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Tuesday Magic Item – Blood Banner

13 March, 2018

Red Flag“Another red banner?!  They must have emptied the jail before marching to war,” complained Voddick.

“I am not fond of working as executioners for what may be innocent people,” agreed Gollaon aiming along the shaft of his arrow.

“But they will kill us if we do not kill them.”

“Needs must,” said Gollaon releasing the bow string.  “But I do not have to be happy about it.”

“There is a break in the line,” said Voddick pointing.  “Let us see if we can show their officers what we think of their policy,”

“Capital idea.”

Blood Banner

These banners are of bright red cloth but their edges are stained a darker red.  If there is any ornamentation it will be on the pike-staff, a heraldic symbol or state identification perhaps, but equally often they are unadorned.  The magic of the banner is activated by having a person wipe their blood on the banner which then ties them to the banner for the duration of the campaign.

While bonded to the banner, the person feels fatigued if they are ever more than a kilometer and a half (one mile) from the banner and if they are ever more than fifteen kilometers (ten miles) from the banner, they take one point of Constitution damage an hour until dead.

However, while in sight of the banner they gain a +4 morale bonus to saves against fear and when at half of fewer hit points, they gain a +2 morale bonus to melee weapon attacks and damage.  Anyone bound to the banner who tries to flee and is cut down by an ally gives all the remaining bound members 1d4 temporary hit points that last for five minutes (and stack with any temporary hit points granted by this ability).

The banner is very difficult to destroy, let along damage (hardness 10, HP 30 + 1 for each person currently bonded to it, takes half damage from bludgeoning, energy or piercing attacks and no damage from cold or force) but if destroyed, all bound to it are freed.

Aura moderate enchantment; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 50,000; Weight 8 lbs
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, heroism, lesser geas, vampiric touch; Cost 25,000

For D&D 5E:

Wondrous item (banner), rare

First paragraph as above.

While bonded to the banner, the person gains a level of Exhaustion if they are ever more than a kilometer and a half (one mile) from the banner and if they are ever more than fifteen kilometers (ten miles) from the banner, they gain an additional  level of Exhaustion every two hours until dead.

However, while in sight of the banner they gain a advantage on saves against fear and when at half of fewer hit points, they may can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to any melee attack roll they make and a +2 bonus on melee weapon damage.  Anyone bound to the banner who tries to flee and is cut down by an ally gives all the remaining bound members 1d4 temporary hit points that last for five minutes (and stack with any temporary hit points granted by this ability).

The banner is very difficult to destroy, let along damage (AC 19, HP 30 + 1 for each person currently bonded to it, resistance to energy and slashing attacks, immunity to bludgeoning, cold, force, necrotic or piercing  damage) but if destroyed, all bound to it are freed.

Notes: Inspired by the German Blutfahne (‘Blood Banner’) which marked units that were used as Verlorene Haufen (or Forlorn Hope as we would say in English) as there was often a lack of volunteers for such units, criminals were often conscripted in.

Photo “red flag” by Luke Hoagland and used under a Creative Common Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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