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The thirty-third theme is War

The Exalted were created for war. The Primordial War, the Usurpation, and many lesser struggles have defined the face of creation, including the way its essence has been tapped. These hearthstones may be more useful than their original purpose, but the design of each was for warfare.

Hearthstone</b> by Author

<b>? Aspect, Manse •

Scout's Eye</b> by Telgar

<b>Water Aspect, Manse •
Trigger: Concentration

A person attunted to this small blue and white sphere can tell the intentions of those approaching him by concentrating upon them. With a successful reflexive Perception + Socialize roll the character can tell if anyone approaching him means him harm. Only Charms and other effects that hide intentions or give surprise effects can overcome this effect. No mortal nor unprepared Exalted can take the character by surprise so long as the character can see them.

Eye of Valor</b> by JohnBiles

<b>Fire Aspect, Manse • •
Trigger: Mass Combat

This faceted red gemstone must be set into something which will allow it to be elevated above those it will aid; often it is set into a socket in the unit's colors. When the unit moves into mass combat, it raises the morale, drill, and Valor of the unit by one, so long as the unit does not retreat; should it do so, its powers fail until the next battle.

Sifu Bamboo Arms by willows

Wood Manse •••
Trigger: Inserting a body part

This loosely-woven, expandable bamboo sphere can have various body parts inserted inside it. When a severed body part is inserted into the sphere, it expands into a full-featured, fully-armed simulacrum of him, which duplicates all his Traits and war-oriented Charms. (Assume all Charms attached to mass-combat Traits.) The simulacrum's Motivation is to destroy and usurp the position of his duplicate. If his duplicate survives the scene, then the simulacrum reverts to the sphere shape. If the simulacrum successfully usurps him, then it takes his place, and within a week, is identical to the deceased in every way. The stone begins to reform at the Manse when the week is up.

Loyal troops are unable to distinguish between the original and the simulacrum.

Heart of the Blood God (Ikselam)

Fire Manse 4
Trigger: Mass combat.

This blood-red orb resembles a huge uncut ruby; when active, it sizzles and rattles in its setting, seethes with currents of inner fire, and leaks trickles of scalding-hot blood. In this state, it absorbs the energy of conflict and strife, using it to empower its owner with a consuming lust for war.

The gem activates whenever its user enters large-scale battle (i.e., mass-combat rules are used). For the duration of the battle, whenever his unit takes or deals damage, he gains a number of motes equal to the number of post-soak damage dice rolled. These motes can only refill his peripheral pool, cannot increase his pool beyond its normal maximum, and all count toward his anima display.

It is difficult for the user of this hearthstone to withdraw from battle, even if he is losing. Retreating requires him to spend a point of Willpower; if his troops are not actively routing when he does this, the stone explodes in a cloud of blood and fire (but will afterward reform at its Manse as normal).

Disorientation and Assimilation Stone by Madoka

Earth Manse •••••
Trigger: A battle taking place

This oval stone is solid red with black veins passing through its entirety. Nothing is more devastating to an enemy force but to turn on its own during a battle. This stone grabs hold of the enemies forces and brings them under its sway. The wearer of this stone makes a Manipulation+War roll vs. the unit leaders Charisma+War. If the bearer of this stone wins, there can be various affects. If only more successful by 1 or 2 successes, the drill of the enemy is reduced by 2 for the rest of the battle and they lose a long action based on being confused and disoriented. They are questioning who is there enemy. If the wearer scored 3 to 4 net successes then the enemy unit turns on itself. Half of the unit will reduce its drill and morale by 2. The second half will think that the first half is an enemy and will think of them as the enemy for the next 4 battle actions. Then they will revert back to normal, but with their drill and morale now reduced by 2 for the rest of the battle. If five or more successes are scored, utter devestation occurs. For the rest of the battle that unit will continue to fight itself. Both halves of that unit immediately have their morale and drill reduced by 2. They will only fight themselves until the other unit is destroyed. Once one half is victorious over its other half, they revert back to normal, but with their drill and morale at 1.


I'm sorry, DBS, but I'm not really seeing how that's a level 1 hearthstone. It's just a flashlight. Any Exalted can do that for 1 mote, not one WP and it really isnt even as good as their anima-flash. I don't think flashlights get to be worth a background dot. Maybe if the light DID something... I also wonder if my stone might not need to be level 1. - Telgar

Well, I can always cut out mine from this Relay and sub in yours instead. Hell, might as well. I'll move it to Hearthstones/DeathBySurfeit. As a thought, perhaps the difficulty of the Per + Soc roll for the scout's eye be raised to the target's Essence? This would make it more fitting of a level one hearthstone...DeathBySurfeit

I sort of feel that the fact that any magical concealment defeats it covers that. If you have Essence higher then 1, use a Charm. - Telgar
Your current wording does make this effect "near-perfect unless countered." Then again, all it does is reveal hostile intent, and 9 times out of 10 that's easy to tell without it (huge armored infantry column marching on your position, man whose wife you just slept with holding knife, etc). This is a Hearthstone for the 10th situation: the guy who is pretending to be friendly. Yet revealing hostile intent doesn't show you where he's keeping his dagger, or whether he has a poison needle under his fingernail. I think this may be a limited enough effect for this level of perfection to be appropriate. - IanPrice

Willows, what exactly is SBA supposed to do? What is the simulacrum like in the week following the fulfillment of its Motivation? Why does it only last for a scene if it does not succeed? What is it intended to accomplish? ~WillCoon, what am I missing?

What do people usually do when they fulfil their Motivation? They find a new one. How would you use a sngle-minded madman whose only purpose in life is to destroy a person identical to him in any important way? - willows
If my reading is correct, I have a single scene before my madman turns back into a wicker ball, no? Or does he have a scene after meeting the original? Well, in either case, it seems what one would do is destroy the original. But what's the point? To what extreme am I supposed to interpret "identical... in every way"? Does it remain indebted to you if you helped fulfil its original motivation? Does it not gain the original's memories or personality? ~WillCoon, because replacing someone with an exact copy seems a little limited in use.
Don't think of it as replacing a person. That's the stupid result. The smart result is when you use the scene of instability to do something. The stone only provides opportunity, not action. - willows
Would you provide an example of its use as intended? That would probably clear things up...DeathBySurfeit
It's basicly your classic "evil twin upsurper" plot in a HS. Well, actually it does seem to replace someone, as 1) It cost an arm or a leg. So, the original is missing one. (You can also bring someone back from the dead with it. Which seems odd. Or as a really wacky way of repairing limb loss). 2)I think willows is saying you can use the period while they battle their duplicate to do something. Although, that isn't that usefull as you have to aquire a severed limb in the first place to use it. I mean, if you can sever their limb, you can probably deal with them well enough without the simulcrum. -FlowsLikeBits,oddest hearthstone EVAR
See, it only takes a little bit of thinking to come up with all kinds of uses for it. - willows
Condescension is neither polite nor useful, willows. I believe it was a simple request to address questions that even FlowsLikeBits's suggestions don't cover (whilst they mention many uses, he has also been acute enough to identify crucial flaws with each). If you're going to take the time to comment, please do so constructively as opposed to simply insulting people...DeathBySurfeit
Perhaps you misunderstand; I am complimenting FlowsLikeBits. Please try to think better of people! - willows
Sorry, I seem to have misconstrued the edit note 'little grey cells', likely due to previous experience. My apologies if I was wrong...DeathBySurfeit
Hey, no harm done, right? Maybe it helps to point out that I am fond of Hercule Poirot, who ascribes his success to a good relationship with his desaturated friends. - willows
I can think of several uses for it. One could actually social-fu the duplicates spirit to make it loyal to you, and then send if after the original. Gotta be quick though. Personally, I'd relax the restriction on how much of a "sample" you need(perhaps fresh hairs, or something), and say it doesn't work on people who are deceased. As is, it's hard to use against PC's, as you have chop off their limb, similary, this makes it difficult to use. (Although I can see an Abyssal with a combo making Kirk fights. ) -FlowsLikeBits, there are probably others. I'm ok with the level as it's kinda specialized

I didn't really like this stone when Shreyas talked about the idea in WoDIRC and I don't like it even more now I see it fully written up. Because of how nonspecific "severed body part" is, you could create a replica of a First Age Solar General with a pinkie bone. Or a tuft of hair, a bit of skin. Anything "severed". It doesn't require an eye or a limb or something. And bloody HELL would I like having a First Age Solar General on my side, even for a week. Or on ANY side since I could aim him like a tacnuke even if he wouldn't work for or with me. That stone, basically, is just a Cloning Chamber and that's way too damn strong for level 3 Hearthstones. I'm not even sure it follows general rules since it lets you cheat death in a way. It's certainly willows-broke and not in a good way. - Telgar

Except that your strategy wouldn't even begin to work, because First Age General Dude would obsessively try to kill and usurp his original, fail because the original is already gone and has no existence to usurp, and revert to sphere shape at the end of the scene. There's really no way to "use" the duplicate, if you couldn't already effectively use the original.
~ Shataina
Whilst I was reluctant to join this debate, I feel I have something to add; willows stated that "What do people usually do when they fulfil their Motivation? They find a new one." in his response to questions about the hearthstone, which would suggest that the returned Dude would likely find a new purpose rather than simply go poof...DeathBySurfeit
Dude's function is to take over the existence of his original. If his original is dead or nonexistent, his Motivation is to become dead or nonexistent. That's if you count his original as successfully being dead; if you don't, Dude automatically fails to kill him and becomes sphere-thing at the end of the scene, like I said. Either way, no more Dude.
~ Shataina
Ah, I hadn't inferred that. My bad...DeathBySurfeit

Completely unrelated to other people's comments, since I don't think the effect is unbalanced for 3 background dots in either direction (strong or weak)... I don't think this is a Hearthstone. Hearthstones are essence jewels that give you some kind of resonance effect based on their composition, almost always when set into a hearthstone socket. This is not that. This is an Artifact which clones people and then replaces them with a somewhat confused version of themselves. - IanPrice

Well, yes, that too. - Telgar
I agree. When I first read it, I found myself wondering how big this thing was. It shouldn't be a Hearthstone, really. - Trithne
It's loosely woven. Thus, can be expanded as needed. I have clarified the description accordingly. - willows
Even so, this thing's an Artifact. In willows Exalted, it might be a Hearthstone. But I doubt you could get anyone else to agree given the definition of a Hearthstone in the books. Why's it go in a socket if it unravels to form the clone? Does this affect the manse? Can I kill the simulacrum by tampering with the manse to make the Hearthstone explode? Do I get any benefit from having it sitting in my Hearthstone slot? As far as I can see, you've made this a Hearthstone for portability above all other reasons. - Trithne
If nothing will shut you up except discussing the Hearthstone-identity of this item, it's because Mr. Potato Head does not make a good Artifact. And it certainly wasn't inspired by ArtifactRelay. - willows
"a resonant hearthstone has a beneficial effect on the Exalt who carries it." I assume that's what you mean by the definition of hearthstones as presented by the books, Trithne, since the rest of the definition is little more than "a crystal of pure magic". Sounds more than vague enough to me to justify almost any application, including this one. I guess you could say that it's weird cos it doesn't get put in a setting, but I do seem to recall previous examples of other Hearthstones that don't do that (e.g. Oathstones ... I can't remember what they're from, CasteBook Eclipse maybe?). You could try to make more specific arguments about Hearthstone-applicability based on existent canon hearthstones, like IanPrice did ... for that, see what I said below. In the end, I think this is a pretty interesting and creative approach; if you're looking for someone who'll agree that it could be a Hearthstone, you've found one. It's not an average or normal one, but why else do we go to the Relays?
~ Shataina
Mr Potato Head doesn't make a great Hearthstone either, Willows. - Telgar
So your idea behind Hearthstones, IanPrice, is that ... they are themselves composed in such a way that expresses certain principles, and attunement reflects that mineral/magical composition in their bearers? That's interesting. I hadn't considered it that way. I'm not convinced it's backed up by canon, though. What about Hearthstones that have effects upon themselves rather than the bearer, like the Gem of Day's Light (2E core 384), which glows when you focus on it? Or Hearthstones that blatantly affect the outside world on a wide scale and the user not at all, like that one whose name I forget that causes utter darkness for miles (Book of Three Circles maybe)?
~ Shataina
PS. What inspired the imagery for this stone, willows? I really like it, and it sounds familiar.
Mr. Potato Head. Seriously. It's a potato. - willows
I believe the line of reasoning was that whilst there's nothing that states that this effect could not possibly stem from a hearthstone (there's nothing to say it couldn't be a Charm, say), if your common-or-garden ST was approached by a player wanting something with this effect, he would likely say "sure, that's a level 3 artifact." And I would stand by IanPrice's assertions as to the general nature of hearthstones; whilst exceptions exist in canon, I would consider it good form to follow precedent rather than join a minority of exceptions; such makes the resultant item far more likely to be agreed upon for use in player groups...DeathBySurfeit
I don't think it's productive to hold relay items to any standards of quality or thematic appropriateness. The whole point of the game is to just spew out stuff as fast as possible, without really caring too much about whether or not it's the kind of thing you'd ever see printed in an official product. Like much of willows' stuff, this stone is not something I'd ever use, but I'm sure there's some guy out there, right now, going, "Mr. Potato Head as a hearthstone!? Brilliant!" _Ikselam
Gee, Roger, I'm so glad that you could find time in your busy day to be snarky and insulting. - willows
Nothing I said up there was sarcastic in any way. The stone's not something I'd use, but I'm sure there are people who would, and I don't think it's reasonable to criticize it for not behaving like a "canonical" hearthstone. _Ikselam
Fair enough. I hope, though, that it's clear how "you shouldn't care if things are good or not", "spew as fast as you can", etc. could easily be read as a dismissal of this whole activity and everyone that participates in it. - willows
I could have sworn Sifu Bamboo Arms was something to do with Mokujin, but now the name makes a lot of sense when tied to Mr. Potato-Head. I like the idea, for what it's worth, Hearthstone-ness or no. - DeadManSeven
Ikselam's totally on the ball about the appropriateness thing ... I mean, there's no point in discouraging people from submitting by jumping on them for hypothetical incorrectness; one of the things that killed the Lexicon was the fact that people didn't want to deal with the constant, inevitable corrections necessary to keep the whole thing consistent. Why bother when the very idea of correctness here changes from person to person? People can agree on general balance considerations, normally; stuff like this, they can't, so leave it out. And nothing is going to be appropriate for all player groups. Not even canon. (As demonstrated by Sidereals. :P)

More generally, DeathBySurfeit, one of the big reasons -- for some, the BIGGEST reason -- authors bother to write those exceptions in the first place is to give players an idea of what kind of things they can do. Partly because "follow precedent" doesn't mean "ignore the exceptions and go by the rigid definition", it means "try to figure out a theory that explains the exceptions, too, and use that theory as your precedent". If we had a law of gravity that stated, "Everything falls down no matter what," would you say that there was "no precedent" for, say, helium balloons rising, just because they'd be the exception to a rigidly-stated rule?
~ Shataina
No, but then that isn't an accurate analogy of the line of argument that I was attempting to clarify in my former post. I really don't mind what people contribute, and have done my best to remain neutral throughout the debate, only asking for clarification or expanding upon other people's points as necessary. If it appears that I have taken a side, this is because I wished to promote further elucidation from the other, in the interest of productive debate. I only chimed in on this instance because argument was re-opened after the theme was archived, and I thought that I could provide answers to your questions in the intermediary period before the original contributors could get back to you. That said, I appreciate your reasoning and will be doubly sure to avoid giving feedback that could be construed as criticism to involved parties in future, especially if this kind of behaviour is what has stifled previous projects...DeathBySurfeit

I started off writing the hearth stone I posted above. But then I thought, well it seems more powerful than a lvl 4, so it got bumped to a lvl 5. I am sorry if I broke the sacred order. Madoka