Friday, December 26, 2008

Magma Staff

It is said that at the source of every volcano is a sliver of stone chipped from Surt's (blind god of fire) big toe as he stumbles around the deeps. Surt's anger continues to burn in these slivers and from them gushes all the magma that eventually makes its way to the surface destroying any settlements unlucky enough to be near. The only way to staunch the flow of molten death is for a great hero to plunge into the volcano's heart and remove the sliver.

This staff was long the possession of Drazk Doublebeard, evil high priest of the Pilzn Druegar Dwarf clan. When the great wyrm Alganor roasted and ate every last Pilzn Dwarf the staff was presumed to have become part of Alganor's vast hoard. That is, until today when intrepid adventurers discovered it half encrusted by minerals, in a subterranean pool.

This Magma Staff is a solid piece of rough, dull obsidian. About 4' in length tapering in a cone shape of 1"-6" thickness. It is quite heavy, 40lbs, and always painfully hot to the touch. Readily melts snow, wax, and similar materials it is held near or stored with.

Upon mental command copious amounts of molten rock, sulfuric gasses and other deep and fiery effluent "shoot" out the staffs larger end producing a loud low whooshing sound. Being hit by this will hurt a lot! These rules may apply. But, the stream is slow, short-ranged and easily dodged. Depending on the ambient temperature, which will quickly rise the more magma that is spewed about, the magma will cool (relatively) and form a weight-bearing crust surprisingly quick. By laying down layer upon layer barriers can be built, ramps formed over walls, etc.

This item is one which it's up to the players to surprise the DM with effective uses. Or for the DM to add effects as needed. Perhaps, "drawing" a magma pentagram opens a gate to the City of Brass. Or, if used too often uncontrolled, angry fire elementals will squeeze out along with the magma and gases.

[Example magic item from Magic Items Should be Magical an article I submitted to Fudge Factor the sadly defunct e-zine for FUDGE.]

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