V'neef Somat

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Concept: Confucian Sir Thomas Moore

Aspect: Wood


(3rd) Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2

(1st) Charisma 5, Manipulation 3, Appearance 2

(2nd) Perception 2, Intelligence 4, Wits 3

Aspect Abilities:[edit]

Archery 3

Medicine 3

Performance 5 (Writing +1; Speaking to the Deliberative +1; Speaking to the Courts +1)

Ride 1

Favoured Abilities:[edit]

Craft 5 (Wood 5; Air 4; Earth 3; Fire 2; Water 1)

Presence 5 (Private Moral Lecture +1)

Bureaucracy 5 (Thousand Scales Procedure +1; Forming Coalitions +1)

Other Abilities:[edit]

Lore 4

Linguistics 4 (Old Realm, High Realm, Low Realm, Forest Tongue, Fire Tongue)

Occult 2

Integrity 3

War 1

Melee 1

Socialise 4

Martial Arts 1

Investigation 2


Allies 3 (See below)

Artifact 2 (Short powerbow + 2 other points)

Breeding 4 (Parents were two well-bred Wood-Aspected members of House Cynis)

Connections (Deliberative) 4

Backing (A Minister in the Thousand Scales) 4

Henchmen 1 (Bodyguard/Valet)

Manse 3 (Neat stuff)

Reputation 4 (Leading artist and legal philosopher of the Imperial Revival and arguably the Realm)

Resources 4 (Generous stipend from V’Neef, his adopted mother and his stipend from the Thousand Scales)


Compassion: 3

Conviction: 3

Temperance: 3

Valour: 2

Willpower: 6

Essence: 3


- V’Neef, the pure and perfect flower of the Realm’s bright future

- The integrity of the Deliberative as an august body

- The Imperial Revivalist School of thought


5 bp (5) Performance: - First Excellency

- Soul-Stirring Performance Method: 5m, 1 wp to exert emotional control/instill a compulsion on a crowd. Exalts and spirits are immune

- Protective Prana: 8m to do performance that increases the difficult for mind-control charms by Exalt’s Essence. Target’s subsequently at +2 difficulty to be turned against DB.

- Hidden Petal Aria Method: 2m to deliver messages of almost any length as part of a performance, perceived by the subject as if the Exalt were speaking in a slow monotone voice

- New Voice Technique: Spend 2m to supernaturally impersonate another’s voice (including animals ect)

(1) Archery: First Archery Excellency

(1) Medicine: Second Medicine Excellency

(2) Craft: Second Excellency; Terrestrial Craft Reinforcement

(2) Presence: First Excellency

Auspicious First Meeting Attitude: 2m to perfectly understand the disposition and attitude of a target upon first meeting.

(5) Bureaucracy: Second Excellency

- Thrashing Carp Serenade: 3m. Opposed Sta + Bur roll to beat DB’s filibuster

- Testing the Waters: 3m to know disposition of a vote

- Confluence of Savant Though: 2m to instantly know existing bureaucratic arrangements

- Geese-Flying-South Administration: 5m, 1 wp to enhance one’s agents for a single, discreet bureaucratic task. Roll ((Cha + Bur) +Esssuxx). If it beats agents MDV, agent gains supernatural loyalty to the task

The Four Questions:[edit]

1) Why are you more loyal to the Empress and/or the Realm than the average Dynast?

Somat is loyal to both the Realm and the Empress as he is an idealist, and believes that the Realm is the best expression of those ideals. This is partly due to adherence to a strong belief in place and role, as he believes in rational orthodoxy. Institutions and orders need to be preserved to maintain the quality of life all citizens deserve. Unusually, for a Dynast, and in as far as it as possible for an ascended superbeing to be so, Somat is humble. Not in that he feels he is not part of a privileged class, but amongst Dynasts, that he is a 'simple artist and lawmaker', and that his personal desires and ambitions are of less relevance than the ongoing wellbeing of the Realm.

2) Who do you serve, apart from the Empress? Who else constitutes a superior?

Again, it's a quesiton of principles. The moot nature of the Deliberative aside, Somat believes strongly in his obligations there. He believes in holding himself accountable to his superiors, but also to his lessers, albeit in the fashion that he is accountable to rule them wisely and well, but rule them nonetheless. He believes he has, to coin a phrase, "great powers married to great responsibility", and that the mandate implicit in his aptitude

3) What did you openly achieve in the past century that makes you a worthy subject for historians of the next Age to investigate thoroughly?

Aside from extremely competent governance, Somat retains pride of place due to his artistic and intellectual achievements. His theory is married to practice in a notable way, but given how far his aesthetic and polemic works have infiltrated society through various artistic media, to avoid his influence would be impossible.

4) What weaknesses do you possess that aren't just personal failings, but could be exploited by your enemies to cost you the Game of Thrones? What are the fields of engagement where you can't just apply Game Theory analysis, but instead will act against your interests? Idealism and stubborness. Somat is patently not stupid, and is aware that others will be manipulative, ambitious and base - but he will not seek personal revenge or personal glory. Position, he will, because he's aware of his abilities as an administrator, but not glory. Likewise, once he has properly evaluated something and deemed it part of his principles he will not step back from those principles, even where damaging to himself - though he will advise others to distance themselves from him if he can see a potentially damaging effect.

NPC Allies:[edit]

Cathak Goffrey and his longterm lover Ledaal Sithal - Goffrey writes a series of political texts in the guise of fictional nations (much like Utopia and Gulliver's Travels). Sithal is the governor of a notable satrapy in the South, from which he returns to court about three times per year. Both pithy wits and Imperialist Revival stalwarts, they're two of Somat's oldest friends. (Goffrey and Sithal are meant to be Oscar Wilde growing up into Jonathan Swift, and Sithal is Bosie as the aged Lord Douglas, Viceroy of India.)

Yugotho Cham - the Jungle-God of the Ghendriffi people. Deep jungles, home to massive ziggurats and red-jawed hunters. Yugotho Cham is their master, and a million men live or die at his will - he oversaw the construction of Somat's summer home as a gift. A massive, golden-skinned, shaved head, puissant warrior, though when in the realm he dresses appropriately and takes the time to write Dynastical children's stories using jungle tales to illustrate the finer points of Imperial/Immaculate dogma. (Ra/Anubis from Stargate with Herod from I, Claudius who became slightly C.S Lewis and Bennelong)

Refracted Diamond - A blind Immaculate monk, prophet, painter and sculptor. A student from V'Neef Somat's time as as an art sifu at the Cloister of Wisdom who became a monk as many graduates do and, along with Crashing Wave, pushes the Imperial Revival within the Order. All his clout comes from being a prophet, rather than political gusto, but he is younger than Wave or Sodat by about a century, and still making his name (Albrecht Durer and Michaelangelo, with kung-fu and actual prophecy.)

His Wife: Cathak Menace. Goffrey's sister, now deceased. A notable soldier and Wyld Hunt member, killed in a skirmish 4 years gone.

His Children: Somat's first two legitimate children remain members of House Cynis and observe a tense silence. His daughter, Cynis Alaria, shows her father's artistic flair as a musician, and far surpasses him as an archer, but is a flighty, wanton girl with a burgeoning substance addiction. Cynis Ilth is a bullnecked, thick handed boy with the strength and endurance of an ox, and sadly, the brain to match. Both retain a detached distance from their father, due to the political split. He may have another illegitimate child in Cynis whom he has not acknowledged. His latest three children are V'neef Quhu, a toddler still on his estates, V'neef Pei, a talented young woman at the Academy and V'neef Lial, commencing his studies at the Heptagram

Other Characters:[edit]


This is really the "Compassionate Conservative" school, keen on rational government, reciprocal duties and Immaculate Dogma.

Mnemon Ai - Inspired somewhat by Sir Thomas More and his relationship with both Will Roper and the Duke of Norfolk rolled into one, I'm more than willing to include Mnemon Ai as a friend, albeit one of relatively incompatible viewpoints. He doesn't mind having him in his home, wished he'd repent of his non-hierarchical heresy, but basically considers him a good and decent man. He often uses his skill with words and rhetoric to allay Ai's doubts on several issues, or convince him to step backwards on others, but is aware of Mnemon's close relationship with the Empress and doesn't really fear for his political safety. He considers him, however, a little off-balance.

Master Crushing Wave - A long-time associate and philosophical adherent, and one of the primary disciples of the Imperialist Revival Movement, Master Crushing Wave is a reliable voice for sanity in the upper echelons of power. The now famous "Reflections Through An Hourglass of Jade: The V'neef Somat - Crushing Wave Letters" detail their earlier friendship, and Somat's take on a number of theological issues which have now become accepted Immaculate Dogma. Somat has since written a ballet based on Crushing Wave's "Unfolding Lily Prana", which in turn was inspired by Somat's "Meditations on Patterns of Sand."

Ledaal Cordelia - Cordelia and Somat are both of a type, being quiet, contemplative artists, and have formed a fast friendship based on mutual pursuits and ideals. He views her as a sort of surrogate niece, and takes an interest in nourishing her artistic projects outside of the Passionate Rose imprint, including asking her to collaborate on a 6 Part Series entitled "Tears of the Forest Cricket", a series of epic poems involving the lives of forest insects, designed to Parallel Realm Politics during her youth, from the perspective of the artist. Their respective artistic communities benefit from one another's presence, and given their tight degree of conservative overlap, she also forms part of his regularly called upon associates at court.


Pelleps Illibe - In their early days as Deliberative members, Somat wrote a series of satirical plays garnering Illibe the title of "Mad Dog of the Deliberative", a move, which, whilst he now regrets as an inappropriate degree of sledging, represents something of Somat's views on Illibe. To be fair, Illibe acts within the confines of orthodoxy and propriety, and they agree on a number of day-to-day governance issues. It is on a few select issues that they often reach loggerheads, and given that they between them control the majority of the Deliberative, their debates can tie up resolutions from anywhere from hours to months. Given Somat's unwillingness to stand down on matters of principle, the arguments can become acrimonious, and regularly do. It's widely perceived amongst administrators that if BOTH are to agree on the correctness of an issue, it is said to be sound. Their relationship as members of the conspiracy and their interrelationship with the Empress has become tainted by this arrangement, and varies from logical argument to subtle insults - however, as yet, neither has elected to break the bounds of propriety - regardless of how infuriating they find the other.

Mnemon Daikanis - Monster. He might've proven powerful enough to gain access to the court, but Somat suspects him strongly of demon worship, rather than appropriate demon servitude, as well as a host of other ills from the rapacious to the self-indulgent. Somat cannot stomach Daikanis, will balk him at every term when he chooses to become involved, and attempt to limit his influence in court and with his beloved Empress. He often has long discussion with Crashing Wave about the place of the sorcerer, and in the event of a true heresy or betrayal, will see him publicly and justly executed.

Brass Wolf - Loyal, and useful, but dangerous. He's a machine, built for combat, and thus has developed an unhealthy fascination with strength. Somat sees the point in Brass Wolf, understands his perceived necessity, but harbors reservations about him (except in regards to Anathema, where he perceives they should be put down like dogs). He's exactly how a moral politician would view a tactical nuke, something he hopes never to employ, wishes didn't exist, but doesn't precisely know how to excise without causing everything to fall down around their ears.


Cynis Magnos - Conflicting, conflicting man. Clearly an ambitious slaver, vice peddler and freelance intelligencer, Magnos nevertheless leads an ascetic lifestyle, and is a relative. (How close I'll leave to you - I'll accept anything from exceptionally distant to son, with interesting variations all the way down.) The great tragedy of their relationship is that Somat has a profound capacity to understand Magnos, growing up much in the same manner as he did, a natural ascetic surrounded by libertines - but he's concerned about the darker currents of nihilism and ambition that are dragging Magnos down. He's disappointed in the faction of the Order that indulgences him for increased temporal support, and this flows back upon Magnos for not standing up for what he suspects internally to be the correct principles. He's tried to crack the circle of Immaculate Monks surrounding him, but despite his position with the Church and in the Realm is turned away at the door. This disappointed ambivalence mars their relationships to each other - Somat sees something good in Magnos, but doesn't know how much longer it will last.

Sesus Sikandi - Somat's known her on and off for years as she loudly blows into court, a whirlwind of battles, lovers and quests. She's a friend, and a good one, but Somat's written her off as something of a political nullity - she's too far out and too obsessed with personal achievement over practical matters to really serve as an able administrator (an opinion he keeps to himself around the blustering heroine). Still, he views her with no small affection, and is pleased to see her Realmside more - he just wishes she'd retire to her estates and dictate her memoirs, or go back out and have more adventures.

Ledaal Endar and Nellens Vieu - The mysterious spymaster and his crony. As a legalist, Somat sees the need for men like Endar, and takes a better view of Vieu than of Brass Wolf (a fact that might change should he get to know the former better.) Still, like all spymasters, he's hidden, not precisely to be trusted, and far too enigmatic. Despite Somat's formidable intelligence, he doesn't have a handle on Endar, and starts the game with a relatively neutral, if puzzled position.


Somewhere between a Confucian Sir Thomas Moore and George Bernard Shaw, he is a lawyer, member of the Deliberative, scholar, artist, etc. An Idealistic graduate of the Spiral Academy who is more famous for his artistic movements and political writings than his real works. A century ago, he was an Oscar Wilde-style hedonist in House Cynis, but was adopted into House V'Neef when they came into existance as a statement on his new morality and a favour to the Empress he adores.

Somat is a kind, gentle, benevolent man. He genuinely loves both Dynasy and peasant, but like the real More, believes that the best thing for all concerned is adherence to the social order, which he perceives as wise and benevolent. For an example quote:

"How can I deny these men their right to die for me? They have trained for it, struggled for it, lived and breathed it for every day of their lives. Who am I to gainsay them? To command an Empire is one thing, but to match oneself against dreams? That is blasphemy."

Now, imagine that with no irony, but with complete love. An honest belief that peasants are happy in their watermeadow, that soldiers need nothing more than to die to give him a few extra moments to escape a building. Despite this attitude, still comparatively gentle and merciful, for a Dynast (Except against Anathema, which he really, REALLY hates).

Within the confines of the Realm, a soft-spoken, calm and mannerly figure. He has no manipulative plans or aspirations - he will want to help you if you're helping the Realm, and oppose you if he feels you're damaging it - always with civility and out of a real love for both it as the cradle of civilisation and its people.

Added to this is the Exalted aspect, more than the political - a true Renaissance superman, a soft-science Doc Savage or Lex Luthor. Oscar Wilde, Dr. Johnson, Bernard Shaw, Da Vinci, Picasso, Tolkien and Shakespeare are all mixed in, along with Confucius and Lao Tsu. Paintings, sculpture, music, opera, plays, books, monographs, philosophical works, social treatises, advice letters, travel correspondences, Somat writes them all with apt prose and perfect aplomb. Whilst he's got his critics and his rivals, he's the driving force in art and its social impact for the last 110 years.

Admittedly, to begin with, he was something more of a libertine (still in the very proper method for a Dynast), with his social circle and his advisory plays. I'm toying with the members of the Wilde/Douglas set gradually transforming into the Inklings as they age.