“What strength we have, we have to share.”
The Devoted sigil shows six points around a circle. It represents the Phoenixes of a Wing and the greater whole of the Wing itself. As a Devoted, you know that unity is power—that a Wing working together can accomplish things no lone champion can achieve. Your powers allow you to strengthen the Wing as a whole—to give of yourself so others may triumph. You can heal others by taking on their injuries. You can throw away your own cards to push your allies across the threshold of success. You can facilitate communication, using your own strength to allow the Wing to communicate over vast distances. To some, this seems like a passive role. You know better. You aren’t one person: You are the Wing. Your Talon isn’t your weapon, you Wingmates are—and you make your attacks through them.
Those who underestimate the Devoted are often surprised by their power. You take the wounds of others onto yourself…but you can pass those injuries to your enemies, regaining your strength even as you cripple your foes. If you wish, you can learn to call on the power of your allies in times of need. As the heart of the Wing, you can channel the strength of many Phoenixes to accomplish a task no one could perform alone.
In your first life, you died for others. You might have fought an unbeatable enemy to give others time to escape or shielded an innocent with your body. Perhaps you exposed yourself to a plague so you could learn how to cure it or gave your life to a Fallen for its promise to spare your people. Whatever it was, your sacrifice saved innocent lives at the cost of your own. As a Devoted Phoenix, sacrifice is your greatest gift: Your pain can give strength to the weak, save the dying, and turn failure into triumph.
Diplomacy, Healing, Spirits, and Tradition. You know how to soothe the pain of mortals and spirits alike, how to mediate disputes, and how to convince with calm words. Your talent for healing encompasses both mundane medicine and minor rituals. The only way you can heal the Wounds of Phoenixes is through Lessons, but you can use Skill Spreads to fight plagues and save injured mortals. Your knowledge of spirits applies more to ghosts and totemic nature spirits than to the Fallen Folk, and you can use spreads to communicate with spirits or try to drive them away. Tradition reflects your knowledge of the stories and superstitions of people across the Empire; you know many old customs that are no longer part of everyday life.
Devoted Phoenixes are vessels of the Dawn. As a Devoted Phoenix, you may emit light at will, illuminating up to a forty-foot radiance with the equivalent of daylight. Your presence has a slight calming effect on mortals, and your touch soothes minor pains. Nature often flourishes around Devoted Phoenixes; flowers may bloom, or wilted vegetation may be restored. As a Devoted, one important thing to decide is how your Shared Strength manifests. When you discard a card from your hand and enhance someone’s spread, what are you actually doing? Are you infusing them with the light of the Dawn? Are you channeling a minor nature spirit to give them the strength of a bull or the speed of a cat? Do you verbally encourage them, or is it a purely mystical effect?
- The Shaman. A healer or wise woman from a Grimwald tribe or Skavi clan. You may use salves or herbs as part of your healing effects, and channel totemic spirits when you strengthen your allies. You could have died your first death battling malevolent spirits or a Dread plague.
- The Noble. In your first life, you might have been a Skavi noble, a Talu aristocrat, or a chieftain in the Grimwald. Despite your privileged position, you always considered it your duty to protect and guide those below you. Your Shared Strength reflects your ability to encourage and inspire others. As a Talu noble, you might exchange the Tradition Specialty for The Empire; if you’re a Skavi lord, you could trade Spirits or Tradition for The Arcane.
- The Champion of the Dawn. You have always been a devotee of the Dawn and may have been a priest at a Dawn Temple in your first life. You believe Phoenixes are the Dawn’s champions in the battle against the darkness, and your Lessons and Traits often manifest with a burst of radiance. If you’re especially zealous (and your Wing lacks a Durant), you might exchange the Diplomacy Specialty for Leadership or Tradition for War.
- The Curmudgeon. You’ve seen it all and you’re tired of having to look after the kids. But at the end of the day, it’s your wisdom and your magic that’ll give them the push they need. They better not get use to it, though; you’re just seven lives away from retirement, and you’re getting too old for this.
WHY PLAY A DEVOTED?
The Devoted Phoenix is a team player. As a Devoted, you can keep your allies alive and turn their failures into successes. Your ability to add a card to the spreads of allies is weak at Rank 1, but as you grow in Rank, it becomes an extremely powerful tool. You can be more effective playing through the other members of the Wing than attacking on your own; focus on the group triumphs as opposed to your personal actions. If this appeals to you, be sure to acquire the Dawn’s Touch Lesson when it becomes available.
With that said, a Devoted can be a powerful champion of the light. Your ability to give your Wounds to your enemies can be a powerful weapon. Use the Shining Mirror Combat Style until you are injured, then shift to Passing Pain to give the Wounds to your foes. Painbearer enhances your offensive power, while Woundbinding allows you to take Wounds meant for an ally. The aggressive Devoted has two weaknesses. The first is that you can’t give Wounds to undead enemies unless you have the Exorcist Trait. The second is that woundshifting uses a significant amount of Sparks. It can be difficult to sustain this style of play unless you have an Elemental in the Wing with Elemental Bond.
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