Castellan of Clockdust Reaches

Not dead yet.


Castellan of Clockdust Reaches (mort Sandpiper Tahiyya)
Once upon a time there was a sick little girl who dreamed of dancing for the Empress.
Motivation: To destroy Creation’s standards of beauty and art which preclude disease and disability and death as ugly and un-artful.
Exaltation: Abyssal
Caste: Dusk
Anima Banner: Hard to say. It’s uncomfortable to look on; it consumes light. It should be screaming but it consumes sound also; there are only the missing bits where the screams once were. There is an oppressive sense of cold beyond imagining. Two things are certain: It is watching. And it is growing.
Attributes: Strength 6/2, Dexterity 5, Stamina 6/2, Charisma 3, Manipulation 4, Appearance 5, Perception 2, Intelligence 3, Wits 2
Virtues: Compassion 2/3, Conviction 5/4, Temperance 2 (Flawed), Valour 2
Abilities: Athletics 3, Awareness 1, Integrity 4/2, Investigation 2, Linguistics 3 (Native: Low Realm; Others: Flametongue, High Realm, Old Realm; Choreography +1), Lore 2 (Chiaroscuro +1), Martial Arts 5, Medicine 1, Performance 5 (Dance +2), Presence 3, Resistance 5, Socialise 3, Survival 3

  • Artefact 4 (black steel heart, ‘Chill Calculation of Effort’. Where Attributes, Virtues, and Abilities have their ratings noted as X/Y, X is the value with the black steel heart attuned and Y the unmodified value: The enhanced ratings are persistent but not native: They count towards dice pool limits and cannot be used as prerequisites for Charm purchase.)
  • Artefact 2 (soulsteel skin mount amulet, ‘Emptiness Unfulfilled’)
  • Followers 2 (all living human, none are warriors or Delzahn nobility)
  • Liege 3 (Purveyor of Deleterious Intent)
  • Manse 3 (Abyssal Aspect, Flawed Gem, ‘Clockdust Reaches’ South)
  • Spies 1 (in Chiaroscuro)
  • Whispers 3

Merits and Flaws: Chronic Pain (7 pt. Flaw), Unlucky (3 pt. Flaw)
Excellencies: Martial Arts (1st, Ravening Mouth of Martial Arts), Performance (2nd), Resistance (2nd)
Awareness: Void Stares Back
Integrity: Undying Stagnation Defense
Performance: Haunting Apparition Trick
Resistance: Injury-Absorbing Discipline, Spirit-Hardened Frame, Wounds Mean Nothing (Conviction Flaw of Abyssal Invulnerability), Plague Knows Its Master, Wound-Eating Invulnerability, Resilient Corpse Body, Flesh as Marble Stance
Survival: Maelstrom-Weathering Indifference
Supernatural Martial Arts:
Infernal Monster Style: Retribution Will Follow, Raging Behemoth Charge, Infernal Monster Form, World-Breaker Grip
Join: Battle 3, Debate 5, War 2
Punch: Speed 5, Accuracy 11, Damage 6B, Parry DV 6, Rate 3, Tags N
Kick: Speed 5, Accuracy 10, Damage 9B, Parry DV 4, Rate 2, Tags N
Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 10, Damage 6B, Parry DV —, Rate 1, Tags C N P
Soak: 3L/6B
Health Levels: -2/-4/-4/-4/-4/-4/-4/Incap
Dodge DV: 4 Willpower: 8
Essence: 3
Personal Essence: 17 Peripheral Essence: 38 (46)
Committed Essence: 8
Unctuous Purveyor of Deleterious Intent (positive: gratitude, love, devoted service, magically enforced)
Sesus Harumo, a Terrestrial akuma and her sifu in Infernal Monster Style (negative: incandescent hatred)
Garnet Yūki, Sandpiper Fatimah, Sandpiper Akiko (positive: love and a whole shitload of fear for their continued well-being)
Lord Husayn (positive: affection, sexual attraction, utility)
Other Notes: Castellan’s Peripheral Essence pool assumes the hearthstone from her manse is socketed into her skin mount amulet, expanding it by six motes whilst providing the usual benefits of a hearthstone.

Explicatory Text

Flaw: Chronic Pain
Cost: 7 pts.
Availability: Anyone
The character may be uncommonly sensitive to pain or highly tolerant to it. Either way, the character is in pain all the time (compare to the Pain Tolerance Merit, Scroll of Exalts pp. 49-50) and there is no part of her that is not in pain. While she may be completely uninjured in terms of health levels lost, she lives with the effects of wound penalties regardless. With the five-point version of this Flaw, the character’s -2 health levels become -4 health levels, her -1 health levels become -2 health levels, all -0 health levels become -1 health levels, and she is treated as being at a -1 wound penalty at all times. With the seven-point version, the character’s -1 and -2 health levels become -4 health levels. her -0 health levels become -2 health levels, and she is treated at being at a -2 wound penalty at all times.

For example, a character with seven health levels normally has a track like so: -0/-1/-1/-2/-2/-4/Incap. The five-point Flaw makes it: -1/-2/-2/-4/-4/-4/Incap; the seven-point Flaw makes it -2/-4/-4/-4/-4/-4/Incap.

This Flaw does not normally interfere with a person’s ability to track health levels lost or healed, especially from injuries suffered in battle, though more subtle forms of damage such as from Disease or Poison effects may be lost in the background noise at the Storyteller’s discretion (though the Storyteller becomes responsible for tracking the character’s health levels which is probably more trouble than it’s worth).

Although clearly detrimental, this Flaw has certain highly dubious benefits. After all, when you live with pain all the time you learn strategies for living with it. If you’re already at -2 to all rolls all the time, things won’t get much worse until you’re actually dying. The character gains a bonus to resist the effects of opiate drugs equal to the absolute value of her permanent wound penalty; this resistance is not optional and cannot be bypassed by any means. (From Exalted p. 130: A successful Stamina + Resistance roll halves the Penalty effect of any Poison effect even if that effect is desired such as with recreational or palliative drugs; characters with Chronic Pain must roll to resist the effects of opiates, with the bonus to succeed on the roll applied, and must accept the effects of the roll. Characters with applicable re-roll Charms such as the Third Resistance Excellency or the Third Stamina Excellency may use them.) Characters with this Flaw rarely become addicts of opiates unless they were addicted before they acquired their chronic pain condition.

Most magical effects that temporarily mitigate pain such as Touch of Blissful Release (Exalted p. 218) or Steadfast Yeddim Meditation (The Manual of Exalted Power – Lunars p. 156) function normally. The wound penalties are considered to be from lethal damage for purposes of pain mitigation effects that differentiate amongst types of damage.

Any character who gains a permanent pain mitigation effect such as By Agony Empowered (The Manual of Exalted Power – Infernals p. 112) loses this Flaw and must buy off the points gained from it as a Training effect. Alchemical Exalts who install Pain Suppression Nodes (The Manual of Exalted Power – Alchemicals pp. 133-134) reduce the the effects of the flaw by the character’s (Stamina ÷ 2) while the Charm remains installed. If the Champion keeps the Charm installed more often than not the Storyteller may require the Alchemical’s player to buy off the Flaw at their discretion.

A note regarding this Flaw and Laughing Wounds Style (Scroll of the Monk pp. 94-97): The penalties inflicted by chronic pain are, unfortunately, too familiar to become bonuses when the form-type Charm for the style is active; the Laughing Wounds martial artist must actually inflict new damage on herself or accept it from another as though she had a normally functioning wound penalty track to gain bonuses from the form-type Charm. Any other scene-length Charms turning wound penalties into bonuses function similarly.

Cost: 3 pts.
Availability: Anyone
The character is plagued by bad luck and is considered a jinx by those who know her well. For each level of this Flaw acquired, the Storyteller adds one point to a “bad luck pool” that can be used against the character. Whenever the character’s player succeeds on a roll, the Storyteller may choose to spend one point of bad luck to force her to re-roll. The Storyteller may continue to spend bad luck points to force re-rolls on the same roll, if he wishes, until the roll fails or he runs out of bad luck points. The dice pools, target numbers and difficulties for any re-rolls are exactly the same as for the original roll, even taking dice modifiers such as Excellencies into account.

The Storyteller can also spend bad luck points to negatively influence the outcome of a completely random event such as a coin toss or anything similarly random that involves the character. Normally, such events are resolved by rolling a single die with results of five or less being unfavourable to the character. For every bad luck point spent, the Storyteller can reduce the result of this die roll by one. The bad luck pool recovers one point per week that the character has gone without suffering a jinx and refreshes at the end of every story. A character can have both the Lucky Merit and the Unlucky Flaw, and both can affect the same roll.

Black Steel Heart ‘Chill Calculation of Effort’
The necrotechnicians and charnel surgeons of the Deathlords, never ones to pass up a good trick when they’ve heard of one, have taken to adapting certain advances in Malfean technology to use by Abyssals. With what they consider to be appropriate design improvements, of course. One of the first technologies so appropriated was the green iron heart (first reverse-engineered by a Daybreak in the service of Purveyor of Deleterious Intent after a regrettable breakdown in communication resulted in the death of a Green Sun Prince and the recovery of their corpse; said communication failure is under investigation). While it has much the same effect, adding four dots each to its owner’s Strength and Stamina, two dots to Integrity, and one dot to Conviction whilst lowering Compassion by one dot, the black steel heart features a pair of constant flow pumps in place of the green iron heart’s implausible clockworks. Only creatures of death who are not spirits and can attune to soulsteel artefacts (read: Abyssal Exalts – though some ghost-blooded folk could theoretically use such a device if they had access to the technology) can use the black steel heart, as it can only be powered by necrotic Essence.

A person who has a black steel heart implanted have no pulse, cannot blush, and their blood runs notably cooler than a normal human’s. Not corpse-cold, but cooler. People may comment.
Surgery: 30/5 hours/5/4

Skin-Mount Amulet ‘Emptiness Unfulfilled’
Repair: 1
Appearing as a large rivet-style body piercing made of one of the magical materials with an indented disk-shaped socket, skin mount amulets are nothing more than implanted hearthstone amulets (see Exalted pg. 380) that require no attunement. The design of these amulets also confers an additional number of motes of Peripheral Essence to the wearer’s maximum Essence pool equal to twice the rating of any hearthstone placed in the socket. Mountain Folk, God-Blooded and other non-Exalted Essence channelers instead add these motes to their singular Essence pools. Mortals normally incapable of channeling Essence may attune to manses if they have one of these devices installed, gaining the usual benefi ts of any hearthstone from an attuned manse installed in the stone. Mortals also gain the aforementioned bonus motes as a meager Essence pool that they can recharge only through the inset stone but may otherwise use as if they were Exalted. Any commitments using Essence from the amulet (such as to other artifacts) immediately end if the hearthstone leaves its socket. At the height of the First Age, skin mount amulets were a popular form of jewelry among the Chosen. Hearthstones can be removed or replaced in a skin mount amulet as readily as any other type of hearthstone amulet. Only the socket itself is actually riveted to the body.
Surgery: 10/5 hours/3/3

Ravening Mouth of (Ability)
Cost: 3m; Mins: (Ability) 4, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Any (Ability) Excellency
Touched by the endless hunger of Oblivion, Abyssal Exalted can learn to extend their animas through their mastery of a particular Ability, drinking Essence from the suffering they inflict. Whenever the deathknight takes an action or activates a Charm using the chosen Ability, he regains one mote for every level of damage the action or Charm inflicts to sentient beings as if he had bitten the victims directly. If multiple Ravening Mouth of (Ability) Charms could apply in a situation, the Abyssal may use only one. Indirect damage to that target also awards motes, such as health levels paid as part of the costs of defensive Charms. Ravening Mouth Charms exist for Archery, Martial Arts, Melee and Thrown. Abyssals cannot use this Charm to feed through the effects of spells.

Note that ongoing damage after the initial action or Charm (such as from poison) do not award further motes. In addition, the Abyssal can never gain more than 20 motes during a single one of her actions from any combination of Charms including Ravening Mouth of (Ability).


Void Stares Back
Cost: 3m (2xp); Mins: Awareness 3, Essence 2; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious, Taint
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: None
The Abyssal’s pupils ooze outward to stain iris and white alike with featureless and pitiless darkness. Enemies who stare into this darkness sometimes see their own death reflected within, the death they fear or perhaps the death the Neverborn wish for them (though such visions carry no true prophetic power). More practically, the deathknight can see perfectly in the dark without any penalties or reduction in visibility. He is no better able to see through fog or other visual obstructions.

The Taint drawback to this Charm is that the Abyssal’s eyes become painfully sensitive to direct sunlight within Creation, imposing a -1 internal penalty to all non-reflexive actions while so illuminated unless he closes his eyes completely. His eyes also immediately betray his supernatural nature if he cannot somehow hide their stain. The Taint costs one bonus point or two experience points.


Undying Stagnation Defense
Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Integrity 1, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive (Step 2)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Mirror (Integrity-Protecting Prana; Exalted, p. 199)
Duration: One day
Prerequisite Charms: None
Having passed from the dynamism of life into the stasis between life and death, Abyssals are highly resistant to Shaping effects.

Integrity-Protecting Prana
Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Integrity 1, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive (Step 2)
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: One day
Prerequisite Charms: None
The Sun’s Chosen define their own reality. This Charm protects the character from any Shaping effect that directly alters her mind, body, spirit or traits. This includes instantaneous Shaping effects and any new alterations caused by long-term Shaping effects. This Charm also protects the character from any undodgeable, unblockable Shaping attacks. Wyld energy cannot create a serpent inside the character’s stomach or turn her armor to lava, whether it’s manipulated by an enemy or its own random whims, because these effects inflict immediate damage and the character’s DV is not applicable.

This Charm does not protect against the miscellaneous dangers of the Wyld. If a Wyld effect creates a hundred-headed snake monster with burning chalcedony eyes that then eats the character, this is not directly altering the character’s body through shaping. Nor is it an “attack” when a Wyld effect transforms the character’s armor into harmless gossamer spider webs—simply an undesirable effect.


Haunting Apparition Trick
Cost: —; Mins: Performance 3, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Mirror (Phantom-Conjuring Performance; Exalted, p. 202), Obvious
Duration: Variable
Prerequisite Charms: Any Performance Excellency
Strange and unnatural phenomena manifest to accentuate an Abyssal’s arts. Examples include chill winds, blood dripping down walls, moving shadows and tongues of foxfire luminescence that burn without source.

Phantom-Conjuring Performance
Cost: —; Mins: Performance 3, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Obvious
Duration: Variable
Prerequisite Charms: Any Performance Excellency
Essence enhances the Solar’s arts. This Charm allows the Solar to create ghostly images, Essence flares, ethereal music and strange sensory effects when using a Performance Excellency or Presence Excellency. These effects do not seem entirely real, they remain within (Essence × 10) yards of the Solar, and they cannot be used to confuse or deceive others without a stunt. This Charm has no cost, but the Solar need not use its effects.


Injury-Absorbing Discipline
Cost: 10m; Mins: Resistance 1, Essence 1; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Mirror (Body-Mending Meditation; Exalted, p. 208)
Duration: Until the night ends
Prerequisite Charms: None
Having died once, Abyssals quickly shrug off lesser wounds as inconsequential.

Body-Mending Meditation
Cost: 10m; Mins: Resistance 1, Essence 1; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: Until the day ends
Prerequisite Charms: None
Even wounded nigh unto death, a Lawgiver will marshal the strength to rise again. This Charm supplements a dramatic action to marshal the character’s inner resources for recovery. This action requires one hour without a stunt or another Charm. The Solar’s player rolls (Stamina + Resistance). Success speeds her healing rate by a factor of 10 or, if the character prefers, adds directly to the successes of a physician using Wound-Mending Care Technique on the character. See Exalted page 149 for more on natural healing rates.

Characters can activate Body-Mending Meditation when inactive (see Exalted p. 143).

Spirit-Hardened Frame
Cost: 3m; Mins: Resistance 2, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive (Step 7)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Mirror (Durability of Oak Meditation; Exalted, p. 206)
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: None
Having returned from death, an Abyssal sneers at feeble attacks.

Durability of Oak Meditation
Cost: 3m; Mins: Resistance 2, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive (Step 7)
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: None
A boy cannot cut down an oak tree with a kitchen knife. Nor can a mere mortal slay the Solar with petty blows of mortal steel. The Solar invokes this Charm after an attack hits but before damage is rolled. This Charm sets her Hardness against that attack to 8.

Wounds Mean Nothing
Cost: 4m; *Mins: Resistance 5, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive (Step 7)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Mirror (Adamant Skin Technique; *Exalted, p. 207), Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Any Resistance Excellency, Injury-Absorbing Discipline, Spirit-Hardened Frame
Death has no power over those who have cheated its clutches. The Abyssal activates this Charm immediately before damage is rolled against her. All damage appears to apply normally, seemingly wounding or even slaying the Abyssal—which is appropriately spectacular when she falls from a great height or stands in the path of Solar Circle sorcery. Her injuries are a lie, however, as the Abyssal heals back all of this “damage” less than a second. The net result is that the Abyssal perfectly defends against all damage from the attack. This Charm carries one of the Four Flaws of Abyssal Invulnerability (p. 147).

Adamant Skin Technique
Cost: 4m; Mins: Resistance 5, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive (Step 7)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Spirit Strengthens the Skin, Iron Skin Concentration
Driven by her purpose and her Virtues, the Exalt becomes invincible. The Solar invokes this Charm immediately before the damage of a physical attack or similar effect is rolled. This Charm is a perfect defense against the raw and final damage of the attack, reducing it to zero after all other effects. This Charm has one of the Four Flaws of Invulnerability (see Exalted p. 194).

Wound-Eating Invulnerability
Cost: —; Mins: Resistance 5, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Mirror (Heroes Never Die)
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Spirit-Hardened Frame
The prerequisite’s conferred Hardness raises to (Essence + 5), and it may be extended to a duration of one scene by raising the cost to (6m, 1wp). Injuries prevented this way occur and instantly heal as per Wounds Mean Nothing. The Solar Mirror “Heroes Never Die” correspondingly expands Durability of Oak Meditation.

Plague Knows Its Master
Cost: 6m, 1wp; Mins: Resistance 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple (Speed 4)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Mirror (Immunity to Everything Technique; Exalted, p. 208)
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Any Resistance Excellency
Although their Exaltation protects them from nonmagical diseases, magical ailments or poison can still fell Abyssals. Not so for those who wield this Charm. Unlike its Solar Mirror, this Charm may either block Sickness effects or render the Abyssal immune to their negative effects, as selected by the Exalt’s player. Choosing the latter helps the deathknight catch and spread plagues without risk to herself. This Charm always negates poison completely.

Immunity to Everything Technique
Cost: 6m, 1wp; Mins: Resistance 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple (Speed 4)
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Any Resistance Excellency
Not easily are the Lawgivers slain. This Charm stops poison and sickness from doing further damage to the character for one scene. This Charm also prevents the character from suffering new Poison or Sickness effects during this scene. Effects that would poison or sicken her have no effect whatsoever. The character can walk hand-in-hand with plague victims, sprinkle poison on his food and eat ichneumon eggs as caviar. There are never ill effects later from these indiscretions.

Resilient Corpse Body
Cost: 4m, 1wp; Mins: Resistance 3, Essence 2; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-OK, Mirror (Iron Kettle Body; Exalted p. 207), Obvious
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Injury-Absorbing Discipline, Spirit-Hardened Frame
The Deathknights are armored by the Void and many need no other hauberk. This Charm gives the character 4A/8L/+8B soak for the scene. This Charm cannot be used by characters wearing armor.

Iron Kettle Body
Cost: 4m, 1wp; Mins: Resistance 3, Essence 2; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Iron Skin Concentration
The Lawgivers are armored in righteousness and many need no other hauberk. This Charm gives the character 4A/8L/+8B soak for the scene. This Charm cannot be used by characters wearing armor.

Flesh as Marble Stance
Cost: — (+1m); Mins: Resistance 4, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Mirror (Armored in Righteousness Stance)
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Resilient Corpse Body
This Charm upgrades its prerequisite, adding (Essence) to the amount of soak provided. For an additional activation cost of one extra mote, Resilient Corpse body becomes compatible with armor as well.

Armored in Righteousness Stance
Cost: — (+1m); Mins: Resistance 4, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Mirror (Flesh as Marble Stance)
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Iron Kettle Body
This Charm upgrades its prerequisite, adding (Essence) to the amount of soak provided. For an additional activation cost of one extra mote, Iron Kettle Body becomes compatible with armor as well. As a point of clarification, Iron Kettle Body’s Keywords are Combo-OK and Obvious.

New Abyssal Charm: Flesh as Marble Stance (Prerequisites: Resilient Corpse Body). This Charm functions identically to its Solar Mirror. Resilient Corpse Body has as its prerequisites Injury-Absorbing Discipline and Spirit-Hardened Frame, and is identical to Iron Kettle Body.


Maelstrom-Weathering Indifference
Cost: 10m; Mins: Survival 3, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Mirror (Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit, Element-Resisting Prana; Exalted, p. 210), Spectral
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: None
Abyssals do not merely reign over restless dead; they also dominate the Underworld itself. This Charm negates all environmental external penalties to Survival rolls and provides complete immunity to environmental hazards while in the realms of the dead. Enduring the hazards of Creation takes a strong effort of will, and provides only the benefits of Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit.

Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit
Cost: 10m; Mins: Survival 3, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: None
The wilderness cannot subdue the heroes of the dawn. This Charm negates any environmental external penalties to Survival rolls made for the Solar. This means that the coldest glacier and the hottest desert are no more deadly for the Solar than the gentlest rolling plain. She can find food and water easily, she ignores inclement weather even when lightly dressed, and she does not suffer undue blisters, bug bites or plant poison even walking barefoot through the Far East. This Charm does not protect against environmental damage, however, so if the environment is deadly enough to force regular Resistance rolls, the Solar needs Element-Resisting Prana to endure it.

Element-Resisting Prana
Cost: —; Mins: Survival 5, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit
This Charm enhances the character’s Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit. When using that Charm, the character now becomes immune to environmental hazards. She can survive in a bonfire, underwater, in a volcano’s caldera or in a pool of boiling acid, all with ease. She takes damage or suffers Poison, Crippling or Sickness effects only when directly inflicted upon her by some character’s action.

Infernal Monster Style
Prior to his treachery, Gorol was among the foremost grandmasters of Solar Hero Style and one of the first to develop more custom Charms for that style. Following his surrender and enslavement to the Yozis, he returned to Creation armed with new Charms that mocked his former accomplishments and the noble purity of his former style. These obscene fighting techniques allowed him to best his circle once his crimes became known. If the natural fighting arts of the Lawgivers equip them to bravely strike down the mightiest devils with whatever lies at hand, then Infernal Monster Style exists to create monsters worthy of needing Solar Hero Style. Exalted who study this art learn to use their rage as a lens, focusing Essence toward acts of unthinkable brutality and savagery. There is nothing noble about this art except the refreshing simplicity with which it grinds enemies into sticky red paste.

Infernal Monster Style is only compatible with armor created by Infernal Charms. Its form weapons are the cestus, fighting gauntlet, boot and all improvised weapons (see Exalted, p. 242), as well as artifact versions thereof. Despite this style’s name, it is the “hero” style of the Infernal Exalted and is sometimes called Infernal Hero Style by those who view Creation’s Exalted as worse monsters than themselves. Infernal-only expansions to this style are Ability-based Martial Arts Charms rather than Infernal Charms, extrapolating the themes and imagery of the Infernal Monster rather than expressing the esoteric powers of any particular Yozi. Both Green Sun Princes and akuma may access and develop new extensions. As normal, non-Infernals can learn the base Charms of this style as a formal Celestial art.

Retribution Will Follow
Cost: 1m; Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive (Step 10)
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: None
Striking an Infernal Monster stylist makes him angry. This is unwise. Whenever the martial artist suffers one or more levels of damage, her player may activate this Charm. Doing so causes her to enter a savage killing frenzy for a scene like that imposed by an uncontrolled Berserk Anger Limit Break (Exalted, p. 105). The enraged character is immune to all negative effects from wound penalties (including dice penalties and slowing) and treats all forms of mental influence from beings of equal or lesser Essence as unacceptable orders. She regains no Willpower points from the rampage. Characters who have Limit tracks bleed off a single point of accrued Limit from this induced catharsis rather than resetting to zero, but this only happens once the character kills or horribly maims someone with an unarmed attack during the scene. Characters do not gain or require any conscious knowledge of the Great Curse to use this Charm.

Raging Behemoth Charge
Cost: 4m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Retribution Will Follow
Like all monsters, the Infernal Monster is predisposed to giving chase. She adds her Martial Arts rating to the number of yards per tick she can cover with a Move or Dash action, provided she heads toward a character she observed physically attacking her this scene. She must be able to perceive the character she charges toward. Enhanced dashes enjoy a -0 DV penalty.

Infernal Monster Form
Cost: 6m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Form-type, Obvious
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Raging Behemoth Charge
The Infernal’s eyes close and her face assumes a curiously sad expression, as if she almost regrets the carnage about to follow. When they open, they burn vivid emerald and his muscles swell impossibly, increasing her overall size and mass by 10%. Style-compatible armor resizes with her, but most clothes tear unless very loose-fitting. Use of this Charm is compatible with Lunar tattoos. The martial artist gains the benefits listed below.
• Every unarmed attack inflicts piercing damage and grants the monster a cumulative dot of Strength for the scene. This dot does increase the damage of the attack that provided it. No combination of Charms including Infernal Monster Form can provide more than (Essence) additional dots, and this bonus is treated as a dice bonus from Charms. This Strength gain occurs even if the attack misses but only occurs once per attack regardless of the number of targets.
• She can parry lethal and ranged attacks unarmed without a stunt.
• She decreases the Speed of all unarmed attacks by -1, to a minimum of Speed 3, provided he attacks once rather than as part of a flurry.
• Her body expands metaphysically as well as physically, causing her to exist outside of fate and as a creature of darkness native to Malfeas for the duration of the Charm. These states carry all the usual advantages and disadvantages. In addition to basic removal from fate, the character’s presence imposes automatic failure on all thaumaturgical divination methods (such as astrology) used within a mile, causing them to return a single disturbing result: “The monster is here”.

World-Breaker Grip
Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: Until released
Prerequisite Charms: Infernal Monster Form
The Infernal Monster holds its prey like a beast’s chew toy, dragging it around effortlessly. This Charm enhances a grapple attack against an opponent light enough to drag around (see below), substituting Martial Arts for Athletics for the feat of strength. The Exalt grapples using a single limb of her choice without any off-hand penalties. If the attack succeeds, she can only hold the opponent and may not break hold or crush with that attack. However, the grapple no longer requires any effort apart from tying up the non-reflexive use of the attacking limb. Consequently, the attacker may defend and fight as if carrying any other large weapon without the usual restrictions placed on grapplers, but she may not make further physical attacks against the foe in hand. She must still roll to maintain control each action, but this roll is reflexive for her, so she always applies his full dice pool regardless of whatever other actions she takes. The Charm immediately ends if the held opponent escapes or if the martial artist uses control of the grapple to do anything besides hold the enemy to continue the effect.

The martial artist can use a held enemy as an improvised one-handed weapon to strike or parry (the restriction on parrying while grappling is lifted for this purpose) using the following statistics: Speed 6; Accuracy -3; Damage (Strength × 2)B + attack successes; Defense -3; Rate 2; Tags: P, R. Whenever a wielded character hits a target or blocks an attack, she suffers (the martial artist’s Strength) dice of piercing damage from the impact. This damage is bashing unless the held character is used to block a lethal or aggravated attack. If this punishment kills a held victim, her corpse remains a useful weapon for the rest of the Charm’s duration.

Moving While Clinched
The basic grappling rules on pages 157-158 of Exalted do not clearly address the reality of wrestlers moving and slamming each other into the environment while locked in their struggle. Although characters who control a clinch cannot take other actions without a flurry, reflexive actions do not count as actions in this sense any more than normal, so it is still possible to take a move action (but not a dash). However, because the character must also drag the opponent along to maintain the clinch while moving, he can only do both if his (Strength + Athletics) total is sufficient to pull the opponent’s weight. As stated in the basic grappling rules, the controller can’t block or dodge while gripping an opponent except through a stunt or magic. Characters held in a grapple may not move of their own accord despite being able to take reflexive actions.


I’m not going to be buying much of anything that’s going to affect gameplay with Resources Wealth Salary Liege wev just flavour stuffs. Like bespoke cigarettes blended from hashish, opium, and tobacco for pain and and anxiety management* and paraphernalia for same (such as a cigarette holder made from silver and ostrich austrech bone. A lighter with a firegem the size of a grain of rice). Several sets (and they are sets; when stacked together there are poems and essays inscribed on one side and sculptures carved along the tops) of title seals, casual seals, and salon seals (the last relating to her underworld-chiaroscuro apartments and her home in Stygia) in all the languages Castellan knows and at least one she doesn’t. A lacquered palanquin. Stuff.

*Not that it will work to make the permanent wound penalties go away — that Resistance magic is a stone bitch — but it helps create a sense of distance.

Whilst her accessories are rather nice her clothes are cheap: she’s an Infernal Monster Style martial artist (I’ve got reeeeeeeasons) and it’s hard on clothes. They run to rust-stained loose-fitting cotton and linen robes, a mask carved from driftwood and a wig of bandages scavenged from mummy wrappings. (More reasons. The powers that remade her chose to gift her with appearance 5 and she finds it enraging when conversations run along the lines of ‘Hi how are you?’ ‘Shitty thanks I hurt. You?’ ‘::trainwreck:: Oh. Um. Sorry. Well, you look great!’ Seeeeeeeethe >_< So she tries to not expose much skin if she can help it.)

Shortest version: Sandpiper Tahiyya was a sickly kid in Arjuf. Decided she wanted to be a dancer and went for it despite her illnesses. Started manifesting symptoms of a chronic pain disorder when she was fourteen and it just kept getting worse. She got married, had two kids. The husband, Garnet Yuki, is also a dancer, one who dances feminine roles. (There are comments from other dancers, and some unpleasantness that occasionally turns violent.) Very shortly before her untimely demise she finally managed to get some musicians to work with her and choreographed a dance that worked with her gait issues. She auditioned for and was selected to perform at a big House Cynis shindig (mostly because the seneschal in charge of the auditions found it grotesque and repellent and felt it would be just the thing for having the party talked about afterwards). Another dancer — one of those not selected — got all up in her face about being a disgusting cripple freak and taking work away from real dancers who can actually dance and not just limp around the stage. One thing led to another and there was Tahi on the floor leaking from where a big chunk of broken mirror had been shoved through several important things in her throat. Inconvenient. An outrage, to die just then when things were going so well.

You don’t have to die said Someone. Other voices echoed the suggestion. Many other voices, not all speaking the same language and some saying something similar but not exactly the same words.


You don’t have to die here, not now, not like this. You could live until the world ends. I can give you that. I can give you power to destroy your enemies — including your murderer, by the by — and anything else that displeases you about the world.

‘Sounds good. What do I have to do?’

Give up your name. Your destiny. Help me destroy that which displeases me about the world.

‘So you’ll make me better?’

Child of the Void, I will make you perfect.

‘Yes. Yes, I’ll help. I’ll do anything. Please. I don’t want to die.’

Of course.

Ding! Level. Splat goes one mortal dancer and there’s something messy involving too many too-pointed teeth. Amongst all the screaming was something about the hole in her forehead and she puts fingers up and sure enough there’s a hole and it’s really damn cold inside and it takes the skin off her fingertips. The pain isn’t gone. Her gait isn’t fluid, isn’t normal. Her feet are unscarred, unbroken, pretty. A courtier’s feet, not a dancer’s. She finds a mirror and doesn’t recognise herself: her dark brown skin has gone a bit ashy; her curly black hair has gone silver and perfectly straight; her once-brown eyes are dark grey. The hole in her face looks like it goes forever. She had been merely pretty before; now she is something almost inhumanly beautiful and she’s not sure it’s a comfortable fit. The blood on her skin disappears as she watches, sinking in like water spilled onto dry soil. The blood (and other fluids) on her clothes stays there and turns crusty.

‘Shit. I’m anathema. Fuck me, I’m a demon. I ate that person’s face. What did you do to me?’

Stop whining, say the voices in her head. You wanted life badly enough to do anything, so do it. Bad things happen and today you happened to do them. Now you need to do what happens next: Get up and get moving; there are people after you and there’s someone you need to meet up with.

‘I can’t go home, can I?’

You could. Do you think you’ve a welcome there?

‘Not so much. We’re. They. Ah. Hm. I’m not sure I want them to see me. So who’s this someone?’

“Someone” turns out to be a ghost-blood necromancer who shoves her through a reflecting pool and into the underworld with an Immaculate-led posse not very far behind but far enough that they’re faced only with a pool of roiling water and nobody to kill.

The Blessed Isle, in the Underworld, is not a nice place. It’s almost completely uninhabited. The ghost-blood tells her to head towards the centre of the island where the Imperial Mountain is notably missing and says she’s staying behind to return to Arjuf after the furore abates; she has work to do there.

Trudge trudge trudge hurt seethe resent rage. It takes her a long time. She gets really hungry and it hurts a lot but she makes it. She’s interrogated at the gates until she says who she’s there to call upon — one Purveyor of Deleterious Intent — at which point she’s directed to the centre of the city with much bowing and scraping and fear. She digs the fear. These heavily armed and armoured guards are afraid of her, a bedraggled half-starved woman who, until very recently, had never seriously considered killing anyone in her life.

It’s a montage! Catechism. Stuff. New clothes, food, baths, a home, servants. She absolutely believes the Understanding of Void: There is no escaping the all-consuming Mouth of the Void. She’s iffy on some of the others, but the Understanding of Bone (It is better to die than to live, better to be free of flesh than saddled with its imperfections.) Seems pretty damn relevant to her circumstances.

The new Abyssal isn’t entirely clear on what happened during her communion with the dead primordial but she knows she asked them about the pain and the gait being still there and didn’t they say they’d make her perfect? We did. We remade you in our image. Pain is a precious gift and we would never take that from you. Pain will hone you into a perfect blade for our hand. And, as she told her supervisor Acolyte of Oblivion’s Bliss, they suggested she learn to make use of her rage and apply to her cousins of brass and sand for tuition. She is given the title Castellan of the Clockdust Reaches in place of the name she gave to the Void. The woman didn’t know who they were talking about, but the supervisor did. After a bit of asking, an Akuma is found willing to train her in their native martial art style, but he’s in Chiaroscuro and not willing to move so off she goes south.

Her condition slows the pace of her training considerably. She can ignore the pain and the poorly-fitted joints when in a battle-rage, but only when in a battle-rage and it’s damned annoying. Frustrating. Hard on the landscape. She considers giving up when the Akuma has a suggestion: There is a device, made in Malfeas, which can make her stronger and more enduring. If she agrees and her masters approve, surely something could be worked out. Rather than sending her to Hell and grafting possibly compromised technology into her body and Essence, they work out a slightly different plan and give Castellan to Ten Thousand Plagues to test a similar project he’s been working. The surgery is particularly horrifying, almost on par with killing her daughter and husband and abandoning her older daughter.

The voices in Castellan’s and Plagues’s heads mention that it would be instructive if she were paralysed but awake and aware and Plagues had this in mind from the beginning So it’s five hours of agony for Annunciate as he hacks open her chest, take her heart out, and put in an artificial heart of ivory and soulsteel. Of course she heals, perfectly, directly after Plagues stops working on her. (It’s disappointing; all the scars gained during her mortal life vanished at her exaltation and despite all the wounds inflicted upon her during her instruction ((and there are lots of wounds inflicted)) she doesn’t scar at all. She had liked her scars and stretch marks; each had a story and confirmed its reality.) He sticks tubes in her ears and a disc on her chest and she hears not a beat but a faint whirring. She is given her her old heart in a rather nice jar of preserving fluid as a keepsake. The new heart makes her stronger, as promised. it makes her more enduring, as promised. It makes her dancing more mechanical, more rote. There’s less room for improvisation. She finds herself becoming more driven and less tolerant of imperfection (even as she scorns her own dancing as too perfect). Castellan finds the warmer emotions more distant and difficult to access; only the Essence-fuelled rage of Infernal Monster Style allows her to feel properly angry. Her sexuality becomes even more of a tangled mess than it had been before.

Castellan gets herself established in Chiaroscuro, secures apartments in dead-Chiaroscuro, arranges for a tobacconist in living-Chiaroscuro to make her particular cigarettes, spreads the word of salvation-through-Oblivion amongst the dead and those living in the city’s shadowlands. One night her voices direct her west, out along the coast. It is a long trip, even with the help of her servants, and she wonders if the voices weren’t having a bit of a joke at her expense. (Of course everything that happened since that mirror-shard slashed her throat open could be considered a monumental joke at her expense.) Instead she finds an eerily appropriate home in a broken lighthouse and its machinery beach and calls it after herself. Clockdust Reaches is her retreat when she finds the worlds of living and dead too much to bear. She stumps through its ever-shifting portals, letting it carry her where it will, or sits on her beach of rusting ironworks, or dances there; her hands and feet and clothes are stained with rust. She finds it soothing.

The themes here are rage, grief, the less pleasant sides of transhumanism, disabled folk can be heroes dammit!, and self-loathing for making bad choices (which weren’t actually choices but she hasn’t figured that out yet). Where I hope to take it over the very long term is a story that is about turning the self-loathing outward and against the entities that did it to her by telling her true things in dishonest ways. Eventually it’ll become a story about redemption or at least rejection of the Deathlords and doing what she can to protect Creation and its people without causing too much collateral damage.

For now, Castellan is a loyalist and believer in the cause and has no awareness that she could be anything else. She’s disinclined to send people to the Dolorous Atelier as she’d rather they stayed where they were and fomented social unrest rather than hieing themselves off to a better life elsewhere. But if ordered to would do so.

That’s about all I got right now. And yeh that’s the short version. ^^

Castellan of Clockdust Reaches

Exalted: Ghost of a Chance kaninchen