Full Item Description
This is a plain looking leather strap with a simple buckle, about the right size to wrap around one’s neck. It almost always fits tightly, but not in a suspicious way, the magic that causes it is very subtle.
Banor was the most renowned hunter and tracker in the world. It was said he could find anything living, and once he found the trail, he never lost it. He hunted the most elusive beasts, and always bagged his kill. It was said he could track a ghost, once he had seen it once.
He also had a son (his wife had died in childbirth), Banor the Second. Banor jr. loved his father, and had the same love of nature and the woods as his father did. He was an excellent archer, and often went with his father to hunt. It soon became apparent, around his 15th year, that Jr did not have the same miraculous talent that his father did for hunting and finding creatures. His father, who was a good and kind man despite his fame, was not bothered by this. He was proud of the skills his son did posess.
Jr, however, was distraught. He looked up to his father so, and wanted to be exactly like him, so he found a witch that was spoken of throughout the town. She was never spoken of as good, as she did ill as often as she did good, but Jr was desperate. She asked him his desire, and he told her he wanted the be able to hunt like his father, the man who could find anything. The witch smiled, cackling, and asked him to bring her the heart of the greatest of natural trackers - the wolf he and his father both admired so. Banor never hunted wolves, he respected them greatly for their natural ability to do what he also did, and how they were always the maintainer of the balance of nature, never the destroyer, as man so often was.
Jr was distraught, and it was weeks before he decided to act. He went into the forest alone, which he had never done before, and took with him his bow. There he found a wolf he and his father had met before, a beautiful white male, who wagged his tail and went to greet the son of his friend. Banor Jr shut his eyes, drew an arrow, and shot the wolf. It howled one last time, in anguish, and died, it’s eyes looking desperately for help, still faithfully believing Jr would save it. He let it die. Banor jr. went to it, numb, and colected what the witch asked for, then took it to her that very day. She grinned, and took a leather band, which she placed in a boiling pot with the heart and several other herbs, then bade him come back the next day.
At his home, his father was disturbed by his son’s detached attitude, but he said nothing of it, thinking perhaps he was spurned by a girl he liked, or something of the sort. Jr returned to the witch the next day, who presented him with a band to fix around his neck, and a warning.
"Those who are not hunters should never pretend to be what they are not… lest it consume them."
She returned to her cave then, leaving him to ponder her words. He never figured them out, however. He fixed the band around his neck, and almost instantly felt his whole world change. Smells that he could once barely detect screamed to him, he could hear and see with a clarity and focus that made his entire life until then seem as though he had been walking through a fog. His thoughts were clearer and sharper, and his muscles filled with power. Letting out a cry of joy, he immediately went to the forest, and spent the day tracking animals, silent and unseen, taking in things he had barely scratched the surface of before. The world was finally open to him. His father was as joyful as he, and together they roamed, hunting together as father and son.
It did not last. Jr began behaving strangely a week or so after this began, scratching at the back of his neck often, complaining of being uncomfortable whenever they slept inside. This wasnt too odd, though, so his father let him sleep outside, but soon it worsened. The morning after that, Jr refused to eat anything but meat, saying that the vegatables made him feel sick. The next morning, Banor came outside to find his son walking around on his hands and knees, his ears had grown pointed and moved slightly up on his head, and he had torn all his clothes off. He no longer spoke either, and behaved like a wild animal - mostly like a wolf. His father tied him up, and went to see the witch, who told him only that his son was now getting his wish. By the time the man returned home, Banor jr was gone. The father searched for months, but he lost the trail leagues from his home.
His search never stopped, however, but did not pay off for three years. It was then he found the body of a wolf, with pure white hair and eyes the same blue color as his son’s, with a leather band around its neck. After burying his son, he cast the cursed object into a mountain gorge, and returned home, though he never hunted again.
This band will grant the wearer a massive increase in almost every sense, and the feeling - though not necessarily the actuality - of speed and strength. The wearers ability to track will also become almost unmatchable, especially in wooded areas, but it will work anywhere.
The ranger or any other person with exceptional tracking ability will suffer no problems with this band, though the boost to their ability will not be as significant - it raises ability to a certain level, the more you have, the less it has to raise it. However, if worn for a very long time, the person may experience some slight changes, for example, a preference to forest areas, or a dislike of closed spaces, but people like this ordinarily feel that way anyway.
Anyone who is not a tracker, however, will take far more joy in the massive increase in their skills. It will be almost as a drug to them, and they are like to leave the band on even while asleep, as its original owner did. They will be able to do this safely for about a week, when the band will begin to take hold. It will lock itself to them, almost certainly of their own desire (since if they have the will to resist the feeling it gives them, they would likely have removed it already), and the changes will begin to become apparent. First will come subtle behavioral changes, a dislike of anything but meat, what may seem as chlostrophobia, that sort of thing. The next day, they wil refuse to sleep in a bed, finding it restricting and the room overbearing. The following morning, they are like to have lost themselves to it almost entirely, their mind consumed by the thrill of the hunt. They will recognise friends, and respond in a friendly way to them, but their thoughts will be feral, they will not understand what has happened, nor want it to stop - they see themselves as animals now, not people. This is the turning point for the ‘curse’. If the person cannot be convinced to remove the band themselves, it will begin to change them. They will tear their clothing off, hating the way it restricted them, and soon lose the ability to walk upright. The ears will change next, and the tail will just begin to grow. It will happen quickly after that, three days later they will have changed compltely into a wolf, and have lost all trace of their human selves.
It should be noted that the band cannot be removed without the consent of the wearer once the changes have begun, and cannot be cut by any normal means. Cutting it, however, is a dangerous proposition - if it is cut, and the former wearer fails to overcome the draw of its power, they will be irredeemably lost…