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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Scale of the Lizard God

This item is a three inch long, oval scale carved from the spinal bone of an enormous lizard. The surface of the Scale has been carefully enameled with bright orange and yellow bands while the underside is a smooth, polished black, with two barbed silver hooks protruding from the center. It radiates Legendary protection and alteration magic, and a Legendary test of divination magic will reveal the item is closely associated with a long-forgotten reptilian deity, but little other information.

If the silver hooks on the back of the Scale touch living flesh, the immediately shoot forth, fastening the Scale in place. If the target is of less than human intelligence, the Scale will cause a Fair wound, then drop away from the target. If the victim has at least human intelligence the Scale will remain attached and slowly slither across the creature's body until it is affixed to the center of their chest. There it will begin its transformational work.

The Scale is a work of elder sorcery, enchanted by the lizard god to permit his return to the material world in physical form. Once it finds a suitable host it will gradually alter them to become a suitable host. The Scale has the following effects over time:
Weeks 1-6:
  • Removing the Scale during this time requires a Superb test of dispel magic.
  • The victim's skin will slowly harden into a scaly surface, providing protection versus mundane attack (beginning at Fair, ending at Great).
  • The victim's finger- and toe-nails will become thicker and tougher, allowing them to be used as Average weapons.
Weeks 7-12:
  • Removing the Scale during this time requires an Epic test of dispel magic.
  • The victim's eyes gain slitted pupils as their head and jaws begin to lengthen to accommodate the new, sharp teeth that begin to sprout in their mouth, pushing out their old set one by one.
  • The victim loses all taste for any food other than uncooked meat.
  • The victim's strength and flexibility increase, and their previously acquired claws allow them to climb with ease.
Weeks 13-24:
  • Removing the Scale during this time requires a Legendary test of dispel magic.
  • The victim begins to grow a tail as the rest of their body becomes more and more reptilian.
  • The victim's strength and flexibility continue to increase, allowing them to perform Superb feats of athletic prowess.
  • The victim gains the ability to regenerate (starting at Average, ending at Great).
  • The victim's bite becomes venomous (starting at Average, ending at Superb toxicity).
  • The victim can only eat newly slain meat. An overwhelming desire to hunt their own prey takes root in their mind.
  • The victim's thought processes regress to a more primitive, bestial state. Each week they must make a Great resolve roll or lose control of themselves, attacking any living creature nearby as if it were prey.
Week 25:
  • The Scale has fully manifested its changes, leaving the victim a hulking half-lizard, half-humanoid being. The victim must make a Superb resolve test each day to retain what little sanity remains. Once they fail this test they will be fully possessed by the Scale, essentially becoming an NPC seeking to restore the lizard god's spirit to his newly created avatar.
Should the Scale be successfully removed from a partially transformed being, any changes to the victim become permanent. Reversing the effects of the Scale is a Legendary test of alteration magic.
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