Probability Nail

By Moe Lane


A Probability Nail is just that: a regular-looking, possibly slightly rusty, broken iron nail. Those with sufficient experience will recognize the nail as being the sort that is used in shoeing horses.

This artifact, despite all rumors to the contrary, does not change a person's past at all. To do that would involve highly complicated things like messing with causality, reversing the flow of time and avoiding the inevitable Destiny/Fate kill-or-well, just kill squads. So, no time travel involved here. What a Probability Nail actually does is just tell the user how a person would have turned out if things had happened differently. Much simpler all around - and certainly safer.

Essentially, a Probability Nail has two settings: passive and active. In passive mode, when activated the relic will provide the historical reasons for its subject's major personality traits. Use the CD to determine detail: a CD of 1 will give very generic, non-specific impressions, while a CD of 6 will provide the equivalent of a decent case history. Mercurians may add their Celestial Forces to the CD of a passive roll: if this would raise the CD above 6, the Mercurian receives a bonus to his next resonance roll towards the subject equal to (Modified CD - 6). Cost to use a Probability Nail in passive mode is 1 Essence: the effects are instantaneous.

Active mode is a bit more proactive: instead of trying to deduce the causes of a particular behavior, it instead simply tells the user what events in the past would have reliably produced a desired behavior. Again, the CD determines detail. A CD of 1 will provide an answer like "He'd have been nicer if people had treated him better", while a CD of 6 will result in answers like "If she hadn't been stung by that bee on her twelfth birthday, she wouldn't be phobic now". Balseraphs may add their Celestial Forces to the CD of an active roll, with the same possible bonus to their next resonance roll. Cost to use a Probability Nail in active mode is 3 Essence.

Note that use of a Probability Nail does not actually change the past, or even the subject's memories of same: that is up to the user. It is, however, an excellent tool for finding root causes to someone's behavior or personality: this information can then be used in either a benign or malign manner. Probability Nails are often found in the hands of Servitors of Destiny and/or Fate, and sometimes Divine Fire (and, in an Oops campaign, those of Heresy, as well). Incidentally, for the purposes of this relic Balseraphs of Fate with the Mercurian resonance would receive the above bonuses.

Cost: 4/level. All Probability Nails have the Activation Time: 1 round (+1), Convenience: Can be worn/carried in a completely invisible way (+3), Essence Requirement: 2 (average) (-1), Visibility: Hard to Detect/1 (+1) and Vulnerable: celestial artifact destroyed when corporeal form destroyed (-4) Features.


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