The fourteenth theme is Artistry
From the birth of creation to this very moment, art is present throughout the entire realm. Be it a painting, calligraphy, woodcuts, remarkable weapons or incredible Martial Arts, the creative force that flows from the Gods will not be stopped. There will always be art, as long as the realm exists ~ BrigandRansom
The Critical Eye by BrigandRansom
Artifact • Commitment: 1 Mote
This is a small monocle, the lens made of fine Jade-alloy glass and rimmed with swirls of Jade. A fine chain of Orichalc connects to the monocle and ends in a loop that can be attached to the button of a coat. Popular among Dynastic artists, these monocles give the user a better understanding and appreciation of art. Once committed, the monocle will allow the user to use their Craft rating instead of Socialize for social rolls in a setting where there is art to be seen and people to foist your opinions on. This also adds a single additional success to any attempts to appraise a piece of art. The lens must be held up to the eye to gain these effects. Note that art is subjective, but the Storyteller is the final word on what is and is not art. The lens would be effective at helping gauge the value of an opulent Dynastic wagon, but not a simple horse-drawn cart.
Quill -- (OhJames)
Writing utensil of any of the 5MM Artifact •• Commitment: 3 motes
These Artifacts are unassuming, but surpassingly useful for those exalts of a poetic or scholarly disposition. They are relatively uncommon, despite their simple construction, for the sad reason that most artificiers in this turbulent Age of Sorrows are unwilling to expend the necessary resources to create items of such non-military applications.
They require no ink, add one die to all Linguistics or appropriate Crafts (Poetry, Calligraphy, etc.) rolls utilizing them, and can write on their own, requiring their owner merely to dicate to them. In addition to these benefits, the Magical Material used in a Quill's construction confers a few other advantages.:
- Orichalcum: Orichalcum Quills are long, narrow rods of shining gold, with a plume of white Essence that smells subliminally of summer days. The ink they produce is either a uniform yellow-gold or a shifting liquid incorporating all the colors of the sunset. When an exalt utilizes a document written with such a device, she may add three dice to all Performance rolls made to convince others to join her cause. "Utilizing a document" can mean brandishing it at an angry mob, submitting it as evidence in a court case, or even speaking to a crowd who has read it in recent days.
- Moonsilver: Moonsilver Quills are delicately curved spines, topped by a plume of Essence that shimmers from blue to white to deepest purple. They produce ink in luminous cobalt, shining argent, or beguiling, bruised violet, depending on the whim of their owner. When an exalt utilizes a document written with a Moonsilver Quill, she may add three dice to all Presence rolls made to deceive another. "Utilizing a document" can take the form of secret love letters, personal notes slipped into a mark's pocket, or even crude messages scrawled upon a window.
- Jade: Jade Quills are the largest of their kind, and also the least graceful. They are blocky sticks of carved stone, their plumes violent, roiling cascades of the appropriate element. Their ink is the most gaudy and miraculous of all; Blue Jade writes in delicate traceries of ice crystals, White Jade with lines of gem-like sand, Red Jade in motes of glowing ember, Black Jade in colored and perfumed water, and Green jade with minute, flowering vines. All bureuacratic documents written with these Artifacts add one die to their owner's Bureaucracy pool, backed by the elemental authority of the Five Dragons. In addition, any document written with a Jade quill can be pre-programmed to self-destruct one minute after a designated target has read it, dissipating in a puff of its appropriate element.
- Starmetal: Starmetal Quills are arcane devices, a hollow tube of meteoric iron decorated with a plume of Essence progressing from yellow nearest the point to violet at its tip. Their ink is simple and utilitarian, available in each color of the Maidens. When an exalt writes out a petition to the Pattern Spiders using a Starmetal Quill, she adds three dice to her roll and reduces the Target Number by one.
- Soulsteel: Soulsteel Quills are secret, black and midnight creations, looking like a dead man's finger wrought from dark metal. Their ink is not ink at all; they instead write in blood, tears, or bile, at their owner's discretion. By utilizing such a dread document, the exalt may add three dice to all Socialize rolls made to cast doubt or shame another party. "Utilizing a document" can mean anything from reading a condemnation of a person before an assembly, writing seditious letters to authority figures, to secret correspondences between conspirators.
Templeton's Immeasurably Helpful Tools by Ambisinister
Artifact ••• Commitment: 5 motes
This fine set of tools was created by the accomplished artisan and inventor Templeton the Precise. Templeton always despaired that he could not find assistants capable of meeting his exacting standards to assist him on large projects. Eventually, he simply chose to invent himself the perfect assitant. The 'tools' are actually 32 slender moonsilver and jade rods which fit neatly into a carrying case the size of a briefcase. The tools will remain inert in their berth until their attuned user expends an additional 5 motes to animate them. Once animated, the tools will hover under their own power and respond on a subconscious level to their owner's desires and thoughts. The tools provide a number of benefits: First off, they are perfect tools capable of manipulating magical materials. They are suited to any craft. They count as having a skilled assistant with lore, occult, and craft ratings equal to one less than their user's ratings in these skills. They also add 3 dice to all craft checks directly related to construction and implementation, though not to planning and designing. Finally, should the user wish to engage in simultaneous construction efforts, they reduce the multiple action penalty by a number of dice equal to the user's permanent essence. Again, this bonus does not apply to the design phase. If the user wishes to build an object while simultaneously designing another, the tools will allow him to do that, but will only reduce the penalty on the building rolls, not the planning ones.
The Reminiscent -- DeathBySurfeit
Soulsteel harp Artifact •••• Commitment: 10 motes
Those Abyssals who can find words to describe the sussurating whispers of their Malfean overlords almost inevitably describe them as subtle, disjointed, maddening, incohesive... and yet they are not always this way. Some lucid inspiration formed the harmony that would later be captured in this artifact, a creation of utter beauty and clarity. It settled in the mind of a Deathlord, and there it devoured her, for within it was spoken all her memories, everything she coveted, and described in such surpassing excellence that the prosaic experiences of the day were as ash and dust - all true splendour had passed.
Tormented even as the Deathlords would term the word, she used powerful necromancy to pull the dark inspiration from her mind and, binding it to a frame of soulsteel strung with gods' hair, torn off in grief, she captured it. The soulsteel fell silent, the strings unmoving, for such was its appeal that none touched by The Reminscent could think of anything but release from the mundanity of their lives. Now, it makes music only in the deliberate hands of her servants, and whilst its melodies are not the horrific lure they once were, the Malfean taint in them is strong still. Every Deathknight in whose hands the artifact has been placed has become as much a possession of the harp as the harp is theirs, growing more bitter, nostalgic and resigned with every harmony they coax from its strings.
In the hands of an accomplished and creative musician, The Reminiscent may be used to oppose anything. Its artist need but sing of the epic struggles for justice of old for fresh appeals to sound sour in the ears of judges; a verse on the legendary prowess of the ancient heroes is enough to cause a combatant's heart to falter, and so on. Its bittersweet music is frequently accompanied by flashbacks, and time itself seems to slow to allow it to reach its conclusion. Mechanically, its wielder may, with a successful Manipulation+Performance roll and an appropriate stunt, directly oppose any dice roll of another, gaining a bonus to their pool to do so equal to their permanent Essence. This counts as a normal dice action, which may be part of a split action as normal (particularly talented players can confound multiple efforts at once).
Silverfire’s Forge -- Miles
Orichalcum Forge Artifact ••••• Commitment: 20 motes
The legendary artificer Silvereye, a Twilight Caste Solar, created this Forge in order to work with minute details of the magical materials within her artwork.
This forge is extremely large 5’x10’x6’ and is one of the largest masses of Orichalcum in creation. The heat it produces will damage most organic objects (standard wood, paper, living matter, etc.) at a rate of 2L per minute within 30’ of it, when ignited, and requires a large amount of ventilation to keep the area cooled. The bellies of the forge, once ignited, will burn with the heat of the sun and melt almost any metal or stone inserted within seconds though it will not harm or vaporize them. This allows the wilder to shape any metal or stone easily once removed (as it will remain orange hot until it is taken more than 10’ radius outside of the forge). This greatly assists in the creation of intricate artful objects, reducing the difficulty to 4 for any craft roll and reduces the production time by a minimum of 1/3. This forge will melt any rare metal, and even jade used to create fantastic products of art. The forge will heat these materials to a point where they may be combined in workings easily. All five magical jade materials may be combined within one item with ease as well as combination of the magical metals Orichalcum, Starmetal, and Moonsilver. This forge having created many of the artful and rare multi-material objects found within creation. Other combinations of materials have been discovered but forgotten.
This forge, once attuned to the user for 20 motes of essence, takes 5 motes per hour to heat the forge. Once attuned, the forge does not damage or harm the person, objects on their person, or their working tools. The forge has 4 empty Hearthstone slots on it that will reduce the required motes of essence by 1 for every 4 dots in Hearthstones inserted. Hearthstones may affect some of the materials inside based on their properties, giving the items formed some magical attributes if forged in a particular fashion. Hearthstones of 5 or higher have a chance one dice per 5 dot plus Hearthstone, difficulty 10, of giving the materials inserted a slight form, giving an indication as to what form is needed in order to produce the magical effects. Note: All affects should be artistic in value and will not produce an artifact of more than 2 dots unless the character has the skill to forge an item of higher quality.
Just a quick comment on the tools - since pretty much any artificer will have Ess 3 or higher, and that means a 3 die reduction on splitting penalties, there is no longer a penalty to splitting your pool two ways. That means it is thoroughly possible to make two of everything you make, at once, with no penalty. Hence, one coudl set up a very odd setup whereby they only need 2x the materials, and with the same time, get two artifacts out. Am I correct in interpreting it this way? - GregLink
- Well, normally artifact construction is an extended roll, with one roll per season. It's not clear how "splitting your action", interacts with that. Personally, I'd only allow it more mundane tasks, but that's just me. So you could, say, repair two things at once, or even craft two relativly simple objects at once, but not really do it with more complicated tasks. -FlowsLikeBits
- Ultimately it's up to ST discretion. The way we run craft, splitting die pools can come into play. A skilled smith with skilled assisstants is fully capable of working on multiple projects simultaneously. Our fast and loose rule is that for each skilled assisstant you have working under you, you can split your action another way in regards to constructing items. I could go back and re-word the effect for more hardline strict to canon rulings. - Ambisinister
Presumably the starmetal quills only add to the prayer roll, yes? Even so, adding dice AND reducing the target number, they seem very, very effective. Perhaps drop the dice bonus to one?
- They don't actually add to the prayer roll at all; they only add to the roll to create a petition. I can't remember exactly, but I think this can reduce the difficulty of the (prayer roll, effect roll?) by a maximum of -3, assuming you get 6+ successes on the Wits + Linguistics/Crafts (Calligraphy). I think. -- OhJames without his Sidereal book
- Ah... That seems appropriate then. I don't have a book either at the moment, sorry.
Oh... That's just beautiful. 3-dice stuntifact.
- Aw, thanks. Are you saying it's a, a-ha-ha, piece of art? ...DeathBySurfeit
Ok, think that will be a worthy one to finish things off. I know, can be used for weapons too, but tried to keep it focused on art. Not bad for my first major post. Any small edit or feedback welcome. Looks like I get to come up with the next topic? Circles! <Evil Grin> -Miles
You actually have to archieve the relay and set up the page for your new theme, dude. - Telgar