The Shield of Hope
The High King is dead. He died on a quest to find the stolen Crown of Destiny. As he died, he activated the ability on his armor, Fly To The Four Winds, which randomly transported his sword, Cut-Steel, and his shield, The Shield of Hope, to far-off places so they would not be taken by his foes.
The Mage-Wars devastated old Arth. The forces of the Necromancer were too strong for the Alliance of the Light. They broke through the Barrier Mountains and ravaged the Alliance. Finally the Arch-Mage Solon, with the help of the Council of Mages devised an experimental gate. While the Allied Army and the Council of Mages slowed the Necromancer, the Arch-Mage led, and in some cases drove, the remnants of the Five Races through the Gate into the unknown. About 10,000 humans came through the Gate, along with about 5,000 each of Elves, Dwarves, Catfolk and Wolfkind.
The Five Races withdrew across Sanctuary River, founding Gatewatch Hold, and began to settle the surrounding lands. The Arch-Mage founded Refuge and set up the School of Magic. Many of the Five Races, mostly humans, settled in Refuge as well, and Lord Talisen the Valient, with the help of the Arch-Mage, set up the government that has ruled us since and was crowned High King. The Arch-Mage created the Shield of Hope, the Armor of the High King and The Crown of Destiny, and aquired Cut-Steel from the fae. These he gave to the High King and his heirs.
Then the Necromancer overran the Allied Army and captured the Gate. He sent hordes of trolls, orcs, and kobolds through the Gate. The High King rallied his warriors and held the Gate for a time but was driven back, so the Arch-Mage blew the Gate, decimating a large part of their armies and destroying forever our way back. The Gate, ruined but not destroyed, began spewing forth spoiled magic and strange monsters. The remnants of the Necromancer’s armies fled into the Troll Mountains.
The leaders of each of the Five Races swore fealty to the Empire of the New Lands and dispersed to their own lands. The Elves inhabited Elven-Holme in the northwest forests, the Dwarves dug into the Dwarven Mountains to the northeast, the Catfolk settled in the forests south of Elven-Holme and the Wolfkind moved to the fertile lands east of Gatewatch Hold. The humans settled in the valley of the Great River and the Eastern River.
The Shield of Hope is a kite shield that is exceptionally well-made. It is made from mithril with a large red gem in the center. The shield shines with a light that hurts undead, fills allied troops with hope, makes enemies quail, and can damage weapons that strike it. It is lighter than normal, and gives somewhat more protection than it should.
- The light from the Shield illuminates the area in front of the shield as a lantern.
- The light has a small but persistent damaging effect on undead of all types. Allied troops fight harder and rout less often. Enemies quail, fighting less hard and routing more often.
- The Shield emits a bright flash of light when weapons strike it, damaging and frequently breaking the weapon.
The Shield knows its master.
- If anyone except the High King or his heir use the Shield, it feels heavy and clumsy.
- The damaging effects on undead, the positive effects on allied troops, and the negative effects on enemy morale cease to function.
This lasts until the user discards it.
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? Responses (8)-8
I enjoyed reading the History section. It was very grand and heroic and had a very classical feeling to it. There wasn't enough on the Shield of Hope itself, in my opinion. You gave us a great description of your world's history, and when in the timeline the shield was created, but you didn't give us enough of the shield's history.
The powers of the shield are also classical: The light that harms undead and a beacon of hope for allied troops give a strong impression of what these kings were trying to uphold.
However, it is useless in the hands of anyone of non-royal blood. Is there a reason for that? Why would there be 'Cursed' properties on a relic of good? I could see it greatly weakening evil who hold it, possibly purging the evil from their hearts until it can function for them.
Not a bad first submission. Solid 3, with a +.5 for the nice history.
It isn't really 'Cursed'; it just doesn't work right and the Shield is awkward and clumsy in the hands of another. It's part of the Royal panoply and doesn't work if captured, etc. Would there be a better way to show that?
I'll work on more of the Shield's history. Can it be put in later?
Sure, you can edit your submissions all you want.
And, another question about something that seemed odd to me, why does Fly To The Four Winds (love that name) not transport his gear to an heir after he dies, or to a location known by the royal family, instead of to just far-off places?
While I agree that it isn't really 'Cursed' I would argue that it becomes useless to the player that finds it. If it kept its properties for all good and noble people it would be much more useful. Is there a reason the wizard made it usable only by the royal family, even though he also made the armor that sends it away?
Keep working at it, a tip though: The more general, useful, and universal at object is, the better. There are enough legendary super items out there, those are easy. The challenge to to make something unique and flavorful. Good luck!
And, Welcome to The Citadel!
Pieh, the reason is that I have a scenario arc that I'm running. In the first scenario, the PCs are sent by one of the high priests to find the heir to the throne or the Empire will finally collapse. They find a young man that they discover is the grandson of the last High King, who went to find the Crown of Destiny. They persuade him that he is the heir and he agrees to come with them. He has been learning how to be a hero and a high king as the PCs, including the paladin, help him find the Armor of the King, then Cut-Steel, then the Shield of Hope. They are now helping him find the Crown of Destiny, and then help him regain the throne, with the Anti-Imperialists trying to block him at every turn.
Gwydion Tamsen (the heir) is a GM NPC that is very charismatic and the group has adopted him as little brother/protege/liege. The Shield is a quest item, which is why it only works for the royals. That's why I have Fly To The Four Winds disperse the items. First, there was no heir other than a craftman's son who had no idea that he was the heir. Secondly, if it returned the items to the palace or someplace like that, they would have been destroyed. And lastly, I needed them to be available for the quests.
Now, how must of that should I put into the sub for the Shield of Hope? I do plan to write up Gwydion as an NPC and link it with the Shield, but that will take longer, since I don't want to bore my readers with scenario trivia and will need to do a lot of work to make him a good NPC.
I do totally agree with you that most items that are not quest items must be usable by the PCs. Otherwise, why go find them?
What about things that started out as something from some other person's idea (not a Strolenite, but something from another scenario, etc.) that I have expanded on and put into my scenario? Can that be written up as a sub, perhaps with acknowedgements for the other person's work?
You can use my ideas if you want. :)
I think Pieh is right the shield is just one part of a larger story and maybe shouldn't be its own post. Unless you decided to tell that whole story from the shields point of view. As a resource it brings little and really isn't a McGuffin. It works only as part of a description of the which ever the heir might be employing it.