As a Prop, the faerie becomes an inanimate object. He could be a ring, sword, cabinet, firearm, or PDA. Changelings often assume the Gentry only take archaic forms, but the Others love any object that invokes strong feelings. Props don’t always function according to normal mechanical, electronic, or chemical principles. One Fae gun fires human teeth. Wads of dried blood provide explosive force. Not every Prop is so strange. Some look perfectly ordinary, save for the Fae’s tell, and it might blend into the Prop well enough to avoid notice.
A Prop is more than a shell for its Fae intelligence. It’s an object as the Wyrd defines it: something that doesn’t act of its own volition. Someone might rouse it with command words, verbal instructions or certain emotions, but these are specific conditions and from the Prop’s perspective, inescapable. If an Other takes the shape of a spear cursed to stab kin-slayers in the back, then it must do so whenever one appears, even if it would be more useful to let the victim live. The Fae is conscious of everything it does and can perceive things around it, but it can’t initiate events outside of the conditions she set for her Prop. Someone else must pick up a Fae sword to make it cut, or hit the buttons on a weird remote control to let an Other present nightmarish TV programs.
A Prop has one power, plus one more for every Title the Fae holds. Each power functions perfectly within a narrow purview. It conquers anything defined by dice pools or other mortal-scale game systems. One power almost never implies another. This inflexibility is a function of its symbolic nature as an object, not a living thing — though from the Fae point of view, it’s as alive as an Actor or Wisp legion.
When two Props work against each other, either the Prop providing a purely defensive or nullifying effect works, or neither Prop functions. The powers cancel each other out.
Props are almost indestructible: no hammer can smash a mirror made of faerie essence; no fire can burn a tree filled with the focused will of the Gentry. Nevertheless, this property isn’t innate; it is the result of a Contract with the Wyrd. By its terms, the Fae’s Prop form resists every form of damage but one: the Fae can’t choose his Prop’s weakness. Fae blades that stand up to the hottest forges might melt when children laugh. The Wyrd lays clues of its weakness where they might be found (though they’re never easy to find). If the weakness was so secret as to be impossible to exploit, it wouldn’t be a weakness at all.
Like an Actor, a Prop’s native intelligence can only communicate with the rest of the True Fae while it resides in Arcadia, so a Fae doesn’t necessarily know his Prop’s location when it’s gone astray. As Props rarely have the ability to find their own way home, the Gentry hate to go to Earth as Props. But in the mortal world, a Prop can keep one of its master’s Titles safe from the Feud. Props are tough and easy to hide, so they’re a viable way to preserve the Other’s essence against Fae attack. An earthbound Prop’s Title can’t by seized through Arcadian Legend-combat.
- Equinox Road, p. 92-93