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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vortex of Souls

This legendary artifact is made from the spiraling, horn of some long-extinct sea creature. It's twisted, white length is encrusted with barnacles and coralline growths, each carefully preserved beneath a layer of polished gold leaf. The horn rests upon a framework of polished black steel formed and shaped into a twisted maze of branches and vines that wrap securely around its length. The horn's hollow interior is sealed with a thick, hinged cap made from the same material as the supporting frame. The device radiates Legendary abjuration and protection magic. An Epic test of divination will reveal an extra-dimensional rift contained within the artifact.

The Vortex contains an alternate reality, a dimensionless place where physical matter does not exist and all forms of energy are negated by the very nature of this bizarre realm. The Vortex was originally created as a sort of extra-dimensional prison. Any living creature drawn into the Vortex loses all material form, reduced to little more than a floating consciousness lost in a void of pure white nothingness. The Vortex negates all magical, divine, mental or physical energies within its bounds, making escape from within impossible.

Should the Vortex's seal be opened without proper preparation, any sentient creature within 100 feet will be drawn into the void. A Legendary test of will must be made each round to avoid this effect. All held or carried items are drawn into the void along with the creature, instantly becoming insubstantial and powerless. Left unattended the Vortex will reseal itself in 1d10 days.

The enchantments surrounding the Vortex negate all attempts at divining its operating principles. Only research into the device's history will reveal the mechanism required to protect oneself against the Vortex's effect. When it was first created, a number of medallions were fashioned that provided a defense against the Vortex. Discovering the existence and appearance of these medallions requires a Legendary test of historic lore. Researching the location of each medallion requires three Epic tests of research. Of course the researcher must have access to appropriate materials and references to carry out this research. There are no fewer than three, but no more than seven of these medallions. Any sentient being wearing a medallion is immune to the Vortex's effect.

It is rumored that several medallion wearers can open the Vortex and call forth one of the banished, a ritual requiring exacting knowledge of the desired target. There is, of course, a chance that this summoning will allow 1d4 other entities to escape the Vortex. Anyone returned from the Vortex reappears in exactly the same physical state as they departed.

The GM should determine a single method by which the Vortex of Souls can be destroyed. They should also determine what happens to the contained souls when the container is shattered.
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