awareness) roll, Difficulty 4 while moving or 6 while stationary to notice the cloaked character. Make a check when the character first comes into view and again whenever they do something to betray their presence. Once the player succeeds in noticing the character, they do not need to make checks again unless the wearer leaves their sight or they otherwise lose track of them. Characters attacking the wearer apply the usual penalty for invisible opponents. The wearer cannot be detected by Essence detection alone.

    Sensory Augmentation Visor: a seemingly opaque jade lens occupies the center of the armor's head, like a cyclopean eye; through it, essence and spiritual matters are revealed, and the wearer can toggle distances at will. The wearer gains a +2 bonus to Awareness rolls, as well as Essence Sight and the ability to see unmanifested spirits; she may see in any darkness less than Total and see and discern details 5 times further.

    Targetting System: the jade lens acts as a monitor, intuitively displaying crucial information brought by moonsilver analytic devices, and starmetal vibrators produce subtle shifts in Fate to ensure that the wearer's moves are as accurate as physically possible. The wearer is always considered to have the benefit of three ticks spent Aiming; should she decide to take further Aim actions, each tick spent aiming converts one Aiming die into a success. Furthermore, this Aiming bonus applies to a weapon's Defense value as well as its normal attack bonus.

    Under the Hood
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    Power Requirement: (9AP)
    Total: 45

    Flight Systems (Overland Systems, External Essence Manipulation Systems x3) 7 AP
    Cloaking Device (Advanced Cloaking x2, Essence Distorsion) 10 AP
    Sensory Augmentation Visor (Night Vision, Telescopic Vision, Essence Sight, Spirit Sight, Efficiency System x3) 11 AP
    Targetting System (Interception Targetting, Least God Lock-On): 10 AP
    Reflex Integration: 6 AP
    Hearthstone Socket: 1 AP


    Opening Ficlet

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    Jejad called it the “Cave of Wonders,” but in truth the room was at the top of a tower surplombing the city. It was as dark as a cave, though, save for the sparks of lightning coming from her tools as she worked on her armor.

    “How many days have you been here, sis'?” He asked with a look of concern. She ignored him. The problem in front of her was much more interesting: a warstrider hand, the essence-connections between its fingers cloated with necrotic energies such that it had been to weak to resist a direct blow; now the fingers refused to flex correctly, and the hand could not hold a weapon. But she was certain that she could repair it-

    The hand of her brother on her shoulder startled her, and she let go off her tools with a small yelp. She put down the jade lens enhancing her vision, and looked at him through a haze. “What time is it?” She asked, and Jejad noticed the huge blue circles around her eyes.
    “Time to get some sleep, little sister.” She shook her head.
    “I can't. I have so much to do.”
    “It can wait for a bit, can't it?”
    “No. All these things... They go away faster than I can repair them... And I can't build them... It's like a heap of smoldering ruins, and I have to assemble them myself into a new building, but it keeps crumbling and...”
    “Shhhh. Come sleep for a while, okay?”
    She shook her head, looked at the enormous limb on her table, but already her vision was blurry. She nodded at last, and followed him outside the chamber.

    When she threw a last glance behind her, she saw the hand in an odd angle; it looked as if it were stretching towards her, trying to keep her from leaving.

    *

    Even with environmental seas close and working on a supply of untainted air, she could still somehow smell the stench of death all around.
    Moving inside the power armor felt like not really being there. She was surrounded by jade pulsating with conducted essence, not touching anything, not feeling the air on her skin or the earth under her feet. It was disquieting. And the silence – she had cut off the hearing capabilities of the armor just so she wouldn't have to hear the moanings of the agonizing. She took slow step after slow step in this rotten wasteland.
    Dogs rotting from the inside out amidst a mass of flies, dead too before they could enjoy a meal of their flesh. Birds broken on the ground after the final throes of the Contagion had thrown them out of the skies. And people, of course. In the houses, in the streets, on the roofs. Dying.
    Her cousin Aman waved to her, and she put the hearing back on.
    “We should hurry,” he said in a tense voice. She nodded. They moved inside the first house, metallic figures of moving jade, like golems. Inside, the living were clutched in a corner, shaking, not daring to approach the two corpses. She took one, Aman the other, and they went out to throw them on the heap. Then they moved to the next house.

    The doctors had been the first to die, not realizing how dangerous it was to approach a victim. For a while the gravetakers had remained in business, burrying the corpses, then burning them in the streets when they became too many. And then they fell ill, too, and now there was no gravetaker.
    Except a few Dragon-Blooded in sealed environmental armors, moving among the dead and the dying to burn them, only ones immune to the plague. Thanks to her. It was her moment of triumph, and yet the horror of the Contagion took away any sense of success she might have felt.
    They were the new undertakers, clad in armor soiled with bile and blood and feces, contagious death smeared all other them – and safer yet than the sorcerers in their jade towers.

    Aman took another corpse, but stopped suddenly. Beneath the helmet, it was impossible to watch his face, and she worried.
    “Aman? What's going on?”
    “I don't know. A problem with the ankle. It isn't putting out as much power as it should.”
    This was not normal. “Just drop that one on the heap and let me have a look, okay?”
    Aman nodded and crossed the few yards that separated him from the pile of twisted corpses; he lifted his own burden slightly to put it on top-
    And she saw it. The small burst of steam from a joint ankle snapping and bursting the plating. Aman suddenly lost all power support in his right leg and fell to one knee, the corpse falling on top of him. He yelled, and tried to get back up, but without working support he was destabilized; she rushed to his side to help him and took him by his shoulder.
    “What... What happened?” he asked, confused.
    She did not answer.
    She could see the snapped joint, the rupture in the armor's containment. The soiled metal opened like bile-tainted lips, on a so small patch of skin.
    And she knew.

    *

    Aman was slow to die.
    She had rarely experienced the Contagion so closely. They changed her room, put her in the chamber closest to his dying room, so she could hear his screams and moans and gurgles. She never saw him once, but she experienced his entire agony in sound, and in a way it was worse. She took to covering her hears with her pillows during the night, and for the first time took paramours in her bed, if only to cover the sounds and exhaust her into forgetfulness.
    And she worked. Oh, Dragons knew she worked. She had failed, after all, and it was her duty to make it all better. But now her family was watching her in anger, and her tools were taken away one by one, and she was sent on pointless missions that distracted her from her true work. This was her task to bring greatness to her family: saving the wonders of a lost age, ensuring that they retained unparalleled technological power. She lived surrounded by ruins and memories, and she would not let go.
    Besides, if she went outside, what was there to see but more ruins and more memories? She could see the city dying. And worse, she heard nothing from the outside – this was no isolated plague. What horror had been unleashed upon the world? And how to fight it? Her suits of metal and essence-powered constructs seemed so feeble in front of this sickness. They had not saved her cousin.
    At night she was woken up not by his screams – he had ceased to scream a long time ago now – but by the memories of his screams. And for all their horror, she could not go to sleep until she had put her ear to the wall and listened, hoping to cach a gasping breath, a lone moan. Anything to show that she wasn't alive, that she hadn't killed him yet.
    Aman was slow to die.

    *

    Jejad came into the Cave of Wonders wearing the grieving colors, and for a while, he remained silent. He looked at his sister, plying and cutting and smelting and putting together plates orichalcum and moonsilver circuitry. The arm on her workshop was easily twice her size and likely ten times her weight. She was almost inside the damned thing, half-buried in magic material.

    He'd though she was wearing protective clothing, but when she turned to face him he understood. She was wearing yet another of these suits, powered metal encasing her entirely. She even wore the helmet.
    “Is that necessary?” Jejad asked. “The Contagion is fading. You don't need to shut yourself in these things.”
    “Protective clothing for delicate crafting operation. I work harder now. Must beware of essence-flares. Safer that way.”
    “Sister. The Contagion is gone. There is no war yet. You are safe.”
    There was a moment of silence.
    “No. Never safe. Always more danger,” she murmurred in her muffled metal-voice.
    “Stop it, sis'. Please. We are all... Listen, this is not how it should be.”
    “I have failed. I have killed one of the precious members of our line. Respectable breeding. Great gifts. Dead because of me.”
    “That is not how we see it.”
    “You know it is a lie. I feel their reproach every time I show my face. So I don't show it anymore.”
    He sighed. “It has been a month since I last saw your eyes. Won't you at least look at me without that helmet?”
    She fixed her unbleaking stare on him, silent; then she turned away, taking some complicated implement to purse her work, without a word.
    Jejad gritted her teeth, containing his frustration, and he stepped forward to put a hand on her shoulder-
    At the very moment his skin touched the metal, she turned on her heels and slammed her palm against his chest with inhuman strength, crushing her against the wall – two yards, crossed in a single movement. The blow took his breath, and she asserted her hold on his collar. He could feel that she wasn't even using her own force – essence servos and Hearthstone sockets supplied power to mechanical muscle, tightening into a grip only the Exalted could match.
    They stared at each other for a long time. Finally, she lowered her eyes and stepped back, letting him go.

    Finally, she raised both hands to her head, and with a hissing sound released the helmet, lifting it off slowly to reveal her ginger hair and weary face, the same blue circles of fatigue around her eyes. She tried to smile, with little success.
    “I'll be all right. Okay? Just let me finish this. Please.”
    “It's been three years that you have been working on that thing, Feixan. And you're still on the same arm. Will you ever finish?”
    She stared at the arm, holding her helmet tighter against her chest. She looked at this giant hand that had grabbed her so long ago and never let go.
    She closed her eyes.
    “No. But I have to keep working.”


    Additional Ficlet
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    "...before the end of summer. Will you be able to handle it?”
    “If you didn't know the answer to this question, you wouldn't have summoned me.”

    Xeifan hazarded an eye out of the doorframe, curious to see to whom the voices belonged. She recognized one, the chilly matter-of-fact tone of her father; but the other was stranger, a gruff, mangled sound full of strange accents and swallowed words.
    Her father was there indeed, clad in white and blue robes, his white hair perfectly combed; he towered over a creature two heads shorter than him (but then again, her father was very tall), a misshapen figure with skin a dull brown. This was no man; it was rather one of the strange things that her father had learned to call into this world from places Xeifan did not quite understand.

    She ducked behind the door as her father left the room, his fast pace quickly carrying him away from the chamber. She waited for a while after she was gone, and soon she began to hear the purring of a warm fire and the sound of heavy objects being carried to and fro. The little girl dared to get out of her hiding spot and look into the room, and what she saw amazed her. The disfigured little man had lit a fire inside one of the great furnace of the house's smithy, and he was now gathering up lingots of steel and a heavy, locked casket, which Xeifan recognized as one of the chests containing strips of jade whose purpose still escaped her.

    She took a step into the room, the muscular back of the spirit moving and roiling as he worked, a half-whispered bawdy song humming from his lips. She turned around him, putting a worktable between them, and watched with amazement. All to his task, the spirit did not notice her for several minutes, as he started to weigh jade strips and melt lingots in the furnace. When he did see her, his eyes narrowed, and he turned towards her with the slow movement of a ponderous mountain; Xeifan squealed in surprise and stepped back until she found herself against the wall.

    “What you doing here, little jewel?” the creature said suspiciously. Xeifan was too scared to answer, and babbled incomprehensibly. “You shouldn't be here,” he said again. “Smithy's no place for girls of people who can make my life hell. Why don't you go somewhere safer?”
    Xeifan nodded in the way she always did when a grown-up gave her a sermon, with big watery eyes and a very sad look on her face. It didn't seem to affect the spirit much though, and he went back to work with a grunt. Nonetheless, Xeifan did not move. After a few minutes, he stopped again, and looked, this time with surprise more than anger. “What are you still doing here?”
    “I...” She began. “Uh... I wanted to know what you are doing.”
    “I'm doing craftsman work. Erenhal business, as it were. That's what I was called here for.”
    “...what are you crafting?”
    “Nothing that concerns the likes of such a tiny young jewel like you, not even polished or carved yet. Get back to your lessons or toys or whatever it is you people do.”
    “Please. I want to know what you are doing with all the jade and furnaces and stuff! And also, you don't look like a real smith,” she says defiantly.
    “Don't I, now?” the Erenhal smiled.
    “Yup! You don't have gloves, or an apron, or as many tools as my father's smiths do. You're going to get burned!”
    The creature pondered some obscure thought for a moment, then said: “Tell you what. If you bring me a keg of ale, I'll tell you what it is I'm doing and why I am not wearing some damn apron.”
    Xeifan hesitated, then nodded with fierce determination and scurried out of the room.


    The demon didn't think she'd come back, but on the afternoon of the next day, as he began to melt jade and steel together into a workable alloy, he saw her stumble into the room, carrying an unlikely large keg who seemed like it could outweigh her; she dropped it next to him with a groan, then hurried behind the same table as the day before.
    The amazed demon took the keg in one hand and opened it; not only did it smell like ale, it smelled like damn fine ale. The foolish girl had probably taken from her family's own reserves rather than the servants', unaware that there'd be any difference in quality – or in the consequences for the thief. Few masters let him indulge in such fine drink, and so he wasted no time in downing the entirety of the recipient, dropping it with a satisfied sigh.
    “You're a damn foolish one, that I can tell you,” he said to the girl waiting patiently across the room. “But you hold good on your promises and I like that. So, let's get on with this explanation of yours, and don't blame me if you understand zitch. Not my job to dumb down my excellent teaching for silly little jewels.”
    And he spoke. He told Xeifan of the magic inherent to Jade, forging weapons greater than any made of bronze or steel. He told her how it was alloyed with steel to be worked into proper weapons, cheaper than pure jade and lighter, more supple, more easy to be made to cut and slash as daiklaves and dire lances. He told her how it took a crafstman of superlative skill to perform such feats, one with power over the metal he worked, wise in the ways of Essence.
    “But the clothes?” Xeifan asked, hungry for more knowledge.
    “I am no man, squishy and frail in their soft pink skin. Watch:”
    And she did; and she saw him plunge his hand into the fire to retrieve the smoldering iron, and the sparks of essence that flew from his hammer as he beat it into shape. Flames and sparks leapt at his face and torso, but he ignored them and they danced across his bronze-like skin. Xeifan looked in awe, and she spent her entire afternoon in this smithy, listening in turn to the song of steel on steel and to the words of the demon as he told of his work. At the end of the day, he brandished a strange form; it seemed like the blade of a sword, but its edges were blurry, undefined.
    “...is this what my father brought you here to build?” She asked. He laughed.
    “Ah! This is nothing. A rough shape at most. To craft the jade swords your father wants, I will smelt this sketch and reforge it until it suits my taste, and I will cool it in the tears of a grieving Chrysogona. And that will only be the first week.”
    “Week? How long will it take in total?”
    “For a lesser worker than I, a single sword would take an entire year. But I can do better.”
    Xeifan said nothing, so impressed she was with the scope of the process that was happening under her eyes; her face made the demon smile.
    “Now I've told you what you wanted. Get off before you get me in trouble.”
    “But wait!” She cried. “There's so much more I want to know. You can't possibly have told me everything!”
    “By the time I'd have told you everything, you'd be an aging crone with hair of snow, and that's assuming you'd take to the Dragons' blood; otherwise you'd long be in the grave.”
    “But you can tell me stuff while you are here, at least; right? I'll bring you more to drink!”
    The demon looked at her thoughtfully. “I gather your mighty father has a cellar full of fine meads and wines of all sorts, am I right?”
    “He sure does. And I can get inside and back! No one would suspect me to steal alcohol, I'm too young.”
    “Well,” the demon said, “I think we got ourselves a partnership, little jewel.”

    And for months, whenever she could, the little girl sneaked away from her parents, preceptors and watchers to go see the Eranhal. It would be false to say that the demon was her mentor; she was too young to completely understand what he told her, and soon the subject of his tales moved away from the arts and crafts of smithing, and to the wonders of the demon realm and the times now lost. He told her of things she couldn't believe; ink made of demon's blood that would take life as moving tatoos; statues of brass and iron in which trapped blood apes languished for ever, to be worn by their peers as magical armors; shifting silver sands cast into shining glass, and acidic indigo ice that could be carved into crying figures whose tears turned earth and flesh into stranger oddities. She drank every drop of his tales, the truth and the lies, the facts and the myth, and in her minds she played with these wondrous stories.
    “Come here,” he said one day. He showed her a strange little object, like a small piece of gilded string, supple enough that she could bend it a little but could not break it at all. “What is it?” she asked.
    “It is a small fragments of the inner workings of these clockwork magics you people are so fond of. It is called an “Essence circuit.” If you pour your energy into it...” He frowned slightly, and an arc of lightning went through the string; a small light shone at its end. “It lights up. It channels magic.” Xeifan looked with her mouth wide open; the demon threw the string in her hand. She tried to do the same thing as him, but she had no idea how; so she basically frowned and thought very hard about the string and squinting her eyes until the muscles in her face were all tense, but it didn't do anything. She looked back at him, puzzled, and he finished his bottle before saying: “if some day you inherit the blood of the dragon, you'll understand how it's done. 'till then, this might just as well be a bit of gold for you.”

    Xeifan looked at the string, and tried again to do magic to it, to no avail. This night she went to bed tired and frustrated, with the string in her hand, and she endlessly tried to work out how that simple bit of metal could be med to light up like this. There must have been some kind of trick, some way of looking at it or thinking about it... But there wasn't.

    She made a ring out of it, and put it on her left hand; every day she took it off and put it back on and toyed with it and tried to understand. She was doing that one day as she passed near the yard, and she heard the screams of pain and the lashing sounds of a servant being whipped. Curious, she walked towards the scene; a few bored members of her family were watching the spectacle, as some form of free entertainment. She approached one of her cousins.
    “What is she being punished for?” she asked.
    “Oh, she was stealing alcohol from the house's reserves. Probably to give to her drunk of a husband. We're firing her, but first a good flogging will do her good, remind her not to steal from her betters.”
    A terrible doubt spread through Xeifan's mind.
    “Is... What did she steal, exactly?” she asked in as innocuous a voice as she could.
    “Kegs of ale. Wines. Some mead. Really, quite a lot of it.”
    “Have you found them?”
    “No, she probably threw the bottles and casks away after drinking it. Or heck, perhaps they sold them! They don't have much money though, so if that's it they made pretty bad a deal. Not that it'd matter anyway, since their properties are being confiscated to pay for what they stole. Not that it'll be enough. Hence the flogging.”
    Xeifan felt a terrible weight upon her stomach. She looked at the woman, then at her cousin, and she felt the cold sweat of fear dripping on her back. She wanted to save something, to spare that woman a punishment that was her own fault, but she saw the whip lashing in the air and she was terrified; in the end, she ran away from the scene crying, under the amused gaze of her cousin.

    “You shouldn't be worrying,” the smith told her later, when she explained why she hadn't brought him another drink today. “If you come into the blood, you will be a Prince of the Earth. If you do not, you will still be a revered member of their family. It is your place to escape the law and have your lessers punished in your place.”
    “But that is terribly unfair!” she cried.
    “Unfair? It is but the law of Cecelyne: that the strong rule over the weak, that the mighty ignore the commands that can cause the meek their lives. A demon I considered my brother was once sentenced to death for the crime of a more important one. I did not shed a tear; such is the way of things, and when I come back to the demon city, I will be under this law again. This servant suffered for you, little jewel and now your crime is paid for; all is right in the world.”
    She was stumped for words, and did not know how to answer.
    “...who was this friend who died?” she asked shyly.
    “Did you bring me ale?” the demon said.
    “Well, no, but you know why!”
    “Then you will have no story today.”
    “But if I bring you more alcohol, another servant will be thought a thief, and punished!”
    “And if you don't, you will have no further story for me. Such is life.”
    She looked at him indignantly. “How dare you! You are a slave of my father! I order you to tell me what I ask!”
    The demon smiled. “That's the spirit. But it is pointless: I am bound to your father, not to you. I do not have to obey your commands.”
    Xeifan stared and glared and frowned and pouted, but the demon reacted with a wall of indifference. In the end, she stormed out of the room, seething in her own anger – which conveniently managed to make her forget her guilt. For a long while, she gave no further attention to the smithy and its temporary occupant. She tried to ignore him forever, in fact.

    But in her dreams and daily games she remembered the city with towers of brass rising to the skies, and the greenish glow of vitriol being poured over orichalcum, corrupting its essence into something greater. She remembered the tales of how the demons worked steel and glass and brass into chains and swords and bolts, and the smoke of the factories were Eranhals toiled endlessly for their Unquestionable masters. She remembered legend after legend, a landscape of wonder and horror. And more than anything, she stared at the string of gold on her hand, and she looked and she thought, and she remembered and she whispered the tales the dwarf had told her.

    She was sitting in her garden, amidst carefully cropped trees showering her with dying leaves, but she had no attention to spare for them. Her brothers and sisters were playing around her under the watchful gaze of their preceptors, but she could not care less about their silly games. The breeze carried the fragrance of a dying summer, but she did not smell it. Her eyes saw only gold, her ears heard only the tales of the demon, her nose smellt only the wondrous stench of the demon city. And she looked at the string, and she bent it, and she plied it, and she cursed it, and finally she closed her eyes and breathed out, slowly, mentally exhausted by her own obsession.
    She opened her eyes, and she saw it, and her resolve strengthened. She took the measly bit of orichalcum in her hand, and she brandished it before her eyes, and she cried:
    “LIGHT UP!”
    And it did.

    And there was a spark of blue lightning running from her arm and igniting the orichalcum string, and it flared for a second like a torch; and as the light died away, the wind roared to her ears, and she felt herself growing lighter, lighter, ever so lighter, until the breeze carried her aloft, and its raging whirlwind sent her siblings screaming to their teachers. She looked around her, amazed, and she felt lightning crackling at her fingertips, and an understanding of the world that dwarfed anything she'd ever thought she knew. Suddenly she remembered all that the Erenhall had said, and she understood it, she felt the knowledge of ancient crafts so much more easily.
    She felt new.

    Of course, there was a grand celebration as she was introduced to her family as a true Exalted. There was much pride and rejoicing and formal congratulations. She smiled awkwardly and tried to talk to all those intimidating people, but like the Air she moved from place to place and could not settle in any conversation. She had to wait for the festivities to be over, and for the overbearing attention she had brought upon herself to lapse, before she could sneak away (much more easily now) into the smithy.

    But the demon was not here and the furnace was cold. The jade caskets were empty, and in a corner the precious jade swords had been stowed away. A single mortal craftsman was retaking possession of the place, removing the last traces of her storyteller.
    She felt a pang of absurd sadness, which she put away. Why would she be sad? He had not been a friend; merely a paid worker, exchanging favor for favor, and he had not cared of the consequences or her own feelings. Regardless, she felt a sense of loss, and she remembered – all that had been said to her. The promises of her Air-Aspected aunt to teach her the ways of sorcery and summoning. She, too, could learn the occult and master the power of the doors between worlds, and call to her such wondrous workers as this demon had been.

    But already she knew that this was not what she wanted. She would politely refuse her aunt's offer and she would not learn sorcery. She would go against the ways of her blood – because it was only in this way that she could obey the dictates of her mind, the very obsession that had awakened the Dragon in her. She did not want any demonic crafter to do her work. She wanted to plunge her hands in the forge and beat the blades into shape with her bare hands. She would craft herself those strings of orichalcum, until their lights combined and fuse and became pure power, animating the precious wonders her house had gathered over the century. All the greatness of the demon city – it would be hers.

    Xeifan gave a polite order to the mortal worker, who stepped back fearfully; she took coal, and she took steel, and she lit up the furnace and cooled the water.

    And when the sun set on that day, she had made her first sword; an ugly piece of steel, all wrong in shape and texture, that no warrior in their right mind could ever use; but it was hers, forged by her hand alone. To this day she carries it wherever she goes, and people often politely enquire about the reason for putting such an ugly weapon on proeminent display in her quarters.

    Few, if any, ever see the golden ring on her left hand and recognize it as anything more than a simple ring.

    Sometimes, at night when she is alone, she brings forth the small golden light at its tip.

    And she remembers.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Maugan Ra's Avatar

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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    Name: Ruvana Aria
    Aspect: Wood
    Anima: A roaring emerald dragon.

    Motivation: Defend everyone and everything she can from the oncoming Wyld.

    Attributes
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    Primary (Physical/Social/Mental): 7
    Secondary (Physical/Social/Mental): 6
    Tertiary (Physical/Social/Mental): 4

    Physical:
    Strength **
    Dexterity *****
    Stamina **

    Social:
    Charisma ****
    Manipulation **
    Appearance ****

    Mental
    Perception ***
    Intelligence **
    Wits **

    Abilities (Specializations +)
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    [Note: Place [A]spect and [F]avoured tags, for clarity.]
    Total without BP/XP: 35
    13 of these MUST be placed into Aspect or Favoured. Also, I placed Dots where Dots must be. (Archery 1, Lore 2, Martial Arts 1, Melee 1, Performance 1, Presence 1, Ride 1, Socialize 2 and War 1.) You cannot remove these Dots, or Peleps Deled will come for you for a discussion on literature. These dots count towards the Total and the requirement.

    Linguistics *
    Lore **
    Occult
    Stealth
    Thrown

    Awareness *
    Craft
    Integrity ** (Against Fair Folk **)
    Resistance
    [F]War *****

    Athletics *
    [F]Dodge *****
    Melee *
    Presence *
    Socialize **

    [F]Bureaucracy ***
    Investigation
    Larceny
    Martial Arts *
    Sail

    [A]Archery *****
    [A]Medicine ***
    [A]Performance *** (Oratory **)
    [A]Ride ***
    [A]Survival ***

    Backgrounds, Artifacts and Equipment:
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    Backgrounds:
    Followers **
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    This band of twenty or so cavalry are all that remains of Aria's command after months of constant skirmishing and retreat. All are trained soldiers, skilled with bow and blade, and fanatically loyal to their wood Aspected commander in a way that goes beyond simple duty - as far as they are concerned, she's the reason they're all still alive. Aria returns the loyalty, and has come to see most of her soldiers as an extended family.


    Familiar *
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    Ash is a large, black warhorse that has been bonded to Aria over the course of her campaign. He's surprisingly intelligent, able to communicate with his rider, and while in contact Aria has access to an additional 5m personal essence pool.)


    Artifact ***
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    One set of silk armour and a jade breastplate forms what passes for Aria's uniform, which is deliberately designed to be functional and relatively subtle. She also carries a Long Powerbow fashioned out of jade, named Claw of the Raptor.


    Resources **
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    One dot of this is free, and it mostly represents what little Aria and her soldiers have managed to salvage from the plague ruins and Raksha-savaged landscape during their travels. No one gets any luxury out of it, but it does allow for her soldiers to avoid resorting to banditry.


    Breeding ***
    Manse *
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    Aria had more manses once, but they were some of the first to fall to the invading Fair Folk. Now all she has left is a Medicine Stone, attuned to a manse considerably far away, but also reasonably safe from the Raksha)


    Reputation **
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    As with Resources, one dot of this is free. Aria is known as a veteran soldier and foe of the Raksha, which lends wait to her arguments when speaking of military or Wyld matters)

    Artifacts and Equipment:
    Artifact: Long Jade Powerbow Claw of the Raptor

    Artifact: Jade Breastplate
    +6L/4B soak, Hardness 2L/2B, no mobility or fatigue, can be hidden under reasonably heavy clothing.

    Artifact: Silk Armour
    +5L/+3B soak, Attunement 2

    Manse: 1
    Stone: Stone of Healing (Socketed in Long Powerbow)
    Adds three dice to all medicine rolls


    Charms
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    First War Excellency
    Terrestrial War Reinforcement
    Tireless Footfalls Cadence
    Phantom Warrior Horde

    First Medicine Excellency
    First Bureaucracy Excellency
    First Archery Excellency


    Combat Stats:
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    Join Combat:

    Attacks:
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    Hands:
    Acc: 6 | Damage: | Parry DV: [(((Dex+Ability)+2)= X /2 round up) = Base + Modifiers] | Rate: 3

    Feet:
    Acc: X [(((Dex+Martial Arts)+0)+Any other dice bonuses)] | Damage: [Str+3B] | Parry DV: [(((Dex+Ability)-2)= X /2 round up) = Base + Modifiers] | Rate: 2

    Clinch:
    Acc: X [(((Dex+Martial Arts)+0)+Any other dice bonuses)] | Damage: [Str+0B] | Parry DV: - | Rate: 3

    Dodge DV: 7

    Permanent Charms (Effects)

    Soak:
    Bashing: 9
    Lethal: 12
    Aggravated: 11

    Hardness:
    Bashing: 2
    Lethal: 2
    Aggravated: 2

    Health:
    -0 [ ]
    -1 [ ][ ]
    -2 [ ][ ]
    -4 [ ]
    X [ ]

    Mental Defenses:
    Dodge MDV: 7 (8 vs Raksha)
    Charisma Parry MDV:
    >Presence: 3
    > Performance: 4
    Manipulation Parry MDV:
    >Presence: 2
    >Performance: 3

    Virtues:
    Compassion ***
    Conviction **
    Temperance **
    Valor **

    Crazy Aspect Mode: In Limit Break, Aria's protective instincts overwhelm her and she does everything she can to save everyone she possibly could, regardless of the risk to herself or the feasibility of the action

    Intimacies:
    Her soldiers (Loyalty)
    Raksha (Hatred)
    Civilians (Protectiveness)
    Ash (Affectionate pride)

    Languages:
    High Realm (Native)
    Sea tongue

    Willpower: ***** *****

    Essence:
    Permanent: ***
    Personal: 16/16
    Peripheral: 25/32 (7 committed)

    Bonus Points and XP:
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    Bonus Points:
    7 to raise essence to 3
    5 to raise willpower to 10
    6 to raise Archery, War and Dodge to 5

    Total: 18/18 | Flaws:
    Last edited by Maugan Ra; 2013-01-12 at 06:40 AM.
    "Not trusting me might be the smartest decision you made since getting off of your horse."

    Avatar by Ifni, who is rightly awesome.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    Reposting sheet and ficlets

    Arys Cygnes: Sheet

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    Name: Arys Cygnes
    Aspect: Fire
    Anima: Flames the deep red of coals in the heart of a fire

    Motivation: To fill the role of Gens Arys. All of it.

    Background:
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    One of the younger scions of Gens Arys, Cygnes Exalted at the precocious age of eleven. From the moment of her Exaltation, she was constantly in motion; fighting bout after bout with her training masters, or anyone she could get to teach her; practicing katas, when that failed, or, when her anima burned too hot and her strength was exhausted, sitting back and reading – history, yes, of great deeds and great battles, but also famous speeches, which she would analyze for why precisely they were so persuasive, or recent military reports, or official firms. Even when she sat quietly, apparently resting, her eyes would be flickering from one person to another, reading cues and subtle body language, studying how they spoke and how they moved, learning everything she could about them – and about society.

    By the age of fourteen she had mastered the basics of persuasion and polite society, arms and warfare, and she was her Gens' darling. Never satisfied, she drove on. By the age of eighteen, she had led troops in multiple engagements. When the Contagion fell, she was one of the first victims. One of the only Wood Aspects in the generally Fire-Aspected Gens turned his attention to treating the initial victims, and began with her; Cygnes survived, but the Wood Aspect, drained from his work on the young Exalt, did not.

    Cygnes did not take it well, especially as – now immune by her survival – she watched the rest of her Gens fall around her. She worked as hard as she could to help the survivors, but Medicine had never been one of her interests, and there was little she could do except to watch as her family died. Stripped of them, she swore her undying loyalty to the new Shogun and spent a frantic few months gathering all the forces that survived and welding them into a new army. By the time that was finished, it had become abundantly clear that the Fire Aspect's energy needed an outlet – and, not coincidentally, the outer provinces needed support. The solution was to send Cygnes off – without the army, which they felt was needed there – to the distant province of the Mithric Isle, in the hopes that she could get it into shape, and that doing so would finally provide a sufficient challenge for her eternal energy.


    Attributes
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    Physical>Social>Mental

    Physical:
    Strength ●●●
    Dexterity ●●●●●
    Stamina ●●

    Social:
    Charisma ●●●
    Manipulation ●●
    Appearance ●●●●

    Mental:
    Perception ●●●
    Intelligence ●●
    Wits ●●



    Abilities
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    Using bright green for Aspect, dark green for Favored, will change formatting if needed.

    Linguistics ●●
    Lore ●●
    Occult
    Stealth
    Thrown

    Awareness ●●
    Craft
    Integrity ●●● (+1 keeping her head)
    Resistance ●
    War ●●●●● (+1 complex tactics)

    Athletics
    Dodge ●●●
    Melee ●●●●● (+1 teamwork)
    Presence ●●●●● (+1 being inspiring)
    Socialize ●●●


    Bureaucracy ●●●
    Investigation ●●
    Larceny
    Martial Arts ●
    Sail ●

    Archery ●
    Medicine
    Performance ●
    Ride ●
    Survival



    Backgrounds, Artifacts and Equipment
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    Breeding Five
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    Arys Cygnes was not an heir of the Shogun.

    If a certain arranged marriage had gone through, a cousin of hers would have been. The Contagion had spoiled the deal, but Gens Arys remained as it had always been, a strong supporter of the Shogunate. Born of such pure blood, Arys Cygnes showed it constantly, in great things as in small; in her burning devotion to the Shogun and her constant dedication to being the best as much as in the reddish tint to her cinnamon skin or the way her near-black hair glowed red when the sunlight shone through it.


    Artifact 3
    Jade Reinforced Breastplate (Artifact 2)
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    Carved of red jade, if not augmented as Instant is, this breastplate is one of a large batch manufactured by Gens Arys to protect their young Exalts approximately 200 years ago, during a gap in the fighting large enough for the usually warlike Gens to turn their attention to efficiency. This particular one was given to Cygnes when she headed off for her first command, and she has seen no reason since to change it.

    Instant – Red Jade Reaper Daiklaive (Artifact 2)
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    Carved of red jade with twin razor-sharp edges, the only bit of potentially-unnecessary decoration on the blade is the flame-shaped spiral around the hearthstone socket – and even that, when appraised by a knowing eye, becomes an elegant, efficient method of redirecting the hearthstone's Essence. Clearly a blade meant for a warrior – or at least, someone whose sense of aesthetics was geared towards cold, pure efficiency.

    Eternity – Black Jade Reaper Daiklaive (Artifact 2)
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    Carved of black jade, Eternity's edges are not quite as sharp as that of its sister blade, but the black jade is sturdier, holding up under any blow. The spiral around its heartstone socket is not a depiction of flames; rather, it is a spiraling scatter of dots, like a night studded with stars.

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    Made by an aging crafter of Gens Arys by the name of Arys Petraron at the request of his wife, as a gift for her protegée Arys Cygnes, and given to the girl upon her fifteenth birthday. The material was gathered, as much as possible, from within the lands ruled by the Gens, and Arys-employed alchemists applied the special treatments to bring out the innate qualities of the jade, before an Arys crafter forged them. The blades, therefore, were well on their way to being traditional Artifacts of the Gens... before the Contagion came along, and put the concept of “the Gens” into severe peril.

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    The weapon is never just a weapon. It is a symbol, a memory, a legacy. It brings power and also danger, from the will of the bearer to challenge herself or from the will of others to take it away. And it has meaning, beyond the simple tool. I leave it to you to discover what that may be, great-niece; what would be the point of the gift, if I left you nothing to discover?



    Artifact 2
    Faithful Guardians – Jade Hearthstone Bracers
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    One of the few Artifacts Cygnes claimed after the fall of her Gens. The bracers are made of red jadesteel alloy and shaped like a dragon, which coils a long snaky body and longer tail about the wearer's wrist and lower arm, the last twist of the tail reaching nearly to the elbow. The head of the dragon lies over the back of the wearer's hand, slightly raised as if ready to breath fire.

    By tradition, these bracers belong to the eldest Exalt of the direct line of Arys; rumor holds that they date back to the First Age itself. Anyone so impious as to wonder whether this means they were crafted by Anathema, however, is quickly hushed: clearly, no Anathema could produce such reverent craftsmanship, and even the mere suggestion is enough to result in some very angry Fire Aspects indeed.


    Manse 3: Arys Cygnes is attuned to many of the surviving manses of Gens Cygnes. Hearthstone: Stone of Resilient Bamboo, Gemstone of Last Resort, Stone of Humble Glory
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    She'd left most of the hearthstones for the Shogun's people, and the distant cousins who supported them; they would need them more than she did. She took only three with her, the number for which she had settings; and of the three, not even the most powerful, but rather the ones of which she was most fond. If the province was enough of a mess, she might have to be a one-woman army; very well.

    She could do that.


    Resources 2
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    An operating fund which Cygnes took with her, drawn from the funds of Gens Arys, less the expenses of her trip to Tianrasia so far.




    Charms
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    Lore
    Subtle Elemental Trick

    War
    First War Excellency
    Enfolded in the Dragon's Wings

    Melee
    First Melee Excellency
    Faithful Hound Defense
    Dragon-Graced Weapon

    Presence
    First Presence Excellency


    Combat Stats
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    Join Combat: 4

    Attacks
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    Instant: Speed 3, Accuracy 14, Damage 10L/2, Rate 3, PDV 6, Tags: O
    Eternity: Speed 3, Accuracy 14, Damage 8L/2, Rate 3, PDV 7, Tags: O



    Dodge DV: 6 (12) (-1 mobility)

    Parry DV: 7 (13) (Dex 5 + Melee 5 + Eternity)

    Permanent Charms (Effects)

    Soak
    Bashing: 11B
    Lethal:12L (Hearthstone provides full soak)
    Aggravated: 10A

    Hardness
    Bashing: 8B
    Lethal:8L
    Aggravated: 8A

    Health
    -0 [ ]
    -1 [ ][ ]
    -2 [ ][ ]
    -4 [ ]
    X [ ]

    Social Attacks
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    Presence (Charisma): Speed 4, Accuracy 8, Rate 2, PDV 4, Tags:
    Presence (Manipulation): Speed 4, Accuracy 7, Rate 2, PDV 4, Tags:
    Performance (Charisma): Speed 6, Accuracy 4, Rate 1, PDV 2, Tags:
    Performance (Manipulation): Speed 6, Accuracy 3, Rate 1, PDV 2, Tags:

    Note: Appearance modifier and Specialties not included.


    Mental Defenses
    Dodge MDV: 7 (15)/8 (16) vs. attempts to knock her off balance.
    Parry MDV: 4 (8) Manip/4 (7) Cha

    Virtues

    Compassion ●●
    Conviction ●●●
    Temperance ●●●●●
    Valor ●●

    Great Curse: Cygnes does not take well to the world failing to live up to her standards... and when it is she who fails, that hurts most of all.

    Intimacies (8/12)
    The Shogunate (loyalty)
    Her Gens (regretful loyalty)
    The Shogun (loyalty, respect, concern)
    Faithful Guardian (due reverence)
    Eternity and Instanteneity (proud affection tinged with sorrow)
    Rebels against the law (hatred)
    Law and Order (firm devotion)

    Languages
    Realm (native), Seatongue

    Willpower: 10/10

    Essence:
    Permanent: ●●
    Personal: Current 17/17
    Peripheral: 17/35
    Committed:18 (5 on Eternity, 5 on Instant, 4 on Faithful Guardians, 4 on Reinforced Breastplate)


    Bonus Points and XP:
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    Bonus Points:
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    1 on Compassion 2
    2 on Presence 5
    2 on War 5
    4 on Breeding 5
    5 on WP
    2 on Temperance 5
    2 on Melee 5


    XP
    Total:10
    Unspent: 10

    Origin
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    2 pre-session bonus
    4 Session 1
    4 Session 2


    Spent: 0
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    0 on Charms
    0 on Attributes
    0 on Abilities
    0 on Specialities
    etc.




    Initial ficlet
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    Arys Cygnes was not given to showy displays.

    She was not given to showy displays, even though every bone of her body, every drop of blood in her veins, and every spark of her soul burned for combat. She was not given to showy displays, because showy displays were stupid. Arys Cygnes succeeded. She was not stupid.

    Her family were dead. That was a failure, but it was not one on which she cared to think. She was alive, which was, right at the moment, what mattered. The future was illusionary; the past, lost forever. The present was what mattered.

    The present. In the present, she had an opponent to fight. Not the disease, but the vultures that followed it: civil dissension, bandits and upstart would-be lords, and worse. She also had resources to use; the resources of a province, or what was left of it. In her cabin, the Daughter of Hesiesh steadied the parchment on the table. There was no inkpot. Golden eyes traced down the lines, memorizing each squiggle of ink. Each piece of data. Data long out of date, but all she had. Future was future. Present was present. Present time on the ship was to be prioritized, so she traced through reports; most of it would be inaccurate by the time she arrived, but most of it was not all. That made it, at the moment, the highest priority use of her time.

    So she studied by the light of a sputtering candle-lantern, one hand on the parchment to keep it from falling as the ship heaved beneath her, making its way, slowly and steadily, towards the Mithric Isle.

    Second ficlet
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    The lantern had gone out.

    Arys Cygnes snapped her fingers; it lit again obediently, flickered, and died. The problem, then, would be that the candle had run down. She could get another – but perhaps not immediately; supplies were limited on a long sea voyage, and candles for the Exalted passenger to stay up late reading had hardly been a high priority. She closed her eyes instead, and reviewed her plans. For that, she did not need paper.

    Information and establishing authority were her first priorities; they went hand in hand. Authority without knowledge was idiotic, and knowledge without authority was powerless. As far as she knew, Gens Ryanno was gone; certainly a number of Infallible Messengers had been unable to reach their targets, and they had not received any themselves in the time before she had embarked... although any surviving Sorcerers in Gens Ryanno might simply have failed to reach their targets, much the same problem her people had had. The top five – Dragons, no, the top forty-seven people she would have thought to direct such a message to were all, themselves, dead.

    An unnecessary digression. She pushed the memories of corpses from her mind and refocused, there in the silent dark, upon the present. Gens Ryanno could be either alive or dead. Therefore, discovering which was her first step; Gens Ryanno defined her authority. If they lived, she would have a chain of command, or else an equal ally, depending on the skill and sense of the remaining members. If they were all dead, she would be the chain of command – at which point the first priority would be talking her army out of wherever they had scattered to and back into being an army, and training new recruits to fill the gaps. Second, or perhaps simultaneous, would be resolving any breakdowns in law and order. Any major uprisings or bandit lords would provide proof of the army's skill – and hers. Those lacking, simple peacekeeping duty could supply the necessary sense of comfort. The important thing was to establish a sense of safety and authority as quickly as possible. She'd seen what could happen where those were lacking.

    Thus, the plans sans Gens Ryanno. With them, the same with potential modifications – they might, after all, have a better idea – except that she would be advising them and, most likely, carrying it out under their authority. If the Gens survived only in one or more non-Exalts, the situation would be more delicate – depending, of course, on what odds said Heirs had to Exalt, but even a non-Exalted heir of Gens Ryanno would be a significant force. Tact, then, and politeness, and calm authority, she decided for the fifth time. And have a plan. Always have a plan. This plan lacked precise details, and would until she got there; depending on the circumstances, she might have to merely fill them in, or make major modifications, or even scrap the plan entirely. That didn't matter. Having the plan was no cost, and might be a benefit; like her studies, it was an efficiency-maximizing action. Or, as her first tutor had put it, doing the best she could with what she had.

    Overhead, the deck creaked as a sailor moved across. Far off, she heard a gull's cry – did it mean they were approaching land? A small island, more likely. Landfall hadn't been expected for another three days. Sailors spoke in casual voices, the words hard to make out through several layers of wooden planking, but tones unalarmed. No worry, then.

    Arys Cygnes leaned over to the chest stored inconveniently but efficiently underneath the table, and fetched another candle. She had work to do.


    Story
    Part one
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    “Arise, Arys Cygnes, youngest scion of Gens Arys.”

    Cygnes rose fluidly. The chill of the marble floor brushed against her legs one last time, then was gone. Her boots, heavy steel for this most solemn of occasions, rang gently against the marble as she put her feet down. She raised her head, for the first time this meeting meeting her most highly revered six-times-great-aunt's eyes.

    Arys Sarona's hair was a deep crimson hue, long and elegant, tumbling over her shoulders; here and there it was gathered up with clasps of gold and garnet, which sent back dancing flashes when the Master of the House turned her head. Her skin was a pale shade of ruby, and her silken, jeweled robe of red and gold was, Cygnes knew, specially reinforced to stand the heat. The sleeves ended a little past her shoulders, leaving most of her arms bare and making the twin dragons of red jade that twisted over her forearms even more obvious. The Master of Gens Arys did not wear jewelry of gold or silver; the silent shout of those red jade bracers was boast enough.

    Here am I, the greatest scion of Gens Arys. Face me and die.

    Sarona's lips rose into the faintest of smiles as Cygnes met her golden eyes with her own, less flame-like but no less determined. “You have pleased us well,” the Master said, her voice ringing with a quiet authority. “You show great promise. We would see that that promise is not wasted.”

    “Command, and I shall obey,” Cygnes responded, meeting those flaming eyes again. Challenge me, she willed, though she did not say it. Sparring can only do so much. Give me a test.

    Her great-aunt's lips rose just the tiniest fraction of an inch higher, but Cygnes knew the resulting expression well, and pride surged through her, though her expression did not change. Arys Sarona's voice rang out.

    “The Fair Folk press on our northern border, as well you know. I will have them be your first training. Go, join our allies at Glacier Point, and know that you represent Gens Arys as you go.” Her great-aunt's eyes flashed. “I expect you back with no less than five Raksha heads.”

    Cygnes bowed fluidly. “I shall not disappoint you.” I wonder if you would prefer five or six. Pity I'll have to see how many raids come... and what my troops look like, don't forget that, and... Her mind was already racing into calculations, wondering what she could expect, what she could hope for... Her aunt inclined her head.

    “You have a wing of legionaries. Do not waste them. You are dismissed.”

    Cygnes bowed once more, took three steps back, turned, and walked away. The marble rang with her footsteps, steel upon stone.


    Part two
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    “Tarin Oldra,” the young Wood Aspect said, in the tone of one who had heard too many jokes about her name and was just about ready to punch the next person who made one through a wall. “Temporary command, Glacier Point. And you?”

    “Arys Cygnes, Gens Arys reinforcements. I have a wing of legionaries behind me. A pleasure to meet you, Commander. Where do I put my people?” Cygnes kept her tone brisk and businesslike, and watched as the girl's tense posture relaxed. She didn't blame her; she herself had had teasing in her youth, and while she had found that simply ignoring the teasers did wonders, not everyone was good at ignoring people. She kept her own posture reasonably open, not smiling-friendly but military-practical, and was rewarded with a nod and a pointing finger.

    “The west barracks are clear, probably the best for you. The Fifty-Fourth just marched out of the East, but they left a good bit of stuff, and they're expected back in a couple weeks – there was report of an Anathema, and they went to deal with it.” Thus explaining why this girl was temporary commander. Were they the only dragon-blooded at the base? Did you know this, aunt? I hope so. Cygnes nodded. “Thank you. I'll see them there, then, and then I expect I should review local reports – I'm trained as a tactician and melee, command and individual. You?”

    “Command and archery, doctor, what you'd expect. I can also fix just about anything, which is why they sent me out here – half Fifty-Fourth's command's suits weren't working. I was supposed to be five days on the road home by now, but Anathema...” She shrugged quickly. “We serve.”

    “We do,” Cygnes said, taking an instant liking to her, the girl who handled home leave lost and command of an unfamiliar post with only a shrug. She turned back to her troops, and gave the sign; together, they began to march towards the West Barracks, Cygnes leading. She turned back to the Tarin, who was moving along with them, and added, “I'm not much good with machines, but I can sort files, if you've any that need dealing with.” A pause, as she grinned. “Or argue with stubborn diplomats.”

    The Tarin hesitated a moment, then grinned back, a flash of white in a sun-browned face (how she managed that in the middle of the snowy north, Cygnes had no clue. Glare from the snow, perhaps). “Sounds useful, especially if any raksha come calling. Word is we aren't to expect them, but...”

    Cygnes nodded. “Getting fair warning would be useful, but we can't depend on it. All right. Why don't we get to work on coordinated exercises, once my men have settled in? If we need to fight, we'll need to have worked together. I'll supervise moving in and then find you – where? - to work out the specifics.”

    “My office should work. In through the door, fifth left, three sets of stairs, third right, all the way at the end of the hall. Do you need me to write that down for you?”

    Cygnes considered her odds of keeping the directions in mind through her work of settling her soldiers, and nodded. “Yes, please.”

    The Tarin produced a set of wax tablets, wrote briefly, and handed them over. “There you are, I'll see you then. We can plan things. And at least,” she added hopefully, “the fifty-fourth should be back within a couple of weeks.”

    Five days later, they got the news.


    Part three
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    Timing is everything.

    Banners snapped in the breeze. Red and gold for Arys, green and gold for Tarin, and high above them all the Shogun's banner holding place of pride. Cygnes knew without looking, but she looked anyway, up at the banners high above her little command and then back to their opponents.

    Their banners were simpler, rough-cut leather edged with fringe, with the rough shapes of animals traced upon them in a dark reddish brown. Overdoing it, Cygnes thought, to trace the shapes in blood, but she was not surprised; it was very... raksha of them. Under the tallest banner, whose indistinct shape nevertheless projected the frightening spectre of a tiger ready to pounce (don't ask how. Raksha), their leader stood; Bjorn of the Tiger, a tall man in dirty armor, a mixture of leather and mail, wearing the pelt of a snowy-white tiger. The paws came down to shield his hands, the fanged head nearly engulfed his no-less-fanged one; it must have been enormous when it was...

    Raksha. Gossamer. It was never alive.

    Behind Bjorn stood his banner-bearer and two champions, flanked by their banner-bearers as Cygnes was by hers; the rest of their forces, like hers, stood back a ways. Tarin Oldra was not much of a one for parleys, so Cygnes stood alone under the Shogun's flag. She glanced over her opponent's champions, calculating; one wore legionary armor like her own (if not, like her own, made of Jade), but battered and worn; the tattered remnants of a surcoat bore no recognizable device. Pure Raksha invention, then. The other was young and, if possible, even more ridiculously musclebound than Bjorn. Second wolf, Cygnes quietly labeled him, probably looking to be first. It was amazing how much you could figure out about Raksha social mechanics just from their clothing.

    But then, that was how they defined themselves. Roles, not people. Cygnes set her feet in the slush and placed a hand back upon the staff of her own familiar banner of Gens Arys, falling back into her own role. “This is the land of the Shogunate!” she bellowed, the dutiful legionary commander. “Remove yourselves or be annihilated!”

    Bjorn laughed at her. Of course he did; he was Raksha, the barbarian warlord to the last inch. Cygnes stifled the flame of rage that surged in her heart, redirected it into the legionary commander's rough offense, and glared at the opposing host. “Give you another option,” the barbarian offered. “Take pretty polished soldiers, go back to pretty polished city, give treasure and land and maybe you not feed pretty black birds.” His troops, behind him, roared. Cygnes could feel her own people getting restive; she quelled them with a tiny motion of her hand. Well-trained, they subsided, and the commander scowled at the barbarian. “The Shogunate declines your terms. Men, fall into ranks!” They were, of course, already in ranks; ranks which shifted to admit her and the banner-bearers as they started back. She moved three steps, listening intently, then snapped, “Boys? Run,” and spun, thrusting Eternity between herself and the sweeping axe of Bjorn of the Tiger.

    They met with the sound of a ringing bell and the black jade, as always, stood strong. The banner-bearers ran, her troops leaving ranks open to admit them; Bjorn snarled like the great beast from which he took his name, and the wave of barbarians rushed after them.

    They hit the line before it could reform; that, of course, had been the point of the exercise from her opponents' point of view, in second-thought if not in first-thought. Raksha, whatever they might act like, were not stupid. Cygnes yelled “Retreat! Keep in order, damnit, keep in order!” and fell back herself, warding off Bjorn's blows with Eternity as Instant lashed out, striking no more than a wasp strikes, or a thorn; a few streaks of red adorned the raksha's already-bloody form, that was all. That was all right, he was not going all out either. No doubt it suited him to take a blow or two from the brave legionary commander before she perished. That was all right; it suited Cygnes not to kill him yet, either. “Hold lines!” she shouted over her shoulder, looking back. There, the pass through the ravine, wooded on both sides. “Hold, damnit!” The troops began to break and run; dangerous, deadly dangerous, for all the protection their armor could provide. But then, a single wing of legionaries had been nowhere near enough to handle an army of hobgoblins in the first place. Cygnes spun away from Bjorn as the last soldier reached the gap, and leapt – over the heads of the pursuing hobgoblins, Bjorn's axe impacting her side as she went, but it struck solid jade and slid, leaving only a nasty bruise, and she landed solidly on her own two feet in the mouth of the ravine. Soldiers behind her, every blessed one of them. Hobgoblins in front of her... most of them, but she couldn't worry about the ones at her back, the troops would have to take care of them. Also, hobgoblins between herself and Bjorn. Breathing-space; she didn't need him dead yet, and she really didn't need an anima flare in a wooded ravine, even in the perpetual winter of the north.

    Behind her, the clatter of blows and short, brief screams or howls or oaths rang out, telling of the fight; Cygnes gauged angles and directions in her head, figured out more or less what her men were doing – rearguard, fighting retreat, bless the well-trained soldiers for good thinking. “Stand strong!” she called back. “Keep them off your comrades! Watch out for each other!” - a real order, and the men obeyed. She spun back to barely block the nearest barbarian warrior, a tough-skinned man with the cloven hooves of a goat, then braced herself in the narrow ravine and fought her way back, step by slow step, holding the ground for her men. She husbanded her strength as best she could, lashing out for a killing blow only when she saw a particularly good opportunity (after all, there would always be another Raksha behind), but even so, she saw red light beginning to reflect off the snow around her. At her feet, it began to melt. Too fast, she was going too fast; twenty-five paces more to the valley, and she had to have something left when she got there. She eased back on the defense and took an axe in the arm, not her best moment, but the dull brown stone set in Eternity's socket shone, and Cygnes felt the sting subside. She parried the next blow from her opponent, a tiger-man with glowing green eyes, and slew him on the next stroke. Beyond, Bjorn grinned at her. Cygnes felt annoyed, then silly. Of course he'd come to face her, that was how the story went – but holding him off in the narrow ravine was going to be even harder than holding off the rest had been, and if she killed him, they might break and run.

    Twenty-four paces to the ravine. Twenty-three... She gave ground slowly, watching Bjorn, bloody daiklaives raised in the guard position. The Raksha leader looked back at her, his own axe dripping with blood (From where? The only one he was fighting was me/Raksha, silly) and, to her surprise, spoke.

    “You an honorable woman.” The barbarian leader looked slowly down, at the corpses at his feet. Up, at Cygnes, blood dripping from her arm, barring his way. Of course, so that's his story. And I look wounded; second-thought, he thinks he can take me. “Your men run; you stand. Face me, single combat, your men go free.”

    That's not the plan. Cygnes's mind spun, calculating. Killing him bought her very little; the original plan had used Cygnes primarily as rearguard, and had definitely not allowed for any duels...

    No, that's wrong. It buys me time. Cygnes watched the Raksha for a moment of carefully-calculated silence, then jerked her head back, indicating the pass behind her. “Terms accepted. Back there, this place opens up, there's a valley – damned anima won't set the woods on fire. Fight you there?”

    Bjorn nodded, obviously pleased, and called the terms back over his shoulder. Cygnes turned back to call to her troops, saw the one remaining bloody wolf-man lowering his axes and backing away as she did so – he'd heard, then. To her people, she called, “Fighting a single combat – truce for its duration. After, his forces won't harry any retreat. Fall back to the valley, form ranks!” Let them think that was her plan, getting her people organized again. She turned back to Bjorn, lowered her daiklaives, and very slowly backed up; he advanced, equally slowly. Behind them, the ravine opened out into a wider valley. Once there had been a stream flowing through; this, Cygnes suspected, had been a lake, but it had been a long time ago. Now, the valley floor was covered with snow, blood and neatly ordered legionaries, a few leaning on their comrades' shoulders. Three places were empty, blast. She looked them over, while Bjorn watched, then told them, “Continue the retreat,” and turned back to Bjorn, silently raising her blades in salute.

    The Raksha hadn't moved before her blades rose, she'd've sworn – and yet, before she could blink, his axe was leaping for her throat. Cygnes wrenched Eternity through the air the bare few inches to block him with all the strength she possessed, and yet the blade seemed to move like molasses, too slow, too slow. The high Jade collar of the armor was slightly more useful – the axe-blade slid and struck, instead, the arm holding Eternity, slicing it open to the bone.

    Blood spurted. Bone started to crack. And as red blood spattered onto the hearthstone in Eternity's hilt, the stone shone a quiet deep brown. The blood sank into the surface. And a quiet, familiar numbness began to spread up Cygnes's arm where there should have been blazing pain. The bone that should have been cracking held together, and the arm that ought to have been weak from bloodloss rose, as Cygnes smiled like a leaping flame and took a single step inside the long axe's range.

    Instant struck once, twice, thrice, with real strength beyond each blow, as the forgotten lakebed exploded with flame. Snow melted, and beneath it the frozen grass crisped, a thousand little wisps of flame filling the valley as they burned, and were ash, and gone. Among the flames a bird stretched its wings, and Cygnes imagined she could hear its cry as the wings beat once, twice, thrice, in time with her strokes, and the Raksha stumbled back, bleeding, from each one, a look of shock on his face. She'd struck both arms nearly as hard as he'd hit her, and the injuries smouldered with the flame of her element, blackened burns surrounding the actual cuts. The Raksha snarled and swung his axe at her; again, before she was even quite aware that the weapon had started to move, it was near her chest, passing under the blade she'd meant to ward with. It bit into her other arm, and again blood flowed, but less this time; Cygnes let the brown gem shine, spreading familiar numbness up that arm as well, but did not have to worry, this time, about shattering bone. The warlord's blood splashed the soil, and his strength with it. She smiled, quietly, precisely, and stepped in. Instant sung in her hand, once, twice, thrice, joined by Eternity.

    The first blow Bjorn took on his arm, and the tiger-skin blocked the blow as solidly as her own jade might have done. But as he blocked Instant, Eternity cut a swath through his side, and as he moved to block Eternity's next blow, Instant struck again. Few are the warriors who can hold up against six blows at once while wounded, even among the Raksha, and Bjorn, Cygnes saw to her relief, was not one of them. He crumpled in a heap of bloody gore, eyes rolling up in the ruins of his head. Faintly, she heard him whisper, “Why won't... you... die...?” Then the breath ceased. Cygnes straightened, facing the Raksha champions and host. Steaming blood dripped down to spatter the frozen brown soil, hissing gently as it struck. The Raksha champions looked at each other for a moment. Cygnes could guess the calculations running in their heads.

    Her trick had taken Bjorn, which neither of them could do or they'd probably not have been following him. But she'd been at her best. Right now, even an ignoramus could tell she was running out of motes.

    While they were still in their prime.

    The one she'd mentally labeled second wolf spoke first. “Father!” he cried, in a loud ringing voice. “May your ghost have peace, I swear by the blood that flows in my veins, I will avenge you! Thy death shall not rest unpunished!” He spun to look at the hobgoblin horde and threw out a dramatic hand, pointing at Cygnes. “There she stands, the killer of your commander! He made you great, he led you out to glory and triumph, and now his corpse cools and you stand here and shuffle your feet?!” They roared, and he drew the great two-handed blade that hung at his belt. As he did, six dozen weapons rasped clear of their sheaths. “For vengeance!” he cried, and charged towards Cygnes.

    The second Raksha Noble did not shout. Indeed, his voice was quiet enough that it really should not have been audible across a valley full of charging, roaring barbarians, but of course it was. He looked Cygnes in the eyes as he said calmly, “Your men will be spared. But you have killed my friend. Your death awaits you,” and drew his sword, beginning to advance among the others.

    Cygnes looked a moment in silence at the charging raksha. Then she raised Eternity high. Sunlight sparkled off the black jade, and filled the air with flashes –

    Or was that the arrows, pouring from the trees?

    Cygnes dropped flat as Tarin Oldra, youngest scion of Clan Tarin, shouted “Leader!” and the new leader fell with seventeen arrows in him and a decidedly greenish tinge to his skin. The single remaining Noble Raksha looked at Cygnes. Looked at the arrows, and the twirling mass of thorns at the edge of the trees. A single badly injured Fire Aspect had turned into an army and a perfectly healthy Wood Aspect, and Raksha, whatever they might seem, were not stupid.

    “Ambush! Fall back to the plains before they cut us off, go go go!” he yelled, and the rocks resounded with his voice, the old tired warrior remembering his training (training he never had, he's Raksha, don't feel sorry for him, it's only a story.) Cygnes raised Instant in signal, sending a burst of flame up into the air above them, and called out “Get 'em, boys!” And from the ravine behind the raksha, where they'd “retreated” to, most of a wing of carefully disciplined legionaries emerged, blades drawn, and marched forward.


    Part four
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    “In the names of all the gods there are, were, and will ever be,” demanded Oldra in frustration, “what did you do to yourself?!”

    “Magically sealed and ignored pain,” Cygnes muttered, faintly. “Stone of Last Resort. Has a price, as all things do. I told you to see to the men first.”

    “Yes, you did. And then you fell over and didn't wake up for twelve hours.” Oldra reached up to swipe a forest-green lock out of her eyes; it was sticky, damp with sweat. “What do you think I've been doing?

    “Uh.” Cygnes considered this. She hadn't realized that twelve hours had passed. That was... disturbing. “My job?”

    “That too. Now hold still.” The stone had stopped working once the fight was over, and Cygnes could feel the raging pain again – raging, perhaps, more vigorously as revenge for her earlier defiance of it. It flared as Oldra did something to her arm, and she did her best to hold still and not scream. Let the doctor work.

    “I've heard of those stones,” Oldra said in a dire tone; Cygnes turned her head just slightly and saw she was realigning fragments of bone. Well, that was disturbing. “Rots the wound, it'll take months to heal. Why would you use one?”

    “Fifty-fourth will be... ow! … back in a couple days. Doesn't matter then. Raksha always have... youch! … something tricky. Had to be... agh! … trickier.”

    “I know that! Why do you think we had the ambush? You could have just signaled an attack as soon as you got back, like the original plan!”

    “... wasn't sure you could get three Noble Raksha with archers. Second attack wouldn't've been unexpected. Besides, he challenged me.”

    “Musclebound idiot!” Oldra swiped at the lock of hair as it fell back into her eyes again. “You could have refused the challenge!

    “I'm alive. So are you. Why are you complaining?” Cygnes asked with the last of her clarity. The arm was hurting like hell, and the world was beginning to blur. “We held the border 'til the Fifty-Fourth had a chance to get back, and we saved our troops for the next time.

    “That's enough...”


    Part five
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    The Wood Aspect's half-fond, half-frustrated expression faded in feverish dream, becoming the dark, worried eyes of another Wood Aspect, leaning over her with a concerned expression as he coughed, deep racking coughs that shook his whole body, became...

    “Cygnes?”

    The Fire Aspect shook her head and started awake, staring down at the message that lay before her. Her thin, wizened hands looked strange against it, the hands of an old woman, not a young girl. Sarona's bracers looked stranger against them, mark of the eldest survivor of the pure blood. She blinked the tears away from her eyes without really noticing – crying, now, was as normal as eating and breathing, something her body did and she paid no mind to – and let her eyes trace again over the lines of the letter.

    I regret to inform you of the death of Tarin Oldra. My sister was a doctor to the end, and she died saving my life. Your cause is noble, but Gens Tarin has no help to give. The border is disarmed, and if the Fair Folk have not reached us by the time this letter reaches you, I will be amazed.

    If you've resources to spare, send them to the border, I pray you. Our legion was decimated by the plague...


    “Any luck?” Her cousin's voice, from the next room, was weary with sleepless nights.

    “... Not yet,” Cygnes responded, rubbing her eyes. “Gens Tarin wants help from us.”

    The response was a bitter laugh, before her cousin appeared, leaning in the doorway. “Cygnes? What are we going to do?”

    Cygnes didn't hesitate. “Support the Shogun. Rebuild the Gens, make alliances, hold off the Wyld – gods, Tarin deserves our assistance! But right now, we can't afford it. The Shogun has to be our first priority.”

    A tired nod was all the answer she got. Cygnes looked at her cousin, and made a snap decision. “Get some rest. You'll function better for it.”

    That, too, garnered a weary nod, and her cousin staggered away. Cygnes rubbed sleep from her eyes, and stared back at the message. The words blurred before her eyes.

    Forget the past. Forget the future, Arys Cygnes, eldest scion of Gens Arys.

    The time has come to make good on all that promise.

    Arise. Your Shogun needs you.
    Last edited by Arpista; 2013-04-06 at 03:48 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    industrious's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Mordor
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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    Presenting the least formal socialite known to this campaign.

    Just don't talk about her imaginary friend...

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    Name: Rusett Crowned in Amethyst aka Bianfu Xujia
    Aspect:Fire
    Anima: The yellow-orange flames of dried leaves set on fire

    Motivation: Prove herself worthy of her Exaltation by her own terms

    Background:

    Attributes
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    Primary (Physical/Social/Mental): 7
    Secondary (Physical/Social/Mental): 6
    Tertiary (Physical/Social/Mental): 4

    Physical:
    Strength ●●
    Dexterity ●●●●●
    Stamina ●●●

    Social:
    Charisma ●●●●
    Manipulation ●
    Appearance ●●●●

    Mental
    Perception ●●
    Intelligence ●●
    Wits ●●●

    Abilities (Specializations +)
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    [Note: Place [A]spect and [F]avoured tags, for clarity.]
    Total without BP/XP: 35
    13 of these MUST be placed into Aspect or Favoured. Also, I placed Dots where Dots must be. (Archery 1, Lore 2, Martial Arts 1, Melee 1, Performance 1, Presence 1, Ride 1, Socialize 2 and War 1.) You cannot remove these Dots, or Peleps Deled will come for you for a discussion on literature. These dots count towards the Total and the requirement.

    Linguistics ●●
    Lore ●●
    Occult
    Stealth ●●●
    Thrown

    Awareness ●●●
    Craft
    Integrity ●●●
    Resistance ●●●
    War ●

    Athletics ●●●
    Dodge
    Melee ●
    Presence ●●●(+1 Snark)
    Socialize ●●●


    Bureaucracy
    Investigation
    Larceny ●●●
    Martial Arts ●●●●● (+3 Unarmed)
    Sail

    Archery ●
    Medicine
    Performance ●
    Ride
    Survival


    Backgrounds, Artifacts and Equipment:
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    Backgrounds:
    Breeding 3
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    Whoever her father was, he was definitely well-bred. Like, really well-bred. Her mother was...well, not exactly high-class, putting it delicately, though the wealthy did visit her often. Ahem. Not that being a noble brat helped her any when her mother caught the plague. And the fact that she had no clue who her father was other than "probably powerful, if I'm any judge" meant that she wasn't going to be accepting any marriage proposals out of fear of who, exactly, she was marrying.


    Cult 2
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    Russet was born a street rat, and was a source of inspiration among them when got adopted by a gens. To many of them, she is a symbol of hope for the downtrodden, an example to the poor and wretched.


    Reputation 3
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    Russet's Reputation is twofold. Among the commoners and street urchins, she is a symbol of what they could be, if they work hard enough. Among high society, however, she will forever remain "that adopted street rat," someone who while charming and unique in gens society, cannot be allowed to be more than an idle curiosity and certainly can't be allowed to have actual influence.


    Sifu 1: Crazy Ninja Girl

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    In all honesty, Russet has no idea who her mentor actually is; she was practicing her kata one evening when she suddenly arrived, declared her current skill level "inadequate," and then proceeded to demonstrate this after Russet attacked her. Ever since then, they've been meeting weekly for training.

    She knows that Crazy Ninja Girl (as she's dubbed her) is something different, but she honestly doesn't have a clue what, and her efforts to ask have been gently rebuffed.

    As it turns out, Rusett's mentor is Seer Forging Metal, a Bronze Faction Chosen of Endings who Rusett knew as a fellow street rat during her childhood.

    After noticing that an old acquaintance of hers had exalted, Seer decided to repay an old debt and help the young Dragon-Blood out.

    Artifact 3 (Jade Perfected Kata Bracers, Silken Armor)
    Artifacts and Equipment:
    Artifact: 4 Jade Perfected Kata Bracers, Gift from a Crazy Girl
    Adds (Essence) to Accuracy, Defense, Soak, and Damage, and adds 2 to the rate of unarmed attacks. Allows her to parry lethal attacks unarmed, and choose between lethal or bashing damage for all martial arts attacks.
    Spoiler
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    "I'm going away," she says, and Crazy Ninja Girl nods.

    "I know."

    "Like, far away."

    "I know."

    "To get married. Since my gens isn't exactly pleased with me."

    "I know."

    She makes a face. "Would you stop saying that?"

    "...have something for you."

    She doesn't know how the Malfeas her sparring partner (was she really a partner if she always won?) managed to hide a parcel on her person. There hadn't been any lumps that she could see. Not that she had looked closely, of course.

    "...And what are these?"

    At first glance, they looked like hearthstone bracers; but they weren't, not really. They were far too thin, and made of black jade, with some weird metal writing (yes, she knew Old Realm. But this was fancy Old Realm cursive that she hadn't quite mastered. Stupid tutors). There wasn't any sort of socketing for hearthstones, and she wasn't able to see how they could even fit on her wrists.

    "Something useful. Put them on."

    "...How?"

    But she touches them, and reaches out with the fire and passion burning within her, and the bracers unravel into long thin ribbons of black marble, swirling around her wrists and up her forearms, fitting as snuggly and comfortably as anything she'd felt before.

    "Whoa. Thank..."

    Russet looks around to find an empty room.

    "...I hate it when she does that."


    Artifact: 2, Silken Armor, Training Ji
    Spoiler
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    "You move wrong."

    Russet stared at the newcomer, remembered she was currently standing only on one leg, and unceremoniously crashed to the ground.
    "...Excuse me?"

    "You. Move. Wrong."

    "You know," the Dragon-Blood drawled, assuming a form that she had practiced for days to perfect. "Wherever you're from, thems fighting words."

    It took maybe ten seconds before she was thrown to the ground. It took another minute before she conceeded defeat.

    The newcomer stood over her, a single eyebrow raised, and the sutras inked upon rice paper walls of the dojo behind the violet-eyed girl appearing from nowhere. Wordlessly, she reached out with her hand, helping the young Dragon-Blood back onto her feet.

    "So...are you my martial arts tutor or something? Because I already have an ettiquite tutor, a language tutor (who's the same person really, but we do different things on different days), a history tutor, a rhetoritician..."

    "No."

    "...So you're some crazy ninja girl who just walked into the ancestral manse of an an ancient and noble gens to beat up on the new Exalt?"

    "Kind of."

    "Thanks. You know, I'm kind of tired of being looked down upon just because I didn't grow up with all of this, okay? I mean, really, you adopt me with open arms, and then start implying how I'm not good enough for the family, and how much work needs to be done, and what are you throwing at me?"

    "Put it on."

    "This...is a really nice ji."

    "I know."

    "And you're giving it to me?"

    "Yes."

    "Because...?"

    "You move wrong."

    Crazy Ninja Girl smiles, and assumes a guard position once more.

    "Want to move right?"


    Charms
    Spoiler
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    Ability
    Excellencies
    First Presence Excellency
    Martial Arts
    Tiger-and-Bear Awareness
    Tiger-and-Bear Unity

    Prodigious Hero Arete
    Style-Discerning Glance
    Ten-Thousand Hours Kata
    Wheel-Turning Sage King Form
    Humble Sage Audacity



    Notes on Wheel-Turning Sage King:
    Spoiler
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    Russet has no idea what the actual name of her Celestial Martial Art is , and neither does anyone else she knows (other than Crazy Ninja Girl, and she's not telling).
    Combos:

    Combat Stats:
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    Join Combat: 6

    Attacks:
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    Hands:
    Speed: 4 | Acc: 14 | Damage: 2B | Parry DV: 8 | Rate: 3

    Form Charm:
    Speed: 4 | Acc: 17 | Damage: 5B | Parry DV: 11 | Rate: 5

    Feet:
    Speed: 4 | Acc: 13 | Damage: 5B | Parry DV: 6 | Rate: 2

    Form Charm:
    Speed: 4 | Acc: 16 | Damage: 8B | Parry DV: 9 | Rate: 4

    Clinch:
    Speed: 4 | Acc: 13 | Damage: 2B | Parry DV: - | Rate: 3


    Dodge DV: 4

    Permanent Charms (Effects)

    Soak:
    Bashing: 6B
    Lethal: 7L
    Aggravated: 5A

    Hardness:
    Bashing: 0B
    Lethal: 0L
    Aggravated: 0A

    Health:
    -0 [ ]
    -1 [ ][ ]
    -2 [ ][ ]
    -4 [ ]
    X [ ]

    Mental Defenses:
    Dodge MDV: 8

    Virtues:
    Compassion ●●●
    Conviction ●●●●
    Temperance ●
    Valor ●●

    Crazy Aspect Mode: (Differs, see your aspect entry in the DB book)

    Intimacies:
    Her Lost Friend(Sorrow and Guilt)
    Crazy Ninja Girl(Exasperated Quasi-Friendship)
    Gens Bianfu (Uptight and Terrible)
    Leading(Terror)
    Chissoku (Shut Up Already, Please?)
    Kickass Kung-fu (Awesome)
    Poverty (Personal Vendetta Against)
    Being Fancy (Shudder)


    Languages:
    Seatongue(native), Old Realm

    Willpower: 10/10

    Essence:
    Permanent: ●●●
    Personal: Current (Max) 16/16
    Peripheral: 24/34


    Bonus Points and XP:
    Spoiler
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    Bonus Points:
    -2 Martial Arts 5
    -10 Essence 3
    -5 Willpower
    -1 Virtues
    Total: 18/18 | Flaws:
    Last edited by industrious; 2013-01-30 at 01:15 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafnotDumb View Post
    Silly boy. I've played in Industrious's games. They don't murder characters. That means the torture ends.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aevylmar View Post
    It turns out that sometimes? He *does* murder characters.

    The Maze of Madness

    Campaigns:
    Gotham: Year One
    Earth-52(abandoned) OOC
    RotSE II III] OOC2

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    Oh my god Russet's post is the best thing.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Aevylmar's Avatar

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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    O_O

    ... I'm assuming that this is just as incomprehensible to the minders as it is to me.
    R.I.P. Skandi the Wolf of Return of the Scarlet Empress

    Fate/Heroic: A homebrew conversion of the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying system to the Fate/stay night setting.

    Friendplug: Arpista Editing!

    Avatar by Ifni!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
    industrious's Avatar

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    She was trying to say: Excuse me, but can you let a girl out to Creation?.

    Informal doesn't cover half of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafnotDumb View Post
    Silly boy. I've played in Industrious's games. They don't murder characters. That means the torture ends.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aevylmar View Post
    It turns out that sometimes? He *does* murder characters.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    Why the silence?

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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    I'm waiting for a reply from Aria/someone on Aria's ship.
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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    I am also waiting for a reply from Aria, though I may end up having someone from her ship respond, instead, if Maugan Ra doesn't post soon.
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    Sorry, internet is refusing to work right, posting slowed right down as a result. Don't let me delay too much.
    "Not trusting me might be the smartest decision you made since getting off of your horse."

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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    Got it. We'll enjoy having you back when you're available to return.

    Posted.

    I have read the posts posted in the IC thread; I like them; I'll respond when Industrious posts or in about four hours, whichever happens first.

    Edit:

    It took a little longer than four hours. Sorry about that. Up now, /evilgrin, sleep time.
    Last edited by Aevylmar; 2013-01-15 at 01:47 AM. Reason: New information.
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    I see your GK Chesterton references and your evolving signature, Aevylmar. You are a man of taste. My hat's off to you.

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    Sorry about the delay. Bad news.

    Posting now.
    Last edited by industrious; 2013-01-15 at 02:17 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafnotDumb View Post
    Silly boy. I've played in Industrious's games. They don't murder characters. That means the torture ends.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aevylmar View Post
    It turns out that sometimes? He *does* murder characters.

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    @Mechanix: Thank you. I like turn-of-the-last-century poetry, and it's a pleasure to have people recognize my in-jokes. :P

    Also, "The ends of the world came marching in" is a great description of the Balorian Crusade.

    @Industrious: I really wish that your absence had been unjustified and that nothing had gone wrong. If there's anything I can do to help or make it easier, tell me.
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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    For the record, Hakeo is Kailea's only surviving child of three. He's a God-Blooded of baiji parentage, but is lumped in with Followers rather than counted as an Ally because a) he's low-Inheritance, maybe 1 or 2 at most, and b) he's only nine.

    I should really get around to fleshing out Kailea's backgrounds (mostly Followers, Reputation and Artifact).
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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    Russet's posts are, indeed, amazing!

    Sorry for slowness on my end - internet troubles, plus being really busy. I should be much better off for the next few days, hopefully. Partially depending on when said internet troubles get fixed, but...

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    Really, all of you are too kind.

    Everyone's making their grand entrances, and Russet's decided to join the crowd instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafnotDumb View Post
    Silly boy. I've played in Industrious's games. They don't murder characters. That means the torture ends.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aevylmar View Post
    It turns out that sometimes? He *does* murder characters.

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    Yeah, Aria's a deeply informal person. She might have Socialise 2, and therefore understand how she's meant to act when greeting a fellow Prince of the Earth (and one who might technically outrank her, what with the whole 'dispatched here by the shogunate' thing), but she honestly just doesn't care anymore.

    Russet's minders are probably already scheming to make sure the two of them stay far apart. Well, they would be, if they weren't possibly panicking over their charge suddenly vanishing on them.
    "Not trusting me might be the smartest decision you made since getting off of your horse."

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    They don't know that she's gone just yet...
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafnotDumb View Post
    Silly boy. I've played in Industrious's games. They don't murder characters. That means the torture ends.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aevylmar View Post
    It turns out that sometimes? He *does* murder characters.

    The Maze of Madness

    Campaigns:
    Gotham: Year One
    Earth-52(abandoned) OOC
    RotSE II III] OOC2

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    A-hem. Did you say something, Industrious?

    On an unrelated note: All this extreme precision with titles is the sort of thing that even most of the courtiers on the Blessed Isle don't really care about, except at state dinners and such. Bianfu Chissoku is just like that.
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    You think that this would embarrass Russet but you'd be wrong.

    Remove the crowd of commoners, and then she'd be nervous. And possibly try to punch something.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafnotDumb View Post
    Silly boy. I've played in Industrious's games. They don't murder characters. That means the torture ends.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aevylmar View Post
    It turns out that sometimes? He *does* murder characters.

    The Maze of Madness

    Campaigns:
    Gotham: Year One
    Earth-52(abandoned) OOC
    RotSE II III] OOC2

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    ... This is going to be a much more cheerful game than I'd expected. I can't say I mind. At all.
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    Aria is firmly of the opinion that the Raksha would like nothing better than for us all to fall into despair and hopelessness in the face of their invasion. And that the best way to give them a gigantic middle finger is to be upbeat and casual all the time.

    Alternately, she's just like that. Either works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maugan Ra View Post
    Aria is firmly of the opinion that the Raksha would like nothing better than for us all to fall into despair and hopelessness in the face of their invasion.
    Depends on the raksha. Some of them would probably love to have valiant foes who fight to the last and die with a smile on their lips; the best way to spite them would be to be really morose, maybe even give up!

    But remaining upbeat is a lot more fun.
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    True. That's one of the most annoying thing about the Fair Folk - they're so damnably inconsistent!

    That said, I'm finding this rather fun already. Aria is slowly taking shape in my mind as a character... and she's already considerably less serious than I initially imagined her to be.
    "Not trusting me might be the smartest decision you made since getting off of your horse."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aevylmar View Post
    ... This is going to be a much more cheerful game than I'd expected. I can't say I mind. At all.
    I was about to say "the epic tragedy of loss and desperation just turned into a comedy of manner," but you have beaten me to it.

    Xeifan started out on the drawing board as "depressed," but she turns out to be "self-conscious and shy." I don't mind.

    She also kind of talk, like this, with many interruption during her speech, because her sentence are a bit too long, because her train of thought often derails, before getting back on track.
    Last edited by Mechanix; 2013-01-17 at 08:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Lords of Sea and Storm OOC

    I assume we're using some house rules for properly organizing/building a military (and by extension the rest of the city's necessary services), yes? Because all I can find in the rule book is that it takes (Current Magnitude +1) days to recruit a new dot of magnitude for a military unit, and nothing at all about how to actually train them to a decent standard and the like.

    Well, without specific Charms, anyway, and presumably it's possible to train a military force up without needing fancy magic abilities...

    Also, the given formula makes it much easier to raise a legion than to raise a number of smaller units. I'm forced to assume that this is mostly because the units can only fight in the unit sizes they were raised as or something.
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