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Tuesday Magic Item – Crown of Ghosts

16 August, 2022

Heavy is the burdenVoddick watched as the tyrant batted at something only he seem to be able to see, whispered “Is he alright?”

Gollaon, whose attention was on the crown, replied, “I think he is haunted by his victims.”

“Are not all tyrants?

?This one more than most I think.”

Crown of Ghosts

This crown was commissioned by a tyrannical ruler to help them enforce their will, the sorcerer who made it did so only because their family was threatened.  To at least exact revenge against the ruler, the sorcerer layered in a hidden curse to punish them for their transgressions.

The crown is a work of art, made of gold and silver, decorated with gems cunningly laid over and concealing steel taken from an executioner’s axe and the chains of prisoners unjustly convicted.

The crown gives its wearer a +4 enhancement bonus to Charisma and all who can see the crown must make a Will save (DC 15 + wearer’s Charisma bonus) or be subject to a charm person effect that lasts until dispelled or otherwise broken.  Just as the tyrant had asked.

However, anyone killed by the orders of the crown’s wearer, directly or indirectly, haunts the crown’s wearer.  These ghosts constantly berate and accuse the crown’s wearer, initially, this is not a great burden, but as the numbers increase.  It becomes much more difficult to rest (Will save of 12 + the order of magnitude of the ghosts or gain no rest) and to perform other tasks (a circumstance penalty to all attack rolls and skill checks equal to the order of magnitude of the ghosts).

By force of will, done no more than once an hour and taking an action, the Crown’s wearer can silence and banish the ghosts for a time (Will save 15 + the order of magnitude of the number of ghosts, silencing them for ten minutes plus one minute per point the save was made by), or even draw a particular ghost to them (same save) and perhaps converse with it (depending on the ghost).

When the crown’s wearer dies, the ghosts grab the wearer’s spirit and bear it away for judgment preventing them from being raised or resurrected.  Most of the ghosts leave at this point but a few linger to keep watch on the next wearer of the crown.

Abandoning the crown does not prevent this haunting, the ghosts remember who caused their deaths and follow the former wearer, waiting for them to die.  Breaking this curse requires extremely powerful magic or some sort of major quest to make amends with the ghosts.

Aura strong enchantment and necrourgy; CL 17th
Slot head; Weight 1 lb

For D&D 5E:

Wondrous item (crown), legendary (requires attunement)

First two paragraphs as above.

The crown gives its wearer a +4 bonus to Charisma (to a maximum of 22) and all who can see the crown must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 13 + wearer’s Charisma bonus) or be subject to a charm effect that lasts until dispelled or otherwise broken.  Just as the tyrant had asked.

However, anyone killed by the orders of the crown’s wearer, directly or indirectly, haunts the crown’s wearer.  These ghosts constantly berate and accuse the crown’s wearer, initially, this is not a great burden, but as the numbers increase.  It becomes much more difficult to rest (Wisdom save of 11 + the order of magnitude of the ghosts or gain no benefits from a short or long rest) and to perform other tasks (a circumstance penalty to all to hit roll and attribute checks equal to the order of magnitude of the ghosts).

By force of will, done no more than once an hour and taking an action, the Crown’s wearer can silence and banish the ghosts for a time (Wisdom saving throw 13 + the order of magnitude of the number of ghosts, silencing them for ten minutes plus one minute per point the save was made by), or even draw a particular ghost to them (Charisma saving throw 13 + the order of magnitude of the number of ghosts) and perhaps converse with it (depending on the ghost).

When the crown’s wearer dies, the ghosts grab the wearer’s spirit and bear it away for judgment preventing them from being raised or resurrected.  Most of the ghosts leave at this point but a few linger to keep watch on the next wearer of the crown.

Abandoning the crown does not prevent this haunting, the ghosts remember who caused their deaths and follow the former wearer, waiting for them to die.  Breaking this curse requires extremely powerful magic or some sort of major quest to make amends with the ghosts.

Notes: Wanted to lean heavily into the people of ambition theme for this month with at least one item.

Image Engraving of the Regalia of Scotland by E. Goodall after A. Geddes, Provincial Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland, from the University of Edinburgh and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) license.

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