In the Grim Darkness of Overacting, Why Not a Lance, and Mighty Strong Words…

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

Raptor and Thorn

Broadways groaned as Tanu turned a tense situation into what had promised to be a bloody and expensive one. The governor’s own guard stood unmoving and impersonal, like an iron fence barring anyone from getting too close to the aging tyrant.

A crackle so low even Broadways, standing right next to him, had to lean in to hear…

“Tell your boys to put down…”, ugh… the paladin hated the way Tanu did that husky thing with his voice. Around the fire, he was a perfect second tenor and here he sounded grim and dark and old.

“…their toys.” Sometimes, Broadways was glad his helm had a visor as he blew his cheeks out a bit and rolled his eyes behind it. Solidarity and all that. Besides, what was no doubt coming next was going to be equally over-the-top (it always was) and it’d be a good thing to be the stoic one if there was a chance at finding a diplomatic way around a fight with twenty elite pikemen.

System: Raptor and Thorn were created by the inquisition of the Silver Flame, under the specific directions of one nefarious Cardinal. Blessed by the burning light, kissed by the ever flickering and moving fires of holy righteousness, they represent the height of the faith’s attempt to empower truly solitary champions.

Attunement to both swords (one a straight, one-edged and pointless rectangular rapier of peerless silvery steel–Thorn; the other an equally gleaming hooked shortsword with a forward point crafted with fierce-looking serrated edging–Raptor) requires a full month of patient training and contemplation of their magnificent contours and sympathy.

Once attuned, the pair act as +1 magic weapons (rapier and shortsword) and only work together or not at all. All attacks with either must be done together, in a flourishing and intricately paired manuever that looks (to outsiders) almost like flames twisting about and leaping out from each other. Every attack action, attack bonus action, or attack reaction is made with both swords at the same time–one roll representing both weapons. This attack is always disadvantaged–such is the perfectly and impossible to command nature of the flame.

A successful hit, however, does each weapon’s damage as though both had individually hit. Miss means both miss. The manuevers that accommodate this are frighteningly choreographed and wildly intricate–from an outsider’s perspective.

Similarly, when taking a dodge action, the blades compel the user to whip them ceremoniously and violently about–offering a +1 magical armor bonus during this time. If taking the dodge action, once cannot make any attacks at all (including reactions) as the blades are either attacking or defending in a given round only.

The Green Rider’s Wale

Newton saw them coming long before the rest. There were many–honestly, there were too many. The circle was going to end today and the part of him that still remembered his humanity reminded him sorrowfully that the best he could do for his comrades was to simple not tell them. There would be only fear and anger in that knowledge. Them, so purely… mortal… they had their vices and vanity and if they were to live out the coming storm of haggard bodies and menaces on the quick approach, they’d need their delusions as well.

Meilla and Teller were playing dice, the early morning camp was still set from the misty rains the day before and nobody was in a great rush to stomp through the mud. All eyes were on the food cooking and the game being played. Newton sighed, unfurling the deep hunter green wale from his pack.

He focused for a few moments while the rest went about their morning, crouching behind the barbarian’s lopsided tent and minutes later, as the bear approached, he hoisted his green saddle and steeled himself for his quiet lonely charge. Perhaps, he thought, he could but the rest some time.

System: The Wale was a gift from the Thornkept druids of the East, a sect famously aggressive in their pursuit of war against the horrors and creatures of the Mire–or so legend says. A thousand years ago, it was given to a knight of the Shallows who was on a quest to eradicate (or die trying) one of the great undying giants that plagues that land. A common cause between the righteous and the righteous.

An order of paladins was started from that moment, handing down both the oath to ride the world of the unclean and draw allies for this war from the Green itself.

The wale is a short-saddle, perfectly impractical for daily riding and designed after late Empire fashion for purely military application. A deep, dark greek (nearly black) and without horn for reigns nor cast for reclining nor belt for fastening to any known animal.

To attune to it, one must pledge the oath that all Green Rider’s pledge–to the eradication of all undead, without question or contemplation, and renouncing any reward or seizure of anything that has ever touched it. The exact words are almost lost to time–a DC 20 Religion or Nature check may reveal them (or similar study).

Once attuned, the Wale allows the Rider to call a creature (beast or plant, natural), the closest suitable mount (and it arrives in 1d4 minutes) for air, land, or aquatic warfare. The DM is encouraged to be creative and where possible fulfill this request–the Green finds the best it can.

Once it arrives, it will allow the Rider to place the Wale over it, and will follow commands from the Rider for 1 minute. After that time, the creature may or may not decide to leave based on its own survival instincts and needs–if it does, the Wale falls off and the creature goes away. While riding the creature with the Wale, the Rider cannot fall off accidentally or by actions of anyone other than themselves or the creature (trying intentionally to buck the Rider) and any attack against the Rider is disadvantaged so long as the creature moved a full movement in one direction in a turn.

Should such a calling result is no eradicated undead, the Wale ceases to work again for the Rider. It is a tool of war, those who will not fight the war are unworthy of it.

The Hand of Zeal

“Foul creature, brought from below to hound and plague us–there is no place for you or your kind in this world. You’re a disease in the field, a blight in the orchard. You’re the swarm that comes from the autumn winds, but this one… here… is protected by the Mother herself and you have no power anymore.”

Brother Service watched the old priestess banish yet another one… he felt his own faith weak that he could not so gloriously do the righteous work he’d dedicated himself to.

He’d never seen someone so filled with power and so secure in its use. He’d never seen a true cleric before, it seemed.

System: The Hand of Zeal is not an uncommon item. Created by senior priestesses and divines of the True, they were intended to promote greater passion and promote greater devotion to the faith over the power that comes with it.

The Hand resembles a fez or taqiya, a brimless hat with a vaguely flat top, made of pure white wool. To attune to it one must be able to cast divine spells and one must give away all one’s worldly possessions, save the clothes on one’s back, with no expectation of return.

Once attuned, the Hand catches the attention of the divine caster’s deity with every spell. If the caster verbally calls on their god or goddess’s assistance when casting a spell–it must be topically appropriate for the deity in question (a god of war is unlikely to care for pleas to calm and bring peace to foes; but may respect an earnest need to befuddle enemies or lure them into lowering their guard) and the player must fashion a plea/request/demand using at least eight words.

When this is done (again, in conjunction with casting a spell) there a % chance equal to their proficiency bonus that the spell works as normal (hit or miss, so long as it wasn’t stopped) and they do not lose the spell-slot.  For particularly impassioned or perfectly framed prayers/pleas that hit just the right desires of that deity, the DM may allow the roll to have double the % chance.


4 thoughts on “In the Grim Darkness of Overacting, Why Not a Lance, and Mighty Strong Words…

Add yours

  1. Is the Raptor and Thorn magic weapons that are +1 individually or +1 as a pair? I got it as a pair but just making sure.


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