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Magical Cloaks:by Carl Quaif
The following are a selection of the many magical cloaks and capes to be found on Mystara.
These items are popular in the Kingdom of Wendar, particularly amongst forest Scouts; Diplomatic Couriers attached to the Royal Household sometimes wear them while on a mission. The Cloaks are woven from grey goat's-wool, shot through with silvery threads - the latter taken from the manes and tails of Unicorns (with their permission). The Cloaks radiate strongly under Detect Magic spells.
A Unicorn Cloak grants its wearer the power to Dimension Door once per day, as a Unicorn. The normal rules concerning range and location apply. This effect requires simple concentration to activate. The Cloak's enchantment is centred on the slender threads of Unicorn hair in its weave; if struck by a bladed weapon, the wearer should roll 1d6. On a roll of 1 or 2, the blow has caused serious damage to the weave, and the Cloak loses its powers forevermore.
Cloak of Arachnidae:
This is a lightweight cloak, woven of expensive spider-silk and dyed black, which enjoyed a vogue in Alphatia during the years leading up to that continent's destruction. it serves as an attractive overgarment, both cool in the summer and cool in the winter, and provides a surprising degree of rain-proofing. The Cloak's true value, however, is as a defensive weapon.
If the Cloak of Arachnidae is thrown at a target within 15' and a command word ("Aravarel") is spoken, it swiftly unravels itself, forming a silken web measuring 10'x10' which functions in all respects as a Web spell. The Cloak is a one-use item; once activated, it cannot be changed back into cloak-form.
Despite their expense, many hundreds of Arachnidae Cloaks were manufactured in Alphatia; their usefulness makes it highly likely that they are still being produced on the new Alphatian continent.
Cape of the Hsaio:
This is a short cloak made of cotton, whose outside is completely covered in feathers from dozens of birds. The design is Ochalean. Only half-a-dozen were ever made, due to the rarity of their primary component; feathers gleaned from the powerful race of owl-Clerics called Hsaio.
A Cape of the Hsaio acts as a Cloak of Protection +1 as long as it is worn. Each Cape has a number of Hsaio feathers (2d4 + 2 per Cape) attached loosely to it; these will detach when given a firm tug. The underside of each bears an inscription written in Ochalean, although the wearer of the Cape can read it as if it were in Common. Each of these feathers carries a random Clerical spell of 1st-3rd level, which the Cape's wearer (only) can cast as if from a scroll, whatever his class. Once the spell is cast, the feather crumbles into dust. When the last feather is used, the Cape loses all enchantment.
Most of these Capes are the prized possessions of high-ranking Ochalean families, and are used only in extreme circumstances.
Robe of Repulsion:
This item is a fine, floor-length woollen over-robe or mantle. Each one is dyed and decorated to its owners specifications, so the appearance varies from garment to garment.
A popular anti-assassin item in Glantri, where the Robes originated, the basic form of the garment allows the wearer to cast Protection from Normal Missiles upon himself once per day by speaking a command word (which varies for each individual Robe). However, since Glantrian Wizards are fundamentally incapable of leaving well enough alone, there are many Robes of this kind which also provide Invisibility when desired, automatic Teleportation if the wearer is harmed, etc. - the possibilities are endless.
The Robe of Repulsion is frequently employed by adventuring Magi to provide protection in melee, enabling them to cast spells from the rear of the party without fear of having those spells disrupted by missile-fire. Although considered a "personal" item by most Glantrians, quantities of the basic Robe have been made and sold to other countries over time, so it might be possible to find a Robe of Repulsion almost anywhere in the Known World.
This is a nondescript, dark grey woollen cloak with a hood, of a type which is almost universal throughout Mystara. The only distinguishing features about it are a faint trace of magic when Detect Magic is cast, and the fact that the hood fits tightly to the head, covering the face down to the base of the nose like a mask - a mask without eyeholes.
These items were made and enchanted to the specifications of Doleran Forsuph, Guild Master of the Greycloaks, a small-time thieves' guild operating on Bellissaria around 1950 AL; indeed, the thieves took their Guild name from the garments. They were designed to assist in night-time activities by negating the need for light.
When pulled over the head, a Greycloak's hood magically provides the wearer with Infravision to a range of 30' in place of normal sight. This lasts for as long as the cloak is worn, and activates each time the hood is donned. A Dispel Magic spell, cast on a Greycloak, will negate this ability for one Turn.
The Greycloak thieves guild was dissolved in 2007 AL when its Master was executed; many former members took their Greycloaks with them when they fled, while others were impounded or destroyed. A few such items almost certainly still exist, and might be found almost anywhere by now.
These appear to be heavy, waterproof travelling-cloaks; they are only ever found in dark colours. Due to an unusual property of the cloaks themselves, they do not show up under magical detection - a very useful property, considering what these cloaks can do.
The Peace Cloaks were manufactured by the Heldannic Orders, and are still used primarily by them, particularly in towns and cities where the carrying of weapons is forbidden. The lining of each Peace Cloak contains a small Pouch of Holding, whose interior is just large enough to contain a sword or mace. The aperture opens and closes when a command phrase ("Open in Vanya's Name!" - the Heldannics aren't particularly inventive) is spoken. When closed, the aperture is completely undetectable by any means, and the non-detection ability of the cloak protects magical weapons from discovery.
A very few Peace Cloaks have left the Knights' grip, and might be found by adventurers; however, the Knights keep an eye open for lost items, and will come down heavily should they learn of one in private hands.
Cloak of Preservation:
This is a long, heavy, shiny cloak made of a curious, unnatural fibrous material unknown elsewhere on Mystara. In its normal form, the cloak has a hood in a concealed pocket, and a clasp made of precious metal and gemstones. The person who wears it will find it completely weatherproof and windproof (particularly with the hood up); moreover, when wrapped around the wearer, the cloak somehow maintains a constant, comfortable temperature no matter what the temperature is outside.
The true power of the Cloak of Preservation comes into play when the wearer speaks the command inscribed on the clasp's underside (an ancient word which translates as "Activate"); the hood deploys, and the Cloak wraps itself like a shroud about the wearer, leaving no part of him uncovered. It then becomes a hard, indestructible sheath (actually, a force field deploys about the cloak). The occupant, meanwhile, is placed in suspended animation, protected from harm and the ravages of time, and requiring neither food, nor water, nor air. The field can only be deactivated by touching the gems of the clasp in a particular order.
The Cloak of Preservation is a creation of the last days of Blackmoor, and was used by its occupants to survive the Great Rain of Fire. Only one is known to still exist, in its cocoon form, and resides as an exhibit within the Thyatian Museum of Antiquity in Kerendas. The unknown occupant expected to be freed after a short period by the other survivors of the cataclysm; he, or she, is still waiting.
It is possible that other examples of the Cloak still remain, awaiting discovery; but where they may be, and who might occupy them, is a tale for another day...