Edge of Darkness: The Broken Circle
Items of Legend
Artifacts are items of incredible power that surpass the power of normal magical items. Items of legend, while not as indestructible as artifacts, are perhaps an even greater and more potent source of power.
What is an Item of Legend?
An item of legend is a magical item that follows most of the normal rules for magical items. They can be broken and destroyed like a normal magical item and are not immune to most effects like artifacts are. However, they are far more potent than most magical items, and can even surpass the power of artifacts. Through a secret, powerful, and unknown ritual, items of legend bypass most of the normal restrictions on item power by gaining fuel from an unusual source: the wielder.
Items of legend may forge a bond with their wielders. The wielder infuses a portion of their power into the item, and the item in exchange gains powerful new abilities or grants powerful new abilities to its wielder. It is a symbiotic relationship, and the more energy that is infused within the item the more powerful it becomes. When fully infused, items of legend are some of the most powerful items on Ondoron.
Creating an Item of Legend
Items of legend cannot generally be created. The process of creating them is secret, and generally they are created by Watchers, Arch-Seraphim, Arch-Demons, or truly exceptional mortals and demi-powers (Ral’Tandrack is known to have created at least three during his mortal lifespan).
Requirements for Bonding With an Item of Legend
Items of legend can be anything and possess a nearly infinite variety of abilities, just like normal magical items. Some are sentient. Some are weapons, some are armor. Some are jewelry or items that do not take up a slot. All, however, have a will of their own and choose whether or not to bond with a particular wielder. All items of legend, even if they are not technically sentient, gain a measure of the person that holds them and may choose whether or not to allow a bond. Most items are looking for specific qualities in their wielders. If the person that holds them doesn’t measure up in some way, the user will never be able to wield the item’s true potential.
Investing in an item of legend is taxing on a wielder. No wielder may have a bond with more than one item of legend at a single time.
Bonding With an Item of Legend
Like characters, items of legend have levels of power. When an item of legend is found, it functions like and appears to be a normal magical item of moderate power and has an effective Item of Legend level of 0 (most of its power lies dormant). When a satisfactory wielder holds the latent item, however, the wielder will sense the ability to forge a bond with the item.
Forging a bond with an item of legend takes a day of quiet meditation with the item and costs the wielder 500 XP. Once the bonding ritual is completed, the item of legend stirs to life, gaining its first level as an item of legend and gaining additional power.
Items of legend have twenty levels of power which require increasing investitures of power (based on the chart below). Each level that the item gains reveals a new legendary power that it imparts upon its wielder or allows the wielder access to. It should be noted that these XP costs are cumulative. In order to power the item up to 2nd level, the wielder must spend 500 XP to get it to 1st level and an additional 1,000 XP to level it up to 2nd.
There are a few restrictions to infusing the item of legend up:
- An item of legend cannot be a higher level than its wielder. Once the item’s level as an item of legend equals the character level of its wielder, it cannot gain any additional levels as an item of legend until its wielder gains another level.
- A wielder cannot spend so much XP into the item that he loses a level. For instance, a wielder that attains 5th level and has 1,500 XP towards his next level cannot spend more than 1,500 XP on leveling his item.
- An infusion of energy must happen all at once. The full XP value to “level up” the item must be spent at the same time. A wielder cannot infuse small portions of XP into the item over the course to slowly level it up. For example, if an item of legend requires an infusion of 8,000 XP to level up, a character cannot infuse 2,000 XP over the course of 4 adventures to slowly “pay off” the level. The wielder must save up 8,000 XP to infuse all at once.
- An item of legend may only advance a single level at a time. Even if the wielder saves up enough XP to advance the item of legend two or more levels, he must level it up one level at a time.
- In addition to expending the XP to level the item, the wielder must spend time with the item in order to increase the bond. The amount of time required is equal to 1/2 the item’s potential new level in days (when leveling an item of legend up to 2nd level, the wielder must infuse the required amount of XP and spend 1 day with the item in meditation or practice). A “day” spent with the item is equal to 8 hours and no more than 8 hours can be spent in a 24 hour period with infusing an item. This bonding can happen while adventuring, but the time doubles (days equal the new item level) and the wielder must be able to spend at least four hours with the item. If the wielder cannot spend at least 4 hours with the item sometime during the bonding time, the time spent to that point is not lost. No progress towards the total is made that day and the wielder may spend additional time the next day to continue towards the goal.
- If the wielder’s reserve XP total is somehow diminished during the bonding and is not restored to a value sufficient to increase the item’s level without losing a level himself, he cannot complete the final day of meditation until he has sufficient XP in reserve to level up the item.
Identifying the Powers of an Item of Legend
An identify spell will reveal the “base” powers of the item as usual. However, no mortal means can identify the legendary powers the item has. The wielder must infuse the energy into the item and level it up to see what it can do. Even sentient items of legend will not reveal their powers to a wielder, even if their relationship is good. A sentient item of legend cannot be forced or coerced into revealing its legendary powers by any means. Some scholars speculate that the item actually forgets what it can do and has to relearn every time it gets a new owner. Other speculate that it is an odd condition of the items’ existence imposed by Narola.
Stealing or Obtaining a Bonded Item of Legend
An item of legend can only have one bonded wielder at any time. Once the item has chosen a wielder to bond with, the bond lasts for life and cannot be broken except for by the death of the bonded wielder. If someone steals or takes an item of legend that is bonded to a wielder, he or she cannot bond with the item of legend unless the bonded wielder is slain or the current bonded wielder willingly breaks his bond with the item. Sentient items of legend can willingly break their bond with a wielder, but doing so causes a backlash to the item itself. Even sentient items of legend rarely initiate a breaking of a bond because of this. As such, all items of legend are very picky about who wields them.
Only a bonded wielder can use the legendary powers of the item. Anyone that steals or obtains the item may only wield the item’s basic powers. In the case of sentient items of legend, they may not even be able to wield the basic powers of the item.
Destroying an Item of Legend
It is possible to destroy an item of legend, but it is difficult to keep it destroyed as long as it has a living, bonded wielder. Items of legend follow all normal rules for breaking magical items. All items of legend, however, gain bonus hit points equal to their current item of legend level. An item of legend without a living, bonded wielder is considered to have an item of legend level of 0 for bonus hit points.
Items of legend that are bonded with a wielder restore themselves to full hit points at dawn every day unless it is destroyed.
If an item of legend is currently bonded to a wielder and is destroyed, it can be reforged by its bonded wielder (or a creature capable of creating an item of legend) with a special ritual that costs 500 decar per item of legend level that the item had at the time of its destruction. The ritual requires 8 hours.
If an item of legend has no living, bonded wielder still recovers all hit points at dawn the next day unless it is destroyed. A destroyed item of legend that has no living, bonded wielder is forevermore gone and cannot be restored by anyone except a being capable of reforging an item of legend.
Like destroying an artifact, the destruction of an item of legend is likely to incur the wrath of whatever being created the item.
Spending XP to “Level Up” an Item of Legend
Spent XP flows into the item once the bonding ritual is complete and is forevermore gone. The invested XP cannot be “retrieved” from the item, even if it is destroyed or the bond is somehow broken.
The below table shows the amount of XP required to “level up” the item of legend to its next level. Keep in mind these totals are not reduced by previous level investitures. In order to level up an item of legend to 2nd level, the wielder must spend 1,000 additional XP after the item has become 1st level. So in order to get an item up to 20th level, a character must spend a total of 1,620,500 XP.
|Item Level||XP Expenditure Required|
Death and Items of Legend
Once a wielder dies, the item of legend returns to its unbonded state (Item of Legend level 0) and loses access to all legendary powers it had. It is capable of forming a new bond with a new wielder if it so desires, however, a new wielder must invest his own XP into leveling up the item. In essence, the item of legend has to “start over” with a new wielder.
If the slain wielder is restored to life in some fashion before his or her bonded item chooses a new wielder, the item of legend will instantly awaken and return to its previous level upon returning to its bonded wielder’s possession.
If the item of legend chooses a new wielder while its former bonded wielder was dead, and the former wielder returns to life and reclaims the item, the item of legend does not recover its former level. A former bonded wielder must reinvest the XP as if he bonded to an item the first time.
Items of legend like starting over as little as PCs do, and so often an item of legend will wait centuries after the death of their last wielder in the hopes that it will return for him. Sometimes the item is in mourning for its former partner. Sometimes the item is simply serving its own purposes and hoping not to start over. However, sometimes items do form bonds shortly after the death of the previous wielder (particularly if the item is evil or if the survival of the item is at stake or if the item knows it is needed to carry on a battle).
One of the greatest benefits of the bond between an item of legend and its wielder is that an item of legend can make resurrection of its wielder easier. As described in Death and Resurrection, when a person dies his soul departs for the Planes of Eternity one round after death. Due to the power of the bond an item of legend forms with its wielder and because of the life energy a wielder imbues within the item, the two share a very close link. Upon death, the item of legend can anchor the soul of its wielder in Ondoron for one minute per item of legend level it has obtained with its current bonded wielder. This time is in addition to the normal one round before the soul departs the body. This means that once an item of legend reaches 10th level, it is possible for a resurrection or similar spell to be cast to restore him to life (assuming the spell is started very soon after death).
It should be noted that not all items of legend will harbor their former wielders like this to give time for a resurrection. Certain items seek (particularly evil ones) the strongest wielders. If their current wielder dies, the item of legend will find a stronger wielder (often the one that killed its former wielder). But in general, items of legend will hold the souls of their wielders near them as long as they can in the hopes that its wielder can be restored.