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Alternate [Element]dusts

This Artifact enchants firedust so that it's aspected towards an element other than fire, changing the effect that the dust has when fired from a firewand.

[Colour] Casket of Firedust Conversion

Artifact ••
Wooden box in one of five different colours
Commitment: none for the box; 1 mote per charge of firedust (1 mote per two charges if the user is of the appropriate elemental type)

Each Casket of Firedust Conversion looks fairly mundane: a small box inlaid with jade. In order to make one, a sorcerer must first enchant a wooden box using the Ritual of Elemental Empowerment; then he must use a long, draining and puissant ritual to bind either an elemental or a demon aspected to a certain element into the box; finally, he must inlay the box with the appropriate colour of jade to ensure the creature's binding.

Each Casket is capable of converting firedust into a kind of enchanted dust that works exactly the same as normal firedust, but has an entirely different effect when fired from a firewand. A Casket made with a trapped elemental is capable of enchanting one charge of firedust per day, and no more; a Casket made with a trapped demon is capable of enchanting one charge of firedust per five days, and no more. This is because a demon bound into such a Casket, although it must be relatively aspected towards the Element in question for the Casket to work at all, simply cannot exercise the same amount of control over the element in question as an elemental can. (Example of an elementally-aspected demon: Tomescu, the Clamorous Cloud Arsenal [air, obviously]. Example of a non-elementally aspected demon: Teodozji, a Lion Sent Into the World. Both from "Games of Divinity".)

However, any sorcerer who binds an elemental into such a casket will face the wrath of the elemental's allies, will probably be ostracized from any elemental courts they make contact with, and will most likely outrage the Celestial Hierarchy; whereas any sorcerer who similarly binds a demon will face no censure whatsoever. In addition, anyone who so much as owns a Casket that contains a bound elemental had best keep it hidden away and warded as well as possible, for members of the Celestial Hierarchy may attempt to destroy it in order to free the trapped elemental. The owner may also be directly confronted by furious spirits and elementals, etc., at the Storyteller's discretion.

As the firedust is converted into a different element's dust (hereafter "[element]dust"), it slowly changes to the colour of the Casket that enchanted it. It also becomes significantly more potent in the hands of Essence-users. [Element]dust is roughly as useful as firedust in the hands of a non-Essence user -- it simply has a different effect. However, if an Essence-user commits 1 mote to the charge, then the [element]dust becomes far more powerful. (If the Essence-user in question is elementally aspected towards the [element]dust -- if, for example, they're a Dragon-Blood, an elemental, an elemental's child, et cetera -- then they pay only 1 mote to commit for two charges of the appropriate [element]dust.) There do exist rare Scarlet Caskets, which enchant firedust to be more potent in a fiery way; in this case, the firedust that comes from a Scarlet Casket is no different from normal firedust in the hands of non-Essence-wielders -- but in the hands of an Essence-user, it's much better.

[Element]dust may be fired normally from any firewand; the magic is released when fired, and the committed mote is released as well. As with normal firewand attacks, all of the following [element]dust blasts may be dodged, but not parried.

Viridian Casket (Water)
The Casket is inlaid with black jade in curling, frothing patterns resembling the ocean's waves.

Without mote:
A firewand holding waterdust fires a flood of faintly blue-green Essence. If hit, the target feels her lungs begin to fill with water. She immediately takes 6 dice of bashing damage, soakable only with Stamina, and makes a Stamina + Resistance roll, difficulty 3. If she succeeds at this roll, then she takes a -3 penalty to all her actions for the rest of the round; if she has already acted, then this penalty carries over to the next round. If she fails the roll, then she is unable to act for the rest of the round; if she has already acted, then she is unable to act in the next round.

With mote:
The flood of blue-green Essence fires from the firewand, and then spreads liquidly, as if puddling. Everyone within this "puddle", which has a radius of about 10 yards, suffers the same effect as the single target of an uncommitted charge of waterdust (see above). The person who fired the firewand is not immune to this effect, should he be within the area of the "puddle".

Mahogany Casket (Wood)
The Casket is inlaid with green jade in patterns of vines and leaves.

Without mote:
A firewand holding briardust fires a seed that rapidly opens and begins to put out vines. If the target fails to dodge, she is immediately entangled. She may immediately make one Strength or Dexterity + Martial Arts or Brawl roll, difficulty 5, to attempt to disentangle herself from the vines. (Mobility Penalty from armour applies to this roll, even if it is made with Strength.) If she fails the roll, she is entangled and can take no actions until she disentangles herself. Every round, on her initiative, she may make one more Strength / Dexterity + Martial Arts / Brawl roll and add the successes to her previous successes on the roll. She is not free from the vines, and can take no actions, until she has accumulated a total of 5 successes.

With mote:
The vines are extremely strong, having an effective Strength of 5 and an effective Brawl of 5. If the target fails to dodge, they immediately grasp her in a clinch. The target may attempt to escape the clinch every round on her initiative, as normal; the vines do their clinch damage at the end of every round and do not take damage from the clinch. An ally may cut the target from the vines; they need make no roll as long as they have a sharp weapon, but must take a full round to do so.

Alabaster Casket (Earth)
The Casket is inlaid with shining white jade in geometric patterns resembling mountains.

Without mote:
A firewand holding stonedust fires a cascade of crystal shards. These inflict base 8 dice of lethal damage. In addition, the shards stick in anyone they hit, forcing the target to immediately make a Stamina + Resistance roll, difficulty 3. If she fails, a slow paralysis seeps out from the shards and she immediately loses one dot of Dexterity until the end of the scene. This Dexterity loss stacks with multiple uses, and a target reduced to 0 Dexterity is fully paralyzed and can take no actions until the scene ends -- although she can still speak (albeit in a slurred and inefficient fashion) and move her eyes, etc.

With mote:
The crystal shards are magically hard and sharp, inflicting base 12 dice of lethal damage. If hit, the target immediately makes a Stamina + Resistance roll, difficulty 3, and if she fails, she is paralyzed: her skin takes on a greyish, granite-y sort of cast, and she cannot take any actions, speak or otherwise move a muscle until the end of the scene.

Azure Casket (Air)
The Casket is inlaid with deep blue jade in swirling patterns resembling clouds.

Without mote:
A firewand holding skydust fires a streak of lightning. This inflicts eight dice of lethal damage and ignores half the target's armour's soak, rounded down. This applies even to magical armour. Extra successes on the attack roll do not grant extra damage dice on this attack.

With mote:
Committed skydust creates a streak of lightning, which, as always, ignores half the target's armour's soak. If the target fails to dodge, then the lightning hits them for 12 dice of lethal damage, then leaps on from them to hit two more targets -- the two nearest people to the first target.
The original successes from the first attack roll against the first target are halved (rounded up -- these dice will continue to be halved for later attacks until they get down to 1; there are no further attacks after that) and applied to the attacks against these next two targets; the new targets may dodge the branching lightning, their dodge rolls opposing the halved successes. The damage on these two attacks is 6 dice of lethal damage.
If these two targets are hit, then the lightning branches yet again and goes on to hit two more targets from each of them. The successes on the attack are halved again for the purposes of dodging, and the attacks do 3 dice of lethal damage.
The lightning keeps branching and halving the attack's successes and the damage until it either runs out of attack successes or runs out of damage successes (it runs out of damage successes after it makes an attack that does 1 die of lethal damage). At this point, it grounds itself.
Whenever the lightning misses a target, it does not branch, instead grounding itself immediately.
Extra successes on the attack rolls do not grant extra damage dice on these attacks. The person who fired the firewand is not immune to this effect; should he happen to be the closest person (or the second closest) to anyone hit by one of the lightning-branches, and the lightning branches after that person, then one of the lightning branches will go after him.
Example. Ledaal Anything, the Air Aspect, is firing a firewand with skydust. She fires her firewand, using her 5 Dexterity and 5 Archery, at a nobody. Anything gets 10 successes on her attack roll; the nobody has 3 dice to dodge, and gets 1 success -- not enough. Luckily for the nobody, he has armour that grants him 4 lethal soak.
The extra successes on Anything's attack roll did not count towards damage, so for her damage against Mr. Nobody, she rolls 12 dice minus Mr. Nobody's armour soak of 4, divided by 2 for the electricity effect. So Anything rolls 10 dice of damage against the nobody.
Now the lightning branches off from the nobody and attacks two more nobodies with 5 attack successes each (Anything's original attack successes, divided by 2). The new nobodies each get 1 success on their respective dodge rolls -- still not enough. However, Anything rolls only 6 dice of lethal damage against them, minus their halved armour's soak of 2, for 4 total damage dice.
Now the lightning branches off again from the second two nobodies and attacks four new nobodies with a total attack successes of 3 each. Two of these nobodies miraculously manage to dodge, so two of the branches of lightning ground themselves harmlessly; however, two of the nobodies are hit. They have the same lethal soak as the first three nobodies, so they take 3 dice of damage, minus 2 -- 1 die of lethal damage.
The lightning keeps branching off from each person it hits until either all of the branched lightnings have been dodged, or the attack successes or damage dice have been reduced to 0.

Scarlet Casket (Fire)
The Casket is inlaid with red jade in patterns of stylized flame.

Without mote:
As normal firedust.

With mote:
If the gout of superheated flame hits any non-living flammable material, that material automatically catches fire. If it hits a person, then the base damage is 18 lethal dice.

Many thanks to Morpheus for help on mechanics; he also really deserves the credit for coming up with the actual idea of alternatively-aspecting the dust rather than the firewand.


The elemental dusts are pretty neat! There might also be some of those dusts available w/o magical conversion, too... certain trees near the Pole of Wood might secrete briardust pollen, for instance. And could you create a box from Malfean wood and iron, bind a Metody to it, and thus create vitrioldust? - Quendalon

That's a fantastic idea! I hadn't thought of doing anything besides the normal Elements, but now my mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.
(10 points if you recognize the quote :)
And not only could there be Malfean vitrioldust, but also boxes with bound fae that perhaps create gossamerdust which makes illusions ...
Oh, the possibilities ...
And I see no reason why [element]dusts wouldn't be available elsewhere, although if they aren't converted from firedust, they might need some alteration to make them do the same thing as firedust (e.g. explode when fired from a firewand -- perhaps not an effect that waterdust would have if it arose independently).
~ Shataina

Just looking, I'm also thinking the Elemental Dusts are good. Just a thought, but what about the ghost and corpse elements? Maybe bone would coat the target in bone shards, that cut and (with an essence user) also fuse to slow the person. Ghost fire... hmm a small pyre flame like in the Abyssal book, burning the soul more than the body. Just some ideas. I think you're making an awesome contribution. - haren

I don't know about pyre flame. I thought there was a finite amount of that stuff? And I think putting it in a firewand would be a bit much. Uggh, imagine all that horrifying aggravated damage. <shudder> But yeah, something that burns the soul ... mm. Eeevil. I'll get back to you on this one :)
~ Shataina
Well, just going on what I know from Abyssals and Wraith (since it is similar to barrowflame.) it's like... a natural resource. It's probably finite to some degree (as much as anything is in a spiritual realm), but such large amounts that it might as well be not. And you could use the 2 L given in the little sidebox by the Pyre Flasks. Or maybe make it only do agg in the Underworld or Shadowlands and just be nasty strange "greek fire" in Creation, only doing lethal. - haren
The way I understood pyre flame would make it really difficult to fire out of a weapon. It eats through everything but earth, metal and soulsteel if I remember correctly so not every wand could fire it. Pyre flame is a dangerous thing but it has natural geysers in the labrynth and such .. its just dangerous to harness more than it is to find. In regards to the ghostdust, I would like to talk more about different ideas I can see this going many different ways. Anyways, I loved what I saw here and it will work beautifully with a campaign idea I am working on. I was trying to figure out what would cause spirits and elements to attack a town and give the PC's something to do. Now I have this, they will continue to attack until they figure out why and solve the problem. Buji
For the pyre flame, I was figuring that if I ever actually came up with anything along those lines it'd be more along the lines of "fake" pyre flame -- something nasty and green that burns the soul, but not the real thing. I personally have no real attachment to the "ghost" element, so I probably won't think up much, but please feel free to expound on your ideas here (or even on your own page if you want, as long as I get a link :). Thank you for the compliments; let me know how the campaign works out!
~ Shataina

Beautiful! Perfect for my Haslanti alchemist turned Twilight. :) Do you have any thoughts on Air-aspected dust dealing with cold? I was going to have alchemical weapons using the material do damage as a standard firewand except cold, but that's far too boring given what I see here. Also, any thoughts for 2nd edition dusts? I haven't seen anything here that makes these unusable in 2nd. -- Glacialis

OH man, I am such a better writer now than I was when I was in college.  :grin: I still love this concept, though, and I'm glad you like it. You could have a different kind of Air-aspected dust fire shards of ice that acted as per stonedust ... a paralysis effect. And yeah, I think these are totally usable in 2nd Ed.
~ S.
For weapons larger or smaller than a flame piece, would it be accurate to say that these altered damages should scale with the weapon? I'm assuming flame piece damage was base 8L in 1st edition as well. Other effects as well, but I'll deal with that in a few weeks when my ST lets me mount large alchemical weapons on my Excellenct Air Boat First Class. ;) PS: I'm going to try my hand at converting some of the dusts to environmental effects. For example, the non-moted lightning dust rules look like they'd be perfect as an instant traume 1-2 8L effect, trauma (Essence) if committed. Will comment here with a link to my take on the concept when it's done. -- Glacialis
Hmm, this is exactly the kind of question I'm no good at. I guess the damages should scale the same way normal firedust damage would, if normal firedust damage scales.  :shrug: And yes, definitely -- leave a link if you do the environmental effect thing. Thanks!
~ S.

How would you phrase waterdust's effects in Second Edition mechanics. I have someone asking for it and would like to adjust WhenAutochthonDreams with the correction. I'm thinking something like the penalty applies "for the next six ticks" or something like that. - Wordman

Wow, it's awesome that people are still using and liking this. 6 ticks sounds good to me.
~ S!