Introduction to New Gods of Mankind Legendary Artifacts

Get the whole book here. Enjoy the introduction chapter below.

Greetings Seeker,

            If you have obtained a copy of this book, you are either a very sly thief or a member of the Silver Scroll Gatherers. If you do not speak the proper phrase within the allotted time, this book will dissipate into fine sand. Please return this book in a timely manner to the Silver Scroll Gatherers in Arador. You will be rewarded.

Bound within this third volume of Secrets of the Silver Scroll Gatherers is potent knowledge of Legendary Artifacts . Information is power and such power can be found inside this secret text. Any portion of this text, if misused will shift the balance of power in Naalrinnon.

These puissant objects of power, filled with the Belief of many, are the subject of many tales—some true, others false. Belief over a period of time in the object of supremacy is what empowers these Artifacts, creating a living object able to cast Miracles about as though it were a god. Legends, fictional and real, are discussed here, along with the laws, properties, and rules governing the use of such Artifacts. Some records are first-hand information, although some are second- or even third-hand accounts. Scholars and scribes including many sylph, undine, and gnome priests have contributed to this work and are referenced in it. Many questions such as how the objects were created and where they are located are only hinted at; true locations are never revealed as this knowledge alone is dangerous. Gods who created and controlled the item along with people who have worshiped the Artifact are mentioned as well. Some Artifacts have only manifested in the Known World a few times, while others are lost, as the God and the people who worshiped it are dead. Much of the distilled knowledge of millennia of study can be found here, although there are lamentable gaps in our knowledge when it comes to these legendary Artifacts.

            This book is divided into several chapters discussing these Legendary Artifacts of the Known World. Below is a list of the chapters along with topics discussed:

  • Chapter 1 Introduction to Legendary Artifacts: We discuss here all laws and attributes of Legendary Artifacts.
  • Chapter 2 Legendary Artifacts of the Gnome Gods: Puissant weapons of power are stored with the Gnome Gods.
  • Chapter 3 Legendary Artifacts of the Dragon Gods: Even the Artifacts of the Dragon Gods are divisive.
  • Chapter 4 Legendary Artifacts of Undine and Sylph Gods: Celundynn, Plthunlos, and Lugos all have created extraordinary items that influence the Known World to this day.   
  • Chapter 5 Legendary Artifacts of the Nymph and Giants The forests and wild places in the Known World hold strange secrets.
  • Chapter 6 Menacing and Terrifying Leviathan Artifacts: Malevolent wills and raging souls created several horrifying weapons of fear and destruction.

May Lugos guide your thoughts and deeds,

 

Rhenn,

Third brother of the Silver Scroll Gatherers in Arador

This book is for any god who wishes to create an Artifact, or to make his Artifact legendary. Players should note each myth surrounding the Artifact and the Miracles each one contains. Each section has some unique items of power which can be incorporated into any game.

If your god finds such knowledge during a campaign you should talk with Fate (The Gamemaster) about questing for the Artifact or creating your own.

To Fate (GM):

Every Artifact here can be used for a campaign, either as a focal point or something to add in. If you see an Artifact with too much power, or not enough, feel free to alter the Miracle stats for the weapons.

New grades of Miracles are introduced in this book to show a grander scale. The Mythical, Grandiose, and Impossible scales of Miracles reflect the following die values and cost.

Make sure when role-playing to give each legendary Artifact at least a semi-sentient persona. Most of the Artifacts will display their feelings through actions. Very few are verbal and have full consciousness (a few are mentioned).

Most of all have fun!

Table #–4: Miracle Base Cost
Alteration Miracles
Power Base Cost
Trivial 2
Minor 3
Significant 4
Major 5
Legendary 6
Mythical 10
Grandiose 15
Impossible 50
Innovation Miracles
Power Base Cost
Trivial 4
Minor 5
Significant 6
Major 7
Legendary 8
Mythical 14
Grandiose 20
Impossible 85
Innovation Miracles
Miracle’s Power Die Size
Trivial d4
Minor d6
Significant d8
Major d10
Legendary d12
Mythical d20
Grandiose d30
Impossible d100
Alteration Miracles
Miracle’s Power Die Size Increase or Decrease Steps*
Trivial No effect
Minor One step
Significant Two steps
Major Three steps
Legendary Four steps
Mythical Five steps
Grandiose Six steps
Impossible Seven steps
Miracle’s Power Bonus (or penalty) to Die Roll
Trivial No effect
Minor +1 (or –1)
Significant +2 (or –2)
Major +3 (or –3)
Legendary +4 (or –4)
Mythical +6 (or -6)
Grandiose +10 (or -10)
Impossible +50 (or -50)
* An Alteration Miracle improves (or inhibits) some already existing ability. Thus, the power you need to achieve a particular result depends upon the starting material. For example, say you want to turn somebody into a particularly dangerous warrior — one who rolls d10s in combat. If you used a Miracle to enhance a veteran in this way (who normally rolls d8s in combat), you’d need only minor Miracle (because a change from a d8 to a d10 is one step). Turning a feeble old man (who normally has a simply value of 1 in combat) into a similar warrior requires a legendary Miracle (because increasing a value of 1 to a d10 is an increase of four steps: d4, d6, d8, d10).

Note that an alteration must be at least minor to have any significant impact on a conflict.

The maximum bonus or penalty for any die roll is one-half the maximum number on that die. So, a d6 can have a maximum bonus of +3 (and a maximum penalty of –3). A d10 can have a maximum bonus of +5.

Type of Nimbus Basic Cost* Upkeep Die Used
Trivial 2 1 d4
Minor 3 1 d6
Significant 4 2 d8
Major 5 2 d10
Legendary 6 3 d12
Mythical 10 5 d20
Grandiose 15 8 d30
Impossible 50 25 d100
Type of Disguise/ Scrying Miracle Basic Cost Upkeep* Die Used
Trivial 1 0 d4
Minor 2 1 d6
Significant 3 1 d8
Major 4 2 d10
Legendary 5 2 d12
Mythical 8 4 d20
Grandiose 12 6 d30
Impossible 36 18 d100
Type of Amplification or Diminishment Basic Cost Upkeep* Bonus Given
Trivial 1 0 +/-1
Minor 2 1 +/-2
Significant 3 1 +/-3
Major 4 2 +/-4
Legendary 5 2 +/-5
Mythical 6 3 +/-6
Grandiose 10 5 +/-10
Impossible 50 25 +/-50

Introduction

Gathered in the following text are my conclusions concerning the laws and attributes of legendary Artifacts. Many references to the stone tablets of the gnome Kaaran, a chief warden and priest of Orsa, entitled Defining the Raw Power of the Gods, are included in this chapter. Another scholar mentioned here is Twilla’dii, an Undine priestess of Celudynn, who was killed shortly after the completion of her clay tablets entitled Paths to Glory: How the Weapons of the Gods Function. Many years of study went into the project with much research and some first-hand field experience (which I doubt I would ever do again).

Laws of Legendary Artifacts

            Much like the gods who created them, legendary Artifacts have laws that govern them and their use. These laws define the boundaries of these powerful weapons. Pay close attention to these sets of laws. One day you may create your own Legendary Artifact that will have a spirit of its own.

Each Legendary Artifact must:

  • Have one myth, story, or legend attributed to it. Every Artifact in existence is not known or will ever be known. Only the most influential and world-shaking Artifacts are made into legends. When an Artifact is used among the mortal masses, they will realize its power. Legends will grow and so will the Belief in the power of the Artifact if it is used again. Some stories pass on in time and wither. But legends remain throughout the ages.
  • Have a legend known throughout at least one territory. It is not enough for an inner tribal circle of elders to know the power of a Legendary Artifact. Everyone, from the hunters who travel many days away from home to the small children who play in the village, must know the story. Often visitors who come to this territory will be told of the many stories in the land. Myths surrounding the Legendary Artifacts strengthened it. Traveling merchants and wandering sages speak these myths to the masses ensuring the Artifact’s power.
  • Have survived at least one generation of believers. The stories of each Legendary Artifact must pass from father to son, mother to daughter into the next generation of people. This timely passing of myths is essential to the power of the revered Artifact; from one generation who merely acknowledged the power of this item, to another who enshrines the legend as a potent force to be reckoned with.
  • Have affected more than one tribe. As the story of the relic is passed on, those affected by its power are also mentioned. Each tribe will therefore have their own version of the item, whether good or bad. One tribe might revere the Legendary Artifact as an item that saved their tribe from horrible conquest, while their warlike neighbors will demonize the relic, using its name for a curse. Legendary Artifacts gain Belief even in a negative context.
  • Be subject to the will of the owner, be they god or mortal. Even the mightiest of weapons have an owner to activate its latent power. Some Legendary Artifacts are without a master (see below) and can still function. There are some miraculous relics that have a strong spirit within not willing to settle on a single master. Legendary Artifacts are not heroes and cannot choose their own fate if there is a master. But it may bend the rules of master and servant to favor the Legendary Artifact’s own purposes.

Attributes Associated with Legendary Artifacts

Unique attributes are directly associated with Legendary Artifacts.

  • Legendary Artifacts are possessed by a semi-sentient spirit that can influence mortals and even gods. Once a lifeless object of power gains Belief, it takes on a semi-life of its own. This phenomenon is chronicled in the tablets of Twilla’di; Undine Artifacts have influenced mortals and even the legendary god, Plthunlos, to acts of strange behavior. Kaaran mentions this twice in his text concerning the Gnome Gods as well. It is said Gnorr would have never split the world asunder if it was not for the damming influence of his mighty weapon, World Splitter. (Note: Gods who have created this artifact will know if a miracle is trying to affect the artifact much like a worshipper.)
  • Legendary Artifacts need no god to cast Miracles. Normal Artifacts require upkeep from their patron gods. Legendary Artifacts generate their own Belief and control their own fate. Much like gods gain power from acts or deed (See Appendix A: The Celestial Gardens / Additional Ways for a God to Gain Belief), Legendary Artifacts gain power through the tales spread about them.
  • Legendary Artifacts may gain and lose Belief much like a god. Often Legendary Artifacts share the same followers as the god who owns the item. They will have Belief scores but they cannot gain as much Belief. As a semi-sentient object it only gains one Belief for every ten followers.
  • Legendary Artifacts that have no master may gain a following of their own. They still generate a smaller amount of faith, but may have temples and shrines (See Appendix A: The Celestial Gardens Additional Ways for a God to Gain Belief). A few Artifacts even generate their own Miracles (with guidance from a mortal).
  • The object may lose Belief due to use of its Miracles. If the object is defeated in battle in front of its followers it will lose faith. It will not lose faith due to negligence of its followers. A Legendary Artifact does not have to take care of its followers unlike gods.
  • Legendary Artifacts may survive even after its believers have died. Unlike gods who have spirits that can be crushed, Legendary Artifacts cannot die unless they are broken by a god. Even if the Artifact is broken another god may put the Artifact together and it will be whole. In this respect Legendary Artifacts hold a unique ability to live for ages even with no followers. Hidden legends buried in unknown tombs can reawaken the lost item.
  • Legendary Artifacts cannot travel by themselves. Gods may travel freely through the Spirit Realm and the Known World. Legendary Artifacts are very limited and must be carried. Except for a couple of items mentioned in Kaaran’s work, which actually have the power of flight, Artifacts are objects that depend on masters to carry them around be they mortal, spirit, or god.
  • Legendary Artifacts may be held by spirits. Once an object reached legendary status, it holds a power that transcends the mortal realm into the spirit world. Spirits, Demons, and Wraiths may pick up these sacred relics and use them, much like a mortal or god would. This is a frightening notion as The Path to Glory has recorded several instances where demons have reached godhood through the use of a Legendary Artifact (some are recorded here).

Possessing an Artifact

To possess a Legendary Artifact is to command immense power, giving the user many abilities and a reservoir of Belief. If a god creates an Artifact, and it reaches legendary status, it will stay under the god’s control unless the god’s status is diminished to a spirit or if the god is bound. Spirits may hold on to legendary Artifacts, but it can be taken away from a spirit. A bound spirit is limited and cannot wield an If a god or a spirit notices an Artifact unbound or in the possession of a spirit, demon, or wraith, it may use Miracles to possess the Artifact. Even so, the god must make a spirit vs. spirit roll on the spot to hold the weapon, or else the Artifact will reject it and remain in place.

On occasion, powerful Legendary Artifacts may “lend” themselves to others for temporary use, without the owner’s consent. This has happened in the War of the Elements, when World-Splitter was taken from Gnorr while he was distracted and used to make a deadly blow against Lugos. It is said the mighty weapon Gorr’thu allowed this as its owner never touched it after the War of Invaders, leaving it in the Known World.

Breaking a Legendary Artifact

This daunting task is possible, according to Kaaran’s book. Only a Miracle may break the weapon, as the Artifact is too powerful for a mortal or spirit alone to break. The task is an opposing Miracle to Body of the Legendary Artifact roll. If the Artifact fails, it may use a mending Miracle to keep itself intact, but it will lose Belief. Mending Miracles cost six Belief as it is used to alter its broken form to whole. Some Legendary Artifacts have a Nimbus surrounding it.

Describing Artifacts

            Note: any source used besides the author’s own knowledge is listed with the Artifact.

  • Name of the Artifact: Names are very important as they enable a god to locate the Artifact and possess it.
  • Full Description of the Artifact: This includes its physical description and its Body and Spirit Scores. Legendary Artifacts have no true mental score, which is therefore not listed. Body score is how much it can resist damage to its mass before breaking. Spirit score is for opposing rolls to spirits and gods who try and possess it. Some Artifacts have Nimbuses and are well guarded.
  • Description of each Miracle the Artifact may cast: Each Miracle cast by the Artifact costs Belief. Even if the Artifact cast its Miracles in the Celestial Gardens or in its god’s celestial home, it costs full Belief. Artifacts have no discounts to casting Miracles.

Miracles vary from Artifact to Artifact. Legendary Artifacts do not have domains or inclinations, which make the Miracles cost more. So, the types of Miracles given by a god to an Artifact can vary widely. It can have Miracles of Creation, Destruction, Transformation, and Control in four different domains.

  • Belief/ Celestial Gardens points stored: Some Artifacts use Terror points exclusively. Artifacts which use Terror Points cause fear only. It may use Terror points to cast the Mending Miracle and activate Nimbuses. Terror is generated much like the Leviathans in Chapter 5 New Gods of Mankind New Gods Handbook page 93–95. Belief is generated from several sources: A Gods’ Upkeep (who owns it), their own myths and legends (they earn one Belief per season per true myth as in the Celestial Garden’s Appendix), and their followers.
  • Myths/ Legends surrounding the Artifact: Since a Legendary Artifact has myths or legends, it may earn Belief from them. Listed here are the tales surrounding them.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s