There may indeed be such a legend (and who knows, it might have inspired Odolan in the first place!). If there is, it could be the cape of the Winter Lord, or another personification of winter. He or she came upon a village hit hard by the cold season... and showing mercy, he would cover it with the Shroud. And so they were saved for the winter, without even noticing that it has passed.
Thanks a lot! I wanted to create some 'classical' winter item, and it didn't work until I connected it to the Elves in all their old-fashioned glory. Now, you could detach them from the item and it would stay usable.
So I have to thank the elves (and random scientific articles) for the inspiration. Go to Comment
"The process takes up to a few hours, to some discontent of its creator. He hoped to save lives of those, who are seriously ill, or wounded. But even at this rate it is useful"
love that little detail ^
Also, "....impregnated with the resin of several trees, and with water of a winter's first icicles"
Very nice! ^
A nice, romantic, clan-of-the-cave-bear type of opening, and wonderfully subtle item!
Healing hibernation. I like it. The "Bear-Lord's Favor" could be another colloquial name for this shroud.
Finally, I cant help but put forth the idea, that perhaps another legend exists out there somewhere amidst the tundra and arboreal forests. A semi-mythic Winter Shroud of giant proportions! One that could gently envelop entire tribes and communities, and protect them from the harshest winters. It could have the added power of cloaking villages in snowy camouflage. One could pass by an entire tribe hidden beneath the Winter Shroud and never know it. Go to Comment
If anything happened, it wouldn't be his fault. He could use the money, poor business and all. Well maybe, it wasn't just the money. It was long since he could this the last time. It was a tiring, draining process, but so rewarding. Very few could create now a Hero's Sword. And it was all the fault of those stinkin' wizards. They spread the rumors.
But the lad seems alright. He worked hard to get all the ingredients. Dragged here a large trunk by himself, from a tree a century old. Then he cut it all apart, and made the coal. That is what the tradition called for.
A sword of this kind, it has magic. Not powerful, not flashy. It will grow to aid its wielder. What he does, the sword will do, and it will preserve the power. Great heroes walked with these swords. Great weapons they made.
But that was what the wizards whined about. The magic is unstable, they said. Sometimes a fresh sword falls into wrong hands. And then it grows bad. It helps whatever bandit lays hands on it first. Slaughtering people quietly and stuff. Creating, "evil weapons", as if they knew what it is. They got it banned everywhere. And now they are the only ones to make magical weapons. Bastards.
Melenmar pounded some more. It has the color, the heat is right, the iron is ready. Soon. He placed the blade an inch under the coals. Letting the lazy apprentice push the bellows instead, he called the young hero to rest for a while. He placed a tiny bowl before him.
- "It will soon be done, young master. There is only one more thing I need."
- "Whatever you say, old man. But know I don't have enough spittle after a day in your forge."
The blacksmith laughed grimly.
- "The magic does not call for that. It has to be blood, sire. Blood of the one who who will carry it first."Go to Comment
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
Orcs record their deeds through symbolic mutilation, scarring and tattoo. Perhaps creating the medium of skin as art, which humans followed later. Perhaps tattoos remind the elves of orcs and make them angry...