Full Item Description
To the naked eye, this ring on itr’s own is of plain iron and hardly seems worth buying or stealing, but it changes as soon as it is worn into a ring of beauty.
The Ring of Change is a powerful artefact that can be used, in the right hands, to take on not only the form, but also the voice and the habits and other little details of another. It was made by the secret cult known as the Shapeshifters, to serve their desire to replace the rulers around them with doppelgangers and so subtly bend the countries around them to their will. They had done so before without the aid of the magical arts, but one of them was captured after he slipped up once too often on one of the small details and broken under torture. Infuriated, the new ruler put one of the fortresses of the cult under siege, trapping and beheading most of its members.
Yet not quite all of the cult perished in that way and one of the few who managed to break through the enemy lines and escape forged the Ring of Change, which could not only change the wearers appearance, gender and even race, but could give him or her the mannerisms of the one he or she wanted to copy, whilst still allowing free will. Taking the shape of a guard within the army who had slain his brothers and sisters, the young cultist slew the ruler responsible for ordering the siege. But no sooner had he placed the body under the floorboards and adopted its form, then he was aware of a great feeling of weakness and his vision went red as if with blood. He had not taken enough precautions when making it and somehow it had become vampiric and was draining the lifeforce of those who wore it. But then it was a demonic-formed item after all, forged with the help of one of Ma-O’s Lesser Demons.
Unable to shed his disguise because of some guards who arrived at that moment, he died quickly as if of a heart attack. The guards noticed the ring on his finger and when one of them removed it, his body changed back to what it had been. Frightened, the guards alerted their superiors and the body of the real ruler, after a careful search, was found with its throat cut. The generals kept the knowledge of the ring as a military secret, forbidding the guards who found it to speak of its powers on pain of a court-martial. They studied it carefully, learned its powers and also, when one of them nearly died and took days to recover, of the price it enacted if worn too long.
Passing it to one of their most trusted agents, it was used to gain secrets, hide from pursuers and in one case to help capture a castle from the inside. Tragically for them, it was presumed lost in a shipwreck a few years later, only to fall into the hands of The False Admiral who has done more evil with it in the service of The Children of Ma-O then any who owned it before, protected from its life-draining effects by the dark powers of the Unholy God that he serves.
To the naked eye, the ring when it is not being worn is just a plain iron ring. When it is put on however, it can be (within reason) what the person wearing it wants to be, providing that it remains a ring. It can become a plain ring, a jewelled noble ring, even a royal ring. And the person can change gender and even race, and his or her mannerisms can change to copy those of another. The changed one can grow taller or shorter within a certain limit, but cannot grow extra limbs, so to take dragon shape, for example, would be impossible.
Almost from the moment the person changes shape, the ring starts to drain his or her life-force. Whilst it does so quite slowly and without any ill effects at first, it does so steadily. How fast it does so depends on how big the change is, how long it lasts and what condition the person was in when he or she changed. The injured or sick will be affected far faster then the healthy, so will those who used the ring to radically change themselves. The only thing that can offset this is the direct intervention of a god or goddess.
Within as little as ten minutes or as long as two hours, the ring-wearer starts to see the world in a blood-red shade and feel very tired, a warning sign that unless the ring is taken off quickly, he or she will die. Of course if amongst enemies, taking the ring off may just as easily result in the wearers death and a far more painful one at that. Also, in the gap between life and death, the wearer is far more vulnerable to being possessed, particularly if they recently murdered somebody. Once taken off in such a state, the wearer requires days to fully recover.
Unknown to the wearer, the ring is bending their very soul into a new shape. After a certain amount of time the soul normally cannot take this, fracturing, splitting, and finally tearing apart unless protected by the will of a god or goddess. Such a person who dies in this way can never be resserected or even spoken to in ghost form, they are rendered truely dead.
This ring is best used for short term infiltration or hiding from pursuers, those who use it longer, tempted by the advantages of their disguise, may well pay with their lives.