Campaign of the Month: September 2013
Magicians may also enchant an item by placing a spirit within the item’s pattern. This technique, known as spirit binding, is practiced by Elementalists and Nethermancers using the Bind Spirit talent knack.
Generally, magicians summon minor, or tasked, spirits when using this technique to create minor magical items or prepare more powerful items for enchantment. More powerful spirits may be bound to an item to give it correspondingly greater magical powers. This technique is not normally required by any of the Enchantment Types (p. 155), but can be used on its own or to further enhance a Thread Item.
By binding an elemental spirit or ally to a magical item, a magician gains constant access to the spirit’s powers and conceals the spirit’s presence.
To bind a tasked, elemental or ally spirit to an item, a magician must first obtain an item made with orichalcum and other magical materials or craft one himself. Only an item fashioned with such materials will successfully hold a spirit. The item may be virtually anything, but well-crafted items are more likely to prevent a trapped spirit from escaping. Once the magician has the finished item in his possession and has summoned the spirit, the adept must perform a special ritual to bind the spirit to the item. This ritual takes a half hour to complete. If the spirit is not cooperative, the magician must restrain it for the duration of the ritual, using a talent such as Elemental Hold, Spirit Hold, or Summoning Circle, or a spell such as Restrain Entity.
At the end of the ritual, the magician makes a Bind Spirit Test against the spirit’s Spell Defense. Modify the Difficulty Number by the enchanting modifiers used in preparing the item. If the test succeeds, the spirit is bound to the item: the spirit’s physical manifestation (if any) vanishes and its astral form (and consciousness) is trapped within the item’s pattern.
The magician who trapped the spirit may communicate with it by touching the item and using a talent such as Spirit Talk or Elemental Tongues. The magician may also use any of the spirit’s powers or abilities by touching the item. For example, a magician who has trapped a fire elemental in a sword could use the spirit’s Spear power by grasping the weapon and using the spirit’s step numbers to make any tests required for the use of that power.
The magician must also take any Strain or other damage required by the use of the spirit power. Any other character who comes in contact with an item containing a bound spirit can attempt to communicate with the spirit if he possesses an appropriate ability. Characters other than the enchanter who trapped the spirit must defeat the trapped spirit in a Contest of Wills in order to use the spirit’s powers.
Spirits of all sorts greatly resent being trapped and will do all in their power to escape from being imprisoned in an item. If a bound spirit wins a Contest of Wills against a would-be master, the spirit may attempt to escape from the item by making a Spellcasting Test against the Summoning step of the magician who trapped it. The spirit incurs a penalty equal to the enchanting modifier of this test. If the test succeeds, the spirit is freed. The spirit also becomes free if the item in which it is trapped is destroyed or broken beyond repair.