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Comments: 15
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.3125
Condition: Normal
ID: 2408

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Updated:
January 15, 2007, 3:12 pm

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manfred

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Wind Chimes of Ocean Calm

By:

The passenger said, “It sounds like your wind chime is broken, or at least out of tune.”  The first mate just smiled. “That chime is music to a sailor’s ears, it is,” he said. “We will have smooth sailing this day.”

Full Item Description
The chime is comprised of three platinum rods, held by gold chains strung from a conch shell. The chimes are completed with seven pearls and five old coins salvaged from old wrecks, either decorating the shell or as pulls for the rods. The Chime’s tone is quite odd, but still soothing.

The appearance changes slightly from chime to chime, but the basics are always the same.

History
Charms for seacraft are almost as old as ships themselves. There are dozens of talismans and glyphs used to ensure good travel, smooth seas, and a good catch. This is one of more interesting ones. Its roots go back far into tradition, back to the days of the Sea Spirits and spirit flutes. This is the modern version of a very old charm.  

Note: While many a captain or crewman might scoff at magic, those same many will go find the talismonger in the port to find “traditional decorations” for their ship. 

Magic/Cursed Properties
The wind chime will only make noise, if it is hung out on a ship where it can catch wind (usually off the yard arms or sail booms). They are muted upon shore. They are oddly out of tune wind chimes under normal ocean or lake wind. It is only when storm winds are blowing, that the music of the chimes is haunting, yet soothing.

It is only when the chimes are playing their haunting tones that its powers can be evoked. Like much with the sea, nothing is for free. While ringing the chimes need to be charged with magic*. Once charmed, the chime’s magic will calm the beast of the sea. While the storm will rage around it, the ship will be in a bubble of safety and calm. Winds go down to a normal ocean breeze, waves subside back to normal heights, and the rain drops off to between nothing and a light shower. The bubble, centered upon the chimes, is quite large (maybe as large as 100 fathoms if enough energy is passed to it). The bubble remains in effect around the chime for one bell or watch (four hours). In most cases, the ship will make best speed to clear the storm before the effect ceases.

There is a danger though. Two or more chimes can not function in proximity to each other. They create discordance. Not only do they cancel each other out, the storm returns twice as harsh.

Also if a bell sounds (or a bell like tone sounds) within hearing of the chimes, the bubble of protection will dissolve. Thus most ships run silent and keep large metal objects stowed while using the bell. One dropped pan, a banged cannon, or even a hammer hitting a nail, will silence the chimes.

Once a chime has been charged, it can not be recharged / used again, until the next clear sunrise.

Note: The power of the chimes only affects naturally occurring winds and violent storms. The chimes will almost sound a warning at an approaching magically sent storm or wind.

*This charge of magic can be manna/ spell slot’s power transferred to it by a magic user. If not charged by a magic user, a person must be focused upon the bell (making concentration checks) for the duration of the becalming effect. Some crews keep three people concentrating, just to make sure the effects hold.

It is this restriction, plus the limit upon noise, that keeps this from being a prevolent item.



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Comments ( 15 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Siren no Orakio
March 12, 2006, 12:10
0xp
An interesting thing. Something any ship will want. The restrictions are very solidly important, of that though, and it's definitely something that will, if possible, arise quickly in a magic using society.

My only reservation is this: A storm, especially a natural one, is a VERY large and powerful thing, as is even a single wave. I would, perhaps, let it push away the rain and wind, such that it roils at the edge of that protection, and allow the waves to continue unabated, but that's just me.
MoonHunter
March 12, 2006, 13:36
0xp
Perfectly okay... all it needs to do is "even out" waves as to not capsize boats. I like the concept of "unnatural calm".

You can see the storm ranging, rain, high waves, lighting, howling wind (rain sideways), just a bit away. Yet, where you are... the sea is nearly glasslike, there is a light mist and a strong wing... the sky is dark, it is oddly quiet, with that half light found in a twilight time... as the dark clouds block out the sun... you see lightning in the distance, yet don't hear thunder. In fact, you can barely hear lapping surf around the boat. It is unnerving, as the natural sounds and motions are no longer there.

The effects are the same, but f/x can vary for you.
Voted Cheka Man
March 12, 2006, 16:30
0xp
Very useful.
Voted Pariah
March 13, 2006, 21:17
0xp
I like it... But you couldn't use it on anything but a sail boat. Or at least use it and keep moving forward. Cut off the motors, stop rowing (assuming lots of paddles are going, if only 2 or 3 sets you might be able to keep doing it), and absolutely no getting attacked.
MoonHunter
March 14, 2006, 16:00
0xp
Well yes, no attacking or being attacked. That is true. However, unless your opposing ship was using one, it would have a hard time closing to do combat in the storm. Then it would reach the 100 fathom range and both would be cancelled out... back to fighting the fierce storm.

If you manage to get within someone else's bubble, attacking would be fine... until a metallic clang occured (weapon on weapon, a dropped weapon, or some such). Then it would be combat with the storm.

Note: You could easily row your boat, even with oar hinges, as long as they oars were wood. That way there would be no metal "bell" noise.

As for the motor, it would probably interfere with the use of the bell. But most motor boats can weather storms that mere wind powered vehicles found in most fantasy games would be unable to handle.
Voted manfred
March 14, 2006, 6:59
0xp
Much to my liking! A very useful there-is-no-free-lunch item.

The range of the power will depend on the number of people that concentrate on it, the strength of their willpower (magic being just a substitute), and of course the power of the storm. You can attempt to ride a hurricane, but it would of course need five or more sailors who would tire quickly... which is a risk in itself, too. And it will be obvious when they start to be tired, the storm approaching again and becoming louder.

It is also practically demands special effects. No cheap waving of a wand here that makes the storm go *poof*!

---

Also: added to Generic Magical Items.
MoonHunter
March 14, 2006, 14:11
0xp
Thank you, forgot to do that.
MoonHunter
July 22, 2006, 14:40
1xp
I am thinking about making a scroll of sailor orriented items and such. This would be one of the few initial ones I know of. Would it be worth it?
Murometz
July 22, 2006, 15:00
0xp
Yes.

I have a Sailmakers/Dyer's Guild idea
Voted Murometz
January 26, 2008, 12:51
0xp
Bump. Moon, a Scroll for Sailors, go!
Voted Fallen Angel
June 21, 2009, 18:42
0xp
By the time you have the hightech answer to run silent (biotech, inertialess engines) you'd be past any need for this (excepting crap boats without shields.)
Voted Moonlake
February 20, 2011, 23:54
0xp

My favourite part about this piece is the backlash of the storm to discordance created by two neighbouring chimes. Overall, a piece where all the components hang together well.

Voted valadaar
May 21, 2013, 11:00
0xp
Really cool - with the various detriments listed make it perilous to rely upon.

I suppose it would be possible to carry more then one to help get around some of the issues, though that may be prohibitively expensive.
MoonHunter
May 24, 2013, 19:20
0xp

These are a warning system, not a charm for smooth sailing. And to quote in the text:


There is a danger though. Two or more chimes can not function in proximity to each other. They create discordance. Not only do they cancel each other out, the storm returns twice as harsh.


Given they are limited and have "issues", they are relatively inexpensive. Thus they are common.

valadaar
May 24, 2013, 19:42
0xp
So keep spares bundled in lambskin until needed :)
Platinum rods and gold chains cheap? Perhaps compared to a ship, crew and cargo...

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