Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Two Relics

I'd like to wish everyone who celebrates it a happy Fourth of July.

One of the relics detailed below fits the theme of fighting for freedom, while the other I think is just intriguing.


Hatuey's Macana
When explorers from Spain and other nations reached the New World, they wreaked havoc on the native populations there. Violent efforts to convert the locals undermined local culture, while disease and war devastated once strong populations.

The natives didn't yield without a fight, however. One of the most famous of those who resisted Spanish oppression was a Taino cacique from the island of Hispaniola. Hatuey led guerrilla attacks against the Spaniards. Eventually he was captured, however, and presented with the choice of conversion or death. To this he replied that, if the conquerors went to heaven, then he would rather go to hell so as never to see them again. He was burned at the stake.

After his death, Hatuey left behind his macana. It is a wooden warclub, with sharpened edges and pointed knobs protruding from it. Some say that he had it blessed by Taino priests. Whatever the case, the weapon functions as a macana +2, bane against Spaniards.

Macana (war club)
Cost: NA
Damage (medium): 1d8
Critical: x2
Weight: 5 lbs.
Type: Bludgeoning

John Dee's Obsidian Scrying Mirror
One of Queen Elizabeth's more mysterious advisors was a man named John Dee, a fellow skilled in the arts of mathematics, astronomy and navigation. His interests weren't limited to subjects of this world, however; he also studied a variety of occult topics, hoping to commune with angels and thus learn the secrets of times long past. Because of this he acquired numerous relics, including one brought home from New Spain by Spaniards who fought alongside Cortes. The mirror is made from a roundish piece of obsidian, polished to a high sheen. A small protrusion on one side has a hole in it so that a handle or rope can be attached. It is thought to be sacred to Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec deity whose name is often translated as “smoking mirror.”

In game terms, it functions much like a mirror of mental prowess, except that it cannot be used to actually visit other places. The possessor who knows the proper commands can cause it to perform as follows.
  • Read the thoughts of any creature reflected therein, as long as the owner is within 25 feet of the mirror, even if those thoughts are in an unknown language. (Refer to the detect thoughts spell for details of how this can work.) This ability functions once per day.
  • View other places as if with clairvoyance, but vision extends even onto other planes if the viewer is sufficiently familiar with them. This ability functions once per week.
  • Once per week the mirror accurately answers one short question regarding a creature whose image is shown on its surface (giving answers similar to those from the legend lore spell).
Of course, there's also the fact that, as an Aztec relic, it might work differently for users who are unfamiliar with the traditions and rites of that culture. This ability functions once per month.

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