Tales of fae warriors of preternatural skill fill books of lore, and their exploits resound in the halls of latter-day sidhe kings. Changelings are the masters of melee combat, while the sidhe surpass all Kithain in the arts of dueling. Changeling combat is wild and unpredictable, filled with leaps, parries, pratfalls, and breathtaking acts of derring-do. In melee combat, changeling warriors are often able to summon a force from the Dreaming to aid them. They call it the Dragon's Ire.
Many different tales describe the nature of the Dragon's Ire. Redcaps have several limericks concerning how they ate the heart of a dragon to gain its powers while boggans tell a story about a fell dragon that became addicted to a boggan chef's gooseberry tarts. All of the tales have their merits, but the quest of Prince Ardan is recounted most often in the courts of Concordia as the origin of the Dragon's Ire.
The Tale of Prince Ardan
In Arcadia's distant past, before the Fair folk ever came to this world, Ardan's uncle stole the prince's crown and throne. Disconsolate, Ardan ventured far into the Dreaming. There, a mighty dragon, named Ouroboros, attacked him. After hours of fighting, Ardan managed to slip his blade beneath the chin of the beast, but stayed his death blow if the dragon would aid him in his quest to regain his throne. The dragon agreed, and Ardan returned and gathered together a great host with members of every kith. He called his warriors the Orbori in honor of the dragon, and he taught them how to invoke its aid. His army was the first to summon the Dragon's Ire, and it won back his throne, and eventually the throne of Arcadia as well.
A pale nimbus of flame surrounds those enveloped in the Dragon's Ire, and a subtle cyclone of wind stirs their clothes. Some bystanders even hear music, which seems to echo faintly across the battlefield. Any changeling with Kenning can perceive the invocation of the Dragon's Ire from a great distance as the tides of Glamour shift subtly in the direction of the wielder.
The Dragon's Ire is not a force of animalistic energy; it is a celebration of the art of war. It is the dance of the duelist and the song of the fray. Changelings experiencing the Dragon's Ire are confident, implacable, focused, and deadly.
When a character attempts to invoke the Dragon's Ire, the player must spend a point of Glamour and make a Glamour roll with a difficulty equal to the character's Banality. If the roll is successful, the player gains a number of dice for each success they gain (with a maximum equal to the character's current Remembrance rating). These Ire dice can be spent on attack or maneuver rolls during each turn of combat, but do not accumulate with repeated attempts to raise the Ire. Once invoked, the Dragon's Ire lasts for an entire scene. Utterly wonderful uses of the Dragon's Ire, especially at the climax of a chronicle, may even generate Glamour at the Storyteller's whim.
Characters invoking the Ire may add to the base Dice Pool in multiple actions, but may not roll more dice than the original pool size for any one feat. Let's say that a newly knighted sidhe has invoked the Dragon's Ire and has three Ire dice to spend in the combat. They want to take three actions in the round. They may choose to make all three rolls with three dice instead of two, or they could boost one of the rolls to 6 dice, leaving three dice to make the other two actions. Since their base dice pool for the multiple actions was 6, they cannot roll more than six dice for any of the multiple actions.
Changelings with less than three dots of Remembrance rarely know of this ability. Some, such as the sidhe of Houses Scathach, Gwydion, and Fiona are taught its mysteries when they enter military training. Most commoners discover the Dragon's Ire only under times of life-threatening stress. Summoning the Ire is not considered an action. Once the changeling has done it successfully, it becomes instinctual, although not automatic.
Botching a Dragon's Ire roll is no fun for the character. The Storyteller counts up all the ones rolled and then adds one to that number. At any point during a turn of combat the storyteller may simply pluck that number of dice from the hands of the player, but may never take all the dice. Once botched, the Ire may not be re-invoked in the same scene. This terrible effect last for a scene.
Dragon's Ire Modifiers
A list of modifiers to the difficulty number to invoke the Dragon's Ire follows. No cumulative modifiers greater than -3 are allowed, and the total can never exceed -3.
|Kith Modifying Action||Modifier|
|Boggans defending home||-2|
|Eshu on roadways||-2|
|Nockers in their workplaces||-2|
|Pooka escaping combat||-2|
|Satyrs in the wilderness||-1|
|Sidhe in a duel||-2|
|Sluagh defending home||-2|
|Trolls defending honor||-2|
The Orbori Berserk: Bedlam
A changeling in any stage of Bedlam invokes the Dragon's Ire at great peril to friend and foe. The rush of Glamour produced in the grip of the Ire is intoxicating to all changelings, and this rush is all the more seductive to those slipping into Bedlam. No roll is necessary; success in invoking the Dragon's Ire is automatic.
For a character in Bedlam to control the Dragon's Ire, a Willpower roll must be made and three successes must be gained. The difficulty is the Glamour rating of the Character. If the character controls the Dragon's Ire, then play out the effects normally. If the roll fails or botches, then the effects depend on the character's current level of Bedlam.
- Stage One: The Mien of Burning Gold - The changeling projects a nimbus of burning gold streamers. Their Ire dice are doubled, but they proceed to stage two of Bedlam when the scene is over, if they are not killed.
- Stage Two: The Gaze of Madness - The Kithain's eyes channel raw power from the Dreaming. Any Kithain staring into the eyes of the character must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) or enter stage one of Bedlam. The character's Ire dice are doubled but they proceed to stage three of Bedlam when the scene is over, if they are not killed.
- Stage Three: The Visage of Doom - The changeling becomes a silhouette, reflecting the nightmare impossibilities of the Deep Dreaming. Any changeling coming in contact with them is pulled into the depths of the Dreaming. Chimerical weapons and Arts have no effect on the fae... cold iron is the only defense against the Visage of Doom. Dragon's Ire dice are tripled, but the character is devoured by the Dreaming in a cataclysmic blast when the scene is over.