Archive for the ‘Spells and Magic’ Category

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Tuesday Magic Item / A to Z – Mercenary Contract

17 April, 2018

ContractVoddick cleaned his knife and stared at the contract.  “I hate signing these contracts.”

“There are not my favorite but at least you know what you are signing up for,” said Gollaon.  “They are very explicit.”

“True,” Voddick nodded.  “That is a small comfort.”

“Agreed.”

Mercenary Contract

Originally created by the god known as the Prince of Mercenaries for use by his followers.  These contracts are made of durable material, vellum, leather, thick paper, though even wood or sheets of metal have been used.  They are inactive until freely signed in blood both by the employer and the employed.

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Tuesday Magic Item / A to Z – Hell Lance

10 April, 2018

Knight with lance“Look, they are bringing up their elite.  The knights of the doomsday?” Voddick asked, not sure if he remembered the name correctly.

“Indeed, armed with weapons left over from the Gods War, forged in hell flames and other such fanciful nonsense,” said Gollaon.

“Does that indicate that they are not exceedingly dangerous?”

“Well, yes, but less so because of the weapons.  They were forged primarily to fight a divine foe that no longer exists, but they are still potent magic items.”

Hell Lance

These weapons are deliberately constructed to look cruel and vicious with hooks and barbs common motifs, made of black or red tinted steel with poles of dark wood reinforced with strips of metal and studs.  They are as much a tool of intimidation as a weapon of war.

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A to Z – Giant Bone

9 April, 2018

Bone“Weapons made of bone,” Voddick shook his head.  “I cannot help but find them distasteful.”

“Understandable,” said Gollaon inspecting a dagger carved from bone.  “Using what was once an animal, or a person, as a weapon has a stench of necrourgy to it.”

“Agreed,” nodded Voddick.  “I will stick to steel and bronze.”

Giant bone is a prized material, as hard as metal, it can be shaped and it easily accepts enchantments aligned with the elemental nature of the giant it was harvested from.  The larger the bone, the larger the giant and the more elementally powerful the giant was, all play into the value of the a piece of giant bone.

Since the aftermath of the Gods War, the number of giants has declined precipitously and new giant bone has become increasing rare, though some Draconic Houses are said to retain a considerable stockpile of giant bones.

One of the rarer classes of sky ships use alchemical treated bones, usually the ribs, of the sky giants incorporated into the hulls to provide lift.  Their magic has proved very potent and many of these ships still travel the skies even today.

Notes: Many, many years back I remember reading an article, I think it was in Sorcerer’s Apprentice magazine, that discussed giants and if a humanoid was as large as a giant, it would have to have bones like structural steel and blood like acid.  This has always inspired my thinking about giant bone.  Additionally, in the RuneQuest book of treasures, there was a legendary lance carved from the thigh bone of a giant (because giants in Glorantha are really big).

Image cropped from “Bokeh Bone” by Al King is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A to Z – Dragon’s Blood

4 April, 2018

It only takes a dropThe very essence of dragons is magic, no where is this more apparent then in their blood which is a potent magical enhancer . . . and addictive to any magic user who partakes of it.

This is the real thing, the blood of a dragon, alchemically refined to keep its potency. (Though fresh dragon’s blood has the same effects, it must be drunk quite soon after it is spilled or the magic is lost.) The appearance of the dragon’s blood depends on the type of dragon it came from.  It also carries a ‘taste’ of sense impressions which give a sensorial clue to the personality, elemental alignment and soul of the dragon it was drawn from.

Consuming dragon’s blood fills one with power and confidence, heightening natural magic use and washing away cares.  However, the users is filled with a overwhelming sense of power and desire and the consumer may indulge in actions and activity they would normally consider unthinkable as it also washes away inhibitions.  Unfortunately, it also burns through the body’s energy reserves, leaving the user tired and weak when it wears off (though a good meal will help recovery).

Using actual dragon’s blood as a base, alchemists have developed a substance that is close to dragon’s blood, though not as potent. To those who have not tasted the real thing, the synthetic is sweet and potent, but to those who have tasted the true blood, it seems bitter and incomplete.

Those unfortunates who have tasted and become addicted to dragon’s blood often turn to the use of the synthetic to satisfy their cravings for power.  The synthetic requires a trace of dragon blood or a larger amount of blood from one of the dragonkine or false dragons as a base.

A small number of debased dragonkine sell their blood to alchemists for such uses.  Some true dragon consider the manufacture of synthetic dragon’s blood (or even the refining of true dragn’s blood) an insult and will destroy the laboratory and maker of such.

Notes: Dragon’s blood is an interesting lot device which I have only rarely used in my campaign.  Dangerous to use but some will pay any price for power.

Image “Blood Hibiscus” by Kryziz Bonny is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Cobra-Cat Chain

3 April, 2018

Cat Chain“I would not get too close,” cautioned Golloan as Voddick stepped closer to the long bodied cat.

“I will not, I do not have much like with such beasts,” Voddick replied, keeping his distance.

“Good as I suspect this cat is more than it appears.”

Cobra-Cat Chain

These items are made in pairs, a chain collar for the pet and a bracelet or necklace for the owner.  Almost always made of precious metals, silver being the most common, and occasional having suspended baubles.

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A to Z – Armor in the Sea of Stars

1 April, 2018

The level of manufacturing technology in the Sea of Stars ranges from late stone age in some isolated pockets to nearly industrial levels with wind, water and magically powered machinery at the other end of the spectrum.  So a wide variety of types of armor can be constructed but what sorts of armor are useful?

Buff CoatFirearms and gunpowder artillery are not a factor but battlefield magic is.  This means that just choosing the heaviest armor is not always the best choice as mobility can be as important as protection, so most seek some sort of middle ground between defense and maneuverability.  Thus the humble buff coat, a think leather coat that other armor can be worn over as needed, is often the basis for many a warrior’s defensive gear.  Inexpensive but versatile while providing a foundation for heavier armors, it is popular across all social classes.

For those wearing heavier armor having it forged from Dragonsteel is the pinnacle of light weight yet protective with Dragonsteel mail and breastplates common among the nobility but rare among most soldiers.  For those who cannot afford that, dwarven wrought steel is prized and most of the dwarven holds export armor.  A full suit of armor is still considered to be the mark of the martial nobility in many lands and remains a common sight in war.

More exotic armors exist but with increasing rarity, the elves and nature cults make suits of living vines and wood, the dwarves work living crystal, wizards craft bloodstones and bracers to magically guard their wearer.  There is even armor made from salt and the legendary god-forged armor which is not in the claws of the dragon.  There is something for every taste and purpose if one searches hard enough or has a deep enough purse.

Notes: The A to Z Challenge begins!  You can help me decide what to post, go here to read more.  Armor is always an interesting subject in a fantasy world.  What do you think about about how armor and magic interact?

Image “Buff Coat” by European via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Storming Shield

27 March, 2018

Shield after battl;eVoddick set the large shield up.  “Even with this, I am not exciting about charging across a field with the enemy having so many archers.”

“Nor I but I do not think the officers will listen to our misgivings,” replied Gollaon glancing their way.

“Well, we will just have to make the best of it,” sighed Voddick.  “I am sure we will be glad of the shields.”

Storming Shield

These large shields are usually gaudily decorated often with a motto or insults towards the owner’s foes.  On close examination, they are not particularly well made.

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