Full Item Description
The Banhammer is the size of a human warhammer, with a leather-covered handle, and a solid iron hammerhead engraved with runes written in pure gold leaf. It is heavy, but not too heavy to be used by someone who is strong.
It came to pass that on each side of the great range of mountains known as the Western Teeth to those in the east and the Eastern Teeth to those in the West, the Dwarven clans and the Goblin tribes burrowed deep down to, it is said, the very roots of the mountains. The mountains were rich, with seams of coal and iron and veins of silver and gold, and both the dwarves and the goblins prospered mightily from it.
Men came and orcs and even some of the elves, and both the dwarves and the goblins, with so much to protect, formed standing armies to keep the other races out. They were happy to trade with them, but not to share their mines.
Both races were expert at fighting in their tunnels, which were too small for other races to get into properly whilst fighting at the same time. Also, a long-drawn out war threatened to totally disrupt everybodys trade, and so after the time there was an uneasy peace.
Which lasted until both the dwarves and goblins, neither properly aware that the other race was nearby, blundered into each other in a dozen corridors. Once more fights broke out but the kings of the dwarves and the tribal chiefs of the goblins managed for the time being to put a lid on the coming war.
It was just possible that the problems might have been settled around a table, but one of the places that Goblin miners had broken into happened to be the room where a dwarven Queen was being held captive.
Not by an evil usurper but by her husband, which was the normal way things were in dwarven society. From dwarven kings at the top to the lowest dwarven males at the bottom, whatever else they might disagree about; dwarven males were united in one thing, keeping dwarven females at the bottom.
Even those who were lucky enough to be treated relatively well were forbidden to travel above ground, meet other races or be educated above a very minimum level, enough for example to understand the dwarven rune that stood for danger. Whilst other races had at least tales of legendary females, amongst the dwarves there were none.
Female dwarves existed, as far as male dwarves thought about them, for sexual pleasure, for having children and for household tasks, and any dwarf girl who objected was horribly punished or even executed. Even after death a female dwarf was symbolically bound and gagged to represent her slave position in the afterlife, and should her husband die before her she would be buried alive with him.
This dwarven Queen, whose name was Helen, was pathetically grateful to be rescued from her years of miserable captivity. When her husband demanded her return, the goblins took pity on her and refused to hand her over, which on top of everything else was the last straw and led to war. It was during that war that the dwarven King Readwald paid a human sorcerer well in gold to enchant a hammer that would, when it struck his foes, banish them down to Hell itself.
Unknown to him, the sorcerer cheated him. Rather then risk messing with demons and risk losing his life, his soul or both, the spell he cast on the hammer was a teleportation spell that would teleport its victims randomly five hundred feet away from where they were hit. In the underground world of the tunnels, this did not really matter, as they would most likely reappear in solid rock and be crushed to a pulp.
Without the human sorcerer meaning to, the hammer created a displacement effect around it when used that had the effect of making its wielders be first dizzy and then violently sick. And so it was that the Banhammer was created, a weapon a little large for a dwarf but not so big and heavy that using it in battle was impossible.
When King Readwald went into battle at first the hammer worked as he expected, causing those he hit to vanish seemingly into thin air. Until he felt ill and then collapsed and threw up, helpless to do anything but lie there on the tunnel floor, and the goblins closed in and slew him. Unwilling to use the hammer themselves in case it made them ill too, they sold it for rather more then it was really worth to an unsuspecting human noble.
The war raged on for decades and was finally won by the goblins when they set free every dwarven female that they could and armed and trained them to fight their oppressors. To this day most dwarves refuse to talk about the war, embarrassed first that they lost it and that it started partly over a woman.
When the hammer strikes flesh, bone or armour/clothing (but not other things), as well as whatever damage it may do (and it is a potent weapon) it casts a teleportation spell upon the one who is struck, teleporting he/she/it five hundred feet in a random direction, even if it is a dragon that is struck.
(In the cast of it hitting a dragon it would do no damage, but would only teleport it, and five hundred feet is not a great distance for a dragon, which would soon fly or run back and burn or otherwise kill whoever was stupid enough to hit it.)
In a confined area this may well teleport the person into sold rock, killing him or her outright, however in an open area the only damage done will be that caused by the strike of the hammer and the struck one will merely be teleported randomly five hundred feet away.
Every time the hammer is used, the magic will affect the wielder, making them feel dizzy and have an urge to throw up. The stronger the wielder, the more likely that they can withstand this effect at first, but sooner or later they will fall victim to it.
(In terms of gaming mechanics, when this is used the player should roll the dice and test it against his or her skill score, with +1 or +2 being added to the dice on each throw after the first. A failed roll makes the players character be violently sick and unable to do anything for 1D6 minutes before recovery happens.)
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? Responses (9)-9
A war hammer is actually a reather small weapon on a long pole arm, a short one for use on horseback. It more resembles a ball peen hammer and was used to punch holes in plate armor. The ginormous smashing hammer so often called a warhammer is actually a sledge hammer, a maul, or a mattock.
Not a bad item, but a bit artificial. Why does it make the user sick? I was expecting it to be a bit more something else, since being only 500 feet it might be the Temporary Banhammer.
A bit of the dizzyness that someone feels when teleported to another place leaks back to the one who holds the Banhammer.
Also, I don't want it to be an uberweapon, and as such to avoid being over-powered it needs a disadvantage.
Whoops, accidental double post.
I have to agree with Cheka. This is a quirky little item that might have some very unexpected but potentially comic results, should it ever fall into the hands of some naive hero or king who's under th delusion that this is a fearsome uber weapon that will allow him to single-handedly destroy a foe. Also, this is probably the only sub here that has ever depicted goblins in a noble and heroic light, which is something I like. Nicely done.
I tend to agree with Scras on the drawback. While it may need some drawback to keep it from being an uberweapon, the nausea seems rather unlikely and tacked on. The disadvantage should derive from its primary power. Perhaps if the transport effect fails (due to 'saving throw' or similar mechanic), the effect is instead subjected to the bearer (without the hammer, of course). The distance teleported would be proportional to the degree of resistence by the initial victim.
Now, one downside is that if the victim is quite tough, you are unlikely to kill him with this weapon - they will take damage (once) and taken from the battle, or you will.
Another approach is require that a 'critical strike' occur before the teleport is triggered, and that a fumble result will cause the wielder to teleport.
It is a well written piece. It is clear, articulate, and inclusive of all the information you need.
The item, I am not so fond of.
The name comes from, in my mind, from a moderator's banning powers.. called the ban hammer - brought down on the head of the offending party.
The random teleport without mass restriction, where you get a chance of killing someone instant by teleporting them into the ground or near instant - high in the air, is a bit "messy". Even offset by the nausea, you still have a great chance of killing your target right out.
So I am a bit mixed about this sub.
The story of the Teeth, is an interesting one as is the story fo the dwarves and their terrible treatment of their women ('pathetically grateful' was a little harsh). Though the story has little to do with the hammer, it is just weird enough to have the 'you can't make this stuff up' feel to it. I really enjoyed it.
I also like the powers of hammer, sending people randomly 500 ft away. It will suck when that Orc drops on your head, be awkward when you teleport behind enemy line and frustrating when you end up back at the foot of the walls.
Perhaps it should only work on Trolls.