Friday, 12 July 2013
How interesting can rocks be?
Joshua Blackletter wanted to know- “These rocks have been lying on a ley line a couple of kilometers down since the earth cooled. What will carrying them around do to adventurers?”
For some reason I read ‘these’ as ‘three’ and created three rocks. Oh well.
The oldest. Shaped like the blade of a primitive hand axe, fits neatly into the palm. Unnervingly sharp. Almost impossible to attach to any haft. Obsidian, black volcanic glass. Spark can be ground against any other stone to create sparks and a fire from those sparks will always catch and be very very difficult to put out.
Spark’s intent is blunt but its effects are subtle. It usually hits when thrown. If cast at a policeman, general, king or pope it will always knock their headgear off. Spark will be ignored if you are searched for weapons. Spark wants to cut chains and smash locks, to shatter spears and cut blunt notches in expensive swords. A rogue and a vandal. Optimistic. Can erase despair in the user with unplanned blows. The greater the status difference between the holder and the target the more damage spark will do. (This only counts attacking higher status targets.)
Spark reflects the stars when held against the sky at night, but not these constellations. Your arm swings when you hold it. You begin to hum. People ask you why you smile. You find yourself unable to bow or salute.
Sea-smoothed. As thick as a Banana at the centre and as wide as a dinner plate. Oval. The bands of 37 sedimentary compressions lie painted across the stone in parallel lines. They range from autumn-leaf red to gold to green to grey and black and white. Tide is calm and inevitable, untroubled by any particular change. Has continuity of self.
If you die possessing Tide, the next person to pick it up will be almost identical in ability, experience and inner nature. Though different in outward seeming. They will value the same things and make similar plans.
Tide is a point of continuity in a hostile universe. Things around it can change, but only so far. Necessary evolution. The holder can never gain or lose more than half the hit points they last gained or lost. Planar or monster summoning’s will only bring in creatures thematically correct for the environment or situation they are summoned for. No characteristic loss or increase and no supernatural extra-normal effects will touch holder. Or will be lessened if inevitable.
Tides holder will tend to pontificate about perfectly obvious things and to wear flat shoes, if they didn’t before.
This one looks weird. Veins and liquid swirls of changing metallic hues ripple randomly though what looks like iron ore. The swirls are irregular and violent with no arranging pattern or originating point. Each pseudo-metal scatters shiny metallic rainbows. Xen is always an irregular shape, uncomfortable in the hand. When in your pack it sticks persistently into your back however you carry it. When in your pocket Xen always makes an unsightly lump. -1 CHA.
Xen rests uncomfortably in the world. One tap will open any lock for which the key is irrevocably lost. Xen gradually warps any straight lines slightly off true, bad for rapiers and books of geometry, no effect on sabres and wool.
Xen bleeds green pigment and if used to make a rubbing from an inscription, will translate the data into a code decipherable only by the holder of the stone, so long as they tell no-one else the meaning. Works on any language. This ability takes d4 weeks to recharge if lost.
If a message is written, wrapped around Xen and passed or thrown to someone, it will be readable for the intended recipient and no-one else. If you throw this message through a window, it will hit the intended recipient in the head and no-one else. (Always non-lethal). If you throw Xen into a flock of birds, it will always hit one. If thrown blindly over one shoulder, Xen will hit the person you least expect to be there, wherever ‘there’ is. If you throw Xen under any other circumstances, it will miss, if you are lucky. If not it will boomerang back and get you right in the eye.
Possessing Xen turns one eye green, or read if eye was green already.