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Gloves of Ynx
Love is war. That’s what Grek-voke believed and in this moment, close enough to see every bead of sweat on his opponent’s brow—each weary line of the old Captain’s weathered face. He really felt close, emotionally significant, to the man. They were locked in the most honest moment of their lives.
Raef would likely try and ruin it, the child-like sneak would be circling around to the soldier’s flank and it boiled a small spite in Grek. It would only spoil this. The ache in his arms as he held his nicked and scratched falchion in two large hands, his shoulder forward and bracing was sweet and dangerous. The Captain’s own axe kissing his sword and the old man leaning into it just as deliciously.
They were entwined in their rage and gamble. It was an honest moment. This was skill and vigor at work. This was true combat. The spells and hexes and sneaking arrows in the dark were all unholy and cheap… but this moment, snarling back and forth with a true warrior? Not giving and inch, risking evisceration… this was love. And he wanted to savor it for as long as he could.
System: In the days before the old empire, during the great Foundation Wars with their rival, the kingdom of Ynx trained and deployed the Swordsmarche—an elite, mage-twinned knight that championed their ancient tradition of war with fine blades. Ynx was a kingdom of subjugators and paladins, Inx was the land of eternal rebellion and revolution, thieves and striders. The two served as the tempest that gave birth to heroes that would come to be the gods we know.
The Gloves of Ynx were once a common item amongst the Swordsmarche. Attunement requires a morning prayer at dawn with one’s favored weapon and the abandonment of proficiency in three weapons of one’s choice from the standard list of Martial Weapons. Once selected, one may regain proficiency as any other character might through downtime or feats, but with those weapons until that time one has no proficiency—one has abandoned the lesser metal to focus on the true weapons of war.
From there, the gloves grant the wearer the ability to engage a specialized Grapple with an attacking, armed foe. In reaction to either an attack roll attempt or a successful hit, the wearer of the gloves may use their already in-hand weapon to block and grapple the strike. One must choose to use this ability when an attack is declared, if not one may choose to use this ability when an attack successfully hits; if one does not use the ability on the declared attack and the attack misses, one cannot go back and choose to use it.
Using their Reaction, the wearer may block the strike with their weapon—the wearer and the opponent now locked in a fierce weapon-to-weapon clash. This grapple has the added condition of preventing either party from moving the other (all movement is 0 for both) as well as requiring both hands of each to maintain (thus, no attacks while locked together).
At the start of each participant’s turn, they may attempt to overpower the other by attempting an Acrobatics or Athletics versus the other one’s Athletics (only). The larger weapon (determined by damage dice) is considered to be advantaged in this check. On a successful overpower, the opponent is either knocked prone or shoved back 5ft (winner’s choice). On a natural 20 on the overpower roll, the winner may choose to do both.
After combat, the survivors gain 1 exhaustion for every such overpower they succeed at. This exhaustion may be removed with 1 hit dice for each point, without the need for a short rest, and via normal rules and spells.
Colonel Drey, chief of General Westrauch’s own staff, stood in the middle of the battle and tuned out the blood and death and screaming and the smell of shit and crying of the boys too young to have to go through this very necessary business of national pride and valor.
Every once in a while, as the fight raged on and the man walked through the lines, some bastard would think to make themselves a name and Drey would have to kill him. A half-dead pikeman boldly charging, left with half a fave. A pair of farmers with leather poorly strapped to them and what might have been cleavers running into the officer’s shield and then the officer’s mace running into their heads at high speed.
War was sad. Death was depressing. And Drey was tired. Ten thousand men in these hills, slicing and beating each other to death on a crisp autumn morning. And as a boy, no more than ten, raced up his hill, screaming his nonsense tongue in defiance and glory, Drey kicked his chest in, watched his body roll and tumble down, and wanted to go the fuck home.
System: The elite guard of Emperor Malleus Exile II, formed after his father’s death and during the years of the Second Purge, were known as Marchers. Units of no more than eight or nine, led by an officer of renown, all armored and perfect, and always marching. Drills. Ceremony. Procession. Investigation. Patrol. Battle. Some whisper Murder. Genocide. Worse.
Their official name was the Emperor’s Own, but the common folk knew them as the Marchers and their coming meant celebration and fear.
Their officers were equipped, at great expense, with Warboots. A careful creation of Iarno, the chief sage to the Emperor. A pair of heavy, dark brown boots with brass banding about the ankles and feet. Attunment requires proficiency in heavy armor and walking 100 miles in them. At which point, their unique properties come alive.
One’s base movement is, unfortunately, reduced by 5ft. as the boots are heavy and not designed for true running or sprinting. however, while wearing them one suffers no exhaustion for overland travel while walking and may recieve the benefits of a short rest while walking (though any other normally prohibitice acivity like fighting may interrupt). One gains a direct damage reduction against anything one is standing on equal to one’s proficiency bonus (one may ignore some of the damage from caltrops, for instance, but not from thigh-high fire).
In addition, one may use a bonus action to lash out a kick (considered an unarmed attack roll) that, on a hit, forces a Constitution Save on the target DC equal to one’s own Strength. On a failure, the target is launched backward a number of feet equal to the amount they missed the check by.
“Can we set a fire or not?!?” Harris was now yelling upward at the old paladin, towering several good feet over him. They’d been at it all night. The group had picked up the delver down in Farahtown—solid reputation. Could charm the pants off a lock. Knew his way through Hob ruins. Expert, you could say. But, with a good reputation comes some bad spots. Bit of a lazy thing, hear tell. bit of a priss.
And from the looks of it, Broadways was about two seconds from slapping the teeth out of the little gnomish gander. Hardly started this adventure and they were ready for a fight. The others just turned away, suddenly finding the grass more interesting than the coming ruckus.
“I’d already said we can’t. Too dangerous. We’ll eat cold and sleep cold, you can have my tent, Mister Pale, if you must. But no fire”, Ser Broadways—Brodie as the gang called him—was patient and kind, but his thick brow was furrowed enough to plant corn in tonight. This sorta thing had been going on since breakfast.
All the while, Wat reclined against a stump of a gnarled oak tree working himself to a nap, watching the coming scrap. City-boys and girls. What a useless bunch of cunts.
System: Outlawed a century ago, most of the works of the Tailor of Cragg were burned and classified as subersive technology by all the civilized nations from sea to sea. But, you can no more take quality larcenous goods out of the market entirely than you can take piss out of a beer once the halfling pisses in your beer.
Poacher’s Clothes were the least of his creations, truly. An alchemical and arcane enriched suit of travelling clothes that were specially designed for the Brightlight Gang who famously stole Lord ir’Corwin’s famed Dialai Cattle and cleared the game out of his personal wood before the last war.
Trousers, loose and outfitted with clever ties to cinch close to the joints when needed; shirt, longsleeved and similarly designed; short hose to wick away moisture; three-tailed scarf of incredibly robust design for use as a short poncho, a bundle, or a shade. Longcoat that folds down for easy carry that is water and mostly element proof and retracting hood attached–perfect for keeping the weather off. The whole outfit is a strange shade of beige that, when looking too long, seems to shift in hue and texture.
Attunement requires outfitting one’s self and being away from populated civilization for at least 12 hours. The magic that drives it was designed to keep the outfit from being used in urban and settled towns and areas (so the Tailor could keep the lowest profile). If one is within a mile of a major settlement of people (defined by the DM, but must be limited to areas incorporated as formal cities or towns or settlements at least), the clothes only appear to be ill-fitting beige drapery.
However, away from such place, the Poacher’s Clothes grant the wearer resistance to the natural elements (naturally occurring heat, cold, wet, arid landscapes, etc) which advantage them on all checks to resist damage or exhaustion from exposure. The clothes retain much of the wearer’s natural body moisture and one need not drink water but once a week (rather than once a day). One is advantaged on Stealth checks in natural environments and one need not have tents or blankets or bedrolls to achieve a normal, comfortable sleep.
In addition, the Poacher’s Clothes shift and adapt (as an illusion) in the eyes of any given viewer. So long as a creature has an Intelligence Score greater than 3, one may attempt to hide even if one is in plain sight. On one’s turn, one may take an action to focus the effect on one target, forcing them to make an Intelligence Save DC equal to one’s Spell Save DC (if one doesn’t have one, this effect is not possible). On a failure, one may attempt a hide on their next turn at Disadvantage in clear view of the target vs target’s Passive Perception. Attacking or otherwise directing new attention to one’s self will break this Hide as normal. To the target, one appears to be there and then it becomes very hard to distinguish between the wearer and other things in the background. The mind is forcing itself away from the confusion constantly.