Item Seed: Boots of the Beast.

Boots of the Beast

Description: crude black leather moccasins that can be somehow stretched to cover any human foot.  Both Boots of the Beast must be worn (and against bare skin, and on the foot itself, and please stop trying to get around the enchantment, because it’s perfectly obvious that they’re supposed to be worn as shoes, and by one person) for the Boots to work properly.  Boots of the Beast are more or less invulnerable, and smell faintly of burnt wood, sun-dried mud, and old blood.

Powers: when dipped in the blood of an animal, Boots of the Beast grants the wearer two random positive and two negative (only one of which will be random) aspects of that animal, without actually making any physical changes to the wearer.  For example: dipping the Boots in the blood of a moose might give the wearer a certain invulnerability to blunt trauma, and considerably more invulnerability to head injuries, but might also make the wearer fairly aggressive when provoked.  It also always makes the wearer think like a moose, down to reflexes and instinctive reactions.

That last one is the second negative aspect generally. Activated Boots make the wearer think like — worse, only as well as — an animal, which can be a serious problem.  Most animals do not like modern technological society, and are certainly not smart enough to be fully functional members of it; the wearer can force himself to actually use his brains, but doing so can be tricky in stressful situations.  Fortunately, the effect usually only lasts until the blood is consumed by the Boots (about four hours or so). Or until the wearer isn’t wearing the Boots.

Oh, in case the question comes up: DO NOT DIP THE BOOTS IN HUMAN BLOOD.  That turns the wearer into a human with no cultural or ethical constraints on his behavior, and no learned ability to handle the unique sensory overload of modern technological society — but is still just as intelligent as before.  A rampage is not quite inevitable, but when it does it’s invariably horrifying.

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