Archive for June, 2008

Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., is a book that analyzes myths, fairy tales, and other stories of the Wild Woman archetype from a Jungian perspective. Its purpose is to help women reconnect with the power of their wild woman personality. In the book, the author brings up the story of Vasilisa the Wise (sometimes translated as Vasilisa the Beautiful). I have already discussed this story at some length in a previous entry (see The Black Cauldron and the Goddess of Fire). In this entry, I will present two new magic items of feminine, power from the story of Vasilisa, that can be easily introduced into any campaign.


The doll of Vasilissa is a figurine of indelible wisdom, granting its owner intuitive insight. In addition, the doll has the ability to perform the most arduous of tasks.

This item represents a woman’s intuition. It also represents her power to come up with solutions to difficult problems through the process of dreaming.

Description: The doll of Vasilisa is a tiny figurine, small enough to fit into one’s pocket. The doll has a red dress, and a porcelain face with a small slit in its mouth. The doll is capable of speaking any language that the possessor speaks, but can only answer with brief, one or two word sentences.

Activation: The doll of Vasilisa can be activated up to three times per day. In order to activate the doll, the owner must have had the doll in her possession for a period of at least 24 hours, during which time the doll bonds to its new owner. The doll can only be bonded to one person at a time, so a previous owner must once again bond herself to the doll in order to regain its powers.

Once the doll has bonded to its owner, it can only be activated by feeding it a specially prepared, holy wafer with the spell bless water cast upon it. Activating the doll in this manner is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Note: The doll may sometimes activate on its own; jumping up and down in its owner’s pocket whenever one of its owner’s actions might result in serious harm or injury. Activation of the doll in this manner is at the sole discretion of the DM.

Effect: The doll of Vasilisa can tell its owner whether a particular action would be good, bad, or indifferent, as per the augury spell.

In addition, the doll can be asked to perform up to three tasks for its owner. The doll performs these tasks to the best of its abilities, while its owner sleeps, before returning to its owner’s pocket. In all other ways, treat this effect as the unseen servant spell.

Aura/Caster Level: Faint Divination and Conjuration (creation). CL 3rd.
Construction: Craft Wondrous Item, augury.
Price: 7,200 gp


The torch of Baba Yaga is a hideous item that grants its user a fantastic array of powers. Like the doll of Vasilisa, this item is also representative of woman’s intuition. However, this item possesses the ability to burn away all that is opposed to a woman’s spiritual development. It is a frightening power, that may cause many to turn away in horror. Only those who have been initiated, who know what they want from life, are able to wield the torch. All others are burned by its sheer power.

Description: The torch of Baba Yaga takes the shape of a human skull and spinal column. From its eyes, red flames flicker and dance menacingly.

Activation: The torch of Baba Yaga functions continuously acts as an everburning torch, requiring no activation. Its ability to detect auras opposed to the wielder’s alignment can be used an unlimited number of times per day. Finally, the torch’s searing light ability can be activated up to three times per day.

Effect: The torch of Baba Yaga can be used to detect the presence of creatures who are opposed to the wielder’s alignment. For example, an evil creature wielding the torch can detect the presence of good cratures, while a lawful creature can detect the presence of chaotic creatures. The wielder can use this ability for a period of 1 hour each day. The duration of the effect need not be consecutive rounds. In all other ways, this ability functions as per the detect evil spell.

In addition, the torch can be used up to two times per day to cast the spell searing light at creatures who are opposed to the wielder’s alignment. This ability functions as the spell searing light cast by a 6th level caster.

Any creature of neutral alignment, with no leanings towards law or chaos, who tries to wield the torch, is burned by the torch’s searing light ability. The torch continues to attack the creature each round until they are either dead, or until the torch has released the torch from the creature’s grasp.

Aura/Caster Level: Moderate Divination and Evocation. CL 6th.
Construction: Craft Wondrous Item, detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law, searing light.
Weight: 3 lb.
Price: 28,800 gp

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