The War of Summer's Ending
Frightening-Rod (Token ●●●●●)
Mien: An old-fashioned, hand-forged lightning rod, covered in arcane symbols and inscriptions from virtually every language and culture, from Swahili to Mayan. These inscriptions are prayers of protection, invocations of safety, and simple good-luck charms. When activated, the rod glows white-hot for a single instant, but rapidly returns to a normal temperature. This effect is accompanied by the sound of a thunderclap (though it does not seem to emanate from the Rod itself).
Cost: Upon activation, the Frightening-Rod draws two points of Glamour from the head of the household (which it presumes to be whichever resident currently within the building who possesses the highest Wyrd-rating). If none of the present inhabitants have a Wyrd-rating, then the cost is levied from the Ensorcelled or fae-touched mortal with the largest Glamour-pool. If none are present, or their Glamour-pools are empty, then the Catch automatically comes into effect.
Effect: When properly and firmly affixed to the exterior roof any house or apartment building, the Frightening-Rod protects all inhabitants from any form of supernatural harm, as long as they remain inside the building, and the spell or ability originates from outside. The Rod does not remove effects which were inflicted while an inhabitant was outside the building. Spells (either helpful or harmful) which originate from inside the building function as normal.
When any resident (or the building itself) becomes the target of a harmful spell or ability (in mechanical terms, anything which would deal damage or reduce the subject’s dice pool/s), the magical energy is absorbed and dispersed by the Frightening-Rod. This effect includes magical attacks made against the Rod itself. Even mundane attacks which have been enhanced with Glamour (for example, with the Goblin Contract known as “Shooter’s Bargain”) fail to find their mark.
However, the Rod defends against supernatural threats only. It will protect against a Fireheart invoking a Contract of Fire, but not against a man with a can of gasoline.
The effect lasts for one scene, and the Token levies its activation-cost again if the siege remains in place for more than 8 hours. If the Rod is affixed to a mobile-home or trailer, then the effect ceases the moment the structure begins to move under its own power, and cannot be reactivated until it has come to a complete stop.
Drawback: Whenever this Token is activated, all those within the house hear the thunderclap, and are immediately filled with an animalistic fear of the destructive power of thunder. They feel that somehow the universe has it in for them. For the remainder of the scene, they suffer a -2 penalty to Composure (including Wits + Composure rolls), a one-die penalty to Defense, and their Initiative is cut in half. The subjects become timid and fearful, and hesitate when they should take action.
Catch: If no one within the house is able or willing to pay the necessary Glamour, then the Frightening-Rod will find itself a different source of power: the electricity coursing through the house itself. For the remainder of the scene, no electronic devices are able to function within the building. All electromagnetic energy within the building is instantly rerouted to the Frightening-Rod, in order to fuel its protective field. This includes battery-powered items, pacemakers and hearing-aids, and perhaps even certain kinds of Manikins. Once outside the house, all devices function as normal.
(With apologies to Ray Bradbury.)