Magick Item: Nymph Black Cameo

As our weekly playtest of Tattered Magicks has continued, they have encountered a few items. So far we have talked about the Scáth Dagger and the Hungry Leather Armor that the Ogres they faced were wielding, but there was one other item that the group had been carrying for a while and only managed to use in the most recent session.

One of the PCs found himself “camping out” in an abandoned part of the old town they are currently adventuring in, and discovered a crude treasure map on one wall of the small shed he settled in for a few nights. The map, though apparently drawn by a child, led to a mysterious treasure at the traditional “X”.

Image of two classic cameos by VictorianLady from Pixabay

The group eventually remembered the map and followed it to the treasure (along with a guardian, who faded away when he was satisfied with who had come to collect it). Inside, they discovered a small cameo of a winged figure flying over a small flower. It was exquisitely carved in ivory, but may have once been part of a brooch or a necklace.

There were other items in the box, but none gave off the strange magickal “hum” of an item with some magickal power. The other items may have suggested a time period, but the players ignored those hints and focused on the item that hummed…

Cameo jewelry has been around a very long time, featuring a material carved in relief, often showing a face in profile or a mythical scene. They’re commonly carved from shell, coral, stone, lava, glass, or ivory.

In this case, the cameo is the image of a nymph with wings and three flowers carved out of an ivory piece and set upon a black satin backing with a clouded oval of glass across the front. Some cleaning reveals it is a beautiful piece easily worth a few hundred dollars to a collector.

But they had no idea of what the item did or how to determine such information. It was interesting to explore that aspect of the rules for magickal items during a playtest session.

So how did they figure it out? Well, they never did exactly determine its purpose. We don’t have an “identify” spell like in D&D, so they had to get creative.

Eventually one of the PCs used their “premonition” powers to communicate with the item in a small way. Though not an intelligent item, this particular player decided to focus on the last moments of the item. Think of it like getting a bit of the last memories or impressions of the item before it was put in the box.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay
Not quite like this, but similar

He “saw” an image of a larger figure with a smaller figure inside, with sort of a Russian Doll effect. The players didn’t quite know what to make of it. He was able to push some points of spell energy into the item, storing them for later. He stored a point at a time until it would no longer hold any more.

We’ll fast forward to a few sessions later, but maybe one or two days later in the game itself. The PC decided to pull out the item to see what it could do. He charged it with one point and fired it up.

And when he did, nothing happened. Strange but true. Nothing was in the effective range of the item (line of sight) that would have been affected by it at the time. However, I want to go over a bit of what it WOULD have done if the ogre hidden in shadow would have been sneaking at the time.

  • Ogre, magickally hidden in shadows, is sneaking towards the PCs. He charged a Scáth Dagger by slicing his hand and merged into the shadows. It was a basement with flickering firelight at one end and darkness at the other — there were plenty of shadows.
  • PC charges and uses the Cameo with 1 point. I had the player roll a d20, just to ensure that the item didn’t critically fail. I believe she rolled a 15, so no crit fail.
    • A pulse of energy rolls out from the item, hitting the ogre in shadows. The item knows he is there and had to roll a Presence check at a Disadvantage to resist losing control of the illusion.
    • He failed his check (just like he did earlier in the session when a PC did an Awareness check and got a critical success, which is why he perished) and suddenly became visible.

So what happened there? The item essentially dispelled the illusion because the ogre failed a roll. Oops.

Here is the description:

Image by b0red from Pixabay
  • Nymph Black Cameo, Simple Magick Item – Pool: 3, currently 1; Effect: Grants the holder the ability to pierce the veil of any fae creature currently keeping a glamour or illusion to hide their true appearance within the effect of the spell. Each point of power put into the spell expands the range by 10 feet. The fae who is “seen” by the holder of the item must roll a Presence check at a Disadvantage to resist

This is the last of the magick items encountered so far, but there will be others and I’ll be VERY curious to see what folks to do create a few. 🙂

Until next time!

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