Exalted South: Crimson Sands
Motivation: Ensure the Plaza’s safety and vitality. Grandmother Bright has an Intimacy toward revenge.
Attributes: Strength 5, Dexterity 7, Stamina 6; Charisma 5, Manipulation 5, Appearance 4; Perception 6, Intelligence 6, Wits 7
Virtues: Compassion 3, Conviction 5, Temperance 2, Valor 4
Abilities: Athletics 6, Awareness 5, Bureaucracy 5, Dodge 6, Integrity 8, Investigation 8, Linguistics (Native: Old Realm; Others: Delzahn tribal languages, Flametongue) 2, Lore 5, Melee 8 (Saber +3), Occult 4, Presence 5, Resistance 4, Socialize 4, Stealth 5 (Ambush +3)
Backgrounds: Artifact 1, Artifact 3, Artifact 5, Backing 3, Contacts 2, Cult 2, Influence 3, Resources 4, Sanctum 3
Bane Weapon – Grandmother Bright can deal aggravated damage to those who have betrayed her or broken her laws.
Benefaction – Grandmother Bright can bestow a +1 bonus to all a subject’s combat rolls made in anger.
Capture – Grandmother Bright can take anyone who breaks her laws or seeks her audience to her parlor.
Divine Decree – Grandmother Bright has complete control over the Plaza.
Domain Manipulation Scenario – Grandmother Bright utterly controls the Plaza in every way.
Dreamscape – All-Encompassing
Essence Plethora – x1
Geas – Grandmother Bright can bind a target to any quest to which he agrees.
Instill Obedience – Grandmother Bright can shine with a terrifying golden glow.
Intrusion-Sensing Method – Grandmother Bright can sense crimes within the Plaza.
Materialize – 75 motes
Material Tribulation Divestment – All-Encompassing
Measure the Wind – Grandmother Bright can sense the nature and relative strength of a target’s Essence.
Natural Prognostication – Grandmother Bright can divine moves toward betrayal.
Portal – Grandmother Bright can move instantly to any location within the Plaza.
Principle of Motion – Nine banked actions
Scourge – Grandmother Bright makes mindless, golden-skinned thralls of criminals with whom she catches up, who are then set to clean the Plaza.
Sense Domain – Grandmother Bright can listen in on any conversation in the Plaza.
Touch of Saturn – All-Encompassing
Tracking – Invests in all criminals
Excellencies – Integrity, Investigation, Melee, Presence
Join Battle: 12
The Hateblossom Longknife – Speed 3, Accuracy 22, Damage 10L, Parry DV 10, Rate 3
Soak: 13L/16B (Glassmail robes, 5L/7B, plus jade chain shirt, 5L/3B; Hardness 2L/2B)
Health Levels: -0/-1×6/-2×6/-4/Incap
Dodge DV: 9 Willpower: 9
Essence: 6 * Essence Pool*: 105
Other Notes: Bright Sanguine Saber’s Essence was 8. Grandmother Bright, though technically demoted, thus did not end up with traits as low as her current station might imply.
Grandmother Bright’s Artifacts are a jade chain shirt, the Amulet of Lost Souls, and the Hateblossom Longknife, a jade reaper daiklave that appears to be a green steel knife until its wielder brandishes it for combat.
An old and mysterious goddess, Grandmother Bright runs the Plaza, a section of Chiaroscuro under her protection. Chiaroscurans hold a middle-class district of their city called the Plaza in awed regard. Its accommodations aren’t princely and its inhabitants aren’t wealthy, but the Plaza is the safest and best-maintained area in the city. Though surrounded by the shattered glass witnessing Chiaroscuro’s former invasions, the Plaza’s First Age buildings stand unharmed. Their remaining Essence-powered conveniences (slight cooling against the heat of the Southern sun, glowing walls that can be dimmed with a touch) are a marvel in this fallen Age, as are their beautiful windows
kept whole through past chaos of war and disease.
All this can be traced to a soft-voiced elderly woman who walks the Plaza’s streets. Her robes are rich with gold and vermilion, and her skin shines at night. Most assume this Grandmother Bright to be the city mother of Chiaroscuro, but she’s not. During the First Age, Grandmother Bright was not a protective spirit; she wasn’t even from Chiaroscuro. She was Bright Sanguine Saber, Goddess of Betrayal and Vengeance, and her wrath was feared even by the gods.
In those halcyon days, the goddess’s favorite responsibility was hunting those who defied Heaven’s laws. Her techniques were legend, and she often took protégés who shared her bloodlust (one such was Ogime, the current Frog Queen). Only one target evaded Bright Sanguine Saber. For centuries, she sought him, but he escaped every trap she laid and humiliated her time and again. In rage and desperation, she finally bargained with an Eclipse Caste who promised to destroy him. The price: Bright Sanguine Saber had to pass her duties to another and, instead, protect the Exalt’s home.
Today, Grandmother Bright’s origins are difficult to discover. Millennia of protecting the Plaza have changed her. Beautiful and heartless no longer, the old goddess has abandoned her crimson hunting gear, and the once-piercing black of her eyes is a warm brown. She rules her neighborhood with care, enforcing safety with an iron fist; and though she concentrates on the Plaza, Grandmother Bright safeguards the whole city, knowing that to best fulfill her bargain she must also see to Chiaroscuro’s well-being.
Although spirits are undeniably altered by changes to their purpose, they retain qualities of their original selves. Grandmother Bright is still both powerful—far more powerful than a spirit of her station should rightfully be—and extremely vindictive. Thus, though she has powers that affect the Plaza, her greatest Charms involve punishment and justice. Stories about her are
often more along the lines of what terrible things she did to those who hurt the city or her Plaza, rather than the things she has done to aid and protect.
Grandmother Bright makes wise decisions when people apply to the Plaza for residence. She keeps a
strict cap on its population (1,001)—the Plaza’s women can’t even get pregnant without her permission, and must receive her consent and wait for another citizen to move (or die). Those Grandmother Bright allows in are most often chosen on the basis of personal honor: she
must be sure they’ll obey an oath not to harm the Plaza or its residents, and won’t bring danger to the area. Of course, her prejudices are not those of a human. One of her favorite residents is a highly paid assassin whom she often has over for tea.
Yet in her personal life, this god retains one odd taste. She can keep her head when measuring the character of possible Plaza residents, but her former domain was both revenge and betrayal—and she has a serious weakness for
those most likely to stab her in the back. Bright Sanguine Saber was known for taking lovers who’d someday hurt her, and the vast majority of her students eventually did so as well. Grandmother Bright is the same way (though she has far fewer sexual relationships now, and
more mentorly ones). Strangely—or predictably—she never consciously considers this possibility and invests the same amount of affection in everyone she trusts. Naturally, this makes her inevitable vengeance all the more passionate and dire.