Exalted – Charles Dexter Ward, Twilight Artificer

   For today we have an Exalted Modern character, along with his high-powered collection of artifacts, assorted new charms, his allies and contacts, and equipment.

Know then the laws: At the core and at the beginning is the Wyld. Infinite chaos, a boundless well of possibility.

Yet for life and meaning to exist, there must be form and order. Of the things which arose within chaos, some possessed the power to bind it, maintaining their own existence from moment to moment.

Some could hold little more than themselves; such are the fey. Their forms may shift and change, but they hold their souls and minds intact.

Some could hold much more; such are the primordials.

Yet chaos is only bound and limited, not banished. It lies at the heart of all things. From it are woven the threads of fate, the core of matter, and the hearts of men.

Thaumaturgy is the art of manipulating that core of chaos, the energies of the Wyld that underlie our world. It is limited in duration because mortals do not have the key to the unbinding; always the order of the primordials and gods reasserts itself at last.

Glamour draws on the well of chaos beyond the borders of the world. But for all it’s power, it’s energies are soon absorbed into the ancient bindings. In the end, it is little more than an illusion.

To force lasting change upon the world one must unlock the ancient bindings to set their pattern anew.

And to the bindings there are three keys, Emerald, of Sapphire, and of Adamant, entrusted to the Exalted.

And this alone is the law.

                                       -Charles’s personal mantra.

   Character Creation Modifications (for all character types):

  • Abilities may be raised to five without spending bonus points and characters get four free specialties.
  • Virtues may be purchased for one bonus point per +1.
  • Willpower may be increased at a cost of one bonus point per +1.
  • Characters may start with (Willpower + Compassion) Intimacies without spending bonus points.
  • When selecting Charms, characters may pick any charms they meet the prerequisites for, without respect to their other -or favored – abilities. In addition, the cost of additional Charms is reduced by one bonus point.
  • Bonus Points are increased by 20%.
  • Sorcery enjoys two special benefits:
    • Anyone who learns a Sorcery charm automatically learns the appropriate Countermagic spell with the basic charm. If you know how to weave magic, you know how to unweave it.
    • As implied in first edition, if you take the time and effort to research a spell from the basics you don’t need to pay any XP to learn it. This is why elder sorcerers were feared: a five-hundred-year-old dedicated sorcerer might know a hundred different spells – and still have his or her XP to spend on other things.

   Charles Dexter Ward, Modern Solar Exalt

  • Caste: Solar Exalted, Twilight Caste.
  • Motivation: Restore magic to its proper place as a basic part of life. He usually regains will whenever he uses magic to help resolve a situation.
  • Virtues: Compassion 3, Temperance 4, Conviction 1, Valor 1. Will 7.
  • Limit Flaw: Overindulgence (RPG’s and Sci-fi movie festivals).
  •  Anima: Charles’s anima is rarely (never so far) seen, but – if it ever does show up – is a whirling cascade of blue, green, and gold runes and gemlike sparkles.
Physical (6) Str 1 (5) Dex 4 (8) Sta 3 (7)
Social (4) Chr 2 Man 3 App 2
Mental (8) Per 5 Int 4 (8) Wit 2

 

Dawn   Zenith   Twilight*  
Archery 0 Integrity* 2 Craft (Items) 5
Firearms 0 Performance 0 Investigation 3
Martial Arts 0 Pilot 0 Lore 5
Melee 0 Presence 0 Medicine 0
Thrown 0 Resistance 1 Occult 5 (11)
War 0 Survival* 1 Technology 1

 

Night   Eclipse   Specialities  
Athletics 1 Bureaucracy 0 Spellcraft 3
Awareness* 2 Computer 2 Artifacts 2
Dodge* 1 Linguistics* 1    
Drive 0 Ride 0    
Larceny 0 Sail 0    
Stealth 1 Socialize 0 * Favored  
  • Essence: 2 (6) (8). Motes: Personal 69, Peripheral 34.
    • Regain/Hr: 4 casually, 8 resting, +24 Heartstones, +20 in primary Manse or when linked to it. Committed: Libram of Fallen Stars (3), Orb of the Archmage (5), Talisman of Vigor (10), Seal of High Sorcery (1), Courier’s Belt (1), and Internal Hearthstones (6).
  • Dodge DV: 8 (Dex + Dodge +Essence)/2, rounded up.
  • Parry DV: 12 (Dex + Occult + Javelin’s 4)/2) = 12.
  • Soak: 21L/22B (3L/7B Sta +12L/9B Armor +6L/6B TK Force Field. Reduces Ping by 6d).

    Merits (18 + 10 Flaws): Artificer (2), Conservation Principle, Diary (+3 Backgrounds), Essence Aptitudes [+2 Essence for Purchasing Occult Charms (1), Calculating Twilight Caste Effects (1), and Essence Motes (2)], Essence Master (1), Experienced (+6 Abilities, +8 Backgrounds, 1), Mystic Knack (Breath of Life, Video Game Supremacy, and Your Table Sir, 1), Twilight Warding (2), Veiled Exaltation (1), +14 Backgrounds (14), and Hidden Manse (2). Net 28. The unusual merits can be found HERE.

   Flaws: Enemies/The Cauldron-Born (-5), Sickly (-3), Oath of Renewal (-3, pays for Celestial Allies and one point of Influence), Diminished Physical Attribute (-3), Obligation (GM’s option, -1), and Youngster (suffers a -2d penalty on when trying to get adults to take him seriously, -1). Net -15 (Only -10 count). He’s mildly nearsighted, but not enough to actually count for anything.

    Backgrounds: (7+14+11) = 32

Allies 3
-Celestial Allies 2
Artifact 5
Contacts 2
Cult 1
Manse 5 (7)
Manse 1
-Celestial Manse 3
Mentor 3
Resources 4 (5)

   Charles, thanks to his “Employed” Merit, is a young Solar – working part time in Yu-Shan managing an artificing facility for Lytek. Now, admittedly, he’s really good at concealing the nature of his abilities, and actually is qualified for the job, and thus is generally accepted as a youthful god-blooded for whom someone is pulling a few nepotistic strings – but that’s still more than a bit precarious, and sucks him into various missions and all kinds of celestial politics. As long as he keeps that job, he gets Salary-3, as well as relatively easy access to Yu-Shan, information, and materials.

   Image: Charles is about 13, has black hair and green eyes, is 4’10, and weighs 98 pounds. He is lightly built, slightly short for his age, and manages to look quite uncoordinated. He’s unlikely to ever be very tall or large and seems to be half-hidden behind his glasses when he has them on. He usually wears comfortable, loose, durable, clothing with lots of pockets and uses a bit of thaumaturgy to look his proper age; otherwise he’d be a lot younger.

   Personal Notes: Charles is irreverent, a star trek nut (the original series), has no idea what happened to his parents (and would like to know), occasionally does occult troubleshooting for the government, is over-obliging, likes to go camping, and tends to experiment before really considering consequences. If anything, he’s over-helpful.

   Usual Equipment:

  • In Pockets: large swiss army knife, cash, fishing line and hooks, compass and watch, his library card (and other ID), asprin, notepad and pencils, radio transceiver, sewing kit, bandages, silk trunks and a t-shirt, comb, pocket toolkit, super glue, gum, credit card(s), cell phone, and a fireproof “space blanket”. All in all, only about four pounds. (He keeps duplicate gear stored in his Courier’s Belt).
  • Mage’s Pouch: Alchemical Catalysts (Cost 2), Rowan Wand (Transcendent gear, +4 dice Occult), 2 Oz packets of chalk, beeswax candles, incense, rock salt, origami paper, bone dust, matches, vials of ink, oil, holy water, fingerpaint, glue, wormwood, salve, and 6 empty vials, tarot cards, spare wand, quill pens, 2 small bowls/ bells/cups/burners (silver and gold) and stand, silk cloth, small silver mirror, small iron and silver knives, tongs, flute, iron key, string, a pendulum bob, and a crystal lens. About five pounds.
  • Tailored Kevlar (Worn), Transcendent (+4 soak, no penalties) and with earth imbuement (+3 Soak). Net total 12L/9B.
  • Usual Talismans: Penultimate Darkness Powder (Super smoke powder), Chicory Wand (Occult + Int to open locks – given a few minutes), Talisman of Clear Thought (Negates three mental botches per scene), Good Luck Charm (Negates three Botches per scene), and Walkaway (Negates three levels of damage three times per scene).
  • When Camping: camp kit, hunting knife, coil of rope, tarp, binoculars, hatchet, basic first aid kit, flashlight, freeze dried supplies, and a laptop computer.

   Background Notes

   Allies 3

   Gorim Naku, Wind-That-Blows-Between-The-Worlds, God of Public Transportation, usually takes the form of a cat-bus. It’s friendly, obliging, and has free passage almost everywhere since so many travelers owe it favors. In “climbing aboard” you enter the spirit world, and can get off almost anywhere, including Tir-Nan-Og, Yu-Shan, Avalon, the Wyld, and a large variety of other destinations. Of course, unless you need a lift, Gorim Naku can’t be of much assistance. He does occasionally need some help pulling passengers out of dangerous otherworldly situations; he has lots of friends.

   Ixiah is a professional familiar and messenger spirit. He likes to hang around with magi, live in their manses, play video games, and read comics. He usually takes the form of a fox-boy and likes to “play ninja”. He can be quite a pest at times since he acts like he’s about 8 years old.

  • Attributes: Str 2, Dex 5, Sta 4, Cha 4, Man 3, App 3, Per 5, Int 3, Wit 4.
  • Virtues: Com 4, Con 2, Tem 2, Val 4
  • Abilities: Athletics 4, Awareness 4, M. Arts 5, Dodge 4, Endurance 4, Lore 3, Occult 4, Resistance 4, and Stealth 5.
  • Charms: Touch of Grace, Host of Spirits, Principle of Motion, Materialize (Cost 35), Psychokinesis, Essence Bond (may share up to half his essence pool with another), and Spirit Messenger (may “place calls” to other spirits).
  • Willpower 8, Essence 3, Essence Pool 78.
  • Merits: Spirit Emissary (As per Charles), Video Game Supremacy (As per Charles).
  • Backgrounds: Backing 4, (Spirit) Contacts 5, Sanctum 2.

    Kaernock Jagua, commander of the border reaches, is a noble fey who – with his small band of faerie warriors – acts as guardians of the remaining places of wilderness (and parks) in and around Atlanta. Thanks to his subtle glamour, there are still numerous hidden pockets of forest wilderness – and a few sizable reaches of forest – which exist unmolested, untrod, and unseen by man to this day.

   While Kaernock is one of the most benign of fey, he can still be wild, unreasonable, and quite vicious if he feels that someone is not showing the proper respect to the wilds. Oddly enough, he’s always allowed Charles to wander through his realms and swore an oath of friendship with him when he retrieved the Libram Of Fallen Stars from the depths of lake Starmere at age 10. He’s never said why.

   Kaernock’s abilities include the usual faerie glamours, control over the woods and parks, and control of the resources of several strongholds. Sadly, his ideas about what is “helpful” rarely match anyone else’s.

   Celestial Allies 2

   Some of the Pattern Spiders remembered Devon – and his passion for finding law and order in everything – quite fondly. Two of their groups have taken an interest in what his new incarnation is up to – and so can be called upon via Mortal Astrology to produce Sidereal Astrology effects. In his case, that gives him access to the functions of the Sorcerer and the Quiver.

  • Quiver Effects: 1) Add dice equal to relevant attribute to a social check, may be used after the roll is made, 2) Instant Genius, make a roll of Int + Lore, Occ, or Bur instantly, and 3) Create three Arrows of Reason.
  • Sorcerer Effects: 1) Block loss of essence, charms, spells, combos, abilities, 2) add +3d to all social rolls with non-exalts, and 3) aid other people using Sidereal Astrology.

   Artifacts (-5, -4, -4, -2 and -1)

   Charles has quite a few artifacts. This is mostly due to the fact that he made all but one of them – and could have made that one. 

   Libram Of Fallen Stars (Artifact V)

  • The crystalline covers of this ancient tome swirl with eternally-imprisoned crimson fires, the energies of the universe transmuted into the lifeblood of enchantment. It requires Linguistics 1 (Old Realm) and Occult 4 simply to decipher the lore within it’s hammered Orichalcum pages. Activating its remaining powers requires Int 4, Lore 3, Ess 2, and the commitment of 3 motes of essence to link with the book – one mote for each spell it can bestow or store. It has one Hearthstone socket set into the front cover.
  • The book is an Enormous arcane library all by itself. It provides +2d on research related checks and initially holds five terrestrial spells, two celestial spells, and dozens of thaumaturgical rites, (Oddly, no matter how many spells a user puts into the book, the next user will only this many; it only reveals a limited set of them at a time). Finally, the self-taught training times for lore and occult are not doubled.
  • It’s owner may expend 4 motes of essence to gain a +4 bonus to his or her effective base essence rating for a scene. A dedicated L2 Hearthstone will maintain the essence boost (and allow the accumulation of larger mote reserves). A dedicated L3 stone will maintain the essence boost and reduce the attunement cost to one mote. Sadly, this boost won’t allow the user to learn high-essence effects – a universal flaw of essence boosting.
  • It can bestow the knowledge of three spells from among those recorded within on it’s owner. No more than two may be Celestial and only one may be Solar. A bestowed spell may be traded for another given eight hours in which to study.
  • It allows it’s owner to absorb an incoming Terrestrial or Celestial spell by expending a point of willpower. If the spell is new to the Libram it promptly records it in it’s pages and index. If not, the owner can release it again under his or her own control. Unfortunately, no more than 3 such spells may be stored at any one time and if those slots are filled new spells cannot be absorbed.

   The Orb of the Archmage (Artifact IV)

  • This obsidian sphere is traced with jade and gemstone sigils of the five elemental dragons. It is warm to the touch and, if held to the ear, whispers continuously of occult secrets in the tongue of the first age. When there are spells stored within it the surface occasionally erupts with an incandescent tracery of orichalcum lines, as if some terrible explosion was about to escape it. Attuning the Orb requires Occult 5, Intelligence 4, Terrestrial Circle Sorcery, and 5 motes of essence. An attuned wielder can mystically “merge” a Hearthstone with the Orb (in other words the Orb has one “Socket”). A dedicated L2 Hearthstone will reduce the attunement cost to 1 mote.
  • Occult Mastery: The Orb grants it’s wielder +4 Int, +6 Occult, and a -2 on Occult target numbers (L3, L3, L1)
  • Spell Storing: The Orb stores 3 “levels” of spells of up to the Celestial level. That could be 1 Celestial Spell and 1 Terrestrial, 3 Terrestrial Spells, 6 Thaumaturgic Spells (counted as level ½) or any other combination totaling up to 6. (3x Class-C).

   Talisman of Vigor (Artifact IV)

  • This massive golden broach or buckle crackles with the bioelectrical energy of its user’s life, creating a tangled knotwork of gold, rubies, and strands of electricity surrounding the hearthstone socket in the center of the twin-dragon design. It costs 10 motes of essence to attune the Talisman of Vigor. It’s designed to focus and amplify it’s bearer’s life energy. A dedicated L3 Hearthstone will reduce the attunement cost to 1 mote however.
  • Vigor: The Talisman provides it’s user with a +4 bonus on each physical attribute (3x Class-C)
  • Donation: The user may transfer a portion of his life force to someone else by touching them and willing the energies of the Talisman to focus on them. The user will lose one health level while the target gains one, although this cannot cause a target to rise above their natural level of health. The user can, however, drain their own health levels to death if they so desire. (C)

   Courier’s Belt or Money Belt (Artifact I)

  • This soft leather belt has numerous pockets capable of holding up to about 20 lbs. When worn the belt, and anything in it, melds with the user’s flesh until he or she decides to open a pocket. Items in the belt can’t be lost, stolen, or damaged – and belt cannot be made to appear while the user is under duress or compulsion. It costs 1 mote of essence to attune. Although one pocket acts as a Hearthstone Socket, this will not reduce the attunement cost.

   The Seal of High Sorcery, Sigil of Raistlin (Artifact II)

  • This orichalcum ring is inlaid with moonsilver and forged in the form of the five elemental dragons, intertwining , and with the details picked out in a delicate dusting of tiny rubies (fire), sapphires (air), emeralds (water), yellow beryls, and wood opals. When it’s attuned, occasionally the tiny eyes seem to watch the possessor. If inspected under a magnifying glass, each of the dragons is carrying one of the sigils of elemental sorcery. It can mount one Hearthstone.
  • When attuned at a cost of one mote, the Seal provides:
    • A continually-active Essence Gathering Temper effect.
    • The ability to attack and parry with Occult, using various cool-looking (but otherwise unimportant) special effects. This is otherwise equivalent to using a “perfect” Javelin. If the user is a Solar Exalt, the bonuses for an Orichalcum weapon apply.

 Artifact Breakdowns

    Given that second edition has not yet provided a satisfactory artifact-design system, these are simply slightly cut-down versions of his first edition artifacts. That will have to do until we get around to updating the Artifact Design System.

   The Libram Of Fallen Stars

  • The Mystical Library ability is a Class-C power, equivalent to the Archive function of a Manse. Note that the user can record many other spells in the tome, and read them normally; it just only shows a few spells – chosen by the game master – to a new user.
  • +4 Essence: A standard class-D function. I am now assuming that essence-boosting devices are always flawed – usually by not allowing the study of higher-essence powers.
  • Bestows spell knowledge: This is a version of the Sorcery- Conferring Contemplation charm (Lore 6, Essence 6), giving this a class-E power base. Unlike that charm, this requires eight hours of study, can only confer three spells in total from among those recorded in the book, and the recipient must pay the essence and will costs for using them. In addition, the study costs 4 essence per hour (fed to the book), reducing recovery during that period to the “light activity” rate. Furthermore, no more than two may be celestial and no more than one may be solar (even after such spells are recorded in the book). While there is no duration limit, these limitations still reduce the bestowal power to a class-C power.
  • Spell Absorption: Normally Class-D to absorb Celestial spells and below, reduced to Class-C by requiring a point of willpower. Unknown spells are automatically recorded in the book, known spells are stored.
  • Spell Storing: 3 Class-C slots to store three spells of up to the Celestial level.
    • The design systems spell storing and absorbing functions are somewhat less powerful than the standard Sorcery-Capturing Cords from the Twilight caste book. On inspection, those were obviously overpowered. Ergo this power has been reduced.

    Design: Power 10 (1x Class-D and 6x Class-C powers), Usefulness 5, Plot Impact 5, Script Immunity 5 (free), Troublesome: High ability requirements (Occult 4, Int 4, Lore 3, Old Realm, Ess 2, net -2), Power Hungry (-2, effectively +2 levels) = 20. 20/4 = L5. The standard cost would be 10 committed motes for continuous operation or 5 to activate it for a scene. This has been split into 3 committed essence for everything but the essence boost and 4 motes to activate that for a scene. A dedicated L2 hearthstone will suffice to maintain the essence boost however. L3 or better will reduce the commitment cost to 1 mote.

   The Orb of the Archmage

  • +6 Occult: Standard Class-C
  • +4 Intelligence: Standard Class-C
  • Spell Storing: Three total “levels” (Thaumaturgy = 1/2, Terrestrial = 1, and Celestial = 2). One Class-C and one Class-B power.
  • -2 on Occult Target Numbers: Standard Class-B.

   Design: Power 8 (3x Class-C, 1x Class-B, 2x Class-A powers), Usefulness 4, Plot Impact 4, Script Immunity 4 (free), Troublesome (High ability requirements, Occu   t 5, Int 4, Terrestrial Circle Sorcery, -2), Power Hungry (-2, effectively +2 levels). Total = 16, 16/4 = L4. 5 Motes to attune for continuous activation, although a dedicated L2 Hearthstone will reduce this to 1 mote.

   The Talisman of Vigor

  • +4 to Str, Dex, and Sta: 3x Standard Class-C.
  • Vitality Transfer: The user can assume other people’s wounds, up to the point of killing yourself if you so desire. Estimated as a Class-C power.

   Design: Power 8 (4x Class-C powers), Usefulness 5, Plot Impact 2, Script Immunity 4 (free), Power Hungry (-1, effectively a +1 advantage) = 16. 16/4 = 4. 10 motes of essence to attune for continuous activation. A dedicated L3 Hearth-stone will reduce this to 1 mote however.

   The Courier’s Belt

  • Storage: Lets the user securely, and unsearchably, store 20 pounds of gear. Estimated as a Class-A power.
  • Design: Power 1 (1 Class-A power), Usefulness 2, Plot Impact 1, Script Immunity 1 (free) = 4. 4/4 = 1.

   The Seal of High Sorcery

  • One continually-active Essence-I Charm. A standard Class-A power.
  • Another – somewhat arbitrary – Class-A power. Skill substitution by itself is isn’t too important, since it won’t give you access to the advanced charms that make the skills really useful.

   Design: Power 2 (2x Class-A powers), Usefulness 3, Plot Impact 2, Script Immunity +2 (2 Base), and Troublesome -1 (Requires Occult 4+, Int 3+, and occasional “recharging” with mystic substances and rituals). Total = 8, dividing by four gives it an Artifact Rating of 2. Requires one mote to attune, has script immunity 4 in total.

   Contacts 2

   Charles has a fair array of contacts in two specialized areas – the local nonhumans (Spirits and Fey) and the local thaumaturgists, psychics, and other mystical dabblers. He doesn’t really have many contacts with human society. As a “neutral party” he does quite a lot of hosting, negotiating for, and relaying of messages for, the various nonhumans of Atlanta. His notable contacts include:

  • Daniel Clane, state department, prior US ambassador to England. Thanks to an incident in England about a year ago Daniel knows that Charles is a powerful Thaumaturge and is skilled in negotiating with magical beings. Daniel is generally willing to exchange a few favors; Charles may be underage, but his talents have come in useful several times.
  • Korbase. Charles doesn’t know what Korbase is, or just what his abilities are – but he (she? it?) seems to have major magical abilities of his or her own as well as rather impressive resources and great combat skills. He’s a bit worried that he might be a major demon or something. He certainly looks the part.

   Cult 1

   Charles’s “Cult” actually consists of a few mortal thaumaturgists whom he’s been training, and providing some enhancements and minor artifacts for. While this is a much smaller group than the usual “cult”, their active support is equivalent to the unfocused prayers of a much larger number.

   Sorcerer-Summoner (No Rating)

  •  Demon Bodyguards: Charles normally keeps about six first-circle demon bodyguards “on call”, using thaumaturgy to open a link and let them appear when needed. After all, they’re easy enough to summon and bind. He usually gets leg-breaker thug types who like video games. They aren’t tremendously powerful, but they are capable of really annoying a basic dragon-blooded type, particularly when popping in and out by surprise.

   Mentor 3

   Charles’s Mentor is his Grandfather, Richof Haldane. The old man (actually middle aged for whatever-he-is, but Charles naturally sees him as old) is a powerful sorcerer, controls enough manses to have no problems in turning a couple of them over to a kid, and has quite a few servants and allies of his own, as well as wealth and influence. He had a rather bitter divorce from his wife, Tameris Aldalae, some time ago and tends to refer to her as “that demon hag from hell”. There were some indications that he didn’t get along all that well with the Fey either (even the relatively “tame” inhabitants of Atlanta), which may be why he was so willing to let Charles take charge of everything in the faerie wood.

   Since a Mentor is likely to be a major plot element, any further development is pending game-master input.  

   Resources 4

   While Charles does have a fair amount of money of his own since he’s been producing charms and talismans for years now, his upper-end funding is derived from his Grandfather. His personal resources are only about level three; he has to explain level four purchases to his grandfather – who has Resources-5 – and generally isn’t allowed to make level five purchases at all; those would have a noticeable impact on his grandfather’s finances.

   Charles has been trying to get his personal resources up to level five in his own right for some time now, but has been having some trouble convincing people with that kind of money to part with it in exchange for magical talismans. It hasn’t yet occurred to him to simply resort to alchemy and make gold and such. He’s been good at thaumaturgy for so long that he doesn’t really think of such things as being valuable.

   Creating or Buying Superior Items

  • Exceptional Items: 1 Year base time to make (divided by the creators extra successes squared). Weapons get three +1’s, armor gets two +1’s, other items add one die to pool. Cost +1.
  • Perfect Items: 5 Years base time to make. Weapons 2x +1’s and a +2, armor reduces mobility and fatigue by 1 each and gets two +1’s, other items add two dice. Cost +2.
  • Transcendent Items: 20 years base time to make. Weapons get a +1, a +2, and a +3. Armor reduces mobility and fatigue by 1 each and gets two +2’s. Other items get +4 dice.
  • Thaumaturgically Enchanted Items (5): Treat these as Perfect. They get another 2x +1 adds or another die if they’re already Perfect, but such additions do not stack with Artifact qualities.

 

   Manses (total of 9)

   Charles’s Charms:

  • Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
  • Celestial Circle Sorcery
  • The First Occult Excellency
  • Spirit-Detecting Glance

   The Laborer’s Word

  • Cost: 2 Motes; Minimum Occult 3, Essence 1, Type Supplemental.
  • Duration: Instant
  • Keywords: Combo-OK
  • Prerequisite Charms: Any Occult Excellency.
  • Effect: The user may accomplish tasks by magic, rather than by hand. Such tasks must be unopposed: if a horde of zombies is shambling towards the deserted farmhouse, you can use The Laborer’s Word to nail the windows shut or pile furniture against the door. If they’re already trying to get in, it’s too late. Roll (Int + Occult). Each success accomplishes ten minutes worth of work, just as if you’d done it yourself. The special effects are up to the user; at it’s most basic the area immediately around you just jerks a bit and you’re a bit further along on some task. Most user’s go in for various occult displays; it looks neater.

   The Engines of Creation

  • Cost: —; Minimum: Occult 3, Essence 3; Type: Permanent.
  • Keywords: None.
  • Duration: Permanent.
  • Prerequisite Charms: Terrestrial Circle Sorcery.
  • Effect: The user has learned to tap the deep energies of creation, the forces that Autochthon used to construct the basis of the world. He or she may use the Advanced Thaumaturgy Rules rather than the basic rules from the Exalted rulebooks.

   Awaking the Sleeping Serpent

  • Cost: —; Minimum: Occult 4, Essence 3; Type: Permanent.
  • Keywords: None
  • Duration: Permanent.
  • Prerequisite Charms: The Engines of Creation.
  • Effect: The user has come to understand the chaos at the center of the world, and may use the basic Occult skill to use the Advanced Thaumaturgic Sciences without penalty.

   The Radiant Indulgence of Gaia

  • Cost: —; Minimum Occult 4, Essence 3, Type: Permanent.
  • Duration: Permanent.
  • Keywords: None.
  • Prerequisite Charms: The Engines of Creation, Terrestrial Circle Sorcery.
  • Effect: The user may spend 6 Motes and 1 Will to weave an Advanced Thaumaturgy effect with six bonus successes and treat the result as Terrestrial Circle Sorcery.

   Invoking the Hidden Stars

  • Cost: —; Minimum Occult 4, Essence 4, Type: Permanent.
  • Duration: Permanent.
  • Keywords: None
  • Prerequisite Charms: The Radiant Indulgence of Gaia, Celestial Circle Sorcery.
  • Effect: The user may spend 12 Motes and 2 Will to weave an Advanced Thaumaturgy effect with twelve bonus successes and treat the result as Celestial Circle Sorcery.

   The Alchemist’s Inner Fire

  • Cost 12 Motes, 1 Will; Minimum Occult 5, Essence 4, Type: Simple.
  • Duration: Indefinite. A new use cancels the old one.
  • Keywords: None.
  • Prerequisite Charms: Awaken the Sleeping Serpent.
  • Effect: Over an hour of meditation the user generates an internal hearthstone or stones with a total rating of up to (Essence-2). The stone or stones will remain active as long as the user keeps 1 mote per level of the stone(s) created committed to the stones. Mote recovery is boosted normally.

   Charles’s Available Spells:

   The exotic spells on this list can be found HERE.

   Personally Known Spells:

  • Terrestrial:
    • Emerald Countermagic: Reflexive, 0 Ticks. Protects the user for (10), breaks a terrestrial nearby for (20). Main book, page 253.
  • Celestial:
    • Sapphire Countermagic: Reflexive, 0 Ticks. 15 or 20 Motes for personal/area. Blocks Thaumaturgy, Terrestrial, and Celestial spells. Celestial. Main book, page 256.

   Available Terrestrial Formula (25):

  • Aura of Facilitation: 15 Motes. For the next 2 x (Int + Occ) hours the user has a base target number of six, rather than seven.
  • The Autochthonian Invocation: 15 Motes. Effectively upgrades a workshop by one level for (Int + Occ) days.
  • Blessings of the Shadows: 20 Motes. Adds the user’s (Essence) to his or her Perception and +4 each to Awareness and Perception for twenty-four hours. A variant of Unbreakable Bones of Stone.
  • Breath Of Seven Thunders: 15 Motes. This creates a storm of electrical arcs throughout the area, but has the same game statistics as Death Of Obsidian Butterflies. Main book, page 252.
  • Casting the Circle: 15 Motes. Allows up to three volunteers participating in the circle to contribute motes and willpower to the caster.
  • Conjuring the Azure Chariot: 15 Motes. Summons a chariot that can travel at 200 MPH until sunset. White Treatise, page 41.
  • Demon of the First Circle: 20+ Motes. Summons and binds a first circle demon servant for a year and a day. Main book, page 252.
  • Emerald Circle Banishment: 10+ Motes. Reflexive, 0 Ticks, banishes a first circle demon. White Treatise, page 44.
  • Fiery Incandescent Spirit: 25 Motes. Adds (Essence) to Wits and Cha for twenty-four hours. Variant of Unbreakable Bones of Stone.
  • Flight Of The Brilliant Raptor:10 Motes. (Wits + Occ + Ess) to hit, dodge no parry, damage (perception + occult + extra successes + essence) plus explosion. White Treatise, page 46.
  • Focus of the Faithful: 10 Motes. Binds an ongoing spell effect with a base duration of at least four hours affecting a voluntary target to their Cult. A Cult-1 can sustain two thaumaturgic effects or one terrestrial spell. A Cult-2 can sustain both. A Cult-3 can sustain a celestial spell. A Cult-4 can sustain a celestial spell and either two thaumaturgic effects or a terrestrial spell. A Cult-5 can sustain a celestial, a terrestrial, and two thaumaturgic spells. While such spells cannot be dispelled, the benefits of the levels of Cult that are sustaining them are lost to the user while they remain active. The user may drop the effect at any time.
  • Impenetrable Frost Barrier: 20 Motes. +2x the user’s essence difficulty on missile attacks on the user and near allies for 20 minutes. Main book, page 253.
  • Peacock Shadow Eyes: 10 Motes. (Wits + Occult) versus target’s Dodge MDV, success hypnotizes to believe anything you say. White Treatise, page 55.
  • Perfection Of The Ideal Form: 25 Motes. Mystically recreates an item. Roll [Int + Occult]. 5 successes results in a full repair of any damage provided that you possess more then half of the remains, 10 makes it Exceptional, and 15 results in Perfection.
  • Race the Lightning: 20 Motes. Roll (Dex + Occ) to generate a pool of extra actions; the user may spend one to act normally on any tick where he or she would not already be acting, completing any prior actions. Unfortunately, only three extra actions may be used per scene, the spell may only be cast once per week, and the new pool replaces any remaining extra actions in the old one.
  • Raising the Earth’s Bones: 25 Motes. Massive earthshaping. White Treatise, page 56.
  • Sandals of the Wind: 15 Motes. Multiplies the user’s movement – including that produced by other magical effects – by (Essence) for (Sta + Occult) hours. Any vehicle the user pilots or drives, and any beast he drives, gets half this bonus.
  • Song of the Loa: 15 Motes. The user opens the way for a willing spirit to bond with a willing host for up to twenty-four hours. While the host remains physically in charge, the spirit may lend the host its abilities (although it’s quite free to lie about what a particular power does) – but is in no way obliged to do so and may depart at any time. Most spirits will want something in exchange for the use of their powers. Ghosts, for example, are notorious for wanting to taste the pleasures of life, while little gods usually want worship and offerings.
  • Sphere of Purity: 20 Motes. Provides perfect protection for a radius of (Essence) yards for (Sta+Occ) hours against toxins, lack of air, and diseases, as well as natural extremes of environmental temperature and pressure.
  • Sprouting Shackles Of Doom: 10 Motes. Binds a target and squeezes them into unconsciousness. The White Treatise, page 62.
  • Summons of the Earth’s Heart: 20 Motes. Transforms air to stone in a radius of (2x Essence) yards for up to one hour. Roll (Per + Occ) to shape things. Neither blockable nor dodgeable as long as you leave a foot or so around living creatures (1 per success, others may dodge).
  • Thunder Wolf’s Howl: 10 Motes, 10 yard radius takes (Int+Occ) + (Essence Automatic) bashing damage. Dodge, parry, and armor do not apply. Deafens and disorients. White Treatise, page 66.
  • Unbreakable Bones of Stone: 20 Motes. Adds (Essence) to Str and Sta for twenty-four hours. White Treatise, page 66.
  • Viridion Mantle of Underwater Journeys: 20 Motes. Group water breathing. White Treatise, page 68.
  • Virtuous Guardian of Flame: 25 Motes, 5 Committed. Provides an independent parry DV of (Wits + Occult + Essence)/2 that is very rarely reduced. White Treatise, page 68.

   Available Celestial Formula (6):

  • Greater Elemental Empowerment: Imbues a mundane item with elemental energy, see The White Treatise, page 57, This Celestial Circle version multiplies the effects by 1.5 and requires mere moments to cast. (Original).
  • Imbue Amalgam: Creates empowered servants. Celestial, see book for description. White Treatise, page 74.
  • Incomparable Body Arsenal: 30 Motes. +10L/10B Soak, +2 Str, +2 Sta, (Str+8)L in a clinch for (Ess) hours. Main book, page 255.
  • Magma Kraken: 35 Motes. Creates tentacles of molten rock. White and Black Treatise, page 76.
  • Outside Worlds Within: 25 Motes. Turns a room into another place. White Treatise, page 77.
  • Travel Without Distance: 25 Motes. Teleportation (Exx x 10) miles. Can affect groups. Main book, page 256.

   Normally Stored Spells:

  • Libram: Travel Without Distance and Magma Kraken. He leaves the third slot open in case he needs to absorb a spell.
  • Orb: Flight Of The Brilliant Raptor (Terrestrial), Impenetrable Frost Barrier (Terrestrial), and Thunder Wolf’s Howl (Terrestrial).

   Charles isn’t especially combative, but those are the kind of spells you often need in an emergency, so…

   Usual Bestowed Spells:

  • Perfection of the Ideal Form, Greater Elemental Empowerment, Song of the Loa

   Optionally – given game master agreement – Charles may have the Virtue Flaw and Limit Break he was actually originally played with. IN this case, Charles is actually in permanent limit break; he’s a Solar Exalted, a Lawgiver of the Unconquered Sun – and he refuses to give orders or to take command outside of practical emergencies. “Orders” like “Shut it off before it explodes!” are about his limit. He’s not about to exert unnatural mental influences (or even excessive natural ones), and thinks that it’s his job to repair things, help other people, and defend humanity as it rules itself. Rather than be a glorious solar ruler, he’s content to be an amiable superhero.

   Is that “beating the great curse”?

   Not exactly. Fundamentally, it’s reverting to the most ancient template of the Solar Exaltation – the Alchemical Orichalcum Exalted – and accepting the letter of the great curse while evading its spirit though that acceptance. If Charles ever does encounter the Alchemical Exalted, he’s likely to get along with them very very well indeed.

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4 Responses

  1. […] Charm progression that begins with The Engines of Creation, as possessed by Charles Dexter Ward, is actually one of the most primal Occult sets available to the Exalted; sorcery did not exist […]

  2. […] Charles’s Original Charms (scroll down): Includes the Laborer’s Word, the Engines of Creation, Awaking the Sleeping Serpent, The Radiant Indulgence of Gaia, Invoking the Hidden Stars, and the Alchemists Hidden Fire. […]

  3. […] Charles’s Original Charms (scroll down): Includes the Laborer’s Word, the Engines of Creation, Awaking the Sleeping Serpent, The Radiant Indulgence of Gaia, Invoking the Hidden Stars, and the Alchemists Hidden Fire. […]

  4. […] Charles’s Original Charms (scroll down): Includes the Laborer’s Word, the Engines of Creation, Awaking the Sleeping Serpent, The Radiant Indulgence of Gaia, Invoking the Hidden Stars, and the Alchemists Hidden Fire. […]

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