The Staff of Man is a half wood, half bone staff. The lower section is a pale fine grained wood, while the top of the staff is a spinal column and a human skull.
The Staff of Man was created a demi-god servant of the primordial force of life, a force that some try to wrap in a humanoid divine form and call Gaia or the Earth Mother. Man and the other mortal races already existed, but they were few in number, and strong of will, being still incredibly young. This promethean demi-god took the power of The Dragon's Teeth and imbued it into a staff made of celestial wood, and bearing the remains of one of the first men to walk and die.
The demi-god desired to be worshipped as the other gods were, and used the staff to create his first congregation of humans. But his hubris was great, and his creations were not as he expected, as free will is integral to humanity. His congregation did not worship him, though they strongly resembled him, and they were as proud as he, and they turned on each other, and on the demi-god.
There was a brief war, and the followers of the demi-god and the demi-god himself were slain, and their bodies were taken by the earth, or were sent to dwell eternal in Dimmault. The Staff was not recovered.
The Goddess of Secrets made sure that it was lost.
The Staff of Man is a powerful divine relic, and as such can act as a +5 Magic Item, and is nigh indestructible. it can add to magic power, function as a battery to allow a sorcerer to cast more, or stronger spells than would be normal. It is also a relic of humanity, and as such, the bearer has effectively double charisma, and will very easily become a leader among his kind.
As a relic of humanity, the Staff of Man can only be wielded by a human being, a half human demi-god, or by a celestial being. Half breeds, hybrids, and non-humans cannot use any of the staff's powers.
The true power of the Staff of Man is that it has the ability to create sentient human beings out of thin air. Once per year, it can create 1000 humans, a veritable village, from naught but magic, air, and dust. These are all full grown adults, in their early 20s, and the rest of their details are determined by the magic user holding the staff.
Appearance - the staff bearer can determine the average appearance of the 1000 created, and it can be as vague as simply resembling the caster themselves, to the caster picking the hair, eye, and skin color, as well as other general characteristics. While cosmetic changes are easy, and do no have to be realistic, the general size and shape of the humans created doesn't change. The humans created will be of within normal size bounds (no creating giant sized humans, or foot tall humans)
Gender - the staff bearer can make those created all men, all women, or whatever general mix that they want.
Disposition - the staff bearer can decide the profession and disposition of the humans created, and while they are going to be 0th level characters, they can be martially inclined proto-warriors or gladiators, or amazons, or a 1000 assassins. They will have the disposition to follow the path that the staff bearer wanted. Accessories - by expending spell slots of their own into the staff, a staff bearer can make radical alterations to the humans created by the staff. This includes wings, multiple sets of arms, non-humanoid traits like having scales instead of scales, and so forth. The more dramatic, or game affecting, the more expensive this is in terms of spell slots expended. Creating humans with dark vision is not terribly hard, while creating humans with dragon wings and flight certainly is.
Key Attribute - the staff bearer can name a key attribute, and this attribute will be increased in those created by the staff. This doesn't deplete any other attributes to balance it out. Thus, a caster could decide that they want their new tribe to be especially intelligent (say for a blue skinned race of wizards) or brawny (for a tribe of barbarians) or highly attractive (for a 1000 member harem).
Named Weakness - in creating a new tribe, the staff bearer can name a weakness that ties the 1000 together. This is not mandatory, but is commonly invoked. This can be to never eat meat, to be pacifistic, to be servile in all things, to worship a specific deity, or generally anything else that can be thought of. A named weakness can reduce the difficulty of the activation check on the staff.
The Power of the Staff is not guaranteed. Should the caster ask too much, his creations will appear but will be flawed in some way. The creations might also appear and be completely and totally mediocre in every way. Critical failures create subhumans and freaks that are an affront to the gods and become ever the enemies of humanity.
The Staff of Man spends most of the time lost, or hidden away. There are forces of fate that ensure that the powerful artifact appears when it needs to. These forces do not follow good or evil, chaos or law, but rather chase their own pattern. Barbarian hordes have been born from the rocks of a desert to overthrow a tyrannical caliphate. An island of slavers was overthrown when an army of female assassins appeared and unleashed a legendary blood letting. A splintered nation was pulled together after a necromancer appeared with a cadre of blood red skinned mercenaries that hailed from no nation, and he made himself king.
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? Responses (2)
As I read this I saw a vision of a wizard in bonded servitude, much like a queen bee in the middle of a hive. While the staff can create 1000 a year, and I assume that would be at one time in a short time span, I was more thinking like this bonded wizard was sitting in a dark central cell/cave/dungeon creating 0-10 beings a day in whatever configuration the 'master' wanted. They wizard would give the geas to follow the command of the true master and the master would give 'orders' to the wizard depending on the need.
For what purpose, I didn't get that far, but they entire idea of a renewable source of servants is pretty fascinating!
Well, this is a campaign-defining item if I have ever seen one. A campaign idea could involve PCs who were all created with this staff.