HUZZAH! With this compilation, we’re officially at the halfway point of this Challenge! As promised, here’s the next compilation shared a month ahead of time for my wonderful Patrons.
It’s been an interesting journey thus far building on each topic that came before and explore facets of the characters I hadn’t thought about till now. Kalara has especially come together after this random style experiment inspired by Blood of Zeus! (Not part of my official Challenge, but something that’s really blown my mind, regardless. I have FINALLY captured her face correctly after all these years!)
I’m also getting a lot of cool concepts for future TTRPG portfolio purposes and that’s also pretty exciting for me!
When a Solar expresses the peak of their divine powers, their aura flares in a show of their ‘anima banner’ or ‘totemic aura’. Kalara expresses her banner with a phoenix that rises from behind her, signifying her own rise from the ashes of her would-be execution on the cross, which is alluded to in the golden spikes through her palms. Chains of energy appear on her arms and legs, the links falling off one by one as she ‘unchains’ herself from a mortal fate that would have kept her a slave.
The phoenix wasn’t in her original anima banner design, but I’m so happy I’ve added it for this new design. I can’t imagine her without it, now!
For all the discussion of how epic and amazing the Solar Exalted are, a fatal flaw resides in them – a Great Curse laid upon them without their knowledge by the old gods they threw down. Each Solar will fall to this flaw at some point or another. As a game mechanic, a player rolls ‘limit’ when they meet a certain condition that triggers their ‘flaw’. Once they lose control, they ‘limit break’.
Kalara’s Great Curse manifests as a paranoia that her enemies are out to get her. She has nightmares of the night her father was poisoned, fearing that she, too, will meet the same fate he did in his battle against the Guild. She even starts to doubt her friends, who are the only people she’s let close enough to assassinate her. In our campaign, I never saw her in this state, but I was always dreading it (and also relishing the roleplay opportunity). Perhaps it will happen in her story, The Uncrucified, sometime?
Reasons to Have Ox Body
When you start playing Exalted, the book suggests taking a level of Ox Body so your freshly made character is just a bit more tanky in a world where people can punch gods in the face.
Take Ox Body, they said! Not me. I started our game with Kalara having maybe one level of it, if any. I learned the hard way when a spoopy tree creature nearly one-shot my gal towards the beginning of our game.
This is what happens when you ignite your bag of firedust on the spoopy tree creature’s face and get its undivided attention! It critical rolled and punched a hole right through my squishy Eclipse Caste. Our Night Caste, Night Locust, wasn’t near this amused in-game, but I’ve dramatized the moment for comedic effect.
And to add insult on top of injury, she still had to translate for the rest of the scene with a gaping hole in her torso.
(If you’re wondering why Kalara looks different, she was in disguise as Koh, a rebel bandit leader, early on in our game.)
Reaction When No One Takes Sail
Or in our case, when only one character in the party takes Sail and knows how to maneuver a ship! When you take a point in Sail, that gives your character access to a fancier pirate hat than everyone else. It is known!
(Click to view the larger version here)
The next few topics are going to deal with subjects that I’m not particularly skilled at drawing (beast people, materials, etc.) which should be an extra-fun challenge!
I’ve also been dabbling on and off with NaNoWriMo, so if seeing writing from this world and Kalara’s story might intrigue you, be sure to drop in on my Twitter thread dedicated to my NaNo adventures!
Proud of myself for being so productive with this! We’re almost there!