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Blood Money

Taking things out of the Shadowlands

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Donor

So, the players are in the far North of Scandinavia in BC times and are dithering around some particularly nasty Nihils (cross over game, none of them are actually wraiths).

They have meddled behind the local Shadowlords back and are attempting to steel some Stygian steel manacles from some slaves they freed, to take back with them to forge into an artifact. They started walking off with them and I hadnt prepared exactly the hows and whys, so I said that the manacles would fall through the sack they were using as they passed in and out of shallowings, and that taking them out of the Shadowlands wasnt just a matter of going in there then grabbing them and leaving.

So...how would this work? In the party is a Cappadocian and a Valdaerman Svalahaldor (necromancer) so they have the expertise to do this, both are veterans of the dead. They are entering/exiting the Shadowlands via a very powerful area riddled with Nihils and shallowings etc...is it as simple as taking them through a powerful Nihil (one in particular is in the area) and into the Skinlands? Or should they need some cool ritual (as im leaning towards)

Thoughts? Experiences? Advice? etc....

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Procurator

Any Artifact or Relic taken into the Skinlands will evaporate back into Shadowlands. How long it takes would probably depend on the local Shroud rating. i. e. the higher the rating, the longer the manacles will "exist." However, permanently taking Stygian Steel across the Shroud will probably cause some nasty Resonance. It's partly forged of dead souls, stuff mined from the Veinous Stair and who knows what else. The PCs won't know.

Carrying around manacles will chill the air, kill living things -- like the psychic vampire flaw. Whispering, moaning, weeping and trembling manacles at inopportune moments, attracting Spectral and wraithly attention with all the downsides that implies. Plus the manacles will be ice cold and uncomfortable to handle. Have it threaten to slip out of their grasp. Or swing shut around a wrist. Getting loose should be fun. And who said this wasn't a trap?

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Donor

Cool, some good ideas and flavoring there thankyou

So a ritual to take something permanently out of the Shadowlands would be a high level ritual (5?) I assume?

I want to make it possible but difficult, and I was planning on having some resonance to the object once it was forged into a solid block in the Skinlands.

Any thoughts on such rituals/powers?

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Procurator

The Grasp the Ghostly level 5 Necromancy ritual allows necromancers to remove relics from the Shadowlands for up to a year. It doesn't work on (wraithly) artifacts though. A lot of research and ritual tweaking maybe? Other necromancers are certainly going to notice the Shadowlands souvenir and want to study or steal the manacles.

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Donor

Nice, good tip, looked that ritual up in my new VTM20 pdf just now :)

To clarify (and to make sure I got things right):

Relics = things that have been destroyed in the Skinlands and now exist in the Shadowlands, can be mundane items but had some importance to someone at some point otherwise they wouldnt exist in the Shadowlands.

Artifacts = "magical" things in the Shadowlands, made from Stygian steel?? Or can anything be an Artifact in the Shadolwands (assuming it was made by an artificer or similar)

Stygian Steel= "magical" steel from deep in the dark umbra (the stairs etc as mentioned, I read that part)

So one final question, if a Wraith is forged into say an ashtray, or a brick for building etc, what is that? Is that just a mundane thing in the Shadowlands or is it a relic or something?

Things cant exist in the Shadowlands/Stygia except for relics and wraiths that are forged into things right?

thanks again!

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Procurator

A relic is the memory of an object destroyed in the Skinlands that was of particular importance to the living. Usually these are ordinary objects, but it's possible to have Relic Artifacts, thought they're rare and likely to be confiscated by those in power. Relics guns are common, but relic bullets are not. More powerful relics -- such as a relic computer or a relic gun-- are useless unless given Pathos.

Artifacts are items within the Underworld that have unusual powers. Most are soulforged from other wraiths (paving stones, currency, soulsteel swords, doors, buildings, manacles, oboli, etc) or relic artifacts. Note that ordinary things such as paving stones are not actually called artifacts.

Stygian Steel is made of death ore mined by thralls from the Veinous Stair, plasm, the "flesh and blood" that makes up a wraith's corpus and scrapings of black "stone" from the Labyrinth's walls.

Soulsteel -- or darksteel in earlier books -- are things forged from a single unalloyed soul. In practice the word is mostly used for swords. For other things, see below.

A wraith forged into an ashtray or a brick or a mirror is considered a soulforged object. Technically, only Spectres (evil wraiths), Drones (spiritually lobotomized wraiths), Thralls, criminals, and the occasional willing martyr are allowed to be soulforged, but most Artificers don't ask questions. Soulforged objects moan, tremble and weep in the hands of their owners, unnerving the newly dead. If any PCs have Soulsight, have them notice something similar to a wraith's aura surrounding the manacles. Understandably, soulforging is considered a fate worse than death. For even more fun, it could be the remnants a pissed off Spectre, less than thrilled to be stuck in a trinket in the Skinlands.

The majority of things within the underworld are relics, soulforged and moliated objects are the next most numerous, while Stygian Steel and other realms' equivalents -- True Obsidian, True Jade, Tanewood - are the rarest.

Moliate, in case your'e wondering, is something like Tzimisce fleshcrafting. Both can produce "living" breathing objects that are still able to scream. Moliate is used for "softer" things, such as seat cushions, torches, and Living Chains. For the record, bodycrafts and skill with Moliate are not interchangeable. You may find this thread useful.

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