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This sidereal martial arts style owes its existence to Sable Evocation of Image, an uncompleted relay style, which inspired this style and inspired some of the charms. This style is somewhat different in tenor and execution, though similar in concept. Much of what follows was either stolen from or inspired by the original creators of Evocation of Image: Darloth, Dasmen, DigitalSentience, FlowsLikeBits, Issaru, OhJames, Overshee, and Wohksworth. Thanks to them!

Practitioners of the Sable Disposition of Being wield paintbrushes as weapons, using art to alter, shape and control reality. Portraits are particularly utilized, but any painting can be made representing how the practitioner wants the subject to be, and the charms of this style realize these wishes. While practitioners wielding brushes as weapons are considered to be unarmed for the purposes of charms in this style, most practitioners prefer to fight barehanded or else not at all. This style is incompatible with armor.

Intended for Second Edition, this style makes use of (and manipulates) the social combat rules in some cases. Some of the charms in the style can be used both during social combat and standard combat. Listed speeds refer to standard combat. Unless otherwise specified, charms used in social combat have a speed of one long tick. The style is intended to be quite fast in social combat, but fairly slow in standard combat.

Charms of this style usually make use of images of the specific target to be affected. Such images can be painted ahead of time or rendered on the spur of the moment. Any person, place or object recognizably and specifically represented in either type of painting is referred to as "imaged" in the charm descriptions below. The image may be sparse and stylized, even quick cartoon, but to be used for imaging, a painting must recognizably illustrate the specific target, demonstrate the charm's the specific desired effect and must have been crafted by the artist. A single painting may be made of more than one subject, but only one subject may be affected at a time. Both Mail & Steel and social units are considered single targets by these charms. Images created ahead of time are referred to as "prepared", while those created on the fly are called "impromptu".

  • A prepared image may be used more subtly and quickly, but since images used in this style must represent a specific target and specific effect, this approach requires good planning, so is less flexible. Prepared images are created somewhat similarly to prayer strips. Proper materials (Resources ••) are used over six hours to construct the portrait using a Dexterity + Martial Arts or Dexterity + Craft (Air) test, with a difficulty of 2. Prepared images can also be made during social combat by spending a Miscellaneous Action and making the same test with a difficulty of 4 (such creation is usually obvious). When using a prepared image to invoke a charm, the caster need only have the image on his person or otherwise be in physical contact with it for it to be effective, so charms cast like this tend to be nearly unnoticeable. All charm stats below assume the use of prepared images unless otherwise noted.
  • An impromptu image can be created in the same action as the charm invocation, provided the practitioner has proper materials—such as a brush, paint, a paintable surface such as paper, the floor, a wall—and the freedom of motion to paint. This adds the Obvious keyword to that invocation of the charm. If the charm is used as part of the artist's action, creating an impromptu image as part of that action increases its speed by 4 (if appropriate) and reduces DV by 1. No roll is needed for the creation of the image, with any rolls needed by the charm itself assumed to include that.

Some charms may be used to "enchant" images, empowering the image to deliver an effect to a specific target at a later time. Charms used in this manner are considered to have a duration of a year and a day unless otherwise noted. As such, motes powering such charms remain committed until the charm is triggered and expended. The artist may also release the motes, which are considered spent and must regenerate normally, at any time, rendering the painting a mundane piece of paper.

Lastly, some of the charms in this style may generate Paradox for the artist or the target. When this occurs, the person gains a Paradox track, even if they are not sidereals. Those who accumulate 10 or more points of Paradox are subject to pattern bite (Sidereals, pg. 214) as normal. Non-sidereals dissipate Paradox the same way sidereals do (Sidereals, pg. 215). This may includes the use of rituals to speed the process, but non-sidreals do not automatically know these rituals, or even that such rituals exist.

Lesser Charms

Lesser Sutra of Creativity: A maiden was once an artist…

Wreaking Nuance

Cost: 8m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 4; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-OK, Shaping
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: none
…whose colors so angered a rival…

Not content to merely provoke a subjective emotional reaction to his work, the artist renders his subject with such emotive power that reality itself takes notice and instantly twists the subject's feelings to conform to the artist's intent. The artist makes a social attack on a single imaged target within line of sight. This attack may take place within standard combat time, and is an unnatural social attack made using Manipulation + Martial Arts. This attack may not be blocked or dodged normally, but may be defended with any effect that provides defense against shaping effects. If used during social combat, the attack has a speed of 1 long tick and a rate of 1. This attack may be used on inactive targets. If successful, the attack may inflict an Compulsion, Emotion, Illusion or Servitude effect.

The effect depicted by the image is imprinted on reality with no discussion or argument, so unless the target is given reason to suspect otherwise, he will assume any effects of the attack are his own idea. If he should realize the effect is foreign, he still may not realize the attack came from the caster unless the caster was obviously involved in some way (e.g. using an impromptu image).

Alternatively, this charm can enchant the image itself to deliver an identical attack to an imaged target as a written attack (Exalted 2, pg. 175).

Drafting of Soldiers

Cost: 5m + 1m per soldier ; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 4; Type: Simple
Keywords: Obvious, Stackable, Combo-Basic, Shaping
Duration: 7 days
Prerequisite Charms: none
…that she needed an army to defend her.

Every artist needs an entourage, especially one that can be conjured from thin air. Warriors painted into an image leap from the image and grow into full sized, idealized soldiers. These soldiers are obviously magical phantoms, solid to the touch, but occasionally transparent. The artist may summon up to Charisma + Martial Arts soldiers with a single invocation of this charm (or as many are represented on the painting, whichever is less). All soldiers carry any weapons and armor the artist painted; however, no matter how fantastical, magical or formidable such gear might appear, it remains completely mundane, using standard statistics. The soldiers use the statistics for elite soldiers (Exalted 2, pg. 280) except that they never need to make valor checks and are considered to be automaton when resisting effects. They will follow orders intelligently, but not particularly creatively. They can speak, but will rarely do so.

A mote committed to animate a single soldier may be uncommitted if that solider dies prior to the expiration of this charm. Similarly, some soldiers may be "dismissed" by reflexively releasing motes without dismissing them all. (Such motes are still considered spent, as normal.) Should a solider be killed or dismissed, it and its gear vanishes with a slight flash and audible pop.

Images used for casting this charm are specifically exempt from the need to paint specific targets and effects. Only a general notion of the warriors and their gear need be depicted. If created with an impromptu image, the speed of this action increases by 1 for each soldier drawn rather than the standard 4.

This charm may be used to enchant a prepared image, which is then folded. The soldiers will not appear until the image is unfolded by anyone. In such cases, the image must depict what the soldiers will do when the image is unfolded. The image will remain enchanted for a year and a day, but when unfolded the soldiers will appear for 7 days and then the magic expires. Unfolding the note in combat is considered a Miscellaneous Action (-1 DV).

Example: Hammer in the Woods paints an image of five warriors protecting Cynis Aran. She then casts this charm, folds the image, and sends it to her. Two months later, the image arrives. Knowing its contents, Aran holds it for a month, until she is suddenly attacked in court. She unfolds it and the five soldiers emerge to defend her. Once the soldiers do their job and vanish, the essence Hammer has committed to this charm becomes spent and Hammer knows instantly the charm has faded.

Impressing the Landscape

Cost: 25m, 2wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Simple (8, -2 DV)
Keywords: Shaping
Duration: One day
Prerequisite Charms: none
In the terrain of her mind…

While lesser artists idealize the landscapes in their paintings, the artist alters the landscape to meet his painting's ideal. Using a painting depicting a region within eyeshot, the artist shapes reality to make the landscape conform to his portrayal of it. The artist's painting might show a spring welling up from the desert before him, and this charm makes the spring appear. The walled city he is laying siege to may be painted with crumbled fortifications, and the walls will fall.

The artist makes a Dexterity + Martial Arts roll against a difficulty proportional to how radical or unlikely the desired change is. For example, painting an avalanche into a mountain covered in loose rocks would probably only need one success, while palace of ice painted into a volcanic lava flow would probably require five. While the effects of this charm are open ended, there are a number of restrictions:

  • The charm cannot alter, harm or otherwise directly effect living creatures, spirits or any other entity with a permanent Essence rating. So, if the artist paints a picture of the village he is in burning to the ground, the structures will burn, but all of the inhabitants will escape miraculously unharmed.
  • The charm may only target an area the artist can see. As always, the painting used must image the exact area and effect.
  • The charm can only affect mundane material. The marble used in manses, the five magical materials and any material altered by charms or sorcery are completely immune to this charm. The charm may not create or alter demesnes or manses in any way. Unliving items made from gossamer, however, may be altered by this spell.
  • The charm can only affect terrain, including buildings and streets. For example, it could not be used to remove the armor from an army or the army from a battlefield, but could depict the land on which the army stands as being underwater (though somehow the soldiers would not drown).
  • The charm can alter a million cubic yards (equivalent to a cube 100 yards on each side) of terrain per point of the artist's Essence.
  • Effects can be as varied as the artist's imagination, but cannot exceed celestial sorcery in power. For example, if the artist paints a building in the middle of an empty plain, a spell like Ivory Orchid Pavilion should act as a guide to the upper limits of what such a building can be. Even if the artist paints a city street under a rain of corrosive venom, he cannot produce the effects of a solar spell like Rain of Doom. In general, if an effect on a landscape cannot be a celestial spell (even a theoretical one), then it cannot be produced by this charm either.

From the time this charm is cast, events in the painting play out as real until the sun both rises and sets, though the artist may cancel the charm before this. Once the charm ends, all changed terrain returns to normal. Buildings burned to ash are now whole, walls are rebuilt, springs dry up. Memories, however, remain.

Capturing the Moment

Cost: 9m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Reflexive (Step 1 or 2)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: none
…she froze her rival's violence…

This charm may only be invoked while attacking or being attacked. When used while dodging an attack, the artist paints a crude depiction of the attack on an available surface (or in the air, if using this style's form) capturing it within the lines of his art and completely dodging it. The the number of successes made on the attack, as well as its base damage, are stored within the painting. This charm may not normally be used to dodge a undodgeable or perfect attacks; however, it may be used if comboed with a charm or charms that allow normal dodging of such attacks.

When used to augment any Martial Arts attack, this charm makes use of the painting of a previously captured attack, releasing it's energy and destroying the painting in the process, as the art comes alive to back the attack. The successes stored in the painting are added to the attack and the attack's base damage is replaced by the base damage within the painting. This is not considered an imaged effect, and such an attack can be made against any target, regardless of who made the attack that was stored.

The artist may maintain up to Essence paintings at once, but the magic fades from the paintings when the scene in which they were made ends, leaving only the art behind. Paintings may be attacked like any other inanimate object, and a single point of damage is enough to cancel a painting's magic, making it unusable for an attack. The artist may also reflexively release the magic from a painting made with this charm at any time with no effect. This charm may be used to capture and augment social attacks. A single invocation of this charm may not, of course, be used to attack and defend at the same time. Repeated invocations of this charm in a single action may be made as normal, with each activation either dodging or augmenting an attack as appropriate.

Sable Disposition of Being Form

Cost: 12m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5; Type: Simple (Speed 4)
Keywords: Form-type
Duration: Scene
Prerequisite Charms: Wreaking Nuance, Drafting of Soldiers, Impressing the Landscape, Capturing the Moment, complete lesser MA style
…with smears of airy nothing.

To invoke this form, either the artist or his Motivation must be imaged at the time the form is activated. This image specifically is not required to be a depiction of the artist's current situation, but may be a generic likeness; however, once the image is used to activate this form, it may be used as an arcane link to the artist until it is either altered or destroyed. The image may also be created to contain the sutra for this style, allowing even an impromptu image to act as a sutra prayer strip would. If the image is used to activate the sutra (Sidereals, pg 184), the image will be visible to others, with images drawn on surfaces other than paper lifting off and floating in air, but otherwise acting just like a prayer strip, including its defenses (Sidereals, pp. 130-1). An image can be used as a sutra before the form is invoked, thus discounting it's cost as normal. Should the form be cancelled prior to the end of the scene, the sutra will remain, though if the image is destroyed, both the sutra and form will end. Images used as sutras will destroy themselves when the scene ends.

Under the effects of the form, the artist treats reality as a canvas, with her brush (or even fingers) generating pigment of any color that stays exactly where the artist puts it, even suspended in air or under water. This paint reduces the speed penalty for impromptu images by one and the artist is always considered to have the proper materials to generate images for this style. The artist adds two dice to preparing paintings for use with the charms of this style and any Craft roll involving painting.

Unlike most martial arts forms, this form is almost solely in the mind, showing few outward signs but steeling the artist's uncompromising vision of the world. It may be used during social combat, at which time the artist adds her Essence to her parry MDV and may suffer only two total points of willpower drain from any persuasion attempts, either natural or unnatural. Attempts after that automatically fail unless made by perfect effects.

Within standard combat, this form combines the discerning eye of artist with the patterns of combat, making it easier to anticipate and avoid attacks. The artist adds her Essence to her dodge DV for the duration of the scene.

Greater Charms

Elder Sutra of Creativity: With chromatic pigment and dark bristle, the artist…

Establishing Artistic License

Cost: 12m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Shaping, Stackable
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Sable Disposition of Being Form
…painted a scullery maid as a goddess,

The exalt paints a target how he should be instead of how he is, then lashes out with this image, convincing reality of its truth. As part of an unarmed Dexterity + Martial Arts attack against an imaged target, the artist may deal standard damage if he wishes, but does not have to. In either case, for each success that remains after defense is applied (just as step 7 begins), the artist may rearrange traits of the target, exchanging any of the following items for another for the rest of the scene:

  • 1 Attribute point. Attributes may not be lowered below one or raised above natural maximums.
  • 1 Virtue point. Virtues tied to the Great Curse may not be lowered below three. Other Virtues may not be lowered below one or raised above five.
  • 1 point from each of two different Abilities. Abilities may not be lowered below one or raised above natural maximums.
  • 4 points of lethal and bashing armor soak. Armor soak may not be reduced below zero and may not be altered by more than 16 points.

This may lower some traits below the minimums required for some charms. Such charms can no longer be cast, but established charms are not affected. These changes are made before damage is soaked. The artist may use this charm on himself, essentially attacking himself through art. Because this charm is actually shaping reality, and not form, it explicitly works on tattooed lunar exalted with Essence lower than the artist's.

Example: Hammer in the Woods, with sutra blazing, flows paint from her fingers, painting a naked version of her target as she strikes. The attack is a good one, leaving four successes remaining after the target's DV and other modifiers are applied. The target is heavily armored, with 15L soak from armor. Hammer decides to use 3 successes to reduce this. The first subtracts 4 points of soak, adding 1 to the target's Compassion. The second subtracts 4 more soak, adding 1 to Sail and 1 to Ride. The third reduces 4 more points, increasing the target's Appearance by 1. The last success is used to reduce the target's Stamina by 1, adding a point to his Manipulation. Hammer also elects to do damage with the attack, now soaked with only 3L from armor. Later, Hammer decides to reconfigure one of her allies, making an "attack" against him. The ally decides not to dodge or parry at all, but Hammer rolls badly, only getting four successes remaining as step 7 starts. She reduces her ally's Appearance of 5 to 1 with four of these successes, trying to adding 3 points each to both Melee and Dodge abilities of the ally and increasing his armor soak by 4.

This charm may also enchant an image to deliver a similar attack in writing. When the intended target touches the image, it explodes into an array of color, that seeks to enter and rewrite him. An attack equal to the artist's Dexterity + Martial Arts at the time the painting was made is rolled, using 1L base damage. This attack may be dodged, but can only be blocked with a parry capable of blocking insubstantial attacks. Written attacks cannot be made with combos and, for the purposes of arranging traits, may only benefit from two successes. The artist must specify the traits to be rearranged at the time the charm is cast.

Kiss of Pigment

Cost: 11m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 6, Essence 6; Type: Simple (5 long ticks)
Keywords: Shaping, Stackable
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Establishing Artistic License
…emending every flaw…

Just as the artist can turn fiction into reality, so can he turn the harsh reality of crippling wounds, disease and even heartache into fiction. The artist spends five minutes of dramatic time (or 5 ticks of social combat) drawing an idealized version of any target he can see, as a vision of perfect health. The artist makes a test combining her Manipulation with either Martial Arts, Craft (Air) or Medicine against a difficulty of the target's Essence. This roll is treated as if it were a shaping attack, so the target may have automatic defenses which prevent it entirely. On success, the art shapes reality, making the body of the target whole in some way. Each invocation of this charm can have one of the following effects:

  • The target is healed of all bashing damage.
  • The target is healed of lethal damage equal to the number of extra successes on the roll, plus the artist's Essence.
  • The target is healed of aggravated damage equal to the artist's Essence.
  • The target is cured of a Sickness effect.
  • The target is cured of all Poison effects.
  • The target is cured of one Crippling effect.
  • The target is cured of all "damage" to an existing Intimacy.
  • The target is cured of an unnatural Emotion, Compulsion, Illusion or Total Control effect.
  • The target's age is reduced by a number of years equal to the number of extra successes on the roll, plus the artist's Essence, to a minimum of 1 year old.
  • The target's internal turmoil is soothed. Mechanically, this reduces Limit by up to half of the artist's Essence, rounded up. For each point removed, the artist must roll one Paradox dice.
  • The target's connection with life and creativity is strengthened. Mechanically, this reduces Resonance by up to half of the artist's Essence, rounded up. For each point removed, the artist automatically gains a point of Paradox.

Apart from the last two effects, the artist may use this charm on himself. Because this charm is actually shaping reality, and not form, it explicitly works on tattooed lunar exalted with Essence lower than the artist's.

Significance Capturing Stroke

Cost: 15m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 6, Essence 6; Type: Reflexive (Step 2, 5)
Keywords: Obvious, Combo-OK
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Kiss of Pigment
…and imprisoning her wicked brother for all to see.

So great is the artist’s connection to image and reality that his metaphoric ability to capture the essence of a subject becomes literal. With several strokes in the air, attempting to entangle and encapsulate his attacker in his art, rendering him harmless but beautiful.

In response to an attack, the artist creates a loose representation of the attacker in the air, which then attempt to engulf the attacker. The lines of the art interfere enough with the attack to allow the artist to add his Essence to his DV. Their primary benefit, however, is to capture the attacker in a work of art, making a grappling counterattack on the attacker using Dexterity + Martial Arts. This engulfing grapple is considered a “special defense” so is resolved in Step 5, but in other ways is handled as both a grapple and a counterattack. It may be dodged normally but it’s engulfing nature makes it difficult to parry, reducing PDV by the Martial Artist’s Essence.

If the grapple from the art succeeds, the attacker is surrounded by the painting and pulled into a pocket of Elsewhere, to which the painting is the gateway. Should this occur, the attacker is considered to be captured before dealing damage, so the artist takes none from the attack. The engulfing is considered a shaping effect, but targeted on the space of the room, not the attacker directly. Effects that can prevent such shaping that are brought to bear as the grapple is made will disrupt the effect completely. If completed, however, the painting/portal will coalesce into a scroll containing an exact likeness of the attack. The paper, which has all of the defensive traits of a standard prayer strip, clatters to the ground at the foot of the artist as the attacker is sucked into it.

The attacker is trapped in a small pocket of Elsewhere lit by an even white light and containing only two features. The first is a small window upon which the painting of the attack is painted transparently, in reverse. This is a window onto the world through the scroll, through which the attacker can see what transpires in front of the scroll in the real world. (Many practitioners of this style make a point of rolling up such scrolls to prevent the attacker seeing anything.) The window is one-way and transmits only light (not sound, etc.). It is impervious to physical attack, but can be destroyed by effects that cancel shaping effects. Charms, spells or other effects that open gateways into or out of spirit sanctums will also open the window.

The other detail is a simple wooden easel containing a large, blank canvas, a palette of oil paints in a variety of colors and several brushes. Though the trapped attacker usually has no way of knowing this, the goddess responsible for the Sable Disposition of Being style observes all that transpires in the spaces created by this charm, and is much impressed with artwork. Should the attacker create a painting more beautiful than the one imprisoning him (i.e. scoring more successes on an artistic roll than the artist scored imprisoning him), the goddess will release the attacker, transforming the scroll in the real world into a likeness of the attacker’s work.

Should the attacker think to, he may also pray to this goddess, offering her something in exchange for release. The goddess appreciates martial excellence as well as art, so an offer for the production of either once released may gain the attacker’s freedom. While the goddess might be persuaded to believe particularly impassioned speeches (magically enhanced or otherwise), she will certainly follow up on any promises made.

The attacker can also be freed from the outside by destroying the scroll there. Otherwise, he will remain trapped as long as the scroll survives. In such a state, the attacker is alive and conscious but will not age, hunger or thirst, nor will he naturally regain Essence or Willpower. He retains all possessions. Should he be freed, the attacker appears to leap from the scroll and can make a Join Battle roll if appropriate.

Should the engulfing counter fail, the attacker’s initial attack is resolved normally, unless the attacker made the attack inapplicable in some way. For example, if the attacker avoided being engulfed by standard dodging, his attack would continue normally, but if he used a leaping dodge to move 20 yards away, it would not.

This charm does not require an image to cast, instead building an image of its own as a result.

Silencing the Critics

Cost: 8m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Social
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Sable Disposition of Being Form
The fulminations of the brother's friends rang hollow,

Even the most vocal critics can be won over when reality itself turns against them. When this charm augments a successful social attack against an imaged target, calculate the number of successes that remain after defense and other modifiers are applied. Should the target wish to resist the effect of the attack, he must pay willpower equal to the number of remaining successes. If consenting to the attack would violate the target's Motivation, this total is cut in half (rounded up).

Alternatively, the artist can instead use this charm to enhance a social attack which issues an unacceptable order. Such an attack can be resisted with a single point of willpower, if available.

Pleasing Aesthetic Stance

Cost: 20m; Mins: Martial Arts 6, Essence 6; Type: Simple
Keywords: None
Duration: Scene
Prerequisite Charms: Silencing the Critics
for the goddess quickly gained worshippers…

For the remainder of the scene, any social attack against an imaged target that is intended to erode or build an intimacy is considered to be unnatural influence. If such an attack is not resisted, every two full successes remaining after MDV and other modifiers act as if the artist had spent additional "scenes" making similar attacks for the purposes of increasing and/or reducing Intimacies.

Example: Hammer of the Woods seeks to make a city governor betray his wife (to whom he has an Intimacy) and join Hammer's cause. The governor has an MDV of 5 and a Conviction of 3. Normally, Hammer would need to spend at least three scenes with the governor in which she made social attacks to erode the intimacy with his wife and build one with Hammer, but she doesn't have that kind of time. She quickly prepares a painting of the governor standing loyally by her side, with his wife crying off in the distance, abandoned. She then dons this stance and holds a meeting with the governor, during which she makes a number of social attacks, quickly reducing his willpower to 0. She then makes one more attack, knowing he cannot resist if the attack succeeds, rolling 10 successes. His defense eats 5 of these successes, leaving 5 to get through, which allow the attack to act as if it had been applied for two additional scenes. Combined with the current scene, the attack is as effective as if it had been made on three scenes total. This equals the governor's Conviction, so the intimacy with his wife is destroyed, replaced by one to Hammer.

Tortured Artist's Curse

Cost: 15m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 6, Essence 6; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Pleasing Aesthetic Stance
…as the people saw her as the artist did.

The true artist must often endure the barbs of those too obtuse to appreciate their vision, yet those with real talent can force those who would belittle them to experience the world through their own eyes. This charm may only be used to back an attack (social or normal) against an imaged target who has previously made a successful attack on the artist (social or normal) this scene, which need not have done damage. The artist's attack, in addition to doing normal damage, transfers an astrological effect from the artist to the target. The duration and other aspects of the effect remain the same, but the Essence rating attached to the effect (see "Multiple Effects", Sidereals pg. 212) becomes that of the artist. This effect generates two dice of Paradox for the artist.

If the effect being transferred is an ascending or descending destiny, the artist may invert it, changing a Sloped Floor Curse into an Artless Prodigy Blessing or vice versa, for example. The target also may begin to take on one or more trappings of the effect's College and gains an Intimacy related in some way to the College of the effect, generally a loyalty to, idealism about or behavior involving one of the correlations of the College. For example, someone under an effect of the Haywain may start wearing disheveled robes and become obsessed with aging.

Resplendent destinies may also be transferred, forcing the target to adopt the persona of the destiny and forgetting who he is while it is in effect. Acting counter to the destiny generates Paradox, just as it would for a sidereal. If the artist had previously worn the destiny (instead of just using it for effect dice), she may also be subject to Paradox if the target appears as the destiny to people who knew the destiny when the artist wore it. The target treats this new persona as if it has always been his and will not remember his previous life. Once the destiny ends, however, he will remember both his previous life and his life under the destiny. All remaining effect dice are transferred to the target, and he may use all but the last one as normal (including any Paradox costs). The last die may only be spent on a specific date of each month (e.g. the 2nd, 15th, etc.), but only if the target is wearing all of the trappings of the destiny's College and only if performing an action suitable to the College. Spending the last die will dissolve the destiny completely, as normal, prior to its full duration. Accumulated Paradox remains even after the destiny expires.

Bringing the Canvas to Life

Cost: varies; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5; Type: Simple
Keywords: Obvious, Combo-Basic, Shaping
Duration: Scene
Prerequisite Charms: Sable Disposition of Being Form
After the artist bedecked the goddess in jewels…

As the artist explores the deeper mysteries of art and reality, they learn to impart true vitality to their work. With a touch of her brush, the artist animates any image, even one she did not create, literally bringing it’s subject(s) to life for the remainder of the scene.

The artist makes an Intelligence + Martial Arts roll against a difficulty dependent on what is being animated. The artist may also use this charm during social combat.

When used to animate creatures, people, spirits or other living things, the base cost of this charm is equal to half of the sum of the creature’s physical attributes (rounded up). Depending on the source image, the creature may have associated mutations (e.g. poison bite, multiple heads, etc.), which cost an additional mote per mutation point. Abilities and other traits will be typical for the type of creature. Images of entities that could normally use charms may, at the Storyteller’s discretion, have access to charms with an Essence minimum no greater than half the artist’s Essence (round down); however, their essence pool must be filled by the artist with motes of her own at the time of casting. Though they may look genuine, animated images are obvious magical constructs of paint and light that lack any real personality and are under complete control of the artist. They are treated as automaton and never fail valor rolls. The artist may not create creatures with an Essence greater than her own and the difficulty on the roll to create creatures is their Essence.

Inanimate items may also be brought to life. Artists well versed in artificing can even create artifacts from thin air. While mundane items can be casually invented, producing a working artifact requires detailed knowledge of its construction. The artist must have personal knowledge of the design plans for the artifact, as well as the minimum Lore, Occult and Craft needed to create it (see Savant & Sorcerer pg. 30). When created with this charm, items cost three times their Artifact rating in motes to summon. They may be attuned automatically to the artist or an animated creature created by the same casting, but the attunement cost is added to the cost of the charm. The difficulty to create artifacts is equal to one plus the artifact’s rating. Artifacts with an “N/A” rating may not be created. Non-artifact items cost a flat 2 motes each and are created with a difficulty of one. All items appear near the artist and must be readied by the artist normally. Note that, while items can be handed to others, it is unlikely that anyone else could attune to artifacts created by this charm before its duration expires.

The artist may bring as many images to life with one invocation of this charm as she can pay for. Only one roll is used for all items summoned. Every item or being who’s difficulty was met by the roll appears simultaneously. The total cost of the charm is the cost to animate each item that actually appears. All creations vanish back into their original forms when the charm is complete.

Sincerest Flattery

Cost: 6m per duplicate; Mins: Martial Arts 6, Essence 6; Type: Simple
Keywords: Obvious, Combo-Basic
Duration: Variable
Prerequisite Charms: Bringing the Canvas to Life
…and painted her from every angle…

While the saying is that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, the artist can do one better and flatter with exact duplicates instead. Making a Dexterity + Martial Arts test, the artist creates one duplicate of an imaged target (including herself) for each success on the test, paying 6 motes for each duplicate. The artist need not use all the successes.

On the target's next turn, the target and all the duplicates may take completely independent actions and movement, all under the control of the target. All of the duplicates share the essence pools, health levels, wound penalties, etc. of the target. Being completely independent, each duplicate is allowed their own charm activation. So, for example, one duplicate might invoke a combo, another might declare a flurry, another might dash, another might start casting a spell, etc. After all of these actions are resolved, one of the duplicates (target's choice) vanishes. The target's speed is the speed of the highest speed needed by all of the actions taken. Likewise with DV penalties. The targets and all duplicates wait for the same amount of time before acting again, at which time, another batch of independent actions is taken, and yet another duplicate vanishes. As each duplicate vanishes, the essence committed to it becomes spent.

Representing Heaven

Cost: 10m + variable, 2wp; Mins: Martial Arts 6, Essence 6; Type: Simple (3, -3 DV)
Keywords: Obvious, Combo-Basic
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: Sincerest Flattery
…she walked in the favor of the stars…

The artist's insight into reality now extends to the complex workings of the constellations and, rendered in the their light, the painter binds the stars, himself and his subjects together. This charm may specifically treat multiple subjects in a single painting as imaged targets; however, subjects in the painting must have been painted while in being actually witnessed by the artist, either directly or through some form of magic. All subjects need not have been painted at once, but may have been added piecemeal over time. Furthermore, the portrait need not depict a specific effect, but must illustrate the group standing under one of the 25 constellations (see Sidereals). The painter need not have a college in this constellation. In addition to two willpower and 10 motes, the artist must spend a number of motes equal to the combined Essence ratings of those in the image he wishes to affect. Imaged targets need not be visible, or even present, when this charm is invoked, so long as they were when they were imaged. This charm is useable in both standard and social combat.

The artist synchronizes the imaged targets in the painting and the constellation with himself, making a Wits + Martial Arts roll against a difficulty equal to the highest Essence rating of the imaged targets. If successful, the painting used vanishes and is replaced with a prayer strip that floats near the artist, with all of the defensive abilities of a standard prayer strip. As long as the charm remains in effect, this prayer strip may be rolled up and stored in a "passive" mode or made to actively float whenever the artist likes (using a Miscellaneous Action). While the charm is in active mode, it provides the following effects:

  • Any charms, spells or effects cast by the artist against the imaged targets, or defending against them, have their mote cost reduced by the number of extra successes achieved on the initial Wits + Martial Arts roll. This reduction stacks with sutra effects, but the final cost may never be lower than 1.
  • Any social attack made or enhanced by charms of this style against an imaged target can be made against as many of the imaged targets as the artist can see and desires to affect. One attack roll is made, with the results applied to each target individually.
  • The artist can make a social attack on a single target in the image no matter where that target is located; however, the effect of this attack must be related in some way to the constellation in the painting. The artist adds dice equal to his College rating in this constellation, if any, to the attack. The charm imparts no special knowledge of the target, however, so the artist must guess at, for example, what the target's current Intimacies are.
  • The artist and all imaged targets, even if they are not sidereals, may reflexively take two points (not dice) of Paradox in exchange for one effect point that may be used to buy resplendent effects of the imaged constellation. For effects that also cost Paradox dice, these are rolled normally.
  • The painting may be used as a petition (Sidereals, pg. 206) to create an astrological effect based on the imaged constellation on the imaged targets. The total successes achieved on the Wits + Martial Arts roll used to cast this charm are counted as the calligraphy successes for the petition. If the painting is used in this fashion, it is consumed once the astrological effect is determined.
  • For astrological effects related to the imaged constellation targeted at imaged targets, the artist need only spend Scope successes equal to the highest Essence rating of those depicted, rather than their sum. If the effect also used the painting as a petition, the effect roll gains three automatic successes as well.

The charm ends when either the motes powering it are released, all the imaged targets die or the painting is destroyed. Once the charm ends, the painting disintegrates.

Life Imitates Art

Cost: 11m; Mins: Martial Arts 7, Essence 7; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Social
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Significance Capturing Stroke, Tortured Artist's Curse, Representing Heaven
…and in the servitude of the artist.

At the pinnacle of his understanding, the artist's grasp of the interactions of reality and art allow him to rework the very fabric of his subject's being. When augmenting any social attack against an imaged target, the attack is unblockable, undodgeable and unnatural. If the attack succeeds, the artist may alter the target's Motivation as if it were an Intimacy.


Name: Sable Disposition of Being
Author: Wordman
Type: sidereal
Description: A style that turns painting into reality, based on an unfinished relay style.
Rules: E2
Form Weapons: brushes
Armor Allowed: none
Shield Allowed: no
Essence Range: 4-7
MA Range: 4-7
Total Charms: 15
Forms: 1
Comboable Charms: 11
Reflexive Charms: 1
Persistent Charms: 5


Very nice... I can't comment on the mechanics as I don't have/am not familiar with 2nd edition properly yet, certainly not enough to do sidereal MAs in them. I should note that I've not finished with Evocation of Image yet, I really like it and I'll complete it eventually ^_^... about the same time I finish my NexusProject contributions, I suspect. *sigh*
-- Darloth

This is scrumptious. If I credit you, may I transfer a copy of this to the White Wolf wiki? Kukla

Thank you, but no. When and if I want it there, I can transfer it myself. -- Wordman

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since this was written. In particular, Scroll of the Monk and some other books have been released. Looking at now-published sidereal martial arts and more social charms, some assumptions made in the creation of this style seem to no longer be true. In particular, the pinnacle charm seems very weak to me now. Any advice on how to adapt this style to "feel right", given all these new charms? - Wordman

Still seeking some assistance on this one, especially now that the 2E Sidereals book is out. -- Wordman

Seeing as there are SMA effects which utterly unmake certain things already, I think Life Imitates Art could be strengthened by allowing it to alter the target's whole being, instead of just the Motivation. Or, maybe even, the target itself does not change, but everything else--including the Loom of Fate itself--confuses the target with the work of art created with the Charm's effect... but I don't think hyperreality is a theme you were going for in the style. - Sz