Full Item Description
The baunumdraung are a pair of odd gloves. They are crafted of a gray-gold metallic substance that anyone has yet to identify. The metal has been fashioned into dozens of tiny plates, set with such skill and precision that wearing the gloves does not in the least inhibit normal work with one's hands. The inside is lined with a very supple, thin fabric, also yet unidentified. When worn, it looks at first glance like the wearer has some form of scales on his hands, due to how closely they fit to the hands. They are a perfect, snug fit regardless of who wears them.
The actual history of the baunumdraung is a mystery, though there is a myth relating to it's creation.
In ancient times, there was a Elven lord, Eson El'tahric, who was both an ambitious ruler and a powerful mage, widely renowned on both counts. He had in a relatively short time unified many Elven nations, and was beginning to set his sights on the lands of Dwarves and Humans.
Two were selected, one Human and one Dwarf, to act as ambassadors. They rode to the court of the Elven lord, intent on convincing him to cease his plans for conquest of their lands. In reply, Eson rose and sent a lance of energy through the chest of the Human. The Dwarf was chased from the lands of the Elves.
It was upon his return that the true creation of baunumdraung begins. In the deep forges, master Dwarven smiths toiled to create the material form of the most potent weapon against magic to yet be forged by the mortal races. The metal of the gloves was said to have been crafted from the physical heart of a mountain, and the interior lined with whispers from the deepest tunnels, where no light had ever shone.
The gloves, already a masterpiece of craftsmanship, were then sent to the lands of Man, where the greatest Human wizards of the day wove spells into it. In drawing all magic in the being of the wearer out, it in turn created a repelling field. Even those great wizards were unsure of the precise effects of the gloves, and none of them dared test it.
It was then that the wielder of the baunumdraung, or Spellturners in the Dwarven tongue, was selected. The one chosen was the very same Dwarven ambassador who had initially gone to the elves. As he donned the gloves, he could feel them pull at some basic element of his being. He promptly set off for the lands of the Elves.
From here, the legends of Man and Dwarf end. Evidently, the ambassador never returned. However, in the long years since these events, if they really did occur, the Elves have disclosed a legend that could likely be the end of the tale.
In ancient times, there was a Elven lord, Eson El'tahric, who was both an great ruler and a mage of the highest order. He had in a short time unified many scattered Elven nations, and was beginning to look towards the lands of Dwarves and Humans.
A representative of the two races came foreward, and pleaded with Eson to leave their lands in peace. When he informed him that he would not cease his expansion, the treacherous human unsheathed a hidden weapon and began to charge at him, murder in the mans eyes. Mighty Eson dispatched the man with a lance of pure white light. He then informed the Dwarf that it was no longer welcome in the Elven lands, and was to leave immediately.
Many months later, shortly before expansion beyond the great forests was about to begin, the Dwarf returned and pleaded for an audience with Eson, who in his kindness permitted a second audience.
The Dwarf, alone this time, once more plead for great Eson to leave their lands in peace. When once more Eson explained that he would not cease expansion. The Dwarf, eyes alight with the same fury that his companion had once borne, slowly unsheathed a dagger. Eson told it that if it didn't put the dagger away and leave, he would kill it as he had it's human friend.
The dagger stayed in the Dwarfs hand.
With a regretful expression on his face, Eson once more brought forth a lance of shining white light. The Dwarf dropped it's weapon and held up it's hands, as if to catch the spell. The pure light of the spell stopped mere inches from the Dwarf's chest, cupped in it's hands. In a motion like throwing something foul onto the ground, the Dwarf flung the spell back at Eson. The spell pierced the great Elf's heart, and he fell down dead.
The Dwarf, its treachery complete, turned and left the bewildered guards to stand and stare at their fallen leader.
Now obviously both tales are biased, but they agree on enough facts that they do lend credence to each other. The one thing that neither myth has told us, unfortunately, is what the Dwarf did after he left. He evidently didn't return to the lands of Dwarves or Men, and he wasn't seen again by the Elves. His fate remains a mystery.
The baunumdraung draw all magic from the wearer and use it to create a shield that extends roughly an inch from the body that repels any other magic that comes near. This actually results in a large number of effects:
1) Spellcasting is impossible for the wearer. All his energy is being channeled through the gloves. Even those who receive their spells from another source are affected, for such magic is repelled by the shield.
2) No spells of any sort can be cast on the wearer. Whether for good or for ill, the shield deflects all of them.
3) The baunumdraung cannot be removed. Once donned, they become almost a form of energy leech, and pulling them off is literally the same as trying to pull the magic out of someone. It simply can't be done by physical means, and the shield prevents spells from helping.
4) The wearer gains a limited ability to redirect certain spells that would be repelled by the shield. It takes focus and timing, but it is possible to 'catch' a spell that creates a physical effect, such as a bolt of lightning. If not thrown quickly, the pressure of the shield will actually extinguish the spell. If it is thrown, it behaves as though the spell had simply turned at the point where the wearer of the baunumdraung caught it. Any range limits are not reset, and it is just as potent as it was the moment it was cast.
5) The wearer becomes incapable of using magic equipment. Though the shield isn't large enough to actually shatter the enchantments on a given item, it scrambles them to the point where it doesn't work.
5.5) The wearer suffers attacks from magical weapons as though they weren't magical. As noted above, the field scrambles enchantments. Getting hit by an enchanted sword is still getting hit by a sword, but the enchantments are bent and twisted to the point where they are ineffective. A weapon that has struck the wearer is just as effective as it ever was against anyone else, however.
Finally, though not a magical effect, the wearer's hands are completely unaffected by physical force. This is by virtue of the strange substance that they're made of, it is harder than any other material yet found. The gloves do not, however, protect against burns or the like.
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? Responses (6)
This has the sense of something of myth and legend about it.
I like it. As Cheka said, it has a suitably mythic origin. And as much as a curse as blessing since it cannot be removed, by either physical or magical means, making it an item that I would not want to be saddled with. It is however, an excellent way of allowing a mere mortal to challenge a powerful mage to a duel and to live to tell his tale. Certainly a must have for any warrior that specalises in ridding his masters of dangerours magic users. All in all, excellent work!
Lovely piece that is well written. The effects are nicely defined and explained.
I think I know why he never returned. The item binds itself to the wearer. It draws upon the wearers natural magical strength. Normally this drain would be equal to recovery, more or less. However, if it was not, the wearer would eventually feel the effects of over expenditure of magical energy... sicken and die.
This explanation works best in worlds/ systems with power point magic systems. (To use a RQ example, the draw would be one POW point an hour, which matches the recovery.) There would be a ready made "over expenditure effect" table or rule. You could use loss of soul rules as well.
Dwarves are much less magical than other races. They don't cast spells, they enchant things. And they have some natural magical resistance. The Draw upon a Dwarf would be greater than their ability to replenish. Thus he would expire.
The gloves would change hands often enough. As long as the person was a Human, Elven, or some such, they would probably be okay. A magic users, who have access to a lot of magical resource, would be safer, as they have a bigger bucket of magical energy and better draws. The catch would be never being able to cast a spell again.
Now the "okay" is conditional. As long as nothing else effected the balance of draw. So get hit for extra power damage (i.e. by a ghostly attack or be in a low mana draw area, and you could easily over extend yourself.
Powerful items need powerful consequences.
Yes, quite the powerful little item. Could double-amputation remove their effects?
In theory yes, if you don't mind losing your hands. Of course, in a high magic campaign, they could just be regenerated.
Great item. This is just screaming for a Great Saga to be written aout.