Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Wendarian Spellrods

by Carl Quaif

These devices are short rods made from carved Dragonbone, roughly 15" long by 1" across, with a series of six shallow indentations on the side, one below the other. An emerald, carved into a perfect sphere, tops each rod, while a ruby of similar shape is implanted in the bottom. If found, between 1-6 of the indentations have a tiny sigil marked in the depression; the remainder (if any) are blank.

Spellrods are a Wendarian invention, and serve the same purpose as Rings of Spell Storing do elsewhere. Whenever the bearer places one or more fingertips in an "active" (sigil-marked) indentation, the 'rod telepathically informs him of the name of the spell it holds, and what effect that spell has when cast. At any time, the spells may be cast from the 'rod by an act of will. Once a spell is cast, the sigil vanishes from that depression. The Spellrod may be recharged.

Most Spellrods (there are believed to be several dozen currently in existence) are owned by the Wendarian Monarchy, and used by Special Envoys, military agents, and Diplomatic couriers for specific missions; the spell selections are made according to the mission requirements (see below). Some of Wendar's Mages are believed to make or possess their own personal Spellrods, which will contain whatever spells they desire. A few have been lost or stolen over time, naturally, so a partly-charged Spellrod might conceivably be found anywhere.

Manufacture and recharging of Spellrods (and also changing of spell selections for particular 'rods) are State secrets in Wendar, known only by the Royal Household and accredited Mages. However, recharging a "found" 'rod is not beyond the abilities of a skilled Mage, given time and experimentation. Should Wendar come to hear of one of "their" Spellrods being owned and used by outsiders, however, they will attempt to recover it by whatever means are necessary, be it purchase, seizure - possibly even theft or kidnapping, depending on the circumstances.

Common spell selections are as follows:-

Diplomatic Courier: Hold Person; Crystalline Memory (see below); Fly; Phantasmal Force; Dimension Door; Water Breathing.

Military/Secret Agent: Invisibility; Charm Person; Impersonation (see below); Levitation; Dimension Door; Passwall.

Special Envoy: Sleep; Mirror Image; Teleport Any Object; Polymorph Self; Sorcerer's Manacle (see below); Hold Monster.

NB: Since Spellrods are permanent magic items, the Day of Dread simply makes them go dormant; all spells stored within a 'rod become available again the day after. Gylharen, the Wizard-King, is rumoured to have a unique, personal Spellrod which also functions as a Scroll of Spell Catching; it can absorb spells thrown at him, storing them in blank "slots" with suitable sigils to define them. This "King's Rod" may also be used to cast captured spells through the Elvenstar, expanding their power greatly. Magic-using assassins will often think twice about attacking the Wizard-King directly with spells - they "might get their own back", many times over...

Crystalline Memory
Level: 3
Range: Touch
Duration: See below
Effect: Records and plays back holographic message
This spell is often used by Wendarian diplomatic couriers to carry important messages to foreign courts. The spell requires a gemstone of at least 300gp value as a focus (the gems attached to a Spellrod are more than adequate for this purpose). Once the spell is cast on a stone, the next person to touch it may "record" a message with a duration of up to 1 minute - the recording stops after this point, or when that person stops touching the stone. Thereafter, anyone touching the gem and speaking the command word (chosen during casting) will activate a full-sized illusionary image of the speaker, which will relay the message once before vanishing.

Only one message may be incorporated into a single gem at any time, but the same gem may be used time and time again for the purpose. Diplomatic couriers often carry both a recorded message and a stored copy of the Crystalline Memory spell in their Spellrods, to allow a return message to be recorded. A message-gem will retain a Crystalline Memory message indefinitely, although the Day of Dread will erase any untriggered messages.

Level: 4
Range: 0' (caster only)
Duration: 12 hours (and see below)
Effect: Produces illusionary disguise
This spell is a staple of the Wendarian Military's "special" agents. When cast, it allows the caster to alter his appearance and voice to resemble any one person the caster knows well (which includes people who have been studied intensively for a period of no less than three days). The Impersonation can change the sex, age, weight, and race of the caster; height differences cannot be accounted for unless the person copied is less than three inches taller or shorter than the caster. The spell will automatically mimic any involuntary twitches or habits the Impersonated being has, and will assist the caster in mimicking the walk and facial expressions of the original, but provides none of the original's memories; the caster must have some acting talent - and detailed knowledge of the target - to carry off a convincing Impersonation.

The spell's normal duration is 12 hours; someone touching or even hitting the caster will not dispel it. The spell ends prematurely in the following circumstances:- if the caster attacks someone else in a manner not commensurate with the Impersonation (a Wizard using a broadsword, for instance, or a Fighter casting spells - using the normal abilities and skills of the Impersonated person will not break the spell); the caster behaves out of character (permits a chance to disbelieve in those watching, with bonuses depending on exactly how "out of character" the caster is); or the caster is subject to a Dispel Magic or Antimagic effect.

The details of this spell are a closely-guarded secret in Wendar; however, it is strongly suspected that the Darokin Secret Service may have managed to duplicate it, or at least recreate some version of it, in recent years.

Sorcerer's Manacle
Level: 9
Range: 20'
Duration: permanent until dispelled
Effect: Creates magical bonds
This high-level spell was created at the command of the Wizard-King Gylharen himself, following the defeat of the Mage Landryn Teriak in Denagoth. He sought some method of binding rogue wizards without necessarily killing them; this spell is the result.

When cast at a Mage (a Saving Throw vs. Spells applies to avoid the effect), the spell creates softly-glowing golden bands about the wrists (or similar appendages) of the target; these resemble gold wristbands, but may not be removed, touched or affected by physical items or any magic short of a Wish. The bands are linked by an illusory, hair-thin golden chain; this is a representative effect of the spell, and will stretch or shrink easily - it will not impede the target's movement in any way. The Sorcerer's Manacle blocks and disperses any spellcasting by the afflicted Mage, causing feedback whenever magical energies are released - one point of damage per level of spell. Moreover, the Manacle prevents the Mage from using magical items specific to their class which require activation - a Dagger +2 will still function, a Wand of Fireballs will not.

The spell must be cast on a Mage (or Wokan) to function; the Manacle does not affect those who draw power from a Patron Immortal, nor those whose power is innate. For instance, a Gold Dragon afflicted with a Sorcerer's Manacle would be unable to cast learnt spells, but would be free to use natural abilities such as Breath Weapons or Shapeshifting (the latter ability would not free the Dragon from the Manacle, however; being a magical construct, it changes size with the Dragon). By the same token, the Charm abilities of Dryads, Nixies, Devil Swine etc. are not stopped by the Manacle; nor are the spell-like abilities of Nagpas or similar creatures - however, a similar spell could be researched to block such powers, if necessary. The stolen spell-powers of a Neh-Thalggu are affected, since these are "learnt" spells.

This spell is almost always found in the Spellrods used by Gylharen's "Special Envoys" - of which there are only two at any time - high-level, highly-trained agents whose primary purpose is to prevent abuse of magical powers by amoral or evil Mages. Their identities are known only to Gylharen, and they report directly to him.