New Syrneth Artifacts
This artifact at first seems so obviously intended to be a buckler
shield one wonders whether or not the researchers and experimenters
could have possibly got it wrong. Several have been found and it seems
that they were in widespread usage.
The items are approximately six inches in diameter and made from disc
of light turquoise stone-like material. Set in the centre of which is
an amber-esque gem; similar to the material of the crystal armour
which other chapters of the Explorer’s Society have uncovered. Upon
the reverse face of this disc are two tough metallic strips, forming
loops which a man’s arm can pass through. Upon the edge of the disc
are two jutting metallic protuberances, roughly a half inch long and
no more than 1/4’ thick. Our experimentation has found that when the
two levers are pulled, as it were, around the circumference of the
disc, one clockwise and the other anti-, they click and whirr as they
But that is not all. Once the two levers touch back together a
mysterious semi-translucent shimmering mist emanates from the gem and
extends to a radius of 16 inches from the centre. Further
experimentation that this misty light is in fact impervious to all but
living matter. A sword can not pierce it, nor can lead shot. Though a
hand or even a spider can easily step through this strange substance.
However, a curious effect is that anyone or anything which is placed
directly in front of the gem, is repelled, as if by a strong gale.
At present the researchers are divided into two camps. The first
believe that the object is what it seems to be; a magic shield, able
not only to protect the wielder, but also able to force back any
would-be attackers. Whilst the second group feels that the item is a
mundane lifting device; simply place materials onto the centre and
activate the leavers, then watch how the materials are levitated
several yards into the air. At present no agreement seems likely to be
reached, however, several patrons have expressed a desire to see more
of the samples the chapter has obtained.
The device, when used as a Buckler, gives a +5 to Passive Defense
Parry (Buckler) and a +1 Unkept die on Parry (Buckler) Active Defense
Roll, made against an opponent with whom the wielder is in melee
Additionally an Active Defense can be rolled with a +5 to the TN
against a successful Firearms Attack. If the shot is defended against
then roll damage as normal to determine only if the device is
destroyed; any dice which exploded on this roll renders the artefact
The two ‘levers’ take 20 minutes to tick back around the rim, when
they touch again the misty shield switched off.
The plate-like Buckler can be used to lift objects, simply place them
on the reverse and pull the leavers. It will rise at about one inch
per second with up to 20 lbs on it. Any more weight and it simply
won’t lift, but when it does lift, it won’t stop…
At first glance this artifact seems to be a broach or a pin. It is a
large bee cast in gold about 2 inches long by a half inch wide of
remarkable detail and quality. Every aspect is perfectly crafted; the
legs are jointed, antennae protruding, the wings folded back. On the
back of it’s thorax a small red gemstone the size of a fingertip is
recessed into the gold and the stinger appears to be made of black
onyx, honed razor sharp. The first hint that this item is more than it
seems is, although it LOOKS like it is made of gold, it weighs next to
nothing. The second is that it is always slightly warm to the touch,
as if there is some kind of heat source within it.
This artifact originates in the Thalusian Isles.
If the gemstone on the object’s back is touched with the finger of
the person holding it, the comes to life flying into the air like a
real bee. The person who activated the bee slumps down into a cross
legged sitting position with their palms up on their knees and their
eyes glaze over with a thin milky film. Their intelligence has been
transferred into the bee, they now can control the bee like it was
their own body. As far as they are concerned it is their body. The
object imparts all the abilities of control to the user, so there is
no learning period where the user must learn how to use their new
The first time the gem is touched this should happen automatically,
thereafter it should probably cost the expenditure of a Drama Die.
Flight is the same as a bee’s and the user is capable of amazing aerial feats.
The user’s field of vision is nearly 360 degrees and they can see
into the ultra violet spectrum.
Lastly the user feels the stinger on the tail and the artifact
imparts the knowledge of the Bee’s Gambit to every new user. The
stinger is deadly to any person or creature it stings but at the cost
of the life of the user.
The user can travel up to 500 feet from his body with complete
control, after 500 feet the user must make a resolve check TN 20 to
keep control over the bee, adding a raise and a new check for every 20
feet farther away the bee travels. If the user fails the Resolve check
the bee drops to the ground where the check was failed and the user
snaps back into his own body and suffers 1k1 damage + 1 unkept die for
every twenty yards traveled past the limit (i.e. If the user traveled
520 feet before failing the resolve check the damage would be 2k1).
The user can end his journey at anytime without taking damage by
simply landing on one of his real body’s upturned palms.
While controlling the bee the user’s body is completely helpless (TN
5) and if the user is killed while controlling the bee the user will
know instantly who is responsible for the users death and will be
compelled to sting and will remain in control of the bee as long as it
takes to find the user’s killer. However the reverse is also true. If
the bee is destroyed while being controlled, the user will stop at
nothing until the artefact’s destroyer is slain (In game terms a
player receives a rank 3 vendetta background and the Rash hubris
regarding the bee’s destroyer).
The item will only work for it’s current owner, the person whom the
object deems is in possession of it. I.e. if someone wears it like a
broach and a curious passerby touches the gem there is no effect, but
if the same passerby snatches the broach and touches the gem it will
This artifact is obviously of Syrneth origin and designed for advanced
tool users at that. The overall shape is similar to sandstone tablets
that herald out of the Empire of the Crescent Moon, although its
appearance is more bizarre than any simplistic item. It would appear
to be a desk or some sort, or perhaps a tray.
It is 24 inches wide by 37 inches in height, with a depth of 4
inches exactly. Along the right side (running top to bottom along the
greater length) is a dark metallic rail attached with rounded globes
to the front face. This would appear to be worn, with traces of
slight, regular scrapping. Perhaps a marker or other such device once
slid along this rail? The front face has four more globes mounted upon
it along the top face, each roughly 1 inch in diameter. All seem to be
sockets of some sort, with polished inner faces and a slight raised
nipple at the bottom of the depression. I say they are sockets because
one has a fine ruby set in it, which can be depressed with ease, or
twisted counter-clockwise and removed.
Across the left side of the face run a series of peculiar markings,
almost script-like, yet seemingly too regular to form words. At each
corner is a small triangular sliver which are either joined
exceptionally smoothly else they are sculpted out of the tablet’s
material. It is because of these that I believe this artifact to be a
desk or similar writing device, because I can well imagine a sheaf of
over-size parchment slotting beneath these four cornices.
The item is in remarkably good condition, although incomplete. There
are presumably three additional stones missing, the purpose and design
of I can only speculate at. Also it could well be missing a sliding
marker and perhaps even a sheaf of some material. Although my
assistant thinks that unlikely due to the obvious ease with which it
could be removed from its temporary fastenings. Therefore it is
likely that this device has a variance of uses, each associated with
the stones inserted in the sockets. Whether each stone can be combined
or has a distinct purpose I know not. Likewise, the rail, with it’s
scratches, is also a mystery. A pointer could be one option, but then
again it may have been a tuning device, similar to that of a
In conclusion, I believe that the tablet has a definite function
associated with documentation and records. However, this purpose of
use may be directed in a variance of manners and scale. My testing has
led me to become increasingly frustrated and I have now ruined several
pieces of valuable over-sized velum, specifically created for my
testing of this piece. I feel that this artifact can give us great
insight into the nature of the Syrne culture, language, and even their
governance. If only I could find the other four damnable stones. By
Theus! If my assistant, James ruins just one more sheet this week, why
The Tablet is used to scribe documents on and then to imbue them with
a specific emotion, to add a general flavor to the text.
The four stones are of a different type, each fairly common to Theah,
but each linked to a different feeling. My suggestions are below. The
operator twists the stone clockwise and moves the slide (see below)
then depresses the gem to ‘set’ the ‘level’ of emotion to imbue. This
way each emotion can be added at different levels and a varying range
of feelings can be imparted.
Ruby Anger, Hate
Aquamarine Trust, Forgiveness
Rose Quartz Happiness, Optimism
Topaz Depression, Heartless
There is indeed another missing part to the artifact, that of a
sliding magnet along the rail, though this is rather simple to
replace. However, without it the effects of this device may be quite
radical. This magnet alters the strength and direction of the emotion
affected. When centered on the rail no emotion is imbued, but moving
it towards either end gives either a positive/negative effect and the
greater the distance the stronger the effect.
The effect of all this chicanery is that the parchment onto which a
character subsequently writes is has the ability to effect the
emotions and attitudes of whoever reads it. So a letter written to
Leon Alexandre could well state that Montegue is rapidly returning
through Eisen having failed in his attempt to carry out the Sun King’s
instructions and is bent on a reckoning with his majesty. However the
device could be set to imbue a sense of great happiness towards this
content, or even forgiveness (!).
How this actually works is straightforward. (I was toying with some
form of modification to social rolls, or the Repartee system, but have
found a much more elegant way of doing it). If the user describes to
the GM’s satisfaction how they are going about imbuing the emotions
and the content of the document, let them spend 2 Drama Dice to give
the recipient of the document the Arcana the player desires for the
Scene during which the target reads the document. This may be a Wile,
Flaw, Hubris or Arcana depending on the circumstances.
An example; So a map directing a party of Eisen Monster Hunters into
a lair is written with the device. The player describes that she’s
adding healthy amounts of distrust, depression and even some annoyance
to the map, then she spends a Drama Die. A few days later the Eisen
expedition set foot in the lair and pull out the map, trying to judge
if the explorer whom created it was correct when he took the left hand
path. The leader, who now has the Misled Flaw is suddenly overcome by
this as the player spends a Drama Die and the Monster Hunters head
right, down into the dark depths…
I’ve given this the cost of 2 DD mainly because it’s fairly powerful
in giving the target an Arcana in the first place, plus the players
immediately know which one it is so they can activate it when they
like. And also because they are probably going to use it to direct the
story in ways which are quite significant. Whether player’s can use
this to give themselves other Arcana for a scene is entirely up to
your discretion. I’d probably advise against it due to the potential
for abuse, but also because they are aware of the unnatural nature of
the influence they’ll be putting themselves under.
Flare of Solaris
These tubular devices turn up quite often during the excavations of
below-ground Syrneth dwellings. Each is fairly consistent in design,
being 13 inches in length and 5 in diameter with a rotating section
which will slide back and lock in place before use. The material is
brass-like in it’s properties, but with such delicate elements that
make it beyond doubt an item not from our own time. There are several
darker squares of material, possibly crystal, along it’s length and
the aforementioned twisting collar with a secure locking mechanism.
The tube is by no means hollow, with a convex lens of exceptionally
pure glass resting near one end. Further in front (or behind?) of this
sits a fine tube suspended along the central axis of the device via
unknown means. With protuberances, etched areas and some tiny sliding
segments along the inside of the tube it has been exceptionally
difficult to obtain undamaged, functional examples of these devices.
What use the Syrne had for them is not entirely obvious, whether it is
as a weapon or warning device we are unsure. One thing is clear, at
present they fall squarely into the primary category compared with
contemporary flintlocks and developing cartridge weaponry. The rear
sliding section can be pulled back, twisted through 90 degrees and
will lock in place. Four seconds later an intensely bright and
unbelievably hot discharge arcs from the front of the tube to travel a
distance of 120-150 feet. These yellow-white burning emissions have
been difficult to collect, there appearing to be no ‘shot’ or ‘powder’
in it’s operation. All that has been discovered are the ashes of a
material, possible metallic in composition, but also bearing some
unusual properties more associated with flammable gases.
One curious find in 1662 as led those who try to plum the mysteries of
the Syrneth to believe that we are missing some vital element to this
device. One such artefact was discovered with a ring around the end,
opposite to the glass lens. This showed vague remnants of once holding
broken glass but no more have been found since.
Simply put, this item is a torch but Theans will not doubt use its
properties as a weapon. It is charged via sunlight, hence the black
panels along its length, and the internal gubbins focus the stored
energy into a glass bulb at the end. This globe contains gases into
which a magnesium-like material is ignited thus giving illumination. A
few switches can be toggled to alter the gas mix and thus the
brightness or color of the light emitted.
However, without the glass bulb securely fitted on one end, the device
shoots out a small but intensely hot shard. This has roughly the same
punch as a pistol, is quite inaccurate and will easily combust most
materials it comes into contact with. This also means that anyone
using these without full knowledge of its effects will be releasing
strange and noxious gases, possibly being harmful or having other
Weapon Damage: 5k3 After being hit, the target will be
burnt for 1K1 Damage each Round. This will last 3 Rounds unless the
actual target combusts, i.e. clothing, a wooden carriage, etc. Damage
from this is left to individual GMs.
In design this 10" octagonal artifact resembles nothing so much as a
decorated and expensive ladies’ jewelry box. Made from an almost
opaque opalescent material and engraved with images of obvious
astrological significance the box appears sturdy and valuable – if
only for it’s enchanting appearance. Around the mid-section of the
container runs a band of azure metal, with properties similar to
copper, which splits in two when the top and bottom halves of the box
are twisted apart.
Inside the box is a veneer of milky crystal, from which emanates a
soft blue glow, bathing a bronze plate in the base with eerie light.
The plate has some straight-line etchings upon it, but can not be
marked by any gem-cutter who has tried. The lid appears to have been
repaired at some point, the inside of this having a dull sheet of lead
This artifact has one purpose, to repair or mend that which is broken
or incomplete. When either a damaged object (like a watch) or an item
with a part missing (such as a compass less it’s needle) is sealed
within the box there begins a soft pulsing of azure light that seeps
out. A few short minutes later this ceases and from within a whole and
undamaged item may be retrieved.
Several aspects of this function are worth noting though. Organic
material, such as wood, tissue or leather deteriorate with some speed
after their retrieval, usually relative to the toughness of the
material. So a pistol stock might last a month or more, but a leather
strap would give out but a week from now. Secondly, and this is
easiest to illustrate with an example; A pocket watch, engraved with a
personalized message yet missing the engraved piece would return from
the box with a replaced, but not uniquely engraved, part. I.e. The
Cerulean Box appears to make items complete to their basic design.
Lastly, should any item of a magnetic nature (I.e. certain Syrneth
items) be placed within the container it will immediately cease to
The Cerulean Box has surfaced several times over the last 50 years,
and always in the hands of one distinct group; those who are tinkers,
peddlers and charlatans. They travel from town to town hawking their
goods whilst also using this device to profit from breakages and the
like. Some have even been known to employ cutpurses and buglers to
break valuables in the hope that they may profit from the business.
Whether the restoration process is related to time travel, Magic or
Nano-technology is entirely up to your own tastes. I’ve opted for
atomic powered-reconstruction. This has several nice aspects to it;
magnetism screws with the fields holding in place the isotope-material
required for powering the Cerulean Box. The crystal shielding could
become damaged or broken – hence the temporary lead lining. And
lastly, the potential to irradiate your party! This could be mild and
cause temporary hair loss, and sterility or fairly severe and result
in mutation and cancer. Nasty, but the side effects are much more
interesting than a chance explosion, or madness.
There are a couple of adventure ideas around this.
The first is as noted above, that a crafty charlatan starts to break
valuable items in a bustling city for profit. He uses the Box to
repair them at a decent profit, but so as not to blow his cover he
always leaves a few left broken still. Perhaps the party notice his
cat-burglary, or he comes to them requiring an antidote for his
deteriorating health. Through in a few irate merchants and nobles with
damaged goods seeking recompense and you should have the Heroes
running around for some days.
Perhaps the Cerulean Box is not yet discovered, but the smashing of
a noble’s valuable trinket requires them to sniff out rumors and
obtain it to ease his anger. Of course, they may find out too late
that it’s less than perfect (or safe…) and then have to create a
desperate ruse to dupe the noble into believing the hasty scrawl on
the underside of his snuff bow is indeed that of his mentor and
friend, Remy du Montaigne!
Having themselves broken a key to unlock untold knowledge (an actual
key, a curious mirror or a pair of compasses) the party discover a mad
and twisted hermit who has a device to cure their woes. Unfortunate
for them that his touch brings pain and illness and none can come near
his hideout for fear of The White Plague! They must overcome
their imagined fears and the very real threat of radiation sickness to
entreat an enfeebled man (or fight the warped beast) to gain access to
the Cerulean box and repair their key.
Perhaps the Cerulean Box does not quite fix something the way in
which the Heroes would wish it. The Queen’s missing earrings turn out
Jade rather than Jet, or a mended compass always points towards
Portals of the Daughters, perhaps a pocket watch becomes accurate
enough to operate at sea, but everyone is now after it. Whatever it
is, the Box has repaired their item, but with a twist of it’s own… maybe it wasn’t accidental and a malevolent being or spirit is
directing events for it’s own purposes.
Danforth’s Concerned Gauntlets
The background to these mysterious gloves is well known to those of
the Rilasciare. Danforth was a simple young artist from Castille who
believed in the work of the Rilasciare and all that it stood for.
After several years as an oil painter’s apprentice she gained further
work doing propaganda cartoons for the secret society. She became
quite good at is until the Inquisition took a dislike to her work and
as a single woman of means she had quite some freedom. Then the
Inquisition captured and tortured her to give up her companions. She
was unable to resist and several of the Rilasciare were hung over the
next few weeks, the last of which was Danforth herself. However, when
captured her jailer took her fine violet, silken gauntlets in payment
for a cool cup of water. The gauntlets then exchanged owners with the
sergeant of the watch who took them in return for granting the gaoler
a day’s leave to visit his dying wife. The gauntlets then passed out
of sight, but show up in times of direst need for those who seek
succor and favor.
Danforth’s Concerned Gauntlets turn up at odd times, such as lying
on a table, or found in one’s long coat. But whosoever discovers them
may exchange them for any one favor from a Henchmen or Brute Squad.
Simply make a Panache + Sincerity Roll Vs the target’s Resolve (or
Threat rating x 5), and success grants a favor. This can be anything
from turning the cheek & handing over secret documents to ignoring a
concealed weapon or unlocking a door. The gauntlets then pass out of
If the gauntlets are given to a Villain & a successful check, as
above, is made, then he is assumed to have the Merciful Arcana for the
Remainder of the Scene.
While there are many hunters after the fine Syrneth artifacts
that lay around Theah, there are other artifacts to hunt
as well. While there are no Syrne around to argue about
the digging up of their artifacts, the Vestenmannavnjar will
be quite interested in the discovery of any of these artifacts.
The gods of the Vestenmannavnjar walked Theah, they will tell
you. If these artifacts legends are true, then perhaps they
All of these items would be held in great esteem by
Vestenmannavnjar, and they would want to these items to be
used for the greatest use. Not necessarily in their own
hands, but in the hands of a villain or Vendel they
would certainly do something to get them away from them.
The Gauntlets of Kreig
During the “Worst Days” in the gods battles against Legion,
the gods joined in forces and shared their power in their
battles. Krieg was said to have been gifted these gauntlets
to better battle Legion.
These gauntlets are made of some sort of grey-green leather,
and will cover up to a 6 foot wearer’s elbow.
Incredibly tough, it is said they are from the hide of the
great Drachen. The gauntlets are backed with 4 iron plates
that cover the entire length of the gauntlet. These gauntlets
are indestructible to any force known to Theah at this point.
The truly interesting things about these gauntlets is that
a rune sits upon the back of each gauntlet, where the back
of the hand would be. Each rune is the same, but the rune
changes from day to day.
Using these gauntlets does 2k2 damage, and grant a free raise
with all Panzerhand knacks.
At the dawn of each day, roll on the table(s) below to determine
which rune appears on the back of each gauntlet. The wearer
is still limited to the number of runes they can activate
each day by their wits. Weather runes are usable once in the day,
and Runes that require a duration last for 6 rounds.
1-3 table A
4-6 table B
7-9 table C
10 their is no rune on the gauntlets today
8-Stans (weather effect only)
2-Velstand (Wisdom effect only)
8-Nod (emotions only)
10-“Herje” : When this form of the Ruin rune appears
the gauntlets do not form Runes until the next Story.
Hammer of Lidenskap
Lidenskap was known for his temper and the sleek edge of
his blade. He was also a god who put everything he had
into everything he did, including smithing. This hammer
reflects the power Lidenskap had.
The Hammer appears as a simple enough iron hammer,
the kind smiths use. The hammer is hard enough to
be used for blacksmithing works, but fine enough to
be used for other sorts of smithing works, and working
with leather and other crafts.
Lidenskap’s Rune appears on the side of the hammer. Like
the other artifacts of the gods of the Vestenmannavnjar ,
the hammer is indestructible by forces known to modern Theah.
The rune can be used as a heavy weapon, but at -1k0
on knacks using it in combat, as it is not balanced
Used for blacksmithing, the hammer itself will generate heat
in a controlled manner, such that no forge is needed.
When used in the creation of objects, if the user makes 3 raises
the object will be quality and fine appearance, and will accept
runes readily. If a rune is inscribed upon an object made
with the hammer and the 3 raises by the user of the hammer,
the rune will last for 5 years. If the inscriber (and owner of
the hammer) permanently sacrifices a panache die, the rune
will last for 50 years. If the inscriber (and owner…) sacrifices
their life in the creation of this object and rune, the rune
Axe of Stans
This heavy battle axe is perfectly balanced, and made of some sort
of bright shiny metal, that doesn’t rust, pit, or corrode. The wielder
will find himself (or herself) fighting with great calm when
using the axe, and able to control the pace of the battle better.
The axe does standard damage for a heavy weapon, but adds +1k0
to all heavy weapon knacks while being used. The wielder may
also reroll one initiative die when being rolled like the combat
reflexes advantage. (This with the advantage, does allow two
initiative dice to be rerolled)
Carrying the axe on your person also calms the bearer. Giving the
bearer +2k1 on any rolls to resist any sort of intense emotion
or aggression. All attempts to charm, intimidate, or taunt the bearer
have their TN’s increased by 10.
The Cup of Storsaed
This iron goblet,simple enough, but with fine etchings in
increasingly complex patterns, was owned originally by Storsaed
when he was squire to Styrke. Carried by greatness and used
as the fulfiller of strength, this cup has gained in power.
Any liquid poured into the cup turns into a fine alchohol
(the type appears to vary with drinker). All poisons are
neutralized in the cup. Drinking this mead is quite refreshing
Drinking from the cup counts as a good meal for the day. Three
times and you are full. This can only be done for brawn+resolve
days though. After that, and while refreshing, no longer counts
as a meal.
Additionally, drinking from the cup grants a free drama die, that
can be used normally. A drinker can only gain this benefit once story.
Cloak of Tungsinn
Tungsinn was the embodiment of nihilism and depression. Tungsinn
was necessary to remind the gods of the losses they had suffered
and to prevent such loss again, but none too much cared for his
presence and often tried to forget that he was there.
Wearing this drab gray cloak Tungsinn was often forgotten and
not noticed. He would use this talent to escape imminent destruction
to tell others of the losses that he missed.
Wearing the cloak adds +2k0 to all stealth and shadowing rolls
of the wearer.
However, its far more useful ability, is that the wearer isn’t
noticed, or just accepted as being normal for where he or she is.
The watcher needs to make a WITS roll versus a TN of the wearers’
(Panache+2)*5. If he fails the watched will not notice the wearer
or just accept their presence if there is no way they could
not be noticed. This is not totally foolproof, and sometimes the
wearer will be noticed no matter what, especially in locals of
extreme security. Plus grey cloaks aren’t always in fashion,
and if that wouldn’t fit, you may have trouble.