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Friv
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9. In Which An Argument Takes Shape

12 Mar 2007, 13:37

Grandfather Frost looked over Serafin critically, stepping around her. The young woman knelt, still wearing the clothes that she had brought with her, in the centre of the Lunar’s tent. The elder considered her for many minutes, looking over the young one’s new tattoos, before he spoke. “Changing Moon, eh?”

“Yes, Grandfather.” The terms of respect had been learned quickly, with the help of Harreth. That one now stood off to one side, watching the encounter cautiously. Frost had barely looked at the girl before sending her into the Wyld to receive her spirit quest, and was only now considering her.

“And what did you see, child of the cities?” The disapproval in his voice was obvious, and Serafin started to look over at him, annoyed, before rapidly pulling her gaze back down towards the floor. Her voice was quiet.

“I walked into a realm where the trees twisted in on themselves, and flowing sap opened gateways into my thoughts. I saw… I saw a man clad all in silver, with a faceless mask, lying in the swamps, with a thousand colours swirling behind him. I saw a woman in crimson robes, with black tendrils coiling around her.” She paused, and shrugged. “They were faint, though. And then… then I saw a dragon.”

“Did you.” Grandfather Frost frowned thoughtfully. “Most unusual. And what did this… dragon… look like.”

“Well, he was as tall as a mountain, with green skin and brown scales. The grasses bloomed beneath his feet, and he said only one thing: ‘A storm is coming.’ Then he was gone.” Serafin shrugged slightly, looking down. “I think he was a memory, though. Because then I saw the Unshaped invading Creation, tearing it apart. They were like a storm. And I remembered dying.” She looked up, and her breath caught. Grandfather Frost was standing directly in front of her, and he met her eyes squarely. His small antlers poked from coiled gray hairs, and he frowned thoughtfully.

“Indeed. Most interesting. Usually, the visions of the quest are about one as they are, not as they were. And your other visions… they seem odd.” He shook his head. “This bears some consideration. Still. There are other matters to attend to. Tell me, child, what magics have you mastered?”

“Um… I can change shape, of course.” Serafin smiled tentatively. Grandfather Frost did not. Her smile faded, and she continued. “I have the ability to improve my agility, make people like me and do what I want. I can sense their passions, and draw from it if it is strong enough…”

“What?” Frost had been listening absently, but here his head snapped around. “I know of no such Charms!”

Serafin blinked. “My husband called it the ‘Banquet of Crumbs’. He suggested that it was quite common…”

“The Banquet of…” Grandfather Frost’s eyes narrowed. “And just who is your husband?”

“Lord Alakazar of Hazelburn, sir.”

“The faerie??” Harreth spoke despite himself, and the other two Lunars turned to him. He shrank inwards. “Um… she was living with a Fair Folk. I mentioned it. But they can’t… we can’t… can we?”

Frost’s lips curled back in an unconscious snarl. “And what other Charms did your husband teach you, girl?”

“Um…” Serafin’s eyes widened, and she shifted slightly away from the angered elder. “How to shape the Wyld, and take on the nature of the air. How to understand what is Wyld and what is Creation. He started to initiate me on the Warlord’s path…” She trailed off at Frost’s expression. “Is that bad?”

“Yes.” The word was curt. “We are defenders of Creation, girl. We are the Exalted. It is not our place to learn from the souleating monstrosities that we are supposed to be destroying!”

Serafin’s expression changed. The fear faded, replaced by righteous anger. “Alakazar is not a souleating monstrosity!”

“Hah!” Frost shook his head contemptuously. “He is Fair Folk. Did you not see the Guild caravans on your way here, that traffic in soulless bodies?” Serafin nodded after a moment, and he smiled bitterly. “That is their handiwork. That is their path for Creation. It is his people that destroyed your last two lives, and now he will destroy you.” He shook his head firmly. “You must not consort with the enemies of Creation.”

Serafin stood abruptly, glaring up at the Lunar elder. Surprised, he failed to react, instead simply meeting her eyes. “I have lived with my lord for five years. He has protected my home from any who would destroy it for seventy more before that. So unless this ‘soul-eating’ can be done without a person changing in any possible way, I can guarantee you that he does not.”

There was a pause. Harreth coughed quietly. “It is possible. Not likely, but possible. There seem to be a few Fair Folk that have chosen to live in Creation, rather than with their fellows. They tend to confine their feeding to those that are near death, or to refrain from serious soul-injury. Very rare, though.”

Frost shot Harreth a furious look, and the other Lunar took an unconscious step backwards. “Very well, then. I will simply have to show you the truth about your so-called husband.”

“No. I will show you.” Serafin did not back down a step. “I can prove that he has no such desires.”

“Pah!” Frost turned away. “Why would you protect something that isn’t even human?”

“Because love is what you make of it.”

Grandfather Frost froze. Slowly, he turned to look at Serafin. She regarded him boldly. After a moment, he spoke softly, his voice as calm as the sky before a storm. “Very well, then. I will give you this one chance. But remember this – the Fair Folk offer power, but with it comes hooks to snare your soul.”

“Then I will have to take care not to burn my fingertips.” After she spoke, Serafin blinked. The phrase was odd, and she wasn’t entirely sure where it had come from. But it certainly had an effect on Grandfather Frost, who simply nodded knowingly, and turned to the entrance of the tent.

“So be it, then. You will have your test.”
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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BrilliantRain
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12 Mar 2007, 14:04

This is why being a Solar is kinda nice. No giant world spanning organizations telling you what to do. On the other hand, everyone tries to kill you, so...
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12 Mar 2007, 15:10

BrilliantRain wrote:
This is why being a Solar is kinda nice. No giant world spanning organizations telling you what to do. On the other hand, everyone tries to kill you, so...


You know, you can leave anytime you want, so long as, as had been said, you don't talk about Fight Club or 4chan.

Then you're free like a Solar, with a similar life expectancy.
 
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Friv
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12 Mar 2007, 15:17

Dinosaur wrote:
BrilliantRain wrote:
This is why being a Solar is kinda nice. No giant world spanning organizations telling you what to do. On the other hand, everyone tries to kill you, so...


You know, you can leave anytime you want, so long as, as had been said, you don't talk about Fight Club or 4chan.

Then you're free like a Solar, with a similar life expectancy.


Well, probably a bit better for most Lunars. After all, they've already got the training and support needed to get through their first year or five, and they have the added bonus of not having 40-odd Sidereals trying to kill them.

In this case, though, not so much. Having a First Age Lunar thinking you're the spawn of raksha is not good for the life expectancy, even 700 years earlier in the timeline. (After all, what's 700 years when you're pushing 2000?)
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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12 Mar 2007, 16:22

Friv wrote:

Well, probably a bit better for most Lunars. After all, they've already got the training and support needed to get through their first year or five, and they have the added bonus of not having 40-odd Sidereals trying to kill them.

In this case, though, not so much. Having a First Age Lunar thinking you're the spawn of raksha is not good for the life expectancy, even 700 years earlier in the timeline. (After all, what's 700 years when you're pushing 2000?)


Considering that all those Charms took double the XP to learn, I think that Serafin may have other problems to deal with. <^_^>
 
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Elric
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12 Mar 2007, 16:24

Friv wrote:
(After all, what's 700 years when you're pushing 2000?)

Actually, quite a bit. The older you get, the less each year gives you. This is a wonderful reason why the Bronze faction would consider a Solar of 500+ years of age as a Bad Thing. The 2000+ year old would have an edge, but Exalted were made to fight creatures vastly more powerful and experienced than they are, with a chance of victory.
 
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12 Mar 2007, 16:29

Dinosaur wrote:
Friv wrote:

Well, probably a bit better for most Lunars. After all, they've already got the training and support needed to get through their first year or five, and they have the added bonus of not having 40-odd Sidereals trying to kill them.

In this case, though, not so much. Having a First Age Lunar thinking you're the spawn of raksha is not good for the life expectancy, even 700 years earlier in the timeline. (After all, what's 700 years when you're pushing 2000?)


Considering that all those Charms took double the XP to learn, I think that Serafin may have other problems to deal with. <^_^>


Funny thing.

Fair Folk buy their Charms at 6 XP. Double the cost... and Fair Folk Charms cost the same for Lunars to learn as Favoured Lunar Charms.

Serafin pretty much just swapped almost all of her ten starting Charms for Fair Folk ones. ;)
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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12 Mar 2007, 16:34

Remember the Grace XP requirements, though. Buying those up can be expensive.
 
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12 Mar 2007, 16:50

Friv wrote:

Funny thing.

Fair Folk buy their Charms at 6 XP. Double the cost... and Fair Folk Charms cost the same for Lunars to learn as Favoured Lunar Charms.

Serafin pretty much just swapped almost all of her ten starting Charms for Fair Folk ones. ;)


It says that they buy them as the Eclipse caste buy out of Caste stuff. Then again, no one has really stepped forward to ever clarify any Lunars mechanics ever.
 
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12 Mar 2007, 17:04

Dinosaur wrote:
It says that they buy them as the Eclipse caste buy out of Caste stuff. Then again, no one has really stepped forward to ever clarify any Lunars mechanics ever.

That means she pays 16 XP for them under 2nd edition rules.
 
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12 Mar 2007, 18:26

A Lunar with Faerie charms? Explain that one to me again.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 
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12 Mar 2007, 19:42

Deaths Pale Mistress wrote:
A Lunar with Faerie charms? Explain that one to me again.


It's not clear enough? The Fair Folk book said they could.

I just hope that I can stick Grace of the Infinite Revolving ORAORAORA in DBT.
 
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Deaths Pale Mistress
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12 Mar 2007, 21:00

The only part of the Wyld Hardcover my Deathlordly mind could comprehend was that of the Jadeborne and there wonderous technologies. Nothing else made any sense - ofcourse, if I went back and re-read it (taking time too mind you, not withstanding nagging female wife unit) I'd understand everything better.

Thanks for clearing that up though. Much thanks.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 
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Friv
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12 Mar 2007, 21:23

True, Graces can get costly. However, Exalts, having Heart 3, can have up to two Major Graces! (Cup and Sword, incidentally, are Serafin's two, so it only costs her Current x3 to raise them - this is where much of her training over the last two years went.)

As far as XP costs go, the Fair Folk book just said that Eclipses and Lunars pay double as usual. However, it gets weird, because Fair Folk pay less than Eclipses. So, double Solar? Or double their better choices?

I went with double the Fair Folk cost. Possibly, the 2e Lunars book will contradict this.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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12 Mar 2007, 22:24

Dinosaur wrote:
I just hope that I can stick Grace of the Infinite Revolving ORAORAORA in DBT.

Bah. That's nothing compared to an Eclipse with DPC style mastered alongside GIRS on. Add that one hearthstone that lets you spend willpower to boost your essence by one for a single charm or spell, and use it during Limit Break. Essence 20+ for the purpose of the pinnacle charm. Use Imposition of Law to make it so that you can't fail the roll to avoid vanishing. Then add another Impositon of Law for martial arts. Add blade of the battlemaiden for kicks. Split dice pool 6+ times per action. 100+ actions, each of which requires a charm or a stunt to defend against. Kill Wyld hunts and Imperial legions for fun in one round.
 
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12 Mar 2007, 22:26

Deaths Pale Mistress wrote:
A Lunar with Faerie charms? Explain that one to me again.


I didn't get too much of the FF book either (also save for the MF and their gooey magitech goodness), but I seem to recall them having the ability to forge graces for non-Raksha, which, among other things, allows them to learn FF charms.

(And the section on Chaos Seers so makes me want to run an MF game based on Silence of the Lambs)
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12 Mar 2007, 22:28

Elric wrote:
Dinosaur wrote:
I just hope that I can stick Grace of the Infinite Revolving ORAORAORA in DBT.

Bah. That's nothing compared to an Eclipse with DPC style mastered alongside GIRS on. Add that one hearthstone that lets you spend willpower to boost your essence by one for a single charm or spell, and use it during Limit Break. Essence 20+ for the purpose of the pinnacle charm. Use Imposition of Law to make it so that you can't fail the roll to avoid vanishing. Then add another Impositon of Law for martial arts. Add blade of the battlemaiden for kicks. Split dice pool 6+ times per action. 100+ actions, each of which requires a charm or a stunt to defend against. Kill Wyld hunts and Imperial legions for fun in one round.


I think you get the Twinkery Award for that one...
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Friv
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12 Mar 2007, 23:07

BrilliantRain wrote:
Deaths Pale Mistress wrote:
A Lunar with Faerie charms? Explain that one to me again.


I didn't get too much of the FF book either (also save for the MF and their gooey magitech goodness), but I seem to recall them having the ability to forge graces for non-Raksha, which, among other things, allows them to learn FF charms.

(And the section on Chaos Seers so makes me want to run an MF game based on Silence of the Lambs)


Here's how it works:

Fair Folk shaping combat is based around four Graces. Any being of Creation can get these four Graces forged, at 0 XP cost to either them or the Fair Folk in question. This makes them a bit odd, because they start to see the world in the same story-sense as Fair Folk do, but their natures as beings of Creation still dominates them. In addition, Fair Folk can turn 1 Grace into a Feeding Grace for mortals, and two Graces into Feeding Graces for the Exalted.

Having a Grace allows you to take part in that style of combat. Having a Feeding Grace allows you to learn Charms that eat Virtues, draw Essence from passion, and the other Feeding effects. These are the only Charms that most people with Graces can learn. However, Eclipse Caste Solars, Moonshadow Caste Solars, and all Lunars who get Graces can then learn Fair Folk Charms at double cost (double Fair Folk or double native is never fully explained). In addition, Lunars with Graces are allowed to purchase Abjurations, Glamour Sorcery, and Behemoths as artifacts, the same as Fair Folk do.

None of this is very common, because most raksha don't like sharing. ;)
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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Elric
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12 Mar 2007, 23:57

BrilliantRain wrote:
I think you get the Twinkery Award for that one...

Heh. Wait until you see my MF blooded Terrestial Numina Akuma of Autocthionia with Yasal crystals containing Lower Soul Ascendant and PoM. Dragon Vortex Technique. Laugh, while chanting "Exterminate! Exterminate!".

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