Magical Bags are very unique objects, which however most of the times resemble ordinary looking bags, but are endowed with magical abilities. They are very difficult to come by and of course even more difficult to produce, and as there is no standardisation on how to make them, the abilities these very special bags possess aren't always identical, but vary from case to case. Their main purpose usually is to further improve the functions of usual bags by making it easier to store items and to reduce the weight of the contents. Being rare and needing advanced magical knowledge to realize them, most Magical Bags sell for exorbitant high prices and can be found mostly only in the possession of wizards or people who have too much might and money on their hands - at least according to the prejudices of the commoners.
|Image description. An unconspicious adventurer with an unconspicious bag reaching suspiciously deep into it... Picture drawn by Faugar.|
Magical Bags - though they can be rather powerful - have a tendency to appear
rather unconspicious and unobtrusive. There's a simple reason for that: Magical
Bags need to be carried around to be of use and in order not to let everyone
know at the first glance what kind of special object one calls his or her own,
it is better to keep its appearance as unspectacular as possible. - You also
don't walk around with your jewellry every day, don't you? But if you'd have to,
you'd make sure that it is well hidden from the eyes of thieves, right?
So how do common bags look like? They are usually made out of leather or cloth, can be strapped around the shoulder or the waist or worn on the back as a rucksack. Bags used by the nobility can be made out of silk, which are incredibly light and thin, yet strong bags if designed properly. Determining whether a bag has magical properties from viewing it only therefore is difficult, unless you're a mage and can cast a spell in this respect. Otherwise just tentatively lift the bag - Magical Bags are often lighter (even without content) compared to regular ones, as this often hints a wind enchantment.
Types of Bags. Categorization of Magical Bags isn't easy as they are difficult to find and describe and there are several kinds of bags which may be only mentioned in tales and fairy-tales, but of which there are several influential people who claim that they can confirm their existence. Be it as it is, we'd like to distinguish between three types of Magical Bags in the world of Caelereth:
Lift- or Light-Bags
These kinds of Magical Bags definitely are the most common type among travellers, who know where to get these expensive items and can afford them. They are constructed in a way that they harbour a more or less powerful permanent wind enchantment, causing a reduction of the weight of all items you put into the bag. Depending on the power of the enchantment, this reduction can vary considerably, so that the contents weigh only half of their usual weight, a quarter or even nothing at all, so that only the size of the bag determines how much you can put in.
The creation of Lift-Bags just as any other permanent enchantment of course isn't an easy task and is said to require the cooperative work of several wind mages. You may obtain such bags at any major magical shop, be it in Ximax, Voldar or Ciosa, providing you have a filled purse.
Rift-Bags or Bottomless Bags
Rift-Bags are bags, which actually are small gateways to other locations opened through powerful permanent Xeuá magic. These holes in the bags allow its owner to access distant items by simply grabbing them through the bag. Therefore these bags are also called "Bottomless Bags" as they allow to take out (theoretically) unlimited amounts of items while actually containing nothing at all. Sich bags don't require much space therefore and can be easily hidden as they are always "empty".
However, you need to keep in mind that an arm can only reach as far as its own length and that the target location will run out of supplies if no further provisions are provided from the other side. So though the Rift-Bag is a Magical Bag, which is much more powerful than any other known kind, it only has a limited use for the owner.
Various sources tell us that the Rift-Bags were a very common tool in ancient times e.g. in the War of the Chosen thousands of years ago, but today are nearly extinct as the knowledge on how to produce them seems to have been lost in the meantime. Nowadays Rift-Bags are seen as artifacts and would earn you a lot of money when sold. Many believe that elves of certain tribes still know how to produce such bags.
Without doubt there are other singular Magical Bags as well, which however are even rarer than the famous Rift-Bags. These bags are often products of famous magicians and made for certain very specific purposes and therefore very difficult to sumsumize under a general term. Such bags can be extremely powerful or just little toys.
Macanti for example are known who use Magical Bags in order to generate some sort of temporary illusion, making things disappear and reappear again, change the colours or the transperancy of the bags etc. for amusement of others. Such bags are not capable of permanent changes on objects at all, though swindlers might sell such bags to make people believe that they are in fact Rift-Bags.
More powerful individual Magical Bags are often mentioned in local lore, which are impossible to verify. E.g. there are ghost stories telling us of souls being captured in magical prison jars and bags, of bags which can make items smaller, or create any item you wish, some bags are said to change any object you put in it to gold and others can sow winds and storms or contain the voices and the memory of dead people. Anyway, it should suffice here to mention these bags - if the devoted reader comes across proof of any of these bags, feel free to let your Compendium researchers know immediately for further investigation.
A Magical Bag is used for the purpose it is designed for, which varies from bag
type to bag type. Lift-bags of course are widely used for carrying large amounts
of things, due to their weight-reducing ability. The best wizards who can
produce such items in the United Kingdom of
Santharia live in Ximax, so they are
especially very common in the Xamaron province.
Though such bags today are mainly produced in the magical capital of the kingdom, other dependencies throughout the land also like to draw a nice aditional income out of them by selling these items to interested travellers. Ximaxian bags are said to be the most reliable as well and worth the sometimes exorbitant prize. However, to the dismay of the mages in Ximax and its countrywide dependencies, bags from other continents have found their way to Santharia as well, though it is not clear yet, if their is a common source from where they are originating, endangering the sales fo the local magicians. Such "other bags" are most times cheaper, but the Ximaxians warn that the buyer can't be sure about their true abilities until he has bought them and used them - and get disappointed by their quality. Well, every salesman of course tries to please his customers...
The main drawback for Magical Bags from wide-spreading is its huge price and rarity, which means that only for the richest can buy the best ones. But well, there are at least also bags, which reduce the weight of the contents only to a certain degree - and this surely is a good investment for every adventurer.
|Image description. A woodelf on a romp from one of Master Tribell's narrations, who is said to spread magical petals from her bottomless bag. Picture drawn by Eratin.|
Magical Bags probably existed since the days when powerful
magic was at its prime. We know that magic was
common during the old days of the War
of the Chosen, and so were artifacts, be it
swords, amulets or Magic Bags. But in the aftermath of this cataclysmic war
magic suffered a terrible drawback -
magic itself was seen as a disastrous force and enchanted items were
destroyed and only a few remained till this very day. Powerful Magical Bags of
these times are therefore nearly inexistent, and if they still exist, their
secret is kept well hidden.
Later, in the years of the founding of Ximax (around 2000 b.S.) and the rivival of the lost arts elemental mages made a new approach on enchantments and tried their hands on creating Magical Bags, which could have practical use by making for example the weight of the contents lighter. They partly succeded, but the efforts to produce these kinds of bags are still considerably high. Whether some elven tribes - as many claim - have managed to preserve their knowledge on how to create advanced Magical Bags, still remains a mystery.
Myth/Lore. There are so many stories involving Magical Bags that it is difficult to pick out extraordinary ones. Most of these stories for sure sprang only from the imagination of people. But let's try and see what we find in books like Master Tribell's "Miraculous Narrations" about Magical Bags...
There's the one story, "The Golden Hand", which we already mentioned above, about a bag, which can turn items to gold if you drop them into the container. Well, it served its owner quite a while, until pure greed drove him to grab an item directly from the bag instead of turning it upside down to get the golden item. Quite a mistake, as first the hand turned to gold, and then the whole body - a nice moral tale about the consequences of greed.
Another story is the "Spring Fairy", a tale about a woodelf, who found a bottomless bag with magical petals, which made the nature touched by these petals flourish and the people happy - and this is precisely what the spring fairy did. Well, as the tale goes, the bag was stolen by a thief who thought he could make a lot of money by spreading happiness, only to discover that the contents of the bag withered in his hands, and that the bottomless bag reverted to a normal one. The spring fairy however found out that she didn't need a bottomless bag to make people happy...
And finally we have a tale about a Magical Bag created by one of the Chosen in person. It is said that it could fulfill all his wishes, and after he perished, the bag fell into the hands of one of his minions. But not for long - he was killed by another one who sought to obtain the bag, and he in turn was assassinated, and so on. Actually rumour has it this bag still exists today - it is said to fulfill three wishes until its new owner meets his untimely fate...
Information provided by Kaa and Artimidor