Goddess of Stories and former Solar Exalt
This is the same character that was depicted by UDON (among others) on the cover of the "Player's Guide" (although the description I submitted for the contest was her as she looked at the end of her life, not now). (Here's the Contest Description.)
There's a metric ton of fanfiction about Shataina here. I'll try to post some cut scenes one of these days. (Incidentally, if you're reading the fiction, it's probably inadvisable to read this page further, as it contains some serious spoilers.)
Character History and Explanations
Note: Again, don't read this if you've been reading / intend to read my Shataina-fiction! It has spoilers!
Shataina, in her natural form, appears much as she did in life: a beautiful girl -- heartbreakingly beautiful -- impossibly beautiful -- so beautiful that everywhere she has gone, throughout her life, there have been surreptitious whispers of the Fair. Her Realm heritage shows itself in the oblique slant to her eyes, her tallness and length of limbs; but the blood of foreign concubines was quite evident in her mother. As a result, Shataina has extraordinarily fair skin; the Southern sun has lent it a sheening golden glow. Her hair is a deep copper-red, originally quite dark, but decidedly lightened from her time in the desert, streaked and highlighted scarlet and bronze. Her most striking feature, however, is her eyes: one eye is the palest of jade-greens, but the other is as black as the Void -- a legacy from Princess Magnificent's cruel dagger, a wound that even Shataina's transition into godhood couldn't fully mend.
Shataina's spiritual armour takes the form of the armour she wore in life: a black jade chain shirt, and over it, the tattered gossamer robes of the Fair diplomat who killed her lover. These robes are flame-red, brilliant and shimmering, edged in further bright stylized flames, and slightly more translucent towards the hems. She appears arrayed as a traveller, the dust of the road on her walking-boots and her hair slightly mussed from a day of walking.
Shataina's symbol is a white tigress with sun-golden stripes, surrounded by blazing golden flames; upon the tiger and around it, unburning, are littered scarlet lilies, roses, and orchids.
I'm not even going to bother trying to make a coherent synopsis out of this, so I'll try the bullet point approach.
- Born a Dynast.
- Exalted Zenith and ran away to the South.
- Most of friends are dead, including Dragon-Blooded lover. Warns everyone who tries to help her that they will likely die as well.
- Has a pretty impressive reputation around the South, although most people have no idea whether to think she was helping or being evil and demonlike.
- Has had enough experience with good evil things that she'll likely give most "evil" creatures the benefit of the doubt, including Abyssals and Fair. Exceptions: Mara.
- Has reached a point of paranoia and depression that would be considered psychotic in a normal mortal.
- At the moment of her death at the hand of Princess Magnificent, was taken by the gods and made into a goddess, promoted to the domain of Stories (which had been left to her by Talespinner, who earlier was permanently destroyed).
- Is rising in power, but hasn't fully mastered her Essence yet (therefore, her stats are still going up).
- If possible, retrieve her lover from the dead.
- If possible, find a way to revive Talespinner from within her own Essence (he Endowed her before his death, and Shataina suspects that enough of him is left within her to retrieve him).
- Fight injustice.
- Fight the Deathlords.
- Fight the Fair Folk.
- Fight the Realm. (She's concluded that the Realm is the lesser of a lot of evils, however, and probably won't go against it if she thinks it could directly benefit either the Fair or the Deathlords. She also has severe doubts about Solars being the proper rulers of the world, and has lost all respect for the Unconquered Sun.)
- Princess Magnificent: Shataina determined her weakness and ruined her evil plans.
- The First and Forsaken Lion: Loves Princess Magnificent and is quite irritated.
- The Realm: Word hasn't reached them yet that she's not really Anathema anymore, and most discount the claims of ascent to godhood anyway.
- The Bronze Faction: Displeased with the precedent set by a Solar ascending to godhood.
- Mara, Demon of the Second Circle: Masqueraded as Shataina's dead lover and seduced her. Shataina retaliated by killing her and banishing her back to Malfeas, and would like nothing better than her permanent destruction.
- Sondok, Demon of the Second Circle: Generally annoyed because Shataina managed to defeat her; has been called into Creation to kill her by some bastardly Sidereal.
- There's probably some I'm forgetting.
Once I figure out what it is, Shataina will get a special attack (something like Burning Feather's poison kiss, or Shalrina's mind-draining touch) appropriate to her domain and rising power level. However, I haven't come up with anything yet; suggestions welcome.
Shataina's version of Landscape Travel works on roads (she's the goddess of not only stories, but also travelling storytellers).
Shataina's version of Dreamspeak allows her to send a dream which takes the form of part of a myth, legend, or widely-known story. The recipient will know it is from her, but they won't necessarily know what she means by it. She can't make up a new legend or story for the dream, but she can slant the events however she wants -- that's the nature of stories, after all.
Shataina's version of Natural Prognostication is not controllable (at least not by her). It may (or may not) kick in at any time when she is telling a story and is not consciously deciding which story to tell. If that happens, then she senses her expenditure of Essence and knows what it's doing, but must finish telling the story to determine its full effect. The story, in this case, reflects a vague, possible shape of things to come.
To use her version of Foretell the Future, Shataina does not need to meditate for a number of days equal to her successes on the roll; instead, she must listen to the stories of the place that she is in. In other words, she must wander, alone, around the area where she is, communicating with its inhabitants and getting a feel for where its story is going, for a number of days equal to the successes she rolled. This means that the area must have inhabitants to communicate with. However, Shataina, being able to use her Shapechange Charm to take on the form of any figure in any story, is quite capable of changing into a form which can communicate with animals; being a spirit, she can also, of course, communicate with other spirits.
Shataina's version of Tiny Gift allows her to mark someone with her spiritual symbol for a day (thereby demonstrating that they are under her protection), grant them good luck, raise their Performance or Lore by one dot, or grant them a very small and dramatically appropriate blessing (i.e. "Tomorrow morning, when she passes you on her way to the well to fetch water, the light will fall upon your hair in just the right fashion and your true love will be arrested by your handsomeness, noticing you for that moment"). (If she marks someone with her symbol, then it is only visible to those who can see the immaterial. The use of Measure the Wind or other Essence-analyzing magics upon the symbol will tell the user exactly who it comes from and what it means.)
Shataina's version of Benefaction allows her to mark someone with her spiritual symbol for one week (as per the Tiny Gift, but longer), grant them good luck for a week, or raise their Performance or their Lore by one dot for a week.
Shataina's version of Memory Mirror (noted as Story Mirror) allows her to get a sense of the story of whoever (or whatever) she uses the Charm on. The more successes she gets, the more details and secrets she knows.
Shataina's version of Stoke the Flame costs 20 motes and works on an audience, as per the decanthrope's version in "Games of Divinity".
Shataina's version of Creation of Perfection works on stories.
Shataina's Materialize costs 40 motes. When she materializes, she does so in a flash of golden sunlight and a scattering of crimson flower petals. (These remain after she has left.)
Shataina's version of Shapechange allows her to change into any form from any myth or legend. However, when she takes on a form's special abilities (as per the rules of the Charm), she must also take on a weakness of their character for every special ability she adopts. So, for example, she can Shapechange into Pegasus, the flying horse, for 12 motes; if she wants to be able to fly, however, she must spend the extra 10 motes and 1 Willpower, and she will simultaneously gain the "attribute" of refusing to allow anyone to ride her (for Pegasus was the horse who would not be ridden). Although she only truly is bound by the weaknesses of a character if she takes on a special ability, still Shataina prefers to act within the character's character, if you will -- although any character in any myth or legend could be portrayed in many ways, and therefore she could choose to take on any one of their aspects.
Shataina's version of Words of Power takes the form of a clear and cruel moment of narrative in which she describes the target, as a storyteller would, and their imminent pain.
Shataina's version of Tiny Damnation allows her to brand someone with the mark of her disfavour for a day, remove one dot from their Performance or Lore, give them bad luck, or cause one small, unpleasant and dramatically appropriate thing to happen to them. If she marks someone with her disfavour, then the brand is only visible to those who can see the immaterial. The use of Measure the Wind or other Essence-analyzing magics upon the symbol will tell the user exactly who it comes from and what it means.
Shataina reads and speaks High Realm (her native tongue), Low Realm, Riverspeak, Flametongue, and Old Realm.
Martial Arts: 3
Endurance: 2 (Specialty: Marches +1)
Performance: 5 (Specialty: Storytelling +3)
Presence: 5 (Specialty: Persuasion +2)
Survival: 2 (Specialty: The Desert +1)
Lore: 5 (Speciality: The Fair Folk +2)
We'll see what I can wrap numbers around.
Virtues and Such
Essence Pool: 96 (13 committed: 8 to Jhani's Spear; 1 to Jhani's Orb; 5 to Principle of Motion.)
Charms and Combat
Compassion: Measure the Wind, Dreamspeak, Natural Prognostication, Foretell the Future, Landscape Travel, Tiny Gift, Benefaction
Conviction: Story Mirror, Stoke the Flame, Instill Obedience
Valour: Creation of Perfection, Materialize, Shapechange, Words of Power, Principle of Motion, Tiny Damnation
Martial Arts: Crimson Leaping Cat Technique, Striking Fury Claws Attack
Base Combat Statistics (using Jhani's Spear): I don't know yet
Dodge Pool: 6
Soak: 10 Bashing, 8 Lethal, 7 Aggravated (tattered gossamer robes and jade chain shirt, 7L/7B)
Health Levels: -0, -1, -1, -1, -1, -2, -2, -2, -2, -2, -2, -4, Incapacitated