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Selhomarrian Relics:by Geoff Gander
Excerpt from one of Gallos the Aged's many discourses:
"...and so there are many today who think that Selhomarr is a nation of fishermen, farmers, and shopkeepers. Nothing could be further from the truth! Truly, our nation has among the largest standing armies in the world - over 200,000 men willing to lay down their lives for their emperor, their nation, and for their families. But, you may ask, what of other forms of power? Did not our ancestors on the Old World manage to hold back greater foes than exist today, with fewer men and weapons of war?
"In fact, my friends, they did. How, may you ask? To begin with, our people of old were the champions of Xeron - no other culture embodied His ways so perfectly as ours. We were verily made in His own image. That is another discourse, but he did render to us aid in the form of a great many magical works, the likes of which this world does not know. Many of these gifts are, unfortunately, lost to us with the destruction of the Old World, but some were brought with us to our new land. Look to the capital, my friends, to the Imperial Palace and the Grand Temple of Xeron! There you will find what you seek.
"These are but a fraction of what we once had. It is even said that Xeron Himself saved some of the gifts we believe lost - by taking them back, saving them for the day a new champion comes forward deserving of His grace. Others say He has hidden them in our very realm, to be discovered when the time is right, when Selhomarr needs a champion. Let us hope that such a day never comes, for the evil that would require of us these items would be fearsome, indeed!"
As with many other cultures, the Lhomarrians have been given, and have produced, many magical items of great power over the millennia - especially during their time on the surface. Most of these items were lost during the sinking of Old Lhomarr, others were saved by Ixion for a day when a deserving champion would have need of them, and some were hidden throughout Selhomarr, guarded by fierce beasts and traps to test all who would seek them out - reserving them for the true champions. A handful were saved by the Lhomarrians, and have been brought to the Hollow World with them. These rest in the Imperial Palace, or in the Grand Temple of Xeron, both in Calimnis. Below are some of the various powerful items that can be found within the empire of Selhomarr, one of which is an artifact. Other items no doubt exist, and DMs are free to create their own, and place them wherever they wish.
Each item is described according to its weight, its general appearance, how many the Selhomarrians know are in existence, its powers, some notes for the DM on its use, and a brief note - also for the DM - on the origins of the item. It is up to the DM to decide how much of this information will be available to the players, though Selhomarrian PCs will surely know some myths associated with them, as all of these items are major elements of folklore. Many tales are told of these items - and of the people who used them - which may be used as a hook in adventures to recover them.
The Bracers of Arminir:
Weight: 1.5 lbs. (15 cn)
Appearance: A pair of silver wristbands, with the pattern of a starburst on each one.
Number Known: Only one pair is known to exist, others rumoured.
Powers: The bracers of Arminir allow the user, when exposed to direct sunlight, to channel the sun's energy into magical bursts of destructive energy, controlled by thought and gesture, and activated by a command word. Upon speaking the command word, the user points in the direction of the intended target, and wills the attack to happen. A fiery streak of light emerges from the outstretched hand, and unerringly hits the opponent, as with a magic missile. Each attack does 4d6 damage (reduced by half with a successful save vs. dragon breath), and one attack can be fired per round. This attack is capable of burning flammable objects, such as wooden doors, thatched roofs, etc.
Notes: In order for this device to function, both bracers must be worn. Also, there must be no obstructions between the user and the sun - if even a cloud intrudes, the bracers may not be used. For every full hour of exposure to the sun, the bracers store up enough energy to fire off one burst, which may then be fired at any time before 24 hours have passed. If the energy is not consumed, it dissipates as heated air. In any case, the braces can only store up enough energy for eight blasts - any extra energy is dissipated. The command word will not be present with the item, and it will be in Lhomarrian. One pair of these bracers exists in the Grand Temple of Xeron in Calimnis, and rumours abound of other pairs in existence (there are, in fact, at least two more pairs lost in the wilds of Selhomarr, and at least one more in the sunken remains of Old Lhomarr).
Origin: Little is known about these enigmatic and dangerous weapons, which were created by the ancient wizard Arminir circa BC 7900. There are accounts of their use in the siege of Y'hog, and at the Battle of Pelenzor. It is also believed that Brell himself possessed a pair. It is thought that less than twenty were made by the long-dead wizard, who sought a means to better equip Lhomarr's armies. Each pair was known to have its own command word.
The Chalice of Xeron:
Weight: 2.5 lbs. (25 cn)
Appearance: A golden chalice about ten inches tall, with a cup six inches in diameter. It is studded with rubies around the base and the lip, and has colourful mosaics along the sides.
Number Known: One, location unknown (lesser artifact).
Powers: The possessor of the chalice of Xeron does not require food or drink for as long as the item is owned. Also, he or she gains the abilities of infravision and truesight, as long as the chalice is held in both hands. Any liquid poured into the chalice will gain whatever potion-like effects to possessor wishes, but it must be consumed from the chalice directly (it cannot be poured into a container for later use). The possessor may also use the chalice as a scrying pool, by pouring water into the chalice and concentrating, with the effects being similar to that of a crystal ball (the chalice must be held in both hands for this to work). Finally, the chalice can be used as a focus for an effect similar to contact outer plane, except that it is limited to contacting Xeron (Ixion) - of course, there is no guarantee he will respond.
Notes: All of the above powers are activated by the use of command words, with the exception of the obviation of the need to eat or drink, and of the scrying power. The words are all different, and are, of course, in Lhomarrian. It is unlikely they will be apparent if this item is found.
Origins: The origins of this item are lost in the mists of history. It was, in fact, given to the first high priest of Xeron by Ixion circa BC 9000, as a display of his generosity towards them in their early days. Ixion took it back before the sinking of Old Lhomarr, and has since deposited it within the bowels of one of the mountain ranges of Suridal, awaiting a worthy individual.
The Sword of Thessia
Weight: 3 lbs. (30 cn)
Appearance: This short sword has silver etchings along its blade, in ancient Lhomarrian runes. The hilt is engraved with images of sea serpents, and a perfectly-shaped piece of aquamarine is set into the pommel.
Number Known: Unique item, location unknown.
Powers: The possessor of this sword will be able to breathe while under water, as per a potion of water breathing, for as long as the sword is held. The owner will also be able to comprehend all languages spoken by merfolk, and will be able to converse with them. Finally, this sword functions in combat as a short sword +2, +4 vs. sea serpents (this includes sea hydrae, dragon turtles, and other seagoing reptiles).
Notes: Although not intelligent, this sword does radiate a strong aura of lawfulness, such that chaotically-aligned creatures will be reluctant to touch it.
Origins: The sword of Thessia was forged by a now-unknown Lhomarrian weaponsmith, not long before the sinking of Lhomarr. He had befriended a tribe of merfolk living near the shores, who, out of friendship, taught him some of their arts in making enchanted weapons. Out of gratitude, he forged a short sword which would destroy the enemies of the merfolk - aquatic reptiles of differing types who were destroying their undersea homes. It was given to a brave young woman, named Thessia, who used the weapon and her legendary sailing skills to destroy the aquatic threats. Not long afterwards, Old Lhomarr sank, and though Thessia was lost, the sword and its story was not. Around BC 2200, a freak storm hit the city of Annurios, where the sword was resting. It ended up in the Bay of Lokam, where it remains today, no doubt lying in the lair of some aquatic beast.
The Sextant of Hendaris
Weight: 3 lbs. (30 cn)
Appearance: This greatly resembles a normal sextant, except that it is made out of bronze chased with platinum filigree. All along the main eyepiece, flowing Lhomarrian runes are inscribed. The lenses themselves are of finest glass, mixed with diamond dust.
Number Known: One kept in the throne room of the Imperial Palace in Calimnis, others rumoured to exist.
Powers: The sextant of Hendaris is a truly remarkable navigational aid - it was one of these relics that helped the early Lhomarrians traverse the oceans near the Davanian coast, and find the virgin lands of Xerothnyi and Prys. As long as the sextant is held, the possessor's ship will have its hull points increase by 50%, no matter what type of ship it is. These additional hull points are removed first when the ship is damaged. The sextant also has a powerful effect on the weather, such that, within a two-mile radius of the ship, all bad weather is treated as one degree less severe - as per the chart in the Rules Cyclopaedia. When used for the purposes of navigation, the lenses of the sextant are able to see the stars and sky through even the densest cloud cover - even that which is created by magical means.
Notes: The sextant uses no charges when these abilities are used, and no command words are necessary. The only vulnerable parts of the sextant are its lenses, which, if damaged, will render its navigational powers useless. Dropping the sextant would be sufficient for this to happen.
Origins: The sextant of Hendaris was created by the legendary arch-wizard named Hendaris, who was also famed for his sailing skills, circa BC 8800. Although his skills were superb, he was determined to best the elements, and thus created this item to aid him in determining where he was, and also to protect whatever vessel he happened to be using. The first sextant was used by a now unknown mariner to find his way to the shores of what is now the Isle of Cestia. Finding his way back, he reported his discovery of verdant, unsettled lands, which paved the way for the colonisation of that portion of Davania. So useful was this device that the emperor ordered Hendaris to make more, so that Lhomarrian naval prowess would be augmented still further. Over the course of his life, Hendaris managed to produce two more (the process of creating one is long and draining), both of which are now thought lost by the Selhomarrians. After the sinking of Old Lhomarr, a second sextant found its way into the Hollow World, hidden away by Ixion somewhere within Selhomarr's borders. The other sextant remained on the surface, and was dredged up by Nithian fishermen in the Western Sea of Dawn circa BC 750. It passed through the possession of numerous sailors, pirates, and explorers of differing nationalities - most recently in the hands of a band of halfling pirates from the Five Shires (who may still possess it).