A mildly ornate box made of black oak, able to be carried under a single arm with effort. Gold and silver metalwork covers most of the box with eye-twisting patterns that cause headaches for any who stare for too long. The lid is locked shut, requiring either the key be used or that the defensive magics laid into it be dispelled before the lock can be picked. Someone went to a decent bit of trouble to make sure the contents weren't easily accessed.
Necromancers are notorious powermongers. Rare is the person who wields the destructive, subversive power of undeath that hasn't yet been corrupted and seduced by it. Kiras'thel was no exception, and his thirst for power was just as great as any one could find. But as with all those who seek power, he was opposed by various rivals. One whom he clashed with many times was known as Warmaker, an appellation earned by his habit of raising large armies to utterly ravage the countryside. Eventually their final confrontation came, and Warmaker was defeated, for Kiras'thel was the stronger of the two. However, the beaten necromancer was not slaughtered as most rival practicioners are, for Kiras'thel had a better use for his rival than being worm-food.
Warmakers heart was carved from his chest, and his brain from his skull. Mind and soul were bound to a specially-prepared box, where all that knowledge of creating and controlling undead armies could be called upon at-will by Kiras'thel. Kiras'thel was eventually defeated, but the Reliquary was overlooked and eventually lost.
The Reliquary of the Rotting Legion has a number of different capabilities that can be employed by its possessor.
It's primary effect is to enhance and reinforce nearby undead; after all, it's always easier to prevent damage to minions in the first place than to raise new ones later. Shade, bone and rotten flesh alike become noticably faster, their durability higher, and most disturbing of all, their mindless eyes become brighter, at least slightly more aware of their surroundings. Covering yourself in rotting zombie flesh won't let you sneak past these abominations.
Additionally, the bearer of the Relinquary is able to raise a powerful type of undead that Warmaker found useful for breaking fortifications and other secured locations: the Ossilyth. A tank of a creation, the Ossilyth is heavily armored and capable of simply barrelling through the wall of a building.
Most insidious, however, is the seeping, festering aura of death that emanates from the Reliquary. Those undead that fall nearby will rise again within a short time, once more ready to serve their dark master.
Unknown to Kiras'thel, however, the magics that bound Warmaker to the box were flawed, allowing his bound essence to exert influence over the undead enhanced and raised by the box. The spirit avoided taking advantage of this while Kiras'thel lived due to fear the flaws would be repaired. Now, however, Warmaker will occasionally struggle against the current possessor of the box, attempting to take control over the undead and wreak havoc on the countryside.
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.)
Not Registered Yet? No problem.
Do you want Strolenati super powers? Registering. That's how you get super powers! These are just a couple powers you receive with more to come as you participate.
- Upvote and give XP to encourage useful comments.
- Work on submissions in private or flag them for assistance.
- Earn XP and gain levels that give you more site abilities (super powers).
- You should register. All your friends are doing it!
? Responses (8)-8
I am voting a little higher than I normally would.
My issue with it is it seems rushed. Just not enough information, for me anyway, that puts the truth behind the war between the two. Or how this reliquary was made. If he was capable of making one than couldn't he effectively trap all of the enemies he defeated and by placing them in these boxes, have a (fantasy version of a computer or Internet) plethora of information at his disposal.
I would be that not only does the box have some control or influence over nearby undead, that perhaps it can eventually subvert weak willed possessors of the box thereby taking them over. Or nearly suggesting ideas.
Now, to the reason I enjoyed it. It's not a unique idea but it executes well. The purpose is there for you to immediately get and understand, although more info would be my vote. It's almost like a mild version of Pandora's box.
Not a original idea, but fairly well done. As to why he did not do it more often, these things probably take a lot of work, they can't exactly be mass produced.
I like this, both because the core idea is pretty cool to me and because the full idea is conveyed in such a short sub. There could be a lot more fluff text (and I would certainly enjoy reading that) but the idea as presented is complete enough to use and adapt. 4/5
An object suitable to enhance undead which PC's face, rather than have them own it. It could be a useful item to confound PC's who think they know how things work, by having the undead they are facing suddenly work tactically!
I like it, it just feels like it needs something more in terms of a consequence than just dealing with the spirit who rests within the reliquary, especially if you manage to strike a bargain with him.
A decent item, with lots of potential uses.
For a long-term plot, the spirit inside the box would want to get _out_. For a powerful necromancer, not having a physical body once he does so many not be that big a deal - many undead are non-corporeal. The trick would be how to get out without being drawn off to the afterlife and probably consignment to Hell or its equivalent.
Perhaps a plot could be an infernal being looking to collect the 'overdue' soul of the necromancer. Maybe even recruiting the PCs to this end.
As for why it is not more common - I'd say it could in fact be more common as making magic items by binding spirits within is a perfectly reasonable way to go.