The Sun Shines on Thee
Aureate Glory of Heaven Style
Aureate Glory of Heaven Style
This fighting style is a remnant of the middle span of the High First Age, when the Chosen of the Gods worked together to harmoniously govern and defend Creation. While it is not the only Sidereal Martial Arts style created for the use of the Solar Exalted, it is one of the earliest, and to the minds of the Sidereal Exalted, the purest. Aureate Glory of Heaven style was originally designed by a Chosen of Serenity named Nisi Nirvana as an anniversary present for her Solar husband. He competed in and won the next Heaven-and-Earth Invitational tournament, and it was observed that the Unconquered Sun smiled whenever the techniques of the style were on display. In addition to granting her husband the usual victory prizes, the Lord of Heaven bestowed a single kiss upon Nisi’s forehead.
The style has endured ever since. Its practice continued unabated through the Usurpation and up to the modern day; every Heaven-and-Earth Invitational has featured at least one Sidereal displaying at least one Charm of the style. The only exception, shortly after the Great Contagion, resulted in the Unconquered Sun sending a letter to the Bureau of Destiny inquiring after Nisi Nirvana’s health and offering his wishes for a speedy recovery from whatever had left her indisposed during the last tournament. She was present at its next inception, where she fought almost exclusively using Aureate Glory of Heaven. She lost in the second round of the tournament, but the Unconquered Sun was observed to smile throughout the fight regardless.
In the modern day, some younger Sidereals look upon this archaic sop to the Sun’s pride and see promise. Three times now, Sidereals involved in the Cult of the Illuminated have petitioned Ayesha Ura for permission to teach this style to the most promising of their Solar protégés. Three times the Chosen of Journeys has denied the request, but her forbiddance grows less emphatic and her expression more thoughtful with each repetition.
Aureate Glory of Heaven was designed specifically for practice by the Solar Exalted in much the same way the Arguments of Virtue were later calibrated for gods, and the Immaculate Dragon styles for use by the Dragon-Blooded. As such, whenever a Lawgiver builds a Combo including one or more Charms of this style, she treats the minimum Martial Arts rating of those Charms as though they were 2 lower than they actually are. As always, although the Student and Elder sutras are used to help Solar students learn the Charms of this style, Lawgivers remain unable to actually utilize them to obtain cost discounts.
Weapons and Armor: The cestus, fighting gauntlet, khatar, tiger claws, pankrator’s cestus, improvised weapons and their Artifact equivalents are treated as unarmed attacks by the Charms of this style. This style is not compatible with the use of armor.
Student’s Sutra of Authority: Once, there were five maidens…
Righteous Fervor-Calling Horn
Cost: 8m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Emotion, Obvious, War
Prerequisite Charms: None
…who bowed to five suns.
In one hand the Unconquered Sun grasps a horn, which calls the faithful to prayer and the courageous to battle. Heaven rallies to its clarion cry, and the wicked tremble. This Charm enhances an unarmed attack. Should it inflict damage on an opponent, the blow booms and resounds like mighty thunder, striking terror in the hearts of the target’s allies and lackeys. Should any extras who fit one of the above two criteria be present, a number equal to (attacker’s Martial Arts + levels of damage inflicted) flee automatically without opportunity to resist, generally starting with the weakest present at the Storyteller’s discretion. All allies of the target who hear the attack compare the levels of damage inflicted to their Valor. If the damage is greater, they suffer an Emotion effect which causes all of their attacks against the martial artist to be made at a -3 internal penalty. This Charm may be resisted for the rest of the scene by spending 2 Willpower.
If used in mass combat, the Emotional penalty is inflicted only on the leaders and special characters of other nearby enemy units. Rather than causing a certain number of extras to flee, simply compare the levels of damage inflicted to the Might of the unit whose leader or special character was attacked. If the damage exceeds Might, the unit loses one level of Magnitude as soldiers break and flee.
Earth Bows to Heaven
Cost: 6m, 2wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Shaping
Duration: Instant (One scene)
Prerequisite Charms: Righteous Fervor-Calling Horn
One sun despaired
Peasants kneel to kings. Kings kneel to Heaven. Heaven kneels to the Sun. The weak supplicate themselves before the mighty, and those who do not bow to this universal wisdom will be knelt. This Charm enhances an unarmed attack. Should this attack strike, it automatically knocks the target prone without opportunity to resist. Further, the indomitable force of the martial artist’s blow resounds in both his foe and the ground below, bonding one to the other. The target may not rise from prone until the end of the scene. Further, she and may not move from that spot, even at a crawl, until her DV has refreshed five times.
Terrible Spear of Light
Cost: 10m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Simple (Speed 5)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious, Illusion
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: None
and extinguished herself with her tears.
The Unconquered Sun carries a sharp and nimble spear with which to strike down his enemies. The dread skill of its owner is more feared, however, than the weapon itself. The weapon is held in rumored awe because it is the channel through which the Lord of Heaven’s destructive might flows, and many fights end unfought simply because he chooses to brandish it. So it is with this technique. The martial artist concentrates the sum totality of his martial prowess into a momentary surge of killing intent and flashes it at an opponent. The target witnesses a golden, Essence-sculpted double leap out of the martial artist’s body and rush forward to strike him down with terrible force.
Make a standard unarmed Martial Arts attack against a single target within (Essence x 5) yards. This attack is unblockable, undodgeable, and counts Strength, weapon’s damage modifier, and leftover successes on the attack roll three times for the purpose of inflicting damage. The target feels his organs rupture and his blood splash out—and then blinks to find himself untouched, whole and healthy. If the illusory attack ‘kills’ the target, he finds himself instilled with an unshakable certainty that the martial artist can slay him. This unnatural Illusion effect imposes an external penalty equal to the martial artist’s Essence rating upon all attempts by the target to attack the martial artist. Should the ‘attack’ inflict damage, but not enough to kill the target, then the external Illusion penalty is only half the martial artist’s Essence. If the attack fails to inflict any damage at all, it has no effect on the target. Each point of Willpower spent by the target removes one point of external penalty, and this Charm may only be invoked against a given target once in a scene.
Battlefield Magnanimity Offering
Cost: 14m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious, Emotion, Shaping
Prerequisite Charms: Terrible Spear of Light
Another dripped ashy light on the dead.
The righteous warfare of Heaven is undertaken to restore balance and order to the ten thousand things of the cosmos. It is not genocide, nor senseless butchery. Still, sometimes, examples must be made. And yet, even Heaven’s cruelty may be merciful.
This Charm enhances an unarmed martial arts attack, causing it to surge with vivid arcs of golden lightning and pulses of superheated radiance. The attack counts the martial artist’s Strength and successes twice for the purpose of calculating raw damage, and this damage is Lethal and enjoys the Piercing tag. Should a blow enhanced by this attack fail to slay a target, there is little reason to sustain the magic, and the Charm’s Duration becomes effectively Instant. If the damage is sufficient to kill, however, then the martial artist’s attacking limb pierces completely through the torso of his opponent. When he withdraws it, that foe falls to the ground, forced Inactive, but not dead. A core of crackling golden Essence abides in his wound, sustaining his life for so long as the martial artist commits Essence to the Charm. Medical attention may start a felled opponent on the road to healing and recovery, and once he regains his -4 wound level, the beauteous and terrible light crackling in his wound goes out and the Charm ends.
All who look upon a character whose life is sustained by this Charm gain an Intimacy toward the martial artist who inflicted it. This may be an Intimacy of awe or terror, depending on the individual and the circumstances. Formation of the Intimacy may be resisted for 1 Willpower, and once in place, it may be eroded normally.
Reliable Steadfast Shield
Cost: 10m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Reflexive (Step 2)
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: None
A third has yet to be born.
Is a shield necessary for one who is unconquerable, or merely symbolic? None may say. Those who have faced the Unconquered Sun in battle and lived merely speak of its dreadful omnipresence, casting aside their every effort until they threw down their arms and bowed in surrender. The martial artist, likewise, judges his opponent’s techniques and finds them wanting. This Charm may be activated in response to any Charm-enhanced attack. It matters not whether the attack is enhanced by an instant Supplemental Charm, the ongoing benefit of a Form-type Charm, or any other sort of magic. So long as the attack (as opposed to the attacker) itself is enhanced in some way by a Charm, it represents a valid opportunity to utilize Reliable Steadfast Shield. The martial artist finishes resolving the attack as normal, suffering any standard ill effects should he fail to avoid or negate the assault. Afterward, however, he becomes unconditionally immune to all attacks enhanced by that Charm for the rest of the scene.
A martial artist may only have one invocation of this Charm active at any given time, and if he wishes to change immunities, he must cancel his standing invocation first. If faced with a multiple attack Charms enhancing a single attack, the martial artist must choose a single Charm to immunize himself to. He may not immunize himself to Excellencies, but all other varieties of Charm are fair game. His immunity applies itself to attacks themselves, not simply the effects of a Charm. So, for example, if he immunized himself to Fists of Iron Technique, and was attacked by an opponent using a Combo of the First Martial Arts Excellency, Fists of Iron Technique and Essence Venom Strike, the entire attack would automatically fail.
Heaven Defends the Earth
Cost: 15m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5; Type: Reflexive (Step 1)
Prerequisite Charms: Reliable Steadfast Shield
The fourth, mad and green,
Men are frail, and so Heaven has raised up champions to defend them. An army of gods and Exalted trouble themselves that humanity might live in peaceable ignorance; to call this smothering would be the height of ingratitude.
The martial artist applies this principle to defend a valued but fragile companion. This Charm may be invoked when the fighter attempts to initiate or maintain control of a clinch, allowing him to add his Essence in automatic successes. If he finds himself in control of the clinch, this effect re-asserts itself every time he must roll to maintain control henceforth until he withdraws commitment, loses control of the clinch, or voluntarily ends the clinch. However, this clinch may only be used to perform Hold actions, not to crush or throw. The held target is forced Inactive, as usual. More importantly, however, the martial artist uses his own body to shield the target, perfectly interposing himself in the path of every attack or other damaging effect aimed at the one he holds. This includes even curses and spells aimed through arcane links, attacks such as Accuracy Without Distance, and area of effect damage such as Death of Obsidian Butterflies or full submersion in molten lava. In the event of effect conflict, this Charm is considered a defense.
Peace-Celebrating Laurel Branch
Cost: 6m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Shaping
Duration: Until next action
Prerequisite Charms: None
was locked away.
The Unconquered Sun holds aloft a laurel branch, symbolizing peace. However, the Sun is no shrinking pacifist. He forges his own peace through excellence and dominance leavened by mercy, where opponents permit him such luxuries. The martial artist follows suit. This Charm enhances a clinch, raising its raw damage by the martial artist’s Essence. This increase carries over into each consecutive action on which the martial artist invokes this Charm again, along with the Charm’s fresh damage boost. So, a character with Essence 5 who invoked this Charm would enjoy a +5 damage bonus; if he invoked it again on his next action, a +10 bonus; after that +15, +20, etc, until he failed to invoke it or lost control of the clinch. Targets held in a clinch enhanced by this Charm may plead for mercy, voluntarily giving up. This forfeit can be spoken verbally, indicated by tapping out, or any other obvious means. If this occurs and the martial artist chooses to release his opponent, that opponent is bound against initiating hostilities against the martial artist as a Shaping effect. The first time he attacks the martial artist henceforth without first being attacked himself, the strength runs from his limbs. All attacks he makes at the martial artist in that scene begin at 0 dice before the effects of Charms.
Suffering to the Conquered
Cost: 18m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious, Crippling, Shaping, Touch
Prerequisite Charms: Peace-Celebrating Laurel Branch
Now one sun shines in glory
Heaven is just to those who are content with its justice. It is only the discontent who must be sorrowfully oppressed in the name of greater harmony. This Charm enhances a bare-handed punch attack, delivered in the form of an open palm strike. Should it hit, the character’s palm-print is seared into the opponent’s body in a brilliant flash of golden light, leaving a slightly visible red scar (considered a Crippling effect). This need not be delivered skin-to-skin—the magic may sear a handprint through even the heaviest armor to mark an opponent’s chest, if desired. For so long as the target bears the scar, every Charm she invokes while fighting the martial artist has a +2m surcharge applied to it as a Shaping effect. The surcharge is accompanied by the scar flashing brilliant gold, disrupting stealth like a Solar anima banner at the 4-7m level. While anti-Shaping magics will block this surcharge and flash as normal, they do not permanently disrupt the curse levied by this Charm; that requires removing the scar itself, which is impossible through Medicine not enhanced by magic.
Aureate Glory of Heaven Form
Cost: 15m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5; Type: Simple
Keywords: Form-type, Obvious
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: One complete Celestial Martial Art (all Charms), Earth Bows to Heaven, Battlefield Magnanimity Offering, Heaven Defends the Earth, Suffering to the Conquered
and all Creation kneels.
The character assumes a fearsome and indomitable stance, impassive and overwhelming. Those who would face him find that they face a multitude, and are overwhelmed by the martial artist’s assault. When he goes on the offensive, extra attacking limbs solidify out of his anima and strike from all directions. His attacks add his Essence to their Rate, and offset multiple action penalties by 3 dice. Like any government, army, gang or bureaucracy, it becomes nigh-impossible to defeat the martial artist through a clean and precise strike; he sacrifices less important elements of the whole to maintain himself. The character may nullify damage by ablative Essence expenditure; every 1m spent negates a level of bashing damage, while 2m blocks lethal. Aggravated damage may not be negated in this manner. Ablative expenditures produce sizzling bursts or sprays of golden Essence from the point of impact, which may arc or splash like blood before dissipating.
Stern Denial Approach
Cost: 20m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5; Type: Simple
Keywords: Crippling, Shaping
Prerequisite Charms: Aureate Glory of Heaven Form
Elder’s Sutra of Authority: The maidens looked upon Creation…
The simplest and yet most profound form of authority is the ability to say ‘no.’ The resolute ruler may cut off programs, settlements, peoples and limbs, declaring: “This is complete, because it ends here.”
The martial artist imposes completion upon an opponent. He makes a standard clinch attempt, and should it succeed, inflicts crushing damage. If damage is successfully applied, ignore that total and inflict only one lethal health level instead. The opponent is promptly released, one of his hands ruinously broken at each and every joint and the mystic resonance of one of his Abilities (chosen by the martial artist) tangled into the fractures, bound up and lost. The hand is utterly useless; until corrected through painful and difficult medical procedures (difficulty 5), it is good for nothing. More alarmingly, so long as the Crippling effect persists, it also imposes a Shaping effect that caps the fractured Ability. No force may directly improve the character’s efforts to apply the Ability, i.e. no dice may be added to its rolls. This includes Excellencies, stunts, attempts to raise the Ability’s rating through experience, etc. Attribute-based experience spending remains unaffected, but even Attribute-based Excellencies may not provide a benefit to a roll using the damaged Ability. While anti-Shaping magic may send the curse into abeyance, it reinstates itself once such protections lapse as long as the Crippling damage remains. Luckily for the Exalted, their superhuman healing repairs this damage when they heal the health level that it was inflicted on.
Friends and Enemies Appropriation
Cost: (10m) or (20m, 1wp); Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5; Type: Simple
Keywords: Shaping, Touch
Prerequisite Charms: Aureate Glory of Heaven Style
…and the heavens above.
The primary benefit of authority is the ability to reward one’s friends and punish one’s enemies. Of course, an absolute ruler may change such distinctions arbitrarily. The martial artist targets another character and delivers an array of precise, measured strikes to her chakras and Essence meridians, reconfiguring the way her nature shines out to the universe. If the target resists, this takes the form of a barehanded Martial Arts attack that inflicts no damage. For a cost of 10m, this Charm makes the target into a creature of darkness until the first time she is affected by a Holy effect, at which point the cosmos recognizes its error and restores her rightful status. For 20m, 1wp it removes creature of darkness status from the target. This is permanent if the target is not naturally a creature of darkness (such as a mortal who has suffered the Creature of Darkness mutation due to Wyld exposure). If the target is naturally a creature of darkness (such as a ghost or Abyssal) then that status is restored at the next sunrise, when the Unconquered Sun renews his vigil over Creation.
Sun Shines Down
Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 6; Type: Supplemental
Prerequisite Charms: Aureate Glory of Heaven Form
All were illumined by the sky,
Hierarchy is an embedded element of Creation, and it is through this mechanism that justice and injustice alike are perpetrated. This Charm supplements an unarmed attack. This attack is made unblockable, undodgeable, and if its attack roll fails, it strikes with a threshold of 0 successes. This Charm may only be validly deployed against the martial artist’s cosmological inferiors.
If the martial artist is one of the Solar Exalted, then in addition to obvious potential targets such as mortals and animals, this explicitly includes all lesser Exalted, the gods, all elementals, ghosts, Fair Folk, and most everything else. Even the Abyssal and Infernal Exalted are fair targets; despite their equal might, their power derives from the subjugated losers of the Primordial War. Deathlords, living Primordials and the Incarnae are not valid targets.
In the unlikely event that one of the Abyssal Exalted gains this Charm, all mortals, lesser Exalted, ghosts, hekatonkhires, and other lesser creatures of death are valid targets.
Sidereals utilize the same targets as Solars, with the following exceptions: Solar, Abyssal, Infernal, Lunar and Alchemical Exalted; Celestial gods of higher Essence; and superiors within the Bureau of Destiny. Interestingly, ronin and lower-ranking Sidereals within the same division of the Bureau are valid targets.
Hundredfold Mastery Mantle
Cost: 20m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 6, Essence 6; Type: Simple
Keywords: Obvious, Compulsion
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Stern Denial Approach, Friends and Enemies Appropriation
defined by the passage of the sun.
The character goes through a brief but perfect kata, then returns his attention to the battlefield. His anima blooms into a wheel composed of a hundred arms, each clasping some symbol of rulership: the Perfect of Paragon’s staff; a daiklave; the Feathered One’s cloak; the hearthstone of the Imperial Manse; many more. The display vanishes, but the impression remains, automatically striking all who witness the display: none hold the right to challenge such a puissant master. Characters so Compelled may defend themselves, but cannot attack the martial artist. Overcoming this Compulsion for one action costs 2 Willpower. Only effects which perfectly negate mental influence or Compulsion effects may shake the effect off for the rest of the scene.
Unquestionable Majesty Pinnacle
Cost: 10m, 4wp; Mins: Martial Arts 6, Essence 6; Type: Reflexive (Step 1 or 2)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious, Servitude
Prerequisite Charms: Sun Shines Down, Hundredfold Mastery Mantle
The maidens cried out: "What glory
Ultimately, might derives from might. The Unconquered Sun stands unconquerable. What mortal army might seek to breach Heaven’s gates? The great are vast in their resources, and they use these advantages to crush disagreement; fights are decided before they begin. The martial artist reinforces his mastery, using this Charm to enhance a Martial Arts roll by not making it. Instead, for every die the fighter would have rolled, he accumulates one success. The martial artist’s movements are wreathed in crackling golden lightning and traced by sizzling arcs of power. Any opponent knocked unconscious by this strike awakens under a Servitude effect, compelled to obey any requests or commands the martial artist makes that are not unacceptable commands. It costs 3 Willpower to resist one request. This cost drops by 1 if it violates a Virtue the servant has at 3+, and again by 1 if it violates an Intimacy. These discounts stack. The Servitude effect disappears once the servant has spent a total of (the Martial Artist’s Essence x 5) Willpower resisting it.
This is the last Charm of the style that has ever been taught to one of the Solar Exalted. All Lawgiver students were informed that the Elder Sutra ended with a cry of “What glory!” from the maidens. This is untrue, but given their inability to wield prayer strips, the Solars never realized they were practicing an incomplete style. It was deemed likely that the implications of the final Charm of this style would strike the Unconquered Sun and his Chosen as… unflattering.
Glory to the Usurper
Cost: 30m, 16xp; Mins: Martial Arts 7, Essence 7; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Shaping, Training
Prerequisite Charms: Unquestionable Majesty Pinnacle
is reflected here?"
The ultimate truth of Heaven is that it was not built for the gods. Authority is not a mantle, but a prize that falls from hand to hand in an endless cycle of usurpation. The mighty rule in splendor, until their power falls into the grasp of others. Power is not a monolith; it is a wheel.
This Charm may be invoked at any point within one hour after the martial artist has killed an opponent. Folding his hands together, he closes his eyes in remembrance of the fallen warrior’s skill and claims one of her techniques as his own. The martial artist may learn one of his dead opponent’s Charms for which he meets all prerequisites and minimums as though he were an Eclipse. If he lacks the experience points to activate this Charm, he may waive its experience requirement and go into debt as a Training effect. The martial artist may only be under one Training debt from this Charm at any given time.