The following Second Circle demon was originally designed for my first Exalted chronicle back in 2002. I wrote her up several years later for Manual of Exalted Power—Infernals; I’d planned to throw in a few crafting-related demons to supplement the equipment chapter, and the book’s crazy deadline made me look back to my previous work rather than invest time in designing new NPCs from scratch. When putting demons in Infernals proved a non-starter, I pushed her back to Compass of Celestial Directions—Malfeas. But after taking a good hard look at her, I cut her from my outline because she’s too thematically and mechanically similar to Alveua and Berengiere, and I wanted to use my limited wordcount to provide broader options for Storytellers and demon-summoning PCs. Still, she has her fans, so here she is in all her 2e glory.
<3>Auguinare, the Blood of the Forge
<n>Demon of the Second Circle, Expressive Soul of the Manse of Echoes Ascending
When Amalion first found delight in her own loveliness, the Blood of the Forge appeared to share that delight with her. Auguinare remains her progenitor’s most favored soul; the Manse of Echoes Ascending pampers her, granting her whims and calling her ‘daughter.’ She appears as an alabaster-skinned maiden with glossy black hair and six fingers on each hand. Her eyes glow a luminous violet hue; her blood shares that color, hardening into violet metal when spilled and taking on whatever form she desires.
Sorcerers summon Auguinare through orgiastic rites or human sacrifice. The common element of these rituals is neither blood nor life; rather, Auguinare craves passion, and only sufficient passion may call her across the bars of her prison. Emotion is her hallmark; when she sheds her blood, whatever emotion she feels in her heart pulses in the depths of the resulting bloodmetal. Anyone who touches a bloodmetal item’s warm, shining surface feels the fervor locked within it. Moreover, she may admix her own blood with another’s, imbuing the resulting alloy with the donor’s emotions rather than her own.
Auguinare needs no forge, for her intent shapes her bloodmetal more precisely than any blacksmith’s hammer. She travels about the demon prison in search of demons whose passions inspire her craft. Mortal emotion is more precious still, for all that its metal rusts in the fullness of time, and she seeks it out whenever she may. Infernal artificers petition her to contribute her metals to their relics, as demonic Essence bonds more easily with materials that share its nature. Ligier himself calls upon her to supply bloodmetal for his works, and the Shogunate-era Register of Enchanted Weapons dubs her ‘the Mother of Gervesin.’
Ordinary emotion suffices for ordinary craft, but she requires emotions of preternatural potency to do her finest work. To incite passions among her blood sources, she practices play-acting in many modes: student, confidante, lover or adversary. She utterly submerges herself in her chosen persona, only to shed it like a serpent’s skin when the need passes. Afterwards, all she feels is a dwindling affection for those who contributed to her craft. The passions she craves often inspire the potent voices that Berengiere seeks to weave into cloth, and their squabbles over ardent mortals (and over Berengiere’s passion morays, many of whom Auguinare has suborned) have resulted in a long-standing rivalry.
Summoning: (Obscurity 2/4) Summoners invoke Auguinare to forge items of bloodmetal or to provide exotic ingredients from which to craft wonders. She has also been employed to seduce or suborn a target, though she always seeks to inspire a passion in the chosen victim that she may congeal into metal. She occasionally emerges from Malfeas when mortal blood, shed in a moment of passion, falls upon molten metal.
Motivation: To work great passion into metal. Auguinare’s Intimacies include such things as Amalion, blood, metal, smiths, her mortal lovers, her creations and the last three beings to willingly give her some of their blood for her craft.
Attributes: Strength 5, Dexterity 6, Stamina 5; Charisma 4, Manipulation 3, Appearance 5; Perception 5, Intelligence 3, Wits 4
Virtues: Compassion 2, Conviction 4, Temperance 3, Valor 3
Abilities: Athletics 2, Awareness 4, Craft (Fire) 3 (Bloodmetal +3), Dodge 4, Integrity 2, Linguistics (Native: Old Realm; Others: Flametongue, High Realm, Low Realm, Riverspeak, Guild Cant) 5, Lore 3, Martial Arts 4, Medicine 3 (Drawing Blood +2), Melee 4, Occult 2, Presence 5, Performance 4, Resistance 4, Socialize 3 (Staying In Character +3)
Backgrounds: Artifact 5, Backing 3, Contacts 3, Cult 1, Mentor 5, Resources 5, Sanctum 2
Call—Those gripped in the throes of powerful emotions
Creation of Perfection—Transform freshly drawn blood into metal
Essence Plethora—10 extra motes
Foretell the Future—Auguinare can sometimes predict when and where a particularly potent emotion will be felt, such as the flare of passion from a Celestial Exalt’s Limit Break
Materialize—Costs 70 motes
Measure the Wind—The Blood of the Forge may measure the strength of any creature whose blood she has turned to metal
Meat of Broken Flesh—Auguinare gains motes when she draws blood to craft into metal
Natural Prognostication—Sense impending moments of passion
Principle of Motion—Auguinare possesses up to nine banked actions
Stoke the Flame—Strengthen an emotion currently felt
Touch of Grace—Repair things of metal with a touch
Sheathing the Material Form—If Auguinare has a bleeding wound (at least one unbound, unhealed level of lethal damage), her blood spreads and hardens into armor
Symbol of Invincible Authority—Immunity to anything she has crafted
First (Ability) Excellency—Craft, Presence, Resistance
Second (Ability) Excellency—Craft, Presence, Resistance
Third (Ability) Excellency—Craft, Presence, Resistance
Infinite (Ability) Mastery—Craft
Join Battle: 8
Punch: Speed 5, Accuracy 11, Damage 5B, Parry DV 6, Rate 3
Kick: Speed 5, Accuracy 10, Damage 8B, Parry DV 4, Rate 2
Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 10, Damage 5B, Parry DV —, Rate 1, Tags P
Bloodmetal Sword (Amethyst Bodhisattva of Wrath): Speed 4, Accuracy 14, Damage 9L, Parry DV 6, Rate 3
Soak: 12L/15B (Robes of hatesilver embroidered with threads of gold-of-enlightenment, 10L/10B, -2 mobility penalty, 2 fatigue value)
Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-1/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-2/-2/-2/-4/Incap
Dodge DV: 8 (6 in armor-robes) Willpower: 9
Essence: 6 Essence Pool: 115
Other Notes: Auguinare may harvest bloodmetal from any creature with life-giving fluids pumping through its veins. Her own blood is lambent violet metal, while mortal blood congeals into flaking, rusty iron. Other beings yield metal with distinct characteristics based on the nature of their Essence. For instance, the blood of a Solar Exalt produces gold, Ligier’s blood forms luminous green iron, and the vital fluids of Ululaya, the Blood Red Moon, harden into crimson silver. Treat an item made from bloodmetal as superior equipment (see Exalted, pp. 133-134, 139, 365-366). Its properties depend on the strength and nature of the imbued passion; an ordinary emotion generates fine equipment, an emotion anchored to an Intimacy results in exceptional equipment and an emotion rooted in a Motivation produces perfect equipment or an exotic ingredient for crafting an artifact or infernal relic. Specific bonuses follow from the nature of the emotion; a sword forged from fear might have high Defense, for example, while one drawn from hate might deal more Damage. Draining an emotion into metal purges it from the donor’s heart, but it will return with time. If an Intimacy or Motivation is poured into bloodmetal, it is lost. Acquiring a new Motivation to replace one lost in this way requires the usual expenditure of two experience points.
Auguinare suffers a one-die penalty when working with the five magical materials of Creation because her nature is not aligned with them.