“I am the dam that stems the flood, the wall that holds back the storm. I will not falter and I will not fall.”
In your first life, you died because you weren’t tough enough. The Lessons you learned in the Crucible have taught you how to survive hardship and pain, to shake off damage that would kill any mortal and cripple another Phoenix. You can stand your ground in dire situations, offering inspiration to those who might otherwise fall prey to fear. You lack the fury of the Bitter or the speed of the Forceful, but you can stand your ground in the face of threats that would sweep your Wingmates aside.
Many of your Lessons focus on survival, allowing you to shake off conditions and ignore minor injuries. However, you can also learn to guide your allies in battle. Vanguard lets you expose the weaknesses of an enemy, Tactical Genius strengthens those who follow your plan of attack, and Guiding Hand allows you to directly enhance the attacks of your allies. Abilities such as Valiant and Turn the Tide force an enemy to strike at you instead of your Wingmates, letting them benefit from your impenetrable guard. If you aren’t the last Phoenix to fall, it will be because you put yourself in harm’s way to shield those in need.
Durant Phoenixes are trained in the arts of war and leadership. In the Phoenix Imperium, Durant Phoenixes served as warlords and commanders, directing the actions of mortal soldiers. At the moment, Dawn Command has limited military forces, but should that change, you are trained to lead. In these dark times, your confident voice can be an inspiration to frightened mortals; your talent for leadership is often an asset when you’re interacting with with the people of the Empire.
Athletics, Endurance, Leadership, and War. Your endurance allows you to resist torment and push through hardships that would exhaust even Phoenixes. Athletics reflects your exceptional physical conditioning and can apply to jumping, climbing, swimming, lifting heavy objects, smashing through doors, or any other athletic action. You may have been a soldier in your first life; either way, you studied the arts of war extensively in the Crucible. You are familiar with almost every weapon ever used in the Daylit World, and you are an expert tactician. Your Leadership Specialty helps you to inspire and convince others, and it applies to most social situations in which you are presenting yourself in a commanding or inspiring way.
As a Durant, you are innately tougher than your allies. Your base Endurance value is three, meaning it takes three points of damage to inflict a Wound on you instead of the normal two. Why is this? Is your skin resistant to cuts, or your bones unbreakable? You can use your core Talent to reduce the damage you take from an attack…what does this look like? Many Durant Phoenixes are simply able to shake off small wounds without injury, or are able to continue fighting even when they have sustained damage that would kill any other Phoenix. With others, this supernatural durability has a more visible manifestation. A Durant could have skin of steel or stone, either all the time or simply when attacked. Others are never seen without their armor; over the course of many lives, some Durant Phoenixes literally become suits of armor.
- The Soldier. You were a warrior in your first life. You might be an Imperial soldier who died fighting the Dread, or you could have served long ago and died in the Civil War. You could be a Seasoned Veteran, a Commander, or both. The other Phoenixes may have the skills, but you’ve seen war, and you’re going to show them how it’s done.
- The Peasant Hero. You might have been a farmhand or even a child in your first life. Your village was destroyed by the Dread, and you’re going to make sure no one suffers as your village did. Your Leadership is more about passion and common sense than strict discipline, and you might replace your War Specialty with Nature. In terms of Traits, you’re more likely to be a Hunter than a Commander, and you might be Crude but Effective…or even Small and Quick if you’re a child.
- The Survivor. You overcame more hardships in your first life than most Phoenixes will in seven. You’ve suffered every tragedy imaginable, but nothing can keep you down from long. Traitwise, you’re a Survivor, and you might be Tough as Nails or Too Big to Fail. Whatever you face, you’ve seen worse…make sure everyone knows it!
WHY PLAY A DURANT?
The main reason to play a Durant is because you don’t want to die. Of all the Schools, Durant is the hardest to kill. With Lessons such as Impenetrable Hide and Bulwark of the Dawn, your durability dramatically increases; if you pair these with the Talon Bastion, you can literally ignore attacks that will cripple your allies. Beyond sheer durability, the Durant is an excellent team player. Many of your Lessons allow you to create openings for your allies or to enhance their actions. If you choose abilities such as Valiant and Turn the Tide, you can use your durability to protect your allies. Your Leadership Skill Specialty is a positive approach in many social situations, giving you a strong role off the battlefield.
Overall, Durant is a fairly simple School to play. Your Lessons are straightforward, and your durability means you can make a few mistakes and still walk away from it. It can be an excellent School if you’re relatively new to roleplaying games, and you’re worried about dying too quickly. Of course, death is how you grow stronger in Phoenix; as times, it may seem as though your durability is holding you back. Remember you can always choose to lower your guard when you’re ready to advance in Rank. You can also talk to your Marshal about having a dramatic death scene that occurs between missions…perhaps you’re overwhelmed on an important solo mission.