Monday, October 8, 2012

Bettellyn: Secrets Forgotten -- Pt. V

Continues from Part IV.  Click HERE for the previous article.

From the words of Al-Zuhbaab-the-Keen:

Alphatia Bettellyn Al-Zuhbaab Scroll Artifact Relic Immortals

Players' Background: It isn’t known who or what created this object, or when.  No one has actually identified all of its powers and penalties.  The orb was already found once on Mystara, in the early days of Alphatian Landfall.  Its last owner discovered that it could grant a lore ability strong enough unveil legends about immortals.  Alas, a safeguard on the artifact caused a gate to open, enabling horrifying beings to enter.  Al-Zuhbaab's servant was able to escape and tell the story.  When local authorities rushed to the site, they failed to locate the artifact amid the dwelling’s rubble.  Neither was Al-Zuhbaab’s body ever recovered.  What lore he’d unearthed was forever lost.  Subsequent research yielded limited information.  Investigators concluded that, because of the orb’s design, either lawful creatures or chaotic ones could come in, possibly to retrieve the object and destroy its user.  It isn't known if any stayed behind.

The DM's Point of View: The Orb of Eternity is a Greater Artifact with 455 Power Points, using mechanics described in Wrath of the Immortals.  It has an obliterate power (Attack, 90 PP), an immortal lore power (Information, 100 PP), a travel power (Movement, 80 PP), a timestop power (Transformation, 100 PP), and an inertial control power (Defense, 85 PP).  It recharges at 120 TP per hour.
Alphatia Bettellyn Artifact Relic Immortal Lore
The true danger with this artifact lies in its handicap and penalties.  As a handicap, each time the artifact’s powers are triggered, the owner loses a point of both Strength and Constitution.  The loss is negated 120 days later if the artifact has been discarded or abandoned.  Penalties involve three different effects.  If the orb is damaged 50% or more, it teleports itself to safety, including inside solid material since it cannot be damaged in this manner.  Any power other than immortal lore has a cumulative 10% chance of provoking amnesia to its user (no save) when it is used.  It wipes out all memories from the moment the user acquired the orb.  Once amnesia is triggered, memory loss keeps occurring every following sunrise.  This amnesia cannot be cured unless the owner loses/discards the artifact.  The third and last penalty may occur when the immortal lore power is invoked.  A gate may open near the user (30% chance +10 per subsequent use) which can only be shut if the artifact is taken through it.  If the user is Lawful, one or more black hags enter through the gate or greet the user on the other side.  If the user is Neutral or Chaotic, archons appear instead.  HD of either creature types should at least match those of the user and anyone else attending.  These creatures’ mission is to kill the user and retrieve the artifact, after which they return whence they came and hide the orb in some obscure outer plane, preferably one very unfriendly to the user.  Having succeeded their mission, the affected creatures lose all memory of it and the event (no save).  If the gate remains open for whatever other reason (the artifact and its owner escaped), beasts keep entering now and then.

Using a lore spell on this artifact or any other divination magic cast by a mortal will fail, unless the spell is cast during a timestop.  Unveiling any clues about the orb otherwise requires epic quests.  The first few clues, unearthed by mystics at the service of the Archbishop of Quanfax, seem to connect with the Hebdomadea.  The only way to permanently destroy the artifact is to bring it back to its maker.

To be continued?  Why, of course!  Click HERE to continue.