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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Conjunctive Magic Items

Back again...and this time I'm posting a couple of Magic Items I recently built for my bi-weekly Labyrinth Lord game.  Rings of Protection and wands of Magic Missile are all well and good, very useful, and highly prized when magic of this sort is in short supply, (which it is in my game...don't like to overdo it so I keep the items fresh).  Better yet are unique items, and ones that don't have an obvious and immediate use.  Keeping old players interested and confounded is a tough maybe these will help. guys do the obvious, which is find a mage or sage with identify and hand over some coin to suss out their magical loot.  Pretty common I guess, and I try to keep it expensive so that it's not always the go-to (but with piles of gold burning a hole in their bag of holding, that's not much of an issue for them anymore).

“But we are strong, each in our purpose, and we are all more strong together.”

Magic Items used in conjunction

There are those magical items which, while they have some measure of power as individual pieces , are far more useful when working in conjunction with one another.  Often created as sets, the following items can all used in the same manner.  They are often confusing and confounding in their purpose until such time as their true functions are sussed out.  There’s nothing quite like finding a new and unusual magical construct, only to be unable to determine its true purpose...

The Smoking Kit of the Chartreuse Mage

The mages of Elbion are a covetous and greedy lot, always plotting and planning to steal the secrets of their neighbors.  The Chartreuse Mage would not be compromised, his time and research into the spells of the ancient and arcane powers beneath the Library of Antiquity had cost him dearly in coin both real and emotional.  In order to help hide the secrets only he and the monks now possessed, he crafted these three items to keep prying eyes from the pages he had languished over so diligently for many years.

Pipe-weed of Visibility
Dried leaves of shimmering green and opalescent blue with a scent like honey and sandalwood, this herb smokes as wonderfully as it looks and smells.  The smoke it produces is bright and white, and hangs heavily in the air leaving it’s cloying scent on whatever it touches.  The smoker of this magical herb will find a sense of calm, a deep and heavy feeling as if the head were filled with wet wool, though thoughts will remain clear and distinct.  The time required to re-learn or even learn new spells is halved when smoked while study is in progress.  The smoke’s true power and purpose however, is to reveal the hidden text in the spell-book of the Chartreuse Mage.  When the sweet smoke is blown across the page written using the appropriate ink, the words will reveal themselves for a time, allowing the reader to clearly plumb the depth of thought and the powerful spells inscribed within the tome.  Perhaps this smoke will reveal more...who knows?

Bag of Freshness
What use, to create such a wondrous magic item as Pipe-weed of Visibility, only to have it spoil or go too dry to smoke.  The Chartreuse Mage was ever frugal, and such waste was an abomination to him, so to ensure that his magical herb didn't spoil he fashioned a magical pouch to house his pipe-weed.  Fashioned from the tanned hide of an Elf, with drawstrings made from the cured sinew of a wyvern, this pouch can keep any fresh item in perfect and consumable condition indefinitely.  It’s the perfect repository for such a rare item as the Pipe-weed of Visibility...or your lunch.

Ink of Invisibility
What good is it to have a secret if you cannot properly KEEP it a secret.  If you’re a hard-working arcanist such as the Chartreuse Mage, then you know the danger of secrets left unguarded.  It was just such knowledge, the lost mysteries of forgotten races of man who lived in a world more robust with magic, that the mage had come to Elbion to learn.  Once his, he knew that sharing them was unwise.  It was knowledge best held closely, and to that end he crafted the Ink of Invisibility...oh, there were other such inks, to be sure, but this one was special, tuned to the magical power of the smoke of the Pipe-weed of Visibility.  What good is a lock without a key?  What worth has a lock that can be picked easily?  No, this ink will not reveal itself to any power outside of the smoke, or the eyes of a god (which are notoriously hard to acquire). This ink will dry and fade in a few moments, and only the smoke of  the Pipe-weed of Visibility will reveal it, and then only for a short time.  Take care, hide your secrets well.  Mages are not to be trusted...

Wand Holster of Ease

Some spell-casters are powerful, able to fling spell after spell from their mind's-eye, with a repository of knowledge from cantrips to powerful, world changing dweomers.  Thrakas Four Arm was not such a mage.  He was meh.  He was passable.  He was last in his class and if it weren’t for his very rich father (who did not have four arms, for those wondering) he would never have been allowed to wear the mantle of mage.  Thrakas knew that he wasn’t a very good arcanist, but he’d had little choice when it came to vocation.

Thrakas was not a great mage, but he wasn’t a dummy.  He knew that he needed to compensate for his lack of skill, and so dipping into the family treasury he purchased as many wands as he could lay his hands (all four) on.  Ultimately, his collection of wands numbered near twenty, but that created a problem in and of itself.  How to wear them?  How to know which was which?  These weren’t toys, and Thrakas didn’t want to accidentally shoot a fireball when a magic bolt would do.  To that end he visited the Enclave at Elbion, a community of Wizards and Alchemists who lived within the great citadel that housed the Library of Antiquity and specialized in crafting magical items unique in power.  There he commissioned a series of items to aid him with his wand-predicament.   
Wand Holster of Thrakas
The Wand Holster of Thrakas is comprised of the tanned hide of a Caloran Hound, a mystical beast that can move through the local dimensions as easily as you or I pass through a doorway (making them notoriously difficult to housebreak).  When the proper enchantments are in place, the holster can hold far more than it’s compact size would indicate.  The interior volume is 25x times the external dimensions, allowing for a vast volume of items to be placed within.  Items can be retrieved by placing a hand into the holster and ‘imagining’ the general nature of the item desired, which will then appear in the wearer's hand assuming it was in the holster in the first place.  The holster functions well with regard to filling it with non-magical items, but if any magical item (including scrolls or potions) is placed inside, the magic of the holster may be compromised, and all of the items (and the holster itself) will disintegrate, falling to dust at the wearers feet.

Four such holsters were fashioned for Thrakas, one beneath each of his four arms.

Charge Stones
Wands usually have charges, and as such their power is limited.  Few wands possess infinite power, and those which do are rare.  In order to recharge a wand, the spell that it holds must be cast, often multiple times, into the wand in order to refill its power. As a powerful wizard once remarked, “to rely on a wand is a fool's folly, one may as well rely on the branch of any tree, for soon the wand will have as much power and usefulness as that branch.”  True words, but charge stones make relying on a wand a bit less of a forgone conclusion.

Charge stones are a shortcut, allowing the mage to simply cast any spell of any level into the stones, which will then recharge the corresponding wands in the holster.  The gems are woven into the ‘cuff’ of the holster, nearest the opening. Each Charge Stone must be attuned to a specific wand, a process that takes 1 hr./level of spell the wand encapsulates (so a level 10 Fireball wand takes 10 hours to attune, but each charge can be renewed using any spell.  Each charge of that same wand can be replenished with a simple light spell).  How do these stones amplify the magic cast into them to accomplish this task?  A secret that lay buried behind the walls of the city of Elbion, in the pages of the mages of the Enclave within the Library of Antiquity.   

Wand Sleeve of Demand
These sleeves are the key to making the Wand Holster of Thrakas a truly invaluable item for wizards with heavy wand inventory.  There are 20 sleeves, and each sleeve holds 1 wand perfectly, regardless of it’s dimensions.  The magic of the sleeve allows the wand to be placed within the holster safely, without disrupting the power of the holster as other magic items might.  

When placed in the holster, the wand within can be recalled instantly to the wearer’s hand, corresponding to the side the holster is slung over.  When the user is done with a wand, he merely slides it into the holster.  It will instantly find it’s native sleeve, ready for the next instance it is called into action or to be recharged at its owner's whim.


  1. Very interesting ideas!

    I had an incomplete idea of my own the other day about two or more non-magical items, or items with such a weak hint of magic it was hard to detect, but when combined with the other item(s) it goes with, its power(s) is(are) revealed.

    1. Thanks! It started with the Smoke/Invisible ink thing, but as I get new ideas I've been jotting them down. It's like a mini-puzzle for the players...figuring out what they do and how to best use them..

      or...if they have 2 pcs of a 3 pc becomes a quest!