Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Mementos

It's been said by smarter, more capable men that if we forget the past, we're doomed to repeat it. My prayers are with the soldiers who have fought to protect what they hold dear, and to the families who won't see their soldiers return. It might be irreverent, but today I offer up artifacts themed around our troops, honoring their sacrifice and memory.

Cincinattus' Duty

Also known as the Blade of Peace, this slightly curved shashka exists somewhere between saber and straight sword. Guardless, its curved pommel is worked into the head of an eagle. Inscribed across the blade in fine, minute script, is an ever-growing list of names, names of people who have fought and died to defend the people they love. 

When sheathed in its simple wooden scabbard, the blade radiates a circle of protection against evil (chaos) as per the spell. Lacking a cutting edge, the blade functions as a club in combat. When drawn, the Blade of Peace evidences a curious power.  When its tip is drawn through the earth, Cincinattus' Duty creates a tilled furrow, ready for seeding. A single individual in good health may till twice the amount of land in a day as a good team of oxen pulling a plow, turning aside stone and root as easily as if they were soft earth.

Farjourney Boots

A battered pair of boots commonly issued to soldiers marching off to war. Worn and heavily repaired, they bear a small lodestone in the heel of each boot.

Once the possession of a nameless footman in the Eternal Emperor's army, the Farjourney boots have  seen many owners, acquiring their strange magics over time and becoming a lesser artifact. When worn for a day and a night, the boots attune themselves to their owner, learning the secrets of her heart. Wherever they may wander, whatever trials they may face, when the bearer of the Farjourney Boots dreams of home, the boots will guide them. This location is not something consciously determined, the boots instead drawing on memories of what the character truly considers 'home', whether it be a long-favored tavern, their childhood home, or the abode of a loved one. The Farjourney boots guide the bearer through the quickest path, though this is by no means the safest.

Brother's Band

A simple bracelet woven from rough cord, its clasp a simple metal loop and toggle. 

These innocuous baubles are always formed as a set. Worn by brothers-in-arms as tokens of good fortune, the Brother's bands offer a small measure of protectionWhen the wearer of a Brother's Band suffers damage, that pain is felt by all who wear the bands.  Any individual wearing a band in the set may choose to absorb the damage intended for the original target. At that point, the individual's band breaks, becoming useless. No more than 4 damage may be absorbed in this way, with any excess being inflicted on the original victim.

And finally, because today is a day to celebrate the soldier in your life, something lighthearted.

Soldier's Gruel

A slender tube containing a thick, colorless paste, thankfully odorless, the flavor is likened to overcooked bootleather.

The result of gastromantic experimentation, these palm-long tubes constitute walking rations for men on the march. Offputting as they are, each tube contains enough nutrients to sustain a man through a day's march... To unfortunately meet the same meal the following day. Among  many armies, a mythical variant is rumored, one reserved for officers that smells of honey and tastes of chicken. As these tubes have never been unearthed, they remain pure conjecture.

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