Path of Warding

Just hold onto me, okay? Hold on and don't let go, whatever happens.

I will save us all from this - I swear.

Storms are extremely dangerous, both for what they can do to Wraiths caught out in them, and the Damned that come along for the ride.

Pardoners can use the connection between the Damned - who are just Shadows that triumphed, really - and the Storms they inhabit to affect the winds of the Storm. The lesser Arts will at least save them from the physical and mental damage the winds would bring, while those with a higher understanding of the Path can even force the winds to keep the Damned away, or else smash them to pieces before they draw near.


** Storm Warning

Wraiths with the Storm Warning Art receive advanced warning of a Storm's approach. This warning is usually quick on the heels of a Storm, but sometimes comes days or even weeks ahead of time, depending on how strong the Storm is, or how good of a glimpse the Pardoner receives.

The Art activates by itself, and costs no Essence. However, the approaching darkness gives the Wraith some Tainted Essence as a way of saying "Hello..."


*** Stormwall

Once the Storm is upon them, Pardoners can create a small zone of clarity, into which the Storm will not intrude. Stormwall does little more than deflect the winds around the Pardoner, creating a space that is usually just large enough for the Wraith who creates it, and those holding onto her when she does. Also, the field cannot be moved: once the Pardoner has decided to place her zone, it is fixed there until the Wraith ends it {or is ended, herself...}

The only problem is that, while the Storm is held back, the Damned within it are not. They are usually too caught up in the high-speed race of the winds to stop and examine the null spaces they pass, but not always.


**** Ward of the Damned

A step up from Stormwall, this Art allows the Wraith to create the exact same zone of clarity, only most of the Damned are kept out as well.

This requires Willpower as well as Essence to create, and the strength of the zone created is what determines how powerful the Damned have to be to get in. Fortunately, even a low-grade zone will keep out most of the enemy. {However, no Ward of the Damned has ever stood against a Dark Walker.}

Also note that Ward of the Damned only works during a Storm, as the Art uses the energies of that Storm against its dread riders and hangers-on. It will not keep the Damned away at any other time.


***** Windweave

The highest pinnacle of the Path of Warding, Windweave makes the Storm winds obey the Pardoner, both to defend and destroy. The near-herculean effort requires a lot of Willpower and Essence to start - and garners Tainted Essence - but allows a Wraith to not only divert the winds, but to control them however she'd like. It can be used to create a moving zone of clarity, or pick enemies up and smash them against the ground, or each other.

A common use of this Art is to cause the winds to spin around the Pardoner at a rate of speed far higher than the Storm, itself - keeping the Storm out at some distance, and ripping the Damned within it to shreds when they get too close. Such a cyclone can be placed around entire buildings, or extended out to the size of few large city blocks, depending on how much power the Pardoner wants to put into the Art.