Staff Shifter Item in Talifar | World Anvil

Staff Shifter

Written by JoshForeman

In the midst of all this ruin lay a strange cylinder, silver with shifting blue and green colors, the diameter of his wrist, and a length as long as his forearm. Each end of the cylinder was capped with a metallic round fist of four clawed snake toes. Like the golden snake on the box, the craftsmanship on the claws radiated the sense of the preternatural.   Holding his breath, he nudged the cylinder. The metal did not snap at his sandal. He dipped his hat into the ocean and poured sea water over the object. The cylinder neither moved nor steamed. Rocks did not rouse the thing, nor did a brief touch with knife or finger. He picked up the cylinder. Sunlight shone on intricate inscriptions in another alphabet, one based on circles, radii, and parts thereof. He had never seen the like. StoneShell seemed a tiny dot in a wide, wide world.   He touched an inset circle.   Zip! A blur near his face made him jerk his head back and blink.   His hand stung from a sudden reverberation. Bowmark held his breath and moved only his eyes to see where the suddenly long, thin pole—extended from the hilt he held—pressed onto the now chipped stone next to his left foot. The metal cylinder was almost as tall as him. He inhaled. He exhaled. He gently pulled the pole off the stone, leaving a shallow hole and an almost invisible shaving from his sandal. Gently, he bent his knees and lowered the pole. He needed to turn his wrist to lay down the weapon and accidentally touched again the indented circle.   Zip!   The pole collapsed back into its original length.   Bowmark swallowed and took another breath. Angling it well away from his body, he slowly touched the circle again. Zip! And back. Zip! The pressure he applied to the circle determined the speed at which the staff changed. He examined the claw fist that had chipped the rock and noted no scratches or dents. A wondrous weapon, this: a long, thin staff that could punch into stone. Much better than his bronze knife.

Mechanics & Inner Workings

Primarily constructed of the magical materiel known as Memory Metal. This material can be programmed to respond to physical manipulation (such as a button press) or mental activation by the user. It's primary function is as a staff weapon that can easily be concealed with contracted. Like all magical items, the Staff Shifter extracts energy for its functioning from the user, though this can be mitigated by charging it via magical devise or finding a 'volunteer' to hold it long enough.   After Bowmark brought the Staff Shifter to Taratesh the Fierce, along with two other magical items, she used a magical fusing device to join them. So it now has a light ball on one end (that can be flared like a lantern or focused like a flashlight, and with sustained focus could act as a laser) and a cord that hides away in the shaft, and is attached to one of the claw ends. (So the claw can be shot outward, grab, then pull the user or the target.)

Manufacturing process

Magical items are almost exclusively reclamated from crash wreckage and constructed at Crash Site, the land of the magicians. Their process has been closely guarded for two and half millennium.


A magical item personally crafted by the magician Fencock. While the creator did nothing of note with it, the discovery of the staff after Fencock's death by Bowmark of StoneGrove Archipelago allowed him to accomplish a quest that changed the course of history.
Item type
Weapon, Melee
One of a kind
1.8 Kilo (4 lbs)
25 cm to 1.2 m (10 in to 48 in)

Cover image: by Josh Foreman


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