Minor Artifact: The Giant’s Skull

Ancient tales tell of a powerful storm giant sorcerer who rebelled against his fellows and was imprisoned in an inescapable jail deep beneath the sea.  The skull of this giant–made, rumors say, of solid gold and full of mystical energy–is said to grant the possessor power over the elements and the ability to rain holy fire down upon his or her enemies.  These tales are half-truths at best.

A storm giant dwelt under the sea, apart from others of his race.  He was an evil sorcerer and studied ancient texts and arcane rituals that would eventually transform him into a lich.  Discovering the plans of the evil sorcerer, a group of storm giant warriors attacked him, and in the ensuing battle his head was severed and thrown to the mercy of the ocean currents.

Years later, the skull–now golden and glowing with arcane energy–resurfaced, and the legends of its power grew.  Thought lost for centuries, scholars have been trying to determine its final resting place for some time.  Sir Galen Walsh eventually discovered its whereabouts, deep within the Aggerring Mountains, and dispatched a party of treasure-hunters to retrieve the artifact.

The Giant’s Skull can only be activated during a thunderstorm and must be directly struck by lightning to initiate its magical transformation.  If placed in a prime position during such a storm (with a successful Wilderness Lore check DC 15), there is a 5% chance (a roll of 1 on 1d20) that the skull will be struck by lightning and will begin to glow with a golden aura.  This phenomenon will last for thirty minutes, during which time the skull can be slipped over the possessor’s head like a helmet.  As with all magical items, the skull will expand or contract to properly fit the wearer.  Once placed over the wearer’s head, The Giant’s Skull cannot be removed until again struck by lightning as detailed above.

When worn, the skull grants the following abilities to the wearer:

  • Fear Aura (Su): Seeing the glowing skull attached to a living body is a sight that only the hardiest warrior can withstand. Creatures of less than 5 HD in a 60-foot radius that look at the skull must succeed at a Will save or be affected as though by fear as cast by a sorcerer of the wearer’s level.
  • Immunities (Su): The wearer becomes immune to electricity, polymorph, and mind-affecting attacks.
  • Freedom of Movement (Su): The wearer continuously has freedom of movement as per the spell.
  • Water Breathing (Su): The wearer can breath underwater indefinitely and can freely use any spells or spell-like abilities while submerged.
  • Spell-Like Abilities: The wearer can use the following spell-like abilities a number of times per day equal to 1 + Charisma modifier (with a minimum of once per day).  The save DC is 12 + spell level:
    • Call lightning as a 15th-level druid
    • Chain lightning as a 15th-level sorcerer
    • Control weather as a 20th-level druid
    • Levitate as a 20th-level sorcerer
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