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The eighth theme is Reach for the Sky.

Unattainable Excellence - FourWillowsWeeping

Windjade daiklave
Artifact •
Commitment: 1 mote (varies)

This weapon, a narrow-bladed sword with only its edges sharpened, squared off at the end, has the properties of an exceptional straight sword. It was forged, though none will say by whom, for the ancient revolutionary Manosque-Charadrius Shubh, who is better known by his pseudonym Discovery by Surrounding with Thorns.

When a warrior first hefts this blade, he must swear to accomplish something great. Then, each time some opponent of this goal assures him he is unable to perform a task related to the goal, and he proves his opponent wrong, the sword awards him with renewed might, replenishing his temporary Temperance and granting him some boon. The boons the sword can grant are as follows:

  • The sword lengthens like an icicle on a winter morning, gaining +3 Speed.
  • Sparkling ice crystals rime the blade, adding +1 damage.
  • The weapon becomes lighter and more facile, its solid blade evaporating into delicate piercework carving, adding +1 Accuracy.
  • The bearer strengthens his resolve, gaining +1 die to some set of tasks, the breadth of a specialty, that relate to the oath.

The same boon can be chosen more than once, but no more times than one-half the wielder's Essence, rounded up.

The weapon demands continuous excellence and defiance, however! If a month passes during which the wielder did not earn a boon (boons that he is eligible for, but cannot assign because he has maximized his potential, count for this condition), all the accumulated boons cease to function.

Promise of Interminable Pain(FlowsLikeBits)

Soulsteel(*) Grand Daiklave
Artifact ••
Commitment: 5 motes

This looks like normal Soulsteel Grand Daiklave, with the addition of sharp teeth along the outer edge. When wielded by an attuned wielder, the teeth seem to move along the edge, churning almost, but not quite, to fast to see while in battle. The dissappear into the hilt and appear on the other side once again. A black, blood like liquid sometimes drips from the serrations.

The above description accuratly describes the appearance, but not the form of this blade. It has the statistics of an ordinary Daiklave, except the damage bonus is only +2L. (It does have 3 hearthstone settings however). It also is not made of Soulsteel. The actual material may be selected to suit the chronical, provided it is not Soulsteel. The true charictaristics become apparent when someone tries to attune to it or when it is examined closely by any who could attune to it. Some tell-tales are suggested below

Starmetal:A small sign of Saturn on the bottem of the hilt.
Orichalum:Eclipse, Night and Zenith cast marks hidden on the hilt

The true power of this sword is its appearance. If used to intimidate an opponent into surrendering to prevent or end a fight, the attuned wielder gets a bonus of +2 dice. They may also reflexivly spend up to 3 motes to get 3 more dice. If the wielder wishes to avoid anima flair, they may pay 2 motes per extra die, this is equivilent to the Night caste anima power. This power is subject to the limitations of charms that add dice(although it is not considered charm activation.)

If this power is used for treachery(i.e. the surrendered opponent is attacked), the attunement breaks and the blade is flung a number of yards in a direction chosen by the ST. (The attunement breaking prevents the use of charms like Retrieve the Fallen Weapon. It's not theirs anymore.)

Palisade Seed - Wohksworth

Large acorn
Artifact •••
Commitment: 12+

This peculiar seed approximates a foot-length, uncharacteristically heavy acorn, banded with a ring of engraved Orichalcum. If Essence is committed and it is buried in fertile, well-sunned earth, it will sprout in a short period, growing into a large evergreen oak hosting a defensible, comfortable redoubt in its upper branches.

The trunk grows to offer handholds leading to platforms of banded branches. From the center platform near the top of the tree, branches extend out to sleeping areas or up to observation platforms. A pool in the center wells water from the earth below. Bitter nuts, high in nutrients but slightly toxic, grow in the branches. Characters should roll their Stamina+Resistence at a difficulty of the number of days the nuts constitute a significant portion of their diet; failure institutes a -1 on all rolls until they transition to a healthier diet--this penalty may accumulate over subsequent days. The palisade is comfortable for up to the committer's Essence in humans, or a lesser number of Dragon Kings.

The tree normally grows to livable condition within two weeks. The commitment is considered attuned to Orichalcum--characters may need to force attunement to benefit from the Seed. Characters may contribute additional Essence to the commitment cost to lessen the growing time--each additional two motes lessens the growing period by a day; a tree with 40 committed motes bursts from the earth within a day of being planted, branches visibly wrapping and stretching for sunlight. These additional motes are decommitted once the tree is inhabitable, but the 12 mote base cost remains.

After a lunar month, if the base cost is decommitted, or if the tree suffers significant damage, the progenator acorn will rise into the center pool. Leaves will fall and branches will blacken and spiral together to a towering pillar above the trunk. It will decompose rapidly, refertilizing the weakened soil around it. When planted in a Demense of strong Solar or Wood Aspect, the tree may sometimes grow out of control, growing in new and curious ways without the need of committed Essence, to create a permanent Manse. A hearthstone grows in the pool rather than the Palisade Seed, which is lost.

Essence Claw - Scrollreader

Soulsteel Pole
Artifact ••••
Commitment: 10 motes
Activation: 25 motes

This twisted rod of Soulsteel resembles nothing so much as a plain Soulsteel staff, when inactive, like some forgotten bone of a Behemoth. When an Exalt spends 25 motes, and thrusts the Essence Claw into the Earth through the still beating heart of a sacrifice, the 'fingers' unfold from the claw, and reach for the heavens. This initiates several effects: Clouds crack and black lightning roils across the land as the light of the sun is blocked out for a radius of 1 mile/dot of permanant essense the weilder has.

Whenever living essence (Not that of Deathlords, Ghosts, or Abyssals) is spent within this radius the claw activates, rolling ten dice. Each sucess rolled allows the tower to gain 2 motes, up to the total number spent on the charm. These Motes are stored in the Rod, until used. The Tower may store up to 50 motes of essence. Whenever the tower gains more than 20 motes, it immediately spends 10 motes and creates a field of death energy around it 3 yards in radius. This deals 3 dice of lethal damage to all living things within the area, and automatically kills all plant life within the area. If the Essence Claw is already surrounded by an area of Death Energy, it instead adds three yards to the radius when it expends 10 motes (all living creatures within the full area take the damage, however, as it coruscates like black lightning from the Claw to the outer edge of the effect.

If the Essence Claw is attacked, it responds by targetting it's attacker with black coruscating lightning from the underworld. This attack cannot be dodged or blocked without a perfect defense, and costs the Claw 2 of it's stored motes (and cannot be used if the claw has no stored motes) and may be used once per round. The claw rolls 6 dice, with any sucesses as lethal damage, soakable only with the targets stamina. For each actual health level inflicted, the Claw gains 1 mote of essence.

The Exalt attuned to the tower may alter this behavior in several ways. He may change the threshhold for the Essence Claw's discharges, to as high as 50, or stop the discharges altogether. By spending his dice action for the turn, he can manually target someone with the black lightning each round, as long as the Claw has essence remaining, or send out a pulse of the black death energy (essence allowing). Finally, the exalt may share essence with the Claw. He may contribute essence to the tower at any time, to add to it's pool. In order to take essence from the tower, however, the Deathknight must spend a temporary willpower, as a simple action for the turn, and roll conviction. He may withdraw 5 motes for each sucess, and drains the Essence Claw of twice as many motes. On a botch, the Essence Claw targets the Deathknight with a bolt of Black Lightning and he gains a point of resonance, and loses a second point of temporary willpower, as the tower backfires.

All the effects of the Claw extend to the original 1 mile/point of permanant essence limit only, and the zone of death energy, the ability to share essence, and control the Claw of it's bearer extend only to this range as well, at maximum. Being Rooted in the Underworld, and composed of one of the Five Magical Materials, the Essence claw is almost impossible to destroy or uproot, though it /is/ possible. If the claw is ever uprooted by it's wielder (A difficulty 5 Str + athletics roll) it folds back up, but releases all it's essence in one final Death Energy Field Pulse, draining it's essence stores dry.

The Glorious Thunderbird Soaring The Stars - Tiffa

Artifact •••••
Commitment: 50 motes (several people)

The Glorious Thunderbird is a relic of the first age, a huge airship crafted by several Exalted artisans. It was named so to honor the elementals with the same name, of whom several of the artisans were friends. The ship was crafted with orihalcum, moonsilver, and all kinds of jade, while carefully woven starmetal was used to make its sails. It was a marvel to behold, even back in the first age.

The airship has 70 meters of length, yet it's sleek and surprisingly light for its size. It can navigate the oceans as well as any ship, but its true ability comes in travelling the skies. In mid-air, it can travel up to 500 miles per hour with a light carego, and it may also hover, or take very sharp turns without losing its speed at all. It can load up to 50 tons easily, 50 people can fit confortably in the hull, and over a hundred can be carried if they don't mind being packed like sardines. On water, the Glorious Thunderbird can travel up to 200 miles per hour with a light cargo, and it cannot do the feats it can otherwise do.

In combat, however, the Glorious Thunderbird is nowhere near that fast... unless the crew is actively trying to run away. It can only be handled right at about 50 miles per hour.

The Glorious Thunderbird needs 5 Exalts to handle the ship. Each needs to commit 10 motes to make the ship take off. It's -possible- to handle the ship with less people, but the effort is usually too much for less than 3 people. It requires no crew besides those Exalts, although any number were used to keep the Thunderbird in pristine condition. The spirits wouldn't have any less. If 5 Exalts are crewing the ship, they need to spend 5 motes per scene in order to keep the ship going, for a total of 25 motes. The airship can land in water or earth without much trouble.

It can navigate through the fury of a storm without much trouble at all. If any lightning were to strike it, no harm would come to the crew or the ship itself. It is also extremely resistant to all but the most serious damage, and has certain protection against the forces of the Wyld... the ship was built to last. It does not confer the Wyld immunity to the crew, however, so an enterpraising Exalt better be ready for that.

Primarily an exploring vessel, the Glorious Thunderbird was nontheless a terrifying weapon. The main weapon of the Glorious Thunderbird is the Lightning Cleaving The Sky, a huge Essence cannon located in the front of the ship. Each blast of the cannon (which looks like a huge bolt of lightning) costs 25 motes total to the Exalts piloting the ship, and it deals 30L damage to anything 1 mile in front of the Thunderbird... be it friend or foe. Such a blast, however, can only be used every 10 turns... even if the Exalts have the necesary Essence to do it faster, the cannon needs to cool down first. Notably, the cannon cannot hurt Thunderbirds.

Secondary armament used to consist of other, smaller Essence Cannons, but chances are these are long lost or moved elsewhere... simply put, the Glorious Thunderbird has been lost ever since the Usurpation. It was believed that a few Solars tried to use the ship to try and escape their fate, but they never even found it.

If it were to be found, the Exalts who do it should be careful with it. Spirits, like the Thunderbirds, especially the old ones, are very touchy about things that share their names. If said spirits don't approve of the use the Exalts are giving the ship, they might be tempted to take action. Proud creatures they are, they will not accept their name being taken lightly.

Speed: 10/3
Manouver: 4
Endurance: Pilot's Endurance, 5 motes per scene.
Armor: 30L/40B*
Armament: Lightning Cleaving The Sky
Health Levels: 40
Repair: 5

* Immune to Lightning and Wyld energies, ignores attacks doing 10L/15B or less.


You've probably thought of this, but I think the daiklave would better refill Conviction. Why'd you go for Temperance?
~ Shataina

It reflects his subservience to a greater ideal, rather than his strong personal beliefs and desires. - willows

The writeup for Unattainable Excellence says that the bearer "must" swear to accomplish something upon taking up the blade. What if he does not do so? Is he unable to pick it up, or do its powers simply fail to function? - Quendalon

I would say that it is something that just happens when the bearer takes it up. There simply is no bearer of UA that has not sworn to some cause. - willows
What about simply requiring that the swearing must be done at the same time as attunement? You can pick up the weapon without swearing to a cause, but to attune it you must do so... - szilard

Slightly different take here. Not sure what people will think, but I think the idea is neat. I'm not sure what to do about other materials. I also wasn't to sure about how to do the formating. -- FlowsLikeBits

Don't worry too much about the formatting; just copy what the archives look like - willows

My submission should probably be level 4, but I was inspired and had to write before I forgot. If someone wants to write a different level 3, I'll swap the Palisade Seed up. Alternatively, I might scale it down in a revision. I couldn't find a reference for the size differences of Dragon Kings and humans; my gut instinct is only Raptok and Peterok Dragon Kings could manage even remotely comfortable living in the treetop redoubt, though it should be fairly comfortable to an average Solar Circle. _Wohksworth

That is so very cool. Well done. - nikink
Thanks. Tangentially, looking at Savant and Sorcerer, Power 3, Usefulness 4, Game Impact 2, Script Immunity 3, required Essence drawback +2 and noteriety +1, 3+4+2+3/4 is 3. Consider a varient of Food-Gathering Exercise with that provides water along with the wasting effect of the berries above, and another Essence 2 Charm which may or may not exist that lets an Exalt find a comfortable and secure campsite for them and their comrades. That'd give room for another Essence 2 effect--some sort of Surprise Anticipation Method style Charm, if I wanted to stretch the dots for all they're worth. I don't know if I could find extra dots enough to make it a level four artifact without some extra tricks, so if I trust S&S, I guess it works fine as a level 3 artifact. _Wohksworth

This feels too powerful. On the other hand, it's not like you can take it with you .... Scrollreader

I guess I wanted to give it a try. What do you people think? Too much? - Tiffa

In a word? Yes. I mean, it's undeniably awesome. But it seems more in the Five Metal Shrike Artifact N/A category. Compare it to the Manta (a five dot artifact in Outcastes) with similar essence requirements (except it used Hearthstones) which also has a repair rating, and which also doesn't have a mini-godspear, and which is both far less manuverable, and more more vulnerable to damage than this is. So. Yeah, a little overmuch, I think. I think an Airship is so totally awesome for this sort of thing. Maybe just bump it up to N/A and let somebody else post a five? I mean, a five dot airship is certainly possible, but I'd hesitate to prune so much away from yours. - Scrollreader, who wants an airship of his very own.

I like the airship. (Don't have Outcastes, so can't compare there). Combat movement is 73 btw. It also probalby should be 70 yards in length. I'm also a little confused about the cannon, it deals "30L damage to anything 1 mile in front of the Thunderbird... be it friend or foe". What is that, an arc, a beam the width of the ship? There also probably should be some attack roll with it, or just say it has a fixed 5 successes. Also, "they need to spend 5 motes per scene in order to keep the ship going, for a total of 25 motes." This is over and above the commitment? It seems weird, given the variable length of a scene, I'd just raise the commit to what seems reasonable.

Personally, it doesn't seem that bad to me. The only iffy part to me is that main gun could be an army slayer(depends on interpretation of the area though). Otherwise, it doesn't seem that bad. It requires multiple people, and a large commit. You could achive most of this effect with Swift Spirit of Winged Transportation, (it carries more, and has the same speed). The gun may be a bit much, but it cost alot and has a low ROF. I'd just tone down the area a bit.

You need to come up with a new theme also. - FlowsLikeBits

I'm glad people like it. Yeah, it -might- be just a tad overpowered... I'm listening for suggestions to fix it. I'm horrible with crunch :p - Tiffa