Throughout history, thinking beings have created objects of great beauty, often imbuing them with magical power. Sometimes the most ordinary objects transcend their humble beginnings and become vessels of primal energy. Those who have experienced the power of these objects tell their stories. Tales of these magical objects spread. Legends grow.
The Cup of Crimson Wonder
Small and plain, this wooden bowl is perpetually filled with a red liquid that smells and tastes like blood. This is a representation of the sacrifice that all living things make so that other living things may eat and survive. Imbued with the essence of life itself, the blood in the cup will restore anyone who drinks from it.
No one knows where the cup came from, but legends tell of a humble cleric who made the cup to hold the blood of sacrificed animals at the spring equinox Rites. His love, devotion, and sorrow for the animals coupled with decades of prayer and transformed the cup. It is believed the world mother herself blessed the cup so that the people could continue their spring rituals without sacrificing any more of their animals.
The first time a being drinks from the cup, they receive a Heal and a Restoration. If the being isn’t injured or debilitated in some way, these effects are held in abeyance until such time as they are necessary. Subsequent uses of the cup bestow full health. Using the cup once per month for a full year will add years of life, restoring youth to older adults. This effect only happens once. The cup may also bestow wisdom, and an understanding of nature and survival. It may also increase one’s awareness and perception.
The Pipes of Allure
The Pipes of Allure are a masterwork set of pan pipes created by a wood worker who became an acolyte to the deity of music and art. However, a jealous priest, incensed that this untalented, untrained newcomer should find such favor with their deity, interrupted the wood smith in the last stages of preparing the pipes. Blood was spilled and the pipes cursed. Now the spirits of both of them wage war in the pipes for control of the magic while their deity waits patiently for them the sort themselves out.
Anyone who possesses the pipes gains ability with them. If they already have a talent for performing then they are better when using these pipes. The pipes also give the player protection from charms while increasing the player’s own magical ability.
The pipes can be heard from up to 240 feet away. They are literally irresistible to any hearing, thinking being, and as long as the pipes are playing the piper can direct all who fall under the spell.
The curse compels the piper to demand payment for any performance. If no payment is forthcoming, the pipes will compel the piper to play again, this time luring away anyone who hears the music. Those who have fallen under the spell may be held within a pocket dimension, or they may be changed into small mammals. Either way, they aren’t released until the piper has been paid for his service.
The pipes cannot be stolen nor given away. Only death, or the intervention of a powerful priest, can release the owner from the curse.
The Tempest Horn
At first glance, this appears to be an ordinary conch shell. Four things distinguish it from mundane shells:
- It is larger than any normal shell.
- It retains the vibrant colors of a living conch.
- It has delicate carvings depicting the four winds and the sea.
- The moment you touch it, you hear wind and wave and whispering voices.
When the horn is blown it summons the Wind from the direction the user is facing. However, the purpose is not to summon wind, but to listen. Once the Wind is summoned the horn is brought to the user’s ear. The summoner can then hear and understand the voices of the sea and the wisdom and knowledge of the Wind. The summoner may ask any question and the Wind will answer as best it can.
If all four Winds are summed at once they can tell the summoner of events happening anywhere in the world. However, their combined power begins to generate a storm. Speak with the Winds for too long and the storm becomes self-sustaining, and may build into a hurricane.
While the horn is not cursed, its power is seductive. The wisdom and knowledge that the Winds and Sea may impart are not really for mortal hearts and minds. If the horn is used too often, the summoner may lose his or her self in the voices. It can eventually drive the summoner mad, and compel them to chase the Winds around the world searching for ever deeper understanding until the summoner either transcends mortal bonds, or is utterly consumed by the drive.
The Bountiful Coin
aka The Coin of Avarice
Legend has it this artifact was created as the first coin. Every type of coin ever made has been used to describe the Bountiful Coin and most people say it is made of purest gold. In reality it is a small lozenge of white stone. One side holds runes which most people assume are arcane. They are simply markings meaning “four chickens” – the good for which the coin was created and traded. In this act, the coin was imbued with the spirit of commerce and wealth.
The coin brings wealth and prosperity to anyone who possesses it. However, ruin inevitably follows. The coin is not cursed. The possessor simply invariably succumbs to greed or falls victim to the jealousy of those around him.
Only once has the possessor had the wisdom to give the coin away. A kind and generous man, he freely shared the prosperity of the coin, bringing wealth and plenty to his entire village. When he saw the changes happening in his friend – growing greed and arrogance – he sent the coin away. When the villagers discovered what he’d done they became so angry that they murdered him and burned his home to the ground. They argued over who should get his shop and remaining possessions. During the fight the fire spread unchecked, eventually burning the whole village.
The Cord of Wishes
Legends tell of the first witch who learned to bind her will by tying knots in a cord. She fashioned the cord by twining her own hair with strands from both a unicorn and a dryad, and she used only this cord to work her spells for the rest of her life. It is believed that when she died her spirit was so entangled with the cord that it remained.
The cord is long enough to hold three knots comfortably. These knots can be used to store any spell but the cord is more powerful than that. If the holder concentrates on her desire, clearly visualizing her intent as the she creates the knot, then when the knot is released her desire becomes manifest. In this manner the cord grants three wishes. After the third wish is loosed, the cord returns to the dryad’s Grove to recharge.
The cord may be found with wishes already knotted into it, but it will more likely be holding simple spells.
The Spindle of Fate
No one knows where this artifact came from, or how it was created. Some scholars speculate that it was an integral part of creating the warp and weft of the world itself. Others believe it’s tied to the magic of the world, that the Spindle is why casting spells is often called spell weaving, and that if the Spindle is ever destroyed then magic would also cease to be. Whatever its origins, the Spindle is a supremely powerful arcane focus.
The Spindle of Fate is an intricately carved wooden drop spindle, about 12 inches long. It can be used to make ordinary yarn but it has other functions: to spin magic, to spin gold, or to spin Fate.
Any person versed in spell craft can use the spindle to assist them in weaving spells. The spindle acts as a focus for magic, eliminating the need for all other physical components for spell-casting.
In addition, once in a user’s lifetime the spindle can be used to spin pure gold thread from any fiber. Once it begins spinning gold it will continue producing fine gold thread for as long as the spinner spins. Once the spinner stops, the spindle will never produce gold for that spinner again. In addition, a full year must pass before the spindle can produce gold again. Some scholars believe this was a test of endurance and willpower. Only those who could master the spinning of gold were prepared to master the Spindle’s third power: the Spinning of Fate.
Once in a lifetime, the Spindle can be used to create or change a person’s Fate. If the spinner concentrates on a particular course of action, she will gain visions of all possible futures stemming from that action. She will be able to see the consequences of her action, both great and small. She will also be able to see all the consequences of a past action, and how things could have been had she chosen differently. Then, with great effort, she can set her Fate in motion, or change the past and re-write her Fate.
The spindle will gradually disappear while spinning a Fate, to reappear elsewhere in the world.
The Basket of Yung-Qi
Long and long ago, there was an Eidechse fisherman who, due to extreme age, could no longer fish. Wanting nothing more than to provide for his family he poured his heart and soul into crafting one last salmon basket. Yung_Qi was not an enchanter but he was strong in spirit and his intentions were pure. Yung-Qi was not an enchanter and his spell crafting went far beyond his intentions.
To use the Basket of Yung-Qi, simply place it in a body of water for a full day, sunset to sunset. Even a bucket of water will do; as long as the entire basket is submerged, a catch in guaranteed. If there are edible fish in the water, edible fish will be found in the basket, enough to feed a family of five. If there are no edible fish, the basket will catch whatever fish are present. If there are no fish, the basket will catch anything that swims in the water: turtles, eels, snakes, frogs, larvae, lizards, small crocodiles – anything. If nothing lives in the water, such as with the bucket, it will catch whatever is available from the surrounding area (as long as it fits into the basket.) The area, which starts as a circle 200 feet wide, slowly increases until something is found. If necessary, the basket will fill with insects, arachnids, protozoans, and even bacteria. Because the basket guarantees a catch, it can be very dangerous. One legend tells of an unwise farmer who placed the basket in the village well near his home. When the farmer drew the basket from the well the next evening, his small daughter was in it, drowned.
A length of wood roughly eighteen inches long and bearing teeth marks, The Stick was used to play with the first wolf pup to be tamed.
Legends say a lonely Alfar girl found an injured, abandoned wolf cub. She took him in, healed and fed him, and h=made him part of her family. Though wolves were tamed many times, in many places, this was the first. The magic of that event, and the bond between the girl and the cub, imbued their favorite toy with power.
Anyone who uses The Stick has the ability to speak with and understand canines of all types, as long as The Stick is in their possession. Throwing The Stick increases the chances of befriending any nearby canine. The Stick also makes training friendly canines much easier.
Perhaps best of all, The Stick cannot be destroyed by any normal means, and you can let your puppy chew on it to his heart’s content without fear of waking to splinters in your bed.
This work by Jean A. Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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