Saturday, August 24, 2013

Three More Relics

Detailed here are three more items drawn from tales of piracy and swashbuckling.


Da Gama's Ashes
Vasco da Gama is a renowned explorer, one who helped to connect Europe to Arabia and India at the same time that Cortes was leading the conquest New Spain. Even though da Gama is regarded as an explorer and not a warrior, however, he has an act bloodshed on his record that can rival anything Cortes ever did. It happened when he encountered a ship carrying Muslim pilgrims en route to Mecca from Calicut. After claiming that the treasures that it carried, da Gama had his men seal the passengers aboard it and then set it on fire. According to the tales, they then watched while the unfortunate victims pleades for their lives, and let them die. It is not known just how someone came to be in possession of ashes from the ship. Moreover, it is not known if they come from the wood of the ship itself or from some of the victims aboard it.

In game terms, a pouch containing these ashes grants to its possessor the benefits of a prayer spell once per day.

Gainy's Pieces of Eight
During one of the expeditions that William Campier accompanied across the isthmus of Panama, the buccaneers found themselves needing to cross a torrential river. To do so they rigged a rope across it, and then tried to use that as an aid for fording. One member of the party, George Gainy, carried a backpack containing 300 pieces of eight. Such was his greed that he would not leave them behind. He learned his lesson, of course, when the force of the water tore his overburdened self from the line and he drowned somewhere downstream.

Although the buccaneers never recovered his body or his lucre, somebody else did so. Now these accursed pieces of eight are in circulation, carrying their taint. The person who acquires them also gains the Vice fortune as it applies to greed; he or she becomes obsessed with stockpiling money, even if that means risking everything that once was more important.

La Popa Madonna
Many people believe that calling on some kind of supernatural force--be it the loa, a saint or the spirit of an ancestor--can provide real protection in life. Such is the case with this item, a statue of the Virgin Mary from the nunnery that overlooks Cartagena. The Spaniards in the area frequently called on her to deliver their prayers for retribution against buccaneers, freebooters and other such scallywags. Indeed, some credit her with the skinking of Captain Henry Morgan's flagship, the Oxford.

In game terms, praying to the Madonna allows a person to inflict the effects of the doom spell on an opponent, one that lasts for a full day. Doing so requires that the supplicant succeed at a DC 18 Knowledge: religion check, and failure by five or more means that the supplicant instead suffers the effects of the spell.

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