History
In all the tales of mages and wizards, is there not a single conjurer of the arcane arts who knew how to shave? Merlin did have a long beard, as did his Tolkien counterpart Gandalf the Gray. Dumbledore of the Harry Potter books also has a long snow white beard. It is well known that a staff and pointy hat do not a mage make, ah but a beard is something quite different. In many cultures, the long white beard is a symbol of wisdom and learning, and such symbols can be...counterfeited.

Full Item Description
The Beard of the Magus is a rather strange magic item that was created a number of years ago by a rather inept apprentice who had very little talent for the magical arts and like Modock the Magniloquent had a great interest in looking and acting the part. To this end he concocted a scheme that involved adding a sleeping powder to his master's evening cordial, shaving him in his sleep and then casting Magic Aura on the collection of hair that he had bound with materials used to make wigs.

Until donned the Beard of the Magus looks like some sort of dead animal with a strap on it. Putting it on, however, awakens the stupendous powers of the Beard, or something like that.

Magic/Cursed Properties
Once donned and propperly groomed, everyone who sees the wearer of the beard will automatically assume he or even she is a competent mage. If someone who shouldn't be able to pull such a disguise, such as an animal, child, a woman, etc, viewers will assume that the mage in question has enchanted himself to look different and it is very rude to point out a problem with a mage's illusion spells, since some people are more or less affected by them. The beard has no other powers.

Plot Hooks
The Shaggy Mage - hot on the trail of a fleeing evil sorcerer, the PCs discover an animal wearing the beard, what can they assume but that their foe has poorly attempted to Polymorph himself to escape their wrath. Imagine their surprise when the evil arch-fiend turns out to be a local farmer's plow-horse, and them how mad he is going to be at the PCs for chopping up said plow horse.

The Pretender - A charlatan has found the beard and divined its powers. He combines a small flair for illusionary magic with the aura of the beard to pass himself of as a faux-mage and subsists on a steady income supplied by a duped lord who is afraid of the mage by tiring of his strange demands and constant hunger for gold.

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