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Vorbiant's Rings:

by Carl Quaif

The Wizard Vorbiant lived and died on the Alphatian continent over 600 years ago. A powerful Mage, his forte was magical research - Vorbiant developed many new and potent variations on existing spells and magic items (particularly the latter) in his two-century-long life. Unfortunately, Vorbiant was both easily bored and obsessively secretive, which meant that he rarely made more than one of any item, and invariably destroyed any written notes pertaining to its creation; consequently, many of his unique devices are now lost to the world.

Among the few remaining creations of Vorbiant known to exist are a collection of half-a-dozen unique magical rings. Each of these is made from red gold, so rich with iron as to be almost crimson in colour (Vorbiant always used the same gold mine for his raw materials, as he found the gold-iron combination was particularly receptive to enchantment). Although unadorned, these rings can be distinguished from each other by the runic script etched on the inner surface of each, stating their names and any command words they may have (Read Languages is necessary to understand the script).

The rings were auctioned off after Vorbiant's death, and have exchanged hands frequently in the last six centuries. One early owner of the set had a velvet-lined teak box made to hold the rings, which has been sold along with the rings, as an integral part of the collection, ever since.

All six of Vorbiant's Rings, and their casket, are detailed below:-

Ring of Elevation - This item functions as a Ring of Levitation, as per the spell, allowing the wearer to float off the ground at will. It differs from the norm because the wearer can also use it to levitate any other person within 30' into the air. This power can affect only one person at a time (either the wearer or one other person). Unwilling levitants may make a Save vs. Spells to resist the effect. The ring is useful for helping an entire party to scale a sheer wall, one at a time; in combat, it can be used to pick up foes and drop them from a height. The ring can only levitate others to a maximum of 30', unless the wearer can levitate or fly by other means; when used on the wearer itself, the range is practically unlimited. This ring can be used as often as desired.

Ring of Arctic Fire - This item functions as a Ring of Cold Resistance, as per the spell. While it is worn, the air around the wearer (to a range of 1-2') feels warm and comfortable at all times. In addition to the standard powers of such an item, once per day the Ring of Arctic Fire can be commanded into overdrive; the wearer bursts into flames, becoming immune to even magical cold (such as White Dragon breath) The wearer (and all items worn or carried) is immune to the fire, but while aflame he can cause 1d6 damage per touch to others and ignite flammable items. The fiery shroud lasts no longer than 1 Turn, and may be cancelled at will by the wearer of the Ring.

Corps Ring - This potent item functions as a Ring of Protection +2, 15' Radius with a selective protection process. The wearer of the Ring can, at will, create temporary copies of the Ring, which may be passed to whomever the wearer desires; so long as the wearer of a copy is within 15' of the primary ring-wearer, he receives all the benefits of the primary ring's protection.

Ring-copies can remain in existence indefinitely, if the wearer remains within 60' of the prime ring; if taken further away, they fade from the wearer's finger. Likewise, the prime ring's wearer can cause any and all copies to vanish at will. Up to 20 copies may be in existence at any one time; beyond this limit, the copying power ceases to function.

Ring of the Libram - This item functions as a Ring of Memory. Once per day, the wearer may use the Ring to recall a cast spell of level 1-3 into memory. However, by accident (or design), the recovered spell is not necessarily the one cast; it can be any spell of the correct level to which the wearer has access, be it memorised, in a spellbook, or on a scroll belonging to the caster (DM's choice as to which spell is recalled).

Ring of Spellshaping - This item functions as a Ring of Spell Turning. Unlike most rings of this type, it has unlimited uses, but only functions twice per day. When an offensive spell (Magic Missile, Fireball, Lightning bolt, etc) is cast at the wearer, the Ring automatically converts it into a protective or otherwise helpful spell of equal or lower level (for instance, Magic Missile might become Shield or Detect Magic; Fireball could shift into Protect ion from Normal Missiles or Infravision, etc). The wearer cannot select which offensive spells are affected, nor what spell the attack transmutes into.

Vorbiant's Ring - One of the last items Vorbiant created, as he reached the end of his life; it contains a portion of his spirit. A powerful and flexible version of the standard Ring of Spell Storing, it can hold up to 6 spells, or 12 spell levels, whichever is the lesser - the wearer can alter the selection as he pleases, so long as it conforms to these limits.

When the Ring is used, a translucent image of the long-dead mage appears and casts the spell on the wearer's behalf, remaining extant for several rounds afterwards. This spirit-form has some of the memories and personality of the irascible old wizard, and must be treated with deference and respect, or he will refuse to serve the wearer. If Vorbiant likes his "master", however, he might be prevailed upon to pass on some of his sorcerous knowledge, including several unique, long-lost spells...

Tedrum's Casket - This is a shallow, ornately-carved teak-wood box with a heavy hinged lid; the interior is lined with red velvet. There are six ring-sized indentations in the base. Created by the Bettelyn-born mage and artisan, Tedrum Lancorr, in 1783 AL to house the collection, the Casket's clasp bears a permanent Wizard Lock enchantment; only one who knows the correct sequence of knocks can disengage the lock and open the box.

The last known sale of Vorbiant's Rings was nearly fifty years ago, in Floating Ar; If the rings have remained with their purchaser, then they are lost beneath the sea (or were perhaps transferred to the Hollow World); however, the collection was reputedly stolen and broken up in 1007, so by now the individual rings might be found almost anywhere.