This hearthstone infuses the essence of its bearer with the nature of iron, making her anathema to all of the denizens of the Wyld.
When worn, this stone grants the benefits of Integrity-Protecting Prana to the bearer and all equipment they carry or wear against effects that originate from the Wyld or from denizens of the Wyld. In addition, the bearer and their equipment gain the anti-Wyld qualities of Cold Iron: any glamour that comes in contact with the bearer is dispelled, Wyld-touched creatures that come into contact with the bearer takes one level of aggravated damage (ignoring natural soak from Stamina and Charms), and all attacks performed by the bearer against Wyld-touched creatures do aggravated damage (again, ignoring natural soak from Stamina and Charms).
The properties of the Iron Soul Stone are so opposed to the chaotic nature of the Wyld that it’s possible for Wyld-touched creatures to sense its presence even when they are not directly affected by it.
Outside of the Wyld the effects of this hearthstone are more or less in tune with Creation. As such, Wyld-touched creatures can’t sense it until it’s almost on top of them. If they come within 15 yards of the bearer of the stone they feel an unnatural creeping chill that cannot be mistaken for anything else, but are unable to clearly identify the source of the effect without additional investigation.
Within the Bordermarches, where the laws of physics still hold sway, the stabilizing impact of the stone increases the distance at which it can be sensed. Here, a Wyld-touched creature can sense the presence of the stone at (Heart Rating x 150) yards. And though it might be possible to track the stone based upon the intensity of its effect, Creation stabilizes the Bordermarches to such an extent that it would require a master tracker. For most, it’s simply a warning to beware.
Once the bearer crosses to the Middlemarches, the stone creates an unmistakable presence. Here, where distance now becomes relative, any Wyld-touched creature within the same Waypoint or Journey knows that the stone is present as well. Similar to the Bordermarches, tracking the stone is possible, but here it becomes a bit easier. Any creature with enough determination can track the discomforting chill to its source, but without appropriate skills this is accomplished primarily through trial and error and can take a significant amount of time.
Within the Deep Wyld, the stone marks the bearer as a defiler. This far from Creation the denizens of the Wyld don’t even need to be in the same Waypoint or Journey to feel the stone’s stabilizing influence. In particular, they can be up to (Heart Rating) Waypoints away and still sense the source. Tracking the bearer through multiple Waypoints is extremely difficult given the nature of the Wyld, but once within the same Waypoint or Journey, Wyld-touched creatures instinctively know the direction and distance to the stone.
This stone is a variation of the Iron Soul Stone from Oadenol’s Codex (pg.91), which has three core components. The first is the protection of the bearer and all gear from all effects of the Wyld. Mechanically this is not a terribly clear distinction, so this has been replaced with the effects of Integrity-Protecting Prana, an essence 1 solar charm. Shaping effects are defined as an alteration of reality, an effect almost always associated with the Wyld, so thematically it is an appropriate distinction to make that has the benefit of significant mechanical support. The benefits of the charm were also extended to the gear worn by the bearer as specified by the hearthstone.
The second component is a five yard area of effect damage radius versus Wyld-touched creatures. As the primary offensive benefit of the stone this is underwhelming. It lacks finesse and control and is embarrassed by lower ranking hearthstones like the Candent Carbuncle (+4L damage increase to all weapon attacks, plus additional effects, versus 1A to a specific type of creature). Taking inspiration from the name of the stone itself, this was replaced with an effect that applies the meta-physical qualities of cold iron to the bearer and their equipment. The mechanical benefits of cold iron were taken from The Fair Folk, pg. 149.
The final component of the hearthstone is a set of drawbacks, seemingly in an attempt to account for the overwhelming strength of the stone. Since the stone as written is inferior to lesser stones, this doesn’t make much sense in terms of balance, but in the interest of maintaining as much of the stone as was reasonable, an effort was made to incorporate this element. The rules as written for this component are too vague, as “sense” could mean anything from knowing the exact location of the source to something more akin to having one’s “Spidey sense tingle.” What I settled on was something in between, while maintaining the quality that the drawback gets more severe the deeper into the Wyld the bearer travels. I also adjusted the rules to account for the actual physical layout of the Middlemarches and deeper.
The end result is a very potent hearthstone for those traveling the Wyld or confronting Wyld-touched creatures, if potentially dangerous depending on whose attention she attract, but fits more fairly into the mechanical bounds of a 5 dot hearthstone.