Tuesday, August 31, 2021

OSR: 8 Magic Shields

 

artist unknown

Vulcana:

A disk of black basalt rimmed with a razor edge of obsidian.  Smells of ash and sulfur, and perpetually warm.

The true origin of the shield has been lost, but this story is the one most often associated with it.  In a city near a long-sleeping volcano, a small cult of Chaos lived secretly among the people.  For many years they had terrorized the population with acts of terror, in an attempt to overthrow and weaken their host government.  The authorities were helpless against them, until a group of adventurers captured one of their officers, who revealed many names after he was tortured.  Armed with this new information, the City Watch and Temple Guards began rounding up those named and obtaining other names.  The leader of the cult in the city, a servant of chaos named Galiel, heard that and was terrified.  But one night, when in hiding, he received a dream where an Angel of Isfet came to him.  "The Gods of Chaos have chosen you," the Angel told him, "You are special among your brethren.  Climb the mountain and seize your destiny."  So Galiel gathered up his friends and family, for he feared to leave them in the city, and left, heading for the nearby mountain. 

But as they climbed, they were attacked by bandits, who told him they would slay him if he did not hand over his food and money.  Galiel lied to them and said he had no money, so the bandits killed some of his friends, causing the rest to run away, leaving Galiel with only his wife, children and father.  Galiel then handed over his money and food, and begged him to spare them.  He revealed who he was.  The bandits decided to spare him, as they felt leaving a servant of Chaos alive was more cruel than killing him.  But they warned him not to go up the mountain, for he would surely die. 

Galiel refused to listen.  He knew the Gods had chosen him, so he continued onward.  About halfway up the mountain, they came upon a number of blackberry bushes.  Galiel's father went with the children to pick berries, but as he did, they found a couple of bear cubs.  When the children marveled at their cuteness, the father recognized the danger and sent them away.  This came just in time, for a bear emerged from the bushes and tore him to shreds, killing him.  Galiel mourned this loss and his wife begged him to turn back, but Galiel refused.  He had already lost so much.  He had to go on. 

They buried his father and proceeded up the mountain.  Then they came to a swift-flowing river.  By now they were hungry and thirsty, so Galiel's wife went to draw water for her husband.  But when she did, Galiel's daughter jumped into the river, thinking it shallower than it was.  Unfortunately, not only was it deep, but it was fast-flowing.  She was swept away, and when his wife attempted to pull her out, she was dragged down.  Before Galiel's eyes, both of them were swept downstream and out of sight.  At this point, Galiel's son told him it was foolish to continue, that he didn't want his father to die.  But Galiel, having lost almost everything, realized what was going to happen next.  He knew his son's fate now.  So he agreed, and said they should rest. 

That night, Galiel went out to gather provisions and brought back some berries.  He fed them to his son, claiming he had already eaten.  The boy swiftly grew sick and fell unconscious from the poisonous berries his father had given him.  Galiel then cut his son's throat, to relieve his suffering.  Finally, unburdened by anything, Galiel climbed to the summit alone.  Up there, he found an ancient altar in a cave, a slab of black basalt inlaid with bones.  He cried out then, "I have come, my Lords!  What would you have me do?"  Then, to his horror, he found he was not alone.  His family suddenly reappeared before him, their skin grey with death, their wounds still fresh and dripping.  He cried out for his Gods to save him, but they did not.  He screamed as they came upon him.

Galiel came down the mountain the next day, armed with a shield of black basalt and a spear tipped in obsidian.  He wore armor made of the same material, inlaid with gold and bone.  From there, he rallied the servants in the city and led a successful revolt, putting the city elders to the sword and the city to the torch.  Those who surrendered he recruited or marched them up the mountain, where they were fed to his hideous Gods.  Eventually, Galiel's outrages reached Heaven and they dispatched armies against him, which destroyed his desecrated city and scattered his allies.  But Galiel, or his body, were never found.  When interrogated later, his helpers and servants declared that he was not mortal, not anymore.  They claimed that even now, he watched them for signs of disloyalty.  The only one who dared to aid their captors, the steward who revealed one of the cult's many hidden safehouses in another city, was later found dead in his cell, his bones having been transformed to molten gold.

Galiel's shield, Vulcana, is currently in the hands of a Chaos Cult Lieutenant who is scouting out a mine worked by slaves, in the hopes of finding some usable material among the mass of downtrodden laborers.  When he has sufficient recruits, he will use them to seize control of the mine, murder the overseer and hopefully trigger a wider slave uprising.  If that doesn't work, he has informed his new allies that there are tunnels deep into the Earth that can take them to safety.                   

Abilities:
- The bearer can endure cold climates easily, as long as he keeps the shield near his person, suffering no ill effects from cold weather
- 3/Day, the bearer can cause fragments of razor sharp obsidian to fracture off the edge of the shield and strike one creature within 10', doing 1d6 sharp damage.  This can be done as a reaction to being attacked.
- 1/Day, the bearer can cause one attack against him to pierce the shield, submerging it into the molten core of the shield.  That weapon, unless magical or mostly indestructible then melts or is burned to ash and the user of that weapon takes 1d8 fire damage.  This can be done as a reaction to being attacked.

Sunrise Shield:

A shield of ash wood, covered in stiffened layers of sheepskin and painted with the image of a red-orange sun burning away the early morning mist.  The mist seems thinner the more you look at it, but it never truly goes away. 

The Interrogator-Lord Viko Truthteller of Au-Mar was famous for being able to instantly discern lies when they were uttered in his presence.  No matter how carefully constructed a deception was, he could almost smell them.  Even when blind-folded and with his nose stuffed up, he could tell what was a lie and what was delusion, or truth.  This made him the Emperor's greatest interrogator and propelled him to the top of the nation's elite, until he gained a position as one of the Seven, a group of seven administrators and advisors that are closest to the Emperor and wield the most power apart from him.

Less well known is how he gained these abilities.  When he was a lowly initiate, before he ever joined the Office of Uncivil Tactics, the Emperor's nest of spies, witch-finders and cult-hunters.  When he was a mere initiate into the shrine of prosperity, a cult of demon-worshipers tore upon a hole in the world and ushered in a miniature invasion, which ravaged his city and let to almost two hundred Imperial subjects being abducted.  The invaders then retreated through the gate and closed it behind them.  

The authorities despaired at ever retrieving any of the kidnapped people, but a group of powerful adventurers with an axe to grind offered to try and solve the problem.  And not only did they succeed in opening the door, but also rescued several dozen of those who were taken, including Viko.  Viko joined the Office shortly thereafter, partially so they could examine him for Chaos taint.  But soon they found an able operative in him and put him to work for them.

And as stated above, he was extremely good at what he did.  His astounding record enabled his superiors to overlook some of the more questionable things about him, such as how he employed a private torturer who usually only worked on him and how he absent-mindedly cut himself sometimes when thinking. 

When Viko finally died, it is was discovered that his shield retained some of the abilities that he had while alive.  It has since become an heirloom, passed down to his apprentices and later, to others who served them.  It is currently in the hands of a young Interrogator investigating rumors of a Necromancy ring operating out of the royal boneyard for the Kingdom of Mazxri.       

Abilities:
- The bearer can interact with illusions or intangible things as if they were tangible, if he so chooses.  He can walk across an illusory bridge or pimp-slap a ghost.
- 3/Day, the bearer can dismiss an illusion, causing it to shatter into fractals of light and end prematurely.
- 1/Day, the bearer can produce a dazzling flash of light from the shield that reveals all hidden things within 50', such as hidden doors, concealed booby-traps, invisible creatures, and dismantles any illusions. Additionally, any shapeshifted creatures have their true appearances revealed for a moment.  The light does not blind anyone, for it only reveals.   

Selenic Shield:


A shield that looks like it is made of tin hammered and molded to a piece of hardwood, sort of like frosted glass but made of metal.  During the day, it is unimpressive and even tacky looking.  At night, when bathed in moonlight, it glitters and shines like a million silver coins, drawing the eye involuntarily.

Once there was a Quarrian by the name of Isko, a svetle young man known for being extremely beautiful.  He drew the eye of every young maiden in town, but he cared for none of them, for he only loved looking at himself.  He was cruel with the girls who tried to win his affections, being severely unkind to them.  One of his lovers even took her own life, so in despair was she over his rejection.  But as the girl died, the Goddess of Maidens intervened, transforming her into the first orchid.  

This Goddess then turned her attention to Isko, seeking to punish him. She borrowed a barrel lid and shed a single tear onto it.  The tear then transformed into metal.  She shaped the metal with her hands and then, in disguise, presented it to Isko as a gift.  She told him he would be able to see himself in a new way using the shield, as long as he did it by moonlight. 

Isko was skeptical of this claim, but decided to test it out.  When he did, it drove him mad, stripping him of his mind and leaving him with the soul of a beast.  Isko is said to still be alive, roaming the plains at night, forever chasing the Goddess in her movement across the sky, seeking to reclaim what it is she took from him. 

The shield is currently in the hands of a Centaur warlord who enjoys using it to drive annoying captives mad and then hunting them for sport.      

Abilities:
- 3/Day, when in moonlight, the bearer of the shield can choose to reflect moonlight into the eyes of a creature who can see the shield.  That creature must save.  On a successful save, that creature takes 1d4 radiant damage.  On a failed save, the creature takes 1d6 COG damage.  If this COG damage reduces a creature to 0 COG, it loses all higher reasoning and becomes a feral beast, acting on instinct.  It keeps it's previous personality and motives, but operates with only animal levels of intelligence. 

At dawn, the affected creature should save.  On a successful save, the creature recovers it's reason.  On a failed save, the creature's mind remains in tatters forever. 

Lionheart:

A bronze shield marked with the face of a scowling lion, very detailed, to the point where it seems to slightly move and twitch in firelight.

Jak Nuvia is remembered as one of the Garden Land's most famous heroes because while on his many adventures, he accomplished 12 mighty deeds that any normal mortal would have found impossible.  One of these deeds was to defeat the Cerulean Lion, a great blue cat with snow-white hair and teeth and claws of transparent glass.  The beast was huge, but impossibly quick and fast.  No one could see it until it moved, and when it moved, it struck like a thunderbolt then vanished just as swiftly.  So Jak did not bother to fight the beast head-on, he knew such a battle would be little more than a protracted suicide.  So he investigated the Lion, and found out that it also had the ability to pass through solid objects, which made it even harder to defeat. 

So he concocted a plan.  Jak prepared a feast of raw meat and set it with aromatic candles, then waited for the Lion to show up.  He hid near by, and when the Lion arrived, Jak waited for it to finish eating.  Then he stepped out dressed in fine robes and b owed deeply to the creature.  He informed the Lion that he was an emissary from the King of Cats, and that His Majesty wanted the Cerulean Lion to marry his daughter, Ocelot.  The Cerulean Lion was deeply intrigued by this offer, so it consented to listen and bade Jak go on.  However, Jak continued, the Lion would have to prove it was actually as strong and powerful as the Cat King had heard.  So Jak put the Lion through a series of tests, such as cutting a fine sword in half with a single stroke from it's claws, leaping over the tallest tree on the plains, slaying a water buffalo in one strike; all of which the Lion passed effortlessly. 

Then Jak sprang his trap.  He asked the Lion to show him it's power to pass through solid objects.  First, he asked the Lion to pass through a tree.  The Lion approached the tree and bit it, then became like the tree.  Then the Lion asked the tree if it could pass through.  The tree, thinking that the Lion was part of it's own body, consented and the Lion went through effortlessly.  REalizing this is how the Lion's power worked, Jak asked if he could test this power again tomorrow, as he was very tired and he did not want to trouble the Lion more today.  The Lion agreed and they both departed.  That night, Jak prepared two more items.  The next day, they returned to the same spot, and Jak asked the Lion to pass through two more items.  The first was a wall of sharpened pieces of bamboo.  The Lion bit a piece and easily passed through them, same as the tree.  Jak clapped and applauded, then asked the Lion to pass through the last item, a heavy cauldron with an open lid.  Inside, the Lion found the cauldron full of spicy, mulled wine.  Taking a sip of the liquid, the Lion was easily able to enter into the cauldron.  But as it had become like the wine, it could not leave, for the cauldron was an item designed to contain liquids. 

The Lion was thus trapped, and before it could escape, Jak used a bead from his necklace of baby stars and boiled away the wine, slaying the Cerulean Lion.  But when the cauldron cooled, Jak found that some of the Lion's power had gotten trapped in the cauldron's bottom, which was molded into the shape of the Lion's majestic fight.  So Jak cut out that part and had it fashioned into a shield.  This shield would be passed down after Jak's death, becoming a symbol of heroes, especially those who fight like he did, with guile rather then mere strength.

Lionheart is currently in the hands of a freedom-fighter who is attempting to free his people from the oppression of the Orzanian Empire.  His enemies claim he is no patriot, just a greedy warlord backed by the Dwarven Queens and the Vulkari Slave-Princes.    

Abilities:
- 1/Day, the bearer can pound on the shield with a sword or other hard implement.  This makes the shield emit a horrible sound halfway between the roar of a lion and a clap of thunder.  All enemies within 100' must, upon hearing that sound, immediately check morale or flee.  Enemies within 30' also take 1d6 thunder damage.
- 1/Day, a willing creature can press it's face against the shield.  This causes that creature to transform into a Lion with metallic fur and iron teeth.  The creature keeps it's own mental ability scores, but gains a Damage Threshold of 7 and a number of SHP equal to that threshold.  In all other respects, besides AR which is 0, it gains the stats of a normal Lion.

Brightscar:

Brightscar is a shield made of a glossy, shining material that resembles the shell of a white insect, though it is thick as ceramic and hard as steel, though it is much lighter.  The surface is almost always cool refracts light, shattering narrow beams into clouds of radiance.  The only other notable feature about it is the harsh burn down the center of the shield.

The Superkiller was a creature who made it his quest to kill two of every creature on the face of the earth, from the lowliest bug to the highest of beasts.  He was a brutal creature, a monster clad in the shape of a humanoid who possessed an indomitable body and unquenchable thirst for blood.  He carved a swath through the Garden Lands, causing all sorts of chaos on his mad quest.  While in the Kingdom of Bivalos, he heard that the King kept a menagarie of rare beasts, including a small flock of Royal Peacocks, known for their lustrous purple feathers.  So the Superkiller broke into the castle and stormed the menagarie, decimating the animals inside, as well as killing anyone who tried to stop him, or was sufficiently annoying. 

When the Prince arrived with a squad of heavily armed men, they were horrified at what they saw.  But even seeing the clear brutality of their enemy, they did not recognize what the Superkiller was.  So instead of fleeing for their lives, they challenged him.  The Superkiller saw them coming and broke them like twigs, then left the castle in an annoyed huff. 

Despondent over the death of his son, the King vowed that he would give anything, up to half his Kingdom or his fair daughter's hand in marriage to the man who could take revenge and destroy the Superkiller.  This brought warriors from all corners of the land, foreigners and natives alike, all who believed themselves to be bolder and stronger than any other.  Some were very skilled, others woefully underprepared.  Some possessed great mystical powers or the aid of the Spirits and Gods, while others merely had superhuman skill at arms or their own incredible bodies.  Yet for all these would-be avengers, none could defeat the Superkiller.  His power, his skill at arms, his sheer knowledge of the craft of death, it was too much for mortal power to overcome. 

So when Takiz, Son of No One told everyone he was going to destroy the Superkiller, they scoffed and mocked him for it.  For Takiz was an orphan, with no father.  He had born in a brothel it was said, abandoned after birth even by his mother.  But Takiz didn't listen.  For Takiz, though it was said he had nothing, knew this was not true.  He still had his mind.  And he felt the Gods had chosen him for this mission.  So he sought out the Lady of Fireflies, favored daughter of the Insect King.  He knew she had a weakness for rice liquor, so after luring her in with some, he got her good and drunk.  Then, when she was intoxicated, he got her to reveal the secret of how she stored light inside herself without hurting herself.  After learning the secret from her, Takiz used that secret to create a shield that would allow the user to do the same, allowing him to steal light and store it inside his body.

Then Takiz approached the Superkiller and told him that while he had clearly proven himself to be stronger than any beast, what about things that were not flesh and blood?  With this shield, the Superkiller would be able to challenge fire itself.  The Superkiller questioned his motives for the gift, but Takiz was an agile liar.  He told the Superkiller that he merely wanted to travel with the Superkiller, so that those who heaped scorn upon him for being a lowly, rootless orphan would hold their hurtful tongues.  The Superkiller decided this wasn't a clever trap and allowed Takiz to come along, especially after it realized that Takiz was so weak that killing him would require little more than a breath. 

With it's new shield, the Superkiller was able to test itself against many mighty blazes, and it found new joy in the struggle to conquer these mighty infernos.  Then one day, after celebrating conquering a firestorm it had unleashed, Takiz got the Superkiller drunk and suggested, as if jesting, that it should try and conquer the sun.  The Superkiller, at that point self-assured beyond all rational sense, not to mention inebriated on alcohol, thought this was a good day.  So when the sun rose, the Superkiller faced east and raised his new shield and challenged the sun.  And to the surprise of no one but itself, the Sun, irritated by this tiny, shouting speck, obliterated the Superkiller with a spare thought, instantly burning the greatest enemy of mortalkind to ash in an eyeblink.

There were always those who doubted Takiz and his story of defeating the Superkiller, but none could dispute the fact that the horrible creature was gone and that the shield he bore, the one that absorb light and heat, was scorched as if from some titanic blaze. 

Brightscar is currently in the hands of a noble, if arrogant Agent of Law, who is using it as a tool to aid his hunt for a pyromaniac Chaos Sorcerer.  He has orders to bring him in alive if possible, but this isn't required.            

Abilities:
- The shield transforms the bearer's blood into light.  This means that unless the bearer is at full health, he takes 1 damage every exploration turn (10 minutes) when not in combat, or in combat, 1 HP damage a round.  Additionally, this causes light to shine out of the bearer's open wounds, illuminating them and the area around them.
- As an action, the bearer can absorb the light produced by a source of the former.  This extinguishes the source, but restores X HP.  To see how much any given source restores, consult the table below.
- As an action, the bearer can slice open one of his arteries and fire a beam of light.  By taking 1d4 damage, the bearer's blood fires out in a hyper-focused, high-intensity beam that does 2d6 fire damage, save for half, on a hit.  This beam is hot enough to cut through wood and heat metal to the point where it is too hot to hold.  The beam can strike any 1 target within 50, after that it loses too much energy to do any damage.

Light Source Absorption:


Defender's Lament:

A shield that looks like a crying purple face with it's eyes closed, twisted into an expression of anguish and sorrow.  The eyes occasionally cry purple tears that taste like salted wine.

The Mourn Rider was a terrifying warlord who terrorized the civilized lands, leading his host of monsters and villains in a ten-year crusade against civilization, Law and Goodness itself.  He was a horrible and cruel master, spreading ruin and misery wherever he went, like a sower casting seeds into a plowed field.  Furthermore, he could not be defeated by conventional tacts, armies broke against his terror and genius, spies and assassins were fed bad information or devoured alive by his disturbing level of insight and knowledge and even powerful adventurers who came from across the world to combat him found that they were no match for his cunning and strength. 

But eventually, even his luck turned.  The Rider was crossing a bridge during a rainstorm, leading his calvary as was his custom when lightning struck the bridge and destroyed it, casting him and some of his men into the raging river below.  The rest of his men drowned, but he was not so lucky.  The Mourn Rider washed up on the shore of a tiny, insignificant farming village where he was greeted by some stocky, dirt-stained farmers and their water buffalo.  His reputation preceded him however, even here, so the Mourn Rider expected no clemency.  Instead he simply told them, "When the shield of the fallen cries it's last tear, I will return, and you will suffer dearly."  The farmers did not listen to what he said, instead wrenching off his helm and bashing his skull in.  And where King and Hero failed, Man succeeded.

The Mourn Rider's shield was washed away downstream and faded into legend, and eventually to myth.  No one today would recognize it, but for the most obscure of scholars.  It is currently in the hands of a bandit chief, who has no idea what he possesses.   

Abilities:
- Defender's Lament produces tears randomly or on command once per hour.  Drinking these tears causes a creature to gain +1 AR as Natural Armor, as their flesh becomes stiff and hard, taking on a faint purple hue.  But as a consequence of doing this, the creature takes 1d4 (exploding) DEX damage.  The d4 can explode multiple times.  This DEX damage as permanent as long as the bearer remains cursed. 
- If Defender's Lament reduces a creature's DEX to 0, that creature transforms into a piece of armor covered by a purple face that perfectly matches the previous bearer, but with his countenance twisted into an expression of sadness and suffering.

Creatures transformed into armor by Defender's Lament cannot be transformed back without divine intervention, but the shield's curse can be broken by hurling it into a raging river and the previous bearer fighting in a battle without armor or shield.  This restores all lost DEX, but the creature loses any benefits produced by the curse, namely the natural armor.

If four creatures are transformed into armor, forming respectively the Breastplate of Lamentations, the Greaves of Distress, the Bracers of Sorrow and the Helm of Woes, in that order, the Mourn Rider will be revived from death and live again, to resume his campaign of terror and suffering.     

Scorpion's Shield:

The lands of the Handsome Men can divided into roughly two halves.  One half, to the West of the Canepri Mountains, is hot and damp, characterized by swamps, bogs and thick, steamy jungles. Rain is abundant and falls in great showers, drowning rivers and filling lakes.  The Handsome Men who live there cultivate the forests and plants into fantastic displays of color, using foliage and grasses like a painter might use colors in a palette.  The other half of the land, east of the Canepris, is still hot but is much drier, characterized by semi-arid scrubland and hot plains that flow northward into the Equatorial lands.  The beauty of this land comes from the serene rock formations, the endless blue of the sky contrasted with the red and gold of the earth and stone, and the regal beauty of the many spiny, flowering plants.  The Handsome Men from this sector regard themselves as much more sophisticated then their Western kin, as they work in the much more difficult medium of light, shadow, stone and sand rather then the pedestrian art of flower-arranging and plant-pruning.

This shield is the work of one of those Eastern Handsome Men.  For if you continue East far enough, you will enter the Great Desert of Yamu, a wretched and inhospitable place known for all the unique and horrible dangers it poses.  And one of those dangers are the Scorpions, which can grow magnificently huge, some to the size of warships or sprawling mansions, with stingers containing enough poison to slay entire cities and claws that could snip an ox in two like a man snapping a cracker.  Though usually content to remain where they are, sometimes these Scorpions venture eastward, where they cause untold devastation and summon entire warbands of desperados, war-artisans and adventurers to slay them. 

This shield was obviously created from one of those beasts, as though being large as a similar sized shield, it weighs about a tenth of what something made of bronze would, without compromising strength in the slightest.  But even more remarkable then that, this one bears the mark of the Pruner of Rose Corridor, a Scorpion that destroyed the town of the same name and provoked the wrath of three dozen Handsome Men Princes.  The beast did not survive the onslaught they unleashed upon it, a spectacular display of magic and savagery that is still spoken of years later as the night of falling stars in the neighboring provinces.  But some magnificent was the power released that when the Scorpion's corpse was finally dismantled and removed, parts of it's armor retained some of it's power, enabling the user to channel and use those same abilities. 

This shield is currently in the hands of a thief by the name of Mulch, for his habit of burrowing into seemingly impenetrable structures and making off with the valuables, as well as what the Governor has planned to do with the thief once he gets his hands on the reprobate, especially as Mulch has been leaving sarcastic poems at the scenes of his robberies, mocking the Governor and his seemingly-inept subordinates for being too stupid to catch him.        

Abilities:
- Grants the bearer resistance to fire damage and advantage on any save against desert conditions such as heat exhaustion, or losing one's way in a sandstorm, as long as the bearer has the shield on his person
- Grants the bearer a burrowing speed equal to his walking speed.  If you don't play on a grid, assume the bearer can tunnel through the earth as fast as he can walk.  He does not need any additional tools to do this.
- 1/Day, if in a place with an abundance of loose sand, such as a desert, the bearer can create a sandstorm that lasts for 10 minutes.  While in the midst of the sandstorm, visibility is cut down to 5' and all ranged attacks against an enemy beyond that have disadvantage. 

Fleshpot:

A shield made of a pale pink material adorned with silken ribbons and covered in bands of gold and silver, each one heavy with jewels.  The metals are hard, but the pinkish substance, though it does not yield to swords or spears, is soft to the touch.  There is also a central gash or slit running across the majority of the pink area, one that can be slightly opened with a finger.  Peeling it open reveals a depth of flesh that is far deeper than the shield's small width could possibly accomodate. 

Fleshpot is an Ego Weapon.  To wield it you must be one of the following:
- A man with a STR of 16(+2) and a CHA of 15(+1)
- A woman with a CON and CHA of 8(-1) or less

The King of Cixos was known for two things: his tax reforms which enabled the merchants to pay less, earning him their favor and cheap loans from their money-lender patrons, and his womanizing.  There are some who speculate that the former was caused by the latter.  Specifically, through the Demoness Lashiri, who is better known as the Horned Succubus, both for her tendency to appear as an Oxwoman, but also because it is said she had the sexual appetite of a randy bull.

But when the merchants and money-lenders began to abuse the people of Cixos and the King did nothing, the people prayed and grumbled endlessly, until eventually their prayers reached Heaven.  When she heard their complaints, Lady Tezika, Goddess of Civic Spirit, summoned her husband, Lord Namel, God of Peddlers and dispatched him to investigate these complaints.  Namel sought out the truth and when he found out that they were true, he probed deeper and discovered that a Demoness had been hired by a group of wealthy merchants and money-lenders to defile the laws of the land.  When she heard that, Tezika was outraged and immediately moved to act.  At first, she was tempted merely to destroy the merchants, but her husband encouraged her to stay her hand.  He told her to be gentle with them, for it is not common that a man can resist an amorous woman.  And that gave Tezika an idea.

That night, when Lashiri fell asleep surrounded by the servants of the King's household, Tezika broke in and kidnapped the Demoness, and dragged her back to the Goddess' palace.  Once they were there, she restrained the Demoness and told her that because she tempted men to defile the law and bring forth oppression, she would tempt those who she once entertained.  Then Tezika removed her womanhood and fashioned it into a magic shield.  She then gave that shield to a burly fishmonger who had been ground under by the merchants and anointed him as the new King.  That fishmonger was named Barkil, and he proved to be an excellent King, just but fair.  He was wildly disliked by the merchant families, but that was to be expected after he wrested power from them and had those who abused their financial power thrown in prison or executed just like poor criminals. 

The truth of where the shield of the King of Cixos came from is not widely known, but even if it were, most would probably dismiss it as a wild tale.  Nonetheless, it is quite real.  Just ask Lashiri, who serves Tezika in the Heavenly Court as her handmaiden.  Despite her high place among the servants, the Demoness is still probably the most put upon of the Lady Tezika's servants, not counting her lord husband.

Fleshpot is currently in the hands of an operative attached to the Brotherhood of Broken Chains, who was hired by a wealthy merchant family to steal the shield, to embarass the current King.  There is a good chance the Brotherhood operative might betray his employers, as while the Brotherhood ordinarily looks down on traitors, those who profit off of the system are fair game.  The royal household is currently pretending the theft hasn't occurred, but they need the shield for an upcoming festival and are quietly looking for someone who can retrieve it for them before the deadline. 

Abilities:
- 1/Day, the bearer can cause the shield to produce a cloud of scent that forces all males within 100' to save.  On a failed save, those males will come to investigate the strange smell.  Creatures with a good sense of smell will easily detect it, while creatures with poorer senses of smell will not consciously recognize the smell, but will go in pursuit of it anyway if they fail their save.
- 1/Day, the bearer can cause the shield to spray blood out of the narrow slit.  This strikes every creature in front of it in a 30' cone.  If it hits a creature head on, that creature must save or be blinded.  Creatures covered by this blood must immediately check morale.  If those creatures fail their morale check, they will immediately leave to find some place or way to wash this blood off themselves.  They will attend to more important matters, such as attacking enemies or imminent danger first, but otherwise their first priority will be to go clean themselves off.
- 1/Day, the bearer can can cause the shield's central slit to open up to reveal a pink, toothless maw; a slick tunnel that extends to some unknown destination.  The first creature to see this must save.  On a failed save, the creature will walk calmly over to this opening and crawl inside.  The slit then closes behind it, leaving no trace that the creature ever entered it.

from Warhammer Online

1 comment:

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