Artifacts and Exarches are divine tools that the gods can use to help further their agenda in the world. The primary difference between these two concepts is that an Artifact is mostly an inanimate object while an Exarch is a character that is capable of possessing an independent personality.
Artifacts are objects that a god creates to have a special purpose in the world. These may be designed to help guide mortals in a subtle manner towards a goal of the god's design, or they may be created to have a particular effect on the world, or to aid the god in some other manner.
These objects are primarily created to add flavor to the world; there is usually no mechanical benefit to doing so.
However, some Major Arctifacts do have the ability to provide additional PP for specific actions. In order to use this power, the Major Artifact, upon creation, must be imbued with a specific action which it can help with.
- Good: The Standard of Fortitude provides a 1pp Nourish to bolster a nation at war (it has a specific purpose and it also has a general trigger)
- Bad: The Lens of Death provides a 1pp Harm to anyone (it has a trigger, but it does not have a specific purpose)
- Bad: The Sword of Smiting provides a 1pp Harm against the enemy nation of the owner of the sword, however it only functions if the enemies are purple goblins (it has a specific purpose, but it has too limiting of a trigger)
To gain the extra PP, one must demonstrate the artifact being used or activated in the post to provide that function-- artifacts are limited to carrying out 1pp actions each time they are used. These bonuses can only be used once per artifact per turn, and only 4 such artifacts can be used in a week (a turn).
Exarches are divine beings of less power than a full god. They may be the children of the gods, or other divine servants. They are fully under the control of the player that created them, but they may have a different personality and agenda than the god that created them. They are also fully capable of interacting directly with mortals, whereas gods cannot.
Like artifacts, they may be enhanced to provide pp bonuses.