Dead Sea Almanac – Friday, April 12, 2019

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From the Vault

That’s right, everyone – it’s time for Featured Item Friday once again! Today we delve into the mystical archives of our center in Westport, where the Arcane Vault holds some of history’s most treasured items, including this week’s feature – the staff of Mordekar himself!

Friday Villain: Shadow

The mysterious villain known as the Shadow has been cropping up all over town lately. Witnesses say she is so pale as to have hair that is almost white, and that she dresses in all black and has the pointed ears of an elf. Little is known about this elusive stalker of the night, but one thing is certain: she cannot possibly be up to any good.

In Other News

  • The Mayor’s son has revealed to us he intends to ensure his father wins the upcoming election this next Tuesday, though we are not sure how.
  • Captain Clarke has sent us another gift: a swordfish, which she claims is in thanks for our willingness to run her article last week.
  • The Dead Sea Almanac has absorbed our sister publication, the Dead Sea Chronicle, in a merger; we expect great things from them in the coming weeks.
  • Gargoyles near the city’s Saint Yorick cathedral have begun to show signs of stirring; an ancient prophecy claims this to be an omen of changing winds and dangerous times.


The Staff of Mordekar

The Staff of Mordekar is an item of almost unknowable necromancy. Set in the polished obsidian stave at regular intervals are the heart-stones of seventeen juvenile dragons, whose powerful mana is evident in the grasping chill which radiates from the staff’s owner. The hatred, the pain, the hideous whispering – all combine to make the staff an object of overwhelming evil. Owned by the mage Mordekar and used to commit atrocious acts, the staff was entrusted to our care by the mage-slayer Emeggidon, eighth warder to Cassandra Eyren and eventual Chaos Lord. While we wonder whether the staff had anything to do with his fate, we keep it under lock and key regardless, in order to prevent more harm from coming to anyone.

Mordekar’s Staff

Lawful Evil Magical Weapon

Attacks

  • Bludgeoning 1d8
  • Ray of Sickness 1d8

Spell Slots

  • Two additional spell slots of first level
  • One additional spell slot of second level

Features

Ray of Sickness

The player may cast this form of Ray of Sickness without expending a spell slot; however, the damage is reduced to 1d8. When expending a spell slot of first level or higher, the player instead adds 1d8 damage to the normal damage of the spell.

Additional Spell Slots

The staff provides additional spell slots to its wielder, which much be used to cast necromancies.

Necromantic Touch

Any creature who comes into contact with the staff who is not a necromancer (able to and having in the past cast necromancies of at least first level) takes 2d6 necrotic damage each round they remain in contact with the staff.

Spectral Illusions

While in contact with the staff, its wielder may plant one end on the ground and cause glowing green smoke to erupt from the other, spiralling into whatever patterns they desire. Regardless of the wielder’s normal artistic skill, these visions are always clear in general concept but lacking in fine detail.

Curse of Binding

The staff binds to its wielder and requires time and effort to separate – one hour and a DC 12 Constitution saving throw. If a player fails the throw, they cannot attempt to put aside the staff for twenty-four hours. If a player is forcibly removed from the staff, they suffer two levels of exhaustion until the staff returns to their possession.

Mordekar’s Curse

Mordekar was cursed by the high elves of Turin to roam the earth for all his days, never finding home nor comfort. Try though he might, he could never break the spell, for he was utterly unwilling to be parted from his staff. The staff carries the powerful residual magic still, and any character who wields it will find their friends and acquaintances slowly begin to turn against them.

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