Celestial Courtesan Style [version 1.5]
Celestial Martial Arts
In the first age, many martial arts styles were crafted by various exalted in their effort to discern wisdom and greater enlightenment on the essence of Creation.
Of the many styles in existence, the style known as the 'Violet Brier of Sorrows' was not the sole martial arts style based on the Five Maidens. There existed others, one of which is reputed to have been created by the Maiden of Serenity after observing the chosen of Saturn at practice on the 'Violet Brier of Sorrows' style.
This celestial martial arts style is known simply as 'Celestial Courtesan Style' and is also said to have inspired a Solar Exalted martial artist to create the 'Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style'. There exists also a Terresterial extrapolation of this style, based on the earthly harlots and courtesans... and a Sidereal martial art style focused on the department that Venus is the head of.
The Celestial Courtesan Style can not be practiced while wearing armour, its signature weapons are fans, clothing (long sleeves, sashes, hem of dresses) and knives of all sorts. Usage of this style does NOT make clothing and paper fans combat-worthy, they need to be designed or weighted for battle. Sashes and -long- sleeves may be used as clinch aids.
If designed for combat, fans use the stats for exceptional wind-fire wheels. While long sleeves and hems of robes use the stats for exceptional slashing swords, and sashes use the stats for exceptional seven-section staffs. Sashes and long sleeves can be used for clinches and holds if designed for combat.
Artifact versions do exist, and replaces the stats of slashing swords with reaper daiklaves for long sleeves and hems of robes, and the stats of seven-section staffs with serpent-sting staffs for sashes. Elegant war fans created from magical metal uses the follow stats.
Elegant War Fan - Artifact 1 for a single fan
Speed +1, Accuracy +1, damage +2L, Defense +3
Minimum Dexterity 3, Minimum Martial Arts 3, Attunement Cost 3 motes
Magical Metal Bonus is applied as normal
Elegant War Fan - Artifact 1 for a single fan
Speed +1, Accuracy +5, damage +2L, Defense +3, Rate 4
Minimum Dexterity 3, Minimum Martial Arts 3, Attunement Cost 3 motes
Magical Metal Bonus is applied as normal
The artifact was created using Savant & Sorcerer's rules with an exceptional wind-fire wheel as the template.
Detecting that such items are weapons is relatively easy and requires a difficulty 1 perception + awareness roll while closely exaiming said item or difficulty 3 if looking over the character in general.
There are charms in this style that do allow fragile props not designed for combat to be used as lethal weapons.
When taught to terresterial exalted, the typical initiatation charms in the First Age were Walker-amongst-Irises Perception and Iris-Bulb Discourse.
Deceptive Harlot Feint
Cost: 4 mote Duration: instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 2 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: none
A knowledgable harlot knows that with customers, it is necessary to be deceptive to lure them into purchasing her wares. However, such deception requires skill in the art of performing, for the potential customers on the street are wary and loath to part with their money.
This charm allows the martial artist to lower her target's defensive die pool by her essence trait, however to do so requires a successful martial artist's Dexterity + Performance vs the target's Willpower trait in a contested roll. This penalty can not lower a defensive die pool below 1, this charm must be activated before the attack roll with the 3 motes being paid in advance. If the contested roll fails, the motes are wasted.
This charm CAN be placed in a combo with performance charms. This charm definately has uses outside of combat, at least for those willing to use the allure of sex in a social or bureaucatic setting.
Wary Harlot's Holdout
Cost: 4 motes Duration: instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 2 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: Deceptive Harlot Feint
Unsavory customers and rival harlots exist, this is something all but the youngest and newest of harlots know as a common fact. To deal with this unpleasent facet of reality, a harlot always has some sort of holdout weapon on her person, usually a slender knife meant for close in work, not meant for true combat against heavily armoured opponents.
This charm allows the martial artist to increase the fighting capability of even the most delicate of paper fans and clothing, allowing them to cut with the might of a great sword. The martial artist infuses her essence into her chosen weapon before she strikes, strengthening it.
The prop she uses for that attack uses the following stats; fans = wind-fire wheels, sleeves and hems of robes = slashing swords, sashes = seven section staves. If she is barehanded, the attack is treated as dealing lethal damage. Please note that this charm does NOT alter the weapon's appearances, it is the essence within the exalt extending some of its glory to the rude weapon.
If this charm is used on a prop-weapon designed for combat, the weapon is enhanced greatly, the character's essence trait is added to the weapon's accuracy, damage and defense. If using power combat, the rate is unaffected. Yes, this charm can be used to enhance the weapon's defense bonus for parries.
Accoutrements of the Delightful Courtesan
Cost: 6 motes Duration: Until released Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 3 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: None
A courtesan must be ever ready in fitting garments for her customers, so that they may find her company pleasing and return again... bearing gifts and money. To this end, she must always dress the part, bearing all the accoutrements of her trade; from the pleasent fragrances, to make-up that accentuates her features, jewellery that glitter and shine, and clothes to fit the occassion.
This charm permits the martial artist to transform the essence in her anima into clothing, jewellery and whatever props she needs for the situation, such as fans, pipes and other various little items. Higher essence characters may even manifest musical instruments such as lutes or harps (essence 4 and above). This charm also creates immaculate make-up on the character's person, and she will be scented in a manner most pleasing. The items created are an expression of the character's soul and thus it reflects her personality and temperment. they may be ornate to the point of gaudiness or utterly sublime in their simplicity, it is the character's ideal outfit.
Please note that all items created by the character can not leave her person for more then a few turns before returning to wisps of essence. All items created by this charm are NOT designed for combat and must be enhanced with other charms in order to be used in a combat effectively, thus knives are a no no.
If the exalt is dirty, or scruffy when activating this charm, will be cleansed of all dirt, and be presentable as if having spend hours on end preparing for a princely ball. Yes, this charm is what Cinderalla is packing when she went to that ball.
Alluring Courtesan's Padded Outfit
Cost: 1 mote per 2B and 3 motes and 1 willpower Duration: Scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Accoutrements of the Delightful Courtesan
It is a sad fact that not all courtesan are equal in terms of their body... some are too thin, some just a tad plump... and then there are those who are a little lacking where it counts. And for these unfortunates, they find that they have need of... enhancements... to pad up their shortcomings.
The exalt channels essence into her clothing and skin, giving them the ability to soften punishing blows that would otherwise go right through them. As the essence permeates the clothing and skin, shimmer motes of golden essence waft and rises from her clothes as they gain a iridescent sheen, while her skin smoothens beyond silk.
Activating this charm costs 3 motes and 1 willpower and allows the exalt to soak lethal damage with her bashing soak. The exalt can also increase her bashing soak at a cost of 1 mote per 2B, but can not spend more then her martial arts in motes. This charm has no effect against aggravated damage.
As a side effect, the martial artist acts as if she were wearing a collar of dawn's cleansing light in that no dirt will stick to her or her clothes while this charm is in effect. She can walk into the greatest of bogs and emerge out the other side as immaculate as she entered it. No social penalty for being dirty applies to the exalt while this charm is in effect.
Celestial Courtesan Form
Cost: 5 motes Duration: Scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Wary Harlot's Holdout, Alluring Courtesan's Padded Outfit
The martial artist does a swift and smooth kata that resembles a lithe dance as essence flows within her body. This essence allows an exalt to have honey tongue to become even sweeter, while her body is now more lithe... but the greatest effect of the essence that permeates her clothing and accoutements, they now respond to her will and will even change their very appearance, enhancing their combat ability.
When this charm is in effect, the martial artist gains a bonus to her social and performance rolls equal to her martial arts score.
All props and weapons that martial artist has that can be used with this style are treated as if designed for combat and uses the following stats; fans = wind-fire wheels, sleeves and hems of robes = slashing swords, sashes = seven section staves. If she is barehanded, the attack is treated as dealing lethal damage. Please note that this charm does NOT alter the weapon's appearances. If the weapons were already meant for combat, then the form charm merely increases their speed by the martial artist's essence trait. Should the 'Wary Harlot's Holdout' charm be used, it will enhance the weapons accordingly.
Should the martial artist have the charm 'Accoutrements of the Delightful Courtesan' active or it is activated while the form charm is active, the martial artist can actually cause her clothing to change forms and appearance from a skin tight outfit to flowing official robes with but a thought as a reflexive action.
The martial artist can NOT use this charm with any form of armour, nor can more then 1 martial arts form charm be active at any given time. And yes, for all you capcom/dark stalkers fans out there, the form charm when used with the clothing charm allows you to mimic Lillith and Morrigan's quick change morphing outfits in combat.
Frozen Heart Shield Method
Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Celestial Courtesan Form
A worldly harlot might not say it, but deep within her heart of hearts, she acknowledges the truth that the world is painful and that the best way to prevent being hurt is to shut out all feelings, though she may feign her feelings for a given customer.
This charm mimics this effect, only in combat. Against a single attack that she choses to defend with this charm at a cost of 3 motes, the martial artist gains a soak bonus equal to her stamina + martial arts for soaking lethal and bashing damage. This soak bonus is considered natural soak and will not soak aggravated damage. She also gains a hardness rating equal to her martial arts + essence trait; any attacks whose raw damage is less then the hardness gained is simply ignored.
Calculating Harlot's Retaliation
Cost: 1 mote per die added and 4 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Frozen Heart Shield Method
As the saying goes, 'there is no hell like the fury of a woman scorned', there is truly no fury like that of a harlot scorned, for most of the time, a harlot is usually of female persuasion. She may take her time and plot deeply on it before retaliating or she may simply chose to claw away at the face of the one who has offended her, but make no mistake, she will have her vengence.
This charm allows the martial artist to reply tit for tat when attacked. When attacked, the martial artist pays the default 4 motes and does a counterattack at her full dexterity + martial art (and whatever weapon/charm bonus she has).
If she choses to, she may also buy extra counter-attack die at an additional cost of 1 mote per die added to the counterattack die pool. The exalt may buy up to her martial arts in additional die, please note that the die gained thus ARE from a die-adder effect and thus subject to the limit of die-adding for the exalt type. If the natural limit for the exalt's type is lower then the martial artist's martial score, then the maxumum amount of die she can buy is at that lower limit.
This counterattack charm MUST be activated after the attack is declared, but before damage is rolled. This charm does NOT provide parries, nor can it be used against counterattack charms. This charm's counterattack does not take any actions away from the martial artist nor does it impose any form of die penalty. The martial artist may make only one counterattack to any one attack done to her, not more.
Legendary Heart-crushing Technique
Cost: 6 motes and 1 willpower Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Celestial Courtesan Form
A courtesan's skill at entertaining guests often lead to a situation where the customer genuinely falls in love with her, even if she doesn't have any feelings for him. She may also deliberately attempt to discern where his weakness lies and strike thusly where he is weakest. For what man protects his heart if he knows not the danger it is in. Once in love with the courtesan, the victim's heart is laid bare to her and she may simply reach in, pluck it out and then mercilessly crush it... if she so desires.
This charm strives to emulate this trait of the courtesan in allowing a martial artist to attempt to bypass her opponent's defenses and going for the weakness she sees in her victim.
After spending The martial artist rolls her perception + martial arts against her target's willpower + tempermance traits in a reflexive contested roll. If she wins the roll, the martial artist's next attack against that target will bypass all soak if it successfully hits. A failure or a botch on her part means that the essence and willpower is simply wasted, if the target botches, the results should be... horrific (up to ST). A draw or tied result simply means that the martial artist and her target rolls again.
Celestial Courtesan Flaunts her Talents
Cost: 10 motes Duration: Until Released Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 4 Prereqs: Legendary Heart-crushing Technique
If you've got it, flaunt it. That's the motto that courtesan live by; at least in regards to their... 'talents'. A courtesan always tries her best to improve her appearance at all cost, always knowing that time is against them and thus while they are in their full bloom of their lives, they need to flaunt what they have so that a generous guest can transplant them into their home, lives and hearts.
This charm assists the martial artist in that regard by allowing her to increase her beauty beyond compare, making her look like golden tanned goddesses or ebon gods of scuptured night or even alabaster angels with flowing hair, ruby lips and flawless skin. This transformation is no illusion, but an actual transformation as the essence within the martial artist brings her idealized beauty to the forefront and inposing it on the crude frame of her body. Thus, no magic that detects illusions and glamour will pierce this transformation.
The martial art adds her essence trait to her appearance rating, temporarily increasing it; this typically raises the exalt's appearance above their mortal constrains.
In addition to increasing her appearance, this charm also gifts the exalt with an aura of seduction. Anyone who beholds the martial artist or interacts with her in any manner must make a reflexive tempermence + essence trait roll at a difficulty equal to [1/2 Martial Artist's essence trait] in order to avoid falling in love with the martial artist and doing irrational things to impress her (say lowering their weapons and letting her past them or opening the fortress' gates to her followers).
The martial artist may seduce a smitten character without a roll if she so wishes. This effect is useless against characters with a higher essence trait then the martial artist. It also does not work against the Fair Folk as they're used to inhuman beauty.
This effect can be resisted by player characters who spend a willpower to do so.
For martial artists with an enhanced appearance over 10, it's like what Neph said about 'Irresistable Succubus Style' (THE abyssal presence charm), those who see the martial artist just suffers horribly...
I wonder at what point you stop bothering to roll and just say something like: "You behold the paragon of all you have ever known or imagined you would find beautiful. The rest of the world will forever seem a place of ugliness and menial brutality compared with the radiance of this transcendent moment. You will never be satisfied again. No lover will compare, and you will whisper her name in every embrace. She will haunt your dreams for as long as you live, and the blurred memory of her will still awaken you drenched in sweat and burning from the fire in your loins to the end of days. Suffer."
Incomparable Dance of the Maiden of Joy
Cost: 10 motes and 1 willpower Duration: Scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 5 Prereqs: Calculating Harlot's Retaliation, Celestial Courtesan Flaunts her Talents
No matter how transcendently beautiful the courtesan is, there is one greater then she. No matter how much she tries, there is always a better performer in all the arts that a courtesan holds in her repertorie. Venus, the maiden of serenity is the true mistress of love, after all. And it is she who will always outshine those whose skills fall within her portfolio.
It is said that there is a dance that is known only to Venus, the sight of which would drive even the Celestial Incarna and those who came before mad with lust, a dance that causes all who view it to fall in love with the dancer. The skill and power of Venus' dance is such that it can never be duplicated by mortals, even chosen ones empowered by Celestial Incarna. Instead, there are only the pale shadows of it that pays homage to it in the fashion that a child's rude sand castle pays homage to the greatest of fortress manses.
This charm is one of those many pale crude shadows of that dance, but it is said that it adheres closest to the core concept, if not in scope, skill and power.
Upon spending 10 motes and 1 willpower, the martial artist starts to dance... always moving and flexing, she attunes herself to the concept of dance and lust, striving to emulate Venus. This dance's intriguing movements prevents hostilities against the dancer, all attackers need to make a reflexive successful conviction + essence roll to even think of attacking the martial artist, and a successful tempermence + essence roll to avoid falling helpless in love with the dancer and doing everything they can to please her. The difficulty for these rolls is equal to the martial artist's essence trait. This dance does NOT affect those who can not see it or be affected by its heartbreaking beauty; such as the blind or automata. Any botches on this roll makes the effect permenent to the viewer.
While this charm is in effect, the character also gains automatic successes equal to her essence trait for all presence, performance and social rolls.
This charm is terminated IF the character makes ANY hostile moves or attacks anyone or stops dancing. Once this charm ends, its suggestive effect on its watchers dies down in minutes equal to the martial artist's performance ability. That is, the character can not make more requests to the watchers with hope of them doing so automatically once the charm ends and the effect dies down.
Any request made while the charm is in effect will seem perfectly reasonable to those afflicted by the charm's effect. The targets will not kill themselves, but will diverse themselves of all their clothes and go out into a freezing blizzard or lock themselves into irons or even attack those who are immune to the dance. After all, the one they love would NEVER harm them, and it's such a reasonable request... a simple thing, really.
There, this martial arts tree is now finished and ready for any and all comments. Please use the space below for any and all C&C. ^_^
For those who've seen this style elsewhere, it should be noted that I have made a few changes to a few charms as well as smooth out the text in general.