Wednesday, 6 May 2015

d8 Bits of Saint

Everyone knows this already, but to recap: people in the Middle Ages were obsessed with taking dudes' fingerbones and scraps of old leather and pretending they were, like, the phalanges and foreskin of St. Honorius the Smug. After the Crusades, especially the Fourth Crusade and subsequent Sack of Constantinople, Western Europe saw a massive influx of these. They cost nothing to make and were worth fuckloads to anybody stupid enough to buy them, which seems to have been a surprisingly large number of people. I don't know how to account for the fact that people in the Middle Ages were so much more credulous than people are now, or even than they were in the Renaissance. Possibly they just weren't and I'm wrong.

Anyway. Here are some priceless relics that this totally honourable, temporarily down-on-his-luck knight in the marketplace will let you have for a song. He brought them back from the Holy Land! Wherever that is in your campaign.

All relics work only if you believe in them.

1. Gavelm's Lucky Finger

St. Gavelm the Red is famous as the clumsy butcher who slew a gryphon with a meat cleaver in single combat, sustaining only one injury, when he accidentally sliced his own pinkie off. Worn around the neck, whenever you critically fumble an attack roll you gain +1 to attack rolls for the rest of the day. Patron saint of butchers, drunkards, clowns and falconers. If you are any one of those you instead gain +2 to attack rolls.

2. Jupital's Compote

This small, tightly sealed jar of raspberries in sugar syrup has been miraculously preserved by the fact that sugar is a preservative the blood of St. Jupital, a tablespoon of which has been mixed throughout. Jupital of Balsemane was a fourth-century chef who, by the supernatural deliciousness of his desserts, persuaded a mad tyrant to grant clemency to the oppressed Balsemites and live out the rest of his days on top of a pillar in the tundra. Spread on bread, the compote will sweeten the tongue and bolster the spirit, granting +4 to all Diplomacy and Survival checks for the next hour. The jar contains five servings. Patron saint of bakers, greengrocers, architects and children. If you are any of these you instead gain +8 to Diplomacy and Survival checks.

3. Worp's Candle

This plain white candle is definitely made from the rendered-down fat of St. Worp, who burnt down the Library of Qelimnand and saved the world from hundreds of years' accumulated heresy. As long as it's burning and you hold it in one hand, you too burn with the fires of righteousness, dealing +5 damage to unbelievers. "Unbelievers" includes anything physically incapable of believing in your god, such as animals, statues and doors. Every time you move that hand quickly, however, which is to say, every time you attack or move, make a Dex check or it goes out. The candle lasts an hour and stops working forever if it goes out before that. Patron saint of chandlers, arsonists, papermakers and jailers. If you are any of these you get +10 damage to unbelievers.

4. Mingkok's Fluids

The barbarian convert Mingkok spent twenty years studying your religion among the enlightened scholars of wherever you happen to live, then returned home to the steppes to preach among his people, who promptly martyred him in the most disgusting way they had. This nutshell contains a scraping of the vile residue that gets left behind in the boats after a bout of scaphism (look it up!). It smells sweet, yet also kind of rank, like garbage gets sometimes. When sniffed it gives +5 to any saving throws against poison or nausea for the next five minutes, which you can do as a reaction or just as you're walking through a swamp or something. Patron saint of beekeepers, ferrymen, perfumers and politicians. If you are any of these the effect of the sniff lasts all day.

5. Bartle's Summation

Bartle was one off the less well-respected priests of your religion. Tormented for years on account of his dwarfism, he fled to the deserts of Qelimnand to become a missionary. A few years after his disappearance, Bartle's body was found next to a brackish pool, reeking of sulfur. This summation is his whole body, warped and shrunk by the desert heat, but preserved by his face. It is not even a little bit similar to what happens if you put a cow fetus in an oven for six hours, so please stop suggesting that. When carried around in a papoose, this summation grants resistance to the elements equivalent to wearing highly appropriate clothing, and allows an extra save against the first fire-based effect afflicting you each day. Patron saint of cowards, missionaries, salt-miners and mimes. If you are any of these the summation prevents you having to stop working/marching to eat or drink.

6. Trive's Hump

As a small boy, Trive wanted nothing more than to be a saint. He would go to bed on time, eat up all his dinner, do all his chores and in general be the most obedient child who ever lived, all in hope that one day he would be a good enough person to get canonized. Pleased with his devotion, the angel Amphrazekal blessed him with a hunchback and told him to go out and preach to the world a message about the unimportance of the flesh and the values of abstinence, humility and mortification. Sadly, the blessed Trive had a moment of weakness and tried to cut the hump off with his father's hatchet, whereupon he promptly expired. Strapping the hump to your back will give you +2 to all Will and Fortitude saves. Doesn't work if you're already a hunchback. Patron saint of woodcutters, celibates, cripples and liontamers. If you are any of these you instead get +4 to Will and Fortitude saves.

7. Rutgaur's Teeth

Baron Rutgaur sold his teeth to help the poor. Each tooth is now worth 100gp, and its value will be instantly recognized by anyone who sees it, even if they've never heard the story of Baron Rutgaur. They'll just supernaturally know that this is a valuable tooth and 100gp would be a fair price for it. Patron saint of doctors, chocolatiers, ragpickers and guardsmen. If you are any of these you're immune to the tooth's effect and will be able to recognize that it's just an old tooth.

8. Vaccard's Head

After a life spent openly espousing atheism and indulging in the pleasures of the flesh, the notorious libertine Vaccard of Pirandou is famously supposed to have converted in his deathbed, renouncing earthly pleasures and dedicating himself to religion moments before finally losing his hard-fought battle with Qelimnite cockrot. His only witness was a priest, but the invocation of his name has been known to work all manner of miracles, so maybe cool it on the skepticism. It's never been made quite clear why the priest went to such lengths to preserve his penis. By the time of his death most of it had distingrated into a kind of pale slime, medically fascinating but of little spiritual appeal, but the head is still relatively intact and blister-free and gives a +2 bonus to Charisma if worn around the neck. Every day you wear it, however, you have to make a save or contract Qelimnite cockrot. Patron saint of atheists, prostitutes, librarians and bricklayers. If you are any of these you get to make an extra save. Atheists get an exemption to the rule saying you have to believe in the relic, but if they figure out they're getting the Charisma bonus they have to make a save not to convert.

No comments:

Post a Comment