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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.