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The fifteenth theme is Journeys into the Underworld.

Shadowland Lodestone (Quendalon)

 Abyssal Aspected
 Manse •
 Trigger: Concentration

This opaque, lozenge-shaped stone is a dull gray, shading to black at one end and white at the other. If the owner holds the stone and concentrates, he can determine the direction and distance to the nearest shadowland. This power functions both in Creation and in the Underworld.

The Labyrinth's Heart (Moxiane)

 Abyssal Aspected
 Manse ••
 Trigger: Automatic

This roughly-shaped stone appears to have been carved from haematite (bloodstone), and those who hold onto it for any length of time will often feel it beat in their grasp. Careful examination of its surface reveals an infinitely complex, and ever-changing, pattern of light and dark, that resembles an endless maze. The Labyrinth's Heart grants the attuned Exalt a +2 bonus to all rolls to navigate the Labyrinth that lurks beneath the Underworld, as well as halving the cumulative penalty this act requires.

The Fabric Key - Telgar

 Alchemically Aspected
 Manse: •••
 Trigger: Concentration

Taking the form of a raw-iron cylinder four inches long with a single rough protuberance at the end this Hearthstone functions as a key between worlds. In places where the fabric of Creation is weak such as uncapped Demesnes (especially Abyssal, Infernal or Alchemically aspected demesnes), Shadowlands and Wyld Zones, this Stone transforms any doorway into a passage to another realm. The Underworld can automatically be accessed and such is the most apparent function of this stone. However with an Intelligence + Larceny roll (difficulty 5) it is possible to enter Malfeas, Yu-Shan or Autocthon. Travellers appear at the corresponding location to the doorway in the Underworld, but are placed randomly in Autocthon or Malfeas. Travellers to Yu-Shan appear at one of the normal Gates. Once in Malfeas or Autocthon, the Stone can transform any doorway in those places to a portal back into Creation. However doing so will destroy the stone. It will reform normally at its Manse and the traveller will return to Creation at the location he exited.

Pearl of the Heir - FourWillowsWeeping

Sidereal Manse: ••••
Trigger: Concentration

This black sphere is about the size of a grape; its glossy, translucent layers reflect light in the deep, diaphanous manner of a fine black pearl.

By concentrating for several moments, the bearer can determine if any of his blood relations is dead. If so, he also learns whether or not this relation has a ghost, and what course ofaction would lead him into meeting with this ghost.

The Pearl of the Heir loses this ability when set into soulsteel; the soulforged ghosts alloyed into it interfere with its Essence-tracking abilities.

Ghost-Stepping Sphere (Will)

 Abyssal Aspected
 Manse •••••
 Trigger: Concentration

This is a jet-black sphere that faintly crackles with eldritch lightning and smells of a charnel house when activated. The Ghost-Stepping Sphere can target any ghost within fifty feet of the attuned Exalt that its wielder can percieve, and instantly paralyze it, rendering the ghost helpless and immobile. Then, by using the dark power within the sphere, the Exalt can twist the paralyzed ghost into the shape of a circular portal.

This process takes about fifteen seconds, and is extremely painful for the ghost, as it finds its structure entirely rearranged through brute force. At the end, the Exalt can step through the ghost-portal and out of another ghost of similar type. There is a lag of another fifteen seconds as the second ghost is paralyzed and shaped. This mode of transportation can take the wielder from Creation to the Underworld or vice versa, but does not work on two ghosts of differing types, Ghost-Bloods, or Deathlords. After being used, the two ghost-portals gradually reform into their natural forms in roughly the same time it took them to transform.


New relay started! --TedPro

I think my Hearthstone may deserve a level 4, but I'm not sure. It doesn't do anything really spectacular other then let you enter Autocthon. Everything else can already be done, the stone just lets you do it a bit easier.

- Telgar
You don't think that the ability to enter Yu-Shan from a wide variety of easily accessible places is spectacular? Consider that this isn't some Sidereal-only power; this stone will allow even the Dragon-Blooded to access Heaven or Hell. This is particularly an issue for Solars, who would normally have much more difficulty getting into Yu-Shan, and can wreak extraordinary havoc there. - Quendalon

Note that you go to Yu-Shan. That is all. You appear, without warning or permission, at a Gateway. A guarded gateway. You have all the same problems of actually ENTERING Yu-Shan as any other tresspasser. Celestial lions, stonedogs, scarab guards, whatever. The stone offers ONLY a doorway, nothing else.- Telgar

If a Solar who wants to get into Heaven can't earn himself an instant honor guard of Celestial Lions with a couple of simple social Charms, he has no business being there in the first place.  :) - Quendalon
Trips to Yu-Shan seem pretty easy. Convince an Essence 3 Spirit to take you, and you're there. --TedPro

I think Celestial Lions have immunity to mind-altering effects (or really high success rolls) that contradict their duty. So it'd be rather hard to sway them. Anyway, if they can do it from the Stone, they can do it from a Gateway. Gateways aren't exactly uncommon. - Telgar

I quite like the Fabric Key... but it gives me terrible, terrible Deja Vu. It was not Fated to be here, or now. From whence did it come? (Other than that, I like it, and agree it's balanced. Going to Autocthon probably makes you appear in the gateway as well, though.)
-- Darloth

On the Fabric Key: what precisely triggers the destruction effect, and does it require a "round-trip" use of the Key? (For example, say you used it to return to Creation after going to the Underworld, Malfeas, Yu-Shan, or Autochthon by another means, or that you managed to leave one of them by your own power after using the Key to get there. Does it still shatter?) Also, just how many Infernal-Aspected or Alchemical-Aspected Demesnes are there in Creation, anyway? -- AntiVehicleRocket

First: the Key is destroyed when it is used to create a portal to Creation from Autochthon or Malfeas.
Second: As many as you want there to be. I like em.
- Telgar

So it can be used for basically unlimited travel to Yu-Shan and the Underworld? I'd be inclined to make this level 4, since even if you just get placed at the gateway, that's big mojo.) Also, Demesnes that channel Essence not of Creation (or the Underworld, for Abyssal manses) sort of weird me out and seem inappropriate, IMHO. -- AntiVehicleRocket

It can be used for unlimited travel to Autocthon or Malfeas too, if you have a way back out. If you don't, you have to break the Stone. Leaving Heaven or the Underworld is actually possible with relative ease, so the stone makes no provision for that. As for Infernal and Alchemical Demesnes..how are they different from Celestial or Abyssal? Those aren't Essences of Creation. They're of Heaven or the Underworld. Abyssal Demesnes are especially good evidence. And I believe Infernal and Alchemical Demesnes are mentioned in Savant and Sorcerer. - Telgar

My take on Alchemical Manses is that they are Essence Processing Facilities put into place by the Locust Crusade to supply the Alchemical Exalted with that most basic and critical of resources. As such, anyone but an Alchemical Exalt being attuned to a level 3 Alchemical Manse and possessing its Hearthstone had better have a good explanation and will have a significant enemy. I don't expect that Creation has any naturally-occurring Alchemical Demesnes, but with suitable expertise and resources an Alchemical Manse could be built on a differently-aspected Demesne. -Ben-San

Pearl of the Heir is a very good plot-generating item, as is the Book of Questions. Excellent work! - Quendalon

Thanks! I've been on a Poirot mysteries kick, and I've been thinking about how to implement that kind of thing in games. Exciting! - w

There's my idea. I thought it'd be neat to have an Underworld-travelling Hearthstone that let you walk through ghosts, and it seems very Abyssal. - Will

When you finish a relay, archive and choose a new theme. _Ikselam