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Comments: 11
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Rating: 4
Condition: Normal
ID: 6140

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September 28, 2010, 10:13 am

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Pocket Army

By:

 

The peddler was pulling odd things from his pack, extolling each as he laid them down – one shoe that changed colors, a knife carved from wood, a mummified bird. “And this,” he said, pulling a 1 foot square box of stone out of his pack, “is all the friends you will ever need.” He opened it up, showing the carved stone statues of warriors inside. He took one out and stood it on the ground, where it changed to flesh and blood, stretched, then pulled the sword from its sheath and saluted them with it. “An army in your pocket! For a mere thousand gold! A bargain!”

History:

The men stood at attention behind their leader. High King Talisen watched them, coldly angry, but the Arch-Mage Solon was incandescently furious.

“So,” he said bitingly, “let me see if I have this straight. You delayed answering the summons of the High King, your sworn liege lord, because something was stealing your cattle. Your liege summoned you to war, but you had something More Important to do. Do I have this correct?” His withering gaze swept over them. They stood rigidly before him.

“Well?” the High King said.

“Yes, Sire,” replied Baron Hansur, staring straight ahead.

“So,” the Arch-Mage said contemptuously, “your liege called you to help defend the kingdom, you could not be bothered to come, and we lost the Gate. The Necromancer's army stormed the Gate - our only way home, took it and began pouring trolls, orcs and other fell beasts through it. Our only recourse was to destroy the Gate. So I blew the Gate, and destroyed, for everyone, for every man, woman and child, our only way back home!

“And you were not there because someone was stealing your cattle! You are all mighty warriors and would have been of inestimable help, but you … did … not … answer … your liege's call. Because someone was stealing your cattle!

“Go back to your keep, to your little stone box on the hilltop. I curse you to become powerless, two inch tall toy soldiers, alive and undying, bound to obey anyone that controls your little stone box, until your oath is fulfilled!” There was a flash, and the twenty forsworn warriors were now two inches tall. An open box lay on the ground next to them. The Arch-Mage bent, picking them up and dropping them into the box where they changed into tiny stone figurines. He put the lid on the box, then stood, making a gesture at the box. It vanished with a pop.

The box has been seen occasionally, in the possession of another adventurer, or in the pack of a wandering peddler, or in the lair of some creature. However, attempts to hang on to the box will not work. Sooner or later, the box vanishes again, lost, or stolen, or sold.

 

Description:

The box is of grey stone, carved to look like a square stone keep. Inside are twenty stone figures of warriors, carved with amazing detail, right down to their faces and the buckles on their shoes. When taken out of the box, the stone statues become living, two-inch tall warriors. They move and, while they can be seen talking, they can not be heard. They will obey any orders given to them by the holder of the box. If one dies, he vanishes, to be found back in the box. When taken back out, he is alive again.

 

GM Information:

The warriors are alive, and can not be permanently killed. While in the box, they are stone figurines. In combat, they do negligible damage, but they can get into very small places. While they can not talk to the big folk, they can mime or draw in the dirt. (and actually, they can talk, in faint, ultrasonic voices. If a PC could hear ultrasonics and thought to put one close to his ear, he could hear him talking in archaic Common.)

The PCs can keep the box for a time (GM determined) but sooner or later, the box is lost, or stolen, or sold to another.

 

The Curse

The curse can be broken, and the warriors can pass on to their rest, if their oath is fulfilled. That will be difficult, because first, the PCs have to establish communications with them. Then the PCs must get their story. Then the PCs must get them to the High King. Once they have fulfilled their oath, by coming to his summons, they will be allowed to pass on. The GM will have to adjudicate the oath-fulfillment to make it ring true to his players. When they are called by the High King, they regain human size, but as a ghost, hard to hurt, but their weapons do full damage to the real world and the living, and they are very skilled with said weapons. A good cinematic way would be for a war that they enter, as in the army of the undead in Lord of the Rings that Aragorn brought to the battle. Obviously crucial, but the GM wouldn't have to play them against himself. 



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Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
September 26, 2010, 18:49
1xp
Just what is needed to deal with a Pocket Ironbones attack.
Ramhir
September 26, 2010, 21:52
0xp
Fascinating. I had not come across that post when I made this one, CM. Thanks for the info.
Voted Argus
September 27, 2010, 3:37
0xp
Honestly, the fact that the soldiers are tiny made me come up with more ideas for ways to use them than normal sized people ever would. Thanks for the idea.
Ramhir
September 27, 2010, 8:45
0xp
Glad you liked it. Perhaps you could detail some of the ways that the tiny soldiers could be used to add some more detail to them?
Nafar
September 27, 2010, 8:04
0xp
wow, this is really awsome.
Voted EchoMirage
September 28, 2010, 3:22
0xp
Echo likes.
So, how exactly can they become free?
Ramhir
September 28, 2010, 9:55
0xp
Oops! Forgot that bit. To be free of the curse, all they have to do is fulfill their oath. The Arch-Mage never specified 'which' High King they had to fulfill their oath to. I'll have to go back and edit that. Thanks, Echo.
Ramhir
September 28, 2010, 10:13
0xp
Update: Changed the sub to show how to end the curse.
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
September 28, 2010, 12:58
0xp
The idea behind this one is very good and the write up is actually very engaging.

“An army in your pocket! For a mere thousand gold! A bargain!”

This one made me laugh as I envisioned the peddlers enthusiastic face. I would never use this myself in the games I usually run. But then again, with proper execution a GM can make things fit about anywhere. Good job!
Ramhir
September 28, 2010, 21:59
0xp
Laughs are good, too, Mike JS. Glad you liked it.
Voted valadaar
January 15, 2014, 11:25
0xp
These are neat, and wonderfully magical.

They could play an interesting part in a Nim/Redwall type campaign.



Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

the dead mechent of death

       By: celticring

To Dougles Nye money is power, a powerful wizard only newly into lich-hood

Originally the son of servants to a noble family, yet he found that life humiliating. "How could anyone stand to serve another?" he often wondered. His father, was a greedy man who offered an explanation one day “It’s all for the coin, every demanding, humiliating thing. It’s for the coin, boy."

So when Dougles began developing the potential for magic, he found a way out of a life of servitude. Learning magic though stolen books, he made his escape. Taking the all the possessions of the lord’s vaults with him. He set out to gain as much money as possible.

His gifts for magic allowed him many advantages other merchants could only dream of. Capitalized on the use of deviation magic, allowing him to always having what the city he is in needs most, whether that is wheat or weapons, poison or drug doesn’t matter to him.

Some would say he follows war, disease, famine, and political strife like a vulture looking for a nice carcass to claim. What they don’t know is he has a hand in the conflict he supposedly follows. Assassinating ruler to incite wars, casting spells that decimating crops, acting as an information broker to both sides in a conflict. Dougles is known as a man who can get what you need to some, to other a monster who capitalizes on the suffering of others.

The lich know as Dougles Nye, prefers the title ”The Merchant of Death” for that shows just how much power money has earned him.

Ideas  ( NPCs ) | January 7, 2010 | View | UpVote 4xp


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