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Name: Sheraden Thrift; commonly called "Rook"
Concept: Defender of the Blessed Isle
Strength 3, Dexterity 5, Stamina 3
Charisma 5, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2
Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
Athletics 2, Awareness 2, Bureacracy 2, Craft (Fate) 2 , Dodge 5, Endurance 2, Linguistics 1 (Native: Realm, Old Realm), Lore 3, Martial Arts 2, Melee 5, Occult 3, Performance 4, Presence 2, Resistance 2, Socialize 3, Stealth 1
Artifact 4, Celestial Manse 3, Salary 3, Savant 1, Sifu 3, Sorcery 2, Connections (Bureau of Destiny, Division of Battles) 1, Connections (Realm) 1, Connections (Heptegram) 1
MERITS: Lucky (3 point luck pool)
FLAWS: Vice, Compassion (bigoted against barbarians); Unbidden Oracle; Throwback (Essence Nature: Architect); Unlucky (3 point unluck pool)
VIRTUES: Compassion 4, Valor 2, Temperance 1, Conviction 4
ESSENCE POOL: 14 / 37
HEALTH LEVELS: -0, -1, -1, -2, -2, -4, Inc
Sundered Promise: Spd 15, Acc 13, Dmg 11L, Def 12, Rate 5
- Lore: Systematic Understanding of Everything, The Methodology of Secrets
- Socialize: Hot Eyed Snake Whispering, Stern Essence Replenishment
- Melee: Impeding the Flow, Harmony of Blows,
- Performance: Perfection in Life, Defense of Shining Joy
- Endurance: Optimistic Security Practice
- Craft: World Shaping Artistic Vision (When Standing with Sword Drawn)
- Occult: Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
Emerald Countermagic, Cirrus Skiff, Summon Elemental, Ritual of Elemental Empowerment
COLLEGES: Banner 1, Gauntlet 1, Quiver 1, Spear 1, Shield 1, Sorcerer 1, Rising Smoke 1
- Cathak Stern (the Banner): A Talonlord in the Legions, he wears a Brilliant Calvary Uniform which hearkens back to the Dragonblood Shogunate. No one has seen him lead his own talon, but he has appeared in several battles when another Talonlord has fallen. Although he wears a cavalry uniform, no one has ever seen him riding a horse. Many believe he is Exalted, but none have seen him use his powers. It is widely assumed that he has spent most of his peripheral essence in attuning to the Starmetal Daiklaive and Bracers he wears. He has led several Talons to victory, inspiring the men as a route was apparent, and leading from the front. Although he has been approached by several Legion commanders to take a higher rank and position in their legions, he always declines citing loyalty to his own men. He is also a common if relatively minor sight across the Blessed Isle, he seems to travel frequently, inspiring young men with his stories and natural charisma into joining the Imperial Legions and shouldering the burden of the defense of the Blessed Isle. Quite a few maids have been impressed enough with his charm and presence to overlook his rather plain appearance, but none have ever spoken about how he might look out of that Brilliant scarlet uniform. (1 effect point remaining, Duration of 1 season)
- Grok (the Shield): Rook is creating the RD of Grok, a Barbarian native to the north who lives apart from the Icewalker tribes. He is a hunter and fisherman, of little consequence, and is generally overlooked by the tribe bound barbarians with whom he trades his pelts and catches. He isn’t particularly astute, getting less for his trade than he should, but he is very cunning, and those who have crossed him in the past haven’t been seen around to regret it. (7 effect points remaining, Duration 1 year)
- Fallen Leaf is a disnfranchised monk that roams the east. He is commonly thought to be linked to the Cult of the Illuminated, but none can say for sure. What is true is that he wanders the east seeking to aid those about him in becoming better spiritual creatures in the short time they have in life. (8 effect points remaining, Duration 1 season)
This RD is in the constellation of Rising Smoke.
- Sundered Promise (Starmetal Daiklaive)
- Pause and Resume (Starmetal Hearthstone Bracers)
- The Crimson Coat of Tal Na'Wrath (Soak 7/8, Mobility penalty 0, Fatigue value 1). A perfectly made Reinforced Buff Jacket with concealed plates, dyed a deep crimson. It is rumored to have been worn by the ancient God-Blooded King Tal Na'Wrath, who's lands stood after the contagion as a bastion against the Fair Folk invaders. While most of the stories tell of the heroism and the amazing strength of the Jacket (and the rumors that it's hidden plates are made of cold iron) few speak of the fact that during the contagion any travelers were simply shot dead ifthe came within bowshot of the walls, and that due to food rationing, the king and his people may (or may not) have resorted to cannabilism to remain alive. Rook has taken the Jacket and enchanted it with the power of earth.
- Eternal Shiver (Perfect Straight Sword, Spd +4, ACC +4, DMG +3L (+5L when charged), DEF +3, Rate 4). Created for him as a gift by The Lesser God, Shardiss the Smith, for a month's worh of his salary. Rook required a mortal blade to bear when his Daiklaive wuld simply be unsuitable. The Blade is perfect, and so far, untried. Rook has enchanted it with the elemental power of air, and if he expends a single mote of essence, a blue rime of frost covers the blade and add +2L to the damage from the intense cold.
- 2 Knives, 1 in his boot and one in his belt. (SPD +0, ACC +1, DMG +2L (+4L when charged), DEF -2, Rate 4). He has enchanted each with fire.
- Traveling Cloak and Lining: Cloak is empowered with Fire to keep him warm, and Lining is charged with Air to keep him cool. in order to actvate either effect for a scene it requires a mote of essence.
- Teapot: Fine porcelain teapot and 4 cups kept in a small wooden travel box. The teapot has been enchanted with fire to heat up when a mote is invested into it, and the box is enchanted with earth to make it less likely to break. Rook likes to have several types of tea on hand as well. This is a very small set, the pot barely makes four cups of tea, but it is light and easy to carry in his satchel.
- Multi-Tool: Rook has a small steel hammer, which has been enchanted with water to be able to assume the form of other small tools, a hatchet, a shovel, etc.
- Ring: Silver ring with small garnet set in it. The Garnet has the image of the manse playing piece for Gateway in it.
BP 10 – Essence 2>3
BP 3 – Conviction 3>4
BP 3 – Compassion 3>4
BP 2 – Sorcery
10 points Flaws
FP 1 – Lucky merit
FP 1 – Connections
FP 2 – artifact 3>4
FP 2 – Melee 3>5
FP 2 – Dodge 3>5
FP 2 - Performance 3>4
1 - Craft: Fate 1>2
9 - World Shaping Artistic Vision
Rook is as strong and durable as a mortal warrior, but his real focus is on speed and grace. This has shaped his personality as well. He will always seek to use skill and strategy as opposed to raw force, unless there is no other recourse. He has incredible confidence and poise, which lead others to follow him naturally. He exhibits an energy and vibrancy that causes others to want to be around him. However he has not learned the subtlety of moving others to his will, and often pushes too hard or lets his objective become to apparent as he emotionally pushes his position. He also has not take any particular care to his appearance, and as such his appearance, though not offensive, is not an asset he uses to his advantage. Mentally, he currently lacks the discipline to set his mind to tasks or to truly perceive the world around him. While no sluggard, he does not convey a natural understanding of anything in depth.
Rook tries to be the best he can at everything he does, mostly because he believes the work he is doing can be of great use to the people of creation. He is not old enough to be distanced from mortals, and his Sifu has gone to great lengths to prevent his education in sorcery from turning him into an uncaring man. Having been surrounded almost exclusively by Bronze Faction members since his exaltation, he does not understand why the Sidereals are split into factions, or why anyone would chose to be a member of the Gold Faction. (He is unaware of the possibility there exists a silver faction or that any Chosen of the Maidens could have become infernal.)
Interestingly enough he is not overly brave. While not a coward, it is unusual that a Chosen of Battles would not be extremely courageous. He is aware that others expect him to lead the charge, and has gone to great lengths to hide the fact that he is frequently fearful when facing opponents such as Yozis or Fair Folk. He has yet to face a Dawn or Dusk caste.
With the constant internal conflict, and the overwhelmed feelings he has based upon his exaltation and assignment of duties, he has almost no control over his emotions. He tries often to keep quiet, but usually fails and blurts out an emotional response. The worst though is when he gets into heated arguments with his shard, and speaks out loud. While he lacks restraint, and has quite a temper, he forgives as easily as he grows angered.
Sutra's Reach wasn't what you would really call a town or even a village. On the north shore of the Blessed Isle almost halfway between Bright Obelisk and Chanos it was really more of an extended waystation. There were a couple of dozen families fishing and farming and manning the docks. The only real thing of note was it's location was across the straight from the Heptegram, and so the villagers frequently enjoyed light and sound displays unseen elsewhere in creation. It also happened to be the place where the shard of Veir Rict has chosen to reincarnate.
Shereden Thrift was running hard along the coast. It was a bright spring morning, and he and Shalla had been playing down at the shorline when he saw them. At first the children thought the fog was something from the Heptegram, but after playing for a while, they saw it had drawn close to the shore and thick creepy tendrils were reaching out of it. Shalla screamed. That had been unfortunate, as it drew the fog's attention. A long tendril of fog and flesh snapped out covering the vast (in the eyes of a ten year old) distance light a lightning stroke it wrapped around her leg. Shalla was still screaming when it jerked her up like a rag doll and then snapped back the distance and she disappeared.
There was a sickening crunch and the screaming stopped. Then Thrift saw the icebergs behind the mist.
He ran for their village. He was terrified that the strange tattooed men and the 'other things' he had seen riding on the icebergs were after him, but he couldn't bring himself to turn around and check. And so he ran.
He was running so hard, that when he hit the oddly shaped root it was inevitable that he would trip and slam hard into the ground. He caught his breath and then rose up to begin running again, but standing before him was a man in black robes.
"Easy there young one." The man said, his voice soft, calming and quiet. Thrift gulped down more air and got to his knees.
"But sir! The boats... well not boats... they're icebergs... and Shalla... with the screaming... then the fog grabbed her... they all had tatoos and big... but then the crunch..." It all hammered into Thrift and he began to cry.
"Now, now." The man said, and as he drew a handkerchief across the boys face he smiled up at the sky. "Are we ever really this young?"
"Hmm...?" the boy said.
"Nothing son, now blow."
After a few moments they rose, and Thrift tried to explain again, but the stranger simply nodded, "I already know."
"Are you one of the star-eye people?" The boy asked.
"The WHAT?!" The man was staring intently at the boy now, kneeling down to look him directly in the eye. "What did you say?"
"The star-eyes." Thrift looked confused. "They hide mostly, but I have seen them around my whole life. One even saved me when I fell into the river that time Shall and I went exploring. It was a big river and..."
The man stopped Thrift from recounting the entire adventure. "Interesting. Come on, we should get you back to your village."
They moved quickly along the hills, and as they rose out of the valley, Thrift thought he heard the man mutter, "I hope it's worth it." Then his village came into view.
What was left of it. The entire place was a blazing ruin. Bodies lay everywhere and the houses which weren't on fire had already burned down.
For a moment Thrift was stunned, and did not notice that the man he was with was now behind him, holding a long sharp blade.
Thrift cried out and screamed in anger, and then took a step forward to run and find his parents.
It was then that a pale red light fell from the heavens upon his brow, and his soul exploded.
That had been years ago. After that day, he had spent most of his life in training. Master Tehn, his Sifu had taught him much in the ways of the world, the hidden world of the occult, and how to serve the great weave of fate. Master Tehn had also beaten an understanding of martial arts and weaponry into him as well. He had quickly learned that not being there was the best way to defend against an attack.
Sorcery had called to him from the beginning. Though he had little patience for the theory behind it, he found magic and spells to be wonderful and exciting.
The worst part though had been learning about Veir Rict, he former self. He still didn't understand how he and this 'other guy' were the same person. Sure he got the mechanics of it all, but He was Himself and this other guy was dead. And so what that Rict had been slain by a demon of the third circle? What did it mean about him. And he was tired of sleeping every night and getting lectures from this hidden piece of a god that was embedded in his soul. He had been overjoyed to find that the Dojo that had been 'saved' for him produced a beautiful gemstone that let him sleep as little as possible. Anything to get away from that nagging voice.
As he grew older and more powerful in the ways of the essence, the shard and the memories of Veir Rict had begun to intrude even into his waking hours. He would need to find peace somehow, but not even his Sifu could explain why these memories were so strong in him.
Upon his graduation and assignment of duties, he chose to abandon his predecessor's staff infavor of an old Daiklaive and some fresh bracers. He also abandoned his mortal name, and chose a new name to go by; Rook.
Artifact 4: "Sundered Promise", Starmetal Daiklaive; "Pause" and "Resume", Starmetal Hearthstone Bracers
"Sundered Promise", Starmetal Daiklaive
This is an ancient but unremarkable Daiklaive. Created During the Primordial War it was crafted in haste to arm the Exalted as they faced off against the Original Creators of the World. As such it is an incredibly functional weapon with little aggrandizement or flash to it, yet it’s edge is keen and the grip sturdy and worn. Forgotten by many, the blade was forged from the Lesser Elemental Dragon Gerhedesh, who sought to betray the Gods and in return earn for himself the gratitude of the Yozis. Instead he was cast out of the Celestial Heirarchy and forged into the Daiklaive.
After the primordial wars, the exalted had time and inclination to outfit themselves in a grandeur more befitting of their position and desires. So it was that many serviceable, but plain, weapons and such were set aside in favor of more beautiful and powerful items. Sundered promise was locked away in a vault in the Crimson Panoply in the event it’s service might be called for again.
At the end of Rook’s initial training, he was offered his predecessors Starmetal Serpent Sting Staff, Branch of Ygg. He declined, having not chosen to pursue either of the martial arts where that weapon would be useful, Violet Bier of Sorrows Style or Mantis Style. Instead he respectfully requested a weapon more fitting to his current talents as opposed to his shard’s previous host’s. He was “rewarded” with Sundered Promise, and was made somewhat aware of its history. (At least as much as has been revealed here.) What he does not know is that the original Sidereal who wielded it was the first host of his shard, and this is why his shard does not object to the Daiklaive’s use.
"Pause" and "Resume", Starmetal Hearthstone Bracers
These are a pair of starmetal bracers forged from the disgraced twin spirits who were once charged with the fertility of the lands in and around Thorns. A pair of wild and capricious godlings, they had a number of enemies and few friends. They lost all political power in the hierarchy at the fall of Thorns to the Mask of Winters, and were summarily cast out at the behest of some of those they had annoyed in the past. The Bureau of Destiny took advantage of this and moved them into the starmetal production line. However, to avoid the appearance of having arranged for such a happening, the elder sidereals quickly decided to give the newly formed bracers to a young sidereal, who turned out to be Rook.
Celestial Manse 3: Heavenly Dojo in Yu-Shan “Repose of the Worthy”. Rooks manse was, naturally, he previous incarnation’s. Due to his shard’s quick return to creation and Rook’s subsequent birth, the Sidereals who were close to his predecessor arranged for it to be retained in Rook’s name, pending his exaltation. It is a wonderful rooftop dojo, resting upon several other manses for lesser divinities. The lower level is an open practice area, supported by hand carved oaks which are still living. The magic of the dojo prevents any external elements or beings from entering the Dojo without permission. And suspended apparently in the air between a number of the pillar oaks are countless martial arts and other weapons. Most are mundane, though Rook has not taken the time to examine and catalog them all. The upper levels consist of seven small bedrooms, a kitchen, a large well set dining hall, four large balconies looking out over various parts of Yu-Shan, and various amenity chambers and servant’s quarters. Rook has taken one of the bedrooms for himself, and keeps most of his mundane items here. He has the normal accompaniment of serving spirits for this level of domicile, but they have chosen to play a bit of a practical joke on Rook. They all assume the appearance of the majordomo whenever interacting with Rook, and work hard to only have one of them interact with him at a time. So currently, Rook believes he has only one servant, but that that spirit is the most hardworking dedicated little god he has ever seen.
Hearthstone: The Ever Open Eye – Sidereal (Modified from Savant & Sorcerer. Power: bearer only requires 2 hours of sleep per day.)
Salary 3: Rook has the standard pay package for a Bronze Faction member. (Resources 4 in Yu-Shan, and 5 in Creation.)
Savant 3: Rook’s shard has very strong ties to its previous hosts. Although they don’t always get along, Rook has learned to trust its knowledge of history and artifacts.
Sifu 3: Master Tehn, An ancient Sidereal of the bronze faction. Amusingly enough, Master Tehn was the student of Rooks previous incarnation. Though there was great respect between them, Master Tehn did not always agree with Rook previous incarnations choices in ways to operate. He has taken Rook under his wing as his student, and seeks to help the young man exert his own influences over the incredible presence of his shard. He is pleased that Rook has given up his previous incarnations lightning chain, and has chosen to study Sorcery first, instead of the path set forth in the letter from his prior self, which insisted on studying the Violet bier of sorrows and then the Charcoal March of Spiders form. Master Tehn is slightly different from the traditional Sifu (I.E. the stats in the book. He is an instructor at the Heptegram and spends much of his time researching special sorcerous projects. Instead of 3 Celestial Forms and 2 Sidereal Forms, Master Tehn knows Violet Bier of Sorrows Style, Wood Dragon Style, Terrestrial Circle Sorcery, Prismatic Arrangement of Creation and Celestial Circle Sorcery. He and Rook have become friends, although Rook finds his master seems to only listen to his own council, sometimes with disasterous results.
Sorcery 2: As he studied under Master Tehn, he learned via the traditional methods of the Heptegram. He came away from the early training with Emerald Countermagic and Cirrus Skiff.
Connections (Bureau of Destiny, Division of Battles) 1: Rook knows his superior and has gotten to know his superior’s steward/secretary very well due to the amount of waiting he has had to do. He also has a few contacts in the lower levels of the Panoply whom he has met and befriended during his training. He is known as one of “The New Kids” by the more senior members of the Panoply, but hasn’t made any enemies yet.
Connections (Realm) 1: Rook has a few connections in The Realm, which he can access in his various guises, either directly or as an agent of. He is able to attend the meetings of the deliberative in the observer’s balcony, but most of his connections are in the Legions. Most of them are Bronze faction Sidereals whom he has been working with in his official capacity.
Connections (The Heptegram) 1: Rook, studied in the Heptegram under his Resplendant Destiny of the Sorcerer. That identity has been used up, however, he retains his connections with the various little gods connected to the Heptegram and The Sidereals involved, as well as a good relation with the headmaster. (And naturally his Sifu, but that is covered above.) He periodically serves as an adjunct professor teaching some of the elementary classes and the specific spells he is knowledgeable in. He is known to teach from a very pragmatic standpoint as opposed to a theoretical one. (He is also considered competent, but by no means an outstanding student or teacher. This is not so much derision, as understanding that he is destined for a purpose and that purpose is not to be a sorcerous savant.)
Used Up RESPLENDENT DESTINIES
- Yuri (the Gauntlet): He's a half-wit, and so most people ignore him. He wears a bloodstained apron and a short wooden club (cudgel) which he uses on any small animals that get in his way (brutal). Basically he carries dead bodies about and cleans them in preparation for funeral rites. He disappears for days at a time, but no one seems to mind. He does all the gross parts of removing anatomical parts.
- Pander the Bard (the Quiver): Pander travels through the backwaters of the Realm. Wherever the road leads away from a major city you will find him. He travels from town to town with a tall staff made of Yew and oddly notched at each end. Those who have transplanted from the Threshold would recognize this ‘staff’ is actually an unstrung greatbow. No one has ever actually seen him string it, and in fact he doesn’t even have strings for it. In addition to his ‘staff’ he keeps a traveling harp across his back. It is small, but of exceptional quality and always tuned. He often plays for his supper and a place near the hearth when he reaches a village with enough wherewithal to have an inn. In addition, he carries a half dozen scroll cases that click softly at his waist as he travels. They are designed with caps that are watertight, but easily opened. One contains a small silver flute, which he plays when not in the mood to talk, or intersperced in an evening of tales and songs. Another contains blank parchment and quills. (He keeps a small metal vial of ink in his pack to prevent accidents.) The third holds the news from the last few villages which he always shares from one to the next in trade for their own news. In the fourth he keeps a long list of riddles. For in the middle of each evening he holds a riddling contest, which often includes a great deal of banter back and forth between himself and the crowd, not all of which is witty. The contest is fun, wherein he asks a riddle of the crowd, and if the cannot answer it they buy him a drink. If they do they can ask him a riddle back, and if he can’t answer he must make up a song on the spot that includes the names of each person in the bar somewhere in the lyrics. (He is clever enough that he has only had to make up a few songs.) The final two map cases actually hold maps and histories of the realm and teaching aids. For on the day after his arrival, he spend the entire morning teaching anyone who will attend how to read and write, the histories and the geography of the Realm, mathematics and natural sciences. These one day classes are not enough to educate the townsfolk, but they help, and he has started returning to the same towns repeatedly and gaining some continuing students.