Tae Nijong, the Grasping Claw
Grappling hooks have a tendency to miss their targets, or to simply give way. Now both of these problems are solved at once, with a hook that can think for itself!
A Tae Nijong is nothing more complex than a severed hand - usually from a Troll or other strong humanoid - attached to a long rope or chain with a handle on the other end. The rope is usually about 10 to 20 feet long, though some can reach up to 50 feet. Due to the nature of the item, each specific case varies in appearance, some using Troll claws and strong twine, others with Ogre hands and thick chain, and a few - the most expensive - with Dragon claws and magically extending ropes.
The inventor of the Tae Nijong, a clever but somewhat neurotic young Jutan enchanter by the name of Taiwoo Kin, first conceived the idea after an unsettling nightmare, in which he was chased across a massive bridge over nothingness by a million severed hands. Remembering how the hands scuttled disconcertingly up the vertical supports of the bridge, Kin borrowed a scrap monkey paw from the local butcher and set to work making it move.
The tale of Kin’s tribulations is recounted in full in the infamous The Tale of Taewoo Kin, but the eventual outcome of his experimentation was a magically animated hand, bewitched to go where its owner commands and fasten itself tightly, enabling the user to climb tricky obstacles or obtain normally unreachable objects.
The Tae Nijong is bewitched so that the hand portion of it is capable of basic thought and magically enabled sight (so actual visual receptors are not necessary). When one wishes to climb an obstacle, one simply notifies the hand of the exact location one wants it to secure itself to, and give it a toss in the general direction of the intended target.
The hand will then do its best to reach the intended destination, crawling along walls or up cliff edges, and will secure itself by grasping onto the target and testing its hold. If the hold is too weak, the hand will make a cursory attempt to find another one in the vicinity and, failing that, return to its owner if possible for another toss.
The Tae Nijong can also be used in combat to attach onto enemies from a distance, or just to give them a good beating and scratching without risk of personal harm. There are forms of Tae Nijong that are made specifically for combat, but these are often simply metal claws without magical powers, as they are cheaper, easier to wield and less fragile.
Some adventurers are a little nervous about traveling around with a magically animated claw in their packs, and so decide to keep the Tae Nijong tightly bound with leather straps or similar restraints. However, this often leads to a mistrust and belligerence from the severed hand, not a helpful trait in an item meant to protect its owners from falling to their deaths.
Other adventurers are rather nervous about trusting their fates to a disembodied hand in the first place. Such types need not acquire one.
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? Responses (11)
Very good. I think of the hand as dog-like...if treated well it will be totally loyal.
Precisely. You gotta show the hand some respect. Taewoo Kin didn't, and just look what happened to him! Sucker. ;)
This is a great item. It is generic and useful, yet it has a 'historical'/ 'legendary' origin. A couple of nice touches for this item.
I've heard of severed heads and hands, but never thinking ones. 5/5 for excellent creativity, background, and usage.
Simplicity itself! Give me a good ol' severed hand over a magical artefact with all those new-fangled lights and special effects, anyday!
*Cue Adams Family Soundtrack*
Can't add anything to what's already been said (dontcha just hate that) - great item - 5/5
This is a good one! Opens up lots of different scenerios in my mind which is my favorite. Combined with the plot it rises above. Not sure if I would want to make them widely used or just have the one.
Lots of good uses for this thing. And I agree with Strolen, whether it is unique or commonplace makes it flavored very differently. I keep imagining ninjas with these things for some reason. . .
Good for a Lankhmar campaign!
This passage is great...iSome adventurers are a little nervous about traveling around with a magically animated claw in their packs, and so decide to keep the Tae Nijong tightly bound with leather straps or similar restraints. However, this often leads to a mistrust and belligerence from the severed hand, not a helpful trait in an item meant to protect its owners from falling to their deaths./i
You have to be nice to it :)
I like this - a cool item with lots of side details. The personality side to it is great!