Powers and Perils

The Devices of Oom

Magic Devices in P&P

The following magical devices were created by the Balance Wizard Oomarin- Ooly-Beebulforn' Furgorik Wapnoodex Illianoro’chk (Oomoolbeeblfurgwap-l to his friends). Oom is a powerful young wizard of some skill who is fond of the finer things in life. A deadly and subtle foe, in spite of his enjoyment of well-aged Samma Valley white wine and satin clothing, he is no stranger to hardship and war. He may seem to be a fop at first. He wears a large floppy felt hat, with a huge peacock feather in the brim. and robes of satin and silk. In the wilderness, these robes cover a set of leather armor. Well-groomed, and of average height and weight (5'10", 1681bs.), and only 28-years-old, Oom seems to be a court dandy, an illusion dispelled by his deep-set grey eyes and steely gaze.

Oom is an active, if whimsical, follower of Balance. He can often be found in awkward situations laboring in its cause: preventing either Law or Chaos from gaining an advantage. He is a superlative Healer (EL13) and Herbalist (EL80), a good jeweler (EL52) and a fair armorer (EL35). He has used his skills to create several magic items to aid him in working for the balance. increase his knowledge, and saving his precious skin. The sections that follow detail some of these items.

The Screaming Sword of Invisible Fire

This weapon is a finely-made bastard sword. It is made of silver with gold and platinum engraving and filigree and with many small gems set into-it. Oom created this sword to defeat supernatural forces of Law and Chaos. He sold it to a Donaran Princeling for a small fortune. The Princeling died using it against the Climans. From there, its history becomes more confused. Rumors of it being in Gom may be true, but it may have already travelled on.

When drawn from its scabbard, the Screaming Sword lets out a high keening, a continual wail. While held unsheathed, the blade is a tongue of blue-white translucent fire that gives off no heat and little light. It is deadly to friends as well as enemies, for while drawn it casts an MEL8/EL5 Astral Fire spell that affects animate beings within a 3" radius. Anything with an MDV greater than 30 is im- mune to its effects.

In addition, it drains two energy points from the wielder per phase it is held. Trained Magic Users may choose to pay two mana points from their casting ability instead. When used in combat, this sword can do no physical damage as the blade is not truly on this plane, but it will affect any non-balance oriented supernatural entity as an MEL8/EL2 Opposition spell if they are hit in combat. Since the sword is not a physical weapon, rolls to hit with it do not use any EL modifier for weapon skills, whether or not the user has any skill in bastard sword. Likewise, defensive weapon EL use or shield EL cannot decrease its hit chance, as the blade cannot be blocked. And while drawn, it protects itself and its wielder With EL2 immunity to Law and Chaos magic.

The Screaming Sword cuts in two directions. However the wielder will be in Battle Fury while there are supernatural forces of Law or Chaos present, and must attack them with the sword. The user may try to roll one-half his will to sheath the sword any phase he is not bit. If he is slain, or his energy level drops below zero while he is holding the sword, he is consumed by astral fire and the sword drops to the ground; seeming once again to be made of simple silver. Note that it only functions when it is held by an active, intelligent (intellect 6 or better) being. While sheathed, or unused, it makes no sound and appears as a fine bastard sword of pure silver.

Creation of the Screaming Sword

The reason behind each part of the making of the sword is detailed in "The Laws of Magic" article.

Materials: a bar of silver (640SC), some gold, platinum, small gems (26GC extra), several quarts of Zehani Wolf blood, a forge, jeweller's workspace, and a case of twenty~year-old Samma Valley white wine.

Procedure: purify the workspace for Balance Magic; rest one day. Enhance the Zehani Wolf blood and spend nine days forging the sword. Ensorcel the sword (preparing for the beserk), and quench it in the blood. Ensorcel the sword to prepare it for the Astral Fire, then cast the spell on the sword. Ensorcel the sword for the Opposition spell, then cast the spell on the sword. Rest for three days before casting Chaos Immunity ensorcelment on the sword. Rest for five days, then cast Law Immunity ensorcelment on the sword. Rest six days, drink the wine, and celebrate. The rest periods allow you to recover enough mana to continue the procedure.

Oom's Robe And Floppy Hat

Oom prefers to avoid wearing hot, sweaty armor, but he also prefers to live. For this reason, he made himself light leather armor and enchanted it to protect him as well as chainmail would. The armor is enchanted at EL2, giving it AV3. Oom’s floppy hat has a leather helm as an integral part of its design, also enchanted at EL2, giving it a helm AV of 3. He wears these items most of the time when travelling. They are light, comfortable, and lined with satin.

The Stones of Dubious Understanding: Used to reveal the future (one hopes), they consist of six major stones (the Influences) and six minor stones (the Happenings).

The Carnadine Candles Of Cautious Slumber

One of Oom's favorite creations; he is rarely without these candles when travelling in the wild.

These are bright red candles about six inches in length. When lit (they magically light themselves when the proper rhyme in the Primal Tongue is spoken, after the wick has been cut) they create a MEL8/EL5 Watchful Sleep spell. Each burns for about six hours. A person who lights one of these candles sleeps properly for the whole period, yet remains alert and aware of everything that goes on within 12" of him. In addition, he heals seven hit points and regenerates seven mana-points if there is no disturbance during the sleep period.

Creating the Carnadine Candles

Materials: wax, workspace, woven string of hair from a guard animal (usually a dog), herbs and oils.

Procedure: the wax, herbs and oils must be mixed in a specific sequence while the wax is being melted over a low flame. Then the wick (a string of hair, hand-braided by the caster) is dipped repeatedly into the wax. Once the candle is of the proper size, it is set aside. After the wax is used up, each candle is ensorcelled (EL0, 9 Mana) and then Watchful Sleep is cast into it (MEL8/EL4, 9 Mana). The spell is cast in the primal tongue, which increases it one EL and reduces the amount of mana expended.

Oom’s Wonderous Clay

This strange translucent putty is used to create beings out of the mind of the user. The clay is a small, pale blue packet, weighing an ounce or two. Although created as little more than a toy (the clay is not very reliable), Oom usually carries a few packets for special occasions.

To use it, the caster puts himself in a voluntary trance while kneading the clay. The clay is imbued with MEL8/EL3 Creation. While in the trance, the user creates a little figure with it that is mirrored by the full-sized figure that is created from the astral plane. If the clay functions, a being is created as per the wishes of the user, and he has a 35% chance of controlling it. If it fails, a monster from the unconscious mind of the user is created, and will flee (i.e. cannot be controlled). If the spell is an Abysmal failure, the monster will attack the caster, while he is in the trance, with the modifiers for Ambushed and Drugged. This will immediately break the trance. With any result but success, the caster will react to the monster as to a Vengeful Horror. Although totally magical in origin, these creatures are alive and exist for up to eight days before fading back into the nothingness from which they came. Monsters created from Abysmal failure will fade away after 17 phases unless they slay the caster.

Creating Oom‘s Clay

Materials: blood from a supernatural creature (Contact Level one or more), dirt from balance marshes of the upper world (ideally, clay purified for balance is accept- able, but not as good), ashes, animal fat, herbs.

Procedure: the materials are mixed in a silver bowl in moonlight in an area puri- fied for Creation spells. The clay is then ensorcelled and a Creation spell is cast on it. It works best when the moon is in the first silver after the new moon.

The Purple Pool of Past Events

When this purple fluid is poured into its shallow silver bowl and gazed into it, past events may be viewed. Anything that has occurred within two weeks on that spot may be seen as the spell Akasha MEL8/EL0. If the name of Tehuti is in- voked three times while pouring the fluid, events up to four weeks in the past may be viewed and the pool functions at one EL higher. The Purple Pool may only be used once per day. Oom carries the silver bowl and a silver vial containing the purple fluid.

Oom designed, cast, and ensorcelled both the vial and the bowl from virgin silver. Both are covered with engravings showing Tehuti drinking from the pool of knowledge, Zehani, Asaghi, the chariots of the Merkahbah, and other designs. The fluid itself is a mixture of many strange herbs, but purple lotus and belladonna are rumored to be important in its creation, so drinking it could be dangerous.

The Eye Of Revealing Grammarie

A large flawless piece of greenish quartz, cut in the shape of a stylized eye and set in gold as a pendant. The gem is ensor- celled to Detect Magic at MEL8/EL5. To use the gem, it is necessary to look through the eye. The user sees an aura surround- ing any enchanted items in view within 36". The brightness of the Aura gives an approximate idea of the strength of the magic. The Eye can be used twice in one day. Oom wears both this and the eye described below around his neck, hidden under his clothing.

The Eye Of Revealing Innermost Intent

A large flawless piece of clear quartz, cut in the shape of a stylized eye and set in a silver neck chain as a pendant. This gem is ensorcelled with Detection of Orienta- tion at MEL8/EL5. It only functions on those who have an orientation, and will show its approximate strength. It shows these as auras of different brightnesses and colors when it is gazed through. In general, only intelligent creatures with a bias show up, although items that have strong con- nections with an alignment could also show up. The Eye can be used twice in one day.

Creation of the Eyes

For both eyes, Oom cut and set the quartz, purified them, ensorcelled them, and cast the Detection spells on them. The Gems were chosen for their ability to hold the power necessary (large, flawless, and brilliant), not for any enhanced ability with detection spells.

The Elixer of Fleetness of Foot

A green potion that when imbibed gives the user the benefits of a MEL8/EL4 Speed spell: PMR +5 for 15 turns. The user may subtract his own MDV from the success roll when it is drunk. Oom sometimes makes this elixer for friends and allies, but rarely carries it for himself. The elixer is a solution of the blood of swift animals (mongoose, hares, cheetah, antelope) with hot peppers, herbs, and other spices. It is then ensorcelled with a Speed spell.

The Seeking Amulet of Vereghina Tusks

An amulet made from two enhanced Vereghina tusks. It gives the wearer the power to track Chaos as the Vereghina do (MEL12, EL10) up to four times a day: plus protection against Chaos: EL2 immunity to Chaos magic; and an increased MDV (+10) against Chaos magic. The user also has +10 Stamina while wearing the amulet. The amulet also gives the abilities of enhanced boars tusks (subtract five from all problem solving and influence rolls he makes, as well as immunity to the evil eye).

Oom made this amulet from the tusks of a Vereghina Boar (a lawful Ahura) that he slew. He considered it a fine irony to form a device for discovering and defeating Chaos by slaying a Lawful supernatural being. The tusks were enhanced, bringing out the tracking, problem solving and influence abilities, connected to the gold neck chain Oom forged, and then ensorcelled with Chaos Immunity and defense against Chaos Magic. Finally, it was enchanted to increase stamina, as a Vereghina has immense stamina. He wore it for some time until a Pelaran thief stole it. Its present whereabouts are unknown.

Oom's magic devices were created within the guidelines for creating such items as described in "The Law of Magic".

The Ring Of The A'Equin

A platinum ring with no symbols on the outside, and "Astral Band of the A'Equin" written in the primal tongue on the inside. It has EL3 immunity to Astral Powers and EL6 immunity to Astral Fire. In addition, the user may add the rings MDV (11) to his in defending against any Astral Power or Astral Fire. This ring is one of Oom's favorite possessions. He created it as a protection against the Screaming Sword, should an enemy of his try to use it against him. It also protects him against the Astral Well power of the A'Equin, when he sum- mons one to ride on. He wears the ring constantly; though he is no longer worried about the sword.

The Stones Of Dubious Understanding

These are MEL8/EL2 Divination devices. When held and cast forth onto a flat surface by a person concentrating on his future, the faces revealed may impart some knowledge of what will occur. There are 14 Stones of two types (six major and eight minor stones). All stones have six sides. The stones may only be cast once per day. Oom has a small bag with the stones, a sheet of vellum and several sticks of colored chalk for plotting the casting field.

Major Stones (The Influences)

Cube of the Gods: the faces represent the influences of Chaos, Law, Kototh, The Balance, Elder, and a blank face (representing other influences). The symbols, respectively, are radiating arrows, single arrow, snake, scales, tree, and an outline of a head, all stylized.

Cube of the Powers: the faces show air, water, fire, earth, wizard's staff and king's sceptre.

Cube of Joy: the faces are money, power, knowledge, status, friends and goods. The symbols, respectively are coins, mailed fist, book, throne, three hands clasping and a palace.

Cube of Sorrow: the faces are poverty, death, banishment, blindness (ignorance), enemies and disease (represented by an emaciated begging hand, skull, figure fleeing and pointing a hand, blindfolded face, angry figures holding swords aloft, and a diseased limb).

Cube of Vices: the faces are greed, betrayal, lying, pride, lust and anger (represented by hands grasping a purse, knife hand poised above a back, mouth with forked tongue, crowned face with raised nose, an erotic dancer and an angry man with two fists raised).

Cube of Virtues: the faces are compassion, charity, faith, humility, loyalty, patience (represented by the healer, coins falling to the poor, light beams illuminating kneeling figure at an altar, many figures kneeling, knight swearing fealty to crowned figure, and an hourglass).

The Minor Stones {The Happenings)

The Cube of Lands: the faces are mountain, forest, city, hill, steppes and desert.

The Cube of Leaders: the faces are merchant, wizard, warrior, thief, king and beggar.

The Cube of Races: the faces are barbarian human, civilized human, elf, faerry, dwarf and monster.

The Cube of Animals: the faces are horse, dog, snake, bird, fish and a question mark (representing the unknown).

The Cube of Conflict: the faces are battle, ambush, victory, defeat, peace, vigilance (represented by many fighters, archers firing on horsed party from hiding, sword raised in two hands, broken sword and cleft shield, flowers over broken sword, guard on wall with spear).

The Cube of Allies: the faces are unexpected aid, friendship, neutrality, enemies, betrayal, and the unknown/uncertain (open hand palm up, two clasped hands, palm of hand facing viewer, fist with sword, fist with wavy dagger poised to strike, and a question mark).

The Cube of Directions: north, south, east, west, up and down.

The Cube of Answers: yes, no, attack, flee, caution, hurry (smiling face, frowning face, men operating ram on gate, men running away, man peering around corner and a man galloping on horse).

How to Use the Stones

To cast the stones, a sheet is laid out and marked with areas (usually four circular areas almost touching each other). These areas represent The Goal, The Barriers (between you and the goal), The Paths (to achieve the goal) and The Unknown. The Cubes are thrown above the sheet, and the result is read. A success in in the spell means that the judge must lay out the stones in the clearest fashion possible, giving information to the caster. A failure means that the stones are laid out randomly. An Abysmal failure means that the judge lays the stones out in a misleading manner. Note that the areas for the casting can be changed to reflect the particular question, and that not all the stones need be used (caster’s choice).

David Kuijt and Winchell Chung, Jr.
Heroes Vol. I, No. 5


The Devices of Oom

Scans of the original article.

Design: Wout Broere