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Every Combo has a specific appearance - someone who has fought you before should be able to tell what Combo you're using if they've seen you use it before. It's like the Limit Break attacks in Final Fantasy - they all have the same "cinematic" as you use them.

A lot of times, these combos have a visual, auditory or other sensory effect that is appropriate to the "themes" of the Exalt's caste. A Dawn or Night Caste might leave a slight covering of dew on things, a Zenith might leave those affected feeling slightly sunburnt or dehydrated, and an Eclipse might cause someone to have spots before their eyes.

Another idea is to use your iconic anima for effect. This is a good way to have your iconic anima "do" things - a lion leaping forward to attack, the mandala shifting and sigils appearing that declare the target of the attack has been judged under Heaven, a victorious angel-goddess leaps forward with sword-blade wings to strike down the foe.

Some examples are below:

God-Eating Cyclone
Charms: Archery Overwhelming, Trance of Unhesitating Speed, Ghost-Eating Technique
Description: Six brilliant white lights appear around Cerin's castemark, before they fly out into a wide ring. He plucks them one at a time, drawing them across his bow as arrows of light. They fly onwards, striking straight and true.

Terrible Iron Bear Stance
Charms: Martial Arts Overwhelming, Fists of Iron, Iron Skin Concentration
Description: Midday Snow kiais, and his anima flares, the massive snow-white, golden-eyed bear surrounded by a blizzard manifesting to roar along with him. He strikes, and for the split-second before the blow lands, everything becomes silent. As the strike lands, there is the sound of iron-on-iron. When he blocks, he slams his arms into oncoming attacks, causing the sound of iron-on-iron and showers of cold, white frost-sparks.

Hands Guided by the Sun Technique
Charms: Medicine Overwhelming, Wound-Mending Care Technique, Instant Treatment Methodology
Description: Alder's anima bathes her patient in the cool colors of dusk, and her castemark burns white hot. The light from her castemark reflects off of the most eggregious pains there, the blood turning reflective and golden in her anima, and with a few deft touches of first needle, then bandages, the wounds are bound. Then, her anima flares totemic as the blood shifts from gold to the reflective quality of diamonds and then disappears, taking the wounds with it.

Your homework, then, is to do this kind of descriptive work with your own combos.


[edit] Aapo

Ruinous Onslaught & Dancing Iron Nine Tail Defense
Charms: First Melee Excellency, Iron Raptor Technique, Hungry Tiger Technique & Iron Skin Concentration
Description: When this combo is activated Aapo's anima flares bright golden red and the totemic ninetailed fox appears bearing a massive sword in its mouth. The sword draws energy & radiance from the sky or the air around it and as Aapo makes his attack with his own weapon, which glows to match the totem's sword, with motes of lightning arcing between the two weapons, the fox follows form and both weapons deliver a powerful blow, releasing the destructive essence into the target (melee or ranged). If the ranged essence attack of iron raptor is used, then while Aapo remains holding his weapon, the foxes' brilliantly glowing sword of pure essence rockets through the air like a lightning bolt at the target and strikes them, passes through them where it is caught again in the foxes mouth on the other side where it had darted to once it had released it's sword. When attacked, Aapo is defended by the nine tails of his totemic avatar. They swirl about him in a dance and effortlessly knock aside blows that would otherwise have harmed him, flashing a shower of sparks as the tails are struck, or otherwise warrant him further protection against blows that make it through their whirling defensive dance.

[edit] Alabaster Mountain

Blows Of The Starving Tiger
Charms: Peony Blossom Attack, Hungry Tiger, Dipping Swallow, 2nd Melee Excellency
Description: The Air Crackles as the hair on the necks of those watching starts to rise, the heat of a midday sun starts to creep forth as a light erupts from behind Alabaster and a mid-section high tiger, looking very taught and sinewy, rounds Alabaster's waste. The moisture starts to dry out of the air and the more the tiger flips its tail and circles its' master the greater the heat becomes. The raging inferno that can erupt from from the attack of the tiger's claws is stifling and seems to flare the light at the same time, as almost to distract its opponent, before it is devoured by the insatiable hunger of the starving tiger.

[edit] Crimson Slate

Battleworn Guide of the Skies
Charms: Thrown Overwhelming and Dodge Overwhelming
Description: As this combo is invoked, Crimson Slate's Anima flares as a gigantic clockwork horse rears up on it's hind legs, exhaling sharp winds out of it's snout, guiding whatever weapon is being thrown to a more accurate path of flight to rend all who oppose the Solar. As she is dodging, any strikes that may look to harm her are blown aside by the horse's overwhelming exhalation. Invariably, her foes find that their aim is never as true as they intended it to be.

Stampeding Hooves of Triumph
Charms: Thrown Overwhelming, Cascade of Cutting Terror, Dodge Overwhelming, Shadow Over Water
Description: Crimson Slate's Anima becomes an unstoppable force. As she throws her Skycutter, essence copies start stemming off of the weapon in the shape of Golden, Silver, and Vermilion Colts, running down any possible foe and easily trampling them to death, leaving hoof-shaped bruises and lacerations. When opposition in the form of violence comes towards Crimson Slate, the stampede shines brightly and runs between her and her oppressors, giving Slate that brief moment of distraction and confusion to artfully leap out of the way of any threatening attack. Thankfully, a brief moment is all she ever needs.

[edit] Sapphire Veil

Lethal Carp Excellency
Charms: Demure Carp Feint, Lethal Paper Fan Attack, Martial Arts Excellency
Description: An extraordinarily long and sinuous sea serpent chimera of deep blue appears in a sudden wave of liquid light at the ground behind Sapphire Veil, arching up above her head and anointing her with the blessings of the Unconquered Sun. Her arms dance in a rhythmic and complex pattern as her war fans lengthen to take on the wicked appearance of barbed fins trailing bright liquid essence in their wake that quickly transforms into droplets of sapphire brilliance. These trails of essence along with the spray of pure light from behind her serve to deflect and disrupt attacks made against her.

If Sapphire Veil spends the motes to hide the effects from this charm she weaves her fans about her body in a graceful and distracting rhythmic dance that confuses her enemies and focuses her martial arts training until she bursts into laguid motion, sweeping and lunging in an almost aquatic fashion that seems slow and deliberate but cuts down her victims where they least expect it.

Demure Concubine's Lethal Pillow Book Attack Excellency
Charms: Demure Carp Feint, Lethal Paper Fan Attack, Vindictive Concubine's Pillow Book Understanding, Martial Arts Excellency, Stealth Excellency
Description: An extraordinarily long and sinuous sea serpent chimera of deep blue appears in a vortex of liquid light at the ground behind Sapphire Veil and engulfs her in its spiraling, ascending coils like a cocoon, turning blows aside with its invulnerable jewel-hued hide. The creature's thousand eyes bore into the defenses of all enemies, revealing their weaknesses for Sapphire Veil to exploit. The serpent then explodes in a burst of light and liquid essence as Sapphire Veil lunges forward to attack in a spiraling coil of surprise and death.

If Sapphire Veil spends the motes to hide the effects from this charm she stands still and calm in an almost insulting pose as she begins to twirl and flutter her fans about her in distracting patterns. The entire time the eye is drawn to these strangely slow and coy gestures, her eyes are in constant motion, pointing out the weaknesses in her opponent. Then in a sudden explosion of movement she pirouettes on her toe in a swirl of flowing garments and glinting steel, striking her opponents rapidly in unexpected places.

[edit] Tobias

Charms: X
Description: X

[edit] Whispering Bear

Heaven's Instinctive Bounding Thunderbolt
Charms: Monkey Leap, Flashing Vengeance Draw, Reflex Sidestep
Description: motes of essence burst from Whispering Bear's skin, drawing back and hesitating to taste the air for the threatening presence she has already detected. Her anima of a large ghostly white bear catapults her into the sky where she flips, somersaults and lands, bow in hand with an arrow knocked and ready for firing at the opponent made visible to her in the past split-second.

If at any time Whispering Bear spends the motes to hide the effects of this charm she simply dodges the immediate threat and comes into an appropriate fighting stance with her bow ready. Her teeth are bared and pure ferocity masks her eyes from deep thought as she is kicked into a purely animalistic instictual reaction. She snorts and snarls as a bear cornered, ready for attack.

The Many Taloned Sting
Charms: Trance of Unhesitating Speed, First Archery Excellency
Description: With an almost inaudible yet constant "shik-thoom" volley of launching arrows Whispering Bear unleashes her wrath upon those deemed unworthy to walk the beauty of Creation. Once unleashed, the arrow's spinning flight whistles through the fletching starting first as a slight high-pitched note on the wind but as the arrow travels the timbre and strength burrow into the depths of a low roar, rushing to the target. Should the arrows delight of it, they will frequently intertwine and bob and weave and duck and bow amidst themselves as swiping claw points of the large, lumbering anima bear descending upon the target. Once the satisfying "chuntht" of the target's surface being pegged is heard, everything is silent save for the satisfying dusting-off of Whispering Bear's hands.

If at any time Whispering Bear spends the motes to hide the effects of this charm .. well.. honestly.. it's pretty much the same save for the bear part. It's simply far too satisfying to deny the arrows their caprices.

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