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Ikselam's Level One Artifacts

Attentive Hairpin
Commitment: 1 (generic)

This long lacquered hairpin is hollow, and has an orichalcum point resembling the nib of a pen. With the commitment of one mote, it will listen attentively to everything that is said near it for an entire scene. If it is later dipped in ink and put to a piece of paper, the hairpin will write out a transcript of everything it heard.

Recordings made by the hairpin last until they are transcribed, the hairpin becomes unattuned, or it is set to record a new scene. If there is some doubt as to what the hairpin can hear, consider it to have a Perception + Awareness score equal to twice its user's permanent Essence.

Collapsible Tent
Commitment: 1 (generic)

In its inactive form, a collapsible tent resembles nothing so much as a white brick. Closer examination will reveal that it is not composed of clay, but rather thin cloth folded and compressed until it is as hard as stone. No amount of effort will cause the brick to "unravel"; the cloth is glued together somehow, and is composed of an extremely durable, glass-like substance (spun adamant).

However, when a single mote is committed to the brick, it immediately unfurls, expanding and inflating in a billowing mass of white cloth before stiffening into an extremely lightweight, but quite durable, tent. The tent is fully waterproof and fireproof, and is large enough for two people if they don't mind a very cozy fit. It is advisable to fasten the tent securely to the ground (it is equipped with various ropes and loops, but actual tent pegs must be supplied by the user), as even light winds can blow it away fairly easily.

As soon as the mote is decommitted, the tent folds back up into brick form. If someone or something happens to be inside the tent when this occurs, they aren't crushed, but do end up encased in a very snug and durable cloth cocoon (level 8 feat of strength to break out).

Friendship Necklace
Jewelry (any material)
Commitment: 1 (as material)

In the First Age, it was not uncommon for friends or lovers to exchange these small amulets. A Friendship Necklace is usually made of the magical material associated with the Exalt who is giving it. The giver commits a single mote to the necklace; until she withdraws the mote, the recipient of the necklace gains an automatic sense of where the giver is in relation to him. This sense is vague at best, conveying no more detail than, for example, "roughly North, far away." If the giver is ever seriously wounded, or in severe distress, the recipient will receive a vague sense that his friend is in trouble.

Friendship Necklaces cost one dot of Artifact each.

Knife of Superior Utility
Moonsilver knife
Commitment: 1 (moonsilver)

This artifact consists of a plain ironwood hilt with a moonsilver blade attached to one end, and a steel pommel ring (just the right size for a man's index finger to fit through) attached to the other. Pulling firmly on the ring causes it to pop out slightly, freeing it to be rotated. When the ring is pushed back into the locked position, the blade deforms into a new, useful shape. The pommel has a total of ten positions, each marked with a notch on the end of the hilt. The Knife of Superior Utility requires a commitment of one mote if it is to be used as anything other than a knife.

The Knife of Superior Utility can assume the following forms:

  • a knife. (Normal stats, does not receive moonsilver bonus.)
  • a straight razor. (Needs no sharpening.)
  • a hook disgorger.
  • a trowel.
  • a large spoon.
  • a hand mirror.
  • a hammer.
  • a small prybar. (+1 to effective Strength when attempting to pry things open.)
  • a pair of shears.
  • an awl.

Passion Pearl
Commitment: 1 (generic)

As their name implies, these artifacts resemble unusually large pearls, and are used to store strong emotions. In the First Age, they were commonly sent along with love letters or duelling challenges.

The user of a Passion Pearl commits one mote to it, while thinking of the recipient and the feeling she wishes to transmit to him. When that person touches the pearl, he immediately receives a strong impression of the emotion contained in it, and the mote becomes decommitted.

Extraordinarily powerful emotions may require the recipient to make an appropriate Virtue check to resist being overcome by the feeling. If the check is successful, he must spend a Willpower to avoid being overcome by his Virtue for the scene, and will accumulate a point of Limit (if applicable).

Those who wish a mechanical system for determining what comprises an "extraordinarily powerful emotion" should have the sender roll her appropriate Virtue when activating the Pearl. Three or more successes represent a stored emotion of unusual force, which will force a roll of the same Virtue by the recipient, as detailed above.

Ring of Uncompromising Truth
Orichalcum ring
Commitment: 1 (generic)

Throughout the ages, there have invariably arisen lovers or friends whose devotion to each other is so deep that they wish a concrete representation of their trust. For a brief period during the First Age, it became fashionable for Exalted who shared such a bond to commission the forging of Rings of Uncompromising Truth. The fad was short-lived; the only relationship known to have survived for more than a year following the exchange of the rings was that of Stalwart Dog and Ingenious Cat, Lunar brothers who remained unshakeably loyal to one another for centuries. The brothers finally met their ends side-by-side, battling the Solar madman Omar Sweetbroth.

Rings of Uncompromising Truth always come in pairs. Each plain orichalcum band is inscribed with the name of one of the people for whom the rings were created. Each person commits a single mote to the ring bearing his name; this mote cannot be regained unless the ring is destroyed or the person dies. Whenever the person whose name appears on a Ring of Uncompromising Truth consciously lies or misrepresents the truth to the person wearing it, the ring becomes icy cold.

Only the person whose name appears on a Ring of Uncompromising Truth may attune to it. Interestingly enough, Rings of Uncompromising Truth appear to be keyed to the wearer's Exaltation, not his current incarnation. Thus, a modern Solar will discover that a ring that was made for one of his First Age incarnations still functions for him.

The cost of Artifact 1 is per ring.

Scarabs of Good Health (see if you can guess which recurring Exalted artist inspired these...)
Jade and orichalcum jewelry
Commitment: 1 (generic)

These tiny pieces of jewelry were invented by Jora Sen-Sera, a First Age Solar physician renowned throughout Creation for his wisdom and knowledge of medicine. He was also an accomplished artificer, creating a multitude of scarab-shaped artifacts, all designed to promote wellness. The simple but efficacious Scarabs of Good Health were the most widespread of his creations, and even in the present day are still manufactured by certain Realm doctors.

Scarabs of Good Health are all made out of jade (usually green), and set in various styles of orichalcum jewelry. The most common varieties are listed below.

  • Scarab of Pure Blood: This scarab purifies the wearer's bloodstream, fighting bloodborne poisons (including both injected and contact poisons) and disease (such as malaria and certain venereal diseases). The difficulty of all Stamina + Resistance rolls to resist the effects of such things are decreased by 1, to a minimum of 1. The scarab also speeds clotting, causing wounds to bleed at only half the normal rate. Scarabs of Pure Blood are typically set into necklaces or torques, or nipple rings worn on the left breast.
  • Scarab of Felicitous Digestion: This scarab functions like a Scarab of Pure Blood, except that it affects ingested poisons and diseases transmitted through food or drink (such as cholera or dystentery). It also prevents ulcers and indigestion. Scarabs of Felicitous Digestion usually take the form of tongue rings, labrets, or bellybutton rings.
  • Scarab of Unimpeded Breath: This scarab functions like a Scarab of Pure Blood, except that it affects airborne pathogens and toxins. It also prevents allergies. Scarabs of Unimpeded breath are usually worn as nose rings or chokers, or (more rarely) nipple rings.
  • Scarab of Bodily Fitness: This scarab fortifies weak muscles, and allows the wearer to benefit much more from even light exercise. If any of the wearer's physical Attributes is less than two, the scarab increases it to two. In addition, all experience costs for raising Athletics or physical Attributes are reduced by one, and training times for raising physical Attributes is reduced by one month. Scarabs of Bodily Fitness can be virtually any type of jewelry imaginable.
This scarab has no effect on the cost or training time for Charms based on Athletics or the physical Attributes.
  • Scarab of Unclouded (Sense): These scarabs correct a weak sense, and generally sharpen the wearer's perceptions. If the wearer's Perception is less than two, it is increased to two. In addition, the difficulty of any Perception roll involving the sense in question is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1.
The two most common varieties of this scarab are Scarabs of Unclouded Vision, which usually take the form of eyebrow rings, and Scarabs of Unclouded Hearing, which are typically earrings.
Scarabs of Unclouded Taste, Smell, or Touch are much rarer, but do exist; they are usually tongue rings, nose rings, and finger rings, respectively.
  • Scarab of Fertility: This scarab can either make the wearer extremely fertile, or completely sterile (at his option). If set to promote fertility, the scarab virtually guarantees that intercourse with a fertile partner will result in conception. Even barren women and impotent men become fertile as long as they wear the scarab, although it cannot overcome magically-induced sterility (such as that produced by the scarab's second mode).
If set to counteract fertility, the wearer becomes completely sterile until they remove the scarab. The wearer retains all normal sexual function and libido, but cannot sire or conceive children. Women who wear the scarab in this state cease menstruating until it is removed. The scarab has no effect on existing pregnancies.
Scarabs of Fertility are typically attached to bellybutton rings or waist chains, although genital piercings are not unheard-of.

The cost of artifact 1 is per scarab. If multiple scarabs of the same type are worn, their effects do not stack. Every type of scarab requires a commitment of one mote, no matter which type of Exalted is wearing it. Scarabs of Good Health are unusual in that the committed mote does not have to come from the wearer; after achieving attunement (which takes only a minute or two for such a tiny artifact), the person who committed the mote need not even be anywhere near the scarab for it to function, as long as the mote stays committed. The person powering the scarab can choose to withdraw the mote at any time, which causes the scarab to immediately stop functioning.

Skeleton Key
Moonsilver key
Commitment: 1 (moonsilver)

This moonsilver key is the dream of every thief and janitor. When inserted into any lock, it deforms to take on the shape of that lock's key. Skeleton Keys do not work on locks which don't use keys (such as deadbolts and combination locks) or which require a magical key. A Skeleton Key requires a commitment of one mote; if the mote becomes decommitted, the key is locked in its most recent form until reattuned.

String of Sun's Tears
Jewelry (any material)
Commitment: 1 (as material)

This beautiful necklace comprises a delicate orichalcum chain, from which depend seven crystal teardrops. Within each drop shines a spark of pure, golden sunlight. Besides providing light equivalent to that of a torch, the necklace emanates an aura of calm and good cheer, making observers more kindly disposed toward the wearer. Any social rolls involving friendly interaction have their difficulties reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1.

In emergencies, one or more tears can also be broken, producing a blinding flash that will hopefully dazzle attackers. This is typically done by unhooking the string and cracking it like a whip, sending a single tear flying off to smash on the floor or wall. Any onlookers within 10 yards must make a Wits + Awareness check, at a difficulty of the user's Dexterity. Success means that they manage to shield their eyes in time and take no penalty. Failure results in them being blinded for the next two turns. On a botch, they are blinded for the remainder of the scene. Breaking more than one tear at a time causes no additional effect.

A String of Sun's Tears costs 1 mote to attune. Similar artifacts exist for each of the magic materials, each of them with different effects.

  • Strings of Dragons' Tears are made of jade, and shine with lights reminiscent of the appropriate element. They make the wearer more self-confident; any difficulty penalties to social rolls accrued as a result of uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations are reduced by 1.
If broken, Dragons' Tears explode with a brief flash of elemental fire. Anyone within a yard of the Tear's impact point must make a Wits + Dodge roll, at a difficulty of the user's Dexterity, or take two dice of lethal damage (soaked normally). Those who botch take four dice.
  • Strings of Moon's Tears are made of moonsilver, and exude a pale, ghostly radiance. They make the wearer seem more clever and charming, decreasing the difficulty of any social roll involving emotional manipulation or seduction by 1, to a minimum of 1.
When broken, Moon's Tears release a cloud of soporific smoke. Anyone within five yards of the impact must make a Stamina + Resistance check at difficulty 2, or be at -2 to all dice pools for the next two turns. Those who botch fall asleep, and cannot be awakened for two full turns.
  • Strings of Stars' Tears are made of starmetal, and sparkle brightly. They make the wearer seem more wise and learned, decreasing the difficulty of any social roll involving reasoned persuasion by 1, to a minimum of 1.
Breaking a Stars' Tear releases a cloud of mesmerizing motes. Anyone within five yards of the impact must make a Wits + Awareness check at difficulty 2, or be distracted and suffer a -2 penalty to all dice pools for the next two turns. Those who botch are captivated by the sparkling motes, and will be lost in a reverie from which they cannot be roused for two full turns.
  • Strings of Ghosts' Tears are made of soulsteel, and emit a wan, phosporescent glow. They project feelings of fear and unease, decreasing the difficulty of any social roll involving intimidation by 1, to a minimum of 1.
Breaking a Ghosts' Tear releases a cloud of choking gray smoke, which has the same mechanical effect as the explosion of a Sun's Tear.

Ten-Thousand-Bead Robe
Jade clothing
Commitment: 2 (jade)

Composed of a piece of jewelry and considerably more than 10,000 minuscule jade beads, garments such as this were much in vogue among Dragon-Blooded courtesans of the First Age. The beads can rearrange themselves, lose cohesion, or even go Elsewhere on command; in the proper hands, these abilities can be employed to quite captivating effect.

The most obvious advantage of a Ten-Thousand-Bead Robe is the ability to instantly alter the cut and color of one's clothes. The sorts of outfits possible are limited only by the wearer's imagination, and of course the quantity and basic properties of the beads. For example, sheer garments are impossible (the beads are opaque, and large enough that any garment they form will have a slightly granular look), but a lace effect would be easily achieved. Likewise, exceptionally voluminous or frilly styles might exhaust the supply of beads. The clothing formed can be as solid as the wearer wishes, ranging from rigid and impermeable to almost liquid, parting and reforming around any object that touches it.

A skilled user can alter the robe's style and coloration on the fly, producing captivating ripples of color that accentuate her words and movements. The very talented may even cause the beads to arrange themselves into moving pictures; such displays take some effort to achieve, but can be made to loop indefinitely without any active maintenance. Effects such as continual cycles of day and night, or waves crashing on a seashore, would be easy to achieve; depicting a pitched duel would not, unless the combatants performed the same sequence of actions over and over.

Making a Ten-Thousand Bead Robe alter coloration or cut is a reflexive action requiring no roll, and adds one die to any relevant Performance, Presence, or Socialize rolls. Producing iconic images requires an Intelligence + Performance roll; this is a normal dice action, and can be an extended action. Each success adds one turn to the display's duration. If the display is looped, it requires no further rolls unless the wearer wishes to alter it. Displaying moving pictures adds three dice to relevant Performance, Presence, or Socialize rolls, but this bonus decreases by one each time the display repeats, as the audience becomes accustomed to it.

In extremis, a Ten-Thousand-Bead Robe can be used as weak armor. If all of the beads are summoned and made to pack tightly around the wearer's body, they provide 2L/1B soak, with no mobility penalty or fatigue value. This will not stack with other armor.

Ten-Thousand-Bead Robes are controlled by means of an elegant jade anklet or bracelet, which requires the commitment of two motes. It follows the normal rules for attuning items of the wrong material.

Whispering Earrings
Jewelry (any material)
Commitment: 2 (as material)

These plain hoops can be made of any of the magical materials, and come in pairs. When a single mote is committed to each (not necessarily by the person wearing the earring), the wearer of one earring can clearly hear anything the wearer of its twin says, no matter how quietly. The earrings have a range of up to 5 miles.

Whispering Earrings are most commonly composed of blue jade or soulsteel. All sorts are manufactured following the same basic procedure; the earrings are forged and enchanted as a single piece, and only broken apart at the very end, so that they behave as though they were one object. For this reason, the soulsteel version imparts a somewhat disturbing agonized overtone to the relayed words, as such earrings are fragments of a single soul which has been sliced apart.

The cost of artifact 1 is per pair.


I was considering giving the Attentive Hairpin to one of my characters, and the question occurred to me of whether you think it would be okay for a character to be capable of using Charms (especially Linguistics and such) on the text transcribed by the hairpin, and how these Charms would register. What kind of intention, for example, would Sagacious Reading of Intent turn up?
~ Shataina

My instinct would be to say that if you used SRI, you'd discover that the text was written by a mindless recording device. I guess the answer depends on how you'd rule in the case of normal transcription. If Mnemon dictates a letter to a scribe, and Joe Solar intercepts the letter and analyzes it with his Linguistics Charms, will he discover that what appears to be an invitation to a Calibration bacchanal is actually a coded message telling Ragara that the time has come to reveal his true powers? Or will he just discover that the person who wrote the message was trying very hard to not make any mistakes?

I suppose a similar question could apply to any type of recording device which doesn't actually record emotions.

Falcon - No real content, just adulation. I love the Knife of Superior Utility. I would give my Lunar character one except that he's dead. :)

I have a slight problem with the 10,000 bead robe. Since it has no fatigue value, and isn't really armour, there isn't a specific 'jade' magical material bonus for it. Thus, stating that attuning it follows standard rules for out of caste attunement is confusing... because if it doesn't get a benefit for being made out of jade, anyone can attune it for 2 motes anyway. Did you mean to state that people MUST force full attunement, thus making it cost 4 motes for a non-dragonblooded? (In which case, it seems a little unfair)
-- Darloth