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    Postfest VII: Wardsbane
    Posted on Thu, May 17, 2007 by Farcluun
    Daigle writes "
    Chartrand had been told that the abjurations here were strong, but she just shrugged the advice off as worried prattle from some amateur treasure hunters. Squatting on the cool marble floors of the tower, drops of sweat running down her brow and off the tip of her narrow nose in a near perfect tempo, she is thankful that her colleagues were more serious with the counsel they were given. “Four wards and three traps in less than fifty steps from the archway! This place is insane!”




    With the vestibule clear, the rest of the group, still recovering from the battle with the tower guardians, cautiously move into the greeting room relieved that they are still alive. Chartrand looks down the length of a sturdy ebony rod a hands length longer than a man’s forearm. At the end of this simple device sits, mounted into place with tarnished brass, a large, spectacularly clear lens nearly two hands in width. Mumbling a foreign word, Chartrand leans nearer the lens and inspects the double doors in the rear of the foyer. The rest of the group stops talking all of a sudden and unconsciously takes a step back when she suddenly stands up and reels backwards a bit. This one is going to be tough. After observing the doors with that strange device a bit longer, Chartrand sighs and looks back at her companions, “I think I may have to bring my big blade to this knife fight.” She takes a few steps back, turns toward the doors and points the rod at the center. “Wish me luck”

    Carefully articulating the command word provided by Jahar, Chartrand, her face the picture of unease, turns her head back slightly and activates the device. She slowly looks back to the doors and peers through the great lens. Her shoulders release her anxious pose and she turns back to her comrades. “We’re clear!”

    After a brief tickling of the locking mechanism, she quietly and gently pushes one of the huge doors open only enough to get the lens through. Pushing a small hidden button and twisting a knobbed ring on the butt end of the rod, the once clear lens shimmers with a mirror finish then pivots and Chartrand eases the device into the room carefully looking around the corner for the inevitable ambush. The light from their lantern flashes across the mirror into the room as she locks eyes with…

    Jahar had been counseling the band of ragtag adventurers that called themselves Mora’s Hunters since they first met in Seven Wheels. They were quite good at what they did. They took his advice and listened to his lore, but he doubted whether they had any idea what he was talking about most of the time. Not that anyone really did. Being a geomancer never really helped out in social situations. Mention a node, ley line or coterminous planar event and your audience starts slowly nodding and looking at you with glazed-over eyes. Sometimes even other mages.

    When it was evident that the Hunters would be attempting to delve into what remained of Valadis, Jahar began work on Wardsbane. The ruined tower is truly a case study in abjuration. The sheer power and number of wards in that location make it dangerous enough, but add a powerful node deep beneath the site and hundreds of years of arcane interference and the site becomes, well, as uttered by Chartrand, insane.

    Wardsbane is a utilitarian device intended to be used to detect and remove magical protections. The shaft is a darkly stained Amedian Teak two feet in length and two inches thick at the back, slightly tapering to less than one inch at the tip. Both ends of this device are capped with brass, the back end containing a small button and a ring that acts as a dial surrounding it. At the tip of this rod is a ring of brass mounting a brass-rimmed lens eight inches wide. The lens is attached to the rod with a ball-joint hinge. Looking more like an odd gnomish tool than an arcane device, Wardsbane’s power is easily overlooked. Jahar even went as far as to have it register no magical signature when scrutinized.


    Wardsbane enhances one’s ability to detect and bypass magical traps. Actively using the device to detect traps provides the user with a +5 enhancement bonus to their search skill and also provides a +5 bonus when used to assist disabling the trap in place.

    Uttering a command word allows the user to detect magical auras when looking through the lens. The construction of the device allows the viewer only to detect magic in one five foot area at a time. This use lasts for as long as the user is looking through the lens and takes a standard action to activate.


    When all else fails or the user does not want to rely on their wit and dexterity, the rod allows the wielder to cast Greater Dispel Magic at caster level 16. This function is usable three times per day.

    Depressing the button in the back end of the tool causes the lens to turn into a mirror for the purpose of viewing around corners and above, below and behind obstacles. Turning the dial around the button allows the user to tilt and pivot the mirror to provide a greater viewing angle. This function also operates with any of the other lens functions as well.

    Wardsbane

    Price: 62,000gp
    Body Slot: - (held)
    Caster Level: 16th
    Aura: Strong; (DC 23) abjuration *
    Activation: Standard (command) and –
    Weight: 5 lb.

    This thick tapered rod looks like a large magnifying glass with brass fixtures, set perpendicular on a long handle.

    Rumored to have been first created by a tinkering cleric of Dalt, a few of these items still circulate through the Flanaess. They were designed to aid in bypassing wards and magical traps.

    By simply holding the item and using it as a detection tool the user receives a +5 competence bonus to Search Checks when used to detect traps and a +5 competence bonus to Disable Device checks to disarm them.

    Peering through the lens and saying the command word allows the user, at will, to Detect Magic as the spell except with a viewing area of 5’ and duration of concentration.

    Three times a day the user can view a target through the lens and use the targeted version of Greater Dispel Magic at caster level 16.

    Prerequisites: Craft Rod, Nystal’s Magic Aura, Detect Magic, Greater Dispel Magic, Fox’s Cunning

    Cost to Create: 31,000gp, 2480 XP, 62 days.

    *When neither of the spell functions are in use the items registers as non-magical.
    "
     
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