Attunement Cost: 8m
Activation Cost: Special
The stars have long been mysteries (and thus sources of curiosity) to the Exalted… and each new discovery only opens up new questions. Feanan Star-Stealer, Aravia’s predecessor, earned her title by somehow managing to steal a small fragment of a star, only the size of her power-armored fist. Even this small fragment, however, was enough to stir scientific curiosity from the researchers of the time, and, though she refused to tell them how she had managed to obtain it, she gave them the star-stuff for study.
Or rather, she gave them most of it. She kept a single star-shard for herself, no more than the size of a marble, and set about making a singular weapon with it. After much work, Star’s Bite, a weapon built to harness the power of the stars themselves, took shape.
The rifle is only two feet long – relatively short for an artifact gun. It is a composite weapon, made of orichalcum and starmetal and covered with adamant filigree – each adamant channel eventually leading back to the star-shard’s adamant casing. The star-shard glows with a brilliant silver-blue light, and may be used as a light source, though Aravia typically keeps the star-shard concealed with the orichalcum plates built into the weapon for that very purpose.
Even a small piece of a star is no mere light source, however; it is a font of energy matched by few other things in existence. A wielder attuned to Star’s Bite may direct that source of energy to constructive purposes, powering an artifact as if it had a socketed three-dot hearthstone. The wielder herself is also energized, but in a way decidedly different from the elemental cores of patropoli – each morning, the attuned user of the weapon recovers a single Virtue Channel of her choice. Without the proper guidance, however, the power leashed within the weapon is dangerous to its bearers – should someone possess the weapon without attuning it, they are stricken down by an illness with the following statistics:
Virulence: N/A (No roll to resist infection)
Diagnosis: 2/4. The disease may be treated with 2 success on a (Perception + Medicine) roll, however, it will be erroneously identified as Green Sun Wasting unless the physician has at least 4 successes. Any effect making the effects of Charms obvious (such as All-Encompassing Sorcerer’s Sight) will also reveal the sickness to be different from Green Sun Wasting despite its physical similarities.
Morbidity: 4 + 1 per day (max Morbidity of Stamina + Resistance + 4)
Incubation: One Hour
Difficulty to Treat: 1 + 1 per day until successful treatment
Treated Morbidity: 4 + 1 per day until successfully treated
Symptoms: Extreme sunburn, hot sores, loss of hair, cancerous boils, necrotization of organs. Appearance is reduced by 1 per day until cured (down to a minimum of Appearance 0)
Treatments: Specialized medicines (Resources oooo per treatment or a Difficulty 5 Survival roll per treatment if being gathered). If Star’s Bite leaves the possession of an unattuned bearer by any means (including attuning to it), symptoms cease accruing.
Special: This sickness affects all beings as if they were mortals, and also gives the user a -1 internal penalty per hour, to a maximum of -4. Once the victim begins to die, the penalty increases to -8.
Star’s Bite is made to harness the power of the star-shard, however, not merely to direct it. When firing the weapon, its wielder may channel a Virtue without spending Willpower to achieve a unique effect, depending on the type of Virtue being channeled.
Compassion: The attack deals Bashing damage, and cannot roll over into Lethal. If it deals any levels of damage, the target loses a point of temporary Willpower.
Conviction: The attack halves the target’s Parry DV against it, and the target’s soak against the attack is reduced by the firer’s Conviction.
Valor: The attack adds the firer’s Valor to the damage roll as well as the attack roll, and destroys any non-magical armor the target is wearing. Any magical armor with a Repair rating is damaged.
Temperance: The attack multiplies the target’s action penalties to his Dodge DV by the attacker’s Temperance.
Aravia discovered a unique property of this weapon when she took possession of it (due to Feanan’s far-reaching travels, she never had occasion to discover it herself) – any attack made with Star’s Bite is Holy, and deals Aggravated Damage against Creatures of Darkness.
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