You find a dusty violin on a stand in the next room. Through the grime of the years, you can tell that it is of excellent make. Perhaps someone can put it to good use? An instrument is meant to be played, after all...
When the mad lover of the dread necromancer Kiras'thel was cast aside, the minions of undeath blocked her return to their master. Not one to be stymied, the girl drew forth her violin and began to play. Masterful chords and tones swept over the summoned army and all were rooted in place, the music so powerful and touching that it reached past the boundaries of life and death to shatter the bonds of their necromantic control. The lover danced through the sea of rotting corpses, leaving a trail of entranced undead in her wake. Upon reaching the stunned Kiras'thel, she kissed him, then slit his throat. The army crumbled to ash, and the girl soon joined her lover in death, leaving behind naught but her violin.
A masterwork violin, with nigh-perfect curves, beautiful coloring, and a curled etching along the side of the body: 'Happiness is Love'
The magic of the violin is such that it will break necromantic control over any undead within range of music played on it. Most undead are merely entranced, still connected to the necromancer that raised them but unresponsive to commands. The necromancer must reassert control over the affected minions through physical touch.
Undead with more base intelligence (liches, banchees, etc.), however, are not entranced but instead are freed entirely from necromantic control. Such undead are likely to feel more than a small amount of desire for revenge, and even a necromancer rightly fears the wrath of higher undead.
Of course, the music of the violin doesn't just affect undead; the violin also has an affect on the user, albeit a subtle one. As it is played the madness of the original owner seeps into the violinist, infecting them with a growing sense of possessive mania towards one of their companions. The more the violin is played, the more the player is infected. If left undealt with, the violinist will eventually go on a killing-spree, murdering both the beloved companion as well as themself.
Hidden in the Depths
Leaving dangerous artifacts lying around where they can cause trouble is exactly what the Council of Five was created to prevent. After a string of murders surrounding a mysterious violin, the Council took notice and confiscated the violin. Now it sits in their secure vault, though since it's true abilities were impossible for them to divine, it resides in a low-security section.
Unknown to the World
In a musician's vast collection, a masterwork violin rests on a stand with no placard. It has nothing to really justify attention, but it still draws the eye. The musician was took possession of it after the previous owner viciously murdered both her best friend and her own lover in a fit of jealous rage. He has no idea where it came from, and neither does anyone else he's shown it to.
This time of year often brings the summer doldrums to the Citadel. A time of slow updates and intermittent submissions. We may have passed the worst but until the summer ends, the weather changes and school starts again we may not have the action we sometimes have.
Because of that, we are holding the Doldrum Quest. I wanted it to be pretty open to most anything so we will attach it to the Guild quests again to allow people to branch out how they want. This also adds some incentive to join and progress in the Guilds. So go join a Guild now and if your submission goes towards your Guild accomplishments, it can go towards this quest as well.
Get us clear of the Summer Doldrums by joining the quest!
(As usual, no old submissions can be used. This is also for standard submissions. 100 word, Oekaki, Stubs and others in that vein will not count.)
Perhaps it could be a bit more in appearance than simply a 'Masterwork Violin'; perhaps the strings of the violin are bone white, or for something more subtle it perhaps the violin always feel cold, not ice cold, just a little cold.
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? Responses (11)-11
Yeah, this one isn't getting any more complete. Have at it!
If it wasn't so short, it would have gotten a higher score. But this was a very interesting and original piece. I especially like that it's cursed. Oh, and it's spelled Banshee.
You misspelled Bean Sidhe.
Useful to deal with undead armies.
Short and sweet, I like it. Though personally I think that for some extra flair the violin could have physical qualities that subtly betray its function. I'll post an idea in a few.
I'd enjoy hearing more on the backstory of the necromancer and his mad lover; I think that would be worth a dub all in itself. Also, the Council of Five sounds like an interesting organization!
As for the object itself; it's beat, and knowing where you got the inspiration from, I can't help but picture zombies dancing to a fiddle.
I don't mind that it is short. Although I echo Shadow in wanting to know more of the backstory. All in all and odd item to find in the Cult of Necromancers but worthy of a shelf.
Short, simple and good. It has a Friday the 13th (TV series) feel to it.
The intro is great and it's certainly useful as-is. It's also true that I wish there was more backstory and general flavor.
Very nice. Other than a little more back-story on the Necromancer and the Lover, and perhaps a bit more visual detail on the violin itself it would be a very nice piece to drop into the right campaign.
It's too bad none of my players play a bard...
Nice item, The story of madness and obsession is of course more interesting that its game side powers, but it expands the story use of the item having imbued with different abilities.
What happens if somebody who can't play the violin just screeches some notes across the horse hairs? Do the undead care about the tune?