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Whirling Lunatic Style
Immaculate monks didn't often stoop to the level necessary to set foot in Nexus. But sometimes they did, and this, unfortunately, was one of those times. Kila Kila Kila wasn't exactly worried, but she wasn't particularly thrilled either, that the monkish assassins had rooted out her hidden dojo, buried deep in the silt and the sorrow that permeated the rundown sections of the city. She shrugged and smiled, though. After all, she needed the practice, and who would care if she died? Her students might, but they'd get over it.
Not that she intended to die, anyway.
"So... you're going to kill me, right?" she asked, brushing a few strands of her wildly-colored, severely cut hair from in front of eyes that glittered with unpleasant facets. The three Dragon-Bloods only nodded and assumed their stern, reasoned fighting stances. Kila would show them something about reason.
She flopped her head forward and jerked her arms to her sides, then raised them at an ungainly angle, twisting her neck and planting her feet in a decidedly awkward position. The monks sneered. Kila smiled.
Then she moved, leaping at the lead monk, a Water-aspect, with a speed that was completely unexpected from her oh-so inferior style. She knocked him to the ground and planted a foot directly on his pretty face, then leapt into the air, her legs strengthened by the giddy Essence of her soul. The Dragon-Bloods were shocked at this indignity, but soon recovered. Their animas sprang to life as they activated various, deadly fighting posures that Kila was sure she wouldn't want to deal with.
So she screamed, a long, gibbering wail that rose to the rafters and shook dust upon the fighters below. Her head lolled backwards and fire poured up from her eyes, burning green and purple and blue. Then she let herself fall. The monks lashed out, but Kila's form was enhanced with solar Essence and she dodged away from their clumsy blows. She struck them for each time they missed her, the maddened offensive of her hands and her magic pouring over their blocks and parries. Where she brushed them, their flesh dissolved into flower petals before it exploded. Their cries of pain were perfect expressions of the dissonance Kila so desired.
Later, when the dust settled, Kila remarked to Gilfleng, the young Lunar who was one of her students, that the mess had been caused by a rather intensive sparring session. Then she suggested that they should probably move out very, very quickly.
Background and Training
This style is a recent invention, created by a relatively young Solar in the area of Nexus. Born as Shimmering Valley, she moved to the city proper to pursue her dreams of becoming a musician, though her tastes were strange and unorthodox, and changed her name to Kila Kila Kila upon her Exaltation. The twitching, spasmodic katas of this martial art are a direct outgrowth of Kila’s experiments in the realm of musical atonality. Her students, which include two newly exalted Solars, several Outcaste Dragon-Bloods, and a young Changing Moon, train and spar to the beat of drums and the screaming wail of sanxians and harps, carefully played so as to create the maximum dissonance. They learn to strike in between the beats, when their opponents least expect it, and to move and fight, as it were, out of tune with the rest of the world.
In addition, Kila makes sure her apprentices are well-trained in the art of making noise. Any practitioner trained in her hidden Nexus dojo will almost assuredly have at least Performance 3 with a +1 specialty in Dissonance.
Weapons and Armor
The Whirling Lunatics favor the fighting chain, which they utilize with maddened abandon.
Unexpected Madman's Spasm</b>
<b>Cost: 2 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Martial Arts: 2 Minimum Essence: 1 Prerequisite Charms: None
The first technique a Whirling Lunatic stylist learns is that of how to utilize an opponent’s rationality against them. Bolstering her reflexes with Essence, the exalt strikes from such an angle that her enemy is confounded and finds himself unable to respond. Subtract the user’s Martial Arts in dice from any held defenses used to parry an attack enhanced with this Charm
<b>Cost: 3 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Instant Type: Simple Minimum Martial Arts: 3 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Unexpected Madman's Spasm
The second technique a Whirling Lunatic stylist learns is how to find the rhythm to which an opponent’s soul dances and then to slip her attacks between the beats, avoiding parries and confounding dodges. The martial artist makes a Martial Arts attack at +2 difficulty due to its off-kilter nature. However, should the attack connect, her opponent finds himself knocked completely off-balance. For every level of damage done, he must either move backward 2 yards or lose 2 dice from all further attacks this turn. The victim’s player may choose to mix penalties in the case of multiple damage levels.
Whirling Lunatic Form</b>
<b>Cost: 5 motes Duration: One Scene Type: Simple Minimum Martial Arts: 4 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Between-the-Beats Strike
The martial artist swings her arms forward and jerks her head to one side in a swift, spasmodic kata, assuming the stance of the madman and the lunatic. Her movements are jerky and impossible to predict; her hands splay and dart without rhyme or reason, while her feet shuffle, stomp, and kick almost of their own volition. Despite the apparent awkwardness of the exalt’s movements, this form provides definite benefits. Any who oppose the Whirling Lunatic stylist have their base initiative halved and add the martial artist’s Essence to the difficulties of any parries they make against her attacks.
Distracting Skein of Hands</b>
<b>Cost: 4 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Martial Arts: 5 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms:Whirling Lunatic Form
Twisting her hands in a confusing spray of thrusts, jabs, and feints, the Whirling Lunatic thoroughly confounds her opponent, playing with his mind as a cat toys with a mouse. The exalt makes a normal Martial Arts attack but if the damage inflicted exceeds her opponent’s Wits, he is struck dumb. On the following turn, he acts last, barring the effect of initiative-stealing Charms. For the purpose of initiative-adders, his initiative rating starts at 0.
Delirium Gets Worse Approach</b>
<b>Cost: 6 motes Duration: One Turn Type: Extra Action Minimum Martial Arts: 5 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Distracting Skein of Hands
The twisting, nonsensical movements of the martial artist seem to flow outside the constraints of normal time, her feet and hands twitching outward to batter and beat with speed impossible to any sane being. Fortunately for the martial artist, she is not restricted by pretensions of sanity. For every attack that misses her, the martial artist may make a reflexive Martial Arts counterattack at her full dice pool. If any parry attempt fails to block her own attack, she may immediately re-roll a number of dice equal to the number of successes on the parry roll. This effect does not apply to any counterattacks granted by the Charm, nor may other counterattack Charms be used against counterattacks granted by this Charm.
Harmony of the Flesh’s Dissonance</b>
<b>Cost: 4 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Martial Arts: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Whirling Lunatic Form
The Whirling Lunatic plucks at her opponent’s nerves and pressure points as she does a sanxian, creating a cacophony of glorious discord or, from the victim’s perspective, excruciating pain. The exalt makes a normal Martial Arts attack, but it does no damage. Instead, for every level of damage that would have been inflicted, the martial artist’s target loses one die from all rolls for (martial artist’s Essence) turns. Multiple applications of this Charm are cumulative, with the duration being extended by one turn for every extra application, as well as adding to the dice penalty.
Pausing at the Asylum’s Threshold</b>
<b>Cost: 3 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: One Turn Type: Extra Action Minimum Martial Arts: 5 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Harmony of the Flesh's Dissonance
The exalt inhales and lets loose with a terrifying, guttural scream that rises in pitch as her fists shoot forward in a searing flash of gibbering Essence. Then she stops completely. Her opponent, utterly dumbfounded, finds himself unable to avoid the cascade of perfectly normal strikes that follow. The exalt may make a number of Martial Arts attacks equal to her Essence score, at a cost of 5 motes per attack. These attacks cannot be dodged or parried, except by perfect defenses.
Sixteen Blue Orchid Petals</b>
<b>Cost: 10 motes Duration: One Scene Type: Simple Minimum Martial Arts: 5 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisite Charms: Delirium Gets Worse Approach, Pausing at the Asylum’s Threshold
As she activates this Charm, tongues of flame lick from the irises of the martial artist’s eyes, resplendent in colors no flame should assume. Her head lolls back and her mouth hangs open. Her hands transmute flesh to flower petals, which explode into coronas of Essence fire, heavy with the maddening, pungent musk of the orchid. For the duration of the scene, any who face the Whirling Lunatic have their wound penalties doubled. In addition, the Lunatic may choose to instead strike down the sanity of her victim. Instead of inflicting normal damage, the exalt may subtract one dot from an opponent’s Intelligence or Wits for every three health levels of damage she would have dealt. As an alternative, she may inflict derangements instead of attribute drain, for the same cost of three health levels per derangement inflicted. In any case, these effects are permanent for mortals, but heal after (the martial artist’s Essence) weeks for exalts and other magical beings. The exalt cannot damage an opponent’s mind and body in the same turn; any excess health levels have no effect. The raksha are not affected by this Charm, being functionally insane by their very nature.