Monday, December 22, 2014

Random Magic Item: Sacred Pears of Leir

Mentioned briefly here:

The Sacred Pear of Leir is a rare druidic item enchanted to bring healthy and bountiful crops to those who still follow the old ways. As such, a Pear is a valuable commodity, and the fortunes of many an agricultural region have hinged on the acquisition or loss of one of these rare, beneficial artifacts.

Benefit is gained through a ritual involving anointing the Pear with a mixture of honey and blood at a critical juncture in the maturation of the local crop.  This may take place during sprouting, flowering, first fruits, or another event, dependent upon the crop. Although the power of the Pear does not guarantee a bumper crop, it will minimize conditions that may lead to crop damage or failure - insects, hail storms, drought, rusts.  It does not have power over anthropogenic hazards, so the raiding orcs or barbarians may yet put the fields to the torch.

Honey used for the ritual must be harvested from an active, undamaged hive in such a way that the unprotected (often naked) collector is not stung once. Only the gentlest and most empathetic 'bee whisperers' can complete this feat. Typically the blood is provided by a sacrificed goat or calf; however, King Rishom of Athyr made a more considerable investment, sacrificing his daughter Oma to the Pear, in hopes of staving off famine and saving his kingdom. Indeed, he kept his people from starving, but still lost the kingdom anyway, as the people deemed his sacrifice too great, breaking down the castle gates and casting him from a tower. In the lawlessness and looting that followed, the Pear disappeared into the shadows.

As a rare and in-demand storied item, there are plenty of counterfeits available, often for sale or trade from the backs of caravans. These mountebanks assure the potential purchaser that this is a genuine Pear, acquired through obscure, and perhaps odious, means. None of the counterfeits have any powers, and are of varying quality, from cheap plated wood or base metal to solid gold (5 GP to 150 GP value). But belief is a strong sales-person, and although the Church frowns on such trinkets and rituals, many a farming village will have a quiet shrine, tucked away in some garden or copse, with a Pear (real or false) in residence.

Many false Pears have had some cheap enchantment cast upon them so they exude magic if tested by a simple detect magic spell or similar. A genuine Pear may be identified through use of read magic. When cast, the phrase "fecunditatis abundat" appears on the surface of the Pear. This fact is not widely known, and such information would be extremely valuable to an individual or group seeking a true Pear.  

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