Full Item Description
A black diamond is far from being a adamatine jewel filled with darkness and whatnot. Nay, it is a loathesome lump, a kidneystone of an arch-demon, an infernal beozar, an undigestable piece of the firmament fallen upon the naked earth. When found, the stone is a rough and pitted thing looking all the more like a piece of old charcoal, but even the most dense of finders would know the stone to be something more than just a fickle rock.
Black Diamonds are excedingly rare, and have been found in no known diamond mine or operation. The only places they have been found is in the vicinity of fallen stars, while the earth is still smoldering and burnt from it’s fall. Astrologers are always keen to find these sites, since a fallen star is a massive pile of wealth waiting to be claimed. While the starmetal is greedily hoarded, the pattering of black diamonds are generally discarded with alacrity by those who either know what they truly are, or those who are ignorant of the stone and merely wish to be rid of it’s baleful presence.
Black diamonds have always been valuable as long as there have been necromancy, infernal magics, and undead creatures. The diamond itself is magically neutral, but is aligned with darkness in the same fashion that a regular diamond is aligned with light. This power, matched with it’s penchant for darkness have made the stone valuable for dark magic practitioners. Infernalists and diabolists have also found the stone to be of value as it matches demons and devils perfectly, as both are sullied and fallen. Finally, as recepticals of dark energy, black diamonds are natural boosters for the undead. A vampire or lich with such a stone has a major advantage over one that lacks such a stone.
Black Diamonds are magically neutral, as regular diamonds are, but have a strong alignment to darkness, and entropy rather than light and endurance. The black diamond has the same strengths as a normal diamond in terms of hardness, but it is more receptive to resonances and taints. A black diamond can be cut and polished as a regular diamond, but as it contains darkness, the stone ever retains a dull and lusterless finish, looking more akin to a piece of charcoal rather than a diamond. Looks are decieving.
As Black Diamonds are very rare, those that have appeared tend to have well known stories and such attached to them. How much is truth and how much is exaggeration, made up detail, and plain bologna is up to the reader.
One of the largest black diamonds ever found, Balor’s Eye was cut into a perfect sphere by the Witch-Queen Agadela of ancient Zehin. This black sphere served as her gazing crystal for scrying, and with it she could see perfectly anything that was hidden by darkness. Things in broad daylight were invisible to the stone though, hence the term hiding in plain sight. The Eye was lost when the gods, enraged by the hubris of the Zehini magi, flooded and destroyed the empire.
The Well of Souls
This immaculate black diamond, cut in mockery of the brilliant style of diamond cutting is the phylactary of the Liche Valde. This liche, a subtle and cunning monster nearly five millinia old, has long used the stone not only as the repository of its own soul, but has used it as a prison for the souls of those it has vanquished. The stone, and Valde itself, have not been seen for some centuries and it is believed that either the liche finally succumbed to the entropy of undeath, or was slain itself and is lost in a tomb somewhere, likely tangled with the corpse of it’s destroyer.
Heart of Contempt
This small stone was looted by a zombie horde under the control of a necromancer general. The zombie that grabbed the stone was filled with dark essence, and regained it’s memories of life and relateda abilities. Now if the stone had been looted by the corpse of the cobbler’s son, or the ragged hands of the soldier’s whore the story would have ended. Instead, the stone was found by an apprentice necromancer, one of his own assistants sent as a messenger and thus slain. The zombie, fueled by the black diamond gained control over a good portion of the zombie mob and used it to counter-attack the master that sacrificed him. The zombie later vanished and the stone with him.
This tiny black diamond is set in a woman’s engagement ring, and is the real power behind the sorceress Nalicht’s powers. She uses the ring to conjure shadow servants, see through darkness, walk through shadows, and cause the darkness to rise and become tangible enough to crush and kill with writhing tentacles.
Currently locked in a deep church vault, contained in a lead sarcophagus, the Wyrmstar is one of the few truly malevolent things in existance. The very presence of this unnaturally twisted black diamond causes unstable mutations in those exposed to it. Even short duration exposure can cause leprosy like rotting, and those that suffer long term exposure literally melt, their skin sloughing off while they bleed from every orifice.
Sudden Impact - A star has fallen in the hinterlands and the race is on to see who can get to it first. Several parties are involved, ranging from the mage’s guild, to the Prince who claims dominion over the hinterland, to the orc chieftan who sees the fallen star as a omen to gather the hordes. The PCs are enlisted to find the heap of broken stone and ore, defend it, and cart it back to the claimants. Aside from being several hundred pounds of rocky ore, the star carcass (meteor) is studded with several black diamonds…
Legacies - A long lost black diamond is discovered to be back in circulation. While hundreds are drawn to the lure of discovering Balor’s Eye, what are the chances that it is a hoax perpetrated by a thieve’s guild to mooch seekers of the stone? What are the chances that the true eye has been recovered… and lost again?
Insert Jewel A into slot 1 - The PCs find a magical item with an ugly black rock set where a jewel would sit. The item itself is villainous in nature, and removing the stone would ‘destroy’ the magic item, but leave the PCs with a magic rock hemmoraging black essence, possibly causing them illness, misfortune, or worse.
Romancing the Stone - A relic the PCs have been seeking is not what they expect, the holy relic is really an unholy one, or the Sword of Zombie Slaying is really intended for a zombie to use… for slaying, and recruiting the corpses.