The Heroes of Rokan-Jin
The Knife That Severs All Things
An Ancient Tool
An utterly mundane, all-purpose knife (stats as a standard knife), there is nothing at all remarkable about it. Even Essence Sight has the potential to overlook it, unless the observer is keen enough to spot the way Motes sometimes split when they so much as touch the blade’s edge.
Once picked up by a Chosen Wielder (see “The Burden of Duty” below), however, the blade reveals itself. By subconsciously accepting possession of the knife, the wielder innately understands that the knife is far from ordinary, and depending on context, gains faint impressions of what the knife can do. When she wants to cut someone, she knows the knife can cut better than any other. When she wants to be anywhere but where she is now, she might receive the knowledge that the knife can grant her wish.
Gifts of the Aeshattar
The Knife is impossibly ancient, and its mysterious provenance has a number of odd side-effects:
- It disrupts the weave of Fate around itself, making it a moving blind spot for the Five Maidens, the Loom of Fate, and any sort of Astrology. Its Wielder is indeed part of Fate, but the knife cloaks their existence such that even the Maidens are unable to consult Samsara regarding the Knife or the Wielder. As a result, the Maidens of Secrets and Endings share joint authority over matters regarding the Aeshattar.
- It is intangible to spirits and Essence constructs. Such beings, even when materialized, pass through the knife with a deep sense of foreboding, as though they were in constant danger of being sliced in two. This even applies to gods and the Incarnae, though the latter are unlikely to show any reaction to the sensation.
- It is indestructible, above and beyond any mere Artifact. No method has been discovered that can mar, dull, or bend it.
With the expenditure of further mental effort (spending a Willpower point) the knife can unleash several context-sensitive powers:
- It gains the ability to cut through any armor or material.
-It ignores Hardness for the rest of the scene. This means that if it hits, it always rolls at least minimum damage, regardless of whether it is used against an Orichalcum wall or an Exalt wearing Oblivion’s Panoply. If the damage roll fails, then the cut was so fine that the target’s structure or body was barely affected. Further, the Knife can strike immaterial beings as though they were material.
- Speculated Power
-Believed to be capable of permanently destroying any being slain by it, preventing reformation or reincarnation. The full details or extent of this power are unknown.
- Secret Power
The Burden of Duty
The Aeshattar trades hands by theft, violence, or discovery. To become a Chosen Wielder, one must forcibly take the Knife from its current owner, or else claim it when it has no current owner. This has led to numerous wars, assassinations, raids, and robberies over the ages, but death is not a necessary ingredient in the transfer. The knife has been pick-pocketed, gambled, and won in duels. Finally, if the Chosen Wielder is sincere enough in their belief that they are unworthy, they can indeed rid themselves of the Knife, in which case it will find its way to someone else.
Once in possession of the Knife, the new owner automatically attunes by committing one point of Willpower, and loses the last two fingers on their left hand. This wound is a Crippling effect, inflicting a single level of damage, and possibly inflicting penalties to manual dexterity for Mortals. Neither the Crippling effect nor the health level may be healed or sidestepped BY ANY MEANS, so long as the person is the Chosen Wielder. Further, the Willpower point committment may not be sidestepped, nor uncommitted, so long as the person is the Chosen Wielder.
A Chosen Wielder is under no compulsion to keep or protect the Knife. Some have buried it under the earth, abandoned it in the woods, or in one case, tossed it into a volcano. Each time, the Knife found its way back to them, or to a new Wielder. However, each and every Chosen Wielder knows, deep down, that they have inherited a great power and responsibility, and that the Knife was meant for them. This tends to encourage varied attitudes toward the Aeshattar such as protectiveness, self-importance, or grudging despair, but there is no force behind these feelings beyond the Wielder’s own personality.
No one knows where the Aeshattar came from, who made it, who named it, or why it exists.
The names of many of its Chosen Wielders are recorded in a single record in Yu-Shan, for it is watched over by the Maiden of Endings and her sister, the Maiden of Secrets. However, even they only know of the Wielders who proclaimed their possession of the Knife far and wide.
The Knife has disappeared for decades, even a century at a time, but always returns.
It is said to grant incredible powers to its wielder. It can cut through anything. The wielder can teleport from one side of the world to the other. Nations die in its wake. It could slay the Unconquered Sun himself. It was forged by the Anathema and their hellish masters as a weapon against the Dragons. Its wielder can become one with the shadows. It is destined to end the world.
The Knife has no mouth, so of course it cannot speak. The Wielder just knows things, sometimes. The Knife has no eyes or ears, so of course it cannot perceive. It just reacts to the Wielder’s circumstances from time to time. The Knife has no mind, so of course it cannot think or plot. It has no agenda of its own.