Full Item Description

This item appears as a sturdy pair of knee length white furred boots. Although well made, there is a certain blandness to their design.

If subjected to detailed magical investigation, wards against cold and transformational magics can be detected.

History

“Thoes be flamed!” Tarak cursed as he slogged through the heavy snow. For days he and his fellow soldiers have been walking behind the convoy of cage-laden wagons. All the while the the damn Snow Monkeys (“Asrok, Sargent, they are called Asrok”) howled and threw excrement. Feeding time was the worst. It completely escaped him why they had to bring the blasted creatures back alive. If all they wanted was the skins, then just kill em and skin them.

Asrok
A species of white-furred, nearly-human primates who called the Garen’s Teeth mountain range home. Sages speculate that they originally ranged far further, but human encroachment drove them into the mountains. The species seems to have a special tie to the element of fire that allowed them to live easily in even the coldest of regions.

But no, the trice cursed mages wanted them alive. “They lose the power when they’re dead!” they said. Well, you don’t see the mages here guarding the stupid caravan. They just showed up long enough to support the assault on the Asrok village. While Tarak’s troops kept the yammering hordes of snow monkeys away from the mages, they cast spells to incapacitate and stun the beasts so other troops could snatch them up. It was a well organized assault, the third in as many days. Even then, several of Tarak’s men would never see their homeland again, buried in shallow graves in that nameless village.

Now, with their cages full, they were trodding back to the kingdom of Theos.

Theos

A medieval Theocracy ruled by a council of Dukes. They all claim fealty to Theos, hailed as both King and Deity of the kingdom. Each of the Dukes is a powerful priest of Theos.

At one time, the pantheon of this people included numerous gods, but the worship of Theos has superseded all others to the point that they are now considered monotheistic.

Kazuung the elder lay under the smoldering debris of his home. The heavy beam that laid across him still showed the rough adz-marks he left when he built this building, so many seasons ago. Now it, like the rest of his village, was destroyed. The invaders with their shining steel weapons and powerful magics had descended on them like an avalanch, capturing or killing all they found. They took the able-bodied, but slew all the others. Kazuung and his children had held out in the strongly built meeting hall, but sorcerous magic threw it to the ground, killing all save Kazuung. Dying, Kazuung cursed the human invaders and then closed his eyes.


“Ridiculous!” shouted Vasil, the hairless, craggy headed High Mage of the Theosian Mage Guild, “We cannot waste time and money to cast the calming rituals on all of these boots! The Asrok are nothing more then animals - their spirits will not remain to haunt us!”.

Murduk, the head alchemist cut in, “Animals don’t build villages!”

“Even ants build homes,” replied Vasil,” and apart from some inferior stone implements, they use no artifacts, they leave no writings, no temples or artwork. They are animals - nothing more!”

Additional points were scored by either side, but in the end, economics ruled, and the rituals were not performed, to their eventual sorrow…


A couple of months later, Tarak and his men were again on the march, back to the bloody cold mountains that they had so recently traversed. This time there were no cages, no wagons. Instead Tarak and all of the men in his company had been outfitted by odd, magical boots. When the boots were brought forth by the quartermaster, Tarak immediately recognized the fur used to trim the knee-high boots. So thats what they wanted those stinking monkeys for…

His force was given a week to train with the new boots - a long and hard week in the icy foothills of the Garons’ Teeth mountains. The boots made travel through snow a breeze. Those wearing them could either walk as if on a beach, with their feet sinking no more then a coin’s thickness into the snow, or slide along the surface at rapid speed as if skiing. In addition, even lightly dressed the cold did not bite the wearer.

For as long as could be remembered, there existing strong emnity between the kingdom of Theos and Seradard. The Garons teeth mountains blocked the most direct route between the two kingdoms, and numerous strong kingdoms blocked pretty much all land routes as well.

Tarak’s company was one of a dozen being sent through the Teeth into the kingdom of Seradard. Not a huge force, but the Dukes of Theos counted instead on overwhelming surprise to make this stroke effective.

Once through,the plan was to converge on the Tower of Sharm and take it by surprise - that Seradardians would not expect an attack this far from the border. However, the plans did not take everything into account.

Ruan was the first of Tarak’s troops to disappear. When it was time for him to take a turn at watch, his bedroll was empty, and tracks led away from the campsite.

Tarak was baffled - the boots did make it easier to move through the mountains, but Ruan was not a skilled outdoorsman, and they were days away from any depots.

Tarak doubled the number of people on guard, but people still continued to drift off. One night two full shifts disappeared, including his most reliable lieutenant. Eventually, Tarak found himself with only a handful of men, far too few to complete his mission. Forced to turn back, Tarak led his pathetic unit back to Thoes. The thoughts of returning to the bustling cities held no appeal to him. The other thought in his mind, the fate that awaited him for the failed mission hung heavy. He stopped the squad, looked at each of them, then stepped off the trail, back into the mountains. The other soldiers watched their leader disappear into the snow, and then each went their own way.

The Theosian master-stroke had failed.

Magic/Cursed Properties

These enchanted boots provide the wearer with the ability to move through snow as if wearing snowshoes or skies (wearers choice - can shift modes with a thought), as well as resistance to cold.

A side-effect of the boots is a strong desire to experience the great outdoors which gradually overrides other interests. Other interests, such as ongoing missions, are forgotten. The wearer also becomes very much adverse to being in ‘civilized’ areas.

If the wearer is skilled in survival, then at worst if they submit to the draw of the wilderness, the wearer becomes a hermit or mountain man. If unskilled, the wearer will likely perish as the boots only provide protection from the elements, but no skill in finding food.
No force compels the wearer from removing the boots, but it will not occur to them (and since they ease survival and the effects of the weather, requests from others to remove them will not seem logical.)

Garens

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