Felk, The Seamless Shadow

Felk, the Seamless Shadow

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A Night Caste from the quiet, black-timber arched streets of Thorns, Felk uses shadows, stealth and his quick wit & even quicker set of sais to handle some of the more “delicate” tasks in the name of the Unconquered Sun. Living amidst the darkness in no way hinders his devotion to his sovereign, or his desire to see the unbridled light of the Sun brought to even the darkest corners of Creation.

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Need some bio info to go up here! Until then, here’s what the Compass of Terrestrial Directions Vol. 1 – The Scavenger Lands says in chapter 5 (p.95) about Thorns, the city you were thinking of using for a setting. Upon the southern shores of the Scavenger Lands, dark waves lap at bone-white cliffs, and a faded sun sets upon one of the great cities of Creation. Pale rays creep across the darkened bay and paint looming, black marble edifices in hues of silver and gray, casting long shadows across a slowly decaying city. Wide boulevards ring with iron-shod footfalls as silent, unliving soldiers slowly parade beneath the dead flowers that cling to black-timber arches. The wind sweeps along quiet streets, lifting stray leaves and carrying with it a heavy stench of rot and decay. Within hollowed-out ruins and empty-eyed houses, flashes of color appear and vanish as bright-eyed residents peek from their homes, the rustle of their furtive conversations, the scent of their cooking food and the slow beat of their still-living hearts subtly reminding the city that it too once lived. In the grandest square, beneath the towering walls of governmental palaces, a black-iron statue of a dictator raises falsely benevolent hands to support croaking rations, his smiling mask looking with pleasure upon his conquest.

Once, this city rivaled Lookshy’s prestige and Nexus’s might. It stood just beyond the simplistic barbarism of the Scavenger Lands and remembered its place in the Shogunate. When other nations turned their backs upon the Realm, it honored its debts and offered up tribute to the Scarlet Empire. As a reward for its civility and sophistication, it became a center for skilled artisans, thoughtful intellectuals and honorable warriors, and each lifted their hands to make their city beautiful. Their might grew so great that the city, with its Dynastic allies, threatened the Scavenger Lands itself with the greatest war in the city’s living memory. But with power came pride, and the city’s hubris made it vulnerable at a crucial moment. Almost literally overnight, the dead rose up to swallow the city in an apocalyptic storm of pain and horror. When a mountain of rotten flesh stopped at the city gates, it brought with it a new ruler, and the rest of Creation turned a blind eye. None speak the city’s name now, and it lies only upon the pages of scholarly tomes.

a-felk-Assassin__s_Creed_Fanart_by_kerembeyitBut Thorns is not dead. Although Creation has forgotten it, it has not forgotten Creation. Most shadowlands in Creation have existed for some time or formed slowly over the course of a tragic war or the spread of a plague, but a shadowland blossomed in Thorns in a matter of days, and only recently. The dead march through its streets and pull at the strings of its Puppet King, but the living still huddle and hide in the ruins of their once great city. They whisper to their children tales of the warm, golden rays of an unfiltered sun, they trade stories with one another of bygone glories, and they remember a time when the people of the city smiled and laughed. Many have fallen into the gray despair of the dead that surround them, submitting to the Mask of Winters’ rule, but a few hearts still beat with the pride that once made Thorns great. These few struggle quietly to find a way to free their city while their brothers and sisters slave in industrial pits or behind bureaucratic desks. They hope against hope that some hero will remember their city and their plight, and that a hand will reach out for Thorns before it drowns completely in the miasma of the Underworld.

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Night Caste

When the Unconquered Sun sets, darkness claims the world. In the night, conspirators, criminals and foul spirits slink forth from their shadowy retreats. Exalted of the Night Caste defend Creation from these enemies and stalk their prey amidst a world of secrecy and lies. During the First Age, the Night Caste oversaw the safety and security of the Realm and its citizens. The Concealing Shadows brought swift justice to places the armies of the light could not reach. Where brute force failed, the Night Caste prevailed through stealth and trickery. After the Usurpation, the surviving Night Caste melted into the shadows and waged a bloody guerrilla war that lasted for centuries. With the Solars’ return, the Hidden Suns once again stalk evildoers and silently assassinate Creation’s enemies. No wall can keep them at bay, and no treachery escapes their gaze. Members of the Night Caste are chosen from those who excel in stealth and guile and those who formulate clever solutions to difficult problems. Some are thieves or assassins, others are secretive scholars, clever city constables, master woodsmen, sly courtesans, fast-talking merchants or devious nobles. Anyone who favors skill and cunning over raw power could be Exalted into this caste. Concealing Shadows frequently become their circles’ eyes and ears, gathering information for the good of their groups. When a situation calls for unconventional solutions, it is the Night Caste that a circle often looks to for aid.

Night Caste Specifics
Core Book p.97
Anima Banner: Night Caste Solars have an empty golden ring as their caste mark. The animas of these Exalted are ghostly whites and golds, tinged with purple and purple-gray.
Anima Effects: The Concealing Shadows have more control over their animas than the average Solar Exalted do. The Hidden Suns can mute their animas, allowing them to exert their powers without the display of power. When a Night Caste Solar expends Peripheral Essence, she may spend additional motes in order to prevent the expenditure from adding to her anima banner. This ability does not allow the character to mute Essence displays caused by the use of sorcery, however. To prevent the motes spent on a Charm that is not Obvious (see p. 183) from adding to her anima banner, the character must add one mote to the cost of the Charm. When using an Obvious Charm, she must spend twice the normal mote cost of the Charm to prevent it from adding to her anima banner. The Nightbringer may also extend her muted anima like an imperceptible veil around her. This extended anima last for an entire scene and costs 10 motes of Essence to evoke. The anima mutes the senses of those attempting to perceive her, as well as the evidence she leaves behind for those who would follow her trail. Shadows are darker, sounds are muffled, and scent and footprints are both much lighter than normal. This muting increases the difficulty of all rolls to notice or track the Exalted by half the character’s Essence (round up), so long as this muted anima effect is active. Once the Solar spends 11-15 motes of Essence, though she is just as obvious as any other Exalt, her features are completely obscured by her anima display. Thus, assuming none of them saw her prior to her anima flaring, witnesses would be aware a Solar had been in their midst, but not her identity.
Caste Abilities: Members of the Night Caste excel at noticing that which others miss and in going places where they are not wanted. They have a natural affinity for the Abilities of Athletics, Awareness, Dodge, Larceny and Stealth.
Associations: The season of winter, the colors of violet and gray, the northern direction, the element of water, the new moon and the Maiden of Endings
Sobriquets: Hidden Suns, Concealing Shadows, Nightbringers, Iron Wolves, Daggers of Heaven, The Wretched (derogatory)
Concepts: bounty hunter, escaped fugitive, gang leader, highwayman, king of thieves, neglected youngest sister, nobleman’s mistress, political spy, troubleshooter for hire.

Motivation:
Attributes:
Strength 5, Dexterity 5, Stamina 3; Charisma 4, Manipulation 3, Appearance 2; Perception 5, Intelligence 3, Wits 3
Virtues: Compassion 3, Conviction 3, Temperance 1, Valor 2
Abilities: Athletics 5, Awareness 5, Dodge 5, Larceny 4, Martial Arts 5 (Baneclaw +2), Medicine 1, Resistance 2 (Extreme Temperatures +1), Ride 1, Socialize 1, Stealth 5 (Ambush +1)

Backgrounds:

Willpower: 5
Essence: 3
Essence Pool: 14/24
Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-2/-4/Incap
Join Battle: 8

Other Notes or Constant Effects:

  • Because of the hearthstone “Stone of Resilient Bamboo”, Felk regenerates one level of lethal or bashing damage every hour. This stone does not speed the healing of aggravated damage.
Movement - Move 5; Dash 11; Climb 5; Swim 5; Jump 10/20
Move 5Dash 11Climb 5Swim 5(V) Jump 10(H) Jump 20
  • Dexterity +5

Your basic movement is just your Dexterity yards per tick, minus any mobility penalty from your armor.

  • Dexterity +5
  • Dashing +6

Your Dash speed is your Dexterity +6 yards per tick, minus any mobility penalty from your armor. Dashing also decreases your DV’s by -2.

  • Dexterity +5

Your basic climb rate is your Dexterity yards per tick, minus any mobility penalty from your armor.

  • Dexterity +5

Your basic swim rate is your Dexterity yards per tick, minus any mobility penalty from your armor.

  • Strength +5
  • Athletics +5

Vertical jump is Strength + Athletics in yards, plus any bonus modifiers, minus mobility penalty from your armor.

  • Strength +5
  • Athletics +5

Horizontal jump is (Strength + Athletics) x 2 in yards, plus any bonus modifiers, minus mobility penalty from your armor.

Baneclaw - Attack 15; Damage 8/2; Speed 4; Rate 3
Accuracy 15Damage 8/2Speed 4Rate 3Extra
  • Dexterity +5
  • Martial Arts +5
  • Specialty: Baneclaw +2
  • Weapon Accuracy +3
  • Weapon +3/2
  • Strength +5
Nothing special here, except that’s crazy fast. 
You can actually attack up to three times with each (so six total) without the aid of charms, but there is a penalty for taking multiple actions in the same round, so your attacks would be:

  • 1st Attack Accuracy 13
  • 2nd Attack Accuracy 12

I always recommend taking either the First or Second Martial Arts Excellency, and couple it with the Infinite Martial Arts Excellency. It would cost you 20 motes and 1 willpower to use the Infinite Excellency, but it would increase your ParryDV by 5, and using it with the First Excellency would increase your attacks by 10 dice for the whole scene, but using it with the Second Excellency would give all of your attacks 5 automatic successes for the whole scene. That means for an entire scene, you could split your pool up to:

  • 1st Attack Accuracy 10 (+5 Automatic Successes)
  • 2nd Attack Accuracy 9 (+5 Automatic Successes)
  • 3rd Attack Accuracy 8 (+5 Automatic Successes)
  • 4th Attack Accuracy 7 (+5 Automatic Successes)
  • 5th Attack Accuracy 6 (+5 Automatic Successes)
  • 6th Attack Accuracy 5 (+5 Automatic Successes)

So using the First Excellency, just replace the Automatic Successes with 10 more dice to roll. It uses a lot of motes to do this, so you’d probably want to increase your Willpower and maybe a Virtue or two, but it can really save your butt when going up against a big villain. 🙂

You get +2 to disarm your opponent.

Disarming (-2 or -4): Knocking a weapon out of someone’s hand has a -2 external penalty with a close combat attack or -4 using ranged.

  1. Felk rolls attack like normal, if the attack hits, it inflicts no damage
  2. Target rolls (Wits + the appropriate wielding Ability) vs. the successes on Felk’s attack
  3. Each success left = 1 foot that the weapon flies away from his/her grasp
  • Retrieving a dropped weapon is difficulty 1 (Dex + wielding Ability) and is only possible if a character can feasibly do so.
  • Duels fought over looming chasms or aboard a ship might not afford such a luxury.
  • Note that characters cannot be disarmed of their natural weapons (fists, feet, claws, fangs, etc.)
  • Nor can they have weapons taken from them that are actually strapped to the body such as a cestus or tiger claws.

If players regularly take advantage of disarming as a prelude to executing a helpless victim (instead of using the maneuver for dramatic purposes), the Storyteller should feel free to raise the penalty imposed by the technique. With a flurry, it is possible for an attacker to disarm and then use a retrieval action to take the weapon for himself, provided he has hands free to take it. Doing so almost always involves a stunt.

Defense - Soak 3L/3B (*7/7); DodgeDV 7 (*11); ParryDV 7; DMDV 4; PMDV 2; Knockdown 5/10; Stunning 3/5
Soak 3L/3BDodge DV 7 (*11)Parry DV 7DMDV 4PMDV 2Knockdown 5/10Stunning 3/5
  • Natural Soak :  3L/3B
  • Armor Soak :  0L/0B
  • Piercing Soak :  3L/3B

* The Charm “Shadow-Body Style” adds the Exalt’s permanent Essence to both his bashing and lethal soaks (for a scene)

The Stone of Resilient Bamboo makes his natural lethal soak equal to his Stamina.
Natural Soak is half of your Stamina rounded down for Lethal damage, and your Stamina for Bashing damage.
Piercing Soak is your Natural Soak, plus half of your Armored Soak rounded down.

  • Dexterity +5
  • Dodge +5
  • Essence +4

* Your “Ebon Shadow Form” increases your DDV by your Permanent Essence, so yours would bolster to 11 when that charm is active! The form “Elusive Flicker Evasion” increases it by another 4, but just for one action.

Your DDV is calculated as (Dexterity + Dodge + Artifact Bonuses + Permanent Essence) divided by 2, rounded down.

  • Dexterity +5
  • Martial Arts +5
  • Baneclaw Defense +5

Your PDV is calculated as (Dexterity + Martial Arts/Melee + Artifact Defense + Artifact Bonuses) divided by 2, rounded down.

  • Willpower +5
  • Essence +4

Dodge Mental Defense Value = (Willpower + Integrity + Essence) divided by  2

  • Charisma +4

Parry Mental Defense Value = (Charisma/Manipulation + Investigation/Performance/Presence) divided by 2

  • Threshhold 5
    • Stamina +3
    • Resistance +2
  • Pool 10
    • Dexterity +5
    • Athletics +5

If hit, the defender is hurled backwards one yard per 3d raw (pre-soak) damage. If attack’s raw damage is greater than a defender’s (Stamina + Resistance), the force of impact hurls her to the ground unless her player makes a successful reflexive ([Dexterity or Stamina] + [Athletics or Resistance]) roll, difficulty 2. Rising from prone requires an action (see p. 144).

  • Threshhold 3
    • Stamina +3
  • Pool 5
    • Stamina +3
    • Resistance +2
  • Target : Damage Suffered – Felk’s Stamina

If Felk suffers a greater number of actual health levels of damage than his Stamina rating, he may be shaken and disoriented from the trauma. Reflexively roll (Stamina + Resistance) at a difficulty of (damage – Stamina). Failure leaves Felk at -2 dice to all non-reflexive rolls until the tick when his attacker next acts.

He’s a martial arts practitioner of “Ebon Shadow Style”

Scroll of the Monk p.91
The Sidereal archives in Yu-Shan say a Night Caste Solar called Ebon Shadow’s Graceful Daughter—Shadow’s Grace for short—brought this martial art to Creation. Shadow’s Grace did not quite believe she deserved the power the Unconquered Sun gave her. She had not fought in the Primordial War, inheriting her power instead when a greater hero fell in that conflict’s final battle. Life as a spy and assassin, maintaining the peace of the fledgling Old Realm, did not suit her; she thought the Eclipse Caste better suited her temperament. She prayed daily, begging the Unconquered Sun to change either her caste or her spirit. He knew better and ignored her pleas: The needs of peace do not match those of war. He wanted an assassin who would not enjoy her job too much. Yet, someone heard the prayers of Shadow’s Grace. One Calibration, she rose from prayer to find a mighty figure before her: four-armed like the Unconquered Sun, but glittering in shades of darkness. Five Days Darkness, the first shadow cast by the Unconquered Sun, offered to teach her a regimen of exercises and meditations that would resolve her doubts and make her truly the Queen of Night. In return, she would share his teachings with other Exalted. She would also swear on her soul to perform one service in each incarnation at her divine sifu’s request without question. So desperate was Shadow’s Grace to quiet the turmoil within her heart that she accepted the dark god’s terms. She absorbed her sifu’s teachings before the end of that very Calibration and took the name by which she is remembered in Heaven. The archives say Shadow’s Grace became a paragon of her caste who taught evildoers to jump at shadows and gave restitution to their victims. Her service to Five Days Darkness is not known. She died before the Usurpation, trying to kill a mad Solar tyrant. The Sidereals are fairly sure the Solar who inherited her Exaltation perished in the Usurpation. Now, her Exaltation is free from the Jade Prison, but its current host is unknown. Where is the inheritor of Shadow’s Grace? And what will Five Days Darkness demand of her? Weapons and Armor: Characters who practice the Ebon Shadow style may use fighting chains or sais (and their artifact equivalents) freely with all Charms in the tree. The style is incompatible with the use of armor.


Larceny

Flawless Pickpocketing Technique - automatic success on a pickpocket roll, unless contested by another charm (Sup 3m)
Cost: 3m; Mins: Larceny 2, Essence 1; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK;  Duration: Instant;  Prerequisite Charms: None
Source: Core Book p.228
It is the Lawgivers’ right to confiscate goods necessary to the service of the Unconquered Sun. This Charm enhances a valid pickpocketing roll—that is, a roll to steal something that the character can both reach and carry from another’s person. The character cannot steal things in active use, such as the sword in someone’s hand, the boots from the target’s feet or an artifact to which someone has committed motes, unless the target is an extra.

This Charm guarantees success on the pick-pocketing roll. If another Charm contests this effect, add the character’s Essence in automatic successes to the (Dexterity + Larceny) roll to oppose the other Charm. In addition, characters using ordinary senses cannot spot the theft with Awareness. Even players of characters with inhuman sensory acuity—such as a spider feeling for the vibrations in its web while a character attempts to steal its larder—have a +4 difficulty penalty on the opposed roll to catch the character in the act.

Lock-Opening Touch - automatic success, unless contested by another charm (Sup 3m)
Cost: 3m; Mins: Larceny 3, Essence 1; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK;  Duration: Instant;  Prerequisite Charms: None
Source: Core Book p.229
Mortal thieves must struggle with lockpicks and thieves’ tools. The Exalted may use Essence.  This Charm enhances a miscellaneous action to pick a lock. It makes success automatic even if the character has no tools (though such use makes the Charm Obvious). If this effect is opposed by another Charm or magical effect, add the character’s Essence in automatic successes to the (Dexterity + Larceny) roll to oppose the rival magic.

Martial Arts – Ebon Shadow Style

Image of Death Technique - drop to the ground and appear dead (Sim 2m)
Cost: 2m Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 2; Type: Simple (DV -3)
Keywords: Illusion;  Duration: One day;  Prerequisite Charms: None
Source: Scroll of the Monk p.92
Withdrawing her Essence deep into her body, the character drops to the ground and temporarily appears to be dead. A careful examination and a successful (Perception + Medicine) roll, difficulty 3, is necessary to determine that the character is actually still alive. The martial artist using this Charm can hold her breath 10 times as long as normal, and she does not need to eat or drink—handy if she’s hiding from enemies at the bottom of a river or wants them to think they killed her. Although the character’s senses of hearing, touch and smell function normally, she cannot see or move. She can act normally the action after she chooses to end this Charm.
Wall Climbing Technique - move along any surface as easily as walking for 1 action (Ref 1m)
Cost: 1m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious;  Duration: One action;  Prerequisite Charms: Image of Death Technique
Source: Scroll of the Monk p.92
The character using this Charm can move or dash along walls, ropes, hanging chains and other vertical surfaces as easily as he can walk along a floor. Using this Charm, the character can climb a surface simply by running up it, without halving his base movement rate. In his next action, the character must either activate the Charm again, remain where he is (if he’s made it to a ledge or suitable hand- and footholds) or attempt to leap or climb down normally.
Distracting Finger-Gesture Attack - delay the target's turn by 5 ticks (Ref 2m)
Cost: 2m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive (Step 1)
Keywords: Obvious;  Duration: Instant;  Prerequisite Charms: Wall Climbing Technique
Source: Scroll of the Monk p.92
The Ebon Shadow martial artist makes a complex, Essence-charged sign with her fingers, and the twisting lines of shadowy Essence distract and slow one selected opponent. The sign takes only an instant to make at the beginning of the action. The target character’s next action is delayed for a number of ticks equal to the martial artist’s Martial Arts score, incidentally preventing his DV from refreshing until then. When the target’s next action comes, he cannot perform a flurry but may still use Combos and reflexive and extra action Charms normally. He can perform a Guard action as usual.
Ebon Shadow Form - join battle is +5 and stealth and Dodge DV are +4 for a scene (Sim 5m)
Cost: 5m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2; Type: Simple (Speed 5)
Keywords: Form-type, Obvious;  Duration: One scene;  Prerequisite Charms: Distracting Finger-Gesture Attack
Source: Scroll of the Monk p.92
Although the Exalt’s body does not become indistinct or drink in light like a true shadow, he still moves with the eerie speed and grace of a candle-wavering silhouette. While using this Charm, the character adds his Martial Arts score to his Join Battle dice pool. He also adds a value equal to his Essence to his Stealth score and his Dodge DV. When the character makes a Martial Arts attack (with hands, feet, sais or fighting chains), he can inflict either bashing or lethal damage at will. If a character using this Charm is killed before the duration expires, his body dissipates into thick black smoke. He leaves no ghost, and his physical remains provide no evidence of his identity (though his gear might).
Seven Points of Weakness Strike - target's armored soak is -5 for one attack (Sup 3m)
Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK;  Duration: Instant;  Prerequisite Charms: Ebon Shadow Form
Source: Scroll of the Monk p.93
The character’s Essence guides her attack to the weakest point in her target’s armor. Subtract the character’s Martial Arts rating from the targeted armor’s relevant soak (based on what type of damage the character inflicts) before calculating the attack’s final damage. This Charm does not affect the armor’s Hardness, target’s intrinsic soak or defense granted by Charms.

Seven Points of Weakness Strike provides no benefit against a target who does not wear any armor. After all, a weak point in a suit of armor would not be in the same region of a target’s body, which makes the angle of approach and attack completely different.

Limb-Immobilizing Method - paralyze target's arm or leg for one scene, negating some attacks (Sim 3m)
Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-OK, Crippling, Touch;  Duration: One scene;  Prerequisite Charms: Seven Points of Weakness Strike
Source: Scroll of the Monk p.93
With the slightest touch, like a shadow falling on bare skin, the martial artist immobilizes one of his target’s limbs. The character need simply touch an unsuspecting foe, though his attempt to do so can be blocked or dodged as normal. The attacker chooses which limb to paralyze—not necessarily the one he touched—and the chosen limb is immobilized for the rest of the scene. See Exalted, p. 152 for the effects on a character who lacks a full set of functioning limbs.

Since most people don’t keep a crutch handy, the player of a target with a paralyzed leg must also attempt a reflexive (Dexterity + Athletics) roll for her character to maintain her balance every time that character is struck. Characters with both legs immobilized must generally perform stunts to attack or even guard. Immobilizing an arm keeps the target from using that arm to attack—which can be devastating if the victim is an archer.

This attack has no effect against the undead, automata or other beings that have no vital functions to obstruct.

Paralyzing Touch Attack - reduce target's Dexterity for a scene (Sim 6m, 1wp)
Cost: 6m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Crippling, Touch;  Duration: One scene;  Prerequisite Charms: Limb-Immobilizing Method
Source: Scroll of the Monk p.93
With this Charm, a character can stun or incapacitate a target with a precise strike to one of five vital nerve clusters. To do so, the character lightly taps the target on one of several possible nerve points, using a jolt of her own Essence to disrupt the Essence flowing through the spot and confuse the target’s nerves. This (Dexterity + Martial Arts) attack inflicts no damage, but the Exalt’s player rolls a number of dice equal to her character’s (Martial Arts + the number of extra successes she made on the attack) against a difficulty equal to the target’s Essence. Each extra success the player rolls above the difficulty reduces the target’s Dexterity by one dot for the scene. If the target’s Dexterity drops to 0, he is paralyzed.

The effect of this Charm can be mitigated if the player of a character with Medicine and Martial Arts at 3 or higher succeeds at a (Wits + Martial Arts) roll, difficulty 3, to restore the proper flow of Essence through the victim’s body. Removing paralysis is a simple action (Speed 6), and the target can move normally on his next action. With a successful (Wits + Stealth) roll, diffi culty 1, this touch can be disguised as an amiable nudge or unintentional jostling in a crowd. This attack cannot be used against the undead, automata or other beings that lack vital centers.

Elusive Flicker Evasion - add your Essence to your Dodge DV total for one action (Ref 4m)
Cost: 4m;  Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2;  Type: Reflexive (Step 2)
Keywords: None;  Duration: One action;  Prerequisite Charms: Ebon Shadow Form
Source: Scroll of the Monk p.93
One could more easily weigh smoke than strike a character who uses this Charm. Until the martial artist’s next action, add his Essence to his Dodge DV. The Ebon Shadow Stylist need not even be in combat when he activates this Charm. For instance, he may use the Charm to dodge the poisoned darts of an automatic trap in the tomb of his First Age incarnation. Should the character use this Charm outside combat, all dodge attempts—including those involving Charms whose effects continue from previous actions—gain additional bonus dice equal to her Essence for one action (which can raise the total bonus above the standard maximums). If some internal or external penalty would normally reduce the character’s Dodge pool or DV to 0, using this Charm reflexively provides a base value equal to the character’s Essence.
Blow-Concealing Gesture Technique - sneak attack that negates both of target's DV's (Sup 2m, 1wp)
Cost: 2m, 1wp;  Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3;  Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK;  Duration: Instant;  Prerequisite Charms: Elusive Flicker Evasion
Source: Scroll of the Monk p.93
The character makes an arcane silent-communication gesture once used by teams of Night Caste scouts on long-range patrols in the First Age and infuses the gesture with Essence.

In so doing, she renders her opponent unable to notice or react to an attack she makes. The opponent cannot apply either of his DVs against the character’s blow without the use of reflexive Charms that enhance DV. The target’s player may attempt a reflexive (Wits + Awareness) when the target is attacked—the difficulty equals the attacker’s Essence. If the roll succeeds, the opponent may use any reflexive Charms or abilities he possesses to counter the attack. If the roll fails, the opponent may use only Charms that specifically state they work on attacks of which the character is unaware. Blow-Concealing Gesture Technique is particularly effective in a Combo with other attack Charms, since the victim doesn’t notice the attacker’s flaring anima (though people nearby probably will).

Shadow-Body Style - become a tangible shadow for a scene and gain +4 lethal and bashing soak (Ref 3m, 1wp)
Cost: 3m, 1wp;  Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4;  Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Obvious;  Duration: One scene;  Prerequisite Charms: Blow-Concealing Gesture Technique
Source: Scroll of the Monk p.93
With this Charm, the character takes on the true form of a shadow. The character becomes tenebrous and indistinct, a form of tangible darkness. His flattened body slides through any space wide enough for him to fit his fingers through. Identifying the character while he uses this Charm is extremely difficult. His physical features and clothing give no clues, but the outlines of distinctive gear might give him away. If his anima banner activates, only his caste mark shines. Even his fully iconic anima banner seems shapeless and dark.

When using this Charm, the Exalt adds his permanent Essence to both his bashing and lethal soaks. Shadow-Body Style does not stack with any other Charms that increase the character’s natural soak and have a duration longer than instant. This Charm allows a character to see as easily in total darkness as in light, though he must actually use his eyes to see. That is, he cannot see through smoke, murky water or the like just because it also happens to be dark where he is.

Shadow-Stepping Motion - teleport from one shadow to another (Sim 7m, 1wp)
Cost: 7m, 1wp;  Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5;  Type: Simple
Keywords: Obvious;  Duration: Instant;  Prerequisite Charms: Paralyzing Touch Attack, Shadow-Body Style
Source: Scroll of the Monk p.93
By using this Charm, the martial artist slides into one shadow and almost instantly emerges from another shadow near her destination. The Exalt must have a shadow to step into, and she must have somehow seen her destination before.

She emerges in the nearest unobserved shadow near her intended destination one action after she slips away. That destination cannot be more than a number of miles away equal to her Essence. If there are no unobserved shadows within 100 yards of that location, the Charm fails. (The Essence and Willpower are still spent, though.)

Generally, this Charm cannot penetrate the manse of a sorcerer, a god’s sanctum or any other such forbidden place. If a place is warded to block teleportation, it stops this Charm from working. Most of the time, if the Charm does not work due to environmental factors or sorcerous warding, the Exalt simply fails to descend into the inky blackness of the entry shadow that she chose. Should an Exalt attempt to use this Charm and fail during Calibration, however, she sinks into a shadow and emerges alone within the Labyrinth instead.

Resistance

Ox-Body Technique (x1) - increase your number of permanent health levels (Permanent)
Cost: —;  Mins: Resistance 1, Essence 1;  Type: Permanent
Keywords: Stackable;  Duration: Permanent;  Prerequisite Charms: None
Source: Core Book p.208
The Exalted are like the mountains: not easily worn down by such mortal things as men. This Charm gives the Lawgiver additional health levels. A player may purchase this Charm up to once per dot of the Resistance Ability her character possesses. Each purchase provides one of the following, at the player’s option, determined at the time of purchase:

• One -0 health level
• Two -1 health levels
• One -1 health level and two -2 health levels


Artifacts & Gear
Baneclaw (x2) (Artifact •)
Scroll of the Monk p.159

BaneclawThe baneclaw is a sai adapted for Exalted use. Not only is it large for a sai, the side-tines might be massive and barbed like a harpoon or designed to look like actual talons. The tines of Abyssal baneclaws, for example, tend to look like long, skeletal fingers wrought in black soulsteel. The pommel may hold the setting for a single hearthstone. In martial arts, sais are often used in pairs. A baneclaw, however, is also often used singly as a weapon for an Exalt’s off-hand. The weapon may be coupled with any mundane or artifact weapon that can be wielded one-handed.

Baneclaws from the First Age might show special powers when set with a hearthstone. Most commonly, on a successful disarming attack the baneclaw can crush any non-magical melee weapon, if the wielder so desires. (The baneclaw’s tines flex as if alive to bend and tear a caught weapon.) This action costs the wielder one mote of Essence. Artifact weapons are immune to this effect. Other special powers usually deal in some way with clutching, binding or stripping away, such as draining an opponent’s Essence or Attributes. Baneclaws with additional powers are two-dot Artifacts.

    • Speed 4
    • Accuracy +3
    • Damage +3L/2
    • Defense +5
    • Rate 4
    • Min: Dex 2 / MA 2
    • Attune 2
    • Tags: D,M,O
Stone of Resilient Bamboo (Hearthstone of Wood •••)
Book of Sorcery vol.3, Oadenol’s Codex p.100
This cylindrical stone gleams with the bright, opaque green of living bamboo. Its bearer’s intrinsic lethal soak equals her Stamina. She can also parry lethal attacks unarmed without a stunt. In addition, the bearer regenerates one level of lethal or bashing damage every hour. This stone does not speed the healing of aggravated damage.

Reference

Unexpected Attacks
Core p.155

Characters might not always perceive every attack made against them, whether as a result of ambush or a treacherous knife in the back. Unless a character has a magical means of detecting unexpected attacks (such as Surprise Anticipation Method, on p. 226) or a magical defense that guards against unperceived attacks (as most defensive Charms do), the attack is unblockable and un- dodgeable. That is, the character has a Dodge and Parry DV of 0 automatically, but matters such as cover can improve the value.

In the case of ambush or an opening attack by an invisible opponent, roll the attacker’s (Dexterity + Stealth) against the victim’s (Wits + Awareness). If the victim is distracted by con- versation or focused on some other activity rather than casually looking around (or if the attacker is completely outside the field of her senses, as by being directly behind), the victim suffers a -2 internal penalty to this roll. Conversely, add one die if she is actively wary and suspects danger.

Setting up an ambush from plain view is also possible (such as in the case of an assassin who wishes to throw a knife at someone during a peaceful banquet without telegraphing her aggressive intentions in advance), but doing so adds two to the difficulty of the Stealth roll and requires that the scene is not currently in combat. Make this roll immediately before rolling (Wits + Awareness) as part of a Join Battle action, as noted on page 141. If the defender wins, she notices the attack in time to respond to it normally with a block or dodge. Her DV still drops normally if faced with an invisible opponent, but she can defend, which beats the alternative. If the attacker wins, the defender suffers from an unexpected attack and must rely on passive defenses or magical defenses that work against surprise.

Players of Exalted characters should keep in mind that Melee Charms require that an Exalt be armed with a ready weapon to use them. As such, characters whose magical defenses focus on evasion will have an advantage against ambush unless the parry expert expects trouble enough to unsheathe her blade.

Reestablishing Surprise: Unexpected attacks normally open hostilities but are not often a factor once fighting is underway. Once a traitor stabs his master in the back or an assassin shoots a blowdart from his concealed perch, everyone present reacts by initiating a Join Battle action. Regaining the considerable advantage of surprise is not easy. The character must try to hide while alert opponents do everything in their power to track his movements. Even invisibility does not guarantee a new surprise attack, although it certainly helps.

Whenever a character wishes to hide, doing so is a miscel- laneous action that may be part of a flurry as normal. Roll the attacker’s (Dexterity + Stealth), and make independent reflexive opposed rolls of (Wits + Awareness + 2) for all witnesses. If the hiding character is invisible or similarly obscured from senses, add two bonus successes to the Stealth roll. Using a distraction, movement, or some aspect of the environment to aid in hiding is a stunt, adding bonus dice as normal. If the environment affords no hiding spots and the character cannot hide or cloak himself magically, he cannot attempt concealment. Any witness who loses the contested roll loses track of the character entirely and cannot continue to attack or interact with him until he reveals himself—or until someone else who still sees him points or calls out the general location or direction. The hidden attacker may launch new surprise attacks against anyone who doesn’t know his present location, granting the full benefits of surprise.

Once the character launches a new surprise attack, he gives away his location to everyone until he can hide again. Until then, any character can take a miscellaneous action to try to find the character (potentially as part of a flurry), rolling a (Perception + Awareness) check against a difficulty of the successes on the roll to hide. Those who find him can immediately shout out to others (subtract two successes from the Stealth roll for alerted searchers) or keep the knowledge to themselves.