Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Skull Mace of Weinberg

Appearing at first to be an ornamental weapon, the Mace of Weinberg’s handle is made of silver with a painted crystal skull about six inches in diameter as its head. The name “Friedrich” is inscribed in runes along its length. Once per day, when the mace is held and this name spoken aloud, the skull will glow and illuminate a 30’ radius with a pale blue light for a duration of three hours. Corporeal undead within range of this light must make a saving throw or else be Slowed for three turns, moving and attacking at half speed. Ghosts and other non-corporeal undead will not be slowed by this light, but still must make a saving throw - if they fail, they become vulnerable to attack by normal weapons for three turns. The mace can be used to hit them in either state, although against living creatures or the corporeal undead it should be treated as a normal mace -1. The item may break if used in this manner, but the crystal itself appears indestructible.

The crystal skull is a kind of magic jar for the ghost of Friedrich and the mace exudes an aura of evil to anyone or thing that can detect it. Friedrich can and will only emerge from the skull to attack if the mace is broken (in a critical fumble or otherwise). If this happens, the crystal will cease to glow and lose its power.

Long ago, a necromancer bound Friedrich to the weapon. It’s magic power derives from this and is very different in the hands of someone like its creator. Every time the magic power of the mace is invoked, Friedrich experiences pain beyond imagining - a fact he will be eager to share with a party and seek revenge for should the opportunity ever arise. Though the mace can be repaired if broken, if Friedrich is not somehow re-bound to the crystal its only value is monetary.

Friedrich the Ghost: AC 0 [19], HD 8, HP 35, Attacks: Touch (d8 cold damage), Saving Throw: 8, Special: Touch attacks also cause aging of 10-40 years (Save allowed); immune to spell attacks cast from the material plane; can only be hit by silver or magic weapons. Friedrich is completely insane and will attack a human male before others in the belief that he’s responsible for originally binding him.

Accompanying image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Based a prior work by Steaphan Greene and public domain image brought to my attention by Telecanter.


Havard: said...

Cool. Reminds me a bit of the Wand of Orcus. Was Friedrich an Orcus Worshipper?

ze bulette said...

It does remind one of it doesn't it? I didn't consciously think of the Wand of Orcus while devising it, but who knows, maybe there is a connection. If nothing else, the mace pictured here could probably pass for the Wand if a clever player painted the handle black. That'd make for an interesting twist.

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