A rod of strange metal with the unusual property that it defines a plane in local psychic space through which certain things – usually sentient beings – may not pass. The rod must be placed against a surface in order to activate, and the plane stands out perpendicularly from that surface. Anyone in possession of a Barrier Rod may attune to it in a a ritual that involves spilling a single drop of blood and thereafter pass by freely regardless of whether it is active or not. Other rituals exists that can remove an attunement, but the easiest of them to perform require significantly more than a single drop of blood.
Barrier rods are about one finger’s thickness and one forearm’s length. Blue-black Barrier Rods affect beings that exist primarily in the mortal realm, while silvery-white Rods affect those that exist primarily in the Shadow. Rods that affect Dream are translucent like frosted glass, despite being metallic in feel and other properties. Rods that affect the Faerie realm are iridescent, and glitter in even the weakest light.
The value of a Barrier Rod for defense is not to be underestimated. The imperial family of the Slakiv Empire is known to possess and use at least two, although the real number is higher. It is said that Rysyd was brought into the Empire’s hegemony through negotiation rather than war because spies reported that the territory’s lords were sponsoring the masters who crafted them. Despite this, the true origins of the Rods is much disputed. It is unknown how many exist of each kind, whether they are still being made, whether the secret of their manufacture has been lost or not, or even whether they originate in the mortal realm.