13 Votes


Hits: 3639
Comments: 15
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.8462
Condition: Normal
ID: 4427


October 8, 2007, 2:52 pm

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Copper Mantis


With but a word, the small mantis made of fine copper wire came to life; growing at an alarming rate, ready to defend its owner…

Full Item Description

A small token made of finely wound copper wire into the form of a preying mantis. They have been seen in various poses, the most common being them standing still with their claws folded in front of it.


These tokens were made by clerics that followed a pagan god whose name has long since been forgotten, but whose symbol was a mantis.

The leader of the order was a cleric named Seffa, a man who also was an accomplished mage. It is said that these mantis tokens were made to protect the temple in a time of need, during a time when all of the pagan gods were being cleansed from Aeristi.

Twelve of them were rumored to have been made, but other rumors say there were fifteen, Seffa keeping 3 on his person at all times.

The temple eventually fell, the power of the opposition proved to be too great for the defenses in place. Seffa fled before he could be hanged as a heretic like all of those who remained in the temple.

The tokens were taken and thought to be nothing more than idols of a false god, were cast into the fire of the burning temple. Over the years, they had been scavenged by less savory people and have made their way across Aeristi. The token obeys who ever activates it, willing to defend them to the death.

Magic/Cursed Properties

A Copper Mantis token will transform into large, living preying mantis if someone in possession of it speaks the command word, "anima." After but a few seconds of the command word being spoken, the mantis will be fully transformed and willing to fight for its owner. It will remain transformed for 1-3 minutes or until it is defeated.

If it is not defeated, it simply returns to its token form and can not be summoned until after the next sunrise. If it is defeated, it needs more time to rest. Three sunrises must pass before it can be summoned again.

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Comments ( 15 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Dozus
October 8, 2007, 17:46
Voted Ria Hawk
October 8, 2007, 18:00
Nice little construct. I like the backstory; I can easily see the head of a small temple making a batch of them, especially since seems like it would be fast and cheap to do. Couple of questions, though. How big are these when they're dormant, and how big do they grow to? I'm imagining they get to be about six feet tall... Also, how did the command word get around? Were there descriptions left of these, including how to activate them? Did some of the original owners escape and bring the secret of these things with them? Is it inscribed on the mantises themselves? Is it a fairly standard command word, and people can guess it? And what happened to Seffa?

Anyway, I like it.
October 8, 2007, 18:54
I will be posting a write-up on Seffa that actually answers most of your questions (hopefully it will be up tonight). Fully grown the stand between 6 and 7 feet tall. In token form they are 3 inches. The command word was written in texts carved into walls of the temple itself.

The code was deciphered by a clever mage familiar with spells pertaining to comprehending languages. He was curious when he purchased one of the tokens from a traveler who thought it was useless. (It is a fairly simple command word, "anima."
Voted valadaar
October 8, 2007, 18:31
I like this one!
Voted Murometz
October 8, 2007, 19:44
I'm a big fan of Praying Mantis, and copper, and magical guardians/attack dogs. So, I like these. The added questions in comments helped a bit too.

Fun little critters! I would only say they can use some minutae type detail, just for fun, but it seems you have more coming.
Voted Cheka Man
October 8, 2007, 20:56
Now this I like. 4/5
Voted Pieh
October 8, 2007, 21:08
The 6ft tall fighting mantis that grows out of a token is cool. But.. It's basically a generic summoning token. It's been done with many other creatures with many other uses besides fighting. It's a good solid idea with a good back story though. So.. 3 for the idea and uniqueness of the mantis and +1 for the background. So: 4.
Voted epsilon
October 8, 2007, 21:13
Neato, but what immediately sprang to my mind was not the mantis itself but the , "make token from wire then transform to monster" aspect. I thought of a little origami making dude who quickly "twists" up a little critter (whilst everyone one in the party is getting their buts kicked in by the opponent) and then unleashes the transform. So to me it was special copper wire with properties.
One carries the wire around and twists up a construct when needed...Maybe this wire comes from the ones that were thrown into the temple fire, they melted and was returned to its original wire form but still maintains the transforming properties.

Either way neat idea
October 8, 2007, 21:23
That is an interesting 'twist' on it. I like it.
Voted Victor-N
October 9, 2007, 2:28
This is amusing to me. I don't care if the animated token thing is overdone, I like how it is used in combination with a quirky history.
Voted GorgonX
October 9, 2007, 2:33
The backstory is enough for me to enjoy this item, but the overall flavor sits well with me also. Very nice sub, I hope you expand on it in other posts.
Voted Scrasamax
October 9, 2007, 3:39
Might want to check your spelling Railus, it's Praying Mantis, not Preying Mantis. Otherwise a nifty idea, I'll leave the praise at that since Vic and Gorg seem to have those bases covered.
Voted manfred
October 9, 2007, 6:40
I'll have to go with Pieh on this one; the questions I might have, have been already raised. Other than that, it's an okay submission.
Voted kaos2571
October 9, 2007, 22:39
Your stories are always fun to read ^_^
Voted Wulfhere
October 10, 2007, 12:51
An interesting device. I could see mantis holy symbols turning up periodically, reminding people of the extinct insect cult. In a place where the religious authorities actively investigate heterodox views and heretics, simply having such an item could cause problems.

If someone possessing one of the enchanted insects entered the ruins of one of the sect's temples, the visit might activate long-dormant secondary programming within the enchanted mantis, triggering unexpected effects when they speak the command word.


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