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Some new items

by Kevin Turner

Oil of the Forge

This strange, silvery oil comes in very small vessels. Only one "dose" is contained in any one vessel. It can be imbibed, but with lethal consequences.

When spread over a limb (humanoid or other being of normal or above Intelligence) and concentrated upon, the limb turns as if to metal in a forge; not hot, but malleable with a hammer for a limited time. The limb can then be beaten into simple shapes, such as a blade or hook. For the using character to forge the item on himself requires a check against the Blacksmithing skill. The other option is to go to a blacksmith and pay him to do the forging for you. Whatever is produced is treated as a +1 weapon (if weapon it be) due to the balance and magical crafting of the item, and the fact that the user is very much linked to the item and cannot be disarmed. Note that this +1 is not of the sort that allows undead to be struck, but rather reflects the bonus of using a limb as a weapon.

The magic lasts for 2d4 days, so the user had best be prepared for dressing, eating, and all the other things that character would take for granted using the limb. Also note that, once set, the limb cannot be changed for the duration of the potion except by using another potion. Also, any damage incurred by the limb as a weapon will affect the limb when it returns to normal: dents will be bruises, nicks will be cuts, etc. So a botched attack roll that results in a broken weapon would likely remove a hand!

Lantern of the Gatekeeper

It has been rumoured for centuries that other planes of existence house godlike beings, armed with abilities beyond mortal (and some Immortal) ken. One of these places is the Realm of Chaos. It has no other name -- or perhaps it has infinite others -- and has no boundary or any other nameable one.

A cruel joke, indeed, the only fixed point in the Realm is the Gate. The Gate has no real purpose whatsoever; the Realm is easily reached at any "point" and any point visited quickly becomes something else. It was placed there for two reasons. First, to torment any lost in the Realm with but a single landmark that means nothing, and almost looks like a way out. And secondly, to torment the soul who is fettered to it: the Gatekeeper.

This poor soul, whose name is not recorded, was fettered to the unchanging Gate and given the duty of assisting "newcomers" in finding their way around...which, of course, he cannot do. To keep him somewhat sane enough to enjoy their joke, the denizens of the Realm gave him the Lantern. A potent relic, it appears to be a shining platinum hurricane lantern with a ball of light inside (equivalent to a Continual Light spell). Three times per week, the Lantern allows the user to Control Weather (another joke, since there is no real weather in the Realm and what there is can certainly not be controlled for more than an instant). It also generates a strange *Protection From Chaos (see below) field in a 10' radius (not counting the curse that fetters the Gatekeeper to the Gate). It also confers the ability to *Teleport with Limitation (see below), and the Lantern itself houses a Lawful Neutral personality named Shrembrite which lives in the ball of light.

Some years back, a priest of Chaos decided to relieve the Gatekeeper of his item. Taking the Lantern back to the Material plane, he discovered his bauble also had a nasty side-effect: it brought the *Curse of Chaos (see below, again) with it. The lantern was lost when the priest finally dissolved, and none know where it is. Lawful church leaders despise the item for the Curse it brought, but realise that it would be a powerful aid were they to ever attempt a storming of the Realm of Chaos.

The Chaos dwellers, being the capricious beings they are, have no care that the item is gone. However the Gatekeeper would like his friend back.

The Curse was able to be carried to the Material plane by the priest, not the Lantern itself. The priest's remembrance of the wording of the Gatekeeper's curse convinced him that something would happen to him for stealing the Lantern, and that overrode his knowledge of the Protection from chaos. He thought he had plague, but called it the Curse of Chaos because he thought that was what it was. (author's note: Gimme a break. I discovered a flaw and tried to fix it at two in the morning. Other ideas are VERY welcome.)

The Curse of Chaos

A strange and fearsome thing, worthy of those who inflicted it upon the world. The Curse of Chaos is akin to a plague, but not quite.

It began with the priest of Chaos who stole the Gatekeeper's Lantern. Within hours of returning to the Material realm, he began to feel strange. First the skin on his hands, feet, and face became very taut, almost to the point where he couldn't bend his joints. Then his mouth pulled back into a rictus-like grin, very similar to plague victims. Then, beginning with the extremities, he began to dissolve. Over the course of the next two weeks, his body dissolved completely, like sand falling off a sculpture. No blood spurted. It was as if those parts just no longer felt attached to the whole and went their own way. At the end of two weeks, he completely dissolved, going out an insane man. During that time he did interact with others, spreading the "plague" and giving it its name.

As was said, the Curse is not a physical plague. It's a psychosomatic projection. Since people _believe_ it is a plague, it spreads like one: face-to-face. There is a 65% chance that a person who is in close contact with a person suffering from the Curse will develop it himself.

There is only one cure: willpower. The Curse is psychosomatic, so anyone with the force of will to hold his body together and overcome his superstition can defeat the Curse. It requires a combination of 3 Wisdom and 2 Intelligence checks over the course of two weeks. Successful completion of the Wisdom checks represents the slowing of the dissolution process. Completion of the Intelligence checks shows the beginning of regrowth. Failure at _any point_ mean the symptoms return full force and a save vs. Death Magic must be made or the Curse comes back at double force.

The Curse only affects sentient beings of normal and above Intelligence.

Protection From Chaos
Level: 5
Duration: (4+level of caster) rounds
Area of Effect: 10' radius

Originally made to function like Protection From Evil, but having undergone some major upgrading, this spell causes creatures of Chaotic alignments to actively avoid the field, or suffer from severe disquiet (-2 penalty on all rolls). Chaotic effects (spells cast by Chaotic users, Chaotic aligned relics, or general effects that tamper with Natural Law [DM's discretion as to what that really means]) will fail within the field. This could prove distinctly annoying to a party of adventurers, on the other hand, it would give solid footing in a place like the Abyss.

A VERY rare spell, it was discovered as an effect by the foolish priest who brought the Lantern of the Gatekeeper to the Material plane. Forced by the field to drop the Lantern, he kept his distance from it, attempting in vain to speak to the spirit residing in it. Of course, he had little time to formulate theories before the Curse took him. Note that this effect will NOT break the Curse of Chaos because people believe it to be plague, not a figment of their imaginations.

Limited Teleport
Level: 6
Duration: (d6+level of caster) turns
Area of Effect: special

Functioning as a strangely powerful yet nasty variant of the teleport spell, this spell is more in the manner of a cursed spell than a regularly useful one. It grants the user the ability to travel to any point he can recall having seen. This includes points on other planes.

There is, of course, a catch. After (d6+level of caster) turns, the traveller is immediately teleported back to his point of origin, and _ever after_ cannot visit the arrival point without being teleported instantly back to the original spellcasting spot.

EXAMPLE: Sifnik (an 8th level wizard) casts limited teleport on himself and shifts to the town square at Everton. He can stay in Everton for a maximum of 14 turns before he is yanked back to the point from where he originally cast the spell. Evermore, when Sifnik returns to the town square of Everton _by any means_, he will immediately teleport to the point from which he originally cast the spell.

NOTE: This spell works best as a cursed scroll or with a backfiring magic item. When used in this manner, the DM should determine what level wizard set the spell on the scroll.

In the case of the Gatekeeper's Lantern, the casting wizard was of 13th level and the spell has a special restriction: instead of returning the user to the point of spellcasting, it ALWAYS returns the user to the Gate on the Realm of Chaos.