A player in my current game wants a 5 dot ally who will be the merged form of two elemental spirits who are friends and lovers.

I've spent a lot of time creating lore, personalities, backstories, statistics and powers for the two elementals, as well as detailing their merged form.

I've never undertaken a homebrew project as elaborate as this in Exalted before (a system I'm still learning), and so I'm hoping that you folks can take a look and give me both thoughts and guidance on what I have writing wise, and help on making the character(s) balanced.

In particular I need guidance on what sort of Essence level, mote pools, health levels and willpower reserves the characters should have.

While my player didn't base the character on any specific media, I immediately thought of Garnet from Steven Universe, and used her as a source of inspiration, but I also tried to give all three entities original and interesting personality and abilities.

At the moment I fear that Forge may be too powerful for a 5 dot ally who will be travelling with the circle full time, but I'm also not entirely sure of the expected level of power - and I certainly don't want Forge to become a liability by Essence 5. For context, the party is an E3 Stealth supernal Night caste, an E3 Resistance supernal Dawn caste, and the newly joining E1 craft supernal Twilight caste, whose ally Forge will be. The Twilight will be gaining accelerated xp to catch up to the other characters.


So, here is Forge and her constituent characters, I'd be very grateful for your thoughts!



Ehru, Fugitive of the Pangolin Court

Description:
An elemental of Earth, formed of light and smooth clay, Ehru stands on two legs as tall as a human and of similar form, but far broader and thicker in her build, her body cloaked in a gown of darker, hardened ceramic scales that grow from her forehead on down over her head and shoulders, her back and limbs, and along her wide and powerful tail. Rare minerals emerge along the line of her body like spines and jut out between her scales around her shoulders and hips like epaulettes, crystals and gemstones that glitter and sparkle as she moves. Her hands and feet are clawed with ceramic nails that easily rend earth – or flesh.

The Pangolin Court is a structured, traditionalist society, its lords and courtiers carving out their domains in the hearts of mountains and under rolling hills, where burrowed tunnels and caves in the rock are refined over millennia into complex fortified towns and even cities. The elaborate architecture of these bastions emphasizes steadfast and enduring strength without sacrificing elegance, reflecting and revering the timeless majesty of the lands above in the interwoven structures and artfully carved, gem-studded facades that make them a wonder to behold.


The Pangolin Court governs the lands beneath the mountains west of Urim, from the forested hills outside of Kirighast to the north, to the edge of the sea of Burning Sands to the south. Not all spirits yield to this rule, but those who work beneath the land must at least pay respect to the Pangolin Throne by sending their embassies to his court and paying tribute in precious stones and metals – both building material and delicacy to the members of the court.

Such was the situation that the displaced Vulcanist clan found when they came to settle the hills south of Kirighast. To the Pangolin Court it was a border land, too close to the domains of mortals to have ever been heavily settled, but still there were those petitioners to the Pangolin Throne who told tales of the tyranny of the Vulcanists, who flaunted the traditions and authority of the ancient rites by which spirits lived, cruelly destroying the carefully preserved forests and poisoning the majestic hills and mountains with flowing magma.

Tensions rose with their new northern neighbors over time, but the Pangolin Throne could not be ignored – as the threat of war loomed the Vulcanists were forced to cede to the rightful authority of the Pangolin Court and send a delegation to answer for their actions and face the lawful judgment of the Pangolin Throne and his court.

Ehru was a young minor official within the court, one of many sent to meet and welcome the delegation, where she met the Fire elemental, Atronach, a beautiful yet alien creature that quickly entranced her. She found that as contradictory as they might seem, their beliefs had a lot in common, two expressions of the same core principle. The Earth doctrine revered the stable sustenance of the land, giving rise to prosperity through tradition and order, while the philosophy of Fire held the natural processes of Creation to be the spark of regeneration and revitalization, allowing societies to thrive.

The two might have happily settled down together, a microcosmic symbol of peace between their societies, had that not become impossible. Were it to come to war, the Pangolin Throne would command numbers and power that the small Vulcanist tribe could not hope to match, and there were elements within the court who believed that rather than accepting these crude interlopers, they should simple drive them out for good. They conspired to assassinate the one of the delegation members and sabotage any hope of reaching a mutual understanding.

When she realized what had happened, and saw both relations with the Vulcanists and the peaceful life with Atronach that she hoped for disintegrating before her eyes as both sides prepared for war, Ehru made the greatest sacrifice she could. She chose to give her life for Atronach’s future. She came forward claiming responsibility for the assassination, diffusing the crisis by accepting execution. The Throne knew what she had done of course, but the laws could not be defied – her life was declared forfeit even as the Pangolin Throne silently thanked her for her sacrifice, stopping further violence.

What she never imagined was how far Atronach would go to be with her. So far as to break her out of her cell before her execution, throwing in her lot with the disgraced official until death should part them. Ehru had no choice then, but to fight to ensure they both escaped safely, becoming fugitives from the court and enemies to the Vulcanists too.

Their defiance of both the court and the clan saw them wanted criminals to the Pangolin Throne and exiled outcasts to the Vulcanists, both sides united by their defiance – and in that Ehru was glad. The tensions had been diffused, the blame shifted to the two renegades, and in time she was confident that their people would learn to coexist. If not… perhaps that wasn’t her problem to face any more. Instead, she had a new life to build with Atronach.

Ehru is a calm and thoughtful person, her speech even and measured, as are her movements. With a level head, she is ponderous to a fault, often thinking in circles and achieving nothing until Atronach snaps her out of her puzzling. The exception to her over-thinking is her love of precious metals and stones, a weakness that at times drives her to thoughtlessness.

Her sense of duty remains strong despite her learning to set duty aside at times. She is absolutely loyal to Atronach and a friend and follower to the Solar Exalt, Talora who in her mortal days saved Ehru and Atronach and granted them their greatest wish. Together with Atronach and Talora, she has found her place in the world, and is serious about protecting it.


Vital Statistics:
Essence: 3; Willpower: 7; Join Battle: 4 dice
Personal Motes: 80
Health Levels: -0/-1x6/-2x6/-4/Incap
Resolve: 3; Guile: 2

Attributes
Strength: ••••; Dexterity: ••; Stamina: •••••
Charisma: ••; Manipulation: ••; Appearance: ••
Perception: •••; Intelligence: •••; Wits: ••

Abilities
Athletics: •••; Awareness: ••; Brawl: ••••; Bureaucracy: •••; Craft (Gemcutting): ••; Integrity: ••••; Linguistics: ••; Lore (Elementals and Spirits): ••; Melee: ••; Occult: •; Resistance: ••••; Socialize: ••

Combat
Attack (Claws): 9 dice (Damage 16L, Overwhelming 4, Defense +1)
Evasion: 1; Parry: 4; Soak/Hardness: 10/5
Rush: 5; Disengage: 3


Intimacies:
Defining Tie: Atronach (Love)
Defining Principle: Experiencing life as Forge.
Major Principle: The lands of Creation are sacred, and we should work to preserve and improve them.
Major Tie: Talora (Friendship and debt)
Major Principle: Loyalty to the Pangolin Court even, as a fugitive condemned to die.
Minor Tie: Precious metals and stones (Covetousness)
Minor Principle: Tradition, law and bureaucracy are cornerstones of society.
Minor Principle: Do not judge what you do not understand.
Minor Principle: Do not act carelessly, first consider the whole situation.


Merits

Ceramic Claws
Ehru’s claws are hard and sharp natural weapons, effective in both excavation and combat. Attacks with her claws deal lethal damage and are treated as artifact medium weapons for withering attacks. When used in excavation, her claws can break open even bedrock.

Ceramic Scales
Ehru’s scales are strong as armor plates around her arms and back. She gains 5 points of armored soak and 5 Hardness. This soak does not stack with other sources of armored soak.


Charms and Evocations:
Offensive Charms


Stone Fist Strike (3m; Supplemental; Dual; Instant):
Balling her claws into a rock-like fist, Ehru grants an attack made with her natural weapons the Smashing tag (Exalted, p. 586). A withering attack also gains an automatic success on the attack roll and its Overwhelming value increases by 1.

Falling Mountain Impact (5m; Supplemental; Decisive-only; Instant):
Ehru strikes with the force of a falling mountain, sending her foes flying. She adds (Strength)
threshold successes on the attack roll of a decisive smash attack as dice of damage, and may both knock her enemy prone and send him one range band back.


Defensive Charms


Body Hardening Prana (4m; Reflexive; Withering-only; Instant):
Hardening her form to be solid as the earth, Ehru doubles her Stamina to determine her natural soak against a single withering attack, and gains +1 to her armored soak for each 1 on the attack roll against her.

Dazzling Scale Sacrifice (7m, 1wp; Reflexive; Decisive-only; Instant):
When she is struck by a decisive attack Ehru may choose to sacrifice her glittering gem-studded ceramic scales to defend herself. She gains Hardness 20 against the attack, however one of her scales is shattered and destroyed for every 5 damage dice in the attacker’s pool. Lost scales take two days to re-grow and require her to consume appropriate gems or other precious stones. Being without more than eight scales renders this charm unusable. Whenever a decisive attack is negated by the Hardness granted by this charm her attacker doesn’t reset to base Initiative; instead, he loses Initiative as though he’d missed, which she gains.


Mobility Charms

Architect of Glittering Catacombs Method (6m or 6m 1wp; One round):
The Pangolin Court delved great cities under the mountains in ages past, and even now their officials are versed in the art of tunneling. She may spend one full round burrowing through the earth in order to move one range band through the land. The tunnel collapses in her wake, filling in with loose soil and potentially causing subsidence of collapse in structures it undermines, unless she pays 1wp in order to reinforce and sustain the structure as she digs, in which case the tunnel is stable and will last indefinitely.

Outside of combat this charm can be used to perform more elaborate excavations, creating anything from a simple tunnel to caverns and complex structures. These excavations are stable and last indefinitely without a willpower cost; however the rate of progress is reduced to 100 cubic meters per hour. Using this Charm in this fashion costs 6m per hour of work.


Social Charms

Implacable Mountain Mien (1wp; Simple; One day):
Ehru’s steadfast and considered nature gives her +2 Guile, except against rolls that would reveal a Major or Defining Intimacy based on emotion.


Miscellaneous Charms

Arete of Earth (2m +1m per die or 2m +2m per point; Supplemental or Reflexive; Instant):
Just as the power of the Gods wells up within the Exalted, the Elemental forces of Earth flow through Ehru’s form, magnifying her Essence and honing her abilities. Ehru may use this Charm supplementally to add dice to any attack roll, or any (Attribute + Ability) roll dealing with matters of the Earth element or stunted so as to involve it. She pays motes of Essence equal to 2m +1m per die added, and may spend up to a maximum of (2 + Attribute + Essence) motes, subject to the normal limitations on adding dice to a roll with magic.

Ehru may use this Charm reflexively to raise static values derived from (Attribute + Ability) combinations, such as her defenses, resolve or guile. She spends 2m +2m per point the static value is raised, and may spend up to (2 + Attribute + Essence) motes, again, subject to the normal static value-raising limitations.

Glittering Facet Unveiling (5m or 5m + 2m per gem; One scene):
Embracing a precious gemstone to her chest, flowing her essence through the structure and attuning with the natural forms within, Ehru refines a single raw precious stone, the layers falling away to reveal a perfectly cut gem of exquisite beauty. Additional gems of the same variety may be refined in the same scene by paying an extra 2m per additional gem.

Resonance of Passing Ages (15m; Simple; Until ended):
Merging into the ground and allowing her Essence to flow out into the earth around her, Ehru senses the structure and composition of the land out to Long range, detecting regions of soil or rock, caves, and other dislocations and in the natural landscape, and detects the accumulated resonant effects of long-dormant deposits of precious minerals such as gems and metals, out to Extreme range. This extra sense persists until she breaks contact with the ground.

Spirit-Forging Essence Attainment (Indefinite):
The paired Earth and Fire elementals Ehru and Atronach are inseparable as friends and lovers, their shared experience the foundation for this unique sorcerous power, the merging of their forms into a single being. To activate Spirit Forging Essence Attainment Ehru and Atronach must spend one scene in close embrace, sharing and mingling their Essence and aligning their thoughts and wills until their minds and souls flow together as one, merging their forms. The characters’ physical manifestations shift and dissolve into flowing Essence that reforms into a single being, named simply ‘Forge’. This merging is a complex and private process akin to an embrace between souls, and cannot be performed during combat.

Forge uses the highest values of each of Ehru and Atronach’s attributes and abilities to determine her own attributes and abilities, and does the same to determine the size of her Essence pool and her permanent Willpower. At formation her motes of Essence and temporary Willpower are also equal to the higher values of Ehru and Atronach.

Ehru and Atronach’s health tracks (including all levels of damage in them) are added together to form Forge’s health track. If the merger ends all damage in Forge’s health track is divided among the health tracks of Ehru and Atronach as they separate, with damage allocated so as to minimize the wound penalties each character suffers.

Ongoing effects that applied to either character apply to Forge as well, and ongoing effects applied to Forge apply to both Ehru and Atronach, where possible, should they separate.

Forge acts as a single character while Ehru and Atronach are merged, provided that both are willing. Should they come into conflict due to opposing intimacies Forge may be unable to take certain actions, or the merger may even be forcibly ended – a disorientating and painful experience which leaves both Ehru and Atronach temporarily vulnerable. Otherwise Forge remains in this merged form until she chooses to spend a scene peacefully ending the merger. When the merger ends, Forge’s remaining motes of Essence and temporary Willpower are split evenly between Ehru and Atronach.




Atronach, Outcast of the Vulcanist Clan

Description:
A spirit of living flame and volcanic glass, Atronach has the shape of a slim human woman, but she is composed of blazing fire, patches of armor-like obsidian giving form to her body, defining the curves of her hips and shoulders and melting into her joints, protecting her chest and legs and forming the features on her surface, such as her mask-like mouth and nose, horns that twist amid the flames of her hair, and elegant glove-like hands. She could be said to be most beautiful, but it would be an alien beauty to most.

The Vulcanists are a tribal clan of Fire elementals steeped in mysticism and reverence for the natural cycles of Creation. They make their homes in the volcanoes they rear and nurture and reproduce through the forest fires that sweep the lands in the height of the dry season. The clan holds to the principles of nature as they see them – none can possess Creation or claim the right to rule it, rather everywhere the strong protect the weak and the weak obey the strong.

Displaced a decade past from their ancestral lands in the volcanoes east of Ember by the expanding power of the Empire of Prasad and its Dragonblood gods of the Pure Way, the Vulcanists chose as a people to migrate northwards, in search of a new land to make their home. They settled in the green foothills and mountains south of Kirighast, terrain that had all they needed to procreate and thrive, but terrain that was not entirely uninhabited.

The sparse inhabitants disappointed the Vulcanists however – they sprawled under the pristine land but did nothing to improve or shepherd it. Instead they demanded and complained as if they had the right to hold all Creation in their hands. They protested at being forced to share the natural world, at the cultivation the Vulcanists brought, even at the nourishing fires that the clan sent sweeping over the stagnating hills, bringing new life not only to the Fire elementals but to many other lesser spirits and living things too.

Rather than settle their differences in debate or combat as honest spirits should, the aggrieved inhabitants called on the far-away Pangolin Court to adjudicate the complaints against the Vulcanists – hiding behind the power of the Pangolin Throne. But still the Vulcanists would endeavor to be understanding towards those they shared the land with and find a peaceful resolution. They sent their chieftain with a cadre of warriors and wise ones to see this spirit court and meet the Pangolin Throne.

Atronach was one such warrior, young and promising, but still full of rebellion and radical thoughts. Meeting the steadfast but open-minded Earth elemental, Ehru, was a formative moment for her. Ehru was utterly unlike anyone Atronach had known, powerful but kind, concerned with the plight of the weaker petitioners to the Court and showing an honest desire to reach a peaceful compromise. When they talked, Ehru did not dismiss or look down on the Vulcanist beliefs as others in the Pangolin Court did – even though Atronach herself disdained the Court. So it was that Atronach soon found herself falling for the strong yet thoughtful official.

When Ehru was imprisoned for the murder of one of Atronach’s friends, she knew at once the charges were false, as was the confession. She was furious at the news – she couldn’t forgive Ehru for so easily giving up the life that had grown precious to her, and in her fury Atronach defied Ehru’s wishes and forced her to escape with her.

They might have lost everything in their flight, but Atronach cared for none of it next to Ehru – she would rather lose her people than her love. So the two of them escaped, to make a new life together.

Atronach is hot-headed as one might expect, her speech musical and her movements fast and elegant. Her passions are intense but her desires are prone to burning out – save when it come to Ehru of course.

She is both brave and loyal, but impatient, given to acting without thinking about the circumstances, a failing that Ehru has learned to balance out. She treasures Ehru before all others, and together the two of them follow the Solar Exalt, Talora, through the thrilling adventures she leads them on.


Vital Statistics:
Essence: 3; Willpower: 6; Join Battle: 7 dice
Personal Motes: 70
Health Levels: -0/-1x4/-2x4/-4/Incap
Resolve: 3; Guile: 1

Attributes
Strength: •••; Dexterity: ••••; Stamina: •••
Charisma: ••; Manipulation: •; Appearance: •••
Perception: ••; Intelligence: ••; Wits: ••••

Abilities:
Athletics: •••; Awareness: •••; Dodge: ••••; Integrity: ••; Melee: ••••; Occult: •; Presence: •••; Resistance: ••; Thrown: ••••

Combat
Attack (Direlash): 13 dice (Damage 13L, Overwhelming 3)
Attack (Flame Seed): 13 dice at close range (Damage 13L, Overwhelming 3)
Attack (Immolation Strike): 8 dice (Decisive only)
Evasion: 4; Parry: 4; Soak/Hardness: 8/0
Rush: 7; Disengage: 8


Intimacies:
Defining Tie: Ehru (Love)
Defining Principle: Living freely and vibrantly as Forge.
Major Principle: Creation cannot be owned or ruled by its inhabitants any more than a tick can be king of its Ox.
Major Principle: The strong protect the weak, the weak obey the strong.
Major Tie: Talora (Friendship and gratitude)
Minor Principle: Affection for the Vulcanist clan.
Minor Principle: The natural world is sacred and beautiful.
Minor Principle: Change is natural and necessary, stagnation is decay.
Minor Tie: Flowers and blossoms (Appreciation)
Minor Principle: Decisive action is strength.
Minor Principle: Love can blossom anywhere, and should be nurtured.


Merits

Humanoid Torch
Atronach’s flaming body emits light at all times, her glow providing illumination comparable to that of a torch – and also able to ignite flammable materials in the same manner should she wish. She may suppress this flame to a dim glow when resting, but cannot extinguish it.

Armor of Glass
Atronach’s obsidian armor – while limited in coverage – is hard and strong, giving her 5 points of armored soak. This soak does not stack with other sources of armored soak.


Charms and Evocations:
Offensive Charms


Coiling Crimson Tongue (Permanent):
Atronach may at any time will into being a whip of pure flame. This weapon flashes into nothingness should it break or leave her hand, and has the properties of a Direlash. Attacks with this whip may be used to set light to flammable materials, at Atronach’s discretion.

Blossoming Flame Seed (1m; Simple; Instant):
A glowing spark of Essence leaps from Atronach’s hand to burst into flame as it strikes its mark. Atronach uses a seed of fire to make a thrown attack at a target at up to Short range. This attack has the properties of a light artifact thrown weapon and may be used to ignite flammable objects. Used as a withering attack, this attack does not add (Strength) to Atronach’s damage roll, instead it gains a +3 bonus to damage.

Searing Bonfire Aura (8m, 1wp; Reflexive; One scene):
Just as a bonfire can burn the skin at several paces, Atronach’s incendiary Essence can sear the flesh of her foes. Her body roars into an inferno of elemental Essence, flammable materials nearby bursting into flame as she approaches them. Characters within close range of her (including allies) suffer 3 dice of environmental withering damage at the start of each round. Trivial opponents instead suffer 3 dice of decisive damage. Atronach doesn’t gain any Initiative from this effect, and may end this charm at any time.

Howling Immolation Strike (12m, 1wp; Simple; Decisive; Instant):
Atronach shapes a whirling blast of flames that roar and howl like a savage beast as they burst out like a storm, attacking one primary target at up to Short range and an unlimited number of secondary targets she designates within Close range of the initial target. This strike is a non-standard unblockable decisive thrown attack, which may also be used to ignite flammable objects or destroy scenery in the affected area. Battle groups are especially vulnerable to this attack, taking a -2 penalty to Defense against it.

Roll the attacks and damage separately for each target. Against the primary target this attack has a base damage of 5 while against all secondary targets it has a base damage of 1. Atronach’s Initiative pool is divided evenly between all targets, primary and secondary, with any leftover points applied to the primary target. Atronach does not return to base initiative until all of the attacks have been resolved, at which time she returns to base initiative even if all attacks missed.

Any target dealt at least 3 levels of damage by this attack is set on fire, their clothing or skin burning, dealing 2 lethal dice of damage every turn until they are able to extinguish themselves.


Defensive Charms


Fundament of Fire and Flame (Permanent):
As an elemental spirit of fire Atronach suffers no harm from mundane environmental hazards and attacks based on fire or heat. She can rest within a roaring bonfire to slowly heal her -0 Health Levels, at a rate of one per minute. Against supernatural fire-based attacks she gains (Stamina*2) additional natural soak and Hardness.

Rippling Heat Deception (2i; Reflexive; Uniform; Instant):
The curling smoke and shimmering heat haze mislead Atronach’s foes, her figure dissolving as she’s struck, her enemies befuddled. Atronach gains one extra point of evasion, and should she successfully dodge an attack she may reflexively move one range band in any direction.


Mobility Charms

Dancing Ember Stride (4m, 2i; Simple; Perilous; Instant):
Atronach’s pursuit is quick as a raging wildfire, yet elegant as a dancing tongue of
flame. She rolls to rush an enemy from short range with double 9s. On a success, she instantly moves into close range with her foe, instead of the usual effect of a rush.


Miscellaneous Charms

Prana of Fire (2m +1m per die or 2m +2m per point; Supplemental or Reflexive; Instant):
Just as the power of the Gods wells up within the Exalted, the Elemental forces of Fire burn within Atronach’s heart, intensifying her Essence and honing her abilities. Atronach may use this Charm supplementally to add dice to any attack roll, or any (Attribute + Ability) roll dealing with matters of the Fire element or stunted so as to involve it. She pays motes of Essence equal to 2m +1m per die added, and may spend up to a maximum of (2 + Attribute + Essence) motes, subject to the normal limitations on adding dice to a roll with magic.

Atronach may use this Charm reflexively to raise static values derived from (Attribute + Ability) combinations, such as her defenses, resolve or guile. She spends 2m +2m per point the static value is raised, and may spend up to (2 + Attribute + Essence) motes, again, subject to the normal static value-raising limitations.

Conflagration Shepherding Technique (10m, 1wp; Simple; Instant)
The Vulcanists are born through the roaring flames of roaring forest fires, however such blazes cannot simply be allowed to run rampant or ignore their purpose. This Charm can be used to direct a prairie wildfire, forest fire, or similar free-burning flame to avoid characters or areas Atronach specifies. Atronach must enter or touch the wildfire’s flames and roll (Willpower). The difficulty of the roll depends on the fire’s size — a small grass fire
or a just-kindled forest fire might be difficulty 1, a larger forest fire difficulty 3, and an out-of-control blaze that spans miles difficulty 5+. The Storyteller may apply penalties or bonuses based on environmental factors such as recent rainfall or high winds that help the fire spread.

A successful roll diverts the wildfire away from or around any areas or characters Atronach chooses at the moment of rolling. While the fire continues to burn, it avoids the specified targets, and won’t pose any direct obstruction to any chosen targets for the remainder of the story. If she has any threshold successes on the roll, Atronach may redirect the wildfire to track down a character, using her total threshold successes in place of the (Perception + Survival) roll for tracking. Though it lacks sapience, the tamed wildfire is able to sense its quarry magically, and is thus even capable of tracking down a Solar using Traceless Passage. The Storyteller decides the fire’s speed based on environs and weather, up to a maximum of 200 kilometers per hour in ideal conditions. However, if there’s no path of forested land, grass, peat, or other fuel that the fire can follow to pursue its target, its efforts end, making it possible to escape by fleeing from the wilderness

Spirit-Forging Essence Attainment (Indefinite):
The paired Earth and Fire elementals Ehru and Atronach are inseparable as friends and lovers, their shared experience the foundation for this unique sorcerous power, the merging of their forms into a single being. To activate Spirit Forging Essence Attainment Ehru and Atronach must spend one scene in close embrace, sharing and mingling their Essence and aligning their thoughts and wills until their minds and souls flow together as one, merging their forms. The characters’ physical manifestations shift and dissolve into flowing Essence that reforms into a single being, named simply ‘Forge’. This merging is a complex and private process akin to an embrace between souls, and cannot be performed during combat.

Forge uses the highest values of each of Ehru and Atronach’s attributes and abilities to determine her own attributes and abilities, and does the same to determine the size of her Essence pool and her permanent Willpower. At formation her motes of Essence and temporary Willpower are also equal to the higher values of Ehru and Atronach.

Ehru and Atronach’s health tracks (including all levels of damage in them) are added together to form Forge’s health track. If the merger ends all damage in Forge’s health track is divided among the health tracks of Ehru and Atronach as they separate, with damage allocated so as to minimize the wound penalties each character suffers.

Ongoing effects that applied to either character apply to Forge as well, and ongoing effects applied to Forge apply to both Ehru and Atronach, where possible, should they separate.

Forge acts as a single character while Ehru and Atronach are merged, provided that both are willing. Should they come into conflict due to opposing intimacies Forge may be unable to take certain actions, or the merger may even be forcibly ended – a disorientating and painful experience which leaves both Ehru and Atronach temporarily vulnerable. Otherwise Forge remains in this merged form until she chooses to spend a scene peacefully ending the merger. When the merger ends, Forge’s remaining motes of Essence and temporary Willpower are split evenly between Ehru and Atronach.




Forge

Description:
Standing a head taller than most men, Forge has the elegant curves of Atronach and the muscle of Ehru. Her form could, in silhouette perhaps, be mistaken for a mortal woman of Amazonian stature, athletic and powerfully built but not innately supernatural. That impression would shatter were one to look upon her in person however.

Ehru’s scales are fused with Atronach’s obsidian and hardened into interwoven armor plates of rock, run through with thick veins of precious metal and gems, afloat atop their core of flowing magma. Her body constantly cools and melts as she moves, glowing molten surfaces hardening into new armor where it’s exposed too long to the air, armor plates melting back into the throbbing heat of her core where they’re pushed together.

Her body has many of the features one might expect of a mortal – a face, hands and feet, even hair, but few mortals have billowing fire and smoke for hair. Fewer still send flames and shimmering heat jetting from their mouths as they speak with a voice that rumbles in the depths of the earth and rages like an inferno.

When Ehru and Atronach fled together neither had imagined that they would soon have a second fateful encounter that would give them their unusual form as the composite being, Forge.

While they travelled towards Urim, leaving the court’s lands behind, Ehru had sensed a rich deposit of precious metals buried at the foot of one of the last of the mountains, and chosen to stop to investigate. The two had no way to know that they had stumbled upon an ancient tomb, a relic of the forgotten past, and Ehru’s excavations triggered the dormant sorceries placed to guard against intruders millennia ago – trapping the duo and threatening to end their journey for good!

It was lucky for them then that archaeologists searching in the mountains for lost ruins were close enough that the leader, an Exigent named Sal Ahani, sensed the outpouring of essence. He and his apprentice, a mortal named Talora, entered the ruin, where they found and rescued the trapped elementals – and Ahani made sure to rescue the precious relics too of course.

Talora took an interest in the two elementals, and in their gratitude to her, Ehru and Atronach found themselves opening up to the strange mortal, both grateful for the help of her and her master, and intrigued by the eccentric archaeologist, a dreamer on a quest to reclaim the lost wonders of the First Age. Talora invited them to travel with her, and as they journeyed the trio formed a lasting friendship.

Until then, the greatest frustration in their relationship had been one of intimacy – Ehru and Atronach’s forms were radically different, incompatible to the point they could not even embrace without Ehru suffocating Atronach’s flames, even as Atronach cracked and baked Ehru’s clay. Perhaps it was a spark of madness that drove Talora to suggest a solution when she learned of their torment. The workings of sorcery – empowered by the artifact Talora had retrieved on the day they first met her.

It was a great undertaking, even with two powerful elementals to assist in the process it should not have been possible, however something stirred in Talora as she worked, and together they managed what none could not have done alone – giving the mismatched lovers a new form. One form they could share forever. Uniting their minds and merging their essence they could become closer than they had ever dreamed.

The duo turned solo were, and was, ecstatically grateful to the mortal sorcerer who had worked this miracle for them – grateful enough that they resolved themselves to follow her from that day forth, to help her realize her own dreams as she had realized theirs. They asked only one thing more from her – that she give their shared form a name. How were they to know Talora was dreadful at naming things?

Forge can seem distant or unsociable at first impression, however at such times she’s simply deep in internal conversation, the complex back and forth of her gestalt personality not always visible on the surface as the two soul mates intermingle. For Ehru and Atronach, Forge is a shared experience of supreme intimacy, but that does not mean that they will always agree on what they want while they’re merged – at times they can struggle with internal conflict when their individual values clash.

While Forge has her inner struggles that does not mean she is unhappy, far from it. Forge is delighted simply to be, and her two aspects are united far more than they are divided. The extremities of her internal personalities temper each other, Forge seeing herself as the best of both. Atronach’s urge towards action tends to outweigh Ehru’s contemplation, but only as Ehru gets caught up in her sweetheart’s enthusiasm.


Vital Statistics:
Essence: 3; Willpower: 7; Join Battle: 7 dice
Personal Motes: 70
Health Levels: -0x2/-1x10/-2x10/-4x2/Incap
Resolve: 4; Guile: 2

Attributes
Strength: ••••; Dexterity: ••••; Stamina: •••••
Charisma: ••; Manipulation: ••; Appearance: •••
Perception: •••; Intelligence: •••; Wits: ••••

Abilities
Athletics: •••; Awareness: •••; Brawl: ••••; Bureaucracy: •••; Craft (Gemcutting): ••; Dodge: ••••; Integrity: ••••; Linguistics: ••; Lore (Elementals and Spirits): ••; Melee: ••••; Occult: •; Presence: •••; Resistance: ••••; Socialize: ••; Thrown: ••••

Combat
Attack (Claws): 11 dice (Damage 16L, Overwhelming 4, Defense +1)
Attack (Direlash): 13 dice (Damage 14L, Overwhelming 3)
Attack (Flame Seed): 13 dice at close range (Damage 13L, Overwhelming 3)
Attack (Immolation Strike): 8 dice (Decisive only)
Attack (Daiklave): 11 dice (Damage 16L, Overwhelming 4, Defense +1)
Evasion: 4; Parry: 6; Soak/Hardness: 15/10
Rush: 7; Disengage: 8



Merits

Alloy Claws
Forge can exude metal blades from her molten fingertips at will, forming hard and sharp natural weapons that are effective in both excavation and combat. Attacks with her claws deal lethal damage and are treated as artifact medium weapons for withering attacks. When used in excavation, her claws can break open even bedrock.

Tectonic Plates
Forge’s molten body is protected thick armor plates of mineral and metal, studded with precious stones and strong as armor plates, coating her form from head to foot. Her base Parry rating is increased by 2 and she gains 10 points of armored soak and Hardness 10. This soak does not stack with other sources of armored soak.

Walking Furnace
Forge’s body emits light and heat at all times, her glow providing illumination comparable to that of a torch and quickly heating any room she enters. Forge is also able to ignite flammable materials on contact should she wish. She may suppress the light she outputs to a dim glow when resting, but cannot extinguish it.


Charms and Evocations:
Offensive Charms

Coiling Crimson Tongue (Permanent):
Forge may at any time will into being a whip of pure flame. This weapon flashes into nothingness should it break or leave her hand, and has the properties of a Direlash. Attacks with this whip may be used to set light to flammable materials, at Forge’s discretion.

Stone Fist Strike (3m; Supplemental; Dual; Instant):
Forming a rock-like fist, Forge grants an attack made with her natural weapons the Smashing tag (Exalted, p. 586). A withering attack also gains an automatic success on the attack roll and its Overwhelming value increases by 1.

Falling Mountain Impact (5m; Supplemental; Decisive-only; Instant):
Forge strikes with the force of a falling mountain, sending her foes flying. She adds (Strength) threshold successes on the attack roll of a decisive smash attack as dice of damage, and may both knock her enemy prone and send him one range band back.

Blossoming Flame Seed (1m; Simple; Instant):
A glowing spark of Essence leaps from Forge’s hand to burst into flame as it strikes its mark. Forge uses a seed of fire to make a thrown attack at a target at up to Short range. This attack has the properties of a light artifact thrown weapon and may be used to ignite flammable objects. Used as a withering attack, this attack does not add (Strength) to Forge’s damage roll, instead it gains a +3 bonus to damage.

Searing Bonfire Aura (8m, 1wp; Reflexive; One scene):
Just as a bonfire can burn the skin at several paces, Forge’s incendiary Essence can sear the flesh of her foes. Her body roars into an inferno of elemental Essence, flammable materials nearby bursting into flame as she approaches them. Characters within close range of her (including allies) suffer 3 dice of environmental withering damage at the start of each round. Trivial opponents instead suffer 3 dice of decisive damage. Forge doesn’t gain any Initiative from this effect, and may end this charm at any time.

Howling Immolation Strike (12m, 1wp; Simple; Decisive; Instant):
Forge shapes a whirling blast of flames that roar and howl like a savage beast as they burst out like a storm, attacking one primary target at up to Short range and an unlimited number of secondary targets she designates within Close range of the initial target. This strike is a non-standard unblockable decisive thrown attack, which may also be used to ignite flammable objects or destroy scenery in the affected area. Battle groups are especially vulnerable to this attack, taking a -2 penalty to Defense against it.

Roll the attacks and damage separately for each target. Against the primary target this attack has a base damage of 5 while against all secondary targets it has a base damage of 1. Forge’s Initiative pool is divided evenly between all targets, primary and secondary, with any leftover points applied to the primary target. Forge does not return to base initiative until all of the attacks have been resolved, at which time she returns to base initiative even if all attacks missed.

Any target dealt at least 3 levels of damage by this attack is set on fire, their clothing or skin burning, dealing 2 lethal dice of damage every turn until they are able to extinguish themselves.


Defensive Charms

Fundament of Fire and Flame (Permanent):
As a gestalt of elemental Earth and Fire, Forge suffers no harm from mundane environmental hazards and attacks based on fire or heat. She can rest within a roaring bonfire to slowly heal her -0 Health Levels, at a rate of one per minute. Against supernatural fire-based attacks she gains (Stamina*2) additional natural soak and Hardness.

Rippling Heat Recoil (2i; Reflexive; Uniform; Instant):
The curling smoke and shimmering heat haze mislead Forge’s foes, her figure dissolving as she’s struck, her enemies befuddled – and vulnerable! Atronach gains one extra point of evasion, and should she successfully dodge an opponent’s attack she may make a withering surprise attack against that opponent on her next turn.

Body Hardening Prana (4m; Reflexive; Withering-only; Instant):
Momentarily hardening her molten surface to be solid as rock, Forge doubles her Stamina to determine her natural soak against a single withering attack, and gains +1 to her armored soak for each 1 on the attack roll against her.

Adamant Forging Concentration (8m, 1wp; Reflexive; Decisive-only; Instant):
When she is struck by a decisive attack, Forge’s armor plates fuse into an unbreakable shield of granite and ore, giving her Hardness 20 against the attack and reducing the raw damage by (Stamina) after Hardness has been checked. Whenever a decisive attack is negated by the Hardness granted by this charm her attacker doesn’t reset to base Initiative; instead, he loses Initiative as though he’d missed, which she gains.


Mobility Charms

Architect of Glittering Catacombs Method (6m or 6m 1wp; One round):
The Pangolin Court delved great cities under the mountains in ages past, and even now their officials are versed in the art of tunneling. Forge may spend one full round burrowing through the earth in order to move one range band through the land. The tunnel collapses in her wake, filling in with loose soil and potentially causing subsidence of collapse in structures it undermines, unless she pays 1wp in order to reinforce and sustain the structure as she digs, in which case the tunnel is stable and will last indefinitely.

Outside of combat this charm can be used to perform more elaborate excavations, creating anything from a simple tunnel to caverns and complex structures. These excavations are stable and last indefinitely without a willpower cost; however the rate of progress is reduced to 100 cubic meters per hour. Using this Charm in this fashion costs 6m per hour of work.


Social Charms

Implacable Mountain Mien (1wp; Simple; One day):
Ehru’s steadfast and considered nature gives Forge +2 Guile, except against rolls that would reveal a Major or Defining Intimacy based on emotion.


Miscellaneous Charms

Arete of Earth, Prana of Fire (2m +1m per die or 2m +2m per point; Supplemental or Reflexive; Instant):
Just as the power of the Gods wells up within the Exalted, the Elemental forces of Earth and Fire flow and merge within Forge’s molten core, magnifying her Essence and honing her abilities. Forge may use this Charm supplementally to add dice to any attack roll, or any (Attribute + Ability) roll dealing with matters of the Earth or Fire elements or stunted so as to involve them. She pays motes of Essence equal to 2m +1m per die added, and may spend up to a maximum of (2 + Attribute + Essence) motes, subject to the normal limitations on adding dice to a roll with magic.

Forge may use this Charm reflexively to raise static values derived from (Attribute + Ability) combinations, such as her defenses, resolve or guile. She spends 2m +2m per point the static value is raised, and may spend up to (2 + Attribute + Essence) motes, again, subject to the normal static value-raising limitations.

Glittering Facet Unveiling (5m or 5m + 2m per gem; One scene):
Embracing a precious gemstone to her chest, flowing her essence through the structure and attuning with the natural forms within, Forge refines a single raw precious stone, the layers falling away to reveal a perfectly cut gem of exquisite beauty. Additional gems of the same variety may be refined in the same scene by paying an extra 2m per additional gem.

Resonance of Passing Ages (15m; Simple; Until ended):
Merging into the ground and allowing her Essence to flow out into the earth around her, Forge senses the structure and composition of the land out to Long range, detecting regions of soil or rock, caves, and other dislocations and in the natural landscape, and detects the accumulated resonant effects of long-dormant deposits of precious minerals such as gems and metals, out to Extreme range. This extra sense persists until she breaks contact with the ground.

Conflagration Shepherding Technique (10m, 1wp; Simple; Instant)
The Vulcanists are born through the roaring flames of roaring forest fires, however such blazes cannot simply be allowed to run rampant or ignore their purpose. This Charm can be used to direct a prairie wildfire, forest fire, or similar free-burning flame to avoid characters or areas Forge specifies. Atronach must enter or touch the wildfire’s flames and roll (Willpower). The difficulty of the roll depends on the fire’s size — a small grass fire
or a just-kindled forest fire might be difficulty 1, a larger forest fire difficulty 3, and an out-of-control blaze that spans miles difficulty 5+. The Storyteller may apply penalties or bonuses based on environmental factors such as recent rainfall or high winds that help the fire spread.

A successful roll diverts the wildfire away from or around any areas or characters Forge chooses at the moment of rolling. While the fire continues to burn, it avoids the specified targets, and won’t pose any direct obstruction to any chosen targets for the remainder of the story. If she has any threshold successes on the roll, Forge may redirect the wildfire to track down a character, using her total threshold successes in place of the (Perception + Survival) roll for tracking. Though it lacks sapience, the tamed wildfire is able to sense its quarry magically, and is thus even capable of tracking down a Solar using Traceless Passage. The Storyteller decides the fire’s speed based on environs and weather, up to a maximum of 200 kilometers per hour in ideal conditions. However, if there’s no path of forested land, grass, peat, or other fuel that the fire can follow to pursue its target, its efforts end, making it possible to escape by fleeing from the wilderness

Spirit Smithing Technique (Permanent)
Forge feeds on rock, metal and gems alike, melting down the raw materials to add to her magmatic body, providing both sustenance and storing the useful materials ready for future use. From her flowing body Forge can draw out rivulets of these stored materials to form tools or other simple crafting equipment, allowing her to provide the appropriate implements for almost any crafting project. Tools she creates are made with the materials she has consumed

Forge’s body can also naturally smelt down and refine larger volumes of ores and metals, allowing her to refine, work and alloy even magical materials of all varieties without the need of any extra tools or equipment. She can process even large volumes of raw materials into finished ingots as fast as any smithy.

In other ways too Forge can act in place of a genuine forge and foundry, allowing characters to make use of her assistance in crafting projects in lieu of needing access to such facilities.

Gouting Molten Blossom (6m; Simple; One scene):
White-hot molten metal erupts from Forge’s hand, flowing up from her molten core to form the Daiklave, Molten Blossom, so named for its supernaturally sharp liquid edge and the beautiful flowers of flame that emerge from its surface to bloom along its edge – and on the bodies of those it cuts.

Molten Blossom has the properties of an artifact Daiklave that cannot be dropped or disarmed. While this charm is active, Forge gains access to the following evocations of Molten Blossom:

Erupting Geyser Strike (2m per die; Supplemental; Uniform; Instant):
Molten Blossom’s liquid metal shape can enlarge when fed more metal and Essence, allowing it to grow to terrifying size and weight for a moment. Forge may add up to (Essence) bonus damage dice to an attack roll made with Molten Blossom, at a cost of 2m per die.

Molten Aegis (10m, 1wp; Reflexive; One scene):
From the gaps in her armor, flowers of molten metal bloom, a second layer of protection that flows and reforms as she fights. Her armored soak is doubled.

Flame Peony Assault (6m, 1wp; Simple; One scene):
Driving Molten Blossom into the earth, Forge sends a river of molten magma surging into the ground underfoot, the ground cracking and glowing with heat everywhere within Close range of Forge. Flammable materials in this area ignite immediately as fire flowers grow and to blossom from the earth, a glowing field of peonies, their flaming petals rippling with the wind. These flowers form an environmental hazard which Forge is immune to.

Creatures who touch these flowers find that they erupt into a dazzling puff of fire that deals 1i damage (1L in crash). Any creature moving or attacking within this field must make a difficulty 3 resistance roll for each such action taken, setting off a fire flower on each failure. Should any creature fall prone within this area, they immediately suffer 4i damage (4L in crash). Any creature driven through the surface of the earth and into the magma is subject to a Bonfire environmental hazard (this is not possible with a normal smashing attack).




Whew, a long post! Thank you to anyone who read the whole thing, I hope it was interesting, and I'm very grateful for any suggestions you can offer!


Edit: Changelog
  • Specified that Searing Bonfire Aura does environmental damage.
  • Architect of Glittering Catacombs Method can now be used out of combat.
  • Increased Ehru's Charisma to 2.
  • Reduced Ehru's Dodge to 0.
  • Set all characters to Essence 3, with associated mote pools.
  • Set health levels and willpower totals for all characters.
  • Added Conflagration Shepherding Technique to Atronach.
  • Re-wrote Howling Immolation Strike.
  • Added claws merit to Forge.
  • Added excellencies to Ehru and Atronach.
  • Reworked Rippling Heat Deception to remove redundant excellency property.
  • Updated Forge's Charm list to rework Rippling Heat Deception into Rippling Heat Recoil.
  • Updated Forge's Charm list to rework Dazzling Scale Sacrifice into Adamant Forging Concentration.
  • Updated Erupting Geyser Strike to add damage dice rather than automatic successes, to remove redundancy with excellencies.
  • Increased Forge's Parry by 2.
  • Expanded Spirit Smithing Technique into a more fully detailed Charm.
  • Typos corrected in Howling Immolation Strike and Erupting Geyser Strike.