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The Price of Morning
One foot. Two. One foot. Two.
Sabyah walked. One foot. Two.
Gleal was dead. One foot. So was Brother Service of the Radiant Order–and a good one he was. Two.
Over years and over miles. One foot. They had come and fought the hordes of Kalanji. Two. The monsters had devastated the villages of the high places. One foot. Families dead, thatch huts worth nothing to most–two–but worth everything to the poor souls that lived there burned. One foot.
His master had told him on a burnt morning, such as this–one foot. He would return and bring with him the vengeance of three generations of subjugation–two. And for miles and years, he had nurtured the Price. One foot.
And today, the Great Haggash, itself, would be paid his due.
System: The Price of Morning can only be wielded by a follower of a path. The gods stood at odds, all together, during its creation and bickered over who should carry it–their eons long argument yielded only one agreeable answer of thousands of disagreeable ones… only those who live and die by a code may carry and pay the price.
Lawful creatures may use the Price without issue, after attunement, Neutral creatures suffer a 50% chance of it failing. Chaotic creatures suffer a 95% chance of it failing. It will still take (property 1 below), but might fail to give (property 2).
The Price, itself, is a ring of steel as big around as a man’s wrist. Once attuned, it slips over the windpipe of the bearer, magically piercing his skin without pain or blood. It encircles his throat–the only detriment is his voice doesn’t raise above a low conversational volume (if it does, take 1d6 damage that results, if bringing the character to 0hp, in knockout only). The pain is too much, if overexcited.
The Price has two properties.
- Every level a PC earns or gains, they may invest 1 or more HP into the Price. It yields no information with Identify or other magic as to how many it has in it at any time. Every point invested in the Price is a point not applied to one’s character.
- The Price guilds a charge within itself yielding +1 to hit and +1d4 Radiant damage for every point invested in it. The charge may be used (thus depleting the invested HP) on one attack, which can be declared after the roll to attack, but before the result is declared (to allow for the possibility of applying it to a critical hit, primarily).
Immediately, on declaring the use of the charge, apply +1 to hit (in the cast of using it on a critical hit, this is wasted) and if the attack is successful then apply +1d4 radiant damage per HP in the Price.
All HP afterward is used when using the charge–none can be stored after the discharge. All HP is lost. It does not return to the Price or the character.
The Price starts play with a random amount of HP in it already determined secretly by the DM (and recorded objectively, aside).
Kurt glanced back at the door behind him–the pounding was emphatic now. They really wanted to get in.
“Stay away! I know what I’m doing! he called out to his friends.
“Dammit, Kurt–knock it off! Give me a little more time, that’s all…” Blinda was trying to sound reasonable. The witch was always trying to sound reasonable. More study, caution, care. None of that mattered and she wouldn’t understand. He had to show her.
He looked over the door one more time, once they heard the scream they’d REALLY try to bust it in. It looked solid, and he did his best to enchant it against entry for at least a few minutes. With one hand, he gripped the spoon and with the other, the stone.
From inside the room, Blinda and Hex listened to horrified screams and felt cold all over as hoarfrost took over the door.
System: Rare is it that a piece of the great river of magic that underlies the world and worlds comes to this plane by itself. Sometimes hazard and sometimes intentional, the pure quintessence can be many forms.
Riverstones appear to be glowing, chaotic balls, irregular and smooth, they feel like the sort of rocks one finds in a fast moving river–water polished and eroded with time. But, they look anything but–purples and blues, lights and ever-shifting material–in one moment parts of it appear like brass and in another those same parts flow into spilling yellow light and in another look as though ice. They always fall into this world in pairs.
When held before the owner (who must attune to them), they advantage any passive perception to notice creatures (only creatures) in the area. A minor benefit.
However, if one replaces their own eyes with the stones (requiring a successful Medicine check for the procedure and Wisdom save DC 15 for the will to go through with it–repeatable once per day), they gain the ever shifting sight of all the beings of the universe.
Roll a d12 and consult the chart below, the result is the sort of vision the bearer now possesses:
- Aberration – soft pink thorns sprout from eyes – Truesight versus creatures with INT>10
- Beast – red, wolflike eyes – Darkvision 180, advantaged PP
- Celestial – solid gold eyes that glow – Truesight 10, Normal beyond
- Construct – eyes turn to stone – Blindsight 30
- Dragon – reptilian eyes – Darkvision 240
- Elemental – swirling fire and water eyes – Tremorsense 30, Normal beyond
- Fey – chaotic colors swirling – Cannot disbelieve illusions
- Fiend – dead black eyes – Truesight 5, darkvision 120
- Monstrosity – yellow eyes in black sockets that move independently – Truesight 20
- Ooze – gray sludge eyes – Blindsight 10
- Undead – rotted and dry scraps – Darkvision 30, can see only Living Things and non-magical objects
- Humanoid – Normal
The bearer may use Inspiration to re-roll as a free action.
The Chronicler’s Book
“Dammit Wally, we could all use some HELP DOWN HERE!” thundered Old Prash Cudgel–their little warband’s resident grumpy bastard. The big man was hip deep in goblins, sweating more than any three men, and whining as always. Primitives, thinking only with their weapons.
The look on the priestess and her (were they sleeping together? lover? friend? whatever, wasn’t any of Wally’s business) outlander friend said they were happy with the young mage crouching behind the stump either–but wars are won with more than steel, after all. Marcus the Vigilant of Pekal wrote that. Not that anyone was interested way out here in the middle of nowhere.
“WALLY! I will twist your little peck–OOMPH” Old Prash took a club to the midsection from a hairy, equally sweaty, thing that had managed to slip his side. The creature was taller than Cudgel and just as ugly. Something like a hobgoblin, but bigger and far dumber looking.
This was what Wally was waiting for… can’t waste paper after all. He pulled his ready quill out and started scratching in his pale blue book.
“The club doubled the barbarian over, but his upswing broke the creature’s jaw…” Wally mouthed, while the ink sparked and flashed.
System: The Chronicler’s Book was bound with threads from the skein of Fate itself. Cased in leather and set to travel the world by the Arch-Fey–The Lord of Stories.
Only warlocks of the Arch-Fey and Wizard of the Divination school have the natural and learned skill to use it properly, though any caster may attempt to.
By taking an action, the scribe may write a sentence in the book describing an exchange between two individuals. An attack, an argument, a barter, a dance, love-making… doesn’t matter.
He may write anything from something coincidental and plausible to something wildly unlikely and near impossible. The DM must declare the DC before the attempt is made. For coincidental happenings (it probably would have happened anyway) the DC is 5. For possible, iffy situations (fairly even chance it could or wouldn’t happen), DC 10. For improbable effects (not likely to happen at all) DC 15. For very remote events (a rare chance of happening, given the situation) DC 20. For once-in-a-blue-moon events (strictly speaking, merely possible technically), DC 25. For things that defy reason entirely (just shy of logically impossible), DC 30. The writer makes a Performance check normally, if the sentence only describes one party doing something, and at a disadvantage if the sentence requires both parties to do something. That also sets the DC for their (the subjects’) Wisdom saves.
The DM may opt (as Fate is fickle) to grant Inspiration in lieu of a described event getting a chance. Thus, should Fate choose to play the game less often, it still rewards the curious and interested for the attempt.
However, if Fate is interested…
If one party is described only as actively doing something, then they must roll a Wisdom save versus the DC of the Performance check result. If both are described, they both roll Wisdom saves. Anyone failing spends their next turn’s action and/or movement resolving the sentence with advantage or disadvantage as the writer intended.
The hero attacks the monster. (Hero gets Wis Save, on failure is advantage to attack monster)
The hero grabbed the monster and wrestled him to the ground. (Both save, hero advantaged to grapple, monster disadvantaged).
The monster stumbled to his knees as he moved away from the hero (Monster save. Dex check at disadvantage, fail is fall).
The sentence can only affect each subject only once–only one roll–in a given turn.