Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Obscure Paraphernalia

The Funerary Urn of Gazdulak the Godsforsaken

To casual observation, this item is merely a large, marble urn, carved with the figures of mourners and symbols of astrological and thaumaturgical significance. If magic is detected for, however, the urn's aura will reveal a powerful dweomer of faintly necromantic nature.

If the lid is removed (a task that requires the efforts of two normal men, or one of exceptional strength, i.e.: 15 or greater), the contents are revealed. These being a fine and faintly luminous ash - the final remains of the arch-sorcerer and blasphemer, Gazdulak the Godsforsaken.

Crafted in a semi-successful attempt to cheat death, the urn and ashes hold the spirit of the ancient wizard and allow it to interact with the mortal world under certain conditions. The first being that any speak with dead spell cast within a 15' radius of the urn will be redirected to Gazdulak's spirit, rather than the intended target (the amount of time dead is ignored by virtue of the urn's magic, but the other restrictions of the spell remain in place). As the spirit is a despiser of the gods, he will lie to and deceive, to the best of his ability, any cleric he should contact (others, perhaps those using a magical device to cast the spell, will be communicated with more honestly). Nevertheless, his intention with all such communication is to fulfill the second, more macabre, condition that will allow him to interact with the world. This second condition is met if a humanoid corpse is placed within the urn. If that occurs, the spirit of the arch-sorcerer will posses and reanimate the carcass, restoring it to a semblance of life for seven days. Once revived, a reaction roll should be made towards the one who placed the body in the urn (unless said worthy is a cleric, in which case the reaction is always negative).

On a positive reaction, Gazdulak will be kindly disposed towards his benefactor and offer his services for seven days. These services are quite considerable, given that he was once an 18th level magic-user, but not overwhelming, due to his lack of grimoires, hesitancy to engage in combat, and desire to avoid the attention of the gods - who would surely notice any spells he might cast. However, he can aid magic-users in the creation of magical devices of all sorts, tutor and train, and depart much secret lore. He will, of course, attempt to maximise his usefulness so that his new friend will place another corpse in the urn once seven days have passed.

If a neutral reaction is indicated, he will assist his benefactor(s) for seven days and then collapse, his spirit returning to the urn to await a more appealing benefactor.

Should the roll indicate antipathy, or should the benefactor be a cleric, the wizard-corpse will feign a positive reaction, acting as above, but will secretly sabotage, delay, or corrupt any projects or teachings he assists with or provides. This will have the effect of tripling the cost of any such research or creation he "aids" and potentially more grievous effects for those he "teaches"... Gazdulak will also encourage his dupe to add a fresh corpse to the urn every seven days in order to continue plaguing the poor fool (or, as the spirit words it, "continue in our beneficial relationship").

No comments: