Twisted Artificer Of Shattered Dreams

The Twisted Artificer of Shattered Dreams

By Foweraker

Some call the Artificer the most brilliant of the Deathlords, others call him the most pathetic, the truth is likely to be somewhere in between the two. He appears to be a very tall, thin and painfully angular male ghost without so much as a drop of colour in his body. He wears a floor length coat of the style worn by first age technicians to protect themselves from dangerous reagents. It drags on the floor, concealing his legs from view so that he seems to glide. He also wears gloves to cover his hands, leaving his face as the only exposed skin. His expression is always one of vacant bemusement and when he speaks it is never above a whisper, his lips barely moving. Hit height seems to vary drastically, he will sometimes grow several feet without his coat ever leaving contact with the ground. It is not his physical form that draws most attention though, it is his mental state.

There is no other way to say it, the Artificer is insane, even by the standards of 13 ghosts who agreed to a job that requires them to annihilate all reality. He seems to constantly loose track of his own thoughts, suffer from mood swings that can see him laughing and crying multiple times within the same sentence. The only thing that is constant in his personality is that he seems incapable of refusing an original intellectual puzzle, although the number of things that he has not at least given a cursory examination is very low. This has all lead to him having surprisingly good realations with other Deathlords. His military aspirations are practically nil, so long as his workshops function and are supplied with materials and workers he cares not. He has a view of the world that allows him to find the answers to many questions that his compatriots find insoluble. For this reason many other Deathlords try and remain on good terms with him, his lack of open hostility is refreshing and more than once he has not only been able to give the petitioner the answer but had already designed and constructed artefacts intended to solve the problem, just in case he ever needed to… On the other hand he does have a tendency to barge into the business of other Deathlords with little rhyme or reason, sometimes the reasons become clear but just as often the other Deathlords are left wondering why The Artificer stepped in to save an Abbot of the Immaculate Order or deactivated and destroyed a cache of Soulbreakers.

There is no doubt in the minds of the other Deathlords as to who he was in the First Age either. One Broken Arrow fought in the Primordial War. He was a nervous and jittery sort of person, but truly brilliant. However as the end of the war he engaged in a battle of wills with one of the souls of She Who Lives In Her Name, he emerged victorious but the mental strain left him permanently damaged. As the first age rolled by his mind became more and more disjointed, able to create more and more creative wonders but also becoming more and more paranoid and delusional. Shortly before the Usurpation he set off into the Deep Wyld on an expedition with an entourage of his most loyal Terrestrial attendants and most powerful automatons. He never returned, so it was assumed that he was killed, but the details never emerged.

There is a reason why the Artificer covers so much of his skin, his goggles are not the only soulsteet grafted into his body. His hands have been replaced with soulsteel surgical implements and pretty much all of his body below his armpits has been removed and replaced with a mass of soulsteel tools, weapons and claws. The reason he seems to float is because he does, he lacks legs and always has a ground clearance of at least a foot.

The Screaming Forge

The Screaming Forge sits low on the horizon deep in the south, at least nine days travel by camel from the nearest settlement. It seems almost dull, a single story of featureless walls with a single essence chimney. As soon as one passes over the threshold however one realises the reason for the misconception, the whole manse is upside down. Once your are inside gravity inverts and you can then descend up the manse and into its hellish workings. Here The Artificer builds all manner of devices and conducts all manner of experiments utterly incomprehensible to all save the most insane. The manse is geared entirely towards crafting (level 5 manse, no hearthstone, Control Room, Password Activation, Bound Servitors (ghosts bound into service including many drafted from Soul Prison), Puzzle manse, Soul Prison (able to bind a seemingly infinite number of ghosts) and Factory Cathedral. The combination of Puzzle manse and Factory Cathedral enables The Artificer to tailor its craft bonuses to whatever craft he wishes.) and has few defences of its own. However it is very rare for The Artificer to leave unless he is required for a meeting in Sygia or wishes to observe an unusual phenomenon and most of his old experiments in necrotech are still in the manse, most of which are coil 5 or higher.

The Artificer's Technicians

The Artificer possesses only one Abyssal of each caste. A Dusk caste that conducts field tests of The Artificer's weapons and other creations, a Midnight and Daybreak who act as laboratory assistants, a Day caste who investigates interesting phenomena for him and a Moonshadow who is responsible for obtaining the materials The Artificer requires. All have at least 3 dots in Lore and Occult and most have many dots in various craft skills as well. As well as Abyssals he also has vast numbers of necrotech and necromantic servants and an army ghostly technicians.

The Artificer's relationships with his servants, both the Abyssals and his lesser servants, are surprisingly good, if only because they are more than willing to overlook his occasional homicidal rampages as part of his genius. Most truly beleave their master to be the greatest mind in all of the Underworld and many look upon him as a father figure, although some are not as loyal as he thinks they are and many of his necromantic creations resent his newer or more favoured creations for monopolising their “father's” time.

The Artificer's Plans

One of two things is true. Either the artificer has no overall goal other than to try stuff at random or he does and it is so twisted and insane that only the Neverborn can understand it. It will however undoubtedly involve some form of doomsday device or weapon and recent investigations he has made suggest that his target may not, infact, be creation but rather some figure in Yu-Shan, possibly Gia, possibly the Unconquered Sun or maybe the entire city itself. However less than 100 years ago his main focus seemed to be miniaturising the technology behind soulbreakers so that he could sow the air currents of creation with them and purge all life that way, so it may be a very short time before his focus changes again.

The Artificer's Tools

To be totally honest the storyteller could and should put whatever the feel like here, The Artificer's modifications to his own body are more set, but you can assume he has made at least one of all 1-3 dot artefacts and of most 4 and 5 dot ones since he began his mission, a lot more of some of them as well.

The soulsteel modifications to his body grant him the following benefits: The goggles grant him essence sight and allow him to seem all forms of dematerialised spirits. His hands allow him to block lethal attacks unarmed. He also has several integrated weapons and significant soak and hardness.

Character Sheet

Motivation: To Understand It All

Former Caste: Twilight

Attributes:
Strength 9, Dexterity 8, Stamina 10
Charisma 4, Manipulation 3, Appearance 2
Perception 4, Intelligence 10, Wits 6

Abilities:
Archery 7 (+3 Body grafts), Athletics 5, Awareness 4 (Detecting unusual phenomena +3), Bureaucracy 5 (+3 Organising Laboratories), Crafts (All)10 (+3 The Theoretically Impossible), Dodge 6, Integrity 4, Linguistics 4 (Old Realm, High Realm, Seatongue, Flametongue, Low Realm), Lore 10 (+3 The Incomprehensible), Martial Arts 6 (+3 Body Grafts), Medicine 7 (+3 Defying Nature), Melee 6, Occult 10 (+3 The Incomprehensible), Resistance 10, Stealth 4, Survival 4, Thrown 5, War 3

Backgrounds: Amazingly high ratings in Artefact, Abyssal Command and Resources, Influence 3, Underworld Manse 5, Cult 2, Liege 5, Savant 5, Whispers 7.

Virtues:
Compassion 1, Conviction 5, Temperance 4, Valor 3
Willpower: 9
Health: 45x-0(The effects of his self modifications render the Artificer immune to pain, mostly because he has become desensitised to it.)
Essence: 10
Essence pool: 78 Personal, 216 (196) Peripheral (20 committed)

Charms: The Artificer knows all Abyssal Charms that he meets the prerequisites for, as well as basically all written Ghost Charms. He also has a wide selection of specialized Craft charms that allow him to create artefacts faster and easier than other crafters. In addition he has perfected a way of allowing the ghosts trapped in soulsteel to influence the owner of the final object, to create such artefacts use the rules for sentient wonders from the Infernals book. He has access to the first two circles of sorcery and all three circles of necromancy but almost all his spells are utilitarian in nature, few if any have deal direct damage or are of direct use in combat.

Due to his twisted and fractured mind only social attacks originating from Yozi, Neverborn and Primordials can effect him and he gains +5 DV against them. Also as a minor note, as he floats rather than walks he cannot be tripped up and his footing cannot be disrupted. Likewise he is immune to all powers that require the target to touch the ground unless he is forcibly grounded.

Equipment: Highly variable. His physical enhancements are more fixed but his other equipment and artefacts could include almost anything you can think of.

Combat:
Join Battle: 10
Soak: 20B/15L/10A, Hardness 5 (Soulsteel reinforcements 10B/10L and hardness 5)
Dodge DV: 12, Parry DV: 9
Attacks:
Soulsteel Tool Claws: Speed 4 Accuracy 18 Damage 12L Rate 3 Tags N

Body Scythe Talons: Speed 6 Accuracy 19 Damage 23/6L Rate 2 Tags O, P, R, N

Soul Shredding Body Cannon: Speed 3 Accuracy 21 Damage +5A Range 150 Tags N

This does not include the bonuses for attacking a living target and it costs 5 motes to fire the Soul Shredding Body Cannon.

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