Full Item Description
In it’s complete state this is a tall six foot iron staff with leather along one third of it. The other two thirds are carved with ancient runes and sigils that glow red hot when the staff is used.
It would be thought that very few would covert the lands noted down by Falklyde Wodinger in his notes that were gathered together and printed as My Travels in the Lands of the Pyromancers, but many believed that there were treasures to be found there. The ruler of the neighbouring land, King Readwald of Haracon, was convinced that these lands of elemental fire were worth the trouble of invading. He was also firmly convinced that the One True Faith, which amongst other things forbade the cremation of bodies, was the only true one and that the heretics, as he saw them, of the city of Akgku, had to be forced to convert or otherwise be wiped out.
The first invasion by the Haraconian Legions did not go well. Apart from the few rivers of drinkable water, there was very little water to be found in that land, so it had to be carried through ever lengthening supply lines. The weather made armour horribly hot to wear and heatstroke was a huge problem for the Haraconians. Nor were the peoples of that land and the Pyromancers who ruled them happy to see them, especially when they trampled upon sacred sites, pulled down and destroyed temples that they found, and even interfered with funerals.
It was not long before the Pyromancers and their subjects reacted, with booby traps that ignited sheets of flame, incinerating whole units. Urn Beasts hurled like grenades, that did a lot of damage when they burst in a rage from their urns, and various forms of fire magic. When the Legions killed the enemy, they made a point of nailing the bodies up on crosses and denying them their normal funeral pyre, something that horrified the people of those lands, who in turn reacted by taking pleasure in burning the bodies of those Legionaries who fell into their hands.
Both sides soon started torturing prisoners to gain information, and after personally attending one of these torture sessions the King had a new idea for a super-weapon that would turn the customs of his enemies against them. His court wizards produced a powerful magical staff of carved iron that would set alight anyone or anything that was doomed to burn either in life or after death. In a land where cremation after death was the norm, it sent anyone from the Burning Lands who got anywhere near it up in flame.
Faced with this powerful and horrible weapon, the Pyromancers decided to hire 30 Mercenaries from a foreign land at great expense to deal with it, ones who were not fated to be cremated after death and so were unaffected by it. Some were killed by the soldiers protecting it but the survivors managed to break it by chopping it into three different pieces.
Sadly, this was not enough in the long term to prevent the Haraconian Legions from destroying the holy city of Akgku and the vast majority of its wonders.
The first piece of the staff is warm to the touch and highly unstable. When taken near anybody or anything flammable, unless it is submerged in water or ice a flame is all too likely to shoot out of it and try and burn the person or item. It does this indiscriminately regardless of where it is and unless the hand holding it is well wrapped, it may well burn the hand as well.
The second part of the staff is lined with leather and those with magic can sense the magical power enimating from it. Should the two pieces be joined together the first part can be controlled and will no longer blindly belch fire against anything or anyone who gets too close.
The third part when linked to the other two gives the staff its full powers. Anything or anyone that will someday burn in the future, be it in life or on a pyre after death, can be set on fire. Even mighty buildings can, if they will someday burn down, be affected by it. However, whilst it may well be an uber weapon, it has several disadvantages.
First, using it too long (for more then a couple of minutes) without some way to cool it down will make it erupt in flame all along its length and go red hot and unusable until cooled with water or ice. Nothing else will cool it; oil ignites on contact whilst magic only makes it hotter. Cooling it will mean it can be used for another two minutes before heating up again.
Second, each time it looks in the future it takes some energy from the user, shortening his or her life by a month for each use, and by a year if used to burn a building. An unwary user may well burn out mentally and go into a deep and hard to cure depression if it is used too often.
Last and not least, it only works on something or someone who will burn in the future. In a land where burial of the dead is unknown or very rare, it is hugely powerful, able to incinerate anyone who gets close, but in a land where cremation is unknown or almost unknown, it will only affect someone if he or she is doomed to get caught up in a fire later in life. If it cannot burn someone, it can only hurt him or her if it is used as a club.
Locations • Ruins • Desert
During certain years, people in Akgku claim to observe a green flame coming from the sea and erupting upward. It can be observed from a distance of two days' journey or more. After burning for a considerable time, the flame disappears.
—Falklyde Wodinger, Haraconian scholar, in route to wondrous Udross and legendary Akgku.
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? Responses (10)
No votes at all? Is something wrong with this or is it just a slow time at strolen.com?
Oh yes, I love the twist on that... the three pieces makes for a good treasure hunt, too... From a RPG point of view, that´s a good thing!
I've seen items/spells the revisted old wounds upon the victim, but future injury is new to me!
Nicely done Cheka!
What Val said
Nothing wrong with this one. It is a standard concept (item separated into parts) coupled with a very imaginative power (and a good historical bit). What could we do to improve it?
Let's see... what if not only the one part had some magical powers, but also the other two? It could be potentially useful effects - all the better to be taken away and lost somewhere - but still quirky and feeling... incomplete.
The second part, the one that controls, could make its holder now feel in control. No bonuses, no special abilities, just make 'em feel well and grin stupidly while holding a stick. It could be used to calm down people, but in general it is a useless item.
Now a question for all of you: what is the power of the third part, the one that releases its power based upon the future of a target? There's got to be some real quirky effect out there! The winner gets a plus on his comment. :)
I think this is pretty nifty as well. What a _brutal_ weapon for a land filled with people who will most likely (and happily) perish in flames when it is all said and done! Thanks for the shout-out to my world, Cheka, and good work!
(also, what manfred said) *will ponder third piece of tri-partite staff* :)
Those that will some day burn, can be immolated in the present. That is quite an interesting and original concept!
So, then, what is the power of the mysterious third piece?
Does it make its wielder believe all soothsayers and prophecies? Does it make you always feel that you have to do something tomorrow, if you only could remember what? Or would it give you a vision of your own death?
I'm not sure what the third piece does apart from making the rest of the staff work as it should.
so what is the power of the third piece of staff? Inquiring minds want to know :)