These are dark days, when the wonders of the old world crumble and disappear with each passing day. It is also a wonder, then, to find even a single item of magic, much less five, gathered together into one locale!
What a treasure, then, is the Holy Treasure of Han Tsarng.
The Treasures are powerful artifacts containing ancient essences and sanctifications which are beyond modern knowledge. There is in each of them a sliver of an other which is not like sentience (though it could be described as the deformed relative of sentience, as men know it). Each artifact shall not reveal its power until its power is “opened” to the would-be user through rituals which are peculiar to each artifact. These rituals can be damaging to a wielder of the Treasures, and to his or her sanity. But in return, each artifact yields up great power.
Additional Ideas (5)
This treasure is in a heavy black iron cask; the cask itself is wrapped in a blessed cloak and set inside a small shrine of gold. Marked on this shrine in Han Tsarngi characters is a sentence describing the relic within: "This is the Sanctified and Eternal Arm of Retaining All Greatness, given unto the Holy Kingdom by the God ------------" (as was traditional in Han Tsarng, the God's name was written and then marked out to illegibility). As the heroes pop open the gear-lock which holds this cask closed, they hear a sound, half like a sigh and half like a whispered word.
Revealed to their eyes is a mummified arm from the elbow down. The withered flesh of the arm is blackened and shrunk against the bones with age, and the fingers of the gruesome hand have tightened and curled into a stiff claw. It certainly does not seem special or magical, as a god's arm should be. But to the spiritually sensitive, though the Arm's power is invisible even to the spiritual sight, it can be felt, extending away in all directions like pleromatic hands.
Vat it do, bubby?!
This treasure is within a hinged, spherical golden reliquary, set upon a staff like a brazier. Marked on the golden top-plate which seals the sphere is a Han Tsarngi sentence: "This is the Sanctified and All-Seeing Eye of Opening The Way, given unto the Holy Kingdom by the God ------". The hinged sphere opens with a hiss which seems to the heroes almost like some doomed soul's dying breath.
Within there is a sphere of stone, jade, in fact, carven to resemble an eye. It seems slightly heavier than it should be, and is a bit larger than a true human eye. Its spiritual image is invisible, but the spiritual senses register its gaze of power, blazing into each of the heroes and off into the distant skies.
The Eye of Opening The Way is activated by communing with the eye and allowing it to peer into the would-be user, stripping away the layers and secrets and unlocking the doors of his or her soul. To many, if not most, this is an intensely distressing experience, and for some, it can be dangerous to sanity, or even to their physical being. As the Eye becomes more habituated to the master who chooses it, this soul-searching becomes less invasive, but also more insidious. The Eye will not hesitate to shake or probe the roots of an individual's deepest convictions and fears. Thus, continued use of the Eye requires great strength of character and mind; only those with both of these qualities can persevere through the subtle battle which takes place against this tool of the ancients, and retain their sanity.
The Eye of Opening The Way is, most of all, a device to see that which the eye cannot percieve, either through distance or concealment. The Eye's power, when activated, allows the wielder, with effort, to travel to, in incorporeal astral form, any locale of which he knows or has known.
With greater expense, the Eye will allow its wielder to percieve events and places far removed from any he has ever known; in this way, it is useful as a gatherer of knowledge, a spy-tool, if you will.
Finally, with extreme force of will, the Eye can be bent to invade and harvest the thoughts of others- an invasion of the mind and soul, similar to the soul-stripping gaze of the Eye's ritual, that bares to the wielder the contents of the invaded person's thoughts, memories, and feelings, as well as the content of his or her soul.
This cloak is hung across a high golden rack so that its enormous length hangs just off the ground. The top of this rack bears a golden plaque reading: "This is the Sanctified and Brilliant Cloak of Defying All Fears, given unto the Holy Kingdom by the God ------- ---". As the cloak is slipped off of the rack, the sound of the cloth sliding against the metal seems like a gasp.
If the cloak were worn by a tall man, it would still drag about a foot in length along the dirt. It is made up of long strips of brilliantly-colored silk, each inner row longer than the other (so that the bottom edge of the cloak is V-shaped), each strip sewn with a holy prayer in Han Tsarngi glyphs. Underneath this outer layer is a heavy cloak of brilliant, multicolored feathers of all shapes and sizes. Spiritually, its unseen power can be felt sweeping off of the cloak's sides like feathers off a bird's wing.
The cloak is only a beautiful garment until bent to the wielder's will. The wearer must worship the cloak, pouring blood down its back to cascade off of its waxed feathers. The cloak's pleromatic power will then envelop the wearer, and strip away his ego; to the wearer is revealed his or her own true and cosmic insignificance, their total and complete irrelevance to the workings of ancient gods and intelligences and their infinitesimally-tiny place in the great pattern (though it may be that in fact the wearer has a great destiny, and thus a great part in the pattern, the cloak reveals only insignificance to all- perhaps, in the long march of history, no man is truly significant to the unfathomable workings of the universe). The would-be user of power, exposed to their own insignificance, must be either driven insane as the fear of total incomprehensibility washes over their minds, or have the strength of will to shoulder on, to take on the burden, though in the end it means nothing. If the wearer can manage this, the cloak is theirs, though never again while wearing the cloak will they possess a surety of their self-confidence or clarity and strength of purpose; they will always know doubt when that bright mantle is upon their shoulders.
The Cloak of Defying All Fears has its main power in enhancing the wearer's bearing and presence to all percievers. All around him percieve him as more glorious and more mighty in bearing, a huge presence, a person to be noticed and respected (though not necessarily feared or obeyed), a person of lordly caliber.
For a greater price, the wearer may cause another or (at his expense) several others to shift their opinions of him positively; that is, those who dislike him may find themselves seeing him in a new light, while those who like him may find themselves slipping into sibling-like devotion, or love.
The greatest power of the Cloak of Defying All Fears requires a great sacrifice of strength, but is immense in impact- it allows the wearer to stun one other being with the immensity of his greatness, bathing that being in his glory and forever sealing that creature to him, a bonded companion or a slave of devotion, forever.
The reliquary of this mask is a simple box of beautiful wood inlayed with malachite in a swirling, serpentine pattern. Around the lip of the box is carven the legend: "This is the Sanctified and Shadowed Mask of Becoming The Darkness, given unto the Holy Kingdom by the God --- ---". As the box is opened, the squeak of its hinges sounds like the chitter of an eerie midnight insect.
The mask is round and smooth, and made of some opalescent black stone which gives it a disconcerting quality of being both very black and colorful at the same time. It is chill to the touch, and supernaturally smooth. The spirit senses can feel its power like tendrils of damp fog which cling to the area around the mask in an amorphous, invisible pleromatic cloud.
Before any wearer can use the powers of the Mask of Becoming The Darkness, they must don the mask and behold its dark sabbath. The would-be wielder is subjected to every possible horror that the night can offer up, every fear and phobia, every vague nightmare they ever had. Each and every fear which is rooted in the supplicant's soul, petty and extreme, is lived in a dreamlike shillouette, over and over and over again, until the wielder's very soul screams out for aid from the terrible shadows which lurk in the pit of it. Few can withstand this seemingly-endless hell of shadowy terrors and blind corridors, which reek of the horror of generations. Should the hero be able to hold on through this shuddersome test, should, by some bare inch of perseverance, cling to sanity, they will be rewarded with the cold and silent powers of the mask. But as long as they bear the mask upon their person, they will be troubled by sudden fears that are shaken off, uneasiness which seems to have no name, and sometimes, horrible nightmares.
But the power offered by that cold black mask is too great to give up. Its primary ability, with the exertion of some willpower over the mask, causes the hero to be hidden, not unseeable, but cloaked in shadows, cradled by the darkness so that he seems a part of the world of the night rather than the diurnal places- the clinging of darkness hides him more effectively than any camouflage.
However, with a step further in power, the mask reveals a more impressive power- the wearer may, effectively, become a part of darkness, a shadow himself, without weight or corporeal presence, and travel amongst the night soundless and invisible.
The ultimate expression of the Mask of Becoming The Darkness' power is that of feeding the darkness; that is, the wearer of the mask, with a touch, consumes an object or being with darkness, leaving only it's shadow behind; this consumed thing is not dead, but trapped, and in a kind of shadow stasis, until the wielder should die, become insane, collapse of effort, or see fit to release it back to its shadow.
This sword sits on a ornately-carven wooden sword-stand. Its sheathe is very tight, made from shark-skin, supple leather, and silk, and inlayed with jade and small jewels. The sword-stand bears this inscription: "This is the Sanctified and Invincible Sword of Parting The Sky, given unto the Holy Kingdom by the God ------ ----". As it is drawn from its sheathe, there is a sound like a serpent quietly hissing.
The sword is long and straight, with a heavy, square hiltpiece and a short handle (wrapped in red silk). It's pommel is a strange little design of a spirit-face, sculpted from gold, with rubies for eyes. The blade is brilliantly polished, like a mirror, its edges glinting blindingly like sparks of pearlescent sunlight. The spirit senses can sense the pleromatic echoes of this blade, vibrating off into infinite edges in the air around the sword.
The Sword of Parting The Sky is one of the ancient Fatal Swords, vorpal blades of which twenty-five were made in antiquity (some legends say that their maker was Ihu the Half-Breed, the First Swordsmith, who kept his forge in the times before mankind took the Earth for its own), and all now are believed lost save for the Dragonslayer, ritual sword of the Xihan Emperor.
Unlike the other artifacts, the ritual to unlock the power of this Fatal Sword is not a personal challenge. The incantations and offerings required to woo and supplicate the soul of the blade are ancient, thought lost, but can be discovered, hidden away in ancient books of sorcery, libraries of esoteric knowledge, and within hidden place.
The Sword of Parting The Sky is only a normal sword (albeit a very sharp one, and resistant to corrosion or staining) until these rituals are performed.
Once unlocked, however, the Sword of Parting The Sky reveals its vorpal nature- it is supernaturally sharp, and will cut through thick layers of steel like a saw through wood. It seeks out the necks and joints of the wielder's enemies and lops of heads, arms, legs, leading the wielder's hand, arcing almost of its own volition to dismember its enemies. The Fatal Sword is a peerless killing tool, that never dulls nor stains nor corrodes.