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A Gazetteer of Ochalea - Magic and Mundane Items

by Giampaolo Agosta

Next: Ochalean Bestiary Up: A Gazetteer of Ochalea Previous: Mandarins & Monks   Contents


Magic and Mundane Items

This section describes several magical and mundane items specific to Ochalea.

While the Ochaleans are generally suspicious towards magic, that is not to say that there are no magical items in the island. First of all, magic of priestly origin is welcome. Second, object that belonged to mythical or semi-mythical characters are sometimes magic - whether imbued with power by the Immortals, or by priests, spirits or even wizards is hard to say. Such magic is often very powerful, but the tales told make it even more feared - a magic sword in Ochalea may be more important for the recognition it receives than for its actual powers.

Ochalean Armor & Weapons

Ochalean warriors favor mobility over protection: most battlefields in the island involve mixed or rough terrain, so heavy armored warriors are at a distinct disadvantage. Add to this the lack of large cavalry forces, and the result is the Ochalean armor tecnology.

The primary form of armor in Ochalea is lamellar armor - a more flexible and lighter version of banded armor. It is built both in metal, like its mainlander counterpart, and in waxed leather, for light infantry units. Padded silk armor is also quite popular, especially with archers, or people who wear armor under common clothes. Brigantine armor is found mostly in the less advanced southern provinces, like Chun or Daisun, while Thyatian-style banded mail is found commonly in Bohan and in the city of Beitung. Metal breastplates are sometimes built for the warriors of Cao, or for the Demon Cults of the Celestial Territories.

Weaponry is much more diverse. The primary weapons in the army units are broadswords, long and short spears, bows, and halberds. Longswords are popular with officers, noblemen, and martial artists, while staves, clubs, and daggers are used by the commoners. Fighting Monks and other martial artists also train with axes, maces, hammers, sectioned staves, chains and whips, hook swords and other, less common weapons.

Scrolls and Potions

These items are usually less powerful than most other magical items. Since they are easier to create, they are also the most common.

Paper Charms

Paper charms are little scrolls fashioned by Ochalean wizards and priests (who need the calligraphy skill and must be at least of 7th level). While most mainlander magic scrolls are written on vellum (for higher durability) and can be used only by wizards or priests, most Ochalean charms are written on paper, but can be used by anyone. They are immediately activated when unfolded, thrown against an enemy or sticked to a surface, depending on the type. Most charms fall into one of the followings categories:

Scroll of Summoning

Scrolls of Summoning are powerful one-use items that can be enchanted by shamans, priests and wizards of 11th level (who must also pass a calligraphy skill roll when creating the scroll), but can be used by any character of a level equal to that required for the enchantment. These scrolls can summon several different types of creatures or even items - scrolls of weapon summoning are popular with assassins and other character who wish to appear unarmed, but actually need to carry weapons. Creature summoning scrolls usually summon animals or animal spirits, though sometimes more powerful entities can be summoned - including Genies, Constructs and even Animal Lords.

Alchemical Dusts

Alchemy is highly developed in Ochalea. The centers of such learning are the Ta'ang province, with its Eight Immortals hermit-alchemists, and the Celestial Territories, where the Jungle of the Tiger Men provides countless ingredients for potions and other alchemical concoctions. In addition to traditional potions, special dusts are also produced. The most common effects of these dusts, which are activated by sprinkling the over an appropriate target, replicate the spells Fool's Gold, Sleep, Faerie Fire, Detect Magic. Alchemical dusts can be created by wizards and priests of at least 7th level, with the Alchemy skill/non-weapon proficiency.

The Tendon-Altering Sutra

A powerful scroll mentioned in the Journey from the West, the Tendon-Altering Sutra was created in the distant land of Sind, and brought to Ochalea by one of the companions of Koru Ti-Kong. This holy manual of martial arts allows the reader to increase his Dexterity by 1 point. Any reader can benefit from this only once. When the reader completes the training, the scroll disappears - probably reclaimed by the Immortals.

Ancestral Weapons & Armor

While only embued with limited magic, or even mundane, these items are so well known that they provide a +2 bonus to loyalty rates, and a +2 bonus to reaction rolls by those who recognize such weapons.

Most ancestral weapons are either of excellent quality - providing a non-magical +1 bonus either to hit or to damage or to initiative - or magical weapons of +1 enchantment. Ancestral armor is often forged with light alloys, reducing weight by 15%.

The most powerful ancestral weapons allow the user to summon the spirit of the original owner - but only if the wielder is one of his descendants.

Legendary Weapons

Many magical weapons appear in the legends of Ochalea. Finding one of these can make a warrior legendary on his own. Anyone displaying or known to own such a weapon obtains an effective +4 bonus to charisma for matters of henchman number and loyalty, as well as for reaction rolls, persuasion and intimidation among the warrior subculture of Ochalea (a Beitungese scholar may be interested in a legendary weapon's historical value, but is not likely to be especially friendly to the owner).

The Sun Sword of Lan Yi-Xiong

This golden longsword is the legendary weapon of the Prince of the Sun, foremost of the Eight Immortals. The Lan Yi-Xiong's Sun Sword has the same powers as other Sun Blades (see AD&D Dungeon Master Guide), except that it is handled as a longsword, and requires the longsword weapon proficiency. It also gives the user a +2 bonus to strength.

The Staff of Koru Ti-Kong

This unbreakable, telescopic staff is said to have been used by Koru Ti-Kong during his Journey from the West, a tale told in the book that brings the same name. The staff is a +3 weapon, immune to all non-Immortal (or artifact) level powers and attacks, that can instantly change its length from that of a fighting stick (2') to that of a vaulting pole (10'). Anyone hit by this weapon on a natural roll of 17 to 20 is stunned for 1d4+1 rounds, unless a ST vs Spells is passed.

The Four Weapons of the Lupin Warmasters

These mythical weapons were used by the four lesser Lupin warmasters. They are lost to the mists of time, and recovering any of them would be the matter of legendary quests.

The Ogre-Slayer Wolf's Fang

This battle axe has a basic +2 enchantment. Moreover, Ogre Magi hit by this weapon with a natural roll of 18 to 20 are slain instantly if they fail a ST vs. Death. The Wolf's Fang can cast a Shatter spell thrice per day.

The Supreme Revealing Arrows

The Supreme Revealing Arrows are +3 arrows that give the user the Detect Lycanthropes ability as if he had acute Lupin senses. Moreover, the user is able to track unerringly anyone hit with one of these arrows - only a misdirection spell or some similar magic can confuse the arrows, and then only for the spell's duration.

The Dragon and Phoenix Brush

This brush can be used as a +3 weapon - it inflicts 1d3 bludgeoning damage, 1d2 versus large targets. Moreover, it has the powers of a staff of wizardry.

The Thunder and Lightning Blade

This weapon is a guan dao, a type of ornate halberd used by Shar-Pei captains. The Thunder and Lighting Blade is a +2 weapon with the following additional powers: it works as a +4 weapon when used by a Shar-Pei in the racial defensive maneveur; in the hands of a title level character, it can cast one call lighting spell every day, plus one per three levels over the 9th; finally, it can cast a Sunray spell once per day.

Next: Ochalean Bestiary Up: A Gazetteer of Ochalea Previous: Mandarins & Monks   Contents