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The Five Stars of Galhossianby Geoff Gander
These are five palm-sized, seven-pointed stars made of gold and inlaid with a silvery flame pattern extending down the arms. Each has a Lhomarrian word etched in their centre. They were crafted at Emperor Galhossian’s command in BC 8390 as a means of enhancing his own power. He used them to great effect during the Lhomarrian Civil War (BC 8389-8377), but even their combined power could not protect him from a skilled assassin. After the war it was decided that no emperor should wield as much power as Galhossian, and the Stars were hidden in separate locations. Although they were used individually at times by various Lhomarrian champions, the Five were never reunited before the Sinking. Despite the secrecy, tales of the Stars, and Galhossian’s madness, persisted over the centuries – even into the period after the fall of Lhomarr.
1st Star, inscribed with the word “Senda” (“shield”): Acts as a ring of protection +5, and creates an anti-magic shield (10’ radius, 50% chance of nullifying any incoming spell, unless willed otherwise).
2nd Star, inscribed with the word “Dima” (“fair/beautiful”): Increases the owner’s Charisma by 5 (up to a maximum of 18), all reaction rolls gain a +5 bonus. If used by a spellcaster, this star triples the range of all charm spells, and victims’ saving throws are penalised by -5. All Charisma-based skill checks automatically succeed unless a natural “20” is rolled.
3rd Star, inscribed with the word “Mar” (“sea”): Enables the owner to communicate with intelligent sea creatures and breathe underwater as long as the star is worn or held, and all water-based attacks do half damage (rounded down). All saves against fire-based attacks automatically fail, and do full damage.
4th Star, inscribed with the word “Xer” (“sun”): The owner regenerates one hit point per round spent motionless in full, unobscured sunlight, up to their maximum hit points. The owner’s Strength is increased by 3 (up to a maximum of 18) as long as he or she remains in full sunlight (the benefit is lost as soon as the owner goes indoors or the sun is obstructed).
5th Star, inscribed with the word “Elna” (“wind”): The owner can fly, as per the spell, as long as any winds are blowing, and can control the winds (as per the druidic control winds spell) five times per day.
Each of the Stars is attuned to all of the others, such that a person owning one will feel a tugging in the direction of the nearest companion, which grows stronger if the Star is closer. The Stars’ abilities stack if more than one is owned. When all five Stars are in a person’s possession, their full power is realised. In addition to the powers listed above, the full set confers the following on the user:
-ESP (as per the spell, with a range of 240’) up to 3 times per day.
-Clairvoyance (as per the spell, with a range of 180’) up to 3 times per day.
-Wizard eye (as per the spell, with a range of 100 miles and moving at up to 20 miles per turn), up to 3 times per day.
The Stars’ powers come with a cost, but this only becomes apparent when the Five are reunited. Due to their association with Galhossian, some of his madness became infused into them. Once per month, the DM must make a secret saving throw vs. Spells on behalf of the owner. The first time a saving throw is failed, other people will begin to seem more suspicious, and it will seem to the owner that some people are secretly laughing at them. The second time a saving throw is failed, the owner will begin to believe that others are plotting to undermine them, and steal the Stars. After the third failed save, the owner will believe a full-blown conspiracy is afoot, and see evil motives in all but the most sycophantic followers (and even then, he or she will not be sure). This progressive insanity is real, and will persist even if the Stars are taken away, but it can be cured with a remove curse spell cast by a cleric of Ixion of 20th level or greater.
Reuniting the Five will also attract the attention of the mad spirit of Galhossian, who haunts the waters above sunken Lhomarr. He will instantly know when the Stars are all together again, and will seek out the owner. Once he finds them, he will attack with full force, and if he succeeds he will take the Stars for himself (although most of the benefits will do nothing for him).