Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Challenge

To the left is a magic item. What is it? What does it do? I don't know. You tell me. I'll post the best responses in a few days. Then we can all drop different versions into our dungeons...

image credit: actually it's a sculpture by Joseph Cornell.


  1. Chalice of the Broken Vow

    At one time this chalice was used as part of the commitment ceremony for a Paladin order. The greatest of their host has sipped holy water from it for a hundred years. But when one of their most trusted members brtrayed the order and became a Blackard the chalice shattered into it's current form.

    The youngest and newest member to have joined the order took up the brioken remains and vowed to redeem her fallen companion. After years of questing she finally succeeded in redeeming his soul even as she drove his life from his corrupted body.

    If a vial of holy water is drunk from this vessel the drinker takes 3d6 damage but benefits from a Greater Restoration spell. It will only work for any one individual once.

  2. The Broken Hourglass

    When the cork is placed in the source of the sand, time stops for all but 1d6+1 randomly chosen creatures within a 100 foot radius of the hourglass. If there are insufficient creatures within the initial radius to make up the rolled number, the hourglass casts a progressively wider net until the quota is filled.

  3. Alternate, possibly better idea -- it's 1 randomly chosen creature for each alignment.

  4. This is a Relic. It is "That which was Shattered," and "The Despair of Gods." In various legends, it is known as "Cerridwen's Cauldron," "The Holy Grail," "The Cure for the World's Pain," and several other names on several different worlds. Originally, a gift from the gods, the vessel was shattered when mortals refused to repent of their wickedness and sought to use this beneficent item in selfish ways. Blessed water continually pours into the cup, but, the water now turns to Sand before it reaches the vessel. The cup will remain in this state until such time as men and other creatures finally learn to treat themselves and others with decency.
    A grain of Sand taken from the Relic will serve as the ultimate Bane. It may be used as a Wish, so long as Evil is the purpose, though this destroys the grain. Furthermore, a grain of the Sand may be used in a formula for Lichdom, cutting the research time and cost by as much as a third, and increasing the chance for success by an amount to be determined by the DM. Also, the bearer may cast Harm, once per day, so long as he carries a grain. Due to it's very nature, everyone within a 100 yard range will suffer a cumulative 10% penalty to all rolls for each grain of sand present. Also, anyone actually carrying a grain, will become ill, losing one point of constitution per day, for each grain carried. These may be restored via the usual means.

  5. Hey! I am knee deep in shit! I've wrote one and a half page of text and tried pasting it here, but it didn't work. So I copied it (which was a pain in the ass) but I'm not even sure if it went through, please send me your email so i can send it to you as a document! Thanx

  6. Here's squidman's idea (slightly edited since he's not a native english speaker):

    The Tabernacle of The Forgotten One This object is a tabernacle used by the order of a long forgotten god. It’s a box two feet wide, four tall and three deep. It was made in ancient times, crafted from black wood and covered with lead plates. Upon closer examination, the plates will reveal symbols and markings in the form of pressings, but most of them are unreadable. The front panel is a door opened by a magical key/glyph, the inside, in contrast to it's outside, is full of white light. (cont'd)

  7. ...Little is known of the tabernacle or the order to which it belonged. It is said that it was an unholy cult which--due to it’s dark rituals and human sacrifices--has been outlawed throughout the civilized lands. Thus the Tabernacle was created as a portable altar, that could be easily disguised and transported without suspicion.
    Those who have spent long years investigating the tales and scraps of information that have escaped the flames of inquisition, still debate about the nature of the tabernacle. The old manuscripts describe it as a fountain and a glass chalice. It is not clear what sprang from the fountain, some sources say water, other claim that it was a substance of unknown origin, grainy in appearance but liquid to the touch. The cult believed that what was inside was literally the substance of their god. (cont'd)

  8. ...It is known that at least once the ancient artifact was nearly destroyed. Many hundreds of years ago, the cult was discovered and its hideout was overridden by paladins and clerics. Almost all of them were slain by evil magic, but the strongest champion of law prevailed and finished the last of the dark priests. He then decided to destroy the tabernacle--beginning with the chalice. When he grabbed the chalice, the attention of the forgotten god started to focus upon him.

    The Evil One was tempting him by sending visions of power and splendor but, when the holy man resisted, the god started tormenting him with images of horror and pain. The cleric was trying to keep his sanity and fulfill his mission, but his will was weakened by the long battle and the many wounds he had taken. His mind was giving out but in the last effort he tried to destroy the chalice. As he raised his hand to cast it against the floor, in a sudden flash of sanity, he realized that he was standing in a middle of a large and powerful glyph. (cont'd)

  9. ...He suddenly understood that the evil god foresaw the destruction of the cult and had his priests prepare a trap. Now he knew he was to be the next leader of the cult, his tormented mind finally gave out to the evil power, but it sent one final command to his hand-attempting to smash the chalice. The action came too late. The blow was too weak and the the chalice was only partially damaged.
    That is the last known mention of the tabernacle or the cleric... It’s important to note that the PC’s should be aware of the potency and danger that the Tabernacle represents. Perhaps the party’s wizard can decipher some of the symbols on the surface of the lead enclosure, maybe a famous bard has came across a fragment of an obscure tale of a long forgotten cult... The whole artifact is immune to any divinations.
    Upon drinking from the chalice the character has to roll a d12, effects below. If players decide to pour the liquid into anything else, it automatically changes into sand. 1 - the character has an epiphany in which he is shown the true nature of the Forgotten One and goes mad, no save throws, no nothing. Just plain MAD! 2 - the god looks favorably upon the mortal and grants him a wish 3 - the god decides to share a piece of his unholy knowledge with the hero, PC looses two pints of intelligence but gains 2 points of wisdom 4 -the god sees the person worthy and blesses him/her. That works like a Cause Fear and Iron Skin cast on that person by a high level wizard, and lasts one day 5 - the god decides to heal all wounds of the drinking character 6 - nothing happens 7 - nothing happens 8 - the god doesn’t see the person worthy, s/he is dealt 4d8 damage, with no saves or reduction whatsoever 9 - the god decides to punish the person by paralyzing them for as long as the DM wishes (but not permanently) 10 - the god is angered by the mortal and punishes him/her by permanently draining 1 point of strength and constitution 11 - in punishment for disturbance, the god permanently drains character’s level 12 - the god sees the mortal as a useful tool and transfers part of his consciousness (or a demon servant?) into the PC’s body. From now on the PC becomes prone to blackouts during which the evil power takes control of his body...

  10. I'll tell you what it once was...
    Guthryndael's Goblet.

    The 'Goblet', also known as 'The Blue Goblet', though this was not its true title, was once a painting by the famed artist Guthryndael of Gael'Bannon, also known to be an alchemist of some skill.

    It was said that Guthryndael made and mixed his own paints and often did so using his alchemy knowledge. Many people whisper that this made his paintings seem unnaturally realistic. Was he a fantastic painter or a talented amateur mage? Who can say.

    Was is known is that the 'Goblet' was eventually purchased by a minor noble of the Gaullegue Empire and he in turn passed it on to his eldest son. Now this son married a most attractive and sweet young woman, who truth be told he did not deserve. Many a night he would come home from an evening of drinking, womanizing and other foul passions and strike at his lovely young wife. One evening, with his mind both fogged and heated, he went to hit her hard with a closed fist. He missed and struck the painting and the room echoed suddenly with the sound of shattered glass.

    When servants and guards entered the chamber they found the young noble on his knees, clutching his arm. In place of his hand was a writhing, twisting mass of blue tendrils, all of which tried desperately to choke its wielder to death.

    Tales say the young noble died soon after. The yong wife inherited the keep and remarried a distant cousin of the noble (the family always prefered her presence to their own blood anyway). She and her husband live there to this day and last I had heard one of her children is a painter now, or an apprentice on their way.

    The ruins of the 'Goblet' and the frame that held it now sit in a distant and forgotten corner of the keep's deepest dungeon. Some say that criminals guilty of striking their wives and/or children are left in the section of the dungeon the 'Goblet' occupies. Once in a while a guard or grounds keeper can be seen carrying away a large sack stained deep blue.

    Others say the keep's original owner, the young noble son, is locked down below as well, now little more then a mass of blue tentacles and hunger, smelling of pain and old paint.

    At least...this is the story I know.

  11. That's the "Cork of Dessication."

    If placed into a bottle or other container, it will transform up to 1d6 gallons of liquid into a fine dry powder. Upon speaking a command word, the powder will immediately transform back into its original liquid state. Magical potions, poisons, oils, etc, all retain their normal effect despite the alteration in form.

    Originally intended to facilitate daring new forms of alchemy, these Corks have nonetheless been put to less conventional uses, such as smuggling or assassination.

  12. It is not a magic item.

    It is debris from an altered timeline. Any magic that is detected is residual energy from time travelling. Anyone inspecting the debris, taking part of it, or remaining in its presence for more than a few minutes will dream of alternate realities the next time they go to sleep. This may cause nightmares.

    Also, anyone who comes in contact with the debris has a chance of attracting psychic predators (such as the Thought Eater). They are also placed on a watch list by the Time Lords, or equivalent dimensional guardians.

  13. The Dryest Martini.

    Anyone holding this deliciously astringent beverage may make two Encounter Reaction rolls and accept the better of the two. The wielder must maintain an air of slightly caddish sophistication and attempt to communicate in bon mots and one liners at all times.

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  15. It's the triangle of warning. None can pass it for what lies behind has been lost to the hungry past