Posts Tagged “Magical Marvels”
In an age long past, when magic was young and humans did not yet understand the powers and limitations of the craft, there was a great queen named Austranar. She was a warrior, and a conqueror, who expanded her territory through ruthless campaigns. And, she never rode into battle without her beloved steed Kuruk. Though she was a queen, she forbade any to care for Kuruk but her. So much did Austranar love her horse, that her soldiers sometimes joked that despite her many consorts, the only true heir would be Kuruk’s. Austranar won countless battles astride Kuruk, and art depicting the pair is some of the more common pieces from that period of human history. But very little is known of Kuruk’s death.
During the a minor conquest of no great importance, a peasant with a dull sword made a lucky swing, and nearly severed Kuruk’s right foreleg at the knee. A crime for which he was promptly beheaded by the grief-stricken queen. Soaked in the peasant’s blood, Austranar clung to the horse’s neck and wailed in rage and agony. She called for her court magician, he was–a bit reluctantly–brought to her. The queen demanded that the magician preserve Kuruk’s life with his magic, and would hear none of his protestations.
Knowing that failure would mean his death, the magician worked furiously with his limited understanding of the magical arts. Many of those captured during the battle were put to death during his ritual. A few of their souls were used to strengthen the bond between Kuruk’s spirit and his body…though many more were killed simply to buy him time to think.
When Kuruk’s body shrived up and disappeared beneath his barding, the magician’s time was up. A furious Austranar, red faced with rage, demanded to know where her steed had gone. The magician fumbled, over his words before finally picking up the headpiece of the barding and presenting it to the queen. He explained that Kuruk’s essence was preserved within this piece of armor, and that any steed it was placed upon would be filled with Kuruk’s spirit.
This is not what Austranar had wanted.
In a rage, the queen took the armor in both hands and slammed it down atop the magician’s head, aiming to kill him. Instead, the magician disappeared entirely, leaving a horse which looked almost exactly like Kuruk in its place–save for its strangely human eyes. It didn’t take long to discover what a wondrous item the magician had created. And though she felt Kuruk’s loss deeply, the queen deigned to reward her magician for creating such an ingenious device–by allowing him to serve as her steed for the rest of his days.
Whenever The Steedmaker Barding is placed upon the head of a living creature, that creature is transformed into a warhorse, complete with a full set of barding to match the head piece, as well as a saddle, and other riding accoutrements. The magical steed is also well trained, and will serve as well as any warhorse can.
While, in many respects, the horse will resemble the long-dead Kuruk, it will also take on aspects of whatever creature it has been bonded with. For example, when placed upon a human, it will gain a human’s eyes, as well as that human’s mind and intelligence. It will not be able to override its training as a war horse because of this, but it will be able to follow commands more intelligently, or indicate its opinions when asked.
Other combinations might include:
Frog: The horse will have a green, wet appearance. It will be able to leap unusually high and far, and will have a frog’s long tongue.
Bird: The horse will gain wings, like a pegasus.
Shark: The resulting creature will look quite different from a horse, as it will not have legs, but rather, four large fins. It will also have a preternaturally large jaw of razor sharp teeth.
Bear: Its hooves are replaced with large claws, and its legs have a larger range of movement.
Spider: While in most respects it will appear to be a normal horse, it will have eight spider’s legs and be able to move silently along both walls and ceilings.
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Posted by LS on Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at 1:46 am
Categories: Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, Pathfinder
Tags: Magic Items, Magical Marvels
Imperial Candlewick Clear Glass Knife, c. 1939-1941. Image from Ruby Lane.
The origin of Glasstouch Daggers is unclear. Though several have been found over the centuries, hidden in dark dungeons and deep caves, none have borne the identifying mark of any known craftsperson. Study of the magics used in their creation show that they must have been crafted by a powerful mortal illusionist, rather than coming from any otherworldly source. Regardless of their origin these daggers are a boon to any who find them.
Though they are made of glass, these weapons are not fragile. In fact they are very nearly impossible to damage without going to extreme lengths to do so. Even the edge of the blade does not dull. Aside from this small boon, however, the Glasstouch Dagger functions in combat just as any other dagger would. The true magical value of the dagger lies in the magical feats it can perform.
When the tip of the blade is tapped against any non-living surface, that surface becomes completely transparent. This effect functions on an area of up to 10 cubic feet, though if the object touched is smaller (such as a door) then only that object will be affected. The surface does not become fragile, nor does it lose any of its other properties. The dagger can affect an unlimited number of objects, and those objects will remain transparent for as long as the dagger (or the dagger wielder) is within line-of-sight of the affected object. Remember that transparency works both ways. If you use the dagger to look through a door, then whatever is on the other side of that door can see you too!
If the pommel is used instead of the tip, then the surface tapped will become mirrored rather than transparent. This effect is subject to the same limitations as the transparency effect, though it only affects a single side of the object. If the pommel is tapped against a door, then the side it was tapped against will become mirrored, while the opposite side of the door will retain its normal appearance.
Any sage with basic knowledge of magical items will likely know the above information. However, few sages know that Glasstouch Daggers actually possess even greater magics which only those who are attuned to them can access. After a character gains 1 level with the Glasstouch Dagger in their possession, it will become attuned to that character. The next time they handle the weapon, it will feel vaguely warm to the touch for a moment, and they will have an indistinct sense that something about the dagger is different. A sage with detailed knowledge of magic weapons may be able to inform the character of what has occurred. Otherwise the below must be learned through experimentation, or divination spells such as Identify.
If the tip of the blade is touched to a surface, and used to trace a shape, then only the space within that shape will become transparent. This still only functions to a maximum of 10ft in any direction. Tracing a shape with the hilt produces mirrored surfaces in the same way.
Additionally, if an attuned wielder can stab the dagger into a non-living object, then that object will become as brittle as glass for as long as the dagger is embedded in it. Note that embedding the dagger in an object does not make it mirrored or transparent. It retains its normal appearance, but becomes brittle and easily broken. Note also that this ability does not allow the wielder to stab the dagger into an object which they normally could not. A stone, or suit of armor, or shield cannot be affected by this ability. However, a wooden tree could be.
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Posted by LS on Friday, March 8th, 2013 at 6:45 am
Categories: Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, Pathfinder
Tags: Magic Items, Magical Marvels
A ‘flick’ ring from Aurum Jewellers
When my players encounter a finely crafted piece of treasure–be it magical or not–I like to give them a few details about that item’s appearance. It’s not just a finely crafted breastplate. But it has gold inlays which depict the moon on one breast, the sun on the other, and a duel between two swordsmen below it. Maybe it’s not the most important thing for a GM to do, but it lends character and depth to the game world, and that’s never a bad thing.
For some reason, I’ve always found that rings inspire my creativity more than other types of treasure. So as a change of pace, instead of using magical marvels to describe a single powerful magic item, below I’ve compiled 50 unusual ring designs. None of the below include any particular magical effects, but most of the below descriptions are not specific to a given effect. They could be used for many different kinds of magic rings. Or they may not be magical at all, merely finely crafted pieces of jewelry the players can sell for gold.
After a few hours I capped it at 50. You can peruse this list as a source of inspirational fluff, or use the numbers I included to use it as a d% chart. Full disclosure, I started out wanting to make a list of 100 rings. Turns out that is super hard. Also hard: describing the different parts of a ring. Does anyone know of a resource for learning the words which describe rings? Google turned up a lot of terms which describe gems, but not a lot which describe the rings themselves. I hope the words I chose are clear, or at least decipherable!
1-2) A silver band with the final line of a well known poem engraved around the outside, and flecked with gold. The inside edge has a small spike which prick’s the wearer’s finger while the ring is worn.
3-4) A ring of gold with 3 links of golden chain attached to it. At the end of the chain is a small emerald, with an ancient rune expertly carved into its largest facet.
5-6) A mithril ring with the figure of wizard standing upon it. Deft fiddling will reveal that the wizard’s hat can be turned, and removed, revealing a small diamond within the figure’s head.
7-8) A glass band which appears, in most respects, very plain. However, when light is shone upon it, colors weave and dance within the glass. Despite its magic, the glass is still quite fragile.
9-10) A black ring of an unfamiliar material, which has a large seal on it. The seal depicts a droplet falling into a small puddle. The substance being depicted is unclear. Different color inks may appear to be different fluids.
11-12) A hollow ring of transparent glass. The ring is filled with water which mysteriously flows around the band. Flecks of gold in the water dance and twirl in the current.
13-14) A pair of iron tongs, the ends of which are each one half of a circlet just large enough for a finger. If heated in a fire, the tongs can be used to brand a ring around someone’s finger.
15-16) A copper ring, with depictions of scales embossed around its edge.
17-18) A smooth ring of silver. A band of gold–approximately 1/5th the ring’s width–is inlaid around the center of the ring’s outside edge.
19-20) A ring of steel with several cogs attached to it. These cogs are interlocking, and spin freely. They have no obvious mechanical purpose, however.
21-22) A gold ring which splits into two bands at the crest, with a darkly tinted lens mounted between them.
23-24) A pair of twisting bands, one silver, one gold. Each wraps around the finger twice, forming a single ring.
25-26) Red copper which is masterfully crafted to look like a fox wrapped around the wearer’s finger, with emeralds for eyes, and a tail which extends back along the wearer’s finger.
27-28) A square of gold with a ruby on each of the four corners. The flat edges fit snugly around a finger.
29-30) An arm of gold, clasping an arm of silver, clasping an arm of copper, which in turn clasps the arm of gold, forming a ring.
31-32) A ring of ivory, carved to look like a single long finger, wrapping around in a full 360 degrees.
33-34) A braid of iron bands wrapping around a speckled purple sphere.
35-36) The band itself is constructed of intricately curving strands of silver, supporting a flat skull of jade, painted with bright colors and wearing a large grin.
37-38) A gold coin of an ancient empire mounted on a golden band.
39-40) A strand of steel shaped like an arrow, twisted into a finger-sized circle.
41-42) A circlet of mithril, the exterior of which is covered in dozens of tiny spikes. In the center is a small, ocean blue sapphire. In the center of the sapphire is a tiny white sphere. It’s unclear how that sphere was placed within the gem.
43-44) A simple silver band with a weaving braid embossed around its edge.
45-46) The outside of the band is circled repeatedly by a number of deep grooves which are spaced evenly. What you or I would recognize as a thread.
47-48) This shiny silver band has a large concave plate in place of a signet. The surface of the plate is bare, save for a ring of tiny obsidian stones around the inside edge.
49-50) A ring carved seemingly from marble, with engravings of a crown, a sword, and a bull’s head on the outside edge. On the inside edge of the ring is a carving written in ancient common: “Power through adversity.”
51-52) This golden band has two large bumps on it, each covered in flecks of diamond. The bumps appear to be modeled after an insect’s compound eye.
53-54) A ring carved from jade depicts a might tiger which moves around the wearer’s finger, and bites its own tail.
55-56) This ring of platinum has numerous small images engraved on the outside of it. They depict a woman in many stages of life. Being born, learning to walk, growing into a woman, fighting mighty battles, bearing children, growing old, and finally dying.
57-58) The signet of this jade ring is an elaborate flower, made of numerous gems. Rubies and saphires make two layers of petals, wrapping around a large amber stone in the center. Within the amber is a petrified bee.
59-60) A delicate brass ring shaped to look like a feather, bent so the end of the vane meets the quill.
61-62) Carved from ivory, this ring looks like a tiny dragon’s skull, with the wearer’s finger going through the skull’s mouth.
63-64) A delicate ring carved from platinum to resemble a royal tiara, which fits around a finger instead of a head.
65-66) A wooden ring, thick with bark on the outside. At the crest of the ring, where a gem would normally sit, grows a thick pad of damp moss.
67-68) This smooth ring carved from jade has two arms extending from its crest. Between their hands, the arms hold a small ball of glass.
69-70) Upon the crest of this red stone ring rests a bird exquisitely carved from sapphire.
71-72) Two iron rings connected by a chain of finest mithril. If worn on adjacent fingers, this does not affect dexterity.
73-74) A band cut directly from a sapphire. At the crest of the ring, a tiny copper ship rests, as though it were drifting on a sapphire sea.
75-76) The signet of the ring appears to be a spider laying dead on its back. The spider’s 8 curling legs clasp tightly to a white pearl.
77-78) A goblin’s face graces the crest of this iron ring. He grins widely, and three small rubies are clasped in his mouth.
79-80) This ring of mithril has two circlets, attached together by a long, articulated piece of mithril artistry, made to look like the top side of a dragon’s talon. When worn, this will cover the wearer’s entire finger.
81-82) The crest of this ring is a large square space, where a large pyramidal piece of obsidian is embedded, and held in place by four demon hands clawing it; one from each corner of the square.
83-84) This bizarre platinum band is a sort of ‘reverse signet ring.’ A large oval pad contains some type of firmly affixed clay. The clay can be smoothed over by working it with your finger for a moment, then pressed to an object so it can take its shape.
85-86) This golden ring is topped with a large half-sphere of amber. Flanges of gold protrude in every direction around the amber, like rays from the sun.
87-88) A band of wood with a raised, rectangular opening along the top edge of the ring. Small pieces of ivory have been fitted into this opening, resembling bared teeth.
89-90) A tiny shield of steel is mounted atop this otherwise simple ring of silver.
91-92) An axe blade rises from the crest of this mithril ring. It is quite sharp, and may cause the wearer some incontinent cuts from time to time.
93-94) Both the inside, and the outside edge of the ring are covered in engravings which resemble a top-down map of a city. The city is not known to the players, nor to anyone they take the ring to. It must either be of another world, or so ancient that it has been forgotten entirely.
95-96) This ring is made of layered metals, wrapped one atop the other. The wearer’s finger contacts the ring’s gold, band, atop which is wrapped silver, then brass, and finally platinum.
97-98) Two dozen protruding stems rise from the crest of this platinum band. Atop each stem is a different gemstone: ruby, emerald, obsidian, amber, sapphire, and so on.
99-100) A very tiny candlestick is mounted on the crest of this brass ring. A very tiny candle could be mounted there, though it wouldn’t be very useful, and would likely be a burning hazard.
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Posted by LS on Friday, December 14th, 2012 at 6:45 am
Categories: System Independant
Tags: fluff, Magic Items, Magical Marvels