Unrepentant Sage Of Vengeful Misery

The Unrepentant Sage of Vengeful Misery

by FrivYeti

At first glance, it is almost possible to miss the Sage. He does not fill the room with his presence, nor does he stand imposingly or wear brightly coloured garb. Instead, he walks veiled in a simple, dark grey cloak and cowl, hooded, with a pearl mask covering the top half of his face and a slim, bloodless frown to level upon those who are unfortunate enough to meet with his disapproval. The Sage does not do anything vastly, preferring small, almost unnoticeable movements. He almost glides across the floor; only a truly observant soul can tell the movements of his slippered feet, and every gesture he makes is an economy.

The Sage is the soul of a Night Caste Solar, who lived for almost a century after the Usurpation, striking from the shadows with murder in his heart, spreading fear and distrust in his wake. Entire cities were driven mad with fear, destroying themselves, at the mere mention of his passing. When he was slain, his vengeance did not cease, and he joined the ranks of the Deathlords with as much joy as he was capable of. His plans are cautiously laid, and carefully enacted, for he will not submit to failure, and his patience is nearly infinate.

The Chasm of Black Flame

The Sage’s home lies in the mountains of the South, itself within a small Shadowland that has passed unnoticed by the rest of the world. Occasionally, an enterprising band will attempt to gain entry; however, they soon discover that entering the chasm is easier by far than escaping it.

The Sage’s lair is carved into the sides of the great pit. The bottom of it was once a lava flow, but as it died it was twisted by dark magicks, and it now serves as a mysterious but deadly defense; those who look down see only shifting shadows, but when lit it reveals itself to be a flame that casts heat but no light, a dark abyss that will consume anything that falls into it. The fire requires a Difficulty 4 Stamina + Resistance roll per turn of contact, dealing 3L on a success and 7L on a failure. It will continue to burn as normal fire does if the character escapes from the chasm; but the fire is almost twenty feet deep and gives no purchase.

Inside the hollowed-out tunnels, heated by black flame torches but shrouded in shadow, the Sage makes his home, along with his servants. The tunnels are a maze that connect carefully-constructed rooms in dozens of styles from around the world, often built to mimic the surroundings of a servant from life. There are also libraries and storehouses, which contain much lost wisdom and ruined artifacts. However, all the knowledge here has been altered by the Sage; it reads only in the worst light, and those reading it often come to believe that there is no good in the world.

The Sage’s Desires

The Unrepentant Sage of Vengeful Misery, fittingly enough, seeks only one thing: revenge. Revenge on the upstart Dragon-Blooded who dared to overthrow the Solars, and revenge on the Sidereals who sided with them. Revenge on the Lunars who fled rather than fight, and revenge on the gods who let it come to pass. Revenge even on the mortals who now worship the Dragon-Blooded as they once worshipped the Solars.

To gain his revenge, the Sage uses his servants to spread misery wherever he goes. His deathknights encourage the deaths of Exalts and mortals, and then recruit their ghosts to gain vengeance on their killers, drawing them in until nothing remains. Many of his deathknights, in fact, are the ghosts of people he has arranged to have killed, and then approached with his own bargain; much like the Malfeans approached him. These deathknights are trained and sent out to create more deaths, and the cycle continues.

The Sage’s Servants

The Unrepentant Sage of Vengeful Misery has dozens of ghostly servants, most of whom were once Exalts and retain much of their former power. He prefers quality over quantity, however, and spends the first few years of a deathknight’s life testing him or her against ever-greater foes in schemes that don’t much matter, in order to harden him or her up. He also has a small number of Abyssal shards, and is always looking for more. Under no conditions will he offer placement in his army to an Exalt of any sort (not counting the aforementioned ghosts), although he would transform a willing Solar into an Abyssal. The Sage keeps a close eye on his servants, although he rarely admits it, and he doesn’t step in unless things are getting out of hand with them.

Lost Souls' Lament

The Unrepentant Sage of Vengeful Misery appears to walk unarmed. No great daiklave or dire lance adorns his figure. However, he is never without his most potent and terrible artifact. Immediately after his death, as soon as he had built his power enough, the Sage quietly hunted down and killed the Terrestrials who had been directly involved in his death, capturing their souls. Afterwards, he murdered the Chosen of Secrets who had guided them, and he wove them together into a cloak, which he wore about his shoulders. The cloak fades away at the edges, into quietly pooling shadows.

Lost Souls' Lament is considered to be a soulsteel brawling aid, with the following special advantages. First, the cloak dissolves into shadows and stretches out to a range of five yards; the Sage may attack anyone within that range. When he does, the cloak pools up, wrapping around its targets. This counts as a clinch maneuver; however, the Sage can continue to act and take other actions while the clinch continues, at a -1 die penalty per clinch. No more than four total clinches may be made. In addition, when the cloak strikes, its target must succeed at a difficulty 3 Wits + Awareness roll, or else the attack is considered to be a surprise. The cloak also provides the Sage with protection against attacks, absorbing many of the blows directed at him.
Speed 6, Accuracy +3, Damage +6L, Defense +1. Clinch enhancer. Soulsteel.
Also provides 10L/8B soak, and hardness 6, at -0 fatigue and mobility. This not does count as armour for the purposes of Charms that cannot be used in armour.
Requires 10 motes attunement cost.

Character Sheet

Concept: The root of murder and betrayal
Motivation: Prove That Betrayal Is The Natural Order of Creation
Former Caste: Night
Strength 7, Dexterity 9, Stamina 8
Charisma 7, Manipulation 9, Appearance 8
Perception 7, Intelligence 6, Wits 7

Archery 5, Athletics 6 (Climbing +2), Awareness 8 (See the Hidden +2), Bureaucracy 6 (Industrial Sabotage +3), Craft (Fire, Soulforging) 5, Dodge 9 (Multiple Opponents +3), Integrity 7, Investigation 8 (Dirty Secrets +2), Larceny 7, Linguistics 4 (Native: Old Realm, Flametongue, High Realm, Seatongue, Riverspeak), Lore 9, Martial Arts 9 (Robes +2), Medicine 3 (Torture +1), Melee 6, Occult 7 (Necromancy +1), Performance 7, Presence 8 (Smooth Persuasion +2), Resistance 6, Ride 4, Sail 3, Socialize 9 (Lying +2, Detect Lying +1), Stealth 10, Survival 4 (Labyrinth +2), Thrown 6, War 5

Backgrounds: Vast ratings in Artifact, Resources, Influence, and Spies. Abyssal Command 5+, Manse/Underworld Manse 5+, Cult 5, Savant 5, Whispers 5

Compassion 2, Conviction 5, Temperance 6, Valor 3
Willpower: 9
Health: OK x30 (The Sage ignores all wound penalties)
Essence: 9
Essence pool: 75 Personal, 192 (169) Peripheral (23 committed)

Charms: The Sage knows all Abyssal Charms that he meets the prerequisites for, and is a master of four Celestial Martial Arts; Hungry Ghost, Dark Messiah (including numerous custom expansions), Mantis, and Azure Ribbon Style.

Equipment: The Sage always wears his robes, and almost always also has enhanced soulsteel Hearthstone Bracers (+3 dice to dodge, -6 enemy soak, commit 8) and a fairly powerful Soulfire Mask (as the Abyssal one, but it costs 5 motes to use, and provides 7L/9B; the attacks cost 6 motes and have +3 accuracy, Rate 2, and deals a base 9L damage at a range of 30 yards) as well as having a spell-storing cord woven into each arm of his robe, one to capture up to Celestial Circle Sorcery and the other working against up to Labyrinth Circle Necromancy. He also carries a Level 4 Abyssal Hearthstone, which doubles healing times on any wounds he inflicts, on the top of the mask, concealed by the cloak, and a pair of Level 5 Underworld Hearthstones at all times, which attach to the bracers. The exact effects of these hearthstones vary.

Combat: (Power Combat)
Join Battle: 15
Soak: 18B/16L/12A, Hardness 6 (Robes 10B/12L)
Dodge DV: 15, Parry DV: 10
Robe Clinch: Spd 6, Acc 23, Dmg 11L (piercing; -6 enemy soak first), Def 20, Rate 2. Clinch Enhancer. Drains 9 motes per hit.

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