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Wyr'paljan Caduceus

From DivNull RPG

The first solar to master magical alchemy, Wyr’palja was also a formidable First Age sorceress. She had a particular fascination with birds and the elements and built an orichalcum device, a golden caduceus, to assist her in casting her favorite spells. The caduceus can change in size from a small amulet to about the length of staff. Any attuned user can do this at will, but using some of the abilities forces it to become a certain size. Generally, the more powerful the effect, the larger the caduceus must be.

Apart from the size changes, the caduceus has no real power in and of itself (making its attunement cost low). Instead, it acts as a conduit or lens (and, in some cases, teacher) for specific spells. When these spells are cast through the caduceus, the caduceus allows the caster to alter the spell in various ways, either making the casting easier (which tends to reduce the cost of casting) or more flexible (which tends to increase it). As a spell is cast through it, the snakes on the caduceus shift into patterns to better channel the spell.

This is an incidental incremental artifact, with a fairly long chain of stages. The key to unlocking the caduceus are Wyr’palja’s passions: the birds that inspired her magic, the joy she found in crafting and artifice, and her lunar lover, who spurred her on as a sorcerer while he lived. It was her emotional reactions to these things and the insight they gave her into sorcery that allowed her to fashion the caduceus in the first place. Some of this leaked into the caduceus when it was forged, and there remains enough vestigial memory that an attuned user experiences feelings that act as hints to the next state.

Plot Requirement Mechanical Requirement Rating Attune Unlocked Abilities
Must possess the artifact Attunement ●● 1 While the user is attuned, he gains the knowledge of the spell Flight of Separation [whit.45] and may cast it reflexively, even if he does not know sorcery. He still pays normal cost for the spell, but it takes no shaping time.
Wyr’palja had a very strong sense of self, so the first step is to discover her name and caste (twilight) Essence 3 ●●● 1 While the user is attuned, he gains the knowledge of the spell Death of Obsidian Butterflies and may cast it, even if he does not know sorcery. Cost and timing remain the same, but visually the spell summons small, brightly colored glass birds instead of butterflies.
Sorcery colored the majority of Wyr’palja’s life, so the user must uncover which school she followed (Salinan). Terrestrial Circle Sorcery ●●● 2 When Death of Obsidian Butterflies [ex2e.252] is cast through the device, spending three additional motes prevents it from needing a round of shaping.
Wyr’palja focussed and calmed herself by making things, particularly intricate figurines, mostly of birds. To gain a closer understanding of both her and the birds she loved, the user must create a highly detailed figurine of some kind of bird out of some durable material. The bird must capture the feeling of one of the five elements, and then must be enchanted with that element with Ritual of Elemental Empowerment. It then must be given away. Craft (Air) 2, Ritual of Elemental Empowerment ●●● 2 When Flight of the Brilliant Raptor [whit.46] is cast through the device, it can be given a different elemental aspect for +5m.
  • Air: Undodgeable. (Per + Occ)L piercing base electrical damage, plus Essence auto damage successes. For each two health levels dealt, -1 die to Dex rolls next turn, decreasing each turn.
  • Earth: (Per + Occ)L base damage, plus Essence auto damage successes. For each two health levels dealt, clinches target for a round.
  • Fire: Unblockable. (Per + Occ)L base damage, plus Essence auto damage successes. For each two health levels dealt, -1 die to Dex rolls next turn, decreasing each turn. Three yard blast, giving any who fail a Stam + Res (3) roll a two die penalty for two turns.
  • Water: Unblockable. (Per + Occ)B base damage, plus Essence auto damage successes. For each two health levels inflicted, target’s knockdown test increases in difficulty by one. Three yard blast, knocking down those who fail Stam + Res (3) roll.
  • Wood: (Per + Occ)L base damage, plus Essence auto damage successes; however, instead of actually dealing damage, target infected with poison lasting one round for each success.
Feelings of longing for a particular mate echo in the user’s mind, urging him to discover the name of Wyr’palja’s mate (Iron Monsoon) Presence 2 ●●● 2 When Infallible Messenger [ex2e.254] is cast through the device, it takes the shape of a bird, not a cherub. For +10m, once reaching the target, the caster can speak through the bird to have a five minute, two-way conversation with the target.
The user needs to fly in some capacity where he is largely unhindered (on a rope hanging from a skyship, some kind of personal artifact, etc.) Conviction 3 ●●● 2 While the user is attuned, he gains the knowledge of the spell Swift Spirit of Winged Transportation [whit.83], and may cast it without knowing celestial circle sorcery. Cost and timing remains unchanged.
The user sees a day when Wyr’palja took out her frustration on a flock of birds, killing 100 with a single casting of Death of Obsidian Butterflies. The user must replicate this feat. Essence 4 ●●●● 2 When Death of Obsidian Butterflies is cast through the device, for +10m its damage becomes piercing. This may be combined with other improvements to this spell provided by the staff, but each must be paid for.
In fairly vivid montage vision, the user sees Wyr’palja and her lover happily teaching each other sorcery against a stunning backdrop, halfway up a wooded mountain, with a small river running through some kind of outdoor manse/temple, then cascading into a spectacular waterfall, thousands of feet down. The nature of the place seems inspiring, and the user knows that he must find where it is (at the source of the meander river). Celestial Circle Sorcery ●●●● 3 By spending 10 motes, the user can transform the artifact into a fantastic golden vessel to be carried by the Swift Spirit of Winged Transportation. The artifact remains in vessel form for as long as these motes remain commited. The vessel looks like a flat-bottomed ship covered with intricate metal tracing over the hull, and with the masts replaced by a single post with a crossbar to use as purchase for the bird’s talons (this uses stats for a large yacht [king.145], but with +4L/+4B soak). The ship is luxuriously appointed, but contains neither crew nor weapons. Built for air travel, it is not particularly sea worthy, but does float. The user has minor control over the configuration of the ship and can, for example, optimize it for carrying passengers or cargo.
Together, the lovers were a formidable war machine, particularly in their flying warstriders. Discover the name of Wyr’palja’s (Luminous Talon Rain) War 2 ●●●● 3 When Princes of the Fallen Tower [whit.72] is cast through the artifact, they appear as large birds. For an additional +5m, they can fly at twice their walking speed.
Learn the name of Iron Monsoon’s warstrider (Molt-Defying Plumage) Presence 3 ●●●● 3 When Summon the Army of the Wyld is cast through the device, any birds that come can be commanded remotely.
To learn about elemental forces Wyr’palja visited every elemental pole. Start on this path as well and come within five yards of one of them. Conviction 4 ●●●● 3 While the user is attuned, he gains the knowledge of a spell called Elemental Wrath, a weaker version of Wrath of Five Elements [whit.99]. This effect acts in all ways like a celestial circle spell costing 30m, including casting time and 2wp charm cost. The spell is identical to Wrath of Five Elements, but only one of the elemental effects (decided when the spell is being shaped) is released per casting and the spell lasts for only one turn. Whatever effect is chosen erupts around the target with various avian visual effects (e.g. flock of firebirds erupting from the ground, etc.)
Wyr’palja carved her own city out of the the deep forest. Discover the name and First Age location of this city (Q’in Sanizaj, deep in what is now the eastern Wyld) Essence 5 ●●●●● 3 When Death of Obsidian Butterflies is cast through the device, for +5m and +1wp its damage becomes aggravated. This may be combined with other improvements to this spell provided by the staff, but each must be paid for.
Finish the journey you started and come within five yards of each of the elemental poles. Solar Circle Sorcery ●●●●● 4 Each time the Wrath of Five Elements is cast through the device, it can be altered in one of the following ways:
  • The wp cost is reduced by one and one less turn of shaping is required.
  • The caster can select the order in which the five elemental effects activate. He must use each element exactly once and chooses their order as the spell is cast.
  • The difficulty of dodging or parrying each effect increases by half the caster’s Conviction (round up).
  • The caster can automatically channel Conviction while casting, regardless of the situation. This channel counts against the number of channels available per story, but does not cost Willpower. The cost of the spell also decreases by 5m.
To gain the same insight into the elements Wyr’palja did, find some way to transform your body, however briefly, into each of the five elements. Conviction 5 ●●●●● 4 When using the option to select the order of the elemental effects of Wrath of Five Elements, the caster can spend an additional point of willpower to use the elements more flexibly. The total number of turns the spell works remains five, but the caster can use, for example, the fire effect on each of those five turns, or two fires and three woods, etc. The elements used and their order must be chosen as the spell is released.

Instances[edit]

This was uncovered in Wyr’palja’s mausoleum eventually falling to Jorias.

Game Information[edit]

Summary: Amplifier of bird-themed sorcery
Rating: ●●●●●
Commitment: 3
Materials: orichalcum