It is absurd asking me to behave myself... quite absurd. I must rattle my chains, and groan through keyholes, and walk about at night, if that is what you mean. It is my only reason for existing.

The Canterville Ghost - Oscar Wilde 


Artifact {* - ****}

The term "Artifact" is used to describe objects that come from the other side of the Barrier. They seem to be made of black, oily metal, worked and tooled in a baroque - or utterly alien - fashion, and can often be heard to moan or whisper nonsense, as though they were "alive." Some even say that they are...

Artifacts are freely brandished by Reapers, Dark Walkers, or the more intelligent Damned. Ferrymen carry them, too, but have a habit of not letting Wraiths hang onto their dropped goods for very long, if at all. Sometimes they just appear out of nowhere after a Storm, though, which is why Wraiths will brave streets filled with wounded, straggling Damned to see if today's their lucky day.

Unlike Shaped objects, Artifacts do not run out of power, or charges: so long as they are intact, they will continue to function. However, some of the more powerful Artifacts may require a Wraith invest Essence, Corpus, Willpower or other things into them, and refuse to work until they are "fed."

Artifacts also make good trading pieces: they are worth between one and two Immense Favors per dot.


Artifacts may or may not have an obvious function, but all of them have some sort of power, which is what determines their costs, as follows:

* Minute Object - Basic Art - 2nd level Art
** Minor Object - 2nd - 3rd level art
*** Intermediate Object - 3rd - 4th
**** Major Object - 4th to 5th
***** Treasure - 5th or beyond

Keep in mind that starting characters would probably not have access to anything with a rating higher than ***. Such powerful items are greedily snatched up by the powers that be, and jealously hoarded so that they can hang onto their positions.


Eidolon {* - *****}

Just as a Wraith has a Shadow, dragging her down, so does she have a counterbalance, holding her up. This font of inner direction is known as the Eidolon, and while all Wraiths have it to some degree, some have a better sense of its being there, or have developed it to the point where it is like a shield. Some even say they can hear it talking to them, though what it says rarely makes any sense.

In most cases, Wraiths can't consciously use this Merit. It's more of a defense against their inner darkness: taking dice away from the Shadow's rolls, or adding dice to a Wraith's rolls to resist a Shadow's Dirty Tricks.

The Eidolon has one direct use, though most Wraiths are loath to use it because it's so costly. If a Wraith learns that she is Lost - or suspects that she is - she can spend one permanent dot of her Eidolon to disrupt everything her Shadow has done to her. All the Thorns and illusions are wiped away in a burst of purifying light.

The Wraith doesn't automatically learn what was done to her. However, the Shadow is knocked unconscious for an entire week by this sacrifice, which may give the Wraith enough time to find out.


Memoriam {* - *****}

Wraiths can gain Essence from more than just their Anchors. Those who were loved - or loathed - with great passion during their lives, and strongly remembered after their deaths, can harvest that feeling.

Once per Story, a Wraith may devote herself to soaking up the ambient Essence created by those who remember her. She doesn't have to be around around who does, or near anything that serves to remind others of her life - or death - but she must do nothing but focus on that emotion. Even a non-taxing conversation, or trying to mentally puzzle something out, is enough to disrupt this concentration.

If she does this for a Turn, the Wraith gains one Essence for each dot she has in this Merit. If she does this for an entire Scene, she gains five Essence for each dot in the Merit.


Secret Death {* - ***}.

Not every Wraith is known to be dead. Some people die in secret, while others were so unknown and ordinary that no one missed them when they were gone. And this can be a boon for those who enjoy messing about with the Liveworld, as they don't have to invent a new identity to move within it: they're still listed as "there."

Those with the Secret Death Merit have a number of dice taken away from any attempt to discover their exact condition. Each dot removes one die from the search for the truth.

Should someone get through these defenses, and learn the truth, the Merit is reduced by one dot. And should that someone - or someone else - publish what was learned on a citywide basis, the Merit is wiped out.


Status {* - *****}

For Wraiths, the Status Merit reflects their standing within a Concord. This is a measure of both rank and respect the Wraith has earned within the group. Status doesn't mean anything outside of a Concord: members of one Concord who try to throw their weight around with others are asking for trouble.

Rolls using Status are made according to the rules presented on pg. 117 of World of Darkness. The negative modifiers listed there can apply to Wraiths as well.

A Wraith's Status also determines what sort of "Resources" she has, both in terms of Shaped material possessions and Favors, at the start of the game. For each Dot in the Merit, she has either the equivalent of one Immense Favor that she can call in, Shaped items that would add up to one Immense Favor, or some combination of the two {Two Big Favors and Two Big-Favor Shaped Items, for example}. A Wraith with **** in the Status Merit has one Sacred Favor at the start of the Chronicle.


And If It Should Go Up?

Note that this reckoning of Favors and items is good at the start of the game. Once it gets going, and favors and items trade hands, Status is unaffected.

{However, those who skimp on payments, and write checks they can't cash, will soon find their Status being ripped to shreds by the Magistrates. Wise Wraiths pay their debts - especially to the Freewraiths.}