Attunement Cost: None
Activation Cost: None
Most commonly crafted into the fabric of a full cloak, robe, or great coat, but potentially into any type of garment or armor that covers the majority of the body, orichalcum threads are woven throughout the item, giving it a gold-shot appearance in the right light. Beneath the surface, numerous essence matrices and tiny accumulators connect to the power channeling tracery.
The essence circuitry embedded in the mantle is designed to collect and redirect the excess energy that inevitably surrounds a powerful essence user and his possessions, and put it to use. Directed by the Mantle’s matrices, this energy is used to fortify the object into which it is woven, conferring supernatural durability, and extraordinary defensive qualities.
This energy turns cloth into armor, and makes armor far more resilient, increasing the soak the item grants by an amount equal to one fourth the total number of motes the user currently has committed (rounding up or down as normal for the wearer). Regardless of whether the base item confered any soak to begin with, this counts as armor soak, and so confers protection against bashing, lethal, and aggravated damage, and follows the normal armor stacking rules. The Mantle itself must be attuned to gain these benefits, but attuning it requires no essence commitment, and therefore makes no contribution to its own benefits.
Design Commentary: Though the Mantle grants a significantly smaller bonus to defenses than is standard for a three point artifact (typically only around +3 soak, as compared to the +6 soak and 6 hardness specified on page 14 of Oadenol’s Codex), this is balanced against the artifact’s own total lack of attunment cost, and the ability of the bonus to grow with the user.