OK, for today it’s a completely horrific “heroic mortal” (well, OK – not exactly “mortal”). The Professor here actually has a fair chance of standing up to most new Exalts, at least for awhile – and is almost impossible to get rid of (as well as being a tragic figure), which can easily make him a recurring character or even a possible mentor for new Exalts.
Professor Ravenblack of the Oberian Geomantic Academy
Mac Bethad Mac Findlaich
Mac Bethad was born the son of a local noble. Not too unexpectedly, he did not inherit peacefully; his father was “mysteriously” murdered by a disguised rival, Mac Suran, when Mac Bethad was ten – a rival who then managed to get himself appointed as his young neighbors guardian. After all, you could not leave the well-being of the realm in the hands of a mere child!
There were one or two close calls during his adolescence – but Mac Bethad did not realize that there might have been more to those “hunting accidents” than he had thought at the time for many years.
The arranged marriage was hopelessly unsuitable as well, and when he was informed of it, Mac Bethad began to wonder if Mac Suran ever meant to return his inheritance – and it didn’t take a lot of investigation to find out that Mac Suran very likely had eliminated his father and meant to find a way to quietly eliminate him and transfer his lands to one of Mac Suran’s later sons.
Mac Bethad had nothing against Mac Suran’s later sons – but if he eliminated Mac Suran somehow, that would leave him in position to reclaim his inheritance and to shuttle Mac Suran’s young sons back off to their own lands where they belonged.
Still, he was watched in the castle, Mac Suran kept bodyguards handy, and his chances of striking back were slim to none.
Angry, young, and foolish, and more or less sure of privacy when he went on solo hunting trips, he pacted with a group of local witches who haunted the hills. In exchange for a promise to allow them to practice their arts without interference, they were willing to “help”. They summoned a powerful demon to help Mac Bethad and to grant him a bit of it’s strength.
With that power Mac Bethad easily avenged his father’s death – but he would not discover for several more years that he had become a living anchor and gateway for the demon; while he lived, it could enter the world at will – and while it lived, he did not age save cosmetically and could not die. Eventually, however, he saw his children growing into adulthood while he remained as hearty and vigorous as ever – and became suspicious. He’d never been perceptive or bright, but the rumors of sorcery and unholy bargains just got too blatant to ignore.
After his wife died of a fever, he quietly slipped away – and eventually drifted to the Oberian Geomantic Academy. Surely someone there could explain what was going on.
They could – and that gave him a purpose; if he could find a way to ward himself, and then to personally strike the death blow on the demon, it should be possible to entrap the remains of the creature – and when he died, it would truly die with him. Admittedly, that was vanishingly unlikely; a demon so powerful was almost invulnerable to mortal attacks (which was why it had been willing to take the risk in the first place) – but Mac Bethad threw himself into his studies.
Mac Bethad has yet to find his demon, much less defeat it – but he has become one of the Academies upper-level agents. That inability to die can come in pretty handy.
Sadly, as a graduate of the Academy, Mac Bethad is unlikely to advance again (although he can continue to learn more procedures by revisiting the Academy or by simple study) unless it takes him several centuries to find his demon; his experience point debt is pretty massive…
|Physical (6)||Str||3 (7)||Dex||5 (9)||Sta||3 (7)|
|Social (4)||Chr||2||Man||4 (6)||App||1|
|Mental (3)||Per||4 (6)||Int||4 (6)||Wit||4|
Virtues: Compassion 4, Temperance 4, Conviction 4, Valor 4. Will 7.
*Favored, +Modified by Experienced Merit
Soldier: +1 Archery, Ride, and War
Essence 1. Essence Pool of 10 + 12 (Artifact), all freely accessible. Recovery +2/Hour Sigil, +4 Hearthstone
Maintained Thaumaturgical Effects (via his Thaumaturgical Seal): Ward versus Wounds (+4B/4L Soak, may reduce Ping Damage), The Inner Eye (a master-level ritual equivalent to All-Enveloping Sorcerers Sight). Normally maintains a Walkaway effect that will negate three levels of wounds per session.
Flaws (0): Obligation (-2), Code of Honor (-3), Oath (Teach Truly, -1), Enemy (-1). Reduced Attributes (Perception, -3. Note that this was later cancelled out by his time at the academy), Demon-Bound (Renders him quasi-immortal – but subject to constant demonic harassment, 0).
Bonus Points (21 + 10 Flaws): Merits (3), Abilities (2, raising Occult to 5), Specialities (1), Backgrounds (25)
Merits (0): Diary (0, provides +3 Backgrounds), Experienced (0, provides 3x +2 Abilities, 10 points of Backgrounds), Essence Mastery (1), Large (1), and Terrestrial Bloodline (1).
|Backgrounds||(5 + 25 Freebies = 30).|
|Mentor||*****||The Oberian Academy (7)|
|Artifact||***||The Five Thaumaturgical Foci|
|Allies||**||Two young Lunar Exalts, whom he’s assisted.|
|Contacts||***||Other graduates of the Academy.|
|Backing||***||From the Academy.|
|Artifact:||***||The Girding of the Forsaken Lover (5)|
|Manse||**||Provides a Greater Moonstone – granting a -2 on Occult target numbers and full master of the Arts of Lunar Magic (Shapeshifting and Illusion rituals).|
Perfect Lamellar Armor (+7L/8B, Mobility 0, Fatigue 0). May use a buckler shield if expecting combat.
Total Defenses: Dodge DV 9, Parry DV 10 (11 with buckler shield), Soak: Sta +3L/7B, Armor +7L/8B, Ward +4L/4B, Girding +6L/6B = 12A/20L/25B, reduce Ping damage by 4d).
Perfect Chopping Sword (Speed 4, Accuracy +1, Damage +7L/3, Defense 0, Rate 3, Overwhelming) That’s generally 21D attack, 14L/3L damage.
The Girding of the Forsaken Lover:
This powerful artifact was forged long ago, a gift from a formidable lunar of the first age to a mortal with whom she felt some sympathy – the bereaved mortal spouse of one of the youngest solars of the first age (his earlier incarnation was slain in an expedition into the wild shortly before the usurption). Since she could not safely enter the Realm, she opted to attempt to create agents who could – thus her campaign of creating Artifacts similar to the Girding. Unfortunately, the exigencies of life in the wyld kept her from creating nearly as many such artifacts as she had intended, but there are still a few of her devices in circulation.
Basic Ratings: Power 10, Usefulness 4, Plot Immunity +1 (4 total), Plot Impact 2, and Troublesome -5; The Girding prevents the wearer from using Charms and essence-powered effects beyond those available to enlightened humans, requires minimum scores of Melee 4, Dodge 3, and Valor 3 to use, and carries a Geas; the bearer must assist young Lunars whenever possible (requiring failing a virtue check to resist this requirement) – and the user WILL tend to run across them.
This provides the Girding with six Class-C and Six Class-B powers. The Class-C powers include being Self-Powered (requires no attunement), granting the wearer the ability to reflexively spend a willpower point to absorb an incoming Terrestrial Circle spell to be released later at whim, +4 each to Str, Dex and Sta (if this brings Sta to 6+, the user may heal and soak damage as an Exalt), and +6B/6L Soak. The Class-A powers include +2 each to Man, Per, and Int, as well as +4 to Dodge, +4 to Melee, and +4 to Occult.
Yes, this is appalling; it’s power level is at the five-dot artifact range – but those limitations, and the fact that it really only brings a mortal up to basic exalt levels, really brings it down.
- Exalted – Hearthstones II from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – New Merits from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)