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Comments: 5
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.4286
Condition: Normal
ID: 568


November 10, 2005, 8:51 am

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The Generals Eye


After long pondering and some testing, the Asakran army has finally allowed the use of advanced magic on the battlefield. This is the prototype of intense research.

It happened that the alchymist Trannuel found himself indebted to the government. Surely a brilliant mind, but the fines for occassional explosions, and frequent strange smells coming from his laboratories undermined his wealth. The latest experiment proved fatal for his business. He tried to create a helm, similar to those mentioned in legends, that would allow one to look at whatever place in the world one chooses. The views proved to be uncontrollable, but when he already decided to abandon the project, he recieved a rather nice view of the local spa baths, the women’s quarters, forbidden to all men. The helm overloaded, and allowed his assistants to see the glimpses of paradise.

Unfortunately, a religious procession just passed his house. Ouch.

Due to the intervention of some general, instead of being sent to the mines, he was sentenced into the army, “to dig trenches and do whatever hard work will restore his moral integrity”. Once forgotten to the public, he was asked to continue on the project. And he did.

Plot hooks:
The army will certainly protect this secret. On the other hand, mock battles are useful for testing.

- If known well for their aptitude, and somewhat trusted, the adventurers may be given command of one side of this fake war. Naturally, they won’t be told about the other side testing this item.
- Sent as spies, they shall uncover the secret weapon, and possibly find a way to duplicate it, or sabotage/slow its development. Capturing Trannuel may help in both.
- If he is captured, someone has to free him. To oversee those adventurers, and to help them, elite soldiers may come along, to kill the inventor if necessary.

Side note: thanks to Strolen and Shadoweagle for chatting about it. Note also, that this item is for the worlds with less magic, where there are no crystal balls easily available.

Magical Properties:

The helm enables the carrier to have ‘visions’ of what happens around the ‘eyes’.

An eye can be in theory any object with the proper enchantment. A banner, someone’s helm, a spear-tip, or whatever.

Besides the eyes on the battlefield, eyes are often placed on high places, and also sent with spies for a detailed view from the enemies’ side. There are also attempts to train hawks as carriers for the eyes. If there is an equivalent of a secret service, the project will be interesting for them.

The General’s Eye requires special training for its user. While made to be as intuitive as possible, the wearer must learn to concentrate to achieve the desired effects.

1. The user concentrates on an ‘eye’, and remembers it. This is easiest short before the battle, when the general rides before the assembled host. Later, he may simply think of the ‘1st battallion’ or whatever, and recieve the respective view. Requires plain sight.

2. The user should determine the ‘default view’. Without it, an eye would look into a random direction, often into the earth or straight into the sky. When a view starts, the eye will initially always look into this direction. It can be turned around, of course.

3. Battle on! The general is free to switch views for several hours, and hopefully win the battle. The user should roughly know where the eyes are, to avoid confusion.

Side Effects:
- As it happens with computer games or movies, the watcher tends to become immersed into the scene, and starts to move with it, dodge non-existent arrows and hits, etc. While looking silly, it is not dangerous (unless the general sits on a horse).
- Similarly as with those computer games, after a few hours is the watcher likely to develop a serious headache.
- Rarely, particularly once the wearer starts to have headaches, and/or strong emotions, the views he has can project on people nearby. The effect is still not suppressed.

Future development:
The army is glad, and the army wants still more. A few proposed improvements (that may never be achieved):

- Sharing the view with others, intentionally.
- Better recharging, and/or a longer duration. Once their enchantment runs out, the eyes are again non-magical, so useless. The helm needs charging, too.
- Built-in focusing. A view is currently limited as user’s sight. It never pays to be a short-sighted general.

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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

November 30, 2004, 6:37
Imagine what kind of sweeping changes a spying device of this power would bring to traditional war fare.In a world largely devoid of flying machines,the army that has this powerful tool at it's disposal,would enjoy a great advantage over it's foe.Truly worthy of 5/5.
Cheka Man
November 30, 2004, 13:14
5/5 One of the best items I have found on this sight, and I love the backstory that goes with it.
Voted Cheka Man
November 9, 2005, 18:10
Very useful for generals.
Voted Phaidros
March 1, 2012, 21:54
Nice item, with lots of potential (ab)use..
I like how you turned a common feature of computer games into a magic item. Any general of an era before planes or equivalent would want one. As do wealthy perverts...
Voted valadaar
September 12, 2014, 12:06
Its good - but perhaps not as world changing as some would think. A very, very big problem on all battlefields, but especially those of the middle ages and later, is communication. Having an omniscient general is only good if communications can support their directives, otherwise they will be able to do a great after-action report.

Better for intelligence gathering and like, where speed does not need to be tactical.

Combined with magic enhanced communications, we have an entirely different kettle of fish.

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