Skaven in Exalted – WyldstoneNovember 19, 2010
Since I made Wyldstone a part of the mechanics of Horned Rat Style, it seems rude not to make mechanics for Wyldstone itself. What follows is something not quite an Artifact, but certainly not a Charm. It’s one of those rare things, like the Honey of the Bees of Zarlath, or silksteel. Enjoy!
Wyldstone is a substance found primarily, as the name suggests, in the Wyld, where the chaotic properties of that realm have soaked into veins of rock and imbued them with protean qualities. However, some of these veins run more-or-less uninterrupted through the foundation of Creation, even stretching deep under the Blessed Isle itself. The veins function like pipelines, funneling pure Wyld in narrow bands into Creation, and while very little Wyld radiates out from this stone, the stone itself contains great potential.
Mined mostly by the Skaven (who do not fear its mutagenic properties), Wyldstone can be a potent ingredient in a number of alchemical and thaumaturgical mixtures as well as an exotic component of some Artifacts, especially those dealing with change. As such, Wyldstone is also mined by the Mountain Folk and some especially enterprising Scavenger Lords. A dose of Wyldstone is a Resources 3 purchase in most Mountain Folk cities, and Resources 4 elsewhere in Creation.
Merely being near Wyldstone is similar to being exposed to the Wyld, though generally less intense. Standing within a yard of a vein of pure Wyldstone (usually only found in the Threshold) is roughly comparable to being in the Deep Wyld. Simply carrying a few doses is similar to being in the Bordermarches.
The Skaven, however, have found another use for Wyldstone. Anyone mad enough to actually consume Wyldstone receives its transformative “gifts” more directly. First, the unfortunate receives five motes of Essence, restored directly to his Peripheral Essence pool. Second, the individual must test for Wyld exposure, with each dose consumed in the same scene cumulatively adding to the level of exposed Wyld (one dose equaling the Bordermarchers, two the Middlemarches, etc.). Finally, the fool must make a (Stamina + Resistance) roll with a difficulty equal to the number of doses consumed in that scene. Failure on this roll inflicts one level of automatic, unsoakable Lethal damage to the ingester.
Should the imbiber actually be unfortunate enough to botch this roll, catastrophic biological meltdown ensues. The victim immediately gains (doses consumed) points of negative mutations, selected by the Storyteller. In addition, he suffers one level of unsoakable Aggravated damage, which heals at half the normal rate.
Furthermore, Wyldstone is as addictive as the Wyld itself. With each dose, the user must roll to resist Wyld Addiction. Each dose consumed past the first in a scene adds a cumulative -1 external penalty to this roll.
These extreme drawbacks do not stop the Skaven from consuming this loathsome substance. Many Skaven bear mutations (some positive, some negative) from constant exposure to Wyldstone, never mind those poor unfortunate slaves forced to mine the Wyldstone directly. On the other hand, those who can endure and control the chaotic changes often rise to positions of power within Skaven society, and most Grey Seers are, in fact, constant users. Of course, they claim they do not suffer from derangement or addiction…