Essence Magnifier

By William J. Keith (


This one impressed some people. The bugs are hardly even noticeable. It's even reported that Lucifer himself showed up at the unveiling of the artifact to congratulate Vapula. (Why? Because, if you want to include this artifact in your campaign, it represents an actual significant advance in Vapula's understanding of the Symphony, which is after all what he's there for.)

The Essence Magnifier is a small computer chip surrounded with odd magnetic cores and wires all held in place with a thin steel frame; total, about 1 square inch in area, and a few millimeters high. It must be integrated with a being's nervous system in order to work. This requires surgery, in which the device is attached to a Vessel's (or human's) nervous system. Yes, experimentation shows it can be applied to animals which have been granted some Essence control, but they had better be *very* well-trained. (In game terms, to get any use from the device, the character must pay the necessary points, and undergo the surgery.) The device must be externally visible (uncovered) in order to work. It will work, and be visible, on the character's celestial form.

The effect is quite simple: displaying the device and expending Essence will cause the Essence expended to be multiplied by some factor in the action being thus boosted. Those in the know theorize that the device makes "displaying and willingly using a piece of technological equipment surgically integrated with one's body" an infinitely reusable Rite of Technology; angelic test subjects are currently being sought to determine whether using the relic causes Dissonance in order to test this hypothesis. (Should they succeed, then using the device *is* Dissonant for angels, although whether it's because the device imparts a demonic Rite is up to the GM. Fortunately, an intelligent user can choose not to activate the device's magnification ability, even after implantation. Removing the device non-surgically requires 1d of damage to the part affected; most demons will prefer the implant being on the arm, just in case.)

The bad news is that it's not the most efficient converter. The scaling factor is between 1 and 2; in other words, a single Essence will act like 1.1, or 1.9 Essence, or some other value, depending on the version in use. The "2 Essence threshold" is a subject of much debate within Technology's ranks. Many subscribe to the hypothesis that some waste will always be necessary, a la the Second Law of Thermodynamics. They don't really know, of course.

The Essence-scaling power of the device, and thus the points required to use it, are up to the GM. Multiple scaling factors might exist in a single campaign as Vapula inproves the device; they might be tougher to make(requiring more character points in order to be accepted for the surgery) and/or require more cumbersome implants.

At a scaling factor of 1(1/9) ("one and one-ninth, or 1.1111....), the user is required to expend 9 Essence in order to get 10 Essence applied to the action in question. At a scaling factor of 1(1/8), spend eight Essence to get 9, and so forth. Up until that much Essence is expended, there's not quite the extra measure of Essence required to increase the abilities of most Songs and actions(dice don't have decimal places), but if the GM desires to make the artifact slightly more effective he can consider fractions when determing ranges and durations.

It will really start being useful when the Essence required is less than half of a normal demon's supply: at a scaling factor of 1.25, four Essence will get you five. (Impudites of Technology will notice a salutory effect before this, of course.) At 1.5, two Essence gets you 3, and things start getting really fun. Note an interesting irrational value that might be a typical peak efficiency for the device: 1.6449...= (pi squared)/6, which is a weird number that's right up Vapula's alley.

The 2 Essence threshold is really only for game balance and uniqueness purposes, since then not only is the relic very effective, you're also basically duplicating or bettering the Vapmeister's Impudite attunement. (And *combining* the two... well, there you are.) If you want one, and a character is willing to, oh, say, have half the top of his skull replaced with a mass of steel and computer circuitry, hey, have a ball.

Lastly, there's Lightning. Jean *will* be bothered by Vapula's creation of this device -- he knows what it represents in terms of Symphonic knowledge. Capturing a demon with such a device implanted (or at least removing it without damage to the device itself) can be an adventure priority. If you desire to balance the relic with something similar on Heaven's side, then once Lightning has had time to study it, they can produce a similar device; I suggest allowing the device to be implanted internally (uses bio-electricity, possibly a Rite of Lightning).


Back to the INC Mainpage.
Back to the Artifacts page.

EDG <>
In Nomine Collection Curator