Done with Red Jade Canyon

That’s it for Red Jade Canyon! Over the next few days I’ll link all the posts together so you can skip between them more easily.

There will be a bit of a break while I work on the next batch; hopefully only 2-3 weeks. Setting #3 is in the North, in the space between Fortitude and Whitewall. It’s called Slumber’s Grasp. It’s a more European-flavored fantasy setting, with a royal family and a castle and a witch and a young man who wants to take over the kingdom his father could never rule. I’m doing it partly just because it was easy to find clip art for, and partly for some variety in my settings, but I also feel like it fits nicely into the North. One of the things I love about Exalted is the great variety in locations and cultures. This is my token “traditional fantasy” setting before I go back to the non-traditional and the strange, which I generally enjoy better. Of course, there will still be some oddball things thrown into Slumber’s Grasp. The blog isn’t named “Typical Creations.”

In the meantime, I’ll have a few other posts with random things that have been floating around my head as I read and absorb the corebook. Tomorrow: how to make 5-dot artifacts as a starting character.

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Baltana Vaspasian, Guild Representative

Background

The Vaspasian family owns mercantile interests across the southeast. This cements them as an invaluable part of the Guild. This relationship works in both directions: the Guild ensures that the Vaspasians have a place to sell their wares, and the Vaspasians ensure that the Guild gets the best prices and that their interests are safe. Right now that duty falls to Baltana.

Baltana has been working with the Guild for some ten years. Before that he tried his hand at many different tasks – blacksmith, horse-trainer, yeddim-driver, ship-builder, sand-sailor, and more – before finally realizing that he actually did want to go into the family business. Since then he’s been happier and more fulfilled than in his journeyman days.

Most of the people around him know this story, because Baltana is always happy to talk. It’s what makes him so good at his job. His parents always said that he was “born with a parrot in his mouth,” which he always thought was the funniest expression he’d ever heard, so he started collecting similar sayings.

Recently Baltana found his mind wandering toward Red Jade Canyon, wondering if there might still be some way to make a profit there despite the collapsed mine. Perhaps he could even find the right people to repair it! He left Ember to travel south, convincing the guild to allow him “only a small entourage” of fifty or so, with a few new-hired guards and some expert engineers. They arrived in Red Jade Canyon just ahead of an unexpected complication: Lady Shafallika‘s desert cavalry.

Appearance

Baltana Vaspasian 500

Baltana’s family is native to the south. He has medium-brown skin with sepia undertones and brown-red eyes. His hair is well-groomed salt-and-pepper on both his head and his beard. He wears a perpetual smile.

Demeanor

Baltana is both genial and business-oriented. He can work and talk at the same time, and forgets that not everyone wants a little happy chatter in their lives. He’s always nice about it, but it usually takes him two or three tries to actually be quiet. Baltana is also highly optimistic, thinking the best of others. He even has a little difficulty bringing himself to believe that someone has hurt him intentionally.

Baltana is a little sad that he doesn’t have someone to share his life with yet. All the time he spends on the road for the Guild makes it hard to find that special someone. He’s hoping to get assigned to a caravan one of these days – their large population makes it more likely that someone find him to their liking.

Abilities

Baltana is very charming, and fairly attractive. Only the most dour introverts can keep a scowl on their face when he’s around. He knows how to work a crowd and how to make friends one-on-one. He can keep his feet after downing a surprising amount of liquor. He keeps his own books, knows the price of goods all up and down the southeastern mountains, and has a tremendous store of aphorisms and obscure sayings that turn out to be surprisingly accurate.

He’s been assaulted a handful of times, and while he primarily relies on his elite bodyguards, he has also learned how to dodge blows and where to hit someone to make a quick getaway.

Baltana has no control over his own essence.

Supporting Characters

  • Tyrael Vaspasian, head bodyguard and a distant nephew. Diligent, friendly, courageous.
  • Unter Pelaver, the entourage’s scout and Baltana’s best friend on this journey. Industrious, adventurous, eccentric.
  • Orala Dirtmind, the best engineer in Ember, recruited to examine the mines. Ambitious, skilled, unkind.
  • Three-Hands Rendo, the local Guild representative in Red Jade Canyon for when the caravans aren’t here. Nervous, penny-pinching, ambitious.
  • Note that Baltana would make an excellent employer for any player characters entering this setting. Feel free to augment or replace any of his entourage with one of the PCs.

Questions

  • How will Baltana extricate himself from the situation in the canyon? What will he do if he can’t?
  • Where might Baltana find profit in this situation? Will he look for that, or will he try to act for a greater good?

Eight-Ways Ready, Chosen of Battles

Background

Let it be known that the Bureau of Destiny sees fit to appoint a representative in the southeast this season.

The representative is to travel to Sounding Sands Province, therein to Renzenkalteth Prefecture, therein to Ieska‘s Bastion, known to the local populace as Red Jade Canyon.

Close examination of the Loom of Fate has revealed unexpected weft in the tapestry indicative of active external presences or imprudent shaping of local reality. The representative is to take all measures necessary to ensure the continued integrity of the tapestry, including:

  • Personal investigation of the matter
  • Moving Wyld Hunt assets and other Realm interests toward the target
  • Alerting local embedded operatives, to the extent that their discretion allows
  • Filing such paperwork as may be required

These measures alone should be considered a sub-minimum effort. Additional measures are to be undertaken at the discretion of the representative.

Be aware that Silver Pact representatives have been active in the local prefecture in recent decades. Be alert for societal infiltration and the potential of activated opponents. Be aware also that local spirit courts may not look kindly on attempts to recruit them into the investigation, and that this matter is currently in arbitration at the highest levels.

The Bureau of Destiny has elected Eight-Ways Ready as its representative in the southeast for this season. Zero additional representatives may be assigned to this prefecture as warranted by circumstances.

Thus it is known.

Appearance

Eight-Ways Ready 500

Eight-Ways Ready is a guard. She must be a guard – she has a sword like a guard, wears the uniform of a guard, spits and grumbles like a guard, slouches in the sun like one, salutes like one. Clearly she is a guard. Her skin color? Oh, just like the rest of them, I suppose – hired in Ember before Vaspasian’s entourage turned south for the winter. Her face? Stop asking me about the guards – what are you, sweet on her? Gah. Pay attention to your work.

Demeanor

In her cover identity of Nameless Guard #3, Eight-Ways Ready is respectful in the presence of authority, and slouched and crude in its absence. There is little to say about her that has not been said about every guard.

Underneath that, beneath layers of carefully cultivated mystery, Eight-Ways is a mid-level bureaucrat forced into a secret war between impossibly powerful operatives, with all of reality as its stakes. She would rather be retired – she should have been retired a lifetime ago, were she mortal. As a hereditary historian in Sijan, she would have been happy to live out her life learning about past wars rather than participating in them.

But Mars herself decided that Eight-Ways’ life should instead become interesting, a word uttered as a curse in the Bureau (and by Eight-Ways herself). Her birth name was buried for her protection. She never became a historian like her mother and her grandmother before her. She used to see glimpses of this life from time to time, in her dreams – quiet, calm, full of hope. Of course, that life and that world also ended, definitively and painfully. She no longer sees glimpses of the horrible fires and consuming maws of emptiness that consumed that world decades ago. She knows the price that the world would have paid for her quiet, calm life, and so when her great-grand-nieces and -nephews play in the streets of Sijan, sometimes she takes a little time to appreciate that. They live because of her sacrifice.

Eight-Ways Ready tries to be a little detached from the wars and skirmishes and atrocities that she is sometimes called on to witness – or even to initiate. She finds that role difficult.

Intimacies: “I serve so that others may live” (Defining), “Creation’s enemies are my enemies” (Major), “A good book” (Positive), “Any mention of the word ‘interesting'” (Negative), “Baltana Vaspasian

Abilities

Eight-Ways Ready is perpetually alert, with excellent attention to detail. Her memory is augmented by the presence of a few spirits that conceal themselves in her clothing and scabbard, and who whisper hints and names to her when she might otherwise forget. She is also a well-learned historian with access to records that go back near to the creation of the world. What she isn’t is particularly inclined to politics or socializing. She prefers a quiet night with a book to a loud night on the town.

While not yet prepared for the highest mysteries of the Sidereal arts, Eight-Ways Ready is a superb martial artist, practicing both Single Point Style (her preferred form) and Crane Style (when caught unarmed). When armed with a sword, she is unbelievably swift and deadly, as if her blade had a mind of its own. Her strikes go directly to the heart and throat. When unarmed, she fights defensively, protecting herself and others while striking back instantly against those who would seek to harm her. In either style she is capable of handling multiple attackers.

As Chosen of Battle, Eight-Ways is also familiar with the arts of war, and knows multiple patterns in which troops may be deployed to sap the strength of different supernatural foes. She can see and trap spirits, strike them or drain their power, or cajole them into service for a time. Some of these spirits are particularly good at inserting ideas into a person’s mind, though what they do with these ideas is their own matter.

Supporting Characters

  • Falta Imbeth, a fellow guard that Eight-Ways finds trustworthy. Kindly, secretive, decisive.
  • Yetsanikonti, a local woman who is actually a small god serving the Bureau in deep cover for a past misdeed. Overbearing, compassionate, mysterious.
  • Fastidious Pen, Eight-Ways’ supervisor in the Bureau of Destiny. Courteous, efficient, overwhelmed.

Questions

  • What will Eight-Ways Ready do if she discovers Multaniko‘s presence?
  • Is Eight-Ways Ready of the Bronze Faction, or the Gold Faction?
  • Is Eight-Ways Ready on this mission as a rest from her other work, or as punishment?

Multaniko, Chosen of the Moon

Background

The Silver Pact takes different approaches in different directions. In the North they are vicious and brutal, waging open warfare on the frozen plains. On the Blessed Isle they are circumspect – they run often, and hide constantly. In the South, they seek connection and fellowship and use it to their advantage against the Realm. Multaniko is an exemplar of this approach.

Many years ago, when he was young, Multani’s mentor Shikareth founded the desert cavalry. She set them, not against the Realm, but against creatures of darkness, for the desert of the South contained many secret pathways to a desert infinitely larger, and the city of horrors beyond it. Shikareth then left to continue her work elsewhere, bringing Multani with her. He and she eventually parted, as is proper for teacher and student to do, but he bore a great respect for her in his heart for dozens of years afterward.

More recently, Shikareth died in battle, slain by the hated Scum of Heaven. The leaders of the southern Silver Pact asked Multani to check in on her mounted warriors, left for so long to their own devices, while they sought for her reincarnation. He agreed.

Multaniko was stunned to discover that his mentor’s distant descendant Shafallika, now Lady of the nomads and Master of the cavalry, had made a bargain with forces from beyond Creation. This charismatic, invincible warrior had forged the nomad clans into a fearsome army… but at what cost? Bound by honor and morbid fascination, Multani insinuated himself into her war-camp, and worked his way quickly up to become her trusted advisor. It was he, informed by sources within the Silver Pact, who brought her the news of Red Jade Canyon’s infestation.

Now he travels with her as she and her cavalry ride, and tries to see into her heart. How far will she take this army? How strong a hold do the Fair Folk have on her? What has hardened her heart so, that she turns from mercy so often? Were she a fellow member of the Silver Pact, Multani might find this mindset inspiring. In a mortal, and one to whom he feels like an uncle, he find it worrisome. He has put his mind to the puzzle of The Thousand Tales of Shafallika, hoping to eke out the truth, and worries that he might be too late.

Appearance

Multaniko 500

In his natural form, Multani’s skin is an umber brown. His eyes and hair are black. His beard is kept trimmed short and neat. Naturally, as a shapeshifter, Multani can take on many appearances, but he wears his true form among the desert nomads. Nearly everyone mistakes the numerous black scales on the back of his head for short-cut hair.

Demeanor

When he’s in his element, Multaniko is the extrovert’s extrovert. He’s friendly, jovial, and so smoothly manipulative that people don’t even realize he’s done anything until he’s gone – and often not even then. He’s also a perfect infiltrator – Shikareth used to tell say that whereas most Lunars changed their bodies, Multani changed his mind. She warned him not to change his heart the same way, and he listened… for the most part.

Multaniko came here hoping to find an ally against the Realm in their time of weakness. Now that he has one, he genuinely doesn’t know what he should do. He’s more withdrawn than he’s ever been. As Shafallika’s advisor, he constantly counsels caution – gather more information, wait for someone else to make a move. He’s talking at least half to himself.

Intimacies: “Be at the center of things” (Defining), “My mentor’s legacy” (Major), “The Silver Pact” (Positive), “The Scum of Heaven” (Negative), “A little lie never hurt anyone”, and see “Abilities” below.

Abilities

Multani is a charismatic and shrewd individual, with over a hundred years of practice blending into every society in the South. He’s a smooth-voiced fast-talker with a real dedication to the cause of the Silver Pact. Multani’s skill with people extends to animals as well, and he’s yet to find one that he can’t convince to bear him as a rider.

As a Changing-Moon Lunar, Multani’s essence is perfectly suited to missions of infiltration, stealth, and adaptation. His eyes are sharp, and he can feel vibrations in the ground through his sensitive feet. He can see through the eyes of animals, and speak to many of them as well, through gentle noises, gestures, and eye contact. He has a dozen or more desert-adapted forms, as well as some more common on the South’s shoreline. Multani’s shapeshifting talent has also been turned inward, allowing him to take on an Intimacy appropriate to whatever role he’s performing.

Multaniko’s totem is a desert lizard. He is capable of taking on a war form, but rarely does so, preferring to stay out of combat and let others fight. He’s best after a fight, where his understanding of bodies and minds allows him to heal wounds and help his allies recover spent energies. If cornered, he transforms and flies, runs, or burrows for freedom.

Supporting Characters

  • Flora Softwing, the Silver Pact scout who learned of the demons. Perceptive, shrewd, distractible.
  • Waiid Tenstone, the servant assigned to Multani in Lady Shafallika’s camp. Large, intimidating, friendly.
  • Bey Denscraith, a fellow advisor that Multani has befriended. Frustrated, emotional, considerate.

Questions

  • What will Multaniko do if he finds out that Eight-Ways Ready is here?
  • Is Multaniko ready to kill Lady Shafallika if she becomes possessed by the Fair Folk? Is he capable of it?

Lady Shafallika, Master of the Desert Cavalry

Background

The nomads of the southern desert tell many tales of Lady Shafallika, but the one told most often is how and why she came about her invincibility. There are many versions of what happened that one might hear; listen now and you will hear the truth.

Lady Shafallika was a nomad princess, born to the ruler of the endless sands. When her father was dying of a pestilence, he whispered to her, “My hold on our people is only as strong as I am. To bind them to you, you must be strong as well.” Lady Shafallika became determined to gain such power that all the clans would bow before her. Her vizier told her of a little-known place that might give her the strength she desired, but warned her of a price – but of course we know how such things go.

To obtain this strength she rode into a riddle: a place of horror, but also an oasis of wonders. A place where no men or women lived, but untold thousands dwelled. Deep in the desert, in a tiny place where the burning sands blew, was a vast and lush oasis occupied by the Fair Folk. Lady Shafallika ate not of their food, and rejected their hospitality, asking instead for the chance to prove herself, to be granted the most fearsome of blessings. One of them spoke out above the laughter of the rest, demanding to know why they should do this for her.

She told them that the world had nearly forgotten them. They stopped laughing. She promised them that, if they helped her, their story would be known throughout the south – and if she went away empty-handed, or returned not at all, well… their story could simply die with her.

Lady Shafallika returned to her clan with stories of an incredible palace beyond the sands, and the fantastic inhabitants thereof. Each story she told was slightly different, which of course only encouraged the spread of the tale. She refused to speak the full truth to any but her father, who shook his ghostly head and quietly promised to give her better wisdom.

Since then, Lady Shafallika has led the desert cavalry to victory after victory. She never backs down, never parlays – and never loses. Her warriors spread The Thousand Tales of Shafallika in the wake of her conquest, as do her enemies. Many have approached her seeking mercenaries or marriage, and she rejected them all, though some she kept as advisors or lieutenants, including a young man named Multaniko.

When Multaniko informed Lady Shafallika of the demons that were hiding in Red Jade Canyon, she marshalled her two thousand mounted warriors and rode there with all haste. Her people have long swept the desert clear of evil forces, and this will be no exception. She has her suspicions as to how Multan came across this information – she knows that he is more than he lets on, but she also knows not to call a god’s bluff.

Appearance

Lady Shafallika 500

Lady Shafallika has light brown skin and large brown eyes. She wraps herself in the traditional head garb and robes of her people, so little else can be seen, save a tattoo that runs along the back edges of her temples.

Demeanor

Calm, clear-headed, and steely-eyed, Lady Shafallika is the very picture of a military commander. Her commands brook no disobedience. While she will listen to advice from those she considers wise or powerful, she lets no one decide for her.

Intimacies: “I must not lose my power, lest the nomads turn against me” (Defining), “My family and my clan” (Major), “The Ancient Enemy” (by which her clan means creatures of darkness, Negative), “My advisors” (Positive)

Abilities

As master of the desert cavalry, Lady Shafallika was raised on horseback and trained with a bow from childhood. She holds together the clans not only with her invincibility, but with clever dealings and an understanding of the ties that bind families and warriors. She reads High Realm and Firetongue, and while her penmanship is atrocious, she has a strong and compelling speaking voice.

Lady Shafallika is invulnerable to non-magical harm from outside her body. Poisons and illness can still strike her down, as can hunger and thirst, but neither blade nor bow nor avalanche will injure her. She can still be harmed by spirits, or by the charms and weapons of the Chosen, but she is greatly fortified against them. She is likewise immune to all fear and to control by Psyche effects or similar magic. She might be convinced to act in a certain manner by mundane means, but never by charm or sorcery, and she will never feel fear in any way.

These protections are in place only so long as Lady Shafallika does not back down from a confrontation that she has chosen. She need not accept every challenge thrown at her, but once she does accept, she cannot change her mind. On the day that she does, the Fair Folk will own her mind and soul, and she knows that they will wreak all the havoc they can with her, slowly and with plotting madness. Her closest advisors have deadly poisons prepared for that day.

Supporting Characters

  • Lord Sintallan, her ghostly father who advises her still.
  • Onyx Eyes Unbending, the Fair Folk noble who blessed her.
  • Bey Dassanatt, her aged vizier.
  • Lord Etlassiban, her husband, safely at home with her children and the child-mothers. Courteous, respectful, deferential.

Questions

  • Was that the true story behind her invincibility, or just another story?
  • What is the exact wording of Lady Shafallika’s deal with the Fair Folk? The end of a deal and its weak points often hinge on exact wording.

Hearttoucher, Fleshcrafting Demon

Background

In the demon world, there is no kindness.

Strength and authority – by which one might as well say “Strength and strength alone” – are the ways in which the creatures there relate to one another. Power over others is the law of the land, from the singed upper roots of the broken world-tree to the icy depths of the caustic sea. Power is all, no matter how it is obtained. Help is a feint; charity a lie.

Remember this should Hearttoucher show you compassion.

She and her sisters are born to one another. Their absentee mother is long distant from her progeny. The fleshcrafters take meat and pleasure from those with whom they transact, shaping these into future children – perhaps her own, perhaps another’s.

Were she in the demon world, she would draw webs of influence and pleasure that tightened slowly, forcing concessions from those who see themselves as mighty but who cannot rule their own minds. She would change their bodies and whisper into their minds until they became hers, or until they cruelly turned her out onto the basalt streets to run from their bloodthirsty underlings. She sees no reason not to follow the same path here.

If there is one thing that sets Hearttoucher aside from her kin, it is that she truly values the presence of her sisters. She misses them here in Red Jade Canyon, and wishes that Fedinta would call forth more of them so that she could have a coven of them. She has asked for this, and is beginning to build a need within Fedinta to see more of her kind here. Once that need is strong enough, Fedinta’s key will be able to open the door to several of them, and Hearttoucher will have companionship beyond the simple and vapid beings who live here.

Until then, she lives in a tower of tin and fire in an abandoned mineshaft, and her cult brings mortals to bargain away what little they have in body and mind. She will rule here for a time. It seems only right.

Appearance

Hearttoucher 500

Hearttoucher has a light, vivid purple skin. Her eyes are black with irises of midnight blue. Every person who has come to her hidden tower describes her body differently, but all agree that they wanted it, badly, immediately. Her smell is intoxicating.

Demeanor

Hearttoucher reclines languidly on a bed of cushions within her tower, the walls decked in opulence. Much of this is from previous dealings with others in Malfeas, but some is recognizably the work of Red Jade Canyon. A ring from Siltanakkado, a beautiful carving from Fedinta, other gifts from those who adore her. She treats all visitors casually, as if their visit were nothing special, though her eyes speak differently. She is never less than confident, though she will be cautious when confronted by the Chosen.

When she works, she whispers sweet nothings to those she reshapes, alluring to them and meaningless to her. One can see genuine fascination in her eyes as she gently takes apart an individual, amazed at the way that Creation births and shapes its mortals.

Intimacies: “All things are meant to be reshaped” (Defining), “I am worthy of worship” (Major), “My sisters” (Positive), “I must one day return to the demon world” (Negative)

Abilities

Hearttoucher’s primary gifts lay with taking apart and reassembling willing mortals into something they could not have become themselves. She has some talent for artistic expression, but it primarily shows itself in the crafting of flesh or the sating of it. As an older demon of her kind, she can tell many true stories of the demon world or of the First Age. She also has an addictive touch that brings the members of Siltan’s cult back again and again.

Several of the town’s layabout population, presumed dead during a particularly fierce ash storm, now guard Hearttoucher as if she were their most important ally (which may actually be true). In return for their service, she has enhanced them with a multitude of dangerous features, such as toughened skin and poisoned spines. Many of them look like demons themselves. They were not much to begin with, but she has given them every physical advantage they might wish for.

Hearttoucher is a practitioner of Black Claw Style, and is fairly comfortable with it. She can poison her enemies with a touch, beg her way out of the reach of blows, hold her opponents in a fearsome lock that sustains poison, steal weapons even as they are used against her, and work more strongly against those surrounded by her allies. Worst of all, those who witness the battle must fight their better nature to believe that Hearttoucher started it – even if she were not constantly surrounded by allies.

Supporting Characters

  • Vithasa, young drifter who became her strongest guard. Large, confused, obedient.
  • Phakasento, obsessed admirer trying to win her nonexistent favor. Eager, quick, desparate.
  • Baltanokoshinka, the aged majordomo who announces at her “court.” Brazen, righteous, arthritic.
  • Tashendanko, who fled her cult and is hiding in the mountains. Regretful, afraid, still addicted.

Questions

  • Hearttoucher must know that her time in Creation is limited. Is she merely enjoying herself, or does she have a goal here?
  • How many people are in Hearttoucher’s cult? How many of them have been enhanced by her magic?

Fedinta, Demon-calling Prodigy

Background

Young Fedi was a quiet child. She kept to herself most of the time, and most often kept away from other folk as well. Her parents tried to keep good track of her, but she got too good at slipping away and coming back, and they eventually let her have her “little adventures”. When the cousin who watched her died in the ash storms beside her – “Too old to be so foolish”, said Ieska – her impoverished family shook their heads and decided that she was probably old enough to take care of herself.

During these times she would scamper into the mines, crawling through tight places and hiding behind the carts when people came by. Sometimes people saw her and sent her home – the mines were dangerous, no place for a child. A few folk appreciated her bringing them cool tin cups of water, and let her stay longer than they should have. In truth, she never should have been there at all.

Deep down in cracks that were declared “all mined out” three hundred years ago, Fedi found a strange object. It was metal, like copper greened with age but strong. There was a central cylinder, flattened wide at one end, with spines radiating from the other that smelled of vinegar and the apothecary’s shop. It vibrated, just a touch. It was warm, just a little.

It was a key. It opened any door.

Fedinta couldn’t walk through the doors that the key opened, but other beings could walk through to Creation, if the door were open at the right time, and if she held the key and wanted it bad enough. Little Fedi wanted something to tell her stories, and a hooded figure told her of the endless acid ocean and the slaughtered world-tree. Fedin, growing girl, wanted something to stop the older girls from picking on her, and something did, late in the night, with blood and awful screams. Fedinta, young woman, frustrated with life, wanted something to make her important, and Hearttoucher came. It lives still in the mines.

Who knows what other strange creatures have come through Fedinta’s doors and live still in some abandoned part of the canyon? The thing that collapsed the mine shaft for her certainly did not flee back to its home. The thing that carried away the canyonfolk’s memories of those that Hearttoucher took – that thing roams the town still, late at night. They are careful and quiet. They roam only at night, to avoid Ieska’s fearsome eye. Make no mistake, though: they are here.

Appearance

Fedinta 500

Fedinta is dark-haired and brown-skinned, with black eyes. She often wears a thoughtful look on her face. She has only a few pieces of minor jewelry – thin bangles and earrings – but she wears them always. The key is never on her person, lest she accidentally lose it.

Demeanor

Once remote and quiet, Fedinta is finding her voice as the center of a growing, powerful organization. She loves being part of Siltan‘s group. She enjoys having the power that comes from their need. She resents Hearttoucher for being the true source of all that, but at the same time her heart belongs to the fleshcrafter in a way it has never belonged anyone else.

She has few friends, and none that she would confide in. Fedinta is supported by Siltan’s cult – Hearttoucher’s cult, perhaps? – and her parents wonder what she must be doing that keeps her out of the fields. She has cut ties with most of her family out of nothing more than apathy.

Intimacies: “I want my own power” (Defining), “I adore Hearttoucher” (Major), “Siltan” (Positive), “All those whose words hurt me” (Negative, Major), “Secrets are not meant to be shared”

Abilities

Fedinta learned to whittle and carve wood as a child on her mother’s knee. She is a skilled craftswoman, and sells her pieces to the Guild when they come each year. The thing that tore her tormentors limb from limb taught her to fight with that same carving knife. Thanks to the lessons of a robed library-demon she called years ago, she knows much of the secret ways of the world, hidden in fascinating stories and memorable verse. She is still very good at hiding.

The key that Fedinta carries can summon one of the weaker demons from Malfeas once each month, on the dark of the moon. It draws them across the endless desert to a thin stone archway in a dried-out oasis, from which they can enter Creation, if the opener spends a point of Willpower and sacrifices one level of an Intimacy appropriate to a particular sort of demon. (It gives you what you want, then takes away the want.) The key gives one no influence over the demons. They are most often well-disposed to whomever set them free in Creation (a minor Intimacy). Despite its fragile appearance, the key is almost impossible to break, and can repair itself when no one is looking. It can be destroyed by dissolving it in pure elemental water, a process that will take many years.

Fedinta has no control over her essence.

Supporting Characters

  • Fesalumina, her mother, who fears that she is involved in some criminal endeavor.
  • Bikrashen, A cult member who pines for her. Devious, lustful, daring.
  • Nahatenteth, The father of the girl her demon tore to pieces. Materialistic, angry, sad.

Questions

  • What other demons are still in the canyon?
  • Who created the key? What was it made for? Why does it eat desires?
  • How old is Fedinta? Has she asked Hearttoucher to change her in that way?