Resplendent Aria of Flame

From RPGnet
Jump to: navigation, search

Player Character in The Shadow Over Creation

Aria

Basic Information[edit]

Name: Resplendent Aria of Flame. Aria for short.
Concept: Wandering Hero
Caste: Zenith
Anima: Burning wings of golden flame.
Limit Trigger: Seeing innocents suffer and being unable to prevent it.


Supernal: Integrity
Caste Abilities: Athletics, Integrity, Lore, Presence, Resistance
Favored Abilities: Awareness, Brawl/MA, Craft, Occult, Survival

Tracking Stuff[edit]

Willpower: 6/5
Personal Motes: 13/13
Peripheral Motes: 25/25 (8 attuned)
Health Levels (-0, -1, -1, -2, -2, -4, Incapacitated): None Damaged

Regular XP: 2
Solar XP: 0

Silver Crafting XP: 19
Gold Crafting XP: 12
White Crafting XP: 0

Important Stats[edit]

Join Battle: 7 Dice
Guile: 3 Resolve: 6
Evasion: 1 Parry: 5 (4 unarmed)
Soak: 11 Hardness: 7


Unarmed (Bashing, Brawl, Grappling, Natural) 7 dice (+4 for withering), 9 damage
The Burning Name a.k.a firebending (Lethal, Thrown (short), Mounted) 10 dice (+4/+3 for withering short/close range), 11 damage*

Firewand (Lethal, Archery (Short), Flame, Slow) 8 dice (0/+4/ for withering short/close range), 15 damage
Bayonet i.e. Short Spear (Lethal, Melee, Thrown (Short), Piercing) 7 dice (+2 for withering), 11 damage

Note: Aria's firewand has an affixed bayonet, which she wields with White Reaper style. She cannot combine doing so with Righteous Devil Style, but rather uses White Reaper to defend and Righteous Devil to attack.

Aria, at full bonfire

Attributes[edit]

Strength 2 Dexterity 3 Stamina 3
Charisma 3 Manipulation 1 Appearance 5
Intelligence 4 Perception 2 Wits 5

Abilities [Specialties][edit]

Athletics 2
Awareness 2
Brawl 1
Craft (Blacksmithing) 5*
Craft (Cooking) 1
Craft (Explosives) 1*
Integrity 5 [Resolve]
Lore 3 [The Northeast, The Scavenger Lands, Spirits]**
Linguistics 1
Martial Arts (Righteous Devil Style) 5
Martial Arts (White Reaper Style) 4
Occult 5 [Fire]***
Presence 5
Resistance 3
Socialize 3 [Guile]
Survival 3


*My assumption is that I can mantain (and if necessary, make) firewands with blacksmithing and firedust (obviously, given necessary materials) with explosives - I will change them appropriately if that assumption does not hold. Explosives was originally Alchemy but I figured that was... not so much too broad but too undefined. I had no idea what I could and couldn't do with it. Explosives is if anything on the narrow side... but there's no shortage of ideas about what I can do with it . Also it's only 1 dot anyway.


**Her Lore background is the things she learned on her travels - mostly local geography and cultures and politics etc. This experience with various cultures is also the explanation for her Socialize skill. Her Specialty pertains to all kinds of spirits - I'll narrow it if that's too broad. Keep in mind that if I cannot justify it with some reference to these two broad topics, I can't use Lore at all, so Lore topics should probably not be too restrictive. Notably (and deliberately), this character has Lore but isn't actually well-read. Traditional scholarly topics (e.g. history, science, literature, math) are not actually her thing. (Yet, anyway, Harmonious Academic Methodology will fix that eventually.)


***Assumed to apply to fire-based spells, dealing with fire elementals, and with her fire attack.

Merits[edit]

Martial Arts (4 dots)
The Burning Name (pg 468, 2 dots)
Suzerain of Endless Flame (ibid, 2 dots)
Languages 2: Riverspeak, Old Realm. (Native language is Skytongue, or close enough anyway)
Artifact 3:
Phoenix Rising (3-dot Red Jade Artifact Medium Armor)
This Red Jade reinforced breastplate has belonged to the House of Tepet for centuries. It was nearly destroyed in the campaign to the North that laid that House low, and was only recently reforged. The symbol of a Garda bird (gules, rising, displayed) was engraved upon it, to represent that it had died in fire but been reborn - and to symbolize the hopes of House Tepet for their resurgence. The armor has two slots for Hearthstones, one in the center of the chest and one in the back.

When attuned and worn, Phoenix Rising grants unparalleled protection against fire. The wearer reduces the Difficulty of enduring environmental hazards due to heat or flame by 2 and adds 2 to Soak and Hardness versus fire and energy-based attacks.

For three extra motes of attunement, its wearer is inspired to rise higher through adversity. The wearer gains 1 point of Initiative whenever they or someone they have a Positive Major or Defining Intimacy towards is targeted with a decisive attack.

Solar Charms (Ability and page)[edit]

Note: Charms that have been used to qualify for Integrity Bridge Charms are marked with a #. They cannot be so used again.

Arete-Shifting Prana (Craft 289)
Craftsman Needs No Tools (Craft 292)
Enduring Mental Toughness (Integrity 303)
Spirit-Maintaining Maneuver (Integrity 305)
Mind Cleansing Prana (Integrity 306)*
Righteous Lion Defense (Integrity 307)**
Spirit-Tempering Practice (Integrity 308)
Invincible Solar Aegis (Integrity 309)
#Harmonious Academic Methodology (Lore 330)
Spirit-Detecting Glance (Occult 354)
#Terrestrial Circle Sorcery (Occult 360)
Listener-Swaying Argument (Presence 369)
Harmonious Presence Meditation (Presence 369)
Tiger's Dread Symmetry (Presence 370)
Motive-Discerning Technique (Socialize 393)
Food-Gathering Exercise (Survival 409)
Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit (Survival 309)


*The Charms used to qualify for this are my 3 MA charms below
**The Defining Principle protected by this Charm is "I defend the defenseless". The Charms used to qualify for this are Harmonious Academic Methodology and Terrestrial Circle Sorcery, since they represent the years Aria spent searching for a method to permanently protect her village.

MA Charms (Style and page)[edit]


Falling Scythe Slash (White Reaper Style 438)
#Revolving Crescent Defense (White Reaper Style 438)
Blossom of Inevitable Demise (Righteous Devil Style 450)
#Cloud of Ebon Devils (Righteous Devil Style 450)
#Kiss of the Sun Concentration (Righteous Devil Style 450)

Sorcery[edit]

Aria made a pact with an Ifrit Lord.

The sorcerer has learned to cultivate the flames of passion in her own heart, using them to stoke the power of her spells. Whenever she would gain a point of Willpower from upholding an Intimacy that represents a passionate emotion or fervent belief, she may instead claim 5 sorcerous motes. These motes last until the next sunrise, and can be spent towards any spell she casts. Additionally, she may shed a level of intensity from such an Intimacy to channel its fire towards a spell she is shaping, adding sorcerous motes equal to the (original) intensity of the Intimacy. She cannot tap an Intimacy more than once per day this way.

Spells Known (page)
Flight of the Brilliant Raptor (control spell 473)
Summon Elemental (475)

Intimacies[edit]

Defining Principle: I defend the defenseless (I bring light where there is darkness)*
Defining Principle: I try to improve people's quality of life (warmth where there is cold)*
Defining Principle: I punish those who use their strength to oppress others (and fire where there is evil)*
Defining Principle: The Broken-Winged Crane must be purged from the world.
Major Principle: No one who shares my ideal of protecting the innocent is truly an enemy
Major Tie: Demons (Hatred)
Major Principle: I am self-sufficient
Major Tie: [Sorcerous Patron] (respect)
Major Tie: The Unconquered Sun (respect)
Major Tie: Ranjan (respect)
Major Tie: Morning Way (professional respect)
Minor Principle: I like to make useful things
Minor Tie: Syrine (cautious regard)
Minor Tie: Golden Wheat (rapport)
Minor Tie: Sun Shines Behind Clouds (amiability)
Minor Tie: TEX (curiosity)


  • These three Principles together comprise Aria's personal interpretation of the Righteous Devil Style's philosophy. The italics are the poetical versions of them she might give if asked to elucidate. The plaintext is the actual Principle mechanically, because vague poetical Intimacies are actually not a good idea with this system.

Equipment[edit]

Aria has a firewand with an affixed bayonet, some amount of firedust, Phoenix Rising, plus a bunch of odds and ends.

Backstory[edit]

In the distant North, there is a village that has never seen the Sun, the Moon, or the Stars. It rests in the cleft of a great mountain range and, by some quirk of fate, the shadow of those mountains never moves. Even the light from torches is dim in that place, and fires never burn as long as they ought. Still, the hardy people settled there because the scourges of the North, those antlered princes who reap mortals as slaves and the mad gods that dwell at the end of the world, never came near that mountain. Though dark and cold, the horrors of the North gave it wide berth, making it a safe place for a village.

In retrospect, they should have taken the warning.

Aria grew up here, in this quiet place at the edge of the world. Though life here was tough - food rare and fires brittle and dim - it was mostly without danger. Aria grew up learning to take care of herself and to survive in the rough wilderness, but her life was peaceful, for a time. Then when she turned 12 or so, they started to appear. The hungry ghosts were bad enough, but even stranger things lurked at the edges of the night. Dark, twisted things that were never meant to see the light of day, undulating shadows at the edge of vision and hungry mouths seen out of the corner of your eye. Strange noises coming from the heart of the mountain. People began to disappear, at first quietly, and then with screams in the middle of the night.

Fire kept them away. Mostly. But fire was a rare and precious thing here. There were tales from the old folk of places far in the South where it was a ready to find thing, easy and commonplace. But no one dared venture from the mountains, for the Fair princes that roamed the North and the Shadowlands with their dead were still, at the time, worse dangers. But Aria decided that they could not forever live in fear. So at the cusp of young adulthood she left that place, in search of a fire that never dies.

She was perhaps 14 when the saw the Sun for the first time. The moment remains in her heart.

By some miracle, she survived her initial trek to civilization. Not that the outposts of the North deserve to be called that, compared to the grandeur of the Realm, but for a girl from a forgotten village in the middle of nowhere it was dizzying enough. But Aria was uncommonly bright and quick-witted and well able to take care of herself. She lived of the land and learned to craft crude goods, she traded favors and labor, and slowly she made her way South. Along the way she learned about the world she had never known - about the distant Realm and the Immaculate Philosophy that spread from it. About the vast reaches of Creation, its spirits and its gods.

(Once, she asked if the Sun was worshiped. She was told that it was, but it was a matter only for the highest of priests, and not for the common folk like them. This answer did not satisfy her.)

Learning of firedust, she thought it was what she sought and yearned for the secret of making it. After much searching, she found a wandering man who knew of it. After much adventures in wrangling and proving oneself, her sifu taught her the Righteous Devil Style and its attendant philosophy - one that agreed with her very well. Still, she learned too that without the proper materials, firedust was not the answer, and so her search continued.

Aria, in her gunslinging days

For a time she roamed much of the Northeast, in the style of the wandering heroes of her martial tradition. After more searching, she learned of the court of an Ifrit, an elemental lord of flame, said to gift those who passed his test with mastery over fire. Excited to have finally found her goal, she made the ardous way over there and managed to pass his test, and was gifted with the tongue of flame.

Triumphant, Aria returned home after some 8 years of travel, only to find that she had come far too late. Where once there was a village - her home, her family - there was now only broken houses and ruined corpses. Some of the bodies were... it should not be described. But Aria had learned things, in her travels, enough to identify the tell-tale signs of the perpetrator. Demons, or their summoner.

It wasn't much of a deduction, given that she was found soon after. The twisted woman she met brought with her an army of demons, but far more scary was the fragment of a page in her hand. It burned with a eldritch green flame, and upon seeing it Aria knew like she knew few things in her life that it was a thing that should not exist in this world. It lit up the darkness with an eerie flame.

"Oh my, did you come for this too? It was quite a find, all the way out here in the middle of nowhere. I'm afraid, though, that it belongs to me." With a wave of a hand, the infernal sorceress commanded her demons to attack. Aria fought for her life, using all of her skill and the talents she had earned in her travels, but in the end she was overwhelmed. Out of firedust, out of breath, out of even will, she somehow clung to her last bit of senses. In the last moments of her life, bleeding from tainted wounds, a moment of clarity descended upon her. She knew what her last action needed to be.

Somehow she found strength from the depths of her soul, and fought her way past Blood Apes and stranger things to the sorceress that had summoned them. The infernalist's eyes grew wide at Aria's approach and she made move to flee, but with the desperate strength that comes upon those at the last embers of life Aria caught her arm with her own. Aria smiled a grim smile, and spoke with her last word the name of a god, engulfing them both in purifying flame.

And then a voice came to her, in her last moments. It was the voice of the King of Heaven, and sometimes when He comes to His priests He gives them great speeches and exhorts them to spread righteousness as best they know how. But to Aria he spoke only eight words, for He knew that was all that was needed.

The fire that never dies is the Sun. He said.

And then there was a light such as that dark place had never known.


In the far and distant North, there is a forgotten cleft in the mountains that is forever embroiled in shadow. There is no village there and no people, nothing to see of interest. But if you carefully search the mountain and somehow manage to excavate a pile of rocks carefully arranged to look no different to every other pile of rocks, you will find a cave. And inside that cave, hidden deep beneath the earth and guarded by an earth elemental, there are the ashes of what might have once been a piece of parchment forever burning in a small brazier that never goes out - a fire that never dies

Phoenix Rising[edit]

Tepet Rimara was of an old bloodline, but a disgraced one, a doomed campaign in the North leaving it a shadow of its former self. Like many of the remaining Dragonblooded heirs of House Tepet, Rimara struggled to restore her families glory through her actions. In her case she pursued her duties as magistrate with literally religious zeal, racking up accomplishments and hunting down Anathema throughout the Northwestern Threshold.

One particular Anathema she chased for over six months, as it proved maddeningly difficult to track. The demon - a Blasphemer, by eyewitness accounts - cut across the wilderness without any regard for roads and thoroughfares, and did not leave a single trace nor footprint in its wake. But Rimara was able to follow it, nonetheless, as it left a different kind of trail.

A village formerly troubled by a wandering beast (that the Anathema had slain). A ramshackle town in a dangerous area where the guards had arms and armor whose quality would not be shameful in the Legions (apparently provided free of charge). A village until recently extorted by their local god (who had since ceased his heresy). A village with a brand new copper mine (excavated in the mountain via the use of explosives). Rimara learned the signs of the Anathema's passing, with time.

She also began to grow very irritated, for a number of reasons she wouldn't have been fully able to articulate.

Rimara caught up with the demon once. Passing through a town that had been having trouble with nearby bandits, Rimara had a good idea of where her quarry would be found. Unfortunately she was a bit too early. While the Wyld Hunt was well-equipped and well suited to slaughtering a bunch of bandits, they were still in no shape after the battle to fight the demon-goddess who strolled into the bandit camp afterward.

It was the first time Rimara had met the Anathema face to face. The descriptions had not done her any justice. She was like a goddess out of a sculpture or a painting, a beauty enough to make one's heart stop... where they not aware that this was a demon wearing that flawless face like a mask. The Anathema regarded her with terrifying intent, and Rimara felt that her death had come. It raised its weapon, and Rimara was left to no choice but to trust her armor's protection against fire - one of the reasons she had taken it upon herself to spearhead this particular Wyld Hunt, in fact, as the demon was known to use a firewand - and to her luck. A thin stream of fire shot past her left ear, immolating the last remaining bandit that had been sneaking up behind her.

Rimara's eyes met red ones that burned like fire, and she got the sense that the demon was reading her down to her very soul. Apparently liking what she saw, the demon gave her an approving smile that gave her a surge of pride despite herself. Giving Rimara a playful wink, the demon turned and was gone. Rimara sank to the ground, in no shape to chase after her.

She was getting really, really irritated.

Then her quarry's behavior changed. Instead of wandering randomly about the wilderness, she started to travel with a merchant caravan. This gave Rimara pause, as she had not brought even troops to assault it (and she was well aware that the Blasphemers could ingratiate themselves into any group - she couldn't count on the caravan to not resist). She resigned herself to following from a distance - at least it was easier to track than the thing itself.

And then one fateful day the caravan rolled into a small, sleepy village, and Rimara camped near the outskirts, out of sight. Then there was confusion and battle and the march of the unquiet dead. And when it was all over there was Rimara lying on the ground bleeding out her last, and the Anathema watching over her with sorrow. The sight of that face contorted in grief would make the stoniest heart melt (again, were one not aware that it was actually a hideous demon on the inside).

"I'm sorry." It said, head bowed. "If I had known you were there, I could have saved you."

"..." Rimara said nothing, too busy bleeding to death. Blearily, she thought back on her life and all the things she had accomplished. There were fewer regrets that she thought, really. Only... this land was clearly tainted by the Underworld...

"Your corpse will not rise as a hungry ghost." The Anathema assured, as if sensing the direction of her thoughts. "Your soul will find its way to peaceful rest. I swear it, by the Five Dragons... and the Unconquered Sun."

"Heh." Rimara managed a choking laugh. "You know, for a Blasphemous demon-goddess destined to bring ruin to the world, you're not so ba-"