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The Fourth Theme was Ritual

Sorcerer's Blood (LiOfOrchid)

Artifact •
Jewelry, any Magical Material
Commitment: 1

There is a saying as old as sorcery itself: "Ritual is the sorcerer's lifeblood." Building upon this principle, one of these artifacts is often among the first that an initiate crafts. It appears as a small piece of jewelry such as a ring or pendant, of any of the Five Magical Materials. In it is set a deep red crystal; this is the literal blood of a sorcerer, crystallized, which is used in the crafting of the artifact. So long as the artifact is worn by a sorcerer, he suffers no fatigue, hunger or thirst while engaged in a sorcerous ritual, no matter what the length. After finishing the ritual, the sorcerer feels rested and rejuvenated, as if he had slept a full night and ate full meal. This has no effect on restoration of Essence motes.

White Crane Tea Service (Quendalon)

Artifact ••
White jade tea bowls
Commitment: 2 (jade)

This artifact comprises a set of tea bowls of pure and unornamented white jade, designed for use in the tea rituals common in the Realm and the civilized East. When these bowls are used in a tea ceremony, the owner may spend one mote of Essence per participant to instill them with a sense of calm and serenity. The resulting sense of well-being and inner peace carries over into everyday life. For the rest of the day, all those who participated in the tea ceremony gain a point of Temperance, and may add three dice to any rolls for activities that involve stillness, contemplation and composure. This effect ends early for any participant who fails a Temperance roll or engages in any violent or raucous circumstance that breaks the ceremony's lingering tranquil mood.

Pantheon Altar (Nikink)

Artifact ••• 
Furniture, All Magical Materials, mostly Jade
Commitment: N/A

It's difficult to get a god's attention in these troubled times. The greatest cluster around the Games of Divinity, while the lessers vie for position and status. However, by using these practical, though rare, Altars, a worshipper has a far greater chance of getting noticed, and thus having their prayers listened to.

The Altar itself is about 3' high, by 4' deep, by 5' across, and constructed of Jade and other valuable stone and metals. In the First-Age other Magical Materials often adorned the reliefs and engravings, but in these dark times normal gemstones precious metals are more normally seen. With the Altar comes two matching stone braziers, and a gold offering bowl.

The worshipper must set an icon of the god to be prayed to at the back of the Altar, place offerings to be burned in the braziers and less flammable goods in the golden offering bowl and then pray as normal for at least an hour. The Altar slowly consumes the offered goods and the icon, and delivers them as Ambrosia to the god involved. Mechanically, anyone praying at these Altars are considered priests of that god, and every dot of resource value of the offerings becomes 2 extra dice on the prayer roll. Every extra hour spent praying adds another dice, and those willing to sacrifice hearthstones they are attuned to gain an automatic success per level of the stone (and are probably in big trouble if anyone else attuned to that Manse find out).

The Immaculate Order frowns heavily upon these Artifacts, and usually confiscates them.

Robes of the Supplicant (CrownedSun)

Artifact ••••
Clothing, Orichalcum thread and trim
Commitment: 6

These brilliant robes were fashioned in the First Age in a great variety of colors and styles, though all share numerous gold-dust patterns and brilliant orichalcum trimmings that causes them to shine in the slightest amount of sunlight. When worn by their attuned bearer, called the Supplicant, the robes give a +5 bonus to all Occult rolls involving rituals, and dealings with spirits, elementals or demons (including banishing, and appropriate thaumaturgy rolls). The robes are considered to meet all the requirements of summoning demons or elementals, replacing the need for spirit traps or consumable material components.

In addition, any time the Supplicant comes across an unbound elemental or demon, he may reflexively spend 10 motes, and 1 willpower in order to gain a favor from the spirit in question. This requires a Charisma + Occult roll (with the +5 bonus from the robes), with a number of successes required equal to the spirits Essence rating. One success allows the character to ask for a favor that requires little effort and takes no longer than the duration of the scene, three successes allows the Supplicant to demand larger and more demanding favors that last no more than a day, while five successes allows him to bind the target to any favor -- ensuring the bound servants service for a year and a day. If the Supplicant allocates an extra two successes to the magnitude of the favor, the spirit regards him well even after the favor has been completed. This power can also work on Spirits, but increase the difficulty of the roll by 2.

Pyre of Rebirth</b> (Telgar)

 <b>Artifact •••••

A flat and, indeed, simple bed of Red Jade, the Pyre's only ornamentation is in the Black Jade glyphs around its edges, prayers to Heaven and channeling runes that carry the smoke from the Pyre to Yu-Shan. When those suffering from malady or hurt are placed upon the Pyre, it ignites with brilliant flames of pure essence. The flames burn away their suffering and hurts, restoring them to purity of form and mind. Though this process is painful, inflicting 1 health level of lethal damage for every hurt removed, it is never fatal. The wound penalties are, however, double what they would normally be. This damage can not be healed by Charms. The Pyre is able to remove Derangements, cure Solars, Lunars, Abyssals or Dragon-Blooded suffering from Limit Break (or Resonance Overload, in the case of Abyssals), restore lost bodyparts and heal normal or aggravated wounds. It can also purge diseases of any sort. In short, the Pyre can remove almost any malady, but particularly vicious or tenacious ones may require multiple treatments. No person can return to the Pyre until all Pyre-given damage is healed. And even then, repeat treatments require a Valor roll at difficulty equal to the number of times the character has used the Pyre, but can not exceed 4.


Okay... a bit sucky? Nikink

Not really. I like it. Certainly, it's not of great use to most Exalts, but a Sidereal or maybe an Eclipse with connections in Yu-Shan would find it extremely valuable. -LiOfOrchid
Cool. Thanks. I see it as being great for Mortals too... B-) nikink
What if the user is already a priest? -szilard
No extra bonuses. Nikink

I was hoping to do Artifact 5 and start the new theme, but oh well; in the interest of moving things along, here's an Artifact 4! If whoever does the next artifact is game, however, I recommend "Political Power" as the next theme. -- CrownedSun

Just a comment on the Robes -- I would never, ever, ever allow those to bind spirits, no matter what the DC. They're powerful enough already. And remember that Solar Circle spell that could summon animal avatars? It didn't even bind them, and that spell was moreover eliminated from "Savant and Sorcerer". In my opinion, if Solar Circle sorcery that was retconned can't do it, a mere level 4 artifact sure can't.
~ Shataina
PS: there are some spells which say they summon spirits, but they always have an elemental aspect, so I think they mean "elemental". And I'm pretty sure I spotted it stated in a few places that sorcery can only summon elementals and demons, but since I can't find them that has to remain a theory.

I don't see why you can't submit a level 5 as well! There can be more that one artifact per level after all, so I don't see why there can't be multiple submissions in the relay from a single author, even if they are consecutive. So, if you have an idea for a submission, post it! B-) - nikink

Sadly, that /was/ my idea:) I don't have a lot of inspiration for this theme. Thanks, however:D - CrownedSun