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The Onyx Rolls of Glorious Exalts

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  • #31
    Midnight Blooming Jasmine and Alabaster Strix, Night Caste Solar

    As one of the many children of Lady Snow, Jasmine never knew her father it's possible her owl goddess mother devoured him for some transgression against the night's laws or simply let him pass with the dawning of a new day. From an early age the divine secret society that raised and trained her taught her that everyone wore a mask the face that they presented to the world and an inwards face that protected themselves from what was necessary. To this end she had two masks and two identities one which she wore to elegant balls and galas while the other in the likeness of her mother's huntress aspect that she wore to hunt those who disturbed the night's peace.

    Her extended family were overjoyed when she was Chosen by the Unconquered Sun believing this to be his blessing for their work but it's actually started to put her at odds with their ideology. She was drawn into a martial arts tournament in the South where while battling servants of the First and Forsaken Lion she fell in love with another Solar Exalt and his mortal companion who helped her question what her family was doing and who they were actually working for.

    Last edited by The Hug Ninja; 02-13-2017, 10:39 AM.

    Simple Exigent Guidelines, a work in progress


    • #32
      Impetuous Tempest; Dawn Caste Solar

      Tempest is a tall, muscular man of Hispanic descent, he wears clothes equivalent to the idea of a cowboy, with a battered cowboy hat, ponchos and sarapes. He has perpetual stubble, an always bored look on his face, and is usually either drinking or smoking. He's respectful but casual, and seems unconcerned with almost any happenings. His skin is criss crossed with thin white lines from stabbings and slashings, wounds that heal but don't fade away entirely. His favorite pastime is gambling and he is quite good at it.

      To hear his own words, he cares nothing for anyone or anything, and only wants to wander Creation and see the sights and eat the food. He carries almost no money at any time, winning poker games only to be broke the next day, and is in most ways a pointless bum.

      But that's all false. A pretense he keeps up because he finds it lets him move more easily to be non-threatening. In actuality, Impetuous Tempest cares deeply for each and every man and woman in Creation, and will always stand up to defend those who find themselves oppressed by evil and violence, and has a supernatural ability to always show up in the right place to stick his nose into the places he is needed. Coming from a childhood in Nexus where he fought, scrounged, and committed evil to keep his head above the water with no regard for others, an introspective moment and a chance encounter made him decide to step off the path that he was on and make a new one. His reward for his decision to try and change the world for the better was the power to do so. He will never accept that his task is done, and he keeps count of every sin he views he has committed. He never judges others as harshly as he judges himself, and does his best to always speak with kindness and help those who need it. He no longer kills, and instead leaves his foes alive in the hope of helping them find a way to live that doesn't involve harming others. This compassion seems to draw people to him, and he is always glad for company, indeed, without company, he often finds himself introspective and lonely. Tempest cares for each person in Creation, and those he loves may find it frustrating sometimes that it seems he cares for them only as much as the man on the street he gives his excess money to, but it is not that he does not care for them, and a sure way to rouse the temper that he keeps in check at all times is to show cruelty to those he loves.

      Tempest is exceptionally strong, and this is part of why he always wanders and part of why he is unconcerned no matter what. When he was a child, he realized you must be strong to survive in Nexus, and learned how long the best mercenaries in Nexus trained, then trained an extra three hours on top of that. He does his best to do this at all times, between lifting, running places, and fighting, even to this day. He is not shy about admitting the reason for his strength, as he has no real formal training in fighting and instead simply goes with what 'feels right' with his punches and kicks. This strength is partly something he finds annoying as well as helpful. He hasn't found a good fight in a long time, and thus finds himself putting restrictions on what he does and holding back, because a fight among equals is more fun then stomping someone. However, he doesn't let this boredom get in the way of his training, and he still works hard to grow stronger; he knows there are always stronger people in the world, and any one of these stronger people could be the person he meets tomorrow, standing upon the face of the innocent. He would not turn away from a fight where he is outclassed, so he works hard to make himself stronger, while hoping someone will come that can let him go all out.


      • #33
        I want to talk about another PC of mine eventually but this is some context for what she is.

        Erubian Exalted

        The Erubian Exalted serve as assassins and enforcers for a divine secret society that operates through a number of cells and unlike most other forms of illicit exaltation have the potential to be quite numerous.

        Unlike other Exaltation the process by which one becomes an Erubian involves one entering a state of suspended animation and being placed in a protective sarcophagus as their body undergoes extensive physical and mental transformation. This process can take any time between several months to several centuries making their emergence unpredictable at best.

        If a Solar achieves her goals through raw talent then her Erubian counterpart would achieve similar results by shutting out distractions and pushing themselves to limits that would be self-destructive for anyone else. Fortunately they heal quickly even for Exalts and can compartmentalise their minds to push aside fear and doubt.

        However, the secret society never created them. It merely found the blue elixir that now replaces their blood and seems to still be scratching the surface of what its Exalted are truly capable of.

        Simple Exigent Guidelines, a work in progress


        • #34
          Quick PC from my campaign:

          Aria, Zenith Caste Solar

          Aria was born in the isolated city of Lightharlzen, nestled between the Haslanti League and Gradafes-controlled tundra. The city is highly unusual for having a very mild climate and its gigantic cristal tree. The tree actually grows, and yearly blooms cristal roses that allows the city to use and abuse the substance in its day-to-day activities. It is also led by two council, one, the male Council of Elders led by the head of nine noble families descended from the original refugees that settled the plain. The other is the order of Valkyries, nine women that lead the military and religious life of the city. A Valkyrie is chosen at birth when a previous one dies. At that moment, a spear begins to form in a secret cave under the tree, one that will accompany the girl her entire life and shatter upon death. Meanwhile, they are taken from her parents and trained in a cloister by her new "sisters"

          Aria trained to become the occultist of her order, specializing in opposing the undead that periodically attacked,, and was something of a positive influence on everyone around her, until her first field mission where her unit got pincered by a much larger undead force than expected led by an intelligent undead (Nemissary). The UC chose her to stop the depredations of the undead, and she led the unit into causing a landslide destroying most of the zombies. Thing is, despite saving one of her sisters, her Caste Mark had something of a bad reputation, as another Valkyrie had turned Abyssal and slaughtered three of her sisters before fleeing. Aria turned herself in peacefully, but the order risked losing immense face if they harbored a potential mass-murderer again. So they helped Aria leave the city in secret, to find a new life for herself.

          Aria is mostly a fighter though, she's quick and nimble, but can't quite tank a hit. She's also a decent occultist, with a very strong focus on the flow of life and death, and fighting disembodied ghosts. But her true passion lies in helping other, and her friendly demeanor and gentle voice catches off-guard many who expect a gruffer warrior inside the heavy breastplate. She's been known to compromise and find an agreement even in the midst of a deadly battle - only the undead deserve the full fury of Spiritbane, her Soulsteel dire lance, spoils of war of her first encounter with one of the Lover's Abyssals.


          • #35
            Here's a character I put together for a forum game, including the portrait created by Jen


            In the heart of Nexus there are Wyld pockets that leech into creation. Only the poorest of the poor live near them and then through desperation rather than choice. Mirrin's mother was one of those desperate few who managed to survive there without falling prey to mutations or getting caught by a frenzied mob. Mirrin, her only child, wasn't so lucky. Whether Mirrin's father was wyld touched or Mirrin's mother just spent too much of her pregnancy in those depths, the child was born with strange barbed fingers and toes, and a strange arrangement of features that was unnerving to look at too long.

            Mirrin's mother kept the mutations a secret for as long as she could, an incredible feat given that her toddler started crawling up walls as easily as standing. When the child was 5 years old, a drunkard saw the scurrying figure scale a building into an abandoned warehouse whether Mirrin's mother had found them a place to rest. The mob that followed was furious, and while Mirrin escaped, the mob took their anger out on the poor woman who had dared to love a mutant.

            The child Mirrin wandered the gutters of Nexus for nearly a year, surviving thanks to an unnaturally strong constitution and ability to survive of street scum and putrid water. The mutations proved helpful in snaring the odd meal or coin from local drunks and merchants, but Mirrin learned quickly the hatred the people of Nexus felt towards those with oddities and kept them well hidden.

            The, at the age of 6, Mirrin came to the attention of a local god of the city, Faige, the god of dust and shadows, whose domain included the secrets of things lost to the streets of the city. Faige had long since abandoned his assigned duties and now made a fortune through blackmail and extortion. Faige saw promise in the small mutant form the streets, and enlisted him as one of the many 'little spiders' that formed the spirits network of informants and spies.

            For many years Mirrin served as a messenger for Faige. The mutations allowing him to move far more freely through the city. Mirrin took pleasure in the freedom of running over rooftops and occupying spaces that were invisible to even the longest residents of the city.

            As an adolescent, Mirrin demonstrated an intuitive understanding of spirits and their world. Without formal instruction Mirrin managed to pick up enough Old Realm to converse freely with the old gods of the city - a novelty to many of them. The gods knew that no one would ever expect them to trust their secret business to a mortal, and so Mirrin quickly became the favoured emissary between spiritual entities in Nexus.

            It was one of those entities who, as a gift in exchange for service, bestowed upon Mirrin a gift that hid his clawed fingers from sight, and gave him the pleasant countenance of youthful health. Suddenly Mirrin's realm of operation expanded and was nearly limitless. The child moved between the mortal and the spirit realm freely, and was known widely among the Nexus underworld as the emissary between humans and gods.

            Exaltation came with a blinding realisation and sense of betrayal. Carrying a message that was encrypted in an odd dialect that Mirrin did not know, the recipient turned out to be the priest of a demon cult who was arranging the purchase of lost street children to be used in summoning rituals and as playthings for demons. Mirrin stalked in the rafters of a riverside store and witnessed the summoning ritual, but the sight of blood spilled was so unnerving that Mirrin let out a gasp and was pursued by the blood soaked demon. In a subtle corona of light, Mirrins feet flew faster and landed surer than ever before, and when the demon drew close, Mirrin felt essence guiding every move to dove, weave, leap and flee.

            Upon returning to Faige's hideout, Mirrin realised the spirits role in the traffic of children and was struck by the reality of a fate narrowly avoided for the young mutant form the gutters.

            With essence coursing through every part of Mirrins body and soul, Mirrin called out Faige and demanded an explanation. The spirit, sly as ever, tried to cajole and soothe, and in an effort to regain Mirrin's confidence, promised that such business would forever be in the past. Mirrin called on the truth of creation and bound Faige to its word. The spirit, enraged at what had happened, lashed out in fury but Mirrin's essence-fuelled blows soon rendered the spirit weak, and allowed Mirrin to flee into the night.

            Leaving Nexus behind, Mirrin fled out into the Scavenger lands to seek out greater truth and understanding of this power that filled every limb.


            Character Sheet

            Name: Mirrin, the Voice of Dust and Shadows
            Caste: Eclipse
            Concept: Emmissary between spirits and mortals
            Supernal Ability: Occult

            Join Battle:7

            Strength 3
            Dexterity 5
            Stamina 3

            Charisma 4
            Manipulation 3
            Appearance 2

            Perception 3
            Intelligence 2
            Wits 3

            Dawn: Archery 0,Brawl 3,Melee 0,Thrown 0,War 0
            Zenith: Integrity 0,Performance 0,*Presence 2,Resistance 0,*Survival 3
            Twilight: Craft 0,Investigation 0,Lore 0,Medicine 0,*Occult 4
            Night: *Athletics 5,*Awareness 4,*Dodge 4,*Larceny 3,*Stealth 3
            Eclipse: Bureaucracy 0,*Linguistics 1,Ride 0,Sail 0,*Socialize 3
            Athletics - City Environments
            Socialise = Dealing with Spirits
            Dodge - Acrobatics
            Occult - The Spirit World

            Willpower: 5
            Essence: 1

            Graceful Crane Stance
            Lightning Speed
            Winning Stride Discipline
            Monkey-Leap Technique
            Foe-Vaulting Method

            Fists of Iron Technique

            Reed in the Wind
            Reflex Sidestep Technique
            Leaping Dodge Method
            Searing Quicksilver Flight

            Spirit Detecting Glance
            Uncanny Perception Technique
            Keen Unnatural Eye
            Spirit Cutting Attack
            Ghost Eating Technique

            Danger Sense - 3
            Direction Sense - 1
            Boundless Endurance - 2
            Subtlety (wall walking) - 2
            Iron Stomach - 1
            Wall Walking - 4
            Language (Old Realm) - 1

            Defining Principle - Hatred of Spirits abusing mortals
            Major Tie - A love of running free and exploring new places
            Minor Principle - A belief in the power of diplomacy

            Possessions: Very little, at 0 resources Mirrin owns little more than a simple knife, a couple of changes of drab clothes, and rarely has more than a few bits of tin to spend.

            Join Battle: 7
            Guile: 3 (4 against spirits)
            Resolve: 2
            Evasion: 4
            Soak: 3
            Hardness: 0
            Last edited by CapitanTypo; 03-05-2017, 07:36 AM.

            Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

            "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons


            • #36
              Originally posted by The Hug Ninja View Post
              I want to talk about another PC of mine eventually but this is some context for what she is.

              Erubian Exalted

              The Erubian Exalted serve as assassins and enforcers for a divine secret society that operates through a number of cells and unlike most other forms of illicit exaltation have the potential to be quite numerous.

              Unlike other Exaltation the process by which one becomes an Erubian involves one entering a state of suspended animation and being placed in a protective sarcophagus as their body undergoes extensive physical and mental transformation. This process can take any time between several months to several centuries making their emergence unpredictable at best.

              If a Solar achieves her goals through raw talent then her Erubian counterpart would achieve similar results by shutting out distractions and pushing themselves to limits that would be self-destructive for anyone else. Fortunately they heal quickly even for Exalts and can compartmentalise their minds to push aside fear and doubt.

              However, the secret society never created them. It merely found the blue elixir that now replaces their blood and seems to still be scratching the surface of what its Exalted are truly capable of.
              I'm getting an interesting Winter Soldier/Phantom Pain vibe to this. I'm curious why it's a special kind of Exaltation rather than the Exigence.


              • #37
                I have several ideas for Exalts - none of them have complete mechanics, but here are a few of the seeds I have knocking about in my head.

                Tepet Yuran, Dawn caste Solar

                A Dynast who was never chosen by the Dragons, Yuran was primed to be sent into a marriage as breeding stock for further potential Exalts. When the Bull of the North annihilated the Tepet Legions, however, the necessity of reinforcement became overwhelming, and the leaders of the House sent Yuran, who was as trained as most Dynasts in battle, to lead a small talon of troops in what remained. While posted in the capital city of Latir, she led her talon to ensure that rebels did not take the weakness of House Tepet as a sign to throw out their rightful overlords. On one such mission, she met another woman, Maza, who offered her a warning – demon cultists were preparing to call a demon to help their rebellion. Yuran led the troops to the village in question, only to confront the Demon-blooded leader of the cult before the summoning. There she was struck by the pure exaltation of feeling the eyes of the Sun upon her. She had been Chosen as a Dawn. Fleeing, she has remained on the run since, only a few of her most loyal soldiers following. More and more of late, however, she is conflicted – she has no wish to defeat the Realm, and is disturbed by her new status as Anathema, but she still refuses to leave the kingdom – it would be surrender. Her daiklave is an alloy of moonsilver and dreams, flickering in and out of existence as if it is never quite there.

                Shining Wisdom the Unifier, Eclipse caste Solar
                Once a simple nomadic horseman among the many tribes wandering the East, Wisdom was always a wily trader and negotiator, ensuring that the Guild never excessively gouged his clan for their horseflesh or herds, and even occasionally getting the better of them, though that never lasted. Wisdom was the child of an emissary who represented the clan at the yearly meet and her husband, from another clan. Throughout his life, he learnt the craft of diplomacy and negotiation, because life was difficult enough without frequent warfare between the clans. Then one of the Realm’s satrapies began to settle the lands of his people, and as space grew narrower, clashes grew more frequent, culminating in preparations for a blood feud between his clan and one of the others in the area. Witnessing what had been wrought, he brought out an impassioned speech, condemning both sides as foolish and entreating them to reason, offering both what they needed. As he did so, he was Chosen, the Unconquered Sun’s golden rays swirling about him. An Eclipse caste, Shining Wisdom is a master rider, an excellent storyteller, and a superb diplomat. His mount is his familiar, a mare by the name of Emerald Skies Shining.

                Syana, Beloved Priestess of Song, Zenith caste Solar
                Once, there was a young girl, sworn to chastity as a pure offering to the gods, and a boy, the sole son of the chieftain’s lineage, promised to marry another, who fell in love with one another, for all that it could not bear fruit. When the boy was struck comatose with a terrible illness, the girl left on a pilgrimage to the sacred hill of song, in order to cure her beloved. Facing many dangers and meeting strangers, companions and opponents alike, she refused to turn back, enduring all the hardships a journey could offer her. At the hill of song, however, the doors that once stood open were sealed, and the girl could not meet with the goddess who would heal her beloved… and she nearly fell to despair… but once more, she refused to give up. With that choice, a brilliant gold light descended upon her, taking the shape of a four-armed man, who commended her devotion, and proclaimed her a Zenith, his Chosen, and healed her beloved in recognition of her trials. Now returned to her village, Syana, the Beloved Priestess of Song, is preparing for her wedding to her beloved, determined to protect their happiness and bring it to those who are in need.

                I'm still working on adding a Night and a Twilight (I have a Philosopher-Queen Twilight whose backstory I need to fill out more, soon.)

                All that I write but don't cite is simply my perspective, colored by my experiences and beliefs. I extrapolate a lot, too, so don't take it too seriously. :P


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Bladewind View Post
                  I'm getting an interesting Winter Soldier/Phantom Pain vibe to this. I'm curious why it's a special kind of Exaltation rather than the Exigence.
                  Mostly I find there's aspects of the assassin/enforcer dynamic that don't work so well if the character in question has reasons to think of themselves as a unique asset. They're also closer to the Dragon-Blooded end of the power scale so I'm ok with saying there's potentially a fairly large number of them.

                  Simple Exigent Guidelines, a work in progress


                  • #39
                    Art by... yeah she's got a lot of art here's a bit of it.



                    Single Step Serafina: Chosen of Journeys
                    Ethnically of the Delathri people of Great Forks the only home Serafina knew growing up was the open road with the caravan folk as her extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Though they don't really remember her anymore thanks to Arcane Fate they still occasionally wonder what happened to the attractive young woman who always pulled her weight and danced at every special occasion before settling on the notion that she's happy wherever she is.

                    Her exaltation came during an moment of enlightenment at a crossroad where she saw it not as a place where two roads connected but as an intersection of destiny important to the lives of countless people. It was not long after that when agents of Yu-Shan arrived to whisk her off to Heaven.

                    Politically Serafina is interesting. She submitted requests to be part of all five Directional Conventions a rare (and some would say insane) move that could have cemented her status as an independent agent had she not fallen in love with her Sifu Anys Syn and cast doubt upon her ability to remain independent. She's inherited a few things from her predecessor the great explorer Paths Less Travelled most notably her familiar Draco, a diminutive Elemental Dragon of Air and former Haslanti secret agent.

                    She's a master of the Swaying Grass Dance Style which fits her people's style of dancing with powerful hip and leg movements, she's capable of a lot more raw power than her build suggests and her kicks are not to be underestimated.

                    Onyx Path Forums Moderator


                    • #40
                      "Nileen" Erubian Exalt (Wraith Aspect)

                      Chal a city state on the edge of the Dreaming Sea known as the pink city due to its legendary cherry blossom trees, it is said that any union consecrated in Chal while the trees are in bloom is eternal giving it a reputation as a city of diplomats, traders and of course lovers.

                      The city’s royal family has an ancient tradition of pairing their children with a commoner who bears a striking resemblance as a way of unifying them with the common man but many see this ritual for what it truly is, a desire for political proxies because a city of diplomats is invariably also a hotbed for assassins. Nevertheless, it’s a relationship that Chal culture romanticises to great effect.

                      Nileen… though she wasn’t Nileen back then, was one of those proxies. Serving as the twin to the young Princess Mahalya of Serene Countenance the two girls proved to be the ideal of this tradition with the commoner studying Mahalya’s mannerisms to become her when she needed it and to fight to be her dagger when she needed that.

                      It was perfect, but it was not to last. Nileen still isn’t sure why Mahalya was assassinated. The archer who put the arrow in her sun, her moon and her stars’ chest was just fortunate in the heat of the moment. Then he was incredibly unlucky when she caught up to him, his superiors may already have been inclined to dispatch him at as a loose end but he would have preferred that end to what the former bodyguard subjected him to.

                      It was easy to step into Mahalya’s shadow, maybe this was an unspoken part of the tradition that had happened numerous times through Chal’s history its princes and princesses enjoying the immortality of one who would step in to assume their life. The assassin’s masters were still out there and with help from the Court of Secrets a hunt began that turned the pink city red masterminded by the princess who was not a princess.

                      When all was done, she wanted to cast aside Mahalya’s identity and grieve for her friend and sister but found that she had no true self to return to. All she had left was sorrow and purposeless rage. It was then that the Court of Secrets made her another offer. She would sleep, perhaps for years and emerge like a butterfly as something new, someone new.

                      She’s not sure if she made the right decision, but the years she spent in the sarcophagus was the only peaceful sleep she had enjoyed since she lost everything. Emerging with new gifts she served the Court of Secrets as an assassin until she left their services in a desperate attempt to find a normal life and matter to someone.

                      Here she changed her name and face more than once, eventually encountering a group of Exalts from the city of Seven Sentinels who showed her kindness even after an initial encounter which left… something to be desired.

                      The ‘Nileen’ identity is the latest attempt at the fresh start she’s needed for far too long, her previous lives drifted to the shadows content to scrutinise humanity from afar but as part of a highly visible circle of Exalts she’s unable to just drift away much as she sometimes tried to. Though the recent death of her Night Caste circlemate has forced her to take on a more active role in the group.

                      She also has a baby now that she stole from a sorcerer that she's willing to raise, but that’s a story for another time!

                      Simple Exigent Guidelines, a work in progress


                      • #41
                        You guys come up with such awesome characters!

                        I've been thinking about more lately but I've felt creatively bereft, and the one other character I have which would be good to present has a backstory that might be too complicated.

                        Gosh I love the art.

                        Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by The Hug Ninja View Post
                          She also has a baby now that she stole from a sorcerer that she's willing to raise, but that’s a story for another time!
                          I want to see you explain the baby.


                          • #43
                            Ok as you know, this is rather involved.

                            To explain the baby I first need to talk about the Dawn Caste who joined the group at about the same time as Nileen.

                            Hoj was a wandering swordsman from the south who first met the others while traveling to Sijan with the body of his mentor and the ashes of the sorcerer Kor who killed her. It initially seemed like the Kor’s ghost was responsible for the trouble but it was revealed to be his Hungry Ghost, the soul had split like a yin and yang and his actual ghost was repentant for his actions in life and asked that Hoj stop his protégée from becoming like him.

                            A little digging later and we discovered that the protégée Prince Anwar had gone to Medo looking for some ancient giant that he was trying to gain control of. By this point Hoj was becoming less certain on what he wanted to do with Anwar, initially there was a desire to talk the sorcerer down that had becoming a growing certainty that he would fail.

                            So the mountains of Medo have clans living in stone fortresses and humanoid giants. The latter of who come in two main sizes with the smaller and more intelligent ones commanding larger and more animalistic ones. The clan’s found a way to exploit this and made a horn that sounds a bit like the smaller giants and can be used to confuse the larger giants.

                            It’s easy enough to get to the Barrow Hill where this ancient alpha-giant is supposed to be sleeping but the whole experience is rather intimidating because these creatures bring their own fog with them so visibility is very poor.
                            A few of us scout ahead and meet Anwar at the top of the hill; he’s been busy while he was here creating a sort of zombie from giant sinew and using a Neomah to create a human/giant hybrid to try and exploit the connection the smaller giants have with the larger ones.

                            We get into a fight with the sorcerer’s mercenaries, the baby starts crying… then roaring and she’s half giant it’s attracting the larger ones. What about the giant horn from the mountain clan? You ask, that seemed ideal for a situation like this. Well, our Zenith had it and she’s not even seen the anima banners to know we’re in trouble yet let alone in a position to use it.

                            Also by this point Hoj had decided he’d like to kill Anwar mostly to spite Kor's last wishes for killing his mentor. So the odds of this baby ending up dead were pretty high so Nileen 'disarmed' her from the Neomah and alternated between fighting and singing lullabies. Now she's grown attached to a blue half-giant baby girl, nothing could possibly go wrong there.

                            Simple Exigent Guidelines, a work in progress


                            • #44
                              Joyous Sky, Zenith Caste

                              My PC, Joyous Sky is one of the mainstays of Lioness’ long running game (the same one as Nileen and Tempest in this thread) and I’m telling the start of her story at her request. Sky as character embraces one of the things I think really makes Exalted shine, the ability to tell an epic tale across multiple lives and incarnations and as a result this is probably the first of a couple of posts needed to really sell the awesome narrative Lioness put together for her over the years. I appreciate this was played to more heavily in 2e and is a mileage may vary element of the setting, but if people want more I’m happy to deliver.

                              Sky was born in a small shadowland known as Belikal, far to the north. Known to her close family as Alita, her father fulfilled her tribe’s tradition and gave her her formal spirit-name based on an omen as she was being born. In a shadowland beset by snowstorms and pale skies, the uncommonly bright, striking sunrise that met her birth was considered fitting. Unfortunately for Sky, both her parents would die while she was very small. She was left to be raised by her grandfather and their semi-nomadic tribe of ghost hunters who roamed Belikal’s scrag and frozen forests, maintaining cairns and wards and using wooden weapons carved with runes to keep the dead as quiet as they could.

                              Quiet and shy as a child, Sky found herself awkward in the company of others, finding comfort and self expression in the wooden flute her grandfather carved for her. This led in turn to Sky becoming adept at the discipline in Belikal where ghost hunters would use ritual music to soothe, exorcise and fight the undead.

                              Belikal’s shadowland was not unclaimed however. The region was the domain of a deathlord known as the Maiden of a Thousand Veils, a reclusive figure content to allow mortals to remain while she worked and schemed. Provided they remained fearful and beneath her notice it suited her purposes to let the living linger. This isn’t to say the living were left in peace however, often serving as sport to the Maiden’s champions and pets.

                              It was a sudden attack by a force led by one of these champions that led to Sky exalting. A lunar known as Wandering Nightshade, brainwashed into the deathlord’s service decades earlier and compelled to commit acts that would keep his humanity in check fell upon her tribe, a test of the exalt’s loyalty. Sky now in her late teens had become one of her tribe’s foremost fighters, a prodigy with blade and music, and she resolved to lay down her own life fending the attackers off to buy her people any small slither of hope. Her actions as she earnt her her exaltation to the zenith caste, the light of her anima bursting to life as a blast on her flute tore apart attacking hungry ghosts. More importantly it stirred recognition in Wandering Nightshade. The lunar could still easily have torn her down or brought her before his mistress but instead hesitated and withdrew, giving Sky a chance to flee her homeland rather than face the Maiden’s ire.

                              Since then Sky has travelled south, meeting the rest of a group of exalts in Great Forks that would go on to found their own city in the Scavenger Lands. She struggled with her exaltation at first, considering it to be a show of faith in her from the Unconquered Sun that she had to strive to live up to. The responsibility is a burden that she’s grown into with time however, even if it stops her from ever feeling like she can rest particularly easily. The support of the two women who she would come to marry, the group’s dragon blooded general and a demon blooded priestess, has helped ease things along with the discovery of just how far she could now take her musical ability. However Sky also finds herself larger source of obligation than her exaltation alone. The realisation that The Maiden of a Thousand Veils had been the previous bearer of her exaltation, and that Wandering Nightshade was her mate is a source of guilt and drive that has come to define the young solar. Not only does she feel she needs to atone for the sins of her predecessor, but she has also begun to see enough parallels between them that she worries if she’s doomed to repeat them.

                              Sorry if it's a little indulgent as a first proper post, blame Lioness. Some of the notes hit seem a little cliche written out like this and are all on me, the good stuff comes with how the Maiden's and Nightshade's stories panned out
                              Last edited by andrix; 05-30-2017, 06:53 PM.


                              • #45
                                These kinds of posts were exactly what this thread was made for! Gorgeous art, and great story too.

                                I think that even if the Third Edition does not spend as much time on drama across past lives that the potential to still do so is totally there, and it can be an awesomely dramatic device to use if you're so inclined.

                                Please share more or any other stories you'd like to tell about Joyous Sky! I'm curious about her weapons in the second picture, for instance. What are those???

                                Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.