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Dace

Motivation: To unify the armies of the Scavenger Lands under his command

Caste: Dawn

Anima Banner: A luminous wolf howls and bares its flashing fangs.

What should’ve been a grizzled veteran’s last battle turned into the first day of an Exalted general’s glorious career. An orphan of the Time of Tumult, Dace was taken in by the Ravenous Wolves mercenary company and raised among its auxiliary. He tidied up, mended armor, minded horses and sharpened weapons, learning through play the rudiments of sword and shield and hand-to-hand combat. When he was old enough, he took to the battlefield as a pikeman, standing his ground despite nighoverwhelming fear. He survived his first battle and the next and one after another, growing stronger as he steadily moved up the ranks.

By late middle age, he’d become the most respected captain in the company, and it was to him that command passed when the Ravenous Wolves’ commander finally retired.

EXALTATION Edit

On the day Dace Exalted, retirement was the farthest thing from his mind. Employed by Great Forks, he and his soldiers stood outnumbered against a force of Lookshyan archers, cavalry and heavy infantry. The Lookshyans had outflanked him, breaking his men into small groups for the archers to pick off, yet hope was not lost. Dace realized that if he could break through one particular knot of cavalry, he could destabilize the Lookshyan line and give his soldiers a chance to regroup. The other fighters in the single fang he could spare for this desperate gamble all fell dead or wounded, but Dace remained upright and untouched. The old stiffness in his knee subsided, his distance vision cleared for the first time in years, and the grind in his shoulder and elbow might as well never have troubled him. He broke through the Lookshyan cavalry, scattered the entire line by himself and plunged on toward the bewildered archers farther on. With newfound courage, his soldiers formed up behind him and drove the rest of the Lookshyans from the field. It wasn’t until the opposing force was in full retreat that Dace realized that his body was at the center of a corona of blazing Essence and that some of his men were looking fearfully askance at the symbol burning on his forehead.

The next day, Dace left the Wolves behind, asking for a core of brave volunteers around which he would found a new mercenary company. From this seed grew the Bronze Tigers mercenary army, which Dace based in the Cinnabar District of Nexus.

It has traveled extensively throughout the Scavenger Lands, losing battles only rarely and stealing seemingly impossible victories against raksha, Wyld mutants, beastmen, the dead and even Realm legionnaires from Greyfalls. Some of the army’s most notable exploits to date include its bloodless restoration of the royal family of the nation of Chask in the Hundred Kingdoms (“the Battle that Wasn’t There”), its defeat of a vastly superior Imperial force despite being caught with its back to the Yellow River (“Fucian’s Tragedy”) and its contribution to the defense of Nexus against a plague of demons (“the Day Dark as Night”).

Dace respects his soldiers unfailingly and brooks no disparagement of their reputation. He never leaves wounded soldiers behind if he can help it, nor does he allow captured comrades to languish for very long in enemy hands. His soldiers, in turn, honor Dace and follow him with unfailing faith.

Even those who are the most disturbed by and unsure about his new Exalted status are still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Dace is also widely known for engaging in single combat foes most would hesitate to challenge. He has taken on:

While he cannot claim total victory in all these encounters, that he stood against such fearsome foes and survived is remarkable in itself. That he wins more of such fights than he loses is a testament to his Celestial prowess.