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Friday, January 15, 2010

The Blood Broth Cauldron

This foul device is an unholy relic of a Goblinoid cult dedicated to a nameless god. The blood priests of this foul cult used this artifact to grant their unholy warriors potency in battle. The Cauldron is a heavy bronze vessel, two feet in diameter and a foot deep. It is supported by three short, squat legs carved to resemble twisted, skeletal hands curled into fists. The outside of the bowl is carved with foul runes in some unknown Goblinoid tongue and a narrow band of gleaming red stones is worked into a serpentine pattern around its mouth. The interior of the vessel is lined with some flat black substance that is sticky to the touch.The Cauldron is stored in a yew box, the wood stained with blood and other foul substances. The box is reinforced with black iron and locked with a small complex padlock.

The Cauldron radiates Epic divine and alteration magic. It is an artifact of evil. To make use of the relic's power the proper ritual must be discovered, an Epic difficulty test of religious lore. The difficulty of this test can be reduced if the researcher is a member of or has knowledge of the Goblinoid races. The ritual involves sacrificing a sentient creature and filling the Cauldron with their life's blood. When the ritual is complete the blood within the Cauldron transforms into a greenish, seething potion (20 doses) which retains potency for 1 hour. Anyone imbibing this brew gains the following characteristics for four hours:
  • Blood Rage - the affected feels no doubt or fear, gaining a Great resistance bonus to any mental attack, including sleep, charm or emotion-affecting magic.
  • Vital Essence - the imbiber gains a Fair bonus to their physical toughness and endurance.
  • Fearless Death - if the affected is slain in battle, they fight on for one round, unaware they have been slain.
In addition to the basic process outlined above, the ritualist can add a body part from the sacrifice to the cauldron to invoke an additional effect in the resulting potion:
  • Eyes - imbibers gain a Superb bonus to all alertness and spot checks.
  • Heart - consuming this potion grants a Great bonus to strength.
  • Liver - the affected gains a Superb resistance to poison.
  • Lung - consuming this potion grants Great endurance, the imbiber can run tirelessly at full speed with no ill effects.
Other effects can be obtained by using different organs in the ritual, though no more than one such addition to the ritual can be made.

Participating in this ritual, either as the ritualist or a consumer of the final result, should be considered a strongly evil act. Each invocation should be treated as a powerful sacrifice to the nameless god of the Cauldron (the GM should feel free to define the deity the Cauldron is dedicated to and determine any additional divine effects that may manifest from repeated use). The Cauldron can only be destroyed by a unique process, which the GM should define for his or her campaign.
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