Safety At a Price, A Good Death, and When You Play the Game of Thrones…

You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items  over on the right. Read ’em, like ’em, share ’em, and comment.

The Dome of the Lost

Pria lunged and the skitterling gurgled its last at the end of her sword.  Behind her, the rest of her comrades were bloodied and weary–the whole night had been spent pushing and pushing forward through the cavern.  Harold, their guide and tracker, died back in the round room she would always remember as “The Point of No Return”.  Billit Fortenue (“Handsome Bill” they’d called him back home) was not likely to survive the day.

The ambush, the entrenched defense, that rotten pit… their shaman… gods above and below, she was tired.  But, if legend and their maps were correct, through the next broad passage–marked with gold veins in the coal-black stone–would be the end.  And somewhere in there, no doubt, the Hexmaster waited. 

Her fellows followed quietly in the dark as she navigated the passage–and hours later she was hunched at the grand oak doors.  Picking, oiling, and quietly–so quietly–she slid into the barest of openings.

A circular groove cut into the stone surrounded a field of dead.  Bones long dry and mail long rusted.  Nothing moved.  The place was desolate.  To her horror, some of the remains bore the distinctive mark of human teeth.

System: The Dome is a cruel device.  A polished black hemisphere of obsidian with a gold ring around the edge of the bowl.  It was created by a long-forgotten Arch-Fey and handed down through a line of nobles until they too died and became forgotten.  It passed into the world and was lost.

One must attune to the Dome to use it, doing so takes at least a short rest of quiet meditation. Once attuned, though, the bearer may use either of its two properties as needed.

  1. The bearer may place the Dome on the ground, concentrating on it (which counts as a spell requiring Concentration) and in 1d4 rounds a large, impenetrable black dome will appear in a 30ft. radius at the end of their turn. The dome has a floor even with where it lands.
  2. The bearer may throw the Dome, also concentrating on it (however, at any distance greater than 5ft from the bearer, each round requires a DC 15 Concentration check at the start of the round) and at the end of 2d4 rounds the dome will appear.

The dome is black, allowing no light through.  It is impenetrable to physical attacks and any transmutation or attempts to affect the dome fail (though can be pushed from the outside should a strong enough force be able to shove the 2 ton, smooth creation).  Magical travel into or out of it fails.  It acts as an antimagic field inside (“deactivating” magical items within).  While inside, spells cast inside must overcome a spell resistance DC of 30 (spellcasting modifier + spell level + 1d20 check).  Spells cannot be restored, regenerated, or regained inside the dome.  Anything within the radius of the dome (wholly) is trapped inside.  Anything partially within the radius or outside is not.

The dome lasts for as many days as the bearer has maximum HP.

Rage of the Mountain

Sir Broadways cursed softly under his breath as, once again, the cautious plans and tactics were trashed.  A morning’s work, plotting and planning–giving directions and orders… all wasted.  Myra would be in place up in the tree on the ridge, the Caiat would be masking his presence in that perverse way he did…

It was going to be a quick and decisive battle, with only as many casualties as needed to get Vogh Farak to yield.

And as the paladin knelt in the brush, ready to charge the encampment a familiar howl told him that once again, Poda Fin had shat all over everything.

He watched the barbarian racing–swords over his head and a wild joy in his face–toward the clearing.  Screaming his name over and over.  Screaming in that strange tongue of his.  Broadways cursed again.  That fool was going to get himself killed.

Complete. Horses. Arse.

System: The spirit of Rage, a legendary Rokai and tribal warrior of the lost lands, inhabits the very soil of the High Grave of Kings.  His was an honored place in the songs of his people and their stories brought his soul back to the dirt of that old place.

In a clay vial on a bronze chain blessed by the sages of the Fhokki, some of that soil is shared with heroes and champions to continue the glory of Rage himself.  It is considered an honor to carry his death.

Once attuned to the vial, the bearer walks in the footsteps of the fabled adventurer–risking their life brings reward.

In combat, when the bearer takes her first death saving throw, if it fails her maximum HP is raised by 1 (he does not get healed to 1, and remains in her current state of dying).  On the second save, if it fails, she has a 50% chance of gaining another 1 to her max hp.  On the third, she has a 25% chance (though this will only be useful is resurrected in some way, of course).

The vial blesses her with greatness in dying, in this way, and may again after a short or long rest.  Should the bearer try circumventing the glory through tricks or dishonorable means (throwing fights, trying to die) the spirit of Rage deems them unworthy of the gift and desirous only of death–denying them their gains in this way both at the time they try and from uses up to that point. The line between epic ferocity and “gaming the system” is thin.

The Barony of Haverwood

Plucky Jim never did like Cromwell.  They’d spent the last few years running up and down the countryside and the little gentleman was useful–no doubt there–but he was also a bit of a dandy and whined endlessly about life on the trail.

So, when Crom comes back from their last stint in the capital and says he got himself a house with all the money he’d saved from their treasure hauls and some lucky gambling–that was fine. No issue.  Let him be, that’s what Big Brick said to Jim and that was fine. 

However, as of late, bastard kept insisting over the fire that he was BARON Cromwell now.  Kept at it.  Correcting everyone all the time.  Fucking bastard.  Over and over.  Even when Plucky Jim went and saved his skinny arse from that raid last week.  Baron. 

If that was bad enough, His Majesty was the only one of them who didn’t spend the last two nights shitting himself over the bad water they’d had a drink of from that new cask.  Lucky, stupid dick.

System: The Barony is a holdover from the ancient days when the gods had been making the world–long before they started fighting themselves and through proxies for who gets to rule it.  Several such parcels of land still exist.  A product of the old times, forgotten by the wise and powerful.

These parcels are imbued with the Divine Right of Kings–a promise the gods made to raise up mortals with a piece of their power.

It starts as a Barony–titled by a legitimate kingdom. A small patch of land, a manor.  The owner is granted one resistance of their choice.

Should that parcel be both grown (physically, politically) into a more substantial holding–a county, titled by the crown for a Viscount, they may either choose an additional resistance or convert the one they have into an immunity.

Should that then be grown into a county and titled for a Count, they may select another resistance or convert one they have into immunity.

Then a duchy (same grant) as a duke; then as an archduke (same grant).  Should one achieve a kingdom–by taking over the existing one the parcel is grown in–and be anointed King by a conclave of a majority of the faiths, they gain Legendary Resistance and may auto-pass up to three separate failed saves each day.

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