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…

Download Character Sheet

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.

Download Character Sheet

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.

Download Character Sheet

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.

Download Character Sheet

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.

Download Character Sheet

Character Seed: Outcast General

Concept: Outcast General

Seed: You are a brilliant military commander and the pride of your house – that is, until your childhood friend was discovered to be a Solar Exalt. You put the entire town to the sword, but later learned your Anathema friend escaped. Disgraced and exiled in your failure, you roam Creation with your personal army of deserters, looking for the Solar who ruined your life. 

Sample Character: Reza had an exceptional military career. He guarded the Realm against countless invasions from a myriad of threats, successfully repelling the Seven Seals invasion and peacefully resolving the Council of Stars revolt. He served prestigious tours both at home and afar. And then his career suddenly self-destructed. While living in a frontier town in the east, his friend of many years was discovered to be Anathema. He did the right thing and put the entire village to the torch – every last soul. The flames and screams bathed his back as he rode out of town and back to the home of his lord.

When he returned, he was relieved of command. His master stated that he should have been able to detect Anathema, and that his dereliction of duties caused the burning of the village, which reflects poorly on his liege lord – even more so since reports seem to indicate the Anathema survived the cleansing, and is on the loose. 

Before any adverse action could be taken against him, he fled, along with a large contingent of soldiers fiercely loyal to him. Now his life’s mission is to find his childhood friend and finally settle the score…

Download Essence 2 Character Sheet

Download Essence 3 Character Sheet

Character Seed: Unforgivable Debtor

Concept: Unforgivable Debtor

Character Seed:  You were a decent person. You served your leaders in the town militia, but due to age requirements or peaceful times, they didn’t need you anymore.  You returned to family life, but found it difficult to profit from your unique set of skills.  You tried being a bouncer and even a caravan guard, but the pay didn’t make up for the risk, and your homestead suffered while you were away. Then you took a loan from a powerful crime organization.  When you were unable to pay back the loan, they took advantage of your talents and forced you into a life of crime.  When you had enough, you tried to leave the criminal lifestyle, but your employers dragged you back through blackmail and manipulation. Growing tired of your lack of cooperation, they set you up, exposing your criminal acts to the authorities and your family.  Facing arrest and rejection, you must flee for your life.  That is the moment the Unconquered Sun gifts you with the abilities to get away.  Now he is the only thing you have left.

Sample Character: Seamus the Fallen

Seamus served in the armies of the Blessed Isle for many years, but failing to Exalt caused his superiors to push him to the side and demand he return to civilian life.  He struggled at home, finding other work difficult.  Out of desperation, he borrowed money from The Network, an underground criminal organization. When he couldn’t repay his debt, they found other ways for him to repay them. His first assignment was to assassinate a certain business leader’s competition.  He got a little jade out of the deal, but the rest went toward paying his debt.

His debt forced him to continue to take jobs, but he was always able to explain where the money was coming from. His wife was suspicious, but willingly turned a blind eye, not wanting to know the truth.  After a year, she discovered that he was involved in something illegal, and he swore to her that he would give up that life.

Seamus tried to leave The Network, but it only made life more difficult.  They threatened to kidnap his children or assault his wife and her family, and he couldn’t be everywhere at once to ensure their protection.

His reputation within the Network continued to grow, and many of the high-ranked members began to consider him for a promotion.  These rumors angered Sha’Mock who Seamus would replace.

Fearing that Seamus would eventually overthrow him, Sha’Mock offered him a way out of the Network.  After one last target, all his debts would be paid off.  It would be over and he would be free.  He took the job, not knowing Sha’Mock hated him and was setting him up. The target was Sha’Mock’s own father, a wealthy leader whose estate would fall to his wayward criminal son. Not only was Sha’Mock going destroy Seamus’s career with The Network, he was going to destroy his family as well, and so he made sure that Seamus’s wife was in the perfect location to witness her husband commit the murder.

After the deed, Seamus ran for his life, as the men of the Imperial Army beside which he had once served were trying to end his life.  They hated him, his town hated him, and even his wife hated him.  There was nothing left.  The Unconquered Sun Exalted Seamus during the pursuit.  He gave him the ability to hide in plain sight, and he escaped hundreds of trained Dragon-Blooded troops.  He fled to Lookshy, leaving the Blessed Isle and his former life behind.

Download Character Sheet

Character Seed: Fugitive Wife

Concept: Fugitive Wife 

Seed: You were the third trophy wife of a powerful noble.  You attended all the state functions, took care of his needs, and even bore him children.  For a few years, you lived the perfect life of a princess, but then his attention was caught by another pretty young face, and you realized that your time was short.  Rather than let that pig end your life on account of his lust – as you had since learned that he did with the two women before you – you decided to escape while there was still time.  You took what wealth you could smuggle out with you, got yourself far away from there, and learned how to take care of yourself.  The Unconquered Sun blessed you in these efforts with the priceless gift of Exaltation.  Now you are hunted on account of that also, but you have already learned how to evade your captors and put an end to those who get too close.

Sample Character: Kaeloh the Widow Hopeful

Kaeloh was captured, along with a good many others of her people, by desert raiders when she was a child.  Sold into slavery in the city of Gem, she grew up serving in a wealthy household as cook and housekeeper.  When she reached an age where she could be considered a young woman instead of just a girl, the Despot of Gem took notice of her and purchased her freedom from the family she had served, making her his third wife.

She bore the Despot a son and a daughter over the next few years, and was actually so content with her life that she was happy for the first time since the raiders took her.  But then she noticed her husband paying a great deal of attention to the daughter of one of his courtiers, and she began to fear for her life.  The palace cook, her closest confidant, confirmed her fears when she asked about the Despot’s former wives.  So Kaeloh decided to escape the palace to save her own life.  Leaving her children in the care of their nannies, she took as much gold and precious stones as she could carry and snuck out under cover of darkness with the cook’s help.

She made her way across the southern desert to the city of Chiaroscuro, where she learned how to use her beauty and her growing disregard for the sanctity of life to kill wealthy men with a penchant for flesh.  Each mark gave her a sort of vengeful satisfaction, and the Unconquered Sun seemed to agree, as he Exalted her to the Eclipse Caste during a dinner party with one of the Tri-Khan’s most prominent nobles.  And now she wants to return to Gem to put a permanent end to her creep of a husband, and take back her children.

Download Character Sheet

Character Seed: Spoiled Scion of a Noble House

Concept: Spoiled Scion of a Noble House

Seed: You’re the child of one of the Dynastic Houses of the Empire, whose head is one of the most celebrated and feared sorcerers in the Realm and a long-time professor at the Heptagram on the Isle of Voices. You were groomed from birth to follow in his footsteps (and to take part in his unorthodox studies). After Primary School you were a shoe-in for the Heptagram, Exalting around the age of 15. There you found quite an easy grasp of Terrestrial Circle Sorcery and your sire couldn’t be more pleased. He had always kept you closer to him than most Dynastic parents did their young. He had always wanted you to be a part of his special project. Your respect for your father led you to embrace his plans unquestioningly, and so he introduced you to the others he had pulled together from around Creation to find the pieces of his grand puzzle.

Sample Character: Ledaal Kebok Janson

Janson was born into House Ledaal and has known privilege and luxury his entire life. His father, Ledaal Kebok Omeger, was one of the most powerful practitioners of the sorcerous arts, and fully intended for his son to follow in his footsteps. Omeger spared no expense when it came to his scion’s training. The one thing Janson strove for in all aspects of his life was the love and admiration of his father – a withholding individual.

Janson exalted at the age of fifteen, taking on the aspect of air. He was immediately granted tutelage in the Heptagram, where a seat had been held for him the past three years. He quickly overtook his peers, much to the delight of his father. That was the first time Janson felt anything akin to open love from his father. And it vanished almost immediately.

No matter how much Janson excelled, his father always expected him to do better. Janson turned to inward brooding, shutting out his already small circle of friends. He became the subject of much derision amongst his fellow students, and was constantly the butt of some joke or prank. He took up practicing with the daiklave he was gifted on his name day, training for the day he would set things right.

Janson swore that he would show them – show his father. He would become the single greatest sorcerer Creation had ever seen, and then his father would have to be proud of him.

He would make him be proud…

Download Character Sheet

 

Character Seed: Unrefined Commander

Concept: Unrefined Commander

Seed:  You were once an unscrupulous character, but through an unlikely sequence of events, you “accidentally” get lauded as a hero.  Seen by many as a decent person, you now have to retrain yourself to fulfill a role for which you aren’t suited.  Exaltation occurs during a very heroic moment where you make a sacrifice to save others, or else you are given the power by the Unconquered Sun to defeat the enemies you face.

Sample Character: Riley Lawman

Rilo the Merciless was a low-life bandit when he entered the town of Dusty Sping.  Looking to advance to the higher payout of the con-game, he marked his target Tobias Judd.  When on his way to collect the ill-gotten gain, Rilo noticed members of the Open Hand gang had beat him to his mark. Furious that someone was going to steal what was his, he attacked the thugs and ran them out of town.  Tobias was overjoyed at his new acquaintance’s heroic deed and announced Rilo’s heroic efforts to the entire town and got him installed as Sheriff.

Four year later, the Open Hand returned and attacked the town, kidnapping the Sheriff – who was now known by his birth name Riley – along with five young women.  After roughing them up, the Open Hand strung up all five women on a hastily constructed gallows, and told Riley that if he could shoot the ropes around the women’s necks, they would be set free.  They handed him an old looking handheld firewand.  Riley’s first shot hit the rope, but the blast also took the life of the young woman.  While the gang laughed, Riley was stricken with both grief and anger.  Squeezing the old dusty weapon in his hand, he felt a presence outside of himself washing him with power as if the sun itself was feeding his rage.  The rust coating the firewand began to fade, revealing that it was just an illusion that hid its true nature.  The weapon revealed itself to be made from the finest of blue jade as Riley poured a bit of himself into the firewand.  Like a flash of lightning, Riley reloaded the piece and fired it point blank into the face of the closest thug.  Before the other men could react, he fired again and again, dropping a total of three bandits. 

The remaining members of the Open Hand raised their hands and began to back away slowly.  Riley pointed “The Liberator” – as it would later be known – at the neck ties around the women and fired one shot splitting all four ropes.  There wasn’t a scratch on any one of them.  Riley then proceeded to interrogate the remaining men, trying to find who was responsible for the order to attack Dusty Sping.  He didn’t get the name of the man at the top, but he did get a starting point.  After finishing off the bandits and leading the women to safety, Riley left his deputy in charge and set out looking for justice.

Download Character Sheet