Here we have another low-end Martial Art that’s probably best suited to Mortal characters. In fact, it may or may not be compatible with Exaltation; it’s entirely possible that an Exaltation pre-empts the kind of links that the style is designed to form.
Hand Of The Ancestors Style:
Your ancestors are always with you. Your flesh is of their flesh, your blood of their blood, in a stream that runs unbroken through the ages evan as it dallies in your veins. You may accept their ways or you may rebel against them – but they are your heritage, and are ever within you.
And with this art, you can make that even more literal.
- Haunting Shadow Stance
- | The Tao of Life and Death
- | Shadow Fist Strike
- Elder Mandarin Attitude
- Strength of the Ancestors
- Day Follows Night Approach
- Ancestral Blessing Approach
Haunting Shadow Stance: Cost: —, Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence: 1, Type: Permanent, Keywords: None, Duration: Permanent, Prerequisite Charms: None.
- Stance, and form, and inner stillness… Balance – of spirit, essence, and body – lies at the core of the Martial Arts. Few arts, however, try to balance astride the worlds – between life and death. Haunting Shadow Stance does exactly that – allowing the user to act as a vessel for a ghost, granting it a safe refuge and allowing the wraith to once more experience life. The user benefits from unconscious access to the Wraith’s perception of reality, allowing him or her to use either their usual XP/Bonus Point charts or those for Wraiths – whichever they prefer for any given purchase.
The Tao of Life and Death: Cost: — (1M), Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence: 1, Type: Permanent, Keywords: None, Duration: Permanent (one scene), Prerequisite Charms: Haunting Shadow Stance, the user must have a Ghostly Ally.
- Continued practice of the stances and movements of the Haunting Shadow Stance – on both the user’s and the hosted wraith’s part – opens closer links between them. The user may spend one mote to fully open those links for the remainder of the scene, allowing him or her to perceive the spirit worlds, communicate with spirits, and even make direct contact with them – although this only extends to the user’s flesh, not to any weapons that he or she happens to be holding. The spirit remains fully aware of the user and his or her situation as long as it remains resident.
Shadow Fist Strike: Cost: — (2M), Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence: 2, Type: Permanent, Keywords: None, Duration: Permanent (six ticks), Prerequisite Charms: The Tao of Life and Death.
- The developing bond between the user and the spirit he or she hosts has reached the point where the user can briefly function as a bridge between the worlds, allowing his or her companion wraith to affect the physical world while remaining safely ensconced within the user and the underworld. The user may spend two motes at any time to allow his or her companion to contact the physical world anywhere within normal arms reach for the next six ticks – allowing it to strike to assist him or her, to open a door from the other side, and to pull off similar stunts.
Elder Mandarin Attitude: Cost: — (3M), Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence: 2, Type: Permanent, Keywords: None, Duration: Permanent (one scene), Prerequisite Charms: Haunting Shadow Stance.
- The ongoing communion with the user’s ghostly ally has reached the point either may spend three motes at will to draw on the other’s abilities for the remainder of the scene. If those skills are within one dot – perhaps Presence Three for one partner and Presence Four for the other – use the higher of the two plus one dot. In the case of our example, the partnership, working together, would have an effective Presence of Five.
Strength of the Ancestors: Cost: —, Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence: 2, Type: Permanent, Keywords: None, Duration: Permanent, Prerequisite Charms: Elder Mandarin Attitude.
- The user’s unity with his ancestors is now approaching the ultimate; as long as the user is acting as a host for his or her allied wraith, they combine their essence and willpower pools – and either may spend motes to activate Shadow Fist Strike. Both the user and his or her ally benefit from any experience the other gains, although they spend it independently.
Day Follows Night Approach: Cost: —, Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence: 2, Type: Permanent, Keywords: None, Duration: Permanent, Prerequisite Charms: Strength of the Ancestors, Shadow Fist Strike.
- The user and his allied wraith may now act as one. The Wraith gains full access to the pleasures and sensations of life, while the User gains access to his allies Arcanoi.
Ancestral Blessing Approach: Cost: 6M, 2W, 3 XP, Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence: 3, Type: Simple, Keywords: Training, Duration: One Week, Prerequisite Charms: Day Follows Night Approach.
- If the user dies, he or she may automatically become a ghost if he or she so desires – and, as a ghost, will retain this art in it’s entirety as a free addition to his or her new ghostly powers. In addition, he or she can – as a ghost – teach up to three charms from the Hand of the Ancestors style to a mortal target as a training effect. This does not result in an XP debt for the mortal target, but no single mortal may be granted more than three charms in total by the use of this technique.
- Exalted – The Hundredfold Resplendent Academy (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice CXVI – Views of the Enlightenment (ruscumag.wordpress.com)