Exalt Type: Sidereal / Demon Blooded
Caste: Chosen of Serenity
Concept: Merciful Barbarian Princess
Anima: Sky-blue corona with flickering edges of emerald fire that meld into turquoise where the blue and green meet.
Age / Apparent Age: 67 / 24
Physical Description: Winter Rose is possessed of a beauty which rivals any one of humanity's most currently famous, the difference being is that she has been gifted with a unique form of moderation. Her form is slender without her father's wiry thinness, shapely while not descending into her mother's buxom decadence; her movements graceful and sure while not resembling the sometimes overwrought play of limbs seen in dancers. Long silvery-white hair streams down her back to a point just past her hips and no farther – her face is lady-like without becoming overly angular and austere. Her father's influence is in her fair coloration, her mother's in the great soft eyes colored in the blue of her northern people. Winter Rose is beautiful almost beyond mortal measure, but the very balanced nature of her beauty keeps her from becoming too much of a stir, whether through balance of features, or a nameless something else that pulls the average person to look over her. Her bearing, despite its quiet regality, does not seem to affect this.
Typically Winter Rose will dress herself in layered robes or a simple gown, preferring lighter and pastel colors most of the time – her favorite being cream. She can carry herself well in any garment however, from shapeless heavy-weather coats of the north to the indecent (and sultry) garb of a southern dancer, but her usual attire when out on business is the gown and open-front mantle combination known as the Regalia of Jasia-laseire. With it, she cuts a suitably mystical priestess-like form.
Personality: Valiant and compassionate are two words that sum Winter Rose up quite well. She was born to and raised by a tribe of northmen led by a Lunar, and despite a caring nature all her own, she is not someone to buckle in situations that call for courage and steadfastness. This much at least her people were able to drill into her before the Sidereals came to teach her what being a chosen of destiny meant. While not so intemperate she could be called a hedonist, Winter Rose does not terribly mind the cushy life she has waiting for herself in either Yu Shan or the Blessed Isle, and would much prefer to live in luxury and comfort then not. In fact, some of her detractors in the Bureau of Destiny (and certain celestial gods who conveniently overlook their own pampered lives) whisper that the most aggravating part of her various assignments in Creation, whether demon-hunting or fetching some princeling's cat out of a tree, is the fact that she must occasionally sleep out in a cabin or a common poor-quarter flophouse. Winter Rose will never 'rough it' if she has a better option, and sometimes even goes so far as to stare down anyone who suggests she should – a rather ineffective tactic with mortals who soon forget entirely that she is traveling with them. Interestingly enough, while her father's tribe taught her to stand up for herself, she has conveniently forgotten (or pretended she has) most of their lessons on living in the wild, that is unless she is absolutely convinced she needs to remember them. What her father would have to say about this if he found out is unknown, though Winter Rose has no intention of finding out.
Being a half-demon herself, and possessed of a merciful nature, Winter Rose prefers not to kill what she considers 'benign' demons, unless she has no choice. If confronted by a Neomah causing trouble, she will try to reason with the demon courtesan, resorting to violence almost sullenly. Winter Rose has gotten into trouble before for refusing to slay Stomach Bottle bugs, as she considers them wholly harmless and too cute to meet fates at the end of her sword. People in her faction up to Chejop Kejack himself have raised their eyebrows over this, but no matter what anyone says or does short of enspelling her or using a high level charm on her, it is not likely Winter Rose is going to change her behavior.
In her leisure time the young Sidereal prefers to read – any number of subjects will do, especially frivolous material from the First Age (of which little remains) – although she is a fair player of most games, including Gateway. She has however learned not to play her husband at this game, something one of her little god servants in her manse in Yu Shan has picked up on after seeing her lose four times in a row to the man. When alone and unoccupied by her job, Winter Rose will occasionally sleep entire days away in her bed, rising only to eat and perform toiletries, a habit her sifu most distinctly does not approve of.
- Alternative Divination: Fire – Because of her parentage, particularly that of Zsofika who is aspected toward fire, Winter Rose is able to divine the future through fire as well as the stars. Any size fire above a candle-flame will do, though if she is able to enlarge the area of a candleflame to the size of a palm, she can read that as well.
- Blurred Fate – Not only does Winter Rose enjoy the protection of the Arcane Fate, but she also is blessed (and in some cases cursed) with being half-way outside fate proper, due to her mother. It is both harder for sorceries and astrology to work on her, as it is for her to affect herself with them.
- Immunity to Possession – One part of the young Sidereal's heritage has escaped criticism by her detractors: her total immunity to possession of any kind. No spirit of whatever power can possess Winter Rose for even a short time, thus making her an ideal person to send on missions where powerful spirits who specialize in possession are likely.
- Selective Conception – One of the odder things about Winter Rose is her ability to virtually choose when she becomes pregnant. It is not known where Zsofika the Kite Flute possesses this ability, though it would not be surprising, but in any case Winter Rose may not only choose not to become pregnant, but she can force herself to become so with some effort.
- Special Sense: Essence Sight – Perhaps one of the more unique of Winter Rose's advantages is the fact that she may see essence visually. Normally essence is invisible to people unless special charms are used, or a magical being manipulates it in a certain way, but she however is able to see it without any further aid. This also renders Winter Rose able to see dematerialized spirits, identify Exalts from mortals due to the higher concentration of essence within them, and so on.
- Disciple ***** – Blaine. The Great Hellion. The scourge of Gods.
- Permanent Caste Mark – Some people in Heaven have theories as to why Winter Rose's caste mark is permanently visible. One of them is that the fact she is an Exalted God-Blooded makes her power too much for her mortal frame to contain without showing some signs. And so, it 'overflows' in the form of her caste mark forever showing, though the thing does not glow until she actually uses the requisite amount of essence.
- Rival *** – Anitsu, Weaver of Pleasure, Bitch-Queen of the Cerulean Lute!
- Throwback 3 – Crazy voices in her head.
- Unholy – One unfortunate problem Winter Rose suffers from is that her demon parent was so powerful, the taint upon her makes her feel highly uncomfortable in temples. In addition, priests can easily sense her, and some of them do not like her presence around them, despite the fact that she is not truly evil.
- Weak Immune System – For all her inherited power, something went wrong when Winter Rose was conceived. She suffers from a rather bad susceptibility to illness and infection. While because of her Exalted and Demon-Blooded status she cannot die to these maladies except when confronted by extreme ones, she can be quite disabled by them. Winter Rose tries to keep this flaw secret as much as possible, and this is another reason she prefers to live easy.
Strength 2, Dexterity 4, Stamina 2
Charisma 3, Manipulation 4, Appearance 5
Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 4
- Survival 2
- Craft 5
- Dodge 5
- Linguistics 3
- Performance 3
- Socialize 4
- Melee 5 (Daiklaves+2)
- Daiklaves 2
- Lore 3
- Occult 4
- Stealth 1
- Athletics 1
- Awareness 2
- Bureaucracy 2
- Martial Arts 2
- Acquaintances **** – Winter Rose has in her time gotten close to a few non-Sidereals. Only a few of that small number of friends is in Creation (the rest are in Heaven), and all of those are Dragon-Blooded sorcerers and loremasters of Ledaal blood and some rank. Her closest non-Sidereal connection is her husband Ledaal Calistas, of which their relationship is self-explanatory. She has a few other close friends, one of which is Folum-Khat, god of the game of Gateway (who sprang into existence the moment it became popular) who dwells in Yu Shan. Since befriending him, she has persuaded him to craft her an exquisite white and blue jade Gateway set out of Ambrosia (her own, of course), which became her private gift to her husband after their wedding. Folum-Khat approves, and both of them can beat Winter Rose at Gateway rather handily.
- Artifact * – Because of her unfortunate permanently visible mark of Venus, Winter Rose herself made a simple tiara of silver with traces of starmetal alloyed into it, to house her hearthstone. The magical gem is centered on her forehead, right above her caste-mark. Of course, if she uses her power too much it will shine through the hearthstone and become visible, but there is no helping that. The tiara itself is elegantly simple and without decoration or stylized design.
- Artifact ** – Much older then the tiara, the Regalia of Jasia-laseire is the attire of a Sidereal priestess-assassin who served a relatively minor Solar king in the north in the First Age. Tortured to death by her lord out of paranoia two centuries before the Usurpation, her slim simple gown and its matching mantle were lost for years, later recovered by the Dragon-Blooded as they stormed the man's floating keep. The clothing's value as non-restricting armor due to the few starmetal threads used in its weaving was further enhanced by the fact that somehow, a little of Jasia's ability as an astrologer par-excellence was absorbed into the garment. The mantle is a warm brown, and the gown itself cream white – both fold and crease easily when worn, but neither seem to stay and they can be folded up without pressing. Besides the starmetal threads, the garments are made out of a rather fine silk.
- Artifact *** – Arrakis (Dancer) was named thus during the Usurpation, in which a Sidereal dancer performing for the amusement of her doomed lords called the weapon into her hand out of nowhere and struck down the nearest Solar, disempowering his weapon and armor with rapid blows, depriving him of both their use and lightness much to his bewilderment. A slender starmetal alloy daiklave with a double-edged blade and elegant hilt, Arrakis does not favorably compare to more modern (and many old) daiklaves of greater mass in intimidation value, though in actuality it is superior to the standard make in actually being used to hit and block things. Crafted to manipulate local fate even against those beings otherwise outside of it, Arrakis disrupts the bond between a wielder and his magical weapons and armor, making it as if he had never committed the motes to attune them. The unlucky fellow's recourse is thereafter to re-attune them to himself, something not many can do during a fight. Winter Rose received this weapon after a particularly favorable mission in which she slew a fledgling Solar after the Dragon-Blooded she had secretly been traveling with had all fallen to the Anathema's grand daiklave.
- Celestial Manse *** – Not all of Yu Shan is urban, and like the Blessed Isle it is patterned after, the heavenly city contains large tracts of 'wild' land, though these tracts always have a residence somewhere in place. Winter Rose owns one of these, about twenty three acres of light to moderately forested land with a small palace somewhat off-center. Before her ownership of the manse, it was said to be the possession of one of Kejack's inner circle who has recently passed away in the last three decades. Winter Rose acquired the structure and its grounds shortly after her training finished, and has used it as her celestial retreat ever since – appreciating the simple lines of its construction, and the Sidereal-aligned hearthstone it produces. Occasionally she will take her husband here, where he is waited upon by the little-god servants she employs instead of the humans he is accustomed to on the Blessed Isle.
- Connections: Division of Serenity * – For Winter Rose to get anywhere within her division, some connections within the Cerulean Lute of Harmony are required. In her case, Winter Rose has a certain secretary of rather high placement who lets her whisper into his ear. She can arrange for some rather interesting things to happen with this kind of influence, including blessings on marriages and entire classes of certain people in various mortal cities on a limited level, as well as curses upon those who meddle in such things. Her minor contacts are less useful but aid her in getting some of her requests passed, and defending her actions.
- Connections: Dragon-Blooded * – Affiliated with House Ledaal as she is, Winter Rose has the ear of one of the house-heads, and can put her own tilt into marriage alliances and travels fairly well. She also has a few lesser connections scattered among the Dragon-Blooded, mostly in the Heptagram and in House Mnemon.
- Connections: The Realm * – Winter Rose can influence one of the admirals of the southern fleet of the realm in a limited fashion, effectively giving her all kinds of influences over blockades and other such policies. In addition, she has a few people inside the Thousand Scales.
- Connections: The Threshold * – In Yane, Winter Rose has in her pocket one of the higher officials in the palace, a god-blooded about to receive immortality from his powerful Celestial father. He is also someone who sees many, many decisions run by his office every day, and Winter Rose can influence his handling of them in limited fashion. She has a few other connections scattered throughout the city-states, none as important however.
- Inheritance ***** – Being the child of a fairly potent No Moon sorcerer and the Second Circle Demon he coupled with, Winter Rose has very fine blood. A bit too fine, as some of her detractors are fond of saying.
- Salary *** – Like most other Sidereals in the Bronze Faction, Winter Rose is paid quite well, especially considering how she is called upon for demon-slaying once in awhile, something a Chosen of Serenity rarely engages in. Besides her Celestial Manse, the Sidereal owns a dragon-boat, aerial rickshaw, and employs about a dozen gods, mostly in her manse as servants and groundkeepers. On her budget the young Sidereal lives and eats fairly well, although in Creation she can financially exert herself quite so much, and is more dependant on her husband unless on a mission of her own. This restraint takes some doing, as Winter Rose would prefer to live high wherever she goes.
- Savant ** – Having been taught First Age lore, Winter Rose knows a good deal of the wide range of subjects, although that knowledge is not always easy to bring out. After having been repeatedly denied knowledge of how Pattern Spiders were created and how they function, her instructors decided she was better off not knowing some things entirely and ended her lessons for the time being. A written request to both Chejop Kejack and Venus herself was met with about ten pages of reply – each – which basically amounted to 'don't you have better things to do?'. That, and possibly the most miserable assignments she had ever received.
- Sifu ** – Rising Summer Wind is not particularly young, though he was only born a century before the Contagion. However, sometimes the stocky Chosen of Secrets wonders what he did to deserve such a student as Winter Rose. Not only is she the child of a powerful demon and a Lunar, but she is impossible to train, preferring to sleep instead of getting up early and down to business. So far he's managed to teach her the basics of martial arts in his four decades or so of training, but no actual styles quite yet – she keeps putting that off. He himself knows the Violet Bier of Sorrows and Water Immaculate celestial styles, and has recently mastered the entirety of the secret Prismatic Arrangement of Creation style. He despairs of his student ever learning even one terrestrial style, and has gotten a binding oath from her that she will at least begin the Violet Bier of Sorrows soon.
- Sorcery **** – Shortly before meeting her husband, Winter Rose began to learn sorcery. Not because she wanted to be a sorceress so much as a matter-of-course, knowing certain spells would make her job much easier. Of course such a limited focus has left her husband more magically apt then her, even though she knows spells almost wholly from the Celestial Circle. Winter Rose has not tried to summon a demon yet, but intends to someday bring up her mother.
- Ox-Body Technique
- Harmony of Blows
- Meditation on War
- Orchestration of Conflict
- Impeding the Flow
- Elegant Patterns of Fate
- Elemental Vision
- Trouble Reduction Strategy
- Duck Fate
- Avoidance Kata
- Neighborhood Relocation Scheme
- Shun the Smiling Lady
- Hot-Eyed Snake Whispering
- You and Yours Stance
- Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
- Celestial Circle Sorcery
- Terrestrial Circle
- Emerald Countermagic
- Celestial Circle
- Sapphire Countermagic
- Demon of the Second Circle
- Summon Lesser Elemental Dragon
- Travel Without Distance
- Touch of Grace
- Cost: 6 motes
- Duration: Instant
- Type: Simple
- Minimum Compassion: 4
- Minimum Essence: 2
Winter Rose was born with the ability to heal – both herself and others, a fact which the Sidereal elders noted when deciding whether or not to let the infant girl live until the age of exaltation. Like many spirits and god-blooded, this charm is unique to Winter Rose, the melding of her own power and nature with that of her mother. When she wishes to do so, the Sidereal must spend her 6 motes of essence and roll her Compassion against standard difficulty (usually). She heals lethal or bashing levels of health damage equal to half her Compassion rounded up, plus any extra successes she makes on the roll. The person healed feels extremely warm as the heat from the surrounding air is seemingly leeched into their body, closing their wounds and melting their weariness.
- Affinity Element Control
- Cost: 6 motes
- Duration: One Scene
- Type: Simple
- Minimum Valor: 2
- Minimum Essence: 2
Winter Rose has affinity with three particular elements: fire (from her mother), wind (from the great Yozi who is her maternal grandmother), and wood (because she is a Chosen of Serenity). Learning this charm before she was even eight years of age, the girl held a powerful grip upon certain of the elements when she was young, adding to her strangeness in the tribe she grew up in.
Roll Winter Rose's Manipulation + Valor. The number of successes indicates how fine a level of control she has and how powerful an effect she can create. One success allows her to call forth a mild wind or to light a campfire, while three allows her to cause a windy day or to build a torch into a bonfire without any extra fuel. Five successes might allow her to create a phantom lover out of air itself, instantly consume a large wooden structure in flames, or sculpt that same building to the shape she desires. The Sidereal may manipulate a one-yard cube of an element per point of Essence she possess. In the case of area effects such as wind, she could cause the effect in a five-yard radius per permanent Essence point.
- Creation of Perfection
- Cost: 3 motes
- Duration: Special
- Type: Simple
- Minimum Valor: 2
- Minimum Essence: 2
Being what she is, Winter Rose manifested this charm with somewhat different ends then the average spirit. It was done after her training, and somewhat in response to her difficulties at astrology. She makes a Intelligence + Valor roll, and the successes on the roll go toward a single Craft, Occult, Medicine, or Performance roll designed to either create an item, craft fate, or make an appeal, such as a prayer roll. She cannot use it in situations that require the utmost speed.
- Cost: Half her total essence pool, rounded down
- Duration: Indefinite
- Type: Simple
- Minimum Valor: 2
- Minimum Essence: 2
Unlike Zsofika, Winter Rose is a material being. However she can dematerialize herself in the manner of an elemental, and stay that way until she so chooses to return to the material world (for no cost). When activated, Winter Rose shifts herself between the veils of the material and non-material with a soft turquoise glow and a small upward flowing whirlpool of air which quickly dissipates.
- Principle of Motion
- Cost: 5 motes, 1 willpower
- Duration: Until used
- Type: Extra Action
- Minimum Valor: 2
- Minimum Essence: 2
Learning this charm late in her current career, Winter Rose finds it exceedingly useful to prevent herself from getting caught unduly off-guard – though it does cost her power to maintain it. Upon spending the essence (which she must commit for as long as she has the actions) and willpower, Winter Rose gains a number of extra actions equal to her valor in a gust of wind which seems to wrap itself around her body. These can be used as extra attack actions, reflexive parry or dodges, or to simple refresh her dodge pool during a full dodge – each time producing quickened movements which trail an odd emerald glow as she completes them. Unused actions will remain until used, and she may not buy further actions with the charm until she has used all of her current ones up. Once that is done the committed essence returns to her pool.
- House of Journeys
- The Messenger *
- House of Leisure
- The Lovers *
- The Peacock **
- The Pillar *
- House of Secrets
- The Sorcerer *
- House of Endings
- The Rising Smoke *
- Compassion ****
- Conviction ***
- Temperance **
- Valor ****
- Essence 8
- Willpower 8
- Personal: 18
- Peripheral: 51
- Total: 69
-0x2, -1x2, -2x2, -4, incap
Lethal - 7 (dress) + 1 stamina = 8
Bashing - 6 (dress) + 2 stamina = 8
- Starmetal Daiklave (Artifact 3) - Arrakis
- Speed: +3
- Accuracy: +3
- Damage: +7
- Defense: +3
- Minimum Strength 2
- Holds one Hearthstone
- 8 Motes Commitment
Can cause Harmonic Feedback (standard difficulty) in any artifact weapon which is used to parry or is parried by Arrakis, and any artifact armor which soaks damage from it. This applies to each and every combat contact with the target artifact. This is a relfexive action that costs two motes.
- High Priestess Regalia (Artifact 2) - Regalia of Jasia-laseire
- Soak 7L/6B
- 3 Motes Commitment
Reduces rolled damage by one success (possibly to 0), and grants an automatic success for all astrology effect rolls.
- Starmetal Hearthstone Amulet (Artifact 1)
- Holds one Hearthstone
- 1 Mote Commitment
- Gem of the Righteous (Hearthstone 3)
This stone adds four dice to all prayer rolls.