Exalted: Northern Skies
Motivation: To protect the Haslanti League and spread its power and influence throughout the North.
Anima Banner: White Essence storm clouds quickly gather and are then broken by a bright golden sun.
Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 3, Charisma 4, Manipulation 2, Appearance 3, Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
Virtues: Compassion 2, Conviction 3, Temperance 2, Valor 4
Virtue Flaw: Foolhardy Contempt
Abilities: Archery 1, Melee 5, War 5, Integrity 2, Performance 1, Presence 4, Resistance 2, Survival 1, Lore 1, Occult 1, Athletics 5, Awareness 4, Linguistics (Native: Skytongue; Others: Old Realm) 1, Sail 1
Specialties: Melee (Daiklaves) 2, Survival (The North) 2
Backgrounds: Artifact 2, Artifact 2, Resources 2, Followers 2, Influence 2, Contacts 1, Cult 1
Athletics: Graceful Crane Stance, Perfect Poise Stance
Melee: Hungry Tiger Technique, Dipping Swallow Defense, Bulwark Stance, Protection of Celestial Bliss, One Weapon Two Blows
Presence: Irresistible Salesman Spirit
Resistance: Ox-Body Technique, Body Mending Meditation
War: Heroism-Encouraging Presence, Tiger Warrior Training Technique, Immanent Solar Glory
Join Battle: 7
Orichalcum Daiklave: Speed 5, Accuracy 16, Damage 9L/2, Parry DV 8, Rate 4, Tags O
Feathersteel Dagger: Speed 4, Accuracy 13, Damage 6L, Parry DV 6, Rate 3, Tags T
Punch: Speed 5, Accuracy 6, Damage 4B, Parry DV 4, Rate 3, Tags N
Kick: Speed 5, Accuracy 5, Damage 7B, Parry DV 2, Rate 2, Tags N
Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 5, Damage 4B, Parry DV -, Rate 1, Tags C,N,P
Soak: 10L/15B (Orichalcum Reinforced Buff Jacket, 9L/12B, -1 mobility, fatigue value 0)
Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-2/-4/Incap
Dodge DV: 3
Dodge MDV: 7
Personal Essence: 18
Peripheral Essence: 43 (51)
Committed Essence: 8
*Intimacies: Haslanti League (Loyalty), Airships (Awe), Tempest Guard (Loyalty), , First Age (Curiosity), Reputation (Pride), Jokes (Love), Storytelling (Love), Demons (Disdain), Captain Gyrfalcon (Hatred), The Realm (Distrust)
Born in the frigid lands of the Haslanti League, Darius grew up tending to a minor greenfield around Icehome. When his labor was complete, he would often spend time gazing towards the clouds, in the hope of catching sight of a magnificent airship skirting above. Though his parents weren’t martially minded, they encouraged his youthful excitement for the military and life beyond their village. A retired militiaman who lived nearby would often teach the boy the basics of swordsmanship, all while recounting tales of past battles.
When he was old enough to be called a man, Darius left the life he had known for the life he always dreamed of. Icehome proved to be every bit the bustling environment he had hoped it would be. Merchants and traders filled the streets while air boats and gliders swam in the skies overhead. Wasting little time, he located the nearest barracks and enlisted for full-time service.
Over the course of six years, three terms of service, Darius lived the life of a soldier. Proving to be a natural, he was quick to learn and was well liked by both his peers and superiors. Once he had mastered all he could in ground combat, he was moved to assist the Wind Fleet as a commando where he continued his exemplary record.
Now an experienced commando and squad leader, Darius was aboard the air boat first class Tempest on a return trip from Crystal. Laden with feathersteel ore and first age relics, the massive flyer was four days out and cloaked in the darkness of night when it was suddenly attacked. The Tempest, used to having air superiority, was entirely unprepared to deal with an ambush by another airship, especially when the vessel turned out to be the ancient artifact craft of Captain Gyrfalcon, Scourge of the Haslanti Skies.
As gliders launched to engage the enemy’s demonic flyers, Darius and his commandos prepared themselves for boarding actions. Gyrfalcon had other ideas however, and with a crack of baleful green light, the enemy ship belched forth a watery shadow of translucent energy. Where the foul essence touched, flesh and wood quickly turned to black stone. Over half the crew was slain in the first volley, though their helmsman was able to avoid a direct hit on their gasbag. Badly damaged and venting air rapidly, the Tempest was forced downward. Its landing was neither graceful nor gentle, causing even more crew casualties as the ship slammed into the frozen tundra.
The triumphant ship followed, parking itself over the ruined hull of the Tempest. With Gyrfalcon leading the attack, demonic crew descended from spider silken ropes to hunt down any survivors. Darius, wounded but still alive, quickly rallied what few survivors there were and stood firm. Barking out orders, he issued a challenge, seeking to personally slay the sky pirate. With a fang-toothed smirk, Gyrfalcon accepted and drew his rapier, suddenly bathed in a bonfire of emerald light.
Lesser men would have fled, but Darius was resolute, standing tall and proud with sword in hand. At the first clash of their weapons, everything changed. Suddenly, they were no longer fighting in the black of night, but the dawning of sunrise. Blue and gold flame surrounded his blade as he pushed Gyrfalcon back. With each step and each swing, he became more confident and sure of his victory. The Infernal pirate, his smirk wiped clean, retreated from this sudden change in the odds. As quickly as they attacked, the demonic host was gone, leaving the reborn Solar Exalted stranded in the wilds of the North.
Though they all knew the term “Anathema”, none of the survivors paid it much attention, instead forming stronger bonds of friendship and respect. As far as they were concerned, their commander had saved all of them from certain death. They salvaged what they could from the Tempest, primarily provisions and traveling gear. Darius found several of the First Age artifacts useful to him; most notably a large sword he knew to be called a daiklave. Setting out on foot, they started the arduous journey towards the city of Windcreche.
After ultimately returning to Icehome, Darius was hailed as a hero by those who heard his story. With approval, he left the military and formed his own mercenary company. This allowed him to continue serving his country while allowing the Haslanti League to avoid any political issues that could arise from having an “Anathema” officially in their ranks. Known as the Tempest Guard, his command consists of four scales of hardened commandos, almost half of which witnessed his Exaltation first hand.