The main foot piece of the lamp is made of an unusual copper alloy, a type of bronze or latten with a significant amount of lead mixed in. The big toe has been crudely hollowed out to contain oil and other liquids at a later date and bears signs of oxidation around the opening from frequent use. The chain and hook is made of much simpler and cheaper brass and appears to have been welded onto the main piece as a later addition for convenience.
When filled with fine petroleum oil, the lamp spontaneously produces a briny scented greenish-blue smoke that consumes the fuel like a mundane lamp and produces the following non-Hermetic effect:
Smoke of Infernal Dissuasion
R: Scent, D: Censer, T: Incensed
Base 20, +2 Voice, -1 Diameter, +2 Group
* Scent, Censer and Incensed are Soqotran parameters equivalent in magnitude to Voice, Diameter and Group respectively, see Rival Magic, page 125. As the base Hermetic Vim ward guideline has Touch, Ring and Circle base parameters, the use of Soqotran parameters adds 3 magnitudes to the base level but allows the item to be used by a group of individuals moving in battle formation rather than having to remain stationary.
This effect works similarly to Circular Ward Against Demons but protects any individual that can smell the smoke from that issues forth from the lamp (equivalent to Smell or Voice Range) against an Infernal creature with a Might score of 20 or less, lasting for as long as the lamp remains filled with oil (which is consumed at the usual rate for a lamp this size). The current owner has discovered that when filled with different substances, the smoke produced is of varying colour and similarly wards against creatures from different Realms. Only two other substances have been confirmed by experimentation to trigger particular effects: holy water (sweet scented pink smoke, protects against Faerie creatures) and unicorn blood (acrid brimstone smelling black smoke, protects against Divine creatures). Hermetic theorists presume an unidentified fourth liquid triggers an effect that wards against creatures aligned to the Magic Realm.
The Brass Bottle
The foot itself is actually an unusual variant of a Brass Bottle (see Tales of Power, page 41-48) and acts as permanent Arcane Connection to the locus and home of the ‘afrit al-Mansur in the fabled City of Brass within the Magic Realm. This property had been suspected by the magus that stole the item but initial attempts at discerning this major property were interrupted when was reclaimed briefly by a vengeful student of the original Damascene sahir.
The lamp first came into Hermetic possession was a war trophy from the First Crusade, claimed by the Flambeau knight Tau as spoils from the first Battle of Jerusalem. Unaware of it’s connection with the crippled ‘afrit noble, but able to discern that it protected against Infernal spirits, the magus affixed the lamp to his company’s battle standard, using the smoke to protect his mundane followers against the supposedly Infernal jinn allied to his opponents. Unfortunately for Tau, a cunning elementalist sahir employed a whirlwind known as a zawb’ba, a desert entity immune to the warding smoke as a Magic aligned spirit, to steal back the foot during the Battle of Hattin. The foot lamp was generously traded back to Tau’s former apprentice, Rho, in gratitude for his aid in cleaning out the nest of a particularly bloodthirsty tribe of ghul that were threatening the Islamic sorcerer’s home village. With the advent of an uneasy truce between Tau’s lineage and their former enemies corresponding to the cessation of open hostility between the mundane powers of the Levant, there was little use for the item in a martial context and it was donated to the collection as a curiosity.
The foot lamp is in fact fashioned from the severed foot of the ‘afrit al-Mansur, a powerful jinni noble reputedly defeated in single combat by one of King Solomon’s champions in ancient days, long before the foundation of the Order of Suleiman that claims his magical heritage. Al-Mansur is an ancient and once powerful ‘afrit, but his maiming both weakened and humbled him and he is now a recluse from his fellow courtiers in the City of Brass.
* Like other Brass Bottles, the foot lamp is a potential source of Insight into the lost Divine jinn binding magics of Solomon, a Magic feat granted from beyond the Lunar Sphere that surpasses the current understanding of both the Hermetic and modern Suleimanic traditions of spirit masters. The means to access this magic remains undiscovered (and is beyond the scope of this article) but the lamp can be used by an individual that discerns this property. For simplicity and to save space consider Al-Mansur equivalent in statistics to the ‘afrit Grand Vizier detailed in Chapter 3: The City of Brass in Tales of Power, page 45.
* The foot’s later enchantment as a lamp utilizes some of the unique Soqotran parameters, so perhaps at some point a previous owner may have had dealings with the island sorcerers. Soqotran magic is not currently capable of enchanting magic items, suggesting that the enchanter was from a different magical tradition or that this knowledge has been either lost over time or purposefully hidden from modern sorcerers by the King of the Olibanum serpents. The sorcerers are not encouraged to experiment by their ruler as it ties their power to his authority, but a Hermetic magus may be able to use the item as a source of Insight into adapting Soqotran parameters for use in Hermetic magic as a Minor Breakthrough (see Rival Magic, page 141) without having to deal with the sorcerers directly. If the Soqotran ruler learns of the lamp’s location he is likely to send his one of the Council of Three Birds, perhaps the example sorcerer agent, Ali (see Rival Magic, page 137) to investigate further. Ali, disguised as the Christian warrior known as Thomas, will have orders to attempt to retrieve the artifact without revealing his identity to prevent the Order of Hermes linking the object back to Soqotra and piquing their interest in his homeland.
Addit: this originally appeared on one of Timothy’s blogs “Vaults of the Order” as referenced in a post here from 2015. Unfortunately VotO never took off but I’ve recycled the material here as it actually fits in well with the “Tales of Power” scenario Marko and I wrote.