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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Black Heart

This pendant hangs from a necklace made from twelve strands of thin iron chain, each strand a tangle of rusted and bent links twined and twisted with the others. The pendant itself is a fist-sized cage of bent and fused iron rods covered with ragged and rusty burs and spines. Trapped within this cage is the dessicated and blackened heart of some supernatural creature. Despite its apparently state of decay the gruesome organ continues to beat in an irregular pattern, each pulse forcing a mixture of noxious green gasses and yellow ichor from its torn and gaping veins and arteries. Black Heart radiates Epic quality necromantic magic and is a potent source of evil. To make use of this artifact's powers, the wearer must become attuned to its noxious nature. A Great test of divination magic will reveal the attunement process.

To attune Black Heart a potion brewed from the item's noxious emissions and the owner's own blood must be created. Creating this potion is a Great test of alchemy skill. Once prepared the owner must don the pendant and quaff the potion. This afflicts the owner with a Good potency disease, which inflicts Good damage each day for seven days. The victim may attempt to resist this disease effect once per day (a Great test of toughness required). Any success reduces the damage for the day to Average. Any form of healing applied to the owner negates the entire attunement process. If they survive the entire seven days Black Heart becomes fully attuned, and grants its new owner full understanding of its powers:
  • Black Heart grants a Great resistance bonus to all forms of disease and poison, and reduces any damage received from these sources by two ranks.
  • All healing effects applied to Black Heart's owner suffer a one rank penalty in effectiveness.
  • Venom Touch - At will the wearer can inflict a poison attack doing Good damage to their victim by touch. The victim can reduce this damage to Average with a Good resistance check.
  • Noxious Brew - The wearer can use the noxious emissions of the heart and a portion of their own blood to create three doses of Great strength poison (requires an Average test of Alchemy). This poison can be injected or ingested, and inflicts Good damage for four rounds (Great resistance check to reduce damage to Fair each round). Drawing the blood required to make this venom inflicts an Average wound on the wearer.
  • Disease Cloud - The wearer can cause Black Heart to expel a cloud of noxious vapors in a 15 foot radius around themselves. This cloud infects anyone within the area of effect with a vitality-draining disease (Great resistance check per round of exposure to avoid). Once inflicted the disease drains one rank of vitality from the victim every six hours. The disease lasts seven days or until cured. Creatures slain by the vitality drain are permanently slain, their bodies reduced to dust. This power can be invoked once per day. The wearer is immune to the effects.
Edit: Tweaks to various powers and effects to balance out the powers of this item.


    Timeshadows said...

    That's a very evocative item, M.
    --Great work. :D

    Mark Thomas said...

    Thanks, I really liked this one :)

    Geek Ken said...

    Heh, interesting item and quite a creepy description.

    Mark Thomas said...

    In retrospect the balance seems a little off, the Disease Cloud being quite deadly and the Venom Touch and Noxious Brew a bit underpowered.

    Timeshadows said...

    Have you altered it to suit your sensibilities?

    Mark Thomas said...

    I have now. I slowed the Disease Cloud effect, and adjusted / clarified the effects of Venom Touch and Noxious Brew.