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Daoshani Armor and Maridun Cloaks

by Rodger Burns

Daoshani Armor

These suits of black-metal full suit armor are rarely seen on the Prime Plane, and highly valued by the efreeti. Daoshani armor is very distinctive in appearance - 10' high, completely body-shrouding (even around the head, a full faceplate sculpts to display proud, strong but harsh facial features, fully covering the eyes and mouth). Unlike other kinds of magical armor, suits of daoshani armor don't easily resize to fit their owners - a human or demihuman wanting to wear a suit of daoshani armor would have to engage in difficult (and risky and expensive) magical incantations to resize it. Even then, a non-efreeti wearer would merely find daoshani armor to be effectively only a set of suit armor +1.

When worn by an efreet, however, daoshani armor provides much more extensive powers, as follows:
- The efreet's AC is improved to -1.
- The efreet gains many traits of a creature of elemental earth - it can move and breathe on the plane of Earth as if it possessed a ring of earth elemental adaptation, and its normal elemental dominance over creatures of earth is replaced with dominance over creatures of air. (It retains its normal weakness against creatures of water.)
- The efreet's normal ability to create a wall of flame is replaced by the ability to create a barrier-like spell effect, which takes the form of blades of razor-sharp rock and inflicts but 3d10 damage. The efreet's pillar of flame form can still be used, but its energy is contained and converted by the daoshani armor into stunning force - while in flame form the efreet does not ignite flammable items, but its attacks still do +1d8 damage and can stun enemies (as per Weapon Mastery rules) if a save vs. Death Ray is failed.
- The efreet's ground move stays at 90' (30'), though the weight of the armor means the efreeti cannot fly. However, the efreet gains the ability to meld into and move through earth and rock as if it were open air. This melding is not instantaneous - an efreet in daoshani armor can't attack an enemy, then meld into stone in the same combat round to avoid attacks. The ability could be used to set up an ambush or flee from a losing battle, however.

Many suits of daoshani armor are thought to have been created by the Tslani of Old Alphatia and other mages of antiquity, traded to the efreeti in return for willing and unstinting service. Daoshani armor was used by the efreeti to extend their dominion into the plane of Elemental Earth and strike against the hated djinni - the need for extra weapons and magic caused many daoshani-clad efreeti to adopt a side practice of cross-planar trading in gemstones and slaves. Humans have not crafted daoshani armor for millenia, however, and many suits are thought to have been lost or destroyed - so a recovered suit of daoshani armor would be a valuable prize indeed. An adventuring party that discovered one could likely trade it to the efreeti for great wealth or renown among the efreet, or arrange for its destruction in order to gain similar rewards from the djinni pashas and the rulers of elemental earth.

Maridun Cloaks

These strange cloaks are the djinni counterpart to daoshani armor - sized to a 10' tall humanoid form and woven from strange thread in shimmering shades of blue, purple and green. Runic characters of silver and gold are woven into the hemline, and are rumored to spell the truenames of past djinni wearers of the cloak in the language of elemental Air. A human or demihuman trying to wear a maridun cloak will find it ridiculously voluminous and awkward; if cut down it provides the benefits of a cloak of protection +1.

Maridun cloaks are meant to be worn by djinni, and provide the following benefits when worn by one:
- The djinn gains a +2 bonus to all saving throws, and a +2 bonus to Initiative rolls and surprise checks.
- The djinn gains many traits of a creature of elemental water - it can move and breathe on the plane of Water as if it possessed a ring of water elemental adaptation, and its normal dominance over creatures of water is replaced with dominance over creatures of fire. (It retains its normal weakness against creatures of earth.)
- The djinn cannot become invisible while underwater, but can create a cloud of thick dust and seafoam which will block all vision (as the darkness spell, but the djinn can see through it clearly).
- The djinn cannot form a whirlwind while underwater, but can summon a 7 HD water weird (per the Creature Crucible) whose attacks will pin and paralyze creatures able to breathe water (no drowning damage, but targets that fail their save vs. Death Ray are still rendered unconscious for 1d4 rounds).

The first maridun cloaks are thought to have been made by the djinni by mages of Old Alphatia, in response to the creation of daoshani armor for the efreeti. Like daoshani armor, no maridun cloaks have been made for at least two thousand years, and those still known to exist are rare and valuable prizes. The djinni themselves have something of a love-hate relationship with maridun cloaks - djinni pashas consider maridun cloaks to be valuable tools to keep the efreet in check, but in practice the maridun cloaks are often imposed on rogues, malcontents and the disgraced in order to allow them to redeem themselves in dangerous and uncomfortable service. As a result, common djinni are often more eager to see a discovered maridun cloak quietly 'lost' or 'accidentally' destroyed, possibly even to the point of sabotaging their superiors' efforts to reclaim a found cloak. Efreeti, meanwhile, are likely to want a maridun cloak kept intact in their own hands, to display as a war-trophy or used as bait in a trap.