Tuesday, August 14, 2018

DIY 30 #12: Harpe of Castration, Ring of Darkness, Shadow Cloak

Three items associated with the cult of Skotia, goddess of darkness, silence, and death, or with goddesses of darkness in general:

Harpe of Castration
A "harpe" is a kind of sickle-sword; the most famous depiction is of Perseus' sword, which resembles a short sword with a hook on the back of one side of the blade--but what is more likely is that a harpe was more of a real sickle-sword, with a curved blade and perhaps with the cutting edge on the inside of the curve.

This particular harpe has been enchanted in imitation of the mythology of Skotia and her emasculation of her son, Ophalle. It is a shortsword +1, +3 vs. men. Additionally to the extra bonus to hit and damage, when a critical hit is rolled against a man in combat (a roll of a 20 on the die without modifiers), the blade threatens the opponent's genital integrity. Whether this actually risks castration or emasculation in such a moment is up to the referee, but the effect of the threat is such that the target of the attack must making a saving throw against fear (or paralysis if there is no particular fear save), or fight at -2 on all dice rolls for the remainder of the combat.

There are tales of priestesses sent out to collect fifties of cut-off phalluses for their goddess, in much the way that David was sent by Saul to collect the foreskins of the Philistines. The reward for such a quest is conjecture, and the truth of such tales is debatable as possible fear-mongering by more male-centric cults.

Ring of Darkness
A thin ring of a dark metal, a ring of darkness is so light that it seems almost nothing in the palm. And yet, worn when under darkness' cloak, the power inherent in the ring is palpable.

A ring of darkness confers several benefits on its wearer while the wearer lurks in shadows. First, the wearer gains the ability to heal through regeneration at the rate of 1 hp per turn. Secondly, the wearer may become invisible at will. Thirdly, rather than becoming invisible, the wearer may become incorporeal, and thus struck only by silver or magical weapons, as well as capable of passing through walls and other solid objects.

However, if the wearer is exposed to sunlight or any other significantly bright light while using the powers of the ring (e.g. the daylight spell, or a chamber filled with bright torches that banish any shadow), the powers immediately cease, revealing the wearer in whatever capacity they were intent upon.

Lastly of note, the use of the powers of invisibility and incorporeality incur a risk with every activation: upon activating the power, the wearer must make a saving throw versus death or suffer one permanent point of Constitution loss (only a wish or some similarly powerful magic might restore it!). If a character is ever brought to 0 Constitution by the invocation of these powers, they immediately fade away into the Shadow Realm, a place from which they can no longer access or affect the Prime Material Plane. This is permanent; though it is left up to the referee to devise some means of restoration from such a fate, if they so desire ...

Shadow Cloak
This cloak is nearly insubstantial and seems to be but an ethereal wisp of shadow that one throws about one's shoulders and secures with a silver cloak pin. The insubstantiallity is no illusion--this cloak is a shadow, literally pinned by the cloak pin.

Any character wearing the cloak while in melee may command the cloak to attack exactly per the description of the shadow creature in the rule book. It attacks on the wearer's initiative.

It is possible for an enemy to strike the cloak pin that binds the shadow, rather than the character wearing it. Only particularly intelligent or aware monsters should generally take the option to do so. The cloak pin has an AC equal to that of the shadow monster, plus any Dexterity bonuses (or penalties) appropriate to the character wearing it. It can sustain 6 hp of damage before breaking; if broken, the pin no longer binds the shadow, and the creature will most likely (1-4 on a d6) attack the wearer of the cloak, or (5-6 on a d6) continue attacking whatever creature it had been commanded to attack, before fleeing away and seeking some dark hole in which to hide and succor itself in shadow and hatred ...

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