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Comments: 12
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Rating: 3
Condition: Stub
ID: 6569


August 27, 2017, 11:07 pm

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The Hand of Callous Justice


The severed hand of a former judge, a man who sacrificed his own blood to uphold the law.

Several years ago there was a judge in the courts of Okada, universally feared for his harsh rulings. Harsh as the man was, he was respected for his ability to judge character and the rigor to which he adhered to the laws. One of the more influential Jixden 'families' did not appreciate having their illicit operations jeopardized and their men intimidated, and so concocted a plan.

Adjerie is a peculiar drug. Sometimes called Holy Touch after its use by shady priests, the drug is absorbed through the skin or ingestion and provides a mild euphoria for an hour or two without side effects. The second reason for the moniker, however, stems from its strange pattern of addiction. The drug has no side effects or withdrawal symptoms unless used too frequently, though the allure of the euphoria it creates is resisted by only the most strong-willed, such as the devout. Once a certain bodily concentration has been achieved it is as though a switch has been triggered within the body, after the initial high has faded intense pain sets in to the bones of the afflicted. Withdrawal has been known to last decades, even lifetimes, and most victims either revert to constant drug usage or suicide.

The judge's son had never felt as good as he did the first few weeks the Family drugged his food and possessions- until they stopped. The judge emptied his savings trying to ease his son's pain, to no avail. Taking to the streets in agony and rage the son had a not-so-chanced meeting with a man in need of an errand runner. Handing off the package the son's pain faded, and he once more felt peace and harmony. Naturally the boy continued to work for the mysterious stranger, while the local authorities searched furiously for the source of the criminal courier.

Finally the net of crime the boy had unwittingly wound around himself closed in and he stood before his father in the courts. Looking at his son from his high bench the judge had one choice, show mercy to his only son and bring into question his earlier sentencings of the Jixden Family, or condemn his son to death. For the good of the public, he made his choice and watched his son hang.

Unable to live with his decision the judge soon drank himself to death, and the Family responsible for his end robbed his grave, taking his sentancing hand as a trophy. Finding it had unique properties, the group abused its powers for their own ends until it was traded to an Azuran mage in exchange for a favor. Tossed in the back of a storage area for later study the hand fell out of history.

The hand of the judge can discern up to three lies in a day, and detect the evil in a man's soul once in a day. Once per month the hand may place the Mark of Justice on one who has slipped through the clutches of the law regardless of their willingness.

Additional Ideas (2)

Withered Fist

The blackened and withered Hand of Callous Justice is forever trapped in the shape of a fist. Shrunken with age, someone long ago had the idea to incorporate it into a necklace so that the emblem of unflinching loyalty to the law could be worn about the neck.

Those wearing the Hand of Callous justice feel themselves strongly compelled to enforce the law in the harshest way possible- all but the most minor of violations demand the death of the perpetrator. The Hand's demands must be met immediately, lest the owner be stricken with unbearable agony until justice is served.

The Hand allows its owner to immediately become aware of any crime or dishonesty done in their presence, immediately granting complete immunity to the Criminal's attacks. Those using the Hand of Callous Justice find that those they are hunting are completely unable to strike them, their attacks passing through the hunter harmlessly.

The Hand carries a great burden of responsibility- should its owner commit a crime, the Hand of Callous Justice will demand their death, and subject them to relentless suffering and pain until their death- whether at their own hand, or by the next owner of the Hand of Callous Justice.


2013-02-26 04:30 AM » Link: [6569#85163|text]
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Comments ( 12 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

February 26, 2013, 4:32
Added my take on the hand and the powers it should grant.
March 20, 2013, 22:50
I heartily approve.
May 29, 2013, 6:12
When you write family, even though you use a capital letter to derive them as a separate group. It is a bit confusing. First I wondered, why would his family drug him and then sentence him? Then I read it again and got it. You may want to name this Jixden family, to avoid confusion.

You also mention that when the group dug the hand up, it allready had unique properties. How? Was it blessed by a god or what?

May 29, 2013, 13:11
I never considered the name important, but I understand the confusion.

Ever watch Warehouse 13? It's a show where people collect 'artifacts', things like Sylvia Plath's typewriter which makes you suicidal. No one blessed or cursed or enchanted the typewriter, it is the way it is because of who it belonged to and the emotions she felt. This is the sentencing hand of a man who let his own son die rather than compromise justice. Do you not think that is magic enough?
May 29, 2013, 14:07
Nope, haven't seen that show. Hmm, that's not really how I view true justice. But point taken. Of course that would require a world which allowed such artifacts to spontaneously form then.
May 29, 2013, 16:57
I think you spend too much time on the history of the judge, and almost nothing on the actual item that the sub is about. From the beginning it sounded like an NPC description, not an item. The power of the hand is also somehow "dropped from the sky", as we say here (in Bulgaria). It doesn't come logically (or illogically, for that matter) from the rest.
Voted Shadoweagle
May 29, 2013, 22:12
As the others mentioned - this is a sub which definitely focusses on the backstory more than the item itself. This isn't a bad thing, so long as the item doesn't suffer, and in this case I think it did; it's a little vague - I'd love to know why the hand was given it's abilities and how they are used. Why his hand? Would the criminal family go back and lop off other appendages to see if they had powers as well? Do the fingers curl up as the powers are used in a manner like the Monkey's Paw wishes?

i'm all for this Judge being so commited to his work and law that his very hand retained the essence of his beliefs - perhaps that is what happened? Maybe the power concentrated in his hand because of the way he swung his gavel with such conviction at sentencing of his own son.

Anyway; a handy (haha, punny!) item, but some more depth would be nice.
May 29, 2013, 23:13
Meh, it's not my finest work I'll admit but no one seems interested in reading two-part epics and someone might get an idea or two.

Good point about going and digging up the hand. As yet it's unexplained because the Jixden article is unwritten (no excuse really) but for your curiosity I'll provide a cursory explanation:

Jixden is a place where death and mutilation beyond recognition in a back alley is common. As the torrential rains of the area wash bodies into "Tide Ends" families with missing loved ones needed some form of identification for brutalized and rotting corpses. As such a symbol based tattoo system was created and placed on the hand. Not only does it identify your faction affiliations (based on the alchemist who inscribed it) but if you have parents, siblings, children, and whether they are alive, dead, missing, unknown, etc. Because this often the only means of identifying a loved one after death the removal of the hand is considered beyond insult - it is the worst thing that can be done in Jixden culture and is reserved only for the worst of traitors or enemies.

Removing the judge's hand is the ultimate expression of this Jixden Family's triumph over Okada law. It's desecrating his corpse in a way that is uniquely of the people who defeated him in a show of power and ruthlessness that stakes their claim on the city. The general populace of Okada may not understand, but they're not the ones to whom that 'message' was addressed.
May 30, 2013, 4:10
To be honest I glanced through the two parts of your epic plot and the shear amount of described places, NPCs and steps made me leave it for later. I promise I will read through it though.

On the current sub - that kind of detail would be great to have! So it may be better to post the descriptions of the cities in question before drawing parallels to them. Otherwise we're like the Okada folk that had no idea why the hand was taken... except that we have no idea what it is to be a citizen of Okada either.
Voted Gossamer
May 30, 2013, 5:59
Only voted
Voted Kassy
June 1, 2013, 6:09

Sadly your links are Grue infested. I would like to read more of the three locations you mention.
Voted Elbin
June 1, 2013, 14:55
Only voted

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