Character Seed: Glorious Revolutionary

Seed: Glorious Revolutionary

Concept: You grew up believing the Immaculate Philosophy, and were even slated to join their ranks. But something kept bothering you. Some of the teachings seemed almost… contradictory? But that couldn’t be. The church wouldn’t lie to all of creation, surely.

And then something clicked. You found a dusty book with radical thoughts in it; stories and legends which painted the Anathema in a sympathetic light. You asked questions of someone you trusted, seeking the truth. They betrayed you.

You were sentenced to be executed for heresy. They gave you one last chance to repent, but you stood by your convictions. And in the flames which were to take your life, the warm rays from the Unconquered Sun shone upon you. You survived your death sentence, but now the Wyld Hunt is hot on your heels, and you are still searching for the truth

Sample Character: “V”, former monk of the Immaculate Order

You grew up in a small farming village, which had a long tradition of religious service. While very few actually took vows of service to the Order itself, nearly all held extreme devotion to its tenets. So it was that you grew up revering those of the Order. While most of the village boys dreamed of being a Dynast and wielding great power and wealth, you dreamed of tearing the veil of ignorance from Creation, learning its secrets.

As you dove into the Immaculate texts, your first steps along the journey to priesthood seemed unerring. But something began to bother you… Some of what you read seemed to beg answers that were no where to be found. You wanted to ask questions, but something told you to wait, that it would be revealed to you.

On your fifteenth birthday, you took a trip to the nearby city of Glaringdell, a place renowned for its library. While not as expansive as those found anywhere on the Blessed Isle, it is nevertheless impressive for being found out in the Threshold. It was in the dusty aisles of the library where your answers were found: troubling revelations held within a small, black leather journal. Ramblings of a madman, surely. That the Dragon-blooded had their boots on the throat of Heaven, relegating worship when they have no right to do so. But what troubled you most of all, was the blatant claim that the Anathema were indeed the rightful rulers of Creation.

Horrified, you slammed shut the volume and quickly returned home. But the damage had been done. You knew what you read had been true. You confided in your childhood friend. But that same friend betrayed your trust, reporting you to the Order. Before you could flee town, you were accosted and tied to a stake, prepared for execution by burning.

You were read your crimes and asked if you would repent, but you stood stalwart in your newfound beliefs. The fire was lit, and as the flames began licking at your skin, a different kind of warmth suffused you. The Unconquered Sun himself deigned to Exalt you, and with a surge of Essence, you escaped your bonds and leapt into action. All who came against you fell beneath your righteous fury, and you set fire to the very same village you grew up in. And through the flames, you made eye contact with your friend, the betrayer. And then you fled, into the jungle, knowing the Wyld Hunt would be fast on your heels. You knew not where you were going, only that the truth was ahead of you, somewhere…

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Story Seed: A Wyld Accord

 

An Anathema who came from fine Dragon-Blooded stock Exalted on the Blessed Isle and escaped with the help of a childhood friend. The Anathema’s father organized a most unusual Wyld Hunt to bring back his child alive. He formed a secret sworn kinship made up of those he trusted most with this mission. None of them knew the true reason why he wanted his offspring returned alive; they just followed the command.

Some of the kinship struggled with what would happen when they caught up to their prey. Would they help the Anathema escape, or would they follow the orders of his father? Would they listen to the Immaculate teachings and just put down the enemy? These questions weighed on the kinship as they hunted their old friend.

They finally locate and corner the Anathema in a wasteland that was once a glorious city. There is nowhere to run and no option but to fight. In the heat of battle, the ground gives way, trapping the entire group underground in the lower levels of a long forgotten first age manse. Immediately, the group is under assault by a foe that does not discriminate between the two Exalt types. The Kinship and Solar must form a fragile alliance in order to survive and find their way back to the surface.

Sample Lunar Charms!

The Onyx Path blog has released a good selection of Lunar Charms for your previewing pleasure today!  Be sure to head on over and take a look at the awesome sauce they have cooked up!

Which one is your favorite?  Personally, I love Echo-Drinking Awareness!  Not only is it a really sweet ability in its own right, but it also has a cool Protean effect for animals with the Echolocation Merit.  And most importantly, it hints that there is an Echolocation Merit that you will be able to use to build your animals and Hybrid Body Transformations!

Hear that, Jim?  Looks like you need to add that to your Red Aurochs (™)!

Character Seed: Oath-Breaking Warrior

Concept: Oath-Breaking Warrior

Seed: It is not an easy life you chose: to fight the greatest of enemies, to slay the most lethal of monsters, to stand when everyone else knelt, to never give up, to never stop caring for those under your care, to always be there for your charges, and not to do harm.  You failed. You can see his face: a small teenage boy – one who came to you bleeding from infected wounds. And you did not help him. The reasons, the excuses you told yourself helped you sleep for a week or two, but soon that was not enough. That young man is dead because you broke your oaths. The drink and the pipe called to you, but you had seen too many women and men drained of nothing, and their suffering magnified.  So you turned to the sword. If you could not heal that man, then you would stop a dozen – or a hundred – other young people from being hurt. Every slash is a violation of who you are and what oaths you have done.  And every corpse you make is one more that cannot harm another.

Example character: Arban, daughter of Hung-Gar

Arban, third daughter of Hung-Gar was raised by her grandmother, as was right and proper in the Marukan clan. Arban was taught all of the herb lore: the use of honey and poppy and willowbark. She was taught to bind wounds with resin and bandages, to use the river’s healing waters to wash wounds clean. She was taught all of these things, and she was good – very good. She became renowned, and people would visit her for all of their ailments.

Her arrogance grew with her skills, and she would turn away those that she did not care for – that did not pay enough, or that seemed impossible. Until the young Marukani man showed up: a warrior who had fought to drive off raiders from attacking her town. Her pride was great enough that she did not help him, and he died. The town muttered and did not speak up, and the boy’s ghost did not trouble her. But a thousand drops of water can wear a depression in a stone, and then a single drop more makes a hole.

Arban’s hands shook with the bandages, the recipes could not come to her mind, she would read and read medical texts, and all she could see was that boy’s face. Tormented but her failing to uphold the tenants her grandmother had taught her, she sold her possessions and bought training in the sword. She wanders as a traveling swordswoman, hunting bandits and living a life of humility and shame. When an ally or innocent is injured she rushes to help, but can do nothing more than stare and watch uselessly. Her hands are stained with that boy’s blood, and she will wash it out with the blood of a hundred, no, a thousand bandits.

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Story Seed: Salt

On the southern coast of the Inland Sea, the glittering glass city of Chiaroscuro dwells under an uneasy truce between the living and the dead.  The city of fallen towers is riddled with small-but-potent shadowlands, each encompassed by thick and vital salt lines that keep the dead contained, and the living citizens of the broken metropolis understand just how important those mystic barriers are.  But just as a new Sworn Kinship has arrived in the city – graciously allowed by Grandmother Bright to set up their quarters in the Plaza – someone has been tampering with the precious salt lines: laying down new corridors for the dead to travel, and leading them directly to supposed targets of assassination.  Nobles have been slain by hungry ghosts, and members of the Tri-Khan’s personal guard have been possessed by the dead.  In desperation, the Tri-Khan enlists the aid of the recently arrived Dragon-Bloods – members of a new southern Wyld Hunt – to find out exactly what is happening and bring a stop to it, but as they begin their investigation, they face opposition from a most unexpected source. 

Character Seed: Tempered Idealist

This character seed was sent in by listener Caffeine Delusions!

Concept:  Tempered Idealist

Seed:  Most societies have a common moral code, and some form of social hierarchy, but seldom does one perfectly align with the other. You were brought up in a position of good regard in your society’s structure, and from that lofty vantage you absorbed two things; a strong sense of your family’s legacy, and a set of ideals to live by. Whatever the role you were expected to fill, you reached for it out of a sense of duty, and because you could see how that role dovetailed with the things you believed… but as you began to pursue that legacy, you discovered others in your society stepping into the same role from a greater standing who did not share your sense of right and wrong. Conflicting with them and standing by your ideals cost you the chance to make your family proud… but it didn’t undermine your moral compass. You steeped in the shame of that loss for years, reinforcing your conviction that you had not made a mistake but merely a choice, before an occasion again presented itself to choose between following your role, or following your ideals. This time, you didn’t even pause to think and your decisive action drew the sun down upon you. Unlike that first test against your social betters, you won this time… and though they may drive you out of your home in retribution for making the right choice, your sleep is sound. You’ll find a new role one day that aligns with your beliefs, rather than forcing you to choose.

Sample Character:  V’Neef Eliyah

V’Neef Eliyah was born to an upper class Dynastic household. It had been expected by his Dragon-Blooded father that he would follow after his elder sister Elinara in the household’s military tradition, and for this reason he attended the House of Bells as a secondary school. There, he was praised for his natural aptitudes with tactics, archery, and weaponform, although he seemed to struggle with the curriculum’s hand to hand training, the rough pugilistic style running counter to his patient and considered attitude.

During his final year, he was placed upon the tactical advisory board for his side of the annual mock battle. A fellow tactical advisor by the name of Peleps Jukase sought to gain advantage over the opposition by using her recent Exaltation to intimidate the mortal campus janitorial staff into stealing the strategic notes of the opposing force. When Eliyah took notice of the exchange, he intervened, striking her when she raised a hand against the janitor. It proved to be quite a scandal; Jukase was excused by the faculty. Eliyah took failing marks for the mock battle and was forced into remediation. His betrothal to a peer from house Sesus (an Earth aspected student at the Heptagram named Kasala) who had already exalted was annulled, even against both of their wishes. His prospects for a future of distinction within the Legions went up in smoke.

To salve the damage to his family’s reputation, he took vows as an Immaculate Monk, and was there introduced to the initial understanding of martial arts by Sesus Korana (a relative of his former fiancee), with a specialization in the unenlightened forms of Golden Janissary Style.

Six years later, he had earned sufficient distinction to serve as a circuit monk for a year, wandering a route that took him through the city of Vespasian. On this circuit, he stopped for tea at an inn wherein a contingent of Dragon-Blooded soldiers had chosen to become drunken and rowdy. When the innkeeper objected to the way the soldiers were treating his employees and children, Eliyah intervened, delivering a stern lecture upon the Immaculate philosophy in accompaniment with a sterner beating.

When he realized that he’d knocked the company unconscious and Exalted to the Dawn, he fled, facing a crisis of faith. After sneaking in to the local Immaculate temple in the city and procuring a copy of their Golden Janissary training manual, he sought assistance from a local deity that he had been warned of as a troublemaker on his circuit… Eltabans, the Serpent Amid the Fields, who often shorted villagers on their expected harvest if they neglected to honor the Incarnae in the measure proscribed by the Immaculate Order, if not more. Eltabans helped Eliyah evade capture and flee the Blessed Isle, as well as offered him instruction in his first supernatural martial art; Snake style. He still maintains honorific prayers to his Sifu, occasionally requesting additional instruction.

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Story Seed: Exploring a Lost World

Story Seed:  Exploring a Lost World

Concept: A strange island, long forgotten to time and memory, has suddenly and inexplicably resurfaced. Legends tell of artifacts and machines of supreme might lying dormant, of strange and eldritch powers waiting to be claimed. Few have heard the rumors of the island’s return, and even fewer place any credence in the story. But the promise of reward is too much for some noble Houses, and envoys are sent to plunder the unspoiled riches which sleep on the island.

Example:  Your House is a proud House. Small, but proud. But also small. Did we mention that it’s small? So, when rumors begin to circulate that the Caul has resurfaced, your House cannot afford not to send someone to investigate. Either your House’s bloodline has waned in the past years, or your resource pool has dimished. Regardless, the Caul holds power of such an extent, it can bring your House back into political and martial relevance.

Your group sets off on a merchant ship, under the guise of traders seeking new wares to peddle at the market. During your journey to the Caul, you are beset by pirates and rivals trying to reach the island before you can claim everything of value.

Once there, you set off into the untamed terrain, searching for whatever relics of the last age are still ripe for the taking. But there are other things waiting… Dread beasts of forgotten times, strange spirits who have harbored malice for far too long, and other nameless threats which haven’t ever been seen or heard of in the Realm’s long history. Can your party survive the denizens of the island and escape with the prize? Or will they succumb to fear and infighting, or be torn limb from limb by a feral Lunar seeking to settle some long-forgotten score?

Story Seed: Tale of Two Kingdoms

Story Seed :  Tale of Two Kingdoms

Concept:  There are two townships who have had minor skirmishes with each other in the past, but never open war.  Each side would show enough strength to save face, but each ruler knew that open war would ultimately destroy both kingdoms.  The Fair Folk are kept at bay by the combination of the peoples’ strength and each township’s god.  The Exalts find themselves holding each side at bay as the child of one of the monarchs has gone missing, and rumored to have been taken by the other.

Example:  The Sparkling Gem, before her union to Hamel, the Prince of Moza, played the harlot in her youth with Mok’La, Prince of the Land of Non. That night of passion brought her a son whose true lineage was kept a secret. Almost seventeen years later, Mok’La, now the King of Non, learned of this secret when his god refused to bless the son of his household.  The god of Non spoke to Mok’La saying, “This is not your firstborn, therefore I will not bestow my blessing on him.”  Upon learning the truth, Mok’La’s second born – who will forever be the Nameless One – attacked his father for denying him his birthright.  After the battle, the nameless son is dead, and Mok’La is mortally wounded, because the blessing of his god was withdrawn from him.

The Nameless One returns and haunts his father, torturing him even in death.  As word of the Nameless One grows, so does his power.  Mok’La passes into the underworld from infection and losing the will to continue. 

The Nameless One’s power grows, and the dead begin to attack the land of Non.  With no heir to the throne, chaos erupts. The Queen of Non prays to her god to stop her child’s assault.  “Bring me the child of your former husband,” is the answer she gets.  Knowing the truth, and fearing for her people, she sends out a group to take back the rightful heir to Non by kidnapping the illegitimate prince of Moza. 

The Exalts find themselves first trying to discover the whereabouts of the missing prince, then later confronting the original sin of the queen.  To make things more difficult, the missing prince wants to stay and be King of Non after learning the truth.  Will the King of Moza go to war with Non?  Will he discover the truth?  Will the Queen confess to her husband what she did over seventeen years ago?  Will the prince-king of Non go to war with his foster father?  Will the Fair Folk who whispered this sweet temptation to the queen seventeen years ago now make their move in the chaos they have created?  This story is yours to tell.

Character Seed: Village Champion

This character seed was sent in by listener Mike (AngelWick)!

Concept:  Village Champion

Seed:  A traumatic childhood conditioned you to be cold and emotionless to the outside world.  Very few know how to break down your walls and see the real you.  You embrace this brooding visage by climbing the ranks of your village’s royal guard.  Your skills in hand-to-hand combat know no peer.  You use your speed and agility to make up for what you lack in brute strength. Your cold and emotionless stature, though only a front to the true you, has bent the knee of many a foe both in combat and at the interrogation table.  The touch of the Unconquered Sun forced you to break down the thick walls you built within yourself so that you might become greater than the empty shell you appear to be.

Sample Character:  Vera Saffron

Born from parents of unusually large stock for the eastern jungle settlements, Vera has always been one of the tall kids who towers over everyone else her age.  Children will of course be inhumanly cruel to anyone different from themselves, not fully grasping the consequences of their horridly immature behavior.

One day, during her pre-teen years, the bullying she had endured her entire life took a traumatic turn as the gang of her most sinister tormenters harried her through the jungles surrounding her Ba’ani village, and carelessly surrounded her in a ring of fire, which quickly began to close in on her in the dry, dead leaves lining the forest floor.  Her screams of terror caught the ear of her village temple’s favored golden calf, Prince Shining Water Aneru, who – in a moment of defiance – forced his contingent of bodyguards to chase him through the forest to their source.  The appearance of the prince was enough to scare the bullies away.  Aneru ordered his bodyguards to rescue the frightened child or be forced to explain to the king and queen why their only son has been harmed by fire.  The guards quickly complied to their prince’s orders.

During the rescue, Vera had passed out in terror.  When she came to, she was face to face with her prince.  It was love at first sight for them both.  Vera’s injuries from that day were trivial at best, nothing the royal healers couldn’t handle.  Once her health returned, Vera returned to her normal life as a commoner. She and Aneru kept their childhood romance a secret as best they could.

As Vera got older and more mature, she learned how to use her size to her advantage.  She quickly climbed the ranks of Ba’ani warriors and earner high marks for her skills at hand-to-hand combat.  She took to wearing a mask to hide the terror that sometimes crosses her face when confronted with a most challenging adversary; the terrors of a traumatizing childhood sometimes run very deep.  When Aneru’s eighteenth birthday drew near, he personally requested to have Vera enlisted as part of his personal escort that would take him through the jungle for what he believed would be his coming of age ceremony and to receive blessings from the local gods.

When Wisened Bower attacked the Ba’ani delegation and set fire to the surrounding jungle, the flames sent Vera into a primal hysteria as memories of her childhood torment came flooding back to her from all those years ago.  As the flames grew and started to come towards her, her instincts told her to flee for safety rather than stay to protect her beloved Aneru.

It was while Vera was fleeing that she received a visit from the Unconquered Sun.  He urged his new child to rise above her past and defend her love, her land, and her world from the threat of the Fair Folk and all who would oppress Creation.  When Vera returned to the sight of the blaze, tempered by the light and the strength of a Solar Exalted, the battle had nearly already ended. Aneru lay unconscious on the forest floor.  From the cover of the trees Vera saw a mysterious woman retrieve a green stone from the ground.  Is that Aneru laying there?  What happened to his tattoos?  Is he Okay?

It all happened so quickly.  Just as Vera was about to reveal herself to the woman and demand some answers, the woman disappeared into the trees.  Vera tried to follow her for as long as she could, but she lost her quickly.  Once Vera lost the mystery woman, she turned her attention back to Aneru, only to find Wizened Bower standing before her. The last thing she remembers before losing consciousness was Bower bellowing the words “Be gone, witch!”

Aneru and Vera exalted at nearly the same time.  However, Vera was deep within the cover of the thick jungle, a good distance away from the fire.  It is possible that Wisened Bower sensed both exaltations and confused them as one single powerful Second Breath.  What else would explain Aneru’s body reforming from ashes like the phoenix that is now his namesake?

Vera blames Bower for Aneru’s current fate.  She’s still hunting for the mysterious woman to find answers.

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Character Seed: Conflicted Subversive

Concept: Conflicted Subversive

Seed: You belong to a minority group or subversive organization which has plans to cause big change in the world.  But while you believe in the mission of your close-knit group, you also profoundly disagree with a lot of their methods.  As a result, you have made yourself a subversive presence in your own subversive organization, seeking to fundamentally change the group that wants to fundamentally change the world.

Sample Character: Maeveth Avadara

Maeveth is one of the nine Mandala Guard among the Forest Witches.  She was born and raised among the Witches, but she was largely ignored by her mother and father, who spent far too long in Atsiluth Eternal.  As a result, Maeveth has never had a desire to attune to the Sea of Mind, and readily jumped at the chance to guard the manses of the forest.  In her role, she has fully accepted the teachings of Cevis Ghandarva known as the Blood and the Spear, and believes wholeheartedly in the Forest Witches’ goal of bringing sweeping change to Dragon-Blood society.

She believes that the Messengers, however, are a poison and a distraction that keeps the Witches from succeeding at their goals.  She views most of the other Forest Witches as slaves to their dead predecessors, and she sees the Sea of Mind as a predatory entity.  Her secret goal is to see her people divided, and to bring an end to Atsiluth Eternal.

In pursuit of that goal, Maeveth took the opportunity afforded by the fact that she was assigned to guard one of the Wood manses alone, and she stole the immensely powerful hearthstone which resided there and made off into the night.

She wasn’t sure where destiny would lead her, but days later she stumbled upon a boy who apparently was being shepherded through the wood as a sacrifice prepared for the Fair Folk.  An ancient anathema attacked the small party and set the trees on fire.  Seeing that the boy was doomed to die in the fire, she unattuned the hearthstone and rolled it out into the path where the boy could see it.  When his body had burned, as well as those of his escort, she crept out and took the stone once again.

As she watched the boy over the next few weeks, she came to understand that he too was an anathema – newly Exalted – and she decided to include him in her plans to bring violent reform to her people.  Now she waits for the right moment to reveal herself and begin the long process of bending his mind to her will.

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