I was browsing craigslist this morning when several bits of general household stuff caught my eye, among them an hourglass decorated with skulls. Someone was clearly a little too dark and spooky for their own good, but it did inspire today's post.
The Fateful Hourglass consists of two parts, the first is a twelve inch tall hourglass formed from delicate, blown glass contained within a frame of carved bones. The sand within the glass is a dark reddish color, reminiscent of dried blood. Secreted away within small hidden compartments in either end of the stand (Good observation check to notice) are a pair of golden amulets, one bearing a demonic visage, the other an eldritch symbol that a Superb test of lore might reveal as a symbol of confinement. All components of the Hourglass radiate Epic necromancy and enchantment magic and an evil aura. A Superb test of divination will reveal the purpose of the devices.
The Hourglass forms a necromantic bond between the wearers of the two amulets. The demon-headed amulet is the controlling element of the pair, allowing the wearer to drain the life energies of whomever is forced to wear the other amulet with a turn of the hourglass. The confining amulet is enchanted so it cannot be broken or removed (a Legendary success at dispel magic is required to break this enchantment), save by the wearer of the demonic amulet.
Once both amulets are worn, each turn of the hourglass transfers one rank of life energy from the victim to the controller, causing Great harm to the victim and providing Great healing to the controller. This process takes place over the course of one hour, the duration of the hourglass's sand. The transference is not limited by distance. This process can be repeated as often as desired, though the victim will quickly perish if the process is carried out too often. The victim can recover the life energy drained naturally over the course of one week. A victim slain by this process is irrevocably destroyed, their life force completely consumed by the draining process.