Shadow Roads are the penumbras of the ley lines. . . . If you have items of arcana to tap ley lines and use their power and open their portals, you are fortunate indeed. But artifacts that tap great power and allow access to other realms . . . are far from safe.”—Book of Ebon Tides
Arcanists use a number of magic items to manipulate ley lines and open portals to the many shadow roads and realms, as well as protect themselves from the dangers therein. A few of these items are listed below.
Amber Medallion of Ley Line Power
Wondrous Item, Rare (Requires Attunement)
This amulet is an amber disc, usually set in a ring of silver, mithral, or orichalcum, hung on a silver chain or leather thong. When you experience a backlash effect from manipulating a ley line, subtract 4 from the d10 roll to determine the effect of the backlash (see Midgard Heroes Handbook).
Key of Veles
Legendary Item, Very Rare (Requires Attunement)
This orichalcum key is approximately 1 foot long and weighs about 5 pounds. When found, it contains 1d4 + 1 charges. When it is held by an attuned user near a ley line or shadow road, it automatically points toward that line or road.
An attuned spellcaster also has advantage on any rolls to attempt to tap or manipulate the ley line (See the previous article in this series for more on manipulating ley lines). Using one charge allows the spellcaster to open a portal, even if locked, to that line’s Shadow Road and instantly dispel an arcane lock cast by a wizard of lower than 15th level. Doing both at the same time uses two charges.
By tapping the key on a locked mundane door, chest, gate, bar, shackle or chains, the object or portal is unlocked instantly. This does not cost a charge.
The key can only be destroyed by being reduced to 0 charges, then being fed to an adult shadow dragon (or similar CR shadow creature) on the Plane of Shadow. The key regains one charge at the dawn of each solstice or equinox.
Manual of Geomancy
Wondrous Item, Very Rare
This stone and iron-bound tome describes meditations and incantations, and its words are charged with arcane power. If you spend 48 hours studying the book in a period of a week or less, your Intelligence ability score increases by 2 points, to a maximum of 20. If you are a Wizard, you also gain the ability to cast two geomancy spells (see Midgard Heroes Handbook) of 3rd level or less, twice per day, without using any spell slots. You also learn 2d4 geomancy random spells that you can use with the ability above and/or transcribe into your spellbook. The manual then loses its magic, and must be entombed in stone at least 10 feet underground for at least a century to be recharged.
Shadow Key Sword
Weapon (Sword), Very Rare (Requires Attunement)
These swords (usually short swords or rapiers) are made from shadow steel, and are prized weapons of the shadow fey. Shadow fey warriors and mages attack any non-shadow fey in possession of such a weapon to retrieve them at any cost. They have pommels shaped into blunt skeleton keys. They are +1 magical weapons and also grant advantage and proficiency when the wielder is attempting to tap a ley line (see Midgard Heroes Handbook). Also, when on the Plane of Shadow, the weapon glows a sickly green and hums when an invisible hostile enemy is within 30 feet, negating the advantage the invisible creature has on its Dexterity (Stealth) check.
Shard of Shadowglass
Wondrous Item, Very Rare (Requires Attunement)
These shards of dark shadowglass (obsidian from the Plane of Shadow) are usually found in 18- to 24-inch lengths of sharp crystal, and are usually 3 to 6 inches in width, with a faint, pulsing purple glow visible in the depths of the crystal.
When you are attuned to the crystal, you can teleport yourself and up to five other humanoids to within100 yards of the nearest ley line. If there is a shadow road portal within a quarter mile, you can sense it. You have advantage on opening or closing portals, and locking or unlocking ley lines.
Staff of Geomancy
Staff, Very Rare (Requires Attunement by a Wizard)
This iron-banded stone staff is 6 feet tall and can be wielded as a +1 magic quarterstaff by any creature with a Strength of 13 or higher. This staff has ten charges, and regains 1d4 + 2 charges every dawn.
If you strike the staff against the ground or a stone surface, you may use an action to expend one or more charges, and cast one of the following spells from the staff (only if you are sufficient level to cast that level spell normally), using your spell DC and spell attack bonus.
- 1 charge: feather fall, longstrider, or thunderwave
- 2 charges: enlarge/reduce, knock, shatter
- 3 charges: haste, magic circle, slow
- 4 charges: conjure minor elementals (earth only), stone shape, stoneskin
- 5 charges: planar binding, wall of stone
- 6 charges: flesh to stone, move earth
If all charges are expended, roll a d20: on a 1, the staff loses all its magic powers until it is buried under stone for at least 10 years. On a 2–18, it retains its +1 magic staff capabilities until it recharges normally. On a 19, it immediately regains 1 charge. On a 20, it immediately regains 1d6 + 4 charges.
Tome of Ley Power
Wondrous Item, Very Rare
These ponderous tomes are created by powerful geomancers. They contain maps of all the major ley lines within 100 miles of where the book was created. The maps are always accurate, even if the ley lines have moved since the tome’s creation. The Tome is also be inscribed with 3d4 geomancer spells (see Midgard Heroes Handbook).