Warstrider: A Many-Faced Strangers Sneak Peek

Hey folks. We’ve got a preview from Many-Faced Strangers, and it’s a big one — it’s a new warstrider!

Neritoum, the All-Beast Avatar (Moonsilver Warstrider, Artifact § •••••)

The Exalted of the early First Age faced many challenges as they sought to bring all the world under their rule. Among the foremost of these were the behemoths that roamed Creation, colossal monstrosities and immortal god-beasts. Created by the Ancients, the sheer power and titanic size of many behemoths made their mere existence a threat to humanity.

A hero of the Divine Revolution, Seventeen Awaiting Terrors was chosen to lead the Exalted host’s first campaign against the behemoths. They set out on the hunt in the shapeshifting warstrider Neritoum, the All-Beast Avatar, created by Thunder’s Promise, their Circlemate.

Thunder’s Promise forged Neritoum from the many trophies of Terrors’ hunts: the scales of an ancient river dragon, the sinews of a giant cave bear, the colossal squid Vig’nagha’s many-colored gladius. She alloyed the warstrider’s moonsilver armor with these trophies, innovating techniques of sorcerous artifice inspired by Lunar shapeshifting. Neritoum’s flesh and metal are inextricable from each other; few can tell where one ends and the other begins.

With the All-Beast Avatar’s power, Seventeen Awaiting Terrors made the most dreaded of behemoths their prey — the Horizon Spider, the River That Walked, the Wolf of Calibration. In the Niobraran War, the young Lunar Ravening Lamprey piloted it into battle against horrors of the ocean depths summoned by the Spoken. In the Usurpation, Daughter of First Frost hunted the Dragon-Blooded betrayers from Neritoum’s helm until it fell to the starmetal warstrider Saint of Dooms Foretold.

No artificer of the Second Age has yet succeeded in repairing the Neritoum’s ruin. Gadhaj Winter-Wheel sought to, raising a vast forge around the shattered warstrider, but the shahan-ya abandoned the project when conflicts over the Silver Pact’s priorities drove them to leave it. Neritoum still remains in what are now the ruins of Gadhaj’s workshop, accompanied by a teeming population of war refugees who’ve made their new home in the cyclopean forge’s shelter.

Attunement: 15m
Soak: 15; Hardness: 10
Damage track: –0x5/–1×5/–2×10/–4×10
Speed bonus: +2
Hearthstone slot(s): 3
Era: The Hunt for the Seven Titans
Backer: Josh Raveling


For more information on warstriders, see Arms of the Chosen, Chapter Five.

Evocations of Neritoum

Neritoum isn’t piloted using the control harness typical of most warstriders. Instead, tendrils of living flesh emerge from the many-hued shell that is Neritoum’s fuselage, affixing themselves to the pilot’s Essence meridians. The tendrils can merge with a Lunar’s protean flesh, waiving the need for warstrider specialties (Arms of the Chosen, p. 140-141).

When a Lunar shapeshifts into an animal form while piloting Neritoum, the warstrider’s moonsilver frame shifts to take on the animal’s shape. She waives the cost of such transformations. They use the normal rules for shapeshifting (Lunars, p. 131), but the Lunar can use the animal’s soak and Hardness if they’re better than the warstrider’s. She can also use animal dice pools, special abilities, and Merits that couldn’t normally be used through a warstrider, like an eagle’s flight. 

The warstrider always remains at Legendary Size, replacing the Tiny Creature and Minuscule Size Merits. (They still count as having those Merits for purposes of Protean Charms). She can enter shapes with Minuscule Size or Legendary Size without needing to use Emerald Grasshopper Form or Towering Beast Form, paying only the usual four-mote cost for shapeshifting. However, she must still know the appropriate Charm.

Charms that let the Lunar manifest mutations, like Perfected Hybrid Interaction, can also transform the warstrider. This allows such mutations to enhance the warstrider’s Strength, Hardness, soak, and damage track, and also enables mutations like Wings that wouldn’t normally be usable from the cockpit.

Non-Lunars: This warstrider’s listed Evocations are unsuitable to non-Lunars. Such characters might instead awaken Evocations that let them transform the warstrider into a variety of animal-like forms and expand on each of those forms’ unique strengths.

Apex Beast Evolution

Cost: —; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: None

Neritoum becomes an extension of the Lunar’s body, shifting its shape as readily as her own flesh.

The Lunar gains the following benefits:

  • She reduces the cost of shapeshifting by two motes.
  • When she uses an Instant-duration Lunar Charm whose Protean benefit she qualifies for, she receives a two-mote discount. If she uses multiple such Charms together, the discount only applies once.

Ever-Shifting Titan Activation

Cost: —; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Apex Beast Evolution, any one Charm this Evocation enhances

Neritoum’s moonsilver malleability heightens the Lunar’s control of its form.

This Evocation upgrades the following Charms (Lunars, pp. 144, 186):

Ever-Evolving Defense: The Lunar can convert Initiative from this Charm to motes. If she has Infinite Inchoate Potential, she may add those motes to its pool.

Perfected Hybrid Interaction: Each mote the Lunar commits to this Charm lets her manifest two dots of mutations.

Quicksilver Second Face: The Lunar receives a one-Initiative discount on this Charm. If she has other discounts that reduce the Charm’s total Initiative cost to zero, it loses the Perilous keyword.

Scale-Shedding Escape: All enemies suffer this Charm’s penalty regardless of their Initiative.

Mirror-Shell Adaptation

Cost: 5m; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Mute, Resonant
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Apex Beast Evolution

Neritoum’s moonsilver plating mimics the color and texture of its surroundings, hiding in plain sight.

The Stealth penalty for piloting a warstrider (Arms of the Chosen, p. 142) subtracts dice from a roll instead of successes. If the roll is enhanced by a Lunar Charm whose Protean benefit she receives, she ignores the penalty entirely.

Resonant: The Lunar doubles 9s on the Stealth roll.

Stalking Behemoth Camouflage

Cost: —; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Mirror-Shell Adaptation, Subtle Chameleon Practice

The Lunar enhances Neritoum’s concealment with her protean power.

This Evocation upgrades Subtle Chameleon Practice (Lunars, p. 157), granting a five-mote discount and extending its duration to Indefinite.

One Flesh Symbiosis

Cost: —; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Permanent
Keywords: Resonant
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Apex Beast Perfection, Halting the Scarlet Flow

Neritoum’s flesh and moonsilver are suffused with the Lunar’s incredible vitality, healing the All-Beast Avatar’s wounds.

When the Lunar uses Halting the Scarlet Flow (Lunars, p. 256), she adds one round to its duration or one level to the damage it heals outside of combat. Its healing applies both to the Lunar and to Neritoum’s damage track.

Resonant: The bonus increases to two rounds or levels of damage.

Infinite Inchoate Potential

Cost: —; Mins: Essence 3
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Ever-Shifting Titan Activation

The power of ten thousand beasts surges within Neritoum’s beating heart.

Neritoum gains a pool of ten motes, which its pilot can spend on the warstrider’s Evocations and Lunar Charms whose Protean benefits she qualifies for. Neritoum doesn’t regain motes naturally, but the Lunar can transfer motes to it after a few minutes spent meditating in its cockpit.

Quicksilver Subtlety Refinement

Cost: —; Mins: Essence 3
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Ever-Shifting Titan Activation, Mirror-Shell Adaptation

Neritoum conceals its master’s power from her monstrous prey as they hunt in the shadows.

When the Neritoum’s pilot spends motes on a Lunar Charm whose Protean benefit she receives, those motes are muted.

Behemoth-Heart Empowerment

Cost: —; Mins: Essence 4
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Infinite Inchoate Potential, Undaunted Behemoth Avatar

Having worn the skins of many colossal beasts, the Lunar attains greater mastery of Neritoum.

Neritoum gains the following benefits:

  • It gains an additional five –1 health levels.
  • Its Speed Bonus increases to +3.
  • It adds +2 to the difficulty of special warstrider gambits against it (Arms of the Chosen, p. 143).

Awakening: This Evocation awakens for free if the Lunar meets its prerequisites.

Unseen Devastation Strike

Cost: 8m, 2i, 1wp; Mins: Essence 4
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Decisive-only, Resonant
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Quicksilver Subtlety Refinement

Striking in a blur of flashing quicksilver and bestial speed, Neritoum finishes its prey.

When the Lunar makes a decisive surprise attack against an enemy whose Initiative is lower than hers or who has Legendary Size, it becomes an ambush. She doubles 9s on the damage roll against Legendary Size enemies.

If the Lunar uses this Evocation to enhance her devastating action (Arms of the Chosen, p. 141), its cost is reduced to five motes and it doesn’t break concealment. Such uses don’t count against this Evocation’s once-per-scene limit.

Resonant: The Lunar doubles 9s on the damage roll against all enemies, and doubles 8s against Legendary Size enemies.

Reset: Once per scene, unless reset by incapacitating a nontrivial enemy with an unexpected attack or incapacitating a Legendary Size enemy. This Evocation can’t reset itself.

Apocalyptic Titan-Beast Ascendancy

Cost: —; Mins: Essence 5
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Behemoth-Heart Empowerment, God-Monster Transcendence

Becoming one with Neritoum, the Lunar embodies the world-shaking power of a monster that knows no equal.

The Lunar can use God-Monster Transcendence (p. XX) while piloting Neritoum.

Awakening: This Evocation awakens for free if the Lunar meets its prerequisites.

Upgraded Charms

As a lagniappe, here are the Lunar Charms new to Many-Faced Strangers that Neritoum’s Evocations enhance:

Scale-Shedding Escape

Cost: —; Mins: Dexterity 3, Essence 2
Type: Permanent
Keywords: Protean
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Quicksilver Second Face, Skulking Rat Spirit

The Lunar slips away from her foes with a well-timed transformation.

When the Lunar uses Quicksilver Second Face and makes a Stealth roll on the same tick, characters whose Initiative is lower than hers suffer a ?3 penalty on their rolls against her Stealth. Characters who weren’t aware the Lunar could shapeshift also suffer this penalty. Penalized characters who fail their roll lose 1 Initiative.

Protean: Shifting into a shape with Tiny Creature or Minuscule Size lets the Lunar roll Stealth to enter concealment without needing a hiding place.

God-Monster Transcendence

Cost: 5i; Mins: Strength 5, Stamina 5, Essence 5
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Archetype (Stamina), Dual
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Undaunted Behemoth Avatar

Descending on the battlefield in titanic form, the Lunar strikes like a force of nature.

While in the shape of a Legendary Size animal, the Lunar gains the following benefits:

  • Her defenses against smaller enemies are amplified: withering attacks need 15+ dice of post soak damage to crash her. The limit on how much decisive damage she can take from their attacks now includes levels of damage added by magic. Likewise, her immunity to onslaught penalties now includes those inflicted by magic.

[this is a second paragraph within the same bullet point]

  • An enemy can overcome this by spotting a weak point in her titanic form, spending 4 Initiative to make a difficulty 5 (Perception + Awareness) roll that can’t be flurried. Success denies the Lunar these benefits against him.
  • She can move away from smaller enemies without needing to disengage.
  • She waives the Willpower costs of Lunar Charms that enhance her feats of strength.
  • Against battle groups, her withering attacks double their attack roll extra successes when determining their raw damage. Decisive attacks against them double the damage bonus they receive (Exalted, p. 208). 1s subtract successes on rout checks triggered by her attacks.

Archetype: A Lunar whose spirit shape has Legendary Size may learn this as a Stamina Charm. (While it has a dual-Attribute prerequisite, it counts as a Strength Charm normally).

Backer: Jason Duncan






2 responses to “Warstrider: A Many-Faced Strangers Sneak Peek”

  1. Corey Reynolds Avatar
    Corey Reynolds

    Nice! Great warstrider, and great use of Protean throughout! Can’t wait for Many-Faced Strangers!

  2. Apromor Avatar

    I was thinking about, since these evocations are so Lunar directed, how unlikely it would be to have a non-resonant character use them. But then I recalled deadly beastman transformation, it isn’t unlikely at all.