It is powerful, but on the balancing side, it is extraordinarily rare, not something that is just found sitting on a shelf. As I mentioned in the post, there might be a few pounds in an entire realm, so an ounce or a piece the size of a button would cost a kingdom's ransom on the black market, and should it be found by clerical hands, it will likely be quickly destroyed. Go to Comment
I like trying to draw these kind of curses out for an arbitrary amount of time so that nobody is quite sure the real reason for the craziness. It could be perfectly reasonable that nobody had a clue that it was the torc that drove the king insane and so it was passed on to the heir and they had a repeat performance in crazy. In that case I would delay it awhile to again, make it possible that it was hereditary or something.
This is a good opportunity to use and abuse the net book of riddles too. Everybody loves a fun riddle, especially if you can tie it into your game. Go to Comment
Again how would this be used by the PC? Solving a riddle or puzzle via a role is no fun. I suppose you could have some weird riddling NPC or as you suggested some King cursed by this, but those wouldn't require an item this indepth.
I am very curious as to how you intend to incorporate this item into game play. Go to Comment
An insidious creature, most likely somehow "related" to trappers and lurkers, the Dead Leaves (for no other name exists as of yet for this foul thing), hibernates for three of the four year's seasons, deep underground. Its active time is Autumn, when trees shed their leaves, depositing colorful carpets across the ground. The terror then emerges and blends in with the surrounding leaves, perfectly camouflaged, waiting patiently for unsuspecting victims. In appearance it resembles nothing more than a ten foot square, six inch thick, layer of bright yellow, orange, and red leaves. The only hint that someone is walking on top of it, comes in the form of an unusual amplified sound of leaves crunching underfoot. Too late usually, the victims notice this additional "crunch". The Dead Leaves will then swirl and "rise" up to smother and suffocate the victim, like a colorful, malevolent, boa constrictor.
Fire, as can be imagined, is particularly effective against this creature, but one has to *know* it's there before putting it to the torch. And there's the rub. The creature is impossible to "identify" in a large patch of fallen leaves by eyesight alone.