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The next theme is ignorance.

Salvation of the Neophyte (Ikselam)

Artifact •
Earring, any material
Commitment: 1 (generic)

Made in the shape of a small hoop earring, this artifact helps its wearer to avoid looking like an ignorant rube. Whenever he threatens to commit a social gaffe, it whispers some quick words of advice into his ear ("Psst.. don't take off your hat!" "No, the other fork!" "Psst... quit staring at her breasts!"). The advice is never very detailed, but is usually helpful enough to prevent the worst missteps. Mechanically, the player of a character wearing this artifact may, once per scene, reroll a single failed roll relating to social interaction.

These artifacts have been made in all five Magical Materials. In the First Age, orichalcum versions prevented neophyte Solars from embarassing their mentors; in the Second age, starmetal and soulsteel versions serve the same purpose for Sidereal and Abyssal Exalted. Moonsilver earrings are often used by barbarian Lunars who find it necessary to live among civilized folk without giving themselves away; Jade versions are common gifts to newly-Exalted Dynasts.

Crown of (In)Competence (Scrollreader)

Artifact ••
Crown, Orichalcum & Starmetal
Commitment: 3

This artifact is a circlet made of orichalcum with a fine starmetal chain wrapped around it. It instructs a new Solar in the ways of the world. It is often given to Solars by the Cult of the Illuminated. The Solar gets a 1 die bonus on all skills he has no dots in. The wearer is at a +2 difficulty penalty to harm a Sidereal, or to strongly oppose a Sidereal's wishes. This penalty is a result of following the mental urges of the crown, which are what inform the Solar's actions. A quick-witted Solar may learn of this effect by making a diff 5 Wits+Lore roll in a scene in which this penalty exerts itself. The bonus from the crown is lost if the crown is not worn; the penalty, however, lasts until the charcter is deattuned from the artifact.

Shards of Lethe (Ikselam)

Artifact ••• (pair)
Soulsteel khatars
Commitment: 3 each; 6 total (soulsteel)
Spd +0 Acc +2 Dmg +3L Def +0 (including soulsteel bonus)
Spd +3 Acc +2 Dmg +3L Def +4 Rate 5 (PowerCombat)

These khatars are forged from rare white soulsteel, a silent, slightly porous material formed when the fragments of souls embedded in normal soulsteel are drawn toward Lethe by powerful necromancy. Since they are not whole souls, the shards cannot reincarnate; magics used in the material's creation prevent them from recombining. As a result, they are trapped in a transition state, forever falling toward Lethe but never quite reaching it. The freefalling shards exert a curious suction upon anyone they strike, drawing mind and soul toward numb forgetfulness.

Whenever a target is wounded by a Shard of Lethe, she forgets what she was about to do. She suffers a one-die penalty to all dice pools until her next initiative, due to disorientation. In addition, her intiative for the following turn is halved after it is rolled. The dice-pool penalty is cumulative; the initiative reduction is not.

If he wishes, the wielder of the Shards of Lethe may spend his own Essence in order to intensify the blades' memory-sapping power. Whenever he wounds a target, he may choose to reflexively expend a point of temporary willpower, plus a number of motes equal to the target's permanent Essence. Doing so allows him to remove one dot from the target's highest-ranked Ability; if she has two or more tied for first place, the Storyteller should randomly select which one is affected. This Ability reduction is real, affecting Charm use and learning, and lasts until the end of the scene. It cannot reduce an Ability below the target's Essence, and motes spent powering this special attack are committed until the effect ends.

Shards of Lethe are always wielded in pairs. Each khatar has a setting for one hearthstone.

Illustrious Weaver of the Patterns of the Terrestrial Manse (Quendalon)

Artifact ••••
Starmetal and orichalcum spider automaton
Commitment: 4 (starmetal)

This ancient relic appears as a starmetal sphere speckled with warm orichalcum. Fine lines score its surface. Upon being attuned, its shining surface splits along those lines as jointed legs unfurl, revealing its true nature as an automaton spider.

Forged at the height of the First Age, the Illustrious Weaver holds a near-infinite wealth of lore regarding the construction of Manses and other buildings in the ancient style. When instructed in the parameters of a desired building in the tongue of the Old Realm, it cogitates upon the matter over a period of hours or days, then spins a blueprint of the desired structure out of the finest silk. These blueprints are invariably perfect in every way. Unfortunately, the Illustrious Weaver knows only the procedures for constructing buildings using First Age methods, using devices and Charms no longer available in this misbegotten age. It is wholly ignorant of Second Age technology, and many of its designs simply cannot be constructed today.

Analysis of blueprints produced by the Illustrious Weaver increases the architect’s effective Lore, Occult and Craft (Architecture) by 4 for rolls made to design a specific Manse or other building. If the architect actually has access to First Age building technology, all such rolls are considered to be perfect successes.

As a side benefit, the Illustrious Weaver can be commanded to produce blank sheets of silk paper in any color or pattern, so long as it is kept supplied with wood and bone. This provides an effective Resources 4 so long as its owner has access to a center of trade.

The Descending Star of Evening (Charlequin)

Artifact •••••
Starmetal Brazier
Commitment: 15 motes

In the First Age, the Chosen of Secrets guided the mind of humanity; it was they alone who determined what facts man was and was not meant to know. To aid in that task, one such Exalt crafted the Descending Star of Evening, an enchanted brazier which carried within it the very Essence of forgetting. It takes the form of a starmetal sphere, approximately one foot in diameter, with a variety of infinitely intricate abstract patterns, shaped to resemble curving vines of ivy, punched into it to shed light from within. It may be hung from any ceiling by its three incredibly fine Starmetal chains.

To use this artifact, a character must first commit 15 motes to attune to it. Afterwards, the character must fill the brazier with rare and exotic herbs, generally a Resources ••• purchase. Finally, he must inscribe upon a piece of paper a fact, assertion, or other piece of information, which he must light aflame and place into the brazier. He should do this right before a group of people enter the room in which the brazier is burning. The smoke of forgetfulness washes over those present; any individual with a Permanent Essence less than or equal to the attuned character's forgets the fact written upon the piece of paper affter spending approximately five minutes in a room with the Star. For mortals, this loss is permanent; Exalts and other Essence wielders may roll Willpower each day against a difficulty of the attuned character's Essence to remember.


Crown of (In)Competence -- Two things: that Wits + Lore roll is unclear -- does the user have to make it to realize that the crown is influencing their viewpoint or to realize that the crown can influence their viewpoint? This probably seems like mere semantics, but ... the way you phrase it implies the former, but it seems as if once a Solar realizes that they're being influenced once, the DC to realize in later scenes would go down or something. Also, how does the crown instruct -- mental messaging, whispers, whatever?
- Shataina

So what's the verdict on the actual Artifact I posted? Just for reference, this is how the Jack of All Trades merit works for Exalts in my games. - Scrollreader
Hm. I'm not sure. On the one hand, it's a very useful power, especially for highly-specialized characters, and its major drawback is something which is not guaranteed to ever come up. On the other, it's not super useful. I might be more comfortable with it (as a 2-dot artifact) if it granted only a one-die bonus to untrained skill checks, or (if it were made of starmetal) reduced the TN of an untrained action.
Or, wacky thought, it could raise zero- and 1-dot skills to 2, but also reduce any 5-dot skills to 4 (for purposes of dice-rolling only, not for Charm acquisition and pool caps). _Ikselam
Scrollreader -- I believe the artifact creation rules state that a level 2 artifact may add an effective 4 dots of Abilities, total. Obviously you can't apply that here, but maybe just take it into account so that you think that it "effectively balances out" to 4, on average? Or higher, since there is the bothersome thing about Sidereals, which should be worth something (although in my opinion not much).
~ Shataina
Clarified some things, and turned the power down a notch. Hopefully it is now clearer and more in line with its rating. - Scrollreader
Okay -- just one more question. Does the difficulty penalty for opposing a Sidereal's wishes count if the wearer of the crown doesn't know he's opposing their wishes? And what happens if a Sidereal tells the crown-wearer to oppose another Sidereal, does the crown get confused or anything?
~ Shataina

Heh, kind of reaching on the "ignorance" theme for that four-dot, eh? _Ikselam does not blame you.

Yeah, I'm definitely reaching on that one. I thought to myself, "What can I design for this theme that doesn't involve wiping people's brains?" So I came up with the Illustrious Weaver, realized that it was a stretch, and posted it anyway because I think it's neat.  :) - Quendalon P.S.: love the Shards of Lethe!

Sorry folks, that was my choice of theme... B-) Ahem. Shards of Lethe and Illustrious Weaver...(etc) are cool. I've got a thought for something to go in here. I'm just at a blank on how to describe it mechanically. A circlet of Blue and Black Jade, that can tear knowledge from the minds of others. I picture a DB sorceror lord buying up dozens of highly educated slaves to follow him around and when he comes across something he doesn't know, ripping it from the mind of a slave that does, generally turning the slave into a vegetable in extreme cases... The idea being usage of the device makes other people more ignorant, while lessening the ignorance of the Sorceror. A trade off that makes it only truly useful to callous bastards (and nice for heroic PCs to go on an adventure to destroy the 'evil S.O.B' B-)... but anyway, maybe more talented people than I can do something with that idea, as I say, I'm just stumped for mechanics of it... anyway. nikink

Damn! How did that happen? I was watching this and waiting to pounce because I had a level 5 for it, and then I come back to it and suddenly the next three slots are all taken. Grrr ... oh well ... my life is pain ...
Shards of Lethe -- I don't think the attuned character should be able to make characters with Essence higher than theirs forget entire Ability points ... allowing a level 3 artifact to enable an Essence 2 God-Blood to drop a Deathlord's highest Ability is a bit much. Yeah, I know, it's unlikely that such a character would wound a Deathlord in the first place, but I think my point is obvious.
Descending Star thingy -- Do Exalts-etc roll this once every day and then forget permanently if they fail? Or do they roll once every day forever, and remember if they make it and then forget for a day if they fail?
~ Shataina

"Shards of Lethe -- I don't think the attuned character should be able to make characters with Essence higher than theirs forget entire Ability points ... allowing a level 3 artifact to enable an Essence 2 God-Blood to drop a Deathlord's highest Ability is a bit much. Yeah, I know, it's unlikely that such a character would wound a Deathlord in the first place, but I think my point is obvious."
Note that the shards cant' reduce an ability below the character's Essence trait. -Fifth
Fifth, I suspect (I can't be sure since I can't remember perfectly) that when I posted that comment over a month ago that wasn't true. Perhaps the artifact was changed in response to the comment? ;)
~ Shataina