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October 28, 2005, 2:06 pm

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The Shroud of Ster


Cheating death always has a price. For those who don the Shroud of Ster, the price is pain and suffering for ages.

Lord Ster ruled an ancient land in peaceful times. The gods were kind and the seasons mild, food was plentiful and the borders were not in contention. Lord Ster had a beautiful Lady and three wise and respected children.

Mankind being ill used to complacency, evil found a way to the hearts of men, making them yearn for excitement of any form. SSenselesscrime, crimes of boredom, vvandalismand petty thievery, were the only crimes to pplaguethe life of Lord Ster’s lands.

Life changed overnight, for Lord Ster and his land, all for one foolish, idle, and sSenselesscrime. The Lady Ster was out sshoppingin the town by their estate with her daughter. Four men, drunken and wanton of excitement, accosted the Lady and her daughter. They were dragged to a warehouse and abused. The Lady was greatly mistreated, but the daughter was so badly abused, she died, killed by drunken, idle lust.

When the Lady stumbled to the guard carrying her slain daughter, both bloodied and wearing naught but the tattered remains of their gowns, Lord Ster was furious. Lord Ster locked down the town and interrogated the populace until all the men responsible were found, then had them all publicly executed.

The justice was hollow, however. His daughter was dead, his Lady was a mentally shattered wreck, and his children could not understand the creature their father had become. Alchohol was banned and curfews were enforced, stifling the people. His wife reduced to a shrieking sobbing wreck if any man, including her husband, touched her. She aged rapidly hair greying and back bending. She died of a heart attack during a fit one day, and Lord Ster was crushed.

His people left his lands, even his children, and Lord Ster found himself alone and old. He left his desolate lands and found a powerful mage. He didn’t want to meet his end like his wife, and had been growing more paranoid, haunted by dreams of his dead daughter blaming him for her death. He offered the mage his lands, for what they were, for a way to cheat death. The mage agreed, and made Lord Ster his shroud.

The shroud is a dark grey cloak of light cloth. It is open on the sides and has a hood.

Magical Properties:

The shroud cannot be taken off once worn, it can only be removed after death, which comes only when the wearer wishes, which is infrequently.

While wearing the shroud, the wearer does not need to eat or drink, and cannot sleep, and does not age. They pass through metal and wood just like air. Any injury they manage to take does not detract from their health and heals a matter of minutes.

The wearer’s body still suffers from lack of food and water and sleep, so in a matter of days after donning the shroud, the wearer is weak and has cracked lips and a swollen tongue. Shortly, the wearer is reduced to a emaciated, shambling, walking corpse.

There is a brief period where the wearer can find some form of respite. During the waxing of the moon from quarter moon to full moon, the wearer may eat and drink and sleep, and their body will recover it’s vitality. This time also gives them a time away from the psychosis that will plague their minds from lack of sleep, time they can use to decide if they want to break the curse.

The wearer can break the curse, however. If the wearer eats or drinks during a lunar eclipse, they die and the cloak is free for the next person.

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Comments ( 4 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Obsidian Shadow
April 25, 2004, 4:50
pretty good. I would have liked to find out what happened to Lord Ster. Also, if the shroud wearer does not need food or water, why do they still suffer the effects of starvation and dehydration?

I understand that Lord Ster donned the shroud out of fear of ending up like his wife, but that still does not explain why anyone else would want to. Another thing; if the shroud wearer can pass through metal and wood, how could they suffer any wound at all?
Good idea, needs more in depth explanation.
April 25, 2004, 16:38
They still suffer the effects of starvation and dehydration because that is the cursed part of the item. They can live without it, but they still suffer.

As for what wound they could take, bricks, stones, ropes and good ol' fists are not metal or wood.

This isn't my best, I might even move it to flesh it out. I just felt the need to lead by example.
Voted Cheka Man
June 3, 2006, 21:54
People who dreaded death might wear this.
Voted axlerowes
March 12, 2016, 9:32
Post has bit of a stutter

I can see this worked into a story, a creature or man may be wearing this cloak and being very aged might have some information of history or lore the protagonists needs. But the nature the shroud makes the characters have to wait for that information during the phases of the moon.

You could also have villain wear it, but the only finish the villain will be get him or her a takeaway during the lunar eclipse.

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