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Artifacts And Relics


Ark of the Covenant

This is a magnificent golden chest, approximately 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall. It is covered with ornate gold and platinum carvings depicting various scenes of worship, battle, and divinity. The entire chest weighs approximately 500 lbs, and is carried on two long poles that are inserted through rings on the corners of the ark.

The Ark was a gift to an ancient race of people, promising them prosperity and peace. After many hundreds of years, their civilization fell prey to outsiders, and the Ark was lost amid the chaos of the collapse. It was later found by another group, who brought it to their king, who lived in a vast city on the edge of a desert. This king was particularly cruel, and had harshly persecuted the ark's former people. The day after the Ark was brought to the king, a terrible sand storm swept the city, lasting for an entire year. After it was over, not a trace of the city, the king, or the ark remained.

The Ark is a beautiful, yet terrible item. If it is carried before an army, the entire army receives a +4 bonus to both its morale and AR ratings for any battle it engages in. Additionally, the ark can shoot forth a death spell once per turn, to a range of 500 yards.

Should the Ark ever be open, it will issue forth a swirling mist, covering a 50-yard radius sphere, through which numerous spirits fly. For any creature looking at one of these spirits, a saving throw vs. death magic must be made. If successful, the creature ages 40 years. If failed, the creature instantly dies. Should any creature look directly into the open Ark, they will be instantly incinerated (no save) and their soul destroyed (no possibility for resurrection).


Dragonsword

Any millenia ago, the arch-lich Vecna, by far the most powerful lich to ever exist, began to conceive a dark plan to open The Seven Gates of Doom. According to legend, much before man or elf was created the balance of the Multiverse tended heavily towards evil. This was due to the existence of a diabolic god whose power greatly exceeded that of all other gods. He was called Satan.

Satan ruled supreme among all other evil gods, often treating them as slaves, which made them fear and hate him above anything else. Though the power of all the gods of good together was not enough to defeat Satan, they knew the gods of evil nurtured immense hatred for him. With great diplomatic skill, they were able to make the gods of evil put aside their fear and join the other gods in an alliance without precedence: all gods, good, neutral and evil, were to unite against Satan (as usual, evil turns upon itself).

The alliance of the gods battled Satan fiercely, but even all their combined power could not destroy him. The gods then decided to create seven concentric planes of existence, with portals connecting them, and imprison Satan inside the innermost plane. The portal to the outermost one is located on the Prime Material Plane. One can only reach Satan by passing trough all the portals, which were called "The Seven Gates of Doom". Inside is the gigantic form of Satan, the most powerful and evil being on the Multiverse, sitting at his burning throne and sleeping. His sleep is full of dreams of malice, conquer and revenge, and it is said that many of the evil deeds committed on the Material Plane are motivated by the evil power of Satan's dreams, which can not be fully contained by the Gates.

The plan of Vecna was to use his army of undead, humanoids and monsters to conquer and enslave mankind and force them to worship Satan. With this and his immense personal power, he hoped to awake Satan and open the Gates of Doom, thus throwing the Multiverse in darkness once again.

When the wars began and the dead rose to fight the living, many heroes tried to defy Vecna's power. Most of them died, but some were able to achieve some success. Among these was Angus Thalgurn, a brave man and a true paladin. He exposed himself to great risks in a mission to request the help of Draltahn, a Great Gold Wyrm of awesome power.

When Angus returned home riding the dragon Draltahn, the victory against the forces of Vecna seemed possible again. Many battles were won with his help, but soon all hope was lost when Vecna was able to lure the dragon into a trap and slay him.

In a night spent by the paladin in prayers and despair, the image of the dead Draltahn came to him with a plan. They would not give it up so easily...

Angus took the remains of the dragon to the dwarves in the south and asked them to make three items: from the bones and blood of the dragon and from gold and adamantite of the dwarven mines, they forged a sword. From the hide of the dragon and adamantite, they forged both a shield and a suit of armor. The wizards and priests of the land then enchanted these items. The shield and armor were remarkable, but the sword was even more special, for their magic and the power of Draltahn were able to summon the soul of the dead dragon and allow it to enter and inhabit the sword. Then it became the Dragonsword.

Through the Dragonsword, Draltahn was able to allow the paladin to use most of his dragon powers. With the aid of the three Dragon Items, Vecna was destroyed. Only his hand and eye remained. These two were locked in a hidden place with powerful magic and wards to prevent entrance and forgotten.

The Dragonsword has the form of a long sword with a golden blade inscribed with ancient runes. The hilt is made of gold and dragon bones and has the form of a dragon head. From the open mouth of the dragon sprouts the blade. Two diamonds make up for the dragons eyes. When in battle, the sword glows softly with a golden light.

The Dragonsword is a longsword +5, Holy Avenger, inhabited by the soul of the Great Gold Wyrm Draltahn. It has an intelligence of 18 and an ego of 22 and can communicate by either speech or telepathy. In addition to the normal powers of a Holy Avenger, the paladin wielding this sword is able to call upon the powers of the gold dragon. Nearly all his powers (including his breath weapon) are at his disposal. However, it is not easy to use them and if the paladin fails an attempt, there may be some (very) adverse side effects. The powers of the Dragonsword are listed below. To use one of them, the character must make an experience level check (roll his level or less in the d20). The number in parenthesis are modifiers to this roll. The `-' sign indicates a penalty and the `+' indicates a bonus to the roll (as usual, an unmodified roll of 1 is always a success and a 20 is always a failure). If the character fails the roll, he must roll the d20 again in the adverse effects table. Any modifiers to the first roll also apply to this one.

All powers/spells are as if actually cast by the dragon. Therefore, they are cast at the 23th level. They are:

The following modifiers also apply to the rolls:

If the character fails his experience level check the power will not activate (he may try again, if he wishes) and he must now roll a d20 on the following table. Any modifiers to the previous roll are also taken into account in this one (an unmodified roll of 1 is always considered as "Nothing happens". A roll of 20 is treated normally as any other roll):

1-6 Nothing happens.
7 Sword falls from character's grasp.
8 The Dragonsword becomes powerless for 1 turn.
9 Character takes 1d4 points of damage.
10 Character loses 1d4 points of dexterity for 1 turn.
11 Character takes 1d6 points of damage.
12 Character loses 1d4 points of strength for 1 turn.
13 Character takes 1d8 points of damage.
14 Character receives a -2 penalty to his "to hit", damage (1 hp minimum), initiative, saving throws and armor class for 1 turn.
15 Character takes 1d10 points of damage.
16 Character is blinded for 2 turns.
17 Character takes 1d12 points of damage.
18 Character is unconscious for 2 turns.
19 Character takes 1d20 points of damage.
20 A randomly chosen magic item the paladin possesses (with the exception of the Dragonsword) becomes non-magical.
21 Permanently loose one point from a randomly chosen attribute. If this would leave the character with less than the minimum required to be a paladin (12 Str, 9 Con, 13 Wis and 17 Cha), he permanently looses two hit points instead.}
22 Character is feebleminded (no save).
23 Character ages 2d6 years.
24 Character is transformed into a gold dragon egg. The egg hatches in 4d4 days. A wish or similar magic can bring him back while in egg form, but if the egg hatches there is no way to reverse the effect. The character has become a gold dragon without any memories of his past life and must be removed from play.
25 Character falls in love with the next human of opposite sex and chaotic evil alignment he encounters. He will do anything he can to regenerate and marry this person. Despite the passionate love the paladin will feel, he still knows the difference between good and evil, law and chaos, and will not be easily corrupted by his "beloved" (unless the player decides to do so). If the character is already in love with someone, ignore this effect and roll again with an additional penalty of -2.
26 Character receives enough damage to leave him with only 1 hit point. If he already had only 1 hp, he goes to zero hp and must make a system shock. If the roll fails, he dies. This damage is very difficult to heal with magic. An nth level curative spell heals n hit points.
27 Anything the character is carrying or wearing, magical or not, is disintegrated. Magical items receive a saving throw versus disintegration, but normal clothes and equipment don't.
28 Character loses 1 level of experience.
29 Character sex changes.
30 Character must save versus death magic at -2 or die. No other modifiers to this roll are allowed, including any magical protections the character might have.
31 The Dragonsword is teleported to another continent, world or plane of existence.
32 Character is teleported to one of the evil outer planes. The Dragonsword, however, is not.
33+ Character is utterly and irrevocably destroyed.

The Dragonsword is a legend among dragons: if a dragon sees it, there is an 8% chance per age category of the dragon that it will recognize it for what it is. If an evil dragon happens to recognize this artifact, it will probably attempt to kill the wielder and take away the sword. On the other hand, if a good dragon perceives the true nature of the sword, it will be favorably disposed towards the wielder, which will receive a +3 reaction adjustment when dealing with this dragon.


Holy Grail

A plain goblet that appears to be nothing out of the ordinary, the holy grail is in fact a powerful magical artifact. It is a relic from the Last Supper, the meal where the Savior foretold his death and blessed his followers. Entrusted by the Savior to Joseph of Aramathea afterward, it was guarded by his descendants for several generations before being stolen by an unknown thief. It disappeared for close to a millennium before being discovered by three knights on a quest. The current whereabouts of the holy grail is a complete mystery, as two of the knights have since died and the other has vanished.

The power of the holy grail is such that can cure virtually any disease, wound, or affliction, and even reverse aging. If the grail is filled with holy water and then drank from, it automatically heals all wounds, cures all diseases and afflictions (including feeblemind, insanity, and the like), and removes all magical aging. In addition, the grail will remove all natural aging that has occurred since the last drink from the grail. This last effect is rumored to only function within the bounds of certain holy places - that is, only time spent inside the holy place is negated by the grail.


One Ring of Power

This is a small nondescript gold band, with no markings or other identification on it. It radiates a strong magic of indeterminable type. This ring, however, is one of the most powerful magical items ever created. It was forged by the mighty warrior-mage Sauron - some say with the help of the evil Elder Gods - in the inferno of a massive volcano. The One Ring is the capstone of all the other Ancient Rings - it has the power to control the other Rings and their wearers. This influence is not automatic, however, and varies greatly according to the known identity of the other ringwearer and the relative will force of the characters.

When the One Ring is first donned, it acts as a simple ring of invisibility. If the wearer concentrates upon the Ring, and thinks of it as one piece of a whole, the relative location of the nearest Ancient Ring is felt - i.e. direction and distance, as determined by strength of urge. If the wearer learns the actual name of anyone wearing another Ancient Ring, he or she may attempt to influence that person. Influence is similar to the spells suggestion and emotion, though the saving throw is different. The other ring wearer is allowed a check vs. Wisdom, with the difference between the victim's wisdom and the One Ring wearer's wisdom being treated as a bonus or penalty to the save. A successful save indicates that the other ringwearer feels a powerful influence, but does not succumb to it and is not immediately aware of where it originated. Failure means the suggestion is followed to the letter.

If the One Ring wearer is within sight of another (known) ringwearer, the other ringwearer must make a Wisdom Check as above, but with a -4 penalty. Failure indicates that the wearer is under the complete control of the One Ring; all commands will be followed explicitly and immediately. This control is of unlimited range and is permanent; however, if the controlled character enters a circle of protection from charm or similar magic, he is allowed another save (at -4, a maximum of once per day). If this is successful, the enchantment is broken, and the wearer realizes that the One Ring has been controlling him through his Ancient Ring and may choose to remove his Ring. Should the character leave the magic circle of protection with the Ancient Ring still on, control is immediately re-established.

The One Ring of Power has a strong component of Evil; the wearer slowly becomes more and more protective of the Ring, taking elaborate measures to protect it, and becoming more and more selfish. The DM should vocally encourage the wearer to change alignment towards Chaotic Evil.

The last power of the ring is to indefinitely extend the lifespan of the wearer. While the ring is on, the wearer is immune to all aging, whether natural or magical.


3 Elven Rings: Rings of Fire/Water/Air

These Ancient Rings were forged along with the One Ring in the heart of a fiery volcano. All are pure gold, with a large stone of ruby/adamant/sapphire set in the top. They radiate magic of an enchantment/alteration type. Unlike the One Ring, they all have a strong component of Good, and were originally given to the three Elven Kings. Over the course of time, they have become lost (or some say hidden by the elves themselves).

The rings have several powers in common, and each has several unique abilities. They all slow the aging of the wearer to one-tenth normal, protect the wearer with a triple strength protection from evil whenever worn, can cure light wounds up to 7 times a day, and the wearer can telepathically communicate with anyone within 10' of him. The Ring of Fire can produce flame or create a fire shield at will, and can call down a flame strike once per day. The Ring of Water can create water or part water at will, and can cause an ice storm once a day. The Ring of Air can cause a gust of wind or fly at will, and can teleport without error once per day. They become powerless whenever within 100' of the One Ring. They can be removed at any time (exception, see One Ring of Power).


9 Rings of Man

Created with the other Ancient Rings, these magical rings were given to the rulers of the old Nine Kingdoms of Man. The Rings of Man are all different; some are ornate, some plain. They all contain a strong component of desire for power.

These rings confer on the wearer all the powers of a rod of rulership and a rod of beguiling. After one month of wearing one of these rings, the character must make a Wisdom check. If the check succeed, the character notices a strange trend in his behaviors since the ring was discovered - action is up to the player. If it fails, character has begun the journey to becoming a Nazgul (q.v.). The possessor becomes very protective of the ring and will act to keep it in his/her possession at all costs. Nothing short of divine intervention can cause the character to voluntarily give up the ring. After each additional month of possession, a Wisdom check must be made; failure results in the permanent loss of one point of Charisma. This loss will go unnoticed by the character, but not by others: henchmen will eventually desert, followers leave, etc. When the character's Charisma reaches 0, the character is transformed into a Nazgul. If the ring is separated from the wearer prior to becoming a Nazgul, one level of experience is lost permanently for each charisma point lost. All charisma losses are permanent.


7 Rings of the Dwarves

Like the other Ancient Rings, the Rings of the Dwarves were created in the inferno of a volcano. They were originally given to the seven Dwarven Lords, but in the intervening millennia have become lost. They appear as intricately carved gold and silver bands, but contain a strong component of greed.

They possess all the powers of a wand of Metal Command; additionally they can slow an opponent with a touch and can passwall twice per day. Over the course of time, these rings produce an overwhelming desire to possess large quantities of precious metals. The ringwearer will go to great lengths to obtain more and more precious metals, and will go to extreme ends to protect his hoard. As time passes, the desire to obtain and hoard precious metals becomes the central motivation of the character. These rings can only be removed with a successful exorcism against 50th level magic. (cf. One Ring of Power)


Shankara Stones

Given by one of the goddesses of agriculture to her starving people in the midst of a great famine, these six magical stones are imbued with great power. They were used by the goddess' people for may centuries to guard and protect their crops and villages. Slowly, however, they began to disappear, whether through theft, natural disaster, or taken by outsiders by force. There has been little information on their location, though this may have as much to do with their nondescript appearance as well as the desire of their possessors to keep them hidden.

Each of the Shankara Stones is a medium-sized oval, about 8 inches long and 4 inches in diameter, with rounded ends. They are typically medium brown in color, and have several lines carved into one side of the stone. Each stone has unique powers, and when several stones are brought together, additional powers are gained. Each power can affect a given person only once in a 24-hour period.

The individual powers of the stones are:

  1. cure serious wounds at a touch
  2. cure disease at a touch
  3. tongues
  4. neutralize poison at a touch
  5. remove curse at a touch
  6. bless

The following powers are gained by possessing sets of 2 or more Shankara Stones (which individual stones is irrelevant).

Set of 2:
Protects all crops within a 10 mile radius from natural disease, pestilence, and drought.
Set of 3
telepathy with any creature within 1 mile.
Set of 4:
raise dead once per week.
Set of 5:
control weather within a 100 mile radius.
Set of 6:
wish once per month

All powers are cumulative. All powers operate as if cast by a 20th level spellcaster.


Ship of Land and Sea

Created by the Earth God Grome and given to the Water God Yaguul in payment for a debt, this is a magnificent fully-rigged sailing vessel. Over 200' long and 40' wide, the Ship of Land and Sea measures 130' from the keel to the top of the mainmast (35' from keel to main deck). The Ship is a 2-masted, square-rigged brig. The hold has a capacity of 500 tons and there are accommodations for 200 on board. The unique ability of the Ship, however, is its power to sail over both land and sea. Under full sail, the ship may move at up to 24 in water, 18 in swamps, deserts, plains, and other open lands, 12 over hills and through forests, and 6 in mountainous terrain. A minimum crew of 20 is required to sail the ship. It is immune to all non-magical weapons, and all magic weapons cause only 1/4 normal damage per hit (to a minimum of 1 point of damage per hit). The ship is immune to all earth- and water-based attacks, and suffers only 1/2 damage from fire, cold, and electricity (1/4 if save is made). It is also immune to all spells which affect its movement (slow, entangle, etc.) The Ship has a saving throw of 4, an Armor Class of -5, and can sustain 200 hp before minor damage is done, 500 hp before major is done, and 1000 hp before the Ship is totally destroyed.


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