These invested items are typically made of thin silver or gold, but finely carved bone versions and plates fashioned of magically fused slivers of various gemstones to take advantage of various Shape and Material bonuses have also been produced. Some take the form of a smooth bead or flat disk, but others are shaped to mold to the roof of the hard palate. As a tiny sized object, a silver lickstone can hold 60 levels of spell effects while lickstones of gold can hold up to 100 levels of spell effects. Bone lickstones that can hold only 30 levels of spell effects are rarely used unless the Redcap uses other magics to transform into animal form and wishes to take the lickstone with her.
Lickstones are traditionally enchanted with the Leap of Homecoming spell, usually keyed to the Redcap’s home covenant, but versions with lesser travel spells such as Seven League Stride, Wizard’s Leap, or Wizard’s Sidestep are sometimes encountered. Examples made from complex combinations of gemstones and metal may carry other enchantments.
Both the following effects (15 spell levels combined) are common to metal lickstones and are triggered by pressing the lickstone hard against the wearer’s palate with their left thumb.
Adhere to Palate
ReTe 4, R: Per, D: Momentary, T: Ind Pen 0, Harnessed, Tethered, 2/day
This Mutantum spell causes the lickstone to stick to the wearer’s hard palate provided they do not have active Magic Resistance, preventing it from being dislodged during combat or while eating and drinking. The spell is harnessed and tethered, so that the wearer has control of the spell and can end the effect, allowing him to remove the item at will in order to accept holy communion or trade with another Redcap as necessary.
(Base 1, +2 Sun, +1 2/day)
Hide from View
PeIm 11, R: Per, D: Sun, T: Ind Pen 0, Harnessed, Tethered, 2/day
This minor spell causes the lickstone to become invisible hiding it from scrutiny.
(Base 4, +2 Sun, +1 2/day)
Any additional enchantments within the lickstone are usually triggered by making unusual noises such as clicking, whistling or sucking in of breath while simultaneously touching the stone with the tip of the wearer’s tongue.
As bone lickstones have only limited spell level effect capacity (see above), they typically incorporate only the first effect, Adhere to Palate. Some simpler bone versions are magically shaped when initially crafted to conform to the unique shape of an individual Redcap’s whole hard palate and may be held in place with fine metal wire between the back teeth, but these non-magically fixed lickstones can be readily knocked loose in combat with a well placed blow to the jaw.
This simpler option initially affects the wearer for the first season as if they had the Afflicted Tongue Minor Flaw (ArM5, page 51), but continued wearing offsets this negative effect, allowing their use by patient magi.
The shaping process limits the use of the lickstone to a particular individual but Mercere magi can readily reshape the item to conform to the palate of another Redcap using a simple Muto Corpus effect. Some Redcaps who have previously lost teeth through combat or from poor dental hygiene even ask to have their lickstones augmented with bone, wooden or metal teeth. This may be either help preserve a toothy smile for impressing potential partners in love, to help cope with the often leathery food they must ingest on their travels, or both.
False Teeth and Medieval Dentures
Similar to lickstones above, false teeth may provide another unusual means of carrying a concealed magic item and may be enchanted with similar styled effects. Although human teeth can be used (either from necessity or perhaps as an Arcane Connection), artificial teeth carved from cow bone were popular in the 13th century – individual teeth were affixed using gold chain or metal wire by mundane chirurgeons, whereas fixing multiple adjacent teeth often required some form of wooden denture or a thin metal plate, resulting in similar speech penalties as above. As an alternative to mundane means, the magical fixation of an enchanted tooth to an available socket of a Redcap’s mouth is relatively simple for a magus with a smattering of skill with either Corpus or Animal as appropriate.
The use of teeth from animals (or supernatural creatures), different woods or exotic metal components may allow incorporation of relevant specific Shape & Material bonuses. Unusual teeth, particularly outsized teeth, may have a somewhat unsettling cosmetic effect without some form of illusory effect. Gold wire can attract unwanted attention in the wrong contexts, so this style is favored more by Redcaps assigned roles as bankers or merchants rather than those traveling through areas prone to brigandage or lawlessness.
Teeth as Relics
Teeth are a common form of relic in the thirteenth century, often encased in precious metal or held in small locket style reliquaries to be worn on a metal chain around the neck. Such smaller relics are highly valued by medieval travelers, and Redcaps are no exception. A tooth relic can be possessed if the character takes the Relic Minor Virtue. A tooth typically therefore contains only 1 Faith point, providing a Divine Might of 10 and Magic Resistance but does not usually possess any additional powers.
Although many purported tooth relics for sale are in actual fact just human or animal teeth melded to cheap pewter or brass, not even the most irreligious Redcap would dare petition a magus to incorporate a tooth relic into a magical denture or lickstone. The potential manifestation of Divine displeasure that would result from such a blasphemous construct should be enough to dissuade even the most jaded pagan magus… or would it?