Overview: Sometimes called Dervishes, Zephyrs are a type of Adept that is capable of entering a state which combines hyper-awareness, elemental energy and supernatural speed. This state is called the Zephyr Dance or the Dervish Dance and it is a willful manifestation of a Zephyr’s Totem.
Zephyrs have been abroad since the very first Adepts were imbued with Totemic power. However, since they are not battle-mad engines of carnage, the histories contain less of their exploits and more about their wrathful brethren, Berserkers. Zephyrs almost always find that their natures lend all too well to a mostly nomadic lifestyle, which adds to their mystique and subtracts from whatever historians can record about them since they are difficult to track in their constant wanderings – such travels lead scholars to think that the first Adepts were indeed Zephyrs and their scattered progeny are the other types of Adepts.
Though Zephyrs are not cloaked in a fearsome reputation, they do have a tendency of finding themselves in the crux of a problem or a conflict. Most Zephyrs attribute their Totem to the ongoing catastrophes that happen within close proximity of them; the Totem (and/or Fate) had chosen them and it continues to test them for a destiny of some kind or perhaps because of pure maliciousness – different Zephyrs will give different answers.
Whether it’s because of this penchant for finding trouble (although they sometimes cause it themselves) or because of their own special natures, Zephyrs are usually always on the move and rarely stay in one place for too long. Exceptions abound, of course, especially in places of great power and frequent conflict. Zephyrs tend to settle in such places when they discover that they are less bothered by their misfortune when dwelling in a place where misfortune happens on a regular basis.
Role-playing Notes: You are speed incarnate, the wind given flesh, form and feet to wander the world. Because of the way you were born, you tend to live in the present rather than dwell in the past or muse about the future. Dervishes tend to be “right here, right now” kind of folk – which makes other people draw the conclusion that they’re easily distracted.
Your Totem may be bound to your very soul, but in truth, you find yourself freer than most folk. Zephyrs are rarely bound to anything, not even a place or friends. They are free to do as they will with one exception: it is very rare to find a Zephyr that just settles down.
Some Zephyrs take this speed to heart – they find themselves constantly on the move, constantly fidgeting and always getting up from where they were sitting (unless they were eating or asleep). Other Zephyrs internalize their need of speed and they are as quick of wit as they are of foot. The Totems of Zephyrs color their personalities to a great degree, with Sun-hawks keeping almost completely to the stereotype of quick-temperedness and Storm-crows finding humor in almost everything they see. There are always exceptions of course, but moreso than other Adepts, the Totems that bind each Zephyr are more tightly coiled than the Totems of other Adepts.
SUB-CLASS FEATURES: A first level Zephyr automatically receives the following abilities at no cost to build:
– You gain the Dodge feat for no Build cost.
– After performing the Dodge feat or Parry feat against an enemy’s attack, you can find a hole in his defenses to exploit – you may then perform a Totem Strike feat upon your assailant that costs 0 SP and must be prefaced with “Zephyr” (e.g. “Zephyr Sun Strike!” or “Zephyr Winter Strike!”)
– You gain the Flee the Scene feat for no build cost.
– In addition, you gain the ability to enter a Zephyr Dance, usable once per period. The type of Zephyr Dance you can tap into is dependent on the totem type you have chosen. This ability’s actual name is dependent on the type of Trance you choose.
TYPES OF DANCE:
The Blade-wind dance draws upon the strength of steel and the sharpness of swords. It is power mingled with precision and far deadlier than the sum of its parts would imply.
Benefit: While in a Zephyr dance, you inflict 1 more point of damage with melee strikes.
The Dark-moon dance relies upon subtlety and subterfuge. Dark-moon Zephyrs tend to be quiet and elusive, disappearing easily from sight and often appearing where they are not expected.
Benefit: While in a Zephyr dance, you inflict 3 more points of damage when striking with a melee weapon from behind the target. Your strikes must hit the area between the target’s shoulder blades to gain the benefit of this ability. Preface the invocation of damage with the word “Backstab.”
The Storm-crow dance is often accompanied by laughter and mockery. Despite this, Storm-crow Zephyrs are possessed of a strange wisdom, capable illuminating the more humorous sides of a situation, no matter how dire.
Benefit: While in a Zephyr dance, you gain the Mocking Words feat, which allows you to use a spell packet or a melee strike to inflict a taunt upon a target for 30 seconds after spending 1 SP.
After you successfully hit a foe with the Mocking Words feat, your normal melee attacks gain a bonus to damage against it at a small cost to your speed. Whenever you make a normal melee attack against your enemy, preface your damage with “Flourish” but add 3 to what you would normally inflict. This slows down your strikes but allows you to deliver more powerful attacks.
You can no longer use this bonus if you attack a different target or after 10 minutes has passed.
The Sun-hawk dance is passion and wrath, akin to a Berserker’s rage. Those possessed by the power of the Sun-hawk are as quick as a flickering flame and just as easy to anger.
Benefit: While in a Zephyr dance, you inflict 3 more points of damage with your Sun Strikes against someone who has injured you or someone whom you have used a defense feat against. This augmentation to your Sun Strike feat only lasts for 10 seconds after you have been injured or you defend yourself.
The North-wind dance carries the finality of death and oblivion in its wake. Its practitioners are as grim and as humorless as the grave, as though the North-wind had frozen all the life from them.
Benefit: While in a Zephyr dance, your Totem Strikes inflict 2 more points of damage. Whenever you perform a Killing Blow, you gain a free use (0 SP) use of your Winter Strike feat. Preface this Winter Strike with “Fallen” (e.g. “Fallen Winter Strike! 10 Ice!”). This Winter Strike costs you 0 SP to perform but must be performed within 10 seconds of the triggering action.
You may only benefit from a Fallen Winter Strike once per minute.
The following Sub-class features can only be gained when the Character reaches the required level and has learned the required feats, skills and/or spells.
Level 2: One Strike, Three Cuts
Requires: Totemic Ascendance skill
Once per period, you may summon the power of your Totem to empower your strike with such speed that it seems that you have struck your enemy three times when you have done so only once.
To use this Sub-Class Feature, say “One Strike, Three Cuts” and then perform a melee attack that inflicts three times the amount of your normal melee strike damage; your normal melee damage is your typical damage without the use of special Abilities, Feats or Spells. This augmentation to damage will not stack with any other bonuses.
If you also sacrifice 10 HP when you perform “One Strike, Three Cuts” you may perform two such attacks instead of just one.
Level 4: Speed of the Wind
Requires: the Evade feat and the Dodge feat
The totemic spirit that dwells within you has imbued you with the grace and the speed of the winds itself. Performing the Dodge feat now costs only 1 SP (instead of 2 SP). While you are in a Zephyr Dance, both the Evade feat and the Dodge feat each cost 1 SP instead of 2 SP.
In addition, the damage bonuses that you receive from level 1 (based on the type of the dance that you use) now apply whether you are in a Zephyr Dance or not.
Level 6: Stride of Five Winds
Requires: Greater Totemic Guardian skill
Once per period, you can summon five Totemic spirits to surround and protect you from damage.
To do this, declare “Stride of Five Winds” and then count to 30 seconds, saying “Minimal 1, Minimal 2…Minimal 30”. While counting “Minimal”, you cannot attack although you can move at any pace and you may defend yourself. Any attack that hits you while you are doing this inflicts only 1 point of damage.
If you are hit by the appropriate Bane damage (Mortal-bane for all player Races, additionally, Demon-bane for Nightkin and Spirit-bane for Beastlings), the effects of Stride of Five Winds prematurely ends.
Level 8: Cleaving Strikes
Requires: Greater Totemic Relentlessness skill
Due to the spiritual power of your Totem, you have become so fast as to strike multiple foes with a single Totem Strike feat each time you use it. When using your Totem Strike feat, you may Augment it so that it applies its damage to up to three different enemies instead of just one. When doing this, invoke the feat name (e.g. “Storm Strike” or “Winter Strike”) and then immediately perform one melee attack on three different targets, prefacing each damage with the word “Wave” in mid-swing.
The same Totem Strike may not hit a target more than once with each use. Also, a Feat may receive only one Augment or Modification at a time.
Level 10: Soul of Five Winds
Requires: Superior Totemic Relentlessness skill
Once per moon, you may say “Soul of Five Winds” while performing a Zephyr Dance. For up to 1 minute afterward, the Zephyr gains 5 free (0 SP) uses of the Evade feat and the Dodge feat. When using these feats for free, preface them with the words “Five Wind” (e.g. “Five Wind Dodge” or “Five Wind Evade”).
Furthermore, you may Augment your Totem Strike with a Whirlwind effect for 2 extra SP. If you do this, you prefaces your Totem Strike with the word “Exploding” (e.g. “Exploding Sun Strike!” or “Exploding Storm Strike!”). This allows you to automatically affect all creatures within a one-handed weapon’s reach as though you had hit them successfully with your Totem Strike. If wielding a two-handed weapon, you may use it to determine who is affected, by you must keep one hand upon the middle of the weapon.
A Feat may receive only one Augment or Modification at a time.
Once per period, a Zephyr may enter a Zephyr Dance, entering a state of communion with his Totem that allows him superhuman speed, precision and power for offense and defense.
– While using the Zephyr Dance, a Zephyr is considered to have the Blind Fighting skill. Instead of prefacing defenses with “Blind,” preface them with the word “Zephyr”.
– If a Zephyr uses a Basic or Complex attack feat while using the Zephyr Dance and the attack misses or is dodged, parried or blocked, he may try the attack one more time for no SP cost. Preface the second attack with “Zephyr.”
– While using the Zephyr Dance, a Zephyr may only use the Dodge feat and the Evasion feat to defend herself. She may not use any other feat.
– While using the Zephyr Dance, cannot stay in one place for more than 10 seconds. Doing so ends the Dance.
– You cannot enter the Zephyr Dance while wearing metallic armor.
– A Zephyr Dance cannot be performed while wielding a Shield, Mace weapon or a Ranged weapon.
– Five minutes after it is invoked.
– If the Zephyr reaches 0 HP or 0 SP.
– If an Exorcism effect is successfully placed upon the Zephyr .
– If the Zephyr is affected by (i.e. does not protect herself against) a Blind effect, Force effect, a Cripple leg effect or any effect that forces her to stop moving or slow down.