Sacred Artifacts are physical vessels that house and allow the usage of Rules.
Sacred Artifacts are vessels of supernatural power that hold and impose the Rule contained within unto others and the world. Kurogane describes them as a part of their own body. They can conform to the structure of living beings, almost like a living organism and yet not at the same time. They can be seen as a secondary movement device, just behind natural muscles. They can also be seen as a 7th sense. More scientifically, Sacred Artifacts are capable of fully conforming with their owner's physical form.9
However, not everyone can use them as only those who are meant for the Role are allowed to wield them. This can be bypassed through unethical experimentation, as seen with the various genius children ∀Isaac, Bertro, Curren, and Duo, all of whom were designer babies modified to fit their respective Sacred Artifacts to varying degrees of success.1411
Sacred Artifacts can be passed down or given to someone else. This is evident with Kurogane's Arm which is heavily implied to be Nodens's own Arm Sacred Artifact, given to Kurogane after some sort of accident in Nodens' future (and Kurogane's past) would lead to the loss of Nodens' life and Kurogane's right arm. More simply, this is shown with Tangaroa who passes on his Staff to the next worthy tribe member.
Sacred Artifacts are diverse and can take many forms. They can be an object such as a Sword, a Book, and a Chalice; they can be part of the body such as Wings, an Arm, or even one's own Blood.
Connection to Rules
Its true nature is the Rule it holds inside. Theoretically, if the same Sacred Artifact had its Rule changed, it would not produce the same results as before.4 A Sacred Artifact is only meant to hold one Rule, but it is possible for it to hold multiple, as clearly seen with the Protagonist's Sword. However, attempting to do this would likely lead to it breaking, similar to forcing two blades into one scabbard. In the Protagonist's case, their mind broke, resulting in the loss of their memories.22
Sacred Artifacts are able to be upgraded, modified, and repaired, though only the Crafters guild is familiar enough about their nature to do so. As a result, they are seen as Sacred Artifact specialists and take commissions by others to do alterations of any sort.9
They're able to modify a Sacred Artifact into a completely new form, enlarge one's Artifact if it exceeding its capacity for memories, and implied to be the guild that installed the limiter on Zhurong's Camera to prevent its powers from going out of control again.10 The members of the Crafters have also modified their own Sacred Artifacts into prosthetics that they wear.9 17
All Sacred Artifacts are made from Dark Matter, a rare substance that can trap any light, memories, information, and/or faith within in. While all Sacred Artifacts are made up of this substance, only pillars are able to retain its user's memories through loops.12 If a Sacred Artifact reached its limit on memories contained, then dark matter can be used to upgrade it, making it a larger vessel to properly hold all the memories within.17
In its raw form, it's described to be a sphere that swallows light and emits an eerie glow whenever it gives out memories to others.12
Sacred Artifact Owners
Sacred Artifacts not only hold within them Rules, but the memories of its past owners as well. Its current user can extract these memories.22
Tokyoite Sacred Artifacts
The App acts as a medium through which a Tokyoite can summon a Sacred Artifact as, being regular humans, they would not have the natural ability to do so. The Sacred Artifacts Tokyoites are able to summon were originally the Sacred Artifacts owned by those known as Exceptions,13 beings who have been barred from entering Tokyo naturally because of the danger they possess towards the stability of the Game.
Naturally, the memories of the previous owners are contained within. For a Tokyoite, the decades of memories contained may prove to be overwhelming, requiring its user to mentally block out the information overload. If they do not, such as if the user is in a severely weakened state, they risk having the memories flood their mind and overwriting its user. However, its user may choose to fully inherit these memories at the cost of their original personality. According to Kotaro, only six generations can fit into a single person.14
Transient Sacred Artifacts
According to Surtr, Sacred Artifacts are vessels designed to receive the most important a Transient can possess: their memories. If a Transient fulfills their Role in Tokyo, they vanish and leave behind their Sacred Artifact, their memories. A Tokyoite who had formed a summoning pact with the Transient is able to summon their Sacred Artifacts wherever and whenever they wish.4
Just like how a Tokyoite can access the memories held within their summoned Sacred Artifact, Transients can do the same if theirs was owned by someone else in the past. This is shown by worthy members of Tangaroa's tribe inheriting his Staff and thus the memories of the previous Tangaroas.
Main article: Pillar
Pillars are a type of Sacred Artifact that has the special property of being able to retain its users' memories through loops.
The specific format of the incantation is not strict–some characters only state their Role and Rule, some skip that line, others replace the second and third lines with a phrase or simply talk to their opponent before declaring their ultimate move, among other exceptions and personal alterations. Based on this, it is possible that the incantation is often altered within the story to the sake of the narrative as it sees fit. The Protagonist's incantation can be seen as the base template that characters can stylize to their liking and what is normally displayed on the App.
Role of the Wanderer! Rule of Rending! Engrave mine name unto thee! Boundless Tail!
|Role of the Gatekeeper. Rule of...Resurrection.
Engrave mine name unto thee and manifest thy might, Cosmic Terror!12
|Role of the Vassal! Rule of Trinity!
Spin! Whirl! Dance! Course unending through the circle of reincarnation!
Soar beyond even the lofty summit of Amne Machin! Here and now the Trinity shall become one!
Physical, ethereal, and astral bodies; the trinity unites as one with threefold power.
|Role of the Barbarian! Rule of Infinitude!
I, Kengo Takabushi, engrave mine name unto thee! Ensircle all...
|Role of the Paladin! Rule of Abundance!
Engrave mine name of Ryota Yakushimaru unto thee! Ultimate Supper!11
|Engrave mine name of Licht unto thee...
|Engrave mine name of Shiva Mahakala unto thee! Come forth, ye who were once dead!18
|Role of the Conqueror! Rule of Seizing!
We, who grasp the light! We, who seize the light!
We, who hold the light and never let it go! Silver Armed Abductor!12
- Chapter 9: Crafters - Karmic Engine
- Chapter 1: The Mysterious Transient Student - Encounter
- Chapter 4: Missionaries - Dogma City, Aoyama
- Tangaroa Research File 1
- Beowulf Research File 2
- Chapter 6: Tycoons - Tower of Tyranny
- Holy Night Gangstar
- Chapter 3: Berserkers - Ikebukuro Colosseum
- Chapter 2: Clash of the Sacred Artifacts -Shinjuku Cataclysm-
- Chapter 11: Warmongers - The Moonlit War
- Nightglows of the Starlit Sky