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  • #16
    The Exalted

    Warrakaians never heard of most sorts of Exalted, but they know about the Dragon-Blooded. They admire the Terrestrials of Seahome for their prowess at killing Fair Folk and sea monsters. If Exalted blood ever passed to a Sokavi, though, the young Exalt must have left Warrakai and hid his true background. On the other hand, the Oloniki tell children to be good or the vile Dynasts will get them. It is doubtful whether any dolphinman has met a land-dwelling Dragon-Blood in the last century, but the Oloniki know that Leviathan hates them and that’s enough to turn Dynasts into legendary bogiemen.

    Warrakaians also know that the Lunar Exalted exist. They still tell stories about the nameless Stewards who battled the Demon Mists four centuries ago, and the Blood-Dimmed Tide more recently. The Oloniki particularly revere all Lunars as associates of Leviathan and their ancestor Laughing Undertow. No one, Oloniki or otherwise, expects to meet Lunars. Such awesome and distant demigods might treat with Warratoa, but not with ordinary folk.

    The Eastern Lanotiri elder Kopia kan Penang certainly didn’t expect to meet the Moon’s Chosen. He knew it was a great honor, but did it have to happen to him? When the hammerhead shark loomed out of the dim depths, Penang thought he was about to die. When the shark took half-human form and said, “Be not afraid,” silver caste mark shining, the Lanotir kept a brave face but his heart failed to obey. The Lunar asked many questions about Warratoa’s court. Penang answered as completely as he could, resulting in a long interrogation. Once the Lunar departed, Penang begged a nearby urchin god to Call Warratoa and warn him. The attention of the Exalted can only mean trouble.


    Other Essence-Wielders

    Warrakaians’ close connection to the local gods and elementals ensures a small but steady supply of God-Blooded individuals. Warratoa insists that these individuals join his priesthood, with brevet rank in his spirit court if they can channel Essence. The half-breeds work as his special agents among the five races and his ambassadors to other spirit courts and pelagothrope communities. To Warratoa’s annoyance, he cannot (yet) Endow the God-Blooded to turn them into new gods for his court.

    Ghosts are unknown among Warrakaians, because the Sea of Shadows quickly destroys any soul that rejects Lethe. Demons are associated exclusively with the Lintha, and are therefore hated without exception. A number of Fair Folk groups occasionally prey upon Warrakaians, and so are likewise viewed with fear and hatred.

    Warratoa has no interest in learning how to enlighten mortal Essence. Lanotiri anchorites, however, often enlighten their own Essence through their meditations. They do not know sorcery or any supernatural martial arts, but they employ Essence to enhance their thaumaturgy.


    Thaumaturgy

    The diverse interests of the five races lead to widespread practice of thaumaturgy. Few Warrakaians, however, progress beyond an Initiate Degree.

    The clever artisans of the Ru-Sokaii often study the Art of Enchantment — chiefly to craft Wyld watches and assorted talismans against the Wyld (see The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. II — The Wyld, p. 142). As Warrakai’s population grows, each new community needs a Wyld watch, ensuring a steady market for the Ru-Sokaii.

    The Warra-Ru often study the Arts of Spirit Beckoning or Elemental Summoning. These Arts help them to coordinate the lesser spirits of Warrakai, and to represent Warratoa’s power to the common folk. Priests also use the Art of Husbandry to attract edible or otherwise useful sea creatures, and discourage dangerous predators.

    The meditations of Lanotiri anchorites function as a form of the Essence-Enlightening Sutra (see The Books of Sorcery, Vol. III — Oadenol’s Codex, p. 139). While some anchorites study the Arts of Elemental Summoning or Spirit Beckoning (for which their innate power to see immaterial spirits serves them well), their chief interest is divination. By listening to the ocean-song while in a trance, anchorites may obtain omens about the future of a person or community.

    Lesser Oceansong Divination (1, Intelligence, 4, three hours)

    Oceansong Divination (2, Intelligence, 4, three hours): requires minimum Occult 1.

    Greater Oceansong Divination (3, Intelligence, 4, three hourse): requires Occult 3.

    These Procedures function analogously to the Lesser Divination, Divination and Greater Divination from the Art of Astrology (Exalted, p. 138) but exist as isolated Procedures instead of portions of a wider Art. Their Degrees merely show what Occult rating a character must possess to learn them. Enlightened anchorites fuel their thaumaturgy through Essence alone. Other thaumaturges must employ exotic drugs to fulfill the consumable Resources cost of the Procedures.

    Finally, anchorites can use their enlightened Essence to attune to demesnes and collect Essence tokens. They do not cultivate the Art of Geomancy, but may learn Bathing in the River and Pearl-Collecting Rite (The Books of Sorcery, Vol. III — Oadenol’s Codex, p. 138) as separate Procedures. Sokavi artisans sometimes partner with Lanotiri mystics in order to obtain Essence tokens as special ingredients for talismans and other minor artifacts.


    Artifacts and Jade

    Among Warrakaians, only the Lanotiri brave the lightless depths of the canyons to collect jade washed out by the waters of chaos. Warrakaians lack the skills or tools to smelt jade-metal alloys for artifacts. However, Sokavi artisans may fashion artifacts using pure jade, including slayer khatars and dire lances with jade spearpoints. Such artifacts never include hearthstone settings. (None of Warrakai’s demesnes are capped anyway.) The Warrakaians also fashion mundane ornaments from the precious stone.


    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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    • #17
      Making a Living

      Just like people on land, Warrakaians spend most of their time hunting, gathering or farming. They also make tools and implements for everyday use. However, the five races differ greatly in their aptitudes as artisans. The Lanotiri and Takotikti cannot leave the water. The Bragamali and Oloniki just don’t like to. As a result, they cannot use fire — and so they cannot smelt metal, make pottery or even cook food. Of the Warrakaian races, only the Ru-Sokaii spend enough time on land to perform these feats. Other Warrakaians make tools only from stone, bone, shell, animal sinew and seaweed fiber.


      Nascent Commerce

      For centuries, Warrakai saw very little trade. Communities fed themselves and made their own simple tools as best they could. The Ru-Sokaii traded baubles, beads and the occasional talisman in return for food and sojourn-rights, but such treasures were for chiefs and elders, not ordinary folk.

      A new form of commerce began with sacred feasts at Warratoa’s atoll. Each race wanted Warratoa to receive sacrifices personally, and this led to scheduling conflicts. Warratoa told the worshippers competing for his attention to combine their festivals. Eventually, devotees of every race tried to contribute food to every feast: They didn’t want their offerings made conspicuous through their absence. People back home wanted their own religious rites to imitate the prestigious feasts at the Sacred Atoll, and so Warrakaians began trading food as a way to show their piety.

      Only in the last 50 years did the Warrakaians move to commerce in other goods. Peace between the races gives everyone time to produce more food; food swaps between communities gives everyone a healthier, more nutritious diet. Trade in tools, weapons and ornaments has also begun, and communities develop their resources beyond what they need for themselves.

      The Ru-Bragamaii lead Warrakai in food production through their kelp farms. While they can’t equal Sokavi artisans, they can fashion implements and ornaments from stone, bone, shell and coral. Bragam family elders provide a ready market for the finer goods and foreign luxuries of Sokavi tinkers and traders. These patriarchs then squander their wealth in extravagant sacrifices to Warratoa and competitive feasts and gift-giving to increase their prestige.

      Since the Ru-Lanotaii obtained houndfish and Bragam-made nets, they have caught more squid than before. They trade the surplus. Western Ru-Lanotaii are also Warrakai’s chief source for chert, and only source for jade. The eastern Ru-Lanotaii find themselves left behind as their western cousins grow richer through commerce in stone.

      The Sokavi still act as intermediaries between the other races, and between Warrakai and other aquatic communities. Their crawsteeds carry packs loaded with foodstuffs, Bragam nets, Lanotir chert and other goods. They are also the only Warrakaians to interact with land-dwelling humanity: Troupes make regular visits to select villages in Wavecrest, where they exchange Warrakai’s nacre, coral and pearls for metal tools, glass beads and other goods.

      The clumsy Ru-Takaii cannot make anything the other races want. Nevertheless, they find a unique commodity for trade: their own chitin, cast off as they grow. Warrakaians fashion many implements from this lightweight, tough but flexible substance (just as land-dwellers make implements of horn). Some Warrakaians even fashion cuirasses from Takotik chitin. For many Takotiks, the sight of other folk wearing their cast-off shells seems… very strange, and a bit creepy. But, they have little else to trade for the tools and foodstuffs of the other races.

      Some of the immigrant Takotikti, denied a place in the native scales, trade their labor by working in Bragamali kelp forests. This is Warrakai’s first experience with hired agricultural labor and a servile underclass. It’s small yet, but some Bragams like it and want to import more foreign Takotik workers. On the other hand, some Takotikti decry the practice as a betrayal of their ancestors’ struggle for freedom.

      The Ru-Olonaii still live as nomads. When they return to Warrakai from the open sea, the dolphinmen trade the fish they herd for other goods and services — chiefly ornaments and weapons. Living on the move, they do not want to acquire much property. However, some dolphinmen now wear backpacks. When they see something small, interesting and potentially valuable, they bring it back to trade in Warrakai. In true nomad fashion, these Oloniki take a free and easy attitude toward other people’s property. No one yet is ready to abandon fish-herding for plunder, but a few bands plan to raid other marine and land-dwelling communities in passing.


      [BEGIN BOXED TEXT]
      Sokavi Commerce

      Sokavi trade is very profitable for Wavecrest merchants, as the Sea People pay far more than what the goods are worth to surface folk. By the Resources system, the sea-treasures given by the Ru-Sokaii are worth one dot more than the goods they buy. Any surface-made commodity has its Resources value increased by one dot in Warrakai, if it is available at all.

      On his troupe’s last visit to Wavecrest, the young Sokavi trader Tensui Waihoro met a strange merchant from a distant land. The stranger dazzled Waihoro with his tales of a commercial network called the Guild. The young trader now thinks the troupe should become the Guild’s agents in Warrakai, and take the other races for all they can get.
      [END BOXED TEADE]


      Clothing Undersea

      All five races are well adapted to living in the ocean. They face no hardship from salt water or the temperature of the sea (at least not in their mild climate). As a result, Warrakaians wear clothing only to protect certain sensitive areas of the anatomy (and the Takotikti don’t even need that, as chitin plates cover genitals when they are not in use). Typical garb is merely a breechcloth made from woven seaweed-fiber or finely scraped fishskin, with a harness of similar materials for carrying weapons or tools. Warrakaians may adorn such garb with shells, badges carved of nacre or coral, or Sokavi-made jewelry.

      On formal occasions, Bragam patriarchs don flashy and fanciful breastplates, headbands, armbands and other ornaments. These items circulate through the tribes as elders flaunt their wealth by giving them as gifts, and become ever more elaborate as each owner adds a few more beads or bangles. Ornaments that provably passed through all seven tribes carry immense prestige. Some ornaments are also designed to break into sections: A patriarch gives the pieces to different rivals and then tries to collect them again, just to prove he can do it.


      Hidden Hands

      As with most mortal societies, Warrakai just happened. Warratoa encouraged peace among the five races so they would breed more worshippers; the five races accept peace so they can share the god’s protection. No hidden hand pushed them together or guided Warrakai toward some greater goal.

      That might change. Two powerful Exalted now take an interest in the Land Under Waves.
      The first is Leviathan, one of the most powerful of the Lunar Exalted. Warrakai is less than 100 miles from sunken Luthe. No one in Warrakai knows about the sunken city, but Leviathan thinks the Land Under Waves falls within his territory. He simply didn’t care about its squabbling tribes, seeing them neither as useful nor dangerous. Then the five races became a nascent nation… and one race descends from Leviathan’s long-dead crony, Laughing Undertow.

      The ancient Lunar now wonders what he could do with the Oloniki and the rest of Warrakai. His young acolyte Swims-in-Shadow (see Scroll of Exalts, pp. 54-55) travels through Warrakai to learn about its mortal and spiritual residents. While Leviathan cares most about Warrakai’s potential use against the Dragon-Blooded and the Realm, Swims-in-Shadow pays special attention to Warrakai’s spirits. As a shaman and a member of the faction called the Seneschals of the Sun Kings, the young Steward hopes to remind Warratoa’s court of the Creation-Ruling Mandate held by the Celestial Exalted — and to convince them that the Seneschals inherit that authority over Creation’s spirits. He does not yet understand how much Warratoa resents Leviathan for dragging him into the Lunar’s war so long ago.

      As the young Lunar studies the Warrakaians, Righteous Tsunami, Chair of the Western Convention of the Sidereal Exalted, studies him. Some years ago, this potent Chosen of Battles realized that not everyone in the West lived on land. She also realized that the Bureau of Destiny had no influence among the marine races, while the Lunar Exalted did. That bothered her a great deal. The Vizier sees Warrakai as a view into pelagothrope culture, and a first step in building Sidereal influence below the waves. She also sees potential in spreading Warratoa’s system of Wyld-warding to other communities, and other spirit courts, on Creation’s rim.

      Righteous Tsunami knows that Warrakai can never become a satrapy of the Realm, or even an allied state: The Immaculate Order despises altered humans and Warratoa despises the Bronze Faction. The Vizier hopes to use Warrakai someday against the Lintha, the Western Fair Folk and other threats to Creation whether Warratoa likes it or not. For now, she would settle for preventing Lunar dominance in Warrakai. That Warratoa hates Leviathan does not give her any confidence that Warrakai could resist the ancient Lunar.

      As long as Swims-in-Shadow merely observes, Righteous Tsunami does not bother him. Should he seem likely to recruit Warratoa or bring other Lunars to the Land Under Waves, Righteous Tsunami might act against him and them — something that recently became more feasible, thanks to a new Charm the Maidens devised at the Shieldbearer’s request. Complacently, Righteous Tsunami does not think it possible that the Stewards could spot her attempts at social manipulation, and escalate in response.

      So far, neither Exalt thinks very much about the pelagials.

      A Shadow in the Deep

      Lomu ula Troano does not like the Takotik laborers hired by his village’s Banj-Ru patriarch. Who knows what they say to each other with their claw-clicks and gestures? And one night he hid near their encampment, half a mile and 100 feet downslope from the village. The young Bragam thought he’d spy on the clumsy creatures building a tube-home, which would be funny, or mating, which would be funnier. Instead, he saw several of them plodding further from the village. Troano followed, swimming quickly between rock outcroppings and patches of seaweed, barely keeping sight of the Takotikti in the ocean-filtered moonlight.

      Everything looked strange in the faint and wavering light. Maybe that’s why Troano didn’t recognize the mass of strangely regular stones where the Takotikti stopped. The laborers knelt facing one of the stones, gesturing… no, praying… Was it a trick of his eyes in the gloom, or did sparks of bruise-colored light move across the altar?

      But Troano’s gills were not fully mature. He ached with fatigue from using them so long. His lungs burned with the need to inhale. And he was afraid. The young Bragam broke and swam desperately for the surface, heedless of what might see or hear him.

      Back at the cay he shared with the village’s other young Bragamali, Troano huddled in his seaweed tent and panted in fear. Pursuit did not come… and as one fear faded, others replaced it. The immigrant laborers were false in their prayers to Warratoa. But who, or what, did they truly worship? Troano did not sleep the rest of the night.

      The next day, Troano tried to tell his parents and village elders about the secret rites of the Takotik workers — but he was just a boy of a low-ranking, minor family. Some grown-ups told him that other tribes had other ways and it was none of his business. Anyway, the immigrants helped the prosperity of the village. A few grown-ups accused him of making trouble for the leading families that employed the Takotikti. Others accused him of making up stories to get attention.

      Troano now stays away from the Takotikti. Whenever one of them sees him, he wonders: Do they know he spied on them? What will they do if they find out? He prays for Warratoa to protect him. To protect them all.


      The Pelagial Plan

      The Takotik hetman Greenurchin Secondson is right: The pelagials move against Warrakai. They held the Land Under Waves millennia before the People of the Sea settled. Moreover, their oracles foresee the nascent nation becoming a threat to the City of the Shining Reefs. If the alliance of tribes should prosper, it might spread to other communities of the five races; and five races might become six, or 10, or 20, in a vast and mighty federation. The Sleeping Princes command the pelagials to reclaim the plateau and enslave its people to the will of Whose Whispers Chain — or destroy them.

      The pelagials lack the strength to conquer Warrakai through a direct assault, so they attempt to subvert the sea-folk and turn communities against each other. Occasional raids by singers of the deep and other slaves keep Warrakaians thinking about small, short-term dangers instead of longer, subtler threats. The pelagials do not expect any single plan to seize Warrakai. They attempt many schemes, in hopes that enough of them succeed to forestall the future that the Sleeping Princes saw in the dreams of their Neverborn patron.

      And so the pelagials’ spies infiltrate Warrakaian society. Tempting Artifacts subvert or destroy the people best able to foresee or forestall the pelagials’ other plots. Leaders are set against each other, or are murdered and replaced. Ancient, long-lost fanes are found and consecrated anew.

      The net is being woven around Warrakai, and few even suspect its existence. Will the Warrakaians see the danger in time? Do they have the strength to resist the attack when it comes? Or will they need help from people and places they cannot currently imagine?
      At this point, I was going to have a guide to the pelagial schemes to subvert Warrakai, from recruiting dupes to reactivating Ancient Sites of Dire Magic, but it came out rather boring and conventional and I quit. I presume you are all skilled enough to handle such obvious material yourselves.

      Dean Shomshak "My business is to create." -- William Blake, The Four Zoas
      Don't like me on Facebook. Don't follow me on Twitter.


      Sunder the Gold says: More is coming.


      Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

      My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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      • #18
        by Dean Shomshack

        Here are the dominion stats and sample military unit that nobody ever uses. I was going to write up a sample Oloniki band and Takotikti scale, but there didn't seem to be much point once CoCD: Autochthonia officially dropped all that nonsense. I didn't bother writing dominion stats or military units for any other societies. -- Dean Shomshak

        [BEGIN BOXED TEXT]
        Warrakai, a Magnitude 3 Dominion
        Military: 1 Government: 2 Culture: 3
        Abilities: Awareness 3 (Pelagic Kin +1), Bureaucracy 1, Craft 1, Integrity 3 (Religious Edict +3), Investigation 1, Occult 2 (Spirit Dealing +3), Performance 2, Presence 2 (Divine Authority +), War 1
        Virtues: Compassion 3, Conviction 1, Temperance 4, Valor 3
        Virtue Flaw: Temperance Current Limit: 2
        Willpower: 6
        Bonus Points: 15 External Bonus Points: 9

        Notes: Though dominated by Warratoa’s spirit court, Warrakai’s population is mortal and it counts as a human dominion. Bonus points go to a dot of Valor and the Integrity, Occult and Performance Specialties. External bonus points, derived from Warrakai’s contacts with other marine societies and (to a much smaller degree) Wavecrest, give the dominion another dot of Awareness, the dot of Craft, and the Awareness Specialties. Warratoa rules the dominion, as much as anyone can be said to do so. There are no savants or sorcerers, though either Righteous Tsunami or Leviathan could function as sorcerers if they wanted. (And heaven help Warrakai if they both choose this role and act at cross-purposes.) In limit break, the pragmatic truce between the five races breaks down and the Warrakaians lose themselves in an orgy of competitive flattery and sacrifice as they try to secure the sole favor of Warratoa.
        [END BOXED TEXT]


        Sample Combat Units

        All Warrakaians fight if they come under attack, but the Bragamali, Lanotiri and Sokavi are not especially martial cultures. Most of these folk count as green troops, with a few regulars and perhaps one elite or mortal hero per community. Their usual strategy is to retreat to a cave or other place that restricts an enemy’s capacity to attack, or to scatter into the wide and empty sea. The Ru-Sokaiienjoy special flexibility: If attacked on land they retreat to the sea, and if attacked in the water they retreat to nearby land. The Ru-Olonaii and Ru-Takaii, however, all train for combat and their communities double as mass combat units.


        Pelagic Dragon Armada

        Description: In Halta, semi-intelligent animals are called san-beasts, but such animals did not appear first in Halta. During the Shogunate, the Lunar called Laughing Undertow bred a semi-intelligent race of pelagic dragons. (See Compass of Terrestrial Directions, Vol. II — The West, pp. 159-160 for description and traits of pelagic dragons.) Then she trained and conditioned her san-dragons to fight as military units. At least one such force survived the Shogunate, waiting for someone to say the word that awakens them from ageless sleep and calls them back to war. Pelagic dragons can capsize even the largest ships by acting together, or snatch sailors off decks and eat them. However, they cannot fight on land.

        Commanding Officer: Whoever awakens them
        Armor Color: Scaled green skin
        Motto: ROAR!
        General Makeup: 50 pelagic dragons
        Overall Quality: Average
        Magnitude: 2
        Drill: 2
        Close Combat Attack: 3 Close Combat Damage: 4
        Ranged Attack:Ranged Damage:
        Endurance: 11 Might: 3 Armor: 2 (-0 mobility penalty) Valor: 4
        Formation: Pelagic dragons are large enough that they cannot fight in any formation closer than skirmishing. The dragons have no heroes, sorcerers or relays.


        Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

        My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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        • #19
          And now the Antagonists chapter!
          Gods and Monsters of Warrakai

          Mortals

          I meant to write up a sample Lanotir anchorite and sample Olonik and Takotik warriors, but I never got around to it. Left as an exercise for the reader.

          Supernatural People

          Koro Ahotéa

          Seventeen years ago, a nymph of Warrakai lusted for an exceptionally handsome Bragam warrior. Unlike land-dwellers, the young Bragam had no trouble surviving the torrid love affair. When sex resulted in reproduction, though, the nymph’s ardor cooled. She gave the baby girl to the father and told him to raise the little parasite and she never wanted to see him again. The rules were clear for the young Bragam: He gave his God-Blooded bastard daughter his family name of Koro and the nymph’s name of Ahotéa, and then gave her to the Warra-Ru.

          Ahotéa is now a sweet 16. She is stunningly beautiful, with deep blue eyes, golden-azure scales, slim from enthusiastic swimming once her gills developed but still gracefully curved in all the right places. Diligent study and good luck in inheriting the power to channel Essence brought her early to full membership in the Warra-Ru. Not only has the young God-Blood attained Initiate Degrees in two Arts of Thaumaturgy, she has made friends with her mother and from her learned her first spirit Charm. Ahotéa proudly wears the necklace, belt and headband of nacre and coral that proclaims her priesthood. The Warra-Ru expect Ahotéa to become a leading priestess someday, and she wants to live up to their expectations.

          In a fit of adolescent drama, Ahotéa swore she would give herself to no man except Warratoa, the great and generous benefactor of all Warrakai. So far, Warratoa still treats her like a daughter. Ahotéa finds her vow harder and harder to bear, given that she inherited some of her mother’s impulsive and passionate temperament as well as her capacity to channel Essence. The elder Ahotéa tells her daughter to enjoy the handsome young men she meets — and the Warra-Ru do not demand or enforce vows of chastity — but the young priestess thinks everyone else misses the point. She made a vow to her god, and how could she look Warratoa in the face again if she broke it? If she, a priestess, cannot be true to her god, how can she expect other people to do so?

          Motivation: Serve Warratoa and Warrakai with all her passion.

          Virtues: Compassion 3, Conviction 3, Temperance 2, Valor 1

          Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3; Charisma 3, Manipulation 1, Appearance 5; Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 2

          Abilities: Athletics 2, Awareness 2, Bureaucracy 2, Dodge 2, Integrity 1, Linguistics (Native: Seatongue, Others: Old Realm) 1, Lore 2, Melee 1, Occult 3, Performance 3, Presence 3, Socialize 1, Stealth 1, Survival 1

          Backgrounds: Backing 2 (Warra-Ru), Contacts 2, Inheritance 1, Patron 1 (Nymph mother)
          Merits and Flaws: Priest (1 point)
          Mutations:
          Racial — Gills (2 point), Scales (1 point), Water Adaptation (1 point)
          God-Blooded — Elemental Rejuvenation (6 points), Longevity (1 point)

          Charms:
          Measure the Wind
          Thaumaturgy:
          Elemental Summoning — Initiate
          Spirit Beckoning — Initiate

          Join Battle: 4
          Attacks:
          Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 3, Damage 2B Piercing, Parry DV —, Rate 1
          Kick: Speed 5, Accuracy 3, Damage 5B, Parry DV 0, Rate 2
          Punch: Speed 5, Accuracy 4, Damage 2B, Parry DV 2, Rate 3
          Knife: Speed 5, Accuracy 5, Damage 4L, Parry DV 2, Rate 3
          Soak: 2L/4B
          Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-2/-2/-4/Incap
          Dodge DV: 3 Willpower: 6
          Essence: 1 Essence Pool: 26
          Committed Essence: 0
          Other Notes:
          Ahotéa carries a knife but has never used it for anything more violent than gutting a sacrificial fish.


          Coral Gods

          These small gods oversees the health and beauty of coral reefs. Coral gods take great pride in the appearance and prolific life of the reefs under their care, from the placement of sponges to the precise curvetting of schools of fish. Few of these gods are very powerful, so they may need the help of other spirits to protect their fragile reefs from pelagic Fair Folk, blundering sea monsters and other oceanic threats.

          Over thousands of years, coral reefs can become new land. Coral gods are immensely proud of the islands they create; and if a reef has not become an island yet, why, that won’t stop its god from boasting how white its sands shall be, the elegance of its shape and the grateful prayers the god shall receive (someday!) from mariners weary of the sea. Conversely, few sea-spirits match the coral gods in their hatred and fear of the waters of chaos that sweep out of the Western Wyld, for these eldritch currents can wash away their reefs.

          A coral god resembles a plump man or woman with the brightly-colored, scaled skin of a tropical fish. When they swim, their legs fuse into piscine tails. Coral gods wear diadems of living coral interspersed with tubeworms, shellfish and tiny sponges. Their teeth and nails are of polished pink, red or black coral. These gods adore jewelry and particularly value offerings of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and other treasures of gold and precious stones. Though not quick, coral gods are exceptionally steady on their feet — sticking to the ground as tightly as their coral sticks to its underlying reef. If these gods must fight, coral instantly grows around their fists to form massive, jagged fighting gauntlets; and once a coral god grapples a foe, the adversary finds it unexpectedly difficult to break free.

          Sanctum: A coral god usually keeps her sanctum within a cleft or grotto in the reef. Past the spirit door, the sanctum appears as a small palace made of living coral, shellfish and other sea creatures, with floors of white sand and furniture of coral-rock and mother of pearl.

          Motivation: Protect the reef and make it grow in size and beauty.

          Virtues: Compassion 2, Conviction 3, Temperance 2, Valor 3

          Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 4; Charisma 4, Manipulation 2, Appearance 3; Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 3

          Abilities: Athletics 2 (Swimming +1, Keep Footing +2), Awareness 3, Craft (Wood) 1 (Marine Life Topiary +3), Dodge 2, Integrity 3, Investigation 1, Linguistics (Native: Old Realm; Others: Seatongue) 1, Lore 1 (Oceanography +1, Marine Biology +2), Martial Arts 3 (Clinch +3), Occult 1 (Oceanic Spirit Courts +2), Presence 3, Resistance 2 (Resist Knockdown and Knockback +3), Socialize 1, Survival 2 (Coral Reefs +3)

          Backgrounds: Sanctum 2

          Charms:
          Affinity Coral Reef Control — Purge diseases and toxins from the life of the reef, or make it toxic; evoke zones of jagged coral, biting fish and other hazards as an environmental effect; shape coral and other sessile reef organisms; reef creatures shield the god from attacks, adding +2 to all soak values; animate the reef’s substance to attack, with a dice pool of 7.
          Call — Communicate with anyone on/in the reef.
          Domain Manipulation Scenario — Shape the reef’s growth and the behavior of its native life; often used to repair damage to a reef by speeding its growth or create a cleaning station.
          Hurry Home — Return instantly to his or her reef.
          Landscape Hide — A coral god can merge with the reef’s substance.
          Loom Stride — Disappear from one point on the reef, reappear somewhere else.
          Materialize — Costs 40 motes.
          Measure the Wind — Feel currents of Essence eddying around a creature.
          Sense Domain — Coral gods know the health of their reefs, and any damage done to them.
          First (Ability) Excellency — Martial Arts, Presence, Resistance
          Second (Ability) Excellency — Awareness, Craft

          Join Battle: 6
          Attacks:
          Coral-Fist Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 7, Damage 6B, Parry DV —, Rate 1, P
          Coral-Fist Punch: Speed 5, Accuracy 5, Damage 8B, Parry DV 4, Rate 2
          Soak: 4L/6B (2L/2B from Affinity Coral Reef Control)
          Health Levels: -0/-1x4/-2x3/-4/Incap.
          Dodge DV: 3 Willpower: 6
          Essence: 2 Essence Pool: 50
          Other Notes: The coral gods of Warrakai possess Charms that other coral gods usually lack. All Warrakaian coral gods know the Fortress of Creation and Wyld Armor Charms (see The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. II — The Wyld, p. 143 for details), but can use them only when Warratoa commands it. Also, Warratoa is a valid target for the coral god’s Call.


          Warratoa
          God of Warrakai

          The god of Warrakai began as a coral god of exceptional power. He has vivid yellow skin striped with black and electric blue, and wears a robe of shimmering blue silk embroidered with silver waves. His crown features coral branches and cockle-shells wrought in gold and studded with pearls.

          Warratoa permits no dissention in his spirit court, but he does not imagine himself as ruling his mortal worshippers. Rather, he regards Warrakai as a very large reef that he nurtures in the manner of any other coral god, with the five races as part of the fauna. He enjoys seeing the Warrakaians prosper, just as he enjoys the plateau’s abundance of fish and other marine life. If he values the Warrakaians more than he values the barnacles, it’s only because the Warrakaians’ worship provides the Essence to defend the plateau and keep the lesser spirits in line. Warratoa wants the five races to cooperate in developing the plateau, but if they evolve a shared government they shall do it without their chief god’s help or hindrance.

          In contrast to Warratoa’s easy-going attitude to mortals, he treats the Exalted warily. Partnership with Laughing Undertow made him leader of Warrakai’s spirits, but also brought a great deal of trouble from the Bronze Faction and its Shogunate pawns. Warratoa shall not easily forgive the Bronze Faction for the damage inflicted on his reefs in battle, or for humbling him in his own sanctum. Nor shall he forgive Leviathan for starting the war in the first place. His experiences left Warratoa feeling no reverence for the “Princes of the Earth.” Any Exalted who want his help must buy it with abundant help in return... or force it, and risk the enmity of one of the West’s largest and most disciplined spirit courts.

          Sanctum: A visitor first sees the god’s throne room, a chamber of wave-sculpted rock decorated with coral-encrusted pillars, huge shellfish and colorful sea anemones. A gigantic open scallop forms a back to Warratoa’s throne of nacre, coral and pearls. A nacre crescent above the throne shows Warratoa’s reverence to Luna, She Who Calls The Tides (though not to the Lunar Exalted). The throne room appears roofless, so sunlight fills it with a turquoise glow by day. At night, oysters open so that luminous pearls can supplement moonlight. Anyone who swims up and out of the throne room surfaces in the lagoon; the passage is strictly one-way. Tunnels behind curtains of living kelp and seaweed lead to other parts of the water-filled palace, such as Warratoa’s bedchamber, guest suites, a kitchen and other facilities.

          Motivation: Protect, promote and cultivate Warrakai. Warratoa’s Intimacies are to the Five Races (a gardener’s affection), the Bronze Faction (hostility), Leviathan (bitterness), Luna (reverence) and the Wyld (resolute opposition).

          Virtues: Compassion 2, Conviction 4, Temperance 3, Valor 3

          Attributes: Strength 6, Dexterity 4, Stamina 6; Charisma 5, Manipulation 4, Appearance 3; Perception 4, Intelligence 4, Wits 5

          Abilities: Athletics 3 (Swimming +1, Keep Footing +2), Awareness 5, Bureaucracy 3 (Oceanic Spirit Courts +3), Craft (Wood) 2 (Marine Life Topiary +3), Dodge 2, Integrity 5, Investigation 3, Linguistics (Native: Old Realm; Others: High Realm, Seatongue) 2, Lore 3 (Oceanography +1, Marine Biology +2), Martial Arts 4 (Clinch +3), Melee 4 (Daikalbar +3), Occult 3 (Oceanic Spirit Courts +2, Western Wyld +1), Performance 1 (Oratory +3), Presence 5, Resistance 3 (Resist Knockdown and Knockback +3), Ride 1 (Sea Beasts +3), Socialize 3 (Sea Spirits +2), Stealth 2, Survival 3 (Coral Reefs +2, Kelp Forests +1), Thrown 1

          Backgrounds: Artifact 3 (Teeth of Warrakai), Cult 3, Followers 3, Resources 4, Sanctum 2

          Spirit Charms:
          Affinity Coral Reef Control — Purge diseases and toxins from the life of his atoll, or make it toxic; evoke zones of jagged coral, biting fish and other hazards as an environmental effect; shape coral and other sessile reef organisms; reef creatures shield Warratoa from attacks, adding +6 to all soak values; animate the reef’s substance to attack, with a dice pool of 10.
          Amethyst Awareness — Warratoa perceives all supernatural forces and phenomena.
          Banishment — An unstoppable wave or current of water washes the god’s enemy miles away from the atoll.
          Call — Communicate with anyone on/in his atoll, or any subordinate spirit.
          Chrysalis of Preservation — Warratoa can encase defeated enemies in coral, or crystallize Essence into silver pearls for distribution to other spirits. Each pearl carries 10 motes that any Essence-channeler can access.
          Divine Decree — Set every spirit of Warrakai working toward a particular goal.
          Domain Manipulation Scenario — Shape the underlying reef’s growth and the behavior of its native life; often used to repair damage to a reef by speeding its growth, or to create a cleaning station.
          Essence Plethora — Extra 30 motes.
          Form Reduction Technique — Warratoa takes the form of a small fish, but keeps the same coloring.
          Fortress of Creation — Costs 10 motes, 2 Willpower to bar the Wyld from an area; see The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. II — The Wyld, p. 143 for details.
          Hurry Home — Return instantly to his atoll.
          Landscape Hide — Warratoa can merge with the substance of his atoll.
          Loom Stride — Move anywhere on or in his atoll.
          Materialize — Costs 65 motes.
          Measure the Wind — Feel currents of Essence eddying around a creature.
          Sense Domain — Warratoa knows the health of his atoll, and any damage done to it.
          Wyld Armor — Add +2 dice to rolls to resist the Wyld; see The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. II — The Wyld, p. 143 for details.
          First (Ability) Excellency — Martial Arts, Melee, Presence, Resistance
          Second (Ability) Excellency — Awareness, Craft, Integrity
          Infinite (Ability) Mastery — Martial Arts, Melee, Presence
          Divine (Ability) Subordination — Integrity, Presence

          Join Battle: 10
          Attacks:
          Coral-Fist Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 10, Damage 9B, Parry DV —, Rate 1, P
          Coral-Fist Punch: Speed 5, Accuracy 8, Damage 11B, Parry DV 5, Rate 2
          Teeth of Warrakai (Daikalbar): Speed 5, Accuracy 14, Damage 14L, Parry DV 7, Rate 2, 2, R
          Soak: 9L/12B (6L/6B from Affinity Coral Reef Control)
          Health Levels: -0/-1x5/-2x4/-4/Incap
          Dodge DV: 6 Willpower: 7
          Essence: 6 Essence Pool: 125

          Other Notes: Warratoa wields the Teeth of Warrakai, a daikalbar (see Scroll of the Monk, p. 159), as part of his spiritual panoply. One end bears a mass of twisting coral spikes; the other carries large, blade-like shells. The weapon has no magical material bonus or hearthstone setting, but any opponent struck by the Teeth of Warrakai loses one dot of Dexterity as both a Shaping and Crippling effect, as coral grows across his body to weigh him down and restrict his movements.


          Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

          My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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          • #20
            And now to wrap it up with an Exalt whom characters might encounter, some new magic, and the obligatory Block o' Beasts. And that's the end of the Land Under Waves. -- Dean Shomshak

            EDIT: Do I need to remind anyone that this writeup of Righteous Tsunami, and the new Sidereal Charm, is completely unofficial and not endorsed by the current dev team?
            Righteous Tsunami
            Chair of the Convention of Water

            Righteous Tsunami was born shortly after the Great Contagion and grew up in a tiny village in Wavecrest. Like everyone else in that chaotic time, she faced a constant struggle against hunger, geomantic disasters, Wyld-spawned beasts, and people even more desperate than herself. When she was 17, an outcast of the Fair Folk came to her village and demanded tribute of food, sex and souls. Righteous Tsunami avenged her sister’s defilement and ravaging by becoming the fae’s next servant… with a poisoned meal, and an iron blade hidden in a most surprising way. Her plan almost worked. As the furious (and gleeful) raksha attacked her, though, Righteous Tsunami suddenly remembered a great deal about knife-fighting. Once she stood over the raksha’s corpse, Righteous Tsunami realized she had Exalted as a Chosen of Battles. Then she remembered the Arcane Fate of the Sidereals and left her village without bothering to say goodbye.

            The young Vizier suffered shame and hazing because of her Exaltation’s previous host. The Shieldbearer Sarquamich died trying to murder a group of Lunars… who were fighting against the Balorian Crusade at the time. The Bureau of Destiny still derides this Bronze Faction zealot for showing Worst Priorities Ever. In reaction, Righteous Tsunami strove to show her pragmatism and sense of duty. She joined the Bronze Faction because she thought the new Realm and Empress were necessary, and the Gold Faction was delusional. Over the centuries, Righteous Tsunami campaigned with Imperial legions, participated in Wyld Hunts, assassinated an entire court of elementals for resisting the Immaculate Order, and helped found the Tya.

            As part of an internal affairs investigation, Righteous Tsunami used Ceasing to Exist Approach to assume a new identity as a newly-Exalted Tya. The trail led deep into the Wyld and involved a raksha freehold, a Lunar who briefly became her assumed identity’s lover, and tangles of Fate so snarled that they affected the Shieldbearer in a manner similar to the Arcane Fate that affects all Sidereals. Even though it is well known in the Bureau of Destiny that Righteous Tsunami is centuries older than the Tya, the Loom of Fate says she was Tya when she Exalted. This does not annoy Righteous Tsunami too much, because she takes her Tya membership seriously: While the Bureau of Destiny supported the Tya’s genesis as a way to spy on the Storm Mothers, the Shieldbearer also wanted the society as an outlet for Western women. What does annoy her is that she keeps running into that damn Lunar…

            The Shieldbearer is also the youngest Sidereal to survive fighting a Deathlord one-on-one, making her one of the Silver Prince’s greatest foes. Such deeds led to Righteous Tsunami’s appointment as Chair of the Convention of Water. She still engages in fieldwork as often as possible.

            Righteous Tsunami dislikes unnecessary violence and cruelty. She’s okay with necessary violence in defense of Creation, including the death of mortals who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time: The Chosen of Battles believes that in the long run, innocent lives are best saved through quick, decisive victories, however obtained. She tells her subordinates to make damn sure those deaths are necessary, though, or they’ll write their reports on parchment made from their own flayed skin. She’s done it herself when she screwed up. It reminds her to do better next time.

            The Shieldbearer brings this same hard pragmatism to her administration of the Western Convention. Her Convention is perpetually short-handed. As a result, she accepts any Sidereals willing to work in the West, so long as they are also willing to forego office politics on missions. While Righteous Tsunami has not exactly renounced Wyld Hunts, she won’t initiate one so long as a Solar or Lunar aims himself at Creation’s enemies instead of Realm interests. (She quite likes Moray Darktide, the Skullstone Solar, for his quest to exterminate the Lintha. The Shieldbearer recently had a rip-roaring adventure with him while posing as a Dragon-Blooded Tya.) Righteous Tsunami concedes that a second mass murder of Solars may become necessary, but she thinks it can wait until the Bureau of Destiny deals with greater threats.

            Righteous Tsunami now looks like a woman in her late 20s. She has golden skin, close-cropped green hair (currently shaved back to a spiky mohawk), and jagged black Tya tattoos on her face, upper arms and shoulders. After the third time she lost her right eye in combat, she started wearing an eyepatch preëmptively: The Shieldbearer currently has both of her ruby-red eyes. Righteous Tsunami has the lean, strong build of someone who does lots of hard work; she is more handsome than beautiful, with a wry smile. She wears starmetal chainmail when she expects a fight, or the sturdy, practical clothes of a fisherman when she doesn’t need to dress up for Heaven.

            Caste: Chosen of Battles
            Anima Banner: A clear, revealing, crimson light

            Motivations: (Dean seems to have not remembered this part)
            Virtues: Compassion 1, Conviction 4, Temperance 3, Valor 4

            Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 6, Stamina 4; Charisma 3, Manipulation 3, Appearance 2; Perception 4, Intelligence 4, Wits 4

            Abilities: Archery 4, Athletics 4, Awareness 3, Bureaucracy 4, Craft (Fate) 4, Craft (Magitech) 2, Dodge 5, Integrity 3, Investigation 2, Larceny 4, Linguistics 3, Lore 3, Martial Arts 5, Medicine 1, Melee 6 (Daiklaves +2), Occult 4, Performance 3 (Prayer +3), Presence 4, Resistance 3, Ride 1, Sail 4, Socialize 2, Stealth 2, Survival 3 (Oceanic +2), Thrown 2, War 5

            Backgrounds: Acquaintances 5 (Abalone Dockworkers, Emissaries of Perfect Water, Lowest Dive in the Neck, Onyx Dockworkers, Storm Mothers), Allies 3 (Ocean Father), Artifact 3 (Jade Long Powerbow), Artifact 2 (Starmetal Wavecleaver Daiklave), Artifact 2 (Starmetal Hearthstone Bracers), Artifact 1 (Starmetal Chain Shirt), Artifact 1 (Wyldsight Eyepatch), Backing 5 (Convention Chair), Backing 3 (Bronze Faction), Backing 3 (Crimson Panoply of Victory), Celestial Manse 1, Connections 5 (Monastery of the Deep Stars), Connections 3 (Tya), Connections 2 (Water Fleet), Connections 2 (Wavecrest Government), Manse 3, Manse 2, Salary 3, Savant 2

            Charms:
            Archery — Any Direction Arrow, Every Direction Arrow, Generalized Ammunition Technique, Opportune Shot
            Awareness — Expected Pain, Prior Warning, Wise Choice
            Craft — Destiny-Knitting Entanglement, World-Shaping Artistic Vision (On Water)
            Dodge — Absence, Avoidance Kata, Duck Fate
            Integrity — Heroic Essence Replenishment, Preservation of Resolve, Unhearing Dedication, Unwavering Well-Being Meditation
            Investigation — Auspicious Prospects for Battles, Auspicious Prospects for Journeys, Efficient Secretary Technique
            Larceny — Avoiding the Truth Technique, Dream Confiscation Approach, Masque of the Uncanny (Demons, Fair Folk), Masque of the Wyld (new Charm), Name-Pilfering Practice, Thought-Swiping Distraction
            Lore — Methodology of Secrets
            Melee — All Charms
            Occult — Mark of Exaltation, Telltale Symphony, Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
            Presence — Force Decision, Impose Motivation, Presence in Absence Technique
            Resistance — Shield of Destiny, Someone Else’s Destiny
            Sail — All Charms
            Stealth — Blinding the Boar, Ceasing to Exist Approach, Soft Presence Practice, Subordinate Inspiration Technique, Walking Outside Fate
            War — All Charms
            First (Ability) Excellencies — Archery, Bureaucracy, Athletics, Larceny, Martial Arts, Melee, Presence, Sail
            Second (Ability) Excellencies — Awareness, Dodge, Integrity, Resistance, War
            Fateful (Ability) Excellencies — Archery, Martial Arts, Melee
            Propitious (Ability) Alignment — Dodge, Martial Arts, Melee, War

            Martial Arts:
            Prismatic Arrangement of Creation Style — Charm Redirection Technique, Deadly Starmetal Offensive, Five Jade Fury, Flickering Moonsilver Approach, Four Magical Materials Form, Orichalcum Sheathing Stance, Spell-Shattering Palm, Water Aspect Exalt Ways, Wood Aspect Exalt Ways
            Scarlet-Patterned Battlefield Style — Fallen Ivory Defense, Glance and Stride, Impeccable Patterned Deployment, Scarlet-Patterned Battlefield Form, Unassailable Rebuff Position, Without Strategy Arrangement
            Violet Bier of Sorrows Style — All Charms
            Wood Dragon Style — Eyes of the Wood Dragon, Mind-Over-Body Meditation, Soul-Marking Strike, Spirit-Rending Technique, Spirit-Wracking Method, Wood Dragon Form, Wood Dragon Vitality

            Combos:
            Godslaying Arrow — Fateful Archery Excellency, First Archery Excellency, Any Direction Arrow, Spirit-Rending Technique.
            Impossible Firing Squad Protocol — Fateful Archery Excellency, First Archery Excellency, Any Direction Arrow, Every Direction Arrow.
            Rational Defensive Assumptions — Second Dodge Excellency, Blade of the Battle Maiden, Impeding the Flow, Joy in Adversity Stance, Unassailable Rebuff Position.
            Vanishing Killer Technique — First Melee Excellency, Avoidance Kata, Impeding the Flow, Life-Severing Blow.

            Sorcery:
            Terrestrial Circle Spells — Conjure Elemental, Disguise of the New Face, Emerald Circle Banishment, Infallible Messenger, Keel Cleaves the Clouds, Mast-Shattering Spell, Open the Spirit Door, Storm Rider Enchantment, Viridian Mantle of Underwater Journeys

            Colleges: The Banner 2, The Captain 4, The Ewer 4, The Gauntlet 2, The Mast 1, The Quiver 5, The Shield 4, The Spear 5, The Sword 4

            Join Battle: 7 (14 with Secrets of Future Strife)
            Attacks:
            Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 10*, Damage 3B Piercing, Parry DV —, Rate 1
            Kick: Speed 5, Accuracy 12*, Damage 6B, Parry DV 6*, Rate 2
            Punch: Speed 5, Accuracy 13, Damage 3B, Parry DV 8*, Rate 3
            Crimson Tide (Starmetal Wavecleaver Daiklave): Speed 5, Accuracy 19*, Damage 13L/3*, Parry DV 8*, Rate 2
            Elegant Green Falcon (Jade Long Powerbow): Speed 6, Accuracy 12*, Damage 8L**, Range 350, Rate 3
            *Includes bonuses from magical materials and hearthstone bracers.
            **Uses broadhead arrows.
            Soak: 7L/7B (Starmetal chain shirt, +5L/3B, Hardness 3L/3B)
            Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-2/-2/-4/Incap
            Dodge DV: 11 Willpower: 8
            Essence: 7
            Personal Essence: 22 Peripheral Essence: 45(62)
            Committed Essence: 17
            Other Notes: Righteous Tsunami’s hearthstone bracer carries the Hearthstone of the Monastery of the Deep Stars, a Mind-Cleansing Gem (see The Books of Sorcery, Vol. III — Oadenol’s Codex, p. 96). Her wavecleaver daiklave carries the Gem of Starlight (ibid., p. 104) from her modest manse-bungalow in Yu-Shan. (The Shieldbearer spends too much time in Creation to want anything more.) The Cold Iron Bauble (ibid., p. 89) in her daiklave’s other socket comes from a manse that she found on a Bordermarch island. Righteous Tsunami and her fellow Sidereals use it as a base for expeditions into the Wyld. The Windhands Gemstone (Exalted, p. 382) in Righteous Tsunami’s powerbow comes from a manse in the Abalone interior, also used as a Western Convention safehouse.


            New Equipment and Charms

            New Sidereal Charm: Masque of the Wyld
            Cost: 5m + 2wp; Mins: Larceny 4, Essence 2; Type: Simple
            Keywords: Combo-OK, Shaping
            Duration: Indefinite
            Prerequisite Charms: Any Larceny Excellency, Name-Pilfering Practice

            Righteous Tsunami, Chair of the Convention of Water, requested this Charm from the Maidens when she realized how much of the West’s population consisted of Wyld mutants and beastmen… and Sidereals had no good way to impersonate them. Now, they do. Oh, they could make people think they were pelagothropes or other altered humans — but drawing gill-lines on her neck and saying, “I’m a Sea Person!” wouldn’t let her breathe underwater.

            The Sidereal tangles her fate with that of another human race. Engineered races such as the Tree Folk or People of the Sea are valid targets. So are beastmen and Wyld mutants who now breed true in Creation, such as the Varajtul cannibals or the Shadow Swimmers of Luthe. For that matter, the Sidereal could simply choose another ethnic group from baseline humanity.

            On activating the Charm, the character becomes a member of that race, with its standard package of Wyld mutations. She remains more or less recognizable as herself: Physically, she is now who she would have been if she’d been born a member of that race. Her Abilities, Charms and other Traits do not change, except as they are specifically modified by her new mutations.

            A Vizier can maintain Masque of the Wyld as long as she wants, but the Willpower points spent in using the Charm are committed: The Sidereal cannot recover them until she lets the Charm lapse and returns to her natural form. Depending on her assumed form, she may be a creature of the Wyld for purposes of other Charms.

            Characters select one offshoot race when they learn Masque of the Wyld. Additional races (each with its own package of mutations and new appearance for the Sidereal) cost 2 experience points or one bonus point each. (It’s steep, but Sidereals just can’t equal Lunars as shapeshifters.) A character can assimilate the fate of a race through a scene of personal contact with a member, or requisition its fate profile from the Bureau of Destiny.

            Should a Sidereal already come from an offshoot race, or otherwise possess a package of mutations, she may use Masque of the Wyld to assume the form of a baseline human, or a different offshoot race. For instance, a Vizier born as a furry Varajtul could select one human ethnic type — anything from a blonde Haslanti to an ebon-skinned Harborheadite— as her alternate form, or become one of the Dune People. Indeed, nothing forbids a Vizier of one normal human ethnicity from using the Charm to assume the appearance of another human ethnicity.

            Unlike the spell Disguise of the New Face, Masque of the Wyld creates real changes rather than illusion. All-Encompassing Sorcerer’s Sight and other forms of Essence perception do not detect the alteration to the Sidereal. As far as the Tapestry of Fate is concerned, this is the Sidereal’s true form until she chooses to end the Charm’s effects. Even if the Sidereal dies, she leaves a corpse in her assumed form.


            Oceansong Harp (Artifact •)

            This musical artifact ostensibly helps anchorites divine the future. The harp consists of a carved stone frame that curves in a rounded scalene triangle. Eleven strands of gut stretch across the frame. Tides and currents set the strings humming. Anchorites who perform their deep-sea meditations to the harp’s eerie susurrus experience strange visions that reveal secrets of other times, distant places and the dead. This in turn may increase the accuracy of their divinations.

            The Lanotiri mystics do not know who makes the harps: The instruments come from afar and the ocean is vast. The anchorites would not seek them so eagerly if they knew the pelagials wrought the harps in the City of Shining Reefs, and their song is the Whispers of the Neverborn. The pelagials use duped agents to place these artifacts where anchorites can obtain them, in hopes that exposure to forbidden knowledge leads the Lanotiri mystics to serve the Neverborn.

            Anyone who meditates on the oceansong harp’s song for an hour finds his mind opened to the dreams of the dead Primordials: He gains the benefit of Whispers •. The harp synergizes with the anchorites’ Oceansong Divination, enabling such characters to add the harp’s Whispers background to the dice pool for the Procedures. The character may gain additional information unrelated to her immediate query, but relevant to her wider concerns — all from the perspective of an entity that yearns for Oblivion. A good rule of thumb for Storytellers is to grant one datum per two threshold successes on the Whispers-enhanced divination, and to supply information that leads the querent to despair, alienation from her society and a desire for greater knowledge from the harp.

            Practice with the harp permits its owner to buy her own dots of Whispers, at the normal bonus or experience point costs for Backgrounds. From then on, the owner can gain a +1 die bonus to any Whispers roll by committing three motes to the oceansong harp and listening to it for an hour. The harp only works underwater.


            Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

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            • #21
              Animals and Monsters of the West

              The people of Warrakai share the sea with many other creatures. From the Exalted Corebook, Warrakaians must occasionally deal with venomous sea snakes (use the coral snake), siaka and giant squid. Most of the beasts from The Compass of Terrestrial Directions, Vol. II — he West also appear in Warrakai. (Rock-rollers are a notable exception.) Here are additional oceanic creatures: some dangerous, some helpful.

              Armorfish, Large

              Strong bone plates cover the entire body of an armorfish, except for its eyes, tail and paddle-like fins. The horse-sized body tapers back from a globular, helmet-like head. Instead of teeth, the fish’s huge mouth holds two pairs of sharp bone plates that crush bones almost as easily as they tear flesh. Armorfish are among the least agile swimmers in the ocean, but they don’t care: Not much can prey on an armorfish except a bigger armorfish — which happens a lot, for these vicious predators attack and try to eat anything that moves, including each other. Western fishermen hate armorfish, which rip their nets and snap their lines as they take the fisherman’s catch for themselves. Still, Western folk occasionally get their own back by catching armorfish and carving implements from their bony plates.

              Armorfish, Gigantic

              The worst aspect of armorfish is that the horse-sized specimens are the small ones. Some species grow up to 30 feet long, with jaws that can swallow a rowboat. When Western sailors see these armorfish, they hope the fish do not recognize ships and boats as holding prey: The largest armorfish can sink any ship that people now build, biting through the hull in one chomp.

              Crawsteed

              The crawsteed somewhat resembles a shrimp the size of a pony. Instead of legs, though, finlike flaps for swimming run down each side of its body. Two barbed, segmented tentacles project from the beast’s front: The crawsteed uses them to grab food and hold it to the circular mouth on the underside of the helmet-like head. Crawsteeds have a Control Rating of 3. So far, these sea-beasts lack the agility and courage to use in battle, unless they are compelled by Charms. They eat just about anything, though, which increases their utility as beasts of burden.

              Houndfish

              Humans are not the only land creatures transformed by the Wyld. A few decades ago, pelagothropic breeds of dogs appeared at several regions in the West, and their use spreads rapidly among sea-folk. (Address all thanks to the Wardens of Gaia.) In Warrakai, the Lanotiri are the first to breed and train houndfish to assist in hunting squid and deep-sea fish. The Lanotir breed resembles a greyhound covered in silver-white scales, with gills, a finned tail instead of hind legs, flippers instead of forelegs and great dark eyes for seeing in the dimly-lit depths. Lanotir houndfish cannot breathe air. Other breeds appear in other parts of the West.

              Moray

              Moray eels grow about five feet long. They hide among rocks and coral, then dart out to seize small fish or other prey. While morays are proverbial for their speed and ferocity, they do not attack creatures much larger than themselves, and pose little or no threat to sea-folk.

              Ray

              Rays, skates and similar fish are notable for their flattened disk, diamond or triangular shape, tapering to a slender tail, and the way they seem to “fly” underwater by rippling their bodies. Most rays live on the sea floor, where they can hide in the sand or mud. The smallest rays are less than a foot long, while the great manta can stretch 15 feet across. All rays possess an Essence-perceiving “Shark Sight” as a natural ability. (See The Compass of Terrestrial Directions, Vol. II — The West, p. 152 for this Affliction.)

              Most rays are harmless, but the stingray and lightning-ray are notable exceptions. These rays grow five feet across. While rays can lash with their tails, these two species are dangerous for other reasons.

              Spines along the stingray’s tail inject venom. People sometimes catch stingrays and use their tails as weapons (equal to a knife, but carrying two to four doses of venom). While the venom is painful, stingrays seldom kill people unless the victim is so unlucky that the ray stabs a spine directly into the heart (i.e., both the attack and venom deal exceptional damage).

              The lightning-ray has the strange power to radiate a burst of the same Essence found in lightning, with which it kills its prey or stuns larger predators. This functions as an environmental effect, though it lasts only a moment. Lightning rays must wait 15 ticks between shock-bursts.


              [BEGIN ANIMAL STAT BLOCK]
              Name Str/Dex/Sta Per/Int/Wits/Will Health Levels Attack(Spd/Atk/Dmg/Rate) Dodge/Soak

              Armorfish, Large 5/3/8 2/1/2/3 -0/-1x2/-2x2/-4/I Bite: 5/8/8L/1 3/6L/10B
              Abilities: Athletics 4, Awareness 2, Dodge 1, Martial Arts 4 (Huge Mouth +1), Stealth 2, Survival 3

              Armorfish, Gigantic 10/3/15 2/1/2/3 -0x2/-1x4/-2x4/-4x2/I Bite: 5/10/13L/1 2/8L/15B
              Abilities: Athletics 5, Awareness 2, Dodge 1, Martial Arts 4 (Huge Mouth +3), Survival 3

              Crawsteed 3/2/4 2/1/2/3 -0/-1/-2x3/-4/I Clinch + Bite: 6/5/4L/1 3/4L/6B
              Abilities: Athletics 3, Awareness 2, Dodge 3, Integrity 1, Martial Arts 1 (Grapple +1, Hold +2), Presence 1, Resistance 2, Survival 2

              Houndfish 2/3/2 2/2/3/3 -0/-1/-2/-4/I Bite: 5/5/3L/1 2/1L/3B
              Abilities: Athletics 2 (wim +1), Awareness 3 (Dim Light +2), Dodge 1, Integrity 1, Investigation 1, Martial Arts 1, Presence 2, Resistance 3, Stealth 1, Survival 2 (Track by Scent +2)

              Moray 1/3/1 2/1/3/2 -1/-2/I Bite: 5/7/1L/3 3/0L/1B
              Abilities: Athletics 2, Awareness 1 (Join Battle +3), Dodge 3, Martial Arts 3, Presence 1, Resistance 1, Stealth 3, Survival 2

              Ray 1/3/2 2/1/2/3 -0/-1/-2/-4/I Tail: 5/6/1L/2 3/1L/2B
              Abilities: Athletics 2 (Swim +2), Awareness 1, Dodge 3, Integrity 1, Investigation 1, Martial Arts 3, Presence 1 (Seem Bigger +2), Resistance 1, Stealth 2 (Hide in Ground +2), Survival 2
              Stingray Venom: (3L, 3, —/—, -3)
              Lightning Ray Shock: (4B, 4L), 3 yard radius

              [END ANIMAL STAT BLOCK]



              Originally posted by The Chills and One Last Joke
              Dean, this is a very important question here.
              You mention that Armorfish are roughly the size of horses. Does that mean a sufficiently motivated or perhaps insane person could in face, ride an Armorfish?
              Sure could! Though they aren't a very good shape for riding and the Control Rating would be high (5-6). But that's what Ride Charms are for. Or just having a Ride of 5, with Specialties in fish!

              Incidentally, armorfish are inspired by the bone-plated fish of the Paleozoic, such as Dunkleosteus.


              Excellent. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go laugh maniacally.


              Hey, will you have a bunch of people riding a gigantic armorfish, like Dune Fremen riding a sandworm?
              "Fish sign! Fish sign, such as God himself has never seen!" Eh, maybe not.


              Originally posted by The Chills and One Last Joke
              also is it just me or do each of the races line up like they're perfect for the different roles of some kind of Gidget goes to Creation type story? Maybe I'm just reading too far into the fact that Sokavi play great music and Tiktakti can dance like nobody's business.
              Since I've never seen any of the Gidget movies, it's just you.

              Unless some entity with its own agenda is trying to speak through me. But I consider that unlikely.





              Sunder the Gold says: Going to be reposting more of Dean's Q&A.
              Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 04-13-2017, 07:10 PM.


              Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

              My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Brilliant Rain
                I like how the reaction of the elder to meeting a Lunar was basically "meep!"
                If Lunars were properly presented in the setting, most people's reaction to meeting one would be, "Meep!" Even without Immaculate propaganda.


                Originally posted by Radiant_Beacon
                On threats:
                It sounded like the Wyld and the Lintha were the primary threats, from the perspective of the people, but you hardly mentioned interactions with the Lintha, just that they hated them. Similarly, you mentioned Wyld storms, but no specific Fae threats. Not that Wyld storms are not enough of a problem, honestly.


                I figure the Lintha manage to piss off just about everyone, so there's nothing special about their enmity to Warrakai.
                It would be more interesting if the Lintha had good relations with Warrakai, they way they have (relatively) good relations with An-Teng, but I didn't see much they could offer each other.

                Actually, the Lintha just don't interest me very much, but that's a different subject.

                I thought of writing up some Fair Folk antagonists. I like the idea of the blind Deep Fae that sometimes rise up to hunt souls in Warrakai. Then I tried reading Gaceful Wicked Masks again and, as usual, felt my brain start to bleed. So, no Fair Folk.

                The lack of anything interesting for the Lintha is sort of why I was surprised there was much interaction - though I guess there is always a chance for fresh meat or jade nodules.

                And I can understand the pain on the Fair Folk front - I keep trying to them cool in my campaigns, and they wind up not working out so well. Probably just going to have to abandon them for a while, which is a shame.

                Originally posted by Radiant_Beacon
                There was mention of migrating sharkmen bands...that is intriguing to me, and would have been an interesting counterpoint to the Oloniki. I am sure you have seen the pictures of the hammerhead aggregations off some of the pacific seamounts - that would be a stunning visual of beastmen.
                It would! If someone did a wider supplement of the Undersea West, sharkman gatherings and migrations could be an important threat that many cultures face.


                Also interesting that the Oloniki worship Siakal but no mention of Kireeki - not that you could be encyclopedic.
                Kireeki? <smack> I completely forgot about Kireeki. Of course the dolphinmen would honor Kireeki. But even now, I can't remember anything cool about Kireeki: I'd have to re-read RoGD1. Which is probably why I forgot.


                She is sort of a really bizarre goddess - my memory said she was god of cetaceans, turns out she is goddess of oceanic predators like "orcas, dolphins, and mantas" though she excludes sharks and siakas, and also the tentacled horrors of the deeps to avoid conflicts with Siakal and Zhuzhio. Yet she has tentacles. And apparently Exalted uses an ecologically correct but very broad definition of predation - mantas are filter feeders, which makes them predators in much the same way sponges are.

                Anyway, I can see why you would forget her - I hope whoever gets a chance to rewrite her in third edition takes the opportunity to make her make sense because, honestly, a tentacled killer whale goddess who is the patron of hunters from sponges to sperm whales, but not things with tentacles or sharks is really not actually really all that cool or memorable.

                Also is the double ii in the Ru-___aii names pronounced like Hawaii?
                It is. For a more Polynesian feel maybe there should be an apostrophe between the two Is, the way Hawaii used to be spelled Hawai'i, but I've seen too many bad fantasies where writers threw apostrophes in at random to look "exotic." H. P. Lovecraft did it once and everybody's gotta copy him.


                SUNDER THE GOLD says: That's it. That's all of Warrakai and Dean's recorded comments about it.


                Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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