Artifacts of Darkness

   For the Champions players, here’s a list of the major artifacts which were confiscated from the Darkmage at the final, and long-delayed, conclusion of the Darkstorm War. The major items listed here are all Independent items, and can be used by anyone. The minor items generally are not, and must be paid for with the user’s personal points or (preferably) their equipment allowance.

   Three of the seven Crowns of Krin. Each of these indestructible iron circlets bears a fragment of the Soul of Krin – a gemstone said to contain a powerful and tremendously corruptive entity from the prehuman era. The crowns bond with their wearers: when the wearer dies, or the crown is somehow removed, the wearers spirit and life force is drawn in, adding to the power of Krin. The three are currently in the custody of UN law enforcement.

   A Grand Necromantic Bell. These are used to drain the life energy from the dying to use to power magic. Unfortunately, the process is agonizing for the victims – potentially enough so to attract spirit-predators – and taints all the magic so powered. This one is of tremendous capacity and – thanks to the Darkmage linking it to his globally-destructive spells – is fully charged.

   The Bloodseal Blade: This short, crude, copper dagger siphons the life force from those it kills and banishes their spirits, allowing the user to extend his or her life, work unusually powerful magic, heal wounds rapidly, and kill without leaving ghosts or spiritual traces. It bestows shamanic magic, seems to prefer to kill those who are guilty of offenses against others, and does not seem to be inherently evil, since the Darkmage had sealed it away. Before the Darkmage claimed it, it was in the possession of Red Jack.

   The Fourth Talon of Tiamat: A twisted wand which allows the user to employ the Talons invocation. It’s said to be a part of a set of ten, combining them will supposedly allow the user to tap into Tiamat’s power directly.

   A Mandrake Warrior Plant: This gnarled mandrake plant grows tiny seeds, which – if planted and watered – soon grow into tiny, but quite lethal, homunculi-assassins. A secondary ritual will allow them to grow inside of a victim and control them, but the process is often fatal.

   The Gae Bolg or Deathstave: This short spear provides a variety of extremely lethal attack spells, most of them designed to kill slowly but as surely as possible: they’re loaded with effects such as “difficult to dispel”, “penetrating”, and “uncontrolled continuous”. Perhaps fortunately, few of its effects are fast enough to use in most battles – and most people prefer more versatile weapons in any case. That’s especially true since, according to legend, the thing has a nasty tendency to take out friends, or be seized by enemies, at inopportune times.

   The Beasthelm of Ymir: This device is designed to temporarily entrap the spirit of an animal within itself so as to add its strengths and abilities to the wearer’s. Unfortunately, at the moment this can only be made to work if the wearer opts to allow the spirit to bond itself to him, rather than to the helm. The anti soul-binding counterspell currently in effect on earth prevents spirits from being bound into inanimate containers for long – or for any time at all if their powers are being tapped.

   The Harp of Seven Winds: While the harp produces relatively weak effects, it’s notable for being able to produce chords of them – firing off up to ten weak spells with a single stroke across its strings. Most of its spells are straightforward defenses and attacks, but there are a few aid effects available as well.

   The Holocaust Codex, Tome of Disaster: This elderly volume bestows the power of Ritual Magic and the necessary magical skills to enact rituals on its user. Unfortunately, it only provides the active side of such skills, not the normally-accompanying knowledge of the costs, limitations, and perils of such magic. Power yes, wisdom no. When the bearer wants to do something, the tome simply makes him or her aware of a ritual which he or she can use. This was entrusted to the leader of the Demon-Warrior troops during the last battle, giving him the usual selection of prepared rituals to use. There’s nothing inherently evil or malevolent about the tome by the way, it simply has no safety precautions installed…

   The Bracers of Lugh: These useful wristlets are said to grant skill and luck (several overall levels and Cramming) at any endeavor.

   The Sigil of Barisinga: In accordance with an old bargain, the bearer of this sigil may call on the services, and magical instruction, of a pooka and several other fey whenever he or she desires. For good or ill, the fey summoned tend to reflect the nature of their summoner: wrathful and evil summoners will call forth treacherous, unreliable, and malevolent fey. Benign summoners will call forth helpful ones – albeit filled with the usual fey mischief.

   The Net of Senjiva: This simple-appearing net can be cast into other dimensions, either to draw forth what’s there or to temporarily overlay them upon this dimension. Unfortunately, given the powerful dimensional barriers around the earth, using it is extremely draining.

   Hatupatu’s Blade: While this actually takes a variety of forms, including a staff (which is the form the Darkmage was using it in), it’s actually pretty straightforward: it provides a variety of very straightforward, and very high-powered attack effects which do not draw on the user’s personal energies.

   The Wyrm Belt isn’t apparently “magical” as such, its primarily a psionic amplifier. Ergo, he wasn’t using it.

   The Darkmage had also collected several Runestones or Runic Devices – one of the shards of the Tablets of Destiny, a Powerstone, a Helmstone, the Mirror of Souls, and a Dragon’s Eye. None of these are technically “Independent”, but they’re simply harder to control if not properly attuned.

   Minor items include a variety of lesser protective talismans, minor magical weapons and demon-summoning devices (all unimportant and generic enough to be included under equipment allowances).