War's Ending Style
War's Ending Style (Celestial, Abyssal origin)
The Dark Father of Balance, a powerful abyssal, created this style to arm his enforcers. They police his emotionless necropolis, and as they gain power, are sent out to do his masters' work in the world at large. These Clerics of War's Ending preach peace through the end of hate, and comfort in the end of heartache. They seek to remove all feeling from the world, convinced that emotion has brought low too many empires, including the Realm.
Most of these clerics are dragon blooded, but a few celestials
have been recruited.
'Cleric' refers to practitioners of War's Ending Style. They are also known as Peacemakers. 'Maggots' always refers to the maggots fired from Repeating Maggot Casters.
All charm effects only function inside, or close to, the users anima (2 x perm essence yards).
Obviously the user remains inside this distance for defensive charms. Outside this zone, the 'casters maggot revert to their normal rate of damage (though the weapon's stats are not affected). Many foes have tried to close with a cleric to strip him of the advantage of range, only to find themselves in direst agony.
Can be used in armour, provided it is either jet black, bone white, or otherwise heavily death-oriented.
In-Form weapon is the Maggot Caster. Practitioners of this art use it with the following stats:
Ranged: acc +3 dam (special*) range 50(max) rate 3
*does 1 agg/scene until removed.
H-t-H: spd +0 acc +2 dam +1L def +1 rate 3 Str 1 dex 3 MA 3
In addition, firing the caster uses up a mote from the crystal powering it, or the user may spend a mote himself.
Like Righteous Devil Style, these charms cannot normally be used for unarmed attacks. A disarmed Cleric is considerably less dangerous than one firing ravening death bugs at you.
In general, if armour reduces an attack to minimum damage, the maggot hasn't gotten into the target's body, stopping it eating his juicy flesh. This nullifies the secondary effects of Five Metal Maggot.
Steel Maggot Strike
cost: 1 mote
With a little concentration, A cleric can harden his living ammo like he must harden his living heart. Maggots fired using this charm have a base lethal damage of twice the cleric's temperance. The maggot remains steeled inside the Cleric's anima, and will not deal further damage for at least a scene.
Essence Fed Devourer
cost: 2+ motes
When in the lands of the dead or a shadowland, a Cleric can use the deadened essence of the area to grow the maggots his weapon requires. For 2 motes, he can create a single maggot and fire it as his action for the turn. If he chooses not to fire the maggot, he may spend additional motes to full reload his weapon: each mote after the initial cost is an extra maggot (so it costs 7 motes of essence to fully reload an empty Maggot Caster in a single turn).
Stunning Blows Kata
cost: 2 motes
Using well practiced strikes to pressure points, the exalt knocks his foe off balance, often keeping him dancing in a hail of maggots. Attacks with this charm use their post-soak damage pool to determine stunning, rather than the number of wound levels inflicted.
Awe Inspiring Stance
cost: 3 motes
With this charm, an exalt can strike awe or fear into his foes, causing them to pause for critical moments, allowing the exalt time to reload, draw his weapons, jump out the window, or, in the case of a dragon blooded cleric, activate vital scene length charms. Unfortunately, it rarely works on other Exalts.
After this is used, those inside the Cleric's anima range may not attack the exalt until the cleric's next action. This only effect those of lower permanent essence scores than the cleric.
War's Ending Form
cost: 7 motes
With this charm, the Cleric truly begins to understand, and thus harness, the essence of death.
With a rush of dark power, ebon shadow flame bursts into 'life' around the cleric's hands, as a pair of tiny shadowlands erupt from his palms, before rushing along lines of essence to envelop him entirely. For all purposes, weapons he carries and armour he wears are in a shadowland. This charm rarely lasts long enough to effect essence recovery, but it can.
If the user didn't already do so, he gains the benefits of being attuned to soulsteel: +2 soak on armour, +1 accuracy on weapons. His weapon also drains essence from those it strikes, provided their inside his normal anima range. This recharges the weapon's own crystal, but can only be used by the weapon. It escapes when this charm ends.
Abyssals, and others who somehow have already attuned to soulsteel may reflexively attune to *any* soulsteel artefact for the usual cost for the remainder of the scene.
In addition, add one to the rate of the Cleric's Maggot Caster(s).
Dragon blooded must roll Dex+MA, diff 1, to assume this form as normal for Celestial martial arts.
Ravening Maggot's Hunger
Under the effects of this charm, skittering, crawling things of the dark are given power. Insects scurry with dark purpose from the ground, and clouds of bats and other night creatures take to the skies. Within the Cleric's anima, damage from maggots is increased to 1 flat level of lethal per maggot per turn, natural soak only. Note: this means add up all the maggots in a target, remove their natural lethal soak, and that's how much damage they take in total.
Five Metal Maggot
With this charm, the Cleric combines his knowledge of his own essence with that of the essence of death, twisting his natural power to his masters' ends. Maggots fired with this charm have a base damage of three times the user's temperance, and one of the effects below, based on his exalt type:
Fire: the burning maggot burrows deep into the target before exploding for 4 unsoakable levels of fire damage.
Water: the maggot dissolves into the target's blood stream, reforming as soon as it leaves the Cleric's death-tainted anima. This kills mortals as bit of insectile crap flood his heart, but exalts may make a stamina+resistance roll (diff of the Cleric's Essence) or take 6L. Unless they beat the difficulty by 3, they lose an action in pain, but suffer no other ill effects.
Wood: The maggot, flooded with brief, violent life, multiplies into a number of normal maggots equal to the Cleric's essence (including the first maggot). These burrow into the target's flesh as normal.
Air: whether burning with frost or crackling with lighting, Air brings only death. Add the Cleric's permanent essence to the maggot's base damage.
Earth: The essence of stone brings stillness, or at least a solid blow to the forehead. Treat this exactly as a hit from Stunning Blows Kata.
Lunars: No lunar has yet taken up the Dark Father's offers, but if they did, they would unconsciously choose one of the elemental effects that best fitted their totem.
Sidereals: with their mastery of martial arts, they can chose one of the above elemental effects.
Abyssals/fallen solars*: Death's hold on the target increases. For each turn they remain inside the cleric's anima, they age one season. If the Cleric has War's Ending Form active, this increases fivefold to one year per turn.
Solars/repentant Abyssals*: Evil contains the seeds of it's own destruction. Against most targets, a blast of solar flame accompanies the maggot, doing a separate damage pool equal to the cleric's essence in lethal. Against the undead and any Cleric, this extra damage is aggravated.
*intent matters here: an abyssal who decides to repent, or a solar who joins the deathlords then quits again would each find the effect of this charm shifting.
Retrieving the Arm of Righteousness
cost: 3 motes
A disarmed foe is often a foe more easily overcome, but this
is not certain where many exalts are concerned. A disarmed Cleric,
however, is at great disadvantage.
If the weapon was held or restrained by a foe, it will simply disappear then reappear in the cleric's hands. Those of higher essence than the cleric may retain it with appropriate magic.
cost: 3+ motes, 1 willpower.
With this charm, the Cleric acknowledges that sometimes a foes methods must be used against him. With a lightning fast grab, he disarms his foe, taking his weapon from him. Then he can turn the weapon against his foe.
Make a dex+martial arts+essence roll, difficulty 1, or the attunement cost of the weapon if it has one. If successful, the weapon is de-attuned from the wielder and held by the cleric.
If War's Ending Form is active, cleric's may reflexively pay the cost of attunement to attune, even if the weapon isn't soulsteel. Abyssal clerics confiscating soulsteel weapons attune to them for free.
This attunement lasts until the end of the scene, and provides no benefit from mounted hearthstones. While this scene lasts, however, the weapon is treated as being in-form, but obviously most charms won't work with it anyway, as it's unlikely to utilise flesh eating maggots.
Battle Slaying Strike
cost: 6 motes, 1 willpower
With this charm, the Cleric can bring armies to a halt.
First, the Cleric must have identified the 'root cause' of the problem he wishes to end. For example the guildmaster whose manipulations have driven two nations to war earning the guild money from arms sales, or simply the general leading the army about to march on Gem. This charm, while lethal, only gains full effect on these individuals.
Focusing his death-laced essence, the cleric takes aim for one true strike. He may not split his dice pool or combo Battle Slaying Strike with extra action charms. Baring a perfect defence, the minimum number of successes on the hit roll, after dodges, parries and everything else, is one. (thus, perfect attack). If the cleric is using the foes own weapon, from desperate measures, this rises to the artefact level of the weapon (in the case of N/A rated artefacts, use the cleric's full dice pool).
The raw, pre-soak damage is doubled, and a maggot empowered by this charm will eat through armour, giving it the Piercing quality. If the target is incapacitated, surrenders or dies, his followers/dupes will at least reconsider, assuming he has any followers or dupes. If they were tricked, the Cleric should take this brief respite to inform them of this.
In the event of a Solar or repentant Abyssal using this on the style's creator, all practitioners of the style will be aware of it.