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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chalice of Storms

This sizable cup is about 18 inches high and 10 inches across. The bowl of the Chalice is formed from a single piece of pale green nephrite, elaborately carved and shaped into the form of two entwined dragons surrounded by lightning-filled clouds above and storm-tossed seas below. The dragon's tails form two looped handles, while the dragon's heads form a single spout on the side of the bowl. The base of the Chalice is purest silver, formed into a swirling mass of cloud and water. As an art object the Chalice has Epic monetary value. Attempts to discover the magical properties of the Chalice of Storms will reveal Epic quality alteration and evocation magic at work. A Superb divination test will unlock the item's secrets.

To use the Chalice, the owner fills the bowl of the vessel with seawater, then, while standing under the open sky, utters a word of command and drinks the contents, imbuing themselves with the Storm Aura for one hour. Invoking the power of the Chalice automatically intensifies the weather within a ten mile radius one rank (see Intensify Weather below). Storm Aura grants the following powers and abilities:
  • Weather Protection - The user gains Superb resistance to any weather-based effect (heat, cold, lightning, wind). Any damaging effects caused by these sources is halved (passive effect).
  • Lightning Strike - While outdoors the user may call down a bolt of lightning to strike any visible target. The bolt strikes the chosen target for Epic damage, and strikes any nearby target (10 foot radius) for Superb damage. This power may be invoked up to six times over the course of one hour.
  • Vortex - The user may summon a 15 foot high, 10 foot wide vortex of screaming winds, which appears in front of them. Once summoned the vortex can be directed to move up to 90 feet per round, so long as concentration is maintained. The vortex will raise a scouring cloud of dust, flatten small buildings, and hurl objects into the sky. Creatures crossing paths with the vortex are blinded by dust and sand, are pummeled by flying objects (Good damage), and, if man-sized or smaller, are blown off their feet. Damage against flying creatures is increased by one rank (to Great). The vortex vanishes if the user's concentration wavers. A vortex may be summoned up to three times over the course of one hour.
  • Intensify Weather - The user may increase the intensity of the current weather in a ten mile radius one rank for each ten minutes they spend concentrating on the task. Note that all aspects of the weather are intensified, the user cannot pick and choose specific effects. Weather will always tend towards the most destructive weather pattern that fits the current climate and season. Ten minutes concentration could turn a clear, sunny day into an overcast drizzling mess or a mild thunderstorm into a tornado bearing monster storm for example.
The Storm Aura can be dispelled from the user (an Epic test of dispel magic). If this happens the energies of the Aura are released as bolts of lightning that randomly strike 3 targets within 60 feet for Great damage. Attempting to invoke the power of the Chalice more than once per day will inflict Superb electrical damage upon the owner as the energies released by the ritual overload their body.
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