7 Votes


Hits: 5414
Comments: 7
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.9286
Condition: Normal
ID: 2159


January 31, 2006, 8:49 am

Vote Hall of Honour

You must be a member to use HoH votes.
Author Status


The Sailmaker's Needle


The most unassuming things are sometimes surprisingly powerful.  Particularly if they were once a fragment of a larger item…  Quest submission for The Shards of the Storm.

Full Item Description
It looks like a large, thick sewing needle, of the type used by sailmakers.  It’s perhaps four inches long, and an eigth of an inch thick.  It has a large eye at one end.

Jom was a half-wit sailmaker’s son.  Though he was nearing thirty, he still thought and acted as a child of seven.  He was aimiable enough that people didn’t mind him, and big enough that the local louts had learned to let him be.  He was also given to wandering around the tiny port town, and picking up whatever caught his eye.  His father was just as glad to have him out of the way, for he had long since given up the idea of his only son taking over the business.
It was on one of his daily rambles that Jom found the large metal splinter.  It was partially embedded in a piece of driftwood that had washed up after a particularly violent storm.  Jom found it sufficiently intriguing and shiny to dig it out, and bring it home with him.
As it happened, that very day, Jom’s father had broken the large needle he used in his work.  This did not please him, because getting a new one would set him back three days.  Normally, he would have paid no attention to what Jom brought back with him, dismissing it as some useless trash.  But the large metal splinter was the right size and shape to be a needle, and even had a point in one end.  All that remained was boring a hole for the eye, which took the local blacksmith approximately ten minutes.  Jom’s father was so pleased that he bought his son a candy apple (a treat Jom dearly loved, but seldom was able to get).
The sailmaker finished the sails he had been working on faster than any other he had ever made, and he made a handsome profit on them.  The sails were duly sent to the shipyard, where they were used in the trading galley Fairwind
The galley set out to sea with a full cargo, and for a day, seemed to be making good time.  Then, two days out of port, a raging storm blew up out of nowhere.  The Fairwind weathered it for three days before capsizing.  It sank, with all hands.  The storm cleared up soon after, and the wreckage was found floating near where the ship had gone down.  There wasn’t much of her left, just a few shattered spars and the sails.  Oddly, for such a bad storm, the sails were perfectly intact.  Closer examination revealed that the rigging had given, but the canvas sails had not.  In fact, with new rigging, they could be used again.
Word of the sailmaker’s achievement spread quickly, and he soon found he had more commissions than he could fill.  Though pleased, he hasn’t the faintest idea why his sails are suddenly of such good quality…

Magic/Cursed Properties
The Sailmaker’s Needle is closely tied to the powers of the storm, and passes some of these traits to things worked with it.  Any sail made with the needle will never be destroyed in a storm, no matter how violently the winds might rage.  However, this benefit does not extend to the rest of the ship, and if the storm gets bad enough, the ship will disintegrate normally, except for the sails.
All of that is all well and good, except for a minor drawback.  The Sailmaker’s Needle is a shard of the essence of the storm, and like calls to like.  Storms of varying severity are attracted to anything the Needle is used on.  This can cause numerous effects, including being blown off course or being blown along at accelerated speed.  A ship with sails made by the Needle might weather countless storms, but sooner or later, there’s going to come a storm that the ship can’t handle.  Unless magically reinforced or made of sterner stuff than most ships, any ship with sails created with this needle will eventually sink in a storm. 
This could eventually lead to tales of cursed ships, or, depending on the rumors, cursed sails.
This is one of the Shards of the Storm.

Additional Ideas (0)

Please register to add an idea. It only takes a moment.

Join Now!!

Gain the ability to:
Vote and add your ideas to submissions.
Upvote and give XP to useful comments.
Work on submissions in private or flag them for assistance.
Earn XP and gain levels that give you more site abilities.
Join a Guild in the forums or complete a Quest and level-up your experience.
Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted manfred
January 13, 2006, 5:36
Quite reminds me of Winter's Bounty.

Somewhat problematic is to me the power of the item - it spreads its curse/blessing to other items. The probability to attract storms shouldn't be large - then the sails could be considered another Shard items.

On the other hand, the needle itself should have a tiny chance of attracting storms. And you know that being in a storm with a metal item is not very wise...

(Aside: liked the story about Jom the half-wit. Could make a nice Minor NPC.)
Voted MoonHunter
January 13, 2006, 12:14
An intersting take on the shard storm items.

Clearly written, concise language, but the lack of space between paragraphs is a little annoying (but livable).

Nice to see you back Ria.
Voted Cheka Man
January 13, 2006, 12:47
Nice but slightly uber-powerful which stops me giving it a 5.
Voted Scrasamax
January 14, 2006, 9:58
Certainly a unique idea, and the connection between the storms and the sails is interesting. During storms the sials of a ship are usually furled, except for those needed to keep the nose to the wind. Having sails that can't be torn would be a bonus there. As for one sailmaker to make all of the sails for a single ship would be a mjor undertaking, considering that the larger ships are going to have dozens or sails, and replacements in the hold.
Voted wildcorn
January 26, 2006, 11:05
Personally this is probably my favorite item in this quest. Its the sort of quirky thing that I wish I had thought off.

However the effect is very subtle, this is a sort of item that might be difficult to work into campaigns because the PC's wouldn't have any real idea what is going on. The only plausible way to determine that an strange affect is happening is to bolster the quality of sailmakers sails. Then it'll be the talk of the town and the PC's can get informed via the rumour mill / tavern.

Personlly I think its a case of the right item on the wrong quest. The quest imposes some limitations on the item s power which make it difficult to rectify those problems.
Voted Murometz
May 25, 2006, 17:37
How did I miss this? Quirky and original, as has been said!
Voted valadaar
June 11, 2015, 11:34
Another quality item here - and the 'attraction' to storms could be very subtle. It would be those captains who are a little more tolerant of bad weather that would be in greater danger, for - magic or no - a storm takes time to come close.

It may be subtle enough that the locals who use these sails simply build sturdier ships over time - shipwrights who built too frail ships would be eventually driven out.

I like it !

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: celticring

Fidlin, a gnome wizard with a paission making animals smarter and his Trusty "side-kick" Kat a greatsword weilding badger of uncommon power.

Kat, walks upright with the greatsword slug over his back, and yes he knows he has a girls name.(don't remind him)

Ideas  ( NPCs ) | July 16, 2010 | View | UpVote 4xp

Creative Commons License
Individual submissions, unless otherwise noted by the author, are licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
and requires a link back to the original.

We would love it if you left a comment when you use an idea!
Powered by Lockmor 4.1 with Codeigniter | Copyright © 2013 Strolen's Citadel
A Role Player's Creative Workshop.
Read. Post. Play.
Optimized for anything except IE.