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ID: 3003


September 12, 2006, 12:01 pm

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Blackthar's Switch


This item provides the user access to other realms in a small package.

Full Item Description

A thin wooden switch about 2’ in length.  When expanded it is a 4’ wooden switch.  It appears to be made of a dark, willow-like wood.


This item was originally crafted by the Artificer, a powerful, demon-like figure known to have created a great number of powerful items.  The Artificer crafted it from the dark willows which line the river Styx. It was purchased, at great cost, by the Diabolist Saarmach and was used for many a nefarious deed.

Saarmach met his end when he attempted to rob Blackthar’s trove of powerful items.  Magical defenses he thought would keep the Vampire at bay provided no defence against the decidedly non-magical traps that where also present in the lair.

Blackthar, an ancient vampire obsessed with the acquisition of the Arcane, was most pleased when he found the Switch on Saarmach’s perforated body.  He went on to use it in his own pursuits and is the current owner of the item.

Magic/Cursed Properties

This wooden switch will extend in length to about 4’ long when the tip is pulled (similar to a telescoping pointer).
Therafter, if a quick snapping gesture is made, as if casting a line while fishing, it will extend still further and will form a complete loop about 3’ in diameter.  This loop will be filled with a shimmering light and now forms a
portal which can lead to a place either on the current plane, or another, unless the location in question is defended against teleportation.

When the switch is snapped into it’s portal form, the user must speak a key phrase to specify the destination of the gate.  The user must have enough information to specify a unique destination.  Failure to do so will mean that the portal does not function and any entering the portal will simply appear on the other side.

The gate is two way, and the switch is visible on the other side. It can be then grasped and the ring can be broken, whereupon it will revert to it’s original 2’ form.

Due to it’s infernal origin, it faintly exudes evil as well as strong magic.   It also is malignant.  If the command phrase spoken can be interpreted to specify a dangerous location, then it may do so, especially if the user is not evil.

GM’s may require also that the key phrase be spoken in a langauge appropriate to their campaign world, ideally an ancient, little known one.

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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Wulfhere
September 12, 2006, 15:42
Good history.

That could be quite a potent item. I could see the Artificer secretly manipulating the switch's destinations in order to control its owner's travels. Perhaps we could hear more about this mysterious creature?
September 12, 2006, 16:00
I plan to detail the Artificer as an NPC (not a unique lifeform :) ) soon.
Voted manfred
September 13, 2006, 7:19
It is a very potent item, allowing to travel anywhere. Planes... well, if it has to be. It is good that it is a unique item, and the threat of misinterpreting the directions also helps.

Not my cup of tea, but it may work for high-magic campaigns.
September 13, 2006, 8:27
Personally, I have a thing for high-magic campaigns :). In the campaign where this came from, it was used by Blackthar as an NPC, and only occasionally. He did not, for good reason, trust it very much.
Voted Scrasamax
September 13, 2006, 9:30
Particularly I liked how Saarmach lost the Switch, trusting in magic versus magic and forgetting mundane dangers. Otherwise, this is an okay high magic item.
Voted MoonHunter
September 13, 2006, 12:11
Nicely done. Nothing outstanding, but still a nice solid post.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Scrasamax

The PCs discover a large white ball in the branches of a tree, or in a niche in a cave. Unless magically examined, or by a PC with a specialty in insects, it is a plain, smooth white ball. After a short time, it hatches and releases hundreds of spiders, cockroaches, some other nasty bug

Encounter  ( Cave/ Underground ) | August 14, 2004 | View | UpVote 1xp

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