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02-17-1998, 11:56 AM #1DarkstarGuest
New Artifact - The Crown of Shadows
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This is an Adurian artifact, one of the 3 controled by the Adurian
Emperor. It is bascially a reworking of the State Crown of Anuire. If
you have any coments or suggestions then don't hesitate to reply with
I will be posting the other two artifact soon. They are the Sceptre of
the Emperor, and the Blood Sword. I have also just finished a new part
of my Adurian expansion that introduces the who continent. It can be
found on my webpage. I intend on putting everything else up there as
soon as I can, but at the moment are just improving a few of the domains
I designed and doing some new maps.
Home Page: http://darkstar.cyberserv.com
>From the Darkness we came,
and to the Darkness we will return.
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The Shadow Crown
Two thousand years before Deismaar the god Azari the Proud was patron of
the people of the Adurian Empire. His priests, originally driven away by
the worshippers of Anduiras, returned in force with the support of the new
Emperor of the Adurian people. In return for the Emperor's support Azari
directed his priests to forge an artifact to aid the Adurians in their
dreams of conquest. This artifact became what is now known as the Shadow
Originally just a simple gold band it has been altered over the millennia
to become perhaps the most powerful artifact in all the lands of Aebrynis.
It original function was to allow Azari to shift a portion of his power
into the body of the wearer. The wearer could not hold such power for long,
but while he did was protected from any normal weapons and was able to
drain the life out of those he touched. Who ever used the item however was
forever changed, as part of Azari was left behind in them, twisting their
souls and minds.
Even these horrible powers were not enough for the Emperors of Aduria
though, and more were added as the centuries went past. First of these new
powers was the ability to alter the wearers shape, and the hide the crown
at will. This enabled the Adurian Emperors to slip into crowds, and escape
assassins if needed. It was also used widely by the last Emperor of the
Tibius lineage to escape the throne room in the palace and indulge his
passions in the city below. Following the death of Kalis Tibius the priests
of Azari claimed the throne and would rule for most the next thousand
During this time many of the crowns other powers were added, mainly through
the assistance of Azari and his High Priests. These powers include various
protective magics and the ability to charm worshippers of Azari into
following the wearer anywhere, even if it resulted in their death. With
these powers and their own powerful spells the Adurian Priest Emperor's
spread their will across the whole continent, driving all who resisted
before them. The northern tribes, the Andu, Masetian, Vos, and others were
all attacked and driven from their lands. Of the three initially attacked
only the Vos resisted, but the corruption of Azari was soon to spread to
their people and they also fell before the Adurian legions. Many were
killed or enslaved but most fled, heading north to Cerilia.
Nearly five hundred years later when the Adurian Empire had now conquered
all of Aduria the tale of the Crown of Shadows takes a new turn. By now it
had been rebuilt so many times that its original form was no longer
recognisable. It had been enlarged and was now covered with valuable jewels
of all kinds and sizes. The last alteration had been the addition of a
massive emerald, originally from the sceptre of a Neha prince. This emerald
was now the centre piece of the crown, a gem that dominated the whole
artifact. At this time Aduria was ruled by a priest of Azari known as Yurin
Tarniem, a evil man who delighted in torturing his own family, and anyone
else who crossed him. It was he who had ordered the sacking of the ancient
Brecht city of Chorbrag, at the cost of over thirty thousand lives.
Following his gods orders his legions had now spread across the entire
continent conquering all who stood in their way. Only the isolated southern
cities, and the barren grasslands of the Juh had so far escaped his
control. He was sitting in his throne room planning the attack on the
southern cities when Azari appeared before him and ordered him to send his
armies north to a land he had never heard of and attack the tribes that had
fled there centuries before.
What happened next is well recorded in the histories of Cerilia, but was is
less known is that the moment that the god Azari died and his power was
scattered among his followers the Emperor Yurin also died. It is said that
his body was destroyed in a ball of black fire that descended from the
heavens to destroy the throne room and all who were within it. The only
thing that survived was the crown, but it had been forever altered.
In the days following the death of the Emperor a civil war broke out in the
Empire. The priests of Azari were no longer receiving spells from their god
and the old noble families took their chance to break their rule of the
empire. Led by Lutrius Tibius, a descendant of the ancient Imperial family
the nobles seized the throne and claimed the Shadow Crown as their own.
Although in time the new gods who had taken Azari's place took up Azari's
mantle and granted the prayers of his priests they would never regain their
lost power. The death of the last Emperor Yurin by what looked like the
hand of Azari, the loss of the priests spells after the cataclysm, and the
almost total destruction of the armies sent north to Deismaar had caused
the people to loose faith with the priests. They would over time to recover
much of their lost influence they would never again claim the throne or the
The new wielders of the crown found that it was changed greatly from the
cataclysm. Its appearance was now the most notable change with the gems now
all altered to become black sapphires and the gold darkening into a black
metal of unknown composition. The new crown still retained many of its old
powers, although it had lost the ability for the user to call on Azari's
power in times of need. The new Emperors found though that crown now bound
their lives to that of the land, and they could influence much more now
than the minds of their subject, they could now influence entire provinces
while they wore the crown.
In the years after the cataclysm the reason for the change in the powers of
the crown have been speculated on many times. Some have said that the crown
now contains a part of Azari's very essence and while the Emperor wears it
he gain the powers of Azari himself. Others have said that its new powers
are a gift from Azari in return for the sacrifice of the Adurian soldiers
at Deismaar. What ever the truth the crown does not leave the brow of the
Emperor from the day he ascends to the throne to the day he dies, even when
he sleeps or bathes.
It is also said that one day the crown shall pass into the hand of a
champion of Azari and on that day the god himself will come into the world
and bring about a day of judgement when only those who follow Azari will be
The crown is a band of dark metal, covered with thirty black sapphires of
various sizes. When not being worn it appears to draw shadows around it and
disappears from the view of all who search for it. It is said however to
call to its chosen user, and if he accepts the crown embrace then he will
become the next Emperor of Aduria. While wearing the Crown of Shadows the
Emperor can make it hide itself from view, effectively invisible. This
enables the Emperor to use the crown's abilities to hide from view, or move
among his people without them noticing him. The crown effects the mind of
the Emperor, slowly over time twisting his desires and morals until they
match those of the crown. This is one of the reason why Aduria still
remains the most feared nation on the entire continent. Any who attempt to
steal the crown are in for a shock. The crown bonds with its user and if
taken from him while he is still alive it will attack the thief with a
powerful blast of lightning, usually killing him, although some have
managed to drop the crown in time.
- - Grants +80 bloodline points (1 3", 9 prince, 20 knight sielshegh gems).
- - If the wearer has no bloodline it grant him one (Az, true, 80).
- - Grants various blood abilities (see below).
- - Shadow Walk at will.
Blood Abilities Granted:
- - Detect Life (Minor).
- - Major Resistance (Magic - 25%).
- - Regeneration (Normal & Major).
- - Wither Touch.
- - Charm Aura (Great).
- - Alter Appearance.
- - Poison Sense
- - Invisibility/Shadow Cloak at will (area of effect is crown only).
- - Shadow Cloak, 4 hrs/day (area of effect is user).
- - Protection from Normal Missiles, always in effect.
- - Minor Globe of Invulnerability, always in effect.
- - Alignment of user shifts to Lawful Evil.
- - User can not remove the crown without dying.
- - Anyone who tries to steal the crown will be subject to the equivalent of
a 10d6 lightning bolt each round.
- - If anyone with a bloodline derivation other than Azari who tries to wear
the crown they will be killed instantly, in a rather messy explosive
- - On his death the user's mind is transported to the shadow world and he is
given the body of a skeleton. He will still have any former abilities, and
is the same level and class as before. If Azari should ever return to
Aebrynis then these former Emperors would be returned from the Shadow World
to serve as generals in his army. At the moment they just wander the Shadow
World seeking living being to kill. Although they are undead they can not
be turned by priestly power.
- - If the crown choses someone as its next wielder and they reject the title
then they will die. The crown will only chose a new wearer if the previous
Emperor is dead and it usually selects the person with the highest
bloodline who is eligible for the job. It would not for example select a
blooded hero from Cerilia just because of his bloodline. It will only
select an Adurian of noble birth, usually the son of the previous emperor,
or other relative. There have been cases however when someone thought most
unlikely to claim the throne has been chosen over the selected heir of the
Emperor. This usually occurs when the Emperor's heir is somehow unworthy
for the position, for example he may be a paladin or something similar.
- - This Crown is designed for Aduria and would not suit a Cerilian based
campaign. I would hate to think what would happen if a PC got his hands on
such a powerful artifact. I created it mainly as part of a set of three
powerful artifacts that the Emperor of Aduria wields. The other two are the
Blood Sword, and the Sceptre of the Emperor.
- - The Shadow Cloak ability mentioned above is similar to invisibility. It
has two functions, the first is on itself which is 100% effective even in
bright sunlight. The second effects the user and work similar to a thieves
hide in shadows ability. It only operates for 4 hrs a day, and is not
effective in bright sunlight.
- - Much of the history mentioned above will make more sense when I finish my
history of Aduria. I have not included date these particular events took
place, but they will be mentioned in the history document in more detail.
By Ian Hoskins
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