"Codex--activating audio portion"
"System Engaged--audio casting activating"
"Running Dweomer, 5-4-3-2-1-go"
Hello again from Vargaard all you readers and listeners. Well, based on the fact you've activating this thing, you must wish to know the history of magickal device named on this scroll and described hereafter. Said device was created by Umbalo, a Francian native who lived from 816 - 901 AAF. He was a powerful wizard and savant. All you history buffs out there might know him as the legendary "Colored Tiger", as that was his heraldic device.
Time out. Synopsis for you guys who don't know about the Colored Tiger. Umbalo, while gaining a lot of power and skill in his art, wasn't very high on the social ladder, and kept his true power a secret. He lived in a small village in Southern Francia--land of wine, fashion, and a giant Tinkertoy! An Alchemist, Sage, and Heka-Forger by nature, he was an isolated eccentric recluse, creating many special castings and devoting himself to the betterment of the Art.
In the latter half of the last century, Umbalo became aware firsthand of a growing evil. The vile Kyrpinicus was a half-demon who had amassed a lot of Magickal power and has attempting to set up an empire in AEropa, starting with Francia, and become more than the potency creature he was, backed by the will of Hectate. Needless to say, one mean mutha! He acted covertly, and had many agents in all of Western AEropa acting to fulfill his desires.
Umbalo woke up and found this guy was playing for keeps, but he alone couldn't fight the evil, and the various governments and eccesiastical organizations dismissed his concerns. Church and State ignored him. Checked at this level, Umbalo had a groovy Idea: form a counter- organization to the growing evil. A few trusted companions found adventurers and noble-hearted people of exceptional caliber--heroes in soul. As servants of "The Colored Tiger", the identity undertaken by Umbalo, said operatives, whether alone or with companions, fought Krypinicus' agents where they could be found, usually covertly, all garbed as "Knights" of the mysterious personage.
Because many of operatives were...well, we could say "wimps", compared to some the powerful demonic agents of Kyrpinicus, Umbalo would spend a lot of his time creating new magicks, heka objects, and special formulas to aid his servants. One marvelous achievement of his was this cane. The cane was designed to aid his agents in their operations. The primary power of the cane was designed to get users anywhere in the Known Mutliverse, any Dimension, Plane, or Sphere. Curless's Cute Corneas!--This guy accomplished a powerful dweomer of near Supernatural Power virtually unmatched by other mages. This is how the cane became known in legend. When a rainbow-hued portal opened suddenly in the midst of an isolated place, and adventures marked in the garb of the famed Colored Tiger, a legend was formed!
Events came to a head in 900 AAF. Kyrpinicus and his agents had moved to overthrow the Monarchy of Francia. They took a more overt path, empowered by minor Divine Intervention from Hectate, as allowed via astrological influence. The Stars were right, as they say. A large battle took place inside the Royal Palace between Umbalo and Krypinicus. Umbalo slew Krypinicus with Hekau and several powerful castings. By the end of the melee, the potency half-demon was dissolving like a microwaved Nestle' Bar! Krypinicus, however, exacted a powerful doom on Umbalo, saying "he would die ignobly". The next year, he was bit by a krate and died. It's a dismal way to go, I'll give you that.
With the death of their leader, the surviving members of the Colored Tiger's band went their separate ways, some forming sub-groups themselves. One of them, Brenda Dregurnia, a wisewoman of no small ability, gained ownership of the Colored Tiger's Cane. She ended up becoming a founding member of Kylar's Band. From what I've heard, she was a person you didn't cross. The cane was seen in her hands by witnesses until 918, so I'm going to assume she lost it in an adventure somewhere.
Having a powerful effect, the cane was apparently sought out by evil. I got a vague report from Russ via one of my Mage correspondents about it. Apparently, a peasant farmer was shocked to see a black-robed sorcerer speaking to the legendary "grandmother" herself, the Hag-Ogre-Witch Baba Yaga. Grandma Yaga apparently gave this cloaked wonder the Cane in return for what looked like the rarest of all elemental gems--solid Heka! I don't think the fool knew what he was giving up. I know this actually happened because I occasionally get a visit from Baba's Daughter...the nice one, not the nasty one. She confirmed this meeting.
Apparently, this cloaked figure was one of the servants of the foul Babylonian Dragon Queen Tiamat. A radical sect of the Babylonian Monster- Deity attempted an assassination of Ascendant Cwyhon V two years ago (991 AAF). Does the word superfanatics ring clear here? Anyway, a foul squad of Priestcraefters, Dweomercraefters, Assassins, and a few summoned Dracos servants of the Dark Diety used the power of the Cane's gate creation to assault Peel. By the stupidity of Homer, don't these commandos ever learn that assaulting people on their home turf is TOUGH to do. Of course their collective butts were summarily kicked and the plan failed.
The cane is now presumably in the hands of the Kelltic Pantheon, at least that is what they say. However, I have it on good authority that they lost the cane due to a mishap involving the plane. Needless to say, many a nation's grubby little spies are all working to aquire the cane!
Okay, well time for me to go...I'll end my personal thoughts on this cane, before you guys start yawning. Included in the scroll is all the cool stuff...in other words, a precis of the Cane's powers, presented in a statistical model for ease of explaination.
"End Voice Message"
"Heka Expended--wait for heka regeneration before requesting again"
The Cane appears to be a polished wooden cane of unsurpased quality. It is composed of Yew and has been treated with heka to appear as black. A few runes of AEgyptian sort can be found on the cane. The cane is protected by a Link Mask Ritual (see pg 221 of the Mythus Magick book)-- thus finding the command words or even detecting if it is magical.
The cane is a magickal weapon. The Cane does an Extra 1D6 damage to any target. As such, it is also considered a dweomered weapon for the purposes of determining whether or not a creature can be affected by said device. Note that in the hands of one with Martial Weapons skill--it can be a very potent weapon.
Once per day, the cane can engage in a special attack. By shouting the proper command word, the next successful strike will do 5d6 Impact damage to the target. The user must strike a target within 1 BT after shouting the command word, otherwise the effect is wasted. Command Activated Powers:
Illumination: When the proper command word is spoken, the Tip of the cane will glow with a bright white light. The light is equal to that of a torch and illumates a 20' radius. This effect will last until dispelled or negated via Heka, or until the user speaks the command word again.
Detect Heka: When the proper command word is spoken and the wand is illumated, the color of the light will change as the wand gains the ability to dectect various forms of Heka. This power can only be used once/hour, and lasts for 1 AT. During that time, whenever the wand is pointed at a specific target, it will change color and intensity to indicate what type of magick and the power of it. The colors shown by the wand are listed here:
Color Type of Magick Red -- Devilshine (Necromancy, Sorcery, Witchcraeft) Orange -- Aportropism, Exorcism Yellow -- Supernal (Sunlight/Moonlight) White School Green -- Mysticism, Green School, Herbalism, Balance, Spellsongs Blue -- Elemental Castings, Conjuration, Alchemy, Astrology Indigo -- Grey School, Shadowy Darkness Violet -- Black School, Gloomy Darkness, Negative Energy Dim - Bright -- Grade I - X Constant -- Preternatural Levels Shimmering -- Supernatural Levels Strobeing -- Entital Levels
This special power of the cane provides an unusual form of transportation to other places, spheres, planes, and dimensions. The power takes 1BT of time to activate, and the user waves the cane while thinking of the place he or she wishes to go. The user must make a successful roll at DR Complex (x1.5), using either the personas MR Category or the Mutliversal Plane/Spheres K/S area (if owned), whichever is best, to successfully create the portal. Apply the dice roll modifiers to the chance from the Create Portal Ritual on page 49 of the Mythus Magick book. Note that the portal will not open unless the destination location is successful, so there is no chance of going to the wrong place/plane/sphere.
On a successful roll, a very visible rainbow-hued portal then opens-- unusual for a portal. The portal is only one-way--to the "stepping" sphere it accesses. The portal will stay open for 2BTs, then will disappear. The portal opens into a special sphere. It is believed to be a sphere formed in the 9th Dimension. When the other portal closes, another door opens anywhere within 250' of their arrival. The door will stay open for 2 ATs, then vanish. Thus the users must pass through the portal before it vanishes. When the successfully pass through the portal, another Rainbow portal will appear at the destination. This one will last until the last member passes through or the time limit is exceeded. It is also a one-way door. Note that, despite a possible time of 2 ATs spent in the other sphere, time passes slower in the "stepping" sphere, so it only 2 CTs pass for travel time.
Because the travel method involves the 9th Dimension, said portals can appear virtually anywhere, and pass through ALMOST any barrier. Such transportation usually can breach pentacles, force fields, dimensional traps, and the like. Your JM will determine what types of barriers can't be breached by this device.
The Sphere accessed is Earth-Like, with mostly Earth-like Flora and elements. although there may be exceptions. The Magick of this sphere is Mythus norm. Every time the power is used, a different area of the sphere is accessed. Thus, a user may find themselves in a forest one time, a moor another time, or a savannah field the next time. However, they will never appear in any place that is hostile to the users--not in the ocean, a volcano, in a hurricane, in mid-air, or the like.
There is a risk in this transport. First of all, it is possible for a user of this device to become trapped in the sphere. If the second portal closes on a traveler, said traveler is trapped in the sphere, until he or she can find some way of escaping on his own. Note that if the cane becomes trapped in the sphere, the cane will disappear to either the previous sphere/plane it was on or the destination sphere/plane.
Secondly, there is a possibility of encountering malevolent creatures in the "stepping sphere". Each time accessed, there is a 5% chance of encountering a hostile creature. Furthermore, if the Cane is used more than 1/Month, an extra 5% chance of hostile encounter is added per use, up to a maximum of 35% chance of an encounter. JMs should note that this sphere is similar to a "High Fantasy" world, thus strange creatures, fantastic beasts, humanoids, or demons could be encountered. The specific types of creatures encountered is up to the JM. Note that the reason attention is drawn to the portals is because there are VERY FEW portals created on this sphere, and dimensional/planar travel is extremely difficult to do on this sphere. Thus, the attracted attention. The power can only be used Twice/Week, and can't be used more than once every 3 Action Turns--thus preventing quick "pop-in/pop-out" operations. Restricted Powers (Available to limited personas)
These powers can only be used by those who have any skill in Dweomercraeft--they don't have to be of Dweomercraeft vocation, or of Full Practice, just so long as they have STEEP in the skill. These users become instantly aware of the other possible powers of this device. Note that these powers cost half as much as castings of similar effect would. This is because the device effectively adds Heka to the practioners via AEtheral forces. All take 1 CT to activate.
JM's Notes: This cane could be a good offensive weapon for players interested in a multi-purpose device. It also makes for good campaign material. The power of the Cane makes it such a device that would be wanted by many of AErth's nations, leaders, powerful sects, secret societies, and individuals. Note that the "stepping sphere" allows for a demi-campaign or campaign development if the JM decides to give the beings of that sphere an active role in the campaign. Could be interesting to those up to the challenge.