I'm posting this as an example of how a simple, common magic item, in this case a Ring of Protection can be given a little bit of background to make it interesting and unique. As I've said before in other posts, I dislike the idea of mass produced or run of the mill magic items, but with a little creativity and research, even the most commonplace and mundane of items can become something special and memorable.
In 497, when count Granus of Pregmere, a wealthy Geoffan noble, raised his troops to march on Gorna and claim the throne of Eagle's Peak for himself, it was commonly, but quietly whispered that he had aid from powerful allies, namely the Knights of the Watch from neighboring Gran March. Historians now argue over the details of that aid, and whatever bargain was struck to secure it, but Granus's enchanted ring is one tangible piece of the legacy of that pact.
Granus, a fabulously wealthy noble, was a handsome and good natured man, seeking not only personal gain by usurping rule of the Grand Duchy, but also to advance the causes of the people of Geoff. The old line of dukes had grown pompous and disconnected from their peers, and conflicts with Keoland in the preceeding decades led nobles such as Granus to fear for their nation's future should the debauchery and arrogance that festered in Gorna be allowed to continue. Granus secretly mustered his men, along with soldiers from the garrisons of the nobles of the neighboring counties and a detachment of mercenaries from Gran March, and prepared them for a siege of Gorna. Granus knew that in order to secure the loyalty and trust of the people, especially the Flan serfs who made up a large portion of his troops, he would need to be seen as a true leader, and to achieve this, he decided to lead his men into battle personally.
Now, Granus was also a bit of a ladies man, having dalliances with young ladies of lesser nobility from all over Geoff, Gran March and northwest Keoland, much to the dismay of his wife. One of these consorts was a promising magic-user named Evarra Scundle. Madly smitten with her lover, and terrified at the thought of him riding off into battle, Evarra crafted a magical ring which she presented him on the eve of the campaign.
The Ring of Rohan IV protects its wearer in combat by granting a +2 bonus to armor class and +2 bonus to all saving throws. The ring is a simple band of Geoffan green turquoise etched with archaic Flan runes representing love and protection. The ring magically adjusts to fit any wearer of human or smaller size.
As an explanatory note, Count Granus was successful in seizing the throne of Geoff, and brought about the era of relative peace and prosperity that exists there now (in cy573 that is). Upon ascending to the rank of Grand Duke and being recognized by the Keoish king, he took the name Rohan IV, to preserve some of the honor and tradition of the throne of Eagle's Peak.
I'd go a step further with the items magic though, adding the following:
If the owner of the ring gives it to another person that he truly loves/cares for, with no selfish motives (especially knowing about this power!), the ring's protective benefit increases to +3 ac/saves, but only for the person it is given to. That person may pass the ring on again, preserving the augmented magic, but if it changes hands (no pun intended) for any other reason, the magic reverts to the +2 ac/saves base until it is given unselfishly as a gift once more. In addition, a character who has recieved the +3 augmented protection in the past, through recieving the ring as a gift, may never recieve that bonus again once he parts with the ring. The only exception to these guidelines is theft. If the ring is stolen from a living owner who earned the augmentation, and he recovers it, he continues to recieve the bonus until losing, giving away or selling the ring. _________________ What would Raxivort do?<br />
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