The Chelmsford Compass

The Chelmsford Compass

The Chelmsford Compass
Durability 1, Size 1, Structure 4
Description: The Chelmsford Compass is a complex device that resembles an astrolabe or similar navigational device. It is mostly made of copper and iron, with bits of glass and crystal embedded in it. Despite its fragile appearance, it is actually quite sturdy, and fairly easily repaired. Mages might note that certain elements of its design resemble Supernal geometries originating in Pandemonium.
Background: No one really knows where the Chelmsford Compass originated. It is known to have been used by Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, in his investigation into accusations of witchcraft in the town of Chelmsford, England, in 1645. He took care to conceal its use, lest he be accused himself, but there were a few trusted witnesses. The compass, however, disappeared along with its owner in 1647. Despite rumors that Hopkins had been killed or had fled to New England, no trace of him was ever found.

The Whitethorn Foundation has long believed that the compass was brought to colonial New England and helped to fuel the witch hysteria there. The Foundation acquired it in 1924, but the circumstances are not recorded in the archives – it was suddenly simply there. The Foundation has kept the device ever since, using it in the field to help investigators locate supernatural phenomena.
Storytelling Hints: The compass helps to locate and identify the supernatural. It exists as a mouthpiece for the storyteller to convey information and hints to players, and as a coveted relic as well. The fact that its origins are unknown and that it seems to have a mind of its own is meant to be both mysterious and creepy.
Effects:
Investigatory Charm (3): When utilized in the process of investigation, the Compass points out things that one would likely otherwise miss. It presents its user with two options: eschew a roll in favor of one automatic success (a complete success, but not exceptional) or roll, but achieve exceptional success on 3 successes instead of five. The character must choose to use the device to gain the benefit.
Unseen Sense (3): The device confers a version of the Unseen Sense Merit. The compass sometimes begins to move in the presence of the supernatural. The key word is “sometimes.” No one knows why it will sometimes react violently to supernatural phenomena, and other times it doesn’t register them at all.

The Chelmsford Compass

The Whitethorn Foundation Valerianus Valerianus