11 Votes


Hits: 7845
Comments: 14
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.4545
Condition: Normal
ID: 2626


May 12, 2006, 11:52 pm

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Cheka Man

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The Merchant's Potion


A muse in a bottle, greatness distilled into a single gulp.

Strange ideas flitted through his head as the liquor burned through his body. His fingers throbbed with a tingling sensation that bordered on pain while it seemed that there was a growing pressure behind his eyes. His mouth had gone dryer than the sands of Calcobrina and not even all the ale of the great glass lined tanks of Talrobe could quench it. The sculptors head spun as he wobbled towards the block of cold marble.

Several thuds from the mallet and chisel released a piece of the stone and the pressure was lessened for a moment. He tapped again, faster and with more urgency. Sweat beaded upon his brow as he hammered now at the pace of a madman hacking a victim to pieces with an axe. A cloud of marble dust rose, coating him in its white embrace. Two days later he emerged from his studio, a chalk white apparition lean with thirst and hunger.

He collapsed and slept for three days but the work found in his studio was stunning. There depicted in plain marble was the goddess herself, the icon of the sacred feminine stepping over great white carp and attended by a single white gander.

The Sculptor never took up his tools again, for the art was burned completely out of him, touching a mallet would send his hands into a palsied tremor and the sight of the tools of the trade made him burst out in a cold sweat. He looked back and remembered the cold eyed merchant and his promise was that the potion would give him the single greatest work of his life…

Full Item Description
The potion itself is a slightly sour and malty liquid that has the consistency of warm honey. The coloration is a strange opalescent color that seems to have flakes of amber and gold suspended in it. There is never more than one dose in any bottle.

The Merchant is a cold eye man his hard and calloused hands, his fingernails dark with the tough thickness of an animal’s hoof. His smile bears no warmth, it merely reveals his teeth, something he is fond of doing.

His wagon crosses the continent on a regular, if unpredictable basis. All sorts of strangeness and oddities swing from its hooks, oblique bottles and nefarious tomes, baubles that cause headaches and imps in iron cages. He is a peddler of the Hellish Realms, his wares for only the most jaded and cold of souls.

He will let you have what you need, but the price paid is always more than it was worth.

Magic/Cursed Properties
To drink the potion will grant the imbiber an almost godlike level of skill in their given craft. During the time that they are awake, generally a day to three days they can only work on the given task they have started and once their great work is complete they will pass out and sleep for twice as long as they worked.

The item created, be it a symphony, a work of art, a wonderwork weapon, anything that is the product of the creative mind has its success’ on the creation roll tripled for terms of quality. There is a high price to pay however. Once this wonderwork is created, the imbiber completely, totally, and forever looses any semblance of the skill used. Thus the sculptor above can never sculpt again. He might take up painting, or writing but the realm of the chisel now gone.

Plot Hooks
Frazzled - An artist of no small skill, perhaps a celebrated bladesmith, or poet approaches the PCs, he has taken the potion and created his life’s masterwork. Now he can do nothing of his old craft and wants to know what happened with the potion, leaving the PCs to track down the Merchant and discover his secrets.

For Greatness - A craftsman/artisan is slowly wasting away and he wants this potion, drawback and all so that he can create his life’s best piece before passing on. He hires the PCs to find it.

For Country - A Knight has been challenged to a great duel, one that has terrible stakes should he loose. Perhaps rather than war, the fate of a duchy or kingdom rests on his shoulders. He decides to take the potion to win the duel, but is tricked into using it too soon, leaving the task up to the PCs, masquerade as the realm’s greatest champion and save the kingdom in a tournament.

Additional Ideas (0)

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Comments ( 14 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

May 12, 2006, 23:51
Maybe now I can go to bed and rest...
Voted Nap
May 13, 2006, 0:54
Awesome! Your storytelling is unrivaled, Scrasamax, and this potion has my head swimming with ideas! I particularly like your #2 plot hook. I can easily see an aging poet approaching the PC's and offering them his life savings for the potion. He wants to complete the perfect poem for his dying wife, the love of his life, before it is too late. Once she has passed, he will have no need of his writing skills, and he is more than willing to give up his talent and gold to make her happy one last time, with the greatest love poem he could possibly write.
Voted Cheka Man
May 13, 2006, 9:07
Very good.I would consider taking this potion if I had it.
Voted manfred
May 13, 2006, 11:25
Interesting. Logical. Strange.

Like it.
Voted EchoMirage
May 13, 2006, 12:55
A potion I would not take... but the lure might be great for some :D

This is good for the Garage Sale from Hell :D
Voted CaptainPenguin
May 13, 2006, 13:16
Only voted
Voted Iain
May 13, 2006, 17:11
Only voted
Voted Murometz
May 14, 2006, 13:12
Intriguing!! Not something I'd ever think of myself, so I love it!
Voted MoonHunter
May 24, 2006, 14:50
My kind of magic item, magic with a price. Suitable for a Garage Sale from Hell submission or Dalme the Tinkerer item. Well executed, enough details to be strongly expressed, and enough dramatic hooks to be a great kicker in any campaign. Two Paws up! And a tail!
Voted Mourngrymn
May 24, 2006, 14:55
A neat little trinket to cause anyone to have a bad day... or continued life.
May 25, 2006, 7:34
very nice i like it.
much better than the ones that i;m planning right now.
May 25, 2006, 8:29
In order to vote... select the drop down menu at the top of the comment box. There you can add your vote as opposed to typing it in. That way the submitter gets a true vote on their submission.
Voted Wulfhere
September 19, 2006, 17:34
I wonder how many other ways this potion could express its power. Could it be used to elevate someone of feeble talents into greatness (Or at least mediocrity?) For example, Artus the Lame is challenged to a footrace and hopes to achieve a moderate trot, or Grollgurg the Hunchbacked must seduce a cynical barmaid... After all, Zero x 3 = Zero...
Voted valadaar
November 30, 2006, 16:02
Another nice Monkey's paw item. Good job!

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