Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Magic of Miles, vol. I

I just landed a job the other day working at a startup that is going to call for long hours -- very long hours. I'm not sure what my schedule is going to look like in terms of the week, but I can imagine it will be at least 40-50 hours. That may cut into my ability to post up thoughtful essays, so I may have to reduce the number of them that I post.

On the other hand, I worked all night to bring you a multi-part series on magic items from the Milean empire! Here are the first four:

Ancient Lorica
xp value: priceless
gp value: 5,000+

These suits of banded armor have survived from the imperial period (generally the late empire). Whether they have been hidden in tombs or preserved by imperial nobility, the ancient pedigree of these suits alone makes an individual set at least as expensive as a Milean townhouse. What's more, many of these suits of armor were enscribed with ancient Maidic runes that can still be seen today in inks or etchings of blue, brilliant green, red, black, or white.

Those suits of the lorica antika that were enchanted can fetch upwards of eight thousand gold pillars on the open market. Their enchantments are generally not inconsiderable: the most common is a minor defensive magic (-2 AC bonus) and a boost in physical stature and appearance (+1 to Cha, maximum of 18).

Belt of the Blessed
xp value: 2,000
gp value: 6,000

These belts are common amongst the most powerful levels of Hierian priesthoods and some of the other clergy as well. Descending from the tradition of imperial office being strongly associated with belts (for example, knight's belts, official's belts, etc.), the belts of the blessed are ritual garments that can be bestowed upon heroes of the cult to mark them as particularly chosen by their deity.

The wearer of a belt of the blessed has the eyes of his god upon him at all times. Any time he prays for intervention there is a 5% chance that his deity takes notice (instead of the flat 1% chance). In addition, any spells cast by him or on him by priests of his faith have their maximum effectiveness. Of course, this attention means that his punishments for breaking the dictates of his faith are far more severe than others of his station.

Belts of the Blessed classically appear to be made from hammered gold and red copper, each panel depicting a scene from one of the myth-cycles of the relevant cult. Additionally, the buckle may be cast in the cult's holy symbol.

Bloody Spear
xp value: 500
gp value: 1,200

The Bloody Spears were a band of highwaymen and robbers that fought against King Velas and occupied a good portion of the Noranian Forest and the southern imperial coast. They were known for showing no mercy to knights and lords and formed part of the general uprising known as the War of the Bandit Lords. It's unknown whether the Bloody Spears actually possessed these magical weapons, whether they simply took on the name by association, or if the mundane weapons wielded in the hands of murderers for nearly a decade became enchanted by exposure to ceaseless violence.

A bloody spear appears to be a normal spear in all respects until the wielder enters combat. After the first blow is struck, the steel spear-head begins to sweat droplets of thick heartsblood. From there on out, the spear will seek to strike and kill badly wounded opponents. After the first round of combat, a bloody spear becomes a +1 weapon against anyone who has an injury and a +2 weapon against anyone who is at half health or less.

Bracers of Healthfulness
xp value: 4,000
gp value: a whole barony or more

These golden bracers were uncommon even during the Second Empire. They are now downright impossible to find and only a handful are known throughout the empire. Wrought of gold and balglamir, the few sets of these bracers known to exist generally bear intricate (what Ceylon the Thoughtful calls cosmophiliac) inscriptions and moldwork depicting bears, boars, oxes, and other large animals.

A man who wears the bracers of healthfulness will never fall ill and it is said that they counteract the effects of all poisons. When wounded, their recovery will be sped as fast as humanly possible—treat the wearer as though he made the highest possible dice-rolls on all mundane healing.

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