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Tuesday Magic Item – Horns of Ambition

7 July, 2020

Your ambition is showingVoddick leaned back and sipped at his ale. “Something is wrong,” he muttered.

Gollaon nodded, watching the other patrons in the common room. “The newly arrived noble and retinue are . . . impressive?”

“Yes, they are dressed to overawe.”

“Indeed, expensively if not stylishly,” critiqued Gollaon swirling the wine in his glass.

“And something is the matter with that noble’s hat.”

“I suspect it is covering up more than just a bad hair style.”

Horns of Ambition

If found, unused, they are but a pair of small bone nodes with a concave side. Picking them up, the person will hear whispers promising power all they must do is attach the nodes to their skull.  If so done, the node will, painfully, meld with the flash and bone and reemerge where they thing is aesthetically pleasing as small horns.

The basic powers the horns provide are: +4 profane bonus to intimidate checks and the ability to detect outsiders (as detect evil but only for creatures from other dimensions).  The person is also in contact with the being who created them who will offer advice and information, when it suits their agenda.

Other power may be “purchased” from the being, inevitably a powerful creature from the darkest dimension, in exchange for favors to be collected later.  Such are up for each Games Master to negotiate and balance as they see fit but any such bargain will increase the size of the horns, the more power gained and the more deals made, the larger and more visible they become.  (If the person who has accepted the Horn of Ambition already has horns, the Horns of Ambition will manifest as a totally different type of horn, they will be obvious.)

Removing already active Horns would require a willing subject and a major quest.  When the person they are bound to is killed, two nodes fall off of the existing horns and wait for a new bargain to be made.

Slot none; CL 13th Weight -.; Aura moderate conjuration

For D&D 5E:

Wondrous item (horns), very rare (requires attunment)

First, third and final paragraph as above.

The basic powers the horns provide are: Advantage when making Charisma (Intimidation) rolls and the ability to detect outsiders (as detect evil and good but only for creatures from other dimensions).  The person is also in contact with the being who created them who will offer advice and information, when it suits their agenda.

Notes: Inspired by a variety of sources including the Warrior Nun series, Hellboy and the ambition involved in making demonic pacts.  If one can resist the siren call of the evil powers, the horns could be useful tools for a demon hunter, but the power you could gain . . .

Image “Bucranium”, from The Met, licensed under CC0 1.0.

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