Monday, February 14, 2011

Red Talisman

Stalking silently down the stone corridor, the hunter sniffed for his prey, the stench of rot drawing him onward.

He snuck up on them, his hooves making only the barest of noise as he approached the chamber of murals. Even from here he could see the gore smearing the once beautiful pastoral images.

In the center of the room the body of a snakeman was spread, broken, ripped open. Organs, fluids, flesh and bone had all been torn from the body, and feasting upon it were 8 sickly figures. Pale, emaciated, dressed in rags, their fingers and faces stained with blood, and a malevolent intelligence burning behind their red eyes.

The hunter knelt down upon one knee and said a brief prayer for the fallen soul before snorting once, and charging toward the abominations. Their reactions were predictably fast, yet one was still impaled upon the hunter’s horns. The rest of them fell back away from the sudden interruption hissing.

Flinging the body to the side, the hunter shifted to the right, lashing out with his ax, striking deep into another’s chest. The creatures rallied, and leapt toward the hunter. Two more were dropped before they managed a solid hit upon him, causing his body to freeze. His nose flared before the paralysis took hold, and he silently invoked the power of the amulet he wore around his neck. Pain seared him as his own life’s energy was drawn in to fuel the magic. There was a blood red flash of light. The remaining creatures screamed as their bodies disintegrated.

The hunter lay on his back, pleased to have destroyed more of his enemy, and hoping that no others would come upon him while he was trapped within his own body.

The Red Talisman, created by the mage known only as Dark Mask appears to be a simple necklace made with bone and stone beads. The central bead is a disk with a depressed center, which is filled with a glossy red substance. Around the depression are nine swirls carved into the bead. The wearer of the Red Talisman may voluntarily sacrifice at least 1hp to activate the item. Once activated it allows the wearer to turn undead as a cleric. The user of the Red Talisman may opt to control the undead, rather than turn them. The number of hit points spent +1 equals the level of turning ability gained. Only one person per day may use the item, but that individual may use it as often as they have hit points to sacrifice.

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