The Wind that Bends the Reeds

Mechanistic notes for wii'a belu rii'aa, the asari martial art.

The Wind That Bends The Reeds, Lower Tiers
For only those asari who have a Justicar trainer, and whom that trainer has agreed to teach.

Base Requirements:
Use of biotics in combat.

The lower tiers of wii'a belu rii'aa are treated as a martial art available through the Close Quarters Combat (CQC) talent, and are purchased as such. Unique to Wind That Bends the Reeds, however, are the bonuses gained through the internalized use of biotics in melee combat. Asari monks trained in the lower tiers of this art (i.e. CQC ranks 1-3), are capable of manipulating the way in which gravity and physics affect their bodies. Such manipulations include:

  • increasing or decreasing the monk's mass
  • shifting the monk's center of mass
  • inverting the monk's personal gravity (this is seen in how Samiel walks on walls and ceilings)
  • preternatural speed and agility, as the monk's physical capabilities are enhanced by the biotic energy burning through her
  • the ability to protect oneself from these abilities, such as creating micro-barriers over striking points to prevent the monk's own bones from being crushed

It is important to note that though the Wind That Bends could be taught to a non-biotic, the practitioner would gain none of the benefits associated with the internalized use of biotics in combat.

Wii'a belu rii'aa must be taught by another monk already skilled in the art, that is, asari Justicars trained in asari martial arts. To date (2198), the only non-Justicars that have received any tutelage in the art are Samiel Viridian, James Allen Dempsey, Sisu Alir, and Melaani T'soa, and only Samiel Viridian has reached anything approaching mastery. All four of these individuals directly trace their teaching to Laessia V'soa (or indirectly, one step removed, through Samiel), the only known Master of the Wind ever to have taken on non-Justicar and not-asari students.

The Wind That Bends The Reeds, Upper Tier
For only those asari who have a Justicar trainer who has mastered this art, herself, and whom that trainer has agreed to teach.

Base Requirements:
3 levels CQC, one level of which must be Wind that Bends the Reeds, lower level. Use of biotics in combat.
At least one other biotic ability (Singularity is preferred by the trainers, but can be anything else.)

Where the lower tiers of the Wind That Bends focus on bending and manipulating the laws of gravity and physics, the upper tiers (CQC 4-6) can create effects that appear to break the laws of physics (at least, as they are understood in 2198). Unlike the lower tiers, these effects are less strictly combat-oriented and are often more environmental in nature. Such manipulations include:

  • The ability to transfer one's inertia through tangential dimensions, bleeding off inertia and appearing to come to and abrupt stop without slowing
  • An apparent resistance or outright immunity to injury from falls
  • The capacity to ignore inertia-related environmental hindrances
  • A heightened level of effect of the lower-tier abilities

Like the lower tiers, the abilities conferred by the upper tiers are somewhat subjective in that you do not strictly get X ability at CQC 5. Instead, they represent a gradual increase in understanding and power, and their acquisition should be treated as such.

That is to say, if you can't roleplay, your character shouldn't have this.

The Schools
In addition to the abilities that all practitioners of the uppers gain, a monk of the Wind That Bends can focus her skills in differing directions, gaining additional powers as her understanding increases.

Offensive School
You do not need the blade. If you have practiced what I have taught you, diligently and with care, you are the blade. Your mind, your will, are the blade. You and it cannot be separated. You are one.

Rank One:
Biotic Blade, or, The Reed. The trainee learns to evoke, as a biotic action, a blade-whip made of force. In real terms, it is a band several molecules thick, controlled and contained by a gravitic field; under the intense gravitic pressure, the molecules are superheated and fast-moving. This is the edge of a black hole, a blade that is a rip in space-time.

Those who lose control of the blade have been found with their hands severed from their body. Or, worse, have been found more or less imploded, with little of them remaining.

In game terms, the biotic blade cannot penetrate a barrier/shield. Treat as a vibroblade vs. armor and flesh.

Rank Two:
Blade-dance, or The Wind. The practitioner no longer needs to hold the blade, freeing him or her to fire a weapon and move independently, but cannot use a secondary biotic power other than shields at this point in time. The blade can attack one other opponent within a 30' range of the practitioner, as long as the practitioner focuses; each round that the practitioner continues to attack with the distant blade, the chances of losing concentration go up.

At this rank, the biotic blade will do its damage to a barrier or shield, allowing the monk to gradually cut through an opponent's defenses.

Diminishing returns guarantee that the practitioner cannot have the blade dance away from him or her for longer than biotics rank/5. (Samiel at 25 biotics, 5 rounds)

Rank Three:
Bladestorm. The Wind that Bends the Reeds. The dancing blade and the practitioner are one. Through long practice, the adept of this art can now split him or herself between two mental attacks. The blade attacks one foe at a time, while the adept practitioner may now use biotics against another, entirely separate foe. Close quarters attacks are still subject to a concentration check, or the blade may dissipate. Blade now has no diminishing returns; it exists until concentration falters, or is dispelled by contact with a barrier or biotic of sufficient mental power engages the practitioner in a battle of wills.

Further Specializations of the Art:

The Blossom that Floats Upon the Breeze
The practitioner may use the blade to detonate duration biotic effects, at range or close up.

The Howling Wind
The blade's length may now be extended from three feet up to ten, allowing the wielding to attack two adjacent opponents, if they are unshielded.

The wielder spins in place, lashing out with the blade in all directions, creating a gravitational ballet. The blade-lash reaches out and cuts through all people within 10'. Pre-requisite, The Howling Wind.

Gravity's Edge
The wielder's focus is such that he or she manipulates space time effectively enough to shatter a barrier or kinetic shield without losing the blade. Requires level 16, minimum, and at least one other specialization in addition to rank 3.

Demon Wind
The blade, if it pierces a barrier, can be used to redirect the energy dispersed to reform the wielder's own barrier. Required level 17, minimum, and Gravity's Edge.

Defensive School
Lee of Stone – Through long study of the flow of biotic energy through one’s body, the martial artist has learned to partially resist physical biotic attacks. Confers DR of 5 per rank against Reave/Warp/Biotic Explosions, bonus to escape Singularity/Throw/Lift, 50% invulnerability to Stasis. Requires: Wind That Bends the Reeds, Upper Tier, Rank 1
Escape roll: Roll + biotics vs. Enemy roll + level bonus of the ability (Level 1 +5, Level 2 +10, Level 3 'heavy' +15) + biotics… negates damage of throw/slam and/or free self from levitation or other CC effects.

Lee of Stone, Rank 2 - aka The Wave Crashes - Building upon the fundamentals of Lee of Stone, the monk receives an increased damage resistance (10, total) against Reave/Warp/Biotic Explosions, an additional bonus to escape Singularity/Move, and additional invulnerability to Stasis. Furthermore, a biotic skilled in this ability may side-step a charge, allowing the energy to flow past them… or meet the charge head on, and reverse the energy of the charge, passing it back into the vanguard, with devastating effect. Requires: Wind That Bends the Reeds, Upper Tier, Rank 1

Lee of Stone, Rank 3 - aka Perfect Self - As Biofeedback, and damage resistance increases to 15 total.

One is All
At this level of proficiency, the monk has learned to transfer inertia through tangential dimensions, in effect being able to shunt incoming inertia-based damage to her surroundings. Asari monks proficient in this application of the Wind were known to stand unflinching before a directed field of fire, as the objects in their close proximity visibily degraded as if subjected to Entropy personified. If the monk has warning of an incoming physical attack the monk can choose to sacrifice her actions in order to take zero damage from it, with the caveat that damage will be distributed through the objects in close proximity to the monk (she cannot choose how the damage is distributed). Note that a degree of subjectivity is invoked with this ability - for instance, though unlikely, the monk MAY be able to shrug off a direct hit from a starship's main gun, but then would be left standing in a molten pool. Requires: Lee of Stone, Level 15

All is One
The monk has learned to transfer inertia through tangential dimensions, and can redirect inertia-based damage from her surroundings to her own defenses. Requires: Lee of Stone, Level 15

Stealth School
Where Melaani goes to play.

Gravitic Lensing
The monk can created a gravitic distortion around her form, causing light to lens around her. This, in effect, grants the monk a form of invisibility identical in practice to that of the Predator in the Predator movies. Functions as a stealth-net omnitool modules, but gives the user a bonus to Stealth equal to 1/2 her biotics bonus (which is Biotics Score divided by 5, plus Age Bonus).

Freedom from the Well
Unlike the applications of mass displacement used in the combat school, Freedom from the Well concentrates on duration effects applied to the user's body mass under gravitic circumstances. Using this technique, a skilled practitioner can reduce their effective *weight* to, at most, twenty-five times less than of what gravity normally exerts on them. Thus, someone who weighs 160 lbs at 1 g would have an effective weight of 6.4 pounds at 1 g. This enables a practitioner to:

  • Walk across most pressure-sensitive traps, even if they haven't detected the presence of those traps, without tripping them.
  • Perform endurance runs at a full sprint, and much faster than normal, as their musculature is accustomed and designed to propel and endure the burden of much greater weight
  • Walk on high gravity (i.e., elcor and Keeper) worlds without an exo-skeleton, so long as they are able to maintain their concentration.

1/32 of normal weight is the absolute upper end, before simple levitation comes into play. Amount of gravity displaced is dependent on biotics score. Duration of effect is 1d6 + biotics score/5

Biotics Weight assistance Example
10 1/2 current G 150/2 = 75 lbs at 1 G
20 1/4 current G 150/4 = 37.5 lbs at 1 G
30 1/8 current G 150/8 = 18.75 lbs at 1 G
40 1/16 current G 150/16 = 9.375 at 1 G
50 1/32 current G 150/32 = 4.6875 at 1 G

Cold Wind Passes

Through continuous work with Dances-in-Frozen-Shadows and Laessia, a skilled practitioner of the Art knows that matter isn't particularly solid. So rather than blinking from one place to another, through controlled white holes, as Dances does, Melaani has developed the ability to shift herself, briefly, through solid matter as if it were water. This ability can only be used as part of a biotic charge, initially, and requires the practitioner to be highly in tune with her body and mind, as it involves both altering the physical environment ahead of her, and her own body, in order to move through it. This ability requires careful awareness of the battle environment, as well, and may cause an unwary practitioner to entomb herself in solid rock.

Shadowed Face

Once Melaani has mastered Cold Wind Passes, through continued work with Dances and Laessia, she develops a defense similar to Dances' ability to blink rapidly in and out of reality, except that she remains continuously present… simply slightly out of phase with regular matter. This requires her to levitate in order to move, as otherwise, she will pass through the ground and … keep going. With her body permeable to the environment, bullets pass through her without harm. Laser and motion detection systems do not trigger, because the lasers aren't interrupted, and motion detection systems don't find matter or vibration present to detect.

Energy barriers deter this effect.

This ability cannot be sustained for long. 1d6 + 5/biotics score, maximum.

Utility School

The monk can redirect the biotic flows within her own body, giving her limited control of bodily processes. At the macro-scale, this involves slowing down or speeding up her metabolism, depending on the effect desired. Effects include resisting toxins/diseases and processing toxins/diseases, evading bio-scans, holding breath, and a limited form of regeneration. The limited regeneration granted by Bio-feedback, though usable in combat, is neither as powerful as other forms of regeneration displayed in SoX nor does it come without certain drawbacks. Krogan regeneration gives back 1 Health and 1 durability per round, and Zhasa's regeneration grants 1/2 level per round (first durability, then health). Both types can repair unset broken bones and Grievious Bodily Harm. The regeneration granted by Bio-feedback operates at Zhasa's speed, does not carry the risk of blood-rage, can repair soft tissue trauma, and can repair broken bones only after they have been set. Organ regeneration is dicey and requires a rules-call based on the particular situation. In all cases, regenerating through Bio-feedback puts an enormous caloric demand on the body, and the monk will have to consume considerable quantities of nutrients or else end up cannibalizing her own body in order to heal wounds. Requires: Wind That Bends the Reeds, Upper Tier, Rank 1

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