Eyeballs Deep in Scarlet Emerald


An Artifact for Return of the Blue Baron

I'm working on the forthcoming Return of the Blue Baron, soon to be released by +Shane Ward of http://3toadstools.blogspot.com/

Here's an ironic art curio for the Artifact Auction to cover the late Baron's past-due taxes.


The Writhing Crown
This is a masterful enameled bronze Medusa with its eyes closed, the sensual face bearing a strong resemblance to Queen Basina. Nestled above her shapely bosom is a functioning doorknocker, styled to look like an elaborate medallion. On the base a polished brass plate reads:

“Respect earned, not given, deserved, not inherited.”

One of the adventurers will remember the scandal around this ribald sculpture. The Blue Baron had the piece commissioned and delivered anonymously to a count on his birthday, a secret rival infatuated with Queen Basina who couldn’t bring himself to destroy the dangerous but stimulating sculpture. Before long, a pious chambermaid reported the scandalous bronze. The Queen soon visited unexpectedly with a well-armed entourage, and the count was clapped in irons for moral indecency and impugning the royal dignity. An arrest warrant and a 1,000 GP bounty for the unknown sculptor is still outstanding.

Somehow, the Blue Baron reacquired the bronze before it was melted down and had it enchanted to its current state. If the doorknocker is used properly, the locked door it protects opens with an audible click. However, if someone knocks too loud or too long, the lock is picked, or the bronze is touched inappropriately, the eyes open and anyone standing in a cone out to 60 feet must save versus gaze or be petrified.

For some unknown reason a chaotic effect also manifests during petrifaction, a 2 in 6 chance for some addition to the statue:

1. Dark granite glittering with gold veins. If anyone takes this gold, you return as a specter and won’t rest until it’s rejoined (even though you can’t carry it).

2. Aware, polished hematite. You can project your spirit through great will and manifest in reflections, yours included. If you aren’t restored, you go mad and haunt the area as a ghost.

3. Aware, colorful petrified wood. You can see back and forth in time, and scrying in your skin grants powerful results. Sometimes your spirit can even time travel.
4. Aware of the prime and negative material planes, with a desiccated fossilized appearance. Necromancy is far more effective around you. If broken, a 1D6/level negative energy blast occurs and you arise as a spirit that can possess objects and weak corporeal undead. You must also save versus magic or change to an evil alignment.

5. Pale green quartz with visible viscera. Sunlight passing through you enhances alchemical and artistic works, and moonlight allows for clear thoughts and epiphanies.

6. Pitted karst, slowly breaking apart. When you fully disintegrate, you have even chances of spawning a magic pool or turning into 2D4 industrious mud men.

7. Aware. You can travel incorporeally and attempt Wisdom checks to move certain objects.

8. Aware, beatific white alabaster. If you make a save versus magic, you become an animate statue with AC 0 and 18 Strength or Dexterity. You cannot cast spells and are unable to communicate except by telepathy or have magic mouth cast on you. Failure means becoming a wandering statue, a masterpiece that’s aware but addled, forgetful, and roaming until restored or destroyed.

9. Red Jasper. Healing and recuperation are more effective in this statue’s presence, and hugging it instantly removes fatigue, confusion, and depression for 24 hours.

10. Porphyry, a commanding, idealized likeness with an imposing, domineering grandeur. Anyone who polishes this statue with expensive oils receives +1 Charisma for three days. Making it the center of adoration or worship adds 1D4 points for one week.

11. Tektite, a blasted abstract representation in some combination of green, yellow, black, and/or metallic gray. Weapons can be sharpened on this statue and become magnetized, offering a +1 to hit on any opponent wearing ferrous armor. This effect lasts one week.

12. Something unique happens based on surrounding conditions. DM's fiat.