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Comments: 7
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Rating: 3.8
Condition: Normal
ID: 487


August 12, 2006, 2:31 pm

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Cantor Thread


A tool to keep body and spirit fit!

A piece of very light chain, each link of a different metal or alloy, with two handles of polished wood attached ... what could this be? A deadly weapon? A tool to ensnare your foes at your command? No, it is a skipping rope…

Harroth Cloudrider, a wizard of no little power, but still young of heart, felt strong feelings for Saewynn Firsing, and she replied in kind, yet they bot knew that their hot tempers and wizardly peculiarities would soon have them starting fights, and with wizards, those can get ugly. So, they stayed in a loose relationship, seeing each other once in two weeks for either a common trip to a pleasant location, attending to a party, just for a chit-chat over a mug of beer, or a night of love, both returning to their own life and work afterwards.
They knew that they were unable to work together, but that did not prevent them from working for each other, and thus they started to give each other small, nice presents. He gave her a stave that added colourful effects and shiny bubbles to any spell cast with it, she gave him a clock run by tiny mouse-golems. He presented her with a comb that can color hair or curl it in retun, while she repayed him with a practical robe that can wake up before you do and cook you tea and make a sandwich, warm you and comment on your projects (a similar ‘item’ will I elaborate in a future post), with a thousand pouches, of which one is always enchanted to hold a chocolate bar, one a pencil and several others to hold other useful items too.
Another present was the Cantor Thread, a skipping rope that will flash in light patterns and hum silently when used. It helps the user focus, get rid of stress and refresh his spirit.

In the thirty years of their relationship, the two have created dozens of items, some useful, some amusing, some plain nice, while some ridiculous. When Saewynn died of age, Harroth withdrew to his workshop, but continued to make small nice items of little power, toys more than artifacts ... perhaps, somewhere hidden, is an old, dusty workshop where perky magic items await to see the light of day, forgotten by all, tended by a handful of utilitarian golems.

Magical Properties:

The Cantor Thread has several minor properties:
a, it hums the tune the user would like to hear most - it uses a limited specialized Mind Search spell for this.
b, the patterns of the light reflexes on the shiny links as well as a subtle Emotion Control spell calm the user while he exercises, making him less likely to lose his temper during the exercise and a short while after it. Also, it does a lot to relieve stress - fifteen minutes of exercising will let the user sweep away the strain, and he will be able to look up to the sky and breathe deep again.
c, the exercise improves the ability to concentrate, so that if exercisng regularly, the speed of work or study goes up by 10% overall, and the things studied will be remembered better.
d, this is a very mundane property - all the jumping is bound to make the user a little fitter.

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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

May 31, 2004, 11:25
Really excellent - I like the back story a lot 0 interesting, funny and a very believable reason. The item itself has just enough good power to be actually useful, as well as being amusing (particularly if you only give the description you gave in the first line!) : this is an item I can see myself using in the very near future.

Why is it called "Cantor Thread"?
May 31, 2004, 14:57
Well, 'cantare' is 'to sing' in latin, cantus is a song, and a cantor is a singer. A thread is to a rope what an M&M is to a chocolate bar - it is no actual rope, as it is so slim - but with enough inertia to be swung, as the metal tends to be heavier than a rope.
I did not want to call it a 'Singing Skipping Rope' because that would be like calling Scrabble a "Make-words-of-letters-game' or a submarine a 'go-under-water-safely-device'. The same happened to my Mnemnon Spire - while the name has to do with memory (In Greek, if I'm right) it was little understood.
If you consider the play of lights just a visual song, and the emotion-swaying spell just a lullaby for the spirit, the origin of the name becomes evident ... sort of :D

One friend of mine told me that I'm so often misunderstood because I communicate on too abstract of a level, or something. Is this another manifestation of that?
May 31, 2004, 17:56
Don't believe your friend. That's just flattery.
The story is allright. I don't like it that an item that is supposed to be so special or interesting is just a thing that some wizard cast a spell on. That never satisfies me.

June 1, 2004, 2:07
Thank you Capt'n for resetting my ego to a more appropriate level.

The item, it's just a nice gift, and I personally would like a hand-made gift better than 'I went into one of the Nine Dungeons of Infinite Nastiness to retrieve the Emerald Bumblebee that was created when the essence of the plane of Suburbia clashed with Slumdur in the Lawnmower War'. For example, for a friend's birthday, I painted her a magnolia with an abstract sun behind it as contrast - sure beats 'I bought you perfume, gal'
June 1, 2004, 3:08
I liked the story behind the item. Usually I'd agree with CP: when people can't find a good reason for something to be enchanted, they're inclined to say "a wizard cast a spell on it", but this isn't the same situation. These are more personalised. I find the idea of wizards creating small magical trinkets for one another a novel and innovative way to introduce minor colourful items into a setting, rather than a clichéd artefact-churning mechanism.

Keep up the good work, Echo.


(I must say, I was also confused by the "Cantor thread" title: I thought that Iain's "roots of unity" had sprung a trend for mathematically-titled objects!)
June 1, 2004, 6:07
Yes - that is what I had thought initially, and was trying to figure out what it had in common with a Cantor set (neglecting the (with hindsight) more obvious root of Cantor meaning singer).

I must say that with Ephe I also disagree with CP about the origin: legendary and heroic items are great for a low magic world, but for a high magic one you need the low power, randomly enchanted but unusual items like this to flesh it out and make it seem real.
Voted Cheka Man
October 5, 2007, 10:53
A nice little item.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Order of the Moonbeard

       By: valadaar

Among the assortment of organized criminals who live in the great city, few command greater fear the Moonbeard Order.

They of course do not call themselves that, but have earned the moniker from their fashion of dying their large beards with lye to produce a distinctive crescent shape running from earlobe to earlobe. This is meant as a taunt for their enemies, for it clearly outlines their throats.

They also wear garb similar to the northern tribesman, carefully tooled leather and showing multiple, colourful glyphs.

They are feared due to the intense discipline that their group maintains, due to their origins as a warrior-sect.

They serve as paid thugs, enforcers and assassins within the city, with the client simply ordering a service from the organization, not hiring an individual. Apart from making the request and providing payment in full in advance, the order completes the assignment themselves.

Their order has many moles through the organizations of the city, and more than a couple of nobles. As such, no organized move has been made against them since their chief activity is directed against other members of the crime world. It is said that their services have been useful for those in power as well, further protecting them from persecution.

Their religion holds that their time in this world is vanishingly brief, and largely unimportant except as training for the Great Battle.

The order is very utilitarian with weapons choice - they simply use the tool needed for the occasion, though not without having trained extensively with it beforehand. Daggers, garrottes, swords, bows, battle axes, polearms, wagons, even siege engines have been used to carry out their contracts.

Encounter  ( City/ Ruin ) | January 24, 2014 | View | UpVote 5xp

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