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Train of Dragon's Light (Artifact 3)

Taking the form of a small sphere made of Glass, Orichalcum and traceries of all five colors of Jade, a Train of Dragon's Light must be placed in the exact center of a Manse, in the place where a Hearthstone forms. Only from that location can the Train activate and provide its services to its owner. When in place the Train awakens and splits open, allowing up to one ton of people and goods to be loaded inside a large pocket of Elsewhere.

Once everything and everyone is loaded into the sphere, the owner of the Train dictates a destination which must be another Manse of the same aspect as the one the Train was activated inside within 1,000 miles of the Train's current location. After the destination has been given and the owner of the Train steps inside, the Train closes back into a sphere and then dissolves into a brilliant cloud of Essence which sinks into the floor of the Manse and disappears. The Essence then races outwards from the Manse, following Dragon Lines under the surface of the ground toward the destination Manse.

Trains of Dragon's Light move at a rate of 1,000 miles an hour. It is impossible to stop one in transit without powerful Charms or sorcery of at least the Celestial Circle. If one is stopped, somehow, it will automatically split open and release any contents it may have within itself. If not stopped, the Train will arrive at its destination, appear at the exact center of the Manse and then split open to disgorge all its contents, starting with its owner.

10 motes must be committed to the Train during travel. Charms activated before entering the Train remain active upon leaving it as if no time had passed between entering and leaving. 1 mote must be committed to a Train at all times to maintain ownership of it.


Hmm. On the whole, I like. What level Y'thinking? 3? No commitment cost? - Molikai

Oh, I forgot to include the Artifact level. It's 3, it's linked to from my Artifacts 3 page. I just didn't note that on here. And the last paragraph makes note of the commitment cost. 10 for in use, 1 to maintain ownership when not in use. - Telgar

Question. Do you have to be attuned to the other manse? If not, I can already see how this level 3 artifact will bypass all the defenses around the Imperial Manse for the cost of 10 motes. Gamerjoe

No, you don't. However any Manse as well-defended as the Imperial Manse would have a way to keep Trains out. And appearing inside a Manse you don't own can often be an unpleasant experience. The Train simply gets you there. It doesn't do anything about angry owners or guardians. - Telgar
Alright, then Lookshy's main manse. It was rebuilt after the Seventh Legion took control, as it was practically destroyed before. So you and nine other Solars can feel pretty safe in knowing it doesn't have defenses of the Celestial level of sorcery. Now you can just pop right in, no problem? Granted, there's some quite powerful level 3 artifacts out there and I'm probably thinking too much worst case scenario here over balance, but it just seems to me a bit off to easily invade any manse of the same aspect with a level 3 artifact. Gamerjoe
I didn't say ONLY Sapphire Sorcery could prevent a Train from arriving at a place. I said that powerful charms or Sapphire Sorcery would be required to stop a train in motion. I'd happily say that TCS can ward against incoming trains, preventing them from being able to reach a destination. Or there could be artifact wards inside a Manse preventing travel. Any number of things. What's to stop you from using a teleportation spell or Artifact from zapping into a high-security area? Nothing except the security systems. And any ST running a game in which the players try to use a Train to bypass high security is totally within their rights to say "the security will prevent that." That's what security systems are FOR. I don't feel a real need to say in my Artifact that highly defended and magically secure areas are proof against unwelcome travel by this Artifact. Even if they weren't, there's probably defenses that could destroy the Train upon arrival or blast the passengers when they exited. - Telgar
Wasn't asking you to say any of that. It'd just make more sense to me if they were attuned to the other manse. Using your teleportation example, you need to have been there or seen the place to teleport there, according to the only teleport spell I've seen (Travel Without Distance). That's the balance right there. But is it similarly balanced to just pop in to any manse in 1000 miles if it just happens to share aspect? Is that a fair trade-off considering TwoD also has a range of (Essence) * 10 miles and disorients you for a few hours? The same things preventing the Dragon Train would prevent TwoD, I'd assume. So I suppose my question is why a level 3 artifact is more efficient and far reaching than a celestial circle spell with a caveat of a manse with aspect instead of known location? Gamerjoe
Because as far as I'm concerned, White Wolf rates travel spells and artifacts far too highly. Travel Without Distance isn't anything near as powerful as other Celestial Spells. WW just thinks, for some reason, that fast travel is game-breaking and they rate it above what it deserves. Travel Without Distance should be a Terrestrial spell. - Telgar
I favour Travel Without Distance as being Ess x 100 miles, personally. Stormwind Rider is already a great travel spell at Terrestrial level, and the flavour is more appropriate too. That, however, is not the issue here
-- Darloth

Unlike Travel Without Distance, the Train takes some time. Lookshy, specifically, have good essence-detection. I'm pretty sure they'd notice it as it came in. And have people waiting. Lots of people, even if it did indeed get in at all. Also, Travel Without Distance doesn't require a manse, is considerably more versitile, and can't be taken away from you. I'm fine with this at art 3, I think, 4 at the very most, and if it were 4, it wouldn't seem quite right, I'd be expecting some extra abilities or somesuch.
-- Darloth also notes that Travel Without Distance can port you to just OUTSIDE the ward, wheras, if the Train is blocked, one would assume it won't start travelling at all.

Darloth is correct, if the Train can't achieve a lock on its target Manse, it won't engage at all. - Telgar