MartialArts/HouseOfSecretsStyle

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House of Secrets Style

The Secrets Caste have long been the finest astrologers of the Exalted, and their House Style is the finest among the planetary Chosens', with a Form that harmonizes with resplendent trappings and many Charms that capitalize on their astrological mastery.

Except where explicitly stated, this Style is incompatible with weapons, armor, and shields of all kinds.


Bloody Vision

Cost: None
Duration: Permanent
Type: Special
Min. M.A.: 1
Min. Ess.: 1
Prereq. Charms: None

With this Charm, the Exalted learns that injury allows her to transcend the limits of her body, rather than shackling her further. She never suffers from any kind of initiative penalties.


Secret of the Broken Mirror

Cost: 3 motes
Duration: Instant
Type: Supplemental
Min. M.A.: 2
Min. Ess.: 2
Prereq. Charms: None

With this Charm, the Exalted knows that every journey is only a departure and a destination separated by a space...but that space need not be long. The Charm enables the Exalt to perform an unarmed attack against a distant opponent as though they were side-by-side. She may span as many as her Essence multiplied by three in yards. This Charm negates any cover penalties, and explicitly allows Sidereals to inflict infectious destinies at range. However, this attack is in all other ways a normal hand-to-hand attack; it is material, and the defender can use hand-to-hand counterattacks and such similar abilities against it.


Dance of Sharp Words

Cost: 5 motes
Duration: Instant
Type: Supplemental
Min. M.A.: 2
Min. Ess.: 2
Prereq. Charms: None

With this Charm, the Exalted can perform an attack against any opponent who can hear and understand her. She need do nothing but speak her victim's name or nickname in such a virulent way that it hurts her soul deeply. This can be used to strike opponents as much as Essence + Charisma yards distant. Effects that supernaturally amplify the Exalted's voice will increase this range proportionately, but cannot make the Charm affect more than one target. She makes a normal unarmed attack roll with Manipulation in the place of Dexterity, and a normal unarmed damage roll with Charisma in the place of Strength. The Exalt need not be capable of motion to invoke this Charm as long as she may speak.

This Charm cannot be dodged or parried without a stunt. It ignores armor soak but is soaked normally by Stamina.


Maiden-Breaking-Heaven Marking

Cost: 5 motes
Duration: One Scene
Type: Reflexive
Min. M.A.: 3
Min. Ess.: 2
Prereq. Charms: None

This Charm links the Exalted's attacks to the destinies of the Guardians; fragrant leaves swirl around her hands. Whenever she successfully strikes a person, she may spend 1 mote to tie her target's destiny into that constellation; his Essence is marked with an emblem which can be seen by beings with effects like All-Encompassing Sorceror's Sight. It also incorporates itself into the animas of Exalted targets, appearing as a drift of odd-shaped leaves.

While this Charm is active, the Exalted adds her Essence to Martial Arts dice pools to attack targets she has marked. She may also reduce the TN of such an attack, spending 1 mote per TN reduction. The maximum number of TN reductions she may purchase for one attack is her rating in the College of the Guardians. The clouds part above her head and shower her with light.


College of the (Constellation) Form

Cost: 6 motes
Duration: One Scene
Type: Simple
Min. M.A.: 4
Min. Ess.: 2
Prereq. Charms: Bloody Vision, Secret of the Broken Mirror, Dance of Sharp Words, Maiden-Breaking-Heaven Marking

This Charm is actually five Charms, each of which must be learned separately; collectively they are known as the Secrets Form. Assuming the Secrets Form entails the assumption of one of these five Charms, but once one is active, the Exalted may reflexively spend 2 motes to switch to a different Secrets Form Charm that she knows; this ability does not count as a Charm use and the expenditure is not committed. This ends the effects of the previous Charm and the new Charm begins immediately. All variations of this Charm allow the Exalted to cause lethal damage with unarmed attacks and to parry lethal attacks unarmed. This Charm is incompatible with other Martial Arts Form-type Charms.

The Form Weaponry and Armor listed in each sub-Form is compatible with all Charms of the Secrets Style only while that version of the Charm is active. This supercedes the general restriction against such things.

  • Guardians Form:
The Guardian is impossible to surprise, and his magical regalia cannot be forcibly deattuned. He is unimpeded by adverse weather. The Guardian may exchange post-soak damage dice from an attack to cause a target to forget what he has learned; it requires dice equal to the target's current rating in an Ability to reduce the Ability by a dot. The targeted Ability is of the attacker's choice, but it must be a Favored or Caste ability of the target; the effect cannot be used against targets with none of these.
Lost Ability dots return at a rate of one per Ability per day. This effect does not function on targets with higher permanent Essence than the Guardians.
Guardians Form Weaponry and Armor: Shields and short swords. (Reaver daiklaves.)
  • Key Form:
The Key continuously benefits from the effects of Secret of the Broken Mirror. Whenever someone performs a hand-to-hand attack within (permanent Essence) yards of him, he may reflexively roll Manipulation+Martial Arts, at a difficulty of the attacker's Essence. If he succeeds, he may choose a new target for the attack (within the originator's reach).
Key Form Weaponry and Armor: Staffs, both solid and seven-sectioned.
  • Mask Form:
While he assumes the Mask Form, the Exalted's identity is unknowable. This is a perfect effect. He can reflexively dodge attacks with a base dice pool of his permanent Essence. While he is in a Manse or Demesne, he is automatically attuned to it, and has a bonus to dodges equal to its rating.
Mask Form Weaponry and Armor: Daggers.
  • Sorceror Form:
The Sorceror never fails Valor checks, and can freely channel his Valor, ignoring the per-story limit. He has peers, but no superiors; whenever the Sorceror's actions oppose another's in combat, he has the Essence of his opponent, if it is higher than his natural Essence.
Sorceror Form Weaponry and Armor: Starmetal armor and starmetal daiklaves of any kind are compatible with the Sorceror Form.
  • Treasure Trove Form:
For 3 motes, the Treasure Trove can perform an attack that does aggravated damage, but this causes the target to gain dots of a Favored or Caste Ability of his choice, in the same way that the Guardians Form causes Ability loss (it would require three post-soak damage dice to add one dot of an Ability rates at three, etc.) This effect cannot be used on beings with no Favored or Caste Abilities. These dots are temporary and fade at one dot per Ability per day, but they can be learned thereafter as though tutored. He can also perform an attack that shatters wealth; he may exchange a post-soak damage dice from an attack to cause the target to lose dots of the Resources Background, or any other Background the ST deems appropriate, in the same way that the Guardians Form causes Ability loss.
Treasure Trove Form Weaponry and Armor: Straight swords (normal daiklaves).

Light-and-Shadow Unbeing Stance

Cost: 6 motes
Duration: One Scene
Type: Simple
Min. M.A.: 5
Min. Ess.: 2
Prereq. Charms: College of (Constellation) Form

While this Charm is active, the Exalted seems to fade at the edges into a viridian haze from which knowledge issues. She may convert the damage of attacks against her into Ability reductions in exactly the same manner as the College of the Guardians Form ability.

Sidereal initiates to the College of the Key add their rating in that College to their lethal and bashing soak.


Sky-Escaping Mudra

Cost: 3 motes
Duration: Instant
Type: Reflexive
Min. M.A.: 4
Min. Ess.: 3
Prereq. Charms: College of the (Constellation) Form

The Exalted performs a secret gesture that unbinds spirits of storm and air, and subdues geometry like a lightning-whipped dog. She may reflexively dodge an attack made against her, of which she is aware, with her full pool. In addition, the instigator of the attack is knocked back a number of yards equal to his Essence plus the martial artist's own.


Malachite Void Eyes

Cost: 3+ motes
Duration: Instant
Type: Supplemental
Min. M.A.: 5
Min. Ess.: 2
Prereq. Charms: College of the (Constellation) Form

This Charm turns the Exalted's eyes into green wells of emptiness (Sidereal eyes remain spangled with lights of the appropriate colour). Anyone he looks upon is stricken with terror, and secrets flee from his mind. The victim of this Charm rolls his Valor against the Exalted's Willpower; for every success the Exalted has in excess of the victim, she catches one fleeing secret and learns it. Secrets are defined as pieces of information the target is actively trying to conceal.

She may reduce the TN of her Willpower roll, spending 1 mote per TN reduction. The maximum number of TN reductions she may purchase for the roll is her rating in the College of the Treasure Trove.

This effect is in addition to whatever Martial Arts action the Charm supplements.


Chains of the Maiden

Cost: 5 motes
Duration: Varies
Type: Reflexive
Min. M.A.: 5
Min. Ess.: 2
Prereq Charms: Sky-Escaping Mudra

The Maiden in Chains cannot move, but she is revered by all. When the Exalted assumes the mantle of this Maiden, he becomes bound to the destiny of a place; he cannot move from the place he stands. He is still capable of dodging attacks. However, hearts falter when his enemies try to oppose him, and their hands slip and shake; add the Exalt's Martial Arts to the difficulty of all attacks against him. If the Exalted steps away from the point where he stands, the Charm ends.

Furthermore, while this Charm is active, a Sidereal may reduce the TN of Martial Arts parry actions and dodge actions, spending 1 mote per TN reduction. The maximum number of TN reductions she may purchase for one defence is her rating in the College of the Sorceror.


The World Is No Less Without You Approach

Cost: 5 motes (10 motes)
Duration: Instant
Type: Simple
Min. M.A.: 5
Min. Ess.: 4
Prereq Charms: Light-and-Shadow Unbeing Stance, Malachite Void Eyes, Chains of the Maiden

This technique allows the Exalted to attack at his target's identity. The character makes a Martial Arts attack, and if it hits (that is to say, the attack has successes remaining after parry and dodge), make a name-breaking test. This is a reflexive opposed test of Essence + Mask College (-2 from the dicepool if the target is not Exalted or an agent directly employed by the Bureau of Destiny, as though it were an Ability roll); for each success the Sidereal has in excess of his opponent, he strikes away part of the record of his opponent's name. Accumulating as many successes as the target's permanent Essence destroys his identity utterly, causing him to lose his name and have his identity stricken from the rolls of Destiny.

Individuals with no identity cannot regain Essence or be specifically targeted by Charms (note that this does not affect Charms that affect actions that target the character, only specifically targeted Charms like the Wanting and Fearing Prayer). Furthermore, these individuals are outside of Fate.

Exalted targets may apply to the astrological colleges to have their identity restored or repaired; this is an Instant duration ascending effect of the Mask or Sorceror. Note that a nameless Sidereal has no authority among the spiders. Furthermore, any nameless victim may make a Prayer roll (at standard prayer difficulty) to the Five Maidens to have his name repaired; for each success on the Prayer roll, his name is restored by 1 point of permanent Essence. Partially identityless victims will only have their Essence pools replenished to the Essence level that they have recovered and recorded in Heavenly annals, but even a partial name is enough to be the specific target of a Charm. If a name is completely broken, there is no way to recover it, but the victim may apply for a new one.

When targeting Sidereals wearing resplendent identities or other false identities, the technique simply subtracts effect points from the identity - and the target must roll with his identity's Essence and College rating.

Sidereals and those who learn this Charm as Sidereals may use a Scripture of the Mask when activating this Charm. The Scripture binds itself around his hand, appearing to transform it into a green jade fist that burns with colourless fire. This increases the Charm's cost to 10 motes and its duration to One Scene; each attack the Sidereal makes while the Charm is active is a name-breaking attack.

Name-breaking has no effect on creatures outside of Fate.

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