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Tuesday Magic Item – Ghost Sealing Shroud

15 September, 2020

Shroud for the dead“I hate executions,” said Gollaon.  “Even when deserved, they are unpleasant to watch.”

“Take it up with our charge’s mother, she seems to think it is good for youth to see the result of such justice,” replied Voddick.  “Though in general I agree with you.  While justice must be done, and be seen to be done, there is no reason to make such a spectacle out of it.”

“Some just take delight in the misfortune and suffering of others.”

“The only good thing I can say about the the whole thing is that they are serving beer.”

Ghost Sealing Shroud

These shrouds are made of lead beaten into a thin sheet and marked with wards and protective sigils along the edges, until it is placed over the head of an unresisting or completely bound human-like creature, then it binds to the creature until it is killed or it is forcibly removed.  Once the being is killed hardens like poured wax until pulled away and even then it remain stiff until the spirit inside is removed.  Originally designed for the noble purpose of catching the spirits on murders when they were executed to prevent them from becoming vengeful spirits some have turned them to a less enlightened purpose.

While enshrouded, the being’s vision is reduced to shadows (everything has concealment) and they cannot speak, though they can hear perfectly well.  Removing the shroud is nearly impossible for the enshrouding, requiring either a Escape Artist check (DC 38, and suffers 1 point of Dexterity and Strength damage if failed) or Strength check (DC 25, and suffers 1d4 + their Strength modifier in bludgeoning damage and 1 points of Strength damage if failed) or it can be pulled off by another (DC 21 Strength check, and the enshrouded person takes 1d6 + the Strength modifier of the puller in bludgeoning damage successful or not).  Magic attempt to free the enshroud must overcome the caster level of the shroud.

Once the shrouded person is killed, their spirit is trapped in the shroud, dimly away of what is going on around it but lost in a dreamlike and mildly unpleasant state.   A simple exorcism ritual will send the spirit to it proper place.

A specialist in magics of spirits can use the trapped spirit for other purposes such as animated the dead, creating some sorts of hostile spirit or draining their energy to create ill-aspected and cursed items.  But care must be taken least the spirit escape and seek vengeance, likely on those who tried to abuse it first.

Aura strong necrourgy; CL 13th
Slot none; Price 25,000; Weight 10 lbs
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, bestow curse, protection from evil, raise dead; Cost 12,500

For D&D 5E:

Wondrous item (shroud), rare

First, third and final paragraph as above.

While enshrouded, the being’s vision is reduced to shadows (everything is obscured) and they cannot speak, though they can hear perfectly well.  Removing the shroud is nearly impossible for the enshrouding, requiring either a Dexterity (acrobatics) check (DC 28 and lose 1 point of Dexterity and Strength damage if failed) or Strength check (DC 23, and suffers 1d4 + their Strength modifier in bludgeoning damage and lose 1 points of Strength damage if failed, recovered after a short or long rest) or it can be pulled off by another (DC 19 Strength check, and the enshrouded person takes 1d6 + the Strength modifier of the puller in bludgeoning damage successful or not).  Magic attempt to free the enshroud must overcome it as though it was a 7th level spell.

Notes: Avoiding vengeful spirits is really important!  So having a way to make sure they are not allowed to form is a good item.  But naturally, someone will try to take advantage of that . . .

What can be done with the trapped spirits is deliberately vague so that Game Masters can use them for wahtever sorts of plats seem reasonable.

Image Lazarus raised from the dead, supported by two figures and draped in a shroud c 1516 by Michelangelo from the British Museum and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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