Heartfeast, the Courage Eater (Grand-Grimcleaver •••)
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By TheUnsungHero

Soulsteel Grand-Grimcleaver, Artifact •••

Grievous Star was the greatest warrior of Sarthal, an island kingdom to the West. The legend of his prowess with his hammer was matched only by the legend of his love for his husband, Marus. And so it was that a cloud of fear settled over Sarthal the morning it was discovered that Marus was murdered in their home while Grievous Star was away at war. The cries of the mighty warrior echoed across the land and people quaked with fear of the repercussions to come.

It was said that Imshael, The Cleaver struck him down to retaliate at Grievous Star for past battles. And so Grievous Star abandoned his duties and his people to hunt The Cleaver across the islands of the west. Many times the two clashed, Grievous Star’s shining-silver hammer trading blows with Imshael’s black-damned axe. Each time, one or the other escaped with their life swearing vengeance.

After 7 years of hunting and fighting, Grievous Star was withered and tired. He had fought on because it was all he knew anymore. His purpose was lost, his passion was extinguished. At last, The Cleaver came upon the weary and defeated warrior of Sarthal, conquered by his own failure. Grievous Star begged for Imshael to end it, to finish him off and grant him peace. It was then, that The Cleaver dropped his axe on the ground in front of the defeated man and walked away, laughing in victory.

Stories of the Courage Eater have existed since the early Shogunate. Great heroes of legend and myth, reduced to shambles from the relentless attacks of the fearsome axe, who then take up the weapon and continue the weapon’s life of bloodlust. Heartfeast, the Courage Eater is a soulsteel grand-grimcleaver with 3 hearthstone sockets; one in the shaft, and two in the eyes of the skull that adorns the backside of the massive half-moon blade.

Evocations of Heartfeast, the Courage Eater

A Solar or Abyssal who spends 2 extra motes to attune to Heartfeast share its feeling of hunger for the courage of others. As long as Heartfeast or its wielder knows an Intimacy of Valor held by a target — defined as an intimacy which represents valor in the face of danger, protection of something valued, or upholding of a treasured principle — it grants bonuses against the owner of the Intimacy:

  • Intimacy’s strength in bonus dice to track them
  • Intimacy’s strength in bonus dice to Awareness rolls to spot the target in Stealth
  • (Intimacy’s strength / 2, round down) in automatic successes to Threaten actions
  • (Intimacy’s strength / 2, round up) in bonus dice to Withering attacks

Hunger of Grit
Cost: 5m Mins: Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: None
Duration: One Scene
Prerequisites: None

The Courage Eater is ever hungry, and stalks its prey like a predator. Hunger of Grit creates an aura of primal menace, which emanates in waves from the mighty axe. Anyone embattled with the wielder of Heartfeast suffers a -1 penalty to their Guile, as the prey cannot hide its fear from the hunter.

In addition, if Heartfeast knows a Intimacy of Valor, the target must pay 1i each time they wish to do a withering attack against the exalt.

Scent of Bravery
Cost: 1m Mins: Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Dual
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Hunger of Grit

Heartfeast craves the hearts of the bold, and longs to taste their essence. Upon a successfully executed attack, this evocation can be activated to grant a reflexive Read Intentions action. If successful, the axe learns of an Intimacy of Valor held by the target.

If the target is crashed via a Withering attack with this evocation, the Read Intentions action is automatically successful. If the target take damage via a Decisive attack with this evocation, the Read Intentions action gains automatic successes equal to the levels of damage dealt.

Taste of Valor
Cost: 3m Mins: Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Scent of Bravery

Reveling in the thrill of the hunt, Heartfeast and its wielder howl in anticipation of the meal to come. The Courage Eater accelerates the action of its wielder granting double 9’s on a rush attempt. If successful, the exalt gains (Essence) initiative.

If Heartfeast knows an Intimacy of Valor in the target, they gain double 8’s on the rush attempt and (Intimacy’s strength) additional initiative if successful.

Heartfeast will not be prey and punishes a weak wielder. If the exalt attempts a Disengage action in any combat in which they have channelled this evocation, they lose an amount of initiative equal to all of that gained from Taste of Valor in that combat. If this crashes them, the Initiative Break bonus is granted to the target they are disengaging from.

Feast of Tenacity
Cost: 5m (+1wp) Mins: Essence 3
Type: Simple
Keywords: Decisive-Only, Perilous
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Taste of Valor

The Courage Eater thrashes with ravenous need and tears into its foe like a starved wolf. This evocation creates a Decisive attack, where the grimcleaver feasts on the flesh of their foes adding (Essence) dice to the raw damage of the attack.

If Heartfeast knows an Intimacy of Valor belonging to the target, convert (Intimacy’s strength) damage dice into automatic successes. After the decisive attack, the exalt may spend 1wp to enact a contested roll between the victim and the wielder of Heartfeast. Each subject uses their current willpower as the dice pool. Ties favor The Courage Eater.

  • If the victim wins, their Intimacy maintains.
  • If the victim loses, the Intimacy of Valor is weakened in them by one level as the mighty axe feasts on their courage.
  • If the Intimacy is lowered to nothing, it is destroyed in the target and they lose (Intimacy’s original strength) in initiative which is immediately gained by the exalt upon returning to base initiative.
  • When the Intimacy no longer exists within the target, Heartfeast loses the scent of it and the bonuses vanish.
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