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Mystaran Archaeology - Tools of the Trade

by John Calvin

I started to think, what kind of tools might Mystaran archaeologists and treasure hunters use in their search for the unknown.

Eye of Khoronus
This small translucent lens is circled in silver and is cloudy grey in appearance when not being used. Three times per day after intoning a command word, the lens can be placed over an object to help determine its age. When doing so, the lens will change colour based on the age of the underlying object. The lens can display a gradient of colours, with red indicating a young object and violet indicating an object of great age, however it only functions reliable for objects less than 3000 years old. Items of greater age cause the lens to become an opaque black. The following information can be gleaned by anyone using the instrument:

Red - 0 to 500 years old
Orange - 500 to 1000 years old
Yellow - 1000 to 1500 years old
Green - 1500 to 2000 years old
Blue - 2000 to 2500 years old
Violet - 2500 to 3000 years old
Black - older than 3000 years

In addition individuals with the appropriate skills may be able to narrow age ranges even further. Any of the following skills may be used to the same effect: Appraise, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion).
DC 20 - pinpoint the year to the 100s
DC 30 - pinpoint the year to the 10s
DC 40 - pinpoint the year to the 1s

[DMs Note: Although not common knowledge, the Eyes of Khoronus can also detect objects from the future. Any such object will emit a brilliant burst of white light.]

Ssu-Ma's Bronze Skull
This small gem encrusted skull is the size of a clenched fist. Made of bronze with a jointed mandible it can be used once per day to identify the last owner of an item that it is placed upon. When activated the bronze skull speaks the name of the last owner before becoming inert. An entity must have claimed the item as his own and possessed it for at least two weeks in order for them to be identified as owner, however the time period between last possession of the item and when it is found is unlimited.

Tome of Antiquity
This large leather bound tome is packed full of erudite passages - hardly ever the same on any subsequent reading. Perusing the tome for two hours will impart a temporary +2 bonus to a single Knowledge (history) check. The tome can be used in this way once per day.