Righteous Hala didn’t have the time to accompany Charles to the far end of the universe – but she certainly could spare a few hours with a Crystal Arena to see how well he could defend himself – and to offer some advice on possible attackers and tactics. The boy was obviously amazingly resourceful, but it was equally obvious that his combat experience was academic at best. Hers, on the other hand, was quite real – and over the centuries she’d seen quite a few variations to throw at him in the Arena.
That was… different. Charles’s personal defenses were actually pretty good – unless someone got inside him and started sabotaging all those manses in his world-body. Of course trying THAT amounted to undertaking a full-scale war. His offensive abilities were adequate, but nothing all that special – after you got past his tendency to simply send attackers home, or trap them, or otherwise avoid combat altogether!
His reserves though… every time she thought that he might be reaching his limits, he simply pulled more power out of Aden!
Wait. Spirits could lend you motes, will, health, and other abilities – usually by touch – and Aden was inhabited by a couple of hundred thousand powerful spirits! Even worse, his third-circle “Guardians” seemed to be able to act through him as needed!
By Creation! Had fighting the actual Primordials been like this? She was SO glad that Charles was a benevolent pacifist, and tried to avoid actually using his more destructive powers at all costs… It took a Ragnarok scenario – a combined galactic/demon army invasion with both groups warded against being sent home and his other tricks to get him to call on the Spear of Aden – yet another unexpected reserve.
What, so he had an option ready just in case he was in the area to intervene when the Death Star attacked Alderaan?
And into the hands of those who will not use it, great power was given… That was downright SUBVERSIVE!
Afterwards she went to go and shake down Lytek a bit… After all, if the Solars of the first age were normally like this… well, she REALLY doubted that the usurpation would have worked! If they’d felt unwelcome they’d just have wandered off to make their own universes…. Hey, where HAD they been for 25,000 years?
Fortunately, Lytek already wanted to talk to her, and she had an appointment already. .
(Lytek and Hala, roughly simultaneously) “All right, what they hell have I/You DONE?!?!”
Lytek looked somewhat uncomfortable – and explained that Charles was both like and unlike a Solar of the First Age. Like them, in that he had a good deal of infrastructure backing him and was playing politics, albeit in his own idiosyncratic way. Unlike them in that he had created his own private universe within his Exaltation and had no desire to rule directly. He was a force of… near-pure benevolence.
He didn’t tell her about the Curse, or the Guardians, just yet. He knew that she worked with Sidereals.
(Hala) “Oh yes – but HOW has he turned his Exaltation into a private universe? Do they all have that potential, or is it just an aspect of where their power comes from?!?!”
(Lytek) “It’s a highly complex issue, Lady Hala, and I’m still researching it. At the moment, I believe all of them might have that potential.”
(Hala, with some shock) “So why hasn’t anyone ever done it before? Surely there would be records somewhere unless they went somewhere outside Creation to do it!”
(Lytek) “Certainly, it would require access to a massive amount of Wyld energies . . . and they would be loathe to spread that knowledge. I have sent some of my aides to search for any information on this.”
He didn’t mention the thought that he might have inadvertently unlocked something that should never have been disturbed – but Righteous Hala could read THAT one without even trying.
Lytek did wish he could tell her more! For one thing, he wasn’t at all sure how the Lunar Bond would interact with what Charles was doing.
That was an appropriate worry… Just to start with, the bond created a link between them – and Charles’s Charms allowed his Adenic Thaumaturgy to jump over links to help people out whether or not Charles was actually paying attention at the time. Just as importantly, since she’s accepted the Adenic Thaumaturgic Initiation, she’s effectively in Aden – and in direct contact with Charles – at all times.
In this game a high-level Lunar Bond allows the Lunar to use a few of his or her partner’s charms. While this never includes Martial Arts or Thaumaturgy / Sorcery charms, and very rarely includes Excellencies (and never more than two), it can bypass some charm prerequisites – albeit not skill and essence prerequisites. Sadly, just what you get is up to the game master, the minimum essence requirement of the charms in question rarely exceeds the bond rating, and the choice requires the approval of the solar player (if any). If they’ve got a particular personal shtick they don’t want to share, that is their privilege.
Hala wasn’t entirely satisfied either – but she didn’t have any good way to squeeze more information out of Lytek.
Of course, she could always ask Charles to analyze HIMSELF a bit. He should, after all, be one of the greatest available experts on that particular topic!
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LVII – Aikiko’s Quest (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LII – Lytek’s Inspection (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Session LVI – The Exultant Avalanche (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Session LV – Wraiths, Wyldjumps, and Wanderers (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Session XL – Small Gods and Sandwiches (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Session XXXIX – Gates of the Third Circle (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Session XXXVIII – Out of the Umbra (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice XLI – The Boy Scouts of Siderea (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LIII – Dun Shunkaha (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice XXXVII – Investigating Charles Mansen (ruscumag.wordpress.com)