The Temperamental Jacket

Stylized with Dreamscope
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This design was originally published with the following lore:

This well tailored leather jacket has just enough padding to make it comfortable and warm in most weather. Not particularly unusual in appearance, with all the usual pockets, buttons and zippers you'd expect. Deep blue in color, with black and silver trim accents for a classic, clean appeal. It wouldn't be out of place on the rack at any local clothier, except for the curse it carries. Of course, magic makes all the difference.

It is a peculiar enchantment, but a surprisingly potent one. Most simply put, the jacket is always taken off in the same temperature as it was put on. Say you put it on inside your home, at a comfortable indoor temperature. You would then be certain to take it off in a similar setting, either another warmed room, or a place outdoors under the sun that reached the same temperature. This fate has many ways of manifesting, but it appears to be certain.

Most of the time, the jacket is subtle. If you didn't know about the curse, you might not notice it. After all, you usually wear a jacket to travel through an unpleasant temperature until you get to somewhere comfortable again. But if you were keen, you might notice that you don't end up visiting that friend who keeps their house too warm. Or maybe you got moved at work to sit away from the cold air vent. The curse lightly bends your fate to its needs. It's only when your desire comes into more direct confrontation with the curse that the real power begins to present.

The harder you try to violate the curse, the harder it pushes back. If you put it on in a freezer, and plan to journey to a hot desert to take it off, you will be beset by increasingly desperate distractions. You will feel sick, your ride will break down, your family will have an emergency, local hooligans will try to intercept you, roads will be closed, paths will become trapped and dangerous, and every one you meet will urge you to give up. But if you persist, so will the jacket.

If you are not swayed and you arrive in the desert, you will get there in the evening as the air cools. A storm will kick up, clouds will appear, and bitterly cold rain will come in a rare desert rainstorm. The jacket will freeze the desert sooner than it will let you take it off too soon. Wind will tear your hands from the buttons, sand will blind your eyes. Zippers will jam, arms will bind tight and stiff. But if you tune it all out, and force the issue, cutting yourself free to prove that you can't be bound be an accursed coat.. you will find yourself in a freezer somewhere. Because if it needs to, the jacket will straight up teleport you to an appropriate place to fulfill its curse.

If you are foolish enough to push it this far, be warned, the jacket doesn't do any of the usual teleportation sickness and safety preparations, it's a hard blink to an unknown location.

The chaotic nature of this selection makes it difficult to use as a tool, except to use as a particularly dire escape. It moves only the wearer, and none of the gear they aren't wearing or holding, and it doesn't go back. Many times throughout its history, a teleportation has been the catalyst that lead to the jacket finding a new owner, as the old one loses their need for it or their ability to keep it, for better and for worse.

It's not malicious, it is simply indifferent to anything but temperature. A scholar sorcerer who was tasked with examining the jacket once theorized that the jacket actually exists on a plane of reality defined by temperature, and simply projects itself into our plane of existence. In this model, donning the jacket creates a tunnel through zones of different temperatures to connect two points in space-time and sets the wearer to follow that path. This would suggest some degree of precognition on behalf of the jacket, at least from our perspective, but there has been no progress made in theorizing how simple tailoring operates the most demanding tier of magic. The understanding that stitched threads somehow knew more about his future than he did soon drove this scholar insane. Shortly thereafter, a new owner found a comfortable jacket abandoned in their garage by a crazed arcane scientist.

Items like this is why we always recommend that adventurers have ALL found loot examined by a certified local scrier before use. Curses aren't confined to dungeons, magic is messy and it gets all over the place. A few coins is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes from not having strange magic tainting your destiny.

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