Centuries ago, the theocracy of Er-shadan was one of the most prosperous in the western region. The influence of the ruling cleric was great; so great that His Holiness Sirophan realized that, where he to continue to effectively administrate such a large kingdom, he would need assistance. After much prayer and consultation the cleric installed the mage Bar-Lognan as his Grand Vizier. As a symbol of both his power and position, a special rod was crafted for the new Grand Vizier. However, Sirophan realized that great power can corrupt; and hence built a “failsafe” in the rod; a way that, if Bar-Lognan were to ever attempt to overstep his bounds, the cleric could control or at least stop him. (see below)
In actuality, Bar-Lognan turned out to be a wise choice; an earnest and devout follower, he eventually succeeded the cleric as the ruler. Sadly, Bar-Lognan’s rule was cut short by the sudden onset of a horrid wasting disease that caused the mage to suffer greatly before he expired. The sudden loss of a revered leader left a vacuum of power; into which numerous warlords and would-be leaders stepped. Er-shadan quickly moved from a peaceful theocracy to a bloody, war-torn empire. During this time, the Rod of the Grand Vizier passed through many hands; its powers a great asset to any contender to rule, but the “failsafe” often being its possessor’s downfall. Eventually, the rod was lost; perished during a battle at sea where it is believed to be resting, along with its vessel, in a deep oceanic chasm.
This appears as an ornately carved ironwood rod. An assortment of gems and precious stones decorate the entire length. When the rod is active, the gems glow. One end of the rod has a large, gold sphere, while the other end has a small silver sphere. Coveted by wizards, when this rod is held it magnifies the effects of almost any spell cast; making it more potent and far-reaching. The rod also affects the wielder's influence over others; allowing them to charm or even control weaker-willed individuals.
Being a priest, Sirophan wanted an easy way to ensure that he could keep Bar-Lognan in check, if necessary. The "failsafe" of the rod is that when the wielder is affected by a spell of divine nature (healing, restoring, curative), the rod appears to deactivate for the next ten minutes or so. In addition, the rod actually becomes a drain on the wielder's arcane power during the time it is deactivated; acting as a damper of sorts. Simply stowing the rod away is insufficient to negate the damping effect. The wielder actually needs to be at least 10 feet away from the rod in order to avoid suffering the damping effects. Essentially, divine magic reverses the function of the rod for a period of time. Instead of augmenting, it becomes a damper of arcane energies. If the Grand Vizier ever attempted to overstep his authority, targeting him with a simple healing spell would not only neutralize the rod, but damper the wizard's arcane abilities.
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? Responses (8)
One of several more interesting items from our finished campaign.
I thought I voted on this earlier, but I might be wrong.
A good solid item with a good back story and reason for being.
What is the failsafe that is mentioned? And is it actually dampening the effects, sucking some of the spell being cast on the wielder or is it simply draining the wielder? Those two things were a little unclear to me.
Thanks for the input; clarified some areas.
For a holy item crafted by the members of a theocracy the moral compass of the gods and the relationship of the divine to the item rarely comes into this story. I dislike the focus on "spells" when discussing divine intervention, but I get the idea behind the item,
"it improves the wizard who wields it but makes the wizard vulnerable to the divine powers of the gods. " For an item that puts game mechanics first and foremost, it is just okay, not worthy of "fabled place in history"
What Strolen said:) Solid submission!
Not a bad item, though the failsafe would reveal itself quickly i expect.