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Items Base and Divineby Carl Quaif
Created long ago in the Taymoran Empire by servants of the Necromancer-Kings, these vile devices store the souls of the slain. The Amulets are shaped like tiny, razor-sharp ritual daggers on mithril chains; to absorb soul essence, the blade must be plunged into the throat of the victim (or some other vital place, in the case of non-humanoid victims, such as Treants) before death takes them. For those who know how, the soul essence can be used to increase the range, duration, and/or damage caused for many spells - the more essence consumed, the greater the increase. The Amulets can also be used to acquire special abilities for their bearers from the victims, as long as the souls all belong to a single specific race. Once five souls have been captured, a single ability may be gained - for instance, an Elf's infravision, or immunity to paralysis - with another ability at ten souls, a third at twenty souls, and so on - the number of souls required doubles each time. The wielder cannot control which ability is acquired, and the abilities are only available so long as the Necromancer carries the Amulet about her person. There is no limit, apart from availability and expense, to how many of these Amulets a single person may have. As an example, the Necromancer Khelasis was rumoured to have an Amulet containing 10 Elf souls, which granted her infravision and immunity to paralysis; one containing at least 5 Treant souls, allowing animation of trees; and another with random soul essence, which she used as a spell-booster.
Hundreds of these Amulets were made during the Taymoran era, and a few may yet survive. Use of such an item is considered an EXTREMELY evil act, and would certainly result in an alignment shift if used by good characters. Carrying one, however, is not evil, so long as no attempt is made to use it. Destruction of a Soulbinder Amulet - not an easy task, as the devices become more durable with every soul taken - could be the object of a difficult quest for mid-level characters, particularly since the bearer becomes subject to horrific nightmares, thanks to the imprisoned souls.
This is the poetic name given to a set of nine flawless, cabochon diamonds, measuring 1" in length. According to legend, the Immortal Calitha Starbrow shed nine tears over the deaths resulting from the slaughter on the Night of Long Knives in Minrothad. These tears were found glistening on the beach the next day, having crystallised into indestructible diamonds. Whatever the truth of the matter, the Tears are a set of fairly powerful (non-artifact) magic items, each able to cast a specific spell effect twice per day. The individual gems (and their spell effects) are as follows:-
- - Tear of the Sky (Fly)
- - Tear of the Depths (Water Breathing)
- - Tear of the Waves (Conjure Elemental - Water)
- - Tear of the Mind (ESP)
- - Tear of the Shadows (Invisibility, 10' Radius)
- - Tear of the Storm (Weather Control)
- - Tear of Renewal (Cure Serious Wounds)
- - Tear of the Night (Sleep)
- - Tear of the Dolphin (Polymorph Self)
In addition to their individual powers, each Tear allows its user to sense the general location of, and Telepathically communicate with, the bearer of any other Tear, so long as both tears are on the same plane. No form of mental or magical attack is permitted through this link, however. There are rumours that clerics of Calitha may use a Tear to Commune with the Immortal once per month with no chance of failure.
The Tears of Calitha are considered sacred relics of the Immortal, and until recently were kept in a secret chamber in an undersea cave. Two years ago, a band of thieves found out the location, slew the guardians, and made off with the gemstones, although most of their number were killed in the attempt. The gems are most probably scattered by now; The Priesthood of Calitha have offered a considerable reward for their safe return.
PCs might come across any one of the Tears of Calitha during their adventuring careers (in a Dragon's hoard, in the hands of an enemy mage, etc). Should the priests of Calitha learn that one of the Tears has surfaced, they will either offer the reward to the finders or (if the PCs are experienced enough, in their opinion) hire them to use that gem to track down the rest using the location power. This quest could form the basis of a good-sized campaign. The power offered by the completed set of Tears is considerable; however, should the PCs be tempted to keep them instead of returning them to the clerics, they will find that Calitha's Priesthood have many more and greater resources at their disposal, up to and including the power of the Immortal herself....