The Climbing Candle

With subtle fragrances of hemp, silk, and do I detect a hint of chain link?


A small round tin with a lid and a candle inside. Both the wick and wax are of unknown origin and made of unknown substances. An imprint of a long, coiling length of rope is rudely beaten into the outside of the tin.

When lit, the candle gives off no light, but the outline of a pale green flame can be seen if lit in otherwise total darkness. The smoke from the candle flows in the same shape as the type of rope that is imprinted on the outside of the tin.

Who made the candle? Why are there different types? Perhaps it’s made in some Fae sweatshop, full of young pixies and gnomes chained to their stations and forced to put out 15 climbing candles a day? Maybe it was forged in a tower by a prince with a touch of the talent who infused whatever was on hand with magic enough for him to escape?


With a very sharp knife and deft hands, a skilled cutter (perhaps a rogue or thief) could cut a length of rope from the smoke itself, no longer than 25 feet. The Rope itself can be made of silk, hemp, or chain, depending on whatever is on the tin.

Regardless, the rope has UD4 uses before it disappears into a puff of smoke. The candle itself can be lit UD8 times and is considered an Exotic/Expensive item should it be sought out to purchase.


As I’m learning how to draw, I’m working on just getting practice drawing the things around me, focusing on lines rather than shapes as I move my (digital) pencil across the screen. You can be the judge if I succeeded on the art, but because my fiancé loves candles, it was a natural object to catch my eye.

Light is such a fun thing to play around with in the OSR world. I love being able to throw out a light check when my players aren’t expecting it and to see how their characters react to total darkness. It’s something you don’t feel in modern games as much (at least I don’t experience it).

But what happens when you find a candle that isn’t a source of light at all – that provides a completely different utilitarian use? That’s the kind of thing that gets me excited to run fantasy specifically at the tabletop. And that’s where we get funny little things like this Climbing Candle.

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