The Seven Rings
The Seven Rings are ancient tools created to defend a nation faced with enemies far greater than itself. Each of them is an incredibly powerful artifact, a weapon that can make virtually anyone into a one-person army. Perhaps most terrifying is the fact that these artifacts will work for whoever claims them; while once meant for good, at least some of them have been used for evil in the past. Power can corrupt, and there is a large deal of power in any of the rings. Only time will tell the character of their wielders in the modern day.
It was 57 BC, and Israel was freshly conquered by the Romans. The Hebrew people groaned under the harsh rule of the Romans, but what military strength they had was nowhere near enough. Something had to be done. And in a remote hideaway, something was, indeed, being done.
In a secret cave complex, a conclave of mages was meeting. These men would be considered followers of the traditions of Kabbalah in the modern day, but in 57 BC they had no formalized name. While the mystical traditions of Judaism had many applications, these particular practitioners specialized in creating mystically imbued objects. They'd worked hard in times past to arm Judea's best soldiers with peerless swords, spears, shields, and more. But it was never enough. After all, the Romans had their own mages, some of whom had even studied under the witch Medea! It seemed like no matter what they had done in the brief tenure of fighting, it hadn't been enough. One of their elders proposed that it was because they had tried to make so
many artifacts, and had spread their magic too thin. He said they should instead all cooperate to create a small number of very potent artifacts. These could be given to a few trusted individuals, who would become the “tip of the spear” in their fight against the Romans.
So their work began. It took them until 52 BC, but they were ready for the final step. They'd crafted sevenrings, each with a unique gemstone embedded in a platinum ring, etched with dozens upon dozens of holy runes and symbols. A blue sapphire, a green emerald, a red ruby, a violet amethyst, an indigo spinel, a yellow beryl, and an orange wulfenite. Each gem chosen to channel a particular kind of energy. A particular resonance that would allow each ring to bring potent abilities to bear that, when used together, should make an unstoppable team. The rings went through their final assembly, their final preparatory benedictions. Then, the final ceremony began. Every member of this secretive group took part, all of them working in concert to channel various elements and concepts into the rings, and on top of it all pouring a healthy does of the elemental creative energy of creation. The ceremony was a success…one that cost the lives of half the participating mystics, including all the senior members. Those left knew how the rings worked, knew how to search for appropriate wielders…but did not know how to create more ever again. They agreed that, in the end, that might be for the best. Such power shouldn't become commonplace.
First Seven Champions
Within a year, all 7 Champions had been chosen, each for possessing just the right traits to effectively use these new rings. The champions were all grabbed from normal, non-military lives to become something, some
one else. They were given 6 months to train themselves and train together, before it was demanded they take the fight to the Romans. So they trained and worked hard; each and every one of them went from “inexperienced” to “near expert” in that short time. They felt they were ready to take to the field of battle. So, in the summer of 50 BC, the Seven Champions of the Seven Rings launched an assault upon a nearby Roman garrison. It was a horrifically one-sided fight.
For two years, it continued in the same manner. The Romans slowly threw more and more troops at the Champions, but they always seemed to be able to take whatever forces were thrown at them. Eventually, they were taking on a fair portion of a Roman Legion. But then, tragedy struck. The wielder of the Violet Ring was isolated during a fight, and a handful of Roman mages managed to kill said Champion. The ring was recovered, but the loss hurt the morale of the group. Over the next few fights, the Romans grew bolder, and it wasn't long before Indigo and Orange were dead as well. The rest fell to despair, deciding they'd simply discard their rings, bury them in save places, and slip back into mundane lives. All of them except the wielder of the Blue Ring. He declared he would go down fighting.
He fulfilled that oath, and it was only through the timely work of the Yellow Ring-bearer that such a powerful weapon didn't fall into the hands of the Romans. All 7 Rings were gathered, and the mystics chose to hide them, entrusting a small number of their remaining members to act as watchmen, and look for a time when one or more of them might be needed by the land of Judea, and given to worthy successors.
Champions Through the Years
All of the rings have been wielded several times, by good men, by tyrants, and sometimes by people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. There was something of a pattern to the appearances, though. Often, 3 or more rings would be found and used at times when war or other major events were looming, or when the common person needed an extra bit of hope. The waning days of the Roman Empire saw all but the Violet and Blue rings standing against the barbarian hordes, at least for a time. In the middle ages, the Yellow, Green, Orange, and Indigo rings found themselves on the hands of people caught up in the midst of all the wars raging across Europe. As the Industrial Revolution approached, all but the Yellow ring disappeared. That particular ring seemed to keep changing hands, often working from the shadows…until it vanished in the late 1700s. From then on, none of the rings were seen again. Until a teenage boy found one in an old fortress in the desert, and decided to make himself into a hero…
Blue Ring of the Determined Leader
The Blue Ring was built as the “centerpiece” of the set of 7. Not so much because it was the most powerful, but more because its versatility and the mental/emotional state it was connected to meant it was ideal for a team leader. The Blue Ring runs off of willpower, or as some might thing of it, determination. The wielder of the Blue Ring must always have a strong sense of what he's trying to accomplish, what he stands for, and so on. Unfortunately, in some wielders, this has led to great pride; not all determination is pure in nature. The Blue Ring is associated with Fire, and typically manifests most of its more overt powers as fire constructs. Its powers seem to vary according to the person using it, and sometimes on what actions may have pushed the Ring to its limits. Most of those who wore it found themselves physically enhanced, well-protected, and able to attack in a variety of ways. They almost always have at least some ability to create objects out of ethereal blue fire; however, unlike some of the other rings, these constructs never seem to last. They are most often used for temporary cover or other short-term tactical advantages.
Red Ring of the Courageous Warrior
The Red Ring has always been the most…volatile…of the Seven Rings. It grants its bearer great physical might and prowess in battle, but more than any of the other ring, it can leave its user prone to the darker aspects of its nature. For in the heat of a large fight, it is not a large leap to go from “courage” to “battle-lust”, and from there to “wrath and rage”. It is not so much that the ring forces anger on anyone who uses it, as it is that they mind-state required to use it without descending into rage is like walking a narrow ledge. More than a few have fallen from the ledge, and as a result channel immense anger into the ring; anger that has left “echoes” upon it for future users to deal with… Of course, the reward is incredible power. More than any of the other rings, the Red Ring grants its Courageous Warrior unbelievable physical might, easily topping even that of the Blue Ring. There is a legend that the greatest wielder of the Warrior's Ring so far was able to briefly hold up a small hill from collapsing on his comrades-in-arms, allowing them to escape before he simply
punched his way free. And the ring grants endurance to match that mighty strength; more than a few tales speak of the Warrior shrugging off blows even from his fellow Champions. The Red Ring grants flight, but it isn't quite as fast as the rest of the rings; it's clear this artifact is meant for power in battle and little else. More than just power, the Red Ring grants the user power over blasts of lightning. Some of these blasts are straightforward, but some are more subtle, working to wear away the armor of a foe, or perhaps even weaken his very body. Still, the Red Ring gives no truly notable powers that apply outside of combat, beyond flight and the ability to move very large things. It's clear the Warrior was always intended to work in concert with others, as part of a team. Despite this, more than one user in history has adopted a “lone wolf” mentality.
Yellow Ring of the Cunning Illusionist
The Yellow Ring was, in the first group of Champions, used by the most trusted friend of the Leader. After all, together they could devise tactics that put the light-based illusions in just the right spot, playing on the fears and expectations of the enemy to drive them into disarray. And there is the core method of the Yellow Ring: Use illusions and other such powers to confused and frighten the enemy, leaving them as easy pickings for the Illusionist or his comrades. Of course, the flip side of this is that some users of the Yellow Ring descended into sadism, reveling in the power over others the ring gave them. Such individuals enjoyed causing fear in one way or another to whoever they can. This was not the ring's true intention, however; in its conception, it was thought that frightened enemies might surrender and thus prevent a larger spread of bloodshed. The ring's powers center mostly around light; it can create large, complex illusions that one can barely tell from the real thing. It uses harsher blasts of light to attack foes, strobe patterns to confuse them, and even carefully-calibrated pulses that trigger the fear response in the brain of almost any foe. Beyond that, the ring gives the basic protection against the environment all the rings share, grants the ability to fly, and gives the user decent protection, though less than the Leader, and definitely less than the Warrior. It has other minor enhancements, but it's clear from the outside the Illusionist fights first and foremost with their mind, not their arms.
Orange Ring of the Protective Builder
The Builder's ring is, in the right hands, perhaps the most potent of all the rings. Not so much because of it's destructive potential, but because of its
'creative' potential. More than once, the Orange Ring has been used to raise a full fortress in the span of a day or less. Parts of Masada itself were actually earth carefully moved and packed together by the Builder's ring. Of course, those consumed by greed while wearing the ring created deep, dark places to hide their treasures; some of these secret vaults may yet be hidden across the world! For though the ring encourages protectiveness, for some, the years drag on and warp that instinct. After all, how better to protect something than to keep it to yourself? To hide it and store it and cherish it, so that no one else can despoil it even with a glance of their eyes! The greedy Builders have perhaps been the “least harmful” of the various fallen Champions; they tended to simply sit on their hoards and contemplate their possessions. When they fought, it was only to acquire more things, never for some baser desire to fight for its own sake. The powers of the Orange ring seem to center around earth. Rock and dirt, stone and sand, all seem to be connected to this ring. True to its name, it can call up these elements to build whatever the Champion who wields it desires. In battle, the Orange Ring can create permanent walls of stone, or temporary walls of thick, powerful energy constructs. Similar constructs are often used to attack foes, and the Orange Ring is famous for holding back large numbers of enemies on its own. Its protection to the user is decent, but like the Yellow ring, it does not lend itself to fighting up close. The Builder can fly, but no faster than the Warrior. However, the Orange Ring gives its user the ability to actually move about underground, all the better to know just where to created that perfect vault…
Green Ring of the Hopeful Fatemaster
The Fatemaster's Green Ring has been often sought by those wishing to increase their fortunes; however, they are rarely the ones to be gifted with its power. This ring is considered the most “temperamental”, and has been known to literally fly off the hand of an unworthy user. The great trap that many of its users have fallen into is that of carelessness, a capricious abandonment of any sense of duty or obligation for the sake of following the whims of fortune. For the name “Fortunemaster” is well-earned; the Green Ring was often the difference between victory or defeat, its powers turning an enemy's skill against itself. More than that, the Fortunemaster's allies have preternatural luck, striking blows that by all rights should miss wildly, or shaking off strikes that should put them down. When he attacks more directly, the Fatemaster's ring flings out a blast of concentrated air, which moves so fast and with such pressure it often
cuts the opponent. Opponents trying to strike the wielder of the Green Ring find their blows sliding off a thin layer of “armor” made of air; however, this armor can be breached, and the Green Ring's protection is never as thorough as the Blue or Red Rings. When flying, the Fatemaster can outpace everyone else; they are truly at home in the air. Ultimately, this ring is meant to move around the battlefield, aiding where it can and moving on, rather than becoming engaged in any one battle for a length of time.
Indigo Ring of the Empathic Mind-spy
The Ring of the Mind-Spy was created as yet another “support” ring; while it has some potent ability to attack, either directly or indirectly, its greatest strength is in its ability to gather and disseminate information. Though the Mind-spy works best in a group, this Champion can work well on their own. In a darker twist of its intention, an experienced user of this ring could set themselves up as a ruler, due to the depth of their mental powers. Such would be the slippery slope they may face if they adopt an “ends justify the means” attitude with their abilities. For when you know the innermost secrets of man, why would you leave their ruling to them? Its wielder can read minds, or simply extend their senses to cover huge areas. And then, in a short amount of time, they can turn around and send that information to their comrades. Add to it their ability to strike at an opponent's mind directly, and they're formidable indeed. Whether the ring-user attacks their mind and will directly, fires a concentrated bolt of mind-stuff, takes control of their mind, or simply overwhelms them with fear, despair, or even love, they are a foe not to be underestimated, nor an ally to be quickly abandoned.
Violet Ring of the Loving Healer
The Healer's violet ring carries with it a sense of purity, renewal, and cleansing. Fitting due to its intrinsic connection with water. The Healer must care for others with deep and abiding love. They must also take care this love does not grow into obsession with others. The cleansing waters that flow from this ring wash away wounds, diseases, poisons, and all the sundry hurts and troubles of the body. By the same token, those waters can create barriers between the wounded and the enemy, and even strike back with deadly force; sometimes these attacks are like crashing waves, and sometimes they take the form of shards of ice seeking out an opponent. Another “trick” is for the Healer to summon water around an opponent, and flash-freeze it in an attempt to hinder their movements. On flying opponents, it may at least keep them from easily using limbs, if not ceasing their flight itself. The Healer's ring gives them passable flight speed, but they can move surprisingly well under water (though all rings let their users breath there). The protections of this ring run the standards of the others, with no outstanding features thereof.
So, these are basically my in-universe interpretation of, and homage to, the DC Lantern Corps. They're rings, they're color-coded (for your convenience!), they're potent, and they're connected to emotions and general “themes”. But, there are some key differences. For one thing, there are exactly 7 rings, not 7 whole Corps. Each of them is unique; in other words, if one of them is already “in play” in this forum's game, you'll have to talk with that player, but most likely go for some other origin for your powers (or pick another one of therings). Another difference is that these rings don't seek out a successor on their own. They won't work for just anyone, but they don't fly off and tell someone they've “been chosen”. Instead, they often simply lay where they've fallen, or perhaps are locked away by someone who can't wear it but is still trustworthy. Some are passed down each generation. Point is, this is a plot hook: One day, your character finds an ancient magical ring, and bam, hero! Also, all rings have the Magic Descriptor, and either the Holy or Unholy descriptor (depending on if it's a villain or not).
On to specifics.
This one is used by Cobalt Templar. Thematic element/descriptor is Fire. As stated above, it's a bit of a “Jack of All Trades”, and were another character to use this, they could reasonably end up with a different set of powers and focus than CT has. Still, the general idea of Flight, Protection, at least a Blast, and probably at least a little physical augmentation is good. I'd say at least a token amount of Create Object should be in there as well, if for no other reason than to justify this character always changing up how their attack
looks, if not how it works. That's not to say a future user of the ring has to do so, though.
This ring is actually hidden away, given to Cobalt Templar by Ironclad a while back (she ran into an upstart villain using it). He's not actively looking for a user, mostly due to concerns about the “anger issues” it seems to generate. That's not to say the user of this ring should take the Rage feat; far from it. But I would heavily recommend anyone who decides to take this ring on take a Complication or two that has them be more easily angered, more willing to use force, etc. The unique Descriptor in play here is Lightning/Electricity. In my mind, a user of the Red Ring would get a Blast, and then a Drain Toughness of some sort (though that could come into play much later on). No Strike here, though, except maybe a Strike 0 with some Extras; all the melee damage comes from Strength. As well, this Ring is one of the most likely to leave lasting changes on a bearer; you could pretty easily justify some Enhanced Strength and Constitution here. Also, no Toughness here, just more Constitution. This guy ought to get Impervious Toughness at some point, though. Super-Strength is pretty much a given, and at least half again as much as the Blue Ring. Flight should be mediocre, as should any sensory abilities. Life Support is pretty given, and I could see justification for Immunity to Critical Hits. Basically, this guy is
really good at taking down foes in combat. But on the flip side, his Super-Strength is the most “constructive” ability he has; he should never get Create Object.
Location and/or User unknown (aka I haven't thought them up yet, but it's Out there Somewhere). This Ring would (obviously) use the Illusion power. Probably Environment Control (Light). Flight that could match the Blue Ring generally speaking. Some Enhanced Strength, but no Super-Strength. No Create Object. Enhanced Dex would be thematic, and a bit of Enhanced Con. Protection, but definitely not Impervious. Emotion Control (Limited: Fear), and maybe at high level the ability to nullify the Fearless feat. A basic Ranged Damage, and maybe a Mighty Damage, but definitely not the direct attack focus of Red or Blue. Yellow is intended to sit further back, fool enemies with illusions, and basically do visual and mental “battlefield control”. Precision over Power. Complications should focus less on major personality alterations and more on occasional recharge, or a minor vulnerability to unholy damage. Unlike Sinestro Corps ringsthey don't use any measure of mind control or the like.
Also in Cobalt Templar's possession, locked away in his forest hideout. He's also not actively looking for a user, because the last guy was totally crazy with a Capital C. And he's not sure it's what he's “supposed” to do. Power wise, it looks defensively like the Red Ring. Toughness-shifted, fair bit of Impervious. Plenty of Enhanced Con. While the Red Ring makes you an Engine of Destruction on the battlefield, the Orange Ring makes you a Mountain. Not only should the Bearer be tough, they make tough Constructs. Plenty of Create Object here, but no Precise (except maybe near your “capstone”), and probably the primary iteration has no Tether or Moveable; you make big, simple rock walls. This character would play somewhat like Gaian Knight; making rocks, Move Object for rocks, Tunneling, and a slow Flight (but with Platform). Blast is you tossing around chunks of rock. No Strike; if you want Melee just get Enhanced Strength. Complications would include a long-term tendency to get possessive of objects, or even greedy. This ring has less immediate risks than the Red, but not by a long margin. If a character has iron focus and will, though (not the feat, just the character trait), it shouldn't be a large issue; mostly just an occasional “oh that's shiny I'd like it!” sort of thing.
Location and/or User unknown (aka I haven't thought them up yet, but it's Out there Somewhere). Somewhat like the Yellow Ring, this one is about Precision over Power. So no Impervious or Super Strength, but basic self-buffs are fine. Should be a fast flyer, but not be good at Space Travel; you're about Air not Space. Green is about being a “buffer”; one of the big things in this Ring should be Luck Control, and the “opening salvo” should be things that let your team-mates re-roll. Feats like Leadership and Inspire could/should be tacked inside this thing. As should ranks of luck. The Air Control should be a Ranged Damage, maybe an Area Damage, and perhaps some severely-limited Move Object (limited direction: forward or away). Later on getting anti-enemy Luck Control would be prudent. This Ring is all about changing the odds as much and as often as possible. Complications might revolve around difficulty staying focused on objectives, or developing high-grade apathy. The winds do not like to be bound, after all.
Location and/or User unknown (aka I haven't thought them up yet, but it's Out there Somewhere). Really only the Blue, Red, and Orange Rings are “powerhouses”. All the others should lack Super-Strength or Impervious Toughness. This ring makes you psychic, essentially. Mind Reading, Mental Communication, Mind Control, Emotion Control, and Mental Blasts are the name of the game here. I would say average Flight, putting it above Orange or Red or Violet, and even with Yellow, but not as fast as Blue or Green. Also some ESP would not be amiss. Complications would involve, essentially, doing things “for their own good”, with a bit of “ends justify the means”.
Location and/or User unknown (aka I haven't thought them up yet, but it's Out there Somewhere). Finally, the Healer Ring. This one, along with Yellow and Green, is more of a “support” role. While those 2 are “debuff” and “buff”, this one is Heal. So, obviously, no Super-Strength or Impervious Toughness. Enhanced Con definitely fits. A Healing power or powers are rather obviously in tune. Beyond that, some Move Object limited to Water, and a Ranged Damage that's fluffed as water or Ice being thrown around. Possibly a little Create Object limited to water constructs (pull moisture from the air). Complications might include issues with becoming obsessed with people (which could sort of overlap with how protectiveness could go bad, but not entirely). This ring provides exactly as much clothing for user as the others, and if anyone ever tries to use this ring for stripperific outfits I will beat you with the Empire State Building.