Sunday, May 15, 2011

Two More Relics

Today's update includes two new treasures, Selkirk's Bible and the Apostles.


It is a common practice among pirates and soldiers to prepare rounds of ammunition for use in battle, combining powder and ball with a paper jacket; in this way, the whole assemblage can be rammed down the barrel of a weapon, instead of taking time to do so with individual items. Because these cartridges were often assembled in groups of twelve, they earned the nickname “Apostles.” One enterprising priest has worked to make this an even truer name, however. The ones he makes include silver shot, each engraved with the names of one of the twelve disciples of Christ—Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas Iscariot. Some even believe that crumbs from the blessed Host are included amidst the gunpowder.

Those who have used Father Raphael's creation swear by its efficacy. In game terms, these Apostles function as +1 holy ammunition. If ever the Judas round is used and the attack roll is a natural 1, the weapon explodes and causes full damage to the wielder.

Selkirk's Bible
Among pirates and other sailors there are many forms of punishment for disobedient crew members—lashes, bastinado and loss of shares are just a few. None was more feared, however, than being marooned. Those unfortunates who suffered this penalty were provided usually with a firearm and power, and perhaps a few other items, before being put ashore on a desert island; they were then abandoned, usually forever. Few and far between are the stories of maroons who survived to return to civilization.

One person who did is the famous Alexander Selkirk. Following a disagreement with a Captain Stradling, during which Selkirk tried to persuade others to desert, the captain marooned him on a small island. There he stayed for more than four years, surviving by hunting goats and taming cats. One of the items that helped him keep up his morale was a Bible from which he read every day. It is a small volume, the King James version, one with a black leather cover embossed in gold. In game terms, the Bible grants to the person who possesses a +1 enhancement bonus to all saving throws. Furthermore, the book can be used to invoke the benefits of a remove fear spell, three times per day.

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