Zareth is a dedicated Thaumaturge – and is about as good at it as a Dualistic Exalt can get to start off with. That’s actually fairly impressive, but he’s not even remotely a match for a similarly-specialized Exalt of most of the other types save, perhaps, for a Dragon-Blooded. (A similarly-specialized Solar is quite horrendous: we’ve had one). While he was considerably more competent, his personality (and appearance) tended to resemble a cross between Rincewind the Wizard (From Terry Pratchet’s Diskworld series) and a drug dealer. He could be heroic – and often wound up being so – but it was always somewhat reluctantly and sleazily so.
Dualistic Exalted Thaumaturge (Creation)
Second Edition Conversion
Focus: 3 (Based on Stamina).
|Physical Attributes (4+2)|
|Strength||2 (4)||Dexterity||4||Stamina||3 (6)|
|Social Attributes (3+2)|
|Charisma||3 (4)||Manipulation||4 (5)||Appearance||1|
|Mental Attributes (6+2)|
|Dawn Skills||Zenith Skills||Twilight Skills|
|Martial Arts||Perform*||0 + 2||Investigation|
|Thrown*||3 + 2||Resistance||3||Medicine|
|Night Skills||Eclipse Skills||Earthly Skills|
|Larceny*||2 + 2||Sail||Engineering|
|Stealth*||4 + 2||Socialize||Firearms||
*Master Skill **Heart Skill Occult: 9d+2 Autosuccesses
Alchemy 1, Cooking 1 (a game-master assigned freebie), Enchantment 1, Fleeing 3, Streetwise 1, and Thaumaturgic Spellcasting 3.
*Recovers 7/Hour naturally, +2/Hour from items
Usual Combat Options:
Soak: 10L/10B plus any protective spells or effects.
Attacks and Defends using Occult: Melee: +1 Speed, +2 Accuracy, Strength+3(L or B) Damage, and +2 Defense. Thrown: +2 Accuracy, Strength+5(L or B) Damage, Rate 3.
Health Levels: 2x -0, 5x -1, 6x -2, 2x -4, Incapacitated, and “Dead” (roll Stamina + Focus to make a successful Worldjump to survive).
Merits (0): Luck-3 (Spend a luck point for a reroll or lucky break, regain 1/week or all after a story, 3) 2 x Mystic Mastery (Alchemy and Enchantment, 6), Advanced Essence Channeler (10), Elixir of Immortality (4), Draught of Vigor (4).
Backgrounds (5)” Artifact-2/The Sigil of Issilor, Artifact-2/The Coat of Flame, Knowledge-2 (“Talented Journeyman” level), and Manse-1/The Pillars of Irem. Effective Resources equal to his Occult skill level/2 (rounded up) due to his alchemical abilities.
Freebie Points: 21 + 14 (Knowledge) + 10 (Flaws) = 45. Spent on +5 Occult (Favored Ability, 5), +2 points on Backgrounds (2), 27 points worth of Merits (27), and 9 Specialities (9).
Flaws: Obsessed with Explosives. Believes that harnessing their power could lead to enormous benefits of all sorts and that they can help with all kinds of problems (-2), Obvious Suspect: He gives everyone the impression that he must be guilty of something (-2), Unlucky 2 (Somehow always gets into trouble, -2), Wanted: Numerous minor charges in many places (-2), Uses a wide variety of drugs (many illegal on earth, but only -1 since they don’t seem to affect him much), Secrets (How to do Alchemical Enhancements, -1), Background Writeup (-3), and Character Diary (-2). While this totals -15, only -10 points worth actually count, thus he may “buy off” five points worth without cost later on.
Inherent Exalted Abilities:
May sense energies alien to either creation or earth, such as magic and radiation for Earth/Creation.
Immune to infection, drugs, radiation, toxins, and diseases unless the agent in question is administered in both worlds. Heals at twice the normal rate.
Initial Prodigy: Invocation
You may tap into local powers to augment your magic. In general, invoking minor, major, and grand powers provide +4, +8, or +12 successes. Unfortunately sentient powers must be willing to help you, while non-sentient forces always backlash somehow. Either way, they can only aid effects appropriate to their natures. Sentient forces can be asked to power an effect instead of simply augmenting one; the reduces the effective rank of the power invoked by one level.
You may use Enchantment and a basic workshop to make actual artifacts of up to Level 3, albeit at the cost of a couple of days/a week/a month and 2/4/8 XP for level 1/2/3 artifacts. More powerful creations are theoretically possible, but will require MAJOR help and a lot more work.
You may call on any favors owed to you by spirits without having to cast a spell to get in touch with them; the contact link is established automatically.
Creation allows you to spend +3 Motes/+3 Motes and +1 Will/+6 Motes and +2 Will to add +4/8/12 extra successes and call it Terrestrial/Celestial/Solar Circle.
It also has LOTS of spirits/powers to bargain with. If you’re fool enough, you can tap into Oblivion or Wyld forces to power magic. A casting botch causes severe backlash.
Earth apparently doesn’t have easily-reached gods and seems to have no forces which augment magic. It does allow access to the modern “psychic” Sciences through the basic Occult skill.
May spend a point of Will, three points of Essence, or take a level of damage three times per scene without actually draining his personal reserve.
Equipment Carried: knife, cash, fishing line and hooks, writing kit, needle and thread, small prybar, comb, string, and other pocket gear. Will add ID, compass, lighter, watch, and cell phone when he finds out about them.
Travel Gear: Camp kit, coil of rope, tarp, hatchet, bandage roll, bedroll, flashlight, a couple of days iron rations, spare clothes. Will add binoculars when he finds out about them.
Thaumaturgical Gear: Packets of chalk, beeswax candles, incense, rock salt, origami paper, bone dust, matches, vials of ink, oil, blessed water, fingerpaint, glue, and wormwood, salve, 6 empty vials, tarot cards, quill pens, 2 small bowls/ bells/cups/burners (silver and gold) and a small stand for them, silk cloth, small silver mirror, small iron and silver knives, tongs, flute, iron key, string, a pendulum bob, rune-inscribed gloves, a runic rowan wand, and a crystal lens. About five pounds in total. This is “perfect” gear for a thaumaturgist, worth +2 dice on Occult rolls.
Leathers: As per a Perfect Buff Jacket; +4B/+4L soak, mobility penalty 0, fatigue rating 0.
Walkaway Medallion: This talisman negates two levels of damage scored against the bearer three times per week.
Perfect Chameleon Cloak: +2 dice for Stealth
Rune of Fortune: This talisman acts three times per week, either negating a botch or providing a reroll.
Amulet of Fire: Stores up to 7 motes of essence
Perfect Thieves Tools: +2 dice for Larceny
Image: Zareth is (apparently) about 15, has light brown hair and green eyes, is 5’4, and weighs 118 pounds. He is a bit gangly, but is far less awkward than he looks. Despite fundamentally decent looks he somehow manages to look throughly disreputable. He usually wears leathers, a good pair of sneakers from Earth, and his oddly-formal coat.
Unfortunately, most of his customers don’t expect a scruffy street vendor – who fills most requests in an hour or two – to actually provide full-powered merchandise.
Usual Alchemical Wares: (he usually stocks about a dozen vials of each).
Cosmetic: Lighten/Darken Skin, Instant Hair Growth, Color Shifting Dyes, Hair Dye, Blemish
Remover, Lesser Youth Elixir, Wrinkle Remover, and Nail Restorer.
Medical: Flesh Glue (converts 1-2 levels of lethal to bashing), Regeneration Inducer (user heals as an Exalt for the next week), Painkiller/Knockout Drops, Stimulant, Disease Purge, Anti-infection Salve, Universal Antidote, Parasite Expeller, Greater Youth Elixir, and Stenrect Venom (a painkiller and paralyzing agent).
Personal: Contraceptives, Abortifacients, Aphrodisiacs, Virility Enhancer, Love (obsession) Potion, Opium, Ganja, Cocaine, Cleansing Dust, LSD, Nightsight Elixir, and Insect Repellant.
Practical: Waterproof Paint, Fireproof Paint, Pottery Catalyst (instantly turns shaped clay into pottery), Welding Fluid, Glue and Solvent, Pyroconcentrate (a single drop fuels a small campfire for many hours), Fertilizer Drops, Matches, Metal Cutting Acid, Instant Ice Dust, Nourishing Elixir, Metal Liquefier Catalyst (and the counteragent), Inorganic Solvent, and Stone Softener.
Combative: Blade Venom, Sleeping Dust, Iron Body Elixir (+4B/+2L Soak for a scene), Numerous Bombs (6L or 10B), Blinding Dust, Banesteel (+2 Damage), and Smoke Pellets.
Magical: Ambrosial Fumes (counts as an offering-5 to any spirit), Spirit Repelling Smoke (very irritating to them, +2 die bonus to exorcisms), Spellpowders (can provide 2 motes or +2 dice, but 12 motes to produce a dose), Dust of Illusion (+2 duration and +1 area to illusions), Trail Erasing Dust (covers up about 100 feet), Sparkling Dust/Fumes (glow when exposed to essence, reveals magic, spirits, etc), Auspicious Fumes (reduces a target number to 5 when burned with proper ritual), and Vapors of Amnesia (roll Stamina at D3 or lose the last 5-20 minutes).
Exotics: Condensed Light, Air, Fire, (A.K.A. Firedust), and Fire, and Instant Fog Elixir.
The Pillars of Irem (Manse -1)
The Pillars of Irem are a circle of standing stones deep in the southern desert. Designed as a small supply depot during the first age, the Pillars collect and store Firedust from the surrounding area – and, as a side effect, allow the existence of a small Oasis.
Whether fortunately or unfortunately, reduced demand for firedust, the increasing danger and difficulty inherent in long-range travel (and in transporting quantities of firedust), and the general collapse of civilization have left the Pillars abandoned and forgotten. Even the Hearthstone – a Spell Stone (-2 to Occult target numbers) was primarily useful to the mortal thaumaturgists charged with tending the manse, and wasn’t worth the attentions of the Dragonblooded over such a distance.
Of course, Zareth isn’t really interested in practicality or economics. He is very interested in large quantities of explosives – and in anything which helps his magic.
The Sigil of Issilor (Artifact -2)
This simple bronze medallion is inscribed with a dragon and the symbol of sorcery. It provides:
The bearer may attack and parry with Occult, using various special effects. This is otherwise equivalent to using a “perfect” Javelin (Melee: +1 Spd, +2 Acc, +3(L or B) Damage, +2 Def. Thrown: +2 Acc, +5(L or B) Damage, Rate 3).
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, /4 = Artifact Rating 2. Requires one mote to attune, has script immunity 4 in total.
The Coat of Flames (Artifact -2)
The folds of this coat/cloak can hold as much as a large pack while showing no external sign of it. The wearer may simply reach in and pull out the desired item, others will find nothing. More importantly, it negates the need for time and equipment when making alchemy checks – although such effects still occur last in the round. As a class-2 power, this costs 1 mote to activate.
Power 3 (Fast Alchemy would normally be Class-C, but it’s reduced to B since it does not provide any skill, the Storage function is simply a Class-A convenience, and it has Class-A self-powering), Usefulness 3 (3), Script Immunity +2 (2, 4 total), Plot Impact 2 (Not much), and Troublesome -2 (Requires Occult 4+, Int 3+, and an active essence pool to use, tends to blast the wearer with fiery stunning implosions when he or she either fails an Alchemy check or gets hit with any powerful flame attack).
Yes, he was the only one who wanted it. Technically, it’s probably damaged somehow, and would be a three-point artifact if it was repaired (Negates Troublesome, Script Immunity increases to 5, Plot Impact increases to 3).
Draught of Vigor (4 points)
The user’s metabolism draws upon essence as well as simple physical energies. He or she never gets tired. (This is identical to the standard “Inexhaustible” mutation).
The user never tires and only needs a few hours of sleep each day.
The user gains +2 Stamina
The user may add his or her Stamina to his or her running speed.
Essence Channeler (Thaumaturgic Variant, 6 points).
The character has become attuned to the way in which essence flows through creation, and can manipulate those flows in some small fashion.
The user gains an essence pool of ([Essence x 3] + Willpower + Conviction + [Highest Virtue x 2]) which can be used freely and recovers naturally at one mote per hour.
The user may attune to Manses and Artifacts
Unlike the basic version, the user does NOT start with any spirit charms and may NOT buy them with experience, but is not unusually vulnerable to spirit possession and may select favored sciences for +1 point each.
If the user later gains an Exalted essence pool, this merit converts to +1 Essence and any favored sciences remain favored.
The users essence pool may be doubled for +3 points, for +1 point the recovery rate may be increased by (Stamina) points per hour. Both advanced benefits will remain if the user later Exalts.
Elixir of Immortality (4 points)
The character’s use of enhancing alchemical elixirs has permanently altered his or her tissues, greatly increasing his or her toughness. (This is identical to the standard “toughness” mutation).
The user gains +2 Strength and +1 Stamina
The user gains one -1 and two -2 health levels.
The user may soak all damage with his or her full stamina.
Mystic Mastery (3 points)
You may use your rating in the basic Occult skill in place of your rating in a particular Science. Unfortunately, this requires an active essence pool and an Int of 4+.
Taken twice, for Alchemy and Enchantment. This is rated at 3 points since a 3-point artifact could grant full mastery of a science. Unlike such an Artifact, the merit can’t be taken away, but you actually have to buy the Occult skill and pay the associated mote and/or willpower costs.
Base Thaumaturgic Specialities (Players Guide, pg 115)
Rite: The Mists of Dawn (Quickly summons fog)
Art Speciality: Summoning (Elementals)
Art Speciality: Lifeweave (Shapeshifting)
Zareth’s Personal History
Interesting. That boy senses the ward around the shop. Pretty impressive considering that he can’t be more than six. Perhaps he has a touch of natural power. Well – I’ve been looking for a new apprentice, and the parents certainly look like they’d be glad of a place for one of them. They’ve got that slightly-hungry look about them that says that they’re having a hard time supporting their offspring.
Edom and Larill were pleased enough: apprenticeship to the local enchanter was better than any other prospect they could arrange.
The Burning Desert:
It was during a trip to the hot desert around the pole of fire that Zareth became fascinated with firepowder. So much power, and so quickly and easily accessible. There just HAD to be some way of putting it to work – or even of channeling its energies into fueling other types of magic. His master was only interested in getting a few exotic ingredients for his enchantments and in forging that blade, but Zareth spent most of his free time poking around in the deeper desert. It was there that he discovered the Pillars of Irem and began his search.
What’ve you got there Zareth?
Dear me. A Hearthstone, even if it is one of the smallest type. And you’ve gotten it active too. I never thought that I’d get a hold of one, so I’ve never bothered to learn the art of attuning them myself. You seem to be a natural though. Take my advice and don’t show it around; quite a few of the dragonblooded don’t approve of humans meddling with the greater magics. They tend to see it as a challenge to their supremacy – and challenging them isn’t wise.
You’re going to be better than I am, I’ve already outlived all of my family by decades, and I haven’t got much longer to go anyway; the best longevity elixirs that I can brew are starting to fail – and that means a year or two at best. I’m paying the tuition for formal training in the Realm, and that’s the end of it. The shop will go to the great, great, grand-nephew, but I’m settling the bulk of the cash on you.
You shouldn’t have the slightest bit of trouble passing the entrance exams – and with your talent you ought to have the best formal training you can get.
What do you mean that miserable little apprentice is getting most of great-great granduncle’s money while we get the shop?! OK, the stock is worth a lot, but it’s not like any of us are skilled magicians or even know anything about keeping a shop! How dare great-great uncle what’s-his-name do this to us!
Look… I know he’s astoundingly talented, but that’s the third lab he’s blown up! He hasn’t even TAKEN any real Alchemy courses yet, he’s still in the introductory classes. Does he even know what he was trying to do?
You’ll ask him when he wakes up? Don’t you mean IF he wakes up?
Why is he so obsessed with explosions anyway?
You just had feeling that it would work? If you could get enough compression and heating? So you put it in the middle of a crucible of firedust and… That explosion was DELIBERATE!?
Not really, you just underestimated the thickness of the container you’d require to contain the reaction?
I’m sorry Zareth. You’re very very talented. Probably too talented for your own good – as well as too fascinated with things that explode. We’re going to have to ask you to go.
You’re willing to take that cloak in lieu of refunding your tuition? You actually WANT that thing? But it tends to explode when… oh.
Look, I’m giving you a couple of weeks worth of supplies anyway. I know you’re capable, but you can’t legally work as a thaumaturge in the realm without a license, the exams aren’t for six months, and it would be months after that before you got one even if you pass.
Not to mention that your chief talents seem to lie in blowing things up, and there isn’t much call for that outside of the military – and I don’t think that you’d fit in there.
So, is he likely to survive his injuries?
What do you mean, “he’s fine”? Have you actually looked at the lab? He detonated an enchanted crucible and there are pieces of it driven six inches into the walls! He’s fine?
What the hell was he working on anyway? Let’s see what major ingredients he’d checked out… Cinnabar, the Seven Excellent Herbs, Peach Brandy, Arsenic, Stenrecht venom – half of these are powerful healing compounds and the other half are lethal toxins!
“And from the toxin and the antitoxin the circulation of the essence can distill the waters of life, the universal elixir which banishes all entropy.”
Oh NO. He couldn’t have been trying THAT. No One tries THAT and lives. Attempts at the Elixir of Immortality are invariably fatal!
He lived. He lived through the explosion and the shrapnel too. Uninjured, but with his clothing and the rest of the lab torn to shreds.
And that didn’t tell you ANYTHING!?
WHERE IS HE!
You kicked him out of school and he’s already shipped out? I want some agents on his trail within the hour. I want him brought back alive and in shape to answer questions! Hire some of the Outcaste dragonblooded if you must! Hire the FUCKING GODS. We can afford the expense!
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HE DID!
Idiot. Idiot. IDIOT! How could this fool qualify as a teacher when he couldn’t see what was right in front of him? How could he let that boy – well, that young man – walk out of here carrying that kind of a secret in his head?
Could they kill him by mistake? Probably. There must be upper limits, even if he got it entirely right – and I doubt that. Still, it isn’t likely. Especially when the reward’s only for a capture.
So: we have a competitor. One with a plentiful supply, who doesn’t want to be recruited, and who’s undercutting us to boot. I’m very disappointed in you boys. Why haven’t you gotten rid of him yet? Even if you don’t have a good swordsman available right now, we’ve got the city guard and half the magistrates in our pockets!
Oh for the sake of the five dragons! He’s a seller isn’t he? Just ask for a meet someplace we have throughly under control!
But it was self-defense! They were trying to kill me! And it’s not MY fault that their building was tarred to make it watertight! Well maybe they shouldn’t have been so well- respected in the community then! What do you mean, “such baseless accusations”?
The Local Governments
Taxes – licenses – devaluing the currency – coinage restrictions – trying to spend large quantities of gold without apparent means of support – (BOOM) – resisting arrest…
Look ere’ guvnor. You’se gots lots o’ gold, lots o’ dope, an’ lots o’ little magic trinkets to make life a little easier. Ya don’ts got friends, guards, or backin’ from anybody who makes a difference, see? With odds like this we wouldna care if’n ye was a Dragonblood – an ye ain’t. Ye want’s, ye kin `ook up with me and my mates all peaceful-lik,or we kin do’t t’ `ard way. Either way, WE WANTS SOME.
Well of course that would happen if you took it all at once! That’s at least twenty times the normal dosage!
Why would you assume that it wasn’t pure? I told you that it was!
What’s wrong with being a scruffy street vendor who looks kind of like a weasel? (Even if I did look like a weasel, which I don’t.)
Look, it’s an ENCHANTED SWORD. Of COURSE it’s dangerous! If you’d wanted a toy for a kid, you should have said so!
I just sold him a little marital aid. How was I to know that he was going to spike the punch at the grand ball?
Zareth acquired 42 XP during his initial adventures, and has spent 39 of them to:
Increase his Appearance to 2 (4 XP)
Increase his Valor to 2 (3 XP)
Add another +2 Automatic Successes on Occult checks (10)
Buy a new Merit: Mystic Mastery/Telekinesis (6)
Create an Artifact-3/The Talisman of Swift Fortune (8)
Create an Artifact-3/The Ring of Mastery (8)
The Talisman of Swift Fortune is a simple carved-jade pocket-piece designed to bring good luck. Unlike most such items it really works – at least in the hands of a good thaumaturgist. The bearer may:
Spend a mote to roll (Wits + Occult) as a reflex action. 1/3/5 successes adds 1/2/3 dice to an action which is not enhanced by another artifact, charm, fortune effect, or prodigy.
Spend a mote to roll (Wit s+ Occult) as a reflex action. 3/5/8 successes negates 1/2/3 levels of damage. This is not cumulative with the effects of a “walkaway” talisman.
It stores 20 motes, but only for use with it’s abilities. If this reserve is exhausted, the user may either pay directly or replenish the reserve by spending 2 motes to add 1 to it.
Finally, the Talisman automatically replenishes it’s mote reserve at 4 motes per hour.
Power 3 (4x Class-A effects), Usefulness 5, Plot Impact 3, Script Immunity +2 (5 total), Exotic Components -3 (made of jade quarried by the mountain folk, alchemical reagents x2, and exotic natural components requiring resources-2 to purchase), Power-Hungry 2 (as a positive number this is an advantage that reduces the Talisman’s power demands to level 1; activating it’s powers costs 1 mote each time). Net artifact rating = 12/4 = 3.
The Ring of Mastery (quite intentionally) looks a lot like a Lord-of-the-Rings reproduction. In a way it is – right down to the fiery letters glowing around the inside which most reproductions don’t include.
Also, unlike most other reproductions, it works. It provides:
+2 Essence. While this does not allow access to higher-level charms, or increase the limits on attributes and abilities, it does increase the effects of essence-related or -limited powers and increases the wearer’s essence pool appropriately.
+4 Motes per Hour.
Can “absorb” (has a “socket” for) one Hearthstone (no cost for a single socket).
Unfortunately, using the otherworldly Azure Flame to forge the thing (not to mention tapping into the “one ring” motif) has imbued it with a tendency to attract poltergeists, wraiths, and other minor spooks.
Power 4 (Class C, B, A, and A), Usefulness 4, Plot Impact 2, Script Immunity +2 (5 total), Exotic Components -3 (forged in the supernatural Azure Flame on another world, alchemical reagents x2, and exotic natural components requiring resources-2 to purchase), Power-Hungry 3 (as a positive number this is an advantage which reduces it to no attunement cost to one mote), and Troublesome -2 (as above). Net artifact rating = 10/4 = 3. Theoretically he could have put some more powers in – but the “Troublesome” modifier was NOT an intended part of the design. That’s what he gets for fooling around with something (the Azure Flame) that he really didn’t (and doesn’t) understand.
For the future:
Zareth was planning on additional adventures in Artificing, although he wasn’t sure just what he wanted to make as yet. While he can’t imbue artifacts with true charms without assistance (remember; they have to be “of the appropriate type”, and his “type” is “Thaumaturgy”), he can fairly readily make a:
Reroll Talisman: This D5 Fortune effect can be put into an Artifact fairly readily.
Protective Amulet (adds to Soak).
Wands of Banishment (a “compel” effect; “return to your own realm!”), Dispelling (using the art of countermagic), and Frost (“attack”).
A Force Shield ring (using the modern Science of Telekinesis)
Items to enhance his Will and other Attributes.
Falcon’s Band (a D8 Lifeweave Shapeshifting effect, although he’ll have to upgrade it to overcome his automatic Exalted resistance).