Of all the battlemages that roamed the country, Eiram was the most renowned for his creativity and sense of humor, so when a lone tower seemingly popped up overnight there was no surprise that he had something to do with it.
As it so happened, Eiram was sitting in a room he had rented in a rather inhospitable tavern when he decided that it would be amazing if he could carry a shelter with him. After all his years sleeping on the ground Eiram wanted something more … extravagant. With his knowledge of combat combined with his prowess in the magical arts he decided a tower would be the most suitable choice for shelter as it has a modest amount of room, sturdy defense and would be a considerable vantage point. Considerable amounts of time and money were spent in building a suitable tower, furnishing it to the mage’s liking and studying the necessary spells for portability. But, after eight months Eiram had a finished product; a tower shield that when embedded in the ground and the proper incantation spoken becomes a full size stone tower. Although he told few people of the power of his shield and even less the secret incantation, there is a chance you or another needy adventurer may stumble upon the shield and its secrets.
The Tower Shield is an aptly named tower shield designed for an average human being. On the body of the shield in place of a family crest is an image of a stone tower with battlements sitting on a grassy hill. There are runes on the inside of the shield visible to the wielder. The shield, when embedded into the ground and the incantation is spoken, becomes a fifty foot stone tower with two floors and a parapet. There is a spiraling staircase circling the inside of the wall of the tower between the floors. The ground floor houses a small library and cupboards of magic components for spells. The second floor has a bedroom and chests of assorted clothing for different weather, while the top floor is the parapet, a lookout of sorts. The magic of the tower retains all items that were within it at the time it was originally enchanted. That being said anything new placed within the tower will be left lying on the ground next to the shield if it is transformed, so the tower cannot be used to transport living things or inanimate objects. Any items that were within the tower originally can be removed and brought back at any time. To transform the tower back into a shield the caster must exit the tower, place his or her hand on the door and say the incantation, no one can be inside the tower at this time or the spell will not work.
As a side note I did not come up with an actual incantation, as the language of magic is slightly different everywhere. My one idea though would be to say “this is a tower” when casting it on the shield placed in the ground or “this is a shield” on the tower simply out of Eiram’s sense of humor and simplicity.
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? Responses (14)
I like it, a nice twist on the old Instant Fortress. The mentioned NPC strikes me as a bit odd, I get a mixed reading when I think of him. Is he a battle-hardened mage-soldier or has he never had to camp out on a battlefield? Seems like the kind of guy whose reputation isn't all it's cracked up to be. The shield itself though, certainly a fine and useful item with a decent back story.
You make a fair point, I think I was going for that he feels he deserves something comfier than a bedroll at this point in his career.
Useful for an instant army camp.
I have a soft spot for old-fashioned magic items such as this shield. Keep them coming!
I've always been fascinated with the Instant Fortress idea. I like this variation as it makes the item usable in both forms. I can see how a battle mage would find this idea appealing.
I like it, but sadly I see no drawbacks. I do not mind such, there probably are drawbacks. Like putting the shield upside down would make the tower upside down, or no? Anyways, good idea!
Kinda old-school and as we all know, old-school rocks the socks. Nuchi is right though, drawbacks rule as well. Could stand an edit to make it shine even more. Good solid submission.
It reminds me a bit too much of Daern's Instant Fortress from D&D 3.5 for my taste, that aside however it is well written and a bit more useful then the original artifact.
I am curious though if the fortress mirrors the damage it receives when being used a shield? (Is it magically healed when shape shifting? Does the shield regenerate damage?)
What happens if the tower shield is destroyed? Is the contents of the fortress suddenly expelled?
Also, what about removing some of the items that were inside when it was created? (Such as a cloak, or books) Can it be done? If so can they be re added at a later date? What about maintenance to the furniture inside? Would reupholstering a chair or new down for the pillows expel the entire object or be considered part of the original and allowed to stay?
As it is with nothing new able to be kept inside having to lug around enough candles and/or lamp oil to light the tower could prove to be a pain for any owner that doesn't know magic for lighting. (Scavenging enough firewood to heat the thing in colder climates would be a serious hassle as well.)
Ah ha! Here's one that does something! It is indeed a variant of the old instant fortress, but I like it. Adventurers are always looking for ways to satisfy their needs, and the need for shelter is an important one.
Again there is a good backstory, although a magic user that can comfortably or effectively man a tower shield in an unusual one by most standards. This has a feel that the creator was kind of patched together to try to make the item make sense.
All good and no bad is a fine line to walk too, but really, it's a tower. There were no drawbacks to the original, and what are you going to do to make a drawback? This item is fine without any hindrances thrown in that don't make sense.
Thank you, I didn't quite see why it needed to have drawbacks. But yes, I'm still new to this so my character for the back story was a bit pieced together. I'm still trying to think of a better reason beyond the fact that he just wanted to make a portable tower.
It might sound more realistic if the idea was spawned between some party's mage and warrior while they were spending a miserable night camped out in front of the city (since they arrived after the gates were closed on a dark and stormy night.)
Having said that, I like the glimpse we see of Eiram's personality from the narrative.
I'm a big fan of new takes on classic items, so its resemblance to the Instant Fortress (which, has been around since at least 1st Ed AD&D) is no issue for me. I like this take on that idea.
I also don't see its lack of serious drawbacks as that big an issue, as it currently has a few:
2. Costly to build. Stone towers, even non-magic, are quite pricey.
3. No indication that the tower is the least bit invulnerable.
4. Tied to a Tower Shield. Those things are going to be a pain to carry around.
5. Given the shield is acting as an extra-dimensional storage space for the tower, destruction of the shield could have some rather dramatic consequences.
6. The mentioned lack of storage capability.