Far Corners of the World06/27/2003

Toxic Paradise: Magic Items
of the Rainforest

As with the other far corners of the world, numerous magic items are associated with the rainforests of the equatorial regions. Ancient civilizations that once thrived there developed strange and unique items that closely bonded to the natural world all around them. When these civilizations crumbled, much of the remnants of their achievements crumbled as well and were lost forever as the jungle reclaimed its own. The magic items, however, have often resisted erosion and other natural processes of reclamation, and today, explorers can find strange treasures of the toxic paradise. Along with these rediscovered treasures are a few magic devices that have been perfected by contemporary spellcasters to aid in jungle exploration.

Cloak of the Couatl: The cloak of the couatl is made from the shed feathers and scales of couatls and empowered with potent magical defenses to infuse its wearer with many of the couatl's qualities. The benign power of this cloak works only for good-aligned creatures that wear it; it simply doesn't work for neutrally aligned wearers. Evil wearers suffer one negative level for as long as the cloak is worn. This negative level cannot be removed without removing the cloak, but it never results in a permanent level loss.

When worn by a good creature, the cloak grants a +4 enhancement bonus to the wearer's Wisdom and Charisma. The wearer gains a +4 competence bonus on all Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), and Knowledge (nature) checks and may make these as untrained skill checks. The wearer can also use the following spell-like abilities once per day: invisibility, ethereal jaunt, and polymorph self. Finally, the wearer can use detect thoughts at will. The wearer can send a telepathic message to anyone whose surface thoughts she is reading (allowing two-way communication).

Caster Level: 13th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, 5 ranks in Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (nature), detect thoughts, ethereal jaunt, invisibility, polymorph self; Market Price: 120,000 gp; Weight: 1 lb.

Piranha Mask: This unnerving mask gives the wearer the visage of a slavering piranha. Once worn, the mask bonds with the wearer's face (using the headband/hat/helmet magic item slot) and completely hides his true features. While worn, the wearer can make one natural attack (bite) per round (1d8 points of damage on a hit, plus any Strength modifiers). When worn underwater, the mask grants the wearer the Scent ability, as well as the ability to breathe water.

It is impossible to speak intelligibly while wearing a piranha mask; any words spoken by the wearer are garbled into a sloshing gurgle. Spells with verbal components cannot be cast at all while the mask is worn.

Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, water breathing, magic fang; Market Price: 40,000 gp; Weight: 2 lb.

Poacher's Blade: A poacher's blade is a sickly yellow glowing longsword with a serrated blade. These weapons were initially developed by poachers to aid in their cruel harvest of trophies, but many adventurers have found the qualities of the blade to be especially helpful when exploring areas infested with creatures that have natural attacks. Druids and other guardians of nature find poacher's blades to be sickening and overly cruel, but the swords themselves are not intrinsically evil.

A poacher's blade has all of the abilities of a +1 bane versus animals keen longsword. In addition, if the user successfully inflicts a critical hit on a creature that has a natural attack (such as a bite, claw, tentacle, or gore attack), the strike inflicts normal critical damage and renders one of the creature's natural attacks (determine which one randomly if the creature has more than one) useless until all the damage from the critical hit is somehow healed, either naturally or through healing magic.

Caster Level: 13th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, keen edge, summon monster I; Market Price: 50,315 gp.

Ring of Exploration: This plain bronze ring is highly valued by anyone who explores the far corners of the world, but they are especially useful for those who seek to penetrate jungle interiors since they protect from disease and poison as well as solve the problem of passing through dense undergrowth.

The wearer of a ring of exploration remains at a comfortable temperature during the most extreme weather conditions, as if he had endure elements (cold) and endure elements (fire) cast on her (negating 5 points of cold and fire damage per round).

The ring also continually provides its wearer with life-sustaining nourishment exactly as does a ring of sustenance.

The ring grants the woodland stride ability to its wearer, allowing the wearer to pass through natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain (as long as it's not magically manipulated) at her normal speed without suffering damage or other impairment.

Finally, the wearer constantly knows what direction north lies in and can unerringly retrace her steps back to the exact point at which she last put on the ring, with no chance of becoming lost.

Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, create foodandwater, endure elements, freedom of movement, know direction; Market Price: 41,000 gp.

Vine of Brachiation: This unique magic item looks like a small, fist-sized globe of green plant matter when not in use. Upon command, it untangles and grows into a long, thin vine of up to 50 feet in length. When one end of the vine is gripped in one hand, the user can mentally command the other end to quickly snake up and attach to any solid plant surface, such as a tree branch or a shrub growing on a cliff face. This is a move-equivalent action. Once the vine is attached, it can serve as a climbing aid. The main use, however, is to allow the user to swing from one location to another with shocking speed and ease. The vine magically lengthens and shortens as necessary, and it also provides the user with the momentum necessary to swing from one location to another. The user can perform one swing as a standard action. A swing can transport the user to any point within a 50-foot radius of the vine's anchor point. The user can detach a vine of brachiation from its anchor as a free action; this causes the vine to instantly retract into its spherical form in the user's hand. If the user lets go of the vine, it remains in vine form until grasped by a creature that wills it to return to spherical form.

If the user has at least 5 ranks in Tumble and carries one vine of brachiation in each hand, he can actually use the two vines to swing rapidly through any forested area. The vines magically guide the user, preventing him from hitting branches, trees, or other solid objects. Swinging in this manner is a full round action, but each round the user does this he has an effective fly speed of 100 with perfect maneuverability.

A vine of brachiation is quite tough and has hardness 8 and 20 hit points. It is immune to bludgeoning, electricity, and cold damage. It can support 1,000 pounds without snapping.

Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, entangle, plant growth; Market Price: 4,500 gp; Weight: 3 lb.

War Paint of Primal Rage: This magical war paint typically comes in a ceramic jar that contains 5 doses. When a dose is applied to a creature's face, the magic of the warpaint bolsters the creature's convictions and beliefs, granting a +2 bonus to Will saves for 1 hour.

As a free action, the wearer of the war paint can opt to enter a primal rage similar in many ways to a barbarian's rage. While in a primal rage, the character gains incredible strength and agility, and her features grow feral and bestial. The character gains +4 to Strength, +4 to Dexterity, and her base movement rate doubles. Spellcasting is impossible while in a primal rage, and for the duration of the primal rage, the character suffers a -4 penalty to all Charisma-based skill checks. The primal rage persists for 5 rounds, after which the character becomes fatigued (-2 to Strength, -2 to Dexterity, can't charge or run) for the duration of that encounter. The war paint fades when the primal rage ends.

Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, Iron Will, emotion; Market Price: 2,800 gp; Weight: 1 lb.

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