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Once, the souls of Princes of Chaos, held within Gaia's Jade Womb.
The Dragon of Earth felt them, found them, and called for his Mother. Gaia saw them, and called for her siblings, who discussed their fate. She held them and soothed them in their eternal sleep, but felt their chaotic nature hurt her. But there was something too beautiful in this chaos, and she urged them to help. It was the Mother of Hierarchy and Order that fundamentally changed them, reforging them in her fires so they would not upset the Hierarchies of their Creation. Urged by one so loved, even their great leader and artisan, the one who would be known as Malfeas, and Atomnos, the Crippled Forger, worked together. Sculping wonders out of Jade, and giving them the blessings of one of Creation's Primordial Races.
They stood amongst those mutitudes, the Jadeborn, as one of their most noble. They embodied all four aspects of Craft that resonated with their earthly nature. The Valtai, also known as Thrones crafted Societies, Palaces and Cities. The Sydan, also known as Hearts crafted life, living beings, their flesh and blood and their relationships. The Keihas, also known as Spears crafted all manners of implements of conflict, and even conflict itself. And finally the Vuori, also known as Mountains crafted the earth itself, becoming one with it, forging wonders with its materials and gems. When Atomnos and Gaia joined with the Sun's rebellion, the Jadeborn joined with two of their parents, and helped Atomnos created some of the army's panoply, imparting all their secrets to the Exalted, and marching to war with them!
... and that was their undoing. The Mother of Hierarchy, She Who Lives In Her Name ripped apart the order she had bestowed upon them. What gave them their power and Castes begun to unravel... as did the gifts of the Lord Artisan of Primordials. They retreated. There was nothing Gaia or Atomnos could do, and Atomnos himself disappeared before the end. They could only hide, and watch as their society crumbled, as their essence waned, as they headed in the path of becoming mere beasts of Jade, and pehaps, nothing at all.
But then, they discovered the Adamant Weave. A Geomantic Pattern discovered by their greatest, the Adamant Pattern Knights, led by White Shale, who found a way to bring them greatness again. Rearranging their cities, or what was left of them, rearranging their own essence and its correspondence with the geomancy of Creation, of Gaia, their last great mother... they became something else. They created the means for a Society, creating the Kisalli, Workers and Journeymen of their society, the Pillars on which all is based, and the Soturi, Warriors, Living Weapons, able to protect and keep order in the society that the Veistaji would lead. Veistaji, the Princes of Adamant, the Artisans, held the mastery of all Crafts and their Enlightement. Whereas much of the techniques of the old Castes went to the Kisalli, the Veistaji kept the mastery of crafting wonders ... more limited, in many ways, than their old castes, but stronger, able to develop infinitely, with a raw power they could not match in the days before, akin to that of the Exalted. But the Adamant Weave almost brought another undoing. It brought them into a direct clash with the Solar Deliberative.
They fought a war with the Exalted... and lost. Many of their souls torn asunder, shaped away by the powers of the Celestial Exalted. In the end, the Veistaji Architect-Knights knelt before the Deliberative to be chained. All of Jadeborn were, held in Golden Chains that rest resplendently in their souls, forever servants of the Exalted for their arrogance. They served the Deliberative, until its fall, and hid as much as they could during the Shogunate. Now, most of them pay their tribute to the Scarlet Empire...
Wrought in Jade
Created out of Jade, from the souls of Fae held in the womb of Gaia, Jadeborn are exactly that. Sculpted from Jade, their souls molded by Artisans in the perfect instruments for their task. Despite the composition of their bodies, made of glass, metals and Jade, they are warm to the touch, if not as much as a true human being, and need sustenance and air as one would. Jadeborn usually live between two and three hundred years, until they become wisened, eroded with time, leading to their natural death, when they simply crumble to dust, their soul seeking purer Jade.
Being made of pure rock, they can soak lethal damage with half their stamina as Exalted do, and possess the same resistance to disease as they do. However, minerals don't recover so well, and they recover from injuries in the same manner as Mortals. They cannot suffer mutations from exposure to any type of chaotic essence, suffering unsoakable Aggravated Damage instead, but possess no additional resistance in rolls against the effects of the Wyld.
There were many of them, once upon a time, but few remain, little more than a million of them, scattered on the underground of Creation in many great cities the Veistaji lord over. The Veistaji themselves number in but a few thousands, but their power is mighty enough to keep a hold even in such society, especially with the help of the Elementals on their side.
Their great halls are full of murals, and their cities are beautiful, labyrinthine palaces. Their work is intricate, as can be seen in many pieces they commission to the Realm, filled with details that tell of their making, their story, and their capabilities. Their forges clean and disciplined. Even for the battle panoply of the Soturi, no two items are quite alike.
Jadeborn cities are designed around the principle of the Four Tests. The first test, the Test of Pattern, requires the person to observe the situation before acting, so as to understand that many patterns are subtle or hidden. The second, the Test of Disorder, requires the person to proceed systematically when they recognize the pattern. The third test, the Test of Evasion, requires the person to, if he is unable to get through the obstacle, find a way around it. The fourth, and final test, the Test of Confrontation, requires the person to finally take action.
- Kisalli are those whose souls hide out those places where Gaia's inner fires scorch the earth, creating great layers of glass. Their bodies are sculpted out of glass of all possible colors, usually dull, but more shining as they advance in power. They usually have swirling body art on different colors as their base one. They are petite creatures, lacking hair everywhere but in their faces, and devoid of ears, nose or lips - they still possess a mouth and their eyes, eyes of pure Jade reflecting their soul and their warm-beating jade heart, but appear as products of minimalist, stylized art.
Workers, Kisalli are the foundation of Jadeborn society. They work their geomantic magic on crops, from great underground fungi to roots and even great bee hives for honey, on cattle-animals that survive underground, greater with their breeding power, in assembly lines that create all menial works of Jadeborn society and all the panoply of their warriors, as healers and majordomos for Artisans. They are the most humble and weakest of all, but without the pillar of their society, nothing would work.
- Soturi are those whose souls hide out in those places where one can find raw metal veils within the earth. They are alloyed as much as sculpted, their Jade hearts burning, almost molten, within their grand, strong metal bodies. Myrmidons are the tallest of all the Jadeborn, and their faces do not move most of the time. They do not blink. Their lips do not move to speak, although they can move to consume. They are statues of silence most of the time, only recognized as living when they move. Their Jade eyes tend to be Red, more often than not. When they learn the Fountation Pattern Charm, Essence Satiation Method, and abstract their need to Eat and Drink, their faces usually reshape to war-masks that have no features but thin jade slits for eyes...
Warriors, Soturi are the defenders and regulators of Jadeborn society. They are recognized almost as living weapons by their lords, and are single-minded and disciplined in their craft. They fight as one, they fight with rigid formations, and they fight all their lives. Some of Them walk always armed and armored, even through the great halls of stone of Jadeborn cities, bringing them solemn, silent order, but most are in the frontiers of their Realm, defending it against all manner of things that dwell in the shadows of Creation...
- Veistaji are those whose souls hide out in the purest veils of natural Jade. They are carved out of it, except their hearts are of the purest Adamant, statues of Jade whose beat is crytallized and methodic. Their bodies are of pure Jade come in many styles, but they are always full, perfect renditions of the human form, perfect sculptures of Jade showing what humanity could be, unearthly beautiful but ordered, familiar, in no way alien. Of all the 3 Castes, only they show a glimmer of their 4 Original Castes, when they were all Elightened Artisans, in a way, and 4 different Aspects of the Crafts, with Patterns that got Bastardized into Worker and Warrior, and amalgamated and sublimated into Artisan and Enlightened.
Artisans, Veistaji are the leaders of Jadeborn society. Known as Princes of Adamant they organize and lead Jadeborn Society, creating its greatest wonders, using their Enlightement to lead both their Workers and Warrior Castes in all endeavors. It is their right to reign, and it is them who carve their siblings out of Jade, who make their species' existence possible. They answer to no one but to themselves, and even then as peers. Their will forges the society as easily as it does stone.
Jadeborn receive power from the earth around them, attunned to Jade: Outside of the Underground, they respire essence at half its usual rate. The benefits of a Hearthstone apply normally. They may attunne to Jade as Dragon-Blooded do, but must pay twice the cost to attune to any other Magical Material, and do not receive their Magical Material Bonus unless they force full attunement, like Exalted do.
Kisalli and Soturi find it hard to raise their Essence, and its cost is its current rating x12. Veistaji raise their Essence at a cost of its current rating x10. Their Essence has no hard limit, but it is rare to meet one with an Essence higher than 3, much like in the Realm(and their limited lifespans make it harder to raise it past certain points). Kisalli and Soturi can have no more than 5 dots in an Attribute, Ability or Virtue, while Veistaji can raise up to 7 in both Attributes and Abilities, and 6 in their Virtues. No other trait possesses a limit different than the usual. Some Kisalli and Soturi possess a greater degree of enlightement that allows them to have power like the Veistaji. That is a rare anomaly in the Geomancy that makes the Princes of Adamant possible.
They may design Custom Charms after attainning a Pattern Mastery Charm - this was a greater power they created for themselves when they made the Great Artisan Caste, the one power none of their 4 Original Castes possessed. They are able to learn Terrestrial Martial Arts freely, and upon mastering a pattern, to learn Initiations and Celestial Martial Arts like the Dragon-Blooded.
Jadeborn are still the souls of Wyld at heart, albeit woven in an ordered way. They must always keep to their sworn promises, as breaking them accrues in a single botch happening at the worst possible time, as if they had been sworn by an Eclipse's Oath.
Chains of Gold
Jadeborn have lost a war with the Solar Deliberative, who have chained them tightly. This works as Divergence does in the Mountain Folk Chapter of the Fair Folk book, causing a botch in the same way as breaking their sworn oath does, as above, when they accummulate 10 points of their Divergence. They gain...
- ... 5 points when fighting against a Celestial Exalted, unless they are ordered to do so by another Celestial.
- ... 3 points for slaying a Terrestrial Exalted, and 5 for slaying a Celestial Exalted.
- ... 2 points per week dwelling above ground when not in the service of an Exalted.
- ... 2 points per week of disobedience if they refuse to built an artifact for an Exalted(they may fail, but not on purpose, and they must try). An Exalted may command a single Jadeborn to do so no more times than they have points of Permanent Esssence. The points stop accummulating when the Exalted is not in a position to receive the artifact anymore.
This was set down by the Solar Deliberative. Any Exalted type created after the time of the Deliberative is not counted as an Exalted for those terms, and Infernal Exalted are expressely left out from those terms. It is possible for Solar Sorcerers to find a way to add new types of Exalted in this binding, but it was no mere Solar Circle Sorcery that bound them so, and would take the right methods and maybe an assemble of Sorcerers to modify it so. Abyssal Exalted are excluded by the same caveat that exclude Infernal Exalted.
They may lose one point of Divergence by serving an Exalted for a month, receiving the Exalted's spoken pardon for their crimes, and indulging in regular Celestial prayers while committing no further crimes against these Chains.
- 16/13/10 on Attributes.
- 25 on Abilities; Craft is Farvored, as well as 5 others.
- 10 Background Points.
- 6 Charms
- 6 on Virtues
- Essence **
- 8/4/3 on Attributes.
- 22 on Abilities; Craft is Farvored, as well as 4 others.
- 6 Background Points.
- 3 Charms
- 5 on Virtues
- Essence *
Artifact and Manse Backgrounds work in the same way as they do for Dragon-Blooded Dynasts. Jadeborn may take Elemental Familiars.
Just a try at making the Jadeborn fit more in my aesthetics and vision and taste... Atomnos is indeed Autochton, it is just one of the sobriquets he possesses in Charlequin's game, and one I prefer to use now that the name Autochton has been utterly dirtied in my mind. And makes many people I know imagine robots and cyberpunk things, which I want to be as far from as possible with Atomnos.
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