This drum, on the outside, is completely covered with a strange, dark-red leather, with an unusually dry and parched feel to it. If inverted, the frame is visible through the open bottom of the instrument, constructed of dull yellow spars streaked with ashes. Those familiar with the phenomenon will be able to realize that it is flame-scorched bone.
Some few decades ago, great wild-fires swept the Western Planes. Stretching for leagues in every direction, this massive inferno consumed everything in its path too slow to flee the quickly advancing flames, feeding upon the drought-parched grasses as if they were made of blackpowder.
Not only the grazing creatures of the lands burned and died in these flames, but many sentient creatures were caught up in them as well, and amoung them were the Centaurs. An intelligent tribal folk, the hardy centaurs should have been swift enough to flee the advancing walls of flame, but amoung all of the tribes, there were those wh could not: The young, the old, the sick and infirm, and many more who could have survived perished attempting to aid them. When the tribes of centaurs reached the barren mountains upon the northern borders of the plains, and the fires themselves had died away, they learned the true extent of the flame’s damage: For every centaur who had survived the trek, twenty more had perished in the flames. As they returned to their scorched homelands, the greatest of their surviving shaman found the charred remains of an entire tribe, where warrior and worker, mother and child, had all died in a desperate attempt to fight back against this flame. As he tried to comfort their spirits into the next life, he himself could not help but to scream out with his own rage and greif, and as he led the final child to the Pass to the Field of Sun Stars, he swore that this should never be forgotten. He took the remains of the fallen tribe, and, using his fury and greif as tools, began to craft them, letting the warrior spirits guide him as they would. When he was finished, they whispered the name of the drum to him, and faded away from his sight.
The drums confer limited fire resistance to all within 50 feet of themselves. With pain, they can pass through a natural fire, but not a magical one. This is not limited to friend or foe.
If a steady beat is drummed upon the Drum of the Inferno, any who march in step with the beat tire no further, for as long as the beat is drummed, nor will they feel the need to stop for refreshment. Under these effects, a party may effectively travel at three to four times the normal daily pace, though they will be very hungry when the effect fades.
Amoung the centaurs of the Plains there are many ritual songs, exactly one of which is dedicated to the fury the great shaman felt towards the result of the inferno. Should this song be played upon the drums, a massive rage will fill the minds and arms of the drummer’s allies, and they will fight as if both berzerk and hasted, until such time as they are slain outright or the drumming ceases. In their rage, subdual damage will be ineffective.
Finally, if a bard chooses to spend several months amoung the centaurs, and creates a song recalling the pain and of burning alive, he may play it upon these drums. Should he do so, everyone who hears the song will feel the pain that the burned tribe felt in their final moments, effectively causing subdual damage equivalent to being washed in flame for a combat round, with a will save against this for partial damage. This effect is repetitive every combat round for as long as the bard is able to maintain the song. A mental effect in entirety, this song will affect those immune to fire, but will have no effect on any creature immune to mind-altering effects, and will have no effect on any creature incapable of hearing sounds. Covering or plugging the ears grants no protection, only true deafness will counter the song. The bard is also subject to the effects of the song, for no one incapable of empathy for the pain can perform the song, but he gains a significant bonus to his save.