It’s been awhile since I’ve posted magic items I created for my Aurikesh campaign, so I’m posting a bunch of them now. The first four of these, my PCs have just learned that they have, thanks to identify; the fifth is out there somewhere in the setting, and might or might not ever come up. One of the things I love about 5e is feeling like there’s not a finicky balance point for magic items, just… understand what you’re handing out, and it will probably be fine. With a three-item attunement limit, there’s a brake on just how much trouble you can even get into. Without further ado…
The Vial of the Black Moon
Rare, requires attunement (In my campaign, I made this uncommon, but I suspect it is powerful enough that it should be rare. It’s hard to know.)
While attuned to this vial, you gain resistance to radiant damage. Once per short rest, you may open the vial as an object action. This ends your resistance to radiant damage until you complete a short rest. Add one of the following to the next successful weapon or spell attack you make before the end of your next turn:
- The target must succeed a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened until the end of its next turn.
- The target takes an additional 1d8 necrotic damage from the attack.
- The target loses resistance (but not immunity) to radiant damage until the end of your next turn.
- The target loses resistance (but not immunity) to necrotic damage until the end of your next turn.
The Vial of the Black Moon was created several centuries ago, by a kingdom of spectral undead (shadows, specters, wraiths, etc.) who were threatened by a powerful – but living – necromancer. He sought to end their dominion over the living, and vials of the black moon strengthened them against both his power and the power of his priestly allies. In the end, the necromancer Vardevain triumphed over the kingdom of the dead, binding their souls to the waters of their capital city and gradually dispersing them into the Ghostlands (Shadowfell).
Recently, however, a well-meaning hero learned that these spectral dead were bound in torment (the torment part was arguably a lie), and freed them. They now seek to reassert their dominion over the living world (by attacking the leaders of the city’s power structure directly), and the race is on to complete Vardevain’s binding-ritual again. One vial of the black moon was borne by a wraith who led an attack against a noble of the city, but was defeated.
Rod of Reproof
uncommon; requires attunement by an alchemist, bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard
When you cast a spell using this rod and the spell has no effect because of a failed spell attack roll or a successful saving throw, the rod deals 1d6 force damage to the target. Once it has done so three times, it will not do so again until the wielder completes a short rest.
The rods of reproof were created as weapons for a cabal of warlocks in the War of Red Sails. The Grand Duke received after-action reports from his commanders, and consistently heard that the warlocks in his service fought to the best of their ability, but a well-trained opponent was only too able to avoid or resist the cantrips upon which they relied for long engagements. The Grand Duke reputedly consulted with the wizard Czerna the Pallid, who advised him to pay any price to develop the rods of reproof, and further pay to have them created. He did so; it did not turn the tide of the war for him, but it extended the war by as much as a decade. Perhaps this is what Czerna intended in the first place.
The Chain of Teeth
rare, requires attunement
The Chain of Teeth is a +1 flail, and when the wielder initiates a grapple while holding it, it deals its base weapon damage die (d8+1, no ability score adjustment) in piercing damage to the target every round that the grapple is maintained, with no attack roll.
The Chain of Teeth was brought out of the Hidden World (Feywild) in centuries past. Of its initial creation, little is known, but the most disturbing – yet likely – legend is that a glutton-fey hungered for the flesh of an Archfey’s guest, whom the Archfey intended to create as a warlock. When the glutton-fey was more tempted by that delicious mortal morsel than frightened of the Archfey’s wrath, it did not end well for the would-be warlock. The glutton-fey continues to eat well, but only when it is commanded; therein lies the justice of the punishment.
The Eye of Naula
uncommon, requires attunement
The wearer may spend an action to cast dissonant whispers as a second-level spell, without spending a spell slot, using 8 + the wearer’s Charisma (Intimidate) skill modifier to set its saving throw DC. Once the wearer uses this ability, she may not do so again until she completes a long rest.
Naula, as it happens, was a demon spawned from the infinite layers of the Abyss. She entered Aurikesh as part of an invasion some twenty years ago, one of the Abyss’s greatest efforts to establish a permanent holding in the mortal world. Naula was a long-range scout and skirmisher, and she worked cunningly to sow confusion and terror in the ranks of the mortals. She was finally brought down by a team of knights, armsmen, and exorcists. She died as her eye was pierced by a misericorde, and the eye alone remained as the rest of her body turned to sand and fog. Perhaps unwisely, the armsman who slew her ran a chain through the wound in the eye. Ever after, it whirls and stares madly when mentally commanded to afflict a target, and the target hears her voice. (This supersedes the musical description in the dissonant whispers spell.)
Ost-ormë, the Wand of Weeping
rare, attunement possible
This wand can cast the inflict wounds spell, as a first-level spell. Once it does so, it may not cast the spell again until the wielder completes a long rest, or it is in no one’s possession for twenty-four hours.
When attuned, it gains additional power. The wand holds up to eight charges, and regains one charge at midnight and 1d4 charges whenever a spell it casts reduces a target to 0 hit points. This is always lethal damage. The wand can be used multiple times between long rests, as long as charges remain. It casts inflict wounds as a first-level spell for one charge, a second-level spell for two charges, and a third-level spell for three charges.
Ost-ormë holds an ill fame among those few who know of it. It was fashioned by the High Priest Akshei the Dreaded as a weapon of execution by the pharaohs of Istra, who concluded that the divine power of the inflict wounds spell must be more holy than execution with a weapon, as the gods granted it. Ost-ormë was lost during a revolt against the pharaoh Kozhep II, presumably falling into the hands of rebels.
The wand is carved from bone, and gold wire is wound about its length. Upon touching the wand, any person may learn the name of the last person it killed.