Ring of Shadows

Submitted by Mapache on Mon, 2003-07-14 00:00

These thin bands of black-striped soulsteel are fairly common among Malfean servants who take pleasure in darkness. Their utility is directly proportional to the amount of shadows present and their size.

Conditions Modifier
High noon, outdoors, with no trees or buildings 0
Sunny outdoors with some shade 1
Overcast day or dawn/dusk 2
Indoors with torchlight 3
Dark, but shapes can still be made out 4
Pitch black, underground 5

The ring's first power is that it draws in ambient darkness and uses it to shroud the wearer from observation. All attempts to spot the character directly, even those involving senses other than sight (notably sound and scent) have their difficulty increased by the current modifier. This penalty does not apply to observing evidence left behind by the wearer. Thus, tracking someone by the footprints he left behind is not hindered, but actually spotting him once the tracker reaches him is harder.

The ring's second power is that it is capable of summoning forth living shadows to carry out the will of the wearer. The character must be near a shadow of some sort (his own is quite suitable), and gestures at it while expending five motes of essence to call forth an amorphous being of inky blackness. The shadow has physical attributes equal to the current darkness modifier, mental attributes equal to half that (rounding up), and social attributes of zero. It also has ratings in Brawl and Stealth equal to the current darkness modifier and ratings in Athletics, Awareness, and Dodge of half that (rounding up). Shadows have a number of -0 health levels equal to the darkness modifier. They have lethal soak equal to the darkness modifier and bashing soak equal to twice that; fire does aggravated damage to shadows. (Note that all these values are dependent on the darkness modifier at the shadow's current location, not at the time and place of its creation. Thus, merely waving a torch at one is enough to weaken it when fighting in the dark.) In combat, they attempt to perform a clinch by wrapping themselves around an opponent, and then deal bashing damage in the form of suffocation.

A shadow is capable of understanding spoken instructions from its summoner and acting autonomously. Whenever it touches the ring, the character will know all that it has seen and heard since it was summoned, as if he had been there himself. Multiple shadows may be in existence at the same time, but they tend to last less than a day, as the light of the noonday sun will evaporate them. In any case, a given ring can only concurrently manage a number of shadows equal to the wearer's permanent Essence.

Rings of shadow require a commitment cost of two motes, and have a setting for a single, small hearthstone (no greater than level two).