Tuesday Magic Item – Horn of Horonaim

28 May, 2013

Sound offTravelers say they hear strong sounds echoing from the ruins of Horonaim, the ruins so old that no one remembers when it was anything other than ruins and dust, the sounds reported vary but a sounded horn figures in it most often.

The ruins have been ruin and haunted forever, as the ancient texts say, “on the road down to Horonaim anguished cries over the destruction are heard.”

Rarely someone will venture there, more rarely still, will someone return.

Horn of Horonaim

These rare items universally have unhappy histories, made from age blackened ram’s horn and tarnished silver settings, they carry a weight and a sorrow with them.  While apparently fragile, it takes considerable mystic power to destroy a Horn of Horonaim.

It can obviously be used as a musical instrument, when being use so, it provides a +3 circumstance bonus to any Perform checking trying to invoke sadness, sorrow, anguish or despair, this drops to a +1 if trying to evoke hostile emotions (such as anger) and becomes a -5 penalty if trying to generate any positive feelings.

A Horn of Hononaim can also be used to bolster or dismay the unliving, each use can be attempted but combined, it cannot be used in such a way more than three times a day.  It requires a full round action and a successful Perform (wind instruments) check DC 15, for each five points this DC is exceeded, the duration is increased by one round.

  • Bolster, the unliving draw strength from the haunting sound of the horn, gaining a +1 profane bonus to damage rolls and temporary hit points equally to their hit dice, this effect lasts 1d4+1 rounds.
  • Dismay, the unliving are reminded of their pitiful state and how their existence is a blight on the world, they suffer a -1 profane penalty to initiative, attack rolls and saves for 1d4+1 rounds.  Intelligent undead with less than five hit dice must make a Will Save (DC 13 + Charisma modifier of the person sounding the horn) or be dazed for one round as regrets from their former life overwhelm them.

Lastly, the Horn of Horonaim may be used to awaken the spirits of the dead and allow them to cross over into the lands of the living.  This may be attempted no more than once a season at an appropriate time when the view between the worlds in thin, requiring a Knowledge (Arcane, the Planes or Religion) DC 24 to determine, then it requires a site of great tragedy, and lastly the ritual itself which requires three Perform (wind instruments) checks, each taking an hour and requiring a Fortitude save at the end, failing the save means that the performer is fatigued.

  • Lament of the Land, Perform check DC 23, Fortitude Save DC 18, the spirits begin to awake, any spell contacting the dead is cast at +1 caster level for the next eight hours.
  • Dirge of the Forgotten, Perform check DC 28, Fortitude Save DC 21, the spirits start to cross over the veil, 1d6 spirits plus an additional 1d6 spirits for each point the Perform check DC was exceeded by.  If the sounder of the horn does not play further than this, they will have 1d4 minutes once they stop playing the horn to get clean before the spirits will break free of their revere.
  • March of the Lost Souls, Perform check DC 33, Fortitude Save DC 25, the one who sounds the horn may set the spirits one task which they will make a good faith attempt to accomplish as long as it does not take more than a week.  If this Perform check is failed, the spirits will fall upon the one who sounded the horn and attempted to drag him from this world into theirs.

Aura strong necrourgy; CL 15th
Slot none; Price 15,000; Weight 1 lb
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, control undead, create greater undead, speak with dead; Cost 7,500

Notes: Items for bards, especially evil bards, are fairly rare and this one has a lot of plot potential.

The ancient text quoted above is the Biblical Book of Jeremiah, 48:5.

Photograph from Wikimedia Commons and is in the Public Domain (thanks to the generosity of the Walters Art Museum).

One comment

  1. I like it…very mythic and Tolkenien. Has a good feel of an object that you probably shouldn’t use, but should be forced by desperation to use despite your better judgment…

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