There are legends of enchanted blades of mythical strength, armor which can withstand the most formidable of blows, rings which grant extra lives, mantles which cause one to become invisible and more. From artifacts wrought in the dawn age by the firstborn gods to grimoires bound in the flesh of men, hundreds of stories persist of ancient items of great Magickal repute…
Yet, most of these are simply stories. Sure, there are plenty of amulets out there that swindler priests will pawn off as being Magickal, swearing that such and such ring gave a little old lady two hundred long years of life before she choked to death on a crouton in her soup. They may even spin a hilarious yarn of a pair of silken boots that gifted their brother exquisite dance moves that landed him a local Aristocratic lady’s hand in marriage. The huxster will try to convince you that dropping this simple – yet expensive – coin into a tankard will automatically dissolve the poison from unrequited lovers and turn them into a sex-crazed maniac. But for every story, nine times out of ten, these are useless trinkets pawned off as magnificent objects. However, for the tenth one…there may be some truth to it.
As mentioned before, Magick items are not found in shops nor sold on the open market. There aren’t artificer wizards churning out armor, shields, weapons and fetishes for other’s use. The art of enchanting items has been long lost, and not even the elder races understand how to craft them today. Only the mightiest of champions in the histories; decidedly doomed heroes to be certain, have beheld items of true Magickal repute. The promise of power is enough to drive anyone mad – rest assured that these same “heroes” were villains through and through, abusing its power for their own mad design. Even if these items were to be uncovered, assuredly inquisitors and other would-be heresy branders would do everything in their power to seek them out and destroy them (unless they, too were ensorcelled by their promises of power).
Magick items that have survived the testament of men and the passing of time are firmly divided between two camps – Artifacts and Relics.
The first Artifacts were assuredly created by mad wizards, thousands of years ago. The desire to replicate the rune Magick of dwarven clans lead power-hungry mortals towards creation of Artifacts, sacrificing parts of their own soul to see their work to its completion. They went to great lengths to wait for the alignment of stars and positioning of planets to pinpoint places where the Aethereal Veil was thin and weak. Along these ley lines, the endless pit of the Abyss yawned open, whispering its damning promises to enchanters. Pouring forth into the material realm, arcanists channeled this power within themselves, acting as a battery for raw chaos. By harnessing it, they were able to create the first Artifacts. Though stories of Artifacts are many (and the results of these power grabs leading to the death of the artificer), a handful of Artifacts are still spoken of today.
“Upon this canvas lie the terrifying and unspeakable secrets of hell. No one who sees it lives to describe it. And you shall live in darkness for all eternity.”
The Beyond is the macabre magnum opus of a madman; an unfinished painting of massive proportions. It depicts physical despair, stretching into an unending horizon with bogs of festering miasma consume the desperate final remnants of light. The dead and the damned crawl and feed upon one another in an endless cycle as their haunted, hateful eyes gaze back at the viewer.
Is it a physical manifestation of the Aethereal Veil, the membrane between this world and the next? Or, is it a living ritual? The Beyond has been called a great many things, but always in hushed whispers. Few, if any, truly understand the works of Malen Fulci. One might argue that to even try is to enter the mouth of madness. Entering the world hated as the bastard of a fallen priest, the artist had always seen the world differently. Tortured and left at the brink of death for years during a tumultuous war, his deranged perception found razor focus. Some argued his works came alive, each composed of unique and terrible components. But, the Beyond is different. His cult of followers to this day hunt the lands to feed The Beyond, for it is never finished, never sated. It hungers to make its dark landscape reality and ours the portrait.
The painting is a gateway to any realm an admirer of its macabre work can possibly imagine: flown to the other side of the material realm, trajected into the weightlessness of the Vault of Night, tossed into the bewildering buffeting winds of the Aethereal Veil or even cast into the endless pit of the Abyss. A suitable blood sacrifice must be made, determined by the Gamemaster. However, a painter can be granted any one wish, should they illustrate their desires upon the canvas themselves. The would-be painter must complete a portion of the painting, using the blood of another living being from their own race, taking no less than one year of time. The blood must be wrought from a lover or well-trusted member of their family. Once the wish is fulfilled, the painting disappears as the painter gains 10 Chaos Ranks.
Many moons ago, there existed an orrery device of such great proportions, that it had to be contained in the tallest of towers. Built by a group of nine wizards, it was a perfect replica of the known world. A great armillary sphere dominated the mechanism, with every continent, ley line and sacred stone circle indicated upon it. The sphere was built from a half sphere of silver and an encasing sphere of gold, moving as a yin-yang symbol over one another. Each of the clockwork pieces were built of brass and rare stones, moving in all directions at once in unison. Above it, smaller globes hovered, attached to hoops of iron. Beyond that, long rods affixed to even smaller armillary spheres extended outwards. Deep within the main sphere laid a golden throne, with a vast series of lenses and spectacles affixed to flexing metal arms, uncovering the secrets which lay beyond the stars. Together, this device – dubbed the Mantic Calculator – ticked and moved along, driven purely by Aethereal energy. Ensconced within a bulbous minaret atop a preceptory in the mountains, the Calculator could track not only the movement of stars and the seasons, but also predict terrible happening in the vault of night. It foretold of when the stars would fall, where the Aethereal Veil was the thinnest and what series of events would lead to the Abyss pouring into the world. It reputedly predicted the falling of a star during the cataclysm, which born the genesis of Wytchstone to the world. Yet today, only the towering minaret remains, as remnants of the Mantic Calculator lay in waste amid the ruins of the preceptory. No arcanist nor cleric of the higher mysteries has been able to puzzle out how to put it back together. Only the throne remains, with its myriad of lenses in varying states of disrepair. Should it ever be reassembled, however, it could lead all mortal kind to an age unseen since the gods walked the earth.
By sitting upon the golden throne, a would-be astrologer’s Intelligence is immediately changed to 100%. However, the astrologer cannot remove themselves from the throne, fastened into it for no less than nine days. After merging with the infernal machine, every Skill Focus is granted to the astrologer. Such vast amounts of information drives the user mad, as they instantly suffer from the Disorder of Deranged Hero. Finally, the Mantic Calculator allows its user to predict precisely what will happen a day before it unfolds. Once unseated from the Mantic Calculator, the astrologer’s Intelligence returns to normal.
Whereas Artifacts were undoubtedly crafted, Relics are of a different nature. There were terrible times that came to pass, where mighty armies of heavenly and demonic soldiers waged war, when gods walked on the earth and other events of great significance had come to pass. In their wake came cataclysmic results, where items became unintentionally empowered by the influence of order and chaos made manifest. Romanticised in stories, these ancient Relics wait for the right person to unlock their latent power; useless in the hands of the unworthy. Relics have historically been gifted to powerful Abyssal Dukes from their true demon masters, eventually making their way to the material realm. Some even suggest that foolhardy, yet powerful, bible-thumpers have even passed beyond the Aethereal Veil into the endless pit, in hopes of recovering an accursed item to use for the greater “good”. Many have failed; all that remains are the horror stories of these saints cast themselves into the Abyss, only to be eternally tormented by their lust for ceaseless power.
HAMMER OF THE GOD EMPEROR
The God-Emperor is a revered figure, both as a god and as hero of all mortal kind. His radiant hair and glistening armor are staples of how his worshippers honor him in their hymns and illuminations, but often just as famous is the God-Emperor’s massive war hammer. It is this weapon, carved with the image of a burning star, that He struck down his Mutant slave masters and founded a mighty kingdom. But this hammer was not forged by the God-Emperor. When the God-Emperor was still a mortal name Sigmund, He journeyed far to the north, where the Abyss opened into the material realm. Therein, he stumbled upon an ancient ruin and found the war hammer deep within, radiating an iridescent glow. He took it up, as His head filled with divine providence that it was a tool of primordial creation; the very hammer that struck upon the anvil of reality. He then strode forth to conquer and then unify mortal kind into a single empire, with the war hammer becoming an eternal symbol after he was canonized. The relic is reputedly locked away in the most highly guarded of the Godsworn’s reliquaries. The Hammer of the God-Emperor is their most important artifact, and massive crusades would be started if it was ever stolen. Naturally, a number of false hammers have floated around. There are even whispers that the true war hammer is not kept in the Godsworn’s reliquary, but instead held in-hand by an unassuming peasant girl. Some speak that the hammer lay in a deep crevasse – a portal between the material realm and the Abyss. What truth there may be with that is largely unconfirmed.
Only someone with a Brawn Bonus (BB) and Willpower Bonus (WB) of no less than 13 can heft the hammer above their head. It acts as a Martial Melee weapon known as a war hammer, possessing the following Qualities: Castle-forged, Defensive, Fast, Finesse, Powerful, Punishing, Reach, Shrapnel and Vicious. Those who wield the hammer are forever cursed to champion the cause of the God-Emperor, and must change their Order and Chaos Alignments to Zeal and Fanaticism respectively. Finally, whenever a foe is struck by the hammer, they immediately suffer from a Stunning Blow and a Grievous Injury, despite whether they are Lightly, Moderately or Seriously Wounded.
Many centuries ago, a great and terrible war erupted across the material realm. All nations, united beneath their region’s banner, invaded one another’s territories. In the wake of a thirty year long war, it was spoken that nearly 40% of the population perished – lying dead in ditches, burned at the stake, given to famine and disease or made victims of rapine and mutilation. At the thrust of these atrocities was a man named Gustavus the Great. He was a soldier of the church, affectionately called The Giver by his allies and The Taker by his enemies. Gustavus was a dichotomy of a man; both priestly and monstrous. The Giver was magnanimous to his own people, whereas the Taker decidedly cruel to his enemies. Ceremoniously manic and dedicated to his religious cause, the Taker led a great siege against an ancient city called Wurzburg. Beneath his command, his troops sacked the town and destroyed its walls with massive siege engines. After seizing Wurzburg, the Taker beheaded every man while the children and women were hung from the throwing arm of a mighty trebuchet, decorated with his banners. Left behind as a symbol of The Taker’s sanguine campaign, it would later be dubbed The Whoreson. Were one to locate the trebuchet today, likely you’d find the small bones of children half-buried in the soil, with daisies growing in the earthly red-black clay.
It is spoken that any rock flung from this trebuchet will spread Filth Fever across any settlement that its stones land in. Also, any ammunition flung will instantly destroy any wall, standing building or otherwise man-made contrivance of war. Given its nature of extreme destruction, anyone attempting throw the trigger mechanism must roll a 1D6 Chaos Die. Should it land on a face “6”, the user is flung into the air as well, only to fall to their doom. Finally, those who pray below the beam of The Whoreson can directly commune with the Abyssal Prince of Violence (as if they had casted Dearly Departed, a Lesser Magick from the Arcana of Morticism).
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