Pins, Medallions and Signacula

The Redcap Pin

The small copper triangle, discreetly pinned to the distinctive pellus of a Redcap, worn as a brooch or used as the clasp of a traveling cloak, is a common target for minor protective enchantments, albeit a somewhat obvious one. In the Iberian Tribunal, the pin may instead have a scallop shape or the copper melted into the back of a real scallop shell. This is particularly common in the northern reaches along the Way of St James (the pilgrimage route to Compostela), as the scallop badge or concha venera is considered the distinctive symbol of the St James pilgrimage and thus acts as a discrete.

Most pins are created as invested items to allow a number of low level convenience effects to be added incrementally over time, up to a maximum of 50 spell levels. Common instilled effects include wards against common weather phenomenon, enchantments that improve the Redcap’s sight in darkness, grant help in avoiding road hazards and various minor disguise magics.

The following low level spell effect is typically the first enchanted into any pin:

Warm These Cold Bones
CrIg 5, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind; Pen 0, 2/day; Harnessed, Tethered
This effect warms the wearer to a comfortable temperature.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 2/day)

Signacula

These small metal objects were originally stamped with a Roman soldier‘s name and used as “dog tags” or to identify a particular soldier’s more important pieces of equipment. Signacula (sing: signaculum) were traditionally made of lead. As lead only provides sympathetic bonuses to control spirits and ghosts, many of the signacula used by Redcaps are crafted from different metals or even wood depending on what enchantments are crafted into them. Some Redcaps use them as mundane seals, pressing them into hot wax to create a distinctive mark or using them in place of their Redcap pin as their sigil.

As these objects are usually kept within a leather pouch hung discreetly around the wearer’s neck, they must by physically pressed into bare flesh to activate their instilled magical effect, making them less useful for protective effects without a constant effect. They can hold a maximum of 50 levels of spell effects and are often enchanted as charged items with various healing, physical enhancement or invigorating effects as a subtle alternative to potions.

Saint Christopher, Patron of Travelers

In most hagiographies Saint Christopher was a pagan African giant born with the name of Reprobus. Seeking to serve only the mightiest lord, he came upon a child near a stream and offered to carry the baby across. As he carried him across, the child grew heavier and heavier until the giant was forced to cry out. The child revealed himself as the Christ, weighed down by all the sins of the world and Reprobus was converted, taking the name Christopher or “Christ-carrier” and helped spread Christianity amongst the monstrous cynocephali (Greek: “dog-heads”) in his local area. Christopher was allegedly decapitated by the king of Lycia in the 3rd or 4th century; his head was later transported in the eleventh century to the Croatian island of Rab in the Balkans. It resides within a silver reliquary in the Church of Mary, although currently access is restricted by the Venetians who control the Dalmatian cost. His feast day is celebrated on the 27th of July. He life and deeds are remarkably similar to the Orthodox Saint Menas, suggesting that the two holy figures may be the same entity or local variants of each other.

Saint Christopher is often considered the patron saint of travelers, mountaineers, sailors, boatmen, ferrymen and amongst others, toothache sufferers. In some respects he is similar to the Eastern figure of Saint Menas, who similarly carried Christ. He is considered equivalent to an Area Saint and has a Divine Might of 50 and can be invoked to grant the following divine effects: The Dutiful Shepherd, The Faithful Made Whole, Leap of the Faithful, and Straighten the Cripple.

Although most Redcaps vary in their degree of devotion, many unGifted Christian Mercere hold a special regard for Saint Christopher. Some Mercere magi venerate him as their patron saint. Many Redcaps carry non-magical medals carrying the saint’s image and highly value minor relics dedicated to St Christopher, going to great lengths to obtain an authentic remnant of the saint’s life.

Medallions of Saint Christopher

Often confused with signacula and sometimes referred to by the same term, these small metal medallions are commonly sewn into clothing or worn as pendants by pilgrims, sailors and other frequent travelers. Each depicts the saint, usually the legendary scene where the pagan Reprobus is carrying the child-Christ across the river before his conversion to Christianity – in Eastern Orthodox lands, the depictions of the saint usually have the head of a dog as their martyrology has him belonging to the monstrous dog-headed cynocephali of Marmarica. Unless they contain a minor relic, these devotional medals do not provide any particular bonus when seeking intercession from the saint.

Redcaps and Medallions

Similar to Redcap pins, these medallions are typically made of base metal such as copper (base material score of 5) as more expensive material attracts undue attention from thieves or curious officials seeking bribes. Carrying a Saint Christopher medal arouses little suspicion and is an option for Redcaps that require a discreet object to contain lesser enchantments (maximum 50 spell levels of effects). Most medals are enchanted with effects similar to lickstones (see here for details). Other lesser magics that aid in escape or help protect against the dangers of the road are also popular choices. 

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