Exalted: Golden Shackles, Iron Crowns
Even Blade Style
Even Blade Style
Requires: 2 in Melee, 2 in Awareness, Integrity, or Craft: Fire
Allows Martial Arts Skill to: Use Martial Arts to Strike and Parry with Form weapons or hand to hand
White Veil Weapons and Armor: Even Blade Style may be practiced only in light armor, and only with a slashing sword and / or its sheath.
Even Blade Initiate Form: The first lesson of Even Blade Style is to measure time by the rhythm of one’s cut. There is no past or future; merely the moment of the cut. An Even Blade Stylist who begins combat in their form may draw their form weapon as a free action.
Death Between Heartbeats
Briefly standing very still, the martial artist tilts his head. Then, with a shout, he strikes suddenly, surprising his enemies. The Even Blade Initiate may spend a Form Invoke whenever an opponent comes within his reach, he may sacrifice his next action in order to make an immediate attack, interrupting his attacker.
Breath and Chi Control
Drawing breath carefully, constantly wary, the martial artist is always ready for battle. He may spend an invoke of Even Blade Form in order to add or subtract two shifts from his initiative roll. He may activate this technique at any time, though he may still only act once per turn.
Close your Eyes and Look
Concentrating hard, the martial artist blinks slowly, then whirls into action. A character can use this technique as part of a normal attack for the cost of two invocations, or reflexively to abort an aim action for the cost of only one invoke. If a boost or invocation is attached to the target this technique increases the bonus to the Even Blade Stylists attack against that target by an additional point per invoke.
Even Blade Sojourner Form: With a narrow glance left, right, then straight ahead, the martial artist extends his blade before him as a gleam chases down its edge. His mind calms, and his eyes darken, he is beyond distraction. An even blade stylist may use an invocation of Even Blade form to double the bonus from an Aim action, or to add a +3 bonus against any attempt to distract or confuse him.
Fiery Garda Force Attack
With a sudden and violent striking out, the martial artist brings all his strength to bear in one tightly focused strike. If the target attempts to parry the attack with a standard weapon the weapon is broken. A quality item will take damage and may break. An artifact will not. If this attack finds its mark the martial artist may ignore the penalties associated with slashing swords, or deal an additional point of damage on a target who is wearing light nor no armor. This technique costs two form invocations. (Spend two invokes to break an opponent’s weapon and ignore the penalty normally caused to Slashing Swords by heavy armor)
Flashing Zephyr Speed Stance
A spark blazes in the martial artists eyes, then flickers as he spins and strikes, spins and strikes again. He may spend two form invocations to automatically deal an additional two shifts of damage after succeeding with style on an attack, these additional shifts of damage replace the normal boost gained from succeeding with style. (Spend two invokes to deal more damage to a target)
Floating Grace Evasion
The martial artist slips aside from his attackers to a place they cannot reach. He may spend an invoke to escape a targets engagement as a free action rather than supplemental, or spend two in order to automatically escape engagement. (Spend an invoke to escape a dangerous position quickly, or two to escape it guaranteed)
Gruesome Wood King Revelry
A terrible expression flashes across the Even Blade Stylists face as he surveys the battle. Then, as he slices –with hands or blade- straight through his enemies his strength and reflexes are quickened by the blood that spills across them. The Even Blade Stylist gains an additional Even Blade Form invocation each time he causes a moderate or severe consequence, assuming that consequence is resolved as some sort of wound. (get a bonus invoke when you cut apart an opponent)
Stubborn Jokun Defensive Posture
The martial artist raises his gaze steadily, his body becomes a mere tool for the expression of his blade. Spend two form invocations, for the remainder of the scene the opposition cannot invoke the martial artists wound consequences, and his soak increase to his full stamina for the remainder of the round.
Even Blade Master Form:
Master Azure Crane Variants
Loving Heart Stance
Enlightened Charm, 1 Essence Optional
The martial artists hands flicker and come up holding both his blade and its sheeth, crossed one over the other. For the remainder of the scene, the sheath is considered as hard as the blade it houses and can be used to make its own parry attempts. This allows the Even Blade stylist to parry at their full martial arts + stunt bonus without taking a penalty from other actions taken during the scene.
Once per round a martial artist that successfully counters an opponent with style may sacrifice a form invoke and the boost he would have gained on his defense to gain a free attack against his attacker at a -3 penalty. The martial artist may spend a point of essence to reduce this penalty to zero.
Loyal Dancing Lovers Technique
Terrestrial Charm, 2 Essence
Pulling his hands apart, one with sword and the other with sheath, the martial artist sizes up his opponent then flicks blade or sheath into the space directly before her. As long as the character’s other hand wields the weapon or sheath, its mate will dance gracefully in midair in exquisite counterpart. This technique costs two invokes but lasts the scene, granting the Martial artist a +1 to their defensive and offensive scale.
If the martial artist spends two essence after activating this charm he may burn that essence into the air, greatly expanding his awareness for as long as he remains in Even Blade Form. This allows the Martial Artist to apply a boost against any opponent that comes within melee range automatically, his sword or sheath seeming to react of its own accord to distract and occupy his opponent.
The Variant of Master Lord Chaowin Registrophe, First of Heaven’s Chosen
Enlightened Charm, 1 Essence or two Invokes
Roaring, the martial artist rushes forward, his eyes ablaze with Essence. As long as he inflicts at least one consequence level of damage, his target is automatically crippled. If the total damage is at least a severe consequence, then the relevant limb is completely removed.
Terrestrial Charm, 2 Essence
As his strike bites deep, the martial artist shouts in joyous rage and calls upon the strength to force it still deeper. After his attack has been resolved the Even Blade Stylist may spend two essence to count the first three shifts of damage against his opponent twice.
The Variant of Master Zu Rat Te
Stumbling Inconvenience Attack
Technique, Requires 1 Invoke
Completely imperturbable, the martial artist’s expression hardly changesg as his hand flashes out to smack his opponent. Supplemented with a form invoke, the character’s attack meets his target exactly as he wishes despite how his opponent attempts to protect themselves. His choice of target includes:
Wrists: Unless his opponent succeeds at a check equal to the martial artists MA+Style bonus the target is disarmed, crying out in shock like a disciplined child.
Face: For a number of rounds equal to the martial artists shifts of success over his opponents defense the target suffers a -1 penalty due to the viciously stinging, swelling welts across both cheeks.
Stomach: The target doubles over and falls ignominiously prone unless his player succeeds on a physique roll with a difficulty equal to the Martial Artists rank + style bonus.
A target must succeed at an awareness roll at a difficulty equal to the martial artists rank to see this attack coming, otherwise it is treated as an unexpected attack. This technique does not function against opponents with a scale greater than the martial artist.
Impossible Unseen Strike
Terresstrial Charm, requires 2 Essence
The scene is quite. The martial artist faces his foe with his arms crossed indifferently. She insults him, and the observer turns to look at his reaction. There is none but a cool smile. Yet, when they look back at his opponent, she has collapsed, gurgling, to her knees.
Impossible Unseen Strike launches a single undetected attack. If the character wishes, he may unsheathe his sword, strike and sheathe it again, and his attack still goes unnoticed. Unless the target has an essence-fueled means of detecting unexpected attacks, this attack automatically counts as unexpected, allowing the martial artist to roll their martial arts + style and gain an immediate number of invokes to add to their attack. Targets that can detect unexpected attacks with essence may apply their charms against charm.
The Variant of Resolute Brigada
Clutching Eagle Talon
Enlightened Tier charm, 1 essence or 2 invokes
As her foe comes forward, the character seizes his weapon and effortlessly twists it out of his grasp. If the martial artist successfully parries an attack then her opponent must roll against a disarm attempt by the Even Blade Stylist. If her opponent is unarmed then the Even Blade stylist may instead pull his opponent into an automatic grapple. The Martial Artist must have at least one hand free to use this technique.
Many Raptors Stance
Terrestrial Tier Charm, 2 Essence
None can escape the Stylists grasping, clawlike hands. She may grapple as many people as she wants, as long as their combined physique scores do not exceed the Martial Artists physique + Martial Arts + Style bonus. She retains her defense while issuing these grapples, and may even use an opponent she is grappling to defend herself. In this case a successful parry will shift the damage onto the individual she is using to defend herself, though the final damage resulting from such a defense cannot exceed two shifts.
A martial artist who has successfully impaled an opponent on their blade after activating this charm may use that impaled opponent to defend themselves with as if they were grappling, the Stylist need only to have first inflicted at least a mild consequence before doing so. An impaled opponent is considered to be grappling the Martial Artist as per the rules above.