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Spirit Binding Pattern

Or, "Why Heaven Will Save the Day"

This charm, if properly applied, is the answer to every problem in the game (except for three). It is within the reach of a circle of starting Sidereals.


  1. Assemble a full circle of Sidereals of any power. One of them must know Spirit Binding Battle Pattern (this requires Essence 3 and Presence 5, so the Sidereal can be a starting character). Let's call that Sidereal Bob.
  2. Bob finds two reasonably sized armies on the verge of a battle.\\

(There are many investigative techniques that could be used. All else failing, the Sidereals could simply use one of a dozen methods to provoke a war.)

  1. Bob uses Predestined Triumph Practice on one of the sides. He may channel a virtue for the roll if he wishes. If he fails, he can simply invoke the charm again until he succeeds.
  2. Bob then activates Spirit-Binding Pattern, with the support of the other four Sidereals, and names The Unconquered Sun.
  3. From a safe distance away, Bob monitors the battle. When enough soldiers from the chosen side have died (at least 360; 540 or more virtually guarantees success) Bob calls upon The Unconquered Sun to manifest and perform for him a favour. (This involves a roll. Bob might want to channel a virtue on this.)

Uses for this Charm

  • Are you concerned with Mask of Winters? Ask the UCS to cleanse Thorns and the surrounding area with holy atomic fire. (Or, if you're ambitious, ask him to cleanse every shadowland in Creation.)
  • Is getting into the Jade Pleasure Dome your ultimate goal? Ask the UCS for a lifetime pass, or even to let you make a single move in the GoD (better bring along Duck Fate comboed with Absence if you don't want your brain to burn out).
  • Have the legions of the First and Forsaken Lion burst forth from the South to swallow the world? Are the legions of the fey swarming in from the borders of Creation? Have Ma-Ha-Suchi and Raski emerged from the jungles with thousands of beastmen to destroy civilization? Has the Scarlet Empress returned, brought order to the Realm, and launched a full-scale pogrom against the newly returned Solars with the secret backing of the Yozis? Ask the UCS to exterminate them. (Remember that the Arial Legion -- and the Kukla -- answers to his command.)
  • Do you wish that Chejop Kejak and his inner circle would go stuff themselves? Ask the UCS to publicly state his displeasure over the Usurpation, and personally beat Kejak within an inch of his life. (Or alternately, use the charm to summon the Maiden of Secrets, and have her publicly declare that the Great Prophecy was wrong. Then watch the Bronze Faction tear itself apart.)
  • Do you want to end the Abyssals once and for all? Ask the UCS to march into the Underworld, seize the tainted Solar shards from the claws of the Deathlords, give Mask of Winters a wedgie, give the shards a good scrubbing, and return them to Lytek.

More mundane uses of the charm:

  • Do you want a specific person to Exalt? Ask the UCS, Luna, or the appropriate Maiden to personally ensure it. (This can be used -- along with certain other effects -- to achieve the resurrection of Exalts.)
  • Do you want another point of Essence? Ask any reasonably powerful god to Endow you.
  • Do you want a corrupt but politically powerful greater god to be brought to justice? Ask the UCS.
  • Do you want a cartload of the Peaches of Immortality? Ask and ye shall receive. (Admittedly, there are easier ways of getting them.)
  • Do you want Salary 5, a Celestial Manse, and a boatload of artifacts? Just ask sugar daddy UCS.
  • Do you want the Maiden of Serenity to... ahem. Kill that thought.

What can't this charm instantly solve?

Curing the Great Curse, freeing the Yozis, and destroying the Malfeans.


Some have suggested that if one were to use this Charm and name one of the Incarna, one would be instantly struck down for hubris. I disagree. My thinking is that the Maiden of Battles made this charm capable of reaching the Incarna for a reason: this _is_ the World is on the Brink of Destruction Attention-Getting Memo Methodology. - Raindoll

I... I... I mean... this isn't a joke, is it? This is actually in the Sidereal book? Like, dead-serious, swear-to-god type in the book? This is beyond horrible. Can someone please please (and I'm not trying to be an asshole here, I'm really looking for reassurance) tell me with a straight face that this does not prove that Sidereals are more powerful than Solars? - SMK, who really isn't trying to get flamed, he swears

If you look at how the Charm's written, you can see why the author didn't think it was too powerful. Keep in mind that normally, this charm can only call upon spirits of Essence 5 or lower. This is raised by one for every Sidereal of a different caste that supports you in the invocation. For the charm to work, it needs to be used in conjunction with Predestined Triumph Practice for a battle. Finally, for the charm to succeed, you must make a roll at difficulty of the target's Essence. The pool for the roll is the number of Exalts on your side who have died in the battle so far, plus 1/20 the number of mortals on your side who have died so far.
If not taken to an extreme, it isn't too powerful. It takes three other Sidereals and the deaths of at least 320 of your allies in battle to have a ~50% chance of summoning a Lesser Elemental Dragon. The necessity of a battle isn't an insignificant part of the ceremony: massive battles don't happen every day.
It's my opinion that this charm reflects the fact that Sidereals work directly for heaven, just like the Astrological effect that allows them to cause a Lesser Elemental Dragon censor to instantly teleport to their location. But yes, as I've shown, this charm can be used to produce ridiculous effects. - Raindoll
Don't forget, if a circle of Sidereals did manage to summon the Unconquered Sun to do them a favor, he would HATE them forever, because they've undoubtedly dragged him away from the Games of Divinity, and we all can imagine how much he'd hate that. EJGRgunner
Hmm. Do you think that maybe the UCS can be present in multiple places at once, like some third-circle demons? That would explain how he appears to Zeniths without ever getting off his ass. In any case, I think it would be simple good policy for such Sidereals to make ample prayer offerings to the UCS after the fact to mollify him.
(I can see a scenario where Sidereals use this charm, then find that things keep on going wrong for them. Gods seem standoffish and uncooperative face-to-face; someone's shooting down their planned fates or making sure they get bogged down in committee; they face a string of audits; someone slashes the tires of their Celestial rickshaw, etc. One of them uses an Investigation charm, and they discover that the reason for their misfortune is the UCS's displeasure: although he's prevented from directly acting against them, his annoyance has tricked down through the Celestial buraucracy. It is at that point that they conduct the appropriate rituals to appease his wrath.) - Raindoll
I don't think that the UCS can be in multiple places at once. So far, as far as I can tell, only 3rd circle demons can do that... and they're imprisoned Yozis, while the UCS is merely a Spirit. I think he can pull shards of himself to him though, which is how he handles Zeniths (and any other exaltations he "appears" at). At best I'd say he can create illusions of himself elsewhere. EJGRgunner
3rd circle demons aren't Yozis; they're the souls of the Yozis. If they were Yozis, they couldn't be summoned. - Toram
It is obvious that the Unconquered Sun can be in more than one place at once, since he spends all his time in the Jade Pleasure Dome but at the same time manages to spend dawn until dusk each day strolling across the sky. He is, after all, not "Pelominos, God Of The Sun"; he is The Sun itself, his brilliance the light of Creation. -Ben-San
I happen to agree with you. I find it amusing to propose such things, though, because there are some who are reluctant to deny any ability to the UCS. (It's not beyond the realm of possibility, but I don't think it's at all likely.) - Raindoll
I have to say that I don't think the Unconquered Sun would express his displeasure at being summoned like that very mildly. I think that if he could, he would obliterate the Sidereals. If he couldn't (and the only reason I can think of why he wouldn't is if the Charm that does this won't allow it), he'd bring any possible power to bear ... unless they made a very, very, very good case.\\

There aren't any Sidereal Presence Charms that are gonna convince the Unconquered Sun not to hate them forever just for taking him away from the Games of Divinity for a while. Or insulting him like this. I'm pretty sure you'd need Solar Presence Charms to get him to even listen to the Sidereals' case. Powerful ones. Otherwise, the Sidereals get their favour, and perhaps they even survive ... but not for long.\\ Frankly, if I ever had any Sidereal characters dumb / twinkish enough to do this, I'd have no compunctions about killing them all and sending their souls to eternal torment. And then never STing for them again. Ever.\\ ~ Shataina

Yeah, the charm stipulates that the summoned spirit can't seek any revenge if they just ask a single favor.\\

As for that last bit, I can see legitimate reasons to use this to call the UCS. For example, if the world really is on the brink of destruction, and the charm is invoked on a desperate alliance of Lookshy, the renegade Legions (led jointly by Tepet Arada and Tepet Ejava), and several Solars to make a last stand against the armies of <insert menace here>. They fight valiantly, but the enemy hordes are without end. The Dawn champion fights his way to the enemy general and engages him in single combat: he drives the enemy leader back with his ferocity, and for a second it seems as if he can win. But then, he stumbles [botches a roll], and the enemy's mouth twists in a cruel smile as he raises his blade to finish him... and then, it's all "The Eagles are coming! The Eagles are coming!" Except, instead of eagles, they're thunderbirds and huraka. And they're being led by the UCS. - Raindoll

Funny. If I had a Circle of Sidereals dumb enough to try this, and they succeeded, I'd probably give them promotions, then tell them the story was over and we're going to start as Square One again - with Abyssals. - willows
So the Charm stipulates that. Hmm. But it doesn't stipulate that allies can't seek revenge for him. Oops. I wonder how many allies the Unconquered Sun has?\\

Oh, and I forgot my other point, which was that assuming that a Sidereal Charm can directly control the Unconquered Sun is chancy at best. The Unconquered Sun being above the Maidens and all.\\ Interesting approach, willows, but I hate Abyssals, so it wouldn't really work for me :). (Although come to think of it I hate Abyssals rather less than I hate Sidereals ...)\\ ~ Shataina\\ PS: Still wondering about that page ref, Raindoll?

I would assume that all the Celestial Incarna have at least Essence 10, in which case Spirit-Binding Battle Pattern fails to affect them. (Normal maximum target Essence = 5; there are at most 4 castes of Sidereals of which you are not a member; ergo, maximum target Essence cannot be raised above 9.) --MF

That'd be a fair assumption, if it weren't for the fact that we're told in the core book that the Incarna all have Essence 8 or 9. - Raindoll
Really? OK, I take it back then. (I haven't been playing this game long enough to have memorized the entire core book yet; it's more information-packed than any other game I can think of right now.) --MF
I suspect that if GCG were asked that question today, he'd say they had a 10. There seems to have been some power creep since the core book. --Toram
Can I get a page ref on that, Raindoll?\\

~ Shataina

Page 290: "The Celestines and their minions [...] may have Essence ratings as high as 8 or 9."- Raindoll

I think I see the problem with this charm. The powers of the gods do not scale linearly with Essence; it's more of an exponential curve. However, the difficulty of the roll (and the size of the dice pool used) are scaled linearly with participants/casualties. It might be better to get 1 die for the first Exalt or 20 mortals, and then +1 die for every subsequent doubling. That way, you could only call the big guns for truly huge wars. - Toram

Yup, that's the problem, all right. --MF
That makes a lot of sense, although I wouldn't make the scaling quite so steep. If you have to have 10,240 troops die just to get a reasonable chance of summoning a Celestial Lion, the charm is fairly useless. - Raindoll
Maybe +2 dice per doubling? --MF
That assumes a target number of 7. Not always a safe assumption with Sidereals. - Toram
Hmmm...the only things that could reduce the TN on that roll would be WSAV (which can potentially apply to any roll--except possibly a damage roll) and an astrological effect (which would apply a maximum -1 TN). --MF
It's probably not unreasonable to expect that the user of the charm would have at least one WSAV which applies. And if I planned something this ballsy, I'd sure try doing the astrology ahead of time. - Toram
Not saying it's impossible, or even unlikely. Just not trivially easy. You'd have to commit XP to it. --MF
640 troops and 4 DBs (about a Dragon) would be enough to get 9 dice. Do some astrology, burn a WP...there's a reasonable chance of pulling 5 or 6 successes out of it. - Toram

One question for Raindoll... is this connected to the similar suggestion on rpg.net at... (err, okay, the search function's not working there at the moment...), but the one that talked about using this to get the Sun to destroy the Games? - Random Nerd

I wasn't aware of that, but that sounds like a cool suggestion of what to do with this Charm. (I've since seen E. Deirdre Brooks's signature, and I have to say that sounds like a great thread.)\\

- Raindoll

Me and a friend were just looking over this. Here's what we got:

The Sidereal's location and invocation immediately become obvious to the spirit, wherever it may be.\\ Exalted: the Sidereals, page 161

So what the hell does this mean? Before you even start rolling, as in, while you are just getting the dice to make this roll, the Unconquered Sun gets a little fairy on his shoulder saying "Some Sidereal is about to f--k you." The Unconquered Sun, obviously insulted, annoyed, and probably pissed out of his mind, pushes the pause botton on the Games of Divinity, immediately teleports to your location using his own personal version of Portal. You know, the Essence 10 "I'm the Unconquered Sun, bitch" Charm and surveys the battlefield.

The dicepool for summoning and binding the spirit starts at zero. The death of one Exalted, or twenty unExalted warriors on the Sidereal's side adds one die to this pool. Whenever the Exalt finds this dice pool satisfactory, the player rolls against the spiirt's Essence.\\ Exalted: the Sidereals, page 161

So the Unconquered Sun just showed-up on your battle field.

Success binds the spirit to grant whatsoever favor the character demands, and exact no retribution.\\ Exalted: the Sidereals, page 161

Notice the use of the use of the word retribution, it implies action after the fact. Nothing in the Charm says the Unconquered Sun doesn't say, "What did the 20 fingers say to the face? SLAP!" He would only be bound after you rolled your dice. Back to our battle field...

So the Unconquered Sun shows up. You have about three seconds or so before the Unconquered Sun surveys the situation, and determines whether or not you survive long enough to accrue the neccessary dice to bind the Unconquered Sun. Good luck with that.

Stuff. Blaque\\ And Little Hyver, who will remain nameless.

No reason either for an ST not to pull a deus ex and nix the attempt before it even starts. Presumably, group of Sidereals who want to summon the UCS will have their plans revealed in the Loom of Fate long before they actually get around to it. It's not like the UCS walking around Creation and destroying all the Deathlords or personally crushing the Realm into dust would be subtle. Before it would even get off the ground, some elder Sidereals would probably approach those planning the summoning and say, "Stop it, now." -LiOfOrchid

Just a little note for the Sidereals intrepid enough to actually try to do this - Sure, they can summon Sol to crush their enemies and he won't be allowed by his own rules to squash them like a bug for doing this particular thing. But in doing so, they have attracted his attention. That doesn't just go away the instant the summoning is over. He'll be watching them indefinitely afterwards, untill he gets tired of it. And the instant they step the tiniest bit out of line after the summoning is over, if they've angered him, he will probably come down on them like well, like the Sun. Up Close and Personal like. So - unless you have a very good reason to use this charm on a Celestine, I'd advise against it. There are probably very few souls in creation capable of holding themselves to Sol Invictis's - or any other Incarna's - standards of correct action for any length of time. And most of those probably exalt as Solars sooner or later. Gamlain

As a second note re Sidereals being more powerfull, it occurs to me that a Zenith could accomplish the same thing if the situation were bad enough to actually warrent it - just by asking nicely. No need for a charm or a ritual or even a huge battle. A prayer of 'Oh Shit, there's a Yozi, *here*. Boss! Help!' on the Zenith's private band to the Sun would do it. If Said solar got himself into this situation by being stupid enough to bait one in Mafeas, well, he will probably just be told to get himself -out-, because there is a reason he was chosen by the sun and it wasn't to play tennis - but if a Yozi really has broken itself out of their prison, well, Sol may be showing up shortly, in a very bad mood. There is no mechanic for this, of course - but there -shouldn't- be, which is the point of this discussion, really. Gamlain
Actually, there is a mechanic for this. Core, pg 336. To paraphrase, 'In order to gain the favor of the Gods, the priest must first make an offering, and then beseech the gods for their attention and aid. This is a Charisma + Performance roll, hose difficulty is (6 - the Resources value of the offering). If the individual making the offering isn't a priest, increase the Difficulty by 1. All Zenithes, wither they want it or not, are priests.'
And then in the Player's Guide, pg 134: "Prayers to the gods regarding demons are routed to the Bureau of Destiny and, when successful, are often far from subtle. Effects can range from a hasty intercession by a Sidereal or other demon hunter, to the sudden arrival of the Crimson Panoply of Battles' quick-response force of celestial lions, lesser elemental dragons, thunderbirds and huraka."
This without getting into the Celestial Bribery a Solar could inadvertently engage in from Sidereals.
Why summon, when you can politely offer a few tons of Amrbosia, after all. :) DS

Firstly, any player who tried this would recieve a swift kick to the ass. Furthermore, I'd only let the charm operate with a scope appropriate to the battle; attempts to increase the scope of the Spirit's assitance would be met with both derision and outright refusal. Powerful gods summoned to sweep floors might not engage in direct retribution, but there's nothing to stop him from grabbing the hearthspeakerphone and announcing to all of creation the Five Glorious Steps to Identification and Disposal of the Sidereal Exalted, then going down to creation and giving all of his Solar Exalted kickass weapons and overpowered custom charms.

That said, there's no reason why (used in the manner suggested), it could not free the yozis. So you should take that off your list. The celestial incarnae have the power to summon any yozi, and the Unconquered Sun could easily free them if he so chose. - GoldenH

There's one problem with this Charm being used to summon big spirits unneccessarily (that is, in the case of anything BUT the encroaching armies of the Yozis or some similarly apocalyptic threat) by a Circle of Sidereals. It only protects you from retribution by that spirit. And the spirit affected isn't forced to keep its service a secret from everyone else. You can add that to your demands, though, but in some cases even that won't help.

Yeah, you can have the UCS give you a personal promotion to New Best Friend.

But realize that the other Incarna are going to figure out what just happened immediately, and probably smack you for hubris of the highest degree.

Yeah, you can have Luna herself denounce Raksi and Ma-Ha-Suchi and the destruction of civilization, and even make her promise to keep it a secret.

But one of the Maidens or some other high-up in the Bureau of Destiny is probably going to notice that in the Loom and trace its effect back to you. And then they'll probably smack you for hubris. Do you really think the gods are OK with the thought of Sidereals bossing around Incarna?

Yeah, you can have the Maiden of Secrets denounce the Great Prophecy.

That's the worst one yet. Chejop's gonna figure out what happened there immediately, and then he's gonna beat your behinds badly and then spend a few decades Pattern Spider Touch-ing you into the worst identities he can think of.

This is Exalted. You can have all the über-power you want, but it tends to come with skyrocketing consequences. -TheMyriadOfShades