Harmonious Savant (Wrackstaff ••••)
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By TheUnsungHero

Orichalcum Wrackstaff, Artifact ••••

“I was the air. I was lighter than the sea, and as such I rose above it. Filling my mind with the joy of such lightness, I opened my eyes and gazed out upon the great Ocean of the West. At my back, the golden spires of Quius rose from the sea, a strikingly beautiful image that hid the monstrous truth of the metropolis' function from prying eyes. I cared not. Instead I took in the Ocean, which was filled with turbulence in many places, but always appeared calm when witnessed as a whole. I accepted its lesson, and felt my tension bleed away.

My mind turned over what had troubled me a moment ago. Yet another demonic summons had gone awry, and many sorcerers and priests had paid the price for our pride in demanding obedience from the imprisoned princes of Malfeas. Exquisite Feathers, a priest of Luna and my most promising student in the Aquamarine Pillar Style, had his head ripped from his shoulders by a brass scythe-limb before the demon was contained again behind his bonds in Malfeas. Of those present, only the head Solar priestess had lived, and she still was shaken by the incident.

Were we right to continue to torment those who we had fought so hard to lock away? Why did we keep opening their door?

Sensing my doubts, Harmonious Savant of Enlightenment blew a pulse of calm purpose through my soul. I lowered my eyes to my faithful weapon and allowed a smile to cross my face. An orichalcum staff of the most exacting design, Savant's length was precisely that of my height while standing. Glittering in the slowly rising sun's light, it was exquisitely carved with prayers to the Unconquered Sun and principles of truth and enlightenment. In battles that I had wielded the staff I had found myself blessed with a sudden lack of enemies as my opponents, upon witnessing such a perfect principle in solid form, had found enlightenment and begged the opportunity to learn from me.

Reassured, I stood from my lotus position. To an outside observer, it seemed as if I stood upon the sea. An enlightened mind or sharper eye would discern the truth. I stood upon the air, and the sea lapped beneath me. Gazing upon the Ocean one last time, I turned to walk back to Quius when a shockwave roared across the air and sea, sending waves splashing past me.

Elite ships of the Deliberative roared across the sky towards the spires of my city. Spilling from them in the hundreds were terrestrial troops, resplendent in their jade Dragon armor. I briefly debated the possible reasons for such a performance when the implosion bows of the vessels began to fire. The five largest domes of Quius exploded in golden light, and the armor-clad warriors dropped into the smoking holes. A second wave of troops begin to fall, but mixed among them were demons and the occasional tall warstrider.

Rebellion. I began to run, analyzing what part of the city I could best aid in defending, when Harmonious Savant roared a negative into my mind. I stumbled, shocked at his rebuke. A moment of consideration brought the staff's wisdom to my mind. There were too many of them, and too few of us to defend the city. There would not be such an overt sign of disobedience from the weak dragon-bloods unless they had all risen up together, possibly with more powerful backers. Quius would fall, and its defenders would die.

Filled with regret, I turned northwest and began to run across the sky, the sea beneath me and chaos behind. Set within Harmonious Savant were two hearthstones, one from the far West and the other the far East, a balanced and appropriate combination. I would hide myself in the western island manse, and prepare a way for my kind to regain the strength we'd lose today.

A keening whine approached, and I turned my gaze to see a sleek, narrow skycraft turning to follow me. I had been spotted. Leaping hard at the tingling warning of my Essence, I avoided a spray of explosive blasts from my pursuer's implosion bows. Although the Sun lent me great speed, I would not be able to outrun the flying vessel. If I paused to disable it, others would see my flight and overwhelm me. One option presented itself.

“My friend, we must part ways here,” I spoke out loud to reinforce my thoughts and strengthen my resolve, holding my glittering staff in front of me. I felt acceptance flow from the weapon, as it accepted its task. “I'll need this for a future day,” I said, withdrawing the Western hearthstone from its setting.

“May the Sun reunite us in another life,” I intoned a prayer to a god that I'd recently suspected had grown tired of his children, and infused Harmonious Savant of Enlightenment with my Essence. It flew from my hand with a trail of golden fire. Calling upon my gifts of speed, I began to cross leagues with my leaps, leaving Quius behind me. As it faded from my view, I saw the explosion of Essence as Savant struck true, sending my pursuer tumbling from the sky into the sea. Holding my hearthstone close to my chest, I concentrated on my far away goal as I ran. The Ocean waited beneath for me to tire.

It would be disappointed.”

Harmonious Savant is an Orichalcum Wrackstaff, engraved with depictions of various martial arts techniques, prayers to the Unconquered Sun, and parables meant to inspire wisdom. It has 2 hearthstone sockets along its length and when it strikes solid objects it chimes deeply like a prayer bell.

Evocations of Harmonious Savant

A Solar who spends 2 additional motes to attune to Harmonious Savant gains several benefits.

  • Attacks with Harmonious Savant may deal Bashing damage instead of Lethal at the exalt’s choice for no penalty
  • Gambits that are stunted as showing off the exalt’s superior martial skill (disarm, distract, etc) cost 1 less initiative to attempt

Additional benefits are gained against foes who witness the exalt wielding the wrackstaff in combat with the Martial Arts ability for at least 1 round. Additionally, the exalt must maintain a higher initiative value than their foes to benefit from these bonuses:

  • The exalt’s Appearance is treated as 2 higher when compared against Resolve for purposes of bonuses in social influence
  • Instill and Inspire actions that the exalt takes gain 1 automatic success

Font of Instruction
Cost: — (2m) Mins: Essence 1
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: None

In time long lost, Harmonious Savant was a teaching tool, an instrument of learning. Wielded by a master martial artist, the wrackstaff gained enlightenment and learned the movements of its master. When Font of Instruction is unlocked, Harmonious Savant is awakened and will communicate with its wielder through wordless pulses of sensation that will automatically translate in the mind of the exalt. Font of Instruction has two effects.

First, Harmonious Savant can detect the threatening presence of those who would do the exalt harm. For 2 motes reflexively spent, the wrackstaff will grant rerolling 1’s to any awareness roll to detect hidden enemies, traps, or any source of harm not readily apparent.

Secondly, Harmonious Savant is a master martial artist and can instruct its wielder in the performance of many different styles. Consider Harmonious Savant a 2 dot Mentor with complete knowledge of several martial arts for the purposes of training.

Personification of Mastery
Cost: 2m Mins: Essence 2
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Font of Instruction

The prowess of the martial artist is a testament to the potential of humankind. It inspires veneration as much as fear. Personification of Mastery creates a reflexive Inspire or Instill action when used in combat. These actions suffer no penalties for multiple targets, but can only be applied against targets that are actively engaging the exalt in combat, and can only be activated once per round.

If the exalt chooses to make an Inspire action, they attempt to inspire Awe in the unbridled mastery of Martial Arts that the wielder of Harmonious Savant possesses. This Inspire action gains double 9’s and on success causes any foes who still wish to continue combat to pay a point of initiative each time they wish to attack the exalt. Some foes may surrender their arms to the superior combatant.

If the exalt chooses to make an Instill action, they attempt to create or enhance a positive intimacy towards the wielder of Harmonious Savant, often of awe, respect, or admiration. This action counts as leveraging a defining intimacy if the target is a martial artist themselves. On a success, the target is at a die penalty equal to the level of intimacy for all actions in opposition to the martial artist. (Minor is 1, Major is 2, and Defining is 3).

Special Activation Rules: This evocation cannot be unlocked for the Solar until they have learned at least 1 martial art through the form charm.

Embodiment of Perfection
Cost: 5m, 1wp Mins: Essence 3
Type: Simple
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Personification of Mastery

Through skill and dedication, the martial artist is the master of his art, the perfect embodiment of power, focus, and wisdom. Those who have witnessed this magnificent presence first-hand see the futility in their actions, and the truth in their own weakness. Only learning from the master can bring them to the truth.

Embodiment of Perfection requires a foe to hold a positive Intimacy towards the martial artist, likely created by Personification of Mastery. It is a Persuade action, and can be used against multiple targets without penalty as long as they are all actively engaged with the exalt in combat. If the action is successful, the target will throw down their weapons and prostrate themselves before the martial artist, begging to be taken as a student. If the exalt accepts them, the targets will follow their new sifu in learning their wondrous martial arts skills. However, if the exalt rejects these students or if the exalt attacks them, the soaring emotions of awe and respect the targets have will turn to hate and rage. The targets may immediately roll join battle and take a combat action against the exalt.

Special Activation Rules: Only a Solar who has completely mastered a martial art may unlock this evocation.

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