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Bold Heart Style
The Bold Heart style was created as a part of the Five-Fold Path to Perfection, a series of Martial Arts styles devised by one of the greatest Solar martial artists of the First Age. Based upon his perceptions of the virtue of Valour, Bold Heart style is based on the principles of speed, ferocity and movement, and is perhaps the most directly combative of the Five-Fold Path to Perfection. The Bold Heart style is classed as Celestial-level Martial Arts and can be taught to Dragon-Blooded with a similar training regime to that required for the Immaculate Dragon styles, but only Fire-Aspect Terrestrials can advance past the Higher Form Charm, the elemental nature of the Dragon-Blooded is not easily compatible with the structured Essence patterns required for the highest Charms. A character may always channel his Valour when using Charms from the Bold Heart Style.
The Bold Heart Style, as do many other martial arts styles, treats certain weapons as if they were barehanded attacks for the purposes of certain Charms. A character using these Charms may direct their magic through the weapon being used, if it is one of the style’s so-called signature weapons, which for the Bold Heart style can be any form of sword designed for one-handed use.
Darting Lunge Technique</b>
<b>Cost: 5 motes Type: Reflexive Duration: 1 turn Min. Martial Arts: 2 Min. Essence: 2 Prerequisites: None
The Bold Heart style has three basic principles that its students must fully comprehend before they may even begin to master its intricacies and with this Charm the Exalted learns the tenet of “speed”. The magic of the Charm gives the reflexes of the Exalted wings, making him think and move faster than he otherwise could. This Charm adds the character’s Martial Arts to his initiative for the turn, as well as providing the same bonus to a single barehanded Martial Arts attack. This Charm must be used before initiative is rolled and may only be used once per turn. The Exalted may not perform multiple actions on the turn he uses Darting Lunge Technique.
Audacious Blow Method</b>
<b>Cost: 3 motes Type: Supplemental Duration: Instant Min. Martial Arts: 2 Min. Essence: 2 Prerequisites: None
The second principle of the Bold Heart style is “ferocity” and with this Charm the student learns to focus his into a single attack, often accompanied with a loud kiai. Using this Charm grants the student bonus dice equal to his Valour for a single barehanded Martial Arts attack, as well as increasing the base damage by 1.
Double Talon Strike</b>
<b>Cost: 4 motes Type: Supplemental Duration: Instant Min. Martial Arts: 3 Min. Essence: 2 Prerequisites: Darting Lunge Technique, Audacious Blow Method
Building on the ideas of speed and ferocity, the student learns how to turn follow-through into a full-blown attack of its own, swinging past his foe to strike at another faster than the eye can follow. After making a successful Martial Arts attack that has been enhanced with this Charm the character immediately makes another attack with the same dice-pool, this second attack must be directed at a different target to the initial one. If placed in a Combo with other Supplemental Charms they must be paid for again if this Charm triggers an attack. Double Talon Strike may not be used on the extra attack granted by its use.
Quicksilver Flow Prana</b>
<b>Cost: 1 mote Type: Reflexive Duration: Instant Min. Martial Arts: 2 Min. Essence: 2 Prerequisites: None
The third and final principle of the Bold Heart is “movement”, for without movement there can be no combat. With this in mind, the Exalted learns to slide across the ground as smoothly as quicksilver, changing position in the blinking of an eye and with no-one the wiser. Upon using this Charm the Exalted may instantly move up to his Martial Arts in yards to any point he could normally reach on foot, the transition so rapid that the character’s form almost seems to blur to an observer. This Charm cannot be used against an attack in place of a dodge, but it can be combined with a dodge attempt to move the character far enough away to break many Extra Action Charm attacks. This Charm may not be used more times in a turn than the character has dots of Dexterity.
Manifold Attack Technique</b>
<b>Cost: 1 mote Type: Supplemental Duration: Instant Min. Martial Arts: 3 Min. Essence: 2 Prerequisites: Audacious Blow Method, Quicksilver Flow Prana
By focussing his mind and allowing Essence to augment his reflexes the Bold Heart practitioner can strike or parry accurately much faster than normal, his attacks flowing and highly efficient without a single wasted movement. When performing multiple actions this Charm allows the Exalted to negate his Valour in dice-pool penalties to any single Martial Arts attack or parry. This Charm only removes penalties due to multiple actions, and not as a result of wounds or penalty-inflicting Charms such as Crippling Pressure-Point Strike. Since this Charm negates penalties, rather than adding dice, it does not count towards the Attribute + Ability limit for dice-adder Charms.
Bold Heart Form</b>
<b>Cost: 6 motes Type: Simple Duration: 1 scene Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min. Essence: 2 Prerequisites: Double Talon Strike, Manifold Attack Technique
Once the Exalted has mastered the basic principles of the Bold Heart style he can use this Charm to speed and guide his attacks, and to increase his athletic prowess substantially. With this Charm active the Exalted adds his Martial Arts to his initiative and to the dice-pool for any bare-handed Martial Arts attacks he may make. His unarmed attacks now inflict Lethal damage and may safely be used to parry Lethal attacks without a Stunt, and his Dexterity is increased by his Valour for the purposes of running and jumping distances. A character may have only one Martial Arts Form-type Charm active at a time, and activating any other immediately ends the effects of this one. The character must have a Valour score of at least 3 to learn and use this Charm. This Charm is not compatible with the use of armour.
<b>Cost: None Type: Special Duration: Permanent Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 3 Prerequisites: Bold Heart Form
The character aligns his anima more closely than ever before with the virtue of Valour, so much so that should he draw upon it he will receive a greater than usual benefit. Whenever the character channels a point of Willpower through the Virtue he will receive one more die than usual. This does not affect the number of times that the character may call upon his Valour per story, only the number of dice he gains from doing so.
<b>Cost: 4 motes Type: Reflexive Duration: Instant Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 2 Prerequisites: Bold Heart Form
A practitioner of the Bold Heart style firmly believes that the best defence is a good offence, and this Charm embodies that principle perfectly, allowing the Exalted to strike back at his attacker almost without thought. When the character is the target of a close-combat attack he can activate this Charm to make a barehanded Martial Arts attack in response. If successful both attacks are considered to land simultaneously. This Charm cannot be used in response to any other counterattack Charm.
Flashing Tempest of Blows</b>
<b>Cost: 3 motes per action, 1 Willpower Type: Extra Action Duration: Instant Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 3 Prerequisites: Lightning Counterstrike
By now the Bold Heart martial artist is a lethal combatant and a dangerous opponent, able to lash out at his foes or defend against attacks with startling rapidity and accuracy, and this Charm merely enhances this ability. The Exalted using this Charm can purchase up to his Martial Arts in actions for the turn, and each action so purchased can be used either as a Martial Arts attack or as a movement action. The use of the actions doesn’t have to be declared prior to their usage, but any purchased actions remaining at the end of the turn are wasted, and the motes spent purchasing them are wasted.
Distance Strike Method</b>
<b>Cost: 5 motes Type: Supplemental Duration: Instant Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 2 Prerequisites: Bold Heart Form
The Exalted suffuses his anima with the strength of Valour, holding it back for a heartbeat before unleashing it to lash out along the line of his blows to strike targets at great distances. The Exalted can make a barehanded Martial Arts attack against any opponent he can see within twice his Valour in yards. This attack is treated in all other respects exactly as if it were a normal Martial Arts attack.
Foe-Cleaving Impact Technique</b>
<b>Cost: 1 mote per 2 dice Type: Supplemental Duration: Instant Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 3 Prerequisites: Distance Strike Method
By seeing with eyes focussed on the flows and eddies of Essence for a moment the Bold Heart stylist can learn to greatly increase the power of his blows, his flowing along his arm and empowering his attacks to slice through armour or flesh with equal alacrity. By using this Charm the Exalted can buy extra damage dice for a single bare-handed Martial Arts attack, but may spend no more motes on this Charm than his permanent Essence + Martial Arts. If this Charm is delivered through a weapon not forged of the Five Magical Materials and the damage dice purchased total more than twice the damage bonus of the sword in question then the weapon will shatter after the blow has been struck.
Bold Heart Higher Form</b>
<b>Cost: 8 or 16 motes Type: Simple Duration: 1 scene Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 4 Prerequisites: Flashing Tempest of Blows, Foe-Cleaving Impact Technique
Having mastered almost all of the Bold Heart the Exalted learns how to separate his anima slightly, creating an Essence shadow of the character that matches his every move, misleading his opponents as to his true location and accompanying his attacks, greatly increasing the potential damage of his attacks. He also learns to toughen his skin slightly, and increases his hand-eye co-ordination to make multiple accurate attacks easier. When this Charm is active the Exalted can now soak Lethal damage with his full Stamina, and may ignore his Valour in dice-pool penalties for multiple actions for the remainder of the scene (this effect works identically to, and is compatible with, Manifold Attack Technique). The Essence shadow is distracting for an opponent, increasing the difficulty to attack the character in close combat by 1. It also follows every successful Martial Arts attack that the character makes with one of its own, effectively making the character strike twice, with damage for each such attack rolled twice and the effects of both rolls are applied to the target.
As a Higher Form this Charm is expressly compatible with and requires the activation of Bold Heart Form to be used itself (the greater cost in motes allows both Charms to be activated simultaneously). A character may have only one Higher Form Charm active at any time, and should he use another Higher Form or activate a different base Form, then it instantly replaces Bold Heart Higher Form. A character must have a Valour score of at least 4 to learn and use this Charm.
Mettle Begets Strength</b>
<b>Cost: None Type: Special Duration: Permanent Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 4 Prerequisites: Bold Heart Higher Form
By learning this Charm the character subtly alters his anima, allowing it to draw upon his temperance and patience, and bolstering his Essence pools when acting along the lines of the style. The activation cost of all Charms in the Bold Heart style is reduced by the character’s Valour, down to a minimum of 1 mote.
Watchful Battle-Mind Prana</b>
<b>Cost: 10 motes, 1 Willpower Type: Reflexive Duration: 1 scene Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 4 Prerequisites: Bold Heart Higher Form
Despite what many of its detractors said about it when the Bold Heart style was first unveiled by its creator, there is room in the style for calm and measured thought and this Charm is the main part of that argument. Once active it detaches a part of the Exalted’s mind and focuses this fragment’s attention on combat, allowing the rest of his mind to handle any other problems or situations that may arise. Starting with the turn the Exalted activates this Charm he has access to a second action that may be used once per turn in one of three ways for the remainder of the scene. The character may reflexively use this action to perform a normal Martial Arts parry at his usual dice-pool for such an action, he may make a Martial Arts attack either on his initiative or at some time later in the turn at the usual dice-pool, or he may take a movement action (run or jump) on his initiative or at some time later in the turn. The granted action may not be enhanced by any non-persistent Charms. The character’s normal action is unaffected, and he may use any Charms or Combos on it as normal.
The Dervish without Pity or Shadow</b>
<b>Cost: 1+ motes, 2 Willpower Type: Extra Action Duration: 1 turn Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 5 Prerequisites: Watchful Battle-Mind Prana
The ultimate expression of the philosophy of the Bold Heart, the Exalted who masters this Charm becomes capable of inhumanly rapid action. He leaps forwards into the thick of his enemies and then strikes again and again, faster than a desert cobra, until he stands alone surrounded by the bodies of his enemies, who were slain almost before they knew what had happened. The character makes a series of Martial Arts attacks at his foes, starting with those he could normally attack and extending out to a maximum distance from the Exalted current position of his Martial Arts + Essence in yards. Each such attack is made with the character’s normal dice-pool and costs 1 mote; the character must attack each target as many times as necessary to reduce them to Incapacitated or below. The Dervish without Pity or Shadow continues to activate until the Exalted runs out of eligible targets or motes of Essence. A character must have a Valour score of 5 to learn and use this Charm.
As one of the pinnacle Charms of the Five-Fold Path to Perfection, The Dervish without Pity or Shadow also grants an additional ability to the character who masters its secrets. This ability is a natural function of the knowledge of the Charm, and consumes no Essence to use, instead it may be used a number of times per day equal to the Exalted’s permanent Essence. The character can increase the combat ability of a number of mortals equal to his Valour x Essence, granting them a +1 bonus to any attacks and parries that they may make – this effect persists for the remainder of the day, and any given mortal can only benefit from one application of it. This ability requires a 10 minute ritual to use.