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[Token] The Harp of Bone and Hair

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  • [Token] The Harp of Bone and Hair

    The Harp of Bone and Hair


    When a character strums the Harp while spending a point of Glamour, it sings with a woman's voice (a soprano, and always in a minor key) about a secret or a hidden weakness of any person the user names, be they changeling, True Fae, hobgoblin, mortal, or other. This information can include the target's Vice or Derangements; one of their Frailties or Banes, if any; or one Task or Sanction of a Pledge to which they are sworn. A separate activation roll or Glamour expenditure is required for each piece of information revealed in this manner.
    Mien: When inactive, the Harp appears to be a small handheld lyre of polished white wood, strung with gold-colored strings. When activated, onlookers who can see through the Mask realize that the Harp is actually composed of human bones and is strung with long blonde hairs, and always has been.
    Action: Instant
    Cost: For each secret or weakness the Harp reveals about another, a catchy rhyming couplet begins circulating around the local area, detailing one weakness, hidden shortcoming, or secret shame of the one who invoked the Harp's powers. Mortals assume it's just a catchy ditty or long-forgotten nursery rhyme, but changelings and hobs likely recognize it as being about the invoker specifically. These snatches of doggerel spread like wildfire through the area until everyone knows them, but they can never be traced back to a particular source; they just appear in the public consciousness, like a ring of mushrooms popping up overnight.
    Players are encouraged to think of embarrassing secrets for the Harp to reveal about their character in advance, but even if they claim not to be able to think of one, the Harp will still exact its toll. Instead of spreading an embarrassing truth, an inconvenient falsehood about some shameful action from the user's past begins to circulate, with the Wyrd spontaneously manifesting incontrovertible proof that this false accusation did indeed occur: damning photographs and DNA evidence materialize ex nihilo, tawdry newspaper articles chronicle their supposed fall from grace, login records and IP addresses show that they did visit that website or send those texts, and lie-detector-proof "eyewitnesses" suddenly remember seeing the Harp's user do the terrible things that everyone is saying they did.
    Catch: There is one way to get the Harp to reveal the secrets of another without airing out your own dirty laundry, and that is airing someone else's. If the Token's user feeds the Harp the secret of another (who must be different from the target), then the Harp will reveal the target's secret for free, broadcasting the other's secret in place of the user's own. However, the Wyrd marks the gossip who tells such tales: the substitute knows, as soon as they hear their own secret being bandied about, that the Harp's user is somehow to blame for letting the world know their shame.

    (Inspired by this song.)
    Last edited by Super_Dave; 08-10-2020, 11:40 AM. Reason: Specified that the Harp's mien when active can only be seen by individuals who can see through the Mask.


    Author of Motor City Breakdown, [New Seeming] Mechanicals, and [Entitlement] Divers of the Cerulean Pearl
    Co-Author & Accuracy Consultant for Ashes of the Motor City
    Major Contributor to Tenebrous Seas

  • #2
    Stolen! I like it a lot! ^^
    I especially love how you get the player involved in deciding the "cost", but leave an equally good alternative path open should they not be able to come up with anything. The catch is likewise excellent. Cool picture, too. ^^
    For the mien: I couldn't tell if you meant all onlookers see this while active. By RAW, it would only normally be onlookers who can see through the Mask.
    But if you're ok with it being slightly off-RAW, then I'm ok with it. ^^
    Last edited by Unahim; 08-02-2020, 05:40 PM.

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    • #3
      Why thank you, Unahim! ^_^ That's very high praise, I'm glad you like my Token so much.

      I didn't specifically intend for the Harp to work differently than RAW, TBH I just forgot. I also realize now that most Tokens make you pay the Cost and a Drawback if you don't activate them properly; they don't normally have Catches that allow them to be used for "free". But I figure that all things fae-touched are inherently weird, and it's good to keep players on their toes by introducing a new magic item that works a little differently than normal. Plus, the Catch is also kind of a Drawback of its own, if you think about it.


      Author of Motor City Breakdown, [New Seeming] Mechanicals, and [Entitlement] Divers of the Cerulean Pearl
      Co-Author & Accuracy Consultant for Ashes of the Motor City
      Major Contributor to Tenebrous Seas

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      • #4
        Love it! Personally I have been inspired by a different song, but it features the same harp. Ever since, I always wanted to include it in a Changeling chronicle somehow.

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