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Immortal Relics

by Carl Quaif

The following are a few Relics which have seen use in my (currently on hiatus) campaign.

NB: "Relics", IMC, are defined as non-Artifact items which a) were used by the Immortal in mortal life/by a mortal Identity, and have subsequently acquired magical/clerical properties; b) were created by (or attributed to) the Immortal after their Ascension; or c) are magical (or, rarely, mundane) items which feature heavily in the Immortal's mortal career. By this definition, Calitha's Tears are either a single Relic or a linked collection of Relics, depending on your point of view. Despite the similarity in name, none of these items are related to the Demi-human Clan Relics.

The Brismagen:

This is a necklace composed of silver links, bearing a single teardrop diamond. It bears a slight resemblance to the pendant worn by representations of the Immortal Freya.

The pendant functions as a Medallion of Empathy (cf. The OD&D supplement "The Book of Marvellous Magic", and probably in the later "Encyclopaedia Magica"; effectively, it allows the wearer to both read and project emotions), provides protection to its wearer as a Ring of Protection +2, and allows its wearer, if a spellcaster, to memorise/pray for one extra spell of each spell level they are able to cast. If the Brismagen is removed, the extra spells remain in memory until cast, but may not be rememorised; so long as even one such spell remains in a former wearer's memory, this ability will not function for a new wearer (which prevents a party of spellcasters from sharing the Brismagen around to gain extra spells for everybody). The Brismagen cannot be forcibly removed from the wearer's neck while she lives, unless the wearer wishes it.

The Brismagen was created by Freya for her High Priestess in Ostland, Hildegard Svensdottir, over 700 years ago. Hildegard sought a means to both end the strife between local warring Jarls and to maintain peace in the future, and so had embarked on a ritual to acquire a Rune to help her in her mission. Although she failed in her attempt, she awoke from her ordeal to find the Brismagen around her neck. Judicious use of the Relic over the years earned her the name "Hildegard Warbreaker", and ensured an era of peace while she lived. The Brismagen was passed from High Priestess to High Priestess for the next 100 years, until it was lost (ironically, during a battle). If it still exists, the Brismagen might turn up anywhere.

The Ruby Dagger of al-Kalim:

This is an ornate Ylari dagger, with a curved blade. The hilt is wrapped in red leather and inset with rubies, whilst the blade is made of a reddish metal (possibly Red Steel).

During the mortal lifetime of Suleiman al-Kalim, this dagger - a gift from one of his followers, a wealthy and well-travelled merchant - was an ordinary, if eye-catching, ornamental piece. He often carried it at his belt, and those who saw it recognised it as belonging to the wise al-Kalim. After his "death", the dagger, along with other pieces of regalia, were put on display. It gained true fame, however, when the blind wife of a visiting dignitary, herself a follower of al-Kalim's precepts, was permitted to touch it; she impulsively kissed the Dagger's blade, and her blindness was instantly cured. The revelation caused an uproar; sick and wounded petitioners, believers and non-believers alike, swarmed to see and feel the Relic in hopes of a miraculous cure. Some were healed, some not; the Dagger is now kept well-guarded, with a very few supplicants permitted into its presence once a week.

The Ruby Dagger has no pluses, but if used in battle it is able to hit and damage creatures which are otherwise only affected by +2 or better weapons. The Relic can Cure Light Wounds once per day, and either Cure Disease, Cure Blindness or Remove Curse (as a 14th-level Cleric) once per week. The spell effects work ONLY for true believers of al-Kalim's philosophies.

Adventurers are unlikely to encounter the Ruby Dagger anywhere except its Reliquary, which is one of the best-protected places in the entire Emirates. Ylari Characters, particularly followers of al-Kalim, might have cause to seek its healing properties at some time in their careers, and are certain to have heard many (possibly exaggerated) accounts of its miraculous cures.

The Hammer of Ka-Gar:

This is a simple, primitive stone hammer, fashioned from an oval stone bound tightly with strips of hide to a wooden handle. It appears utterly unimpressive, save for the fact that the obviously-ancient weapon/tool looks brand new, with absolutely no signs of wear.

The Hammer was the personal forging-tool-cum-weapon of the Brute-Man Ka-Gar, who later became the Immortal Kagyar. It is many thousands of years old, but is perfectly preserved. The Hammer is celebrated in the legends of many of the Brute-Man tribes in the Hollow World. When Ka-Gar owned it, it was a Hammer +1 (he enchanted it himself, using ritual dances lasting many days); since his Ascension, Kagyar has altered its properties somewhat. The Hammer is now impervious to damage of any type, and cannot be cracked, marked, carved, or altered in any way. The wooden handle and rawhide bindings are constantly renewed, and do not decay. Other than that, it is still a simple Hammer +1.

Kagyar keeps an eye on this particular Relic, bestowing it on those Brute-Men whom he considers deserving of the honour. Receiving the Hammer, or safeguarding the Relic, grants enormous prestige to the bearer and his Clan; many of those so blessed later become Shamans of Ka-Gar. Kagyar will not, under any circumstances, permit individuals of any race but the Brute-Men to hold the weapon for long, and will arrange to have it removed, or perhaps Teleport it away if necessary, as soon as possible.

NB: worshippers of Tha-To (Thanatos) have been trying to get possession of this item for millennia now, if only to irritate Kagyar and demoralise his followers, but without success. The adventurers might stumble into a situation beyond their control if they get hold of this primitive magic item, with the agents of two powerful Immortals vying with each other to take it away from them by any means necessary....

The Soul of Ordana:

This is a perfect sphere of petrified tree sap, measuring 5" across. Just visible at the centre of the amber sphere is a perfectly-preserved acorn.

Legend has it, amongst the forest-folk of Alfheim, Wendar and elsewhere, that the acorn at the centre of the Soul was to have been the last "child" of Ordana, just budded when the Treant became Immortal. As her mortal body disintegrated, the acorn became surrounded by a protective halo of Immortal Power which hardened into an amber sphere. The combination of nascent life-force and Immortal magic enables the bearer of the Soul to animate trees as a Treant, and to receive and cast Druidic spells (only) as a Druid of 4 levels less than their own level. These spells are in addition to any spells they might otherwise be able to cast, and are granted whether or not the bearer has sufficient Wisdom to cast Druidic spells. Any class can use the Soul's powers.

Although the powers are real, the legend concerning the "Relic" is a fabrication. The Soul was enchanted 1050 years ago by a reclusive Druid called Relyn Blackthorn. He found the amber sphere (a natural, if remarkable, mundane item), ensorcelled it, and conceived a plan to use his "Relic" and its legend to inspire the disparate forest-dwellers - the Elves, Centaurs, Dryads, Satyrs, and others - into an army, which he would use to drive the encroaching hordes of humanity out of the forests. A natural Demagogue, he managed to keep humans away from his home for nearly thirty years by using the Soul to augment his own powers, before those selfsame humans burned down his forest in retaliation. The Soul was carried away to safety by a fleeing herd of Centaurs, and has resurfaced in different parts of the world several times in the intervening centuries.

The false legend is now firmly fixed in the hearts of forest-dwellers everywhere; Ordana became aware of the story nearly 500 years ago, but chose to keep quiet about it to avoid a crisis of faith amongst some of her most devout followers. Enemies of Ordana and her followers have occasionally tried to capture and destroy the Soul, hoping to weaken the Immortal; Ordana knows this is a fruitless exercise on their part, but nevertheless usually arranges to have it removed to safety. PC adventurers connected with the woodlands (Elves, Foresters, Druids etc) might find themselves "volunteered" for just such a rescue mission.