Magic Items: The Trinkets of Talamira

Posted: 2017-07-05
Last Modified: 2022-11-18
Word Count: 1183
Tags: gplus rpg talamira

Originally posted on G+. Except for markup and a little editing, this is exactly as I posted it in 2017.

During the enchantress Talamira’s centuries as a disembodied floating head, she discovered her less “encumbered” form posed several problems, most notably luggage. To this end she developed an enchantment that allowed her to carry those necessities and luxuries she simply could not do without.

Many critics dismiss this enchantment as wholly unnecessary when Bags of Holding are, comparatively, plentiful. From comments attributed to Talamira1 the two main drawbacks of a Bag of Holding, from her perspective, are a) that they do not function in certain planes of existence which she was known to frequent, and b) a floating head carrying a Bag of Holding, or any bag for that matter, resembles a penanggalan far too closely for comfort.

All forms of the enchantment transform a normal sized object to a small figure, seemingly made of silver and no longer in any dimension than a half-thumb (approximately 25mm or 1 inch). Each has a small loop or hook to affix it to a bracelet, necklace, earring, headband, or other ornament. Upon uttering a command word chosen during the enchantment, the figure will drop from its place and transform to the original object. Repeating the command word will shrink the item back into a figure, restoring it to its original mounting.

In “expanded” form each object with the enchantment is no harder to damage or destroy than any other object of its type. A broken or compromised object loses the enchantment (and any others). In “trinket” form, the trinket is immune to most mundane abuse, although sufficient superhuman or supernatural force will shatter it. If shattered, the trinket turns to silvery dust, and the original object is lost permanently, along with anything it may have contained.

The enchantment requires an experienced wizard and, depending on the variant, anywhere from an hour to a day to perform. Changing the command word of an existing trinket requires weaving a completely new enchantment with the new word. Because of its fairly narrow usefulness, only a few ancient tomes detail the rituals required.2

Five versions of the “Trinket”3 enchantment are known to exist:

  1. Transform Object to Trinket: The original and most basic enchantment, this ritual converts a single, simple solid object into a trinket as described above. This enchantment is most commonly cast on weapons, shields, single tools, keys, and treasured heirlooms.4 The difficulty of this enchantment is proportional to the mass and/or longest dimension of the item enchanted. This must be the last enchantment put on an item; subsequent enchantments will dispel this one.

  2. Transform Container to Trinket: This ritual, cast on closed container like a bag, chest, or bottle, allows the user to transform the container and all contents into a Trinket and back. The difficulty of this enchantment depends on the maximum weight or volume of the container. Contents are inaccessible until the command word expands the trinket. Any living, un-living, or differently-alive creature inside when the container becomes a trinket will be dead or inert when the container expands again. Inanimate objects will be unaffected, and will not age while “inside” the trinket. Note that if the container is not closed or sealed when the user speaks the command word, the contents will spill out and the trinket, when expanded again, empty.

  3. Transform Machine to Trinket: Unlike #1, this ritual converts a complex object like a clock or wagon into a (non-functional) trinket. It is a variation of Transform Container to Trinket, so anything wholly enclosed by the object will remain secure. Difficulty combines the size of the “machine” and the size of the cargo space, if any.

  4. Transform Set to Trinket: Another variation on Ritual #1, this version converts several disconnected objects, like a set of paints or a pair of bracelets, into a single fused trinket. It is more complex than the basic enchantment, but less so than the full container enchantment, so it’s only used with groups of items that are literally useless by themselves.

  5. Create Bag of the Devourer: The most common form of Container trinket is a Bag, since it can stretch to accommodate any object up to a weight limit regardless of its dimensions. As the enchantment became known, small Bags often held gold, jewels, or other valuables. Talamira herself designed the Bag of the Devourer in order to deter thieves, or, failing that, dispose of them.

    In trinket form, the Bag of the Devourer looks like any other bag. When expanded, it appears to be a small purse or poke with a few coins inside. Should anyone reach for those coins, however, a tentacle not unlike a long, thin tongue will grab the treasure-seeker and pull him into the bag, which expands to engulf him. If the victim somehow eludes the tentacle, the bag will pursue its prey in great leaps until it succeeds, the bag’s owner returns it to trinket form, or (rarely) the intended victim escapes. Those few who have been inside the Devourer and lived (briefly) to tell about it describe more tentacles, a constricting passage studded with giant molars, and burning acid. Scholars of sorcery theorize that each Bag of the Devourer is one mouth of a vast, animate, and perpetually hungry demi-plane.

    Using the Bag of the Devourer enchantment, or even writing it for later use, indelibly stains the soul. Talamira herself was known to be amoral at best. Her later services on behalf of her homeland not withstanding, she was by all reports narcissistic, violent, casually cruel, and dangerously unpredictable.

  1. While several manuscripts claim to be Talamira’s own words, scholars consider them to be at best redacted copies and at worst forgeries. The only known manuscript in her own hand resides in the archives of the Invisible College, secured by devices and enchantments best not considered. ↩︎

  2. When the Trinket enchantment became widely known, regions with too many wizards churned out numerous trinkets of dubious use, much like manias for tulips, Beanie Babies, and role-playing games elsewhere in the multiverse. The markets for such bespoke frivolities collapsed fairly quickly. The underground market, however, thrived when thieves and assassins realized the potential for hiding weapons and burglary tools in plain sight as earrings or pendants. For the right price, an individual with shady connections and nefarious intent can acquire a second-hand Trinket and its activation word. Many a warrior with the right connections wears a shield-ring on his left hand and a sword-bracelet around his right (or vice-versa). ↩︎

  3. Some older sources refer to these items as the “Charms of Talamira”. After reuniting her head with her body, now notably more toned and well-proportioned, Talamira’s “charms” acquired an entirely different meaning. ↩︎

  4. Casting this enchantment on armor has the unfortunate downside that the armor expands outside the intended wearer, who must then put it on. Helmets and backless breastplates are easy to don, while a jacket or full suit of chain-mail will require several minutes. Attempts to create Trinket armor that wraps itself around the user have caused more fatalities than said armor would have prevented. ↩︎