Re: "The Glazes need to be alchemical preparations. They need the chanting, the work, the special beakers, and so on."
That is definitely one possibility, and inevitable if the tradition is to be used in a more industrial way.
But I would like to preserve something of the ancient, ritualistic feel of this magic, accessible to laymen, if they have the will and determination.
So, let's say you need to create a tool to help you avenge your murdered child. What do you need to add to the baking process?
- bake its favorite food on the fire, then burn it
- cook the water from the lake it almost drowned in years ago, until it all evaporates
- burn the wood from the tree closest to the peak of the mountain your child liked to look at most
- add one strand of hair
- create the glazing out of your blood, and the soil of its grave
...and that would be just for starters. Any of those components could be very easy, or extremely hard to get Go to Comment
Can I just say, it is good to do a collaborative effort on the front page again. Though I would of liked a little more on the first entry to go on....
Okay a couple of things.
The Glazes need to be alchemical preparations. They need the chanting, the work, the special beakers, and so on.
Part of their magics is the need to absorb and transform the heat into magic.
The glyphs you paint are going to come in two kinds...
Clear and Colored
Clear bake into the pottery and can only be noted with either magic or special alchemical chemicals to bring out the resedue.
"It seems like a normal mug."
"Yes that is because you are looking with your eyes. Examine it under the light of this spirit candle and you will see."
"Are those magic runes?"
"Sygnils but close enough. This is a clever trap with much preparation."
These glazes start as one thing and become another under the heat and pressure of the kiln. Thus the metaphor of transformation is carried out in the kiln.. the mundane to the magical... one thing to another..
A magical Kiln will need some special preparation as well. (you can do it without it, but there will be consequences). It will need to be warded to prevent spirits from getting in and messing with the magic.. and to keep the magical pressure inside the kiln high, to make sure the magic "takes".
There will be much glyphing, carving, and so on inside and outside the kiln. A special shape (pyramid) would be nice, but you can work around things.
Not just any old fuel will do for a mystic kiln. You will need special fuels, depending on what you are doing. The act of fire is that of specific transformations. Thus what you want "left over" impacts the kind of magics you can do in the kiln.
Many fuels will have metals added to them, so they fume differently (and cause different reactions).
You will have to balance the chemical with the magical, making certain things difficult to do.
So what things do we make in a magic kiln?
Sympathetic magic items. Models of real things, so you can cast magic on them.
Masks: Always a favorite. To wear or use for magics.
spells trapped inside the clay. Think of a clay ball surrounding a glyph and some symbolic components. Break the ball, release the spell. Some are seamed to make it a snap to open them properly.
Magic added to bricks for protects...
And there is more... Sooo.. Where does this lead us? Go to Comment
In winter, the wood actually 'sleeps', and the changes are mostly gradual. The idea here is to 'wake up' the piece of wood to life, then expose it to the most brutal treatment a winter can offer, over and over, until the pieces that survive store this natural force in them.
Now that you mentioned it, I think these arrows would equally quickly warp and split, were they to be touched by fire... handle with care. Go to Comment
Might be there is still something to add, as this was a quickie. ;)
Now, that a name has to exactly correspond to the weapon type of an item is kind of silly, but hang on, there is an image behind it: while a single arrow is dangerous, they show their effect best in a volley, in a pivotal moment of the battle, where any additional shock may be enough to break the morale of the opposition...
...and that is, when the winter puts its Claws deep into the enemy, and the Rank-Breakers fulfill their mission.
(Maybe, I should add to them a little special effect: thin white lines left in their flight - then the claws would be actually visible.)
Lastly, yes they are made by users of magic, but let's face it - most magical items are supposed to be. Hopefully the process is distinctive enough to make them stand out. Go to Comment
This I call helpful criticism! Most magical items should be really made by spellcasters of whatever shape or color they come in - the point is to make it anything but the casting of a simple spell. But rightly, these arrows can possibly come out of the hands of an unskilled person, from the mere power of the ritual, the forces of nature, and the will to shape them.
The submission has been Updated, I've taken even the name. It sounds better. :)
Thanks, Kassil, for the ideas, and the imagery! You really helped this along! Go to Comment
By stripping away the single line about needing a nature-oriented spellcaster, it loses that qualm - the arrows become a thing made by the nightmare of repeatedly thawing and freezing the wood, instead. Go to Comment
I have to agree about the naming feeling a little off - Winter's Talons might have been better, suggesting a raptor's claws, or something to that effect. I don't hold the same issue with the effect, though, as some of the others - while branching out from traditional magic items seemed the goal, there is an element of an old, tiring ritual to it, as opposed to something being labored over in a wizard's workshop. Indeed, by pulling out the line referencing spellcasters, it could easily be an ancient rite that gives birth to them.
That said, I do love the imagery it conjurs - shafts of wood that glisten faintly with the bitter frost they contain, exploding as they strike to rend flesh and drive the spike of winter's deepest misery into their victim, and the descriptive text is a compelling thing, bringing to mind the grizzled old woodsman crouched in a cleared patch in the midwinter snow, looking down at handfuls of wood - some straight and true, others bent and splintered beyond recognition. Go to Comment
I'm not sure, this sub is missing something. I have a minor issue with the name since a claw will generally be a slashing weapon, and an arrow is a piercing weapon, I was first given the impression of this being a melee weapon of sorts. Also, it is good as a normal sub, but other than the process of alternating natural cold and healing magics, it is still 'made by a magic user'. Go to Comment
The Art behind Naming
While the name of an item need not be a direct representation of the item, it should be an extension of it, to quote one of my old writing handouts from school; A two fisted brawler named Lester Smalls doesnt work. The conflict i had is that a claw is a melee weapon, such as a sword, a dagger, or even Bang-ak (or whatever they are called) rather than an arrow which is a ranged, flying weapon. It is a minor point and though I pointed it out, it didnt impact the score.
In Reference to the Quest
Made by a wizard/magic user is the default mode of magic item/weapon creation and it was my impression that the purpose of the quest was to branch out away from this standard. While this is a good submission, I do not feel that it expressed the spirit of the quest. Cheka's sigil swords are enchanted by familial love, CP's Fatal swords by insane repetition and cosmic alignment, etc. Go to Comment