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“What’s to stop us just clubbin’ that pretty face flat and tossin’ whats left into the brine, neh?” First Mate Sorka’s face was a deep rouge leather, hard-baked by decades of sun out on the open waters, and Courser had never known it to hide a lie. The old boatswain meant it. They’d kill him as easy as sinning and leave him lost at sea—just another cautionary tale for the boys at the docks that dreamed of plunder.
Still, he held onto the rigging of the shilemain, the tension in the air was almost thick enough to taste. Twenty hands of all shapes and sizes, a few officers, a dead captain, and a locked captain’s chest that held the promise of easy money nobody would be looking for out here.
“You’re a piece of right shit, Sorka, you know that?” was all Courser could think of and rather than sound fierce, it came across as simply buying time. The old sailor laughed, deep and true, and casually motioned for one of the deckmates to walk over and bring Courser off that rail with prejudice.
Those two quick, thoughtless handwaves were enough to make the young man grin, even as the grizzled thumper unfurled his club.
System: Svim Cord Armor—made of intricate and tightly braided, twisted, laced, and wrapped pieces of hard brasscord rope—is little known on the mainland, having fallen out of fashion and popularity even in the far continent with the development of cheaper and less laborious-to-make leather armors in the Northern fashion.
Still, it was the favored protection of the Far Walkers—a sect of outlanders that roamed the wilds hunting for cults and conspiracies in service to the Black Spider in the days before the Bending of the Heavens.
The Hornwail coat of Cord counts as +0 light armor allowing 13 + Dex modifier for AC, weighing 20 lbs. While worn, the armor subtley affects those around it. Those wishing to harm the wearer (in any way) find they cannot approach close while the wearer is fighting another. As long as there is an attacking creature adjacent to the wearer, all other aggressors avoid getting within melee range. This does not prevent them using ranged attacks or attacking others or even shouting taunts or distractions, but intelligent creatures are driven to attack one at a time in close combat.
Constructs, Beasts, and Undead ignore this effect.
Hands of Fate
“The skein of the world is tightly woven from the ambition of great men and the tyranny of greater ones. The book of Chance Mislaid tells us that the only way forward, through, and above the fray of what the common people think of as Chaos is to wrestle with that skein and wrest control of this thread or that from those that would pursue their mortal and tawdry ends.
“We, who sit athwart history are charged with the duty to commit great crimes… stealing the successes and failures of men and turning them to a more pious purpose. Heroes must spare some heroics, monsters some monstrosity. Fools some folly. Paragons some exceptionalism.”
–Fourth Canon of St. Raius of the House of Risk
System: Blessed by the God of Chance and Fate, the Hands are a pair of silvery-threaded gloves worn, once, by the fabled Mercy of Zoa who stole freedom from a destiny he didn’t want by wresting it from the fabric of reality itself. Or, so the story goes.
Attunement requires the sacrifice of one’s ability to channel divine power to turn the undead. Fate does not see the dead, and one must turn a blind eye to them to be seen by Fate. Once done, the god Risk allows the wearer to steal Fate from others.
The wearer may then spend Inspiration to steal a dice roll from another within sight. Upon seeing an action taking place, the wearer of the Hands may use their reaction to reach out and pull on the strands of Fate (visible as ephemeral threads and strings made glowingly visible in the air itself when touched) and spend an Inspiration point. This happens after the final d20 roll for the action, but before any result is fully described or damage completely rolled. The actor (the one performing the action in question) has their action robbed from them (they go through the motions, but the action only pantomimes itself, neither succeeding nor failing—only unhappening—thus any components or per-day restrictions are not broken).
The wearer “keeps” the total from any of the dice rolled for the action (the d20 to confirm success, any of the dice for damage or table rolls, etc.), but just for one dice (so the total on one particular dice). They may hold onto that total until they get another Inspiration point (which replaces it and the held dice is lost). They may use it in the place of a dice roll of the same dice type (if a d20, can use in the place of one of their own d20 rolls; if a d6, then one of their d6 rolls, alone or amongst others).
The Hollow of War
The sound was a deep well in the winter, long and empty and without life.
Raxback Will, four feet of thick muscled Clansire to the dwarves of the Bronzeway Valley, stood before several dozen chittering and fierce warriors of the tunnelers. Their claw-like hands gripping staves and clubs, waiting to pounce at the first twitch.
The sound was a crisp haunting wail, the sound of a mother mourning a child.
A few leaned back away from the stout warrior, their chiefs clacking angry sounding admonitions while the thing before them scowled and beat his shield again.
The sound was death, pure and focused, the sound of a high sky wind sweeping alone and broad through the Bronzeway, calling the end of life and the unconcern of the turning of the world.
System: The Hollow of War is a relic from the days when the Dragonborn ascetics of the peaks shared common cause with the dwarves of the Kakidela mountain range. Against the purges of the Empire, in the days of the line of Exile, they traded, mingled, fought together, and even their broader theologies found places to overlap. Several generations of cultural exchange had benefited both by the time of the Cataclysm.
The Hollow is a thick, brass shield bearing the cuneiform of the Monetary and the runes of the Clan and served as a calling gong in the temple of the Order in the peaks of the mountains. Repurposed during the Battle for Toren Stream, it sent hundreds fleeing into a red rout in terror.
One must be proficient in heavy armor to use the Hollow due to its weight and the manner in which it manacles to plate armor. One must also have a Strength of 17 to wield it. Lacking either requisite leaves it largely useless.
Attunement requires adding one’s name, in one’s native high written language, to the surface (Engraving or similar Tool Check DC 15). Once accomplished the shield counts as a +1 shield that allows the user to beat its call with any metallic object and strike fear into one’s foes.
Using one’s action, beating on the shield in just the right place (Performance DC 10), one may force a Wisdom Save versus being frightened DC 5 for all creatures in front of the bearer (a 45 ft cube). One may sacrifice one’s bonus action to strike a counter-harmony to the first strike (Performance DC 10) and increase the Wisdom Save difficult to DC 10. One may sacrifice one’s reaction on top of it all to strike the shield again (Performance DC 10) to create a dissonant and terrifying sound raising the Wisdom Save to DC 15.
So, to force the Wisdom Save DC 15 one must make three quick Performance Checks (DC 10 each) and sacrifice all but one’s movement for the round. All that fail the check are frightened and may attempt to save out at the end of their next turn (and each after).
This ability may be used a number of times per week equal to one’s Proficiency Bonus.