After the defeat of Queen Yocasta and ascension of Queen Amber to the throne, the new Queen was unsure of how to rule properly and took a lot of advice from her royal councilors, most of which had spend decades serving the previous regime. She decided not to purge them, as there was enough instability in the Queendom without turning all Queen Yocasta's former councilors against her. Only Dracia Eldren and three of her servants were sent to the block, for murdering a large number of other people's daughters. Unknown to her though, her court magician had a secret crush on Dracia and decided upon revenge. A direct attack was impossible, so he gathered seven of the Gems of the Underworld and set them in gold that had been blessed by the priests of Holy Jove. The blessed gold would mask the effects of the evil gems and give the rings positive effects; but the more of the gems were worn at any one time, the more likely that the wearer would be dragged to the side of evil.
A tribunal of three court mages tested the rings before they could be presented to the Queen, but they were only tested one at a time and the holy gold masked the evil energies of the gemstones set within. The tribunral had no idea that the gems were in fact demoni
The good side of the Ring of Pride confers bravery in battle upon the wearer, and gives the wearer a fiery charisma, able to say the right things to win over public assemblies or great crowds of people. What looks like a diamond is in fact a well-cut Adamas. Should the wearer be unable to control the effects of the gem, he or she will become intensely proud, condescending, and generally quick to anger and unpleasant to all those around them.
The good side of the Ring of Greed means that the wearer will not neglect his or her finances and will try and make sure that he or she is always in the black rather then in the red, being careful with borrowing and lending and getting a job when need be. What looks like a brilliant polished sunstone is in fact an oxglix, a demonic gem which in human hands causes obsessive greed for other people's money. Should the wearer be unable to control the effects of the gem, he or she will become obsessed with stealing the money of others, becoming a thief or worse, or, if he or she is in a position of power, a greedy tyrant who drains his or her subjects almost dry with high taxes.
The good side of the Ring of Lust will make the wearer very attractive to the opposite sex, and getting a boyfriend or a girlfriend becomes easy. If someone is already in love with that person, it will strengthen the existing love. What looks like an emerald is in fact a zomorrod, an infernal gem of lust. Should the wearer be unable to control the effects of the gem, he or she will become obsessed with sleeping with as many different partners as possible, even if he or they are already married or otherwise in an existing relationship. The wearer might not take no for an answer and try and force themselves on people.
The good side of the Ring of Envy will make the wearer admire the good qualities of others around them and want to better themselves as a result. What looks like a magnificent ruby in in fact a xerle. Should the wearer be unable to control the effects of the gem, he or she will become insanely jealous of those who seem to be doing better, resulting in arguments, violence, kidnapping, even murder.
The good side of the Ring of Gluttony will make the wearer know automatically what is edible and what is not. He or she will never accidentally eat a poisonous mushroom for example. The wearer will also know the value of things and can tell a genuine object of value from a fake one. What looks like a piece of turquoise is in fact a pirozeh. Should the wearer be unable to control the effects of the gem, he or she will hoard all kinds of things and eat to excess, in extreme cases eating himself or herself to death.
The good side of the Ring of Sloth means that the wearer will never have sleeping problems, and will be able avoid getting stressed out. What looks like a piece of amber is in fact a larkah. Should the wearer be unable to control the effects of the gem, he or she will first become very lazy, then, perhaps after many years of wearing it find it hard to stay awake and end up falling into a coma unless the ring is removed-not easy when it is not certain what is causing the problem.
The good side of the Ring of Wrath is seen on the battlefield, when the wearer has a bonus to his or her combat skills, and it also lets the wearer harden their heart when something unpleasant but necessary has to be done. What looks like a topaz is in fact a pitdah. Should the wearer be unable to control the effects of the gem, he or she will become pitilessly cruel and often fall into a fury. With the average person, this might lead to attacks for almost no reason and murder; when a ruler is wearing this and fails to control it, the ruler becomes feared and hated because of their strict laws.
Of course, the court mage did not explain what the rings were made of or their true properties, nor the fact that the more wear worn at once the harder they were to control. Queen Amber was fooled and wore all seven at once, and was turned from the popular rebel princess who had toppled Queen Yocasta into a proud, greedy,lustful, envious,greedy, lazy, wrathful tyrant. Her support soon faded to the point where the people didn't lift a finger when the nobles overthrew her and locked her up, before putting her to death in a corner out of sight.
In roleplaying terms, for someone trying to wear this they have to make a successful Will or skill check; success means they gain the bonus of the ring, failure means the negative qualities of the ring will win out. To take the ring off requires a second Will or skill check, where failure means the person cannot find the will to take the ring off and will fight anybody trying to take it off. The more rings are worn at once, the harder should be the chance of gaining the bonuses. To gain the bonuses of all seven at once should be almost impossible; the wearer will be afflicted with all the negative qualities of the demon gems instead. Apart, these rings can be a boon to the wearer; together they are a major bane. Again, the more rings are worn at once, the harder it should be to gain the will to take them off again.
The PCs find and being PCs, rob the tomb of a royal King or Queen; seven rings are found on the bony fingers of the corpse. If a greedy PC puts them all on at once, the results will be anything but good. If they share them out, they may well be a great help.
The Black Riders
The PCs find one of the rings, but six undead spirits, each foully affected by one of the rings and able to use it as a weapon, are on their trail.
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Update: Scrasamax gave me the idea with his gems of the underworld; I used some of his and invented more of my own.
I enjoy seeing things I've written being used. I like the rings and how they were created, with their flaw concealed.
Running with the Vallermore setting, I can see something like a tomb of queens, each wearing one of the rings, until some foolish upstart tries to use more than one and basically ends up turning herself into a ringwraith/nazgul.
I liked Sacras' Gems of the Underworld and I like this sub derived from it. In particular, I like the mechanic aspects of how the negative power of the rings are increased as more of them are wore at the same time etc.