The Fourth Cause
Wonders are objects like Talismans and Technocratic Devices that have power and that produce magical Effects (usually when wielded by an Awakened being, such as a mage). Although they are rare, a few lucky mages have objects that carry their own power; legend holds that Masters can even manufacture their own. For the most part, only an Awakened being can use a Wonder, although your Storyteller may make exceptions to this rule. Your Storyteller may also limit the number and/ or power of the Wonders that she will allow into the game.
Any item can be a Wonder if it has somehow been imbued with magic. Tree branches, mechanical devices, jewelry, wands, bones, and stones can all suffice as magical items.
When triggered, Wonders produce magical Effects just like mages do. Each Wonder has a special purpose. A Wonder’s Effect comes from one of the magical Spheres, and you determine with your Storyteller exactly what occurs each time that your character triggers the item. Sometimes, it may misfire or the Effect may not turn out exactly as your character intended, but for the most part, your character has an idea of what to expect.
When creating a Wonder, you also determine what exactly each of its Effects does. You base these effects on the magical Spheres. You may choose the Sphere that represents the Effect, but the Effect is limited to a Sphere level equal to the level of the Wonder. Note that the level in this Background docs not correspond directly to the level of the Wonder possessed. A Wonder is rated by the power of its Sp heres, but the level of this Background simply indicates a general categorization of the Wonder’s powers.
A Wonder may have an Arete rating that allows the holder to use the Wonder’s score when rolling for its Effects, and it may store its own Quintessence. (Some Wonders, called Periapts, are little more than Quintessence batteries.) Others simply have one magical Effect that’s always on, or that works automatically when called.
Spirit Wonders, called fetishes, may work differently in story terms, but you purchase them the same way. These objects contain spirits who have, either by force or by choice, entered into the items and who perform a service. Some of these spirits have strong personalities, and they may cause the wielder some frustration and trouble, depending on how the mage treats the spirit. When your character uses up all the Quintessence in a fetish, the spirit departs. Your character cannot refuel a fetish, though your mage might undertake a quest or deal with a spirit to try to keep a fetish empowered.
Many mages use Wonders as foci. Although doing so may not make the magic coincidental, it usually helps the mage to focus. Any Paradox triggered by a Wonder’s Effect goes directly to the item itself, possibly destroying it.
As always, the Storyteller has final say on the potencies and potentials of any Wonder.
x You haven’t run across any magical items.
• A Wonder with a trivial Effect, or a small stash of Quintessence.
•• A Wonder with a useful Effect, or a reasonable battery of Quintessence.
••• A Wonder with a reasonably handy Effect, or a large supply of Quintessence.
•••• A Wonder with a very useful or commonly used Effect, or a generous helping of Quintessence.
••••• A Wonder with an associated potent Effect, or a legendary power source.