This timeline begins from a certain event that may or may not happen in my campaign, so it's a tad obscure.
Year -2: Eventful Spring, an Illuminated Night Caste Solar, is sent on a long "Outer Circle" trip. Officially, she is there to back up and supplement the Gold Faction's Sidereal assassins and troubleshooters on circuit. Unofficially, the Inner Circle has decided to banish her from the camps for five years; she is becoming impossible to live with (As a result of frequent Deliberate Cruelty Limit Breaks, although the Cult is, of course, unaware of the nature of the Great Curse). The hope is that away from the socialized elements of the Cult, Eventful Spring will be able to turn her increasingly cold heart to productive use without disrupting the rest of the cult.
Year 0 -- Event happens. Zau, the Falcon of the Sun, is asked by his celestial patron, on secret behalf of said patron's patron, to begin Sidereal Interdiction of the patron's patron's favorite nation-state. Zau cuts a bargain with Ghataru. Ghataru's delicate position in charge of the Weather means that he is more sensitive to fate disturbances in regional areas than most outside of the Bureau of Destiny.
In exchange for information on when Sidereals enter Interdicted Nation-State (and whether or not they are Heavenly business), Zau, as a senior Solar, agrees to support Ghataru in the case that particularly rude or threatening young Solars attempt to usurp control of the Weather, as well as to assist Ghataru if he and the Weather Bureau are threatened by other means. Zau has no personal interest in commanding either the Aerial Legions or the Weather, so he is able to offer such support unconditionally.
This bargain is strictly between Zau and Ghataru, providing a cut-out and deniability point for both Zau's patron and his patron's patron. Once the information is coming in steadily, Zau, who begins developing Survival-Charm tracking and hiding, begins to hunt Sidereals who enter the Interdicted nation state on something other than the business of the Bureau of Destiny. None are killed at this point, and Zau does not distinguish between Bronze or Gold factions in his interdiction.
However, Zau is forced to back off occasionally, to prevent being suckered into an ambush and, in one case, to avoid a fight with an extremely senior Bronze Faction Chosen of Battles. As a result, over the next five years, Zau has an increasing number of personally-disturbing Limit Breaks.
Year 3 Eventful Spring returns to the Sequestered Tabernacle, an apparently changed woman. She claims that she has been able to quell what she terms "enlightened madness" in her soul-- the conflict between the practical needs of a former mortal and current revolutionary and the divine inspiration of her soul. This is viewed as being a slightly deviant, but not too problematic, belief, and is not seen as a source of trouble, as long as she keeps the "enlightened madness" idea to herself, especially since Eventful Spring seems to find confession to the Sidereals and the commission of penance in fervent devotion to the cult helpful in her efforts to combat "enlightened madness".
However, Eventful Spring grows more and more distressed during her time at the Tabernacle, especially when performing cult duties involving veneration by mortals. She claims that the praises and devotions of the mortals "interfere" with the harmony she is attempting to create. Her Sidereal keepers begin to wonder if she requires an intervention. Coincidentally enough, Lytek, the God of Exaltation, is present during one of Eventful Spring's complaints and babblings about enlightened madness.
Lytek swiftly realizes that Eventful Spring has stumbled onto the basics of the Great Curse-- and possibly a countermeasure. He proceeds to immediately lay down an incredible amount of sheer bureaucratic tripletalk, highly technical essence/shard jargon, and general three-layers-thick hobbyspeak as to almost utterly bamboozle the Sidereals nearby. Lytek's particular studies into the nature of Exalted shards are extremely technical and so obscure that they are not a major area of study, even for Sidereals. As well, everything Lytek says is strictly speaking true; simply covered in so much jargon, evasions, and omissions as to be virtually useless to figure out anything directly about the Great Curse. Lytek has long prepared for a day when a potential breach in the secrecy around the Curse is discovered, and he has no desire for the Sidereal's Curse to begin to move them against a possible countermeasure.
Mainly what the Sidereals present and later, the cult's secret masters are able to figure out is that, yes, there is something wrong with Eventful Spring; yes, it involves in some way her shard; yes, it may be a problem with other Exalts; and yes, Eventful Spring may have discovered a "cure" for herself. Lytek immediately sequesters himself with Eventful Spring and a single Sidereal advisor, from the Caste of Secrets. Together, they are able to discover that the "enlightened madness" which occasionally manifests in Solars under the cult's supervision (Lytek carefully avoids any possible connection to the behavior of First Age Solars) can be staved off via the dedication and fanatic devotion of that Solar to the Cult's ideals.
This alone was enough to reassure the Sidereals of the usefulness of Eventful Spring's discovery, but Lytek discovered another condition. The distressing of the Exalted's spirit and mind only functioned under humble circumstances. When made much of, or performing duties that proclaimed her beyond her fellows, Eventful Spring lost touch with the spiritual one-ness produced by her devotion to the Cult. Only in humility and downcast bearing could the disruption be soothed. This appealed to the Cult's leaders as well, as a justification for periods when the Solars' influence and pride could be channeled.
Lytek left soon after the basics of the therapeutic devotions were discovered, to "continue research with the shards and notes in my keeping." In fact, Lytek only cursorily examined the celestial shards in his care at this time; he dove instead into a pile of reports concerning certain Immaculate behaviors that had had positive effects on Dragon-Blooded Shards. These behaviors-- initially considered minor heresies and ultimately permitted as a gainful expression of the Immaculate Texts-- had previously been ignored by the god as dealing with the trivial Terrestrials, far beneath his station. However, in light of a half-remembered connection to Eventful Spring's devotions, Lytek now threw himself fully into his research.
Year 5: Finally disturbed beyond his measure to control himself, Zau organizes several Solars in the region under Sidereal Interdict as well as his direct patron in order to enforce the Interdict in his absence. He takes leave of the nation-state to find a great healer who had been involved in the Event; taking advantage of her mastery of mental-healing disciplines.
Unfortunately, the powerful mind-healing of this healer is insufficient to stop the workings of the Great Curse. However, the humble meditations and aesthetic restraint that she recommends while they are working on a cure-- repeated use of extremely powerful magic-- begin to have an effect on Zau similar (if he but knew it) to that of the fanaticism and devotion of Eventful Spring. Although ultimately no magic proves to his benefit, Zau discovers that through careful meditation, withdrawal from the world, and concentration on soothing the disturbance in his soul, he can reduce the fiery battle madness in his soul.
During this time, rumors of Zau's "weakness"-- some strange malady that repeated powerful healings have no capability to cure-- reach the Southern Fae Courts. Believing Zau to be vulnerable, and desiring to take his terrible Daiklaive, Unconquered Valor, for their own or to destroy it, they send many of their greatest "heroes" to draw the story of the Falcon of the Sun to a close. This proves to be a horrible miscalculation, based on the perceived vulnerability of the powerful Dawn.
Zau, of course, is not only fully at the height of his powers and girded with awe-inspiring artifacts, but has also gained some measure of control of his soul. He eagerly meets the Fae Nobles and Warriors in combat, with the healer at his side. It is a terrible battle, even for the mighty Dawn, but in the end, he is triumphant, with many dire Fae slain forever or wounded in their very nature by the terrible edge of Unconquered Valor. And Zau discovers that by facing foes that are possible matches for himself, not out of a desire for self-aggrandizement, and especially with a mind towards controlling his battle-madness rather than reveling in it, he can transform battle itself into a meditation like that of his aesthetic retreats.
Year 6: Zau returns to the interdicted nation-state, and quietly spreads word of the self-control training to his Solar allies on the ground. Lytek sends word to the Cult that he is on the edge of another breakthrough concerning the "enlightened madness"-- which has now been carefully incorporated into Cult Doctrine. It is never discussed directly with mortals, and only rarely and at need with Solars, but Solars who find themselves often in situations beyond their control (frequently Limit Breaking) are made aware of Eventful Spring's discovery. Based on her wishes, these techniques are not credited to her, and the Sidereals are only too happy to claim that they were responsible for the soothing techniques.
Lytek requests the aid of Amaya, the Patron Saint of the Sequestered Tabernacle. Venerable Silk is initially unwilling to let her go, despite the potential gains-- she is too potent a tool to be outside of his control for long. However, Amaya was present when the request was made and Venerable Silk swiftly realizes that he would have to exert an uncomfortably high level of Charm control over the enthusiastic healer-Twilight in order to keep her at the Tabernacle. With some grumblings, and sending along a Sidereal Battle Chosen as her personal bodyguard (he believes that they will be in Yu-Shan, and thus in danger), Venerable Silk "drops his pleas for the Patron Saint to remain".
Surprising the Crimson Banner Executioner, Amaya's assigned bodyguard, Lytek does not take Amaya to Yu-Shan. Instead, they begin a tour of the Threshold and many of the regions devastated by war-- especially some that have been either in the path of the Legions or the Bull of the North. For her "safety", Lytek (with the aid of Crimson Banner Executioner), convinces Amaya several times to restrain her compassionate impulses in the face of potential exposure to the powerful Bull or to the Wyld Hunt.
Year 7: After a number of these incidents of restraint, Amaya is obviously unhappy and Lytek senses the Great Curse swelling within her. He begins recommending that she do certain great deeds of compassion and healing among the sick and poor beyond their obvious need, letting the disquiet in her heart be reflected in the greater good that she does as a result of her secrecy. Amaya easily adapts to the required conditions of enthusiastic deeds of compassion and the outward pose of humility; such a pose is one of her old habits, after all. During the entire trip, Lytek is silent about the "assistance" that he needs of Amaya; she and Crimson Banner Executioner assume that he is either attempting to fix damage caused by the Bull of the North or to prepare the way for kinder rebirths of the Shining Ones.
At the end of their trip, Lytek explains the true purpose behind their mission-- to develop a second countermeasure for enlightened madness. Not all Solars possess single-minded and total devotion required for the first meditative techniques; Lytek, therefore has been developing a methodology that can be used by those who are great of heart to expunge the madness. He suggests to Crimson Banner Executioner that the Cult's Sidereal "advisors" concentrate on matters attuned to Heroic and Slick Essence (Valor and Temperance) in Solars for other possible countermeasures. He will be personally investigating a fifth avenue of a highly technical nature.
What this is: Basically, a methodology, inspired by some lines in Cult of the Illuminated, for Solars (and perhaps others) to manage the Great Curse. In all Exalts, like the Curse itself, this methodology works through an Exalt's virtues. A fifth path, currently undiscovered in Solars but present in the Immaculate Order (see below) involves the use of Willpower to directly constrain Limit Break conditions.
In the Virtue Paths for Solars, there are two different types of Paths-- Active (Valor, Compassion) and Passive (Conviction, Temperance) that nonetheless share a number of important characteristics:
- 1) The Solar must be aware that something is wrong with him. It is impossible to stumble onto the Virtue Paths. Whether it is the "enlightened madness" recognized by the Cult or the soul disharmony discovered by Zau, a Solar walking a Virtue Path must be cognizant that there is something wrong with herself and actively seek to correct it.
- 2) In order to rid themselves of Limit, the Solars must re-bind themselves to the nature of the virtue. In the case of Active Paths, this requires one deed, appropriate to the power of the Solar in question, per point of Limit that the Solar has in order to gain an opportunity to reduce limit. A day's worth of minor deeds can be substituted for a single great deed, but these deeds must exemplify the virtue in question. A Solar cannot harmonize with Valor by mindlessly slaughtering weaker foes.
- For Passive Paths, the Solar must spend a day per point of extant Limit in contemplation of the nature of the virtue-- fanatic devotionals for Conviction and aesthetic retreats for Temperance. In both cases, the Solar must be aware of and shape the context of his deeds or meditations in terms of the "wrongness" mentioned in point 1.
Points 1 and 2 include the reasons why Solars must develop Virtue Paths by experience, rather than simple devotion.
- 3) A Solar must act in accordance with her chosen virtue while seeking to reduce Limit. Small failures (acting against the nature of the relevant virtue and failing a virtue check as a result) will only slightly trouble the solar. If the character has a great failure (i.e., succeeds on their virtue check and spends Willpower to gain Limit and refuse the task), it will instantly reset her time or deed count back to 0. If the Character suffers a Limit Break during their attempt, their Limit will, of course, be reduced to 0, but they will be left feeling disturbed and shaken afterwards.
- 4) A Solar must be humble while seeking to reduce his Limit. Part of the way the Great Curse works is by encouraging the ego and arrogance of the Solars, and giving in to that madness will undo the work a Solar seeks to do. For every major act where the Solar encourages self-aggrandizement, veneration, and similar acts of hubris, subtract a day or deed (minimum 0) from the Solar's total. Minor acts, such as not discouraging veneration or thoughtlessly placing one's self above others in trivial matters merely prevent the Solar from reducing limit for 24 hours.
The final path, the path of Will, works slightly different (and has not yet been discovered as of the end of this timeline, although Lytek has ideas). It is through self-mastery that a Solar gains control of her Limit Break condition, preventing herself from gaining Limit rapidly in that circumstance. Each Solar must develop their Will Path on their own; no two Solar's Great Curses operate on precisely the same level, even between Solars of similar Limit Breaks.
Regardless of the specific meditations, concentrations, mantras, or other methods developed by the Solar for the Will Path, some constants will remain. The Solar must not have engaged in an act of hubris (major or minor as per point 4) in the last twenty-four hours in order to use the Will Path. The specific methodology of avoidance should be developed by the Storyteller and the Player together.
The Five Paths function in a similar manner to Sidereal Astrology for development. It takes 5 experience points (4 if the Path in question matches the character's limit break virtue OR is the Path corresponding to his Caste, see below; 3 for both) and 3 weeks (2 for one favorable condition as per XP, 1 week for both, and quadruple time if the character has no teacher (always the case for Will Paths)) to develop the first dot in a Path. It takes the path's current rating x3 in XP (-1 for one favorable condition, -2 for 2) and the current rating in weeks (days for one favorable condition, hours for both and quadruple time if the character has no teacher (always the case for Will Paths)) to develop further dots. Characters are limited to a maximum of their Virtue for Virtue paths, and their Willpower or Essence (whichever is lower) for a Will Path.
Each of the Solar Castes has an associated Virtue Path. Dawns find Valor easiest; Zeniths, Will; Twilight, Temperance; Night, Conviction; and Eclipse, Compassion.
For Virtue Paths, when the character successfully completes the necessary deeds or time, roll the character's Path level in dice. The number of successes is subtracted from the character's limit. On a botch, add 1 point of Limit. For Will Paths, when confronted with the limit break condition, as long as the character pursues the proper course of action as prescribed by his Will Path, he may roll his Will Path in dice and subtract that number from the amount of Limit gained by the Condition.
It is possible for "second degree" Paths to be developed, although none currently have been. Second degree Paths further the control of Limit; for second degree Virtue Paths, this will involve methods to prevent gaining Limit points when resisting a virtue roll; for second degree Will Paths, the character may actually learn a way to snap themselves out of a Limit Break! Needless to say, the quest to discover such paths will be difficult indeed and may require active intervention from Autochthon or quests to the Labyrinth. No Path can prevent the uptake of Limit deliberately in the activation of a Charm, save that total freedom from the Great Curse may be possible in some esoteric "threefold path" that not even Lytek can fully comprehend at this point.
Ironically, methods for controlling the Great Curse have actually been well known to the Immaculate Order for several centuries now. It has simply been beneath the notice of Lytek, who missed the clues in his arrogance until Eventful Spring came to his attention, and the Curse-spawned arrogance of the Bronze Faction Sidereals caused them to ignore or attempt to suppress the techniques when originally developed.
Slightly after the Great Usurpation, when the Immaculate Order was gaining new precedence, several monks independently came to realize that strange, elementally and virtue-focused madness affected Dragon-Blooded who expended power and did not have strong minds. It was most frequently noticed in members of the Wyld Hunt, who often had to use powerful (ie, willpower-draining) Charms to slay Anathema. Many different terms for this condition were described; the most frequent was "Elemental Indulgence."
Most of the monks saw no problem with this phenomenon in regular Dragon-blooded, and some believed that it was the Dragons' way of forcing the less enlightened amongst the Order to become closer to their spiritual nature. However, it was considered distressingly distracting for Immaculates, as well as a potential sign that the Immaculate was not as spiritually developed as she ought to be.
When originally noticed by the Bronze Faction Sidereals, it was treated as a minor heresy to be "gently corrected" away from the monks. The Sidereals were completely blind to the Great Curse in this instance, seeing the supposed elemental indulgence as a natural expression of Dragon-blooded elemental harmony and normal psychological compulsion. No hints of weakness in the Terrestrials could be permitted into the Immaculate Scriptures, after all!
As time went on, however, the idea of Elemental Indulgence would pop up time and time again, frequently with some of the most useful and skilled martial artists of the Wyld Hunt. Unwilling to repeatedly sacrifice good tools, the Bronze Faction Sidereals responsible for the Immaculate Philosophy shrugged their collective shoulders and filed the Indulgence concept away with other "strange logics produced by the Dragon-blooded mindset interacting with the Immaculate Philosophy."
"For all we know," Chejop Kejak is said to have commented, "This may very well be a part of the nature of all elementals in a very minor way. Let them contemplate their purity and impurity; it will keep them focused on their righteousness and the Immaculate Path." The Elemental Indulgence idea was treated as a minor bit of Terrestrial strangeness and promptly ignored by the Bronze Faction.
However, the meditations and doctrines developed by the monks did, eventually, develop into ways of preventing the Elemental Indulgences. It was significantly easier for the Dragon-blooded to do so than it would be later for the Solars, because the Great Curse affected them so much less.
The Twenty Paths of the Virtuous Dragon are a series of simple meditative and focal techniques developed by the Immaculate Order to prevent Elemental Indulgence. Each requires only a few days training in order to impart to a student, but each Path is specifically designed for a combination of Element and Virtue (Fire Valor, Wood Conviction, and so on).
It costs 3 xp and takes three days (six if the character has no teacher) to gain the first dot in a Virtuous Dragon Path, and the Path's current rating x2 and current rating in days (twice if the character has no teacher) to develop a Virtuous Dragon Path. Once the Virtuous Dragon Path has been developed equal to a level with the character's prime virtue, he is always considered to have a "phantom willpower point" for the purposes of elemental and Nature compulsion.
This requires no roll, but does not take effect if the monk has committed a major act of hubris (as per point 4 for Solars) in the last twenty-four hours. If the monk commits a minor act of hubris while she has 0 Willpower, she becomes subject to both forms of Compulsion for an hour. Minor acts of hubris committed previous to losing the last dot of temporary Willpower have no effect. No Terrestrial Will Path exists or is required.
No current Lunar Paths exist. The Silver Pact would have no interest in the issue unless somehow convinced of the reality of the Great Curse (they would almost certainly expect some sort of trick if told straight out by anyone other than Luna). Nor will Lunars attached to the Cult of the Illuminated discover Lunar Paths, either, unless the Cult somehow manages to suborn a Casted Lunar. The Paths will not work on Chimera and the Casteless; they require a certain level of stabilization, because the Great Curse works on them through their shapeshifting.
Any Lunar Paths would be similar to Solar Paths, but slightly more difficult to enact for Virtue Paths. During the time that a Lunar attempts to enact a Virtue Path, he must stay in primarily human form for the duration of the attempt. Minor shapeshifting- IE, Charms- are permitted, but otherwise, engaging in shapeshifting activity will count as a minor act of hubris (shapeshifting to an alternative human or animal form) or a major act of hubris (shapeshifting to Deadly Beastman Form).
On the flip side, because the nature of Lunar Limit Breaks are fixed and do not change, enacting the Will Path is substantially easier-- in both theoretical degrees. The Will Path of a Lunar may be taught by any Lunar to any other Lunar, because it will be developed based on an association with humanity, rather than a particular limit break condition. Furthermore, the Lunar can shapeshift and still use the Will Path to avoid gaining Limit from the touch of the full moon. In this case, the Lunar uses their transcendent connection with their patron to "heal" their shards, rather than utterly reject their bestial nature.
Finally, a Lunar Will Path can be rolled, against a difficulty equal to the Lunar's cardinal virtue, to attempt to snap out of a Limit Break! Obviously, only extremely powerful Lunars will usually be able to do so. Such stopping of a Limit Break cannot be done while the character is in any form but human, and may only be attempted once per hour as the Inner Beast and the human instincts of the Lunar fight for control.
In order to develop the Lunar Paths (which would be subject to roughly the same restrictions as Solar Paths), a Lunar would have to (a) be stabilized in form and Caste and (b) have a desire to balance the animal and the human within their souls, in addition to the basic requirement of realizing that something deadly wrong is happening when the character Limit Breaks. It is quite likely that the current Silver Pact believes that such Limit Breaks are a good thing-- total rejections of civilization.
Needless to say, only Lytek and the Maiden of Secrets even understand that there is a problem with the Sidereals in the first place. While in part, Lytek is eager to develop the Will Path for the Solars, he is currently much more aware of the long term depredations of the Sidereal Curse on both his beloved Exalts and Creation as a whole, and figuring out how to develop countermeasures against their Curse is his current top priority.
Of course, he has a number of obstacles. First and foremost, he isn't going to be getting any direct help from the Sidereals of any faction. None of them would believe him if he told them that they had a problem, and they would probably all turn on him for saying so. As a result, he is currently limited to observation, theory, and some highly illegal experiments on the Sidreal Shards currently in his care.
Second, the nature of the Sidereal Curse is immensely subtle. Both of its major effects are far more powerful than those of the Solar Curse but far less apparent than the Terrestrial Curse! His studies as a result have to be extremely detailed-- and at the same time, he must do so covertly.
Third, as Lytek correctly suspects, the Great Curse's Virtue and Will interactions function differently for Sidereals than for other Celestials. Sidereals manipulate and utilize Virtue all the time; surely, by now, something approaching the Paths should have been developed. No, as Lytek is beginning to realize, control of the individual manifestation of the Great Curse will require the development of Sidereal Will Paths first. This will probably be personalized to each and every one of the Sidereal Shards. The group manifestation, on the other hand, will probably require complex and changing Virtue Path interactions, rather than the direct routes of all other Virtue Paths.
Finally, even if Lytek manages to discover the basic methodology for the Will and Virtue Paths, the problem will be in getting the Sidereals to actually enact the Paths. As with the possibility of gaining help, actively and openly trying to get Sidereals to make these changes will run smack into the Curse's strongest effects, and likely have extreme negative reactions. As a result, Lytek (or anyone else trying to develop Sidereal countermeasures) is stuck with two options-- direct control or trickery.
Direct control, whether by Essence or by force, may simply not work at all. Sorcerous attempts to force a Sidereal to develop a Will Path (probably a necessary precursor to developing the Virtue Paths) will fail. Whether this is because Sorcery truly is the "gift" of the Yozis or because it causes too much of a brute-force effect, Sorcery cannot be used to force a Sidereal to develop a self-cure.
Trickery may be more useful. Sidereals are used to unusual metaphysical paths in the development of personal power-- in fact, such paths are the basis of Sidereal-level Martial Arts. Virtue-based and control-based Martial Arts like Celestial Monkey are also far from uncommon as well. Unfortunately, any attempt at trickery, especially involving martial arts, would almost certainly involve the Sidereals on their home ground, metaphorically speaking. Good luck.
These paths are not really relevant to other entities. They don't matter at all to spirits, elementals, ghosts, and demons. Mountain Folk and Abyssal Exalts already have existing ways of dealing with their Limit-equivalents. It is worth noting that the redemption mechanics for Abyssals and Infernals might either inform or be informed by knowledge of the Paths. Infernal Sorcerery and Necromancy will be actively unhelpful in dealing with any manifestation of the Great Curse. If Sorcery IS a gift of the Yozis, it may have deleterious effects on attempts to make Virtue Paths work, but obviously does not preclude their useage, as Amaya is a sorcerer.
The Paths may also be adaptable (in a more controlled fashion) to dealing with Gremlin Syndrome in Alchemicals, who also have existing ways of dealing with their Limit-equivalent, Clarity. Alchemical Protocols may be of some assistance in forcing Sidereals to deal with the Great Curse, if the interference caused by Sorcery is the result of the Yozis. Alchemicals, of course, may be able to communicate with Autochthon on the development of second-degree or threefold Paths; indeed, Autochthon may be capable of completely curing the Great Curse (after a suitably dramatic epic campaign).
Fae are a special case. Although the Virtue Paths are fundamentally expressions of order, and thus anathema to them, they do involve the five basic parts of the Fae Soul- Cup, Ring, Staff, Sword, and Heart. It might be possible that Fae could assist (or disrupt) the development of Virtue Paths. Storytellers may even wish to automatically award characters with a "completion" moment for a Virtue Path if they defeat a Fae who is attempting a relevant type of Shaping combat, as long as the characters remain consistent with the basic constraints (virtue, humility, and self-knowledge) of the Paths
Whoa. This, my friend, is awesome. Seriously awesome. For some reason, I really love the term "enlightenment madness." - OhJames
- Thanks! I can't take entire credit for the phrase, though; enlightened madness first showed up (for me) in Legend of the Five Rings' Way of the Dragon, as something that happened to the Tatooed Monks periodically. Figured it would fir here. :) --IsawaBrian
Note to self: work in Natures as the guiding force on Paths of Will. -- IsawaBrian