09 · Items of Power
Items of the Court of Ardor
Standard Court Magic Items
This magical equipment has been issued to each Lord, Lady, Knight and Herald of the Court, as well as the eight Citadel Captains. Starred items are aligned to them individually and cannot be used by any other, on pain of an “A” Shock critical each time the item is touched by a not aligned person. All other items can be used interchangeably, but the new owner risks the item being traced by the Court.
Suit of Staves
- 1) Gnarled staff (*)
of grey-brown wood which allows the user to employ the Fire Law spell list to ten levels above his own, whether or not he knows the list (but he must expend his own power points at the full spell level). The staff will also burst into flame on the command “Runya!” (Q: flame) without harm to the bearer, and so doing provide Fire Armor to the wearer. It is also a x4 power point enhancer. The Knight of Staves has a Mithril sword instead of a staff with the following powers: +40; flames on command (same protection as the staff), delivers a heat critical on top of any regular combat critical of the same value (roll only once).
- 2) Uniform robes (*)
give the equivalent of AT3 with a +20 DB. The Knight has a +40 DB tunic.
- 3) Dagger
bonus of +35 (+20 quality, +15 material).
- 4) Cloak
allows the wearer to become invisible instantly (counts as instantaneous spell), once per day.
Suit of Orbs
- 1) Chain of mithril (*)
A chain of mithril, holding suspended a crystal orb, 1” (2,5cm) in diameter. It allows the wearer to use the Open Mentalist List Brilliance with the restrictions as the staff above. It too, is a x4 power point enhancer, and will create an enhanced Blur effect at will about the wearer, giving him an additional +30 to his DB.
- 2) Cloak
changes color at will, providing an added +25 to hiding
- 3) Bracers
(or short sword if not a monk) which are +20 (defensive if bracers, offensive if not).
- 4) lkasha
(a multibladed throwing weapon, strikes as a short sword) +20; will return safely to the user (flies at 100’ (30m) per round) after being thrown up to 100’ (30m) away.
Suit of Helms
- 1) A helm of blue metal (*)
Like the items of the other suits it has additional powers: it allows the wielder to cast Dark Channels spells up to their own level even if they do not know the list (they must be spell users of Channeling — at least in part). The helm also acts as a x4 power point enhancer, and gives off a continuous Protection II (- 10 from enemy elemental attacks; +10 to RR vs. all spell attacks). The helm transforms into a mithril circlet when placed on the head, but still protects as a full helm.
- 2) Stole
Floor length, of dark blue dyed leather, elaborately tooled: it provides the wearer with an enchanted field which adds 20 to DB. The field can be activated at will.
- 3) Mace
bonus of +35 (+20 quality, +15 material).
- 4) Boots
Allow the wearer to move and spend Exhaustion Points at ¼ normal rate.
Suit of Swords
- 1) Mithril broadsword
+50 bonus (40 material, 10 quality).
- 2) Shimmering Durang chain shirt
protects as AT 17(-40), encumbers as AT 13.
- 3) Composite bow
+40 (20 quality and material each).
- 4) Ring (*)
allows the wearer to move with “haste” for four rounds once per day, and will summon a great bird of Tirgoroth to him (at its top speed — see detail of Tirgoroth, sec. 7.151) at need. Allows the wearer to cast spells from the Combat Law (SUC, p. ) spell list up to his own level (he still has to use his own PP’s).
Ardor Citadel Captains
- 1) A red laen broadsword
+60 bonus (50 material, 10 quality).
- 2) An Ardor cloakpin (*)
of unusual quality, having the following powers at the touch of one of the glass inlays: Communicate vocally with Valmorgûl (in an emergency, but it had better be good). Ten mile (16km) range. Communicate vocally with any of the other seven captains. One mile (1,6km) range. Haste four rounds, once per day.Blur for four rounds, once per day, giving the wearer a +15 defensive bonus. See Invisible for four minutes (24 rounds), once per day. Normal rules for vision of invisibility still apply. Invisibility (to 1’, 30cm), once per week. Leaving (100’) (30m) once per day.
- 3) Composite bow
The Cards of Ardana
Much lore has been written concerning the powers of the “Ardan Deck”, a set of cards with mystical properties. It should be stated here that there have been in fact two sets of the cards. The original deck, created with the aid of Morgoth himself included awesome powers, including allowing Court members to channel power directly from the Master (e.g. part of Morgoths thúle – and if he was willing!), and otherwise tap the immense energies of the Dark Lord. With his fall, however, the original decks were rendered useless, as is true of all items wrought with his aid.
Ardana, however, utilizing the remnants of resources available to her, reforged the cards around S.A. 1300, during the reforming of the Court. It was just as well for many of the new members, who replaced Lords fallen during the final conflict at the end of the First Age or during the interim, and whose card images were now, of course, useless. These younger Lords then had card images constructed for them, enhancing their personal powers greatly.
Before the powers of the new Ardan Deck are discussed, perhaps a description of their physical appearance is in order:
The full Ardan Deck (of which there are approximately 24 copies: one for each of the High Lords of Ardor, and several spares) consists of two parts. The larger section is very similar to decks of cards used widely; for games and fortune-telling throughout Middle-earth, consisting of four “suits”, each having numbered cards one (or “ace”) to ten, and three or four “Court” cards. The suits bear the symbols of orbs, staves, swords and helms. (These suits representing respectively: Earth/Mentalism; Fire/Essence; Air/Arms; and Water/Channeling.) Also, to more closely suit her needs, Ardana adapted the common “Jack”, “Queen”, “King” Court cards into “Herald”, “Knight”, “Lady”, and “Lord”. All of the Court cards bear the pictures images of the Lesser Lords and Ladies of the Court.
The other section of the Deck differs more radically from common decks. It consists of 21 cards, numbered “0” to “20”. They actually bear little relationship to the other cards, and have names even more arcane. They, also bear images (the High Lords of Ardor), as well as mythical places, and key celestial objects. For a list of the twenty-two “Images”, as they are called, and the people and things they depict, see below.
The cards are all fashioned of a smooth, white substance with a flat finish, resembling the pasteboard of which most modern cards are made. However, these are of Shaalk: much more resilient, indeed, nearly indestructible, yet light and thin. The Ardan cards are as large as most decks (3“x5”; 7,5x12,5cm), and are beautifully executed in color and detail. Each Deck is stored in a finely made padded wood box when not in use.
- The most widely used and commonly known power of the cards is communication. The range of the communication is unlimited (within Arda and excluding Aman if the Valar so wish) and instantaneous. When wishing to speak to any other member of the Court, all one needs to do is to pull that person’s (say, Valkrist’s) card from the deck, stare at the image, concentrating on Valkrist (calling the name has been known to help). The card will grow cold to the touch, and the image on the card (if Valkrist is willing to answer) will shift to reveal Valkrist as he is currently (in dress and environment). One can now hold a verbal conversation with Valkrist. It is important to note that, unless he pulls out his card of you (assuming of course, that you are one of the Lords of Ardor, and have a card), and looks into it, he cannot see you or your surroundings; he can only hear your voice. Also, if he does not want to reply to the summons, he need not. The card will grow chill, but the image will remain fixed, and the caller is left unaware of his location and actions. If, on the other hand, Valkrist were dead or in a place where magic did not function (the cards’ powers fall under Essence), the card would not even grow cold. Since all of the Lords and Ladies are of immortal blood and do not sleep, only slip into a restful trance every day or so, the question of awakening someone with a card summons does not arise. They can be, however, summoned out of the trance, if they so desire.
- Another, more rarely used power of the the cards is enhanced channeling skill, the ability to use the Power Points/spells of others. The cards not only provide excellent communication between Lords, but also grant both parties the equivalent of 30 channelling skill ranks (+80). Additionally, users may channel even to user of different realms (not allowed normally), but only at half normal efficacy (skill ranks in Channeling are halved) Of course, even with these aids, the process of channelling is quite hazardous to both parties, and is only attempted in emergency situations.
The powers of the Cards may be enhanced or cut back, as you see fit to adapt the power of the Court to the level of your campaign, for as can be seen, utilized carefully, they are an awesome tool of the Court even as they are now. They should be used with care.
The Trumps of the Ardan Deck
|0||The Fool||Curubor (aka Persuvious)|
|5||The High Priest||Gorthaur|
|8||The Lord of Arms||Valkrist|
|12||The Mirror||(inactive/male Fëatur)*|
|14||The Mind Master||female Fëatur|
|15||The Lord Demon||Morfuin|
|20||Arda||Airatano (aka Lesh-Y)|
* The mirror card usually depicts a blonde person gazing into a mirrorlike basin of water, which reflects the person’s image perfectly . By utilizing skills even Ardana does not suspect, (the male) Fëatur has altered the Ardan decks so that this card will listen in conversations with the real “Mind Master” at the will of the male Fëatur. Second, at the male Fëatur’s will, the Mirror card will look like the “Mind Master”, while the appearance of the real “Mind Master” will that be of the “Mirror”. This false Mind Master card will contact the male Fëatur, while the real “Mind Master” will contact the female only. Ardana is not aware of the strange properties of “The Mirror” and assumes, with the rest of the Court, that it is a dummy card with only symbolic meaning.
Items of the Three of Ty-Ar-Rana
- Rings of Lyaan
Identical rings, set with one round stone each. (Lyaan tended to hold his clenched fists to his temples when using spells of great power); x6 power point enhancer (Mentalism); Creates an aura, +30 to DB; Add 30 to roll when computing RR versus Mind Attack, Control, or information type spells.
- Tiara of Lysa
A simple tiara, open across the back and worn across the upper forehead; it held, suspended on either side a teardrop shaped Thaen stone, attached on short chains so that they laid lightly against the wearer’s temples. x6 power point multiplier (mentalism); Triple range on all information type spells; Creates an aura, +30 to DB.
- Earrings of Lyerin
Two small Thaen stones set in simple stud earrings, which he wore through pierced ear lobes. x6 power point multiplier (essence); Creates an aura, +30 to DB; Ability to move with Haste at will with no ill effects.
Artifacts of the Guild of Elements
It should be noted that the pentagrams are very old and very powerful. The following are suggested powers to be tapped by PC’s possessing keyed Guild Artifacts.
- Sanctuary: protections (extent is dependant on the size of the pentagram) from evil attacks; maybe enhanced power points while on the platform.
- Healing powers: drain temporary stats to channel power and heal.
- Limited communing (maybe only with Laurrë or another Guild lord in a spectral form).
The hexagrams also each function as a vault. The central pentagonal section, a solid pillar, can be made to rise up 5’ (1,50m). Embedded in its magical glass (and invisible from above when the pillar is down) can be any number of artifacts of the Guild. They can only be retrieved by someone of the correct profession to use them, and one who plans to use them to combat evil (the Court). For these people, the glass is insubstantial and their hand passes right through.
Places of the Watchers
All doors to the places are identical, although their location and positioning may vary. The door is pentagonal in shape, and its five 3” (7,5cm) thick bluish-steel sections pivot back from the center and fold flush with the doorframe (like a camera lens). Beyond is a tunnel, lit at 20’ (6m) intervals by 2 parallel vertical glass rods set into either side of the corridor, which come alight when anyone passes the preceding pair, and extinguish after they pass the succeeding pair. At the end adjacent to the hold is an identical door, and ten feet beyond, a secret door of superior construction. Both hexagonal doors are of an alloy containing kregora, and are immune to all magical and mental attack/manipulation. Walls of the same metal extend in a fifty-foot (15m) radius around each door (where possible) preventing access to their mechanism and easy tunneling around them. All doors, including the secret ones, open only to one holding an artifact of the Guild (see below).
Rings (Guild of Element signets)
Six-sided, each ring has a rectangular glass inlay on each side, tinted one of the five colors of the Guild. They should be relatively easy accessible (for Guild artifacts), and serve no function except to locate Watcher’s entries and other Guild artifacts, glowing more brightly as one nears such (starting at about five miles (8km) for a door or hexagram; much less for an item). They also open the doors: held forth, six beams of light fire from the ring, each of the six colors, converging on the center of the door as a white beam which shoots out along the five door seams. The door and portal glow dimly for an instant, and the door opens. It must be closed by the same method. Note that someone captured and forced to try and open the doors cannot, as the ring can “sense” the wearer’s agitated state. Rings operate hexagram platforms as well. All Guild artifacts have the powers of the rings, as well as any others peculiar to them. Below, are five of the most powerful Guild artifacts, all lost or stored somewhere.
Ringlin’s Axe (Earth)
- +50 handaxe, green laen head, indestructible brown wood handle
- Throw and return 50’ (15m) (without penalty)
- Of slaying vs. Demons;
- Glows within 500’ (150m) of Demons;
Sword of Talan (Water)
- +50 blue laen sword, with mithril hilts;
- Delivers cold criticals same as and in addition to regular critical
- Provides immunity to all natural and Spell cold
- Allows holder to walk and run on calm water effortlessly
- Defender: allows user to parry at full value one opponent even while “Stunned” or “Stunned unable to parry”
Headband of Elerior (Air)
- x5 power point enhancer (Mentalism)
- Protects head as a helm, with no penalty
- Continuous Mirrormind (reflects mental attacks back on attacker)
- Doubles range on all base Mentalism Presence spells
- Aura, triggered on mental command, provides additional +25 to DB (but is flashy and may attract attention);
- A fine mithril circlet set with a single pale saphire, it magically fits any humanoid head
Ring of … (element: Metal)
Bracers of Mira (Mind/Word)
- +10 to frontal defense (Martial artists only)
- 2x damage on all strikes (Martial artists only)
- +25 to all weaponless attacks
- +10 to all spell resistance rolls, and 10 bonus vs. frontal elemental attacks, as bracers create a misty Spell Shield
- x3 power point enhancer (Essence)
Staff of Eldarion (Fire)
Note The Staff is cursed with a 30th level Word Etarkas and is incapable of operating until the curse is removed (the curse will kill the remover, unless he resists a 30th level Channelling with –50 to his RR).
- Dark wood staff with red orb set in head
- x5 power points (Essence)
- Continuous total fire immunity (while holding staff)
- 2x hit value on all fire spells thrown
- +25 to all resistance rolls vs. Essence
- Option of reversing all fire spells directed at holder
One of the two fabulous blades made by Eöl (the other being Anglachel, worn by Beleg and Túrin Turambar), Anguirel was stolen from its maker by Maeglin. When the city fell and Maeglin was killed (as told in the Silmarillion) the blade was captured by Morgoth’s troops and brought as a trophy to Angband. Here it remained until the end of the First Age, when it was brought by one of the fleeing servants of Morgoth into the East. The servant (a lesser Raug), deposited it within the ruins of Utumno. The demon later joined Múars corps and was killed alongside his master when the Dwarves reclaimed Ruurik (for details on this story see LoME III). During her exile in the East, in the early Second Age, Fëatur discovered hints of the weapon’s whereabouts. Finally, it was tracked down just before the Ritual and in a quest Linsûl and Curubor (Persuvious) managed to retrieve it and transport it back to the South.
- Of galvorn (+100).
- Cleaves normal metals with ease: all armour but ithilnaur, eog and galvorn (or other very powerful enchanted armor) is useless; target is AT 1.
- Intelligent, but does not speak. Will: 226 (see RM for details on items with will).
- Whenever it is drawn, all in sight are affected by a 30th lvl Loathing effect. RR failure leads to the irresistible desire to slay the wielder.
- Fumble 4.
- Bastard Sword, may be used in one hand at –20. Effect (i.e. combat table) is always that of a two-handed sword.
- Haste the user at a thought.
- Plus extra slash crit of equal severity.
- Each spell directed at wielder (sword must be drawn) must save vs. 60th lvl or fail.
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