Shackle of the Unvirtuous
These rings were first used among the Highborn as a mark of punishment. A priest who had acted in an inappropriate manner might be sentenced to wear one for a time, cut off from their fellows and the ability to wield religious power as a reminder of some unvirtuous act. However, within a few decades, their use had expanded slightly. Ilyes son of Castor, a scion of a declining patrician family, took to wearing one of the rings as a rejection of the priests who condemned his heritage and lifestyle. He soon discovered that the ring offered an unexpected benefit; ceremonies designed to read the aura failed utterly when used on him.
Within a few years a subculture of rejectionists calling themselves "the shackled" began to wear the rings openly in criticism of the growing power and influence of the chapters. The Highguard assembly quickly declared the use of the rings to be a heresy, and the movement collapsed. When the Empire was formed, the Highborn assembly moved that the rings continue to be considered heretical, but to their dismay they failed to have this made a point of law. Several senators cited concerns of privacy, despite claims that the virtuous had nothing to fear from ceremonies such as testimony.
Today, wearing a Shackle of the Unvirtuous (variously called a Rejectionist Ring, a Band of Discretion, or a Shadowcrown) is frowned on by many priests of the Way who would very much like to see anyone using one declared a heretic. Several wearers have cited the ability the ring offers to ensure a sleep untroubled by bad dreams as their reason for bearing one, while others have more brazenly admitted that they simply do not like the idea of priests peering into their souls (if they have them).
Traditional shackles were big, obvious rings intended to bring shame to the wearer, but modern versions tend to be more discreet. They are often marked on the inside with the Diras, Rune of Secrets, or the more sinister Queros, Rune of Plots.
- Form: Talisman. Takes the form of a piece of jewellery. You must be wearing this item to use its magical properties.
- Requirement: Any character can bond to this item.
- Effect: While wearing this item your aura is concealed from the insight skill and similar effects. You cannot use any Liao ceremonies or use imperial liao while bonded to this item, and you either do not dream or do not remember your dreams.
- Materials: Crafting a Shackle of the Unvirtuous requires four ingots of tempest jade and five measures of dragonbone. It takes one month to make one of these items.