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Artefact: •••••

During the First Age the Flowerstrider was considered to be the pinnacle of the martial botanist’s craft. It spends most of its time as a hard brown seed approximately the size of a watermelon. Although obviously organic, the seed has the consistency and hardness of granite and is almost impossible to crack or deform by an external force. It is only after being planted that the power contained within the seed becomes apparent, transforming into one of the most unusual warmachines ever seen on Creation.

Once planted the seed takes a full 30 minutes to grow to fruition, although this process can be hurried by watering the seed with blood (1 health level’s worth of blood removes one minute from the time it takes to grow). At the centre of the mass of vines and leaves that sprout from the seed is a giant salmon-coloured bloom, with vast petals that are soft to the touch but are as strong as enchanted alloys. Once fully grown the artefact waits to be fully activated, which occurs when an Exalt steps into the centre of the bloom.

The flower closes around the prospective pilot, and vines grow from its centre to penetrate their orifices, forming the deeply intimate connection required to operate the warmachine. This process takes a full minute, during which the Exalt must commit 15 motes to complete the bond, at which point the full power of the Flowerstrider becomes apparent. The plant uproots itself, vines and roots and leaves forming a rough approximation of human form with the flower becoming the “head” of the creatiure, and the Flowerstrider becomes the body of the Exalt within. This replaces certain of the Exalt’s attributes and traits with those listed below:

Strength: 16
Dexterity: 5
Stamina: 12
Soak: 20L/26B/6H (14L/14B petals)
Health Levels: -0 x 4 / -1 x 6 / -2 x 6 / -4 x 2 / Incap

While using the Flowerstrider the character can wield warstrider weapons without penalty, but it is not considered to be armour (despite the soak value listing an armour type). This means that the character can use all Charms without restriction, although Sidereal Martial Arts are not compatible with use of the Flowerstrider. Furthermore, the profusion of vines that substitutes for the Exalt’s arms reduce all multiple-action penalties by 5 dice (to a minimum of -0).

Once the Incapacitated health level has been lost then artefact stumbles and then falls to the ground, rotting away rapidly before leaving the pilots in a circle of browning petals, naked and covered in a thick, sticky sap – any Charms that may have been active when this occurs remain so, and the character is still just as capable of fighting as before, just not as protected. The Flowerstrider can be used for eight hours before senescence sets in, the plant browning and dying rapidly exactly as if it had been destroyed in combat.

A day later the pilot gives "birth" to a new seed, which can then be planted and used exactly as its "parent" was.


Oh, that's just brilliant! Icky, but brilliant. Thankyou for bringing my concept of combat-botanist ever closer to realization!
-- Darloth

Question: why does it *replace* the pilot's traits? While generally people won't have a problem with that, I would take issue if I had Legendary Dexterity or something. I think it should add a smaller value (+9/+2/+10 maybe) instead of replacing. - Telgar

I'm with Telgar. -- GreenLantern
Because it is, to borrow Rifts terminology, closer to robot armour than power armour. You don't wear the Flowerstrider, you become it - since it replaces you body it, well, replaces your body (Physical stats). - Moxiane
I'm just gunna have to think that's silly. I'd be a fairly unhappy player if my level 4 artifact made me weaker. - Telgar
Well, this just makes me suspect that it's not an artifact intended for Exalts whose stats are already better than the flowerstrider's. I mean, using a legendarily awesome daiklave will make a superb Brawl-master "weaker", but that's not a flaw of the artifact. --Ben-San

It's level 5, if I count dots right. I'm personally with Moxiane here - unlike a warstrider, which is basically a giant suit of armour, this is a separate thing. It has its own health levels, it's more like a creature you possess and mentally control than it is a personal boost. But hey, matter of opinion I suppose. One question though - without going into too much detail, which orifice does the seed get 'reborn' from, especially if the pilot is male?
-- Darloth always likes to know these things, just in case

Honestly... how do you think it gets born? ^_^ The magic of the flowerstrider makes sure that this otherwise physiologically-impossible feat does not inflict any real damage and can be done without assistance, but that's about where it stops. - Moxiane "disgustingly biological" was a design goal

Do you get standard warstrider combat penalties? --Xyphoid

Versus small targets, you mean? If using a warstrider weapon, yes. If bare "handed" or using a standard weapon, no. - Moxiane