The snow fell thickly as the pair approached the small stone temple. Every once in they would stop, so the master could warm himself over the fiery anima of his student, now a young master herself. Reaching the door, the pair rang to announce their presence. An old women answered the door, courtesies were exchanged and the pair ushered in. Purposes were announced. The old women seemed skeptical but agreed to the test.
"Master, You think I have a chance against...her?" the student seemed skeptical.
"No. But she'll be impressed. Which is more important. Thank you for agreeing to come here, thank you for helping the Master become a student again."
Hydra style was created by one of the first Solars to learn Sidereal martial arts. The Solar master demonstrated worthyness by creating the first martial art designed for the Terrestrials. Thus, this art has a somewhat Solar theme(as in the name), but is intended for the Dragon Blooded. It can be considered a common ancestor of both Five-Dragon style and the Immaculate Styles.
This is Celestial level martial art, however, no initiation is needed for Terrestrials(it is worked into the style actually). Additionaly, charms of this style are considered 'out of element' for ALL dragon blooded, thus they incure the one mote surcharge. However, this restriction goes away when the style is mastered. At this point, all charms of this style become 'in element'. These restrictions apply equally to celestial practioners. Thus a Solar(who does not have an element) who learned this style would have to pay the surcharge, but would not have to after mastering the style. Additionally, after mastering the style, Dragon Blooded do not have to make the Dex+Martial arts test to activate the form charm(although they do until the style is mastered).
The Sidereals briefly considering using this style for the Immaculate order, but several factors worked against it. One was it's size and difficulty, along with the relative inefficiency until the style is mastered. The final strike against it was the fact that it was created by those who it would be focused against. In the end,the Bronze Fraction used their superior knowlege and the lessons learned from Hydra Style to create the Immaculate styles.
A fair number of tutorial manuels for this style were created, as it was the first enduring style Terrestrials could learn. These manuals can be used in place of teacher. They are complete, and quite durrable, being designed to withstand both time and Terrestrial anima flare. Most were destroyed by the Realm, but some copies still exist. These have been occasionally sought by Terrestrial masters who do not have access to the Immaculate styles, although the number who realize this style and instructions for it even exists is declining. Some of these may seek out the returned Solars as a source of information.
When learned by a Dragon Blooded, this style is considered an Immaculate style as far as costs go. Also, note that some charms in this tree are exceptionally difficult to learn, and thus take double the normal training time. This is noted in the charm text. The theme of this art is 'Elemental unity', as per the story above. Being so early, it is also a bit of a kludge in places.
Note:(Last one, I promise) -- There are two versions of this Martial Art. This manifests as an alternate set of mechanics for many charms. The first version is original, the second version is pulled from the Immaculate terrestrial styles(in which case just page number and name of the canon charm is given). The first version emphasizes the elemental blending better, the second version more the historical aspects. The Storytellery may decide which version to use in a particular game. If the second version is used, this style could readily be confused for an Immaculate style by martial artists. In both cases the charm tree and name are the same.
NTS:Version a: Elemental blend of ajacent branches, thus many charms have multiple weak effects.