Ophidian Kata Rings
Appearing as ornate, orichalcum snakes eating their tails, this matched set of five rings are worn on the wrists, ankles and neck. When attuned, the snakes animate briefly into a perfect fit and will do the same should the user want to move or remove them. The neck ring contains a hearthstone socket.
The rings contain great power, but this is not immediately evident. The artificer who created the rings constructed them for a young solar he had never met, as a favor to a circle mate. Not confident in his circle mate's ability to properly train this young solar and concerned that too much power too quickly would derail the boy even further, the artificer installed a series of locks into the artifact. These locks required the student to learn certain things before they released and granted additional abilities. Most of this knowledge is, in itself, fairly innocuous, but the artificer hoped that seeking it would provide a journey to the boy that would teach him well.
At each stage, anyone attuned to the rings knows what their current abilities are and has a sense that answering a certain question or completing a certain task will unlock the next ability. Until he does so, he has no idea what the next ability is, nor how many abilities remain to be discovered.
The rings function only as a set, providing no benefits if worn otherwise.
Initially attuning the bands requires a commitment of three motes and provides a vision of the item's past. The rings augment martial arts forms, briefly trailing faint lines of essence and making a barely audible noise appropriate to the form (hissing for Snake, rustling leaves for Wood Dragon, etc.) as the form is activated. While the form is active, the user may inflict either lethal or bashing damage with unarmed attacks (including, of course, those with any form weapons the style considers to make "unarmed"). They may also parry lethal attacks without a weapon and gain +2B/+1L/+1A to their natural soak. Attunement also unlocks the orichalcum bonus for this artifact: all unarmed Martial Arts attacks against demons, ghosts and the walking dead inflict that actually inflict damage do additional dice of aggravated damage equal to the Exalt's permanent Essence. These damage dice are applied separately after resolving the normal damage for the attack and can be soaked, but not otherwise defended. At this level, the rings are considered Artifact ••.
The user can tell that these rings will do more when he knows for sure the name of the city in the vision.
Summary: Martial arts form enhancing rings