Relics of the Flight of Izanagi

by Jay Godden, edited by Isaac Rolfe and Rob Heinsoo, art by Kobayashi Eitaku

Read the introductory post here.

These items are inspired by a fictionalised retelling of the Shinto creation myth. In my own Dragon Empire, there is a large archipelago off the coast which is largely aesthetically inspired by Kamakura period Japan, where these items originate. In a typical Dragon Empire they might represent the creation story as told by one particular species, a religion local to one of the cities, be abstract retellings of mythic heroes or demigods, or be the origins of some of the islands of the Midland Sea such as Omen and Necropolis, before they became ruled by Liches and living dungeons.

Whatever angle you use, the story goes something like this: Two Gods, He-Who-Invites and She-Who-Invites emerged from the primordial chaos. From their union was created the oceans and the land, and many new gods to populate the world they were creating. One of these gods was a being of fire. He burned so hot that She-Who-Invites was mortally wounded during the birth. She eventually succumbed to her wounds and passed on to the realm of the dead. Furious and grief stricken, He-Who-Invites slew the fire god to take revenge. Wielding his legendary ten hand sword, he cut his son’s head straight from his body, and from the dead stump leapt many new demons and creatures of fire. 

He-Who-Invites wished to see his partner again and descended into the realm of the dead, but found that she had already eaten the food of that place and would have to remain there forever. She did not want her husband to see what had become of her, and made him swear not to gaze upon her. Filled with grief and longing, He-Who-Invites could not wait, and lit a torch so he could see his love again. She was hideous to behold, with rotting flesh that was full of the maggots of death. In a rage, she ordered the creatures of the underworld to chase him from their realm as vengeance for her shame. To buy time to escape, He-Who-Invites drew on the power of a vine and hairpin used to secure his hair. From the vine sprouted bushes full of grapevine, entangling many monsters. The hairpin grew rapidly into a forest of bamboo shoots, spearing his pursuers. At this, She-Who-Invites herself began to chase after him, and He-Who-Invites only managed to repel her using some peaches that grew from a nearby tree, blessing it in the process. Finally thwarted, She-Who-Invites closed up the entrance to the realm of the dead, forever parting the two lovers, and the two worlds.


Set bonus: Attuning to the relics gives you access to one bonus healing spell per day. The number of Relics attuned determines the list of spells available to you, and you can wait until you cast the spell to choose which one you use. 1 Relic: the Cleric’s Heal spell feature. 2 Relics: the Cleric’s Cure Wounds at 1st level. 3 Relics: the Cleric’s Mighty Healing at 5th level. 4 Relics: Cure Wounds can now be cast at 7th level. 5 Relics: you can cast the Cleric’s Resurrection at 9th level, which does not count against your lifetime limit. [Special: Casting Resurrection with this magic item set will cause all of the items to de-attune from you and disperse once again among the land, waiting for another hero to find them.]


GM Sidebar: It’s very likely that many widows, failed kingsguard and cultists are searching for the Relics to resurrect someone. Collectors of this set are even more likely than most to be beset by challengers, thieves, impeachments for aid and manipulation on many fronts than those of other sets. Almost everyone in the world has someone they would wish to bring back. Feel free to scatter legends about NPCs of great importance that have been brought back through the magic of this set.


Adventurer Tier:

The Left Hairpin

Ring chakra

By snapping this hairpin, you can create a torch that will burn anywhere, even underwater or without air, for around an hour per day. Reconnecting the two halves repairs the pin instantly and stops the effect.

Ability (Recharge 6+, Free Action): While in shadows or darkness, an ally can reroll a d20 after seeing the result. Quirk: Bad at keeping promises.


The Right Hairpin

Ring chakra

Ability (Passive): Your natural attack rolls of 13 cause bamboo shoots to grow around or into your target, causing them to take additional damage equal to double your level. Quirk: Respect for ancient traditions.


Champion Tier:

Headdress of Grapes

Head Chakra, +2 MD

While attuned to this Headdress, you can use it to pour out a challice’s worth of exquisite wine when you wish.

Ability (Recharge 11+, Quick action): A nearby enemy of your choice is wrapped in vines and cannot move or use move actions until the end of its next turn. Alternatively, you can use this ability to create a temporary structure out of twisting vines, such as a rope bridge, ladder, or blockage in a door. Quirk: Indulges in bacchanalian pleasures.


Peach Pit

Orb chakra, +2 attack and damage with spells

While attuned to the Peach Pit, you find enough peaches in your pockets and packs throughout the day to entirely nourish yourself. Eating one of these peaches per day will halt your ageing until you stop eating them (when all your ageing catches up with you).

Ability (Recharge 11+, Quick Action): Make an attack using the highest of your Wisdom or Charisma vs MD against all nearby Undead. On a hit they become weakened until the end of their next turn, on a crit the weakened is save ends. Targets are considered  vulnerable to this attack if they are vulnerable to holy damage. Quirk: Requires long baths in rivers to ever feel truly clean.


Player sidebar: Woe is the widowed lover who spends many extended lifetimes collecting the Relics to resurrect their fallen partner, only to die themselves a day later without the magic of the peaches to sustain them.


Iconic Tier: Special: this item takes up 2 chakras for Epic tier PCs, 3 for Champion tier PCs, and 4 for Adventurer tier PCs.

Blade of Unparalleled Wounding

Two-Handed Sword, +4 attack and damage with melee attacks

This weapon is capable of harming a creature of any level of power or invulnerability, be it god, magician, demon, or beast. Attacks made with this weapon ignore all resistances and damage immunities. If a creature has no damage resistance or immunity of any kind, it is instead vulnerable to attacks from this weapon.

Ability: Once per level, when you kill an enemy with an attack from this weapon, you can choose for it to be permanently killed. Liches will not reform at phylacteries, gods cannot be brought back through worship, and mortals may not be returned with Resurrection. The only exception to this rule is the bonus Resurrection spell available through completing this magic item set. Quirk: Murderous compulsions toward anyone who disrespects or wrongs you.


“There’s poetry in it I suppose. The very sword that the Conqueror used to execute her is the only thing I will be able to use to bring her back. I’m not interested in getting the Kingdom back, I just want us to be together until we’re old. So uh… Can I please have the pin? I know you think you’ll use it for good, but I’ll use it for love, what’s more good than that?” – Kashimir, deposed King Consort, tipsy wielder of the Headdress of Grapes.


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