Shortly thereafter, Will Turner broke in to have a sword fight with Flynn Rider.

Special materials have a long history in fantasy. Ever since Uranus got the snip from Kronos, adamantine has been kicking ass and taking names. Tolkien gave us mithril (as distinct from D&D’s mithral), and orichalcum has been around since Atlantis sank beneath the waves. (Since then it’s been put to other uses.)

While all of these fictional materials have different properties and special attributes, they still have one thing in common: they exist to make special items. You want the original example? Look no further than the Aeneid. Virgil imagines a team of cyclopes laboring in the forges of Hephaestus. These monsters “busily burnished the aegis Athena wears in her angry moods—a fearsome thing with a surface of gold like scaly snake-skin, and the linked serpents and the Gorgon herself upon the goddess’s breast—a severed head rolling its eyes.” Or in the translation that is slightly cooler than Wikipedia’s:

The rest refresh the scaly snakes that fold
The shield of Pallas, and renew their gold.
Full on the crest the Gorgon’s head they place,
With eyes that roll in death, and with distorted face.

Now you tell me what’s cooler, that or a +1 heavy shield?  My point is this: If you’re going to introduce a cool magic item, put a little work into making it a cool magic item. Give it a personality. Give it a history. Give it a pithy engraving on the hilt. Maybe something like, “Whoso flippeth eggs in this skillet is rightwise king of all breakfast.” I’m sure that would make Fighter happy anyway.


ADD SOME NSFW TO YOUR FANTASY! If you’ve ever been curious about that Handbook of Erotic Fantasy banner down at the bottom of the page, then you should check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Twice a month you’ll get to see what the Handbook cast get up to when the lights go out. Adults only, 18+ years of age, etc. etc.