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Grand Duchy: Ingenious Uses for Native Slate

Grand Duchy: Ingenious Uses for Native Slate

According to the Midgard Campaign Setting guide, slate is a common commodity in Hirschberg and Bad Solitz, and through trade, available throughout the Grand Duchy. From roofing materials to tombstones, folk have found ingenious uses for it.

Here are three other uses for slate, two of which are magical.

Novice’s Slate

This tablet-sized chalkboard resembles a primary student’s practice slate for writing or math equations. But it is something more—something magical.

Apprentice wizards use the slate to practice scribing the cantrips and 1st-level spells they are taught (though slates for other spellcasting classes are not unheard of).

Such spells are cast from the slate as scrolls, though the scribing process is simplified. The material components for standard cantrips and 1st-level spells are imbued in the item, and because it is a teaching tool, retains a “muscle memory” of the inscription needed for each spell.

As long as a required focus is present during the scribing, any arcane spellcaster with either the Craft (calligraphy) or Profession (scribe) skills needs only an hour to “scribe” the slate with a chalk pencil. The slate retains the spell until cast or erased.

Clearly, many spellcasters hold on to their novice’s slate for more than sentimental reasons, provided that on graduation day they can slip it into their wizard’s robes without their master catching them in the act.

Novice’s slate; Aura transmutation; CL 4th; Slot hand; Price 22,400; Weight 1 lb.; Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Scribe Scroll, mnemonic enhancer, focus; Cost 11,200.

Hirschberg’s Disposable Grounding Mat

Mundane grounding mats with thin slate chips woven with fabric were developed as safety devices in Hirschberg factories, but creators of magic items were quick to offer a wondrous version of it for adventurers.

A person standing on any portion of the mat once it has been deployed (laid on the ground) receives the benefit of a protection from energy (electricity) spell. The mat will absorb up to 60 points of electricity by channeling it to a coil woven into the mat. Any amount of electricity damage above that amount would be taken as normal by the person on the mat.

The energy contained in the mat must be released, so it is redirected back along the path it came. It will discharge the electricity back to the target, striking as if it were a touch attack made by the person or creature standing on the mat. It is a touch attack +3 if the target of the redirected energy is wearing or holding any metal.

The mat can only protect one person at a time, regardless of that person’s size. The mat does not work if more than one person is standing on the mat.

Each mat has a single use because the inexpensive nonconductive materials used in its construction are easily ruined.

Hirschberg’s wizards are working on developing mats that work with other energy types and last longer than a single use.

Hirschberg’s grounding mat; Aura abjuration, evocation (energy); CL 5th, Slot feet; Price 400 gp; Wt. 2 lbs.; Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, protection from energy (electricity), shocking grasp; Cost 200 gp.

Ulu Blades

The arctic inhabitants of the Northlands pioneered these distinctive fan-shaped blades, which are useful for cutting into meat and bone. Through trade, they have become popular in the Grand Duchy, which has a ready source of slate for their distinctive edge. Most ulu blades have a grip of ivory, bone, or wood.

Simple weapon; Cost 2 gp; Dmg 1d3 S, 1d4 M, crit 19-20; Wt 1 lb.; Type S.

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