Here’s a weird magic item I thought up the other day… It has already seen use in my current campaign too. I liked it.
On a Glance
Generally kept in a bag the size of a small head. It’s generally made out of tough black cloth, as the bone dust leaves dark purplish stains on everything. It contains a rough black powder, which is fat and sooty. In the light it glimmers of deep purples. It smells of ashes and acrid sweetness.
Everyone knows that witches have power, although no one agrees upon where that power comes from. It’s true as well that people often go about burning witches on stakes. Depending on where you are there might be different reasons for this, but it happens nonetheless. And then there’s the oft-forgotten question of: where does this power go? If a witch is allowed to live for long enough she will either wither away (and her power with her) or grow to become a beast… But when a witch is burnt, her power is burnt into her very bones along with her dying curse. What remains is a blackened mass filled with sorcery and resentment.
This is used by certain clans for certain ritual items. This is one of them. The black bones are taken, ground down, and mixed with several chemicals and oils. Through repeated magical infusions, the dust is forced into this particular function. This is not the only thing you may do with witches’ bones of course. There are far more peculiar items made of the heretical bones, some of which would make scholars choke in surprise.
When you burn a fistful of dust it will create purple sooty cloud, which will seek out one of the nearest fresh corpses. It will be drawn up inside, filling it up with wrathful energy, jolting them into unlife. They receive a save to retain some of their personality.
The creature refills it maximum HP. It’s now undead, and possibly aggressive. The whites of their eyes become black and swollen, and the iris turns a sickly purple. They will continually emit black ashes through their ragged (and ultimately pointless) breaths.
After a few rounds of fighting whatever is nearby, the creature gets another save. If both are failed, well, tough luck. It’s a crazy undead killer forever.
Saving the Damned
There might be a way to get someone affected to live again… kind of.
If you, within 4 days, perform a certain ritual, the accursed being may return to a semblance of life. If requires at least the following:
- Another handful of witch’s bone dust.
- Enough ground bones to fill your cupped hands.
- A small bottle of fresh human blood.
- Enough pure water to wet all this.
- A bottle of Elixir Vitae (healing potion) or equivalent.
- A relic or fine item to be your link.
You can hope the magic saves you. This may lead to unexpected side effects.