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The Fifteen Month Elemental Cycle Styles
As it is said, for each blade of grass, there is a Terrestrial Martial Art. Some of these so-called styles are bastardized, really a combination of techniques from different areas which may or may not complement each other, used together and called a "style" by some fighter. Despite this, there are still a staggering number of legitimate styles, and the wise commander realizes that anything which can be taught to his troops is a more potent weapon than something he can only use by himself.
Each of the fifteen styles corresponds to a month of the year. Thus for each of Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Wood, there is an Ascending, Resplendent, and Descending style. The Ascending styles bring out the qualities of their element in the practitioner; air gives mobility, Earth strength and solidity, etc. Resplendent styles wield physical expressions of their element; auras of flame, spears of thorns, and so on. Descending styles suppress the qualities of their element in others, and provide protection from their element for the martial artist; thus, a Descending Wood stylist would learn attacks whose damage could not be healed easily, and would gain resistance to poison.
In the folly of recent years, the Immaculate Order has been declaring many martial arts styles heretical, even those once practiced by its own temples. The Fifteen Cyclic Elemental Styles were once teaching tools for Immaculate soldiers, but have fallen into disfavor. These styles are known to some members of the Gold Faction, though. Should those dragon-blooded under the command of Gold-faction backed Solars start appearing on the battlefield wielding these techniques, victory could not be far behind.
The terrible truth of these styles is not their fighting power, but their enlightening power: if a Martial Artist with access only to the Root of the Perfected Lotus learns all three Cyclic Styles of a single Element, he or she may access the Bulb of the Perfected Lotus just enough to learn the Elemental Dragon Style of the same element. As usual, once study of a Dragon Path is commenced, no other Martial Arts may be studied until completion of the Dragon Path. This was the original purpose of these martial arts, as an alternative to the Spirit Mastery path. Furthermore, full initiation into the Bulb of the Perfected Lotus is achieved upon completion of the student's first Dragon Path, allowing the pursuit of other Dragon Paths, or any other Celestial Martial Art the student is tutored in.
This charm serves as a pinnacle for each Element, uniting the three styles as one and allowing pursuit of a Dragon Path.
(Element) Mastery Attainment
Cost: None Minimums: Essence 5, MA 5, Lore 5 Type: Permanent Keywords: Enlightening Duration: Permanent Prerequisite Charms: Ascending (Element) Style, Resplendent (Element) Style, Descending (Element) Style
With perfect understanding of this element, the master no longer pays any elemental surcharge (if he did in the first place) on charms of these styles. Furthermore, his understanding of this element is so complete that any form weapons and/or armor allowed by any style of this element (including elemental martial arts outside of the fifteen cyclic styles) may be shared across charms of all such styles. If this charm is learned for each element, then form weapons and armor of any martial art the character knows become valid for use with any other martial art he knows. Finally, if this character posesses only a Terrestrial initiation into the Lotus of Perfected Understanding, this charm allows him to access a Celestial initiation through the associated Dragon Path. If he is already at the Celestial initiation, then he may extrapolate the charms of the associated Dragon Path without a sifu, simply taking the doubled training time as if practicing from old memories or an ancient scroll of techniques.
- An acrobatic style whose pinnacle allows aerobatic feats almost like flight.
- Throws bearing the opponent aloft on high winds and strikes with the force of a hurricane.
- A "soft" style, rendering the mobility of opponents moot and practicing controlled breathing.
- Reminiscent of Jade Mountain, this is a heavyweight-oriented wrestling style.
- This style creates - or enhances - its form weapons with the essence of Earth.
- Descending Earth crushes an opponent's stance, while its own stance is immovable.
- An acrobatic style like Ascending Air, but focused on avoiding attacks rather than movement.
- An artist of this style is wreathed in flames, using them to strike and sear all enemies.
- Pressure points and joint locks allow the Descending Fire master to trap his opponent while retaining full mobility.
- Another "soft" style, emphasizing fluidity and circular motion, but including some "hard" elements using the power of rotational force.
- A "suppressing" style, emphasizing choke holds enhanced by drowning the opponent. Also includes crushing waves and undertow trips.
- By limiting an opponent's offensive and defensive options, Descending Water style robs them of flexibility. Masters of this style are good at slipping out of clinches and are excellent swimmers.
- This meditative style emphasizes taking only perfect actions, meanwhile striving for a perfect internal balance in stillness.
- Resplendent Wood attacks wildly with growths of thorns, poison spit, and ultimately the aid of a Wood Elemental companion.
- A style for assassins. This style may not be practiced unarmed, but only with a bow and arrow. Some charms apply specific exceptions, affecting the martial artist's body.
Oooh, ooh! Are you intending to write all of these? would you like help in the form of charms or critique or a gigantic basket of sugary sweets? On that last note, I should have eaten less sugar myself.
- I am indeed. I'd love suggestions and critique, though I want to overall do it myself. So, if you feel inspired to do any complete styles, great, but put them on their own pages because this isn't mostly a collaboratve project. Do let me know about them if so, though, because I'd love to see what you come up with. - IanPrice
- I think I would, after I've finished writing all the styles. - IanPrice
This project is more than half done, so I'd love to get more commentary on it! Thank you to all the people who pointed out to me how unbalanced Descending Earth style was in the first draft, I like it better now that it's toned down. - IanPrice
The first drafts of these styles all aimed at the high end of Terrestrial power, and much of the time I overshot. Thanks to some testing in the TrialBySchmendrick, Ascending and Resplendent Air styles have received some much needed tuning. I welcome anybody's perspective on the styles I have here, telling me either glaring errors I've missed or things you love. Anything in between is cool too, and please, make suggestions! I put this stuff here not just so it can be seen, but so that it can be discussed! - IanPrice
Since I'm not (and haven't been) posting to this wiki in a while, I revise my earlier statement: anybody who stumbles onto this page and wants to finish the project is free to. Just leave my credits intact for what's been done and credit yourself with the parts you create. If you want to modify what's already here, please archive my version and provide a link to it. - IanPrice