Tuesday, March 20, 2018

:: Joaquim and the Marid's Lute ::

...or "The Frog Prince"

Once there was a ranai named Joaquim, whose name meant “Lifted by God.” Like his mother before him, he worshipped the marids, beautiful geniuses of the water planes that sometimes blessed mortals with their powers.
When he was young, Joaquim had fallen into a ravine, trapped where his mother could not reach him. Distraught, she invoked the marids on his behalf. Pulling a magical lute from her back, she plucked the strings in a serenade that ebbed and flowed like the waves. Presently, a marid emerged from within the bowl of the lute and asked:

Monday, November 13, 2017

:: Euzoria Mercantile—Magical Tools ::

Euzoria is the capital city of all humanity in Athanasia. The presence of magic there is ubiquitous, as countless mage academies produce generation after generation of brilliant arcane minds. All of this has led Euzoria down a path of magical revolution rather than a technological one.

Still in the iron age for the most part, magic now offers Euzoria modern conveniences in the form of prevalent magical tools: hammers that do the work of ten hammers with a single blow, ropes that coil themselves, a never-ending ball of yarn, and so on. Below are listed some of the common magical tools that might be found in human civilizations near and far across Athanasia.

Some items are based on existing Pathfinder items but have been renamed to avoid references that do not exist in Athanasia. Other items have been adapted to make more sense within the world of Athanasia.

Alarm Bell                                                                                     
Price: 50 gp
Developed by bored mages to make close observation of the guild entrance unnecessary, these enchanted silver bells proved more costly than they were worth. Now, they are used by those who wish to be alerted if a particular area is ever entered without their knowledge. Each small silver bell can be activated by touching it to an object or building and speaking aloud the activation word and a radius distance (up to 20 feet). Thereafter, any time a creature of tiny or larger size enters the area without the bell on their person, the bell will ring (so long as it is within 1 mile of the object or building at the time). After one use it becomes an ordinary silver bell. It can be re-enchanted by an enchanter with the Animate Object (Enhancement) Talent for 50 gp.

Bag & Tag Bola                                                                            
Price: 50 gp
This leather and wood bola is enchanted with negative energy. On a successful hit, the bola inflicts 1d4 points of damage. In addition, the target must make a DC 13 Fortitude save or be fatigued for 2 rounds. As Death magic is forbidden by the Wizard's Creed, these bolas are only crafted by experienced hedgemages or errant archmages, and are considered contraband in civilized areas. Law officials are more lenient if such items are only used for hunting purposes.

Comforting Comforter                                                                
Price: 1800 gp
Upon speaking the command word, anyone under this blanket becomes shielded from outside temperatures, permitting them to sleep as if under the effects of the Endure Elements spell. The blanket is large enough to cover 1 medium creature, up to 2 small creatures, or up to four tiny creatures (two at each end).

Diviner's Tent                                                                              
Price: 60 gp
This small dome-shaped tent is supported by three flexible rods and can be assembled in 20 minutes. Meditating inside the tent for 10 minutes permits you to divine neaby sources of magic (as per the Divination Sphere power). At the end of the 10 minutes, each source of magic appears on the inside of the tent as a glowing dot of a different color (one for each Sphere), and size (for the strength of that source's aura). Next to each dot appears a magical script indicating the distance to the detected magical source. After one use, this tent loses all magical properties and becomes an ordinary small tent. It can re-enchanted by an enchanter with the Divination Sphere for 50 gp.

Dueller's Cloakpin                                                                      
Price: 1500 gp
Operates as a Brooch of Shielding. Also protects against the Destructive Blast (Destruction) Sphere power, so long as the blast is unmodified by additional Talents.

Flint and Shale                                                                            
Price: 50 gp
The shale from this pair of stones has been enchanted with magical darkness. Striking the two stones together creates a 10-foot radius sphere of darkness centered on the flint component (as per the Darkness Sphere talent). This darkness lasts for 1 round and then dissipates. This process destroys the shale component of the set. A new piece of magically prepared shale can be purchased from an enchanter with the Darkness Sphere for 50 gp.

Hedgemage's Cloak                                                                    
Price: 2500 gp
Originally crafted by archmage instructors at the Wizard's Academy for classroom practice, these cloaks are known to "go missing" on graduation day and find their way into the free market where hedgemages and other delinquents make use of them for their own purposes. Analogous to a Cloak of the Hedge Wizard, the Hedgemage's Cloak comes in up to 20 varieties; one for each Sphere of magic. Each cloak grants the wearer the Sphere powers and two specific Talents from one Sphere, chosen upon the cloak's creation. The cloak does not grant the wearer spell points or the benefits of actually having any sphere of magic. Each Sphere Talent may be applied up to once per day (CL 1). Cloaks of Death and War are especially rare, and are forbidden by the Wizard's Creed.

Hedgemage's Hand                                                                     
Price: 900 gp
Operates as a Hand of the Mage. This simple amethyst hanging from a golden chain grants the wearer the use of the Telekinesis sphere power as if they had the Telekinesis Sphere. It does not grant spell points or any other benefits of having the Telekinesis Sphere.

Infinite Pincusion                                                                        
Price: 2000 gp
Operates per a Robe of Needles without using an item slot.

Infinite String                                                                              
Price: 2000 gp
Operates per a Robe of Infinite Twine without using an item slot.

Instant Campfire                                                                         
Price: 60 gp
This corked small clay pot is inscribed with runes around its mouth and filled with a gelatinous fuel similar to that in a stove can. Smashing the pot releases the gelatinous fuel over a square foot area. Upon exposure to air, it immediately ignites, dealing 1d3 points of damage per round to anything touching it. It will continue to burn for 2 and a half hours until extinguished. In addition, as long as you concentrate on the fire, it enlarges per the Affect Fire (Nature) Sphere power, covering a 2.5 foot area and dealing 1d6 points of damage per round to anything touching it. Once you cease concentrating, or if your concentration is broken, the fire reverts to its original size and continues to burn for the duration. Wood or other fuel added to the fire before it is extinguished burns as normal.

Keen Whetstone                                                                          
Price: 750 gp
Upon drawing this whetstone along the edge of a piercing or slashing weapon, arrowhead, crossbow bolt, or shuriken, the affected weapon becomes magically keen for the next hour, as per the Keen Edge spell. The whetstone afterwards becomes an ordinary whetstone. It can be re-enchanted for 750 gp by an enchanter with the Deadly Weapon (Enhancement) Talent.

Knucklebone Dice Set                                                                
Price: 4800 gp
Operates per a Robe of Bones without using an item slot. Carved from the knuckebones of an ogre, this identical pair of six-sided dice are decorated with images of a different undead creature on each face. When rolled, each six-sided die conjures the bones of a particular creature and assembles them into an undead form. The creature summoned corresponds to the image showing on the top of the die, after which the image of that creature vanishes from the die. If the face of the die that points up is blank, nothing happens. One or both dice may be rolled at a time.

Medic's Mess Kit                                                                        

Price: 50 gp
Each piece of this horn mess kit is inscribed with an identical small rune and is imbued with Life magic. When you feed a wounded creature any food or drink from this mess kit, that creature immediately gains 1 temporary hit point, as per the Invigorate (Life) Sphere power. Afterwards it becomes an ordinary mess kit. It can be re-enchanted by an enchanter with the Life Sphere for 50 gp.

Messenger's Boots                                                                      
Price: 1000 gp
Operates as a Quick Runner's Shirt, but uses the feet slot instead.

Oathkeeper Band                                                                       

Price: 1000 gp
Operates as a Phylactery of Faithfulness. There are eight varieties—Light, Dark, Air, Earth, Fire, Metal, Water, and Wood—one for each of the Eldrich Patrons available to Exemplars.

Pirium Manacles                                                                        
Price: 100 gp
These masterwork manacles are made of cold-forged pirium. They are not enchanted, but rely on the natural magic-draining properties of pirium to function. Not typically used unless a criminal is also a spellcaster, pirium manacles are the alternative to a wunderkind voluntarily wearing a pirium torc inside civilized areas. Guard captains might be issued a pair of pirium manacles, and several may be kept in guardhouses.

Pirium Torc                                                                                

Price: 100 gp
This finely-crafted torc is made of cold-forged pirium. It is not enchanted, but relies on the natural magic-draining properties of pirium to function. Wearing one is required of wunderkinder while inside most civilized communities. Guards of human communities, especially gate-house guards, may be issued a pirium torc explicitly for this purpose.

Phantasmagoria, Major                                                            

Price: 750 gp
This phantasmagoria functions like a Silent Phantasmagoria, except that it can capture sound, smell, and thermal information and include them in the illusion it casts when lit (as per the Major Image spell). The range for capturing and casting is a 30-foot cone. Unused reservoirs of oil for a Major Phantasmagoria can be purchased for 750 gp from an enchanter with the Illusion Sphere.

MAJOR PHANTASMAGORIA OIL: This reservior of magically prepared oil can be installed in a Major Phantasmagoria and burns for 1 hour. A spellcaster can also fabricate an illuison to capture inside the oil by casting Major Image or an equivalent spell. This functions like Silent Phantasmagoria Oil in all other respects.

Phantasmagoria, Minor                                                            
Price: 300 gp
This phantasmagoria functions like a Silent Phantasmagoria, except that it can capture some minor sounds (but not understandable speech) and include them in the illusion it casts when lit (as per the Minor Image spell). The range for capturing and casting is a 25-foot cone. Unused reservoirs of oil for a Minor Phantasmagoria can be purchased for 300 gp from an enchanter with the Illusion Sphere.

MINOR PHANTASMAGORIA OIL: This reservoir of magically prepared oil can be installed in a Minor Phantasmagoria and burns for 1 hour. A spellcaster can also fabricate an illuison to capture inside the oil by casting Minor Image or an equivalent spell. This functions like Silent Phantasmagoria Oil in all other respects.

Phantasmagoria, Silent                                                             
Price: 50 gp
This finely-crafted bullseye lantern has embossed images of ghostly people and animals swirling along its framework and contains a small reservoir of magically prepared oil that can burn for up to 1 hour. When activated, the phantasmagoria captures visual-only information from a 20-foot cone out in front of it with perfect accuracy, storing this information in the magical oil in its reservoir. It continues to do so for up to 1 hour or until deactivated. When the lantern is lit, it casts a visual illusion of the information stored in the reservoir in a 20-foot cone (as per the Silent Image spell). The illusion matches the light level of the captured information, raising darkness to the level of light captured. The illusion continues until the oil is spent, or until the flame inside is extinguished, at which point any remaining information is lost, and any remaining oil loses all magical properties. After capturing information but before lighting the lantern, the phantasmagoria's reservoir of magical oil can be removed and installed in another phantasmagoria, which can then be lit to cast the captured illusion. Actors have used this method to capture and sell their silent performances, which are later displayed for the public, accompanied by music. Unused reservoirs of oil for a Silent Phantasmagoria can be purchased for 50 gp from an enchanter with the Illusion Sphere.

SILENT PHANTASMAGORIA OIL: This reservoir of magically prepared oil can be installed in a Silent Phantasmagoria and burns for 1 hour. A spellcaster can also fabricate an illuison to capture inside the oil by casting Silent Image or an equivalent spell. The spellcaster must concentrate on the spell for as long as the illusion is intended to last. If the spellcaster's concentration is broken, or the spellcaster ceases concentrating, the illusion will cease at that point when cast by the phantasmagoria, no matter how much oil remains.

Polymorph Poncho                                                                    
Price: 750 gp
Pale imitations of a Skinchanger's Cloak, these coverings were developed to level the playing field between mages and rangers. This poncho has been woven with tufts of fur, chunks of chitin, downy feathers, and small bones. When the hood of the poncho is raised and drawn shut with the drawstring, it permits the wearer to shapeshift (per the Alteration Sphere power) into an incomplete animal form for 1 minute. After 15 uses, it becomes an ordinary poncho. It can be re-enchanted by an enchanter with the Alteration Sphere or 750 gp. Possible forms are as follows: Bat's Ears (Darkvision 60'), Eagle's Eyes (Low-light Vision), Lion's Claws (2 Claw attacks), Wolf's Teeth (1 Bite attack), Bull's Horns (1 Gore attack), Gorilla's Arms (2 Slam attacks), Crab's Claws (2 Pincer attacks).

Reanimation Bag                                                                       
Price: 50 gp
This burlap body bag has been loosely sewn along the edges and enchanted with necromantic magic. A dead body or a collection of bones (from a single medium-sized creature) can be placed in this bag as a full-round action. Then, as a standard action, you may shake the contents of the bag as if to waken the occupant. The creature inside the bag is immediately reanimated as per the Reanimate (Death) sphere power and may burst out of the bag as a movement action. The bag is destroyed in the process. As Death magic is forbidden by the Wizard's Creed, Reanimation Bags are only crafted by experienced hedgemages or errant archmages, and are considered contraband in civilized areas.

Repair Hammer                                                                        
Price: 50 gp
This simple ball-peen hammer has a steel head and a polished shaft. A rudimentary rune has been carved into the base of the handle. Upon lightly tapping an object with the hammer, the object gains 1d4 hit points as per the Repair (Creation) sphere power. If this would raise the object to more than half its hit points, it loses the broken condition as well. After one use, this hammer becomes an ordinary ball-peen hammer. It can be re-enchanted by an enchanter with the Creation Sphere for 50 gp.

Self-coiling Rope                                                                       
Price: 50 gp
This 50-foot rope has been enchanted to follow a simple command (as per the Animate Rope spell). After following this command, it becomes an ordinary length of rope. It can be re-enchanted by an enchanter with the Animate Object (Enhancement) Talent for 50 gp.

Self-embedding Piton                                                               
Price: 50 gp
This finely-crafted 6-inch steel spike has a ring on the end to which a rope can be tied. It has been enchanted with bludgeoning magic. If struck or thrown against a surface into which it could be hammered normally, it automatically embeds itself deep enough to keep a solid hold as if hammered in by a sledge. If a creature is struck by the piton as part of a melee or ranged attack, it deals 1d6 piercing damage and imbeds itself into the creature's body. It can threafter be removed with a movement action. At the GM's discretion, called shots might be made with a Self-embedding Piton for a variety of effects. For example, a called shot to a foot might constitute a ranged trip attempt (as with a bola), whereas a called shot to a hand could pin it to a wall or table depending on the circumstances. A Self-embedding Piton becomes an ordinary steel piton after use. It can be re-enchanted by an enchanter with the Destruction Sphere for 50 gp.

Skinchanger's Cloak                                                                 

Price: 3750 gp
Not a cloak in the traditional sense, this enchanted hide was harvested from an animal and magically enhanced using Strange Wisdom. When worn over the shoulders, it permits the wearer to assume the form of the animal from which it was harvested once per day as per the wild shape ability. Rangers who have access to the secrets of the Circle make their own Skinchanger Cloak and use it to join their Dendrite fellows on midnight hunts. The secret of crafting a Skinchanger's Cloak is jealously guarded by the Circle, along with all other Strange Wisdom. As such, these items cannot be crafted outside the Circle and can only be found (or stolen).

Spelunker's Vest                                                                        
Price: 3000 gp
Operates per a Corset of the Vishkanya.

Suggestion Wire                                                                        
Price: 65 gp
This 2-foot length of thin silver wire comes wrapped around a clay spool inscribed with a single rune. The wire may be wrapped around any stick or wooden dowel as a full-round action. Pointing this wire-wrapped wand at a creature within close range and speaking a suggestion aloud permits you to cast Suggestion on the target as per the Lesser Charm version of the Suggestion (Mind) Sphere power. Afterwards, the wire loses all magical properties and becomes ordinary silver wire. It can be re-enchanted by an enchanter with the Mind Sphere for 50 gp.

Teleport Bag                                                                              

Price: 50 gp
This pair of leather bags is waterproofed with pitch. Each pair is stamped with identical runes of a given color to make them easily distinguishable from other such bags. So long as one bag is empty and within Close range, the other can be filled with up to 4 cubic feet of adventuring gear and other supplies. Upon cinching the full bag shut, the contents are instantly teleported into the other bag per the Teleport Sphere power, after which both bags lose all magical properties and become ordinary waterproof bags. They can be re-enchanted by an enchanter with the Teleport Sphere for 50 gp.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

:: WRITING BLITZ—Random Items ::

This +4 Kama is made of cedar, which gives it a distinctive aroma, but also poses a problem when keeping any kind of edge to the blade. For this reason, it deals bludgeoning damage instead of slashing damage. On a critical hit, the kama charms the hit creature per the Suggestion greater charm Mind power (DC 25). If the recipient fails, the thought occurs to them—as if they had thought of it themselves—that they should sit and think about what they have done. At the next available opportunity (after combat ends, for example), the creature finds a suitable location to sit and think. The creature then remains in that location, dedicating their time to thinking for the next 20 hours. This consumes 2 of the kama's spell points. A creature that makes its saving throw cannot be affected by another suggestion from the kama for 24 hours.

This +3 chain shirt has been painstakingly crafted out of a massive lode of tiger's eye, each ring carved from the gemstone in such a way that it is already linked to the others nearby. Whenever the wearer of the chain shirt is struck by an attack, the chain shirt automatically creates a visual and tactile duplicate of the wearer in an adjacent square, under the control of the wearer. Those who touch the duplicate are convinced that it is a physical duplicate of the wearer, however, any creature that attacks, or is attacked by the duplicate may make a DC 25 Will save to disbelieve. The duplicate lasts for 20 minutes, or until dismissed by the wearer. Each duplicate created in this way consumes 1 of the chain shirt's spell points. A creature that makes its saving throw automatically disbelieves any future duplicates created by the chain shirt for the next 24 hours.

The wearer of this corset may strike a defensive pose as a standard action. Doing so expends one of the corset's spell points and creates a Totem of Stability which affects the wearer's allies within a 100 ft radius and lasts for 20 rounds. This area is also filled with a strong static charge that makes the hair of those inside stand on end. So long as the wearer of the corset remains within range of the Totem, she may strike an offensive pose as a standard action. Doing so expends one of the corset's spell points and allows her to make an Electric Blast melee touch attack or ranged touch attack within Close range. This attack deals 20d6 points of damage.

This small masterwork keelboat comes with its own roguish helmsman. The boat has four seats, each of which controls a single oar. As soon as each oar is attended by an oarsman, an extraplanar companion appears at the tiller and silently begins steering the ship with expert skill, even responding to typical sea-faring commands issued by the owner of the boat. It remains as long as at least one oar is attended. In addition, the Helmsman shares a telepathic Link with the owner while both are on the same plane of existence. Summoning the Helmsman consumes one of the keelboat's spell points. If the keelboat has no spell points remaining, the Helmsman will not appear.

The Helmsman is concealed by a long, hooded cloak, has the statistics of a CL 20 biped companion (Str 16, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 11, +10 Profession: Sailor, +7 Stealth), and can even aid the crew in combat, dealing 1d4+3 damage on a successful attack +3d6 sneak attack damage (when applicable). The Helmsman has no feats, and the following Rogue Talents: Assault Leader, Bleeding Attack*, Crippling Strike* (Adv), Distracting Attack*, Entanglement of Blades* (Adv), Hunter's Surprise (Adv), Knock-Out Blow* (Adv), and Slow Reactions.

*Talents marked with an asterisk add effects to the Helmsman's sneak attack. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual attack and the decision must be made before the attack roll is made.

This linden stave is embedded with a large tourmaline in its handle. As a standard action, the wielder can spend one of the stave's spell points to teleport a willing or unwilling touched creature into an Extradimensional Room of up to 200 cubic feet in size, arranged as the wielder wishes (DC 25 Will save). The space remains for 20 rounds. During this time, as a standard action, the wielder may Swap Places with the creature inside the Extradimensional Room. Likewise, the wielder may spend another spell point to teleport another willing or unwilling touched creature (DC 25 Will save). If both creatures fail their saves, the touched creature and the creature inside the Extradimensional Room then Swap Places.

This linen-bound book has been reinforced with iron and embellished with naturally-occurring geode. It contains the magical notes of Moema, a powerful halfling mage. Any mage who has studied Moema's Grimoire gains access the following options when gaining new spheres and talents: the War sphere, Totem of Stability, Commander, and Totem of Enemies.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

:: Random Location—Kala, Cloud Forest Settlement ::

The Ranai Forest almost seems to press in on all sides, but your next push through the underbrush surprises you by offering less resistance than you expected. You land in a patch of strawberries on the shores of a massive lake that stretches out before you. At first you feel a sense of vertigo as the mirror-surface of the water perfectly reflects the expansive sky, interrupted only by the inverted image of the white tower standing guardian on the opposite bank.

Long red banners, like trails of blood, weep from the windows set near the tower's height. A unexpected and crisp wind suddenly rushes down from above, sending concentric circles across the lake, revealing the true grey color of the water in the diminishing waves.

Past the tower you see a field of inky black flowers, dotted here and there with an anomalous vibrant pink. On this side of the field, set low into the ground—and therefore almost escaping your notice—squats a long row of stone rooms with large barred gates for roofs. Nearby, a man with skin as white as salt and hair black as oil struggles in the grasp of a pair of swordsmen. The swordsmen unceremoniously throw him into one of the squat jail cells, slamming the gate and locking it after him. The swordsmen dust off their gloves, shake hands, and walk away into the field of black.

Beyond the field, the settlement itself awaits. Unlike most, it is not a simple collection of independent structures, but rather an interlocking complex of homes, businesses, and public spaces, all built into, from, or adjoining the natural verdure. In the center of this elaborate web, one tree in particular—tall, thick, and ancient—displays the windows of a five-storey inn. From the fourth of these storeys extends a bridge of living wood, reaching out to the middle of a neighboring tree where a general store perches among the higher branches.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

:: Random NPC—Winona, Siren Expert ::

The first thing you hear is the plinking of bone against bone in quick rhythmic trills. The first thing you see is a curious-looking siren virtually wrapped from her long neck to her lengthy curling tail in informal vestments of seaweed and sponge. Whereas most merfolk you've seen—especially the females—have voluminous tresses of sea-green hair, this one is entirely bald, revealing prominent cranial fins. The plinking is coming from a marimba of sorts, crafted from the ribcage of what must have been a massive fish.

The plinking stops as the siren becomes aware of your presence. She quickly sets down a pair of fishbone mallets, tugging at her coverings to be sure no part of her below the neck or above the wrists is exposed. She turns (really just rolling over to lean on her other flank) to see who has arrived.

"How many have you brought?" she drawls in a high, shrill voice. She extends one webbed hand, clutching her clothes tighter to her body with the other. "The lamps! Give them to me—I must have all of them!" And only now do you notice: in the corner of the grotto sits a massive pile of discarded lamps of every variety—old and new, metal and clay, pristine and shattered beyond repair.

Monday, November 6, 2017

:: Random Item—Chalkboard of Magnificent Bull ::

This handheld slate tablet comes with several sticks of white chalk. The actual tablet itself has been thoroughly used, covered in layer after layer of half-erased drawings, but the cherry-stained wooden frame was clearly added recently.

Most of the faint chalk drawings seem to have been of people or animals—hastily drawn with minimal detail, each one with scribbles over the subject's eyes, ears, or hands. Upon further inspection, you notice that tiny, carefully-carved runes border the outer edge of the frame, which glow with a faint light when a stick of chalk is touched to the slate.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

:: Random Location—Benchford, Grassland Thorp ::

Waves of heat rise up from the plain, taking entire clouds worth of moisture with them. It is stifling to say the least. The trail leads straight over a short but cavernous crack in the ground, spanned at the narrowest pinch by a bridge of stone. The height is daunting, but the trip to the other side is a brief one.

The thorp begins almost immediately on the other side of the chasm, a prominent selling-house advertising "ravine tours" on a sign that swings from the porch. This house, though old, is well lit and clean. The rest of the thorp, however, is positively ancient by comparison. As you emerge into the center of the place you see a crude stone bench—dew-dappled and moss-covered—surrounded by a circular garden with flowers of cobalt blue.

By necessity, each of the few dwellings that circle the bench is also tasked for selling the goods and services of those who live there. The trail continues on the other side of the bench, between "Frida's Belladonnas" and "Benchford General Goods", and out into the wide world once again. From that direction also comes the bleating of sheep, followed quickly by the sheep themselves, led by one shepherd and trailed by another.