A Troubadour's Ring is a ring, usually worn by Dawnish troubadours, banner-bearers, standard-bearers, bards, scops, Varushkan stzena, many priests and even League cicisbeos. It is a valuable item that allows a supporter or assistant to use their charisma and inner strength to keep their allies alive in the most desperate straits. While the common name is used throughout the Empire, the individual nations often refer to them by the name of an archetypal supporter from their own culture - thus there are Cicisbeo Signets, Bannerbearer's Bands, and Bard's Bands in various places.
A Troubadour's Ring is a grand gift to a member of a fighting company whose bravery and loyalty are seen as being inspirational. Some companies with a long history are lucky enough to own an artefact quality version of the ring which is passed from one 'mascot' to another. Being chosen to carry one of these treasured relics is a mark of great honour. The nature of war means that these priceless rings often fall into the hands of enemies, unfortunately; recovering one of these rings and returning it to the company to which it belongs can easily create a lifelong debt, especially in places such as the Marches and the League where debts are not treated lightly.
- 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 may spend a hero point to use the stay with me skill as if you know it. Once per day you may use the stay with me skill without spending a hero point.
- Materials: Crafting a Troubadour's Ring requires five ingots of green iron, four measures of ambergelt and seven measures of dragonbone. It takes one month to make one of these items.
Firstly, allow me to extend my warm congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter, a girl whom I am certain will be as full of the virtues of courage and pride as those who gave her birth. Keep her close and love her dearly, and she will not falter for want of good examples to guide her.
Secondly, please request from my messenger the package accompanying this letter now. I hope that you recognise it, my dear friend. I only wish that I could deliver it in person, but the terms of my contract keep me across the water for now, and it seemed too important to wait once I discovered its origins.
This fine ring fell into my possession on campaign along the Brass Coast, among a hoard of otherwise trivial jewellery being auctioned after its capture from foreign reavers. My lieutenant recognised it immediately as a Cicisbeo’s Signet, and clearly decorated with a banner of Sarvos, and yet though it lingered on the edges of our awareness, none among the crew could place it by sight. Call it a failing of vigilance, perhaps, but my banner-book was damaged by water some years ago, and parts of it remain utterly illegible. As you are aware, I am not presently on friendly terms with the Reckoner guilds, and I did not wish to entrust it to another, and so it lay unknown, an object of fierce curiosity, for these past two years.
Eventually, however, along came a torch-bearer of Urizen who wished to travel in foreign parts. He boarded the same Freeborn ship as us, and his own notes on the banners of the Companies of the League were quite extensive. It was then, some days into the voyage, that we recognised it in those notes as the old seal of the Company of the Black Banner, formerly the Black Swan Ascendant, which your grandfather re-named and valiantly rebuilt after its defeat at sea.
Imagine my delight at the discovery. I swear to you, that nervous old mountain-goat did not appreciate being shaken with quite such excitement as I felt at that moment. Immediately we made landfall I attempted to amend the terms of my contract to permit me to deliver the ring myself, but alas, you know the Freeborn: signed in a cambion’s blood, the contract was immutable. I do not blame them; when I look back, the gesture seems a tad off-colour, but such was my delight.
Instead, you have it from the hand of my most trusted lieutenant Drago Durante di Sarvos, along with this letter, sealed with two kisses of joyful affection, one for each cheek. I hope that when we next meet, I will have the honour of seeing it resplendent on the hand of your cicisbeo.
I must to the campaign trail now, but know that a part of my thoughts go with this ring to you.
With warmest regards, I remain,
Fabrizio di SarvosCaptain, Company of the Bald Eagle