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  • Flare
    replied
    Stalwart Silver Shield
    The Beacon of the West

    Stalwart was born on some small Island of the West that never had a name, until the Realm came. They planted Pitaya, a strange fruit that had never grown on the island before, things that had never been a part of their diet. They ordered the people into labor farms, overseen by lazy patricians, led by a Dragonblooded Satrap, and gave it the name 'Harvest'. This was the world that Stalwart was born into, and it was one he grew to despise. While others bent knee and scrapped to the Dragonblooded, Stalwart refused. He tried to rebuild the fight in his broken people, and even when he was rebuked by his own family, he kept trying.

    One night, it seemed the Satrap had finally been told to deal with the bothersome Stalwart, and so he went out to deal with him. Hunted like an Animal, Stalwart fell into the ocean, and was saved by a bright silver Armored Terror. It spoke to him in the voice of the moon, that it had recognized his struggles, and it would support him. When Stalwart returned to the Satrap's palace, glowing with the light of the moon, he hunted the Satrap instead, and freed his people.

    It was not long before messangers of His Divine Lunar Presence came to Stalwart, and took him to the Lord of Lunars. After becoming a Full Moon, Stalwart went to meet the Divine Lunar, and he asked the Lion why he sat on his island, why he did nothing, screaming about the people left broken by the Realm, and what he saw was inaction, and left the Caul, his path set. The Divine Lunar did not go after him or reprimand him; he was used to those caught in such Essence Fever dying pointless deaths, so someone more useful can be Exalted.

    The Essence Fever was strong in Stalwart, and he could not sit idle, but that same Fever gave him the strength to persevere as he left the Caul. He went to many of the young Lunars who found themselves the same, feeling trapped by The Lunar Lord's decrees of a long shadow war. Stalwart gave them a symbol to rally behind; he saw the Realm weakening under the weight of an incoming Civil War, powerful navy officers being called back to defend their homes instead of their unjust conquests, the Huntresses swimming like the soulless sharks they were. He has broken the plans of the Lunar Elders, taking their carefully laid tribes under his banner, and several young Lunars as well, forming a wide alliance that does much to annoy, harass, and attack the Realm, always avoiding outright war. He cares not for Elders; this is a fight of the present, for the present, not the past for the past. He does not like Pirates, but he is not afraid to use them to get what he wants.

    Strong, capable, and intelligent, Stalwart and his allies are a nightmare for a weakening Navy. A charismatic man with golden skin and seafoam hair, he cuts an imposing figure standing on the prow of his warship, Unstoppable Sunset, and from here he proclaims that the Sun shall set on the Realm soon, and the moon will rise. His totem is an Armored Terror, and he is as strong as that great beast, able to rip the hull of a Warship in half. There is a famous story that a powerful Realm Battleship once shelled an Island he was on, and Stalwart stood unflinching at the center of the flattened island when it finished, bleeding and bloody, but not bowed. Never bowed.

    It is said by some that he has cut strange deals with those far beneath the surface to aid in his fight, and it would explain his strange Direlance, named Trench Cutter- made of coral and living water, it seems to flow around swords and armor to strike, to shine like the beacon of an Angler Fish, and cause terrible, never healing wounds-, seems to support that, but he would argue that even if that was the case, sometimes prices must be paid to achieve victory, and he would rather deal with the true enemy now, then hold it off a thousand years.

    But do not consider Stalwart a foolish child who should learn to respect his elders. More then once someone has made that mistake, and paid the price.

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  • Flare
    replied
    Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Think the word you meant is "overconfident."
    ...thank you, did you have any opinions on the post's content?

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  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    overcompetent
    Think the word you meant is "overconfident."

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  • Flare
    replied
    Fated Monsoon

    Fated Monsoon appears as a fat, darkskinned man with thick, curly hair. Despite his size, he is quite fast and strong. He favors bright colors and splashes of blood red. His weapon of choice is a sword with a fish hook on the back that can sink into flesh and rip it out.

    When he was born on a small island in the West, The Star Reader of Monsoon's village looked to the sky, and read his Fate. Monsoon was to be a great champion and warrior, made for a wondrous, world-shaking Destiny. It was thus that he was named the Fated Monsoon, for his Fate was to shake the ground and sea of Creation.

    So Fated Monsoon grew fat and boisterous on the heels of his great Destiny, assured that he was made for better things then his home Island. He read books from passing merchants, and discovered the wonderful concept of Exaltation. He became assured that that was what it was; that on that day, he would become an Exalt, a being of great and amazing power. He fantasized about what kind he would become. And when the day came that the stars said was the time for his greatness, he ascended to the highest peak of his island and waited.

    and waited.

    and waited.

    and nothing came. No power, no enlightenment. Nothing came to Monsoon. And when he returned to his village with no power, the Star Reader declared he must have made a mistake. In payment for the things that Monsoon had done, for his sloth, greed, and pride, he was banished from the island, placed upon an old boat, and cast out. But Monsoon survived. And when he reached another island, it was with hatred in his heart. He had been betrayed. Not by his village, his village was miniscule. He had been betrayed by the Heavens, he had been betrayed by Exaltation. He was supposed to be Exalted. Why was he not? It was a trick. The world had no justice, this was not his Fate.

    It is not hard to find men and women who feel that Fate has betrayed them. And for all of Monsoon's faults, he can be persuasive. A swordsman whose arm was cut off by a wicked ruler, a Dancer whose legs were hobbled. These and more came to Monsoon's side when he called for those who had been betrayed by Fate. And he came up with a desire. What he was not rightfully given, he would take.

    So Monsoon and his pirates sail the Western Ocean, gathering every scrap of knowledge about Exalted and Exaltations. His room in his ship, The Gathering Storm is filled with books about them. And with each one, he learns and adapts. He knows there must be a way to gain Exaltations, to take them from the Exalted; there must be. How else do they constantly reincarnate? But he isn't sure how. He has vague outlines for something from a strange God he has never heard of before called 'Lytek', a reference in a book here or there of a tool that can hold an Exaltation, a description of some single facet of it. He is building what he thinks is one, from each of these books, though his is not brilliant and sublime, but jagged and terrifying, a thing that fills any Exalt who sees it with all consuming Dread. He has not managed to capture the Exaltation, but he has gotten very good at capturing the Exalt.

    He does not simply run in and allow the Exalt to beat him. He and his crew hunt from afar with bows and sneak attacks. They split apart and pick off weaker ones first, baiting traps and getting the strongest ones alone and surrounded, using hired hands to soak up their anger and Essence. He knows that Exalts get tired, and run out of supernatural power, and be exploits it. More then one overconfident Solar, believing he is but a mortal, his crew nothing but a group of cripples, have fallen to them.

    He hasn't figured out the trick of gaining the Exaltation himself, but when he does, the Earth and Sea will shake at his power, and the power of his crew, as he gives them the same power he was denied.

    So why did Monsoon not gain Great Power that night? It is hard to say. Perhaps he was meant to. Perhaps, when he was placed on that boat, and cast out, his eyes were suppoused to turn a brilliant yellow, and he was to be whisked away on the greatest of Journies. Perhaps, what happened instead, was that the strand that controlled that snapped. Perhaps when massive, gaping holes appeared in the Loom due to the presence of Strange Exalts in Heaven, they took his Destiny. Perhaps a Celestial Goddess used his Fate to help her craft some great wonder.

    Perhaps the trick is, when the Star Reader saw a 'great fate', he did not understand that sometimes Fates can take a long time after they start to reach an appropriate ending.
    Last edited by Flare; 01-28-2015, 10:30 PM.

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  • Flare
    replied
    Originally posted by NuSoardGraphite View Post

    I can understand that, but the simulationist in me wants to model any interesting narratives i come across mechanically within the system.
    I am a simulationist as well. I am a major mechanics person and that's how I like to interact with teh world of Exalted and all of that. But I also feel that in a case like this, if someone else is going to use it, I can give a seed of it and then say 'but how this effects it...that's up to you'.

    If you definitely want my sort of ideas, I guess I could give an overview.

    The character gets a number of purchases of Essence Phlethora that can only be used on charms that resonate with the spirits aspect (so obviously the proper Elemental Bolt is always useful), or on the Spirit's CHarms. They get a number of Spirit Charms equal to the Spirit's Essence + Their own, but only ones the spirit has. these spirit charms are only usable out of the Essence Phelthora that the spirit gives. (Thus meaning a more powerful spirit is always better), However, a more powerful spirit comes with disadvantages. The Spirit must be appeased to grant it's Essence, it can not be forced, and the more powerful the spirit, the more self-actualized it is, and the more likely it will demand more. Consider it similar to something like the Taboo background from Lunars. A Spirit will make you do things it wants for power, and if you don't you lose it's power;

    One example in my game was Beo's mother. Her spirit required her to spend large amounts of time meditating about various concepts, and required her to shave half her head, because he preferred being bald and she didn't want to, so they compromised.

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  • NuSoardGraphite
    replied
    Originally posted by Flare View Post

    I probably wouldn't have thought up these if you had just asked me right off the bat for it, which is why I don't specify. I thought of more Essence, but I'd never have considered the Contest of Wills or the dominating Intimacies. I did have a bound elemental become dominant, but it occurred due to emotional stress and physical damage, the idea of someone being worn down and unable to hold it back just because they're having a rough time is just as valid. If I tell you what it does then it solidifies that as 'this is the effect'. While that's certainly a nice idea for some things, I find that doesn't do anything for stuff like this. Telling you 'x is x and gives you access to y, z, and b' often doesn't help, it just makes people go 'man it would have been cool if it did this but it instead does this', and your idea is really cool and it might even work better.

    I hate that idea, so stuff like that? I don't feel the need to specify because if you're going to use it then you should be free to modify or use the mechanics as you want.
    I can understand that, but the simulationist in me wants to model any interesting narratives i come across mechanically within the system.

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  • Flare
    replied
    Originally posted by NuSoardGraphite View Post
    Hmmm...i'm interested in the mechanics behind the elemental binding aspect. In what way would this boost the DB in question. additional essence for certain. bonus dice for charms compatible with the bound elementals type. what about the disadvantages? a contest of wills perhaps. if the DB's willpower drops below the bound elemental's will power, the elementals motivations and intimacies become dominant perhaps.
    I probably wouldn't have thought up these if you had just asked me right off the bat for it, which is why I don't specify. I thought of more Essence, but I'd never have considered the Contest of Wills or the dominating Intimacies. I did have a bound elemental become dominant, but it occurred due to emotional stress and physical damage, the idea of someone being worn down and unable to hold it back just because they're having a rough time is just as valid. If I tell you what it does then it solidifies that as 'this is the effect'. While that's certainly a nice idea for some things, I find that doesn't do anything for stuff like this. Telling you 'x is x and gives you access to y, z, and b' often doesn't help, it just makes people go 'man it would have been cool if it did this but it instead does this', and your idea is really cool and it might even work better.

    I hate that idea, so stuff like that? I don't feel the need to specify because if you're going to use it then you should be free to modify or use the mechanics as you want.

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  • NuSoardGraphite
    replied
    Hmmm...i'm interested in the mechanics behind the elemental binding aspect. In what way would this boost the DB in question. additional essence for certain. bonus dice for charms compatible with the bound elementals type. what about the disadvantages? a contest of wills perhaps. if the DB's willpower drops below the bound elemental's will power, the elementals motivations and intimacies become dominant perhaps.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lioness
    replied
    I've never had a problem with the existing structure but I can understand how someone would chafe at being told "these are the Realm's Admirals, we've not really left room for any more to exist" and there's some potentially cool NPCs here.

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  • Flare
    replied
    Rewrite of the Imperial Navy; The Admirals

    The Imperial Navy in 2E Exalted is made up of five fleets with a single person at the top, Lord High Admiral Peleps Sorugan, with five under Fleets named for the directions, each headed by a Fleet Admiral.

    While this is completely valid as a write up, I felt like I wanted to make a slightly different Imperial Navy, one where the top was, not necessarily more fluid, but had more people occupying the area. So I rewrote the Navy as follows in the upper echelons of ranking; My reasoning is I feel it allows a slower progression of threat increase to include more ranks, and in the end you can probably fit at least some of these concepts into the Imperial Navy even without going the whole way. In addition, I decided to expand the idea of Realm Privateering a little, or at least a different take on what the Realm might think of Privateering; that for the most part, they wouldn't need any because most of the commerce that would be disrupted would be their own.
    A couple of notes;

    Codenames

    I have Codenames for two sets of Admirals. Discussing it with a friend, he pointed out that, generally, the code names would be mostly useless because either you know or don't know if someone is an Admiral, and that it would make impersonation easier. I think the code names are kind of cool. I can't really vouch one way or the other, I kind of consider them kind of like a Style Name or something.

    With these names I explain in the writing how to get these Codenames. Obviously ignoring them and making your own or whatever is neat too.

    The Imperial Navy’s highest ranks are as follows; a number of Vice Admirals, given code names (OOC; a Japanese Color + a Japanese Animal, such as Shiroitatchi, meaning White Weasel), 4 Admirals, given different code names (OOC: The Four Heavenly Kings in Buddhism using a Thai romanization; Kuwen, Wirunhok, Thatarot, Wirupak), 2 Fleet Admirals, who use their real names, and are titled as the Fleet Admiral of the West, who has jurisdiction over anything west of the Blessed Isle, and Fleet Admiral of the East, who has jurisdiction on the Island Sea and the area around it; this is generally considered the lower ranked of the two positions, as it occupies less territory, but is more important in the defense of the Isle itself, and the Grand Admiral, who works directly under the Empress. To be a Vice Admiral, you must be powerful and wise, but also be able to influence a Zone of Control; that is, any person who is ranked at or above a Vice Admiral is able to manipulate the environment of their battles in some way. For Example, Shiroitatchi deafens those in her surroundings using her Air Aspected powers, while Kurotora can make a field of heavy gravity using his Earth Aspected ones. There is only one male in the history of the Realm who has ever been higher then a Vice Admiral, and that is the current Fleet Admiral of the East, Peleps Kaizoku Sanjin.


    Vice Admiral Shiroitachi; Cynis Ked. Shiroitatchi is a blind air aspect with generally pleasant features who requires a cane to help her walk. Ked is stronger than opponents twice her size and faster than those half, and her fighting style is often called ‘pure brutality’. She can break swords, hammers, and other weapons by catching them in the crook of her elbow and squeezing them. Her Zone of Control is the Deafened World, by slamming her cane on the ground, she causes a massive, loud wave of sound that deafens those around her.



    Vice Admiral Akisai; the actual name of Akisai is Peleps Shingen, a Fire aspect, an older man with a permanent grin who, regardless of his constant smile, can be quite terrifying and harsh at times. He is known to be arrogant, but backs up his arrogance with great intelligence and skill. He prefers a sword made out of his anima in battle, combining it with powerful punches, shoves, and grappling. His Zone of Control is The Twisted Fires, a Hellscape of fire that melts metal and burns anything around him.


    Admiral Kuwen; Her real name is Peleps Tian Ci, and she is a water aspect and the newest of the current Admirals- though not necessarily the youngest-. When she was first a member of the Imperial Navy, her ship was sunk by the Lintha, and the only survivors were here and the ship’s anchor. Replacing the chain with one of jade, Kuwen now uses the anchor as a weapon and hunts Lintha with extreme ferocity, so much that the Lintha sometimes refer to her as ‘The Bloody Waters’. Her Zone of Control is the Blackest Abyss.


    Fleet Admiral of the East, Peleps Kaizoku Sanjin; A Water Aspect, Sanjin is the only male to ever get above Vice Admiral in the entirety of the Imperial Navy’s history. Sanjin went to learn how to be an Immaculate monk as a child. Then he got kicked out, as he had terrible behavior problems. Taking a ship from his family, he sailed up and down the Western Ocean causing trouble everywhere he landed, utterly uncaring about the problems he caused. When his mother finally had enough of his actions, she used her pull in the Imperial Navy to send two Vice Admirals after him. After he beat them, the Grand Admiral herself went to apprehend Sanjin. In a fight that lasted a week and sunk, froze, and destroyed the Island they fought on, The Grand Admiral defeated Sanjin. After healing, he joined the Navy and has served loyally since. It has not changed his personality; Sanjin is still a ruckus drunkard, with a list of demerits longer than he is tall, but the Imperial Navy has taught him control over his strength and made him a force of nature. So great is his strength that only the Grand Admiral has ever seen his Zone of Control, and none but her know what it is.

    Realm Huntresses; The Realm does not sanction Privateers- other than the Kaizoku family-. Instead, the Realm Sanctions Pirate Huntresses, of which there are only ever a maximum of 8. These Huntresses are forbidden from hunting anything that is not a pirate, or being a part of any pirate like dealings, but are generally given free reign. As observation on the Huntresses has slacked following the Empress’ Disappearance, they have more and more often begun following their illegal desires. It takes a certain style of Pirate to want to be a Huntress, because they often have a massive target on their backs. Despite technically not being part of the Imperial Navy, Huntresses are expected to be subordinate to Vice-Admirals and above in ranking, and Vice-Admirals observe them when they are ‘auditioning’ for the role. Because they would be hunted if they were known, it is rare that more than the name of a Huntress, or the title of their former pirates, are known, as they often make it a point to eliminate any pirates that might know them.

    Juang Zhu and the Red Tails; A Huntress, his fleet, and his pirate title before he became a Huntress, were the Red Tails due to the distinctive red flair painted on the sails and backs of the ships. He was a Monk before becoming a Pirate, and became one to ‘see both the highest and the lowest’. The red coloring of the Red Tails comes from the sash he wears, of the monastery he left.

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  • Flare
    replied
    Stuff about Beastfolk

    So there are these creatures in Fire Emblem called, alternatively, Manaketes, Taguel, or Laguz, depending on which game you are going with and what exactly they are. They transform into animals. Generally the ones that turn into Dragons are called Manaketes, and Laguz was the term for all of them for Fire Emblems 9 and 10, which are the games starring Ike, AKA that guy from Super Smash Brothers who replaced Roy.

    Taguel are from Fire Emblem Awakening, and while Manaketes still exist, Taguel are different. Taguel turn into Rabbits.

    Now while I said they turn into animals, I didn't mean just normal sized Animals. If they turn into non-dragons, they are massive, powerful creatures several times larger then a man, even the ones who turn into birds, with fearsome combat abilities. A transformed Taguel looks like a rabbit, but is about as big as a small car.

    This goes back into my game in a roundabout way in that I considered awhile ago that some Beastfolk might have the ability to do the same thing as this. I always thought it was actually kind of a strange thing that Beastfolk were just 'humans with animal parts'. What if they could turn into combat versions of their animal traits, to fight?

    Well I'm an ST now, so I get to do that. So I did.

    As the group went to the Silver Meadows Province, they ran into a Lunar named Snarling White Rabbit, and her two kids, Agi and Bufu; They're still called Taguel, but it's more a term for Beastfolk who can turn into giant animals then a specific subspecies. I hadn't really considered them having a name but one of the players used it so it stuck.

    Not all Beastfolk can transform, and it doesn't necessarily mean a Beastfolk is stronger if they can, it just means they're different.

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  • Flare
    replied
    So some more stuff. Since it's gotten done with. These places can both have more read about them in DotFA;Lands of Creation, which I would suggest. They're quite interesting locations.

    Bell Garden
    My players recently went to Bell Garden to cleanse an infection they thought were Fae. As it turns out, it was actually a group of strange crystal flowers, as the former Solar who controlled the province had taken them from the Dragon Kings. These were used to fashion the bells that gave Bell Garden it's name, but at the same time they produced seedlings and spores that would be carried on the wind and sprout into terrifying monstrosities. The Solar would take care of these while he was alive, then remove their existence from the scrolls of battles of the War Gods of the North, to hide their existence.

    Post Usurptation, the War Gods, confused why they knew battles occured but couldn't remember anything about them, sent one of their courtiers to examine the city. The Courtier, a Bloody Hand named H'wacha, found the original plant that the Solar brought. The plant infected him, and then tried to spread into Bell Garden, but was eventually defeated. But to avoid the creatures spawning again, all of the bells in Bell Garden had to be burned.
    ----

    I think that this is a really good showing of what the Shogunate is. It's not perfect, Bell Garden has no bells anymore, so it will never make wonderful sounds. But it's still alive, and people still live and work there. So it's not the same, but it's still there, and that's more then you could say if Creation had been completely destroyed.

    Where the group is going next is this place
    ---
    Silver Meadows Province
    After and During the Usurpation, the Silver Meadows were labeled a Forbidden Zone. It would be too dangerous to enter the Province that Lunars had so thoroughly turned into a confusing mass of land. Maps were pointless and did not work, the Trees would strike at those who neared them, and it was impossible to tell how many great and terrible behemoths had been released into the Silver Meadows for the Lunar's hunting games and festivals. So the Province has generally been left alone, to do as it pleased, and people have done their best to ignore it and build around it, The Yushoto, whose territory borders the forbidden Province, built a wall upon the boarders of the province to protect them, hiring the Vagryn Gens to build it. But no one enters the Silver Meadows under any reason, because any who have have never came back.

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  • GhostTurtle
    replied
    Originally posted by Flare View Post

    -Hurakas recieve multiple characterizations. The 2E Core describes them as; Huraka are gentle wind-herders who manage steady breezes over a few hundred square miles. They also serve in the Aerial Legion as shock troops, for their fearsome size and terrible strength. Roll of Glorious Divinity states; The Great Bears are served by huraka (see Exalted, pp. 303-305), translucent bears fierce as any storm.

    I went for them being gentle and passive, because I felt it's more interesting as a contrast to their great body. It also fits in with Ophioneus herself. She is patient. But her patience is tempered by her ambition.
    Oh cool! I honestly didn't remember much about them beyond the kind of angry looking ones in the 2nd edition corebook illustration, so I wasn't sure. That definitely makes her an interesting anomaly-and serves towards creating a tone of elementals as individuals, which is always good/makes summoning more interesting.

    Originally posted by Flare View Post
    - She didn't think she was going to lose, but it's poor to assume that just because she challenged her boss she is unintelligent or unable to seize opportunity. In fact I characterized her as the opposite and attempted to keep this. She is incredibly patient, and takes tremendous amounts of time to plan things out. It took her several years to reach the point to challenge him, when she reached what she would consider her 'apex'. I find nothing at odds with her thinking she can win, finding out she's losing, and turning it to her advantage. Ambition does not mean foolishness and all that.
    I guess I just found the pacing confusing for such a strong paradigm shift- it seems like, if you convince yourself you can challenge your boss, you'd be a bit too stunned when you started losing to react immediately. I suppose if you want to play up that she is a very, very clever Air Elemental, showing such rapid adjustment would be a way to do it. That actually makes her a lot scarier than just being a big, angry elemental dragon.

    Originally posted by Flare View Post
    - This would fail in the game itself, where Beo is only in his twenties. He works as the lieutenant to one of the PCs. While your characterization is interesting, it doesn't fit with what was needed for my game specifically. More then that, because my game is about Dragonblooded, I focus on the family as much as the individual. Saying her conflict with Beo isn't personal is incorrect. Beo is the representation of the entirety of the sealing process that placed her in her current station. That's a personal grudge, as much as one depending on the family, because he carries the decisions of his ancestors with him, like all Dragonblooded do.

    But Beo isn't perfect. Far from it. He tries his best but it's very easy to corrupt people, if you know what you need. If she makes Beo use some of her power, she gets more leverage. So if he gets angry, or is backed into a corner? That's a weakness she can exploit.
    That all sounds neat-I wasn't sure how old Beo was-I guess I assumed he was pretty old just because most ancient evils in narratives like this were sealed away "long ago". A young guy wrestling with a very old, powerful dragon sealed inside him is a very different dynamic.

    I'd be very curious to hear how the Saibok binding process works, what powers it grants, and how she's able to leverage it to control him, if/when you've worked any of that out yet!

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  • Thesaurasaurus
    replied
    Looks nifty! I do appreciate any effort to flesh out Creation's spirits and their dynamics - for beings that were supposed to evoke Miyazaki-esque magical oddity and folkloric wonder, sometimes it could feel like they had a lot of dreary, uninspired variations on "Petty local supernatural despot".

    To comment on the comments, Huraka are both of those things at once. They're kind of like regular, flesh-and-blood bears in that regard - mostly pretty chill and content to ignore you, but it's still wise to keep a safe distance, and Sol help you if you piss one off. As for "Refining her Essence," I assumed that was a nod to Journey to the West, where if a character isn't a god or a demon but nevertheless has some sort of crazy mystical power, you can bet the explanation will be one of "Learned a secret from Buddha," "Took some sort of esoteric medicine," or "Refined their conduct until they attained a more enlightened state of being."

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  • Flare
    replied
    Originally posted by GhostTurtle View Post
    Hmm...neat character idea! Some thoughts:

    -Are most Hurakas gentle wind herders? I thought they were big angry sky bears.

    -You use the phrase "refine her Essence" an awful lot; it starts to sound more mechanical than descriptive, bordering on just rephrasing "she earned more experience points and spent them on Essence". The part where she gets frozen solid for years is a great example of how to discuss this sort of thing while still making it sound like a story. That is, don't say "she refined her Essence some more", tell the reader descriptively about the feats of arctic meditation, the meticulous contemplation of one specific aspect of her Element that drove her to greater Enlightenment.

    -For someone as arrogant as she seems to be, challenging her boss and all, the sort of mid-fight revelation that she can learn from losing seems a bit too quick of a realization. It might be better if she just gets beaten and is cast into the Far North, and only slowly comes to reflect on her loss and the lessons her wounds, and her newly humbled position, can teach her. Either that or you might want to make it clearer from the beginning that she knew she was going to lose.

    -I like that when she comes back, the conflict isn't in terms of a physical brawl anymore, because she is now a force of nature that can challenge Blue Skulking Bear on a climatic level. She doesn't just attack with bites and claws, she attacks with a massive cold front.

    -The nameless Sidereals and Lunars who intervene seem unnecessarily ambiguous. Maybe name one particular Lunar or Sidereal who heroically brokered a peace between the warring winds by intervening personally. This gives you a cool NPC you can lose later (or adds another feat to an existing NPC's resume.) Ooh, maybe this was also the sorcerer who gave her the idea to usurp her boss in the first place, and he brokered the peace with a mischievous smile!

    -The Saibok are a really neat idea, and I think you could take it even further by making her conflict with Beo more personal: he was the one who specifically led a team to capture her and bind her within himself, as a cocky young Saibok who decided that the precedent of binding willing, minor elementals would not be enough to triumph in the Usurpation. The language about her trying to corrupt him seems uncharacteristic of their relationship-he knows exactly what kind of monster is locked inside him, and would never, ever let her out. Unfortunately, he is also a Dragon-blood, and after a mere handful of centuries he is getting old. He's become increasingly desperate for means to either extend his life or somehow transfer Ophioneus to another container (ideally, a strong-willed young Dragon-blood, but he's open to suggestions.)
    -Hurakas recieve multiple characterizations. The 2E Core describes them as; Huraka are gentle wind-herders who manage steady breezes over a few hundred square miles. They also serve in the Aerial Legion as shock troops, for their fearsome size and terrible strength. Roll of Glorious Divinity states; The Great Bears are served by huraka (see Exalted, pp. 303-305), translucent bears fierce as any storm.

    I went for them being gentle and passive, because I felt it's more interesting as a contrast to their great body. It also fits in with Ophioneus herself. She is patient. But her patience is tempered by her ambition.

    - She didn't think she was going to lose, but it's poor to assume that just because she challenged her boss she is unintelligent or unable to seize opportunity. In fact I characterized her as the opposite and attempted to keep this. She is incredibly patient, and takes tremendous amounts of time to plan things out. It took her several years to reach the point to challenge him, when she reached what she would consider her 'apex'. I find nothing at odds with her thinking she can win, finding out she's losing, and turning it to her advantage. Ambition does not mean foolishness and all that.

    -My writing is probably a bit stilted and reuses phrases too much, yes. It's something I'm working on. If I revise the writing I'll keep your comment in mind.

    -I have no reason to describe the Sidereals and Lunars because they aren't the focus of the story. If I leave it completely ambigious it leaves more room for modification later, not even by others, but by myself. The less I immediately go 'this is set in stone', the more I can change later. I hadn't considered the Sorcerer Angle before this, but as you have shown it's quite ingenious. If I had clarified, I could have lost that possible interesting idea.

    - This would fail in the game itself, where Beo is only in his twenties. He works as the lieutenant to one of the PCs. While your characterization is interesting, it doesn't fit with what was needed for my game specifically. More then that, because my game is about Dragonblooded, I focus on the family as much as the individual. Saying her conflict with Beo isn't personal is incorrect. Beo is the representation of the entirety of the sealing process that placed her in her current station. That's a personal grudge, as much as one depending on the family, because he carries the decisions of his ancestors with him, like all Dragonblooded do.

    But Beo isn't perfect. Far from it. He tries his best but it's very easy to corrupt people, if you know what you need. If she makes Beo use some of her power, she gets more leverage. So if he gets angry, or is backed into a corner? That's a weakness she can exploit.

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