The Seal of SorbaPosted: June 18, 2011
Sorba was a weaver with knowledge of the arcane. He provided magical cloth to certain sorcerers, finely woven with a single special thread woven into the seam. He found, however, that his wares rarely made it to his customers or to market and in fact those wearing them tended to not live so long, despite the clothing’s enchantments. The reason for this was simple: brigands, armies, and the odd unscrupulous expedition would waylay these valuable, powerful goods and make off with them. Sorba hears similar mutterings from dwarves who forged arcane steel and elves who strung enchanted bowstrings and so forth.
Sorba’s solution was a special series of arcane sigils that could be arranged just so in order to make a magical item’s magic properties specific to one user. The seal was stitched or inscribed or smelted onto the object while it was worn by or in the possession of its new Sole Owner, who would speak a specific phrase upon completion. Thence forward, the cloak or sword or staff or whatever would only ever share its magic with them. This was very popular for merchants but even more popular for cults and the like, because who wants to forge the darkest weapons in an age if there’s a chance the elf prince and his band can turn those same weapons against you someday?
The Seal of Sorba is a ritual that takes a day to complete and has a variable cost depending on the type of item and the type of enchantments that are being so sealed. From a practical GM perspective, this is a handy way to use magical weapons and armor against your PCs that they cannot then use. Fair’s fair, PCs deserve loot, but when they clear a temple and come away with five magic swords and eleven magic capes that’s just silliness. So, reward them appropriately with potions and gold and even weapons and armor and scrolls BUT cut them off after a while.
Sealed items are not worthless, either; they still fetch more than a mundane item of the same kind would, partly due to a collector’s market and partly due to a black market specializing in unsealed magic merch eliminating readily available competing products.