With a careful raping of well-meaning rules, it is possible for Shadowrun to support a number of positively silly artifacts. Here's a few raw examples.


Orpheus' Needle
This is a somewhat archaic syringe, dental-grade steel and glass. Unlike the normal tools of chemical addicts, the device is clean and unblemished. The more martial-minded might note that it seems sturdy enough to use as a stabbing weapon.

Of unknown origin and purpose, this device has facilitated the death of dozens or even hundreds of metahumans during its long career. When claimed by a new owner (usually by theft or after the death of the previous owner), it forms a subtle mental link with their consciousness, insinuating thoughts and cravings into their dreams and waking desires. Soon, the victim, if not already a junkie, begins craving something unknown...something that the needle can provide. The spirit within the needle uses its Wealth power to produce any sort of injectible drug-heroin, cocaine in a solution of sterile water, distillate of stone toad skin, elven adrenaline, steroids, rare blood types...anything the user can imagine or desire. With the careful prompting of the spirit, those imaginings and desires can grow very great indeed.

Anyone may freely use the needle, but must pay its price: for each dose injected, the spirit drinks one karma point from the user. Often, the maddening tauntings of the spirit, coupled with the chemical addiction, lead the users to untimely deaths. At other times-when the victim has no karma, for example-the spirit uses its Accident power to cause an immediate overdose.

In the unlikely event the needle is ever used as a weapon, the needle binds itself to the target, usually at a major vein, and injects a horrible drug or poison. Should the victim be unarmored, it inevitably influences its wielder to stab it into the heart and begins to greedily drink the victim's karma, not stopping until the target is exhausted.

While the spirit within the needle is a corrupt shadow, it was not always thus. Forensic magicians with Lonestar believe it was originally crafted for a unique magical tradition that utilizes psychoactive drugs to achieve states of altered consciousness.

Orpheus' Needle is a unique, free ally spirit bound into the form of a hypodermic needle. It has a Force of 8, 7 karma, and the following powers, which are somewhat limited:
Accident (only when someone without karma uses the Needle)
Binding (only when used to attack another)
Influence (only with someone who has claimed the Needle)
Karma Tap (only when someone uses the Needle, or strikes an unarmored target)
Thought Link (only with someone who has claimed the Needle)
Wealth (drugs and injectable substances only)

The spirit's only skill is Pharmacology: 8.


The Endless Six-Shooter
A modern remake of the classic pre-American Civil War era Navy Colt .36 caliber six-shooter, cast from a genuine iron church bell, with a hilt made from golden boar tusk. Custom-finished with silver and orichalcum arabesque-designs and half-centimeter tall runes.

Aside from being a fine firearm that many a pistol enthusiast would be happy to add to their collection, this weapon is a stacked Anchoring Focus (2) [Enhance Aim]/Specific Spell [Spiritbolt] focus (4). In addition, the focus is a Unique Enchantment with a Force 6 free fire elemental is bound within it by it's True Name. The free spirit possesses the Wealth power, which is used to make an "endless" supply of silver bullets for the gun.


The Astral Eye
Popular with groggies, especially who've lost an eye, this prosthetic resembles a glass eye, but is made of a cache of golden amber recovered from the Black Sea, encircled by a hair-thin orichalcum wire, and engraved with a single potent rune.

The Astral Eye is a prosthetic for magicians, especially those who've lost an eye. The eye is a stacked Anchoring Focus (4) [Astral Window]/Specific Spell [Astral Window] Focus (2); allowing them to scan the astral plane more or less at will. In addition, the eye is a Unique Enchantment, with a Force 3 free ally spirit bound within. The ally possesses the Astral Gateway power, and can use it on the magician bonded to the Astral Eye.

Finally, the Astral Eye uses a Rune enchantment: it only functions when placed within the empty eye-socket of the magician who has bonded the focus (no Essence loss required.) The Eye can be removed with a free action, but doing so immediately de-activates the Eye.


Witchbane is a powerful magical binding spell, used by some secret initiatory groups as a punishment for those junior members who have transgressed the strictures of the society but who are too useful to let go; and by some lenient governments for minor offenders. Particularly malicious and old-fashioned magicians have also been known to inflict this treatment on their apprentices, to make them work harder; and some adepts and mundanes who regularly oppose spellcasters undergo the rite as well.

The Witchbane is a complex and painful ritual, involving the shaving of all body hair, and the removal of the fingernails. It takes well over sixteen hours to perform, and involves subtle tattooing of the tips of the hands (especially where the nails were removed), eyelids, lips, and crown of the head; and a series of odd, symmetrical scars on the inner arms, legs, back, and belly (the exact markings are unique for each individual, but are always of mystical signifigance and geometric in design)

The Witchbane is a Quickened Tattoo Magic Force:6 Mana Static spell; creating an effective background count around the subject which makes magic use difficult at best.


The Leyman's Compass
This appears to be an ancient brass compass, although the magnetized needle is hopelessly misaligned and swings wildly at the slightest magnetic field. Canny users know to flip up the uesless lid and reveal a modern GPS unit, pre-loaded with a complex satellite-imagery map of the British Isles; liberally annotated with a finely detailed map of the ley lines of the British Isles.

The compass is a Unique Focus, wherein is bound a Force 2 ally spirit with the Sorcery power uses its Detect Magic and Analyze Magic spells to continually scan the surroundings for ley lines and update it's map.


AirJesus Sneakers
These stylish pumps feature a pleasing mix of kabbalistic and Christian theurgy symbols, and are said to be made from Hellcow leather filled with cockatrice down. Now featuring rims!

The AirJesus Sneaker-pumps constitute Anchoring Focus (3) [Gecko Crawl], and a Unique Enchantment containing a free Force 1 Ally Spirit with the 3-D Movement power. Featuring a runic enchantment to only activate while both shoes are worn, the user can walk on water, walls, even stride through the air itself!
Warning: Some models may contain and imp which attempts to convince the user they are the son of God; regardless of race, religion, divinity, or gender.


The Black Sword
This two-handed greatsword is of an unknown design, superficially similiar to both the great Scottish blades of the 15th century, but possessed of ornaments completely alien to that locale and time period. Indeed, the intricate runic designs and ornamental embellshments on the blade, hilt and guard correspond to no known historical culture. Although the runic inscriptions on the blade itself bear resemblance to established rune-systems, there appears to be no true correspondance. Scholars have suggested that the blade was designed to appear to come from an ancient, alien culture, citing as credence the unknown black metal it is made of, the obvious artificial language of the runes, and the curious and unique embellishments and style, which would require modern technology to properly fabricate. Unfortunately, the magical nature of the blade has so far disallowed proper metallurgical testing.

The Black Sword is the prison of a powerful toxic spirit of man, with a Force and Spirit Energy of 12. Every time the blade strikes, the spirit uses its Essence Drain and Karma Drain powers on the victim, drinking their very spirit. It suffers from Essence Loss, and thus seeks to feed at every opportunity (at any time, the Black Sword's spirit may attempt a Contest of Wills with the wielder, as it twists in their grasp to slay the nearest sentient...or the wielder, if there are no others nearby).
The blade may be bonded as a Weapon Focus(12), and the spirit will aid the wielder's sorcery with its Aid Power, in the manner of an ally spirit.

The spirit within the sword may, if the wielder allows, possess the wielder for a short time. During this possession, the wielder is effected by Enhanced Attributes equal to the Force of the spirit, has an effective Edged Weapons (Sword [The Black Sword]) skill of 12, and is in a constant exultant, cruel beserker state. If the wielder at any time loses contact with the sword, the possession immediately ends. Otherwise, it continues until the wielder makes a successful Contest of Wills, or the Sword's Essence reaches 0.

Rumors hint that the Black Sword may be made to "bleed" (a function of the spirit's Wealth power), and that drinking the resultant blood transforms the wielder into a being similiar to a Vampire Pawn. The immortal unfortunates often quickly become enslaved to the sword, little better than mass-murdering monsters sustained by the sword's essence alone. They are derogatively (but fearfully) referred to as "Sword Wraiths."


The Book of Infinite Spells
Originally crafted by a very minor enchanter who happened upon the newly-freed ally spirit of a recently deceased mage-librarian, this heavy book is filled with more than a thousand spells, each one to a page and of widely different languages, styles, traditions, and schools. Now if only there was an index...

A relatively weak Force 1 free ally spirit (called Erasmus) is bound to this heavy tome, which also serves as a Force 3 free spirit focus (for Erasmus only). Whenever the owner of the book asks, Erasmus must use its Wealth power to create the formula for a spell within the book. Unfortunately, Erasmus is not the most powerful of spirits. Therefore, all of the spell formulae in the book are relatively minor. Furthermore, unless specified at the time of being asked to create them, Erasmus chooses the tradition andlanguage of the spell formula at random. A magician in possession of the Book of Infinite Spells may therefore, with 1d6 minutes of study(Erasmus refuses to help), discover any Force 1 spell. However, there is only a 1d6 chance that the spell is in the same tradition as the magician, and thus must be translated as normal.

Some magicians have erronously stated that the book actually casts spells if the formulae are written aloud. The truth of this is that Erasmus was once bedevilled by a much more powerful imp, who learned all of the spells in the Book and would cast them as the magicians read them...often to mischevious ends. The current owner of the book, who had ended up needlessly married because of a "Detect Pregnancy" spell cast by said imp, managed to seal the imp in a warded thimble, and then (at some cost) arrange for it to be taken on a shuttle headed into low-earth orbit. Whether the imp managed to survive the mana warp at those velocities is unknown.


The Hermetic Seal
A popular service recently come into vogue among certain circles, the Hermetic seal is a large warding sigil drawn in henna on the torso, arms and legs of the client. The cost of the service is reasonable, based on the strength and duration of protection required. Permanent versions are sometimes available upon request, although the cost is commensurate.

Essentially, this new side-line for entrepreneurial magicians affixes a temporary ward to a metahuman subject, using henna or other strong dyes, mixed with the necessary thaumaturgical reagents, to draw out the warding symbol (usually the geometric signs of the Seal of Hermes.) This seal is popular among mundanes and adepts who are afraid of unwilling possession, and saw a spread of popularity in Hong Kong during the long duration of the astral shallow there (with sporadic astral rifts fuelling the paranoia about random spirit possession). Astral projection is not possible without first breaking through the ward, but the ward is "polarised" to allow astral perception to work normally.

Costs are standard for creating a ward, the typical force is 3, with stronger wards being more rare and usually only for the longer-lasting protections. The so-called "permanent" ward is actually a quickened tattoo magic version of the Force:6 Spirit Barrier.


The Ace of Winchesters
A sleek, classic Winchester rifle, made of bright steel and dull gems that seem to burn when the light catches them right. There are three notches along the ivor-inlaid stock.

Rumors has it the Ace of Winchesters was made during the abortive second Texas Republic by one of the Rangers, built from metal from the Heavens and gems from the earth and the bones of saints to kill the dark spirit of the Aztlaners. Some even claim the Ranger sold his soul to make the rifle.

The Ace of Winchesters is actually a Force 8 ally spirit, whose summoner gave it the form of a classic Winchester rifle. Seamus O'Grady, the summoner, rents out the ally spirit as a weapon, quietly encouraging the legend he's built up around it. The Ally Spirit is dual-natured at all times while "on assignment."

O'Grady came up with the idea after finding an astral construct of a set of bullet-casting tools in an abandoned mine. He sends spirits searching far and wide across the astral, bringing him other astral constructs made of metal, smelting them into bullets for the Ace of Winchesters with the aid of a fire elemental and the tools.

Renting the Ace of Winchesters costs 10,000 CAS dollars per diem, paid in advance, and comes with three "astral bullets" and a box of ten silver bullets for more ordinary fare. Once the time-or the bullets-are used up, the Ace of Winchesters returns to O'Grady.


The Bone Machine
Dozens of skulls propped up on corroded chrome poles, entwined with wires down into the black, featureless plastic of the Electric Altar. Jacked into the bone machine lies a magician, listening to the quite susurrus of spirits teaching him...

A work-in-progress, as they say. Michael Perez was your average otaku dwarf, minding his own business, when SURGE hit and suddenly he Awakened. The experience was a bit much for the young technomancer...and he flipped. The result is the Bone Machine.

Over a dozen spectres and apparitions have been bound into the weirdling computer known as the Bone Machine; Michael thinks he's communing with the spirits of the dead magicians whose skulls he's wired up into the computer. The truth is that the "computer" does nothing except store Michael's hermetic library (Rating 8, which he's copied from sources all over the Matrix. However, when Michael (or anyone else) jacks in to the computer, they can indeed communicate with the bound spirits. The respective attitude and knowledge of each spirit varies in helpfulness and usefullness, but each one is bound to answer and teach as best they can. One or two of them were even magicians in their past lives, or developed spell-casting abilities later, and have been instrumental in teaching Michael how to initiate and make the most of his abilities...although Michael's isntability is such he sometimes confuses these things.