Full Item Description
The Skull of Gardesh is a humanoid skull of indeterminate age that radiates a strong magical aura. The jaw bone has been fixed to the cranium by an artifice of wire.
The legendary and quite mad warrior-mage Gardesh is unique in the annals of myth and legend as he is among the very few heroes or even fiends who used pieces of their own body as weapons. In his quest to become the most powerful magus in existance, Gardesh learned the tricks of temporal incursions and chronomantic displacement. By executing these powerful schools of magic, Gardesh sidestepped the Skein of Time. His goal was simple, he desired to make a weapon from the remains of the most powerful magus he could find. Irony revealed that Gardesh himself was the most powerful magus. By using these magics the warrior-mage created a temporal paradox, ambushed his future self, killed his future self and harvested his own essential salts and skull.
This combination of temporal errors and concentrated potence made Gardesh the most powerful magus that could ever and will ever exist and the skull was the focus of the greatest part of his stolen power. By focusing raw magic through the skull, Gardesh tapped into his limitless resevoir of twisted temporal corruption and was able to use the incredibly chaotic blast to utterly destroy anything he desired to.
Eventually the temporal snarl caused the skull to vanish from Gardesh's person, and in this unexpected moment of weakness, the Gardesh from the past appeared and slaughtered his future self, harvested the skull and vanished back into the past. Once Gardesh was dead the skull reappeared and fell to the ground.
The power of the skull has greatly dimished following the death of Gardesh. It is still a powerful relic, but it's power to annihilate anything with naked temporal magic has since gone. Some of Gardesh's presence has remained within the skull as well as a good deal of temporal taint. As such the sentience of the skull is egomaniacal, arrogant and completely stark raving mad. However it possesses a great deal of magical knowledge, occluded history and can be used to cast spells dealing with time manipulation.
There are problems when dealing with the skull, the most common being that the skull exists partially outside the normal flow of time and it is difficult to deal with. One day the skull can know the PCs incredibly well, the next day it shouts obsenities at them since it wants to know who these strangers are. Even worse are moments when the skull reveals portents from the future, which are ALWAYS negative and destructive. It will call PCs betrayers, or pronounce the modes of their death, or some other calamity for which they will either cause or suffer from.
Wizard Looking for Head - The PCs are hired by the benevolent wizard to bring back the Skull of Gardesh for his alchemical research. The PCs find the tomb/ruins where the skull was last known to be, fight monsters, and find the skull. When they pick it up, the skull laughs and tells them that for their troubles the wizard will have them executed, one by one, as criminals.
Head and Shoulders - A magical academy has gained possession of the Skull and has been swayed to evil and idolatry of the skull for it's arcane and oracular powers. The PCs fight the organization of evil magi and their summoned hordes to find that the mastermind behind it all is a centuries old skull that seems to rattle on and on... it does seem quite ocnvincing.
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? Responses (9)
Useful but unfriendly.
A neat idea, but rather tied to specific time-travel ideas. So long as the door is now locked to such travel, I could see using it, but it does seem to open the door to stuff that could truely mess with your campaign.
Though I see where the idea came from - its an interesting paradox. Sure, if you go back in time and gack your great-grandfather, you're screwed. But to go into the future to kill yourself? Freaky. You're just askin' for the time-cops to come knocking :)
A creative use of twisted temporal travel. There's no reason that you couldn't harvest your future self, as long as you were sufficiently sanguine about it ("About time you showed up," the aged mage said...), but it does seem likely to draw attention from other, less capable, time mages.
A pretty good execution of something that I would find extremely hard to use... not my cup of tea, but the idea behind it has something fascinating, as val has noted.
i can actually see the thing being that Gardesh would eventually start fending his past self off with temporal magics, shunting his past self back to his starting point, making the paradox larger and larger. the longer he fends himself off, the more and more he relies of the power of the skull, and when temporal distortion flickers the skull away his past self, fully reliant on his own skills and power, arrives to fight a wizard deprived of a much used crutch.
I had to come up with what it would take to kill a warrior mage capable of slaughtering thousands of liches. The only thing that came to mind was said warrior mage himself.
I had to come up with what it would take to kill a warrior mage capable of slaughtering thousands of liches.
Arrogance comes to mind. The idea that "If I have fallen so far that my younger self can defeat me, I am no longer worthy to live," or perhaps "I shall defeat even Death! By then, my magical researches will have given me the ability to return from mere corporeal destruction."
The world is full of people who presume upon the future, confident in future events that may or may not occur as planned.
Hmm, never saw this! interesting item to say the least. And i think val meant why did Scras feel the overwhelming urge to ask himself that bizarre question in the first place :)
And I know the answer too! Because he's tricksy, preciousss.
Shh, my precious, they is listening to us now, they are asking us the questions, that isnt right, only we ask us questions. That is what is right. Tricksey precious, we must sneaks, yes, sneaks precious