First off, I’d like to thank the person who picked up a copy of my Cormyr sourcebook within the last 24 hours. Every time I sell a copy, it feels pretty damn good.
That, and it motivates me to work twice as hard to come up with new content for the next update to my sourcebook (scheduled for November 1st), which you, oh buyer of my book, will receive for free.
Now, on to the idea generation.
1. A word has been banging around in my head the last couple of days: Wandlace. I wrote it down as soon as I thought of it, figuring my brain was using spare thought cycles to come up with a new kind of magic item linked to wands, like something you’d apply to a wand, or drape over it, for some kind of extra effect.
2. Then it occurred to me this word would make a cool surname. The Wandlaces could be one of the countless interesting families that have long lived in places like Cormyr and the Heartlands of Faerûn, and that see almost no attention from Realms writers because they aren’t nobles or royals or adventurers. I figure the Wandlaces have avoided the gilded target (i.e., strived to serve Cormyr with loyalty and honor down the centuries, but refused offers of a noble title from the Crown of Cormyr), and in return the Crown has elevated members of the family to positions of importance at court, and members have stood in high regard among their peers in the War Wizards. Thus, they could be a line of wizards, or at least one of the founding members of the family could have birthed or sired a line of mages, while the other founders may live in other parts of the Realms, and have found success in other things.
3. I think Wandlace should be best known for in the Realms is as some kind of exotic and rare material that is hard to find, expensive to buy, and useful enough to fight over and kill for (at least to some, like certain Red Wizards, or mercenaries tired of hiring ineffective magelings that die too easily and cost too much to replace).
4. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say the Wandlace family of Cormyr makes the stuff–or are at least rumored to make it; perhaps they don’t sell it openly, and like anything else that is highly prized and rare and believed to be crafted somewhere in Cormyr, it’s assumed the Crown long ago made a deal whereby it has first and sole access to Wandlace, and that the Court Mage, a member of the Blood Royal, or anyone they designate must approve any sale of Wandlace to others besides the Crown of Cormyr. It’s probably also true to say the Wandlaces aren’t the only ones who can make the material, and there are likely other individuals in the Realms who weave better/more potent material, and produce it faster.
5. So what is it? Wandlace is a kind of intricate, patterned lace made of fabric produced on something called a Wand Spindle. Wandlace is magical, and when it is sewn into cloth objects it confers certain magical benefits having to do with wands in general.
6. A Wand Spindle is a kind of magical drop spindle that is made of three parts: 1) A magical wand; 2. A whorl made of rune inscribed stone or some exotic, magical metal with a hole in it, which the wand fits through (wands of odd shape are made to resize by the whorl); 3. A hook of mithril that is screwed into the base of the wand. The Wand Spindle may be paired with a distaff–and if the distaff is itself magical then that’s a topic for another day. Using the Wand Spindle slowly extracts the magic from the wand and layers it into whatever fibers are being spun into yarn (mundane fibers work just as well as exotic ones). You know the process is done when the wand disintegrates, leaving behind a bundle of yarn, while the hook slowly descends into the hole in the whorl where it remains. The hook can only be removed when the butt of a new wand is pressed into the hole and the hook magically turns and drills itself into the wand.
7. The yarn is carefully woven into lace patterns that are ornate and pleasing to the eye, but that also mimic arcane patterns, runes, glyphs and magical formulae, and that hide in plane sight diagrams that one might find in spellbooks depicting the somatic motions relating to spells belonging to certain schools of magic, as well as phrases that (if properly read) spell out arcane words in tongues older than dragons. What’s cool is that the formula for the patterns is so time tested and reliable that a non-spellcaster who’s an expert lace pattern maker can produce Wandlace.
8. The product of such intricate work can be found adorning sheathes, gloves, cloaks, other forms of clothing, and even tapestries and curtains, several of which are worn by important courtiers, venerable Wizards of War, Overswords and Battlemasters commanding the ranks of Purple Dragons, the Royals, and adorning certain private rooms in the Royal Palace; all provide magical benefits related to wands and wand magic. Some examples follow.
9. Wand Sheath
Wondrous item; uncommon (possibly rare)
If a wand that you are attuned to is stored in this sheath during the time of day when you would roll to determine the number of charges regained by the wand, this sheath maximizes the die roll. For example, if you stored a Wand of Magic Detection in this sheath, it would regain back 3 charges at dawn, and not 1d3 charges. A Wand of Lightening Bolt would gain back 7 charges, and not 1d6 + 1.
10. Cloak of the Wand Duelist
Wondrous item; uncommon (rare? …not sure either)
This cloak has 7 charges. While you are wearing this stylish half cloak you may use your Reaction to expend charges from the cloak to prevent the effect of a spell cast by a wand from affecting you, whenever you see a creature withing 60 feet of you casting a spell with a wand. If there are other targets for the spell, or other creatures are present in the area of the spell, they are affected as normal even if your cloak protects you. The number of charges you expend must be equal to the number of expended charges used to cast the spell from the wand. You must announce your intention to React before the DM tells you how many charges you must expend. If you do not have sufficient charges, then the spell’s effect occurs as normal and your reaction is used up.
…there’s value in letting an idea percolate over a few days, and in waiting until it feels ready to percolate to the surface of your thoughts before sitting down to flesh the idea out.
As always, thank you for reading. Take care.