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February 24, 2011, 6:22 pm

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A Brother’s Frustration and Forgiveness


The ties that bound their childhood home might just be the ties that repair their broken kinship.


Anias was the happiest man you could meet when his sons were born.   Being a avid sailor, quickly built a house for his wife and children overlooking the sea  up on the bluffs near a prominent light house, so that they could see him coming in as soon as possible.  He often boasted of its strength above all other structures in the land.   He was a proud man, proud of his house, wife, and his children.  Anias returning from a rather long voyage was unfortunately met by his exhausted wife and two five year old boys  bickering.  Anias soon learnt that in his absence the boys became annoyed by one another, for their respectively opposite talents; often teasing each other a bit too often by their mothers account.

The eldest Jonathan, was developing magical talents and Nathan the younger, by five minutes, was nimble and acrobatic.  A common sight of the house was Nathan bounding across the furniture easily evading his brothers attempts to retrieve his toy from his younger brother.  Even as Jonathan began to hone his talents they only served to fuel their rivalry further, each seemingly with something to prove.

As adults their bickering dwindled, neither had spoken to each other in years since their parents had passed away.   Jonathan had become an enchanter of some notoriety, while Nathan had also grown into some infamy as an accomplished thief.  While they never associated with each other anymore, Nathan still held a special place in his heart for taking his older brothers belongings.  Jonathan annoyed, merely set more and more elaborate traps for his brother to attempt to foil.

One day Jonathan received word that his childhood home on the bluffs had burnt down, recently due to a lightning strike.  Feeling nostalgic he investigated the remains for a bit.  He was about to leave when something strange had caught his eye.  Sticking out the back of one of the charred boards was a small cluster of metal tendrils, through which, on the other side of the board, were attached to the head of a nail.  Intrigued he collected a few for study.  Soon he discovered that the nails had been enchanted to grow like roots into anything they were driven, these had been most commonly used in massive warships for added stability.  Jonathan laughed as he understood why his father had been so proud of the sturdy home he had built.  Jonathan looked at the nails and was saddened.  His father’s home had stood the test of time years longer than his relationship with his own brother.   As he studied further he discovered the “nails” were reusable, upon learning this he rushed back to collect as many as he could salvage and find his father’s old set of pliers.  Nathan had his father’s pride and wouldn’t meet with him lightly, maybe the love his father put into making a home for them could still be felt in his brother.

Jonathan worked over his father’s artifacts for months until he was satisfied with his changes and set his plan into action.   Jonathan hid a number of the nails all over his home near or in valuables and one in his gold pouch, for good measure.  Only two days later a tall man with a familiar face stood in the doorway of his home; exasperated  he exclaimed, “Okay let’s talk, but can you first get this thing off me I can barely walk.”  Jonathan picked up his fathers pliers and invited his brother inside for a cup of tea.

Magical properties:

“A Brother’s Frustration” (alt.: “A pain in the backside”): These are the nails that were recovered from the brothers’ childhood home.  Having been magically altered they are enchanted to grant the owner some additional speed, merely by retaining  it, if that person stole the nail in question.  This however is not the case once placed in ones pocket, the nail in 1d4 minutes moves (like an inchworm) to the back pocket and the trap is set.  When the victim next sits down the nail drives into the victims right buttock and grows its metal tendrils.  This is quite painful, and hampers movement  speed by half and easily doubles any movement biased check.


There are two ways to remove “A Brother’s Frustration:” 

1.       Forcibly remove it.  This is not recommended, it will cause considerable pain and leaves a rather nasty wound that takes weeks to heal.

2.       Simply asking forgiveness.  Subliminally, it imparts the victim the knowledge of who he has wronged and who owns the nearest set of tongs capable of removing the nail.  Amends must be made then “A Brothers Forgiveness” can be utilized efficiently.

“A Brother’s Forgiveness” (alt.: Tongs of forgiveness): These tongs were originally enchanted to remove the nails by in sighting them to retract their tendrils, but Jonathan still found the tongs a bit to crude to use for his purposes.  He refashioned them to more gently remove the nail and leave virtually no wound to speak of. (Except for a single point of damage as a reminder.)

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Comments ( 4 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Silveressa
February 24, 2011, 0:48

Nice tale with a handy magical trinket inside. This should be fun to spring on the parties thief in my next fantasy adventure.

Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
February 24, 2011, 17:13

Nice formatting, bold on headers would be a nice improvement, double spacing looks good. A bit DnDish and reading stuff like "grant the owner +1 Dex" and "Could be represented by 1d4 Dex ability damage" tears my soul apart as this is a non-system site. All in all a good solid submission with some minor issues.

February 24, 2011, 18:24
Yes, the non-system thing still gets me from time to time. Thanks for the advice.
Voted valadaar
May 20, 2013, 8:45
An interesting item, though very specific.

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