Monday, December 26, 2016

TITAN Artifacts

An even more "tame" variant on the TITAN Nanoswarm than the Fabricator Swarm (p. 15 Zone Stalkers) these swarms appear to be something similar in function to Engineer or Gardening swarms for the TITANs. These units do not directly make "useful" objects, but rather seem determined to build small "artistic" objects or even directly draw or carve images into a surface. Most commonly seen scattered in long-lost areas of TITAN activity, Artisanal Swarms usually appear in small canister hives, and will find unremarkable surfaces to "draw" on. If no surface is present, they will gather raw materials like a Fabricator and build small objects, such as Effigies (see below) instead. They appear relatively harmless to most, and are valuable for research purposes, but X-Risk groups do note their haunting and highly detailed artworks can sometimes be gateways to visual Basilisk Hacks. [Expensive (Min 100,000]

Coldstones are an extreme oddity, found randomly scattered in areas where TITAN agents have operated, such as the TQZ. They are small, vaguely round objects which have an uneven number of geometric faces - always a prime number between 71 and 97, and otherwise generally about the size and mass of a golf ball. Coldstones appear to be some kind of experiment of the same nature as a Cyrokinetic Anomaly (p. 9 Zone Stalkers) a small device which denies physics and drains heat from the immediate area - with the stones themselves hovering around 0 C. They appear to serve no other purpose, and so are prized by the ultra-rich as "trophies" or treasures - used as an extremely risky and expensive paperweight or parlor trick. A biomorph without adequate protection who handles a Coldstone takes 1d10/2 DV per turn. [High]

An effigy is mostly a creepy artifact, a perfect to scale replica of a transhuman, usually made by an Artisanal Swarm. The exact scale varies, but most effigies are between 15 to 40 cm in height. They are made from whatever materials are to hand to the swarm, usually carbon or metallics, but occasionally form into stone or glass. Effigies have a certain collector's value, but Zone Runners and other such groups generally consider finding your own Effigy a bad omen. Seeing the Effigy of someone you know is a Stress Test which costs 1 SV, seeing your own Effigy is 1d10/2 SV. [Moderate] to [Expensive] for an effigy of someone famous.

Also called "Thorned Manacles", these devices appear as rings in sets of one or pairs, which can unfold. They appear to be a restraint mechanism for Exsurgents, as they are placed around the neck, or around limbs - and on a wireless command they extrude tiny fractal blades into the skin and muscle of the target, directly locating and "poking" any available nerve cells inside their limited reach. This is anywhere from "itchy" to intensely painful depending on certain settings which Transhumans have been unable to decipher. The "thorns" of these rings are small enough that damage closes up and heals fairly quickly - but due to use on Exsurgents "used" rings may be a potential infection vector. [High]

A small, black box about the size of a 21st Century smartphone, with a small screen and no other visible interface. These objects appear sometimes at the sites of TITAN attacks, and their purpose is unknown. Whenever a person holding the SZT attempts to speak, the display will show their complete sentence - in the speaker's native language - instantaneously. It is named after a piece of software designed to shut down communication - playing back audio of a person speaking at a slight delay as to "lock up" the brain. They have no use apart from a party trick - though seeing one complete a particularly complex thought may be 1 SV. These boxes are seamless, and breaking them open renders them inoperable, exposing highly delicate and detailed circuitry of TITAN make. [Moderate]

These mysterious items take the form of a block of whitish metal, roughly the size of a brick - but fairly light. As far as anyone can tell, they must be some form of metamaterial - but proving this is incredibly difficult as except for physical manipulation and the visible spectrum, Whiteboxes are completely invisible to sensor systems. Particles and waves appear to pass clean through them, which makes the fact that one can still see and touch it incredibly astounding and off-putting - good for 1d10/2 SV once you know what it does. Whiteboxes are thankfully rare, and quite prized by certain labs to attempt to futile study them [Expensive]

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