Full Item Description
A golden ring with a royal crest carved into it, with a ruby at the centre of it.
King Edward the First was one of the greatest and the best kings of Old Vallermoore. He was everything that people of the time thought that a king should be. He was brave in battle, had learned the magical arts and was a skilled diplomat, avoiding war where possible once his kingdom was secure. Yet his son was lazy, could not be bothered to learn magic and was a coward on the battlefield, and the old king feared that all he had done in his reign would be lost of frittered away. If only, he thought, he could live on in his sons body. And then he had an idea.
He took his royal ring, which had been passed down from king to king since the royal line began in the distant past, and in total secrecy he cast many dark spells upon it, turning it into a phylactery for his soul. When he was on his deathbed a few years later, rather then his soul going to face whatever awaited it in the afterlife (a fate that would very likely have been a good one, as he had been a good king and a generally good man in life) his soul went into the ring instead. His son as was the custom put the ring on, and the spirit of King Edward bided his time until the right moment to strike, and seized control of the body, trapping his sons spirit so it was a helpless passenger.
For the next several decades the King ruled in his sons body, but unknown to him one of the court mages had seen the signs of possession, and when his son was going to put on the ring warned him. Horrified at the fate he had so nearly escaped, the new king had the royal ring buried with the body of the old king, thus burying the spirit that had sought to possess him. But times change, empires and monarchies fall, and the once guarded royal barrows were left open to tomb robbers
If somebody puts the ring on, the spirit will try and take over their body, with a good chance of success. Once someone has been possessed the only way to free them is to possess the ring, as magic will not work and harming the possessed person will harm their spirit instead of the one in control of the body.
Should it fail to totally possess someone, it might be able to take over half his or her body. In such a state it can be reasoned with, and when in somebody is capable of casting some fearsome spells. However it has to be convinced to cast them, resulting in the spectacle of someone seemingly arguing with themselves. Walking in such a state will be jerky at best as each spirit controls half the body, and impossible at worst if either spirit refuses to co-operate.
Should the half controlled by the original owner become wounded or drunk then the intruder might try and take over totally.
On the finger of someone whose mind is strong enough, it is possible that the wearer could overpower the spirit and take over its magic. Such a person would most likely be a mighty sorcerer or witch in his or her own right, and which case his or her magic would increase tenfold.
The PCs are sent by a powerful magic user to steal the ring for him, but he does not tell them its history. After fighting the rotting undead thing wearing the ring (given enough time, several months or so, the ring can animate a dead body) one of them may be tempted to put it on, seeking power.