Description

Occasionally known as a Squire's Reward in Dawn, these items normally take the form of either a sturdy bracer crafted from an alloy of green iron, or occasionally a pectoral of the same material. They are usually decorated with simple orichalcum inlays. Powerful noble houses in Dawn keep a set of these bracelets on hand at tournaments, calling them Tourney Trinkets, and lend them to those who wish to participate in martial contests but lack training. On several occasions, such participants have won the day and been rewarded with the bracelets as their prize.

In Highguard, there is a quiet trade in these bracelets as gifts for more timid youngsters when they are sent off to do their military service. Those who struggled with martial skills during their childhood occasionally find worried relatives slipping them this talisman. It is sometimes considered a little shameful to be found relying on such items, but sensible soldiers know that an actual, physical shield is a better protection on the battlefield than the Virtue of Courage alone.

Rules

  • Form: Talisman. Takes the form of a piece of jewellery. You must be wearing this item to use its magical properties.
  • Requirement: Any character can bond to this item.
  • Effect: You gain the shield skill.
  • Materials: Crafting a set of Greensteel Bracelets requires nine ingots of green iron and three ingots of orichalcum. It takes one month to make one of these items.
"Our striding has walked the Trods since the Third Leaving. We do not all have time to become brands, nor is that all our calling. Yet we must travel the dark places in the Forests-Once-Ours, and watch them lest the Vallorn spread to threaten the civilisation we have mapped in barbarian blood. I have ambergelt, taken from the living trees that are our treasury. I need green iron, and orichalcum, so that I can shield my people, so that we can shield the Empire."

The broker stood square on to the merchant's desk, more at home here than others of his nation, yet still a reminder that not all of Empire were city-folk. The merchant considered her answer carefully; she had underestimated a broker once before and would not do so again.

"Ambergelt?" she said. "Obviously I'm interested, but I'm also interested to see what the Varushkans have to offer. As to green iron and orichalcum ... the Freeborn, and the Marchers alike have paid me good steel in the past for both - my guild could mine so much the deeper with the thrones these metals would earn at Anvil!"

The Navarr inclined his head in agreement.

"Still, I have ambergelt and I need green iron and orichalcum. I am here now. Are you interested?"

The merchant tried a different tack.

"As a matter of interest, what is it that your striding needs with these metals? I ask only because there have been a few incidents recently."

Two weeks ago his neighbour had been dragged before the magistrates. Some opportunist had been making Scorpion's Sting daggers, and there had been numerous fatalities. The source of the materials used had been traced, and the merchant involved fined quite steeply. She did not think the Navarr were likely to be making anything illegal, but it was worth checking.

"The artisans in my striding will use them to make Greensteel Bracelets. We are due to travel from here through dangerous territory, and every shield will help my people in their journey. Why do you ask?"

The merchant kept her face straight, but she scented opportunity. She negotiated carefully, and half an hour later they shook hands and the broker departed. The merchant scattered a little more sand on her contract, blew on it, and finally allowed herself a satisfied smile. Enough metal for three Greensteel Bracelets, two for the Navarr striding and one for her. She knew that the Earl of Royston intended to make a play for the senator's seat in Weirwater next time the nations gathered at Anvil. The gift of a Greensteel Bracelet would put her in the earl's good graces. From there it should be an easy step to encourage him to vote in support of the League's trade proposals, and they would all profit.

"Do you think he knew?" Asked her clerk, suddenly, from his desk near the door. The merchant considered for a moment.

"Possibly. But what does it matter? The broker will remember me next time he passes through and come to me first, the earl gets a useful trinket to help pad out his line for their tourney, and I get the ear of the next senator for Weirwater, at least for a time. Nobody loses, least of all the Navarr."

Smiling, she locked the contract in her desk drawer, and returned to work.