Relics of War Contest - WEEK 5 - Submissions


Accessories

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

RELICS OF WAR “ITEM CREATION” CONTEST

Relics of War is coming and now is your chance to unearth some of these forgotten treasures. Every week, from now until the set releases on November 23rd, we’ll post one magic item card from the set. To win all you have to do is design a magic item to go along with the card, using any currently published game system, and post it to the contest submission thread. Each week, we’ll pick the best one and the winner will receive one display box of Relics of War item cards. There will be 5 winners in all.

Entries will be judged based on originality, clarity, grammar, and adherence to the game system’s rules. Entries must be no longer than 500 words in length and must be posted before 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the day of the contest’s end. Relics of War is a set of 110 unique item cards for use with any fantasy roleplaying game.

WEEK 5
This week’s contest ends at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, Sunday, November 19, 2006.
Submit entries in this thread
To discuss the contest, see our messageboards.

Contest Rules
• Only one entry per person.
• Entries may be up to 500 words in length.
• Entries may conform to any current game system and should use the current format of that system. The name of the game system must be included in the entry.
• Entries are due at 11:59 p.m. PST on the final day of the contest period.
• The staff of Paizo Publishing, LLC, decides each week’s winner. All decisions are final.
• Contest winners will receive 1 display box containing 12 Relics of War booster packs.
• 1 winner will be announced each week, for a total of 5 winners at the contests end. Previous winners are not eligible to win again.
• All entries become the property of Paizo Publishing, LLC.
• Paizo employees and its affiliates are not eligible to win.


The Wasting Visage
A Major Artifact for D&D v3.5

“Take not the road less travelled,
Through the western lands, dry and scorching.
Closest to the edge of corruption,
Boiling creatures in the desert suns.
Eternally sleeping,
Forever watching,
The Lords of the Oni wait,
For the children of their destiny will come for them.”

- The Destiny of the Eighth Mask of Ru-shim

After the once lush empires of the west were destroyed in a cataclysmic fire that rained from the heavens, few people dared to return to the once proud land. In the hot white sands laired only the most corrupt and hardy of creatures, but buried deep within the dunes many of the ancient civilization’s ruin were preserved.

In the darkest of days, when the fire trickled from the skies and burnt anything it touched, the people of this lost empire turned to anything to save them. They called upon mighty prayers to summon saviours, but the flames caught the cries in mid air and scorched them still, twisting the magic and turned them into the ashes of dark magics that did nothing but evil.

The Lords of Corruption were drawn to the chaos that consumed the empire. Eleven Oni Lords were called through the realities by the chaos magic that spread through the empire, allowing them to manifest at the height of the destruction of the city of Seleran.

Their moment of triumph lasted mere moments as the flames caught them one by one, searing their flesh and burning their very souls. The magic unleashed by the Eleven destroyed the city faster than what fate could have hoped, but some say the Oni cheated their deaths somehow…

The Waiting Visage is said to be all that is left of the Eighth Oni Lord, for everything else was turned to dust by cataclysmic fire. Sages say that it retains a tiny trace of memory from when it reigned as a powerful force of evil, and that the mask is as dangerous now as ever.

The mask radiates a dim evil, but can be used by characters of any alignment. It grants the wearer a +4 enhancement bonus to Charisma, as well as a +4 resistance bonus to Will saves. The mask also has an array of abilities that mimic the Eighth Oni Lord’s once legendary powers.

Every week that somebody wears the mask they must make a Will save (DC 23) or turn one step closer to Chaotic Evil. A final Will save must be made once the wearer has reached the desired alignment every day to prevent the Oni Lord from possessing the wearer’s body and consuming the soul.

At will – Detect Good, Detect Law, Detect Magic, Guidance (others only).
3/day – Empowered Evard’s Black Tentacles (the tentacles sprout from the wearer’s chest, flailing anyone who comes close, friend or foe), Enervation (DC 16).
1/day – Unholy Blight (DC 16), Unholy Aura (DC 22), Blasphemy (DC 20), Wail of the Banshee (DC 23).

Strong Necromancy, Caster Level: 20th. Weight: 1lb


Phillip the Mask
An Item For Dungeons & Dragons

My name is Phillip.

I’ve been a mask for about six hundred years I guess. I don’t remember my parents, probably since I’m made of clay. I do remember being crafted into my current form by a powerful Archmage, whose hands always smelt vaguely of burning homonculous.

Twenty days of moulding and I was almost ready. The final touch was a glazing in the Elemental Plane of Fire. The Archmage placed me on his face, still hot, to ensure that I would become his visage forever.

That’s when things started to go wrong.

The Archmage hadn’t expected me to be self-aware. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if he was screaming in pain or frustration. Maybe it was both.

He managed to convince a cleric to help him pry me off. I’m sure he felt sorry for my creator in the moments that he stopped laughing. The Cleric even managed to heal over the torn patches of skin.

You think that that someone smart enough to force elemental powers into humble clay would have heard of chin straps.

I spent the next fifteen years in his ‘to be disintegrated’ box.

Was it me? Was I uncomfortable? Was I too clingy? I’ll never know.

Then one day, I was rescued. The Archmage’s assistant, a genial dwarf known as Potluck the Deformed, picked me up and stashed me under his hump. He then ran for all he was worth. My new owner spent the next few days lovingly picking bits of skin and hair from my recesses.

He sold me the next day, and since then I’ve been passed over and around more times than a Long Sword +1 vs Flumphs.

I’ve been stuck to the masthead of a galleon, used as a fruit bowl by a bunch of kobolds, performed the lead role in Robilar Loves Rary, been stashed in a troll’s undergarments for fifteen years and I’ve been owned by so many wizards kids that ‘trick or treat’ has just lost all meaning.

I’m also very useful to own, helpful and a good travelling companion. I’m a Neutral Good Pisces, like travelling and doing crosswords and I can act like a Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals - except you don’t have to fill me with coals.

Once per day I can create a wall of fire in a ring around me. Three times a day I can cast locate object and faerie fire in lime green or blue, whatever you prefer.

I’m also a decent judge of character (10 ranks in Sense Motive) but a horrible liar (none in Bluff). I have 120’ darkvision and hearing and I can communicate telepathically.

One last note...I think the Archmage might be mad that I'm gone. You might want to watch out for that.

Intelligence 10, Wisdom 17, Charisma 17, Ego 11

Strong conjuration; CL 18th; Craft Wondrous Item, summon monster VI, summon monster VII; Price 117,600 gp; Weight 3 lb.


"The Perfect Costume" (aka Lord Marvin's Curse)
(Dungeons & Dragons 3.5)

Two hundred years ago in the Island Kingdoms, a spoiled ponce named Marvin had his father killed to inherit his land. He named himself Lord Marvin and started a perpetual party to end all parties, spending every coin he could find and writing IOUs when the coffers emptied.

He made the mistake of overextending his credit to a cabal of particularly vengeful wizards and then laughing when they tried to collect.

The wizards created a mask for one of his weekly costume balls since they knew he was always looking for a better costume. They presented it to him humbly "to apologize for the miscommunication." They extended his credit and agreed to provide his light show yet again.

When Lord Marvin donned the mask, he transformed into a clay golem. He could not talk, but he went to the party and wowed his guests. Everything went swimmingly until he realized he was having a harder and harder time controlling his body's actions and there was no way he could remove the mask. Eventually one of his guests sparred with him and he lost control in a berserk rage. The guests who were armed fought long and hard to defeat him. The golem's body disintegrated and the mask clattered to the ground - it had taken its first tooth.

The mages reclaimed the mask, but it was stolen soon thereafter. It made its way across the world, being found in random places after its wearer died or escaped the curse. The mask has almost a full set of teeth now, but there's always room for one more...

The Perfect Costume turns the wearer into a clay golem permanently (including a zero Int score). The wearer's spirit can control the golem's actions at first, but eventually the wearer becomes completely trapped in the golem's body (Will save DC 10 +1 per successful control for one round of controlled actions).

In addition to the normal spells that affect clay golems, a Stone Tell spell will allow the caster to converse with the wearer, who is undoubtedly slightly insane from the experience. Removing the mask requires a remove curse cast by a 16th level caster immediately followed by stone shape and stone to flesh spells. The mask must then be removed within one round or the process must be restarted.

Regardless if the mask is removed through magic or through the destruction of the golem's body, the mask will take a tooth from the wearer and imbed it somewhere within itself. The teeth can't be removed, but they can be used as a focus for the contact other plane spell which will give the past wearer's name and allow the caster to ask questions of the past wearer as if he or she were a demideity on an Outer Plane.

Strong Transmutation; CL 15th; Craft Construct, animate objects, flesh to stone, stone shape, trap the soul; Price 21,000gp; Weight 1 lb.

Liberty's Edge

The Charnel Pact
(A minor artifact for Dungeons & Dragons, Edition 3.5)

Not all lifegiving magics are benevolent. Such is the case with the Charnel Pact, a mask of both great life-restoring power and great evil.

Said to be given as a gift from Nerull himself to his faithful, this grim mask has the power to restore life (as the 'resurrection' spell, but with no casting time or material component) to any humanoid corpse once per week simply by coming to rest upon the face of the deceased. (Bodies lacking any head upon which to place the mask cannot be resurrected by this artifact.) This resurrection comes at a terrible price to the soul of the recipient, however. To receive the resurrection, she must enter into a bargain with the god of death that takes the form of a delayed Geas/Quest spell. At any time thereafter, Nerull may activate this geas under any terms he chooses, and the subject must obey the directive. If the recipient dies before the geas is fulfilled (even if it has not yet been activated), her body immediately withers into dust and is completely consumed, with no possibility of resurrection. Her soul then belongs to Nerull forever. Not even a wish spell can remove the geas effect (or restore the body once consumed), though the direct intervention of another deity could possibly save a creature from this fate.

The soul of a departed being understands the terms of this pact as described above, and may choose to remain in the afterlife and avoid the effect of the mask. In this case, the mask's weekly use is wasted and the body is not resurrected.

The clergy of Wee Jas reportedly holds this mask to be blasphemous and seeks its destruction, but while they are believed to have the means of destroying this item, they are not sharing the secret with others.

Strong necromancy (evil); CL 20th; Weight 1lb.


The Metusvarl (d20)

The Metusvarl was first discovered encased in a geode of black rock with oily purplish hues by a long-forgotten duergar clan. After its discovery, the wearer of the Metusvarl quickly annihilated his clan - the reasons for it were unclear, but the duergar vanished into the Underdark, never to be seen from again. Over the centuries, the Metusvarl has appeared in the hands of tyrants and infamous rulers, including Zarach Algius, "The Godsforsaken", who overran the peaceful city-state of Hulhust and turned it into a despotic, tyrannical empire whose cruel punitive laws are still recorded in the Stele of Yau-Tsinke.

After the Zarach's fall at the hands of a party of adventurers, the Metusvarl fell into their hands. It was soon discovered that the mask was more than a fearsome headpiece, but it had a will and mind of its own. That will was hostile to its holder, and sought to override the wielder and take over their mind. Luckily for the adventurer who kept the Metusvarl, she won the battle of wills with the mask and used its powers to eliminate the last of the Zarach's forces that preyed upon the weak.

The Metusvarl's alignment varies, depending upon who its last wielder was, as well as its purpose. Its initial attitude towards any new wielder is hostile, but a smooth-tongued individual might be able to convince the Metusvarl to wield it without having to suffer any drawbacks. Should the wielder convince the Metusvarl that its enemies are near, the Metusvarl uses it dedicated power - a heightened phantasmal killer (DC 23). The adventurer who took the mask from Zarach Algius believed that the Metusvarl tried to weaken her resolve by sending her nightmares, but the rumor is unconfirmed.

A new wielder of the Metusvarl must win three straight contests of will against the mask before it succumbs to the new owner's will. Once the owner has exterted their dominance, the Metusvarl grants the following abilities to its wielder:

*At will: heightened cause fear (DC 23)
*2/day: heightened fear (DC 23)
*1/day: heightened symbol of fear (DC 23)
*+8 competence bonus to Intimidate.

Abilities: Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16, Ego 20.
Speak & Read: Common, Abyssal, Celestial, Draconic.
Senses: Darkvision 60-ft, hearing.
Lesser powers: detect magic at will, minor image 1/day, Sense Motive 10 ranks.
Purpose: Defeat/slay enemies.
Dedicated power: heightened phantasmal killer (DC 23).

Strong necromancy; CL 16th; Craft Wondrous Item, Heighten Spell, cause fear, fear, nightmare, phantasmal killer, symbol of fear; Cost to create: 332,500 gp + 26,600 xp + 665 days ; Price: 665,000 gp.

Liberty's Edge

THE MASK OF FREE PASSAGE
An Item of Legacy for Dungeons & Dragons
(Items of Legacy are introduced in Weapons of Legacy, published by Wizards of the Coast.)

The Mask of Free Passage is a red half-mask with skull-like features and a rune etched into the forehead.

Nonlegacy Game Statistics: Mask of the Fox, offers a +2 competence bonus to Move Silently and Hide checks. Weight 1/2 lb. Weak Transmutation.
Omen: When not worn, the last wearer's eyes can still be seen in the eye holes of the mask, looking nervously about. When worn, the eye holes are empty, as if the wearer's head were invisible through them. The scene behind the wearer can be seen through the masks eyes.

History
Roland of Helderbergen was a rich, young noble who had inherited all the worst physical traits in his family. He had a huge nose, but a very slight frame, a pale, almost sickly complexion and a whiny voice. He was a shy boy and became more so as he grew. But life in court introduced him to many of the finest young ladies in the land, and Roland fell in love with most of them. During the height of the season he was making unnoticed calls on many such young women each night, perched in trees or on rooftops outside various houses about town. When his father discovered this, he gave him one chance to drop the habit or he would be permanently relocated to the family's country estates for "health reasons". (DC 15)

Roland made what he told himself was a valiant effort, but found that his undying and abiding love for... whomever... was a force too great to be overcome, so he went to a local mage. He had attempted to disguise his identity, but not very well. He commissioned an item that would allow him to pass unnoticed by those around him. (DC 18; Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Mask)

The mask was shortly stolen by a thief, though Roland believed his father had discovered it. This thief immediately began using the mask to improve his career which led to a legendary crime spree. (DC 20; Wedding of Shadow)

Throughout the decades that followed, the mask passed from one unwilling hand to another, the deeds done behind its curtain of ignorance told widely. The mask passed out of the knowledge of men for years at a time, only to surface in another city or nation on the face of some aspiring thief or assassin. Its last known wielder, however, was found wandering through a museum, completely unaware of his surroundings. (DC 25; The Wandering Path)

Legacy Rituals
Three rituals are required to unlock all the abilities of The Mask of Free Passage.

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Mask: You must spend one hour in a public place where your face and name are well known without being identified. Cost: 1,200 gp. Feat Granted: Least Legacy(The Mask of Free Passage).

Wedding of Shadow: While wearing the Mask, steal an item worth at least 10,500 gp, then fence it without being caught as a perpetrator or identified as yourself by anyone (including the fence). Cost: 10,500 gp (the price of the item stolen). Feat Granted: Lesser Legacy(The Mask of Free Passage).

The Wandering Path: Let yourself be caught in the act of theft or murder resulting in a bail (or regionally equivalent charges) of at least 25,000 gp, but do not let the Mask be confuscated. Using the Mask, escape from custody. Cost: 25,000 gp (the cost of bail). Feat Granted: Greater Legacy(The Mask of Free Passage).

Wielder Requirements
The Mask of Free Passage is used almost exclusively by rogues, though some bards or other urban-based characters would find it's powers useful.

The Mask of Free Passage
Wielder Requirements
A total of 20 ranks, in any combination, of Move Silently, Hide and/or Bluff
Alignment must be non-Lawful and non-Good
Charisma less than 12

Legacy Item Abilities (I was unable to get this table to format on the message boards. To see an ascii-formatted table, the full text of this item is here.)
<pre> --------------Personal Costs---------------
Wielder Attack Fortitude Will Hit Point
Level Penalty Penalty Penalty Loss Abilities
---Least Abilities------------------------------------------------------------------ ---
5th -1 -- -- -- Hide in Plain Sight 1/day
6th -- -- -1 -- Move Silently +3
7th -- -1 -- 1 Hide in Plain Sight 2/day
8th -- -- -2 -- Move Silently +4
9th -2 -- -- -- Hide in Plain Sight 3/day
10th -- -2 -- 2 Hide +4
---Lesser Abilities------------------------------------------------------------------ --
11th -- -- -3 -- Least spell-like abilities 1/day,
Wandering Ways
12th -- -- -- 4 Move Silently +5, Hide +5
13th -3 -- -- -- Hide in Plain Sight 6/day
14th -- -- -4 -- Least spell-like abilities 2/day
15th -- -- -- 4 Move Silently +6, Hide +6
16th -- -3 -- -- Lesser spell-like abilities 1/day
---Greater Abilities------------------------------------------------------------------ -
17th -4 -- -- -- Lesser spell-like abilities 2/day
18th -- -- -- 6 Greater spell-like abilities 1/day
19th -- -- -5 -- Greater spell-like abilities 2/day
20th -- -4 -- 2 Greater spell-like abilities 3/day
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------</pre>
(Note: Penalties are total, Hit Point Loss is cumulative.)

Hide in Plain Sight (Sp): Beginning at 5th level, while wearing The Mask of Free Passage, you can become completely unnoticed. Everyone can still see you, they just won't notice you. In a crowd, people will still move around you, but will not acknowledge speech or other movements. This effect lasts for 5 minutes per usage, and multiple uses (if available) can be used sequentially with no interruption. All observers can make a Will Save vs. DC 15+Wielder Level to ignore this effect, though even if the save is made, they will not notice that the wielder is wearing a mask. If a person is looking for the wearer, she can double her Wisdom bonus on the check (or add her Intelligence bonus to the Will check, if it is higher than her Wisdom bonus).

Move Silently, Hide (Su): Beginning at 6th level, the Mask's inherent competence bonuses to Move Silently and Hide increase. These increases are total, not cumulative.

Wandering Ways (Su): Beginning at 11th level when the wearer activates the Hide in Plain Sight ability, he must make a Will save vs. DC 15 or wander aimlessly for 1d6 uses of the ability up to the currently allowed daily limit. The ability remains active the entire time. The wearer retains no memory of the wandering, so she will not be able to backtrack her path if she finds herself in unfamiliar areas.

Spell-like Abilities (Sp): Beginning at 11th level, the wielder can don the Mask and activate one of the following abilities as a swift action. Each ability is as the spell from the Player's Handbook. Each use activates only one ability. When the wielder gains uses of Lesser or Greater abilities, he may choose to activate any ability of that level or lower on each use. For example, at 16th level the wielder could spend his use of a Lesser spell-like ability to activate one of the Lesser abilities or one of the Leas abilities, but the 2 daily uses gained at 11th and 14th levels can only be used to activate a Least ability. Any abilities that can choose a target can only target the wielder.

Least spell-like abilities: Disguise Self, Featherfall, Jump, Obscuring Mist
Lesser spell-like abilities: Blur, Fog Cloud, Levitate, Misdirection, Obscure Object, Rope Trick
Greater spell-like abilities: Displacement, Nondetection, Passwall, Water Walk

Liberty's Edge

THE MASK OF FREE PASSAGE
An Item of Legacy for Dungeons & Dragons

Nonlegacy Game Statistics: Mask of the Fox, offers a +2 competence bonus to Move Silently and Hide checks. Weight 1/2 lb. Weak Transmutation.

Legacy Rituals

Three rituals are required to unlock all the abilities of The Mask of Free Passage.

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Mask: You must spend one hour in a public place where your face and name are well known without being identified. Cost: 1,200 gp. Feat Granted: Least Legacy.

Wedding of Shadow: While wearing the Mask, steal an item worth at least 10,500 gp, then fence it without being caught as a perpetrator or identified as yourself by anyone (including the fence). Cost: 10,500 gp (the price of the item stolen). Feat Granted: Lesser Legacy.

The Wandering Path: Let yourself be caught in the act of theft or murder resulting in a bail (or regionally equivalent charges) of at least 25,000 gp, but do not let the Mask be confuscated. Using the Mask, escape from custody. Cost: 25,000 gp (the cost of bail). Feat Granted: Greater Legacy.

Wielder Requirements
A total of 12 ranks, in any combination, of Move Silently or Hide
Alignment must be non-Lawful and non-Good

Legacy Item Abilities

Least Abilities
5th Level: -1 Attack Penalty, Hide in Plain Sight 1/day (For 5 minutes, everyone reacts in normal, subconscious manner to your presence, but nobody notices you. Will Save vs. DC 15+Wielder Level to ignore this effect).
6th: -1 Will Penalty, Move Silently bonus becomes +3.
7th: -1 Fortitude Penalty, Lose 1 HP, Hide in Plain Sight 2/day.
8th: -2 Will Penalty (not cumulative), Move Silently bonus becomes +4.
9th: -2 Attack Penalty (not cumulative), Hide in Plain Sight 3/day.
10th: -2 Fortitude Penalty (not cumulative), Lose 2 more HP (cumulative), Hide bonus becomes +4.

Lesser Abilities
11th: -3 Will Penalty, Least Spell-like abilities 1/day (see below).
12th: Lose 4 more HP, Move Silently and Hide bonuses become +5.
13th: -3 Attack Penalty, Hide in Plain Sight 6/day.
14th: -4 Will Penalty, Least Sp Abilities 2/day.
15th: Lose 4 more HP, Move Silently and Hide bonuses become +6.
16th: -3 Fortitude Penalty, Lesser Sp Abilities 1/day.

Greater Abilities
17th: -4 Attack Penalty, Lesser Sp Abilities 2/day.
18th: Lose 6 more HP, Greater Sp Abilities 1/day.
19th: -5 Will Penalty, Greater Sp Abilities 2/day.
20th: Lose 2 more HP, Greater Sp Abilities 3/day.

Spell-like Abilities (Sp): Beginning at 11th level, the wielder can don the Mask and activate one of the following abilities as a swift action. Each use activates only one ability. When the wielder gains uses of Lesser or Greater abilities, he may choose to activate any ability of that level or lower on each use. Any abilities that can choose a target can only target the wielder.
Least: Disguise Self, Jump.
Lesser: Blur, Levitate, Misdirection.
Greater: Displacement, Nondetection, Passwall, Water Walk.


The Mask of Gornor
(Dungeons & Dragons 3.5)

Gornor, a shaman of the small village Nandale, was a leader and teacher of his people, an uncultured but civilized tribe. Everyday Gornor would walk the lands around his village, searching his thoughts for ways to bring wisdom and strength to his followers. On a certain day when the rains and snow melt had eroded away the soft ground, Gornor laid eyes upon something unknown to him. It was the grave of an ancestor, partially revealed from the earth. With him laid a stone tablet. Gornor carefully removed the stone tablet and looked upon it’s writings, an ancient version of his tongue. He could make reason of most of it.

He surmised that the stone tablet detailed a ritual of celebration. It told of a mask to be fashioned for this ceremony from the skull of an ancestor. Gornor followed the instructions to the letter. He carved the mask out of the front half of the found skeleton’s head. Painted with red and etched with a strange rune, the mask was complete.

The villagers were all called to a large bonfire that night. Gornor promised to teach them something about their past that could surely help them with their future. They listened as Gornor told them how their relatives had made a mask and did a dance in order to receive guidance from the gods. Gornor donned the mask and started chanting, it was the last thing he would remember.

The stone tablet carried a message very similar to the one that Gornor thought he had deciphered. His ancestor’s had created this mask to celebrate the rite of manhood, when a boy of the village was the right age. His ancestor’s were berserkers!

As the last syllable left his mouth, Gornor’s face twisted and the mask creaked into a gruesome visage. All but the bravest warriors of Nandale fled from the newly formed beast. The shaman, with a truly horrific face, growled like a bear. Eyes wide with fury, he snatched up a club and sent the nearest warrior crashing to the ground, skull caved in. It took 6 other warriors over a minute to “save” Gornor. Gornor’s rage was so violent and so powerful that their best warrior, Redcreek, was forced to place his spear right through Gornor’s heart. As they laid Gornor’s quiet body down, there came the clatter of the mask slipping to the ground.

With their leader lost, the tribe of Nandale thought it best that Redcreek take the mask to the next market, or caravan he could find. Perhaps they could trade it for goods to get them through the next winter…

1/day : Berserk Rage (as per the class ability) for 10 rounds and not affected by fatigue. If donned by a class that has the Rage ability then the Rage is not a berserk rage, extended by 10 rounds and not affected by fatigue.

Moderate Transmutation; CL 10th; Craft Wondrous Item; rage; Price 10000gp.


There is a place where scarcely a tree covers the land and the people live in caves, in fear of the killing sun. In this land they perform foul sacrifices of human blood to appease the rain god, called Dur’tak. This started in days long past when the tribe was blessed with a miracle maker, a man called Yastar. As he grew the shamans of their tribe schooled him in all the ways of magic known to them. Yastar quickly surpassed his masters in their arts. When he knew his teachers had no secrets remaining, he left the village to find a place spoken of only in myth, Murtok Inneth, which means The Blood Oasis.
Yastar returned only one week later. He was silent for a full month in the house of his father. One day he sat up and looked at his father and said “I peered into the edge of the pool, I saw where the demons dwell. I know their thoughts.” On this day he made his first mask. He gathered clay from the riverbed and herbs from the riverbank. His father told him, “This will bring us no food. Go now, and hunt for me, as I hunted for you while you lay in my house.” But Yastar persisted in his efforts. He formed a mask of blue clay, with a gaping mouth and huge nostrils and no eyes. When the mask was done he gathered the people together and bade them to have a feast with what little they owned. He wore the mask and danced and gave thanks to Dur’tak. His father, hearing of the revelry, was incensed. He found Yastar dancing and took him by the collar and shook him. Yastar was angry; he shoved his father back, who lost his balance and tumbled out of the cave and down a cliff. As his father’s blood tainted the clay in the riverbed Yastar wept tears of anger and pain, and the clouds too split open and poured upon the people.
Yastar was horrified with what he had done. His people shrieked and jumped around the fire, lost in the frenzied rain dance. Yastar gathered his father’s body and took also the red stained clay and his father’s teeth, broken out during the fall. This time he crafted a death mask, and it was to be his last. He shaped it like a skull, and put the symbol for “the End” on it. Yastar’s people sacrificed him to their new god when he told them there would be no more dances, and they took his father’s death mask. This mask gives the power of the dead to the living.

Death Mask of Dur’tak: Major Artifact D&D 3.5
+10 Intimidate
3/day Death Knell (DC 13)
1/day Slay Living (DC17)
1/week Soul Bind (DC 23)
The Mask can store any number of souls. Each ally within 100’ gains the benefits of Death Knell when Soul Bind is used.

Strong Necromancy; CL 20th; Weight 2 lb.

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