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Two artifacts: Winter Lightning & Zapatos, Dancer's Boots (White Elephant for Valles)

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  • Two artifacts: Winter Lightning & Zapatos, Dancer's Boots (White Elephant for Valles)

    I wrote two artifacts to serve as signature heirlooms for Valles Dragon-blooded characters. Since they are tailor-made for particular characters, I haven't bothered writing Resonant or Dissonant effects for any of the Evocations. Happy holidays! I hope these are to your liking.


    Winter Lightning, the Duelist’s Steel (Blue jade Reaper Daiklave, 4-dot artifact)

    Stories of the Winter Lightning, a fabled dueling blade forged from a rare alloy of steel and Blue jade, range from utterly mundane to absolutely fantastical. What is common between the stories is that the Winter Lighting appears time to time in the hands of famous history’s famous duelists. The sword seems to crave recognition and it is especially drawn to tales of revenge, whether they are stories of just retribution or bloody fulfilling of a vendetta.
    The actual blade is an azure-blue Reaper Daiklave that seems to fizzle with barely contained energy. Touching the blade means submitting to dozens of small electrical shocks, which discourage idle hands. Even if those attuned to the blade describe them as fairly comforting. It is said that during a storm the wielders of the blade seek battle or risk the sword’s volatile energy hurting anyone unfortunate enough to be near when the static charge overloads.
    But regardless of whether you believe the tales or not, witnessing the Winter Lightning duel is a sight treasured - or feared - for the rest of one’s lifespan. The duellers become almost magnetic as the blade’s will draws them together to complete their battle. In the aftermath, there is usually not much left of the loser. And the sword only remembers the victorious.

    Evocations of the Winter Lightning

    Those attuned to the Winter Lightning may designate a foe as their nemesis at the start of the battle. They do not suffer onslaught penalties from attacks made by their nemesis and additionally they may add a relevant Intimacy as non-charm bonus dice to any attack roll they make against their nemesis. However, those dissonant with the artifact must apply the same Intimacy as a penalty if they are attacking any other foe, as long as their nemesis still stands.
    Attunement: 5m
    Type: Medium (as Reaper daiklave)
    Tags: Lethal, Melee, Balanced
    Heartstone slots: 1
    Era: Age of Dreams

    Lightning Edge
    Cost: 2m Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Dual
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: None
    By channeling her essence through the Winter Lighting, the blade’s wielder is able to charge her weapon with electricity. When she hits an enemy, this current is released. When hitting an enemy with a withering attack, the wielder may ignore a point of armor soak for every 10 in their attack roll. When hitting an enemy with a decisive attack, the wielder may turn one of her damage dice into an automatic success for every level of armour the enemy has (one for light armour, two for medium armour, three for heavy armour).
    Special Activation: This Evocation awakens at no cost, when the Winter Lightning is first attuned.

    Cobalt Flash
    Cost: 3m Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: None
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: None
    Every strike of Winter Lighting is a thunderbolt, every battle a storm. Electricity, barely contained, is released as a blinding flash when the blade strikes steel. This evocation can be activated when an enemy hits the wielder with an attack. For every 1 result in enemy’s roll, they suffer one die penalty (up to the wielder’s Essence) to their actions until the end of their next round. If the attack comes from the wielder’s nemesis, the penalty affects every foe engaged with the wielder.

    Rebuking Shock
    Cost: - Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Permanent
    Keywords: None
    Duration: -
    Prerequisites: Cobalt Flash, Flame-borne Interception
    When the Winter Lightning parries an attack, the static charge inside burst as a deadly shower of sparks. This evocation upgrades its prerequisite by increasing the parry by two instead of one, when parrying an attack by the wielder’s nemesis.
    Additionally, if the wielder parries an attack by an enemy other than the nemesis, the enemy suffers one die of Initiative damage. This damage bypasses soak and does not increase the wielder’s Initiative.

    Duel-Forcing Lunge
    Cost: 5m, 1wp Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: Perilous, Withering-only
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: Lightning Edge
    The Winter Lightning is a honorable blade and it hates to see its foe ignore a duel. This evocation allows the wielder to reflexively move and make a withering clash attack against the wielder’s nemesis, if the foe tries to attack someone other than the wielder. This counts as the wielder’s action this round (or the next, if they have already acted this round).
    Special Activation: This evocation can only be used once per scene unless it is reset by Initiative crashing the wielder’s nemesis.

    Fulcrum Doppelgänger
    Cost: 4m Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: None
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: Lightning Edge
    Those dueling against the Winter Lightning sometimes feel they are facing multiple opponents. This evocation allows the wielder to create an after-image of crackling electricity. This image lasts for rounds equal to (1 + the wielder’s Essence). Each after-image raises the wielder’s Evasion by +2. If an enemy misses an attack against the wielder by this margin, the after-image disappears and deals (the wielder’s Essence) dice of Initiative damage to the enemy. These dice bypass Soak.
    Special Activation: While the Evocation Thunderbolt Arena is active, the activation cost of Fulcrum Doppelgänger is reduced to 1 mote.

    Thunderclap Assist
    Cost: 3+m, 1wp Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Perilous
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: Fulcrum Doppelgänger
    When the wielder’s relationship with Winter Lightning develops, she realizes that the after-images created by the blade do not follow her movements, but her intent. A skilled wielder is thus able to direct them towards different tasks. This Evocation supplements a flurry. The wielder pays a point of Willpower and 3 motes for every doppelgänger they want to assist in the flurry.
    For each doppelgänger activated by this evocation one action can be flurried without the usual flurry penalty with the after-image performing the action instead of the wielder. The after-images vanish after performing their action. This Evocation can be used to flurry actions that normally cannot be flurried, such as performing a shape sorcery action or attacking more times than once. However, the after-images can only perform withering attacks and even then their Initiative damage does not add to the wielder’s Initiative.
    Special Activation: While the Evocation Thunderbolt Arena is active, the Willpower only needs to be paid once per scene, not once per activation.

    Crackling Affondo
    Cost: 6m Mins: Essence 3
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Decisive-only, Perilous
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: Thunderclap Assist
    A faint spark draws a course between the Winter Lightning and its target’s heart, creating a way for the current to travel. This is a decisive attack targeting the wielder’s designated nemesis. Any engaged after-images may target and attack the nemesis with the wielder dividing her Initiative pool evenly between herself and the after-images. For every doppelgänger that hits, the wielder may turn one of her damage dice into an automatic success.

    Thunderbolt Arena
    Cost: 6m, 1wp Mins: Essence 3
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Perilous
    Duration: Indefinite
    Prerequisites: Crackling Affondo
    By raising the Winter Lighting, the wielder challenges Heaven itself to witness a duel between two arch-enemies. The Blade crackles with lightning and when the wielder swirls it around, the energy draws a crackling boundary on the ground that isolates the wielder and her nemesis from rest of the battle.
    This lightning boundary lasts until either of the combatants, the wielder or her nemesis, lay incapacitated on the ground. Anyone trying to cross the boundary (in or out) must succeed in a (Stamina + Resistance) test against difficulty of (the wielder’s Essence), or they are hurled back and suffer (the wielder’s Essence) dice of lethal damage. Even if they succeed and push through, they suffer (the wielder’s Essence) dice of Initiative damage. Any action that would move a person through the circle (such as a disengage or a rush action) may not be attempted without first succeeding in the Resistance check. If the opponent’s Essence rating is lower than the wielder’s, they cannot avoid this even using magic or other means to bypass the barrier.
    Inside the circle reality itself holds its breath to witness the duel fought within. The wielder may ignore any wound penalties inflicted before the circle was created and adds a single non-charm bonus die to any clash attacks against her opponent for every round passed inside the circle (up to her Essence dice). Additionally, as long as the circle is up neither the wielder nor her opponent reset their Initiative to 3 after a successful decisive attack, instead they may reroll Join Battle.
    Special Activation: This Evocation awakens automatically with no cost, if the wielder meets its prerequisites and suffers a decisive attack from their nemesis that deals more than one Health level of damage.
    This Evocation may only be used against an opponent the wielder holds a Major or Defining Tie of rivalry, hatred or any appropriate Intimacy that marks the opponent as the wielder’s nemesis. Even then the Evocation can only be activated once per story, unless the wielder resets it by developing a new Major or Defining Tie towards a different opponent.


    Zapatos, the Dancer’s Boots (White Jade Combat boots, 3-dot artifact)

    There is a persistent legend of a young Cathak officer, who was kidnapped and enslaved by an Anathema led tyranny. She was stripped of her whole panoply except for her pair of sturdy combat boots the Anathema king let her keep as an insult. For years she was being forced to work in the kingdom’s jade mines among mortal slaves, only to be occasionally brought to the Anathema king’s palace and forced to perform dances and other feats of acrobatics for the king’s amusement. If the Anathema hoped to break the young officer’s spirit, he did not realise how futile it was: for each humiliation and every day in the backbreaking work in the mine only tempered the fire within the young officer’s heart. Still, the Anathema king was cunning and each time the officer planned a rebellion or dug a tunnel to escape through, his demons would spy and uncover such schemes. Until one day the officer stopped struggling: instead she chose to spend her rare free moments dancing. Her dance was so fiery and beautiful that soon other slaves would join her revelry. The Anathema listened to the reports with greater and greater curiosity until his confused servants finally reported everyone in the mines had been caught into the frantic revelry. Eventually the king grew so curious, he had to see it for himself. So he was lead into the mines, where, in his arrogance, he bid his guards to leave as he wanted to observe the dance in peace. For his slaves ignored him in their performance. The king ventured deeper into the mine, fascinated how his rule - for how this could be anything else than his unintended doing? - had given birth to something so beautiful. Thus he marveled until his feet led him to the deepest part of the mine, where the drago- blooded still danced. There the king could not stay silent and spoke: “Why do you dance my servant? Is it for freedom? Or for joy? I must know!” And the officer listened, her dance stalling only for a moment: “No. This dance is meant for you and only for you.” For a fleeting moment the Anathema king felt pride until the full extent of the officer’s meaning dawned upon him. For right at that moment, the officer and every prisoner descended upon him and engulfed him into their deadly dance - as even when they flowed like water and danced gracefully as the air, their performance had the soul of fire and their moves the strength of the earth. And despite his accursed power, the king could muster no resistance, as every one of his attacks was deflected and bent around like wood. It is said that the former prisoners all saw the Immaculate Dragons’ guidance in the officer’s plans and all flocked under her banner. It is said that they faced countless more adventures before finally returning home. And it is said that they each made a vow to take their secret martial art to their grave. But that is another story. The Zapatos are a pair of combat boots that the officer wore through her long imprisonment. They have since been repaired and reinforced with white jade. It is said that the boots still remember how they defeated the cruel Anathema king and those who wear them become able to wield the secret art developed by the nameless officer.
    Evocations of Zapatos, the Dancer’s Boots
    When attuned the wielder may use their Performance instead of Brawl to attack using the Dancer’s boots or calculate their defenses. Additionally, those resonant with Zapatos may use Performance instead of Stealth to catch an opponent by surprise.
    Attunement: 5m
    Type: Light artifact weapon
    Tags: Worn, Brawl, Lethal
    Heartstone slots: 2
    Era: Shogunate Era

    Thundering Dancer’s Leap
    Cost: 2m Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Perilous
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: None
    When Zapatos dances, earth beneath tremors in tune with its steps. This evocation supplements a disengage or rush action. For every 10 on their roll, the wielder may nominate one enemy they were engaged with. That enemy must succeed on a [Dexterity + Athletics) roll against a difficulty of (Wielder’s Essence) or fall prone and suffer an onslaught penalty as if they were attacked by the wielder.
    Special Activation: This Evocation awakens with no cost when the wielder first attunes to Zapatos, the Dancer’s Boots.

    Rhythm Poised Stance
    Cost: 3m Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: None
    Duration: One tick
    Prerequisites: None
    Those wearing Zapatos can follow the innate rhythm contained within the boots. Opponents cannot help but participate in the wearer’s dance and thus struggle to land a blow. This evocation allows the wearer to ignore up to their Essence in onslaught penalties. Additionally, if they have not moved that turn they may boost their Evasion by their Performance divided by half (round up).

    Heel Strikes The Face
    Cost: 3m Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Perilous, Dual
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: Thundering Dancer’s Leap
    No one can withstand a direct hit from the Dancer’s boots. This evocation supplements a withering ordecisive attack. When making a withering or decisive attack against a prone opponent, the target must apply their onslaught penalty twice. Additionally, if a decisive attack deals at least one wound level of damage, the target falls prone (if it wasn’t already) and their onslaught penalty does not reset until they stand up.

    Turnabout Pirouette
    Cost: 3m Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Uniform
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: Heel Strikes the Face
    A foe on the ground is a foe already defeated. This evocation supplements a withering or decisive attack made against a target that’s prone or otherwise below the wielder. The wielder may move up to one range band during her attack and may convert (their Essence) damage dice into automatic successes.

    Quickstep Leap
    Cost: 5m Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Dual
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: Rhythm Poised Stance
    With a graceful twist the Dancer’s boots leap from the ground, striking with lightning speed. This evocation allows the wearer to make an attack against two targets they are engaged with. If this attack is withering, they roll for the attack once and roll damage separately. If the attack is decisive, they roll the attack once and then split their Initiative pool between the two targets.

    Investing the Loyal Chorus
    Cost: 4m, 1 wp Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Perilous
    Duration: Indefinite
    Prerequisites: Heel Strikes Face
    When the Zapatos’ original owner defeated the Anathema, she did so with the help of her fellow prisoners. The boots still remember the low rumble of its original chorus and seeks to dance again with such backup.
    The wielder may activate this evocation to bolster a battlegroup they are leading. The battlegroup must be loyal and familiar to the wielder. (Generally, they must wield an Intimacy towards their commander and/or have been trained personally by the wielder.) As long as the wielder commits the motes and fights alongside the battlegroup, the battlegroup gains +1 Might and Drill, and benefits from the doubled onslaught penalty from Heel Strikes Face.

    Tremorous Allegro
    Cost: 4m Mins: Essence 3
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Perilous, Withering-only
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: Turnabout Pirouette
    The Zapatos drum the ground and the world moves with the beat delivering the wielder’s killing intent against her enemies. This evocation creates a withering (Dexterity + Brawl OR Performance)attack that targets every prone target (up to the maximum of the wielder’s Essence + 1) up to short range.

    Whirlwind Crescendo
    Cost: 5m (1wp) Mins: Essence 3
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Decisive-only
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisites: Quickstep Leap
    Gathering speed from the ground, Zapatos spin upwards in a stirring finale. This evocation creates a decisive attack that targets up to the (wielder’s Essence) targets engaged with the wielder. She may roll to hit once and divide her Initiative evenly against every target hit. If the attack also hits a battlegroup, calculate the automatic damage caused by the decisive attack using the wielder’s full Initiative pool.
    The wielder may pay a point of Willpower to flung any prone target they hit one range band away. Note that depending on the environment, this might cause more damage from hitting objects or falling.
    Special Activation: This Evocation can only be used once per scene. It can be resetted by causing three or more opponents to fall prone with a single action.



  • #2
    Oooh. Shiny! Thank you!


    Iä! Iä! Moe fthagn!

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