Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hound’s Head Cane

“Come on, keep up! We can’t lose them now!” the man in the white robes and turban commanded to the soldiers in black and purple. Ahead of him people bustled about, the market was in full swing, in spite of the late afternoon heat.

“Mizra Cal, we’ve been following you around the city all day. The men are hot and tired. Can we not rest a few moments and drink some kaba juice?” asked one of the soldiers.

“No! They must be here in the market, we continue.” Leading with his cane, the white robed man strode further into the throng of people. Most people kept out of the Mizra’s way, though a few needed a quick thrash from the cane to speed them on their way.

Stopping next to a spice stall, Mizra hesitated. All afternoon he had strode with purpose throughout the city, never showing a moment of hesitancy, until now.

“Mizra, which way?” the same soldier asked. Mizra turned this way and that

Mizra Cal’s frown deepened. “Tell your men to get their juice. I’m going back to the palace.”

The Hound’s Head Cane is a bamboo cane with a handle of bone, carved into the shape of a snarling dog. It is clearly of fine craftsmanship, although it is beginning to show signs of aging. This magical cane has a number of uses. If set upright it will serve as a (stationary) watchdog for up to 12 hours a day. Anyone who is deemed an intruder will trigger a cacophony of barking which will alert all able to hear it. The sound of the barking will seem to come from all around, and will not be traceable back to the cane. The other power the cane possesses is that it can track by scent, just as well as a hound dog. The bearer of the cane need only command it to follow a given scent. The scent must be presented in a completely unambiguous way (a sock from the person to be tracked for instance). The bearer will feel a tugging in the direction of the scent. Strong scents, such as that of a skunk, will defeat the cane’s ability to track.

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