The Winds of Drif'Tara
Rings of the March
The Rings of the March are to be crafted once every 800 years to restore (or rather regather) the power of the The Parade. The Parade spreads its magic as it travels the land, and over time this magic begins to wane from The Parade, and (by design of the powerful wizards that created originally created The Parade) to accumulate within the certain places of the land. As the power concentrates in these locations, it gives rise to a bowl of rock, of varying size, filled with (what appears to be) water. These are known as the Wells of Renewal, and within their waters lies the power to renew The Parade for another 800 years.
Each ring used to create one of 8 vital artifacts that sustain The Parade. The rings must be individually charged by completing a trial within a Well of Renewal. The wells, 8 in all, have slowly appeared throughout the past few decades. The locations of 3 are known to be within the Eastern wilderness of the Common Lands, The Halfling Empire, and upon one of the Airlands. It is suspected that at least one more is somewhere within the Frozen East or even within Mar’g’hosh. It is also known that no wells would have appeared below the surface.
Each ring corresponds to a different well. The wearer will know when he/she comes close to the appropriate well. To charge the ring, the wearer must dive into the water, alone, and complete the trial found there. It is believed with near certainty that the wearer won’t need to worry about breathing within the pool, but not all of the records concerning the rings, and the ritual to charge them, have survived to date. Successful completion of the trial (designed to prevent all but those intent on restoring power to The Parade from claiming the power that lies within) will charge the ring, which can then be used to create one of the devices The Parade needs to continue.
The nature of the rings cause them to seek power at all times, and as such will draw energies from the user that manifest themselves in the form of (what is believed to be beneficial) enchantment. The form of the enchantment varies from wearer to wearer, but it usually reflects the ring’s intended purpose. Once the ring is charged, it is believed that the enchantment’s power will be altered in some way. Some speculate that it will become enhanced. Others theorize that as the ring’s capacity will be met, it will no longer siphon energy the wearer, and will instead provide an entirely different effect. As this is the first time the Rings of the March have ever been created, it remains to be seen what will happen.
Once worn, a ring will bond itself to a user and cannot be removed until the wearer dies or the ring is charged and then depleted. A person may wear only one Ring of the March, more than one would surely prove fatal, as the rings would fight to claim the energies within the wearer, consuming him or her in a matter of days, if not sooner. The rings have been designed to not conflict with any other magical items, and as such do not restrict the wearer from wearing other rings as he or she would normally be capable.
The purpose of each Ring of the March is defined below:
The Ring of Abundance: Used to create a magical axe, which sustains an enchantment to meet The Parade’s needs by multiplying all that might be found for use in the surrounding areas many times, easing the manner in which it is collected, and restoring it as it is claimed. This allows for wagons to be built and repaired without depleting forests, for food to be foraged and harvested without exhausting farms, local wildlife, or fishing spots, metal to be mined extremely quickly, and so on, to ensure that there is plenty to go around for The Parade, and to remain after it passes. The axe cannot create what is not there, though, so it is frequently the case that trade with nearby cities and traveling merchants becomes a necessity.
The Ring of Crafting: Used to create the tools that allow The Parade’s head craftsmen to craft the enchanted bridles and shoes worn by the horses that lead the parade. This equipment not only grant The Parade’s driving team precise control, despite the large number animals, but also grant incredible strength and stamina to the, already formidable, draft horses. At times, equipment has been crafted for riding horses, and other animals, to meet The Parade’s needs, as well as to help out local farmers, miners, etc..
The Ring of Divination: Used to create the golden baton that guides The Host in determining The Parade’s course. The sense of hope and contentedness that the parade brings must be carefully distributed throughout the land. With the scepter, The Host ensure that all peoples are touched by The Parade’s light, in the proper fashion.
The Ring of Illumination: Used to create the golden lantern, which maintains The Aurora. The Aurora provides light, protection, and tranquility to those within its glow, and it ensures that The Parade deals almost no damage to the grounds it passes over. The extent to this last effect is not known, but The Parade has been known to pass through towns without lasting adverse effect, though this is only done out of absolute necessity, as it is quite disruptive, to both the town and The Parade.
The Ring of Inspiration: Used to create a golden harp, which maintains an enchantment to grant performers within The Parade to perform with amazingly enhanced skill, and without tiring. It promotes merriment within The Parade, ensuring that the music and festivities never cease. It also projects the music of The Parade such that it can be heard for miles, though the volume is at a constant, comfortable level at all points within its range. The harp must be played for 8 hours straight, once every 8 days, to maintain the enchantment. The Host is usually, though not always, the one that plays the harp.
The Ring of Progression: Used to create a magic scimitar that maintains an enchantment that allows The Parade to overcome obstacles, such as dense vegetation and bodies of water, that would otherwise hinder or prevent its movement.
The Ring of Purity: Used to create a golden amulet, worn by the host, that keeps him focused and tireless, and halts his aging. The Host can, and frequently does, remove it, when he does not have work to be done. The amulet is also involved in selecting a new Host.
The Ring of Refreshment: Used to create a pair of magic boots, which are used to maintain an enchantment allow those within in The Parade to keep up as it travels, often at great speeds, and without tiring. For as long and as fast as The Parade moves, so too shall its travelers go.