In roleplaying,combat items of legendary origins often cross the paths of adventurers. Yet, once in a while, they might just encounter particular items whose use are completely commonplace but nevertheless have whimsical, controversial or unexpected origin(s) that are either real or attributed to them through folklore and gossip. This is the compilation of such humble but unusual items, of which an excellent example can be found here
To maintain consistency of format between posts, the following structure is suggested:
Name of item (type of item if not obvious from name or if name unknown)
Description- physical description, aura, reputed powers
The Origin(s)- preferable if put in one blockquote
Additional Ideas (4)
The Needles of Zhi and Wu (Acupuncture Needle)
A set of acupuncture needles ordinary in every way except that they are of a green colour as if made of jade, rumoured to be so potent in healing properties that even revival of the dead are achievable.
These needles are the tools of trade of Bian Que, the miracle doctor of the Era of Spring and Fall. It was rumoured that Bian Que is in fact the offspring of the Goddess of Mercy and is a divine entity himself. According to such sources, these needles have developed direct healing qualities themselves as a result of prolonged contact with Bian Que with his godly presence pervading this set of tools.
Unknown- Immediately following the end of the Era of Spring and Fall comes the Period of the Warring States, a time of turmoil accompanied by many refugees of wars fleeing the Dragon Empire for more peaceful outlying regions. It was speculated that Bian Que and his family might have been among such refugees.
Note: This is historical fiction since it is genuinely recorded in Chinese history that there was a miracle working doctor known as Bian Que active during what is known as the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States Period.
The Comb of Banafrit
A finely crafted comb made of a single palm-sized seashell, overlaid with specks of coloured stones. Small cracks along the teeth provide signs of frequent usage.
This item was commissioned by King Amenemhat and presented to his beloved Queen, Banafrit, as a birthday gift. According to folklore, Queen Banafrit has a particularly lustrous mane of hair that King Amenemhat lovingly brushes for her every morning, with this particular comb.
Buried with Queen Banafrit in the royal tomb
The Goblet of Victory
One of the cursed items recorded in the Annuals of History and Lost Artefacts, described as being surrounded by a dark forbidding aura. In appearance, this is a goblet shaped much like a Viking helmet, with two horns protruding out from the sides. Each of these horns carries a sheath made of silver.
Originally the heirloom of the royal line of Hampstead, this goblet was taken as one of the spoils of war by King Knut I of Stormhenge. This is also the infamous goblet that King Knut IX choked to death on while drinking a toast of celebration over victory at the Campaign of Roxwell.
Unknown- One tale has it that the goblet vanished mysteriously after King Knut IX’s death. Another source is certain that the goblet is now in safe-keeping in the Temple of Zorn, the All Wise and Merciful. There are also periodic rumours of it being seen in all places around the world.
Thimble of Hesrovinth
Made from the finest silver and speckled with many tiny flakes of amethyst, flakes so small, that they only appeared as a purplish glow whenever the thimble was held to the light.
The thimble belonged to young Queen Hesrovinth, but was originally given to her by a hedge-witch, when Hesrovinth was only a little girl. She was told by the witch that the thimble belonged to past queens, and would serve her well in life as well. Many years later, Hesrovinth's royal marriage was arranged and she wed King Svanilmar Long-Hair, becoming queen of the realm. She never did do any sewing, but always kept the thimble, considering it a charm of good fortune. Legend has it that the thimble's magic power was such, that whichever queen owned it, she would always outlive her king-husband.
The thimble currently resides inside the intestines of a particularly loathsome troll named Spullosh. The thimble is lodged in his small intestine, and he can't quite get it out.
Old Blind Roo’s Whistle
A small tin-and-brass whistle hanging on a plain leather band, meant to dangle from one’s neck. The whistle is shaped in the form of a tiny bat, wings outstretched.
The whistle once belonged to Old Blind Roo, a dwarf so old, that even other dwarves thought him ancient. Old Roo served aboard the infamous dwarven war-ship known as Qysa’s Tomb. A non-combatant, Old Roo proved his worth with his rather unique skill. Old Roo raised and trained bats, communicating with them and issuing simple commands via his whistle. The bats echolocation was somehow used by the dwarves to their advantage, particularly in night-time raids and attacks. Whether Old Blind Roo had some kind of telepathic connection with the bats or if the whistle was indeed magical, is not currently known. Old Blind Roo died many years ago, and Qysa’s Tomb no longer plies the Seas.
The whistle hangs on the wall beside the desk of one Kleg Ajaryan, Harbormaster of Liar’s Bay. He has no particular use for it, but keeps it as a souvenir and bauble, and shows it to those who ask him to relate tales of the legendary dwarven drommond, known as Qysa’s Tomb.