Ikselam's Lunar Hearthstones
Luna presides over misdirection, deception and adaptability.
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Cat's Feet Stone
Manse • Trigger: None.
This rounded gem looks like sandstone, and bears an impression in the shape of a cat's pawprint. When attuned, it causes the wearer to always land on his feet. He can still fall or lose his balance, but will never fall flat as long as he travels at least one yard through the air before striking the ground.
Manse • Trigger: Teamwork.
These furry gray orbs always form in groups of three or more. A person attuned to one is always aware of the relative position of anyone else who is attuned to a Wolfpack Gem from the same Manse. In addition, they become able to subconsciously coordinate their actions, making them an effective hunting team.
Mechanically, Wolfpack Gems allow their bearers to access a pool of communal bonus dice, equal in size to twice the number of "packmates." Whenever a member of the pack makes an action related to hunting, tracking, or fighting, he may choose to reflexively remove some or all of these dice from the communal pool, and add them to his pool for the action. The bonus pool refreshes at the beginning of every turn.
The gems provide no benefit to "lone wolves"; if the bearer is more than 20 yards away from his nearest packmate, he cannot access, and does not contribute to, the communal bonus pool.
Manse •• Trigger: Touching another hearthstone.
This colorless stone's exact shape is impossible to clearly make out; the eye simply refuses to focus on it. When attuned, it gains the ability to temporarily emulate the powers of other hearthstones. When it is touched to another hearthstone, it immediately snaps into focus and assumes the appearance of the other stone. For an amount of time dependent on the level of the stone being mimicked, it will act exactly like the other hearthstone in all respects except Essence regeneration; it always counts as level 2, even if it is emulating a stone of a different level.
The Cuckoo's Egg can emulate level 1 or 2 hearthstones indefinitely. It can mimic level 3 stones for up to one lunar month, level 4 stones for a single day, and level 5 stones for a single scene.
Lens of Beguiling Mystery
Manse ••• Trigger: Looking into the stone.
This clear, lenticular stone is marked with a multitude of thin black lines. When attuned, the lines begin moving about and overlapping, producing mesmerising Moiré patterns. Any thinking being who examines the stone too closely runs the risk of falling into a hypnotic trance, in which she is vulnerable to any suggestions the stone's owner cares to give her.
Mechanically, the character makes a Manipulation + Socialize roll to draw the target's gaze to the stone. If the target is not already examining the stone of her own volition, the roll is opposed by her Wits + Awareness check. If the character scores any net successes, that number becomes the difficulty for a Willpower check by the target. If she succeeds, she is merely disoriented, suffering a one-die penalty to all actions for the remainder of the scene. If she fails, she enters a deep trance, and the character may plant hypnotic commands in her subconscious. The number of instructions cannot exceed the character's Manipulation, and none of them may cause the target to act against her Nature or take an action which would require her to make a Virtue check. However, the character can use his powers of suggestion to weaken or strengthen one of the target's Virtues; he may plant a suggestion which will temporarily raise or lower one of her Virtues. No Virtue may be altered by more than a single dot in this way. All suggestions last for a number of weeks equal to 10-(target's Willpower). It takes at least one minute to plant each suggestion, and the target will remember the session (albeit only vaguely) unless the character plants a suggestion telling her not to.
Hypnotized characters will immediately snap out of their trances if they are subjected to startling sights or sounds, or physical violence of any kind. In such a case, any suggestions already given them are erased, and they take the one-die penalty just as though they had successfully resisted hypnosis. When acting under the influence of post-hypnotic suggestion, characters will often feel strange, but usually attempt to rationalize their unusual behavior.
The Lens of Beguiling Mystery may be used once per day. It cannot be used again on the same target until any suggestions currently affecting her wear off.
Stone of Startling Reorientation
Manse ••• Trigger: Concentration (Reflexive).
This stone appears as a perfect sphere, divided into a silver half and a dark gray half. No matter how it is held, the gray portion always faces down. When attuned, it allows the wearer to briefly reorient gravity with respect to himself. He can fall horizontally, upward, or any other straight-line direction he desires. This power may be activated once per turn as a reflexive action, and lasts until the same initiative count on the following turn.
The altered gravity does not affect anything but the user and his personal effects. Note that activating this power does not immediately kill the character's previous velocity; if he is falling off a cliff, he had better start falling upward not too long after the halfway point if he wants to avoid damage. Likewise, falling in a direction other than down still has the potential to inflict damage if the character hits something, so it is advisable to have a nearby landing spot in mind when activating this power.
Stone of Universal Compatibility
Manse ••• Trigger: None.
This multifaceted stone's coloration slowly changes over time, cycling through colors reminiscent of each of the five Magical Materials. When attuned, it allows its bearer to treat the artifact in which it is socketed as though it were made of her favored Magical Material with respect to attunement. It does not actually alter the artifact in any way, or alter any material bonuses it may receive; it simply allows its owner to fully attune to the artifact without a roll, and without double commitment.
Blind Spot Gem</b>
<b>Manse •••• Trigger: Concentration (Simple).
This cloudy orb seems to have something embedded in its center, but it is impossible to make out clearly. When attuned, it allows its bearer to become very hard to see; when she activates the stone's power, she can only be seen by those not looking directly at her.
Mechanically, anyone trying to fight the character suffers a +1 difficulty penalty to attack her, or defend against her attacks. When used to aid stealth, the Blind Spot Gem adds a single automatic success to any Stealth roll; furthermore, if the character is spotted, she can force the spotter to immediately reroll his Awareness check in order to be sure he actually saw her.
The Blind Spot Gem's power lasts for a scene, but may only be activated while moonlight is striking the character. Activating it requires the character to remain still and concentrate for one turn, forfeiting her dice action. Its power does not function if the character's anima activates at a level precluding stealth.
Faithful Phantasm Stone
Manse •••• Trigger: Sleeping.
This spherical stone looks like it is made of bubbly, greenish glass. When attuned, it allows its bearer to summon spirit animals out of her own dreams. The character goes to sleep; when she wakes up, she will find an animal sleeping near her; the animal is always a natural animal, and is usually representative of the character's personality. It is constructed as a Familiar with a rating equal to the character's permanent Essence score, and will loyally serve her for as long as she bears the stone. If the character is a lucid dreamer (either as the result of magic powers or special training), she increases the spirit animal's Familiar rating by one dot.
The phantasm vanishes back into its master's dreams every night when she goes to sleep, and reappears when she wakes up; while she is asleep, she will surely recognize the spirit animal's presence in her dreams. If it is intelligent, it may even speak to her in her dreams, or lead her on revelatory dream-quests. If the character stays awake for more than three days in a row, the phantasm fades away and returns to her mind; it will not reappear until she has gotten at least three nights' sleep.
Gemstone of the Unseen Trickster
Manse •••• Trigger: Concentration (Simple).
This disk-shaped stone is colored dark silver, like a piece of polished magnetite. Once per day, its bearer can cause his body to become completely transparent for a period of up to one hour. This has no effect on his clothes, or anything he might be carrying, although any objects he swallows or otherwise hides inside himself do become invisible, as does the artifact in which the hearthstone is socketed. He is also no harder than normal to detect with senses other than sight.
Characters fighting an invisible opponent suffer the same penalties as fighting blind.
Gem of Mirror Image
Manse •••• Trigger: Concentration (Reflexive).
This rectangular gemstone is almost perfectly reflective. When attuned, it can call forth a multitude of mirror images of its wearer to confuse and baffle assailants. These images, although intangible, are indistinguishable from the original without the aid of illusion-piercing powers. Every sense except touch is equally hoodwinked. The images mimic the actions of the hearthstone's user, but reoriented and slightly altered in order to appear more believable. For example, if the character started running away from her enemy, some of the images would also run away from him, but others would run towards him and still others would run circles around him -- but they would all start running. This power lasts for a scene, and can only be used once a day.
In game terms, when the gem is activated, the character rolls Wits + Stealth, opposed by the opponent's Perception + Awareness roll. If she wins, the opponent can't tell which image is real and has only a (his Essence) in 10 chance of hitting her with any given attack in combat. It will also be very hard for him to tell where she actually is. If she loses, the mirror images still appear, but the opponent knows exactly which one is really her and suffers no penalty. Every time the character attacks or does something to blatantly affect the environment, a new contested roll takes place.
Manse •••• Trigger: None.
This stone's color, shape, and markings are in constant flux, never appearing the same twice. When attuned, it begins to project an aura of chaos which resonates strongly with things of the Wyld. Faeries and other Wyld creatures are drawn to the stone; whenever such a being comes within a hundred yards of the stone's bearer, it must make a Temperance check at difficulty 2 every turn, or be overcome with the desire to move toward the stone. However, if it approaches closer than ten yards, the stone's power will begin to overwhelm it, causing its form to break down into the primal chaos from which it is fashioned. Fair Folk and other Wyld beings who come within this boundary must roll their Essence scores every turn; each success causes them to suffer one level of unsoakable aggravated damage as their bodies begin mutating uncontrollably, eventually dissolving into formless clouds which must immediately flee back to the Wyld if they wish to survive.
This destabilizing effect also applies to inanimate objects. For objects fashioned of gossamer, or created by glamour, roll the creator's Essence every turn. Each success reduces the object's lethal and bashing soak values by two (in the case of normal objects) or one (in the case of armor), to a minimum of zero; if both soak values are reduced to zero, the object sublimates into mazy streaks of chaos, which quickly dissipate. In the case of weapons, each success on the Essence roll reduces every statistic by one, to a minimum of zero or that stat's original rating (whichever is lower). If all stats reach zero or less, the weapon evaporates.
For objects created by Wyld-Shaping Technique, or similar effects wielded by Creation-dwellers, the creator's Essence is rolled only once every hour, and objects only degrade on a failure. Simple failure cancels out one of the successes used to create the object; a botch cancels two. Once all the successes have been cancelled out, the object (or landscape, building, creature, or what-have-you) disintegrates back into the amorphous Wyld-stuff from which it was made.
Taking the Strange Attractor into the Wyld is hazardous; treat everything within a twenty-yard radius as being one level deeper into the Wyld than it actually is. Bordermarches count as Middlemarches, Middlemarches count as Deep Wyld, and so forth. This effect does not manifest in Creation.
Manse ••••• Trigger: Touching the stone to another.
This slate-gray hearthstone has a toothy mouth, which is usually tightly shut. When attuned, and touched to another hearthstone, the mouth will open and greedily consume the other stone, noisily crunching it up and swallowing it. The Devourer can only ingest stones which are not socketed into artifacts.
In addition to its ability to eat other hearthstones, the Devourer has the powers of all other hearthstones it has consumed since it formed. The Devourer's bearer need not have been attuned to the other stones' Manses. Until it is destroyed, the other stones will not reform at their Manses. If the Devourer becomes deattuned after having eaten one or more stones, it immediately shatters. It also shatters if the Manse associated with one of the stones it has eaten undergoes enough changes or damage to render that stone inert. In either case, the Devourer reforms at its Manse as normal over the course of the next month.
Manse ••••• Trigger: None.
This lenticular hearthstone's black-and-silver coloration shifts to imitate the current phase of the moon. When attuned, it grants its bearer potent benefits determined by Luna's current aspect, at the cost of some of his sanity. During the full moon, he receives three extra dots to distribute among his Physical Attributes, but also suffers from delusions. During the new moon, he gains three dots of Mental Attributes, but becomes paranoid. During the waxing and waning phases of the moon, he gains three dots of Social Attributes, but suffers manic-depressive mood swings.
The bonus dots granted by this stone count as natural for all purposes, but can't increase an Attribute's rating more than one dot past its normal maximum. The character may redistribute them, but only if the moon is visible, and only if he spends an hour in meditation, ecstatic dance, vigorous exercise, ritual sex, or some other devotional technique under its light. It is possible to stave off the insanity it causes for one scene by spending a point of Willpower. Bonus dots and derangements both vanish when the character goes to sleep, and do not return until he next sees the moon.
Nine-Lives Cat's Eye
Manse ••••• Trigger: Dying.
This gray stone has nine small green-and-black markings that look like cat's eyes. Its bearer enjoys the ability to miraculously cheat death. If she is killed, her body will always manage to be inexplicably lost -- falling over a cliff, being swept out to sea, carried off by wolves, or just mysteriously vanishing when no one is watching it. The hearthstone will always be lost along with her. The very next day, she will show up in an out-of-the-way place near the spot at which she met her demise, alive and well and carrying the Nine-Lives Cat's Eye.
Each time this power activates, one of the eye markings on the hearthstone closes. When all nine are closed, the character can no longer use its power. This does not impair others' ability to benefit from the stone, however -- when a new owner attunes to it, the appropriate number of eyes will open.
Twisty Fate Gem
Manse ••••• Trigger: None.
This crystal torus appears to be woven from many tangled diamond threads. When attuned, it causes the web of fate around the bearer to become mazy and confused. Although the character is not actually outside of fate, she might as well be; the patterns of destiny around her criss-cross and tangle so thoroughly that any attempt to read or influence them is invariably turned about and deflected onto some other person.
As long as the character is within one mile of another living thing which is part of fate, she counts as being outside fate. Any effects which target her, and do not affect beings outside fate, are deflected randomly onto another being within the one-mile radius. If only part of a power would be inapplicable, that part is deflected, but the remainder affects her as usual (see Sidereals, p. 129). Divination is similarly affected; any attempt to read the character's fate via the stars or other portents will provide outlooks for someone else within a mile of her.
Creatures who spend long periods of time near the bearer of this stone tend to find that their destinies become bizarrely tangled with hers. This has no mechanical effect, but may be used as a justification for purchasing certain Backgrounds -- especially Familiar and Acquaintances -- with experience points (see Player's Guide, p.17).
The Twisty Fate Gem does not cancel fate-related effects placed on the character prior to her attuning it.
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