Full Item Description
A silver ring with a small carved amethyst stone set in it.
When the De Madden Company was young, it was constantly engaged in vicious wars with smaller independent companies over control and harvesting of the vital amethyst deposits that powered the magic of Acqua that was so important to daily life.
For although the more complex and dangerous spells could only be properly learnt after many years of study, the lower spells, such as one for lighting a fire to cook food, were easily learned by all. The wizards and the witches were simply those people who had gained far more magical power then anybody else. Without any magic at all, life would be unpleasant in the extreme.
The officers of the Company and its Lord High Admiral, who would only later take the formal title of Shogun, were expected to be as eager to do battle as the men-a cowardly Admiral would be seen by all as a disgrace to the company name.
As such, some early Admirals found themselves sent to a funeral pyre or to the watery deep long before their time when they fell in battle. The third Lord High Admiral, Admiral Morcar, was anxious to avoid the fate of his two predecessors and ordered the most powerful of his Sea Wizards to construct something for him that would keep him alive.
It had to be small rather then big and bulky, preferably so small that it would not be noticed, as otherwise it would lower his stature in the eyes of his men and, much more importantly, his fellow officers.
So the Wizard had a silver ring fashioned with a small amethyst stone in it. When a wound was inflicted on somebody wearing the ring, it would close up quickly, almost as soon as the weapon was pulled from it. Once on it could grow slightly, for example if a finger swelled up, and could not be removed, to prevent it being pulled off in combat.
The Admiral found at first that the ring was every bit as good as he had been told it would be. Wounds that he got in battle from cutlasses, knives and other weapons closed up almost as soon as he got them, not even leaving a scar behind, although they did leave a lingering tiredness. He started to get overconfident, being the first into battle, taking crazy risks with his life.
Admirals and officers in general were expected to be brave, but they were not expected to be foolhardy, and Morcar had certainly crossed over that line. In one fight with an enemy man-of-war, having boarded her he went too far too fast without proper support from his men and took the point of a cutlass through his heart, yet he took this fatal wound without, it seemed, any ill effects at all.
He returned to his cabin, cheered by his men and feeling very pleased with himself. That night there was a party for everybody and discipline, normally iron-hard, was partly relaxed for the evening. Morcar drank rather more wine then he normally would have done and woke with a sore head and with muscles that were painful and stiff, so it was an effort to move around.
He put it down to his excesses and gave orders to sail for home and a two-week holiday for his crew to see their families on land before they put to sea again. That evening some flies started buzzing around his head, and he swiped them away but they kept returning so he killed them.
The next day they landed and he made his way home. His wife ran into his arms and kissed him, but remarked that he smelt bad after many days at sea and needed a bath. But when he had bathed she said he still smelt strange. He put it down to her being fussy, one of her not-so-good qualities. The day after that, to his horror, he found that his arteries and veins had turned blue-green, whilst the blood had pooled in his body.
Day after day his flesh rotted, with surprisingly little pain or numbness considering what was happening to him. On the fourth day his sight grew cloudy, by day five he could only see the difference between light and dark and by the next day his eyes had shrivelled and rotted away and he was utterly blind.
Worse was to come, as a few days later he was ranting and raving, swiping at imaginary attackers with his cutlass as his decomposing brain conjured up imaginary attackers in his head. They locked him in a single wing of his mansion and waited for the end, which came a few days later when his muscles rotted to the extent that they tore open and his brain decayed so much that it ceased to function.
His body was still twitching when it was placed on its funeral pyre, and the stink when it burned was so disgusting, despite fragrant sandalwood on the pyre to try and mask it, that the mourners fled the sorry scene.
Somebody took the ring from the ashes and burnt bones of the body instead of destroying it, and it has since passed to a fence and from there to an unsuspecting jeweller, and from there to the finger of a noble girl. When she dies, be it violently at the hands of a criminal, from disease or childbirth, or just after a long life, the curse of Morcars Ring will occur again.
The ring heals wounds when they are inflicted, closing them up as soon as the object or weapon has been withdrawn, but there is a price to pay, as the life force of the body is drained to heal it so quickly.
In stats terms, wounds do half the damage they would have done, so six points of damage would become three, but the ring masks the pain of the wound so the only effect is a lingering tiredness that fades after a period of rest. Once put on, the ring cannot be removed except by magical means or by cutting off the finger, but should the finger swell , then the ring swells to fit it perfectly.
The bad affect of this is that the wearer may feel unwounded, think the ring will keep him or her utterly safe and become dangerously overconfident, taking on large numbers of people or highly dangerous monsters or Undead, to the point where he or she gets one wound too many and the body dies.
When that happens, the heart stops and the affected person at first does not know he or she is now dead. Within hours their limbs feel stiff and clumsy as a partial rigor mortis sets in. Within hours, flies will be trying to lay eggs on them.
Within days their body is visibly rotting, and their vision starts to go and then leaves altogether as their eyes decay. Not long after that their brain rots inside the skull, generating nightmarish visions in their head. Finally, the muscles no longer work and the brain becomes mush and they die for real, a horrifying sight to all who see them.
Cold weather and healing magics may slow the process dramatically, but unless the affected person can be healed, death of the mind and then actual death is certain.
As long as the wearer does not die however the ring is very helpful indeed, as even broken bones will heal within hours of rest in the proper position, and nicks and cuts will heal at once. It has no affect on illnesses caused by germs or magic, however.