Editor’s Note: Sedition and the Light of E’li are the contest winners for the 2007 Holy Artifacts Challenge. These are the submissions from Frostdawn.
A nondescript necklace made of bands of white gold. When its powers are activated, it gives a faint prismatic glow.
During the time of the Kingpriest Beldinas, Takhisis had this artifact created to spurn the efforts of the Kingpriest in his attempts of ridding the land of evil and more importantly, Takhisis’ influence. To scorn the Kingpriest’s decree, and knowing he had started to read the minds of his people to detect evil thoughts, Sedition was created to corrupt those who were good, thus making them targets of the Kingpriest’s ire (turning good against itself as evil was often plagued to do). Takhisis chose a devout follower in the human female, Marasaard DiLonghi to foment evil in Takhisis’ name, and bestowed upon her Sedition. Marasaard was ordered to insinuate herself in the populace of Istar and wreak havoc in subtle ways among the social elite. To this end, Sedition granted Marasaard the ability to avoid detection from good aligned beings, thus preventing the Kingpriest and his followers from learning the nature of her mission.
By staying in contact with others, Sedition had a chance over time of corrupting those around the wearer to gradually shift their alignment towards evil. This equated to people giving into their base instincts. Victims would lie, cheat, steal, become excessively violent, give into forbidden lust, greed, and even betray loved ones. These actions would in turn draw the attention of Beldinas and his clerics who would then persecute the otherwise good beings. The charisma bonus afforded the alluring and personable Marasaard ample opportunity to keep the company of many people in order to further her mission. Should she come into any problems, the talisman granted her protection, and some offensive capability. Barring that, she could render herself invisible and attempt to slip away.
Unfortunately, Marasaard got a little too careless, as the power afforded by the amulet became too intoxicating, leaving her to believe she could proceed with impunity. Such carelessness brought about her defeat when a high ranking member of Beldinas’s inner circle managed to detect her when her guard was down. Sedition was taken from her and locked within the tower at Istar. Marasaard was executed per the decree of the Kingpriest.
Tie-in to Takhisis
Corruption. Her aspect of the five-headed chromatic dragon is a point of pride for her as it was testament to her corrupting the original metallic dragons into the chromatic dragons that everyone knows today. This item was created during a time when corruption would be far more potent than displays of raw power (that would draw too much attention and be dealt with quickly and decisively) given that the balance in the world was leaning heavily towards good during the time of the artifact’s creation.
By wearing the necklace, the wearer is affected by a continual tongues spell and is granted a +4 Charisma bonus. When worn, the necklace also exudes a special corruption* field (see notes below). The wearer is immune to this effect. Mental commands can activate the following spell-like powers:
Issuing a vocal command allows the use of the following spell-like powers:
- unholy aura
*special- corruption– each day the wearer is within 15 feet of a Neutral or Good-aligned individual, there is a cumulative chance that the necklace will corrupt that individual. If more than one person is in the vicinity of the wearer, the wearer can mentally spread this influence to others within the 15 foot radius area of effect. (Will save DC 20 + wearer’s Charisma modifier after figuring in the bonus granted by the necklace. A failed save shifts the target’s alignment one increment toward Evil per the chart below) Additional alignment shifts (where applicable) will take a week or longer prolonged exposure to the necklace. A successful save means the target is immune to the corruption effect for one week. This special ability does not affect beings already Evil aligned.
lawful good -> lawful neutral -> lawful evil
neutral good -> neutral -> neutral evil
chaotic good -> chaotic neutral -> chaotic evil
lawful neutral -> lawful evil
true neutral -> neutral evil
chaotic neutral -> chaotic evil
This item has not been seen or heard of since the time of Istar’s reign. Since Takhisis’ demise, it is unknown which (if any) of the powers still function. Hiddukel would most likely be very interested in this item’s retrieval, as it plays right into one of his favored tactics as well – that of corruption.
The Light of E’li
The Light of E’li is a small pyramid shaped prism that fits easily in the palm of a hand (a tribute to Paladine’s holy symbol, the triangle).
The origin of this artifact was lost in time, but it existed prior to the reign of Beldinas. Legend had it that while the artifact did belong to Paladine, its powers were deemed a potential threat, should anyone deign to use it against Beldinas or his trusted followers. An elven convoy came to Istar to worship at the temple of Paladine, and wished to share the wonders of the artifact with their fellow clerics in the efforts of spreading the greatness and influence of Paladine. The clerics in Istar, steadfast and loyal to the will of Beldinas brought forth the artifact to him. Beldinas decreed that they could not risk the artifact falling into the wrong hands, and that it should be placed into safe keeping in the tower until he could determine a fitting way to protect it. He never did, as was his intention. The powers of the artifact could have potentially granted the wielder of the Light of E’li the ability to cause him harm, or cause all of his grandeur to be stripped away, revealing the tired, paranoid state he was actually in (the same state Crysania witnessed when his true nature was revealed as he made his demand of the gods and they responded by sending the flaming mountain to strike him down). If his true nature was ever revealed to others, he was afraid his resolve may crack, causing his power base to falter. Something he could not risk.
Tie-in to Paladine
The very shape of the artifact (a pyramid) is a tribute to his holy symbol, that of the triangle, allowing all who bear witness to the item to know unmistakably whose blessing is upon the artifact. Most of the effects granted by the artifact are light (sun) derived.
When a Good-aligned being holds the prism, it bestows a bless effect to those within 15 feet of the wielder. Each face of the prism grants a different spell-like ability, accessed by invoking the gods of Light and holding the corresponding face toward a target (the faces and corresponding effects are imparted to the bearer of the prism mentally).
- face 1 – daylight
- face 2 – break enchantment
- face 3 – true seeing
- face 4 – maximized flamestrike (15d6 damage, save DC 20 plus wielder’s Wisdom modifier)
- base – when the prism is held directly overhead of the wielder, it bestows a sanctuary spell (personal field only) upon the wielder.
In addition, if Paladine is still among the pantheon of the gods, holding the prism overhead and invoking his name provides the use of a miracle (per the spell). This special ability is usable once per week.
The miracle ability tended to be a bit random, as per the nature of Paladine’s interceding on the behalf of the wielder (per the spell), complicated even more by his Fizban persona/aspect. It is unknown if any god in the pantheon of Good will take up the mantle of this effect, should the artifact be retrieved. The durability of the item is in question as well. Those who have wielded it could never tell if it was a glass-like substance, platinum, or even dragonmetal. Were the prism ever destroyed, there is no telling what might happen, given the sun-derived powers contained within the artifact.