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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Horn of Chaos

This instrument is made from a deformed ram's horn, an off-kilter, twisted S rather than a smoothly looping coil. The Horn's natural brown surface has been carved with primitive shapes and patterns, each colored with a greenish substance that stains the hands of anyone that picks up the ugly device. A dull bronze mouthpiece is fitted to the Horn's pointed tip, and a ring of matching material decorates the instrument's open bell end. Anyone touching the object will experience a faint sense of distaste as its surface seems to have a curiously variable texture, warm one moment, chill the next, soft and rubbery or slick and glassy. Most will feel more comfortable carrying the Horn by its baldric, a simple strip of black silk fastened to the Horn with ornate and complex knots.

The Horn radiates Great evocation and alteration magic and its nature is obscured by Good illusion magic that affects attempts to discern its powers. Only an Epic test of divination magic will reveal the item's characteristics, though experimentation will also produce results. The Horn has the following powers and abilities:
  • Shifting Nature - The device's owner suffers a gradual alteration of their fundamental characteristics and abilities. Each week they must make a Great resistance check against the Horn's power or suffer one of the following effects:
    1. One rank of a random attribute shift to another randomly determined attribute (strength shifts to intelligence for example).
    2. Gain one rank of ability in a sense (sight or hearing for example) while losing one rank in another.
    3. One physical feature undergoes a fundamental shift (hair or eye color for example).
    4. Gain or lose three inches in height.
  • Wild Imaginings - Thrice per day the owner can sound the Horn. Anyone within 30 feet must make a Great resistance check or be afflicted with a sense-altering madness for 2d6 rounds. Those affected suffer terrible and threatening illusions formed from the mundane objects around them, tree branches become slithering giant snakes, grass becomes a creeping pool of ooze, statues come to life and stone walls close in, threatening to crush the victim. The afflicted suffer a three rank penalty to all actions and must make a Great will test each round or become distracted by the illusions that threaten them from every side.
  • Elemental Shift - Once a day the wielder can sound a note upon the Horn that causes a single non-living object to shift its basic form, gas, liquid or solid, to another randomly determined form. Stone becomes vapor, Water becomes solid, or Air becomes thick and liquid. Up to a 15' radius of material can be affected by this power, which lasts six rounds. Note that the affected substance will change shape as appropriate to its new nature, liquid stone will flow like water, gasses will spread and disperse on the wind. At the end of the power's duration the object affected will revert to its previous form, though it will not return to its original shape.
  • Primal Chaos - This note calls forth a portion of the universe's original primordial ooze, a one foot diameter globe of pure chaotic energy lasting six rounds. This object moves in a random direction, traveling 1d4 x 10 feet each round. The globe is unaffected by gravity or magical effects. Any material object touching it must make an Epic resistance check or instantly be absorbed and permanently destroyed. This power can be invoked once per day. This note has a 1% chance of shattering the Horn when it is sounded.


Timeshadows said...

Somewhere between epic, and Things Humankind Was Not Meant To Know, and yet not quite either.
--Very interesting.

You definitely think outside the box, and I really dig your creations, if only for that reason, but also the attention to the evocative feel they elicit.

Word Verification: Inerizem

(Wind-abiding, Spirit-ranks, Wind-ordained, Spirits-[of]-travel)

"The cyclonic angels"

Mark Thomas said...

Pretty much what I was shooting for, good :)