View Full Version : [Magic Items] Tools of the Battlemage

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-02-02, 05:03 PM
The battlemage is a unique breed of warrior, combining skill at arms with arcane power. Eldritch warriors, spellswords, and warmages are the best known of these enigmatic arcanists, but numerous wizards and sorcerers without access to these unique traditions serve militaries throughout the world. Of these, one of the most famous was the wizard Kaie Llewelyn.

Beyond his skill at warfare and connection with several well-known battles , Llewelyn is remembered for his contributions to the creation of gear prized by battlemages and other combat-oriented casters. Five pieces in particular are connected with Llewelyn: lion swords, Kaie's arcanabula, many-potion flasks, rings of the battlemage, and caster's gauntlets.

The lion sword may be the best known of these items, though not always the first associated with Llewelyn. Interestingly, the common weapon bearing this name is merely a poor copy of Llewelyn's own blade, and there is no evidence that the wizard himself ever created one. The original Lion Sword was in fact a greatsword Llewelyn improved throughout his life, and much more powerful. It was intelligent, and supplied several additional abilities to Llewelyn. However, the key strengths - utilization by arcanists, the ability to store spells, and wand absorption - came to be desired by nearly every battlemage worth his salt, and the wand-sword began to appear. Historians in particular use this term to refer to the weapons, and bemoan the confusion between the deadly minor artifact wielded by Llewelyn and the weaker weapon now synonymous with the name lion sword.

Llewelyn had a much more direct hand in creating the item that bears his name - Kaie's arcanabulum. Llewelyn himself always referred to this item as a shield arcanabulum, and the modern name did not become common until after his death. Throughout his career, Llewelyn often complained that the typical arcanabulum, or travel-spellbook, simply could not stand up to the rigors of the battlefield. He tried numerous different materials and items, to no avail. It wasn't until he hit upon the idea of killing two birds with one stone, by combining the arcanabulum problem with his unending search for additional protection that did not interfere with spellcasting, that he came up with a solution. It took several attempts, but eventually Llewelyn managed to create an item that could protect in battle and act as a spellbook that would always be quickly accessible. Several of Llewelyn's contemporaries note that he likely took perverse pleasure in the idea that he now used an object he had always criticized as too fragile to ward off sword blows.

The many-potion flask was also created by Llewelyn, but early in his career, and not particularly designed for battlemages, though it is a useful tool for them. When Llewelyn first began adventuring, he worked with a warrior who liked to use potions to increase her battle prowess. However, she found that storing the vials in a typical potion belt left them vulnerable to loss or breakage, but keeping them in a more secure container was not practical, since she needed to retrieve them quickly. Llewelyn decided to take a stab at the problem himself, and came up with the many-potion flask. The flask's tough makeup and easy access made it the perfect tool. However, Llewelyn's decision to include the option to down multiple draughts at once ended up backfiring. It was quite a while before the problem with mixing potions was discovered, and by then Llewelyn had made several more himself and passed on the schema to several other casters. The drawback became infamous enough that drinking multiple potions from a flask was known as "Llewelyn's folly." Llewelyn made several attempts to correct the issue, but never found a satisfactory answer.

The ring of the battlemage and caster's gauntlets are also associated with Llewelyn, but like the lion sword, are not entirely of his invention. In fact, he had no hand at all in creating the first caster's gauntlets. The ring of the battlemage came about after Llewelyn and several other battlemages convened a council to consider creating their own order. This never panned out, but the council did result in the origination of a powerful item. Llewelyn noticed that nearly every mage in attendance complained of the same problems - first, that they often had to hold weapons or items in both hands during battle, and thus were faced with tough choices when they needed to cast a spell, and, second, that while defensive casting was a useful tool, its all or nothing nature irritated many of them. As usual, Llewelyn refused to accept that the problem was insurmountable, and recruited several other mages to address it. After much work, they presented the ring of the battlemage - the only remaining legacy of the council.

The original caster's gauntlets were created by a cleric Llewelyn often traveled with. The wizard was impressed with the items, and managed to reproduce them with arcane techniques. The cleric disappeared on a quest on behalf of his church, taking the schema for the divine-based gauntlets with him. Llewelyn's design, which he passed on to other crafters and his apprentices, is the one all examples of the item is based upon. Rumors abound, however, that the divine version is more powerful, and that a few rare examples still exist.

In all, these five items, each connected with the famous wizard, have become almost standard kit for successful battlemages.

Lion Sword (Wand-Sword): This mithral longsword features an ornate swept-hilt and a black leather wrapped hilt. The pommel is carved into a detailed roaring lion's head, and runes are carved along the length of the blade. The sword is stored in a black leather scabbard with mithral tooling. This elegant blade is a perfect weapon for any mage.

The blade functions as a +2 spell-storing longsword. A wielder with arcane spell casting ability is automatically considered proficient with a Lion Sword. Anyone without arcane spell casting ability that attempts to wield a Lion Sword is considered non-proficient with the weapon, and suffers appropriate penalties.

A lion sword has the additional ability to absorb the power of a wand, earning the weapon its other name. A wand placed on the sword and then activated is absorbed into the blade, causing the engraved runes to glow with blue light. The wand retains its current number of charges at the time of absorption. Activating the wand absorbed into the sword occurs as normal, and cannot be used in conjunction with an attack, as a stored spell can. The wielder must choose to use the sword as a wand or a weapon, in other words. The sword cannot absorb a new wand until all the charges of a previously absorbed one have been expended, and an absorbed wand cannot be retrieved from the blade nor may it have expended charges restored by any means.

A lion sword has the usual 50% chance to have a randomly determined spell already stored when found as treasure, but is never found with a wand absorbed.

Strong evocation (plus aura of stored spell and/or absorbed wand); CL 14th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, creator must be an arcane caster of at least 14th level; Price 21,315 gp; Cost 10,815 gp + 840 XP.

Kaie's Arcanabulum (Shield Arcanabulum): In its standard form, this item appears as a solid, square plate of mithral an inch thick. The surface of the plate has an arcane diagram inlaid upon it with blue crystal. A mithral chain, meant to pass over one shoulder, allows the plate to be worn, providing a +2 shield bonus to AC, regardless of whether the wielder is proficient with shields. It has no spell failure chance, but imposes a -1 armor check penalty. The plate may not be enchanted as a shield.

To anyone who knows its secret, though, Kaie's arcanabulum is far more than a mere protection device. When the correct command word is spoken, the apparently seamless plate opens to reveal a spellbook of 600 pages. The pages are made of copper foil, and can be inscribed with spells at half the normal cost (50 gp). When the command word is spoken again, Kaieís arcanabulum reverts to its normal form. This conversion requires a full round action.

A closed Kaie's arcanabulum cannot be opened with Open Lock or Disable Device checks, and if rolled as random treasure, never contains any spells.

Moderate transmutation; CL 10th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, secret page, shield; Price 16,000 gp; Cost 8,000 gp + 640 XP; Weight 5 lb.

Many-potion Flask: This small iron flask, engraved with a lion's head, features a movable ring just under the spout, set with 12 different stones. Up to 12 different potions may be poured into a many-potion flask. As a free action, the user of a many-potion flask can select one of the stored potions by moving the stone-set ring. The flask also features a belt hook, allowing it to be retrieved as a free action as well.

In addition to providing quick access to a variety of potions, a many-potion flask allows its user to imbibe up to four potions at once, as a full round action. This option is not without hazard, however. For each potion beyond the first, there is a cumulative 5% chance (max 15%) that the mixing of potions (even potions of the same type) causes an adverse reaction, dealing 1d8+1 damage per potion imbibed (max 4d8+4).

Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, Leomundís secret chest; Price 2,000 gp; Cost 1,000 gp + 80 XP; 1 lb.

Ring of the Battlemage: This heavy ring is crafted from steel taken from a sword or other weapon, and often bears the symbol of a military unit or organization, or that of a god of war. A ring of the battlemage provides several benefits to magic users. First, the hand the ring is worn on is always considered to be free for the purpose of somatic or material spell components. The ring also provides a +5 enhancement bonus to Concentration checks to cast defensively or to avoid losing a spell when dealt damage. Further, if the caster fails a check to cast defensively, he may choose to complete the spell regardless, suffering attacks of opportunity as normal.

Moderate transmutation; CL 9th; Forge Ring, creator must have the Combat Casting feat and 10 ranks in Concentration; Price 8,000 gp; Cost 4,000 gp + 320 XP.

Casterís Gauntlets: Crafted from supple black leather and mithral, these light gauntlets are favored by magic users of all kinds. The palm of each gauntlet includes a small pouch connected to an extra-dimensional space, allowing each to hold up to a pound of material spell components or a single spell focus item weighing no more than a pound. Placing or retrieving an item from these spaces requires a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, making the gauntlets poor replacements for gloves of storing. However, a magic user does not need to retrieve these components or foci from the gauntlets before casting a spell Ė they are considered already in hand for the purposes of spell casting. Material components consumed in spell casting automatically disappear from the extra-dimensional pouches.

The gauntlets will also hold the charge for a touch spell, allowing a mage to hold two charges at once: one as normal, and one in the gauntlets. Additionally, the gauntlets will continue to hold the charge even if the wearer casts other spells. If the gauntlets leave the casterís possession, the charge is harmlessly expended. The caster must choose to assign the charge to the gauntlets at the time of the spellís casting. Both gauntlets must be worn to benefit from this ability.

Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, secret chest, spectral hand; Price 3,000 gp; Cost 1,500 gp + 120 XP; 2 lb.