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Ikselam's Water Hearthstones

Water is the element of compassion, femininity, introspection and the subconscious.

Level 1

Band of Thieves Gem

Manse •
Trigger: None.

These dark blue, translucent orbs always form in groups of five, and afford useful benefits when used by groups of people. Every turn, someone carrying a Band of Thieves Gem receives a number of bonus dice equal to the number of people within 50 yards (not counting herself) who carry Band of Thieves Gems from the same Manse. These bonus dice can be applied to any roll having to do with committing a crime. The bonus may be divided up among multiple rolls, but does not accumulate over multiple turns.

Band of Thieves Gems are unusual in that they do not need to be set into an artifact to provide their benefit. They can even be used by people not attuned to their Manse, or who cannot use Essence at all. People not attuned to the Manse do not receive increased Essence regeneration from the stone, however.

These hearthstones are known to be somewhat fickle; if one of them is broken or otherwise rendered useless, there is a one-in-five chance that all the others will also become inert. They have also been known to sporadically reverse polarity, draining Essence from their bearers.

(See also [##TraitorsHeart Traitor's Heart].)


Trigger: Getting wet.

This disc-shaped stone resembles a lump of white soap, and smells faintly of lavender. When attuned, it makes it easy for its bearer to stay clean and fresh. Whenever her skin becomes wet, it is cleansed and perfumed by the stone's magic. This power will even activate if the character sweats profusely.

If the character actually takes the stone into the bath (or other body of water) with her, the stone will quickly produce large masses of frothy, pleasantly-scented suds. Besides its obvious entertainment value, this foam possesses potent cleansing power, and can be used as soap by other characters. Once the character leaves the water, the suds quickly lose their cleaning power and disperse.

Duck's Back Stone

Manse •
Trigger: None.

This ovoid hearthstone is a slick, iridescent brown. When attuned, it causes liquids to slide off its owner, leaving him perfectly dry even when completely immersed in water. This protection extends to anything (or anyone) he may be carrying; if he picks up a wet object, the water will flow off, leaving it dry.

Gem of Still Water

Manse •
Trigger: Concentration (Reflexive).

This oval stone is the cloudy green of seawater, and appears to contain dark, mysterious depths. When attuned, it allows the wearer to assume the impassive stillness of the calm ocean. She will still feel emotions and react as normal, but none of it will show in her voice, expression, or posture. Any attempts to read her emotions or body language are at +1 difficulty; however, all of her Charisma rolls suffer a -2 dice penalty.

Mourner's Orb

Manse •
Trigger: None.

This translucent blue sphere is wet with a thin film of salty water. When attuned, it causes its owner's bodily fluids to become saturated with her feelings of grief and loss, to such a degree that exposure can placate unhappy spirits. If she spills tears or blood on the corpse or fresh grave of a person whose Conviction is less than or equal to her Compassion, that person's lower soul will not rise as a hungry ghost. The disposition of the higher soul is unaffected.

In addition, Ghosts or Abyssal Exalted who taste her blood (or tears, etc.) find it even more delicious than usual, and gain a number of motes equal to her Compassion, but only once per scene.


Manse • 
Trigger: Pouring water over the stone.

This oblong, deep blue stone is usually encrusted with salt crystals. When attuned, it can purify salt water. When water is poured over it, any salt dissolved in it will crystallize onto the stone's surface. If desired, the salt can then be scraped off the stone and collected.

The Saltstone only removes salt, not any other impurities.

Shimmering Scales Lure

Manse •
Trigger: Entering a body of water.

This ovoid gem is covered in silvery fish scales. When attuned, it causes fish to think that its owner is the most fascinating thing in the world. Whenever he enters the water, he will be quickly surrounded by fish of all kinds, most of them docile enough that he can easily pluck them out of the water with his bare hands.

This stone's power does not affect any fish longer than about the length of a man's forearm. In addition, it does not protect the bearer from fish which might consider him food; in fact, it will make such fish more dangerous to him, since they will be attracted to him by the gem's influence.

Thirsty Traveller's Friend

Manse •
Trigger: A firm squeeze.

This smooth, opaque hearthstone resembles nothing more than a large pebble taken from a streambed. It is always cool to the touch, and slightly damp. If its bearer concentrates on it and gives it a firm squeeze, it is capable of "sweating" cold, clean water. The water condenses on the stone's surface and drips off at a slow but steady pace. In one hour, the stone is capable of producing up to a gallon of water.

Level 2

Breaking Heart Gem

Manse ••
Trigger: Artistic endeavour.

This deep aquamarine sphere has an obvious flaw in it: a crack that reaches all the way through the stone. When attuned, it can pull all sadness, doubt, and worry from its bearer's mind, leaving only unadulterated joy. So radiant and heart-breaking is her happiness that others cannot help but be swept up in it. Mechanically, attaining such a joyous state allows the character to take a perfect success on a single roll related to inspiring happiness in others (usually an artistic effort involving Craft or Performance); every die is counted as a single automatic success, rather than being rolled.

This power can be used whenever the character wishes, but it causes the Breaking Heart Gem to live up to its name, shattering under the weight of all the negative emotions she is not feeling for that instant. The gem splits in half along its seam; the two halves quickly lose their color and dissolve into worthless salt and gravel. The hearthstone reforms normally at its Manse over the course of the next month.

Gem of Dissolution</b>

<b>Manse ••
Trigger: Concentration (Simple, extended).

This soft, colorless hearthstone is slick to the touch. When attuned, it allows its bearer to disperse herself into a body of water, becoming almost undetectable and very difficult to harm.

In order to use this power, the character must be completely submerged. Over the course of three turns, during which she may take no other action, her body will swiftly dissolve, mingling with the surrounding liquid. Only her body, along with the Gem of Dissolution, the artifact in which it is set, and any other hearthstones it holds, are affected; any other clothing or equipment will remain solid.

While in liquid form, the character can only be detected by magic capable of discerning intangible indicators of life, such as the presence of a soul or Essence pool. Even if she is detected, it is almost impossible to harm her; any attack which does not vaporize or scatter a significant portion of the water which holds her will have no effect -- a character who dissolves herself into the ocean or other vast body of water is essentially invulnerable. If an attack does manage to scatter a large percentage of the water, the character takes a proportional amount of unsoakable damage (determined by the Storyteller). Likewise, if the water is tainted with poison or other contaminants to such a degree that the Storyteller judges that it has not been diluted to ineffectiveness, the character will suffer the toxin's effects immediately when she reconstitutes.

When the character dissolves, she must specify in advance the time at which she wishes to reconstitute; while liquefied, she is not conscious -- although she will almost certainly experience vivid, emotionally-charged dreams. When the appointed time comes, she will become solid again over the course of three turns. If the body of water into which she dissolved carried currents, she may reform some distance away from where she started; how far she is carried is up to the Storyteller.

The character can stay dissolved as long as she likes, but risks permanent dissipation if she stays liquid too long. Every three hours spent in solution inflicts one level of unsoakable bashing damage, which cannot be healed by any means until she dries off. At the Storyteller's discretion, this interval may be lengthened in very small bodies of water, or shortened in very large ones, or ones with powerful currents.

Tattooed Lunars can't use this gem's power.

Gemstone of the Mazy Mind

Manse ••
Trigger: None.

This spherical white stone looks like a piece of brain coral. When attuned, it causes his thoughts to become much more convoluted and confusing. Mechanically, he adds one point to both his permanent Essence and Willpower scores for purposes of resisting magical attempts to read or influence his mind in any way. Any mundane attempt to read his motivations also suffers a +1 difficulty penalty.

Unfortunately, the character's new state of mind makes it difficult for him to speak plainly. He takes a two-die penalty to all social rolls not having to do with being cryptic or mysterious.

The Sleeper's Eye

Manse ••
Trigger: Sleeping.

This lenticular gem appears black, but glows with ultraviolet light, causing nearby flourescent objects to light up. When attuned, it gives the bearer almost total control over his dreams. He will dream every night, and all of his dreams will be lucid. If an outside force attempts to intrude into his dreams, he may engage in a contested Willpower roll against the tresspassing being. If he wins, the intruder is ejected from his dream for the remainder of the night. If he loses, his opponent may remain for one scene, after which they may engage in another Willpower contest. If either contestant scores four more successes than the other, he may seize control of the other's dream, placing his opponent completely at his mercy until one of them wakes up.

Anyone sleeping within one yard of the character will share his dreams. Unless they are using dream-related magic, they exert no conscious control over the dream, and he may eject them at any time without a roll.

Soul Stone

Manse ••
Trigger: None.

This irregular stone looks like a piece of green sea glass. When attuned, it imbues the bearer with a much stronger awareness of what is truly important to her. When she wakes up in the morning, she may roll her highest Virtue, rather than Conviction, to regain Willpower. She also need not spend a point of Willpower to activate that Virtue (although she must still respect the per-story limit on Virtue activation), and that Virtue's score may not be reduced by any power whose user has a permanent Essence score less than or equal to her own.

If the character has two or more Virtues tied for highest rank, she must choose which one is the most important to her. That one receives the Soul Stone's benefits; the others do not.

Sounding Stone

Manse ••
Trigger: Placing a hand in the water.

This murky blue-gray cube pulses with a regular rhythm. When attuned, it allows its owner to explore the floor of any body of water, no matter how deep, by feeling it with her hands. She simply places one or both hands into the water, and will receive the sensation of touching a reduced-scale version of the bottom; she also receives a precise knowledge of how deep the water beneath her is.

The character can explore a circular area centered directly below her current position, with a radius equal to roughly one-quarter of the water's depth. Abilities which enhance her sense of touch can be used in conjuction with the Sounding Stone's power to allow her a clearer "picture" of what lies below.

Stone of Womanly Virtue

Manse ••
Trigger: None.

This round hearthstone is a deep, sapphire blue. When attuned, it brings its bearer more strongly into alignment with traditionally feminine virtues. Women who wear the stone receive a one-die bonus to both Compassion and Temperance, and regain a point of Willpower whenever one of those Virtues forces them to act in a certain way (i.e., they encounter a situation which calls for a Virtue check, and do not either fail the roll or spend a point of Willpower to act against the Virtue). This bonus cannot raise a character's temporary Willpower above her permanent rating.

Men who attune to the Stone of Womanly Virtue receive the Virtue bonus, but not the Willpower-gain effect. In addition, any man who wears the stone will probably suffer some mild gender-confusion; whenever his Compassion or Temperance forces him to act in a certain way, he must succeed on a reflexive Willpower roll, or suffer a 2-die penalty to all social rolls for the remainder of the scene due to his unusually effeminate bearing.

Men who identify themselves as women count as women for the purposes of this stone. Note that thinking of oneself as an actual member of the opposite gender is different from being homosexual.

Level 3

Crystal of Deep Passion

Manse •••
Trigger: Touch (Simple).

This hexagonal prism is a silty black, sparkling with tiny silver flecks. With a touch, its bearer can draw out a person's deepest emotions, causing her to act according to her most fundamental passions. The character must touch the target's bare skin with his and concentrate, using up his dice action for the turn. The target must make a Willpower check at a difficulty equal to her own highest Virtue. If she fails, she must act in strict accordance with that Virtue for the remainder of the scene; she cannot expend Willpower to resist it (although she may spend Willpower to act against her other Virtues, as normal). If she botches, the effect lasts for a full 24 hours. No matter the results of her roll, she will immediately realize what is happening, and that the person touching her is responsible.

If a character affected by this power has two or more Virtues tied for maximum, she must act in accordance with all of them.

Gem of Consequences</b>

<b>Manse •••
Trigger: None.

This slick black disc is marked with concentric ridges that slowly ripple outward from its center to rebound from its edges. When attuned, it gives its owner an intuitive sense of the full impact of his words and actions. The information it provides is not very detailed, but useful nonetheless.

There is no mechanical system associated with this power; the Storyteller simply provides a rough idea of the depth and breadth of an action's impact. For example, having a careless tongue around someone who is actually an enemy spy might cause ramifications much broader than expected. Likewise, unwittingly bringing up a sensitive topic might provoke unexpectedly strong emotions in a listener. Generally, the Storyteller should only alert the player when the character's actions stand to have an impact beyond what would normally be assumed; whether this represents a potential faux pas, or a golden opportunity, should be left vague.

Jewel of the Siren's Call

Manse •••
Trigger: Singing.

This egg-shaped hearthstone is colored an iridescent blue, and seems to hum softly to itself. When attuned, it allows its bearer to sing so beautifully that people will be mindlessly drawn to her. Every mortal human who can hear her song must make a difficulty 4 Willpower roll, or be compelled to follow her. Soldiers will stop fighting, mothers will leave infants unattended, guards will desert their posts, and holy men will cease their prayers. Those affected by the spell act as though sleepwalking, moving along at a slow but steady pace. They will not hurl themselves off cliffs or do other suicidal things to reach the singer, and won't become violent; if they are confronted with an impassable obstacle that blocks them from the singer, they will mill around behind it, but won't attempt to bash through it.

The spell is instantly broken if the stone's wearer stops singing or her victims can no longer hear her. An individual will also shake off the song's effect if he is physically assaulted, or if he actually succeeds in reaching the singer. Exalted and non-humans are completely unaffected by this power.

Stone of the Slippery Snake

Manse •••
Trigger: None.

This irregularly-shaped, perfectly clear jewel does not feel quite solid, like it is nothing more than a thin membrane surrounding a blob of jiggly jelly. It is quite slippery, and very difficult to keep hold of with one's hands. When attuned, it makes the wearer just as slippery and flexible. He can easily slip out of ropes, manacles, or other restraints, and can squeeze through any opening small enough for his head to pass through. In addition, he becomes much harder to hold onto. Mechanically, this translates into an extra three dice to escape any clinch or hold.

Level 4

Gem of Memories

Manse ••••
Trigger: Concentration (Simple, extended).

This dark orb's interior is filled with shifting, dreamlike images that refuse to stay in an observer's mind for more than a few seconds. When attuned, it becomes a container for memories. The character meditates for an hour, reliving in minute detail the memory she wishes to place in the stone. As the memory unreels, it leaves her mind and enters the gem; when she is done, everything she thought of during her trance will have been completely excised from her mind. She will not be able to remember it, and neither will anyone be able to force it out of her. Those using magical interrogation or mind-reading techniques on the character will be able to notice the suspicious blank spot in her memory with a successful Intelligence + Occult roll, at a difficulty of the character's Intelligence.

The character may reclaim the memories stored in the stone by meditating with it. There is no limit to the number of memories that may be stored at a time, but it takes a solid hour of meditation to regain each one, and they are played back in reverse order; the last one stored is the first one played back. There is no way for an observer to divine the nature or content of the memories stored in the stone without very powerful magic. If the stone becomes deattuned, any memories it holds are lost forever.

[#HeartEcho] Heart-Echo Jewel

Manse ••••
Trigger: Concentration (dice action).

This clear stone looks and acts like a large drop of water with unusually high surface tension; it deforms into a dome shape when placed on a solid surface, and ripples when touched (although it is not possible to actually poke an object into the stone's interior). When attuned, it allows its bearer to perceive muted echoes of past events, the ripples which strong emotions leave in the world's ambient Essence.

Use of the stone's special power normally requires a Perception + Awareness roll. For each success scored on the roll, the character may look back one hour into the past, observing the actions of all feeling (though not necessarily thinking) beings within her range of perception. This takes the form of ghostly visions, which grow progressively fainter and more distorted the further back one looks. No objects or beings incapable of emotion can be discerned; even those beings which can be perceived are dreamlike and indistinct, their words fading from comprehension as soon as they are spoken and their appearance much more informed by their own self-image than by their actual, physical forms. Generally speaking, positively identifying such a phantom (or gleaning a solid enough picture to recognize the person who left it) requires an Intelligence + Investigation roll, at a difficulty equal to the number of hours which have passed since the echo was created (to a minimum of one).

Perceiving echoes requires close attention; doing so imposes a 2-die penalty on any rolls not directly pertaining to the echoes. However, character may choose to shut out her perception of them at any time, as a reflexive action.

Certain actions, those charged with great passion, create much stronger echoes than others. Mechanically, any action for which a Virtue was channelled is very clear, creating an echo which persists strongly for a number of weeks equal to the rating of the Virtue in question (after which time they fade at the normal rate). These echoes do not require a roll to perceive, and are difficult to ignore; the stone's user must spend a Willpower point to shut them out for a scene. The difficulty of the Investigation roll to analyze such visions is always 1.

Soulgaze Stone

Manse ••••
Trigger: Eye contact.

This murky green sphere's interior is filled with indistinct shadows. When attuned, it causes the bearer's eyes to become literal windows on his soul. Anytime he meets another person's eyes, a direct link between her innermost self and his is opened. Whenever the character makes eye contact with a being who has a soul, he immediately learns her Nature and Virtues, and gains a strong intuitive understanding of her personality and motivations, just as if he had known her since childhood. However, the target gains the exact same insights into the character's psyche.

The soulgaze is an extremely intense experience; both participants must make a Willpower check if they wish to take any action besides staring into each other's eyes. The check has a difficulty equal to the other person's permanent Essence. If one of the participants is insane, the character on the other end of the link adds 2 to the difficulty of his check. Success means that the character may take actions as normal; failure means he is paralyzed for a number of turns equal to the number of successes by which he failed. A botch means that he falls unconscious for the scene; if the other person is insane, he may also temporarily exhibit the symptoms of her derangement(s) when he regains his senses.

Spirits are considered to have souls for the purposes of this stone's power, but Fair Folk and most animals are not. Catching someone's eye is a Manipulation + Socialize roll, opposed by the target's Wits + Socialize if she is actively trying to avoid eye contact.

Stone of Diamond Tears

Manse ••••
Trigger: Crying.

This multifaceted, teardrop-shaped stone is crystal clear. When attuned, it causes tears shed in sorrow to immediately solidify into sparkling cut diamonds. The diamonds are small but flawless, and are real in every way.

This power allows the character to live as though she had Resources equal to her Compassion. This represents the amount of diamonds produced for a character who habitually weeps when upset; if the character rarely cries, the Storyteller may lower the Resources produced by the stone. Only tears of genuine sadness are affected; crocodile tears turn into tiny lumps of coal.

Stone of Victorious Submission

Manse ••••
Trigger: Closing one's eyes.

This shiny black stone seems to be composed of a layer of highly malleable material surrounding a solid, spherical core. Its bearer gains the ability to effortlessly yield to force directed at her, allowing her opponent's strength to defeat itself. This power may only be used while the character's eyes are closed, and lasts until she opens them again; however, it can only be activated once per scene.

The stone's power can be used in any opposed roll in which the character is not the aggressor. Her roll receives a number of bonus dice equal to the number of successes rolled by her opponent. This power is explicitly allowed to apply to parries, dodges, attempts to escape clinches, and other such combat actions. Rolls which receive the bonus never suffer the penalty for acting blind, although any other action the character takes will.

If used in combat, this power does not provide a free defense; it must benefit a pre-existing dodge or parry. The dice bonus can only be applied once versus a single offensive roll. Thus, if the character was attacked, she could apply the bonus to either a parry or a dodge versus that attack, but not both. Likewise, if she had a power which allowed her to reroll a failed defense, the bonus would only apply on the initial roll.

Level 5

Barnacle of Instant Success (Unintentionally inspired by Garris of the WW forum.)

Manse •••••
Trigger: Concentration and Willpower expenditure (reflexive).

This hearthstone looks just like a big, white barnacle. When attuned, it acts as an extremely potent good-luck talisman, allowing its bearer to draw upon mysterious eddies in the tide of Fate itself to insure that important tasks will be performed flawlessly.

Once per episode, the Barnacle's owner may spend a point of temporary Willpower to reduce the target number of a single roll to 2. Use of this power must be declared prior to the roll.

The most curious aspect of the Barnacle of Instant Success is also one of its most annoying: when it is placed in an artifact, it latches on and refuses to be pulled loose. Short of actually destroying the hearthstone (or artifact), it cannot be removed, even if it becomes deattuned.

Gemstone of Essence Undertow

Manse •••••
Trigger: None.

This disc-shaped hearthstone shades from blue-gray at its outer edge to pure black at the center, and bears indistinct markings that seem to swirl inward without actually moving. When attuned, it begins to exert a curious magical suction. Ambient Essence is unaffected, but Essence-channeling beings in its vicinity find that their powers require more power than usual, as the Gemstone of Essence Undertow siphons off the motes as they are spent. Mechanically, the cost of any Charm or Essence-fueled power activated within ten yards of the stone is increased by one mote. This mote is not consumed by the stone, but is passed on to its wearer; every time a Charm is activated within ten yards of him, he gains a single mote. Peripheral motes are replenished first; if the stone siphons off more motes than its bearer's Essence pool can hold, it begins to crackle and drip with moist energy as it radiates the excess motes.

The Gemstone of Essence Undertow does not distinguish between friend and foe; everyone within ten yards of it (excluding its bearer) must pay the one-mote surcharge to use their Charms.

Tear of Drowning Sorrow

Manse •••••
Trigger: Kissing (Simple).

This teardrop-shaped hearthstone is almost perfectly transparent, and is heavier than it looks. When attuned, it allows the wearer to literally drown others in grief. All she need do is kiss the victim and think of something that makes her sad; the victim's lungs will begin to fill up with salty water, choking and eventually drowning him. Pouring out her sorrows in this fashion requires the character's complete concentration, and consumes her dice action for the turn. For every turn the kiss is held, the victim suffers a number of levels of unsoakable bashing damage equal to the character's Compassion. Maintaining the kiss is resolved as a clinch; the damage inflicted replaces regular clinch damage.

Characters rendered unconscious by this power continue taking one level of bashing damage every 30 seconds until they die or the water is expelled from their lungs, as per the rules for drowning. Likewise, the damage caused by the stone's power can't be healed until the victim coughs out the water, which requires no roll but consumes his dice action for the turn.

[#TraitorsHeart] Traitor's Heart

Manse •••••
Trigger: Concentration (reflexive).

This stone appears identical to a Band of Thieves Gem (level 1). In fact, the Manse which produces it is the same one which produces Band of Thieves Gems; it won't produce any of the lesser gems until the Traitor's Heart is attuned (at which point it produces four of the lesser stones).

A Traitor's Heart counts as a Band of Thieves Gem for purposes of receiving the benefits associated with that stone. However, it also gives its bearer power over those who carry Band of Thieves Gems from its Manse. He is always aware of the exact position of anyone carrying such a gem; with slight concentration, he can eavesdrop on any conversations they have. Anyone enjoying benefits from a Band of Thieves Gem also takes a two-die penalty on any roll taken in opposition to the bearer of the Traitor's Heart.

As a reflexive action, the bearer of the Traitor's Heart can cause a Band of Thieves Gem to siphon motes from its bearer and transfer them to him; the number of motes stolen is equal to his permanent Essence. If used against a target without an Essence pool, she suffers one level of unsoakable bashing damage (the bearer of the Traitor's Heart still regains motes). This power can only be used once per turn on any given Band of Thieves Gem. The stolen motes are routed through the Manse before passing to the Traitor's Heart; to the target, and anyone watching with Essence sight, it will appear that the motes are being drained by the Band of Thieves Gem itself.

Finally, the character can reflexively cause a Band of Thieves Gem to shatter. This causes the artifact (if any) in which the lesser gem is set to become deattuned, and destroys any other hearthstones set in that artifact. If the bearer of the Band of Thieves Gem is currently attempting an action, that action automatically botches. In order for this latter effect to apply, use of the Traitor's Heart must be declared before the action is rolled.

If a Traitor's Heart ever becomes deattuned, it acts just like a Band of Thieves Gem, including the ability to be used without attunement. If it is destroyed or rendered inert, all Band of Thieves Gems from its Manse suffer the same fate.