The Sisterhood of the Blade

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Sisterhood

Deity: Bloodletter, Sanguine (sang-gwen)
Aliases: Life, Death, and Night
Titles: Godslayer, the Divider, Lady Death, Lady Night
Holy Times: The Winter and Summer Solstices
Symbol: The Sword, Double-Headed Axe and the Moon, the Sickle
Holy Signs: The numbers 3, 7, 21. The colours Red and Silver, and Blood.
Holy Weapons: Short Sword, Dagger, Axe, and Bow
Familiars: Raven, Wolves, Cat, and Panther
Quote: "When the war becomes all, he shall return."

History

The Sisterhood of the Blade consists of a group of warrior women and midwives. The religion is almost completely made of women, though a man wearing Sanguine’s Marque is allowed into the religion as a sacred priest. Historically, there have been only two or three men who have born the marque.

The first records of the Sisterhood are around 800 BE. They revere Sanguine, the weapon of Arion. Sanguine is the Blood Goddess, she who craves battle, and the sacred Mother. It is said that Sanguine was the one who slew Arion to create the world, and that she awaits the end time so that he will welcome her once more for Judgement.

Sacrifice is considered a sacred ritual of Sanguine. During any major conflict, the Battle Maidens slaughter their enemies, making each death an offering to Sanguine. The most zealous are known to ritually perform death-blows striking key points of their enemy to produce as much blood as possible. The symbol of the Battle Maidens is normally a red sword on a white shield. Most Battle Maidens wear red, and trace red lines across their cheeks or down their arms with their blades as symbols of their devotion.

During times of peace, the Sisterhood will perform sacrifices to Sanguine. Usually this involves the death of criminals, though the most important sacrifice is reserved for the Games. The symbol of the Midwives is usually that of a red palm on a white field, or a red cloak wrapped around a bundle, representing a child. Midwives usually wear a red cloak and dress in white with red highlights, showing that they straddle the divide birth and death.

Once a year, during the Summer Solstice, the Sisterhood holds an event called the Games. These games begin with a lottery, to find which Sister will be chosen as the Sacred Mother. Once that is done, the competition begins with any males who wish to participate to see which among them will be the Sacred Father.

The Sacred Father is pampered and given every hospitality until the Winter Solstice, where the Sacred Mother gives birth. The Sacred Father is ritually sacrificed, so that his soul can become pure and infuse the child; in the hopes that this will bring Arion’s spark to life within the baby. So far, there have been no accounts of the Sacred Mother giving birth to a man. Instead, the child has always been a daughter. It is expected that if a male child is born, it will be Arion.

The sacrifice has often been seen as ‘evil’ by the Joshuites and by some other faiths, but the sacrifice is a fertility ritual, which helps crops, farm animals, and the people in the region. One life is given, so that the land and those who use it will benefit, and if possible, the ritual is performed on a willing subject.

While not active in preaching the faith of Sanguine, the Sisterhood are more visible than their scholarly counterparts. The group can act with surprising violence when provoked, and the Sisterhood has a long history of clashes with the Joshuites and other faiths which are not tolerant of them. Unlike the Brotherhood, the Sisters of the Blade take a more active role in society. They act in the interests of women, slaying those who would abuse them and being midwife for those about to give birth. They protect children, and often patrol the streets at night around their temple. The Sisterhood is built around temples to Sanguine, with a Priestess in charge of the temple, and the Sisters working under them. Each temple is usually autonomous, not interacting with other temples unless requested by the High Priestess.

The Elite of the Sisterhood’s Battle Maidens are the Sanguine Reapers, the most experienced of the Battle Maidens, who have been blessed by the Divider. The Reapers are feared because their blessings allow them to infect those under them with a fanatical zeal and ferocious ability.

Roleplaying

While not active in preaching the faith of Sanguine, the Sisterhood are more visible than their scholarly counterparts. The group can act with surprising violence when provoked, and the Sisterhood has a long history of clashes with the Joshuites and other faiths which are not tolerant of them.

Unlike the Brotherhood, the Sisters of the Blade take a more active role in society. They act in the interests of women, slaying those who would abuse them and being midwife for those about to give birth. They protect children, and often patrol the streets at night around their temple.

Two groups exist among the Sisterhood, the Battle Maidens, and the Midwives. The Sisterhood is built around temples to Sanguine, with a Priestess in charge of the temple, and the Sisters working under them. Each temple is usually autonomous, not interacting with other temples unless requested by the High Priestess.

Laws

  • Protect our weaker brethen, for it is they who see the road we walk.
  • Each war attracts the eyes of the Traveller. Make each war a wonder to behold.
  • Know the purpose of each conflict, and side with those who keep balance.
  • The Final War will bring the Traveller here. Ensure his Judgement will not destroy us all.
  • Sanguine is your first loyalty. You may not marry, and any children you have are to be given to others to raise.

The Battle Maidens of Sanguine

Skills: Blades, Endurance
Status: Private, Religious
Resources: 20
Region: Drachen

Symbol: A Red Blade on a White Background

Orders Abilities

Cassandra’s Fury (Battle Maiden Training)

At any time the Battle Maiden suffers an injury (the loss of any Health), they can immediately throw themselves into a bloodlust. The Battle Maiden’s eyes turn a blood red during this frenzy, and the character becomes a relentless vehicle for their goddess’ blood hunger for the Scene. The character gains the following abilities:

  • The Battle Maiden gains a bonus to Initiative equal to the character’s Might.
  • The Battle Maiden gains Additional Successes to all Soak Rolls equal to the character’s Might.
  • The Battle Maiden reduces their Defence to its minimum, and can not go on Active Defence.
  • As a Full Round Action, the Battle Maiden can perform a Passive Roll to attack all opponents within melee. The character gains a number of Additional Successes equal to the number of Actions sacrificed in the Round.
  • Any time the Battle Maiden must make a Death Save due to loss of Health, the character adds their Might as bonus dice. If the character gains any Successes, they do not fall unconscious, and remain at 1 Health.

Heart Strike (Battle Maiden Miracle)

As a Full Round Action, the Battle Maiden can perform an unarmed attack aiming for the heart of their opponent. The Battle Maiden spends 3 Essence to perform the attack, increasing the Difficulty by up to the character’s Might. If Successful, the Damage of the attack is equal to the number of Actions sacrificed in the Round, plus the amount the Battle Maiden increased the Difficulty of the attack. If the victim dies from the attack, the Battle Maiden has torn the victim’s heart from their chest. The heart can be used for a number of benefits. If the character performs this Ability more than once in a Scene, they choose the highest Might from all victims taken.

  • The Battle Maiden can devour the heart. This is a Full Round Action and increases all the character’s Traits by the victim’s Might for the Scene, allowing the Battle Maiden to surpass their maximum values.
  • The Battle Maiden crushes the heart, offering it to Sanguine. For the remainder of the Scene, the character gains a number of bonus dice equal to the victim’s Might to all Skill Rolls.
  • The Battle Maiden can crush the heart over a willing recipient. This is a Full Round Action, and restores the Health and Essence of the recipient by the victim’s Might. The recipient regains one Health and one Essence per Round for the Scene.

Sanguine Blessing (Battle Maiden Miracle)

The Battle Maiden calls upon Sanguine, cutting themselves with an edged weapon. The character can sacrifice an amount of Health equal to their Might for this miracle. The Battle Maiden gains the following benefits for the Scene:

  • If the Battle Maiden is struck by an edged weapon, they may spend 1 Essence to reduce the Damage by the amount of Health they sacrificed to activate this Ability. Any wounds suffered become Additional Successes on the character’s next attack roll. If struck multiple times, the Battle Maiden chooses the highest wound suffered, +1 Additional Success for each additional strike made against them.
  • The weapon used to cut themselves becomes Damage (Might) or +(Half Might) for the Scene. The Battle Maiden heals half the Wounds the weapon inflicts with any attack made using it.
  • Any wound inflicted with the blessed weapon continues to bleed, drawing out the victim’s soul. The victim loses one Health and one Essence at the beginning of each Round, for a number of Rounds equal to the amount of Health the Battle Maiden sacrificed. If the victim is struck again, that Round becomes the first round for bleeding, but the amount of Health and Essence lost is not cumulative.

The Midwives of the Divider

Skills: Herbalist, Medicine
Status: Public (Religious)
Resources: 20 Region: Shire Lands

Symbol: A Child Wrapped in a Red Cloak

Order Abilities

Sanguine Bond (Midwife Miracle)

As a Full Round Action, the character touches a target and makes a Results Roll. The character must sacrifice any combination of Essence or Health equal to the Difficult of the roll. The character rolls Spiritual + Medicine with a number of Additional Successes equal to the number of Actions Sacrificed in the Round. The recipient heals an amount of Health equal to the Potency of the roll. For the rest of the Scene, if the Midwife spends another Full Round Action and pays the Cost, the recipient will immediately heal the same amount again. The Midwife need not roll nor touch the recipient to heal them.

In addition, if anyone attacks the character, they may spend a Free Action and spend an amount of Essence equal to the number of Wounds suffered. The attacker immediately suffers an amount of Wounds equal to the character’s Might. These Wounds can only be soaked by the target’s Spiritual Attribute.

Sanguine Shroud (Midwife Miracle)

The red cloak is the symbol of the Sisterhood. The character wraps it around themselves, and vanish from sight as an Action. They may attempt this as an Active Defence, spending 1 Essence to do so. If the attacker does not get more Successes than the character’s Might, they lose sight of the character and are considered to be attacking blind.

While this Ability is active, the character can not be seen or heard by anyone. Gifts, Powers, or Spells used to detect the character lose Successes equal to the character’s Might. If the character takes an Action to inflict harm upon someone, this protection is lost, though the victim is considered helpless.

As a Full Round Action, the character can make a Results Roll. The character must sacrifice any combination of Essence or Health equal to the Difficulty of the roll. The character rolls Spiritual + Endurance, and gains a number of Additional Successes equal to the number of Actions Sacrificed in the Round. The cloak provides the character with an additional Soak (Potency) for the Scene, but can only stop a number of attacks equal to the character’s Might. This Soak can resist any form of Damage, including those which would normally bypass Armour or Innate Soak. The character can stretch out the cloak to enwrap others, up to a number of additional people equal to twice the character’s Might. For each additional person protected, the Potency of the cloak is reduced by one.

While this Ability is active, any person in the area can make a Passive Roll using their Mental + Awareness. If they gain more Successes than the character’s Might, they detect the faint scent of estrus in the region. This scent can not be used to locate a shrouded Sister specifically.

Tend the Forgotten (Midwife Ritual)

As a Full Round Action, the character can touch an individual and ease any suffering the target may be experiencing. The target is immediately cured of any Afflictions (including Affliction Powers). Alternatively, as a Full Round Action, the character may touch a target. The character makes a Results Roll, using Spiritual + Unarmed. The character must sacrifice any combination of Essence or Health equal to the Difficult of the roll. If the target is unwilling, the character must first spend an Action to touch the target. If successful, the victim can either die with peace and dignity, feeling no pain, or they can choose to make a Death Save with a Difficulty equal to the Potency of the roll. If the target was unwilling, the character must also make a Death Save, with a Difficulty equal to the Might of the target, or die with them. Those slain by this ritual have their bodies and souls consecrated, protected from all further abilities.

The Sanguine Reapers

Status: Private, Religious
Resources: 20
Skills: Blades, War Craft
Region: Shire Lands

Order Abilities

Sanguine Shroud (Reaper Miracle)

The red cloak is the symbol of the Sisterhood. The character wraps it around themselves, and vanish from sight as an Action. They may attempt this as an Active Defence, spending 1 Essence to do so. If the attacker does not get more Successes than the character’s Might, they lose sight of the character and are considered to be attacking blind.

While this Ability is active, the character can not be seen or heard by anyone. Gifts, Powers, or Spells used to detect the character lose Successes equal to the character’s Might. If the character takes an Action to inflict harm upon someone, this protection is lost, though the victim is considered helpless.

As a Full Round Action, the character can make a Results Roll. The character must sacrifice any combination of Essence or Health equal to the Difficulty of the roll. The character rolls Spiritual + Endurance, and gains a number of Additional Successes equal to the number of Actions Sacrificed in the Round. The cloak provides the character with an additional Soak (Potency) for the Scene, but can only stop a number of attacks equal to the character’s Might. This Soak can resist any form of Damage, including those which would normally bypass Armour or Innate Soak. The character can stretch out the cloak to enwrap others, up to a number of additional people equal to twice the character’s Might. For each additional person protected, the Potency of the cloak is reduced by one.

While this Ability is active, any person in the area can make a Passive Roll using their Mental + Awareness. If they gain more Successes than the character’s Might, they detect the faint scent of estrus in the region. This scent can not be used to locate a shrouded Sister specifically.

Cassandra’s Lessons (Reaper Benefit)

The Battle Maiden is inspired by the legends of the first Priestess of the Faith, and is guided by the spirit of Cassandra. The character gains the following benefits as long as she remains a member of the Order:

  • The Battle Maiden adds their Might as bonus dice to all rolls using Athletics, Blades, Endurance, Pole, and Shields.
  • The Battle Maiden spends only one Action to perform a Charge or Impale Techniques , rather than a Full Round Action.
  • The Battle Maiden spends only one Action to perform the Guard Techniques, but gains the benefits of the Full Round Action.
  • The Battle Maiden can perform a counter attack from a Guard Techniques as a Free Action, gaining Minimum Successes equal to the character’s Might.
  • The Battle Maiden, while using the Guard Techniques, reduces the Successes of all Social Attacks against them by the character’s Might.

Sanguine Reaper (Reaper Investiture)

The Reapers of Sanguine are field commanders, and under their blessing, the Sisters become a terrifying force to face in combat. The Sister becomes only more effective as she grows more experienced.

  • Growth 1 (Title: Reaper)

When the Reaper performs either the Frustration or Position Techniques, rather than gaining the benefits themselves, they gain a number of Additional Successes equal to their Growth. Instead, any Sister who targets the victim of the Reaper gains the benefit instead. This benefit includes during Social Combat. This is considered a Miraculous effect and any bonuses to Miracles can be used for the Social + Presence roll.

  • Growth 4 (Title: High Reaper)

The Reaper may expend one Action and roll Social + Presence with a number of Minimum Successes equal to the character’s Might. For each Success, one Sister is chosen by the Reaper to be under their aegis. Anyone attempting to attack the protected Sister is gripped in fear, and must spend one Essence to perform an Action against the Sister. In addition, any time someone attempts to spend Essence when performing an Action against the Sister, the Essence Cost is increased by one. This is considered a Miraculous effect and any bonuses to Miracles can be used for the Social + Presence roll.

  • Growth 7 (Title: Grand Reaper)

The Reaper places the goddess’ blessing upon her faithful and transforms them into a terrifying wave of murder. The Reaper spends one Action and chooses a number of Sisters equal to the character’s Might. She then designates one victim and declares them ‘weak’. Each chosen Sister gains a number of Minimum Successes equal to the Reaper’s Might on all Attack Rolls made against the target.

Zhokora’s Sun and Moon (Reaper Investment)

The character chooses two weapons to bond to them as part of the Investment. The Reaper must make a Death Save, as their heart’s blood is spilled upon the weapons chosen. The character can not die from performing the investment, but if the Reaper fails the Death Save, it is considered an ill omen, and the character is reduced to 1 Health. They may not perform the Investment again until they have healed fully by natural means. If successful however, the paired weapons grant a number of benefits when used together:

  • The Reaper attacks with both weapons using a single Attack Roll. The character is not penalized for using the second weapon in their off-hand. The attack gains a number of Additional Successes equal to the Reaper’s Might, and the victim rolls Soak once, comparing the Successes to the damage of both weapons.
  • The Reaper performs two strikes in rapid succession against a single point on the opponent, using a single Attack Roll. The victim’s Soak is reduced by the Damage + Might of the first attack, while the second weapon inflicts the Damage to be Soaked.
  • By spending an Instant Action, the Reaper adds their Might to their Defence. Against ranged attacks, the character’s base Defence becomes Might + Weapon Skill. If attacked in melee, if the opponent misses, the Reaper may spend 1 Essence to redirect the attack against anyone else within reach, including the attacker themselves. This ‘attack’ automatically gains a number of Successes equal to the Reaper’s Might and is not rolled.



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