Once, the gods of the Yodatai appreciated heroes, and visits from them. In the beginning they set up Mons Midil, the Mountain of Heaven, as a stairway for heroes to climb; any mortal who could manage to climb twelve miles (the last three through a realm of little air where most magic could not aid them) were surely heroic enough to recognize. Besides, it made it easy for the lesser gods to visit the material realms.
For long centuries heroes occasionally climbed the mountain, sought answers, favors, training, or artifacts from the gods, and attended their parties.
During those centuries, the Iilgyr – the demigodling-offspring of Yodatai gods and mortal heroes and lovers – were seen as teachers and heroes, and were welcomed among the Yodatai. Each had a unique inherent school of their own to teach or use, a privilege of their divine heritage. But that welcome faded… With the rebellion of the Yodatai, their insistence on a “constitutional religion”, and the ongoing Siege of Heaven, there is little for the younger Iilgyr to do. They are reduced to hanging around the heavens, irritating their divine parents, and harassing the occasional Yodatai scouts who test the higher level techniques of their (unanticipated) hyper-athletic school by trotting up Mons Midal to throw a few javelins at the Gates of Heaven.
Hosfera is a mere few centuries old, the product of one of the Sun Bull’s various trysts with human women. In human terms he’s about twelve – and, like all the Iilgyr, he’s BORED. He has his own special school of course, but – to be blunt – there’s only a limited amount of amusement in practicing archery and harassing people with animals. He’d really like something important to do, or a chance to start his own little following somewhere. Sadly, while the falling-out between the Yodatai and their gods is a mere an annoyance to the major gods, who can easily bridge the gap between the worlds under their own power and possess local bodies as they please, the Iilgyr are not so talented – and their peculiar physical traits make them easily recognizable should they attempt to sneak down Mons Midal.
Hosfera’s school – as amplified by his own personal blessing – is a high-powered archery school, and a fairly good defensive school, at least as long as the user’s Void points hold out. After that, it’s merely an effective archery school. Of course, it’s Hosfera’s personal blessing which really makes the school; the ability to have your arrows turn into sizeable animals as they’re hitting someone, do damage, and then continue to attack or otherwise harass your enemies is definitely unusual. Arrows that you can shoot over gates, and which will then turn into gorillas and let you in, can be pretty handy too… Weird, but handy. Secondarily, those granted Hosfera’s blessing will never find themselves without a bow and a quiver of arrows when they need one.
At the highest levels, the constant – if minor – influx of divine energies from Hosfera will greatly extend the effects of the practitioners void expenditures and will even protect the user against the effects of malign extradimensional energies, such as the influence of the realm of mischief or the Taint.
Hosfera Madrase (Old Yodatai Divine Bushi School):
Benefits: +1 Reflexes, Glory 2, Status 1, Wealth 1, Honor 3.0.
School Skills: Animal Handling, Athletics, Archery, Defense, Horsemanship, Hunting, Investigation, Meditation, Stealth, Swords, and two of choice.
First Technique/Zahrshir, The Lion’s Roar: The basic disciplines of Hosfera Madrase are simple enough, representing little more than intense drill with a favored weapon and a touch of divine favor. Like all the Iilgyri schools, however, it is the personal blessing of the sponsoring Iilgyri that makes it truly effective. The user may add his or her Air ring to all school skill rolls (5 points), gains +1 attack with bow (5 points), and may double the effect of each void point spent on buying off damage (a common feature of the Iilgyri schools, since their patrons are somewhat protective of their acolytes, 5 points).
Of course, the Blessing of Hosfera himself is the truly critical point… This means that this school only functions to full effect while Hosfera approves of the user and will never be a large one; like all the Iilgyr, Hosfera simply doesn’t have the power to support all that many devotees. Ally with Major Influence (can provide +20 points worth of abilities, 4), Minor Devotion (0), Major Eccentricity (2), and Minor Inconvenience (Hosfera wants regular weekly prayers and small offerings, -1) (Net cost 5).
As a spirit ally, Hosfera provides:
- Conjures II (Innate Self-Powered Level Two Spell , only works to create a bow for the user and arrows as needed [-5]. Sadly, the bow is only of average quality, you’re better off with a good real one. Still, it’s handy when you need one, and only has a net cost of 1 point),
- Rapid Animal Conjures V (Innate Level Six Gift [the user may make an immediate target-15 Meditation check to recover the void point spent to activate it] . This variant on Conjures can be activated in an instant [+2 levels] but only produces relatively normal animals [-1 level], and can only be used to attach the spell to arrows [-5]. The net effect is that the arrow turns into an animal as it’s hitting, does normal bow damage, and then continues attacking or doing whatever it’s creator wanted it to in later rounds until it’s destroyed, dispelled, or the spell runs out. The maximum level of effect usable is equal to the user’s void ring, net 19 points).
- Yes, Hosfera does aid himself in the use of his school. Godlings can do that.
Second Technique/Saiyad Cashm, the Hunter’s Eye: Mastering the technique of the Hunter’s Eye brings a touch of the divine to the archer and his or her bow, both protecting the user and allowing him or her to focus that power into accomplishing truly remarkable feats of archery. The user may trade in one or more bow attacks during a round for +5 free raises per attack traded in on one of the remaining bow attacks (10 points) and – when the character spends a void point on reducing damage – it will continue to reduce damage from each attack for a full minute (10 points).
Third Technique/Taquat Andarun, The Strength Within: Once the practitioner of Hosfera Madrase has truly centered his or her strength in the school, he or she can meld those strengths with the energies of the heavens. While gaining an additional +1 attack with bow (5 points) is a minor benefit, the true strength of that fusion becomes apparent when the user spends a Void point to enhance one of his or her school skills; rather than gaining a mere +1K1, he or she gains +(Void)K(Void) (15 points).
Fourth Technique/Par Periquesse Tir, the Arrows Legendary Wings: The plateau before perfection is like a rest before the final ascent to the summit of Mons Midal; it is a place to breathe air thin, cold, and pure, and to prepare for the final ascent. From that dizzying height, the patterns of the world become clear. The user may now add twice his or her Air ring to all School Skill Rolls (replacing the level one bonus, +5 points), to his or her Initiative (5 points), and to his or her Armor Class against ranged attacks (5 points). Perhaps even more importantly, he or she may now double the effect of all void points he or she spends, rather than merely those spent to resist injury (+5 points)
The updated school design rules note that this isn’t fully compatible with the +(Void)K(Void) effect from the previous technique, and it would only allow the user to get the bonus on two rolls, not to double it in the first place.
Fifth Technique/Zadan Cehel Shira, The Strike of Forty Lions: The final technique of Hosfera Madrase achieves the summit. Hosfera may be only a minor godling, relatively young, and – like all the Iilgyr – merely half-blooded, but he is still a celestial being, and a channel of the power of heaven. With that power augmenting mortal strength – transforming the Hosfera Madrase practitioner into a semblance of the Iilgyr themselves – the user finds long-enduring strength. While he or she incidentally gains a fourth attack with his or her bow (5 points), he or she will also find that any effect – including the Rapid Animal Conjures ability – on which he or she expends a Void Point will remain active for a full minute (+5 points). Perhaps as importantly, the surging energies of the Heavens render the user impervious to the malign energies of other dimensions. (Immunity to Malign Dimensional Energy Contamination, 10).
Hosfera Madrase is quite formidable. It’s not the worst school out there, but it is well up there in the power levels. Of course, it’s also the personal school of a foreign demigodling; if you want to learn it, you’ll need to reach the far side of the Yodatai Empire, get past the siege of Mons Midal, climb ten miles up the cliffs, get past being shot at by the Iilgyr, and persuade Hosfera to teach you. This is not going to be easy.
On the other hand, if you can bring it home, the ability to bombard enemy troops and fortifications with – say – lions, tigers, and bears (Oh My!) – is going to give an entirely new meaning to the words “harassing fire”.