Progenitus has never gone full bore into the competitive sports world, preferring to project the image of a kinder, gentler unstoppable force. Most of their athletic focus is in activities in which the individual competes with themselves for greatness, that kind of thing is a better for their metaphor. But they do appreciate a fine military display. The three branches of Erethey show off both the corporation’s grace and martial presence.
Erethey is a combination of martial and performance art. While theoretically an unarmed combat form, Erethey warps the definition of “unarmed” by leveraging armor and a flowing series of katas into a potentially lethal combination. It’s no match for a good old fashioned Boost Hammer, but IRPF rarely comes down hard on someone wearing “ceremonial” armor.
The three branchs of Erethey are Melitae, a dance-like form that somewhat resembles a Storm Trooper rushing through a series of Tai Chi maneuvers; Menemney, similar to Melitae but slower and with considerably more singing than most martial arts; and Machee, a ritualized martial art that leans on parries and disarming, arm and elbow strikes, pins, a surprising amount of fancy footwork, and very deep knowledge of their armor and its hidden functionality.
To an outsider, it all looks stuffy, ornate, and terribly fake. But every step and motion is polished and logical, and that’s part of the art. It’s just such a far cry from Pulse’s arenas and ASR’s holo battles that few vectors have the patience for it. On the plus side, Erethey’s masters really can hold themselves in a scrum and move in their armor with a grace that looks almost weightless.
Editor’s Note: This feels maybe a little excessive…Erethey is intended to be a cold, kind of alien and awkward martial form, on the surface more like color guard or synchronized swimming than a real-world style. But for practitioners who have invested serious time in it, there’s payoff. All of these can be adapted to your campaign without the Progenitus chrome, though the Techniques were designed as a little more powerful than other techniques of their point costs–a trade-off for the less than stellar armor that’s required to use them.
As a sport, Erethey is simply a form of Expression, nothing more. It’s impressive at parties (at least, really dry parties) and a good way to call attention to yourself. But it’s an art form that’s got a lot of cultural significance in Progenitus, and besides that, it’s a great way to injure people and keep yourself from being injured. Any of the following could be used to invest in this sport slash lifestyle:
♃ Quirk (Presence): Weirdly Resonant
When you speak–or at least when you SPEAK–your voice hits the back wall and echoes through the biggest rooms. People snap to attention, lesser voices go silent. Microphones squeal with feedback and glasses of water get that neat rippley thing happening. You’ve never needed a microphone, and the IRPF would confiscate it if you had one as a potentially lethal weapon. This Quirk is common among lions, and other great cats, many birds, and wolves, and some stage performers and masters of Menemney hone it to a good cutting edge.
Once per episode, you can make a Community check on a broad scale, affecting everyone in a large room or similar area, with only a +1 to the check difficulty.
Effect: Additionally, when you are allowed to speak you may sometimes get a +1 bonus to other community checks when your impressive voice is relevant, though some people will inevitably find it obnoxious…and you can’t fade into the woodwork after using this ability, once you draw attention to yourself, it stays drawn.
♃ Quirk (Presence): Herald
The corporate powers and local leadership recognize you as a sort of totem or figurehead. You do have to dress the part…elaborate costumes and props are part of the job, tall furry hats may or may not be. As long as you play the part and wear the gear, most people on the street will assume that you’re authorized to speak for your corporation, including most lower-level employees. You’ve taken on the roll of mascot, mouthpiece, and just a bit of priest, and this Quirk assumes that you’ve been employed as such. This doesn’t give you any real corporate authority, you’re more outside and to the left of the standard hierarchy, but you do have an unusual amount of vague goodwill and respect as something of a corporate institution. As for what you can get away with…that’s up to you, but seriously abusing your position and illusion of authority is a good way to get a managerial beat-down.
On the other hand, your weird superpower is difficult to parlay into meaningful corporate clout. You’re a sort of mascot, not upper management. Getting someone to sign a contract to work with your parties is hard, but telling a crowd of onlookers about a threat to their corporation and encouraging them to reach out to allies and take action? That’s more doable.
This is a character ability, but it’s also a duty, and you may be called on in a ceremonial capacity, opening public parks, marching in parades, performing before a big announcement, and so on.
Effect: You can generally Simplify any Community task specifically related to spreading corporate information, messaging, or tasks that would benefit from an aura of corporate authority. Most vectors will give you a degree of respect, but it’s often tinged with discomfort at being around someone who has to wear the weird costume. At the GM’s discretion, you may receive a Fault in Community tasks dealing with anti-authoritarians or folks that are very specifically working against your corporation (beyond the usual animosity between rival Megacorps).
Note: All Erethey techniques can only be used while wearing the Erethey armor uniform, modified Storm Armor. If you toss out the Erethey martial art and adapt the techniques, they should be used with some form of medium armor and may be slightly overpowered without Erethey armor drawbacks.
Still Water Dance – 2 pt. Armor/shields/defense
As long as you are free to move, you may increase your Evade by 2 when you remain in a single hex. The bonus begins after you spend a full turn in one space, and ends when you’re forced out or leave. Vertical movement will end the bonus. You’re not stationary, you’re executing a series of defense movements with lots of blocks, parries, and sudden dodges.
Bind the Wind – 1 pt close combat
you may choose to reduce the distance you are moved in a drifting brawl by one. This may break “locked in combat” if neither of you is welding a melee range weapon.
Kevlar Hand – 1 pt armor/shields/defense
while wearing your standard Erethey armor you are never considered unarmed. Instead treat your gauntlets as the following weapon:
Wise Strike – 2 pt armor/shields/defense
You can attempt to disarm an enemy, causing them to drop their melee weapon. This must be done as a response action to a melee attack made against you. The weapon is treated as having an evade of 18, and if you succeed in a CWC your opponent drops his weapon and must spend a support action to retrieve it.
Teacher’s strike – 2 pt close combat
While wearing your standard Erethey armor you may make a disarm attack against a ranged or melee weapon held by an adjacent enemy, or against a long-reach weapon used against you this turn. Roll a CQC strike against an Evade of 20. If successful, the enemy drops the weapon and it bounces away (use the melee drift rule to see where it lands.) If it’s in an adjacent hex, any character can use a support action to retrieve it.
Martial Song – 2 pt close combat
Once per session you may add your Expression proficiency to either your melee damage bonus or your cover. You must be… lasts as long as you are able to continue to sing (a support action)
Cape Dance – 2 pt armor/shields/defense
As long you remain in a single hex (as per still water) you may make a special attack as a response to a melee attack (but not a bonus attack). This does no damage, but if successful costs your opponent one of his actions.
Most defensive/armor techniques can fit into Erethey, but Perfect Stance, Redirect, and Strongarm are all popular choices.
Notes: The name Erethey comes from Arete, a Greek word for skill, and its various flavors are taken from the names of various muses. The style and probably a fair bit of the idea for this one was drawn from the gun kata style from the movie “Equilibrium.”