And Another One!June 9, 2016
I’ve been kind of on an Artifacts/Evocations kick lately. Maybe next week I’ll start talking about some of the changes to 3rd Ed from 2nd. For now, though, another Artifact!
Aegis of Compassion – White Jade and Starmetal Daiklave (***)
One of the prized possessions of House V’Neef, the Aegis of Compassion has been used (some would say abused) to hunt and subdue Anathema for two centuries. Wyld Hunts bearing the Aegis of Compassion have a much higher rate of returning with a captive to the Nail, and the Empress herself has commended its wielders no fewer than three times. Despite, or perhaps because of, these accolades, the blade feels almost sullen in the hands of a shikari, functional but mildly resentful. In truth, it was forged not to hunt, but to preserve.
The Aegis of Compassion is crafted as a long, square-ended daiklave of white jade with an intricate draconic shape cut into the width of the blade. Three starmetal rings are punched through the back edge of the blade, and a long, crimson tassel dangles from the pommel. It bears a single socket for a hearthstone.
Evocations of the Aegis of Compassion
A Solar or Dragon-Blood who attunes to the Aegis of Compassion for five motes can replace the Lethal tag with the Bashing tag at will.
Striking the Wicked Hand
Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 1
The Aegis of Compassion ever strives to protect its wielder, even when it sullenly resents the uses to which it is put. When an attacker strikes the wielder, the blade attempts to parry almost of its own accord, striking the attacker’s hand and weakening his blow. This Evocation can be activated in response to a withering attack that successfully strikes the wielder despite his Parry Defense, immediately reducing the attack’s minimum damage by one. This effect can reduce the minimum damage of an attack made by a non-Artifact weapon to zero.
Pacify the Hurtful Arms
Cost: 4m; Mins: Essence 1
Prerequisites: Striking the Wicked Hand
The Aegis of Compassion dislikes other weapons, for they are meant to injure. The blade strikes truest when disarming a foe rather than slaying him. Unfortunately for the sword, it has too often been used to do both in rapid succession. This Evocation supplements a disarm gambit, reducing its difficulty by one and re-rolling 6s until 6s fail to appear. This gambit cannot be used to disarm a shield; if so attempted, the gambit automatically fails. Shields are not weapons, at least in the eyes of the Aegis. Perhaps some part of it wishes it had been forged into a shield instead of a sword.
Aegis of Compassion
Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 2
Prerequisites: Pacify the Hurtful Arms
With this final Evocation, for which the blade itself was named, the wielder can produce cover from any ambient terrain – or even, if no such terrain is present, from a blurring afterimage of the sword. This Evocation functions as a reflexive but otherwise standard Take Cover action, which lasts for only an instant, enough to assist against a single attack and no more. The cover provided depends on the stunt used to describe creating it – a level one stunt provides light cover, level two provides heavy, and a level three stunt provides full cover. This Evocation functions by using the blade to chop cover from the surrounding scenery – hacking down a tree to fall in the way of an incoming attack, churning up a clod of dirt and clay to intercept a blow, or even simply utilizing the blade’s blurring afterimage to provide an instant’s cover. This last option is always available and always counts as a level one stunt. Remember that repetitive stunts rapidly lose interest and thus only the afterimage can be used repeatedly to create cover. Any other cover so created must be original and imaginative.