First Impression:

The Skull of the Storm Giant is a humanoid skull 6 times the size of a normal human's. The giant the skull was taken from was about thirty feet tall, and of late adulthood. The eye sockets are large enough to hold grapefruit-sized eyes, and the individual teeth are larger than finger bones. The skull is heavy, unwieldy, and hard to move. The lower jaw is missing.

Double-Take:

The Skull radiates a strong magical aura, including evocation, alteration, and necromantic energies.

Getting to Know It:

The Skull of the Storm Giant was taken from the sky cairn of Dan'adraal. Dan'adraal was a survivor of the Thregorlen clan of storm giants, and was accounted to be not just a competent and potent giant skilled in their innate magical arts, but also a skilled theurge, or giant miracle worker.

Powers of the Skull of the Storm Giant

Call Lightning - moderate difficulty, botching the attempt causes the lightning to strike the magic user trying to control the skull

Control Weather - moderate difficulty, and can only increase or reduce the current weather, making storms stronger or weaker, or raising or lowering temperate by a moderate amount.

Predict Weather - casual difficulty

Summon Weather - Expert difficulty, can call or banish storms.

Protection from Lightning/Electrical - casual difficulty, but as only one power at a time can be used, this cannot be used in conjunction with Call Lightning.

Curse of the Storm Giant - allows the bearer of the skull to curse a mortal and turn them into a blasted and wretched creature of fog, storm, and sea, aka what happened to the crew of Davy Jone's Flying Dutchman in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. This is a permanent change, and cannot be undone by anything less than a Wish or divine intervention. This power ALWAYS works. If the dice roll well, the intended target is turned into a sea spawn. If it fails, a random humanoid in te vicinity is turned. If there are no other valid targets, and the roll fails, the magic user holding the skull is blasted into a sea spawn, albeit a greater sea spawn, and retains their intelligence and magic casting abilities, but gain a LOT of negative modifiers, and insanities.

Getting to Know All About It:

The Skull of the Storm Giant was taken from the cairn of the giantess Dan'Adraal. She is notable for being a storm giant theurge, or magic user among the already magically capable storm giants. She is also considered to have been the last survivor of the Veldranate Pogrom against the Storm Giants living in the Fantigash Crags. The Veldranate spent close to two hundred years hunting down and slaughtering the giants, countering the giant's weather control magics with their own Stormshroud Magi. Dan'Adraal lost her entire family to this, over the course of decades. It is worth noting that the Storm Giant theurges typically removed themselves from family life upon becoming a theurge, but facing the demise of her clan, Dan'Ardraal took two husbands, and had an almost mythical five children. It was all for naught, as they were all taken in battle and slain. The youngest children were barely more than toddlers when the grim men came with steel, spell, and venom.

Upon Dan'Adraal's death, an unknown group assembled a sky cairn and her body was laid out in the storm giant fashion. It had been reduced to mostly bone before it was discovered and then looted by the Golden Hawks company. They returned with great treasures from the cairn, including all of the giant's bones. These were used as spell components, decorations for weapon handles, and crafting magic items related to boosted strength. The only things that remained of the original skeleton was the impressive skull, and the left hand, which was crafted into the largest hand of glory ever made, and then mounted as a decoration in the mother house of the Silent Knives guild of assassins.

The Skull became a prized possession of the Guild of Vendrani Heroes, and a symbol of their prowess and power, and they generally allow people to assume the guild slew the giant, and not that it defended the mountains for nearly a century before its corpse was found and raided.

Skeletons in the Closet

Dozens of adventurers, heroes, nobles, merchants, and travelers associated with the skull have died. The Golden Hawks returned to the mountains to find more loot. The next spring their camp was found, and nothing else. Food was spoiled, weapons were sheathed, and there was blood, but no sign of struggle. The Silent Knives traded the rooftops for the sewers after twelve members were struck by lightning during nighttime storms. Six mages who studied the skull gained great power, but either were turned into hideous abominations by the misuse of the skull, went mad, or were found cold and dead in their laboratory.

There was a seven-word phrase that was found in various places, typically left behind by the dead, or found where people associated with the skull were found missing.

Vontez Hozrandon Strantor Ninke Nithre Zaagnen Auksan

Despite rigorous study, the words seem to be no sort of words of power, incantation, warning, or curse.

Dan'Adraal died in the mountains, but was so motivated by hatred and purpose than instead of collapsing into a heap, she remained animate, a spite and storm magic fueled sort of greater undead. She haunted the mountains for decades, slaying travelers, blocking mountain passes, and even coming down on occasion to visit weather related ruin on communities close to her lair. Mountain farms became infamous for the most brutal freezing weather, with livestock being found frozen solid, and houses rimed with frost inside, the occupants cold and dead, wrapped in blankets, eyes still open. This was not a long term solution, and as rage faded, Dan'Adraal built her own cairn, and sensing the end, laid upon it and surrendered her withered corporeal form.

She became a ghost, but slumbered for long years inside her own remains. This would have been the end of it, and likely would have found peace as the bone crumbled to dust. Instead, her remains were desecrated and used in the crafting of tools, weapons, and magic items, and her spirit was trapped in her skull, where she remains. Her ghost can emerge from the bone, haunt and cause serious problems. Often she will possess victims and compel them to acts of murder and violence, or to simply end their own lives in cruel and creative ways.

It is a shame that the Veldranate has outlawed necromancy and nethermancy of any sort, it would only take a competent exorcist or medium to figure out what is going on. Then it would be relatively easy to manage the situation, or resolve it, either burying the skull in consecrated grounds, returning it to the mountains, or using strong necromancy to draw out the ghost and destroy it.

Shame really.

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