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More Immortal Relics:

by Carl Quaif

The Obsidian Blade:

This is a sacrificial knife, with a wavy blade made of flawless obsidian. The gold hilt is shaped like a feathered serpent, with the tail as the grip and the wings as the crosspiece. The grip is long enough to be held in two hands, although the dagger may be used one-handed with no difficulty.

This item was created by the Immortal Atzanteotl and presented to his High Priest in the city of Chitlacan, in the Hollow World Azcan Empire. The Blade is +2 to hit and damage, and allows its wielder to cast Darkness (reversed Light) once per day. Its primary function, however, is to boost the power of its wielder via human sacrifice.

When used to cut out the heart of a sacrifice, the Blade absorbs one "point" of life-energy per level of the victim. The Blade can store a maximum of 30 "life-points" this way at any one time. If he so chooses, the wielder may draw on this reserve when casting a Clerical spell, draining one point per spell level; this allows the wielder to retain the spell in memory for later use.

Possession of the Blade is now the unofficial, but generally accepted, mark of High Priesthood in Atzanteotl's religious hierarchy - since seizing it by force or guile is as acceptable to the Immortal as receiving it from the current incumbent. Atzanteotl demands that the first victim sacrificed to the Blade by each new High Priest be his immediate predecessor; failing that, the new incumbent must drain at least two levels from his own body with the Blade. This sacrifice is consecrated to the Immortal, and provides double the normal life-points.

Those familiar with Taymoran Soulbinder Amulets might notice some similarity between those items and this Relic; it is believed that Atzanteotl came across one such item during his mortal travels and, recalling its usefulness, chose to imbue this minor symbol of his power with similar abilities. Whilst neither possession of this item nor use of its innate abilities and energies counts as an Evil act, replenishing the Blade's store of life-points most certainly IS; moreover, should a non-believer of Atzanteotl make use of the Blade's life-point stock, the Immortal will know, and will take action - anything from despatching Clerical followers to destroy the party and recover the Relic, to taking a *subtle* hand in its retrieval himself...

The Rose of Purity:

This appears to be a sculpture made of pure silver, resembling a cut rose in its first bloom. The workmanship is exquisite. It is, in fact, a Relic of great power.

Legend has it that, centuries ago, a mighty Paladin known as Jaerekor the Pure, devoted servant of the Immortal Diulanna, fought in the wastes of Hyperborea against a Huge White Dragon called Porell-Hathon. Their battle raged unbroken for many days and nights, until Jaerekor's sword finally pierced the Dragon's throat. In its death throes, Porell-Hathon slew the Paladin with a final blast of cold breath, leaving him encased in a coffin of ice. The stories say that the blood of the Dragon dripped onto the frozen body of the Paladin, melting it in one spot. From Jaerekor's body at that spot grew a rose of living silver; perhaps a mark of Diulanna's sorrow at the loss of her Paladin. The bloom was discovered a century later by a group of nomadic herdsmen, who took the Rose with them as a sign from their Patron Immortal. The Rose found its way into Delivane Crookback's collection on Sclaras less than a year ago, sold to her by a merchant (who obtained it from the thief who stole it from the nomads).

The Rose of Purity may be held only by a being of Lawful alignment and good intentions; it teleports out of the fingers of a Neutral being, and does the same (causing 1d8 damage, as per Cause Light Wounds) to any Chaotic entity who dares to grasp it. The Rose only teleports a few feet away each time, however. It radiates an aura which armours whosoever carries it with both Protection from Evil and Protection from Cold effects. In addition, the bearer of the Rose may regenerate damage as if wearing a Ring of Regeneration. The Rose has several other powers, which may be activated by the will of its bearer; it can cast Cure Light Wounds twice/day, Cure Disease or Neutralise Poison once/week, and Remove Curse once/month. Once every two days, the bearer may breathe a cone of Frost Breath, 50' long and 15' wide at its terminus, which causes 3d4 cold damage to all within the area of effect (save for half damage).

Possession of the Rose causes one problem, however; its power acts as a beacon to Chaotic monsters, alerting any within a 60' radius to its presence (negating any chance of surprise for the bearer, although this foreknowledge might allow the monsters to set up a surprise of their own....). This difficulty does not worry Delivane, as her Estate is hemmed around with so many protective enchantments that no monsters could get in without heavy-duty magical help.

Diulanna is aware that her memorial to Jaerekor's bravery has been desecrated, but has decided on a long-term revenge; she reincarnated the soul of Jaerekor, entrusting the baby to the Cult of Ula the Retributor (one of her alternate identities). The child, Loryk, is being raised to be Ula's Champion; when he comes of age, she will appear to him in dreams and set him on the path of the possessors of the Rose, whom he will "punish" in her name. Should the Rose be in the PCs possession by then, they are assured of some interesting times....