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Acharon, the August Ensemble of God-Slaying Design
- Foreword: This Artifact is a large construct which comes to be when several other, lesser constructs are brought together under the power of another. Acharon doesn't exist unless the helm, plate, gauntlets, scabbard and cloak are all brought together under the unifying power of the amulet. While each artifact has its own rating, Acharon itself has an Artifact rating of N/A, due to its awesome power.
- Following are the descriptions of each of the six Artifacts that make this awesome construct, and following that a description of the construct as a whole, with the augmented and additional powers that each of the Artifacts grant when everything is synchronized.
Dessen, The Helm
- Artifact: 1
- Commitment: 2 motes
- This helm of First Age design is made completely of orichalcum. Round at the top and covering the wearer's head from nose-level up, it possesses two foot-long horns that spike out from either side which provide the necessary flow of Essence for the helm to function properly.
- When attuned, the helm grants the wearer the ability to interact on a communicative level with dematerialized spirits. Physical contact isn't possible with only the powers of this wonder, but the Exalt will be able to see and hear spirits without any trouble. She can still tell the difference between materialized and dematerialized beings, however.
Abalios, The Gauntlets
- Artifact: 2
- Commitment: 5 motes
- Two large gauntlets made of pure orichalcum dating all the way back to the First Age, Abalios are bigger than the average fighting gauntlets. They stretch half-way up the wearer's forearms, and possess intricate carvings of sun-borne beings. A large sun-burst design can be seen on the palms of each gauntlet.
- The Exalt attuned and wearing the gauntlets can now physically interact with dematerialized beings with her hands, which is the limitation of these wonders' powers. Only the hands and forearms (that covered by the gauntlets) are able to affect the dematerialized essence, and only they can be affected by dematerialized beings (i.e. the Exalt cannot kick dematerailized spirits, only the hands can affect and be affected).
- Additionally, the character gains all the benefits of wearing fighting gauntlets, including blocking Lethal attacks without Charm or Stunt and delivering Lethal damage. The gauntlets allow the Solar to possess a much stronger grip as well, augmenting the difficulty for any opponent to escape her grasp by 2, and decreasing the difficulty for the Exalt to loose hold of something (such as a weapon or a ledge) by 2 as well. The gauntlets are preternaturally light, and provide more power considerable power to attacks. A hearthstone setting is available on the left gauntlet, should the Solar have a stone he may wish to attune to.
- Exalted Combat: Spd +4, Acc +1, Dmg +4L, Def +4, Min. Str 3*
- Power Combat: Spd +1, Acc +2, Dmg +6L, Def +3, Rate 5, Min. Str 3*
- * These stats are with the Magical Material bonus.
Colapsis, The Articulated Plate
- Artifact: 4
- Commitment: 8 motes
- Colapsis is a large, complex suit of armor. Guarding from the shins to the shoulders, including the arms. A chain hauberk makes most of the armor, with platers covering each large section, interlocking and closing so as to provide maximum protection. Made from pure orichalcum, the armor is incredibly resilient, and shines golden under any light.
- Exalted bearing this armor find that not only do they benefit from the physical protection the armor itself grants, but also another powerful effect, directly linked to the amount of power they invest in their current magical endeavours. When the Solar's anima banner begins to manifest, the armor forces it within itself, supressing the emanating brilliance and channeling into an incredible power, pushing it forth in a shape unlike the usual.
- Once the Exalt begins burning his anima banner, instead of the bonfire that typical surrounds the character, a spherical, golden nimbus corruscates around the Exalt, shimmering sporadically and generating an all encompassing field of protective energy. The anima-field functions as a shield around the character, raising the difficulty to strike the Solar by 1 for every 3 motes spent, to a maximum of the Exalt's Resistance Ability. This additional protection rises everytime the Exalt spends mote (to the limit mentioned above).
- As an explosive bonus, when the Solar spends enough motes so that her anima would become iconic, the armor finds that it cannot hold the full power of the burning banner. The result is a brilliant exumation of power as the essence that would be the iconic banner bursts forth and strengthens the shield, expanding brilliantly in a spherical shape. The force field becomes both solid and immaterial at the same time, and extremely powerful. The shield expands out in a radius around the Exalt of her Essence x 5 in yards. Anyone hit by this sudden expansion is tossed back a number of yards equal to the Solar's (Essence x 10) - target's Resistance. This functions as automatic knockback, and knockback damage (should the target hit something) is determined as normal. Any other Solar Exalted in the vicinity are not tossed back. Instead, they gain a temporary shield that lasts a number of turns equal to their Essence, and raises the difficulty to all attacks against them by their Resistance score halved (rounded up).
- This effect only occurs the first time that the character's anima would go iconic in a scene, but not afterwards, should the Solar continue spending motes.
- Statistics: Soak 16B/16L, Mobility Penalty -3, Fatigue 2, Hardness 5*
- * These stats are with the Magical Material bonus.
- In addition to the amazing anima-flux powers of the plate, there is a hearthstone setting on the chest of the armor. Hearthstones placed in that setting may not have a level greater than 3.
Subilaue, the Cloak
- Artifact: 3
- Commitment: 3 motes
- Oddly shaped for a cloak, Subilaue is made of large patches of orichalcum threaded cloths. The merge together in odd patterns that shift as the cape itself does. It covers the wearer's shoulders and is large enough to close around the entire body; it stretches all the way to the ground, and ends in seperated strands of golden orichalcum sown cloths.
- A Solar wearing the cloak can expect a somewhat limited scope of effects. The cloak was designed, primarily, to allow for an easier time in battle, helping with the problems that the heavy and cumbersome armor generate. While wearing the cloak, the character gains an additional 5 to her movement rate; this is more of a side effect.
- The actual use of the cloak's powers are the complete and utter negation of Mobility Penalties and Fatigue induced by any armor, as the cloak comes alive and pushes, shifts and aids the Exalt in all ways possible, pushing off the ground and almost imperceptibly cradling sections of the armor to lighten the weight. Characters attuned to the cloak ignore Mobility Penalties and Fatigue completely.
Harenos, the Scabbard
- Artifact: 3
- Commitment: 6 motes
- Sewn together of orichalcum, this scabbard is a beatiful artifact, created with extreme care so as not to have its beauty be lost every time it subtly alters its shape to accomodate different weapons. It can be hung on the wearer's back or waist, and will lighten any heavy load placed inside it.
- A Solar can keep any sort of weapon within the scabbard. It is maleable and can make slight alterations to fit any weapon that is relatively straight (swords, hammers, clubs, sledges; but not chakrams, bows, etc) that are at least a foot in length. Position depending on the scabbard's relative shape, it possesses a hearthstone setting; however, the stone may not be of a level greater than 2.
- When an Exalt unsheathes the weapon from the scabbard, it begins to slowly sing a lilting tune. This song, which everyone can hear, only affects the Exalt. Its soft lull quickly becomes a strong, vibrant song that emanates from the Exalt herself, fortifying her soul and morality and making every aspect of her virtuosity perfect. While the song is in effect (until the weapon is resheathed) the character does not need to make Virtue tests, regardless of what happens that would normally cause them.
Qwinan, the Amulet
- Artifact: 5
- Commitment: 1 (20 when unifying the armor)
- Though completely innocuous as far as amulets go, this one has amazing powers. In addition to functioning as a normal Hearthstone Amulet made from orichalcum, and adding 2 to the speed at which Essence is regained, the amulet is the key piece in bringing together the other powerful artifacts that make the legendary armor what it is said to be.
- The amulet has the power to, when all the artifacts are worn and attuned in conjunction with it itself, to not only bring them all under its powerful sycnhronizing effect, but also elevate the incredible power of the artifacts to their next level, making available the more powerful effects of each wonder. The commitment of motes is eliminated an replaced by an all encompassing commitment rating that the amulet governs: 20 motes, and in addition, for the synchronization to be complete, a hearthstone of at least level 3 (2 if Solar aspected) must be placed in the amulet so as to help power the various enchantments; the Solar loses access to the powers inherent to the stone when it is used to power the synchronization. Finally, any Charms that affect armor (such as Hauberk-Summoning Gesture, or Golden Sun's Sheathing) are applicable to all parts of the Artifact except Qwinan, and when unified, the character may choose not to affect Subilaue and/or Harenos. Any weapon sheathed within Harenos is not affected even if the sheath is.
The Unified Design
- When the five wonders come together under the sixth, the amulet, Acharon is born. It is an artifact of unimaginable power, not only because it makes available all the powers from the original six wonders, but unlocks more powerful effects that can open many doors in the Exalted's adventures. These powers are only available when the armor is completely synchronized.
- Synchronizing the entire armor requires that Qwinan, the Amulet, possess a hearthstone of level 3 (2 if Solar aspected) or greater and that the character spend at least a full day wearing the entire ensemble, carefully attuning to each part, combining the parts seperately, and finally bringing it all to a peak. Each of the seperate artifacts gifts the bearer with an additional power or an improved version of the previous one. Hearthstone level restrictions on the artifacts no longer apply once the entire ensemble has been unified.
- If the Exalt is a Solar (which is the most logical, considering the astronomical attunement costs for non-Solars), Qwinan, the Amulet, once Acharon is fully synchronized, sinks into the Exalted's skin, the chain that holds it disappearing and only the amulet showing as a golden circle attached to the character's skin. This prevents theft, as it becomes a part of the Solar, and can only be taken off by the Exalt himself. Taking the armor off without having to re-synchronize the entire thing when putting it on again is possible. All the Solar has to do is not take Qwinan off. If the Amulet is removed, the entire armor must be re-synchronized.
- As an unexpected bonus, Qwinan also grants the powers of the other artifacts that are not directly related to combat, even if the character is only wearing the Amulet. He can still use the helmet's full powers, is immune to Virtue checks thanks to the Scabbard, and can access any of the spirit abilities current absorbed by Colapsis (though she does not benefit of the animus shield or actual armor protection).
Dessen, The Helm
- The higher power of the helm improves upon its previous one, allowing the Solar to not only perceive and communicate with dematerialized beings, but also to see the actual Essence flows of the world around him. Dragon-tracks, Demesne and Manse fluctuations, dematerialized beings, Charm activation and origins, enchantments, etc. With a sufficiently difficulty, the Exalt can even roll to determine the origins and ancestry (or descendence) of certain beings such as demons, god-blooded, and other spirits.
Abalios, The Gauntlets
- The gauntlets also improve on their previous power. When in conjunction with the rest of the ensemble, Abalios allows the character to switch from Lethal to Aggravated damage when attacking dematerialized beings. In addition, whether the spirit is material or not, killing a spirit with the powers of the gauntlets, whether through the gauntlets themselves or a weapon wielded while wearing them, completely destroys the spirit, banishing it from existence forever (see the higher power of Colapsis for related effects). The Exalt can switch from lethal to Aggravated for a mote, and do so as many times in a scene as he possesses points of permanent Essence.
Colapsis, The Articulated Plate
- Directly related to the powers of Abalios, the Gauntlets, Colapsis' secondary power relies on the Solar's ability to destroy spirits. Once a spirit has been permanently killed, the plate absorbs the remaining Essence from the discorporated spirit and incorporates it into the Exalt's anima. Depending on the spirit type (ghost, Fair Folk, demon, god, or elemental) absorbed, the Exalt gains different abilities that can be used in different situations. Only one type of power can be possessed at the same time.
- The Exalt can choose not to absorb the life-essence of a spirit he slays, effectively obliterating all traces of the spirit for all time. The Exalt can also choose to end any and all benefits gained from the absorption of a spirit at any time. Colapsis continues to afford the original powers as well when unified.
- Elementals: The character who absorbs the Essence of an elemental after obliterating it gains two advantages directly related to the elemental's aspect. Immunity from that element, and the ability to manipulate and control it (as per the effects of the spirit Charm Affinity Element Control). The latter (elemental control) lasts for a number of days equal to the character's Essence, while the immunity is semi-permanent, lasting until another type of spirit is absorbed into the plate.
- Demons: Upon absorbing the obliterated Essence of a Demon, the Solar gains not only an obscuring effect upon his personal Fate, but also status within the demonic hierarchy. The Exalt will be, for an amount of days equal to his Essence, be considered a demon of the same Circle as the one he absorbed, and will be able to command and treat other demons as if he were. Whenever a Yozi attempts to see the character for what he really is, the player rolls Stealth + Essence. The difficulties for this roll to successfully defend the guise from the Yozi's perception vary depending on the Circle he is emulating (First Circle is difficulty 2, Second Circle is difficulty 4, and Third Circle is difficulty 6).
- Additionally, as a semi-permanent effect lasting until another spirit-type is absorbed, the character is considered to be completely outside of Fate.
- Fae: When a Fair Folk is absorbed, the Exalt gains an assimilation with the Wyld that most Exalted cannot acquire. The Exalt can corrupt the patterns of a being's existence by inflicting the touch of the Wyld upon them; he can do this a number of times equal to his Essence. The Exalt spends 5 motes of Essence; he inflicts his Essence in dice of unsoakable aggravated damage on any creature of object he can see. This damage cannot be blocked or dodged, but is useless against the dead or characters immune or shielded from the effects of the Wyld.
- Additionally, the character gains complete and total immunity to the warping effects of the Wyld until another type of spirit is absorbed into the plate (this ability adds half the Exalt's essence to all difficulties on using Shaping Combat on him).
- Ghosts: Absorbing a ghost provides the character with two precious abilities. For a number of days equal to his Essence, the character's attacks drain Essence from his targets at the rate of (half his Essence, rounded up) per successful attack (i.e. attacks that do at least one level of damage). Additionally, the character can regain Essence as normal while in the Underworld until a different type of spirit is absorbed into the plate.
- Gods: A Solar who absorbs the life-essence of a God gains more than a few simple abilities. Upon absorbing the god, the Exalt actually replaces the god in the Celestial Hierarchy. For all intents and purposes, for a number of days equal to the Exalted's Essence rating, the Solar is the god in question. This does not mean that the Solar gains any spirit Charms, but he does acquire the ability to travel to Yu-Shan as an Essence 3+ spirit can innately do (and does not need to be immaterial to do so), the god's Cult rating, and nominal "ownership" of the god's domain (though no magical control over it). Storytellers and players should keep in mind that, once the effects of this power are over, the character can (and depending on the power level of the god, will) be audited for impersonating a god. This is a Severity 2 offense.
- Additionally, while the Exalt is replacing the god in question, he can attempt to affect or control the god's domain. The character and Storyteller discuss what he would like the effect to be, and assign a particular Virtue to the effect itself; then the Exalt rolls Essence + Virtue, at a difficulty decided by the Storyteller.
Subilaue, The Cloak
- The cloak's higher power was one of the most effective when the Exalted battled the primordials. Animating itself above and beyond its previous state, the cloak fuses its Essence to the Solar wearing it. Even though purely external in nature before, now the cloak grants a type of protection that can save the Exalt in times of true need.When unified with the rest of Acharon, the cloak grants its bearer absolute environmental protection. This includes, but is not limited to, stinging winds, freezing blizzards, rains of fire, dehydration, frostbite, etc.
- It is up to the Storyteller to determine just what constitutes environmental hazards and attacks, but he should keep in mind that the cloak was designed to protect from the environmental attacks of Primordials. Subilaue still continues to afford its original powers as well.
Harenos, The Scabbard
- When the scabbard is unified with the rest of Acharon, the Exalt becomes more than what he normally is. Once an inspiring and feared being, the scabbard's song elevated the Exalt's presence and majesty to the point that battling him on the field is difficult at best for his lessers. Not only is he immune to Virtue Checks, but the Exalt can now counterattack whenever such a situation rises. Whenever an enemy would attempt to induce a Virtue Check on the Solar, it works in the inverse, the opponent suffering the attack on his morals.
- Additionally, all beings of a permanent Essence lower than the Exalt must roll Valor at a difficulty of 2 every turn, or be unable to act against the Exalt.
- Colapso, for helping out all around, especially when I had sucky ideas and he totally said "Uh, do this" and I did and it was awesome...
- ... haren, for the singing scabbard idea, even though it didn't include any effects, just "Make it sing," hehe...
- ... Charlotte, for helping flesh out the plate, especially with some of the minor effects, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
- ... and finally willows, who's utter hatred of armor-for-Exalts made me want to make this Artifact even more!
- ... and that's about it! Everyone else was pretty useless.