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ID: 2928


November 8, 2006, 5:18 am

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Magical Pottery


Mystical forces applied to to a commonday item like pottery… are you up to the challenge?

Some time ago I wanted to start a scroll of magical effects applicable to, of all things, pottery. Since I couldn’t come up with many, the best option is to leave it to the creative folks of the Citadel.

Note that unlike many grand enchantments, those pertaining to pots and jugs tend to be minor spells, or indeed cantrips, that serve for the common day and common man - they must be very useful. But, there are of course more powerful variants.

Many of these minor magics will be known to Hedge Wizards, and are publicly offered in markets of the towns and villages.

So, if you have an idea (it doesn’t need to be long) just write it down here!

Additional Ideas (15)

Simply, a piece of pottery is enchanted to be much harder, to prevent breaking which mostly means irreversible destruction.

In many villages this is a standard service of the travelling Hedge Wizard, often with a fixed price that is known, and doesn't change much. As the little enchantment can last for months, housewives carefully choose which piece they use most, and which has to be protected.

If the wizard in question is little known, or not very trusted, tradition commands after enchanting the pot to stand up, raise it and let fall on earth. If it lasts, it is good. If it breaks, then he must of course pay for a new one, not to speak of being called a charlatan and ridiculed by all the people on a lively market - a guaranteed fun for the kids.

2006-08-11 12:44 PM » Link: [2928#17910|text]
The container will keep its content from spoiling for a long time - a great investment for any household.

Sadly, the effect works only a little for things like magical potions, and other rare mixtures.

2006-08-11 12:51 PM » Link: [2928#17911|text]
A nice addition from an anonymous user, and very logical - good thinking there!

It has made me even think of a few more applications...

2007-01-14 07:05 AM » Link: [2928#24144|text]
On its surface, the jug will visibly (and noisily) crack, if there is a poisonous substance put into it; it will not break or leak. The usefulness should be obvious.

2006-08-11 12:52 PM » Link: [2928#17912|text]
The Breaking Point
The enchantment is bound to the condition of the piece being broken.

Diffuse: will spread around the contents around - so if the contents is liquid, it will make a great splash. If it is gas, or evaporates quickly, it will spread around even more. Bombs are the primary use.

Fire: a simple Spark cantrip is cast upon breaking - which with oil or a similar substance makes a dangerous burning bomb.

Fairy: makes a harmless little firework, with effects of all the colours of the rainbow. Used as a little suprise on marriages when newlyweds ceremonially break a jug together. The custom started to be more popular after the cantrip was made.

Alarm: produces a loud high-pitched or creaking noise (or another) to alert anyone around to what happened. Uses and abuses should be clear.

2006-08-11 01:14 PM » Link: [2928#17913|text]
Spirit Clay
This cantrip activates the very spirit of the clay, making it inpenatrible to spirit forms. This would include most astreal things, spectres, ghosts, angels, demons, and other being of spirit.

Most commonly cast on vessels. Any spirit caught in such an cantripped clay vessel would be held. The trick is of course, to trick or move the spirit into the spirit clay vessel.

However, certain talismans made of clay could utilize this charm. These talismans are normally clay disks with stringing holes and some symbols. The symbols have only nominal purposes, as the real power is in the spirit clay charm. As for uses; by blocking certain chakra points on the body - spirits of illness could not enter the body, charms to keep things from being spoiled by supernatural means (such as sour spirits) use this charm, and a belly charm can keep the baby of the womb safe from spirits who would visit upon it (usually for ill).

A necklace made of seven or more so enchanted clay pieces will bind any possessing spirits to the form it is in, for the durration of wearing the necklace. Thus possessing demons can be contained in the target bodies, awaiting someone to banish it.

The Most Foul use of this cantrip is to bind spirits to their corpses. By covering the corpse's eyes with two enchanted clay disks soon after death, the soul is trapped in the body... unable to escape and go to its reward (or punishment).

2006-08-11 05:10 PM » Link: [2928#17922|text]

Related to Preserver - Small creatures placed within the vessel will be kept dormant and alive for the length of the spell. This allows for transport of such creatures over great distances, or for use as weapons. One could store venomous snakes, plauge rats, scorpions, etc.

2006-08-16 12:49 PM » Link: [2928#18059|text]
Side note: most of the little spells written here will run out eventually, of course, so 'indefinitely' does not mean forever. ;)

But it is an interesting addition, valadaar... both of them.

2006-08-16 02:39 PM » Link: [2928#18064|text]
A variant of the spell will make small creatures sleepy and/or oblivious to the surroundings. So typically this is used in granaries and other large stores of food in danger of rodents, a mouse trap if you will. Put the good stuff inside, and teach your cat to stop by regularly, easy.

2007-01-14 07:09 AM » Link: [2928#24145|text]
Death Mask

This clay is used to form death masks. The corpse's face is moulded with the clay and the resulting impression fired. The mask now can be used as the focus for many different necromantic enchantments including the ability to converse with the departed spirit, to wear the mask and take on his likeness, or even to call back the dead.

2006-08-16 01:05 PM » Link: [2928#18061|text]
Necromancy and pottery... can that end well?

There could be a more potent option: the whole body of a deceased (note that it could be made also while still alive) is covered in clay, enchanted, then fired, and used to make a statue.

- For undead, it could be used as a focus for effective healing spells, which will restore the decomposing body quickly.
- For spirits, it could be a body to possess and control (a golem of sorts).
- And for the dead, it could be a potent aid to the most diffilcut spells of reincarnation.

2006-08-16 02:47 PM » Link: [2928#18065|text]
Not to forget: making a mask or a body-cast for a living person could have also many creative uses - from more efficient healing spells, up to cursing the person... so remember where you put it.

2009-07-19 05:45 AM » Link: [2928#72195|text]
Guardian of the Afterlife
(Major pottery related magic)

Forms either an infantryman, cavalryman or mount of terra cotta bound to the spirit of a named individual.

In life, these figures are useless - their utility comes in the afterlife where they will provide the bound spirit members of a host it can use in battles there.

More mundanely, for religions where this is not an issue, the figure will function as a weak golem used to defend crypts and gravesites. Although not able to sustain much damage, it can strike as well as a seasoned warrior, and there is nothing stopping improvements such as armour or magical spells from being applied. In this application, the figure will not leave the area of the grave.

crediting comments by manfred to my Death Mask scroll, and Chinese History

(the Terra-cotta army buried in Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum)

2006-08-16 07:56 PM » Link: [2928#18080|text]
The Scorpion Plate
A most devious addition to the poisoners arsenal, the Scorpion Plate is a plain looking fired clay dish. The only difference is that several scorpions were crushed and added to the wet clay, and a scorpion spirit was bound into the dish. Any liquid consumed from the dish will have the same effect as normal scorpion venom, though dry foods are not affected.

2006-09-02 03:16 PM » Link: [2928#18806|text]

This is a variant of the Preserver. The enchantment attempts to preserve the physical (or rather, thermodynamical) properties of the stored thing. Typical uses:
- Preserve Liquid - attempts to keep something in a liquid state - useful for bringing along something warm during winter, like a soup, or coffee. Molten lead and the like could be kept for a short while; if the pot can handle it of course.
- Preserve Solid - for instance, allows keeping snow and ice from melting even in warm enviroments.

The effect is only temporary, the larger the difference between the contents and outside, the shorter it gets. All turns to normal eventually.

2006-09-05 09:54 AM » Link: [2928#18898|text]
Chameleon Mark

The piece of pottery changes its colour depending on a chosen factor. Typically, it is the temperature of the contents (or in some rare cases, of outside - for storing explosives and the like). And thus can the nobles, and guests of expensive taverns know when the drink has just the right temperature to drink ("Time for a toast, my friends - there is the bluish shade that makes men fall under tables and women into beds. On us!")

Alternatively, a piece (often just a fragment, smoothed into a ball) can serve as a mood stone.

The enchantment lasts much longer if a part of a colour-changing creature is used in the process.

2006-10-02 04:25 AM » Link: [2928#20036|text]
Ceramic Arms

Before the advent of metallurgy, in the neolithic, weapons and helmets were sometimes crafted of ceramic materials. Obviously, these were not very sturdy, so they were limited in their uses.

The presence of magic could change that quite a bit. Ceramic maces and helmets could be quickly cast and issued to rapidly equip a fighting force. If the cantrips reinforcing them were commonplace enough, it could become common for militia or reserve fighting units to be equipped with cheap wooden shields reinforced with fanciful ceramic bosses, colorful ceramic helmets, and maces or even spears with heads of brightly glazed pottery.

If the spell that reinforced the weapons had a limited duration, that might even be an advantage for some rulers: They could issue these items to oppressed peasants or even slaves, knowing that the weapons would become weak and brittle soon after the battle was over.

2006-10-02 08:00 PM » Link: [2928#20070|text]
Actually, I think spearheads may work even without enchantments, at least those for throwing.

Nice detail with the short duration, too.

2006-10-03 06:56 AM » Link: [2928#20094|text]

Whoever drinks from this piece, after rubbing it on the side (there is often a pattern shaped to indicate this use), will be refreshed a little more from the contents.

Simple water becomes truly tasty for the drinker, and the better inns like to serve their beer and wine to great merriment of their customers. Wizards like to enchant their mugs for the coffee, to get a _real_ kickstart into the day.

Buy the Refresher now!

2007-08-15 09:06 PM » Link: [2928#29375|text]


Larger urns and ceramic amphora can be quite heavy (often too heavy for any normal ceramic handle).  Often combined with "Stronger" cantrips, it can make a very strong, very light container.


2011-03-30 02:35 PM » Link: [2928#77232|text]

Kiln Guardian 

This is a related ceramic charm.  It binds and enhances a spirit to the kiln that fires the ceramics.  It protects the pieces insides, preventing any bubbles from breaking the pieces (or exploding and ruining the batch) , pieces from cracking while cooling, helps keep glazes from reacting badly, and other hazards to the firing process.  The disadvantage of a Kiln Guardian charm is that the Kiln requires extra fuel... the payment to the fire aspect of the spirit that is watching over the ceramics. 

For those that don't know, firing ceramics is the dangerous part of the job.  Pieces can explode, break, or slide in the kiln while being "cooked".  Glazes are activated in the kiln, and sometimes different glazes will react with each others (escaped gasses and so on).  So really, firing should have a magic of its own. 


2011-03-30 02:47 PM » Link: [2928#77233|text]
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Comments ( 17 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
August 11, 2006, 14:03
Cantrips of this kind are very useful. 5/5
Voted MoonHunter
August 11, 2006, 17:11
I love tiny spells. It requires careful planning and execution to get notable effects. And Clay is so universal, that everyone will need this.
Voted Murometz
August 11, 2006, 17:22
well, well...pottery. I hearby dub such scrolls: "Minutae-Made-Great!"

Oftentimes simple but intriguing concepts such as this, give me more inspiration and ideas, than many other more complicated and detailed submissions. Dont get me wrong, I love those too, but little gems like this get the mind spinning immediately!

I'm trying to say that I like this manfred!

(and i was getting ready to do something similar with "chairs and thrones")

Spirit Clay is particularly juicy! (and will link nicely with my upcoming Clay Sculptors of Quandeen)
Voted Pariah
August 11, 2006, 21:20
Only voted
Voted Scrasamax
September 5, 2006, 10:09
This is a good thread that has been rather overlooked, myself included.
Ancient Gamer
October 3, 2006, 7:47
I'd say it is an excellent thread, and not merely rather good ;)

Stuff like this makes my GM mind go tickety-tack!
Voted Eclipse
April 24, 2007, 16:48
All the scrolls with the minor maggics are my favorites
Voted MysticMoon
March 29, 2011, 18:58

A nice collection of useful ideas.

Old Dreamer
March 29, 2011, 19:30

What if these pots were the focus of magic in a realm? Pottery that magically preserves things would be incredibly important for travellers, or someone expecting a siege, or for folks making very long dungeon crawls. The pottery makers would be very important. If trading salt was important in our history due to its preservation ability, imagine the impact of magic pottery?

Ooh! And suppose only one nation knows the magic, and reaps huge rewards from this knowledge, willing to kill as many as it takes to keep the monopoly. But our intrepid players have been chartered by their king(queen) to discover the secrets and break open the technology! (Thinking of China and silk here)

Voted PoisonAlchemist
October 18, 2014, 3:11
Only voted

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