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As a result of being items powered by a mage's avatar, talismans possess their own Arete rating and can be used to amplify the magic of their user when used as a focus. Most Talismans are Awakened with some degree of sentience, but even those that have been lulled to sleep through magic or simple lack of use still have very strong Resonance.
This Resonance derives from the fact of their making, since a mage who crafts one sacrifices a permanent point of his Willpower to place the enchantment. The Talisman, in fact, is an extension of the will of the mage who created it, and a mage who has made this sacrifice still possesses this Willpower as long as the Talisman is in his possession. Furthermore, Talismans can be empowered with additional capabilities like an Artifact and it's own Arete can be used for those tasks. They can also act as a storage for Quintessence, as well be used to deploy counter magic.
While most Sleepers cannot recharge Talismans, they can make use of them, as long as they both believe in the paradigm of the mage who created the item and they Resonate strongly with the maker's personality. Depending on the Talisman, Paradox might also apply to the Sleeper who uses it — one of the most classic Paradoxes being loss of the Talisman. Talismans will not work for those who do not accept their paradigm. However, mages are strong-willed enough that they may override the Nature and Demeanor of any Talisman except in the case of an extraordinarily powerful magic object and an unusually weak-willed mage.