If they were introduced to a heavily enchanted location like the geyser basin, they would grow well, but unless unusual measures were taken to protect the trees, there would be problems with the site's visitors damaging them. At first, the saplings would suffer as people took leaves or stripped off portions of the bark, then as the tree became visibly damaged, less inhibited poachers might actually try to steal the tree itself. Go to Comment
If I recall correctly, Tolkein did have glowing trees in the Silmarillion, but these were meant to be less fantastic than his, serving as harbingers of those areas where magic is more prolific. Go to Comment
I really like this one! The humble legacy of magi that have long since gone to dust, a plant that fights the spread of evil in a unique way.
Since the taint is collected in the taproot, grazing animals would be largely protected from the corruption accumulated by the plant, but I could see digging insects slowly accumulating the magical corruption within them: The insects are probably too small to accumulate a significant amount, but the local birds might show some odd mutations... Go to Comment
I apologize! Apparently, I didn't read it closely enough: That would be a tough puzzle to break. The owner would need to remember entire games to access his hidden secrets, so I imagine that only chess enthusiasts need apply...
Most owners would keep notes about how to access various secrets, so the easy way to access the information would be to find these notes and break whatever code was used to hide their information. Go to Comment
I revised the text to clarify the impact of the rituals' failure.
Some thanks are in order: I had conceived that their power would wane, but Ria Hawk was the one that first suggested the mechanism involved, while Muro was the one that first described the Phylacteries.
Of course, Scrasamax was the one whose Demon Jade got the ball rolling. Go to Comment
The rituals' effectiveness is related to how much "evil" they have currently "banked away". If they are not used for a long time, previous rituals will have expired, causing the rituals to be very effective. As they reach their "maximum evil capacity", they grow less effective.
When the rituals first appeared in the Great Empire, they had just "reset" after their failure in the Sallvian Empire. They soon collapsed again, contributing to the downfall of the Great Empire. They tend to cause a "tragedy of the commons" style failure in any culture where they become commonplace, and so are a destabilizing influence. Go to Comment
The Captain scowled. "You ask what it is we hunt? 'Tis a great whale, but pale and bloated in death! It be no natural beast, but an evil that travels the seas, with death itself riding within! As long as sinew clings to bone, I'll give chase, for I'll ne'er rest 'til I have destroyed the thing that is...
Back when the barkeep served in the wars, he picked up his bizarre foreign weapon: "Ol' Betsy", the repeating crossbow he keeps under the bar. This cumbersome device has a removable magazine designed to hold five bolts and a complex mechanism of springs and gears to ease the tension on the string, enabling the powerful device to be quickly cocked again after firing.
The whole bizarre contraption requires almost as much care as the bartender's handlebar moustache, so the bar's regular patrons are used to the sight of Ol' Betsy laid out on the bar while the bartender services and oils his intricate weapon. Go to Comment
The occasional legends of "Troll Blooded" families that circulate among the hill folk would tend to support the theory that this has been tried, with predictably horrifying results.
More alarming are the whispered rumours of the "Truul Dverg", darkness-loving and reclusive dwarves that carry trollish blood. These twisted amalgams are reputed to scuttle and lurk in burrows and caverns dug deep beneath the earth. If the tales are true, these creatures combine the worst traits of both species, possessing bestial savagery driven by avaricious cunning. Go to Comment
I had suggested their use as sword catchers at one point, but I was picturing the blade of the dagger as a more elaborate "Y", with a narrower arc between the paired blades. The blades would need to be quite stout with projections on the inside angle or sawlike serrations that would tend to catch weapons when the wielder parried with the forked dagger. This would allow the wielder to "lock" a parried weapon in place with a twist of the wrist. Go to Comment
Hu was an ambassador of the Seventh Emperor of the Reng Dynasty. Throughout his life he traveled across many miles and lands to entreaty with neighboring kingdoms and the semi-savages who dwelled amidst the Metal Mountains.
During one such diplomatic mission, Hu was gifted a small iron marble as a gesture, by a shaman of the Kiy-Kiy tribe. Little else is known of Hu, but that marble was lost and is now somewhere out there for someone to find.
A tiny, shiny sphere, the marble has several properties. First and foremost it is a strong magnet, considerably stronger than its size and density would indicate.
Secondly, if thrown or rolled upon the ground and the command word is spoken, the iron ball will magically enlarge to either the size of an ogres's head or to that of a great globe, twelve feet in diameter. The rolling ball of either size will continue to roll or fly at the same relative speed it was when launched as a marble, and can thus cause great damage to anything in its path. The magnetic power of the ball will also magnify when enlarged.
Legends claim that the ball has been tossed from besieged castles upon attacking foes and rolled at marching armies in ages past. At the end of such rolls, the larger size globe has been known to not only crush soldiers underfoot, but to also "collect" many dozens of metallic weapons and bits of armor unto itself, appearing as an armored sphere, with swords and spears sticking out from it in all directions.
Owning this powerful marble has its drawbacks. Anyone carrying it on their person, will experience the iron ball's insidious effects after some time. The owner feels no worse for wear, but after two month's time they will suddenly awaken one morning to find that their hair has fallen out completely, their teeth loosened like baby's teeth ready to drop, and their fingernails simply shriveled and sliding off the fingers and toes. Perhaps unbeknownst to the owner at first, the iron ball also renders an owner sterile or barren by this time.
Regular clerical healing will not reverse this horrible malady. Only finding and beseeching a shaman of the Kiy-Kiy tribe to heal the iron ball's effects with their particular brand of magic, will work.
Hu's Iron Ball should be handled carefully by players and gms.