Full Item Description
Kristoff's Kerchiefs are small, colorful kerchiefs, crafted from a mildly magical fabric that combines the better qualities of wool and cotton. Often embroidered at the edges with fanciful patterns, or monogrammed for the owner, the basic form is merely that of a relatively tough and pleasant-feeling kerchief.
The slightly magical nature of the cloth, owing to how it is made, makes the kerchiefs ideal for enchanting with minor effects, however; as such, the majority of the kerchiefs which may be found have some form of extra effect appended to them.
Kristoff Fairhaven was a journeyman magician who suffered greatly from allergies and sensitive skin, enduring redness, swelling, and a sore face every time his allergies flared up, as the common fabric of his kerchief abraded painfully after a few days of use.
It was after one particularly lengthy bout of hayfever that he concluded that if magic could not cure his ailment, he could at least find a way to use it to lessen his suffering, and so began to search for a way to magically blend fabrics together, hoping to achieve something pleasantly soft and smooth, yet durable. It took nearly a full year, and many failed efforts (as well as one which yielded a fabric as strong as silk and as coarse as crude-spun hemp), but in the end he created exactly what he sought: a fabric that was both strong and durable, yet forgiving to sensitive skin. He immediately sought out a reputable tailor and struck a bargain; in exchange for the first product and a continuing cut of the profits, the mage would provide the fabric for the tailor to craft kerchiefs from, as each bolt held barely enough cloth to make a single set of modest clothing, and would demand an exorbitant price, but many kerchiefs could be crafted and sold more modestly.
It wasn't until nearly a month later that the mage, when working a cantrip to clean his new kerchief, discovered the ease with which the fabric could be enchanted; his cantrip readily cleaned the cloth, to the point of rendering the colorful square a gleaming white. Soon enough, the tailor began to sell kerchiefs with additional properties, and both her and Kristoff reaped the profits.
Since then, the secret of Kristoff's fabric has been spread, and many of these handy little cloth squares can be found throughout society, most enchanted with a useful trait or two.
In the simple form, the Kerchief is merely a durable yet pleasantly soft square of fabric, capable of serving effective in the role of any normal kerchief, although lasting longer and causing much less irritation to those who suffered sinus troubles.
The fabric readily accepts minor magics worked upon it, strengthening their effect several times over; a cleaning cantrip, applied carelessly, can strip away not only all the materials befouling the fabric, but even the very dye that gives it color, while a cantrip to call it from across a room often leaves the caster desperately trying to pull the material from his face as it clings with a glue-like stubbornness. More powerful magics, however, simply overload the cloth's innate power, often destroying it in a burst of magical smoke.
Below are sample enchantments permanently worked into Kerchiefs, most of which are merely the more common cantrips applied the the material.
The Gleaming Kerchief - Enchanted to be perpetually clean no matter how noisome the substance applied to it, the kerchief waits for a few seconds - long enough for the owner to move the fabric away from themselves - before magically repelling anything on it. Even thick, sticky sludge such as tar or molasses simply spills off. These Kerchiefs are named for the gleaming white hue of their material, as the dyes are considered a 'befoulment' by the augmented cantrip.
Ever-Ready Kerchief - A simple gesture, set at the time the Kerchief is given to the owner, will cause the Kerchief to leap from wherever it lies into the owner's hand, as long as the owner is relatively close - no more than a room distant - and there are no intervening barriers.
Fragrant Kerchief - Popular among nobility who do not wish to contend with the aromas of the lower class when out from their homes, these Kerchiefs perpetually exude a mild fragrance that masks other odors around them. The Perfumed Veil is thought to be the inspiration of this enchantment, as few of noble blood would care to wear a garment used by those who work in the filth of the sewers.
Chameleon Kerchief - Favored by those who are often found in a different outfit every day, the color and pattern of this fabric can be altered by the owner, if they hold the Kerchief and concentrate on the desired appearance for a few seconds.
Warrior's Kerchief - This vividly colored Kerchief is enchanted to stick to the skin if placed so that it fully cover a wound, allowing air to pass in but preventing blood from spilling out, the better to encourage a wound's healing or to prevent the owner from dying from loss of blood until a healer can attend them. Rumors of vampiric Kerchiefs are almost certainly untrue.
Rubber Kerchief - As long as it is held, the kerchief can be pulled into a much larger size (approximately of a lesser cloak). Once released, it will shrink quickly into the original size. Ideal for a dash through the rain, and more. Disturbing the fabric too much (like nailing it to something), can easily break the spell, and tear it into shreds.
The Lasting Kerchief - This one can consume much more liquid than ordinary ones. It must be warmed up and squeezed out to release it.
Memory Kerchief - If you make a knot on it while wanting to remember something, concentrating on the knot will make you recall it. You can also 'write' on the kerchief with your finger, erasing it with your hand. Some people need this.
Refreshing Kerchief - Wiping your face with the kerchief, you will be momentarily refreshed; it can be also used to wake up a fainted person. Easy and effective.
Becalming Kerchief - Sniffing on it, or breathing through it will help to fall asleep quickly... may also work if force is employed. When the right chemical is added, it can put down a victim very quickly. This enchantment will get infamous soon.
The Kerchief, when thrown into a fire, will erupt in a brilliant flash of light, temporarily blinding anyone facing the fire.
This Kerchief is a perfect insulator vs heat. One could scoop out a handful of molten iron with this item if they were careful and could survive getting that close to the iron. The kerchief is perfect for smothering small fires.
This Kerchief will purge a surface of any contact-poisons or diseases when wiped, and will not retain such toxins itself.
Ragman's Kerchief - This kerchief is enchanted to a state of antiseptic cleanliness; workers in filth and the cartmen who deal with the deceased favor it, using it to wipe the noise filth of their jobs away and preserve their own well-being for longer.
Scribe's Kerchief - These kerchiefs are perfect ink blotters, allowing a scribe to flawlessly remove ink from a page. It can also be used to destroy information on a page, with indiscriminate swipes across the parchment. It can also be used to alter a document, carefully wiping away specific portions to rewrite them.
Farmhand's Kerchief - In addition to being a handy way to mop away the sweat and detritus of life as a farmer, this kerchief changes color based on the local weather conditions, generally enough to give a warning of a few hours to those with them if a violent storm is rolling in.
Whetting Kerchief - The curious enchantment worked into this is threefold; first, one side of the kerchief has an oily texture, and it leaves this behind when wiped upon metal surfaces. It serves the same function as oiling a blade or other metal weapon would, helping keep rust at bay. Second, wiping this oily side over sections which are already rusted will remove the rust, although it will not repair the blade to pristine status. Third, it will also sharpen the edges of any blade it is drawn over. In sum, it is effectively a maintenance kit in a small square of cloth for anyone with a combat blade.
If used to gag someone, this kerchief can detect sound coming from the gagged person and tightens whilst the sound is being made, almost totally silencing the person and working far better then a *normal* gag.
However cold it gets, a body part wrapped in this kerchief, whilst it may get a bit chilly will never get frostbitten.
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? Responses (14)-14
Such a useful enchantment.
Useful, yet minor enough that it'll confuse the munchkin-type players.
Great idea! And you know that if you make this a scroll, it won't stay empty for long. :)
That was, indeed, the reason I made it a scroll - I'm sure everyone has possible ideas that slipped my mind utterly. It's something I picture being common in the larger locales of a magical world, or perhaps in small towns a few people have them, inspiring snide rumors about them - kind of a 'dressing above one's station' thing.
One can never get too many items like this: useful for everyday (non-adventuring) life. This is something that I can easily see a mage creating as part of the setting, rather than just for a combat bonus. I thought the background was a bit much to develop what is essentially a cotton-wool blend, though.
I like the anti-munchkin destructive effect. That's a good touch.
It's more than just a cotton/wool blend, really. I picture it being tough as silk, enough that a confused party of adventurers might end up finding them in a tomb or dungeon someplace... And if it's, say, the auto-cleaning ones, and the nature of the kerchief isn't well known in their time, it'd be quite a mystery indeed until they can discern the nature of it. I agree that I may have overdone the background, but I think that beats underdoing it.
And yeah, I didn't want there to eventually be Vorpal Throwing Kerchiefs of Returning +23.
Its always fun to take a mundane, minor items, and endow them minor magical charms and enchantments. Buttons, candles, stogies, whatever. Kerchiefs is a good one too.
It was, in fact, the scrolls for buttons and marbles that inspired me to this one.
Not bad, and on that note I'm opening my own Angthers Magic Marbles as a scroll as well..
Also, you should go post in Starkin.
It's good that everybody likes it. Now if we could get more of these little magical items. Come on, it's just a little kerchief...
A lovely little scroll you have going here. It is a fun little item and variation.
Darling, fetch my magic hanky wouldn't you.
Another must-have for my campaign. Very good, Kassil.