Since the creation of the Convict Collar, crime has dropped greatly in the major towns and cities, and the numbers of those locked up at State expense has fallen by a third.
(Extract from Pier Point Police Penal Policy document.)
Full Item Description
In most cases, a thin iron collar that fits around the neck and requires a key to remove. For misbehaving nobles, it is made of gold to look like a nice piece of jewelry, a necklace or a torc, and spare the wearer public shame.
After the death of the evil Queen Emma of Pier Point, killed by a necklace with a clockwork blade in the far off days when that city had it's independence, some of the wizards in the city government decided that a variation on Emma's Choker would be a weapon in the fight against crime. So a large number of collars of various metals were made and enchanted so that the wearer, having had the collar placed on him or her by court order, was forbidden to do one or more things.
They might be forbidden to carry weapons, cast spells, go outside the city or incite trouble, amongst other things. It was swiftly found that most mages and witches could only cast one spell on the collar at one time. Otherwise, either the magic ceased to work and the criminal escaped, or the nasty spell that was set upon the collar to punish the wearer if he/she misbehaved was set off.
The spell varied but most collars had a simple but nasty Lightning spell set on them, enough to seriously shock the wearer who broke the order set on him or her by the court, without causing death. A few did have deadly spells but they were rarely used except in the case of accused murderers awaiting trial on bail. Because of this collar, those awaiting trial did not have to waste their time sitting in prison, and the State's budget for food and water for prisoners could be cut without cauing harm. In some minor cases, wearing this collar is the punishment for convicted criminals without any extra punishment imposed.
They normally (a few are different) have a Lightning bolt spell set into them, ready to go off and hurt the wearer if he/she does a certain thing, such as carrying a weapon.Normally only one thing can be successfuly forbidden or the spell won't work, but a very powerful wizard can use them to forbid up to three actions from being preformed, with a shocking penalty (ha ha) for those who disobey.
Other notes-Not every magical item needs to be worldshaking, some just need to be useful.
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? Responses (13)
This has potential... but it needs more.
Where does it need more? It has backstory and a purpose, what more do ya want? I'm just wondering, could a moderatly powerful mage get one of these to hold two forbidden-nesses, or are your options 1 and 3?
Thanks Pariah. :)
I'd think a middle-ranking mage could get it to hold two forbidden-nesses.
I think the more proper would would be geas, rather than forbidden-ness. It would basicly follow the lines of dothis action, get a nasty shock. I could see some other variations on the collar that could be used for public humiliation, rather than just zapping them.
Say a convicted thief has a collar that if he tries to steal something casts a sleep spell on him.
Hmmm ... the magical equivalent of electronic tagging
Must say I like this one a good solid basic item that would almost certainly be invented sooner or later
Actually given the number of possible variation (trigger conditions, spell effects, etc) this probably counts as a whole class of items more kudos for that
Rating by no means world shattering but easily worth a 4/5
How scary would this be to a criminal mage?
Is it possible to dispel the magic and/or break the enchantment?
If not, how is it protected from such tampering?
The same basic enchantment might be employed as a kind of child protection device. Simply have it send a telepathic message to the child's parents if he/she strays from a given area. Or maybe have it simple teleport the child back to the safety of his/her own bedroom.
This item strikes me as somewhat complex. It knows your actions? How complex are the actions that it can sense. Picking up a sword seems pretty basic, but what about robbing a bank. How does it know that you aren't witdrawing money legally. What about 'incite trouble'? Thats pretty vague.
Does it require external triggers in certain cases.
How fast can one be made? Is the secret to making them protected, or can they be made by any wizard?
Can it be opened with a regular key? A mundane key seems like poor protection against a valuable magical item. Are they protected from being removed in some other manner?
What kind of price could this fetch on the black market? Are they legal on the regular market? A lucrative business might involve unlocking these and then selling them.
Can they be fooled somehow? How could they be tampered with?
Can I get a few good case studies. What interesting examples could we see from this collar.
What other effects has this had on the legal system? Are convictions more frequent with longer sentences?
Has fashion been impacted by this upturn? Maybe people would have stopped wearing collars all together.
These are a few of the interesting questions that would make this post a 5/5 HOH, and I think that Mourngrym was asking for this. This has tons of untapped potential. I would like to see some of it unlocked.
Holding off voting.
I will try and update this one of these weeks.
A modern concept used for a fantasy world. Much like the Elven Prison, it utilizes magic as the penalty.
A modern item turned into a medieval fantasy item.
Really the only thing blocking things like this from existing en mass would be the expense in crafting them.
The concept of the behavior enforcing item can be used widely, and this is a decent version.
In many medieval settings, I don't see this device replacing the headsman's axe or other corporal punishments except for overtly 'enlightened' societies. The rich might get collars, the riff-raff get the axe and the rope.