You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items over on the right. Read ‘em, like ‘em, share ‘em, and comment.
It was a quiet, serious, and frequent communion. Every morning, when the dawn broke over the trees or peaks or horizon or walls, Favian Crossley could be found kneeling already—head bowed, a simple cloth sack spread before him like a small, ugly blanket. With great care and great ceremony, he picked up a wooden bowl no larger than a man’s cupped hand and filled it with his own breath. The deep inhale and exhale was a comfort to him, he visibly smiled and relaxed with the releasing of that air into the empty bowl.
Then, as methodical as ever and unwavering from one morning to next, he poured some grain into the bowl from a small pouch by his right knee—always his right. And, holding that pose, hands by the bowl resting in the center of the flat sack, pouch to his right, head down, he sat. And sat. And sat.
And the fire came, and leapt from his chest, and burst him into light and it was wonderful.
System: Ambrosia seeps into the world in the few places the gods and goddesses of the great expanse that is the cosmos have touched. At the junction between the eternal and divine realms and this world there grow both the weeds of discord and the flowers of harmony—and it is from these flowers that ambrosia comes. The seeds are a pure, hard white—like overround and overlarge grains of rice—in the dark. But, in the light, they soften and smell faintly of citrus. They are unearthly, and any casual inspection shows they came not from this world.
Fortunate heroes have found small pouches of the seeds, in the past. Never more than a few together. A Religion Check DC 20 reveals that they can be made to multiply by ritualistically exposing them to the glowing first rays of dawn (in which case, 1d4 seeds appear with the others). If there are none left, the pouch crumbles, what divine power keeping it eternally supple and fresh is gone. The seeds cannot be eaten at night.
The first seed of ambrosia eaten in any given day provides 1 hp of magical healing. The seed, soft and plump during the day, dissolves in a summerfruit-like sweetness. One can use this on others, so long as one can get the seed into their mouth.
The second seed of ambrosia eaten in the same day provides 1 inspiration, as none can taste the food of the heavens and not feel strong, content, and calm.
The third seed eaten in the same day provides immunity from (though it won’t remove) the first exhaustion one has or gets. This means if one has two exhaustion, the effects of level 1 are ignored (though level 2 is still felt).
The fourth seed eaten in the same day grants a resistance to radiant damage.
There is a (5 + the number of grains) percent chance, any given dawn, that a random divine being comes to reclaim what mortals ought not have. They first ask, then demand, then confiscate through any means necessary. Roll 1d10 to determine what comes: 1-5 a Deva, 6-8 a Planetar, 9 a Solar, and 10 an incarnation of one of the gods themselves. Defeating or killing the creature that comes for the seeds may incur the wrath of beings yet greater.
The Freell Tarp
Broadways had come to listen very closely to what Quick Bill said. The rotten, lying ne’erdowell was as likely to take your purse as shake your hand and nobody in the camp gambled with him anymore, but when it came to delving into the dangerous places, there wasn’t a more self-centered and selfish bastard in five nations. One thing you wanted out of the guy leading you through dark passages was that guy having a high opinion on the value of their own life.
More than once, Broadways had been grateful to have the old brigand about—usually when he found or uncovered some hidden menace they’d have walked right into.
So, when the lazy old gnome spat his chew on the floor in the middle of the deep and cavernous hidden temple they’d been exploring, and said that seven quick moving things had just run across that pit they’d avoided the day before, the old paladin pulled his steel and forgave the bastard for most of his sins.
Whatever was coming would be in for a surprise.
System: Freell Breneshlibidon was a gnomish inventor more interested in practical applications of arcane technology as it related to the careful acquisition of goods not-necessarily-purchased. Of the thieves guilds and cabals of the Western kingdoms and cities, his was one of the most common names when tradesmen and women of crime talked shop and compared methods.
He was, of course, unceremoniously hanged from the walls of Bet Kalamar in the seventh year of the reign of Malleus Exile—famed for his purge of arcane power and subversion throughout the kingdom. Nevertheless, some of his works are still around.
The tarp itself is a cloth backed stretch of patch-stitched leather. Thing and flexible, well oiled and maintained. To the casual observer it would look like a common tarp—the sort of thing a traveller might use to keep the rain off or make a tent of, though its a bit larger than it needs to be at 20ft by 20ft.
Attunement, however, (which is done with the investment of 1 inspiration point and maintained with a similar cost of 1 inspiration per week, thereafter) opens its hidden powers to the owner.
Once attuned, the tarp may be folded and kept rigid. Loosening it again requires physically unfolding it. The tarp is able to hold its rigidity with weight on it up to 150 lbs per layer of thickness. For example, one can fold it in half (10 by 20ft.) and it will stay rigid like a board with up to 300 lbs on it. One can further fold it in half (5 by 20ft) and it will hold up to 600 lbs.
In addition, the owner senses anything touching the tarp with tremorsense irrespective of distance (so long as its on the same plane).
One can, it should be noted, attune multiple tarps—if one were to find them.
The smell of decay was pervasive. It seemed to come from every where and so throughly clouded this place that even a man strong of will found himself claustrophobic from the stench. amidst wafting fumes of rotting bodies, one felt trapped. And Horace was no exception. Could be no exception.
The dark thing seemed to float, a horrific non-walking hover likely only barely off of the smooth floor—it reminded both Horace and Qual that no matter what face this arcane monstrosity wore or how sweet its words, it was not of this world anymore. And the face it wore was a comely lady, albeit clad in ragged grey and black robes, and the voice it used was dripping with sincerity… granted, they’d been chained for seven weeks.
No matter how perfect the room looked, or how pretty their captor, it still smelled like the foul of bodies left in the sun for a day and she still moved with the alien grace of a secret, hidden monster.
Seven weeks, and nothing. Seven weeks and they were no closer to freedom. Qual has whispered for Horace to do it. But, the sorcerer could not bring himself to. He promised to get them free. He promised every night. And this morning, he woke from his shackles to find Qual dead. Some time in the night.
Horace waited for their captor to return, and readied to set the whole world on fire.
System: The Pyre was forged from the screaming rage and pain of a thousand sorcerers and mages, those of natural and deep magic. The Conflagration is a rumor only, few know of it and those who have doubt it actually happened. They doubt that a cult of personality surrounding one powerful and unknown woman in the Helokin Valley ever existed. They doubt that the cult had brought together the greatest gathering of magical might ever seen in the world. They doubt that any outpouring of power into her being was either possible or that it occurred. And they doubt that the resulting loss of life, the death of so many, in a purple and red and bright cracking and flashing lightning storm created a craggy and cruel artifact of their power in the form of the ring she wore on her finger.
But… it happened.
And the Pyre, that ring, had found its way from one surging power to another. Attunement requires the permanent sacrifice of one’s Bond. Whatever kept one tied to this world is gone, and one can not have a Bond ever again—such is the unearthly nature of the ring. It takes some of one’s own humanity.
Once attuned, however, the ring allows the wearer to (once per day) expend every iota of arcane power in their body and flesh and burst into an immolation of pure quintessional power. A raging, swirling typhoon of magical energies swirling and tossing and crackling about the wearer. Using an action, the wearer of the Pyre may activate the ring, at which point they lose all of their spell points and their proficiency bonus goes to 0. The storm lasts a number of rounds equal to their normal proficiency bonus. The storm does a number of d4 equal to the number of spell points lost when activated.
At the start of any creature’s turn, if they are inside the radus of the storm, they take the number of spell points lost in 1d4’s (10 points is 10d4, 5 points is 5d4) in damage that counts as being Fire, Force, Necrotic, and Thunder (resistance to any of those is resistance to all the damage, invulnerability to any of those is invulnerability to all of the damage, vulnerability to any of them is ignored).
The radius of the storm is determined at the end of the wearer’s turn (the storm does not become alive until the end of the turn they used the action with). The DM should roll 1d6–the result is the number of feet radius the storm will rage for 1 turn.
While the storm rages on, the wearer is blind and deafened and have +2 AC cover. Once the storm falls, they must make a Con Save DC = 2 x their level. On a failure, take 4 exhaustion. On a success, take only 2.
Leave a Reply