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This Charm tree comprises the ‘natural’ Sidereal style of unarmed fighting. The saying among the Viziers goes: “Every Sidereal is a master of the arts—even on his first day in the dojo.” Other Exalted tend to dismiss this logic as an idle boast, missing the point of Throne Shadow style. Viziers instinctively understand that the aspects and individuals of the world make for the best weapons, not fists or blades—and as a result, they tend to think of this martial art as Fate’s Guardian style.

For other Exalted, this is a Celestial Martial Arts style that emulates and imitates the ways of the Seers of Heaven. They may learn the core Charms of the style, but may not expand upon it or learn any special extension Charms. For Sidereals, these Charms are ordinary Sidereal Charms, bringing the esoteric power of destiny to bear in their quest to guide Creation and its rulers toward a better future. Sidereals may invent new Charms for this tree, and these are considered Sidereal Charms, not Celestial Martial Arts Charms. This distinguishes Throne Shadow style from the other instinctively-grasped art of the Sidereals, Violet Bier of Sorrows, which is a closed style designed for the Viziers by the Maiden of Endings.

Weapons and Armor: This style counts as unarmed attacks the cestus, fighting gauntlet, khatars, pankrator’s cestus, tiger claws, and other such ‘brawling aides,’ as well as improvised weapons. It is compatible with any sort of armor.


Lotus Eye Tactics

Cost: 1m or 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: None

Sidereals understand the world; much of their power to act upon the world proceeds from this fact. When the character perceives an individual whose Martial Arts rating is equal to or higher than his own, that fact becomes Obvious to his senses unless the character is using a supernatural disguise of some kind. Alternately, for a cost of 3m, the character knows all combat Abilities a perceived individual possesses which are rated equal to or higher than his Martial Arts rating.

Lion Mouse Stratagem

Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2;
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Illusion
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: None

Sidereals deceive the world, presenting themselves as less than what they are; much of their power to act upon the world proceeds from this fact. The Sidereal cloaks herself in the humble and unassuming air of the neophyte student, the civil servant, or the hanger-on in the company of legends. She seems unthreatening, imposing a -3 external penalty on all attempts to gauge her nature and the level of her skill. This unassuming mien also makes it difficult to view the Sidereal as a serious threat; all attempts to re-establish surprise enjoy a bonus of (Sidereal’s Essence) dice. This Charm constitutes a form of unnatural mental influence costing two Willpower to resist for one scene.

Sifu's Useful Fingers

Cost: 1m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2
Type: Simple (One dramatic action)
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: None

Sidereals advise the world; much of their power to act upon the world proceeds from this fact. Disdaining such crude weapons as fighting gauntlets or appropriated barstools, the Sidereal turns others into his instruments—be they pawns or kings. The Sidereal may enlighten an individual with five minutes of one-on-one advice and simple-but-profound martial demonstrations. The beneficiaries of such instruction temporarily enjoy one bonus dot of Martial Arts and add the Sidereal’s Martial Arts rating to their Dodge MDV so long as the Vizier commits Essence to this Charm. She may sustain a commitment to up to (Essence x 2) beneficiaries at once. Sidereals know such beneficiaries as shadow fingers. If the character is a Sidereal Exalt, she automatically becomes aware when one of her shadow fingers is attacked, regardless of the distance separating them.

Throne Shadow Form

Cost: 5m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2;
Type: Simple
Keywords: Form-type
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Lion Mouse Stratagem, Lotus Eye Tactics, Sifu’s Useful Fingers

Combining insight, deceit, and the shadow fingers she has accumulated, the Sidereal makes a terrible fist with which to guard all things within destiny’s design. While this Form is active, all shadow fingers within (Dexterity x 3) yards are considered to be protecting the martial artist with a Defend Other action at all times. Additionally, the Sidereal may launch coordinated attacks with her shadow fingers, substituting Martial Arts for War, and such attempts are made at difficulty 1 regardless of the number of fingers participating in the attack. The Sidereal and her fingers may also strike dematerialized targets while this Form is active, though this Charm does not help them find and target such beings.

Shadow Lost in the Court

Cost: 3m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Shadow Throne Form

The world of the Exalted is a world of vast, eye-catching luminaries; nobody notices a shadow lost in the tangle of the crowd. This Charm enhances an attempt to re-establish surprise in a crowd (defined as a scene in which at least 20 characters are present), producing a -2 external penalty on attempts to spot the Sidereal. If the Sidereal has at least two shadow fingers present, this also qualifies as a crowd, permitting her to attempt to re-establish surprise.

Pneuma-Sealing Strike

Cost: 4m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
Type: Reflexive (Step 1)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Crippling, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Shadow Lost in the Court

Sidereals are known for their discretion, never sullying the courts of the Lawgivers with the blood of would-be assassins or the screams of intercepted fanatics. Their killing arts are cleaner than that. This Charm supplements an unarmed martial arts attack. Should it successfully strike its target, that individual’s breath is sealed, and he begins suffocating (see Exalted, p. 130). The target may make a reflexive (Strength + Athletics) roll every thirty seconds at a difficulty of the martial artist’s Essence rating to attempt to break free and resume breathing normally. Until he does so, he suffers a -2 internal penalty to all actions. The martial artist may also restore a
target’s breath by striking them with this Charm again. If used by a Sidereal Exalt, then this Charm may alternately be used to steal the target’s breath altogether. The Sidereal may subsequently try to strangle the target with her own breath, treating such attempts as a dire chain-assisted grapple attempt. Should the target regain her breath, this weapon vanishes from the Sidereal’s grasp.

Deadliest of All Weapons

Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
Type: Reflexive (Step 1)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Poison
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Pneuma-Sealing Strike

There is no deadlier weapon than truth, which Sidereals may unleash on destiny’s behalf. Should an unarmed attack supplemented by this Charm strike its target, they are poisoned with a toxin with the following traits: (Special/one hour, 5, —/—, -1). Rather than doing damage, this toxin infects the victim’s chakras and her mind, rendering her incapable of lying or dissembling. Should she speak, she may only speak the truth as best she knows it.

Clear Eyes Defense

Cost: 4m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 2
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Counterattack
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Throne Shadow Form

The Sidereals are destiny’s guardians and the eyes of the Exalted. Their vision must not be clouded, and those who would attempt such stratagems must be punished. While this Charm is active, the Sidereal may launch an unarmed Martial Arts counterattack in step nine against any individual who attempts to inflict unnatural mental influence on him. If this influence is ongoing, the counterattack triggers the first time the Sidereal is exposed to it after activating Clear Eyes Defense.

If the character is a Sidereal Exalt with Essence 3+, then a counterattack which successfully strikes its target also perfectly negates the unnatural mental influence which triggered it.

Welcoming the Uninvited Gust

Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
Type: Simple (Speed 3, DV -0)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Five actions
Prerequisite Charms: Throne Shadow Form

Striking the air with her palm, the Sidereal sets an Essence-vibration racing through the world. The Exalt makes an unarmed martial arts attack; all hidden characters within (Martial Arts x 10) yards must make a reflexive opposed Dexterity + Stealth roll against the attack’s successes. Should the Sidereal garner more successes, then a series of ripples and distortions in the air give away the individual’s location and render stealth impossible for five actions. This Charm also automatically reveals dematerialized beings within its range in this manner.

Finger-Stealing Handshake

Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-OK, Servitude
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Clear Eyes Defense, Welcoming the Uninvited Guest

Improvisation is a cherished skill of brawlers and courtly guardians alike. The Sidereal rolls (Charisma + Martial Arts), issuing an exhortation to abandon arms and loyalties and rally to him for the sake of the world’s preservation. This battlefield plea is ineffective against heroes and supernatural beings, but the weak minds of the world’s extras may be easily swayed to change their loyalties. Compare the Sidereal’s roll to the highest MDV of any hostile extra present; should the Sidereal succeed, (Essence x 2) extras switch sides and immediately begin fighting under the Sidereal’s leadership (assuming that so many are present). These extras are considered to be shadow fingers until the end of the scene; after that point, the Sidereal must use Sifu’s Useful Fingers on them if he is to retain them
as his tools. This Charm’s unnatural mental influence costs three points of Willpower to resist.

If the character is a Sidereal Exalt with Essence 4+, then this Charm may also win the loyalty of mindless automatons, including undead, though such beings add their master’s Essence to their MDV if they are under magical control.

Flow-Breaking Strike

Cost: 6m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Crippling, Stackable
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Finger-Stealing Handshake

Feeling along a tenor of fate, a Sidereal may strike at her opponent’s relevance, separating the momentous from the also-ran. This Charm supplements an unarmed martial arts attack; should the attack strike its target, that all of that target’s actions raise their Speed by one for (Sidereal’s Essence /2, round up) actions. Subsequent strikes reset this timer and cumulatively increase the Speed of the target’s actions. This Charm may not raise a target’s Speed higher than 7.

World As Weapon Mastery

Cost: —; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4;
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Deadliest of All Weapons, Finger-Stealing Handshake

Those who wield the world as a weapon are never alone, and as such, cannot be defeated. The attacks of the Sidereal’s shadow fingers are now considered to be her unarmed attacks for the purpose of Charms of Throne Shadow style.

Showing the Secret Hand

Cost: 10m; Mins: Martial Arts 6, Essence 6
Type: Reflexive (Step 9)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Counterattack
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Clear Eyes Defense

The Sidereal, having enriched the world with his lessons, has earned its gratitude. It moves to punish those would attempt to strike down such a wise master. All shadow fingers within range of the Sidereal’s attacker reflexively launch one attack with the combat Ability of their choice at that individual. With Martial Arts 7+, Essence 7+ the Sidereal may add a one Willpower surcharge to this Charm’s cost to automatically render this mass-counterattack a coordinated attack. Individual shadow fingers may opt not to participate in this attack if they choose, at no cost. This Charm may be used no more than once per action.

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