The Ashen Loop

A ring apparently carved from ash-gray hematite with a matte finish.


This ring is apparently carved from hematite, having an ash-gray color with small flecks of vermillion. The ring feels dry to the touch and, if removed, leaves a gray, chalky residue on the wearer’s finger. If the ring is worn for a full 24 hours, the wearer’s skin takes on an ashen pallor, granting him a +5% bonus to any attempts to Hide in Shadows. The wearer’s skin returns to its normal colour one hour after the ring is removed.

At will, the wearer of the Ashen Loop can cast Detect Invisibility or Pass Without Trace, each at the 12th-level of ability, with a casting time of 2. Each of these abilities can be used no more than once per hour. However, the wearer of the Ashen Loop suffers a -2 penalty on saving throws against Cold and Water-based spells and effects.

Forged of dragonfire and death, the Ashen Loop is closely attuned to the Quasi-elemental Plane of Ash (which borders the planes of Fire and Negative Energy). If the ring’s wearer plunges his hand into the still-hot ashes of a funeral pyre, the ring gains the following additional abilities (for that wearer only):

  • Ash elementals cannot approach within 5 feet of the wearer or attack the wearer. If the wearer desires, he or she may forgo this protection and instead attempt to charm the creature (requiring a saving throw vs. spell at -2). If the latter fails, however, total protection is lost, and no further attempts at charming can be made.
  • Other creatures of Ash (ash mephits, ash golems, etc.) suffer a -1 penalty on attack rolls made against the wearer of the ring. Also, all damage dealt by such creatures against the wearer is reduced by 1 point per die of damage. The wearer saves against magical attacks from such creatures with a +2 bonus.
  • All attack rolls made by the wearer of the ring against creatures of Ash are made with a +4 bonus (or a -4 penalty to the creature’s saving throws) and deal +6 damage. Any weapon used by the ring wearer can hit ashen creatures, even if the weapon is not magical.
  • The wearer of the Ashen Loop is able to converse with natives of the Quasielemental Plane of Ash as if he spoke their native language. Recognizing that the character wears the ring, the creatures show a healthy respect to the ring wearer.

This ring is actually made of the fused bones of several Phlannar fighters who fought to defend the city against a horde of orcs during the second fall of the city, some three-hundred years ago. The warriors were all killed in the same instant, consumed by the white-hot dragonfire of one of the first dragons to appear out of the mountains to the north. Although it was but a small loss, it was the first of many such slaughters that the dragons would perform against Phlan’s defenders. From within that first conflagration a ring of great magic was born, the Ashen Loop.

The loop has had many owners over the years, and each has used it to further their particular quest or goal. Once the ring’s owner loses purpose, however, he begins to feel a sadness whenever he wears it. Born of dragonfire, the ashen loop desires to be used and used well. It craves action and does not like to be worn on the hand of one who sits idle or has no purpose. The ring’s nature has insured that it has passed from one warrior to the next, and it does not discriminate between them.

The ring’s most recent owner was a gnome smuggler who used it to aid him in his stealthy business. He wielded the ring’s minor powers carefully. Before he could awaken the greatest of its powers, however, he was tempted into the Weir Tower on the outskirts of Phlan, where he met the same fate as the warriors from whose bones the ring was crafted, consumed by the fires of the young dragon that makes the tower its home.

The Ashen Loop

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