Tervine's Travels, continued
New Magical Items
Tervine's "Hidden" Items
This is a blanket title for a selection of concealed or disguised magical devices, created by the Archmage Tervine Culver, which reproduce the effects of more ordinary magic items while appearing to be no more than simple, if expensive, jewellery. Wealthy folk across the Known World have purchased examples of these items from Tervine; his back-order list is considerable. A few such items are detailed below:
Duration: 2 rounds
Effect: creates 2-6 sparks
This is a basic attack spell, adapted from both the Magic Missile and Lightning Bolt enchantments. When cast, the spell creates 1d4+2 electrical sparks which dance and leap about the caster's fingers as if alive. The caster may fire off as many Skittering Sparks as desired each round, at any targets within range - either by hurling all Sparks at one target, or splitting them up at will. The Sparks require a successful "to hit" roll to strike (unless the target wears metal armour, in which case they hit automatically), causing 2 hp damage each.
Each target struck by a Skittering Spark must Save vs. Spells or be stunned for 1 round, unable to take any action until the effect wears off. The effect is not cumulative; a single target struck by 5 Sparks in a single round must make a saving throw for each, but will still only be stunned for a single round. Undead creatures, constructs, and Elemental creatures are not affected by the stunning effect.
Any Sparks left unused at the end of the spell's duration fade away harmlessly.
Duration: 1d6+6 Turns
Effect: Renders single item unnoticeable
This is an improved-duration variant on the 1st-level spell Low Profile (see Tome of Mystara Issue 1 for details), designed to cause intelligent creatures to overlook a worn or carried item. The item concerned radiates an aura of disinterest; those who do see it will look away immediately and instantly forget its existence. Note that this only applies to items worn or carried passively; a Plain Sight-affected sword will not remain protected if swung above the wielder's head, for example. Using an item in combat negates the spell instantly.
The spell has no effect on mindless (low-level Undead, constructs) or animal-intelligence creatures; similarly, creatures with superhuman intelligence (above 18) can easily perceive the item. Since Plain Sight affects the mind directly, special visual abilities such as Infravision do not enable the viewer to bypass the spell's effects, although Detect Invisible and Truesight work normally. The spell cannot fool tactile impressions, however, and will not hold up if the bearer of the item is strip-searched.
Plain Sight is most commonly used to get around the "no weapons to be worn" laws which are prevalent in certain civilised countries. It is also quite useful when smuggling a single small item through customs (or past bandit troops).
Effect: somnambulistic Geas
Created centuries ago by the expatriate Glantrian wizard Urmakan Delorna, this spell was believed lost for centuries; however, recent events make it obvious that the spell has once again come to light.
Casting Sleepwalk requires a fresh-laid egg from a bird capable of simulating human speech - a mynah bird, a parrot, or some other, similar creature. The caster must hold this egg in both hands, and whisper the purpose of the spell to it, over and over; this process takes an hour. At the end of that duration, the egg is broken and the contents drunk down in one by the caster; this completes the spell. The caster then has precisely one hour to touch his chosen victim, transferring the purpose to that person, or the spell is wasted. The target is entitled to a saving throw vs. spells at -2 to resist the spell.
This unpleasant Geas variant creates a secondary personality in the target, which lies dormant during the hours of wakefulness. While the victim sleeps, however, the Sleepwalk persona takes over, fulfilling the purpose for which it was created. Although this task may be anything, from building a house to writing a novel, the spell is most often used for darker purposes; specifically, for murder.
Unlike a standard Charm, the Sleepwalk-enchanted person will calmly perform any act, no matter how vile, even if the body's normal persona would consider such an act to be utterly repugnant. The secondary persona can utilise any skills, powers, or spells possessed by the primary with the same level of skill, and has access to the same memories, although it is free to ignore any emotional attachments or responses - indeed, a complete lack of emotion is often the only way of telling that the second persona is in charge, not the first. The Sleepwalk personality can only remain in control for a maximum of eight hours per night, and will usually try to return the body to its bed before that duration ends. Part of the spell's magic allows it to refresh the body during the personality-shift phase, so that increasing tiredness does not give away the spell's existence.
The spell is broken when the Geased task is completed, with the victim none the wiser that he was ever affected - unless his body took damage during its night excursions, or was held captive until he awoke. If the task is open-ended, however, only spellbreaking enchantments can free the poor unfortunate. A Dispel Magic (cast by a Mage at least two levels higher than the caster of the Sleepwalk) or Dispel Evil can shatter the spell, immediately waking the victim. However, such a violent end has a 35% chance of giving the formerly-enchanted person all the memories of his second persona's actions; if these were sufficiently horrific, the distraught victim might well go insane or commit suicide.
Casting Sleepwalk is not an inherently evil act; it is the purpose to which the spell is put which determines its alignment.
Duration: see below
Effect: summons extra-planar being
This grisly spell is truly ancient; its creation is attributed, rightly or wrongly, to the mage-musician Orfeo Merelakys, who lived during the height of the outer-world Milenian Empire; but its roots may extend even further back, to the time of the Taymoran Empire. No one still living knows from where the spell truly came; few enough know of the spell's existence at all. The spell's purpose is to summon up Entropic Fiends to serve the caster (or possibly Servitors of the Outer beings, if these are used in your campaign).
The spell requires the gathering of twelve severed heads (the "choir" the spell's name refers to), which must be fairly fresh - no more than six weeks dead - or preserved in some way, perhaps by mummification. The heads must come from spellcasting humanoids, such as human wizards (not Clerics), Elves, or some other spellcasting race, and should ideally be female. Each one has a different glyph painted on its forehead in blood, and are arranged around a binding-circle, facing inwards (the glyphs are from the ancient Taymoran symbology, giving further weight to that theory of the spell's origins).
When ready, the caster must walk around the circle three times, touching each head in order and speaking the words of the spell as he does so. When this is done, the eyes (or empty sockets) of the heads start to glow with a sickly light, and they animate, murmuring the words of the spell - including the True Name of the being the caster wishes to summon - over and over, both volume and pitch rising constantly until the heads are screaming the words in a ghastly, discordant wail (observers, other than the caster, must Save vs. Spell at -2; failure inflicts the equivalent of a Cause Fear spell upon them. A roll of 2 or less causes the unlucky person to instead collapse, unconscious; when they awake, they will be Feebleminded from the horror of the spell).
At the spell's climax - which can take up to an hour for a particularly powerful Fiend or Servitor - the heads give a soul-rending screech, and light floods from their eyes to fill the binding-circle, creating a Gate for the Fiend to enter through. Once the summoning is complete, the Choir's voices drop to barely-audible murmurs, just enough to keep the Fiend entrapped until a bargain can be struck. Note that the Fiend will require a hefty payment, both for its services and to appease it for being summoned in this fashion.
The same heads, if preserved in some way, can be used again for another casting of the spell. However, the stress of channelling the spell means that each head has a cumulative 20% chance, for each casting after the first, of exploding in mid-chant, either ruining the spell completely or freeing the summoned being to wreak havoc on the Prime Plane, beginning with the caster...
Use of this spell is an extremely evil act.
Tervine's Contagious Communication
Effect: Enchants small objects
This spell exploits the thaumaturgical Law of Contagion ("once together, always together") to allow two or more beings to remain in contact over considerable distances. Tervine uses this spell to enchant his Signal-Stones (see "Items" for details).
The spell requires a small valuable item, such as a gemstone, as a focus; the caster must hold the item in hand during casting. The spell lies dormant within the item until it is broken into two pieces (or more, depending on the item), whereupon it activates, allowing the holders of each piece to communicate with each other. Once broken, the spell expires when its "charges" are used up or one month has passed, whichever comes first. Items enchanted by this spell do not survive the Day of Dread, unless imbued with Improved Permanence or one of its variants.
The "basic" spell is designed to create Signal-Stones, with effects as outlined elsewhere; other items may be enchanted, with variations in communication-distance, type of message, number of words transmitted, etcetera, by altering the wording used when casting, although these variants should be memorised as part of the spell - the caster may not alter the parameters of a memorised spell. The DM should decide whether the changes required would increase the effective level of the spell to 5th level or higher, in which case the caster must research the altered version as an entirely new spell.
Note: Tervine devised this spell only recently; impressed with the efficiency of thaumaturgy, he now plans to devise further magics based on both the Laws of Contagion and Similarity.
Duration: 6 Turns
Effect: Creates moveable, invisible eye
This variation on the standard Wizard Eye spell shares many of the same characteristics; it creates an invisible, floating eyeball, the size of a human eye, through which the caster can see, and provides Infravision to a range of 60'. It can float through the air at up to 120' per turn, but cannot travel through solid surfaces, nor move beyond its normal range away from the caster.
Tervine's variant has three major differences: firstly, it has one-quarter of the original's range. Secondly, the caster may move, up to a brisk walk, while moving the Eye ahead of him, although running while manipulating the Eye is beyond his ability. Finally, and most importantly, the Magus-Eye grants its caster the ability to see enchantments, in the form of swirling magical auras. This includes spells cast on living creatures or inanimate objects, either helpful (Shield, Protection from Evil, etc.) or otherwise (Curse, Charm Person, etc.), as well as spell effects "cast" by magic items. It does not include the permanent magical qualities of most magic items (a Sword +1, for example); such items appear "dead", unless some spell has been cast upon them.
Copyright 1999, Carl Quaif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.