The city of Kyruia is home to one of the most prestigious fencing academies in the land. Students and instructors spend countless hours learning the art of swordplay, each trying to be better than his peers. It is for this reason that the ring of slippery grip was created.
Sera van Skein came from a rich family. She had always been good at fencing, though she had to work hard to learn and maintain her skills. Her position as an instructor at the academy was granted as a favor to her father, though she believed she had earned the position with her own skill. After a number of months of teaching, she found herself facing Bram Berno in a teaching exercise in front of her students.
Bram was a fellow instructor and a superb swordsman. He had come from a poor family and had attended the academy himself on a special scholarship. He took to fencing like a fish to water. His moves seemed as effortless as they were flawless and his swordplay was so full of style and finesse that it was described as a special kind of savoir-faire. Sera was jealous of him from the first time they sparred.
As it always tends to do, jealousy turned into rage. Sear found herself so unwilling to accept that someone from such a lower station than her own could best her that she secretly enlisted the aid of a member of the Mage’s Guild. The sorcerer she commissioned created a ring, which he assured her would cramp Bram’s style. Sera delightedly packaged the ring and sent it to Bram anonymously, along with a note reading “May this help you look as stylish and dashing as you truly are.”
Bram returned from teaching a class to find a package on his bed. He opened it to find a ring, apparently sent by a secret admirer. Smiling, he put it on, only to feel tiny barbs pierce his hand, causing blood to seep from a wound under the ring. Try as he might, he could not pry the ring from his fingers. Over the next few days, Bram found the ring to be the worst curse he could imagine. No healer at the academy seemed to be able to help him remove the ring. His hand was constantly soaked in his own blood, which trickled in a very small stream from under the ring. He tried to cover the sight with a leather glove, but his hand clenched painfully, preventing him from donning it.
On the third day after donning the ring, Bram tried to teach his class as normal. During the lesson, his sword slipped from his blood-soaked hand, injuring one of the students. Bram resigned from the academy and left the next day, telling friends that he was going to search for someone who could help him lift his newfound curse. What happened to Bram and the ring afterwards is unknown, though stories tell of the ring turning up at the academy again. None of these stories have been proven, however.
A ring of slippery grip is a cursed item designed to make wielding a weapon much more difficult. It is a small, simple silver ring, with a large red (fake) gemstone mounted in it. When it is donned, small barbs dig painfully into the wearer’s hand, dealing a single point of damage, which cannot be regained while the ring remains on the wearer’s finger. The ring constricts, making it impossible to remove without removing the finger as well. Blood constantly seeps from the wound, making the wearer’s hand slippery. If the wearer tries to don a glove or similar item while wearing the ring, his hand will clench uncontrollably, preventing such an action.
While the ring is worn, the wearer suffers a -4 penalty against being disarmed due to the slickness of his hand. In addition, the wearer’s fumble range is doubled, meaning that an attack roll of 1 or 2 is an automatic miss. In addition, a fumble always results in the weapon sliding out of the wielder’s hand, landing 10 feet away in a random direction and possibly damaging anything in its path.
Once the ring is donned, it refuses to come off. Death or removal of the finger will cause the ring to loosen its barbs. Casting a remove curse spell will achieve the same result. The ring has no effect on creatures that do not bleed.
Faint transmutation; CL 12th; Craft Ring, bestow curse; Market Price 72,000 gp.