Archive for October, 2016

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Punishment

October 30, 2016

Punishment (Orichalcum and Soulsteel Grand Grimcleaver – Artifact ***)

Wielded during the Primordial War by Mighty Orr, a Dawn Caste Solar Exalt, the grand grimcleaver known only as Punishment tasted the blood of three different Primordials, slew two, and was responsible for the deaths of literally millions of demons.  Mighty Orr was a killer, through and through, and after the Primordial War ended, he went into the Underworld to find suitable enemies to kill.

Punishment is a seven-foot long soulsteel haft with a broad, double-headed blade of orichalcum.  It has two hearthstone sockets, one on either side of its head.  Its haft is wrapped in crimson leather.  It is an imposing weapon, blocky and cruel, unmistakably made for slaughter.

Evocations of Punishment

A Solar or Abyssal who attunes to Punishment finds the weapon fits easily in her grip, balanced perfectly; she can wield Punishment one-handed, removing the Two-Handed tag from the weapon and adding the Balanced tag.

Hellfire Blade
Cost: 4m; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Decisive-only
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: None

With a small expenditure of Essence, the wielder of Punishment can cause the blade to burst into blue flame for an instant, a fire that burns the soul of an enemy as well as their flesh.  A successful decisive attack made with this Evocation deals an additional level of damage and drains one Willpower from the target.  This point of Willpower is not transferred to the wielder of Punishment, but is consumed by the blade to feed its vengeful hunger.

Chains of Justice
Cost: 5m; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Withering-only
Duration: One round
Prerequisites: Hellfire Blade

A near-miss from Punishment can still inflict suffering on its target, as chains of hellfire burst from the ground to entangle the wielder’s foe.  A withering attack supplemented by this Evocation adds one die to the attack roll.  If successful, the target suffers a -2 penalty to all actions, including Parry and Evasion, for one round in addition to the usual effects of a successful attack.

Vengeful Strike
Cost: 6m; Mins: Essence 3
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Dual
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Chains of Justice

Those who would sin against the wielder of Punishment learn swiftly why the blade has earned its name.  This Evocation supplements an attack made against any target that has wounded (dealt at least one level of damage to) the wielder or one of her allies in the scene.  A withering attack adds the wielder’s Essence in non-Charm dice to the attack and damage rolls.  A decisive attack ignores up to (Essence) Hardness and deals aggravated damage to the target.  In addition, a successful decisive attack causes the target to suffer flashes of pain from the wound he caused, increasing the target’s Wound Penalty by one.

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Shrouded Whisper and Veiled Intent

October 22, 2016

Shrouded Whisper and Veiled Intent (Starmetal Short Daiklaves – Artifact ***)

Forged for Canny Falcon, a Chosen of Endings, Shrouded Whisper and Veiled Intent helped the Sidereal battle the minions of the Yozis at the beginning of the high First Age.  Each is a starmetal short daiklave, nearly three feet long and appearing as if made of exceptionally fine steel.  The hilts each have a half-basket protecting the wearer’s hand, but especially for daiklaves, they are notably unornamented.

These two daiklaves have been passed down from incarnation to incarnation of Canny Falcon since the First Age, and have served more than a half-dozen Sidereals in that time.  However, their current wielder, Xu Shuan Le, finds himself in possession of only Shrouded Whisper, for Veiled Intent was stolen from his hand by a newly Exalted Solar…

Evocations of Shrouded Whisper and Veiled Intent

Like most pairs of short daiklaves, the attunement bonus and Evocations of this pair can only be unlocked if a wielder bears both swords.  A Solar or Sidereal who attunes to both short daiklaves finds he gains an almost precognitive sense of danger.  He adds (Essence) non-Charm dice to rolls to detect danger.

Fortune’s Fickle Favor
Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Uniform
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: None

Luck follows the wielder of these blades like an old friend – sometimes good luck, sometimes bad.  When the wielder activates this Evocation, he may re-roll up to (Essence) dice on an attack roll, doubling 9s on these re-rolled dice.  However, any 1s rolled on these dice subtract successes from the total for the roll on a one-for-one basis.

Fortune Favors the Bold
Cost: -; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Fortune’s Fickle Favor

This Evocation permanently enhances its prerequisite, testing the limits of luck’s blessing.  If the wielder re-rolls at least one die that came up a success on the initial roll, he may double 8s on the re-rolled dice and 1s no longer remove successes.

Fortunate Son
Cost: None (10m,1W); Mins: Essence 3
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Fortune Favors the Bold

The luck of the blades continues to grow, becoming all encompassing.  This Evocation permanently enhances Fortune’s Fickle Favor.  By changing its cost to 10m, 1 Willpower, the wielder of the blades may extend its Duration to One Scene.

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Cutlass of Coral

October 21, 2016

Cutlass of Coral (Black Jade Daiklave – Artifact ***)

A significant embarrassment for House Iselsi, the creation of the Cutlass of Coral was to have been a significant triumph.  For a House near dissolution, the forging of a potent Artifact weapon would have added a much-needed laurel to their dangerously small list of accolades, but the Cutlass of Coral was lost on its first mission.  In the hands of Iselsi Turi, the blade was meant to bring to heel a vicious pirate and his crew aboard the Purgatory’s Zenith.  Instead, Iselsi Turi was slain, his crew and ship captured, and the Cutlass of Coral fell into the hands of a newly Exalted Anathema.  In hopes of avoiding the shame of Turi’s failure, House Iselsi has scrubbed all records of the daiklave’s existence.

The Cutlass of Coral is a black jade daiklave with a slightly curved blade, covered in Old Realm script praising Danaa’d, the Elemental Dragon of Water, the basket hilt of the sword is crafted to appear as a many-tentacled sea beast wrapping down around the hand of the wielder.  These tentacles actually grip the hand of the sword’s bearer, making it nearly impossible to disarm him while he lives.

Evocations of the Cutlass of Coral

A Solar or Dragon-Blood who attunes to the Cutlass of Coral finds that the tentacles of the basket hilt grip his hand tightly, adding two to the difficulty of any Disarm gambits made against the wielder.

Razor-Edged Coral Blade
Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Dual
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: None

The edge of the Cutlass of Coral can sprout razor sharp coral filigree, making its strikes especially dangerous.  A withering attack supplemented by this Evocation gains double 9s on its damage roll.  A decisive attack instead adds the wielder’s (Essence) in bonus dice to the damage roll.  The filigree desiccates and crumbles to dust immediately after the attack is completed.

Tidal Thrust
Cost:6m, 1W; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Uniform
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Razor-Edged Coral Blade

With the force of the tides, the wielder of the Cutlass of Coral can thrust his target away from himself with an effort of will.  On a successful attack, the wielder may activate this Evocation to push his opponent back to Short range as though he had succeeded on a Disengage action.

Crushing Grasp of Coral
Cost: 8m,1W; Mins: Essence 3
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Decisive-only
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Tidal Thrust

A strike from the Cutlass of Coral can envelop a foe in ropes of strangling, razor-edged coral, sprouting from the ground beneath the enemy like vines.  A successful decisive attack supplemented by this Evocation imposes a -2 penalty on all the enemy’s actions for the remainder of the scene, as coral growths impede her movement.  Further, anytime that enemy takes a Rush or Disengage action, she suffers the wielder’s (Essence) in dice of lethal damage.  Finally, an enemy slain either by this decisive attack or by the damage from the coral ropes is rapidly overgrown by coral.  In seconds, the corpse becomes a lifelike, if horrific, statue of coral; all the victim’s non-Artifact belongings are likewise transmuted to coral.

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Artifact – The Gauntlet of Dreams

October 19, 2016

The Gauntlet of Dreams (Orichalculm Smashfist – Artifact *****)

Once upon a time, an Eclipse-Caste Solar Exalt ventured into the Deep Wyld, wrapped in layers of sorcery and protective oaths.  He found the court of the Fair Folk known as the Witch Queen, for her power over the minds of mortals.  Her court was littered with the soul-eaten husks of the men and women she had seduced and drained; her appetite was insatiable, and she set her sights on the Eclipse the moment he stepped into her domain.

But the Eclipse was no fool, and he evaded her snares with cunning and style.  Within a fortnight in her domain, it was the Witch Queen who found herself seduced, and the Eclipse who soon sat upon her jade throne.  When he finally took his leave, laden with the jewels and gems of her court, she threw herself at his feet, begging him to take her with him.  Knowing she would wither and die in Creation’s harsh light, he wrapped her in his arms and breathed in her Essence, forging her in that instant into an orichalcum gauntlet, which he wore to the end of his days.  This is the Gauntlet of Dreams.

Said to have the power to command the Wyld itself, the Gauntlet of Dreams was lost at the end of the First Age, when the Eclipse, Hapshet-Kur, was slain by his trusted viziers and entombed with all his riches.  It is said that, the moment his tomb was sealed, a wail of purest sorrow screamed from every stone, and a Wyld storm rose around the Tomb, too thick to be pierced by mortal men.  Since that day, the Tomb of Hapshet-Kur has lain undisturbed, until now.  For no discernible reason, the Wyld zone has lessened (though not vanished), and glimpses of the Tomb can be seen through the edges of the gemstone forest that surrounds it.  Who will dare to venture into the Tomb, and will they be able to claim the Gauntlet from the creatures that protect it still?

Evocations of the Gauntlet of Dreams

The strength of the Gauntlet as a weapon is the least of its powers.  A Solar who attunes to the Gauntlet finds the powers of the Fair Folk slide off him, unable to find purchase.  Such an attuned wielder raises the difficulty to use any Fair Folk magic against him by two.  If the power in question has no difficulty, it instead has its cost doubled.

Command the Least Dreams
Cost: 3m, 1W; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Simple
Keywords: Psyche
Duration: One Scene
Prerequisites: None

The hobgoblins of the Fair Folk are little more than wisps of imagination wrapped around a single feeding maw.  With this Evocation, the bearer of the Gauntlet of Dreams can command those wisps to do his bidding as though he were a raksha noble.  For the Duration of the Evocation, the bearer treats any social influence made against a hobgoblin or similar least Fair Folk as though it exploited a Defining Intimacy.

Untouched by Madness
Cost: 8m; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Simple
Keywords: None
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisites: Command the Least Dreams

With a wave of his gauntleted hand, the bearer of this Artifact can drive away the worst horrors of the Wyld, protecting himself from their mutating touch.  While the activation motes remain committed, the wielder of the Gauntlet cannot be directly harmed by the power of the Wyld, exactly as though he were under the effects of Integrity-Protecting Prana.  If the wielder knows that Charm, this Evocation instead removes the Willpower cost to use it.

Command the Greater Dreams
Cost: -; Mins: Essence 3
Type: Permanent
Keywords: Psyche
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Untouched by Madness

With this Evocation, the wielder’s command over the creatures of the Wyld increases dramatically.  This Evocation enhances Command the Least Dreams, allowing it to be wielded against any creature of the Wyld, including Fair Folk.  If used against a hobgoblin, Command the Least Dreams now also increases the Willpower cost to resist the wielder’s social influence by one.

Strike Down the Imagination
Cost: – (1W); Mins: Essence 3
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Untouched by Madness

Channeling the power of the Gauntlet to command the Wyld, the wielder can strike down creatures of the Wyld with martial impunity.  This Evocation allows any attack the wielder makes with the Gauntlet to deal Aggravated damage to any creature of the Wyld if the wielder wishes; this enhancement is optional.  Additionally, the wielder may pay one Willpower to enhance any such attack, ignoring all soak or Hardness from gossamer armor or Fair Folk magic.

Warp the Weft of the Wyld
Cost: -; Mins: Essence 5
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Command the Greater Dreams, Strike Down the Imagination, Wyld-Shaping Technique

The truest power of the Gauntlet of Dreams is to enhance Wyld-Shaping Technique.  When the wielder knows this Evocation and uses Wyld-Shaping Technique, he reduces the difficulty by one, adds one to the result of the Encounter Roll, and may use a free, full Lore Excellency once per scene of Wyld shaping.  This free Excellency may be reset by defeating a behemoth drawn to the site of the Wyld shaping by an Encounter Roll.

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Shaping Ritual – The Amphorae of Ghul Nathor

October 15, 2016

The Amphorae of Ghul Nathor

Once upon a time, in the deepest recesses of the First Age, a powerful sorcerer named Ghul Nathor came face-to-face with his own mortality.  Even with potent anagathics and anti-aging treatments, he saw the end of his life spiraling toward him.  Though he tried every spell he could find, every ritual, every bargain with any demon he could conjure, he could no more stop the march of time than he could Exalt himself.

Desperate and in his final days, Ghul Nathor devised a way to cheat death in a manner of speaking.  Splitting his Essence, he stored his sorcerous puissance in thirteen separate canopic jars, each one bearing one thirteenth of his very life force.  Though the act of casting this sorcerous working brought his life to an end, he felt he would live on through those who discovered and opened his amphorae.

You have claimed one of the thirteen Amphorae of Ghul Nathor for your own, opening the jar and letting the sorcerous power of an ancient wizard inhabit your body.  In a serpentine plume of smoke, the Essence of Ghul Nathor has suffused you, leaving more than a hint of the ancient sorcerer to live on within you.  In exchange, your own chakras have been awakened, and the path to sorcery has been opened before you.

Shaping Rituals

The sorcerer may open her Essence pathways to the sorcerer’s spirit dwelling within her, funneling the ancient knowledge of Ghul Nathor into her Shape Sorcery action.  Once per scene, the sorcerer may activate this shaping ritual, gaining the higher of (her Essence or 3) sorcerous motes.  These motes remain available to the sorcerer until she spends them or chooses to release them, even across multiple scenes.  However, while the sorcerer has these motes available and unspent, and in any scene where she activates this ritual, she gains a Minor Principle of “Spread the legend of Ghul Nathor.”  Furthermore, each time she activates this ritual while she still possesses this Principle, it increases in intensity, from Minor to Major, and then from Major to Defining.  When this Principle is held at the Defining intensity, this ritual cannot be used to gather more sorcerous motes.

Other Benefits

Spectral Tutor (Merit * or ***) – The spirit of Ghul Nathor serves as an intellectual gateway through which the sorcerer can tap into the wizard’s ancient knowledge.  At the one-dot level, this Merit allows the sorcerer to act as though she has a teacher for the Lore and Occult Abilities.  At the three-dot level, it provides this benefit as well as functioning as a tutor for any Terrestrial Circle spells the Storyteller chooses.  At a minimum, it should include all Terrestrial Circle spells from the Core rulebook.

Ancient Library (Merit **) – The amphorae themselves are covered in ancient hieroglyphs containing lost knowledge from the First Age.  When a sorcerer with this Merit attempts to introduce or challenge a fact about the First Age, she may re-roll up to (Essence) failed dice on the roll.