Infinite Radiant Aegis (Shield •••••)
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By TheUnsungHero

Orichalcum Artifact Shield, Artifact •••••

Infinite is the Sun. Magnanimous are its blessings. Terrible is its wrath. Perfect is its glory.

This was the mantra of the Society of Sol, a diminutive city-state on the islands to the northwest that existed since before written history. Populated by ritualistic sun-worshippers, these zealots persisted through wars, famines, and even the Great Contagion, and they credited it all to the Sun they idolized. Despite this, it was thousands of years before they ever laid eyes on a Solar exalt.

When one finally appeared, exalting from their own ranks, the society prostrated themselves before the golden woman, formerly a minor priestess functionary, now declared an avatar of the Sun itself. She claimed the Sun spoke to her and gave her guidance, and through her commands, the society organized and flourished, expanding for the first time since the founding of the Society.

Driven by inspiration, the priestess proclaimed the gathering of rare metals and materials to forge an icon of the Sun itself, to show the world its might and glory. And so, the members of the Society of Sol ventured into the Wylds and neighboring nations and through war, trade, or thievery, gathered what was required for the undertaking.

For 2 generations, the priestess worked at her temple-forge, creating the icon that would remind the world that the Sun was paramount above all gods. By day, dozens of mirrors would gather the sunlight and focus it upon the armament. By night, it was warmed by fires kept burning by a hundred men working the bellows. After nearly a hundred years, the priestess proclaimed it lacked only one thing, the blessing of the Sun itself. Meditating at the peak of the temple, she sat without nourishment or sleep for a year and a day.

One the last day, she saw an image of the Sun stand before her, shining so brightly she could not look directly upon it. The Sun applauded her commitment and found her worthy, plucking a single ray of its radiance from its head and cooling it with a whisper. Placing the golden thread of sunlight into the priestess’ withered hand, the Sun rose up into the sky again and seemed to beam appreciation upon her. The priestess returned to the forge and incorporated the gifted sun ray into the shield and with her last breath, she handed the magnificent golden shield to a temple guard claiming it completed and passed from Creation.

The Infinite Radiant Aegis is an orichalcum shield perfectly circular in shape with a golden sunburst embossed on its face. It is warm to the touch at all times, like a sun-soaked rock in the summer, and in the sunlight it shines like a beacon. The shield has 1 hearthstone socket in the center of the shield face.

Evocations of Infinite Radiant Aegis

A Solar who spends an extra 2 motes on attunement counts their own anima at Burning level or higher as direct sunlight exposure for the purposes of evocations with this shield.

Brilliant Flare
Cost: 3m, 1wp Mins: Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Counterattack, Decisive
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: None

The Sun is infinitely bright and it bathes Creation in it’s magnificence. When struck on the battlefield, the exalt turns the advantage by channelling the magnificence of the Sun through Infinite Radiant Aegis and blinding their foes.

When the wielder is the victim of a successful Withering attack, after they take damage they may activate this evocation to attempt a blinding Gambit as the shield flares with bright light in the eyes of their foe. The difficulty of the Gambit is 3, and if successful, the target is temporarily blinded, taking a -3 to all sight based actions on their next turn, with the penalty reducing by 1 each following turn until it is gone. If the target is a creature of darkness, the penalty remains at -3 for all three rounds before recovering.

If the Aegis is exposed to direct sunlight, the difficulty of the Gambit becomes 1, and the Decisive roll to hit with the Gambit gains 1 automatic success.

Fever Defense
Cost: 5m Mins: Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: None
Duration: Until next turn
Prerequisites: Brilliant Flare

The Sun is wonderfully warm and Creation basks in its comfort. But its heat is also deadly and Infinite Radiant Aegis utilizes this power in defense. Fever Defense can be used to supplement a Full Defense action, causing the shield to burst into golden flame and radiate intense heat.

Until the wielder’s next turn, all opponents in Close range must overcome a (Stamina + Resistance) roll difficulty 2 to attack the exalt. Failure leads the attacker to burn themselves on the heated shield, dealing 2 dice of unsoakable lethal damage. If they do overcome the roll, they lose 1 initiative (subtracted before damage is rolled) for each attack they attempt, as they compensate for immense heat radiating out from the shield. If the target is a creature of darkness, the damage is aggravated.

If the Aegis is exposed to direct sunlight, the difficulty changes to (exalt’s Essence) and the wielder gains the initiative lost from attack rolls against them.

Illustrious Force
Cost: 5m (+3m, 1wp) Mins: Essence 3
Type: Simple
Keywords: Decisive, Perilous
Duration: Until next turn
Prerequisites: Fever Defense

The Sun is preeminent in the sky and all other powers gather to its side. It’s immense gravity makes even the mighty bow to its glory. Calling on this power of the Sun, the exalt exudes a massive gravity that pulls in opponents, weakening them for a followup attack. This evocation can only be activated once per day, resetting with the rising sun.

All opponents at Short range are pulled one Range band closer unless they succeed on a reflexive Disengage roll versus the exalt’s dice pool of (Essence + Current Willpower). This does not count as the opponent’s movement action, but it still costs initiative. On a success, the targets remain where they are. On a failure, they are pulled to Close range of the wielder. All opponents that end this action within Close range of the exalt cannot Disengage further until the exalt’s next action, as they are held by the majestic power of the shield.

For an added cost after pulling their foes in, the wielder of Infinite Radiant Aegis can release the held gravity over their foes and unleash an immediate Decisive attack against all enemies at Close range. The exalt rolls a single attack roll and applies the value to all applicable targets, which suffer a -1 penalty to Defense to this attack. Initiative is divided as evenly as possible among the opponents. If any damage is dealt, the opponents are knocked backward a range band. Regardless of the success of the attack, this attack releases the gravity effect freeing the opponents.

If the Aegis is exposed to direct sunlight, the Decisive attack only needs to hit the opponents to knock them back, and if it deals damage, they land prone. The exalt also gains (Essence) bonus initiative to add to the damage pool and divide among the foes.

Luminous Calamity
Cost: 10m, 1wp Mins: Essence 4
Type: Simple
Keywords: Decisive, Mute, Perilous
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Illustrious Force

The Sun represents the ultimate power in the heavens, supreme might and infinite potential. The Infinite Radiant Aegis channels but a meager sliver of the Sun’s might, but even that can be absolutely devastating. This evocation can only be activated after using Fever Defense for 3 rounds in a combat as it gathers solar energy.

After sufficient energy has been gathered, the exalt raises the Aegis to their foes and unleashes a beam of annihilating force. All light within Long range is extinguished: non-magical fires are snuffed out, magical fires are dimmed temporarily, anima banners are reduced 1 level in intensity, and the anima of the exalt wielding Infinite Radiant Aegis evaporates completely. The projected beam is one range band wide and 2 range bands in length and is unblockable without the use of charms or magic.

The exalt rolls a single attack roll against all applicable opponents, gains (Essence) bonus initiative to the damage pool, and divides the initiative damage among their foes as they choose. Anyone killed by this attack is instantly cremated, their souls sent to Lethe. Against creatures of darkness, this attack deals aggravated damage.

If the Aegis is exposed to direct sunlight, the Decisive attack damage gains double 10s. The sun in the sky darkens over the combat as during an eclipse when this evocation is used.

Using this evocation burns out the power of the shield, and it cannot use any of its evocations until it sees 5 sunrises; even then, Luminous Calamity cannot be used again for a season.

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