The blind Medusan Mage-Priests, the bone and fur clad Skyspeakers of the northern tribes, the Zealots of the Brotherhood of the Searing Light. All of them follow religions that were born in adverse conditions and require much from their followers. Over their existence, they have all developed specialized tools to defend themselves, aid others, and strike at those who would defy or defile their teachings.
Tools of the Twin Goddesses
The religion of the Medusa, born to steaming jungles and the rough mountains that rise from them.
Translated, the word "Nagamaki" means, quite literally, "Serpents Deadly Tongue". An elegantly curved polearm, similar to a scimitar on the end of a staff. The blade extends below where it actually connects to the pole, curving outwards away from it. A skilled user can use it to hook weapons, stab targets from behind or as a final bit of cutting edge on a thrust. The weapon evolved from simple spears, first gaining the backwards-facing spike to assist in close-range combat and later gaining the longer, curved edge to capitalize on broad, sweeping slashes.
Pronounced "Kah-tuh", it’s simply the Medusan word for blindfold. Because all priests of Amarane must wear blindfolds at all times, a minor enchantment was developed that stops anyone from the wearer from removing the blindfold. This stops loose knots, bumpy cart rides and even fires from causing a Medusan priest to accidentally break her vows.
Tools of the Skyfather
The four great tribes of the north have an ancient religion centered upon warrior gods and ancestor veneration. Their tools, like their culture, are designed for the arctic lands they occupy.
The youngest of the tribes, the Boar tribe, are known for being stubborn and tenacious to the point of foolishness. A small stone amulet resembling a hammer is often worn as an amulet, as it is the symbol of Khrim, god of the mountains. Some of these objects are enchanted, so that in a pinch they can be used as a weapon. Such amulets are used by holding them by the cord and spinning the amulet overhead, then releasing it. Whatever such an amulet strikes suffers an impact far greater than the small size of the amulet would merit, closer to the effect of a catapult stone. While not terribly common, these amulets are memorable enough that they are one of the better known northern magical tools.
Pelts of the Frigid Wastes
The Bear Tribe is the Northernmost of the tribes, so far that it is entrenched in perpetual winter. The short days aren’t enough to begin to thaw the deep permafrost that coats the lands, and it is under these circumstances that the Bear Tribe has not only survived, but it has prospered. One of the main reasons that they have managed to survive as far North as they are is due to the will of Onkar, God of Frosts. Each member of the Bear Tribe, from a very young age, collects furs from various hunted animals and adds them to their garments. Upon becoming an adult, sixteen years of age, each tribesman must undergo an ordeal. Each is unique, but all are difficult. Success brings not only privileges and responsibilities within the tribe, but a minor blessing from Onkar. The thick pelts that the new adult wears become warded against the frost, making the freezing plains much more habitable. While the pelts don’t completely negate the cold, they lessen it to an extent that is unreachable through non-magical means. Despite the protection from natural frost, such garments offer unfortunately no defense against ice that is magic in nature.
String of Wolves Teeth
The Wolf Tribe, located along the southernmost coasts of the lands of the Great Tribes consists of highly skilled hunters. In many ways they idolize and strive to be like the wolves they hunt: quiet, efficient and coordinated. When a hunter succeeds at slaying a wolf, it is customary to bind the creatures teeth into a cord, which is thereafter worn on the body somewhere, most often as either a necklace or woven into the hair. For the most part this practice is superstition, but occasionally such hunters claim to actively benefit from it. A few such cords seem to hold some essence of the wolf, and impart some fragment of it to the wearer. The effects are varied, some include moving faster or quieter, a heightened sense of smell or even in a few rare cases an empathic form of telepathy with hunters working in the same group. There seems to be no pattern or deciding factor in what makes a certain cord enchanted, and many hunters have never found one.
Staff of the Skyfather
The Elk Tribe has no lands of it’s own. Rather, they are a nomadic tribe of mystics, wandering the lands of the Great Tribes wherever the wind directs them. They don’t want for lodging though, it is considered very bad luck to turn down a request for lodging from an Elk Tribe mystic.
In their travels, it is inevitable that at some point a mystic will face trials of the sort best resolved by a show of force, not wisdom. For such times the Staff of the Skyfather is a potent tool.
Said to be a frozen bolt of lightning, these staves are never created, only found. In Elk Tribe folklore, it holds that such a staff is revealed to someone in a time of need, and it seems that they often do surface when a prospective wielder would need it most. It’s powers are something to behold, for when used, the wielder gains limited control over the weather. This control is limited only by the fact that it can only serve to worsen the weather. This is still very useful for such things as scaring superstitious locals, bringing rain to places that need it and, when necessary, calling forth a storm of apocalyptic proportions.
The other limiting factor is that the weather change is always centered on the user, so any effect they create they will also have to deal with.
Very few of these staves are known to exist, mostly because of the final property of them: when their wielder dies, the staff seems to melt, and an electrical discharge springs forth from the remains of the weapon.
Tools of the Brotherhood
The militant cult of the Middle-North. Though they mean the best, their methods tend to be extreme.
Breastplate of the Molten Defender
Though the Brotherhood may have an offensive bent in most regards, they take the defense of those who have sworn themselves to their cause very seriously. The first of these suits of armor was crafted for Sir Hadrian, as a reward for his bravery. He was the lone survivor of a raid on a village sworn to the Brotherhood. Not only that, but the raid had consisted of many of the beasts and monsters inhabiting the local forest, Werewolves and darker things being some of the main forces.
Though battered and bleeding, the knight took up his sword and rushed headlong into the woods with no promise of support or or reinforcements. A half-week later, with no sign of the knight, he had been given up for lost. Halfway through his funeral procession, he burst into the cathedral with his blade shattered, his armor shorn by nightmare talons and matted in his own blood. Yet in his hand, he held a severed head which, though dead, still held an air of almost tangible darkness. Despite the blatant impossibility of the task, he had fought his way to the source of the raid and slain the foul sorcerer responsible. He was gifted with the first Breastplate of the Molten Defender, a powerful tool which also commemorated his new status as a one man strike force.
Since then, these suits have been awarded to any who show strength of arm, strength of courage and strength of heart beyond what could be expected from one man.
These suits of armor bear enchantments that allow the wearer to, in times of dire need, become something more than themselves. They become enwreathed in golden flames, and grow to at least eight feet in height. The touch of these avatars burns those not loyal to the Brotherhood, and can cause those with true darkness in their hearts to forcibly combust. Their strength is magnified to match their new size, and their flaming corona is even capable of deflecting weaker weapons.
It’s very rare that someone enters this state, for the circumstances have to be completely bleak. The enchantments of the armor are powered by hope, but it is triggered by despair. When things are at their worst, and the despair in the air is palpable, the armor begins to light up. The surge of hope from those who witness it give it the strength to bring forth the burning avatar, and the more it transforms the wearer the more those around dare to hope. It is then, draped in a conflagration of the hopes of those who cannot protect themselves, that the wearer is at his most powerful. In such circumstances, wearers of the suit have defended entire settlements by themselves.
Sword of Cleansing Flames
These are the signature blades of the Brotherhood. While one has limited power, a force of men all wielding them is a thing to be afraid of. The enchantments are simple: when wielded, the blade burns with a flame of middling strength, though the wielder of such a blade cannot be harmed by the flames of such blades, even if they are from another blade wielded by someone else. Secondly, the blade causes all nearby flames to burn a little bit stronger. The effect is that, if two people are wielding these blades, both of them burn stronger. The blades burn stronger still with three nearby, and four, and so on.
When the Brotherhood marches on a target, the entire force is covered by a blaze that is very capable of burning up small objects such as incoming arrows, and anything that closes to melee is quickly incinerated. Potent as these weapons are, the Brotherhood is careful not to let knowledge of the creation process out, lest they find a force wielding similar blades cloaked perhaps in shadow or ice.