A set of variously-coloured marbles, each with a bond to a special type of magic. But how many marbles are there? Are there 10, 20, 50, 200 marbles?
a) All are still together, except maybe the last marble. No wonder, because this is the best way to study them.
b) Separated into smaller groups. Some keep various wizards, hoping to get those powers, some are lost.
c) Were purposefully separated, each one somewhere else, so no one can get this amount of power. Still, someone may be willing to gather them all. Instant campaign here: go to (n) dangerous places, and get those damn marbles together!
4d) The little boy around the corner plays with a sack of nice marbles...
Useless. Look as ordinary marbles, coloured, but who cares. May radiate great magic. Will need much time to fully control its powers.
'Gives complete knowledge about a field of magic'. What does it mean?
Does it give knowledge about all spells from that field of magic? Does it give you actually power to cast them? That would be way too much.
Making it work:
A wizard deposited his knowledge into these marbles. How to unleash the powers?
a) Is not possible anymore, the knowledge will fit only into the mind of that long-dead wizard. Makes a cruel joke for the poor players that hoped for unending power...
b) The process must be repeated. The wizard studies, wipes his mind clean, and binds the respective marbles to it. Will take a very long time.
c) The wizard must form a bond with each marble. While this will take long at first, it will require shorter and shorter amounts of time to bond with the others. This process will change the person in minor ways, make him/her more and more like the creator.
d) The wizard bonds with all marbles at once. Too powerful this option.
The last marble shall be cursed. In what way?
If anyone activates and uses the marbles, does it travel through a series of accidents to him, and drives him crazy? Maybe it lets him see that incredible power he wields, and as he looses the control, he commits suicide, or turns to madness. Makes for one more adventure, to kill the wizard-gone-wild, or find out why the suicide after a spectacular increase in magical powers.
Destroying the item:
Unknown. It may be necessary to call upon the spirit of the wizard, and make him remember at least a little bit about every type of magic. This may in turn produce a spellcasting spirit, but hey! You have destroyed powerful cursed item! Go to Comment
Just thinking, what happens if some heroes manage to get in, and then back again, and one of them (or all) starts to behave a bit... different. If their deeds were not entirely secret, people may well start to think they are carrying "IT", and will behave according to it.
Who will help you if you seem a madman?
And, what if you really are crazy? Heavy roleplaying here. Go to Comment
Yep. It could be anything. The only people who know for sure are totally mad. I actually like it that nobody knows, it just is. We can put out a number of theories, but we should never say this is right because it would kill the mystery and make it just another puzzle for the players to solve.
There is an easy and fast way to know...
...but then you are yourself a candidate for the Asylum. Go to Comment
In my world, there is a large location after some kind of magical disaster, with a cemetery-gone-wild included. I know it horribly cliche, but... oh doesn't matter.
Now, if some hero ever manages to get into the center of that cemetery, what would he find? Some powerful undead creature? Or perhaps something more exotic? This item is one possible answer to this question. Although as an answer, it produces more questions than I know to answer.
Hmmm... assassin tool. Strange but possible. Makes an instant haunted mansion too. Go to Comment
Now, what happens if someone dies while wearing it?
I think the Skin would maintain its original look. But what happens to the body inside? If it is completely sealed from outside world, it might become sort of mummified, and so well preserved. One can argue that it is not completely sealed (airtight and all), or your bacterias eat you anyway.
So after a few (hundred) years, you have tattered clothes, a perfectly preserved skin, and the rotten 'filling'. What would the characters think when they spot such a corpse, or when touching it/examining/stealing from it they find it is gelee/liquid/only bones inside?
I think they would be mightily scared, or at least wondering what kind of attack could have caused this bizzare death. And they will wonder long if they don't find the button. Go to Comment
There is a great difference between him and any other Orc: his speech must sound very archaic. Even if he knows the newer languages, what he says will be influenced from all the things he lived through. Noble at first, and for ages far from people to speak to. I suspect any Orc that speaks the High-Elven Quenya fluently would have a mighty shocking impact. :)
What about Orcs, the other Orcs? Of course he tries to evade them, as it makes the pain more present. But that is not always possible, and he might be at least occasionally spotted from afar. Do they have legends about this mysterious figure? He is something like the grandfather of all Orcs... my guess would be that Orcs would respect him and feel unsure around him. Could this be in some way exploitable? He might make a good diplomat for negotiating with Orcs. Could be peace possible? Go to Comment
What about that item? It had to be a very powerful one, was it actually finished as intended? Simply fell apart? Or, most probably, it works, but differently? Maybe it is somehow bound to his senility...
- Only the plans remain, could be of interest to skilled mages.
- It is lost somewhere, but it is extremely hard to remember for the poor fellow.
- He carries that very powerful item with him, all the time, but simply cannot concentrate enough to recognize this fact (life the staff he always carries).
- One way or another, his 'curse' cannot be broken without the item.
- The 'curse' might be only in that item, so if someone notes it is a strong magical item and steals it, Kaloridon will slowly recover, and thief will begin to forget things (THAT item as first), and loose magical abilities. Or the item goes from owner to owner, afflicing all with senility, and no one recovers. Makes a nice cursed item.
- Makes a great background for an adventurer, that as a child/youngster listened to those stories, and finds them now surprisingly useful. Perhaps Kaloridon moved away again, and must be found for advice on something. The item and/or plans on its creation might be found, and the old storyteller is revealed as a powerful mage. Is there a cure? Go to Comment
A revolt or attack happens against a strong city/kingdom. All the losers of the battle that can be captured are brutally crucified along the roads that enter the kingdom to show their strength and as a demonstration of what happens to their enemies. ... a long road, decorated with hundreds of dying crucified soldiers... You see them bleeding, you hear them screaming and whispering for help. Do you really want to enter this reportedly peaceful kingdom?