The first theme is medicine.
Surgeon's Needle (Ikselam)
Artifact • Orichalcum needle Commitment: 1 (orichalcum)
This unassuming artifact is a hook-shaped needle of orichalcum; oddly enough, it lacks an eye. In the First Age, many Solar physicians wore Surgeon's Needles as earrings or body jewelry, but its real purpose is much more than decorative. When properly attuned, and wielded by a being knowledgeable in the ways medicine, the needle is capable of sewing flesh together with invisible strands of Essence, greatly accelerating the healing process. The user "stitches" a person's wounds with the needle; when she is done, the wounds will have closed.
Mechanically, the user spends two motes; this causes the needle to trail an almost invisible strand of golden Essence. She then makes a Dexterity + Medicine roll, at a difficulty equal to the worst wound penalty the patient is suffering as a result of lethal damage (difficulty 1 for -0 levels, 4 for Incapacitated). If the roll succeeds, the patient's worst lethal wound stops bleeding, and is converted to a bashing wound. This power may be (and often is) used multiple times on the same patient. However, all motes spent to power the artifact remain committed until the treated wounds have completely healed. If these motes become decommitted, all of the unhealed wounds treated by the Surgeon's Needle immediately transform back to lethal. This commitment is all-or-nothing; the user cannot choose to decommit motes on any given attempt (even a failed one) without also decommitting the motes used in all previous attempts.
Example: Returning to the village he is staying in, the Twilight healer Tobin finds it burnt to the ground by an unknown enemy! Desperately searching the rubble for survivors, Tobin finds that his Dragon-Blooded friend, Khepturi, has lived through the onslaught. But although she is still conscious, she is badly wounded, both by the enemy's sword blows, and from being crushed under a collapsing house. Tobin carries the unconscious Terrestrial Exalted to a safe place, and examines her wounds.
Khepturi is Incapacitated. Her Incapacitated level is filled with bashing damage; all her other wounds are lethal. Tobin carefully removes her torn and blackened armor (he can't quite manage to pry the hilt of her shattered daiklave from her hand, though), and sets to work with his Surgeon's Needle. He spends two motes; Khepturi's worst lethal wound inflicts a 4-die penalty, so his Dexterity + Medicine roll is difficulty 4. He fails his first roll. He decides not to keep the two motes committed; since he has healed none of Khepturi's wounds, this will carry no penalty. The poorly-aligned golden stitches fade out of existence, and Tobin tries again; this time he succeeds, converting the wound to bashing. The needle's glimmering thread mends the woman's flesh, transforming a gaping cut into a nasty bruise. Until the wound heals, Tobin will need to keep two motes committed to the Needle.
If Tobin wishes to continue, his next roll will be at difficulty 2, since Khepturi's worst lethal wound is now at the two-die level. If he fails that roll, he must keep a total of four motes committed if he wants Khepturi's -4 level to stay bashing; he can't decommit the motes for the failed attempt without also decommitting the motes spent on all previous attempts.
Spider of Verdure (Telgar)
Artifact •• Green Jade spider Commitment: None (1 mote per foot, jade)
These tiny green spiders are miniature automota that can be put into stasis and carried around for emergencies. In this mobile form, the spider curls into a green lump about the size of a large man's fist and becomes inert and almost indestructable. When needed, the spider wakes in response to a spoken command in Old Realm, uncurls itself and scurries to whatever living being is indicated by the spider's owner.
When released onto a victim of injury, the spider quickly locates the wound and spins a web of fine Green Jade threads that wrap the wound in a flexible yet sturdy bandage. The secretions of the bandage numb and strengthen flesh, allowing use of the wounded limb while healing takes place. As long as the bandages are in place, the wound in question imposes no wound penalties and heals faster. Mortals heal at Exalted rates and Exalts heal twice as fast. For every foot of bandaging used (about two feet per health level), one mote must be committed by the patient.
Example: Tobin has now converted Khepturi's lethal wounds to bashing ones, but the unfortunante Terrestrial is still in a great deal of pain and unable to move. Since it is vital that Tobin and Khepturi remove themselves from the village in case there are stragglers or returning attackers, Tobin takes out his Spider of Verdure and sets it to work on the Dragon-Blood's wounds. The sticky jade-cloth wraps around the bruised and battered woman, and Tobin helps her up. With the spider's medicines soaking her body, Kepturi will soon recover from her wounds and is already able to ride away from the ruined village with her friend.
Blessed Seed (Nikink)
Artifact ••• Small Star-Shaped Fruit Commitment: Special
This small golden-green fruit is said to fall from trees that only grow in Yu-Shan, although rumours abound of sources in the farthest east. The Fruit itself is a bit smaller than a man's fist, and quite nutritious, but it is far more useful than a tasty snack. When eaten, the Fruit purges all non-magical diseases and poisons from the body, and provides enough nourishment to keep a person strong for up to 1 day per point of Permanent Essence. It draws 1 mote from the imbiber's pool per day thereafter to sustain them. Its more useful ability, though, manifests when planted (in any soil). Over the course of one day, the Fruit grows into a medium-sized tree, flowers into glorious gold, and then bears fruit of its own. These fruits are lime-green replicas of the parent fruit, and each has the ability to heal a person almost instantaneously, as natural healing processes are enhanced to sorcerous speed. For this latter power to work, the fruit must be planted by someone who can channel Essence. The tree requires a minimum of 10M and 1WP to be committed for the entire day, and this produces 5 fruits, each capable of healing 1HL. For every 2m extra, another fruit is produced, and for every extra WP the fruit will heal another HL.
The Star Fruit is occasionally gifted to people by generous Spirits, and lasts for up to a year before fading away to a sweet perfume. The tree decays one day after fruiting, and leaves the soil exceptionally healthy where its roots extended. Its fruit lasts for one day after harvest.
Iatric Orb (Quendalon)
Artifact •••• Diamond and orichalcum sphere Commitment: 5 (orichalcum)
This artifact appears as a glassy sphere the size of a human head. A web of orichalcum filigree swirls over its surface, while rainbow glints flicker in its depths. Once attuned, a clear white flame burns within it. Its power to eradicate illness is extraordinary. Its owner cannot be afflicted with any sort of disease, and she may similarly cure others of disease by touching them with the orb and spending a temporary Willpower or a number of motes equal to the difficulty of rolls to cure the disease; the resulting flare of white fire purges the disease from the recipient’s system.
The orb has a second, alternative function. If placed within a non-Abyssal Manse’s Hearthstone chamber to draw upon the Manse’s energies, it reduces the difficulty of rolls to avoid infection or cure disease within the Manse by a number equal to the Manse’s rating. The Manse’s Hearthstone becomes and remains inert as long as the orb remains within the Hearthstone chamber.
Mother's Call (Nikink)
Artifact ••••• 101 Green Jade Rods Commitment: Special
This mighty artifact is actually a collection of 101 3-foot rods, carved out of green jade and inlaid with orichalcum, moonsilver and starmetal glyphs that spell out poems, koans and images of beauty, love, trust and forgiveness.
Merely carrying one of these rods grants +1 Compassion (until it is no longer touching the body). By committing 5 motes the bearer becomes immune to all current and future derangements (they are suppressed until the commitment ends) and fear, as they become aware of, infused with, and comforted by an absolute love of all life within Creation. The bearer of this artifact can channel Compassion to aid an action without spending a point of Willpower. This does not count against the per-story limit on Virtue activation.
Mother's Call was designed with a bigger purpose in mind though. By planting all 101 rods around an area, life within that zone becomes more fulfilling, healthier and verdant. Plants and animals grow a little faster, and a little bigger; people become more caring and happier; living Essence channellers regain an extra mote per hour as the Essence of life flows through them. These effects make Mother's Call ideal for the Artifact's original purpose -- to heal Shadowlands.
Each rod must be planted half way into the ground, and have 1 mote of Essence committed to it until a week after the final rod is planted. No two rods may be more than the planter's Essence in miles apart from each other's range. So for two rods planted by the same Essence 3 exalt, the maximum distance between them is 6 miles. Once all the rods have been planted correctly they begin to glow a vivid green (enough to light up an area like a campfire at night), and those with the ability to see Essence flows will be able to discern a gold and silver barrier (that is otherwise intangible and invisible) form around the area enclosed. Over the course of one full year, the shadowlands enclosed become more and more 'alive'. Ghosts within the area become more passive and lethargic, entering Lethe more often, and suffering a cumulative -1 penalty per season to all rolls while within the zone. This does explicitly apply to Abyssals, and will continue to affect them if they re-enter after leaving. At the end of the 'gestation' the barrier bursts in a green and gold flood that washes over Creation that is visible to all within 10 miles or so, for about an hour. When the light fades the shadowland is gone, leaving verdant, healthy land -- reborn into Creation.
If the rods are tampered with before the year is up, the effect is disrupted, and in such cases only two yards per day is healed. Needless to say, Deathlords go to great lengths to disrupt such effects; thus each rod requires defenders for the entire year.
It is possible, even recommended, for more than one Exalt to plant the rods. Each rod requires 1 mote committed until a week after the final rod is planted, so the faster they are planted the better, and the fewer motes each Exalt has to commit. It would also be helpful to have more Exalts around to defend them.
Nikink, you may wish to impose maximums on those open-ended costs in the Blessed Seeds, or specifically state there is no maximum amount of extra/better fruit. I'd suggest perm essence+5 fruits at max, and the planter's compassion as the wound-level per fruit max. - Darloth
Do Spiders of Verdure even work on normal mortals? Can someone else commit the motes if the patient isn't able to? -- Darloth