Storm Lore is the study of Storms and Storm powers. This page is an index of well-known storm powers and other bits of trivia.
Storms are horrible, dangerous events which ravage the world, destroy buildings, warp nature, and cause general widespread mayhem and destruction. As if that weren’t enough, Storms also spawn Storm Beasts, which fly out in their wake to kill, maim, or convert everything that lives.
A Storm is the very essence of formless chaos – it is utterly inhuman and disorganized. In the midst of an intense Storm, the very laws of nature fail – up is down, hot is cold, one is three, et cetera – but most Storms are less disruptive, although they can still melt human flesh or send rains of iron. The people of the Storm World have only one defense against Storms: The Storm Knights.
A Storm Knight is anyone who carries a spark of Storm in their soul, which gives them strange and fantastical abilities. The raw, formless chaos of the Storms can be harnessed by human emotions and passions, so a Storm Knight must be emotional and passionate yet still in control of himself – a difficult line to walk.
There are many different Storm Knight abilities. Some can be trained; others are granted at birth, and still others may spontaneously manifest.
The Types of Storms
Though Storms cannot be entirely predicted and, to some degree, defy attempts at categorization, they come in different sizes. Scholars have named these after roughly how often the typically occur in a given place.
Regular storms have no particular descriptor. These are typically small, localized events, hitting an area the size of a small town, with driving rains, howling winds, and weird lightning arcing off metal surfaces. The weather, generally, is nasty but more or less mundane, although unusually fierce and dangerous. A Storm of this size mostly poses a threat due to the Storm Beasts it spawns, which are rarely larger than big dogs but sometimes grow to the size of bulls or elephants.
Decennium Storms, or Storms of the Decade, occur less frequently than every five to ten years. Still, the typical inhabitant of the Storm Verse sees a few of these during his or her lifetime. Larger than regular storms, these can cover entire cities or duchies, and come with weirder weather – mildly acidic fog, or rain that falls up instead of down, or jets of flame bursting from thin air. They are sometimes accompanied by earthquakes. Storm Beasts spawned by Decennium Storms tend to be larger, tougher, faster and nastier. Many of them linger after the storm has ended, particularly if the storm occurred in the wilderness, and no Knight was there to defeat them.
Century Storms occur every 100 years or so. These Storms are true threats and disasters, the equivalents of typhoons and hurricanes, capable of reducing entire cities, sometimes countries, to rubble. The winds are strong enough to rip buildings apart, and they’re often full of knives, fire, acid, or solid screams. The laws of reality truly begin to fail when a Century Storm hits; metal turns soft, grass becomes razor-sharp, time slows down or speeds up. Screaming “portals” of light spawn veritable armies of horrid Storm Beasts, tearing through the landscape and killing anything and everything they encounter.
Aeon Storms, or Millennium Storms, are continent-wide, or maybe worldwide, disasters. Nobody really knows for sure how big they get. Only one or two Millennium Storms have occurred in recorded history; scholars disagree. An Aeon Storm certainly occurred around 1AD, radically reshaping the world by dislodging entire nations – this Storm was defeated by Storm Knight Iesu and his disciples. Some scholars also believe that the legendary Storms that occurred around the year 900 was in fact a single Millennium Storm, but nobody knows for sure as only scattered records remain. At the heart of an Aeon Storm, reality simply ceases to be meaningful. Even far from the center, the results are cataclysmic. Mountains crumble or shoot from the ground, metal melts and boils, chillingly cold fire burns flesh into ice or madly duplicates everything it touches. Aeon Storms spawn untold numbers of Storm Beasts, most of which are incredibly dangerous.
Here follows a list of common or uncommon Storm Powers:
The most basic Storm power is the ability to infuse any mundane task with Storm Energy, excelling at it by sheer passion and investment. These are the Storm Chefs, Storm Postmen and Storm Gardeners of the world, who channel their powers into doing an excellent job. Over time, many such professions have developed detailed techniques, but the core idea remains the same.
Sturmmeisters / Wilders / Arashi-no-Kishi
Known by a variety of names, those who wield the power of a Sturmmeister are very powerful and held in high regard throughout the World, for their power is to harness the very raw elements of the Storm itself. The power is hereditary, and throughout the ages, the power has become a mark of royal blood – only the royal families, with a few extremely rare exceptions, possess the power to wield all four elements. A Sturmmeister can learn to master any element, by defeating Storm Beasts wielding that element – in what is known as the Megamannius Principle, named for the great Storm Lore expert Carlo Megamannius.
Mindbenders are those who have mental powers. All mindbenders are at least a little bit telepathic, and many possess other mental powers as well, with telekinesis and psychic assaults being the most common. Mindbending is a binary power – you either are a mindbender or you aren’t – but the ability can be trained, and indeed, requires extensive training to master. Mindbenders are particularly susceptible to Storm Madness, since their minds are so open.
Body of Storms
Many Storm Knights have their bodies altered by the Storm Energy surging through them. Often this is the result of intense training, and occasionally a side effect of a particularly athletic Storm Passion. Storms are random, though, and it happens that a particular Knight might just be born with a disposition to be supernaturally strong, tough, or fast. A Body of Storms might bring incredible strength, the ability to outrun horses, or an almost supernatural ability to survive a brutal beating. Sometimes the effect is more specific, like an ability to leap over buildings, or incredibly keen senses.
Pathfinding is a dangerous and widely feared ability, outlawed in Teutonia, Nipponia and Britannia because of widespread political paranoia. A Pathfinder can find anything and enter anywhere. No door can hold him out, and no treasure can be hidden – if a Pathfinder seeks the path to something, he will find it. The only thing that can disorient or block a Pathfinder, is another Pathfinder. Pathfinding cannot be learned; one must be born with the ability.
Angels / Tenshin
Common in Nipponia, Angels are strange manifestations of Storm Energy. The Knight physically transforms into a shining being with angelic wings, and often gains powers over fire and light; but the transformation is not entirely voluntary, and seems to work in mysterious ways. Strongly revered by the Christian followers of Storm Knight Iesu, Angels manifest to protect minorities and the downtrodden. They virtually always side with the underdog.
The technique referred to as Storm Eating is an extremely difficult and rare ability which takes years to learn and decades to master. Nobody is born with it, and few have a talent for it – there are no shortcuts, only extensive study and physical training. A Storm Eater can absorb raw Storm Energy, and becomes capable of stealing another Storm Knight’s powers, rendering him or her powerless. In addition, they can copy any Storm Power in existence, though only for a short while.
Life-Singing is a rare ability possessed by the Rus Nomads and few others. Someone who can life-sing has the power to imbue inanimate objects with Storm energy, bringing them to life. The power can be learned, but it is jealously guarded by those who have mastered it, and finding a teacher isn’t easy.
A hereditary power possessed by some Nipponese families (most notably the Kyoka clan), Kage-no-Jutsu is the manipulation of shadows and darkness. A master of this ability can turn shadows into razor-sharp blades or deadly poison; he can send his shadow out to kill, or choke someone with darkness. The ability is traditionally practiced by men, and few women ever learn it.
A closely guarded secret of the Tokugawa family, this Storm Technique allows a Knight to infuse his or her weapon with Storm Energy, making it massive and incredibly powerful. The weapon loses no real accuracy or maneuverability in the process, but wielding it is straining and the ability usually saved for very important battles.
The skills of a Storm Butler are taught from master to student. A fully trained Storm Butler is the ideal servant, capable of pressing trousers, serving tea, and arranging cutlery even in the midst of an ongoing Storm. Their trade is very personal, and extremely difficult. A few signature abilities of Storm Butlers include the Butler Blast, a bolt of raw Storm Energy – and many of them don legendary Fighting Trousers, which make them impressive bodyguards.
The yin to Storm Butlers’ yang, Storm Maids are subtle, silent, efficient and brutal. Whereas Storm Butlers have a master-to-student relationship, Storm Maids are indoctrinated into a secret society which teaches stealth techniques that nobody can match. A Storm Maid is unseen, unheard, and unwaveringly loyal.
Assassins were originally elite stealth troops deployed against particularly dangerous and cunning Storm Beasts, but in modern times they have become specialized in killing other Storm Knights in times of war. They practice various kinds of spycraft, disguises, and stealth techniques. The ninjas of Nipponia are perhaps the most famous example, but both Teutonia and Britannia employs plenty of these shadowy warriors.
Shapeshifters are very rare. Those with shapeshifting abilities have the power to change their bodies into bodies more resembling Storm Beasts – werewolves, mermaids, werebears, or other, still more fantastic forms. Shapeshifters run a very high risk of suffering Storm Madness unless properly trained, as they have a tendency to lose themselves to their instincts. For this reason, they are generally feared and reviled in most civilized lands, even though with proper training they are no more dangerous than any other Storm Knight.
While no two Storm Beasts are exactly alike, nevertheless there are certain common, recurring types. Nobody knows exactly why, but Storm Lore experts speculate that many of these monsters are either mutated forms of regular animals, or twisted funhouse-mirror reflections created by the Storm.
These monsters appear as six-legged bears with massive, unhinged jaws and a third eye set in their forehead. Feared for their great strength and their mauling paws, they also possess the ability to project an energy beam from their third eye. For some reason, certain Storm Bears also seem capable of projecting a similar beam from their stomachs.
Common off the coasts of Nipponia, Tentacle Monsters seem to be vaguely based on squids. Most are simply squirming masses of tentacles and mouths, with no real discernible anatomy beyond a well-hidden core. This core is their only vulnerable spot, as the tentacles themselves are not crucial to the beasts’s survival. For some peculiar reason, Tentacle Monsters have allergic reactions to textiles. Many have elemental powers.
Flaming, pitch-black horses, these Storm Beasts are difficult but possible to tame, apparently having enough kinship with real horses to respond to training. They are often used as war-mounts by experienced Storm Knights, particularly Sturmmeisters. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be forgotten that, like all Storm Beasts, they can be very dangerous, even when tamed.
Sometimes also known as “Strigoi”, the Strixes are evil omen-birds of war. Resembling nothing so much as bloodsoaked owls, a Strix is wreathed in an aura of conflict. The creatures feed off strife and warfare, and have the ability to amplify hate in those nearby them. Terrifying to face in battle, a Strix is nevertheless most feared for its ability to inspire war and hatred.
Gigantic, terrifying reptiles, these monsters are sometimes called the Kings of Storm Beasts. Dragons can only be spawned by Millennium Storms, which is perhaps fortunate. Unfortunately, the majestic beasts are functionally immortal, and do not die or deteriorate with time. Most have been slain by heroes since the days of the last Millennium Storm, but some are believed to still slumber beneath the earth.
The Bishounen Line
Beasts who appear human are said to have crossed the Bishounen Line, named for a Nipponese researcher. Often they are very beautiful, and it’s stipulated that only the most powerful of Storm Beasts are able to assume human-like shapes. Deceptive and dangerous, they often wield Storm Powers of their own. Though they may seem and occasionally act human, they are driven by madness and possess no semblance of human emotion.
Umbrite is a pitch-black stone with the capacity to neutralize Storm Energy. Until very recently, it was believed that Umbrite simply nullified Storms, but Professor Benedict von Krakow’s research revealed that the material in fact stores the energy over a period of hundreds of years. It can only be extracted using a top-secret Storm Lore technology, known only to the Principal himself, built into the core of Eisenkrone Academy.
Psitanium conveys and amplifies Mindbender powers. The chief use of this material is to send telepathic signals over great distances and with less effort, though it can in theory be used to amplify almost any kind of Mindbender power. The material itself is a vibrant purple color.
Storm Iron is a dull gray metal that weakens Storm Powers. It can be used to restrain even powerful Storm Knights if shackles are made from it, but unlike Umbrite it does not actually absorb the energy, merely suppresses it. For that reason, weapons and armor made from the stuff are rarely very useful. The metal’s main property is that it resists Storm Energy, and is difficult to affect with Storm powers.
Shadow Essence is a dangerous poison, made from distilled shadows. Obviously, this is only possible through the use of powerful Storm science.
Hemophage, “blood eater”, is an alchemical concoction that makes wounds incredibly difficult to heal. It has little effect in combat, serving only to inconvenience and torment the enemy after the battle is over. Invented during the war, it’s been decried as immoral, but it does have the advantage of incapacitating powerful Storm Knights for a very long time.