Croc's Jawbone

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Also known as The Jawbone of King Bear, though he understandably took exception to this designation during his lifetime. King Bear Orso (or Ray, as this informal leader preferred to be called) was a crafty barbarian warlord in a land where might belonged to all, but brains and patience to very few. He inherited little, but joined together by the time of his death a proud, fierce nation of tribes. They briefly conquered one-quarter the known world until internal squabbles and the sophistication of conquered cultures led to its demise.

Barbarians are notoriously magic resistant, which makes The Croc's Jawbone all the more interesting as a potential magical artifact. I say potential, because no one save King Bear ever used the item. One epic tells that he left his kingdom one morning, heading west towards the Mal-Tor Swamps, and battled with a fierce demon in the shape of an incredibly large crocodile. Another epic sings of his prowess against a confederation of S'kra Mur war mages, and that he ripped the Croc's Jawbone from around their leader's neck, effectively destroying his magic. A third epic claims that Bear won the Croc's Jawbone off a solitary hermit at the conclusion of a week-long cardgame.

Whatever the cause, Bear possessed the huge Jawbone, and claimed it was magical. He said that the Croc's Jawbone had been announced in a prophecy as belonging to the One who would lead all barbarians to their greater glory. The Archimandrite Nikos Orsus agreed in the matter of the prophecy, though the fact that he was Bear's younger brother probably raised some unspoken doubts in a few clanmembers.

At the time of Bear's death the Jawbone vanished. Some claimed it went to his first son, Varus Orso, who was treacherously slain in a mountain pass returning from his father's funeral by an erstwhile ally. Others say the Croc's Jawbone was withdrawn to the Gods until a worthy successor might be revealed...or that it was reverently buried with King Bear. The latter has resulted in many attempts to locate Bear's Tomb, though all such expeditions have met with failure to date. Whether magical or not, the Croc's Jawbone would be an artifact of great power should it ever return, since its wielder would instantly claim the allegiance of many scattered barbarian communities everywhere.