The Celestial Circle
Beyond the power of the Dragon-Blooded lies the Celestial Circle, sole province of the Celstial Exalted. Solars, Lunars, Sidereals and even Abyssals may learn this Circle. The Sidereals probably know it best, but although they have preserved the lore of First Age magic they are loathe to use it - like all sorcery, it is impossible to conceal, and power of this magnitude always draws attention. Few things can disrupt magic of the second circle, and its wielders were the most potent sorcerors in Creation - until the return of the Solars revived the possibility of greater magics.
Army of One
Cost: 25 motes
Even the mighty Exalted are sometimes hard-pressed to fend off lesser foes when they are great in number. Though many Charms allow for greater movement and quicker attacks, they do not allow the Exalt to be in multiple places. This spell was invented by a Zenith Solar to aid him in combating demons, a task he preferred to undertake alone.
The caster tears a tuft of hair from his body and chants a short sutra over it. He then blows softly on the hairs, releasing them. Before they strike the ground, a number of the hairs will form into duplicates of the caster, one for each dot of Essence the caster possesses. The caster must be outnumbered in the coming battle, or the spell fails. Mortal allies do not count when calculating the size of his forces for the purposes of this spell.
The duplicates are effectively heroic mortals, visually similar to the caster and identical to each other, with the caster's scores in Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Wits and Valour. They also possess the caster's Ability scores in Dodge, the caster's primary (highest) fighting skill, and the caster's highest unarmed fighting skill. The duplicates will have a minimum of Dodge 2, Martial Arts 2, Melee 2, and Valour 2, should the caster have lower scores. If the caster has specialties for any of these abilities, they are not conferred to the duplicates, but their raw Ability is increased by one point (to the usual maximum of five). They do not use other traits, but if necessary (for applying other Charms, Spells etc.) they have the caster's score or 2, whichever is lower. They possess 7 health levels, and appear to bleed and take wounds, but do not suffer from any wound penalties. They may soak Bashing damage with their Stamina, but not Lethal damage.
Example: Masaaki, Zenith-Caste Solar, has Essence 4, Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5, Wits 3, Dodge 2, Martial Arts 2, Melee 4 (Staves +1, Multiple Opponents +1, Versus Demons +1) and Valour 4. He is preparing to face a horde of Erymanthoi, and casts Army of One to even the score. He pulls out a tuft of hair from his chest, whispers the sutra, then releases the hairs. He has an Essence of four, so four hairs transform into duplicates. Each appears identical to Masaaki, with Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5, Wits 3, Dodge 2, Martial Arts 2, Melee 5 (they gain an additional dot for Masaaki's specialties) and seven health levels. All other traits (Attributes, Abilities, Essence, Virtues, Willpower etc.) are either equal to Masaaki's or have a score of 2, whichever is lower.
Each duplicate wears facsimiles of the caster's clothing and armour, and wields a copy of his primary weapon. While similar to the caster's own equipment, these items are non-magical; they have the statistics of unenchanted but exceptional items of the appropriate type (see Exalted, p.326, for information on exceptional items). A Daiklave would be duplicated as an exceptional chopping sword, a Goremaul as an exceptional Hammer or Mace, etc.
Example: Masaaki wields his Wishing Staff, a potent Artifact with special powers, and is wearing an Orichalcum Reinforced Buff Jacket. His duplicates therefore wield exceptional staves and are wearing normal Reinforced Buff Jackets.
The duplicates do not require supervision by the caster, though he must take part in the battle. The duplicates will take no action but to attack the caster's foes, though they are effectively under the caster's control and will attack targets of his choosing if he wishes to command them. They cannot use Charms, spells or Essence, but can channel Valour and fight intelligently, and know whatever the caster knows about the enemy.
The duplicates last until slain or the end of the battle. They will also turn back into hairs if they do not fight before the sun next crosses the horizon, or the caster is slain. All equipment duplicated by this spell lasts only as long as the duplicate who owned it; a duplicate may recover a fallen weapon during the battle, but a foe cannot slay a duplicate and take his armour.
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