Chariot

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VII. Chariot

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What is happiness? The feeling that power is growing, that obstacles are being overcome.

Overview

The Chariot Arcana is the #7 Major Arcana, and is a momentous card. It usually depicts a lord or warrior, often armoured, mounted atop a war chariot being pulled by steeds, which are sometimes horses but are often mythical animals such as unicorns or sphinxes.

The Chariot is often associated with power, confidence, achievement, conquest and overcoming obstacles. Like the Lovers, the Chariot has a strong association with the journey; unlike the Lovers, the Chariot is defined by their actions on the journey, not by the decision to choose which journey to take. Mythopoetically, the Chariot represents a growth in external power, a power that leads to imposing itself on the world and achieving a great victory that is both temporal and temporary.

For the Chariot, life's lustre burns brightest when they're moving forwards, towards an objective, goal or ideal. The reason for this is that the goal is a challenge, something that forces them to change and, most importantly, improve. Self-improvement and the growth of one's ability are fundamental to the Chariot's world view. In essence, the journey itself is a goal all of its own, the goal to be constantly improving, onwards and upwards. It is a life of constant forward momentum, resting only briefly before finding a new challenge to overcome. Chariots, then, are at their best when they're being challenged, either by life or by themselves. This drive makes Chariots incredible people, capable of going to extreme lengths to improve themselves and achieve their goals. They're naturally ambitious people, but unlike the ambitions of Empress and Emperor, the Chariot's ambitions lead the world to change them, even as the Chariot changes the world.

All of this importance on the journey can lead one to believe that for Chariots, goals aren't in and of themselves important except as an excuse for growth. In reality the opposite is true: Chariots place great value on their goals. All travelers take pride in their milestones, and the natural pride of the Chariot makes it double for them: they adore their achievements and their ambitions. Whilst the journey leads to internal self-improvement, their goals and achievements are external markers for all the world to see. By achieving these goals, the Chariot gains the confidence and strength to be able to set new goals. But the goals of course have their own intrinsic worth: a goal needs to be both challenging and meaningful for a Chariot to want to pursue it, after all. Often goals can be something the Chariot deeply wants or considers important, and many goals can be admirable things that change the world for the better: many Chariots have come into their own by seeking to protect others by defeating some threat. The key thing is that no matter the import of the goal, satisfaction in its obtaining is short-lived as the Chariot burns through the pleasures of such a goal quite quickly. Once that's done, their restlessness leads them to the next goal, their next great achievement, reaching ever higher. Ultimately, they will find a goal they cannot reach, but it doesn't matter that they cannot reach it, only that they strove for it until the end.

A reversed Chariot can be easily defined as a danger to others and to themselves. A reversed Chariot who turns their considerable power towards the wrong sort of goal, such as goals that oppress and hurt the weak, do nothing but evil; it doesn't even improve the Chariot's strength. In essence, for them it's really just staying in the same place, or reversing in a more literal manner. How they come to this rut depends, but it's never healthy for the Chariot. A Chariot who has lost confidence in themselves and falters on the journey can also count as reversed, since without that ability to move forward, what use is a Chariot? A Chariot who feels they don't have the ability to achieve another goal is a sad sight. On the other hand, Chariots can also be deeply prone to developing a most dangerous kind of arrogance, the sort that leads them to choose goals that exceed their ability. High-aiming with goals is good, but if a goal is too difficult, then a Chariot should have the sense to set smaller goals first; rushing straight for the most difficult goal doesn't challenge a Chariot, it damages them, and can destroy them completely. Alternatively an arrogant Chariot can believe they don't need to improve, and they're already the best. Thus a Chariot reversed may be guilty of going too fast, or not fast enough.

Example Inner Conflicts for a Chariot may be a sense of uncertainty over their goals; a sense of undeserved superiority that makes them react aggressively to any challenge; a goal they pursue despite it doing damage to them; or a lack of confidence in themselves that leads to doubting everything they do.

Mechanically, the Chariot is a heavy hitter, designed to get up close and personal with the enemy and dish out the damage. Of all the Arcanae they are one of the most unambiguously combat-oriented, and in that way they are also the most physical. Generally their Personae excel in damage and physical attacks, whilst magic is used for support, not for damage.

The Chariot's aptitudes are also strongly built around the attack. All of their Aptitudes are based around offense; Weapon Skill and Strength on the melee side, whilst Offense is more general. Strength is a highly useful characteristic for Chariots for obvious reasons, but it also gives cheap access to the Athletic skill, which Chariots often rely on quite a lot.

Arcana Qualities

Characteristic Bonus Aptitudes Magic Characteristic
+10 Strength Weapon Skill, Strength, Offense Willpower

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Arcana Exemplary

Exemplary Base Effect Rank 4 Improvement Rank 7 Improvement Rank 10 Improvement
Unstoppable Force Whenever you deal Lethal Damage or Stagger an enemy with a Physical attack or art, until the end of your next turn you gain Vengeful (-1) and +10 to critical confirm tests with all Physical attacks and Arts. This does not stack with itself, and Unstoppable Force immediately ends if you fail an attack test with a Physical attack or Art. Challenge Accepted: At the start of each week, you may select a combination of Personal Time Actions spread out over the course of the week. This combination must add up to a total of 30 Stress, involve tests, and may not be Counter-Shadow Operations or Investigations. Each time you succeed at one Action, you gain a +10 bonus to the next Action. If you succeed at every test, you gain a flat +10 bonus to all tests until the start of the next week. So long as you are benefitting from Unstoppable Force, you and any Confidants with an S-Link of 5 or higher with you may reroll one missed Physical attack or Art per round. So long as you are benefitting from Unstoppable Force, your attacks gain Vengeful (-2) and automatically confirm Critical Hits. You may also choose to maximise all damage dice associated with a single hit, which forces a Critical Hit; but this not only instantly ends Unstoppable Force, it also prevents you from using it for the rest of the encounter.

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Arcana List

Grade One: Boudica

The Queen of the Iceni Celts. When the Romans abused her and raped her daughters, she unleashed a campaign of vengeance and fire on them that consumed three cities before the Romans finally stopped her.
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Grade: 1 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Two: Judah Maccabee

Known as the Hammer of Judea, he led the Jews in revolt against the Seleucid Empire. He reconsecrated the defiled Temple at Jerusalem, which is the core event commemmorated by Hanukkah. He was victorious many times, and although he died in battle, his death inspired the Jews to throw off their oppressors.
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Grade: 2 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Three: Hannibal

The greatest general Carthage ever produced. He gained legendary status for three massive defeats over the Roman Army, but he lost momentum, giving the Romans the chance to counter-attack and win the war.
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Grade: 3 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Four: Princess Pingyang

The Conquering Lady of Tang. Her father sent her into hiding when he rebelled against the Sui Dynasty, but instead she raised an army of 70,000 and conquered several cities before marching on the Sui capital.
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Grade: 4 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Five: Ilya Muromets

Russia's greatest knight. A sickly child, he was granted immense strength and vitality by a dying pilgrim-knight and rode out to defend Russia and Christendom. He was nearly killed by Tsar Kalin of the Golden Horde, but Mother Russia's soil filled him with strength; he killed the Tsar and used his body as a weapon.
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Grade: 5 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Six: Alexander the Great

Prince of Macedonia. He created an elite army and led it to victory against the Persian Empire, conquering it in a mere twelve years.
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Grade: 6 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Seven: Chi You

A mythical warrior-king with a bull's head and six arms, each wielding a weapon. Worshipped as a war deity, he was the ancient nemesis of China's Huang Di, and considered tyrannical and abusive, but to the Hmong and Miao he is a venerated ancestor.
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Grade: 7 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Eight: Talos

An automaton of Greek legend. A giant man made of bronze, he protected Europa from those who might kidnap her. He was slain by Medea, who tricked him and removed a nail that bound shut his only vein.
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Grade: 8 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Nine: Thor

The mighty Norse thunder god. Wielding the hammer Mjolnir, he engaged in many quests and heroics against the likes of the Giants and Loki. His nemesis is Jormungandr, whom he will slay at Ragnarok; but he will only walk nine paces before falling dead of Jormungandr's venom.
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Grade: 9 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
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Grade Ten: Shiva

One of the mightiest of the Hindu gods, he presides over destruction. Despite this, he is a benevolent deity who destroys so that creation can spring anew from the ashes. He is also self-sacrificing, enduring immense pain and stress to save others.
Details
Grade: 10 Name: Wounds:
Elemental Attributes
Melee Missile Fire Ice Elec Wind Psi Nuke Bless Curse
Traits, Knacks, Item
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