- back to Kurulham
- back to Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments Style
- back to MartialArts
- back to SiderealMartialArts
These are just examples. There are certainly nastier ways to use Stillness Without Standing; I tend not to be very creative when coming up with scary ways to use Charms together. These are just meant to demonstrate how the Charm works.
An Elementary Use
Casting Six Shadows strode pensively through the streets of Meru. His heart wept as he thought on what he was about to do - what he had to do. He was not privy to the precise way in which the Solars would be murdered at the banquet - that was the province of the Chosen of Serenity - but he did know that he had to take responsibility for the death of one, Glittering Wren, his daughter in all but name, whom he had watched descend slowly but surely into madness in the two centuries since her Exaltation. He had taught her all she knew of the martial arts; he would give her one final lesson.
Meet Casting Six Shadows, Chosen of Journeys and a master of many styles, including the Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments and a primitive form of the Wood Dragon Style. He is stalking Glittering Wren, a young Eclipse Caste Solar, through the streets of Meru.
Casting Six Shadows quickened his stride to walk alongside Glittering Wren. "This will be a night to remember, eh, sifu?" she said with a smirk, not even turning her head to look at him. He stopped then, causing her to turn around and quirk an eyebrow at him.
"I'm sorry, Wren," he said, and kissed her on the cheek.
"I truly am sorry," he said to the corpse, and gathered her into his arms.
As Casting Six Shadows leans forward, he uses Stillness Without Standing to reflexively activate Soul Mastery, which he then discharges with the kiss. He has Essence 7 and Martial Arts 7; she has Stamina 3 and Endurance 4. Ouch.
Using Stillness Without Standing to Shorten Power-Up Time
Many centuries later, Casting Six Shadows sat meditating in the astrologer's chamber of the Righteous Jade Bulwark, center of the Wyld Hunt for the South when suddenly his door was kicked in. His eyes flicked over the red-clad form, its anima banner washing the walls in gold and its daiklave red with Terrestrial blood, and shook his head. "Crimson Armor requires more subtlety, child," he admonishes as he slowly rises to his feet.
"Prepare to die, Dragon-spawn!" hissed the Solar, and Casting Six Shadows was momentarily taken aback by what seemed to be the voice of Glittering Wren. Impossible, he told himself, and strobed into the Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments Form, allowing two sutras to hang in the air beside him, his soft yellow anima fading into a deep violet. "Think what you will, child, but let us do this... quickly."
Here we have Casting Six Shadows again. He's probably up to Essence 8 by this point, and is certainly a senior member of the Bronze Faction. His opponent is a young Illuminated Solar from Kether Rock, an Eclipse Caste Deacon, the reincarnation of Glittering Wren. This time, she's ready for the fight. She doesn't know it yet, but she's already dead.
Since he has no idea how powerful of a foe he's facing and suspects that the Gold Faction will have taught her some basic tricks (including Comboing HGD with a perfect surprise defense, preventing him from just using PoSM and having done with it), Casting Six Shadows has used the power of distracting conversation to buy himself a single turn of power-up time. That's all he needs, really. He reflexively activates the Elder Sutra of Motion and the Student's Sutra of Essence; then he uses Stillness Without Standing to activate Blade of the Battle Maiden for a maxed-out 16 dice, Chosen of Endings Sidereal Ways, Five Jade Fury, and Deadly Starmetal Offensive. This costs him a total, before sutras, of 77 motes, 3 Willpower, and a health level. The use of the two sutras changes this to 62 motes, 5 Willpower, and a health level - but of those 74 motes spent, only 20 are committed: the 20 motes spent to activate Stillness Without Standing four times.
Since it is at this point trivial for him to win initiative, he then does something appropriately horrible to the poor Solar, the sort of horrible thing you can do when you have a base attack pool close to 40, with something like 20 auto-successes, and your opponent is an Essence 5 ISP. The kind of thing you can do when you can easily make far more effective attacks in a turn than your opponent has Willpower to activate perfect defenses. It might involve Soul Mastery again, though since Casting Six Shadows probably is familiar with the Citrine Poxes of Contagion Style, it may involve infecting her Exalted shard with Gentle Touch of the Wicked Hand and killing her with Soul Mastery. After all, he's not in a good mood, and Stillness Without Standing lets him access his entire bag of tricks at once.
Using Stillness Without Standing to Enhance Attacks
Casting Six Shadows sighed and shook his arms out as he finished the Essence-Regaining Meditation Exercise and strode out into the courtyard of the Righteous Jade Bulwark. Looks like the Solar whelp had brought help. The erymanthoi in the courtyard looked up from their feasting as Octavian turned to face the Sidereal, his face contorting with rage. Casting Six Shadows twice uttered the Tsunami Force Shout, felling the erymanthoi, then, in a single, perfect movement, put his gleaming fist through Octavian's skull, causing his Essence to unravel and his form to dissolve as he was utterly unmade.
Casting Six Shadows is annoyed. He declares three actions. The first two are both uses of the Tsunami Force Shout (from the Water Dragon Style) empowered by Stillness Without Standing. This costs him a total of 20 motes, 1 Willpower, and 2 health levels after the bonus from the Elder Sutra of Motion, and does 32L damage to each of the erymanthoi, and to Octavian - twice. The erymanthoi all bite it, but Octavian is made of tougher stuff. With his third action, Casting Six Shadows activates Stillness Without Standing twice, to invoke Perfection of Singular Motion (which is a simple Charm involving a dice action) and the Pattern Spider Touch (a supplemental Charm). He rolls his attack, at a -5 multiple action penalty, and gets some absurdly large number of successes. Octavian is unable to defend against the attack, and is unmade by the Pattern Spider Touch. This costs Casting Six Shadows another 50 motes and 2 Willpower.
Note that had he been using CMoS form and had PoSM and PST in a Combo, he could have done the precise same thing, more cheaply - and marginally more effectively, since he would not have been taking multiple action penalties. The benefit here is that he does not need to have PSoM and PST in a Combo - he trades motes for flexibility, since for the purposes of Charm activations, all he's doing is activating Stillness Without Standing four times.
So - for those of us who forget, what exactly does Soul Mastery do again? And why did it need to be reflexive for this scene to happen? - GregLink
- Soul Mastery is the pinnacle Charm of the Wood Dragon Style. It's a simple Charm which lasts for your Essence in turns. You have that long to touch someone. When you do, the Charm discharges, and there's a reflexive opposed roll: your Essence + Martial Arts vs. their Stamina + Endurance. If you win, they die. Their soul falls off. Just... dead. If they win, they still take dice of unsoakable aggravated damage equal to your Essence. If you don't discharge it before the duration runs out, you suffer the effects.
- It needs to be reflexive because you can see that someone has it activated. It's a crackling green-and-black aura. Very obvious, and very I'm-about-to-kill-you. So Casting Six Shadows needs to be able to invoke and discharge it basically at the same time, otherwise Glittering Wren will catch on and pull some improbable Essence 5 Solar Athletics Charm to be somewhere else very very fast. - Kurulham
- Understood. And totally cool. - GregLink
Just a few thoughts on example #2 ... The combo isn't legal, since as a scenelong charm, the Form isn't comboable, and also isn't activateable with Stillness Without Standing, though fortunately for Casting Six Shadows (because, you know, he needs luck on his side and all ...), the opening charm of VBoS, Secrets of Future Strife, protects him from such effects as Thunderclap Rush for a turn. - Kraken who thinks they're nice, if loopsided, examples all the same.
- OH RIGHT. I knew I'd forgotten something. Fixed. I blame thinking in SWS mode for that error. (And of course they're lopsided! They're meant to demonstrate how the Charm works, and do you actually expect me to come up with even examples for an Essence 6-8 Sidereal? I run a Dragon-Blooded game! I don't deal with things of Essence greater than 4, and that only rarely! Give me a break!) - Kurulham