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A Pair of Artifacts

June 21, 2016

This particular pair is intended to work together for a specific character who specializes in Defend Other actions.

Shield of Melthar-Khun (Orichalcum Shield – Artifact ***)

Currently hanging in the trophy room of Satrap Ledaal Gao, the Shield of Melthar-Khun was forged by and for its namesake, a shining Solar Exalted of the Dawn Caste in the high First Age. When one of his circlemates fell in battle against a rampaging behemoth, Melthar-Khun swore he would never again allow such a thing to occur. In preparation for his circlemate’s reincarnation, he undertook a training regime of strict defense, becoming one of the finest vanguards in the Solar host. Thanks largely to this shield, Melthar-Khun and his young, reincarnated circlemate were among the last to fall during the Usurpation.

The shield itself is a concave hemi-cylinder, emblazoned with a turtle-shell pattern and lacquered with a pair of twin lightning bolts. It seems almost to leap to the defense of others, which has occasionally proven detrimental to the wielder’s personal safety.

Evocations of the Shield of Melthar-Khun
A Solar Exalt who attunes to the shield and takes a Defend Other action subtracts one additional Initiative from any attacker who beats his defense and chooses to strike his defended charge. The Solar steals this additional Initiative.

Under My Protection
Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: None

Those who would strike the defended see their blades turned aside by the edge of the shield, for it will not tolerate their temerity. This Evocation can be activated when the wielder has taken a Defend Other action, his Defense has been overcome by an attacker, and the attacker chooses to strike the defended charge. Each 1 on the attacker’s roll to strike the charge subtracts a success from the attacker’s final roll.

Iron Body Stance
Cost: None; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Under My Protection

Let it not be said that the Shield of Melthar-Khun does not protect its wielder as well. Whenever a Solar who knows this Evocation and is wielding the Shield of Melthar-Khun takes a Defend Other action, his Soak is increased by 2 and his Hardness is increased by 1 for the duration of the Defend Other action. This soak and Hardness explicitly stack with all other sources.

Guardian’s Retributive Strike
Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Counterattack, Decisive-only
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Iron Body Stance

Woe to those who would strike the charge of the wielder of the Shield of Melthar-Khun. The wielder may use this Evocation in response to any attack while he is using a Defend Other action that beats his defense and chooses to strike at his protected charge, creating a Melee counterattack with the Shield of Melthar-Khun that occurs after the opponent’s attack result but before the damage has been rolled. This attack functions as a regular decisive attack. Guardian’s Retributive Strike does not count as the wielder’s combat action and cannot be used in response to another counterattack.

And its companion piece –

Mushi Armor – Orichalcum and White Jade Articulated Plate (Artifact ***)

Forged during the Shogunate for a sworn brotherhood, five identical suits of this armor were initially created, though only three are known to exist in the Time of Tumult. Each is a suit of immaculately crafted articulated plate, white jade decorated in orichalcum trim. One suit stands in the hallways of the Imperial Manse, one in the storehouses of Lookshy, and one is wielded by a newly-Exalted Anathema in the threshold.

The armor is designed to protect the wearer even as he or she protects her sworn brothers. It tightens the bonds of friendship until they are themselves armor against even the most grievous attacks. A full brotherhood of Dragon-Blooded, each contained within a suit of this armor, would be a potent force indeed.

Evocations of Mushi Armor

A Solar or Dragon-Blooded who attunes to this armor gains 1 point of Initiative when taking a Defend Other action. This benefit cannot occur more than once per turn.

The Ties that Bind
Cost: 5m; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: None

The first power of the armor is to bind its wearer to his charge, ensuring that a firm bond is forged between brothers. This Evocation may be activated whenever the wearer is attacked while taking a Defend Other action while wearing this armor. He automatically gains a Minor Tie of brotherhood toward his charge. If he already has a Tie of brotherhood, that Tie is instead strengthened by one level.

The Brother’s Bond
Cost: 2m; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Perilous, Withering-only
Duration: One turn
Prerequisites: The Ties that Bind

The stronger the wearer’s love for his brother, the stronger the armor becomes. This Evocation may be activated whenever the wearer is attacked while taking a Defend Other action while wearing this armor. His withering soak increases by an amount determined by the strength of his Tie toward the defended character: +2 soak for a Minor Tie, +3 soak for a Major Tie, or +4 soak for a Defining Tie.

Self-as-Selflessness Stance
Cost: 1m/Initiative; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: The Brother’s Bond

“Those who would strike my brother would strike me.” This is the mudra of the Mushi Armor. This Evocation may be activated whenever the wearer is attacked while taking a Defend Other action while wearing this armor. He may steal from the attacker a number of points of Initiative equal to his Tie towards the defended character: 1 Initiative for a Minor Tie, 2 for a Major, and 3 for a Defining Tie. This Initiative is stolen immediately before the attack is resolved, which can affect the outcome of a decisive attack.

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