The following information is highly campaign specific, so background information will almost always be needed for use in your campaign. This artifact is an instrument of destruction towards the god(s) or goddess(es) of love. In my campaign, the are the twin sisters Alahi and Elahi, col- lectively known as the Aelahi. (All 3 names are pronounced the same.)
Created by a powerful wizard whose name is lost to the ages, but whose story, denied love by the one he loved, for she loved another, is well known and relived, the Bane is the instrument of destruction towards the Aelahi. It is a coarsely shaped red crystal, roughly in the shape of a human heart. It throbs as if pumping blood when touched, though not visibly. The legend of its creation states that the wizard formed the Bane from the heart of his former love, torn from her chest in anger.
The twin goddesses cannot lay eyes on it, and even their priests cannot touch it, or else they would die horribly. If a priest even comes within 50 yards of it, he loses all granted powers and any spells he may have been entitled to (though not any he may already have asked for,) and must go through lengthy purification rituals before the deities can touch him again without fear of death or injury from the aura of the Bane (the rutuals are given by divine sign not targeted at the priest, such as Magic Mouth spells, visions given to telepaths, or the astrology NWP.)
The Bane is Lawful Evil
The Bane has the following powers:
- Paralyze any victim with a touch (save at -3 to negate, elves included)
- Fly at will
- Freedom from hunger and fatigue
- Immunity to Gaze attacks
- Immunity to psionics and mental attacks
- 70% Magic Resistance
- The user causes fear in all that see him/her.
As all artifacts do, the Bane slowly corrupts its user. Every week, the owner of the crystal loses 1 point of charisma, down to a minimum of 2. When the score hits 2, the artifact has gained total control of the individual and will cause the person to start to seek out the Aelahi and destroy them. If the person does not have that amount of power (he/she must have some form of teleportation that can get him/her to the Tilnius Plane, where the Wyrld's gods reside,) he must seek out that power from either dual-classing, finding a magic item, paying someone else to do it for him, or any other way to get the job done. Usually, however, the Bane simply drives the user insane, as it will if the Bane is held two weeks longer than this (reducing CHR to 0). An insane user will start attacking anything it can find in his/her blind rage over not being able to kill the Aelahi.
However, a PC *may* get lucky and reach the Tilnius Plane.
Once in the Tilnius Plane, the Bane grants the weilder the powers of a Faerie by tapping the energies of the Plane, making him/her a powerful oppo- nent to God and Faerie alike. The connection is such that the Aelahi are physically shunted into the Wyrld if the Bane comes within 100 feet of them in the Plane. The goddesses then cannot move back into the Plane until the entire plane is cleansed of the Bane's corruption (taking up to a week.) A Faerie can alter reality to its will on a successful INT check. This affects only things within 100 feet of the Faerie, however. The limits of the power are very few, and left up to the DM.
Now in the Prime Material Plane, the Aelahi become very vulnerable, as they lose all powers except those of a priest of the Aelahi of 10th level, and ALL of their priests will suddenly feel their powers shrink. No priest will have any power above that of a 5th-level priest. At this time, the deities will give out a summons for all of her priests, any paladin within 100 miles, and any Druid within 50 miles to hear. The source and meaning of the summons is clear- “I am the Aelahi. A great Evil threatens us. Come with all haste lest Love leave the Wyrld.” The summons also gives the contacted people a sixth sense that will guide them to the deities.
If the Bane comes within 100 feet of the goddesses, they will become wracked with pain, become like a 5th-level priest of the Aelahi, and ALL of their priests completely lose all of their powers. Touching the Bane to either goddess will completely incinerate both deities simultaneously, sending a jolt out to all Aelahi priests causing them 10d8 damage apiece. The supreme evil of the action will also harm all paladins within 100 miles to the tone of 5d6 damage, and all Druids within 50 miles will take 3d6 damage. All those taking damage will automatically know the source of the damage. Other earth-shattering effects will also occur (such as the spec- tacular death of the Bane-weilder in impotent fury at the deaths of the Spawn, earthquakes, celestial phenominae, and other Wyrld-wide symbolic throes of agony).
The Bane was first used by its creator, who is the only person who managed to get to the Tilnius Plane with it. Once there, he got near the deities, but when they were shunted to the Wyrld, he was at a loss as to what happened, and went into a rage. Aloya, Engrock, Kamok, Trimoth, the entire Tribunary of Insanity, and the other two Overgods all soon showed up and practically obliterated the wayward mage. In the heat of the battle, however, the Bane was lost, and shunted itself back to the Wyrld.
The Bane was lost for some time after that, until a bard by the name of Urrum found it while exploring the extensive caves of Dorlomiam. The bard was able to divine enough about the object to fear it, and sent it by concealed package to the Bardic School in Ruhl to have it better observed, and perhaps destroyed. Unfortunately, the man he sent it with was not that trustworthy. The unkown man opened the package, saw the Bane, and imme- diately coveted it. It soon overpowered him, and he was driven mad by the need to get to Tilnius. The man exact fate is unknown, but pieces of tales led Urrum to beleive that he found his fate in the westernmost reaches of the mountains of eastern Aldeemah-Ruhl, near the extensive jungles of the Empire.
This proved to be true when, a scant five years before the first Demio created himself, the Bane was found by a dying Guardian. He immediately saw the evil in it, but was unable to hide it before his pursuers, a band of Were-Jaguars, found him and finished him off. The Guardian was wolf- bonded, however, and was able to get off a Howl Communication before he died. A nearby Grhendal heard the call, morphed to wolf form, and bounded after the Were-Jaguars. He never found them, as they proved to be superior to his wolfy skills. The Bane was never found after that, but every once in a while, the Tabaxi tell tales of a Were-Jaguar tribe forced to kill a fellow Were-Jaguar because of his sudden insanity and subsequent interest in all things magic. The loss of charisma may have something to do with it too, as Were-Jaguars dislike uglier members of any species. The possessions of the “infected” person are always thrown into a far-away bog after his death, so the current wherabouts of the Bane is a hard-to-solve mystery.
Created by Jason Tamez for the the Great FidoNet Compendium.