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Belcadiz Magical Itemsby Jennifer Guerra
Portraits of Summoning | Cauldron of Brewing | Rapier of Lich-Slaying | Rings of Duelling | Maria's Faery Mound
Portraits of Summoning
These three portraits were created by Soledad Luna, a talented painter and powerful sorceress, in the ninth century AC. All three portraits are life-sized, painted on high-quality canvas with rich oils and pigments, and framed in gilded, carved wood. The subjects of the paintings look hauntingly life-like, as though the observer could be looking not at a painting, but at a real person in the next room. In fact, observers of the portraits often comment on how like the "real thing" the works are.
Actually, the paintings are more "real" than the observers will ever know, for when Soledad Luna finished the portraits, she bound the subjects' souls to the paintings for all eternity, to serve her will (or anyone else who holds the command word). The three portraits are as follows:
The Messenger. This painting portrays a young human male, about 25, in scribe's robes. He stands beside a small table atop which rests a burning candle and a sealed scroll; the fingers of his left hand rest lightly on the scroll. The Adventurers. This painting portrays a small band of heroes, perhaps back from their first adventure. There are four figures, left to right: a tall, blond human female, brandishing a mace and shield; she wears white and red clerical robes. A dark-haired elf (obviously of Belcadiz origin) in plain clothes, his hair tousled, hands on hips. A very young human male, with light eyes and a lithe frame, carrying a heavy spellbook; he tries to look serious. And, on the right, a massive, red-haired fighter in red-and-black clan tartan; he stares past the artist, into the distance. The Assassin. This painting portrays a lone figure, garbed in a black cowled robe, his head slightly lowered. Only the bottom half of his face is visible; he has a chiselled jaw and a thin, serious mouth. His hands are tucked into the sleeves of the robe, but where the fabric parts slightly the viewer can see the tiniest glint of steel.
When the command word for any of the portraits is spoken, the painting shimmers and roils; in 1d20 seconds the character(s) from the portraits physically step out of the painting. They can be touched, they can speak, and function normally; for all purposes, they are "real." Each character from the portrait will obey one command from the user, provided it is "in-character" for that subject. For instance, the assassin will stalk or kill someone, but not act as a messenger in romantic tryst, while the messenger is exactly the opposite. The DM decides whether the PC's command is acceptable. When the task is complete (no matter how long it takes), the character returns to the portrait and steps back into the painting.
The subject of each portrait can be summoned only once a month. When the command word is spoken, roll 1d100. A roll of 94-99 indicates that the summoning has failed and the painting is damaged; the soul(s) of the subject(s) is/are released as the binding spell fails. There is a 10% chance that the spirit(s) will immediately attack the summoner. A roll of 00 indicates that the summoning worked and each summoned character appears, but has broken free of the binding. In this case, the messenger runs away and becomes a high-class spy or thief (with intimate knowledge of the summoner's belongings and business); the adventurers set off on their own; and the assassin instantly turns on the summoner.
Cauldron of Brewing
This cauldron was created as a gift for Princess Carnelia by her fourth-circle Wokanis. The cauldron, a small iron pot about ten inches in diameter, is mostly a time-saving device. It instantly brews a ready-to-use magical potion, as per the first-circle Wokani ability "Brews and Philtres" (see Gaz 3 or GKoM for details).
Use of the cauldron counts against the Brews and Philtres limit (ie, the user cannot make more than three potions per day in this manner). Also, the user of the cauldron cannot make any potion with which she is not already familiar. For example, the Princess could use this potion to make a potion of longevity, with which she is familiar, but not a potion of giant strength, with which she is not.
Rapier of Lich-Slaying
This weapon appears to be a typical Belcadiz rapier, a shining weapon of polished steel and expert craftsmanship, with a finely-detailed guard and hilt. However, this is no ordinary sword; the rapier was enchanted by La Centinela member Saul Mendoza, a self-appointed lich-slayer.
Mendoza built a reputation for himself slaying no less than three liches with the rapier. Alas, the great adventurer disappeared from a Klantyre inn in 1011, while investigating rumours of a high-powered lich in that Principality. His personal belongings were left intact in his room, thus eliminating robbery as a motive; La Centinela recovered the belongings, including the rapier. The sword currently hangs on a wall in the Nuevo Alvar Motherhouse.
The rapier functions as a +1 weapon, +3 versus liches. It can detect the lich's phylactery within 20 yards, and confers upon the bearer immunity to the creature's fear aura and chill touch attack.
Rings of Duelling
These rings belong to Mario Luis de Guzman, a mage in the service of the constabulary of Nuevo Alvar. They are used to control certain magical duels within the city (ie, duels of a personal nature; duels between high-level wizards for control of a dominion or craft must, by law, take place outside the city). There are two rings, housed in a wooden box ornately carved with magical symbols. The rings, of gold filigree with an inset ruby, are of a size to fit most men comfortably on the small finger, and most ladies on the thumb.
Whenever two people want to duel within the city limits (which include the fields and woods outside of town), they choose their weapons: sword or other weapon, or magic. If they should choose magic, they are required by law to present themselves to the constabulary up to 24 hours before the duel is to take place. Mario Luis will prepare the rings, and will personally bring them to the chosen duelling site at the appointed time.
To prepare the rings, Mario Luis casts five spells onto the closed box. These spells are magically stored in both rings, in random order. During the duel, the wearer of the ring must only will the spells to be released.
Since most hot-headed Belcadiz duel to the death, Mario Luis typically enchants the rings with potentially deadly spells (see the Wizard's Spell Compendium; the DM may choose the exact spells). No spells which can cause a large amount of damage to the area, such as fireball or lightning bolt are used, and the spell levels are usually relatively low (no death spells or power words). Should neither dueller be killed, the one who has taken the least damage is declared the winner. Should both die, it is a draw.
In some cases, Mario Luis has been asked to prepare the rings with non-deadly, or even amusing, spells for "quick-draw" contests and duel between friends simply to settle a score.
Maria's Faery Mound
This item was created by the Princess's daughter, Maria de Belcadiz y Fedorias Velasquez, for her husband, Don Carlo Velasquez. Carlo is the secret head of F.A.E.R.Y., and is in the habit of leading midnight expeditions into Erewan territory. Afraid that Carlo would be captured by Erewan's E.L.F. faction, Maria created the Faery Mound.
The Mound is stored as a small, pebble-sized ball of an indeterminate hard, green substance. This ball radiates a strong aura of protective magic. Whenever the ball is tossed on the ground and the command word spoken, the ball erupts into a small hill, a "faery mound" which covers all creatures within a ten-foot radius, up to ten man-sized creatures. Within the mound, the space appears to be large enough for all occupants to stretch out comfortably; there is air, water, and soft ground on which to sleep. The area is protected by a silence spell, which permits those inside to converse normally without anyone outside the mound being able to hear them. However, the occupants can hear everything from outside normally.
Outside, the mound blends perfectly with its surroundings; it appears as a small hill, in a forest clearing. It can be walked on, stomped on, even slept on - those outside will have no idea that the hill is not what it appears to be; however, its protective aura can still be detected. If someone on the outside shoves a sword through the hill, he will withdraw it covered in nothing but dirt and grass.
The mound lasts until the command word is spoken again; at that time, it folds back up into the small green ball. The mound can be used as often as is needed; however, there is a 2% chance per use (non-cumulative) that the silence spell will fail, and that anyone outside will hear the occupants talking and laughing within.