Monday, June 27, 2016

1d8 Magic Items from a Decadent Wizard's Hoard

By way of “Beauty’s Anadems” by John Barlas

1.   A dagger-hilt crusted with flaming gems:
2.   A queen's rich girdle clasped with tiger's claws;
3.   A lady's glove or a cat's velvet paws;
4.   The whisper of a judge when he condemns;
5.   Fierce night-shade berries purple on their stems
6.   Among the rose's healthsome scarlet haws;
7.   A rainbow-sheathed snake with jagged jaws:
8.   Such are queen Beauty's sovran anadems.
      For she caresses with a poisoned hand,
      And venom hangs about her moistened lips,
      And plots of murder lurk with her eyes
      She loves lewd girls dancing a saraband
      The murderer stabbing till all his body drips,
      And thee, my gentle lady, and thy soft sighs.

What do any of these things do?
The tiger-claw girdle: a girdle that grants the wearer some or all of a Rakshasa’s abilities and vulnerabilities?
The whisper of a judge: a bottle that, when opened, releases a whispered voice that can curse or banish anyone within earshot (5’)?
The rose’s healthsome scarlet haws: that one’s easy; they’re small red berries that cure wounds.

Queen Beauty’s sovereign anadem: a crown that grants a bonus to Charisma? Or something more sinister, like the last six lines of the poem…

Gustave Moreau, "Salome Dancing Before Herod," 1876

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