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Artifact Relay

The eighteenth theme is The Tepet Armory

Since the loss of many of their exalted scions, along with a great deal of their temporal power, House Tepet has been digging deep into their armoy, unearthing some items that hve been untouched since the end of the First Age. All of these artifacts should be of use to a military house, and should not be common artifacts in the modern world.
-- Scrollreader

Previous Rounds

  1. Medicine
  2. Ignorance
  3. Flexibility
  4. Ritual
  5. Crystals
  6. Burn! BUUUUURRRN!!
  7. Inquiry
  8. Dynastic Pageantry
  9. Reach for the Sky
  10. Bring on the NOISE!!!
  11. Unconventional Artifact Weapons
  12. Betrayal
  13. Dark Beauty
  14. Artistry
  15. Circles
  16. Unconventional Artifact Armour
  17. Clockwork Devices

Fire-Sealing Nozzle by GregLink

Artifact •
Commitment Cost: None/1m+

Tiny by almost any standard, a Fire-Sealing Nozzle is nothing more than a hollow tube roughly 1cm in both length and diamater. Composed of primarily Red Jade, with a small ring of white jade at one end, it can be worn as a ring by those attuned to it if desired. When charged with 1m of essence, this device grows cooler to the touch, and begins to form a thin, whitish film covering the white end of the nozzle. At this point, those unfamiliar with the device would think it nothing more than a child's toy, perhaps an artifact used to generate soap-bubbles. Those more familiar will then place the nozzle, with film up, over top of a source of flame, such as a bonfire, candle, or anima banner. As the nozzle heats up, the film begins to expand, as in said child's toy, creating a whitish bubble with a dull red glow inside. For each round the nozzle is held over flame, 1m of essence must be committed to keep the bubble intact, and contain the heat within. For each round, the bubble grows by roughly one inch in diameter, containing more and more of the available heat. If the nozzle is removed from the heat source, the nozzle cools quickly, and as it cools, the newly grown fire-bubble seals itself off into a perfect sphere. As long as the motes remain committed to the nozzle, this sphere will remain attached to the nozzle, and has a tensile strength not unlike that of steel. At any point, the bubble can be removed from the nozzle, but it will quickly lose tensile strength over the next few seconds, bursting by the end of the round. When it bursts, it releases the flame contained within, doing a number of damage equal to that normally caused by the fire it was charged with, times the number of rounds that the device was charged, over a 3 yard area. This damage is considered environmental, and may not be parried or dodged. No more motes may be committed to a fire-sealing nozzle than the user's (Essence-1), limiting the size of the conflagrations possible. Fire-Aspected Terrestrials have a particular affinity for these devices, however, and so may commit up to their full Essence in motes. It is rumored that other elemental versions of these devices exist, each with similar properties. While an Earth-Aspected or Wood-Aspected device would be difficult to employ due to the relative scarcity of mudslides and rapidly growing thornbushes, an Air-Aspected device, if someone had one, would be rechargable almost anywhere, although it would take significant weather patterns to cause any significant damage with one.

Anima Flux-Cascade Inducer by Darloth

Artifact ••
Commitment Cost: 4m

Two feet of slightly tapering blue jade with a ring of tiny green jade nodules surrounding the thin end make up this artifact, with the blue jade of such quality that it appears perfectly clear to all but the most exacting of examinations. Indeed, to most people, this would appear to be only a strangely worked glass rod, although savants might question its purpose if they noticed the green jade spheres. In actuality, this was the graduation work of a house Tepet student studying at the Heptagram in the Shogunate Era, and although he passed, the artifact was deemed of little utility and possibly too dangerous to be of much use, and so passed into one of the Tepet vaults. In today's rather more ...unstable... political climate though, it seems much more valuable.

If an attuned user points it at a target as a dice action (using Dex + archery or thrown, it has +2 accuracy) a near invisible beam of translucent turquoise essence is projected. The beam may be dodged normally, but parries have no effect unless they can parry unparriable attacks. Even then, if they are parried by an attuned weapon, the beam will take effect. Against most targets, this is actually very little, glancing harmlessly off mortals, spirits, even demons with no more than a slight shimmering of light outlining their form for a second. However, if it is used against an Exalt with an already visible anima banner the effect is much more impressive. The anima roils as the turquoise light touches and suffuses it, and blasts outwards in a tremendous display of power, having the normal effect for that anima-type on the surroundings, such as bleaching things if solar or decaying plant matter if abyssal, etc. This is spiritually draining for the target, in addition to quite distracting, and drains a single mote of essence which is lost into the surrounding atmosphere.

When this happens with a dragon-blooded anima, no essence is lost. Instead, the blast of raw elemental power deals the target's Permanant Essence in dice of lethal damage to everything within the target's Permanant Essence in yards. This damage specifically -does- apply to the target themselves, and their attuned armour provides no protection, although natural soak or mundane armour functions normally. For everyone else, this damage is soaked by armour just as normal anima-flux damage is.

Gravitational Calcifier (Tentative name) by Paincake

Artifact •••(incomplete)  •••• (Complete) 
Commitment Cost: 5m

A medium-sized lozenge-shaped device of intricately wound pieces, what remains (the lead-on-white jade central artifact) is a sphere that weighs next to nothing in the attuned user's grip. (Str. 4 required to hold when not attuned, Str 5 required to hold without straining) Easily thrown(Acc + 2) by anyone of sufficient strength or the attuned owner, its weightlessness no longer applies once thrown. (Dmg+2B) It can be activated by the user for 5 motes per turn for a single scene per day. Once activated, it cannot be moved until deactivated.

Ability: When activated, the central artifact accelerates gravity around everyone within a radius of 500 yards. This effectively deals 1B damage (unparryable, other defenses as normal - has 5 successes)upon activation and causes everyone in the area of effect to become immobilized. (Str 5 = Roll Strength to move. - 1 to movement/attack successes. Str 4 = Roll strength to move or act. -3 to all movement/attacks. Str 3 = Willpower roll or Stunt to move, Str 2 = Stunt+ Willpower, Str 1 = NO UNAIDED MOBILITY)

The artifact was originally adorned with 25 white-jade hooks that painlessly slid into the flesh over the heart of 1 individual each. These hooks grant immunity to the artifact's effect to those thus equipped. These hooks have been lost in the Tepet armory and in the battlefield during each use of the item in war, but several are still attatched and a few more are not terribly difficult to acquire. Ugly white-jade hooks with crusty blood on them are hardly common. Furthermore, the artifact is capable of calling for its missing components with an intense attractive force extending up to half a mile. Spending a mote activates the ability on command for a scene, but if used on any given day it will randomly activate at least twice more that day. (Generally when in proximity of another piece) Carrying it down the street where one of its mates lies in a vendor's window could result in broken glass and the serious injury of those between your pocket and the hook. People may take unkindly to losing an ear or their being dragged across the square, or the death by strangulation of a friend who was wearing it on a necklace. A spell or the modification of a charm to assemble the artifact should not be difficult to research due to this special link between it and its components, but thus far it has fallen into obscurity and no one has bothered.

Glittering Pearl Rain by DeathBySurfeit

Artifact •••••
Commitment Cost: 25m from captain, five hearthstones with a minimum total rating of 10
Dimensions:: 400 feet length x 200 feet width x 200 feet height (+100 foot width and height including unfurled sails)

Pride and joy of the Tepet fleet, the Glittering Pearl Rain is an ancient skyship of First Age design. Its single hull is constructed of ivory harvested from behemoths of the deeps below and the skies above, inlaid with adamant panelling and fluid moonsilver supports. Above, a panoply of shifting wings threaded with silk rise high and spread wide, bearing it aloft for as long as Essence remains committed to the craft.

Performing as well upon the sea as it does in the sky, the Glittering Pearl Rain is named after the many crystalline growths that appear to adorn its underside. Accessible from within its spacious bowels, these adamant-glazed pods are fitted with complex Essence drives that charge from the ship's own grid, and house five fully armed soldiers apiece. All told, they can accomodate a full talon (125) of soldiers, a fifth of the skyship's capacity. Upon their release, they burst away with brilliant cobalt trails marking their swift descent - when the ship is aloft, these are used to seed troops and deliver messengers across the battlefield; when seaborne, they are used to pierce enemy ships' hulls and burst open to reveal crack squads of Water-aspected marines. Should the ship's captain spend another 25m, the Glittering Pearl Rain is surrounded by a distant white halo that will retract all fired pods over the course of the scene (pods fired subsequently will last about five turns before returning); this also renders the craft immune to the deleterious effects of local weather, suspending it in place.

These are hardly the sum of the skyship's arsenal; it bears a full dozen adaptable mounts for essence cannons, implosion bows, lightning cannons and similar devices. Further, reports dating from the First Age talk of a 'lightning fulcrum generator', although this function was apparently lost as a consequence of battle damage sustained during the Usurpation. To aid coordination of it all, the spacious bridge is replete with crystal displays that can be used to plot navigation routes (its onboard map is remarkably accurate, and documents many landmarks that may come as a surprise to contemporary pilots), as well as maintain ongoing diagrams of ship and personnel movements within a ten mile radius. Escaping the notice of the ship's essence scanners requires supernatural assistance, although they only detect the presence or abscence of intelligent life; it is up to the crew to attach appropriate labels to these.

The Glittering Pearl Rain is a First Age warship, experiencing all commensurate bonuses (see Savage Seas, p.62. Battle damage has necessitated some imperfect repairs, though the structure has been modified to conceal these points of weakness. If a character succeeds at a Perception + Sail or Craft (First Age Weapons) check at difficulty 5, he may thereafter negate these benefits when attacking the ship. The Glittering Pearl Rain requires an hour's drydock maintenance for every four spent airborne, or twenty-four spent seaborne, and cannot surpass twenty such increments without suffering increasing damage to its systems. Needless to say, the materials required are demanding of even a noble house; this goes some way to explain House Tepet's reluctance to field the craft in anything but the most dire of situations.


Cool. I would say that an air-aspected device could only be charged in high winds at the very least, however...
-- Darloth

Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Still, the ability to charge these things with one's anima makes for a fun and interesting way to cause a few damage in an explosion. -- GregLink, happy with the level 1 artifact that doesn't stink.. Also, in a fun fashion, you could easily carry three or four such nozzles, and with some skill in thrown, you could really tear things up.

I can see the air aspected ones seeing a lot of use as children's toys... I mean... suck up a giant bubble full of air, and throw it at someone as a non-damaging but very slightly concussive projectile. Sounds like great fun. Heck, why call it just for children, -I- want one! ^_^
-- Darloth

The mountian folk already have an Essence Pulse grenade, although they are a bit different. It seems odd to classify it as enviromental damage(well, the cannot be parried or dodged seems odd). I really like the visuals though. I belive the intent is that it causes the as much damage is the source it charged from, correct? -FlowsLikeBits

The same as the source it was charged from, times the number of rounds it was charged. Thus, a 3L bonfire, charged for 3 rounds, would do 9L. It would also require a 3m commitment to hold such a charge, and you'd need Ess 4 if you're anything but a Fire-Aspect to do it. Charging the other methods is tougher without an anima banner, as hurricanes are tough to come by. -- GregLink
Note, FLB, that the damage cannot be parried or blocked. But as environmental damage, it /can/ be soaked to zero. I think it's a fair trade, especially as it takes several rounds to set up something nasty. And besides, there are actually several ways to avoid/redirect the sphere itself, if not the damage. Air and Abyssal thrown spring to mind. - Scrollreader
Checking the enviromental damage rules(pg 244), that's actually really nasty. Normally, you only soak enviromental damage with Stamina, and it's levels, not rolled. (To make it enviromental damage, it would need a Resistance difficulty and values for if the roll is failed/passed). On a meta level, it might be better to just make it normal damage. Possibly allow one device to make multiple charges or something(As long as you commit the motes, seems ok). -FlowsLikeBits
Could posit a resistance difficulty equal to the number of turns of charging, and success halves damage (round down) if you think it's too nasty. Also, congrats GregLink, you seem to have killed a relay. I'll try and post something later to get it started again. Funky weaponry/devices from the tepet caches is too good a theme to miss.
-- Darloth

Um, since no one has posted ANYTHING new in over a month...can we reset the theme? - Telgar

Well, I've just posted something, and it might get more attention now it's back at the top of the list.
-- Darloth

I think I've got my timelines wrong... What was the name of the Era that the empress ruled for and everything was pretty stable in? Ah well. If someone could correct that then I would be very greatful, I can't seem to remember/find it right now.
-- Darloth

This theme is just stalling again. One more vote for dropping it... - Telgar

Um, I don't exactly know what happened, but I tried to add a comment somewhere and this may be a double. Can we add a sixth category (N/A) to the artifact relay? A way for people to post the truly fantastical items they think of without lessening their power. (something that is strictly storyteller purview rather than dice and rules, for instance.) p.s., Wow, Darloth. A DB assassination device if I ever saw one. =D And hey, I simultaneously dealt with level 3 and 4! Hurray me! (just kiddin'.. a level 3 or 4 artifact may be created in the appropriate slot by the next contributor) P.p.s. Telgar, if you don't like this theme, make a quickie contribution and pick the next one already. It's merely "Unconventional Artifact Weapons 2 - DB Edition" after all. - Paincake

You made that comment on the Unconventional Armor relay. And for the same reasons as I stated there, I'll say "no" here. We have enough trouble keeping relays of 5 items going, no reason to add a 6th item and stall out even MORE often. Also, NA items are incredibly personalized and almost 100% subjective as to what they can do. With 1-5s you have some guidelines for universality but not with NA. Also, when you hit NA level you REALLY need an incredibly well-developed idea to write them and so they're vastly difficult to create in a situation like the relay. So, overall, adding NA to the relay really gives nothing and adds a bunch of problems. So let's just continue on with 1-5.
As to why I'm not just posting the next Artifact...I'd have to post *three* new Artifacts and I myself have no ideas at all for this theme. If I did, I'd post them. I don't seem to be alone, judging from the lack of response. And that's why I suggest this theme be retired due to lack of activity.
PS, please use the summary box when making non-minor changes. - Telgar

Quite insightful, and on the artifact armors page as well. You're both right of course.. an official adjunct to each relay of an even higher setting would set things to a crawl. About the artifacts; I hope I didn't offend you, Telgar. I assumed a person of such creative fecundity would have just the spiffy thing to shift into the fourth or fifth slot here. (Granted, someone wishing to rush could also add a single fifth level artifact if my own artifact's duality as a 3 dot and 4 dot set is sufficient.) - Paincake

Is my artifact any good? I mean, I'm new here so I may well be making big mistakes up there. I won't know unless I'm informed.. so, stylistically I believe it to be sound, but maybe I need to change the rules or something? Tips, tricks anyone? - Paincake

Thought I'd polish off the theme and go for something that might be a little more popular. Paincake, your artifact is fine save for the concept of 'rolling Strength'. Why only your attribute, not Strength+Athletics? How many successes are required? I'd also avoid penalising low-Strength characters explicitly, and instead recommend requiring them to match the standards of higher-Strength ones. Any thoughts on the Glittering Pearl Rain are very much welcome. It was a little rushed, but I'm fairly fond of it nevertheless. If it's good sport, I'll go ahead and put up the new theme...DeathBySurfeit

Well, I like it ^_^ - But then, you always have had a talent for airships... how BIG(bleh, found capacity at 625 troops, but still, comparison to skywolf?) is it though, and how much essence/hearthstones does it require to fly? Just the 25m committment, no hearthstones at all? I think lookshy's aircarriers are larger but have less features, but as I recall they all need hearthstones... Aside from those queries, it's great. I await your decision on what the next theme should be!
-- Darloth

Clarified accordingly! As for how BIG it is, I've picked VERY BIG. Further comments still welcome, and glad you liked it so...DeathBySurfeit