Plain Blue Banner

February 27, 2007

Here is a tree of Charms based on the Scripture of the Maiden and the Rain.

  • Water-or-Diamond Mannerism
  • Cost: 5 motes
  • Duration: Instant
  • Type: Reflexive
  • Minima: Linguistics 2, Sidereal Essence 2
  • Prereqs: None

The Sidereal, smiling, asks a question with a breathless catch in her voice; to answer her is to experience the joy of pleasing another. The Charm guarantees that the addressee will answer as his abilities permit, and that he will answer substantially. He is not required to be truthful, but his response must be sensible and relevant. To a yes-or-no question, he cannot say, “maybe” without specifying conditions that would reasonably motivate the outcome, and to wh-questions, he must describe at least one property of the answer, or to either he may provide a datum that leads to a conclusive answer via uncomplicated deduction. (For instance, when asked, “How can I find the Eye and Seven Despairs,” the Star of Dirt and Doubt might reply, “Two deathknights serve him.”)

The addressee also perceives the Sidereal’s desire to be satisfied, and is aware that, should he answer with the sincere belief that he is being truthful and telling her something she did not already know, he gains motes equal to her Compassion. No being may benefit from this more than once per scene.

  • Saying Unpleasant Things
  • Cost: 3+ motes, 1 Willpower
  • Duration: Indefinite
  • Type: Simple
  • Minima: Linguistics 3, Sidereal Essence 2
  • Prereqs: None

Sometimes you wish something wasn’t true, but it is, and someone’s got to say something about it. That someone is you, sometimes. That’s how things are. The Sidereal says something that the listener never wanted to hear, and thereby imbues him with awareness and a resistance to falsehood. She specifies conditions upon which a Charm she knows enhances a single Social action of the beneficiary. The Charm in question must have a finite and invariable duration. This Charm guarantees that the beneficiary will unconsciously enact all the ritual behaviors required to perform the Charm, such as speaking a person’s name for Favourable Inflection Procedure. However, it in no way constrains his decisions regarding that action. The Charm enhancing it does so in the way best suited to satisfying the beneficiary’s needs; it uses his Traits.

The Essence used for this Charm remains committed until the beneficiary triggers it, or until the Sidereal withdraws her blessing. For Charms with variable costs, the Sidereal may use this Charm for 3 motes to confer a blessing containing a minimal usage of the Charm; to imbue it with additional force she must commit 1 additional mote per 2 the Charm in question requires.

  • Princess in the Tower Story
  • Cost: 5+ motes, 1 Willpower
  • Duration: Indefinite
  • Type: Simple
  • Minima: Linguistics 4, Sidereal Essence 3
  • Prereqs: Saying Unpleasant Things

The Sidereal mixes ink of charcoal, lapis, and her own tears, and with it she writes letters where she dreams of freedom. She specifies a recipient and a Charm she knows, one with a finite and invariable duration. She makes all decisions about the Charm’s usage during the letter’s composition, and records the Traits the letter will require, including Traits of her weaponry if such is relevant. When he reads the letter, the Charm chosen befalls the recipient. At the Sidereal’s option, this may be manifest through wrenching emotional experiences triggered by the text, or by twists of fate that surround the occasion of reading it. This ends the Charm. When persons other than the intended recipient pry upon his correspondence, nothing unusual occurs.

The Essence used for this Charm remains committed until the letter is read by the recipient, or until the Sidereal withdraws her attention. For Charms with variable costs, the Sidereal may use this Charm for 5 motes to confer a minimal usage of the Charm; to imbue it with additional force she must commit 1 additional mote per 2 the Charm in question requires.

  • Ice & Fire Binding
  • Prereqs: Water-or-Diamond Mannerism

This is identical to the Charm of same name in the Charms of the Bride. Having learnt it once, the Sidereal need not learn it again.

  • Sky-Dwelling Secrets
  • Cost: 5 motes, 1 Willpower
  • Duration: Indefinite
  • Type: Simple
  • Minima: Linguistics 5, Sidereal Essence 3
  • Prereqs: Water-or-Diamond Mannerism, Saying Unpleasant Things

The Sidereal smears blue pearl dust around her eyes and powders her palms with it. It sticks there, glittering expectantly. When she touches the breast of a living being, she leaves a pearly handprint there, linking her mind to his heart. Having done this, she transforms pain into mystical insight.

Each time her partner’s wound penalty increases, whether by loss of Health Levels or by application of a related infirmity, the Sidereal gains a temporary dot of Essence. She retains this dot while these conditions are satisfied: she is linked to her partner, her partner is injured, she could love him. A link established by this Charm is broken only if one member of the partnership dies or if the Sidereal establishes a new partnership. She may not establish a partnership with someone who is already some other Sidereal’s partner.

These temporary dots of Essence behave just as permanent dots do, with the exception of satisfaction of Charm prerequisites; they do not generally satisfy these. However, a Sidereal bonded to another Sidereal with Sky-Dwelling Secrets may learn any Charms of her partner’s Caste even if her Essence is insufficient, but she may only use them when this Charm (or this as part of a combination of effects) raises her Essence to the appropriate level. The Maidens consider this use of the Charm to be a measure of extremely dire necessity, and consequently it is frowned upon by the Five-Score Fellowship. While the Charm’s use is not monitored, careless or overly visible users of it are nearly always chastised.

  • Plain Blue Banner
  • Cost: 12 motes, 1 Willpower (1 Health Level)
  • Duration: Indefinite
  • Type: Simple
  • Minima: Linguistics 5, Sidereal Essence 4
  • Prereqs: Princess in the Tower Story, Ice & Fire Binding, Sky-Dwelling Secrets

There is a language written in the winds that every god can speak and every man has forgotten. There is a language sunk in the water that is at the middle of every song. There is a language beaten into the earth whose meaning cannot be escaped.

Swallowing a prayer strip of the Maiden and the Rain, the Sidereal exhales a bolt of plain blue silk that ripples in an imperceptible wind. It weightlessly wreathes her head and shoulders. The configuration of the banner determines a language it binds the Sidereal to speak in. It can be wrapped in infinite ways, but most such wrappings result in languages which are spoken by no being in Creation. Three wrappings are known: If she wraps it around herself from front to back, she speaks in the secret language of air. If she wraps it from east to west, she speaks in the secret language of water. If she wraps it in no direction, she speaks in the secret language of earth. When she activates the Charm, she must choose which language she will speak, and she speaks only in that language while the Charm persists.

Every spirit understands the secret language of air, and no human can, although they can understand, with effort (a simple Perception + Linguistics action), whether the topic at hand is a matter of any import. Furthermore, no spirit may refuse to hear. Those she speaks to may reply in the same tongue.

When she speaks the secret language of water, the Sidereal can understand any song, and when she sings, all creatures can comprehend her.

When she speaks the secret language of earth, the Sidereal can be understood by all who listen. Others have difficulty making themselves clear. A person speaking against the language of earth must win at a reflexive opposed test of Essence + Charisma against the Sidereal once per scene. If the Sidereal wins, the other’s speech is reduced to meaningless pops and hisses. A person stifled in this manner may, on his action, spend 1 Willpower in order to reassert his comprehensibility and engage in the opposed test again during the same scene.

The secret languages of wood and fire have been lost.

The Sidereal may use this Charm with a second Scripture, paying 1 Health Level in addition to the standard cost. It senses the exigencies of the present and enables the Sidereal to express herself in a way appropriate to the matters at hand, as that Scripture would respond to it. She may spend a dot of the Ability associated with the additional Scripture to learn the new configuration of the banner and acquire the ability to repeat it with a normal use of this Charm. Preferably, a player should work together with the other players in the game to design an appropriate effect some time in advance of using the Charm in this way.

Once, there was a maiden with a terrible thirst.

She lived in a palace of ice. She embraced the rivers. She was married to the sea.

But this would not slake her thirst. It was not enough.

She went to the Sun and told him the truth about the world and how it didn’t love him. At first he didn’t understand or believe, not until she’d beaten wisdom into him.

She watched as the sun watered Heaven with his hot tears. She drank them all up.

“Love never has enough,” said she.