This is I think a great question, and in the systems that I have set up to deal with this there are no "permanent" magical items because of that... instead the items are all powered by things:
One might be by the faith of sentient being in their god, but if the religion dies so does the item, unless it is reborn... also some magical items where not permanent but the power of the legend around gave the item permanent power as long as the story was believed and retold (everyone around here knows about the Sword of Truth) taking power from belief and shaping it through the magic item.
Another is taking the power from lay lines, ambient magic, ambient life or pulling it from another realm altogether. This requires some form of collection device which may or may not be a part of the magic item itself. A sword that kills grass and bugs, or take the death of a small animal to work. Or a staff that is tied to an alter, destroy the alter and the staff is useless. (These are my favorite methods)
Something else that might do it is to imprison the soul of sentient being in the item to give its power. That should be permanent. Go to Comment
Gods do not have a monopoly on the energy generated by the faith of sentiant beings. Many 'Holy' or unholy relics come into being not from the direct intervention of the divine, but through the sincere belief of the masses. If enough followers can be convinced of the power of an item, then this faith will help make this a self-fufilling prophesy. Obviously this type of energy source is generally beyond the reach of normal PCs', but kings, high preists, and even demons could make use of this to create and power items.
I dont think we need to go to so much trouble for enchantments:
1 take bar of steel
2 magnetise using electric coils/other magnet (you get the idea)
3 permanent magnet
1 take normal sword
2 enchant using acrane ritual
3 sword with dangerous, life taking field around it.
First example is a verifiable physical process which produces a permanent effect, second one is a magical process which produces a permanent effect.
We could also consider the halflives of various radioactive compounds. 28000 years is a long time for a sword to become half as effective as when it was originally created in the magical forge.
So an enchantment could be a sort of irradiation process or magnetisation process. In one case, the magical effects would gradually weaken, but for human timescales, they would seem eternal. Magic could affect an until-now unheard-of fundamental particle, which would decay and release magical energy. Go to Comment
Through her time studying her captors and their ability to somehow trump her every escape attempt, Ashla has learned how to adapt to and manipulate her "suitors." Over time, through each successive chief she has slowly and methodically bent them to her will and has changed their entire culture. Using this technique she had them finally convinced that she was there of her own free will. She has them build her a ship and uses it to depart the island. She soon hits the "Ashla the Discarded" scenerio and returns to the island and continues to shape it in her vision.
Is it bad that I can't stop thinking of this sub? She would probably resort to piracy at this point. Turns them into raiders of human villages. Both killing off her human "captors" while also exacting a revenge on the human race in general. She would probably take even more risks and probably pretty brutal to any human ships while probably ignoring or allowing safe passage to any other race. Would impact the rest of the world to a point with the unsafe trade routes to humans putting them at a disadvantage. Of course she would return to the sea...wouldn't she? Where no where else that she can call home, she has the sense of freedom and memory of how it used to be. Go to Comment
I agree with Scras's comment. The idea of a single wife for all the chieftens and then doing this throughout many lifetimes is an awesome idea. My imagination can't even come up with what she may be able to accomplish over that time, which is what prompted my humble addition. Go to Comment
Wow. I absolutely love it because I happen to have an interest in geneology and tracing bloodlines in a game setting. The idea of a lone elf serving as the wife of a tribe through the current chieftan is superb. It is both touching in it's ability to evoke a certain sentimentality and brutal in it's treatment of a single person. Go to Comment
Yup, those elven lasses are made for life! Eh, lives!
What else does have a 500-year warranty?
In a campaign of mine, it was quite common for nobles to have elven courtesans give birth to their children, as most of the offspring show signs of the elven talent for magic, and enjoy a long life. Go to Comment
The proud and independent elf maiden, forced into quite a different mold by the vagaries of Fate.
An interesting character, she could pose a variety of dilemmas for adventurers, depending on how the GM wanted to incorporate her into a campaign. If encountered while the is the "All-mother" of the tribe, many groups would hope to rescue her: Her refusal to cooperate with the violence that most adventurers rely upon might come as a frustrating surprise to them.
What happens after the leaves the islands could be even more sad, depending on her people's reaction to her return. I could picture her becoming a victim of her own success: She returns to her people, bitter and victimized. Once there she draws upon her vast experience of humanity to counsel withdrawal and isolation, but once those Elvish leaders who are most isolationist gain power, they reject her as "tainted" by her centuries of dwelling among humans.
On a side note: The islanders would need to practice strict exogamy (marriage/mating outside their own tribe) or would soon face the consequences of inbreeding, as Ashala's myriad descendants became common within the population. Go to Comment
Just watched Dawn of the Dead so I had some good mental pictures of the island.
Can the zombie bodies be used as nutrients for the trees? With the quick growing I would think that there would be some experimentation with their shapes over the years. Perhaps created some intertwined trees, good bends, etc for use in religion, buildings etc. Might not want to be too obvious with the uniquely shaped trees as more questions on their creation would be asked than they would probably want...but I am sure, for the right price, things may have been done.
Also thought about the possibility of placing an iron rod (or some other metal) inside it and let the tree grow around it making it even stronger. Not sure if the magic of the tree would allow that, but would be interesting.