Narek, the Sagacious Peacock
An Eclipse Caste born to a wealthy family in the Imperial City, Narek was kidnapped in his youth and trained by Gold Faction Sidereals. He travels from city to city making friends easily; sometimes he leaves them on good terms, other times running for his life when found out. Narek draws energy from convincing others that falsehoods are true, and hopes to someday lie to the Scarlet Empress herself.
Narek the Sagacious Peacock was born to a wealthy family in the Imperial City. At his birth he was given the name Hozhing. His exaltation was foreseen by members of both the Gold and Bronze factions of the Sidereal exalted when he was only 5 years old and both groups moved to locate him. Narek was lucky enough to be “kidnapped” by the Gold faction while his family was vacationing in An-Teng. He was taken to an academy run by the Gold faction and the Cult of the Illuminated to train with other “rescued” exalted (an odd mix of solar, lunar and sidereal).
Upon arriving at the academy he was told to pick a new name for himself, as an obvious break from his former life. He chose the name Narek, after one of the characters in a book he had been reading while on vacation. Years passed as he trained in all manner of disciplines, from martial arts to riding to linguistics to diplomacy. His mentors soon began to despair as he exhibited a more and more rebellious nature as the years passed. Bitter at the Sidereals for taking him from his family, and very already spoiled by his life in a wealthy family, Narek began to act out by skipping his classes, lying to his instructors, copying other’s work and playing practical jokes on his classmates. Ten years came and went at the academy before the foretellings finally came true and Narek exalted.
A new student by the name of Sora came to the academy after a traumatizing rescue. Both Gold faction Sidereals and members of the wild hunt had found her at the same time. Her family was massacred in front of her by the wild hunt while she hid. The Sidereals were able to spirit her away before she was found by the dragon blooded. At the academy she cried for days on end and was afraid to even come out of her room. Narek made an attempt to befriend her and promised her that he would protect her here at the academy. As he made this promise, a white light shone around both of them and the promise was witnessed by heaven as binding. Having sensed the exaltation, mentors burst into the room to congratulate Narek and tell him again how important his training was. Sora was comforted enough by the promise to begin classes and the two became fast friends.
Narek continued to make light of his work in the following years. He got by with the least amount of work possible and continued to have fun at the expense of his instructors and classmates. Sora was a diligent student and often helped Narek with assignments that he had forgotten or put off for too long. During a training exercise however, Sora was killed when another student’s sorcery got out of control. Narek looked on in horror, unable to do anything to protect her.
During an excursion into a nearby town, Narek is almost killed when he trips and falls directly into a dragon blood of the Wyld Hunt (Botch 1 of 2). He is beaten to within an inch of death and left by the dragon blooded, presumed dead.
Eventually, Narek completes the majority of the basic course work of the academy. He lies to his mentors, telling them that he has had a vision of a past life and he must seek out his own tomb. With their blessing, he leaves the academy and begins to travel Creation, seeking excitement and new experiences. He travels to many cities, making friends easily. Sometimes he leaves them on good terms, other times running for his life when a lie had been found out. He draws energy from convincing others that falsehoods are true and wants to someday lie to the Scarlet Empress.
When the sun and the moon are in perfect alignment, the result is a spectacular solar eclipse. Visible all across Creation, it is an exceptionally auspicious event. The Unconquered Sun and Luna become one, and the day dims sufficiently to reveal the Five Maidens. At this moment, the unity of Heaven is visible for all to see. Similarly, the Eclipse Caste brings unity and order, and its members touch all corners of society, crossing boundaries and bringing people together. During the time of the Solar Deliberative, the Crowned Suns held the Realm together with their diplomacy. They helped to forge consensus between the many Exalts and negotiated treaties between the Realm and barbarian tribes, the spirit courts and even the Fair Folk. As administrators and censors, they kept the gears of the empire running smoothly. When the Dragon-Blooded instigated their coup, the Eclipse Caste who survived the initial assault attempted to resolve the crisis with diplomacy. Their efforts were met with lies, treachery and murder—the Dragon-Blooded were not interested in diplomacy. The Crowned Suns fled to their allies and called on the spirit courts, the elementals and the princes of the beasts for aid. Yet, these allies were not enough, and one by one, the Quicksilver Falcons fell before the armies of the Dragon-Blooded. When the Solars returned, the world witnessed the first solar eclipse since the Terrestrial Exalted took power. Now, the members of the Eclipse Caste have begun the difficult process of reunifying the world. Negotiating with mortal sovereigns, gods, the Fair Folk and the dead, they attempt to bring order to the chaos gripping Creation. Members of the Eclipse Caste are chosen from those who excel at social interaction. They work quietly and move with effortless grace, influencing the opinions of others. They are the shamans who make pacts between men and spirits, the messengers between the lands of the living and the dead and the censors who keep governments functioning honestly. The Crowned Suns excel at communication and organization. Members of the Eclipse Caste are frequently the voices of their circles. As natural communicators, they turn strangers into allies, and their organizational skills keep their groups running smoothly.
Attributes: Strength 1, Dexterity 4, Stamina 2, Charisma 4, Manipulation 5, Appearance 2 (+2 from hearthstone); Perception 2, Intelligence 3, Wits 4
Virtues: Compassion 3, Conviction 3, Temperance 1, Valor 2
Abilities: Awareness 3, Bureaucracy 2, Dodge 3, Larceny 1, Linguistics 5, Martial Arts 5 (Unarmed Combat +3), Occult 3, Performance 5, Presence 1, Resistance 3, Ride 3, Sail 3, Socialize 3
Essence Pool: 18/24
Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-2/-4/Incap
Join Battle: 7
Other Notes or Constant Effects:
- Narek cannot be made to look anything other than beautiful: nothing short of Solar Circle Sorcery can even temporarily reduce his Appearance. If dressed in rags and covered in mud, he appears handsomely disheveled. Other people always notice him unless he uses stealth, Charms or the cover of darkness to conceal himself. This is good when giving a speech… not so good for a discreet meeting with an informant. (See “Stone of Inhuman Beauty” below)
He’s a martial arts practitioner of both “Celestial Monkey” & “Prismatic Arrangement of Creation”
The Scroll of the Monk, p.85 & p.133
CELESTIAL MONKEY STYLE
The monkey is sharp and clever, sagacious in his simple way. The nimble, quick-witted animal seldom worries about danger and never about failure. Should a snake or tiger come close, the monkey simply jumps to another tree. Should he fail to collect one sweet fruit or shiny trinket, why, there’s always another. To envious, ground-bound humans, the monkey seems to live with neither toil nor fear, carefree as the immortal gods. These mortals obviously don’t know about the laborious bureaucracy of Yu-Shan; many a god would envy a monkey’s life as well. Nevertheless, some martial artists draw inspiration from the monkey’s careless self-assurance as well as its agility. Students of the Celestial Monkey Style practice acrobatic katas and meditate on jokes and paradoxes. Much of their training centers on acting without conscious thought. Some sages see the impulsive monkey as a symbol of an unfocused, distracted mind but practitioners of this martial art see the monkey as a paragon of quick, flexible response. They all seek to achieve the monkey’s happy self-confidence and wide-eyed joy at the world. Those who do so earn the nickname Blissful Sages and become some of the most talented and unsinkable martial artists roaming free across Creation. Blissful Sages don’t spare much respect for anyone or anything, including themselves. They avoid strong passions that could channel their attention too narrowly. As a result, no Blissful Sage has any Virtue rated higher than 3. A higher rating indicates a degree of obsession that an enemy could exploit or that could distract a practitioner from complete awareness of the world. No character with a Virtue rated 4 or higher can learn this style, and if a Blissful Sage raises one of his Virtues higher than 3, he can no longer use the style’s Charms. Weapons and Armor: This martial art is an unarmed style only, and characters cannot use this style while wearing armor. Only masters of this style can escape these prohibitions. (See the Charm Celestial Godbody Understanding for details.)
Complementary Skills: Celestial Monkey practitioners do not need specific ratings in other Abilities to learn this martial art. That said, they often develop great skill at Dodge and Athletics for agility, Awareness for comprehensive observation of their surroundings and Integrity for a self-possessed mind that evades outside influences.
PRISMATIC ARRANGEMENT OF CREATION STYLE
Elder Sidereals often recommend that their younger colleagues learn the Prismatic Arrangement of Creation as their first Sidereal martial art. This fighting style requires relatively low proficiency with Martial Arts and Essence manipulation—for a Sidereal style, anyway—and provides an excellent blend of attack and defense. What’s more, it provides a comprehensive understanding of Creation’s most important substances, entities and modes of wielding Essence. The most unusual aspect of the Prismatic Arrangement of Creation is its multiple Form-type Charms. A diverse array of initial Charms converges on four lesser forms. Once a practitioner masters these lesser forms, she can learn a greater form. Each lesser form offers significant benefits to a martial artist, while the greater form enhances the power of every other martial art the character knows. Weapons and Armor: Characters cannot use the Charms of this style while wearing armor. Weapons cannot be used with most Prismatic Arrangement of Creation Charms (or are simply irrelevant), with a few significant exceptions noted for particular Charms.
Simple Comparisons for Martial Arts
Scroll of the Monk p.15
A mundane martial arts master can split a brick and jump over a hedge.
A Terrestrial martial arts master can split a boulder and jump over a house.
A Celestial martial arts master can split a city wall and jump over a mountain.
A Sidereal martial arts master can split a soul and jump to Yu-Shan.