Conjuring Sentinel (Wrackstaff ••••
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By TheUnsungHero

Orichalcum Wrackstaff, Artifact ••••

Unending Hammer was crestfallen. For centuries, her creations had been the pride of her homeland, the coastal state of Morayy. The Southern town boasted some of the finest crafts in the land, but Unending Hammer worked with the hand of the gods themselves. However, the mighty crafter was under a terrible malaise and she feared rumor would spread of her failure to create more works. Nothing seemed interesting enough, and her depression was deepening.

Drawn by her state, her oldest friend Capala came to her and suggested she undertake a soul-searching quest to rediscover herself. With some persistent coaching, Unending Hammer acquiesced and left to walk Creation. At first, stories of the mighty smith trickled back home as she visited small towns and helped put down small disasters as the exalted tend to do. As the months passed, however, all the stories eventually stopped. Unending Hammer vanished and none could locate her. As the years stretched on, Capala wept for the loss of her friend, for fear that she had died in some terrible accident.

Three decades later, Unending Hammer appeared back in Morayy. A spark of madness flickered in her eyes when she spoke which was rarely and only to bark instructions. She brought with her a chest made of an unknown material, the contents of which she kept hidden from the world. She ignored her friend Capala who was initially ecstatic at hearing of her friend’s return, and Unending Hammer locked herself in her old forge with only a few servants and the chest.

For 5 years, the sounds of her craft echoed through the city, the door only opening when weak or dead assistants had to be traded out for new ones. Those who came out said that the exalt was channelling powerful sorcery, a skill she had lacked prior to her journey. None could describe the contents of the chest, but only that they were critical to the design of what she was creating.

Finally, the ringing of the anvil ended, the smoke from the forge died down, and the door opened to the last few servants fleeing the workshop. When Capala went inside to see her old friend, she found Unending Hammer lying dead on the ground, starvation finally having caught up to her, but her eyes frozen wide with untempered glee. On the table lay a staff of orichalcum and a strange material that resembled jade, and yet it shimmered between colors in the light. Capala wept once again, for she would never understand what had possessed Unending Hammer to create such a weapon, or why it should cost her life.

Conjuring Sentinel is an orichalcum wrackstaff that is alloyed with a strange metal of unknown origin. Best guesses of occult specialists is that it originated in the wyld, but it seems to react with the natural elemental powers of Creation. The staff has 3 hearthstone sockets along its length and has an unknown pictographic language embossed along its length. Only those initiated into Sorcery can get any unique benefits from Conjuring Sentinel.

Evocations of Conjuring Sentinel

A Solar or Dragon-Blood who spends 1 additional mote attuning to Conjuring Sentinel may gain even greater benefit from their sorcery. Successfully casting a spell invigorates the exalt, granting them 1 initiative. If the spell was a Decisive attack, this is added to their base upon resetting.

Calling the Sentinel
Cost: 6m, 1sm (+1sm/round) Mins: Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: None
Duration: 1 round
Prerequisites: None

The Conjuring Sentinel communes with the ambient essence of Creation, and when its wielder uses sorcery, it vibrates with joy at the humming of the natural world in response. When the exalt begins a Shape Sorcery action, if they gathered any sorcerous motes, they may pay 1 of their gathered sorcerous motes to the cost of this evocation to activate it. Upon activation, the exalt plants the Conjuring Sentinel on the ground upright in front of them where it will balance perfectly upright as though lodged. The wrackstaff will not move or be moved until the evocation ends.

Triggered by a combination of the exalt’s own essence and that of the world around it, Conjuring Sentinel forges a mass of elemental expression with a Defining Intimacy to protect the exalt. This being is the Sentinel and could be expressed in a variety of ways. If used in the forest, it could be a mass of vines and branches that move to protect the sorcerer. It could be pillars of rock bursting from the ground, or ice forged from the air in a wintery tundra. However it manifests, the Sentinel is a non-human shape that cannot traverse range bands but will defend the exalt from all attacks as long as the wielder remains within Close range of Conjuring Sentinel.

The Sentinel can only Parry, and it has a Parry score of the higher of 5 or the exalt’s Essence score. It will constantly use Defend Other on the exalt as it can do no other actions and it has a single -0 health level. Because it lacks an initiative pool, it takes Withering damage directly to its health pool.

The Sentinel only lasts for 1 round, but if the exalt successfully Shapes Sorcery on their next turn, they may donate an additional sorcerous mote to extend its duration for another round. Doing so resets any onslaught penalties the Sentinel may have accrued, but it retains wounds. This may be done each turn as the exalt wishes until they cannot feed it any more sorcerous motes (at a limit of 1 mote per round) or until their spell successfully casts. On either condition, the Sentinel immediately disintegrates into dust or a puddle of water or rotting vines, as is appropriate for its composition. When this evocation ends, the wrackstaff will fall over, though if the exalt is still in Close range and not clinched, they may reflexively grab it again before it falls.

Empowering the Sentinel
Cost: (+1m + Xsm) Mins: Essence 2
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Calling the Sentinel

The exalt’s greater mastery of Conjuring Sentinel allows them to apply their sorcery to its evocations in more ways. This evocation upgrades its prerequisite, allowing the exalt to expend additional gathered sorcerous motes to empower their Sentinel temporarily:

  • 2 sm to ignore onslaught penalties for the Sentinel for one instant
  • 5 sm to ignore onslaught penalties for the Sentinel until next turn
  • 3 sm to increase the Sentinel’s Parry by 1 until next turn (not stackable)
  • 8 sm to allow the Sentinel to Parry a single attack that is deemed unparryable without the use of magic or charms. This does not cover Incalculable Damage.

Retiring the Sentinel
Cost: 3m, 1wp Mins: Essence 3
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Empowering the Sentinel

The Sentinel is a temporary being and it’s existence is meant to end. The master of Conjuring Sentinel however, can make its death more meaningful. Whenever the wielder completes the casting of a spell and this causes an existing Sentinel to expire, the exalt may activate this final evocation to detonate the guardian instead.

The explosion affects all opponents out to Short range, and is a dice roll of (Wits + Occult) with automatic successes equal to half the number of rounds, round up, that the Sentinel survived for, including this round. Opponents affected may oppose this with a (Stamina + Resistance) roll. For each enemy that loses, the force of the explosion knocks them back 1 range band and automatically prone. All foes within range lose a point of initiative regardless of success, as they shield themselves from pieces of whatever the Sentinel was composed of raining down on them at high velocity. This lost initiative cannot push an enemy into Crash.

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