The Red Orcs of the Screeching Hills to the north have traditionally shared a degree of animosity between various tribes. Were it not for the constant tribal warfare that plagued the orc culture, the human populations to the south would be forced to take heed of the growing threat from the Red Orcs.
Until recently, no tribe has been able to unite or conquer the others, and as a result the orcs have limited their violent acts to the Screeching Hills. However, one orc has risen to a dangerous position of prominence within the Red Orc tribal nations; an orc with the ability to lead the united tribes in a shared goal of plundering the human lands to the south.
Shilgresh the Jaggedtoothed may not be the strongest orc to prowl within the Screeching Hills, but what he lacks in strength he makes up with cunning and guile. Through various means of trickery and deception, Shilgresh one by one eliminated tribal chiefs of the Red Orcs, each time cutting off their head and treating it in his own unique way.
Over the course of the last year, Shilgresh has managed to assassinate every chief of the five major Red Orc tribes. Using a particularly macabre method of cracking skulls and removing the loose bones within, Shilgresh the shaman would take the boneless heads of the former chiefs and shrink them until they were each the size of large apples.
After many incantations and ceremonies in honor of the Orcish deity of Death, Shilgresh was able to conjure some of the powers of each of the chiefs through their shrunken heads. Attaching the heads to his magical spear, Shilgresh is now able to wield his mighty spear in battle, and obtain some benefit from each of the skulls that hang from the shaft while the spear is engaged in combat.
Shilgresh is now King of the Red Orcs, and threatens to destroy human settlements in the south if he is not stopped. His spear is his best source of strength and intimidation, for it represents his power over all the tribes to any orc who would question his authority. Without the spear, Shilgresh would surely lose control over the remaining tribes.
Full Item Description
The Spear of Shilgresh is a finely crafted weapon with a strong oak shaft reinforced by bands of iron. The blade of the spear is carved out of petrified bone, and highly polished, with serrated edges designed to draw additional blood when removed from a victim's body.
Hanging from the shaft of the spear, near the tip, are five shrunken skulls that belonged to various orc tribal leaders. Because there is no bone, and the skulls are dried, they weigh very little and do not affect Shilgresh's ability to wield the spear in combat.
In addition to the skulls, several colorful tassles and ribbons hang from the base of the bone tip. While these do not confer any additional magical properties, they do call attention to the wielder of the spear in a garish manner.
The spear is seven feet long, and may be used as a slashing weapon with reach, in addition to the traditional piercing attack. The bone blade has a slight curve to it, making it impractical to be thrown at short distances.
If the spear is used by any being other than an orc, no magical properties are transferred to the owner. However, in the hands of an orc, each of the dried skulls confers a small magical boost to various abilities. Shilgresh benefits in the following ways when wielding the spear:
1. Increased attack rates
2. Improved intimidation skill
3. Keen sense of strategy
4. Additional shaman spells granted
5. His health is doubled
Each of the five abilities is granted to the wielder so long as the shrunken heads remain attached. Should a head be removed from the spear, then the power that was conferred from that particular orc leader is destroyed permanently. After all five heads are removed or destroyed, the spear simply becomes a standard weapon with no magical properties.
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? Responses (7)
5/5 A fearsome weapon indeed.
I am impressed, this is a greate example of how orcs would make magical items. These shrunken head tokens certainly make this a potent weapon but the average orcish warrior with a magic item could have a single similar token for his axe, spear, or whatever weapon. Well presented Nap.
Love the shrunken heads!
Should be two posts, one for the NPC (who is a major player in its world) and one for the spear. Like both, it should work fairly well.
Who does not love shrunken heads Muro?:)
Great post, even more so for being your first. Bravo Sir.
Re-visiting (Ha! You thought I'd say "Bump")
I really like this one. Straight-forward, old-fashioned proper orc weapon! Just enough detail, and good solid description.
And i still want to know more about this macabre skull-bone removal procedure. Sounds so orcish!
This is great!
I don't think the shrunken head technique is exclusively Orcish Muro :)