Full Item Description
Little more than two blood stained and tattered lengths of hemp linen, the age-yellowed fistwraps would be readily overlooked and easily discarded, save for the fact that, for some unknown reason, they seem to draw the eyes of warriors to them, to urge their wrapping around knuckles.
Hwang Kee is notable in history as, perhaps, one of the most stubborn men in the history of the martial arts. As a child, he was refused formal training in the traditional arts of his village, instead learning by spying, remembering, and imitating. As an adult in a country occupied by the enemy of five centuries and more, he crossed the northern borders to learn not the arts of the occupier, but the arts of his nation's ancient benefactor.
When the occupier was removed from his home, he established a school of the martial arts, having bootstrapped himself to mastery with little to no formal training. When this school failed, he crusted it with the things that his people would recognize, and tried again, and this time he succeeded, his new kwan, his new school, becoming known far and wide throughout his homeland for the ability of his fighters.
In time, the government of his land was overthrown by the military, and they ordered the consolidation of all martial arts within the country. But this, too, Hwang resisted, preferring to remain independent, to keep his school and its history as it truly was. For this, he and his students were attacked, his home ransacked and burnt, his reputation destroyed, and in the end, he was exiled. But never did he cease to promote his kwan and his art.
When Hwang died, the fistwraps that had come to symbolize his leadership of his art and his fearsome willpower were passed to the new leader of the kwan. Knowing the blood they had shed, and the need of strength in his position, he took them up, and wrapped them willingly around his knuckles, to let his former master guide him even further.
Wearing the wraps conveys a small handful of bonuses - First, and most simply, the wearer's mind is no longer affected by fatigue and pain. While they still take their toll on his body, and they are still noted by his senses, the wearer may simply choose to ignore them until such a time as the body collapses.
Secondly, the wearer cannot be dissuaded of a path by force or by torture. His will has become steel, and neither suffering nor futility can stay him from the course he has set. He will only turn aside if he assesses the goal as no longer necessary. This effect is magical, and will extend to very large bonuses against spells and abilities that are directly opposed by the target's willpower.
While the Fistwraps are fictional, Hwang Kee is a real historical figure from 20th century Korea, and his story is essentially as written.
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? Responses (9)-9
I am, perhaps a bit soft, for all things with a true martial arts perspective.
This is very well written, concise, clear, and to the point. It follows the history and explains all. The power level is moderate and fits the genres of the piece. It is, fairly "plug and play" with minimal adapting required. It has a bit of realism, which would be interesting in a modern/ urban fantasy or martial arts genre campaign. In fact, this magic item could be in a straight modern/ pre-modern campaign without stretching things too much. It could be adapted to a straight fantasy, if both unarmed martial arts and an appropriate country is found. So a very good post, that I very much like, that explains the score.
It does has some Korean martial arts terminology that is not explained. You can extrapolate most of it, if you don't know it. It might be disruptive to others less familiar.
In the future please delete double posts instead of editing them to say double post.
The reason why I didn't was to avoid taking the EP penalty for deleting a comment which you so gleefully applied to me.
Updated: Slid in a less contextual definition for Kwan.
Not a small handful are those! The abilities are quite significant, but an artifact literally made out of the blood of a great hero won't be a trivial thing. I would add a natural requirement for the wearer of the fistwraps: he must be a fighter in his heart. Then it will have its true effect... or is it just true determination?
Very useful ideed.
My comments are going to be less flowery than Moon's I am afraid to say. At times the narrative seemed disjointed, such as the when Hwang passed his wraps on to the next master. I had to read that part twice to figure out what was going on. Otherwise a very solid submission.
A useful item can that can be easily adapted to other worlds.
I realize it was written to decouple it from a real world setting - Occupier, a country, etc - but this makes it feel a little lifeless. Even substituting the real world facts in the main body of the sub would make it more evocative for me.
I am a big fan of combining real world info with fantasy goodness. This certainly qualifies. Also, what they all said.