Far Corners of the World06/12/2004

Foundations of Stone:
Magic Items of the Mountains

Mountain - Rob AlexanderMountains are ancient and indomitable. They divide nations and shelter entire regions from discovery by explorers. Those who can conquer the mountain can overcome these boundaries, and they can find amazing new regions as a reward. It should come as no surprise, then, that many magic items aid in the exploration and conquering of the mountains of the world. Yet those who sought to scale the mountain are not the sole creators of the magic items presented here; native dwellers of the far mountains of the world constructed many, such as the alphorn of thunder and the Yrthak hunter's cloak.

Alphorn of Thunder: This devastating magic alphorn can shrink down to the size of a flute upon the owner's command. In this form, it functions admirably as a masterwork flute, and it grants a +2 circumstance bonus on Perform (wind instrument) checks.

In its true form, the alphorn of thunder is a 15-foot-long instrument that weighs nearly 100 pounds. Although it functions as a masterwork alphorn in this form, its true power is much more destructive. Any user can use an alphorn of thunder to generate a single blast of sound that emanates from the end of the horn (any point 15 feet away from the character) and affects all creatures and objects in this area with a shout spell. A user can activate this ability up to three times per day.

In the hands of someone with at least 9 ranks in Perform (wind instrument), the alphorn of thunder can cast call lightning, up to three times per day.

If the user is a bard, the shout ability upgrades to greater shout, and the call lightning ability upgrades to call lightning storm.

Strong evocation; CL 10th; Craft Wondrous Item, call lightning, shout, creator must have at least one level of bard; Price 90,000 gp; Weight 1 lb. (as flute) or 100 lb. (as alphorn).

Boots of Mountaineering: The soles of these tough leather boots are studded with tiny metal spikes and hooks that magically extend or retract to aid in climbing. While worn, the boots grant a +10 competence bonus on Climb checks. Additionally, while the wearer is in mountainous terrain, the boots fill him with feelings of contentment and support, almost as if the mountain itself were watching out for him. When in mountainous terrain, the wearer gains a +2 insight bonus on all saving throws and a +5 competence bonus on Balance, Jump, and Survival checks.

Moderate transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, creator must have 8 ranks in Balance, Climb, Jump, and Survival; Price 26,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Hammer of Flatlander's Doom (Minor Artifact): A somewhat unbalanced dwarf priest named Mardiak crafted these +4 adamantine warhammers. Mardiak had strange fears that those who dwelt in the lowlands surrounding his precious mountains had plans to raze the mountains down and transform them into plains and rolling hills. He forged no less than two dozen hammers of flatlander's doom before being carried off by a roc. The story goes that Mardiak killed the roc, but himself died when the bird plummeted into the heart of a large region of grasslands. Some say that Mardiak's insane ghost haunts the crater this fall created.

A hammer of flatlander's doom deals +2d6 points of damage when used against creatures native to nonmountainous regions. Additionally, against such targets, the hammer's threat range for critical hits becomes 19-20. A nonmountain-dwelling creature who is critically hit by a hammer of flatlander's doom must make a successful DC 18 Fortitude saving throw or be stunned for 1d4 rounds. The Dungeon Master is free to decide what creatures are not mountain dwellers. At a minimum, a creature whose environment entry does not include mountains is not a mountain dweller.

If used against a creature that dwells in mountainous regions, though, the hammer loses all of its magic properties for 24 hours, right after it bestows a curse on the wielder. The wielder can resist this curse with a successful DC 20 Will save; otherwise he loses all of his weapon proficiencies (including those gained from feats) until the curse is lifted.

Strong transmutation; CL 20th; Weight 5 lb.

Magnetic (Armor Quality): Item crafters can place this magic armor quality only on metal armor or shields. Magnetic armor generates a powerful magic magnetic field when struck with an iron or steel weapon. This magnetic field is limited entirely to the attacking weapon, and it does not negatively impact the wearer. (The shield or armor won't, for example, stick magnetically to an iron door or to other metal weapons carried by the character.) Each time a character is struck by an iron or steel weapon, she immediately makes a free disarm attack against the weapon in question without provoking an attack of opportunity; the attack roll is modified by the shield or armor's enhancement bonus. If the disarm attack succeeds, the weapon is wrenched out of the attacker's hands and sticks to the magnetic shield or armor. Wearers can retrieve a weapon stuck to their armor or shields as a move action, but anyone else must successfully disarm the stuck weapon from the wearer to retrieve it.

Moderate conjuration; CL 7th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, magnetic pulse; Price +2 bonus.

Ring of Escape: A ring of escape is a plain silver band set with strips of jade. While worn, it grants a +5 competence bonus on Escape Artist checks and grapple checks made to avoid being grappled (but not to grapple checks made to establish a hold). The ring's true value becomes apparent if its wearer is buried alive, either under a cave-in, in an avalanche, or even upon sinking into a region affected by transmute rock to mud. In such a case, the wearer can immediately use a dimension door effect to the nearest safe and clear area. This power is not without limits; it can activate only once per day, and the maximum range it can transport the wearer is 680 feet, so if there are no safe places within range, the magic fails.

Moderate conjuration; CL 7th; Forge Ring, dimension door; Price 16,000 gp.

Rod of Mountain Mastery: This jagged rod of basalt grants incredible powers over mountainous terrain, as long as it is held in one hand. The rod taps into the indomitable power of the mountain, and it warns you of danger while you travel in mountainous terrain; at such times, the rod grants a +2 insight bonus on Initiative checks and on saving throws against natural hazards like avalanches. It also grants a +5 competence bonus on Listen and Spot checks.

The wielder of the rod can also invoke the powers of the mountain for travel. While held, the wielder gains the benefit of surefooted stride. He can also use greater teleport once per day, as long as the point of departure and the destination are in mountainous terrain.

Finally, the wielder of a rod of mountain mastery can invoke the quiescent force of the mountain in even more impressive ways. Three times per day, he may create a wall of stone or generate spike stones. Once per day he may create an earthquake.

The most terrifying power of the rod, though, is its ability to create an avalanche of devastation once per day. The avalanche lasts for 1 minute; you do not need to continue concentrating to maintain the avalanche of devastation. Unleashing an avalance of devastation is terribly taxing on the rod, though; each time this power is used, the rod loses all its magic powers for a day.

Strong conjuration; CL 17th; Craft Rod, avalanche of devastation, earthquake, greater teleport, surefooted stride, wall of stone; Price 181,000 gp; Weight 5 lb.

Yrthak Hunter's Cloak: A dwarven wizard originally invented this pale green cloak to outfit a specialized strike force of warriors formed to clean out a particularly strong infestation of yrthaks in a secluded mountain range. While designed to aid specifically against an attack by an yrthak, the cloak has proven to be quite helpful when fighting any creature that uses sonic attacks or is particularly vulnerable to sonic damage.

A yrthak hunter's cloak grants the wearer a +4 resistance bonus on all saving throws against sonic attacks, as well as sonic resistance 20. More impressive, the cloak can absorb one sonic attack that specifically targets the wearer; the cloak cannot so absorb sonic attacks that affect areas or multiple targets. Absorbing a sonic attack requires no action on the part of the user if the cloak is worn at the time, and the cloak wearer can use this power even during another creature's turn. The next time the wearer takes damage from a physical melee attack, the stored sonic energy explodes outward, dealing an amount of sonic damage to the creature that made the melee attack equal to the amount of damage the original source would have dealt. If no melee attack successfully strikes the wearer within 1 minute of the sonic attack's absorption, the energy dissipates harmlessly. A yrthak hunter's cloak can absorb a sonic attack only once per day.

Strong abjuration; CL 12th; Craft Wondrous Item, protection from energy, resistance, shout; Price 40,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

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