30 Spirit Lanterns
When dealing with ghosts and the Undead in general, the right Spirit Lantern might make all the difference between a successful encounter and ending injured or even worse, dead or possessed. Here are a few of the most useful...
1-The Silver Trapping Ghost Lantern
This skull, its eye sockets and nose hole plugged by silver, can, when the right code word is spoken, magically open it’s cranium. When not in use, a thin beam of pale white light shines from the skull’s jaws. Providing the ghost is within a foot of it, a magical beam of bright light shoots out, catches the ghost and pulls it into the skull, which then closes up, firmly trapping the furious spirit inside. Care should be taken not to look directly at the light when the ghost is trapped to avoid possible eye damage. Each skull can only trap one ghost, and how long it is trapped depends on how strong the skull is…one plated all over with a thick layer of silver is very expensive, but can trap a ghost for years, whilst weaker versions work from a few months to a few days. In ghost trapping, as with everything else, you generally get just what you pay for.
2-The Binding Oath Ghost Lantern
This skull, painted a pale purple, glows with a soft purple light and can be used to make all but the most powerful spirits obey one, and only one, single order. This could be to stay away from one named place, to refrain from attacking the holder of the skull, or any one order providing it is within reason; orders to the ghost to destroy itself, for example, do not have to be obeyed and render the powers of the skull useless against that particular ghost, as do suicide missions and impossible to obey orders. When in use, the light of the skull brightens. It can bind up to three powerful spirits or ten weaker ones before becoming useless for any further magic. Of course, the ghosts may try and trick someone into giving the wrong command, and each ghost can only be made to do one thing, so, for example, an order to make a ghost leave your best friend alone will not protect you unless you stay close to him or her.
3-The Spirit Leaver Ghost Lantern
This gold-plated skull shines with a bright golden light, and when the right spell is said and the holder lies in a bed, his spirit can leave his body, carrying a ghostly version of the lantern, and go out to seek other ghosts, then return to the body and re-enter it at will. Should the body be killed, or the lantern be stolen from the hand, then the spirit will be unable to re-enter it’s body, so the user should have trusted friends to guard his or her body. Also, some ghosts might, at best treat the holder as an outsider and not one of them, and at worst will try and attack the holder and try and destroy the spirit version of the lantern, which will also trap the holder outside his or her body. Should the physical lantern be stolen from the hand, if it is taken back and placed in the hand within thirteen hours, then the holder can re-enter the body, but should the spirit version of the lantern be destroyed, the holder is stuck as a ghost.
4-The Befriender Spirit Lantern
This green-painted skull glows with a soft green light and this has an effect on any ghosts that may be present, making them feel more friendly towards the holder then they would otherwise be, and, at the very least, to give the holder a warning before attacking. It should not be relied upon for too long, nor should a holder disrespect or anger a spirit whilst holding this as the effect is not really all that strong and is meant to let the holder speak with or pass by neutral or mildly hostile ghosts without a fight breaking out. It is of little or no use against ghosts who passionately hate the lantern’s bearer for whatever reason.
5-The Blinder Spirit Lantern
This very expensive skull has been carved out of crystal, and glows with a very soft white light, the effect is to make ghosts unable to see and sense the holder unless he or she does something to attack the ghosts, or makes a lot of noise, when the effect is dissipated. Using it one can pass safely even past the most dangerous spirits such as the feared Urn Beast as long as it is tightly held and common sense is exercised. It does nothing else, despite the expense, so not many people buy this one.
6-The Demateralizer Spirit Lantern
Whilst many ghosts cannot materialize and make themselves solid enough to physically harm living people, those that can generally will, as they often have a grudge against the living. This black-painted skull that glows with a light like candlelight greatly drains the energy of ghosts whilst they are near it, rendering them unable to make their ghostly bodies solid enough to pick anything up or push anything within ten feet of it, and making them intensely angry and frustrated at the holder and unlikely to want to offer the holder any useful information.
7-The Summoner Spirit Lantern
This unpainted skull glows with a very bright red light which has the effect on ghosts that a normal light has on moths…it can summon them from up to a mile around, the weak and the downright dangerous alike. It brings them there…it does not control or trap them in any way, so only a fool or a suicidal person would light it without at the very least drawing and enchanting a protective pentagram to protect himself or herself from injury or worse. Those few who study different kinds of ghosts find it very handy indeed.
8-The Protection from Possession Spirit Lantern
One of the most unpleasant things a ghost can do is to possess a person’s body, either kicking their spirit out altogether to wonder as a ghost or to in effect overpower it and sit on it, trapping the person as a helpless passenger within their own body. Not many ghosts have the energy to do this, only the most powerful, but when the person is bathed in the blue light from this blue-painted skull, even the most powerful ghost cannot possess them. A must-have when speaking with the most powerful spirits of the Dead.
9-The Blocker Spirit Lantern
This indigo-painted skull and the pale wan light that it produces is one of the most expensive Spirit Lanterns possible, for it can keep ghosts out of a whole house, and is very good for solving the traditional “haunted house” problem. The person who hangs this up should be careful when outside however; some ghosts get very vengeful indeed when banished from somewhere. It should be hung up inside the house rather then outside, to lessen the chance that some opportunist thief will run away with it and sell it for a fraction of it’s true worth on the black market.
10-The Punisher Spirit Lantern
This orange painted skull and the orange light it gives is feared and hated by those doomed to die. Generally reserved for traitors, murderers and those who caused a lot of trouble in life, if placed on a dying or very recently dead person, it will trap the spirit within the dead body and at the same time keep it from animating the body as an undead. The body is then buried, as cremating it would free the ghost, and the ghost is left in it’s coffin, unable to speak or move as the maggots crawl over and eat it’s body, doomed to endlessly stare at the coffin lid. Such a ghost soon goes as insane as a Bandage Beast
11-The Translator Spirit Lantern
This green and red painted skull, instead of glowing with magical light, is lit by a normal candle set into the top of it. When the candle is lit, it translates the words of ghosts that speak a different language to the holder. Historians find it very useful for their research. It does not make the ghost tell the truth, however, nor does it offer any protection to the holder, and if the candle is not new, then it has the same sort of effect as The Potion of Misunderstanding Languages with comical results.
12-The Gift Spirit Lantern
The dead are often greedy, as life in the Underworld for the vast majority of them is deathly dull and most have no possessions but their grave clothes. Some require blood, most want a tool of some kind or a piece of clothing, broken or torn to release the ghost of the object; in return they will quite happily perform a task for the giver. If given several gifts, they will start liking the giver, something unusual for normally the dead hate the living and vice versa. This skull is that of a cow, painted brown, and the light it gives out is green. It is open for gifts to be placed inside, and even some hostile ghosts may be placated by it.
13-The Oujia Spirit Lantern
This skull is painted black and white in a checkerboard pattern and the white light when activated is from the eye-sockets only and keeps flashing on and off, providing the needed magical power for a Oujia board, a means of speaking to the dead that is safer then directly summoning a spirit if slower and not as reliable.
14-The Open the Underworld Spirit Lantern
This black-painted skull that glows with a sombre red light can be used, when the right spells are said, to open a portal to the Underworld itself. Of course, it is stupid bordering on lunacy to do so without the magical warding equivalent of several feet of armour plate. Even if the spirit you summon is totally friendly, the many Traveler Spirits that are likely to come through as well are anything but and you stand the risk of getting hurt, possessed or worse, along with anybody else nearby. Many countries have made the possession of one of these a felony, as in the old “capital offence” sense of the term, because of the trouble it can cause.
15-The Healer Spirit Lantern.
To make this work properly, the gold-painted skull must have belonged to a good person in life, and it shines with a radiant warm glow. The best ones, the skulls of true saints, can be used to heal even near-deadly wounds, but only if they were caused by ghosts or the Undead. The skulls of lesser but still good in life people can heal smaller injuries. It also has a 10% chance of being able to drive a possessing spirit out of a person’s body, leaving the affected person unharmed, and up to 30% if it is that of a genuine saint. At least one of these was voluntarily bequeathed by its owner to be made into one of these after its owner’s death, so that he could still do good from beyond the grave.
16-The Pentagram Spirit Lantern
This chalk-white painted skull has a small pentagram in gold leaf on the top of it and shines with a light like that of fire. There is not allways the time to chalk out or otherwise draw the pentagram that is often vital for personal safety when dealing with the spirits of the dead and other such things. As long as the person holds this pentagram tightly and resists the temptation, it creates a narrow foot wide force shield that the dead and the infernal cannot pass through. They may well come close, trying to scare the holder into running, which interferes with the Lantern’s magic. Also, if the skull is cracked, so will be the force field, with possibly fatal results, so transport this lantern with care.
17-The Eye Spirit Lantern.
This white-painted skull has a blue eye painted upon it’s forehead and burns with a white light too bright to look at directly, if you shine it upon a ghost you will learn the secrets of that ghost with ease. However, it also leaves you very open to being possessed by that ghost, and only those with the strongest minds can use this for longer then a second or two, so it should not be used lightly. At best getting possessed is a tragedy for that person, at worst, for all those within miles around.
18-The Sleeper Spirit Lantern.
This skull painted blue, with small gold-painted starts upon it, has two uses; first, to keep spirit-caused nightmares from interfering with a sleeping person. It does not put the person to sleep; it just helps to fend off nasty dreams. Second, should a ghost manifest close to the sleeper, the skull makes an unearthly wail until the sleeper wakes up.
19-The Bravery Spirit Lantern
This skull is painted red and has green light coming from the eyes, and the effect of it is to greatly lessen the holder’s fear of ghosts. Whilst this is useful, if the holder’s fear of ghosts was not very great to begin with, it can stop the fear entirely, which in turn can lead to the holder taking stupid risks, such as stepping outside protective pentagrams or chasing the ghost and ending up in an ambush. Many holders have ended up possessed or killed outright because of this and when using this, you should allways remember to use common sense.
20-The Bomb Spirit Lantern
This red and white skull shines with red light that flickers on and off until thrown, when it cracks open and explodes in a large explosion that is far more dangerous to ghosts then to humans, shredding their ethereal flesh and in many cases, bringing about a second and final death for them. If there are any ghostly survivors, they will swiftly spread the word to other ghosts about what has happened, and when the user of this Spirit Lantern dies, a lot of angry ghosts will be waiting for them in the next world, wanting revenge.
21-The Rank Spirit Lantern
This blue and gold painted skull shines with a different type of light when in the presence of ghosts, according to how powerful the ghost is. A green light means that the ghost is immaterial and so unlikely to be able to harm a living being, except for trickery. An amber light means the ghost is able at least for short periods to make itself solid, and should be treated with caution. A red light means a ghost with powerful magic or otherwise dangerous, a major risk to life and limb. If such spirits should be encountered at all, a protective pentagram is necessary to escape injury or worse.
22-The Close the Underworld Spirit Lantern
This black-painted skull glows with a dull green light and can be used, when the right spells are said, to close a minor portal to the Underworld, although it is of no use against Unthar, the Sun of the Dead or other such manifestations of the Underworld. Several fabled wizards of the past have used this to battle the Undead and it is not, in most countries, illegal to possess, as it does good rather then evil when activated. It does not protect against ghosts by itself, so the user should take great care whilst using it.
23-The Raise the Dead Spirit Lantern
In the hands of the moderately skilled magic user, this unpainted skull, glowing with a pale light like that of moonlight, can be used to gather enough magic to animate dead bodies, be they skeletons or the freshly dead. Such undead have no mind and merely do what they are told to do by their creator. A skilled necromancer can either summon and bind the soul to it’s decomposing body, or invite one of the Traveler Spirits to enter and animate it.
However, the necromancer should take care whilst doing such a thing; the soul is normally unhappy to be forced back into the body, unless it escaped a hell dimension by this happening, and whilst the Traveler Spirits would be very happy to have a body to animate, they cannot be trusted. A newly dead body animated in such a fashion will appear alive, with colour in the cheeks, a shine in the eyes, and the voice it had in life, but the effect is only short term…slowly, depending on how hot it is and where the body is, it will start to rot, first going pale, then a sickly gray-green and bloating. Complete decay follows and speech and sight is lost.
24-The Deanimate Undead Spirit Lantern
The Deanimate Undead Spirit Lantern skull is covered with gold leaf, with garnets set in the eye sockets. It shines with a red light, and a wizard can use this to pull ghosts who are animating dead bodies out of them. It does not work to pull them out of a living person or animal however, and in the case of particularly strong spirits, one will still have to face them in poltergeist form afterwards, as it does not trap, banish or kill them.
25-The Unpossesser Spirit Lantern.
The Unpossesser Spirit Lantern is a skull painted in all the colours of the rainbow, and shines with all the colours of the rainbow as well. It is one of the most prized, useful and expensive of all the Spirit Lanterns, as no ghost or demonic being can possess someone who holds one of these, and a skilled spellcaster can use it to pull ghosts who have possessed the body of a living being out of it, without harming the living person’s soul or his body in doing so. Given that being possessed is a very unpleasant fate for anyone, it is well worth getting one’s hands on one of these if you wish to spend a lot of time speaking with the dead.
26-The Graveyard Trapper Spirit Lantern
In the Pier Point Graveyard, a strange ritual is carried out once a year, when there is a mass summoning of the ghosts of those who died, so that they can talk to their families. Murder victims can say who they thought did the deed, those who hid their wills somewhere can say where they put them, and those who ended up in hell can warn people not to make the same mistake. To stop the ghosts from escaping the graveyard and possibly causing trouble, these tartan painted skulls glow like torches and keep the dead within the boundaries of the graveyard and people speak to them from outside the graveyard walls for safety.
27-The Protect Object Spirit Lantern
The Protect Object Spirit Lantern is a necklace of unpainted mouse skulls that gives off a very dim light, and if hung around something like a weapon or bag will protect it from those ghostly beings that are able to manifest themselves in the world of the living. If worn, it gives a bonus against possession, but it’s true use is for protecting objects, not living things.
28-The Bonus to Summoning Spirit Lantern
The Bonus to Summoning Spirit Lantern is a skull that belonged to a powerful mage in life, and shines with a light that is the colour of the owner’s eyes when he or she was alive. It gives a bonus to spells of summoning. When summoning a spirit, one should be aware; most of them are unlikely to be strong enough to hurt you, but those that can, most likely will, so be careful. There is only thought to be one of these in the world, so it should be handled with care.
29-The Banisher Spirit Lantern
The Banisher Spirit Lantern is a skull that has been covered with pearls and shines when activated with a sparkly light, and can temporarily banish spirits by phasing them out and transporting them from several feet away to several miles away, depending on the ghost’s power to resist the effects. It is only a short-term measure, however, but it does give the user the chance to take other actions to trap, get rid of or otherwise deal with the ghost.
30-The Destroyer Spirit Lantern
The Destroyer Spirit Lantern is an unpainted skull with candles set in the eyes. It looks relatively plain, but it’s light, when it shines upon a ghost, literally tears the ghost apart. However, it only has this effect when in the air, does not shine very far as the candles are small, and the candles are very vulnerable to being blown out by even a small gust of wind, leaving the lantern utterly useless until the candles are lit again, not easy if the holder is under attack by a furious ghost at the time.
Don't fear the Light!
Light elementals, Light Societies, Magical flashlights, lanterns that tell jokes, illuminated books and swords that shine like the sun.
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? Responses (9)-9
A solid submission. There are so many varieties that it seems like some kingdom went through a 'lantern fad', perhaps during a time of great unrest by the undead. Perhaps as Unthar, Sun of the Dead, passed overhead the streets became crowded with peddlers selling protective devices & enchantments against the undead, and these lanterns were the 'in' thing for awhile. Very creative & well-balanced.
It looks like a lot of work was put into this one, and I like it. But I can't help but notice that you didn't link to the original Spirit Lantern submission I think giving credit where credit is due is important, and not just because it was my submission.
And of course, thanks to Valadaar for suggesting there could be 30 of them.
Otherwise, very nice submission.
I don't know how to link to subs.
To link a submission to another one, there is a long thin box between the sub and the comments. Click the bold text and enter the submission's ID number.
I took the liberty of adding it for you. Thank you for expanding upon my idea, you did a good job.
Thank you for adding it. :)
Quite cool. Some of these effects are replicated by Magic Candles, but there is a lot of new stuff here - well done!
Very useful sub. It gives me all kinds of ideas for my players. Thanks, Cheka. (4/5)
Also, thanks Pieh, for showing how to link subs. How do you know what the ID number of the sub to be linked is?
I guess if you really like the spirit lantern concept this post will be your dead sea scroll.
Well put together, shows a great deal of work and love went into it
Very nice! I really enjoyed reading through this. I will most likely use this one in my gaming.