Emperor Crowned With The Blood Of The Martyrs

The Emperor Crowned With the Blood of the Martyrs

by FrivYeti

The Emperor is a tall, imposing Deathlord. His skin is pale, perfectly and carefully sculpted into a vision of perfection, a vision of beauty that strikes any watcher with awe, and the ceremonial armours that he wears are a magnificent creation of soulsteel and orichalcum, carefully layered one upon the other. His crown is a disc of burnished brass, with soulsteel gemstones set within - in each gemstone lurks the soul of one of his enemies, twisted to serve him. In a sheath on his back, through a loop in his armour, his dire lance sits, ready to be drawn at a moment's notice, and his image is that of a true ruler. Only in his eyes, which glitter with a hint of madness and fear, can the truth be seen - the Emperor is no true ruler, but a horrible tyrant.

During the First Age, the Emperor was a Zenith caste Solar who spread the religion and rule of the Unconquered Sun. Although he was timid at heart, his faith kept him strong, and he lived secure in the knowledge that the Sun would guard and protect him. The Usurpation caught him completely by surprise, and he was murdered by a dozen Dragon-Blooded and his own Sidereal consort without even having a chance to raise a weapon. In the Underworld, his faith and trust shattered, he accepted the Neverborn pact, more out of fear of death than desire for revenge; his tactics since then have reflected this innermost of fears.

The Citadel Impregnable

The Emperor's throne sits in the southwest, on the Citadel Impregnable. The Citadel sits on a small island, an imposing fortress of soulsteel-laced stone; the Seas surrounding the Citadel are filled with undead monsters and patrolled eternally by the Emperor's forces. On the island itself, the first wall surrounds the actual island, going far enough out that the area directly behind it is actually below sea level - the ocean rises almost a full foot up the wall on the outside. This wall is thirty feet tall, and topped with ballistae, pyreflame launchers, and archer-posts. The second wall is forty feet tall, curving outwards, and the area between is a maze of buildings which can be pulled down on invaders and set alight, all rotten wood and shattered timber. Within the second wall lies a great castle, over six stories in height, reinforced with dread magics and raw power. Each gate is the exact opposite way around the castle from the previous, and the entire citadel is built for defense. The harbour lies within the outer walls, and a hundred warships sit there at all times.

Within the Citadel are armories, libraries, and all the standard amenities of a castle; the Emperor himself has the entire top two floors to himself - no one who enters ever returns. Within lie his most powerful artifacts and his most hidden knowledge, which none of his servants are allowed access to.

The Emperor's Servants

The Emperor has many servants, but he trusts none. He constantly sets them against each other, encouraging labyrinthine plots between his naval divisions, plotting between his Abyssal servants, intrigue and destruction designed to keep anyone from gathering enough power to attempt to overthrow him. The Emperor trust absolutely no one, and makes very certain that they can't gain power. (In game terms, any Abyssal having a background at 4 is going to find themselves in trouble, and any with a Background at 5 is probably going to have to deal with their own Deathlord plotting against them.)

The Emperor's Plans

The Emperor strikes outwards out of fear, not a desire for power. Nothing is certain to him, and he always tries to expand his own power - which, of course, only creates more internal problems which he seeks to resolve through outwards expansion. His power structure is constantly shifting and tilting, and it can be dangerous to spend any length of time in it, but there are always those intrigued by power. Since the Mask of Winters started his own rise, the Emperor fears that other Deathlords will do the same, and is beginning his own minor campaigns of conquest in order to spread his Shadowlands in advance of the war he fears is coming.

The Emperor's Regalia

The Diadem of Shadowed Essence (Artifact N/A): The Emperor's crown is a powerful tool. It was first granted to him by the Neverborn, and he had continued to improve it by soulforging anyone he caught plotting against him. The Diadem is his primary source of direct control.

The Diadem is an amazingly powerful device, with a number of innate effects. First, anyone who wishes to oppose the Emperor in any way, either by attacking him or opposing him socially, must succeed at a Conviction roll (this is a Compulsion effect that cannot be resisted with Willpower). This roll stacks with any other rolls that might be required by Charms or other Artifact effects. The roll need not be made to defend oneself. Secondly, the wearer of the Diadem receives +3 to all Social Attributes. Finally, the wearer is strongly protected from social magics; all mind-controlling Charms that require a roll suffer an external penalty equal to the Essence of the Diadem's wearer, all social attacks which have their diepool increased by Charms suffer an external penalty of half the Essence of the Diadem's wearer, rounded up, and all perfect Social Charms must roll Willpower, adding their Essence as automatic successes, against a difficulty equal to the wearer's Essence to succeed. The Diadem requires 10 motes commitment.

Armour of the Fallen Sun (Artifact 4): The Emperor's armour is also quite powerful. Forged of soulsteel, it still has orichalcum tracery and emblems, and can be attuned normally by either Abyssals or Solars. The armour provides the soak of a reinforced Breastplate, but has no fatigue or mobility penalties. In addition, it provides an extra 5 bashing/lethal soak against attacks that ignore or halve armour soak (instead of being reduced), only if it is fully harmonized. It requires 5 motes commitment.

Finger Of A Shadowed Wing (Artifact 4): The Emperor's spear is a powerful relic; starmetal is tied within its heart, in order to further focus its powers. A defensive weapon, it allows the Emperor to reflexively retreat up to (his Essence) in yards whenever he attempts to parry an action. The retreat applies after the attack resolves. Finger Of A Shadowed Wing requires 6 motes committment.

Finger Of A Shadowed Wing (Soulsteel Dire Lance): Speed 5, Accuracy +3, Damage +8L, Defense +3. Piercing.

Character Sheet

Motivation: Retain All Of My Power Former Caste: Zenith

Attributes:
Strength 7, Dexterity 8, Stamina 9
Charisma 7(10), Manipulation 8(11), Appearance 9(12)
Perception 6, Intelligence 6, Wits 7

Abilities:
Archery 4, Athletics 5, Awareness 7 (Detecting Ambushes +3), Bureaucracy 7 (Controlling Underlings +2), Crafts (Fire) 4, Crafts (Soulforging) 6, Dodge 6, Investigation 4 (Conspiracies +3), Integrity 9, Linguistics 4 (Old Realm, High Realm, Seatongue, Flametongue, Barbarian Tongues), Lore 7 (First Age +1, Underworld +2), Martial Arts 6, Medicine 4, Melee 7 (Spear +2), Occult 6 (Necromancy +2), Performance 6 (Oration +3), Presence 8 (Leadership +2), Resistance 9, Socialize 7 (Detect Lies +3), Stealth 5, Survival 7 (Underworld +2), Thrown 7 (Improvised Weapons +2), War 6 (Naval Combat +1)

Backgrounds: Amazingly high ratings in Artifact, Abyssal Command, Resources, and Spies. Influence 5, Manse and Underworld Manse 5+, Cult 5, Liege 5 (Malfeans), Savant 5, Whispers 5.

Virtues:
Compassion 2, Conviction 5, Temperance 5 (Paranoia -4), Valor 1
Willpower: 8
Health: OK x33 (The Emperor ignores all wound penalties)
Essence: 9
Essence pool: 73 Personal, 203 (178) Peripheral (25 committed)

Charms: The Emperor knows all Abyssal Charms that he meets the prerequisites for, as well as basically all written Ghost Charms. He also has a wide range of specialized and customized high-Essence Social Charms, as well as a handful of custom Melee and Awareness Charms.

Equipment: Whatever he wants, really. The Emperor almost always wears improved Hearthstone bracers that add to his soak AND reduce that of his opponents, as well as his three signature Artifacts. Anything else may vary.

Combat:
Join Battle: 14
Soak: 21B/18L/13A, Hardness 6 (Armour of the Fallen Sun 11L/10B, Hearthstone Bracers 2L/2B)
Dodge DV: 13, Parry DV: 11
Attacks:
Finger Of A Shadowed Wing: Spd 5, Acc 20, Dmg 17L (Piercing, opponent's soak -2), Def 22, Rate 4. Drains 9 motes per hit.

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