I wrote my first submission June 6th, 2004. I had been married just a year, and this was the Internet prior to mainstream broadband, Facebook, and all of that. In a pique of nostalgia I have decided to rewrite this submission.
In the real world, horse brass is decorative harnessing and brasswork added to breast collars on horses. It was likely the original 'bling' and separated elite and professional horses and teams from common draft animals. As decorative fobs, dangles, brackets, plaques and the like, there is little limitation on what Horse Brass can look like. It is just the sort of thing to hold a magical charm in a fantasy setting.
1. Rock Steady Charm
The Rock Steady charm protects the legs and feet of a horse, their most vulnerable body part. A man with a broken leg can rest in bed, a horse with a broken leg is a doomed animal. The charm prevents injury to the animal wearing it, and functions as a Ring of Protection, or Amulet of Natural Armor. It is typically made of brass or iron, and is set with a highly polished piece of granite or other durable stone. Mountain motifs are common, as are horse icons.
2. Stormwind Charm
Horses run like the wind, and the Stormwind Charge make this moreso. The charm, typically silver, set with a blue topaz or other sky blue stone, allows a horse to double it's overland speed. Exceptional and rare charms can triple or even quadruple this speed. It is worth noting that this is for traveling distance, not increasing movement in combat, increasing charge damage, or increasing leap distances. It is favored by scouts, merchants, and couriers.
3. Sweetwater Charm
The Sweetwater Charm is made of brass and is set with a pearl, or other precious or semi-precious aquatic aligned stone. The sweetwater charm allows the animal wearing it to consume any water, be it seawater, swamp water, brackish water, or even poisoned water without ill effect. The charm is constantly cool to the touch, and often 'sweats' in humid conditions.
4. Fireheart Charm
Horses are at heart, beasts made to flee rather than fight. A horse with a Fireheart charm understands that rather than a prey animal, they are a half ton of solid bone and muscle, and are quite capable of killing and maiming without weapons. Horses with this charm are not startled or spooked by random encounters, nor are they afraid of charging headlong into combat, or continuing to fight if their rider is knocked off of them. The rider needs to have a good rapport with the animal, since it will no longer be afraid of them.
5. Gravestone Charm
Made of iron and set with a polished piece of cemetery headstone or wrought iron taken from a mausoleum or cemetery gate, the Gravestone Charm acts as a Protection from Undead, that allows the horse bearing it to be ignored and unmolested by the undead. This also gives the animal courage in the face of the absolute unnatural nature of the undead. The power of the charm does not extend to the rider.
6. Friendship Charm
submitted by Manfred
The Friendship Charm offers a stronger intuitive and emotional bond between the horse and its master (both must be willing, of course, and it will take some time to master). Both will know fast, what ails the other one, and seem to have those strange "Lassie" moments, as they suddenly sense there is something not right with their friend, even if miles away. Rules-wise this is limited non-verbal telepathy.
7. Winter's Kiss Charm
Heat can be an enemy of the horse, be it desert heat or flames. A Winter's Kiss charm, made of brass set with a clear semi-precious stone, or silver carved in the shape of a snowflake, protects the horse from the effects of fire, and heat. Functions as a Resist Heat/Flame spell. Thus it would negate fire damage from a burning arrow, but not from the arrow itself. Likewise, it will offer magical protection against flame and fire spirits.
8. Stormlord's Charm
Horses and other livestock are frequently struck by lightning (compared to other animals) and as such it is common to find ways to protect them from storms and lightning. The Stormlord's Charm is made from a piece of metal struck by lightning, and set with a polished piece of glass made by lightning striking sand. The charm protects the horse from natural and magical lightning (as per Resist Electricity spell) as well as granting the animal special good luck and good fortune.
9. Magebane Charm
Wary of horses being enchanted by druids and witches, the Magebane charm is a plain iron adornment set with a phylactery containing religious scripts against magic. The Charm cannot be used on an animal with any other pieces of magical horse brass. The charm prevents the animal wearing it from being affected by Animal Friendship, Charm Animal, or Summon Animal type spells. These are often called Gypsy Banes.
10. Ironskin Charm
Rare and powerful, these charms are made of meteoric steel and shaped into symbols of the greatest power. An animal with an Ironskin Charm becomes nigh impervious to mundane weapons, arrows clatter off of it's hide, swords and spears are deflected. The animal functions as if it had a Damage Reduction spell cast on it. These charms are rare in the extreme and most are in the possession of Kings and other high nobility.
11. Nag's Head Charm
submitted by Manfred
This charm is reforged from rusty, bent, iron nails, this charm makes a horse look ugly - teeth, legs, the skin even - the poor thing will look really substandard. Not hideous, but ugly. There are few better ways to prevent your horse from being stolen. These charms are fairly common where horse theft is a major concern. They have also been used to smuggle warhorses and other potent animals through areas where such noble steeds would draw attention.
12. Chameleon's Charm
The chameleon can change it's colors to match the terrain around it. A horse with this brass lizard shaped charm can do the same, it's coat shifting colors to match the terrain around it. For the most part, only broad colors can be matched, but there is a limited ability to form patterns, such as light and dark sun dappling spots, or vertical stripes in a forested region. This can make the horse harder to see at a distance and is favored by druids and rangers.
13. Mimic's Charm
The mimic's charm, three pieces of different stone woven together with horse hair create one of the few non-metallic charms. The mimic's charm makes the horse wearing the charm look like the animal that the hair collected to make it looked like. Thus if the hair came from a big gray draft horse, and the charm was put on a black pony, people would be fooled (illusionary) to think that it was possibly the smallest gray draft horse they had ever seen.
14. The Mild Charm
This charm, shaped like a baby or other icon of weakness or vulnerability turns the most virile and hot headed stallion into an animal meek enough for a milkmaid or grandmotherly nun to ride. Excess use of this charm can quickly and often irreversibly damage an animal. If they wear it too long, the effect of the charm can become permanent.
15. Night Owl's Charm
submitted by Manfred
The mount can see better when there is little light and can ride more safely. Now that its radius of sight is larger, it also tends to be more easily spooked by nightly movements and sounds. This charm is frequently made of silver, or some other material associated with the Moon or moonlight, and many are fashioned into owl's heads, the profile of bats, or other nocturnal creatures.
16. The Dreamland Charm
submitted by Manfred
The horse always enjoys sound sleep, making it a better ride throughout the day. It tends to be quite a sleeper, however, and is very slow to wake if woken prematurely. Dreamland charms are like Night Owl charms, made of Moon aligned materials, but feature symbolism associated with dreams, sleeping and rest. These symbols can vary from region to region. Sheep, feathers, crescent moons, and moths are common.
17. Guard Dog Charm
submitted by Manfred
A tiny dog charm, with bits of fur from several trusty dogs, will make a horse more aggressive towards anyone save its owner. It may be able to alert those nearby of anyone approaching, and will probably throw down anyone attempting to ride it. Horses with a bad attitude will be very hard to control and can turn on their owners if mistreated. The chance to be killed or injured by this horse is much higher, so beware.
18. Briarbane Charm
Originally created to repel burrs, grass seeds, and other bits and pieces of plant debris from becoming entangled in manes and tails, the Briarbane charm will protect horses when they pass through rough terrain such as briar thicket, thorn hedges, and other natural plant barriers. The animal isn't harmed, and often times, doesn't leave a path behind it. Made of wood and set with polished rose thorns, these charms are jealously guarded by elves and druids.
19. Death's Head Charm
Made of black iron set with a polished silver representation of a human skull, this nasty piece of horse brass creates an aura of Fear around the animal wearing it. Peasants and commoners will cower away from it, and weak foes will flee in terror from it's skull dashing hooves and flesh ripping jaws. A favorite of black knights and mounted necromancers.
20. Relentless Steed Charm
Made again of black iron, but instead of a human skull, it has a horse skull depicted within it. This is a powerful charm and insurance spell. If the horse is slain while wearing the charm, it is immediately reanimated as a zombie version of itself. It's strength is increased by 50%, becomes tireless, and has a hatred for living humans and a taste for living horse flesh. It will remain under the control of the rider so long as they stay in the saddle. The zombie horse is easily controlled by a necromancer, so they can dismount and remount as often as they like. Most Zombie horses decay into uselessness in 3-5 days depending on conditions.
21. Bandermouth Charm
The Bandermouth charm is one of those things that once they are made, the maker regrets it. This easy to make charm, brass with a basic horse design, allows for the animal wearing it to communicate with humans in the common tongue. However, this is a one sided exchange and does not imply the horse with understanding the language it is speaking, nor any languages spoken to it beyond what it knew before the charm was attached to it. A horse is a horse of course of course
22. The Hidden Charm
A charm made of black iron and a piece of a broken mirror or crystal ball, the Hidden Charm hides a horse from magical divination, scrying, and other locating spells. The charm works very well, minus the fact that few magi actually attempt to find a horse with magic, rather just use magic to find the person with the animal, or some other aetherial end around on the charm.
23. Invisibility Charm
This charm, made of starmetal and clear crystal turns the horse it is attached to invisible. This magical invisibility doesn't apply to things on it, such as a saddle or rider. The benefits of a clear horse are fairly substantially outweighed by the hindrances and inconveniences of having a half ton animal that cannot be seen. There are stories of phantom horses along roads, spooking travelers and causing all sorts of trouble. It is a likely speculation that these are 'cloaked' horses who escaped their masters, now free and invisible in the world. The charm doesn't hide their tracks or scent.
24. Divine Token
The Divine Token is a piece of horse brass made into the symbol of a specific deity, and invokes the magical protection and boons of said god or goddess on the animal wearing it. This rather obviously varies from deity to deity, and as horses are technically neutral, there is no reason that there is any limit on which gods or tokens can be blessed and placed on an animal. Divine tokens are very common, and most are for show. The true divine magical ones usually grant protection from injury, or protection from things the deity in question opposes.
25. Ownership Charm
This is also a common charm, a brass plate hanging from the front of the harness or breastcollar of an animal. If the animal and rider are separated, merely touching the charm will Identify the owner of the animal, the animal's name, and where it lives and should be returned. Ownership charms can generally only be removed by the person who attached the charm to the animal and are a means of preventing their animals from being stolen, or ensuring their return if they escape.
26. Waterwalking Charm
This charm, made of brass and adorned with nautical imagery allows the animal wearing it to walk across the surface of water without sinking into it. The charm is exceptional for fording rivers and making daring escapes across lakes and large ponds. The animal is unsure of it's footing and doesn't like walking on water, so movement is reduced by half. Rough water can be crossed, but requires regular horsemanship checks and dice to be rolled.
27. Floating Cloud Charm
It's not the fall that kills you, its the sudden stop at the end. The floating cloud charm, often made in the likeness of a bird, feather, or a cloud and crafted from silver in a very light and airy manner, prevents the animal wearing it from being harmed by falls. This is good for mundane issues, falling in slippery mud, or otherwise failing at standing up. It is much better for dramatic leaps off of cliffsides, the ramparts of a castle, or some other elevated location. The cinematic leap causes no more harm to the animal than jumping over a foot tall barrier. A swashbuckler's favorite.
28. Floating Gait Charm
There are few things more annoying and embarrassing to a finely dressed dandy or lady of pedigree than a horse with a rough ride. Hair could become mussed and a ruffle could fall out of place, Royal Palace Problems! The Floating Gait Charm is an innocuous charm, small and made of silver and it is easily concealed on any horse. Once donned, the horse gains a magical floating movement that is like gliding on a frozen like for it's smoothness. This charm is a variation of magical dancing charms, and the horse prances about quite energetically, as it maintains an even, easy ride.
29. Royal Splendour Charm
A favorite of socialites and the image interested. The Royal Splendour Charm is a large, heralded and bejeweled piece of horse brass. Any horse wearing one immediately looks much better, it's coat is spotless and shiny, and the wind catches its mane and tail like the horse was in a modern shampoo commercial. Women swoon, that their hair were so lovely as that wretched horse. The charm is appearance only, and doesn't affect the health, nature, or ability of the horse wearing it.
30. Unicorn Charm
A decorative charm made of silver, and a bit of horn or antler, this charm changes the outward appearance of the horse it is attached to to that of a commonly accepted unicorn. The coat is bright white, the mane and tail are very long, and the horse mounts an impressive horn. The better and more expensive the charm, the more believable (or absurd) the enchantment is. This is a popular charm for ladies, brides to be, and other fashion conscious riders. It is often used with a charm of docility to cover lack of ability on the rider's part.