The legendary mage, Agarn the Impulsive, was as famous for his magical experimentation as he was for his failure to successfully train even a single apprentice. Agarn's fame began early in his career, when he successfully deciphered the magically encoded writings of the ancient Sallvic peoples. These inscriptions, found within hidden chambers of the ruined Temple of Solus, formed the basis for much of Agarn's later magical research.
The incantations that Agarn deciphered from the battered inscriptions were often incomplete and fragmentary, and many of his original notes were lost when his first apprentice, Joran the Unfortunate, was devoured by the temple's guardian crocodiles. Despite this setback, Agarn was able to use the knowledge gained to enchant several items that remain to this day: The famous 'Chariot of Pharaoh Hethshepoth', the 'Agate Pectoral of Vetthes', and the 'Falchion of Al Gojj'. The wizard's surviving notes express his frustration at not having the complete incantations, for he sensed that his enchantments were only partially successful.
Some years later, the daring enchanter mastered the full Thaumaturgical Cycle of Ix, which no previous wizard had successfully completed. The magical vistas this opened before him awed his contemporaries, but he was unable to pursue his research further, as he became embroiled in a protracted magical duel with the infamous sorcerer, Bullon Sorgoth, after Sorgoth's favorite nephews were disemboweled by summoned demodands while serving as Agarn's apprentices. The unfortunate deaths of his apprentices discouraged Agarn, and he failed to complete several novel enchantments that he had initiated in this period. Scholars still speculate what Agarn would have accomplished if he had completed his work with the Ardent Ungent of Ix, the Flaming Banner of Collot, or the awesome Transmigration Staff of Oudall.
In his later years, Agarn's work production slowed, as he found it difficult to secure further apprentices. Notes left in the margins of his journal suggest that he was dissatisfied with the substandard apprentices he was able to attract, who repeatedly complained about being used as subjects in his experiments. Despite their complaints, his experiments were wildly successful, as is evidenced by Agarn's famous Powder of the Acidic Blast and Oil of Rugosity. One can only imagine the spectacular achievements he could have accomplished if he had been able to retain his apprentices for further research.
The Chariot of Pharaoh Hethshepoth
This ancient chariot was recovered from the tomb of the ancient Sallvian Queen, Patletep I, by Agarn's second apprentice, Holgrim Doomgull, shortly before Holgrim was crushed by an overlooked trap in the tomb. Its original enchantment magically transformed any draft animals hitched to it into powerful, perfectly matched horses. Agarn was able to expand this enchantment to include other sorts of animals hitched to it, such as housecats, stray dogs, and unwary apprentices. The enchantment doesn't provide any magical training or compel obedience, so Agarn was not able to successfully pull the chariot with transformed housecats. His results with apprentices were not altogether successful, either.
The Falchion of Al Gojj
The stout weapon that later was associated with the homicidal Sallvian holy man, Al Gojj ('The Malodorous'), was a bronze blade crafted in the XXII Sallvian Dynasty. Originally wrought by the Eunuch-Priests of the Vulture God, it had been enchanted to strike with extra force at enemies of the Sallvian Pharaoh. Agarn added to this enchantment, making it nearly unbreakable, even able to cut through modern steel armors without damage. More recent wielders have noted that if an enemy can be tricked into saying something negative about one of the Sallvian Pharaohs, the weapon's enchantment will awaken and it will strike with tremendous power. Getting a foe to generally criticise Sallvian personal hygiene or cooking appears to be equally effective and is perhaps less difficult.
The Agate Pectoral of Vetthes
This handy item appears as a substantial (8 lbs.) golden necklace styled after the ancient Sallvian vulture god, Anut-Kahnut (the older vulture god, not to be confused with the more modern vulture gods that became popular dieties after the XXII Dynasty). The massive piece of jewelry was enchanted by Agarn at the request of the notable collector of antiquities, Vetthes the Corpulent. The enchantment placed on this item allows its wearer to be clearly heard by anyone that has clear view of the wearer. A magical phrase in Ancient Sallvian allows the wearer to turn the item's powers on and off. Unfortunately, since nobody alive is able to successfully pronounce this mysterious phrase, the necklace is generally considered to be permanently 'on'. The ancient spell that Agarn cast on the necklace is believed to have other, more potent, abilities, but the tests to determine how they work were discontinued after Alain Piercetongue, a mage who was considering becoming Agarn's apprentice, was inadvertently transformed into an undead monstrosity while experimenting.
The Ardent Ungent of Ix
This potent curative paste immediately relieves headaches or muscle soreness, but also temporarily blinds the recipient to the flaws of those around him or her. While the ungent does not make the subject more amorous by itself, it makes lines like 'Hey, Milady, I've got some lovely etchings up in my chamber,' sound like witty repartee to the subject. An unfortunate side effect is an tendency to stain the subject's skin bright orange, so most alchemists stock up on facial cleansing cremes prior to offering Ardent Ungent for sale.
The Flaming Banner of Collot
This impressive battle flag appears to be aflame; it gives off a cheerful light and pleasant warmth. If its original enchantment had been completed properly, it would have had the power to project a potent blast of flame dozens of yards. Unfortunately, the protective enchantments constraining the flames were never properly completed, so it instead blasts everyone in a 15 foot radius, including the wielder. Heavily armored warriors with a lot of burn cream stocked up have been known to use it anyway, but few heroes are quite that masochistic.
Oudall's Transmigration Powder
This silvery powder allows one to spontaneously transport himself a distance of up to seven miles. It requires total concentration; any distraction while the powder takes effect and the destination will be somewhere else entirely, generally somewhere that he has been recently. The famous enchanter Oudall used this powder regularly to facilitate quick escapes, as he had an unfortunate preference for 'dangerous' liaisons. He was studying Agarn's research on the topic in hope of crafting a staff that would fulfil the same function when his research was sadly cut short by an outraged husband. Inadvertent overdoses of Transmigration Powder can result in 'flashbacks' weeks or months later, where the user teleports unintentionally.
Powder of the Acidic Blast
This nasty material was an original development of Agarn's. When thrown, it transforms into a caustic slime capable of burning through stone, wood, or iron. If the spell preparing the substance is not completed with perfect attention to detail, the slime occasionally animates and pursues its wielder, but it is fairly slow moving and can often be outrun.
Oil of Rugosity
This potent agent can be spread on the skin to make the recipient nearly invisible. Unfortunately, continued use causes the user's skin to develop hideous lumpy growths. Agarn's apprentice Tolly Weevilban discovered this in an early stage of testing, but was fortunately able to find work at a traveling circus after he fled in terror from his master's plan to excise the offending growths with a handy battleaxe.
The Violent Sandals of Golan
These handy items were actually first developed by one of Agarn's most gifted apprentices, the fire mage Golan Rumsath, but were completed by Agarn after Golan's unfortunate mental breakdown. Prior to his paranoia overtaking him, the man had devised a pair of sandals that would enable its wearer to deliver devastating kicks. Unfortunately, Agarn was not able to eliminate the sandals' tendency to kick out at any mages that pass near the wearer. Although he was not able to determine why the footwear displayed such violent tendencies toward mages (especially older, more experienced wizards), he was able to discover that they were actually more damaging when they struck at wizards than others.
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? Responses (12)
LOL Useful and funny.I like the flaming banner most of all.
Heh, what a nice collection of problematic items, and a quirky wizard to boot. One like this may make for a great NPC, or background for a character - no wonder a PC would rather become an adventurer, than be one of Agarn's test subjects. My favourite is the Transmigration Powder, by the way.
Good work! And entertaining too!
I found myself grinning through most of this post, and laughing when I wasn't grinning. I love how Agarn used and abused all of his apprentices, using them in typical grab that item sort of trap springing, to hitching them to chariots, and using them as guinea pigs for experimentation. I also like the shout outs to ancient Egypt with some of the names, and that fact that no one can pronounce the command phrase on the Agate Pectoral of Vetthes.
The names are great, the vibe is perfect, and I greatly enjoyed these!
Wow - these are excellent messed up items! I like them. I've got a codex (Faulty Potions) which is similar.
'I throw the powder at the bars of the cage!'
- 'In midair, the powder turns to a sticky slime substance and lands on the bars with a 'Splork!'. A steady trail of smoke appears as the slime eats away at the bars. After three seconds, the slime slides off the bars and begins slowly slipping towards you, rythmically making disgusting sounds reminiscent of bodily functions. The cement floor begins eating away slowly wherever the slime touches it.'
'I .. er... uh... RUN!'
I like the powder :)
I nice little compendium of unintentionally dangerous items.
Lovely submission. I would of made this a scroll and each item its own entry, that way you could link those items into other submission text But that is just me. It would do well to have this guy as an NPC submission as well. This way you get a nice expansion of the character.
I will submit something soon.
I love it, I'd add one if I could stop laughing...
I would comment, but I'm far too busy trying to stiffle a good old-fashioned belly-laugh (I'm at work y'see)
Great post Wulfhere - LoL
And let's not forget The Agate Pectoral of Vetthes, when a man who only considered becoming his apprentice ended horribly. Agarn had clearly a talent for this. :)