Items from Mythology: Wax Earplugs

In Greek mythology, the Sirens sing a cursed melody. Orpheus guided the Argonauts past the Sirens by playing his lyre to drown their song. Odysseus plugged his crew’s ears with wax and ordered himself bound to the mast of his ship while sailing past the Sirens. For adventuring parties who find themselves without a rockin’ Oprhean Bard, wax earplugs may be the solution:

Wax Earplugs

No, really. Look at all this bad stuff that takes advantage of your ears:

Sonic Monsters

Rules for Use

While a pair of Wax Earplugs are equipped, the character is rendered deaf.

Donning and Doffing

Donning a single or pair of Wax Earplugs takes an action. Once a pair of Wax Earplugs are donned, they can be doffed as a free action by removing one earplug. However, until both Wax Earplugs are removed (using a full action or a later free action) the character suffers disadvantage on perception checks related to hearing.

Acquisition

You can easily set a gold cost and just sell Wax Earplugs at your local provisioner.

However, if your Big Bad Guy is designed to exploit the party’s ears, you may want to install some hurdles to acquisition. A local artisan will offer to custom-mold Wax Earplugs for the party, but requires the supplies to craft them and time to refine the raw materials.

Historically, wax has been made from animal byproducts, but in more recent times it has also been made from plants. Here are some reagents you can send the party to track down:

  • Tallow. A local butcher or chef can provide the party with this rendered fat product.
  • Beeswax. Depending on the harvester’s animal handling skill, the bees may not be so willing to part with the wax accumulating around their hive.
  • Whale Oil. Led by an insane whaling captain named Ahab, the party takes to the high seas to hunt down a sperm whale.
  • Palm Oil. The party must travel to a coastal region to gather palm fruit.
  • Parrafin. Unless your party strikes “black gold” in their backyard a la the Beverly Hillbillies, getting this product may require tense negotiations with a local oil baron.
  • Wool.  Only the softest wool from a lamb’s belly is delicate enough to pad the plugs. The sheepdog keeps vigilant watch.

 

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