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[White Elephant for GreyEyes] Polestar (Orichalcum Direlance)

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  • [White Elephant for GreyEyes] Polestar (Orichalcum Direlance)

    Whew, so here we are. Sorry this is late, but the core mechanics of this didn't really come together until the last week or so, and I've been trying to fill it out ever since and spending a lot of time going over War rules.

    I also feel a smidge awkward about the name, given that as of this typing a similarly titled White Elephant, Polestar Wolf Style Martial Arts, is in the ten most recent subjects. But I like it, and I'm going to stick with it.

    But here it is, and congratulations! You got me not to make a sword.

    ************************************************** **********************************

    Alternatively, [Mockery note: we're going with 'alternately' because I can't draw worth a damn] I'd also like a write-up for an orichalcum direlance that is wielded by my Circle's polar bear-riding, army-leading Zenith.
    Polestar (Orichalcum Direlance, Artifact ****)

    When the time came for humans to spread across Creation in the First Age, their servitude to the Dragon Kings a slowly fading memory, it was the Lawgiver, Skyfather Josl, who took it upon himself to lead his people toward the Pole of Air. In those days, the howling winds were full of hungry fair folk, and it was Josl who went out to speak with them, to come to an accord. The arguments were many and long, but finally, the rapacious fae felt they had the Quicksilver Falcon backed into a suitable deal: That he would stand upon the shore of the White Sea(he argued and argued, and they conceded that this could the Northern shore, albeit at low tide), and that he would take his family’s ceremonial spear, decorated with the trinkets and mementos of generations, and hurl it as far as he could, and this would mark the boundaries of where mortals could settle, and where the Raksha would not prey upon them.

    Even accounting for the charms of the Exalted, if Josl should hurl this unwieldy ornament a mile, this was still a victory, for they would have people packed near to bursting along the coast, and could lure them into their clutches fairly easily. But Josl (also called "the Wise") was clever, and had made another pact with a lesser dragon to swoop from the sky and bear the spear to Mela’s doorstep before it touched the ground.

    The fair folk demanded that Josl retrieve it, on foot, which he did. Whole sagas have been written of that journey; some said it was five years, others a century or more, but the settlement of the North rose up at his back with each step. The Raksha followed him like starving wolves, watching for some other trickery which they could cling to, avenge themselves for having been outwitted, and declare the whole pact void. Mortals followed in his wake, building what would become the great cities of the First Age. For the ancient spear had flown at least this far, and so the land was now theirs.

    Josl, for his part, spent the entire journey cataloguing the lay of the land—the land his people would settle, wild demesnes and the strange remnants of the Primordial War. And every night, he would visit with his furious faerie entourage, and make pleasant conversation. Many were enraged. Some few, though, he would intrigue and sway to his service by the end of the journey.

    When at long last he came to where the spear lay, he gave a mighty cry of despair, for as bones or trees beneath the earth might become stone in time, his family’s spear (so close for so long to the Pole of Air) had become solid ice, cold and brittle. The Raksha—save those he had won to his own side—dispersed, and he was left with his victory. It was his circlemate who would take this, and use it as the core to cast the Direlance that would become known as Polestar.

    It would not see combat as long as he lived, though he bore it proudly as a reminder to his people of winning their place in the North. Still, in time the weapon would be borne into battle by leaders who had no such pacifist aspirations, and it would find its Evocations and legends turned toward the martial.

    Description:

    The shaft of Polestar is two meters long, gently textured with frostlike whorls, and bound with silk-smooth indigo cords of gossamer fabric. The cords are lashed through a hearthstone socket in the head of the spear, bound in the shape of an eight-armed star, while the head itself bears an edge only at the top, fanning out slightly.

    Polestar is as fine a weapon as any that the Chosen have worked or wielded, but it is little more than a sun-gold spade as a personal armament: it is the trusted companion of a general, not a soldier, and Josl’s legacy runs too deep in it for its essence to turn to something so cruel and crass as bloodshed.

    Attunement: 5m
    Type: Heavy (+1 ACC, +14 DMG, +0 DEF, OVW 5)
    Tags: Lethal, Melee, Piercing, Reaching; Two-Handed when on foot.
    Hearthstone slot(s): 1
    Era: Eight-Directions Era

    EVOCATIONS:

    Once the Exalt’s anima reaches Burning for the first time in a scene, the cord ignites with Essence and unwraps itself as a great banner in the colors of the wielder’s anima. This display is impractically long, billowing and coiling on an invisible breeze; the Lawgiver may reflexively spend 5m to give her banner substance and power for an instant to add +2 to the defense of one of her battlegroups or her Bannermen within Long range, but otherwise it is immaterial and largely cosmetic without the use of charms or other use of Essence.

    New Keyword:
    Banner: This Evocation requires that Polestar’s Banner be active.

    Devout Pilgrim’s Oath
    Cost: -- Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Permanent
    Duration: Permanent
    Keywords: Resonant
    Prerequisites: None

    Polestar is a weapon of absolute moral certitude, and for those who can find such within themselves, the Direlance opens itself up further. The Wielder consecrates one of his principles, and makes a pact with the weapon to uphold it as a moral code. Thenceforth, whenever Polestar's banner manifests, this ethos is emblazoned across it's surface. If the wielder makes an Appearance or Charisma roll relevant to the Devout Pilgrim’s Oath, the wielder may convert dice granted by charms and/or stunts to automatic successes, up to the Intimacy bonus of the Principle.

    Resonant: A character resonant with Orichalcum automatically possesses it; further, rather than a Principle, he may instead consecrate a name, a battlecry, or some other more abstract ideal to glorify with his deeds; such causes are often harder to violate, per the special rules below.

    Special: A character who acts against the Principle they’ve consecrated with Devout Pilgrim’s Oath immediately becomes Dissonant with Polestar, regardless of their usual relationship with Orichalcum. If they are naturally Dissonant with Orichalcum, then the Direlance’s evocations cease to function entirely. This penalty lasts for a single scene, but the benefits of the charm are suspended until the character either renegotiates their moral code or atones for their misdeed. This requires the repurchase of this Evocation; the experience spent upon its previous purchase is refunded at the end of the next session.

    Bannerman’s Credo
    Cost: 15m, 1wp Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Simple
    Duration: Instant
    Keywords: Resonant, Dissonant
    Prerequisites: Devout Pilgrim’s Oath

    The wielder of Polestar creates a code of honor, encompassing a number of Principles equal to the bearer’s Integrity. The spear itself sanctifies those who swear upon it to its wielder, bolstering their spirits and tying their fate to his. This oath must be wholly voluntary and genuine: a character operating under temporary mental influence or duress cannot accept this, nor can one who holds reasonable doubt or lack of intent to hold to their word.

    Having sworn by Polestar, the Credo emblazons itself on the hearts forevermore. The target immediately gains the Principles as their own. These may grow, but cannot be wholly eroded without directly acting against them; doing so immediately terminates the benefits of this Evocation; although the intimacies remain, they may be freely and wholly eroded. Further, if they spend a willpower point acting in open support of these, they gain one non-charm die to their roll in addition to the success from the willpower.

    Anyone already under the effects of this Evocation may regain one willpower by bearing witness to its use on another. Doing so renews their vows as though they had sworn along with the direct subject of the current invocation. The Exalt may have a number of active recipients of this Evocation (Referred to in further evocations as “Bannermen”) equal to their Essence. If one of his sworn followers voluntarily abandons their oath, the Exalt is immediately aware, although this realization does not include the circumstances or reasons for doing so.

    Dissonant: The code of the wielder can only contain the Principle reinforced by Devout Pilgrim’s Oath.

    Resonant: The Principles of the Oath also include a tie of Loyalty to the Wielder.

    Cast Beyond the Horizon
    Cost: 5m, 1 wp Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Simple
    Keyword: Perilous
    Duration: One Scene
    Prerequisite: Iron Raptor Technique

    The Exalt hurls Polestar into the distance out to Extreme range, like a hawk-borne javelin; the Direlance plants itself in the ground where it falls, immovable and tall. The spear adds the Exalt’s essence to the difficulty of any gambits or other effects that attempt to move it, and all attempts fail without the wielder’s permission or the use of charms or other magic.

    While the Lawgiver has temporarily divested herself of her weapon, its perfect conviction draws those who are sworn to her and it; they gain two non-charm dice on all rolls to overcome obstacles between the two, including enemy forces. If Polestar’s banner has already manifested, then it remains visible, but otherwise it will remain dormant until it returns to her hands, and certain Evocations become difficult or inaccessible while the direlance is not in the wielder’s hands.

    This Evocation may be placed in a combo with its prerequisite; its type becomes Supplemental, and regardless of whether the attack succeeds or botches, Polestar remains where it is thrown rather than returning to its wielder’s hand.

    As an exception to the usual range, the Exalt may use Call the Blade from beyond its usual range to recover her weapon.

    Beyond the Horizon may be used once a Scene.

    Victory Portent War-Flag
    Cost: (+2m) Mins: Essence 3
    Type: Permanent
    Keyword: Perilous, Resonant
    Duration: Permanent
    Prerequisite: Cast Beyond the Horizon, Glorious Solar Saber

    Resonant: This evocation can only be used by a Resonant wielder. As this has solar charms as prerequisites, the scenario in question (A Solar who has offended the moral core of Polestar per Devout Pilgrim’s Oath) is rare.

    This Evocation permanently improves Cast Beyond the Horizon; instead of hurling the spear itself, the wielder hurls an echo formed of golden Essence. He continues to carry the spear itself: its banner may manifest either from the actual artifact or the target cast before it, and the spear’s Evocations suffer no penalties from the prerequisite.

    Heavenly Telegraphy Insight
    Cost: 4m Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Supplemental
    Duration: One Action
    Keywords: Dissonant, Banner
    Prerequisites: Bannerman’s Credo

    Under Polestar’s banner, the Lawgiver and her soldiers act in mighty unison. She becomes automatically aware of any Command actions her Bannermen attempt to perform, and may pay the Evocation’s cost replace the traits and dice pool of one with her own, using her own charms to bolster their words and decisions. This counts as an action on her own behalf, but this Command action may explicitly be placed in a flurry.
    The charm cost increases by 2m while Polestar is Cast Beyond the Horizon

    Dissonant: A dissonant wielder cannot use this charm to flurry a Command action.

    Quicksilver Gateway Dance
    Cost
    : 8m+ Mins: Essence 3
    Type: Reflexive
    Keyword: Resonant, Banner
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite: Bannerman’s Credo

    Polestar’s banner drifts around the battlefield, cloaking the wielder’s forces in a brilliant light for an instant; when it lifts again, things have changed. Choose one of the following:
    • Soldiers have repositioned, and instinctively know what they must do. The Lawgiver may attempt to implement a new strategem in mid-combat; failure on this roll does not allow their opponent to implement one unless it was already in place.
    • The Exalt’s Bannermen are shifted away from immediate danger; they may reflexively attempt to Disengage with any opponents when this Evocation is used, gaining double 9’s on their attempt.
    This Evocation may only be used once a scene, and cannot be used if Polestar is Cast Beyond the Horizon.

    Resonant: The Exalt may use both effects at once.

    Slain-Storm Victory Cry
    Cost
    : 10m, 2wp Mins: Essence 5
    Type: Simple
    Keyword: Banner
    Duration: One Scene
    Prerequisite: Cast Beyond the Horizon, Quicksilver Gateway Dance, Heavenly Telegraphy Insight

    Polestar is planted in the ground, and its banner reaches up to the sky and explodes brilliantly. For a full day and night, the surrounding area is stilled: even in the furthest northern reaches the winds ease to a cool breeze, and temperatures become pleasant. This is a calm front, however, for a series of quiet miracles: dead soldiers cough, and find their wounds painful but survivable.

    Doctors save maimed limbs and hopeless patients, while engineers find ruined fortifications and supplies salvageable.

    For that day, the Exalt’s Bannermen heal as though they were Exalted, their wounds resistant to disease and healing with minimal scarring, while the Chosen himself makes a Rally for Numbers action at the end with Double 8’s—even if his soldiers have Perfect Morale and would otherwise be ineligible for such an action—that may explicitly restore dots of size if it accumulates enough successes.

    This Evocation may only be used once per story, at the conclusion of a victorious battle.
    Last edited by Mockery; 01-12-2018, 08:37 PM. Reason: A couple mechanical widgets, largely just for Arms-of-the-Chosen level completion, and fixing a sentence I realized I'd left unfinished.

  • #2
    This is truly awesome. Its an artifact that Inspires a character idea all by itself. I'd say this is a total success on your part.

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    • #3
      I'm getting vibes of the Third Arm Glaive from 2e, and I actually built one of my favorite characters around that weapon, so this spear gets my like. Great work!

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