Nightshade Staff

Nightshade Staff +1

Obsidian Portal item link: Nightshade Flute

Wielded by Damien Baudet

Description

This staff of strange charcoal-colored wood comes to about shoulder height when resting on the ground. The grain of the material is warped and twisted into necromantic sigils, and a further set of runes have been chiseled into the staff around the top. A curious bone pan flute rests atop the staff, tied down with leather cords and twine, and a set of metal totemic trinkets dangle from it. When active, a chill wind blows around the staff, stirring the windchime trinkets and producing a thin music from the pipes of the flute.

Background

The earliest mention of the Staff was in a journal in the care of Lord Athein, where a past adventurer of his family sketched the item. The accompanying entry described it as belonging to a spectral undead necromancer referred to as simply “a wraith.” However, the sketch depicted not a flute atop the staff, but a large dark crystal, suggesting that the item may have been damaged or disassembled and another magic item of similar resonance set in place of the missing part.

It is not yet known how the Staff came to be where the party found it. Damien’s mentor Athenais was in search of a staff with power over the undead when she went missing, and the gnome Pharod admitted to knowing of her but claimed never to have seen her. The name he supplied for the Staff does relate to the Order of the Nightshade, a necromantic cabal that House Athein has tangled with in the past, but again, the connection is unclear.

Game Mechanics

The Nightshade Staff is a heroic tier artifact. It grows in power as the story progresses, and as the characters invest and fulfill personal quests in relation to it. It does not yet have a concordance, as its intelligence has not awakened. At present, with one tier of upgrade, it has the following properties:

  • It has attack, damage, and critical bonuses as a Magic Staff +1.
  • The wielder is considered to be wearing Deathcut Leather Armor +1.
  • It emits an aura 10 within which allies do not contract disease from plague miasma.
  • As a daily item power, the wielder may make an Intelligence attack vs. Will, ranged 10, targets one undead creature, Hit: the target is dominated (save ends).
  • As a daily item power, it allows the wielder to perform the ritual Push Back The Darkness: Level ??; Category Restoration, Warding; Time 1 hour; Duration 1 year; Component Cost 3 healing surges; Market Price ??; Key Skill Arcana (no check); Effect An area the size of a small town (about 1/3 of a world map hex) is cleansed of and warded against the Deathwind plague.

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Nightshade Staff

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