The pugilist's shillelagh, or stormcudgel as it is also known, is usually a rough-hewn slab of wood reinforced with iron at either end. It is intended as much as a weapon for beating sense into the ignorant as it is for channelling magic, and is often favoured by rough-and-ready magicians from Wintermark, Varushka and the Marches. In Varushka it is sometimes known as a Volhov's Cane, and disingenuous itinerant magicians make a great deal of how important it is for them to keep their staff with them at all times, given how much they rely on it to get around.
In some eyes, the greater length of the stormcudgel makes it preferable to its close cousin, the Storm Sceptre, although its use requires greater skill. Mages enlisted into a Marcher pike-block find this staff useful for driving back foes who get inside the guard of their comrades’ long weapons. Occasionally a Landskeeper will fight alongside a household for their own peculiar reasons and acquire one of these staves to make up for their ignorance of battle magic. It is said that Brigit of Dourfen, a Landskeeper who served the First Empress as her ambassador to the Marches, took up one of these staves for the first time upon heading out to meet with the Marcher stewards, ready to drive back any who might strike her down before hearing the Empress’ proposal.
These staves are also popular among Freeborn magicians who take to a life at sea on one of the Brass Coast’s many ships. Most are employed for their abilities as healers and menders and so find that, if a sea battle breaks out, this staff provides them with a means to repel boarders in a very direct fashion. These are sometimes known as “Sweeping Booms”.
- Form: Weapon. Takes the form of a staff. You must be wielding this implement to use its magical properties.
- Requirement: You must have both the magician and battle mage skills to bond to this item.
- Effect: You may cast the repel spell as if you know it.
- Materials: Crafting a pugilist's shillelagh requires no special materials. It takes two months to make one of these items.
That was before he’d run into their outliers. The bandits seemed to be keeping their distance from the main force, loosing arrows indiscriminately. They needed to find a way to drive them towards the main force of the Striding.
Eoin ducked one branch and dived out of the way of another. He heard a thwack and Brigit swearing behind him, and rolled his eyes, but he didn’t slow down. She’d keep up. So would the rest of them. They were Navarr. They did what they needed.
He heard a clack-clack and saw one of the bandits go down, and knew that the Striding must be close, for that was the crossbow of the Temeschwar bravo travelling with them. He stopped for a moment at the edge of the clearing and waited. Brigit, Dafydd and Tam landed next to him seconds later.
Without a word spoken between them, they broke into the clearing as one. The bandits with their bows had seconds to take up their swords and axes, and only a couple of them even noticed they were there.
Eoin hit the back of them like a bear, clubbing with his staff and driving them toward the Striding. He gave a great cry, and suddenly all of their attention was on him. The Striding broke cover and into a sprint, and if Eoin’s Thorns could do well enough, they’d still be standing when the Striding reached them.
He fought like a monster, like the worst thing these fools had ever met. He blocked what he could and stayed too fast to hit, and kept chanting the spell, driving bandit after bandit away from him and toward the Striding, where they would meet their end. Striking and blocking and snarling like the terror he wanted them to fear, Eoin and his Thorns kept the foe at bay long enough for his Striding to catch up.
By the time they caught up, he was alone. The last of the bandits who’d stayed to fight was down, and the rest were fleeing into the forest, pursued by his Thorns. It wasn’t the tactically perfect choice, but it seemed he’d been driving them in every direction, and it had worked. His Brand grinned and slapped a hand on his shoulder, and congratulated him on doing what needed to be done.Triumphant, terrifying, and a hero to his people, Eoin sat down in the clearing and breathed deeply of the scent of victory.