This time around in the catching-up it’s some high-essence Raksha charms – which is pretty much totally unexplored territory. Are they powerful? Yes, yes they are. Whether or not that’s at all unreasonable at these essence levels… is up to you.
Champion Of The Wyld (Cost —; Mins Heart 3, Essence 6, Permanent, Keywords; Native, Stackable, Shaped-Only. Prerequisite Charms; Glorious Hero Form). (Waking and Dreaming) Doubles the effect of your Glorious Hero Forms. May be taken again at Essence 8 to quadruple them.
The Iron Forge (Cost; — (1-2M), Mins Heart 4, Essence 6, Type; Permanent, Keywords None, Prerequisites: all four Grace Excellencies).
(Waking): Like it or not, Creation is founded upon Chaos; the laws of creation… are simply a very limited subset of the infinite possible rules of the Wyld. For a Raksha or Unshaped with sufficient power and skill, it is possible to learn to work within those limits. If your essence is two or more points above the minimum needed for an effect you can spend an extra mote (1 if none are normally needed) to change it from “shaping” to another relevant keyword. If your essence is four or more points above the minimum required you can also opt to spend two extra motes (2 if none are normally required) to simply make it a normal process of creation, with no “shaping” involved at all.
(Dreaming): You may impose the rules of creation around yourself – an effect equivalent to Chaos-Repelling Pattern. While this is in effect you count as creation-born.
The Second Breath (Cost; —, Mins Heart 4, Essence 7, Type; Permanent, Keywords Shaped-Only, Prerequisites: The Iron Forge).
You know how to attune yourself to the restricted energies flowing through Creation.
(Waking): You may respire normally in Creation. You also generate Pennants and Cysts as if you were a Freehold ranked at (Essence) and are always considered to be carrying a pennant.
(Dreaming): You are protected by the equivalent of the Integrity Protecting Prana whenever that would be convenient for you.
The Alloyed Flesh (Cost; —, Mins Heart 4, Essence 8, Type; Permanent, Keywords Shaped-Only, Prerequisites: The Second Breath).
(Waking and Dreaming): You have mingled your inner chaos with the stuff of creation. Iron no longer has any special effect on you – and neither do charms such as Order Affirming Blow.
The Fathomless Blossom Of The Divine (Cost; —, Mins Heart 4, Ess 7, Type; Permanent, Keywords; Shaped-Only, Duration: Permanent, Prerequisites; Heaven Rains Wisdom)
As everyone knows, the essence-structure of a powerful Raksha begins to look very much like that of a God. With this charm a Raksha gains native access to equivalents of all Spirit Charms, although their essence minimums are increased by one.
Narrative Cloak of the Aspirant Ishvara (Cost —; Mins Heart 4, Ess 7, Permanent, Keywords; Native, Prerequisite Charms; Unassailable Tower of Glamour). You must work with the storyteller to define the central narrative of your existence. Actions which go along with your narrative gain a Wyld Bonus of (Essence-6) dice. This does not count as dice added by a charm. Actions which oppose it, suffer a similar external penalty to a maximum of -4. (Waking) Both effects cover a radius of (essence) miles and extend to anyone outside that area who attempts to target you with a supernatural effect since that opens a link between you. (Dreaming) Both effects cover a radius of (3x Essence) Waypoints and extend to anyone outside that area who attempts to target you with a supernatural effect since that opens a link between you.
Narratives may be changed, but it will require some great event and buying this charm again.
Font Of Grace (Cost; 12G, 3XP, Mins Ring 5, Essence 6, Keywords None, Prerequisite: At least four “Forging The” Freehold Crafting Charms)
(Waking and Dreaming) Every Raksha is a creation-in-miniature – a pattern imposed upon a portion of the Wyld and distilling essence from it by virtue of that order. They have their virtues / poles, their narrative struggles to find meaning in withstanding the wyld, and their individual themes. It is no wonder that so many of them find creation so fascinating when they are exposed to it; in it’s vastness it has absorbed a million tales. Thus they play their usual roles on a larger-than-usual stage, ranging from faithful guardians to treacherous usurpers or assassins. Creation itself is cast as a Freehold who’s Lords arrogantly refuse to talk to anyone, to allow non-residents to respire essence, and have even used their Freeholds ability to inhibit shaping effects to prohibit residents from shaping themselves back to life without giving up most of their memories and to force visitors to remain dead. It’s no wonder that so many visiting Raksha resent the place…
Some of the great amongst the Raksha, however, learn to put that deep kinship to use. They may instill up to (Heart + 3) chosen locations with some of the seething energies of the Wyld which pour through their graces. Each week thereafter counts as a year of geomantic engineering (per Oadenol’s Codex, directed towards whatever goal the user wishes) for that location – albeit with no requirement for surveys, rituals, or resources.
If the user successfully creates a Demesne he or she may transform it into a Freehold (using the ratings of his or her graces for the ratings of it’s various features) in mere moments. The Bonefire of such a Freehold requires no feeding and the user automatically commands all aspects of such a freehold, and cannot be usurped – although he or she may delegate the various roles to others or resume them at will.
If someone erects a Manse on such a Demesne it automatically allows Raksha to respire motes within it and within any “zone of influence” that it may have. It also gains a modest set of built-in Treasures – a hidden Chancel (containing the original Freehold, if any) at the Demesne’s rating and a modest set of other treasures – Abjurations that any Raksha or anyone else attuned to the manse can swear to, Onieromancies targeting the manse or the surrounding area, and so on – totaling (Demesne) dots.
Just how useful is a Freehold? They ARE very stylish at least – and it’s probably safe to say that they’re fairly handy in a Raksha game. They…
- Are treated as being a part of the Middlemarches. That’s convenient, but so are mortal dreams and nice, cheap, PORTABLE Chancels.
- Conceal those within from Sidereal Astrology. Of course, for the most part, Raksha characters don’t need to worry about Sidereal Astrology anyway; they’re hard to affect, and why should any of the strictly-limited supply of Sidereals want to waste that kind of effort on a lousy Raksha?
- Generate Cysts (User respires motes/hour equal to their rating) and Pennants (protect against daily mote drain, as per indestructible mundane equipment), all of which the master can either scry on remotely at will or wither and regrow at the freeholds center over the course of a story. Now that’s handy for a Raksha who wants to travel – but honestly, there are better ways – such as draining mortals, carrying a Chancel-*, learning to use a Hearthstone that also does something useful, or working with dreams.
- Let their masters know what goes on inside of them. That’s nice – but unless you’re playing in a Raksha game that revolves around a Freehold… who cares what’s going on inside of one?
- Let their masters selectively interact with some or all of those inside at once. Their master’s shaping actions gain (level) automatic successes that don’t count against caps. Now that’s handy – if you’re in the Freehold and want to shape something, such as using a Crafting charm. Of course, you’re a RAKSHA. If you want something, you can always go Wyld-Questing and pull it out of nowhere.
- Let their masters swear to Abjurations who’s benefits may then be assigned to those owing fealty to the Freehold as needed. OK… that might be handy if you’re defending your Freehold, and it might be used as a way to save a few motes – but whether or not it’s worth it is hard to say. A Freehold attracts problems.
- Let their masters rearrange their internal waypoints at will as a D3 Sword-shaping action. That’s a potentially useful defensive benefit, but why are you defending this place again?
- Let their masters use their own shaping defenses against others shaping their waypoints. Another defensive benefit – with the same question.
- Let their masters selectively prevent raksha from respiring Essence naturally in the freehold with D3 Cup-shaping. Now this is a useful benefit when you’re fighting Raksha. Are you?
- Limit shaping within themselves. THIS could be very important. Exactly HOW they limit shaping is completely undefined though. If they could just prohibit it, why would they need shaping defenses? If not, just what ARE the limits? I’d go with keeping things in style and the walls and buildings intact myself.
- May claim up to (Sword x 10) extra waypoints, although they must be linked to the original waypoints via Journeys. For those using this charm at Essence 8+, however, the Master may claim waypoints in Chancels that are currently within the Freehold – and maintain those links after the Chancels are removed from the Freehold, opening a bridge between the Freehold and the Chancel – which will remain open until destroyed no matter where the Chancel may be carried.
- Protect their residents from Wyld Mutations. This can be handy for mortals. Were you playing one or did you need a place to stash one?
- Start off with (Demesne Level or Heart’s Grace + 5) waypoints.
OK. A Freehold can be quite important if you’re playing a Raksha game revolving around it. Otherwise… it is, at best, an inferior manse with relatively few useful functions, and will probably play the same role in most games that an Exalts minor manses do – something to defend once in a while and otherwise pretty much forgotten. Thus the added functionality of claiming extra waypoints for high-essence Raksha to make a freehold worth having again.
Unfortunately, dropping a location from the user’s list requires the elimination (once again via accelerated geomantic engineering) of any demesne that his or her graces may be supporting – which will automatically eliminate any manse or freehold there (in the case of a manse, very likely in a geomantic explosion).