In the South, a hundred or so miles Southwest of The Lap there is a small village now named Aykie's Rebellion. It is a small place, carefully kept by a steady agriculture and animal farming, though it does have one characteristic that is not all too common in villages so near the coast of the Threshold. It secretly worships the Unconquered Sun with a fervor that would be envied by some of the most fanatic of the Cult of the Illuminated.
This was not always so, however. In actuality, it is a relatively new development, since not even a decade has passed since the village underwent the ferocious change that has made it what it is today.
Before it was named Aykie's Rebellion and before the villagers became devoted worshippers of the Unconquered Sun, the village was known as Rarafurran, and it had been the nesting place of an exceedingly corrupt, renegade Lesser Elemental Dragon of Fire who's name was Rrafu. So corrupt was this dragon, that his avarice and gluttony extended to the nigh-enslavement of the entire village, forcing them to worship him in cult-like ceremonies. Self-torture was a common way for the priests of his temple (if the usurped manse he had taken for himself could be called a temple, for it was small) and most of the villagers had to pray more than once a day, and offer him half of what they grew in grains and fruits, as well as offer to him enough meat from their farm animals to satiate his ravenous appetite.
However, the villagers were dedicate and worshipped the corrupt spirit as well as they could. Most of them had assimilated (if not grown up with) the idea that they would forever be under Rrafu's iron hand, doing his bidding. Only some had the daring idea (or what others called foolish hope) that one day they would be liberated. Perhaps the Dragon-blooded would come and destroy him... many of the villagers who thought this way were punished severely, and quite a few died horrible deaths.
Rrafu was a vicious overlord, and none knew this better than his chosen priests. A hereditary position, past from mother to son to daughter to son, the priests had to go through several years of self torture before being completely indoctrinated into Rrafu's small, cunning inner cult.
Amiala Aykie, priestess of Rrafu and mother of two daughters and one son died one Calibration night at the hands of her god, so did he ravish her, possessed by an uncanny appetite for the flesh of mortals, as he always was when Calibration came upon Creation.
Due to her death, her young son (for her older daughters were no eligible) was chosen to continue his mother's path into the service of the demented dragon Rrafu. Her son's name was Vija Aykie, and he was only three when his mother died from the cruel attentions of his god. Kept in the dark about his mother's true fate, he was taken from his home and the arms of his loving sisters (his father had died little time after he had been born) and dragged to the Heart of Coal, Rrafu's temple-manse. There, in the darkness and musk of the spirit, he was sworn into priesthood, and thus began his training.
For thirteen years he trained. For thirteen years he worshipped and adored more fervently than any other priest. He stood proud and his eyes shone hard over the villagers, even as he witnessed the decadence and corruption of his god. He questioned it, within his own mind, but who was he to raise his tongue against the actions of a god? He, simply a priest. He a mere mortal under the fiery brilliance of this dragon. No one. He was no one.
Until he became someone. Until he became Chosen.
Until he became Exalted.
It was exactly thirteen years after the death of his mother to day when it occurred. Like a bright, golden bolt of lightning it surged through the village, originating from one man: the priest known as Vija Aykie.
He stood in the Calibration sun's light at high noon, the sun at its peak. He was facing the temple, as he did every day at this time--and not a day he was spared, for Rrafu would not allow even Calibration to end his subjects' devotion, especially not his priests'--and was commencing the daily ritual of prayer to his god. He sat, calm and decided, entering into a deep, meditative trance as he always did.
Perhaps it was the familiar yet so distant screams that caused it, or maybe it was simply time, but within his mind, a light was shone. Without realizing, he stood and began a slow set of movements, a dance of careful, calculated worship; his body possessed by something otherwordly. Inside his mind, however, things were happening quite differently:
There was a field before him, endless. It's grass had golden blades and the sky was so bright that the sun burned white upon his brow. Wherever he looked, however he turned, the sun flared against his eyes, blinding him with a sensation he could not remember feeling, but knew all too well due to how much it had been lacking in his life: love. The feeling was love. Stricken by this feeling, he could do little to suppress the voice that had begun to thunder in his mind. It spoke in bright tones and hollow respect, but every syllable was important, every metaphor ingrained in his mind like the ephemeral message of a being so potent it made Rrafu seem like a ant, or at best a wasp. The voice was speaking, and Vija opened his soul to listen:
"The day of reckoning and restoration has come, Vija Aykie. Your time is here. Avenge your father's fruitless life. Avenge your mother's perversion in death. But most of all, save you kin, yourself, and your people. You have been Chosen, Vija Aykie. Chosen as one of my hands in Creation. Become the glove upon my radiance and shine the Light of the Unconquered Sun upon all who would say nay to my decree. You are just. You are a pillar. You are my hammer. You are resplendent. You are Zenith!"
And as the voice died, the young boy knew within his heart that a true god had called his name and chosen him. That something beyond the petty gluttony and avarice of Rrafu had decided he was worthy. That he was now a priest to a corrupt dragon no longer! Now he belonged on to the sun, unconquered and just. Now he was resplendent and exalted. Now...he knew.
When he opened his eyes, he saw before him three of the most loyal of Rrafu's priests laying on the floor, bloodied and bruised. On his hands was their flesh, their blood, and their fear. With the ferocity of the sun's glare in his vision, he kicked at one of their heads and sent the body sprawling aside, making his way towards the manse where Rrafu was indulging in one of his yearly sexual binges. Nothing would stop the newly chosen priest of the sun. Nothing would derail him from his new mission, and he proved this as he dodged a blade from one of the manse's guards and took it from the man, sinking it deep into his kidneys and twisting it with vicious precision before slipping it free and using it to impale the other guard with the force of a heavenly bull.
He rampaged through the manse, heading towards the part of the structure where he knew Rrafu was, and when he reached it, he blasphemously kicked the doors open with dark, vengeful eyes. Eyes that turned grey with despair at the sight of one of his sisters (the younger, named Maeli) being savagely raped by the dragon he had called god for so long.
It was enough to send the young man into a berserker rage that drove him towards his surprised god and aided him in ripping a hole through Rrafu's defenses, stabbing the mortal weapon deep into the dragon's humanoid chest. "Bastard! Feel the vengeance of the noon sun, false prophet of flame and torment!" he yelled, poetic battle cries dripping toxic from his lips as he left the dragon there, the sword inserted into his chest, and took his sister, fleeing the scene with austere velocity.
Outside, the village had rallied and was attempting to figure out what happened, when Vija and his sister came tumbling from the flaming innards of the manse. He stood, proud and flaring as coiling flames of gold and white circled his body, and he said: "Fathers! Mothers! Husbands! Wives! The time has come to show this depraved god what our worship was worth! We are slaves no longer! We fight! We fight for freedom! We fight for liberty! We fight for the brightness and kindness of the Unconquered Sun, who has awakened me to the truth! Rrafu is corrupt and surfeit in his cruelty and demands! No longer shall we stand by and let him take what we most cherish!"
His words, though spoken with the voice of someone who had only recently become a man, entered the hearts of the people of Rarafurran with so much passion that they reared their heads back, puffed their chests, rose their arms and screamed acquiescence. At that moment, a blast of searing heat bolted from within the manse and struck the young Exalt in the back, lighting his very flesh on fire.
Though the villagers were taken aback, they stared hungrily a Rrafu, their eyes blazing with universal righteousness. They lunged, pitchforks and shovels, lances and swords. Even those who had fought (and survived) the attack on the temple that Vija had initiated turned their swords on their former master, attacking him in a wave of mortal frenzy that Rrafu was unprepared for. So unforeseen was this action by the villagers, that Rrafu had no spare power to counterattack. With a roar of fiery might, he blazed through the mortal crowd, decimating and destroying as many as he could by setting them ablaze. But that was the last action he would attempt before realizing that they were too many, too fast, too strong. That was when he vanished from Rarafurran, becoming like a ghost or spirit and disappearing into the ether, shamed into a depraved coward's fate.
In his unconscious, painful state, Vija once again was shone a vision, although this one was decidedly different than the one that had awakened him to the truth:
In darkness he stood, creeping slowly along the banks of a death-black river. He was hiding. But from what? With careful control he kept an immense power that lay within him at bay, holding it within him at the ready, should his hunters find him. With him there were others. Companions chosen by the same patron as he, but with different gifts. Distant noises came to his ears, screams of men, women and children dying under the barrage of powerful lights in the distance. His heart told him he and his companions should go towards the battle, but the shape next to him--that of a beautiful spotted owl--filled him with worry and hesitation. He could not risk that being, for it meant more to him than the world, and she--she?--was already wounded.
With a flash, fire arose before them and water burst in a pillar beside them. The woods came to life and the earth trembled and lightning bolted through the group, striking one of his companions. The light inside him grew and exploded as he found himself faced with those hunters he had been attempting to avoid. They would not take her. They could destroy him, rape his soul and viciously beat his devotion...but they would not have her!
He awoke in a bed several days after the rebellion in Rarafurran, his entire torso bandaged and his sister Maeli carefully tending to everything to make sure he was all right. Even as he regained consciousness, she assaulted him with gratitude and curiousness, and to her he explained everything.
It took months to bring the village into the full fold of the Unconquered Sun, but they accepted it readily after explanations and demonstrations of the powers he had gained because of being chosen by the Sun. It was decided that this change in their religious ways would be kept silent and secret, lest the nobles of the Realm come upon them in angry pogrom.
Once everything was set, Vija confessed to his fellow villagers that he would be leaving for broader pastures, to spread the word and protect other innocent villages from unjust and unworthy dictator-gods. While saddened to see him go, the villagers knew that they could not stop them, nor was it their wish to do so. Only Maeli protested, but quieted was she by a kiss to the forehead from her younger brother.
On the night he left, the villagers paid their respects to their hero, renaming Rarafurran as Aykie's Rebellion as they watched the back of the young Solar distance itself from his home.
Perhaps one of the most distinguishing of Vija's characteristics is that he has no distinguishing marks. At least, no visible ones. Under six feet tall and with a wiry frame, he seems to lack the muscle necessary to be a warrior-priest of the Unconquered Sun. His skin is paler than the majority of his Southern compatriots, tilting to that which one might find near the Scavenger Lands, though his hair is the darkest of the darks, jet in color and opaque to the sun's rays. His hardened eyes and a dedicated visage may startle some people, though it isn't anything uncommon, especially for an Exalt. He's not exactly the most handsome young man in Creation, but he does get looks.
He tends to wear simple robes that flow about his lithe frame with sure movements, and within which he can hide things, such as weapons, or other objects. The robes are held carefully in place by a belt made of linked circlets similar to those he wears around his wrists. He usually doesn't wear anything on his feet but sandals, though he does understand that weather may make his habit a bit uncomfortable.
Under the robes he wears a black shirt so thin that it is all but weightless on his body. It straps carefully around his torso and covers his entire back. He had this specially made before he left his village by the head-weaver of Rrafu. It is made to cover the painful scarring that crawls from the small of his back to the nape of his neck. Ironically enough, the scarring is almost a tattoo of a dragon of sorts--this is not as surprising as it might be, since he was burned by Rrafu himself.
Though mostly calm and peaceful, at least outwardly, Vija's inner fire burns as brightly as the noon sun. He has been known to lose his temper at the drop of a hat when discussions about the validity of the Unconquered Sun are occurring. He has trouble holding back his tongue, especially in front of people who ignorantly deny that the sun is worth worshipping. Worst of all, he has serious problems when it comes to devout dragon-blooded of the Realm, since their religious beliefs are completely alien to his own, and clash at every turn.
Otherwise, however, he is a calm young man who can laugh and jest with companions without trouble. Even though he has no friends outside of his home village, he would be extremely protective of any true friends that he made, and is the type of person that would lay the first line of defense against anyone threatening a comrade in arms.
He has no problem killing the unjust and evil, though he cannot stand unnecessary deaths, and will avenge innocents with or without help.
Unfortunately, he's a little shy when it comes to the ladies. Unable to really break free from the concept of priesthood, though he knows that the Unconquered Sun in no way banned him to celibacy, he still has trouble discerning the intentions of women, thus his sweaty palms when near women and ongoing virginity.
Concept: Warrior Priest
Anima: Coiling Dragons
Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 5, Stamina 4
Social: Charisma 4, Manipulation 2, Appearance 3
Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 3
Dawn: Archery, Brawl 3, Martial Arts, *Melee 5 (Reaper Daiklave +2), Thrown 2
Zenith: *Endurance 3, *Performance 2, *Presence 4 (Impassioned Oration +2), *Resistance 3, *Survival 3 (Deserts +1)
Twilight: Craft, Investigation, Lore 1, *Medicine 2, *Occult 2
Night: *Athletics 3 (Acrobatics +1), Awareness 2, *Dodge 5 (Multiple Opponents +2), Larceny 1, Stealth 2
Eclipse: Bureaucracy, Linguistics (Flametongue; Riverspeak) 1, Ride 1, Sail, Socialize 1
Backgrounds: Artifact 3, Manse 1, Resources 1, Familiar 2
Virtues: Compassion 2, Conviction 4, Temperance 2, Valor 3
Virtue Flaw: Desperate Vision
Health: -0, -1, -1, -1, -2, -2, -2, -2, -4, Incap.
Armor and Soak: Chain Shirt
Equipment: Clothes, reaper daiklave, knives (2), heathrstone amulet, pouch with money, rations for him and Bombaah.
Merits: Ambidextrous (1), Hidden Manse (2)
Flaws: Enemy (Rrafu) (3)
|| Charm or Spell || Ability || Cost || Duration || Type || Effects || |[ Graceful Crane Stance |[ Athletics |[ 3 motes |[ One Scene |[ Reflexive |[ The character no longer rolls Athletics, he can stand on a leaf and takes no falling damage. || |[ Monkey Leap Technique |[ Athletics |[ 1 mote |[ One Turn |[ Reflexive |[ The character can leap up to her Strength x 10 yards vertically or twice that distance horizontally instead of her normal movement action. || |[ Sensory Acuity Prana |[ Awareness |[ 5 motes |[ One Scene |[ Simple |[ Adds Essence to the character's Awareness rolls, and makes the world stand out, more beautiful and perfect in it's glory. || |[ Reed in the Wind |[ Dodge |[ 1 mote per 2 dice |[ Instant |[ Reflexive |[ Dice adder to Dodge rolls. || |[ Shadow Over Water |[ Dodge |[ 2 motes |[ Instant |[ Reflexive |[ Allows for a reflexive Dodge at full dicepool. || |[ Reflex Sidestep Technique |[ Dodge |[ 2 motes |[ Instant |[ Reflexive |[ Allows the character to make a reflexive Dodge against attacks he is not aware of, with a dicepool of his Essence times 2. || |[ Seven Shadow Evasion |[ Dodge |[ 6 motes |[ Instant |[ Reflexive |[ The character Dodges, without a roll, any one attack. || |[ Flow Like Blood |[ Dodge |[ 5 motes, 1 WP |[ One Scene |[ Simple |[ For the rest of the Scene, the character may dodge all attacks with his full dicepool, perceived or not. || |[ Ox-Body Technique |[ Endurance |[ None |[ Permanent |[ Special |[ Adds one -1 and two -2 Health Levels. || |[ Body-Mending Meditation |[ Medicine |[ 10 motes |[ One Day |[ Reflexive |[ Character multiplies healing times by 10 unless the wounds are Aggravated. This cannot regenerate body parts; and it can be activated while unconscious. || |[ Grievious Injury Recovery Method |[ Medicine |[ 10 motes |[ One Day |[ Simple |[ Roll Stamina + Endurance. During bedrest, the character heals a number of Health Levels equal to her Essence + successes. || |[ Excellent Strike |[ Melee |[ 1 mote per die |[ Instant |[ Supplemental |[ Dice adder to Melee rolls. || |[ One Weapon, Two Blows |[ Melee |[ 2 motes |[ Instant |[ Extra Action |[ Character attacks twice on his initiative. Dodge or parry rolls apply to both attacks. || |[ Peony Blossom Attack |[ Melee |[ 3 motes |[ Instant |[ Extra Action |[ Character can attack multiple times in a turn, paying 3 motes per attack, up to a number equal to permanent Essence. || |[ Golden Essence Block |[ Melee |[ 1 mote per 2 dice |[ Instant |[ Reflexive |[ Dice adder to parry rolls. || |[ Dipping Swallow Defense |[ Melee |[ 2 motes |[ Instant |[ Reflexive |[ Allows for a reflexive parry at full dicepool. || |[ Bulwark Stance |[ Melee |[ 5 motes |[ Until next turn |[ Simple |[ Character can use his full Melee dicepool to block any incoming attack he is aware of and that has a physical component until his next action. || |[ Fivefold Bulwark Stance |[ Melee |[ 5 motes, 1 WP |[ One Scene |[ Reflexive |[ For the rest of the Scene, the character may parry all attacks with his full dicepool, as long as he can perceive them and they have a physical component. || |[ Heavenly Guardian Defense |[ Melee |[ 3 motes, 1 WP |[ Instant |[ Reflexive |[ Perfect defense. 'Nuff said. || |[ Spirit-Detecting Glance |[ Occult |[ 3 motes |[ One Scene |[ Simple |[ Allows the character to perceive unmanifested and immaterial spirits. || |[ Harmonious Presence Meditation |[ Presence |[ 6 motes |[ One Hour |[ Simple |[ Adds Essence in dice to any Socialize, Presence and Bureaucracy rolls made during one-on-one interaction. || |[ Durability of Oak Meditation |[ Resistance |[ 1 mote per 2B |[ One Scene |[ Simple |[ Adds 2 points of Bashing soak per mote spent. || |[ Iron Skin Concentration |[ Resistance |[ 3 motes |[ Instant |[ Reflexive |[ Reduces the amount of damage from an attack to it's bare minimum (usually attacker's Essence). || |[ Spirit Strengthens the Skin |[ Resistance |[ 2 motes, 1 WP |[ One Scene |[ Reflexive |[ Character can soak Lethal damage with his Bashing soak pool. || |[ Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit |[ Survival |[ 5 motes |[ One Day |[ Simple |[ Immunizes the character to the effects of some of the most hostile natural conditions in Creation (except for supremely extreme Elemental Conditions. ||
Artifacts: His three dots in Artifact belong to his curved Reaper Daiklave and his Hearthstone Amulet. The Amulet was found within the temple that had been Rrafu's manse at the village, and the villagers gifted him (and the Hearthstone) when he left. He cherishes is with ferocity, especially since it is one of the few things he carries with him that remind him of home. His daiklave is another matter.
During his travels, he met a young Night Caste who had just come back from pillaging a small Guild outpost near Chiaroscuro. The young man, desperate for help, begged him for assistance in hiding from the Guild, as he was spent of energies and Essence and could do nothing more to hide himself until he had rested. Vija acquiesced, and stalled the Guild for some time, allowing the other Solar to escape. Later on, he met the Night caste again, and for his assistance was gifted a curved reaper daiklave, which he has learned to use with startling efficiency. The two parted ways, but Vija has a feeling they'll meet again before long.
Manse: The manse that had been Rrafu's temple had never looked like much of a holy place, much less a site of mystical energies. The manse is old and decrepit-looking on the outside, and looks almost like an ordinary building to any passerby. The villagers treat it as such, and deny fervently that it is anything but the town hall, which sees little to no use (this is also the justification for the Hidden Manse merit, as the villagers do anything to keep its true nature a secret). Within the manse there was a Hearthstone of Fire, the Stone of Passion, which he took with him placed in the Hearthstone Amulet. (If you ever need more description of the manse itself, let me know).
Resources: He has little to no money, really. A few valuables here and there, and some cold hard cash to get by, but he hadn't left the town with much in the way of resources, and he hasn't made it big in his travels either. What he does have he has either because it was a reward for helping others (though he was always unwilling to take anything save the daiklave, but sometimes people are pushy) or money from the pouches of dispatched criminals and Guild merchants that he hasn't given away to the victims, either because there lacked victims, or they were dead already and the act was vengeful.
Familiar: A few months after leaving Aykie's Rebellion, he ran across a man and a dog. The man was old and looked tired, so the Zenith decided he would accompany the man to his destination, to see that the old one arrived safely (and alive). The dog was just a puppy then, and as it turned out, the old man arrived safely to his destination: his two daughters' home. This is where he died the night after he arrived. Before his dying breath, he asked Vija to please take care of "Bombaah," the omen dog. Filled with sorrow, the Zenith acquiesced over the loud wails of the old man's daughters.
Bombaah and Vija have, since then, formed a strong bond. The dog helps him with anything that he needs, obeys, and even plays with him. Despite his huge size (omen dogs are terrifyingly large) the dog still acts much like a puppy, leaping and rolling in the ground whenever he thinks it's time to play. He loves the Zenith with every mote of Essence in his being, and will defend the Solar without hesitation, should he see that his friend is in trouble. Their relationship is not one of master and pet, even though it may seem so to outsiders, but more of companions and heart-felt friends.
Bombaah is a large omen dog, standing a full four feet tall. His fur is, appropriately (and strangely) enough, a golden hue, and his eyes are bright and wide. He's full of muscle everywhere, and this belies the unsual litheness and agility with which he can act. He's generally friendly with anyone that Vija isn't antagonistic towards, though he will become agitated if Vija does. He tends to stray away from fights unless Vija is in desperate need of help, in which case he will leap to attack without hesitation. When free to do as he pleases, he enjoys slumping down on his belly or back on a patch of bright, warm sunlight.
Unique Virtue Flaw
Desperate Vision: The character becomes obsessed with doing everything he can to bring his vision of a perfect world to pass. In Vija's case, everyone should worship the Unconquered Sun, and live in harmony, with violence obliterated and evil smitten. For a number of days equal to his Conviction score, he will take every opportunity to bring forth in situations and people the world he things Creation can (and should) be. If no opportunities present themselves, he will preach, threaten and create those opportunities.
Limit Break Condition: The character is presented with something that challenges his beliefs and/or the possibility of the world he sees as righteous and just never coming to pass, and becomes obsessed with bringing it to do so.
Fist: Speed 8, Accuracy 8, Damage 3B, Defense 8
Kick: Speed 5, Accuracy 7, Damage 5B, Defense 7
Reaper Daiklave: Speed 13, Accuracy 15, Damage 7L, Defense 14
Knife (Melee): Speed 11, Accuracy 12, Damage 4L, Defense 10
Knife (Thrown): Accuracy 7, Damage 5L, Rate 3, Range 15
Specialties: Multiple Opponents: 12
Base Initiative: 8
Bombaah the Omen Dog
Attributes: Strength 5, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4
Abilities: Athletics 2, Awareness 2, Brawl 4, Dodge 2, Stealth 2, Survival 2
Health Levels: -0, -1, -1, -2, -2, -4, Incapacitated
Attacks: Bite (Spd 7, Atk 8, Dmg 6L)
Familiar Merits: Long-Lived (0), Obedient (0), Impressive Animal (2), Very Clever (1), Expressive (1), Minor Supernatural Ability (1)
Supernatural Ability: Bombaah is unsually quick and lightfooted for an omen dog. Such creatures are usually heavy and cumbersome, using their powerful weight to tackle and pin. While Bombaah is just as heavy and powerful as his bretheren, he's also quicker, lither, and more like his Exalted master in the way he moves. This translates into an extra dot of Dexterity on the character sheet.
Note: He was created using CrownedSun/Familiars rules.
List of spendings.
He was made with 122 Bonus Points, as per Storyteller rules; and without Power Combat.