DESCRIPTION Before being worn this item appears to be a wondrous piece of magical jewelry; a DC 18 Knowledge (history) check reveals it is from the outskirts of Ravine. As soon as it is worn by a creature it transforms into a thick, rounded piece of ash that attaches to the wearer’s neck, transforming them into a mutant (if they are not already a mutant, roll once on the table below). [More on mutants tomorrow!—MM] Once the painful transformation is complete the wearer is under the effects of a permanent charm monster spell towards whomever attached the ashen choker and convinced via a suggestion effect that any attempts to remove it will result in instant death; these compulsions remain until the ashen choker is removed and the wearer does not receive a saving throw to negate either the charm monster or suggestion effects. After the ashen choker is removed, a transformed creature returns to their natural state after a number of days equal to double the number of days they wore the cursed item.
CREATION Magic Itemsnecklace of adaptation, necklace of fireballs, necklace of ki serenity
Ashen Choker Mutation Table
The wearer suffers the Ashen Death; roll on SL-2: Transgression Mutations. [Tomorrow!—MM]
The wearer’s skin sags, cracks, and becomes horned, resulting in a -2 to all Charisma-based skill checks.
One of the wearer’s legs expands, becoming a large slab of meat. The wearer can no longer be tripped or go prone but takes a -4 penalty to Dexterity.
Pus fills the wearer’s sweat glands giving the creature the stench monster ability (DC 15, 10 minutes). Unlike normal, this affects the mutant.
Large prongs extend from the wearer’s hands, making it so it can’t use manufactured weapons and suffers a 35% chance of failing to cast any spell with a somatic component. The wearer gains two claw attacks as secondary attacks as well as the attach monster ability.
The wearer’s eyes become large crystals that extend a few inches past their nose, granting darkvision 60 ft. and low-light vision, but sunlight powerlessness as well.
When used to navigate, a cursed amber attenuator blocks junctions and side tunnels while traveling underground or on the Amber Roads, covering the openings with illusions of walls and barriers seamlessly blended into the existing passageway. The image is projected to all creatures within 100 ft. of the bearer, but only the creature who has possession of the cursed amber attenuator can break the illusion (any other creature that tries to touch an illusory wall or barrier treats it as real). A cursed amber attenuator always leads its user to the closest aggressive monster instead of the correct path to reach their destination; this increases the chance of a random encounter by 10% every thirty minutes traveled. A DC 18 Will save allows the bearer to see through an illusion created by the cursed amber attenuator (this save may be attempted every time the bearer physically interacts with an illusory wall).
DESCRIPTION Avaricious xyrx crystals have been infused with the essence of a mad god. Unlike normal xyrx crystals these crystals have more energy to expend (exactly one and half more power points are available) but a depleted avaricious xyrx crystal dissolves into nothingness (until then it has 4 hit points per 10 lbs. of crystal). Avaricious xyrx crystals, unlike their regular counterparts, exert a measure of control over their users.
Twice per day the owner an avaricious xyrx crystal can manifest control body (ML 7th; DC 16 Will save) but rather than gain control over the target’s body, the avaricious xyrx crystal causes the user to target randomly; they may hinder foes, or simply make a few creatures wander off by themselves.
Once per month when a creature touches an avaricious xyrx crystal it triggers the enthrall ability of the mindbender psion discipline (ML 14th; DC 22). Creatures that roll a natural 1 on their save to resist this effect develop a god complex, believing that the avaricious xyrx crystal is a deity for 2d4 months, trying to convert all other creatures they are able to communicate with. When the avaricious xyrx crystal is dominating a creature it encourages the creature to cause any type of chaos that it can, from revealing dark secrets that the creature knows about itself and others, to upsetting military orders, or even going on a rampage. After the effect ends the creature is confused for 1d4 hours or until cured.
If the crystal is used as part of a power supply for a machine (such as an airship) it gains a minor possession over the machine. At random times in the day the machine that the avaricious xyrx crystal powers does a random act such as flipping over, turning the wrong direction, or trying to overload the device itself. When the avaricious xyrx crystal is in possession of the ship and a creature succeeds against either its control body power or enthrall ability, the cursed item lashes out at that creature, making a improvised attack (+6 melee touch attack, 2d6+2 damage) for 3 rounds before quieting down again. If the avaricious xyrx crystal can’t reach the creature, it moves 5 feet towards its target with one of its three rounds of actions.
An avaricious xyrx crystal used to craft an item possesses it as above or has a 75% chance of being shattered while it is being crafted; when successfully implemented into an object, the item and its bearer become covered in quintessence, entering a state of stasis.
The Fleshdoll Stage of Madam Sutradhara (cursed) Aura overwhelming necromancy; CL 21st (artifact) Slot none; Weight 120 lbs.
DESCRIPTION This semi-portable marionette stage is made from rich mahogany wood, boasting two elegantly-carved twisting pillars on each end across which rests a polished wooden arch. The arch is engraved with a series of unusual arcane runes surrounding the words, “The Magnificent Madam Sutradhara.” A shiny carmine silk curtain with tendrils of gold tassel at the bottom hangs from behind the expanse. Covering the back of the stage is a slotted board with various painted scenes on thin wooden planks, each depicting a different backdrop that can be swapped during performances. The base of the stage itself is crafted from lightweight pine and polished to a gleaming shine, though a few scuff marks litter its surface from years of frequent use. It’s very old, but as an antique, it is obvious that the stage has been well tended to and cared for.
The fleshdoll stage is a unique cursed artifact, created using a combination of powerful necromancy, pact magic, and demonic infusion. The power of the item is sustained by the spirit of its creator (a necromancer) and an ancient demon (of such power that it could be considered a demigod or demon lord) who both agreed to a mutual pact—the demon would lend to the artifact its dark powers and in return for this service, when the creator dies, their soul freely becomes the property of the demon to do with as it pleases.
The magic of the evil pact causes the fleshdoll stage to act as a reliquary that hosts the creator’s spirit, which in turn is closely guarded by the demon that also dwells within it, bound by its pact to remain there until the dark contract is fulfilled. When the creator dies, the demon, having fulfilled its promise, collects his prize, destroys the artifact, and returns to the depths of the abyss. The curse of the fleshdoll stage radiates in a 500 ft.-radius that affects any intelligent creature that enters into it and remains in that area of effect for longer than five minutes (there is no saving throw). If a creature moves out of and then back into the area of effect, the five minute countdown to activation resets.
When activated, the fleshdoll stage triggers a sort of reverse possession, pulling the spirit of an affected creature from within its own body and into the artifact itself. When an affected creature’s spirit is forced from its natural form, its body becomes lifeless (effectively dead, and subject to all effects of death such as decay and rigor mortis). Though unable to utilize their natural senses, the spirit of an affected creature remains conscious and is automatically aware of what is happening to it (though it may not understand the forces behind the effect). The spirit knows that it has been forced from its living body, that its body is presently dying, and that some powerful force is holding them prisoner and preventing them from returning.
Once an affected creature’s spirit is contained within the artifact, the creator has one hour to preserve (by magical means such as gentle repose) the lifeless body of the affected creature or else the creature’s spirit may make an attempt to escape the stage and return to its body with a successful DC 22 Will save (which can be attempted once per hour). If an affected creature’s lifeless body is preserved within the first hour, its spirit gets no attempt to escape their confinement in the stage. If the saving throw is failed and the creator preserves the body before the spirit can make another attempt in the following hour, no further attempts may be made to escape.
Lastly, the fleshdoll stage can contain an affected creature’s spirit for no longer than 24-hours and it may contain up to a dozen different spirits at the same time. In order for an affected creature’s spirit to be permanently removed from its body, the creator of the artifact must transfer that spirit from the stage and into a new body—to fulfill this requirement, the creator must construct a fleshdoll to permanently house the affected creature’s spirit. The binding of an affected creature’s spirit to a fleshdoll requires that the original body remain magically preserved. If at any time an affected creature’s lifeless body becomes unpreserved, or if the creator of the fleshdoll stage dies, the spirit is freed from the fleshdoll and it returns to the original body (awakening in 2d4 minutes if preserved).
Fleshdolls are animated constructs crafted by a powerful necromancer from the bone, flesh and blood of the recently deceased. They are inhabited by unwilling spirits trapped in the tiny forms bound by supernatural forces to do their creator’s bidding. Mechanically, once a spirit is bound to them, they are both undead and constructs. Typically fashioned into the likeness of miniature humanoid creatures and grizzly in origin, these can be quite beautiful in appearance (depending on the talent of their creator).
The spirit trapped within a fleshdoll remains fully conscious and cognitive with all the memories of its life before becoming bound to the doll. A fleshdoll can actively seek to disobey its master, whom attempts to control it via the Necrotic Puppet Mastery supernatural ability. [More information about Fleshdolls and how to apply them to a PC on Thursday! -JAM]
The fleshdoll stage can only be destroyed by fulfilling the pact made between its creator and the demon dwelling within it. This means the creator must die to destroy the fleshdoll stage. Afterward the demon immediately destroys the artifact in a supernatural pyre of hellfire, releasing all spirits bound in it (or bound to fleshdolls created by it) before summoning the spirit of the stage’s creator and dragging them into the depths of the inferno as it returns from whence it came.
The fleshdoll stage was created by Madam Sutradhara to bind the spirits of her enemies and turn them into playthings. She was once a renowned puppeteer and masterminder, celebrated by many entertainers as the most talented of her kind to ever grace the realm. However, when her lover betrayed her she became twisted with jealousy and rage that eventually drove her to insanity. Determined to never be betrayed again, she turned to dark magic and necromancy—she would control every aspect of those whom she associated with, including whether or not to grant them the gift of unlife. Her zombies proved to be true to her whims, but loneliness still drove her ever deeper into listless sorrow.
In the throes of her dark depression and endless rage, she was approached by a powerful demon who sensed her torment. Amused, the creature struck a deal with the woman, promising her that she would once again perform her craft with the skill of a master puppeteer, and that she could use her art to take vengeance upon all those who scorned her. Together, Madam Sutradhara and the demon created the fleshdoll stage, and the first of her victims were her former lover, his wife, their children, and their entire extended family. After binding their spirits to fleshdolls, she took up residence in the Macabre Manses, where she now directs nightly plays starring her helpless thralls, who perform before her obedient audience of zombie servants.
Those unlucky enough to wander upon her disheveled estate are unknowingly tempting fate, as those who are not cursed to become fleshdolls often become food for her zombies—the leftovers used by the necromancer crone to craft new fleshdolls for potential future performers.
DESCRIPTION This large, bronze scarab glows brightly from within, thrumming rhythmically as if it were alive.
Unlike the fully charged motive capacitor it resembles, the light in a motive resistor comes from a malevolent energy eager to drink up any life it can. Affixing it to a living target requires a melee touch attack, at which point it immediately activates.
When activated the motive resistor immediately drives needles deep into the target creature, doing 1d6 points of piercing damage (that ignores damage reduction) and draining the creature’s life essence. Each round a motive resistor is affixed to a creature, the creature must make a DC 18 Fortitude save or gain 1 negative level and take 1 point of Constitution damage. Forcibly removing a motive resistor is a standard action that requires a DC 14 Strength check; failure on this check deals 2d6 damage to the creature it is affixed to.
For 24 hours after its curse has been activated, any creature handling the motive resistor must make a DC 14 Fortitude save every minute or gain 1 negative level.
DESCRIPTION This many-faceted orb has been run through with a long adamantine needle extending out one end.
When analyzed for magical properties, a Nyamo scribe orb indicates that it is a regular scribe orb, made red as a mark of identification for the wizards of Timeaus. In truth this magical item has a secret function—any analysis it performs is immediately communicated to the Order of the Staff in Nyamo (regardless of distance), and it can always be easily found by mages of the organization (located with a DC 13 Will save).
Shortly after their presence in Nyamo is known, diplomatic wizards from the Order of the Staff seek out the PCs and insist that they accept a gift for their troubled (likely botched) delivery of alligotonium—a Nyamo scribe orb. The mages insist that any adventurer can make use of the magic item identifying device, and that no compensation is required; they feel horrible about the entire ordeal (a DC 20 Sense Motive check reveals that they do not, though they sincerely want the party to accept their gift).
This small stone chalice is inscribed with strange markings of a creature breathing forth some kind of creature breathing forth a red mist. When filled with any kind of liquid (a full-round action), the contents change to what appears to be a potion of cure critical wounds and heals 4d8+9 hit points to any creature that drinks it before making a DC 20 Will save. Creatures that fail this save are cursed until they receive a regeneration spell; any time that they are made fatigued or eat food that is not bloody (a very rare stake qualifies) they must make a DC 20 Fortitude save or vomit forth blood, taking 1d4 Constitution damage. Dhampir, vampire and vampire spawn that drink from a sanguine chalice treat its contents as a potion of inflict critical wounds and heal 4d8+9 hit points.
CREATION Magic Items any cup or chalice suitable for drinking from
A character that makes a Knowledge (religion) check to learn about the sanguine chalice identifies the following fragments of lore: DC 15 This cup was the second calling card of Valthior the Valorous—every tavern he drank in fell silent when this cup appeared at the bar. None but he was ever seen to drink from it and after witnessing its healing properties, countless brawls were said to have broken out because of it. DC 20 The etchings and style of carvings indicate that the item is no less than 700 years old, though they are otherworldly and difficult to discern easily. DC 25 Last seen somewhere in the Klavek Kingdom, the thief Gallro’rk the Reckless made off with the sanguine chalice to parts unknown—the rogue was last seen entering the Underworld over a decade ago. DC 30 An ancient horror, the Exsanguinator, is depicted on this cup. It once belonged to a noble in the terrifying daemon’s bloody court.
Do you have a chilling idea for a haunt or cursed item? Send it along to us at submit (at) adventureaweek.com, but please, bear the following in mind before you submit anything for review:
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Aura none (medium abjuration and medium conjuration, see text); CL 7th
Slot none; Weight 800 lbs.
The Eternal Torment is always a beautiful marble statue of perfect proportions, slightly larger than the creature it portrays. The face is contorted in pain but otherwise an aura of beauty surrounds the artwork. Upon careful examination, however, the statue surrenders its dreadful secrets—hidden hinges open revealing the interior of an iron maiden. Small spikes dot the inside, barely large enough to allow a creature to fit inside.
The Eternal Torment is a devious device used to imprison people in a torturous cage made all the more sadistic by their innocuous presence within a populated place. The statue bestows the benefits of a ring of sustenance, although the effects start only last from when a victim is fitted inside to when they leave it. The statue also has a working nondetection spell placed upon it. If a divination spell is attempted against the occupant, the caster of the divination must succeed on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) against a DC of 19 (as if the occupant had cast nondetection on herself). The auras from these effects are hidden, and are only discovered with a successful DC 11 Will save (see detect magic spell text for greater details on how this is discovered). The spikes inside deal 1d6 piercing damage every round TheEternal Torment is closed, receding slightly when the victim reaches 1 hit point.
Magic Items any statue or body suitable for a golem or similar construct.
A character that makes a Knowledge (history) check to learn about The Eternal Torment identifies the following fragments of lore:
DC 15 This statue bears all the hallmarks of the now extinct char’krar culture, nomadic horse raiders that conquered Kith Guhr, the jeweled city, some eight centuries ago. Seeing how comfortable city life was, their leaders abandoned their ancient ways in favor of urbanity. The few disgruntled tribesmen that voiced any concerns or reluctance were quickly found floating face down in the Ruby River.
DC 20 In the first three centuries after the fall of Kith Ghur, char’krar culture had a renaissance, going from crudely carved wooden idols of their ancestors to paintings and sculptures rivaling nearby cultures. Several of their nobles collected statues, trying to outdo each other with massive outdoor collections, called gardens. The char’krar enjoyed several profitable trade routes with nearby nations before four to five centuries ago, when a radical change overcame Kith Ghur: the temples of the city were defiled and the ancient gods were abandoned in favor of open worship of the demon lord Tzzeraxxt, lord of pain and joyful suffering. For almost a century trade continued with Kith Ghur until at last relations grew too strained to continue—the missing caravans and rumors of human sacrifices could not be ignored. Three hundred years ago Kith Ghur closed its gates for the last time as the char’krar withdrew into the city to worship Tzeeraxxt and tend to their own increasingly vile, debased, ritualistic practices of worship.
DC 25 As time passed, the gardens grew but a new feature was added—hollow statues used to torture and torment in the name of Tzzeraxxt. Many times servants awoke to find one of their number missing and another statue was added to their master’s garden; horrifyingly, they soon discovered their lost companions as statues, as the truly devout made their tombs to resemble their victims. Fear was a constant companion in Kith Ghur—no one was safe from joining a garden. The char’krar nobles tried to outdo each other in an attempt to gain favor from their vile lord Tzzeraxxt by increasing the pain caused by removal from the statue—spikes were added to the hollow insides, longer spikes combined with regeneration (not that anyone were ever taken back out according to the legends). In time Kith Ghur fell silent apart from the muffled cries from some of the statues before those within died out, as the city itself eventually did as well.
DC 30 Persistent rumors speak of a few statues with the power to halt time for the occupant, it is doubtful if these statues were ever made, but if they do exist, the question arises: who or what will emerge should one be found?
Submitted by Brian Wiborg Monster
[edited (into a cursed item!) by Mike Myler]
Do you have a chilling idea for a haunt or cursed item? Send it along to us at submit (at) adventureaweek.com, but please, bear the following in mind before you submit anything for review:
1. Anyone can submit an entry.
2. One entry per person at any one time. An entry must be your own work, not being published previously or considered by any other publisher, and it must original and not infringe upon copyrighted material.
3. All entries become property of Adventureaweek.com, LLP.
4. By submitting an entry you authorize the use of your name and likeness without additional compensation for promotion and advertising purposes in all media.
5. Adventureaweek.com, LLP reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this endeavor at any time without prior notice.
6. All decisions of Adventureaweek.com, LLP and their arbiters are final.
7. There is no compensation provided – any entries are given freely by their creators for use by Adventureaweek.com, LLP in perpetuity.
8. Your statblock must be properly formatted (compare to similar content on the AaWBlog for correct formatting).