Thursday, October 23, 2014

Another list of HMS Apollyon Magic Items - Necromantic Boons

Horrors from the UMENTIONABLEs Collection

A lich, but not the Unmentionable
The Scavengers in the last game of HMS Apollyon broke the only real law aboard the vessel and did a big favor for the 'kindly' old lich known as "The Unmentionable".  In return Mr. Unmentionable has taken a break from his process of stitching various cadaverous limbs onto animated shark corpses to allow them to rummage through a crate of magical items and take one each as a reward.  It's likely that Unmentionable doesn't know or much care about the value of these items, he's that kind of obsessed academic, or maybe he's started to see the party as a valuable set of catspaws?

1. Meathook Flail
A length of corroded steel chain, interwoven with dried cracked sinews, the very rust of its surface marking them with jagged glyphs of power.  The 6’ long chain is both effectively unbreakable without magical aid, and topped with a ghastly array of age pocked hooks.  Beside looking intimidating this flail is a magical weapon with two necromantic powers.  First, any living creature slain by the flail will be raised as a zombie in D4 turns to wander the area it was created in and attack any but the flail’s wielder.  These (base: 2HD, ATK Bonus 0, -2 to Initiative, AC 13) creatures are beyond communication except for the occasional moan of affection for their creator or anger at anyone else.  They won’t follow commands or move from the immediate sight of their death and will decay into uselessness after several sessions of play. The flail’s more terrible power is the ability, once per session to animate into a writhing, clawing hydra of metal and rust, attacking any the wielder commands it to for 1d6 rounds.  The spirit animating the flail will require only 1 HD of damage to drive off (temporarily it can be summoned anew next session)  but is immune to normal weapons and attacks with an ATK bonus of +4 and an AC of 15.   

2. Heart of Undeath
Wrapped in a shark hide box stuffed with stained paper is a putrid looking human heart.  This blackened relic still beats slowly, it’s cracked leathery surface leaking a vile greenish ichor.  Despite it’s disgusting appearance the heart has the power to restore life.  If the heart of a recently dead sentient (dead within the last week) is replaced with the Heart of Undeath the victim/patient will rise again as a living human.  At first they will be weak and bed ridden (for the next session) but soon the heart will itself rejuvenate as it’s necromantically charged flesh is replaced by the healthy tissues of the living body. 

3. Angel Feather
Stuffed in the bottom of a rotten cardboard crate box is a thin tarnished silver case engraved with swirls and chevrons. Opening the case produces the distant sound of a choir and the tinkling of tiny bells, but reveals only a long decaying feather.  The feather is the pinion of an archangel, blessed an enchanted however, and despite its bedraggled (and likely misused) state it is a powerful ward against the living dead.  The feather contains 12 charges that can be expended for a variety of tasks.  A single charge will turn undead as if the caster was a cleric of 5th level, while touching the dead with the feather (a close weapon) and expending its energy will do 2D6 damage per charge expended.  One charge will also exorcise necromantic effects (with a successful WIS check) or act to consecrate up to 5 bodies at a time, preventing them from rising and granting their spirits rest.   

5. Slaughterhouse Crown
A skull cap of tanned flesh crudely stitched with crawling glyphs in red dyed gut.  The ‘crown’ renders the wearer effectively invisible to undead unless the wearer attacks them.  Unfortunately not only is it an unsightly head covering  but is creates an aura of filth and degeneracy that most find off-putting (-1 Chr).

6. Bone Splinter Shot
A broken dueling pistol, its  wheellock fused into a corroded lump, and fine bone handle cracked.  The octagonal barrel is bent, but triple charged with  balls of wickedly carved bone that glitter with power.  These items will fit suspiciously well in any muzzle loading pistol and are deadly magical ammunition.  When fired at an enemy they will home in, screeching with evil, as the bound spirit within seeks a target.  They are +3 to hit and each will produce an explosion of cold, necromantic energy and bone splinters that does 3D6 damage with a burst value of 6.

7. Ghostly Essence
A strange silver decanter (worth 400 GP itself), tarnished and dented, but in the shape of three robed damsels, each of whose head can be unscrewed to reveal a space filled with sweet clear liquid.  Each of the three linked figures (counts as one item) contains a magical essence distilled from the spirits of the honored dead.  The first, whose face appears to be robust and healthy is a potion of extra healing, allowing the imbiber to reroll their full HP. The second, whose screw top head is only a skull with a main of carved hair contains an essence of ghostly presence, rendering the drinker invisible until they attack or a spell exhaustion result on the encounter die.  The last figure of the decanter’s triptych is cowled and the face is an empty void.  This most powerful essence will render the drinker ethereal, both immune to all non-magical attacks, capable of walking through walls and able to physically attack incorporeal beings until it expires with a spell exhaustion result on the encounter die.  Drinkign any of these potions results in unsettling visions and emotional volatility for a few hours afterward as the drinker’s body and soul try to process the spirit that the drinker has just consumed.

8.  Seal of the Schodel Family
A heavy silver ring, topped with an inch thick a block of sickly pus yellow gemstone. The gem is carved with a Sigil of three leg bones, the center one aflame.  It is the mark of the long extinct Schodel Family of Uptown.  Once powerful passenger class sorcerers, the dispute between the Schodel’s and the Al Ghuli is an old whispered story.  The best of the Schodel’s were exiled into the hull (or left voluntarily to start their own town) over an eon ago, and those that remained were mercilessly hounded by the Al Ghuli and their allies.  The Schodel’s were powerful and vastly wealthy, allied by blood and pacts with Orcus (odd as demon princes are not popular amongst the Apollyon’s elite – but it was a different time) and it took 700 years before the last Schodel scion was sent to an orphanage in Pickbone Square at the age of 12 after her uncle and guardian was ‘killed by ruffians while betting on fighting hounds’ and the families estates were seized to pay obviously false letters of credit. The ring isn’t magic, but it’s certainly something one could cause a lot of mischief with, or sell for at least 1,000 GP.

9.  Spectral Companion
A large comb carved from yellowed bone and set with green stones, this item contains the soul of a pouty and beautiful youth, who will be friendly towards the comb’s owner.  Martel is appears as a ghostly teenager with soft good looks, clad in a variety of absurd, costly items of leisure wear.  He may be reliably summoned once per session to serve his owner or to possess human enemies.  When summoned Martel will often be sullen and sulky, as if he has much better things to do, and he will express distaste at the crude manners and lifestyle of most scavengers.  However, despite his petulance, Martel is loyal, and will act as a loyalty 12 henchman until he is either asked to attack or the spell exhaustion result on the encounter die is rolled (when he will disappear back to whatever phantom seraglio spawned him).  Martel is limited however, in that he is made of cool white smoke, and can neither effect or be effected by the material world beyond causing a slight breeze.  Martel can however speak, is bright, if distracted, and can pass through even the smallest cracks, making him an excellent scout.  If asked to attack, Martel will only attack humans, and he will try a single possession attack before dissipating.  The target must save vs. spells or Martel will be able to take over their body, which he will usually do gleefully (he does not like possessing the ugly, deformed or obese) inhabiting his puppet until it is killed or until the end of the session.  While possessed by Martel, puppets cannot use any skills or magical abilities, but retain their muscle memory and hence combat abilities.


  1. " King Wass who wears the slaughterhouse crown." or " Wass the master of the Spectral Companion." What a choice!

  2. What is that Lich illustration from? I really like it.

    1. Not sure pulled it from the internet, where it seemed to lack proper labeling.

  3. Ugh, these are so good that it's hard to choose! A somewhat familiar problem. Hysala will take the Heart of Undeath. Other PCs please bear in mind that the Meathook Flail is the only magic weapon we've seen so far.