The Art of DoEdit
Do (pronounced either “dough” or “dao” depending upon who you ask) is the most basic and the most refined of any martial arts. Developed more than 3,000 years ago and perfected ever since, it represents the most efficient and the most elegant hand-to-hand combat style ever developed. While mastery of this art takes many years, serious practitioners realize that the true art of Do is merely relearning the way your own body would move if it were not constrained by fear, doubt, convention, or expectation. Properly executed Do is a form of meditation, an art form, and quite honestly the most deadly martial art on the planet. Also, unlike any conventional martial art it combines the power of the hard martial arts with the grace and cunning of the soft styles.
Do also forms the basis for much of the Akashic Brotherhood’s magick. Do is not in and of itself magical and may be learned by sleepers who have both the proper dedication to learn it, and the good fortune to find someone to teach it to them. However, it can easily serve as a focus for both magick and meditation. This same unity makes it an ideal focus for magick. The Doist’s mind, body, and Avatar are all brought into a uniform harmony, allowing the Mage’s will to reshape the very fabric of reality as their body moves through the precise forms of this art. The unity attained though the use of Do also allows members of the Akashic Brotherhood to perform special rotes known to no one else. Such rotes enhance and make use of the structure of Do, allowing the Doist to perform astounding physical and mental feats.
The Do Merit must be purchased during character creation by anyone playing a member of the Akashic Brotherhood. Learning Do requires a teacher of some sort. It is far too complex and intricate for anyone to learn on their own, and no books written about it capture its true essence. Once the basics (the first dot) have been learned the rest can be studied alone. However, studying with a teacher is both more common and considerably easier.
Fighting Style: Do (• to •••••)
Prerequisites: Composure ••, Brawl •••, Gnosis •
Throw & Meditation •
Using the rules for gaining a grappling hold on a target, the character can instead throw their opponent, rendering them prone (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p.164) and suffers the same damage as if the character had punched them, due to the force of the impact. At the character's choice, the opponent either lands at their feet or up to one yard away in any direction.
In addition, each dot of Do provides a +1 bonus to all Mediation rolls by the character.
Flying Kick ••
On a successful Dexterity + Brawling roll the character leaps forward up to five yards and delivers a powerful kick. This attack gains a +1 bonus, but at this level only does Bashing damage.
Deflect/Catch Missiles •••
Students of Do can even learn to defend themselves against attacks by unpowered missile weapons. From thrown rocks to crossbow bolts such weapons may be deflected or even caught. The character must have one arm or leg free and be able to see the attack coming. In addition, deflecting a missile requires intense concentration. It is the only action the character may take that turn. This maneuver does not work against bullets or other extremely fast projectiles nor does it work against any form of magical attack. However, Akashics frequently combine this maneuver with true magick to defend against such attacks.
Drawback: The character cannot use their Defense against any attack in the same turn that they use this maneuver.
Students of Do learn to make a terrifying yell, allowing them to make an Intimidation roll using Dots in Do + Intimidation. This shout can be used at the same time as any Do attack without penalty, but otherwise this yell cannot be combined with any other action. Using this yell does not affect the character's Defense.
Lethal Damage •••••
Unlike most martial arts, the highest levels of Do do not rely on the physical strength of the practitioner. Practitioners of Do can at their choice roll either Strength or Dexterity when making a brawling attack using Do. Even more important, knowledge of Do consists in part of learning the various weaknesses of the human body, so at their discretion, students of Do can choose to do either Bashing or Lethal damage with any attack.
The Adamantine Hand Fighting Style & DoEdit
The magical fighting style Merit Adamantine Hand (Adamantine Arrow, pp. 53-54) can be learned by any Mage who has at least Do •••. This prerequisite replaces all of the prerequisites listed for this Merit on p. 53.
In the setting of Ascension Nova, Adamantine Hand is called Diamond Palm style, and is the domain of the Vajrapani sect of the Akashic Brotherhood. Representing the diamond thunderbolt of enlightenment wielded by Indra, this style stretches back to the Himalaya Wars, used to lay low Chakravat assassins. It is rumoured that the other sects have their own styles as well.
Do and other Martial ArtsEdit
According to Akashic legendry, Do is the primordial, awakened martial arts form, from which sleeper martial arts forms such as the various forms of Kung Fu, Karate, Boxing, Pancration or various other combat arts are descended from. As such, Do can appear to sleeper eyes to be some other martial arts form, depending on the gateway tradition of the Mage practicing it. In fact, certain legacies, cabals and masters in the Brotherhood require a Brother or Sister to learn a sleeper martial art to a certain level before granting instruction in Do. However, the Akashic Brothers offer the finest martial arts training in the world - this is reflected in the special cost break that Akashic Brotherhood mages get with martial arts backgrounds.
Do and rank in the BrotherhoodEdit
Contrary to what many outside the Brotherhood think, not all Brothers and Sisters practice the physical martial art Do. To the Brotherhood, being a skilled poet, a gardener, or a good teacher is just as much the practice of Do as is learning boxing. Indeed, the Brotherhood will often turn away Orpans who approach the Brotherhood, eager to learn it's incomparable combat techniques. However, the Brotherhood requires all it's members to eventually learn the Meditation merit, as meditation practice forms the bedrock of Akashic magick beyond cultural differences, uniting Indian Raja Yoga practicioners and Karatekas from Japan.
What Do looks likeEdit
More importantly, only someone with the Do merit can identify someone using Do in combat. To anyone else, Do will appear to be either the practicioners favored gateway art (Karate, etc) or that they're just simply a very natural, intuitive brawler. For centuries, Reasoners and their Technocrat descendants have attempted to duplicate Do, as have ancient Chakravats, but without success. The Chakravats realised that it was the entire worldview of the Brotherhood and their basis in Awakened Buddhism and Taoism which formed the basis of Do, and gave up centuries ago.