Objects imbued with the natural breath of the world, and are blessed by the surrounding spiritual qi in its conception. In general terms, any object that manifests certain characteristics or features beyond the scope and capabilities of an ordinary object of its kind. Spiritual Artefacts can exist in the appearance of either a forged weapon or object, or a natural byproduct of the world.
Spiritual Artefacts are extraordinary objects created by the mortal world; primarily, it is conceived through natural means of compressing the atmospheric spiritual qi into a solidified form. Spiritual Artefacts can form autonomously, in which the atmospheric spiritual essence converges into a natural concentration depending on the environment's characteristics and inherent nature, or can settle and accumulate onto an ordinary, man-made objects until a sufficient, extraordinary bestowment manifests. Spiritual Artefacts in the form of natural byproducts including quills, stones, jades, and fossilized objects are created through the former method, and artefacts in the form of weapons, plates, and ornaments are conceived from the latter. The time required for sufficient convergence for a Spiritual Artefact for the latter method exceeds the former by several bounds, and requires that the object remains in relatively manageble condition and care - but must not come into contact with any conflicting attributed-spiritual essence; otherwise, the process of accumulation would be broken and incur complete depletion of spiritual qi within the object.
Depending on the duration of convergence and the overall concentration of spiritual qi in the artefact, the Spiritual Artefact can manifest as an object possessing great power, or just above the bare minimum to qualify as an extraordinary object. There are conventional means of classifying and identifying of Spiritual Artefacts but are widely different between individual sects and amongst the Three Great Empires, causing great disagreement in the actual classification of the rarity and potency of any single Spiritual Artefact. The effects and extraordinary bestowment of Spiritual Artefacts are completely random and unpredictable amongst the two major methods of conception. Artefacts produced from within the secluded depths of nature can manifest characteristics including the ability to manipulate the natural elements to a certain extent, increased affinity with one's perception and the environment, and potentially manipulate the atmospheric spiritual qi, the last of which manifesting only in Spiritual Artefacts commonly revered as "Divine Artefacts". Artefacts produced after a lengthy process of gradual accumulation of spiritual qi can manifest a wide combination of abilities and characteristics including enhanced durability, sharpness, or flexibility - commonly reflected in artefacts considered "lower-grade" by cultivators - or the ability to command the nature of lightning with each attack, or the amplification of a cultivator's spiritual essence to a certain extent.
Spiritual Artefacts can only be utilized by cultivators of the Spirit Building Realm and above, due to their inherent requirement of a thoroughly developed spiritual perception. Several martial arts techniques and cultivation techniques can bypass this requirement and allow the use of Spiritual Artefacts from lower Realms, but incur equivalent costs and injuries.
Enhanced Artefacts are extraordinary objects created by mortal cultivators; it is typically crafted through a diverse arrangement of methods - but not limited to forging, woodcrafting, carving, chiseling, and assembly. Through any method or technique of craftsmanship, the cultivator engraves their spiritual essence along the Enhanced Artefact; the presence of an organized pattern of inscriptions does not produce any different effect compared to a chaotic arrangement. During the process of engravement, the cultivator must transfer a thread of their perception, in addition to their intention for crafting the Enhanced Artefact as a means of influencing the finished result and its capabilities. For example, artefacts created with the intention of cutting through any material in the world will be more attuned with enhanced capabilities of sharpness and flexibility. To state that the intention of the cultivator will guarantee an Enhanced Artifact capable of manifesting their desired characteristics is a misunderstanding, for the formation of the Enhanced Artefact is randomized; unlike Spiritual Artefacts, whose creation is determined by the factors in its surrounding environment, Enhanced Artefacts are solely affected by the spiritual essence provided by the cultivator and its respective attribute. The subtleties of the spiritual essence's attributes can potentially disrupt the finished characteristics of the Enhanced Artefact, and is oftentimes the bane of many cultivators dedicated to their creation. A swordsman has better "luck" creating Enhanced Artefacts capable of enhancing the user's agility and strength, wheras a scholar might possess "luck" in obtaining characteristics attuned with a cultivator's spiritual perception.
To create Enhanced Artefacts, one first requires the prerequisite knowledge of the ordinary, secular means of creating similar objects without extraordinary characteristics present. To create Enhanced Artefacts in the form of a sword, one must obtain sufficient knowledge and experience in forging thin-bladed weapons, and to create a fan, the knowledge of wood-craftsmanship, embroidery, and potentially calligraphy are required. Enhanced Artefacts in the form of stone or jewel ornaments and accessories require the knowledge of not only shaping, carving, polishing, and engraving of such materials, but also the knowledge and experience in mining and obtaining them.
A cultivator who only posses proficiency in the arts of crafting and manufacturing objects, without any distinctive subtle elements in their spiritual essence (examples including the affinity with the blade, or calligraphic skills) can only manufacture Enhanced Artefacts storing a standard amount of spiritual essence.
Enhanced Artefacts can be utilized starting from the Foundation Establishment Realm, although those more attuned towards a cultivator's perception require the cultivator's attainment in cultivation to be that of the Spirit Building Realm or greater.
Demonic Artefacts are extraordinary artefacts that include both Enhanced Artefacts and Spiritual Artefacts, but contain a more dangerous characteristic. They can either contain additional conditions to their use that are of particular violent or bloody nature, such as the requirement of spilling blood with each slash if a sword, or draining the opponent's vitality and spiritual essence with a successful strike. Should their condition not be fulfilled, the cultivator utilizing the Demonic Artefact suffers a backlash comparable to the inflicted injury the opponent should have received.
The characteristics and abilities of Demonic Artefacts are significantly greater than Enhanced Artefacts and Spiritual Artefacts by severalfold, and possess the inherent nature to increase their capabilities with each spillage of blood experienced. As such, many covet them for the added benefit of a weapon whose capabilties are exemplary to their peers, although are wary of the possible consequence of being influenced and possessed by the artefact should it's capabilities increase beyond their control.
Talismans are extraordinary objects assuming the appearance of paper charms decorated with emboldened inscriptions of ink. Compared to the broad range of capabilities of Enhanced Artefacts, Spiritual Artefacts, or even Demonic Artefacts, the phenomena and extraordinary characteristics of talismans are resitrcted to that of the manipulation of the natural elements. Cultivators who are within the Nascent Soul Realm or greater and possess extraordinary spiritual perception can bypass this restriction to encroach upon the ability of manipulating atmospheric spiritual qi - but enhanced perception is not required to create talismans capable of influencing local, spiritual essence within a cultivator.
Talismans capture the specific intention and perception of a cultivator, which are engraved and inscribed as the central character present in any given talisman through ink and spiritual essence. A talisman can support a maximum of a single character as its core conceptual framework; to create manifestations and influence the natural elements beyond the capabilities of a single-character representation or perform actions with multiple steps, the cultivator must properly envision their desired intention to the greatest detail possible, and convey such intention through a continuous stream of spiritual essence. Single-action talismans, however, do not emphasize the requirement of intense focus and development in perception - given that the intended manifestation is simple.
Casting a talisman is rather simple; the only action required is to flood the completed talisman with spiritual essence, and displacing the talisman towards the enemy. The strength and intensity of the manifestation is determined by the amount of spiritual essence provided, and the maximum capabilities of any talisman is determined by the proficiency of its creator and the clarity of the transferred intention. Talismans have a relatively long shelf life, and can last for years if not decades if inscribed onto a good quality paper and maintained well, but the intention captured within will decay over time.
Talismans do not require development in any specialized field, unlike that of the formation of Enhanced Artefacts. Any cultivator can create a talisman by focusing their perception and intention to an extent capable of being sustained by spiritual essence, although sufficient practice is required for enhanced proficiency. Skilled cultivators can create talismans without the need of paper or ink, given that they have appropriate substitutes (water or fluid as "ink", and a surface as the "paper").