The Varang Sphere
Artifact • Activation: 2 motes
This small sphere is a compicated array of spheres and geared hoops of the magical materials, mostly jade, with slight traces of the others, along it's complicated surface, filled with tiny and precise gears. The entire sphere is small enough to be held in the palm of one hand easily. When the exalt who is holding it spends two motes while concentrating on it, it attunes itself to the flows of ambient essence, as it whirls and ticks softly into a complicated configuration representing the current essence flows, and continuing, so long as these motes are commited. Anyone with a little time to experiment with the sphere's use can look at the activated sphere to determine the time of day. With a Wits + Lore roll (difficulty 3) and previous exposure to the area, the exalt can figure out their rough location and level of existence. (ie, In the Labyrinth. In the far South-East. In a sanctum or Yu Shan.) With an Occult+Intelligence Roll (diff 2 + desmense level), and some time to study the sphere, the exalt can discover the strength and boundaries of a desmense, and which aspect it inclines toward. One further power the sphere has, though the user normally only discovers it after a painful lesson is this: When the sphere enters a Wyld Zone, or the bordermarches shift over it, it whirls chaotically, never finding rest until the sphere is back in solid reality again.
Crown of (In)Competence (Scrollreader)
Artifact •• Orichalcum & Starmetal Crown Commitment: 3
This artifact is a circlet made of orichalcum with a fine starmetal chain wrapped around it. It instructs a new Solar in the ways of the world. It is often given to Solars by the Cult of the Illuminated. The Solar gets a 2 die bonus on all skills he has no dots in. The wearer is at a +2 difficulty penalty to harm a Sidereal, or to strongly oppose a Sidereal's wishes. This penalty is a result of following the mental urges of the crown, which are what inform the Solar's actions. A quick-witted Solar may learn of this effect by making a diff 5 Wits+Lore roll in a scene in which this penalty exerts itself. The bonus from the crown is lost if the crown is not worn; the penalty, however, lasts until the charcter is deattuned from the artifact.
- This item grants no MM bonus, but stil forces non solars to spend twice the motes to attune to it.
Magical Material Garrote
Speed -5 Accuracy +5 Damage +3L Defense +0 Rate: 1
Requires: Str 2; Commitment: 4
Stranglewires are garrotes made for exalted assassins. They appear to be almost impossibly thin strands of stiff magical material, until attuned, at which point they become flexible and can easily be rolled up and concealed. Stranglewires are clinch enhancers, and piercing. In addition, each of them is enchanted with further small magics. For a reflexive expenditure of two motes of essence, their wielder may activate their function, to aid his efforts. When so activated. the Stranglewire will actively bind itself tighter and tighter. Victims of this function may not speak, or make any vocal noises, so long as the clinch lasts (regardless of who controls it). In addition they lose one die from their clinch pool each consecutive round the Stranglewire's owner controls the clinch (cumulatively). If the owner of the stranglewire loses control of the clinch, these penalties reset. There are no slots for hearthstones in a stranglewire.
- Magical material bonuses are not included in the stats above.
Commitment: 5 motes
No one knows if this is a corruption of the Shogunate equipment used by the forces of Lookshy, or a variant of the original models from the First Age. What is known, however, is the terrible power of this weapon. Usually crafted as an obsidian lens mounted on a gauntlet, variants have been seen on swords, suits of armor, and even the soulsteel and bone warstriders the Deathlords favor. While simple enough in concept, the sheer amount of destruction they can wreak is difficult to comprehend, until one sees the fine, grey ashes left behind, the only traces of it's victims, slain in un-natural quiet.
This artifact doubles the base damage done by Crypt Bolt, and increases again by half the number of motes drained by Essence Draining Blast (round down), as well as doubling the ranges of each. It makes no noise when fired, and the ray seems to emit from the Void Focus. It requires no repair, and any victims slain leave no ghosts.
- The Soulsteel Magical Material bonus is included in the stats above. To add a void focus to another artifact, simply increase the value of that artifact by 2 dots.
<b>Grasping Frost Talons</b>
Soulsteel, Moonsilver, Starmetal, or Jade Tiger Claws
Speed +0 Accuracy +2 Damage +5L/+7L* Defense +2 Rate: 6
Requires: Dex 2; Commitment: 6 (pair)
A somewhat common, if the word can be used, artifact, grasping frost talons are often used by butal brawlers or by masters of a style of martial arts which favors the tiger claw. They can be made of Black or Blue Jade, Moonsilver, Starmetal or Soulsteel, though they also require the purest unmelting ice from the Utter North. They are never made of Orichalchum, as the harmonies involved are destructive. (There are rumored to be orichalchum versions that use fire, instead of ice, but if there are, no extant copies remain from the first age).
The Grasping Frost Talons act as Razor Claws, with a few differences. For the cost of a single mote of essence, reflexively, they become empowered with the Bitter Cold of the furthest north. They do an extra 2L levels of damage, due to the piercing cold of the nevermelting ice at their core. Being with an especial immunity to cold, such as Ice spirits, ignore this damage, though normal environment negating charms will not suffice. In addition, they transfer some of their lethal cold to the target of their attacks, partially freezing them. Each sucessful attack that inflicts at least one level of damage gives the target a mobility penalty of -1. This penalty lasts for a number of turns equal to the bearers essence, and is cumulative, though it may be negated by charms that remove mobility penalties, as usual. In addition, any target that is killed with a blow from the Grasping Frost Talon is entirely frozen, and covered with ice, an erie ice statue of themselves. The Talons may also be used to freeze water, to a depth of several inches, in a radius of the wielders essence in yards. This last effect is prized by the Lunar Exalted, who often use it to erect makeshift ice bridges. There is a hearthstone socket in each of the gauntlets, and both of the pair must be attuned to to function.
- Magical material bonuses are not included in the stats above. They are standard for weapons of that material. In additon Dragonblooded Water Dragon Immaculate Stylists add 3 to the speed of Grasping Frost Talons, and 1 to their accuracy due to their extensive training and essence affinities.
Speed +7 Accuracy +5 Damage +4L Defense +3 Rate: 6
Requires: Str 2; Commitment: 6
This blade was but one of many made by a Twilight Sorceror named Trav'n'kil during the height of the First Age. He scorned the heavy blades which were en vogue at the time, and decried them for their lack of finesse. When one of his competitors suggested that the Flickering Quicksilver Knives and elegant, slim bladed Daiklaves that he preferred were the limit of his ability to make artifacts, Trav'n'kil made this blade as a response.
Sunrise Edge is Piercing. In addition, a roll of a '10' on a damage die counts as two sucesses. There are many versions of this blade made after the sucess of the first, the best made by Trav'n'kil, though his apprentices carried on after his death. Jade versions are often named after the element (Flame Edge, Lightning Edge, etc) while Moonlight Edges once popular with Lunars, are now almost forgotten. Starlit Edges are still favored by the Sidereal, often treasured and passed down through the bureau of destiny to worthy apprentices. Perhaps most disturbing of all though, is the appearance of the Soul Edge in the hands of a few deathknights, which seems to have all the marks of Trav'n'kil's own personal craftsmanship.
- Magical material bonuses are not included in the stats above. They are standard for weapons of that material. Sunrise Edge has slots for a single hearthstone.
<b>Insidious Armor Disease</b>
Adamant Sphere/Magical Material Armor
Commitment: 5+ (involuntary)
Once, prized by great heroes among the exalted, but always used carefully, now this artifact is almost forgotten. It appears as a small orb of adamant, with a tiny amount of each magical material inside. It dissolves instantly in alcohol (or, as some enterprising souls have discovered,any other poisons). When the liquid and the orb enter the body, it immediately begins making drastic changes. First, it siphons away 5 motes to attune itself, as it re-assembles next to the wearer's heart 5 rounds after consumed (1 mote per round). The very next round, tendrils of the magical material most closely associated to the bearer burst from their skin, as the brilliant web of strands of the magical material enshroud the body, as the victim can do nothing but writhe in agony (only reflexive actions are allowed during that round). This adds the user's essence to all his soak categories (including aggravated) and counts as armor in all respects (including an inability to stack with other armor). It imposes a mobility and fatique penalty equal to half the amount of soak provided, and reduces movement by one yard for every two points of mobility penalty. But the disease progresses. Each day, the bear gains another point to each of his soak values (up to a total of 4 times his permanant essence) with concurrant increases in penalties. Every additional two points o soak increases the attunement cost by 1 mote. The bearer /does/ gain the magical material bonus for this armor. Removing the armor is quite difficult. The bearer suffers one unsoakable lethal die of damage for each point of soak he currenlty has, minus one for each sucesses on a dex+medicine roll by his doctor, a gruesome process that takes a day and requires a skilled surgeon, leaving the surgeon with the sphere again. Should the sphere become unattuned, somehow, before it is removed, the beaer loses all Magical material bonuses, and all penalties /triple/ as the metal becomes almost unbearably heavy. It is said that some who lost control of these armors can be found, though there is nothing now, to tell them apart from statues made of the five magical materials, unless they are cut open, and inside the hollow shell, the small and unassuming adamant orb will be found. This is an external shapechanging effect, and tatooed Lunars spend one action to cough up the sphere after the five rounds have passed, still suffering the reflexive only round as they force the ball back up. If used on a mortal, it will kill the mortal as razor edged shards of adamant slice through his body after five rounds, before contracting back into the ball.
Soulsteel Grand Daiklave
Speed +10 Accuracy +3 Damage +10L Defense +0 Rate: 5
Requires: Str 3; Commitment: 10
This grand daiklaive is barely there at all. The long blade is incredibly thin, by daiklave standards, single edged and coming to an edge that is perfectly sharp. Unlike most soulsteel, it is perfectly black, and utterly silent. When swung, it cuts through air, flesh, bone and light, leaving a tracery of shadow behing each blow. Anything the blade hits it /will/ cut. The Void razor is considered piercing. So sharp is it's blade that it counts '10's on damage dice twice for the purposes of damage. In addition, it ignores any and all Hardness, and if it is parried or soaked by mortal means, it does full damage to the interposing object, most likely ruining it utterly.
- Magical material bonuses are not included in the stats above. They are standard for weapons of that material. Void Razor has slots for two hearthstones.
Magical Material Daggers
Speed +0 Accuracy +6 Damage +6L Defense +0 Rate: 8
Commitment: 12 (pair)
Unlike many weapons made of the five magical materials, whisperblades are hardly any larger than their normal counterparts, resembling long daggers, perhaps the size of shortswords. They are thus often favored by assassins, and those who wish something less obstrusive than a grand diaklaive, for social situations. They only function in pairs. Each blade has a socket for a single hearthstone.
In addition to their normal combat stats, these blades move with startling speed. The wielder gains a second independent action with the WhisperBlades, regardless of his other actions in a round. This effect is not compatible with extra action charms, though it stacks with any other independent actions the wielder may have. Unlike some independent actions, the blades independent action may not increase movement, or be used for any activity which does not directly involve the blades. Whisperblades are found in all five magical materials, though starmetal versions are common, both because they are small, and use less starmetal, and because they are the signature weapons of charcoal march of spiders practictioners, who use their own formidable powers along with those of the blades to become truly fearsome foes.
Speed +8 Accuracy +4 Damage +7L Defense +2 Rate: 3
Commitment: 10 motes Activation: 20 motes
This twisted rod of Soulsteel resembles nothing so much as a plain Soulsteel staff, when inactive, like some forgotten bone of a Behemoth (in which pursuit it may be used, though this is not it's true purpose). When an Exalt spends 20 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 Soulsteel Magical Material bonus is included in the stats above. The essence claw has a slot for a single hearthstone, which the bearer can benfit from while within the control radius, so long as he remains attuned.
<b>The Most Inevitable Armor of the Death Dragon
Artifact ••••• 14L/14B, Str +3, -0, 0 Commitment Cost: 10 motes
This suit of armor is designed as a mockery of the suits of armor favored by Lookshy and some other dragonblooded by the Dread Wright, a deathlord with a somewhat ... unhinged sense of humor. Like them, it is a complicated and composite entity, made of several complex processes and mechanisms, which few, if any, understand in this age. Made of bone, soulsteel, obsidian, and other, darker materials this suit of armor offers the following benefits: All the normal benefits of dragon armor, (including a lens to focus the blasts of death enegy much like an elemental lens). For 3 motes, the armor allows the wearer to call on the untiring energies of death itself, ignoring all wound penalties for a number of rounds equal to his essence. This allows the wearer to fight normally while incapacitated until dead. For 5 motes, the wearer may focus the entropic energies of the void into a blow. This blow doubles damage on a single attack after it is rolled, Against inanimate objects it ignores the soak such objects have unless the object is made of the five magical materials, or similarly tough first age materials (such as first age warships or skyships). The most Inevitable Armor of the Death Dragon has no repair. The Dread Wright is known to have at least a handful of these suits, which his deathknights and favored warghosts ocassionally wear. Thus far, he has been content to leave them in reserve, responding to Dragon Armor or Warstriders with them, though of late, he has considered going on the offensive with them, and trying to blame Lookshy for the lightning fast and well executed raids these suits of armor can pull off.
I tend to stat artifacts overly powerful (it's a problem I'm working out with my therapist), so I can't really comment on the new Sunrise Edge really. I like it, it sounds cool, and I want you to make an Artifact 4 and 5 version of it. That's about all I can say without setting back my progress so far though. -- GregLink
That was a shaggy dog story to explain somebody's Abyssal character having Soul Edge in Exalted. I highly approve. - IanPrice
- Well. *blushes* I wish I was that clever. Really, it's a hypothesis and plan ahead for if the game my VBoS stylist is in switches to Power Combat from Classic. Currently, I use a Reaper Daiklave. However, the combat style of the character is heavy to big plits, offensively, so I'd need a high rate weapon. So I took the PC stats for the short diaklave, filed the serial numbers off, and made as long as a normal daiklave, and boosted defense by 1. (lvl 2 artifact). But I hate making boring artifacts. So. I then decided to make it a level 3 artifact, and since I have a distressing habit of rolling far too many '10s' on damage rolls and nowhere else, well, the rest kind of flowed from there. The Soul Edge was merely a very happy coincidence that I didn't realize until i was posting the final text up here. Of course, then it was too awesome to leave out. So. - Scrollreader