The wizard and Thieves Guild member John Beltane wanted a portal that could be used to steal anything from anywhere. Instead he invented what in the right hands was a highly effective weapon, and in the wrong hands was a disaster just waiting to happen.
Full Item Description
To the untrained eye, Beltane's Portal when in the *off* position is a large gold plated picture frame with a strange rune on the back of it. If pressed there will be a loud humming and a small green portal will open within the frame.If held by a magic user then the action starts.
John Beltane was an elderly wizard who seemed perfectly sane and friendly. He was a member of both the Upright Society of Civic Wizards and the Mage's Guild, paid his dues, and on the surface had a perfectly legal job as a magical healer, a fixer of damaged magical items, and a maker of good luck charms and other such items.
However, he also had a another life as a member of the top-secret Thieves Guild of Pier Point and turned out low-grade but useful magical weapons, unlocking spells and other such illegal items at the rate of one every two months.Noone suspected the friendly old man of being behind many of the greatest robberies in the region, since only two members of the Thieves Guild knew that he worked for them.He was paid well,as his items allways worked like they should do.
One evening his contacts told him that they wanted him to make a mobile portal that could be used to steal money from the most highly protected of bank vaults.He worked as hard as he dared, when he could find time off from his normal *cover* jobs. He had a picture frame of a mixture of copper and silver, with a layer of gold on the top of it, made by one of the finest jewelers of the region, who had no idea that he was aiding and abbetting in a serious criminal act.
Then after protecting himself within a portal that would block unwanted sound from getting out and scrying spells from getting in, for he took no chances when engaged in illegal work, and another portal to protect himself in case a spell went wrong and summoned up demons or a huge fireball, he put on a helmet to protect his eyes from magical sparks and went to work.
After working for an hour a day for weeks, he had his portal. He pressed a rune on the back of the frame and the green glow of a magical wormhole appeared in the frame. He decided to test it by stealing the Arrow of Excellence, an arrow of pure gold, encrusted with diamonds, that was awarded to the town who won a famed archery contest in the Vallermoore Games, which took place once every seven years, and to which many other nations sent athletes. The Arrow was under guard in the citadel.
However, unknown to him, he had spoken a single word wrongly so the portal, rather then pointing outwards, was pointing at his chest. He concentrated hard and spoke the words to summon the arrow.As soon as he said the word arrow, a normal crossbow bolt shot through the portal and embedded itself in his heart, pinning him to the wall.The portal fell from his hands and switched off when it hit the ground.
He was found the next day by one of his close friends and most of the population of Pier Point turned out to mourn his death. A full section of the City Guards, several members of the Upright Society of Civic Wizards, and behind the scenes, the Thieves Guild, looked high and low for the assassin but with no success. The portal fell into the hands of the Thieves Guild, but the results were deeply dissapointing, for Beltane had been killed before he could calibrate the portal properly and make it fully useable by non magic-users.
Most of them were unable to make the portal work at all, and when a few who knew a few spells did get it working, what they got was a huge amount of random items, very few of them of any value. Things like rubbish, urine, bric a brac, stones, old clothes and children's toys that sprayed out at a dangerous speed. Anything hard sped out hard enough to break a sheild or a bone,and anything soft or liquid got sprayed all over the walls or torn apart on it's journey.
They decided it was a useless dangerous thing that was not worth the very few coins and jewels that they could get from it, so they sold it at rhe market of a town on the borders of Valermoore just to be rid of the thing.
In the hands of a non-magic user the portal is very unlikely to work at all-at most,if activated, it might send out a random item once an hour at some totally unwanted time.
In the hands of a low level magic user it shoots a never-ending stream of rubbish of all types at great speed. Hard items will break bones but the range is short and the chance of a ricochet hitting the user or anyone close by is high.Also, it makes a huge noise and leaves a horrible mess.
In the hands of a middle level magic user, there is a 50/50 chance of getting what is wanted, such as arrows, fireballs or other such things, but if fireballs or ice balls are used then it gets very hot or very cold within a short time,to the point where it gets too hot or cold to use even with thick gloves on, whilst if arrows and the like are used, it exhausts the user and weakens his or her magic for hours at a time.If it fails, see the paragraph above for what comes out.
In the hands of a lich or a truly powerful magic user, and exspecialy when used in conjuction with a crystal ball to help visulize what is needed, it is a truely deadly weapon,
able to shoot something every five seconds,and that something will allways be deadly, either fire or ice or an arrow or spear of some kind.Should the crystal ball be smashed it will not be quite as deadly.
This can be used either as an uber-weapon held by the final lich or powerful evil wizard who is the last *boss* in your campaign, or as a comedy item/weapon with serious defects in the hands of your PC's.The choice is yours.In all cases,what comes out comes with tremendous force.Touching the portal with bare hands will cause a lightning bolt to shoot out and shock the user badly, if not fatally.
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? Responses (11)
Spell check and weed out bad sentence structuring.
Updated: Most bad spellings are not corrected.
It is okay. The one advantage of the "weapon" is that it is "mostly useless" in the hands of those who might get it in the course of killing off the bad monster.
It is better than okay. A tool that can serve a dual purpose like this,is not what I would call common. Creative indeed.
certainly creative, and I liked the image of the old guy putting on a helmet to protect his eyes from magical sparks. Makes artifice seem more dangerous that simple incantations and drawing circles in the air. I also like the use of the Upright Society of Civic Wizards.
I like the detail as it it presented. It has all sorts of possibilities for a thieves guild with a wizard on the pay roll. The artificers need what is basically a welders helmet for mages is well done and lends substance to the story. A very good item overall.
Is the wormhole able to penetrate protective magics? If so on what plane of existance or with what school of magic?
It's possible that a high ranking mage could use it to penatrate magic, but rubbish generated from it would just bounce off.
Updated: Updated to provide links-that failed. :(
I don't think I quite get it. Is this just a big picture frame that flings random items, but if you're really good at magic you can somehow fling fireballs and ice arrows? Where do these things come from?
You mentioned that be called a crossbow bolt through, OK, so desired objects can be selected, but where does one pull a fireball from? Is this a multi-planar item with completely random function ability?
I really don't like this very much, and can't see it being a useful weapon, even in the hands of a powerful magic-user. Does the Lich mount it on his wall and command it to fling fireballs or objects he needs to scry for? or does he wield it as a shield that spits magical effects? Either way, I'm sure with the power you need to use it, your own power would be more effective.
This isn't a bad item, it's just really strange and not clearly defined. You know, I can't even see it being a potent tool for theft because of, in my mind, a crystal ball would be used for remote viewing and you have no control over where the item comes from with this portal. It does give me a few ideas though.
I like the idea of this item pulling random crap in large amounts and having skill determine how well the item matches the desire of the user. The more precise the request, the longer it takes.
I would also have it be a weak point in reality, so that things that should not be would be more likely to arrive in its presence, so while it is a useful tool, it is always dangerous.
One could even have it function as a Wand of Wonder or equivalent random magic device when used by the unskilled.