This potent battlefield staff allows a magician to command and constrain the movement of their enemies. Some foes are hurled sprawling backwards, others are bound in place to face the wrath of the magician's allies. The staff is usually quite ornamental, designed to grant the bearer a sense of gravitas and inspire awe in their subordinates. It is a popular choice for martial magicians who rise to the rank of general, at least those who take the field alongside their troops. The sight of an enemy champion flying back into her own men, or a skirmisher brought to a crushing standstill before they can retreat is an effective morale-boosting tool.
All implements are popular among the Urizen, but the suzerain's command is a particularly valuable tool, especially among architects who are also magicians. More than many other staffs, this implement demonstrates the magician's mastery of the physical world, moving enemies around as if they were game pieces. It's ability to control the movement of others makes it fascinating to some philosophically minded vates who meditate upon the different ways that magically effecting someone's ability to move can change their fate in the right circumstances. It also sees a lot of use by martially-minded Freeborn Hakima - an opponent held in place by the suzerain's command is readily dispatched by any supporting warriors.
Needless to say, the staff also sees some use outside the confusion of the melee. Knowing that a magician who can express her displeasure by hurling someone across a room often encourages an extra level of respect and politeness. Some mercurial volhov refer to these staffs as second thoughts, favouring their ability to hold someone in place for a few moments to allow them time to reconsider their course of action.
- Form: Staff.
- Effect: Three times per day you may cast the entangle or repel spell without spending any mana.
- Materials: Crafting a suzerain's command requires seventeen measures of ambergelt, fifteen ingots of tempest jade and ten measures of iridescent gloaming. It takes one month to make one of these items.
Camilla looked up from the gameboard and signalled for another bowl of sugared fruit. “Your move” she uttered nonchalantly at her opponent, a young wizard named Zeno.
Zeno was not having a great day, if truth be told. His game had been improving recently to the point where he was able to challenge the more experienced Camilla, but she was clearly winning and she made little attempt to hide the fact that she knew it. He furrowed his brow and reached forward with his robed arm to move one of the finely sculptured game pieces before him, shuffling it forward three squares before finally leaving it standing opposite one of Camilla's spires. His strategy and study of her playing styles suggested that she would not be able to resist the temptation to make an attack on his piece.
He was wrong.
Camilla, by contrast, was having a great day. Helping herself to a cube of crystallised pomegranate with one dainty hand, she reached forward with the other to make her move. Zeno was only the latest in a line of young challengers to her mastery of the game. She had politely accepted his offer but saw him as little threat.
Zeno sighed audibly, though his utterance was swamped by the gasps from the audience. “At least they're surprised as well,” he muttered. He hadn't factored into his game equations just what a distracting effect a large crowd would have on his concentration. “Focus” he thought, “focus, focus, focus”. Reiterating through his memory what he knew of Camilla's games as well as his own mastery of the board, he realised that the game was now all but lost. Camilla's latest move had him flustered. “Of course,” he realised, “that was her intent. Better to leave me flustered and doubting my Arrete than follow her usual strategies.” What was it his first tutor had told him? That each new opponent must be faced with new methods. Study their play as much as you study the board. It was then he saw the flaw in her defences.
He took old of one of his minor pieces which had been languishing in one of the corners and, with a flourish, set it down on the centre square. The crowd mumbled and Camilla paled visibly. In one stroke, he had pinned one of her spires and forced another to retreat or avoid being taken.
“The Suzerain's command”, Camilla whispered. “I've left myself open to the Suzerain's command". Knowing her day had come, she leant over to acknowledge her defeat with a grace that belied the turmoil in her heart.