Myrkul and the Crown of Horns – 5e

Short History

This item contains the essence and intelligence of the former deity of death, Myrkul, the Lord of Bones. It is a silver circlet with a black diamond set on the brow and four bone horns mounted around its edge. Weird energy is visible within the diamond. The crown of horns is intelligent, evil, and now exists only to cause evil and suffering among the people of the world.

Myrkul created the crown while he was still a living deity, and it was eventually broken by the efforts of Khelben the Blackstaff. The shards of the item retained some power, and when Myrkul was slain by Midnight (the mortal woman possessed by the essence of Mystra), he forced his dying essence through the wards around Blackstaff Tower, reforged the crown in a new shape, imbuing it with additional powers, and then teleported away. The crown enjoys harassing followers of Cyric, but avoids allies of Khelben and temples of Mystra.

The Crown was in the possession of the Netherese lich Aumvor the Undying, who wished to use the crown to make Laeral Silverhand his bride by leaving it for her adventuring band, The Nine, to find. Laeral donned the crown in 1337 DR but Aumvor’s plot failed when the Crown’s powers conflicted with Laeral Silverhand’s spellfire power and drove her into madness.

Twenty years later, in 1357 DR, Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun traveled to the stronghold of The Nine in the High Forest on the Star Mount, freed Laerel Silverhand from the Crown of Horns, the malign intelligence contained within and her madness. Laeral returned with him to Waterdeep for more healing, and after that, they were inseparable. She was referred to as Lady Arunsun, though they were never married. The mysterious circumstances surrounding Laeral and Khelben’s meeting and subsequent partnership led some to believe that Laeral was enslaved to Khelben against her will. Laeral never denied this, instead preferring to let those who wished Khelben harm seek her out as an ally against him.

Crown of Horns – Legendary item

(requires attunement by a cleric, paladin, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard)

A silver circlet with a black diamond set on the brow and four bone horns mounted around its edge. Weird energy is visible within the diamond.

  • Necromantic Resistance
  • This crown contains memories and logic exercises of the deity of death, Myrkul, the Lord of Bones, and it is charged with his magic. If you spend 48 hours over a period of 6 days or fewer wearing the crown, your Intelligence score increases by 2, as does your maximum for that score.
  • The Crown has 10 charges. While wearing it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it, using your spell save DC: Animate Dead (3 charges) Blight (4 charges) Finger of Death (7 charges) Power Word Kill (10 charges). The Crown regains 1d6 + 4 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll an d20. On a 1 or 2, the crown teleports away, the wearer is instantly killed.
  • In addition, While wearing it, you radiate a 30-foot-radius aura of terror while you are wearing it. Any creature hostile to you that starts its turn in the aura must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you for 1 minute. The frightened creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. Once it successfully saves against the effect, a creature is immune to the aura for the next 24 hours.
  • Wearer gains the ability Undead Thralls and Command Undead as if a 14th-level Wizard.
  • Wearer gains the ability Create Specter as if a Wraith.
  • The wearer has advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead.

The crown also has the following drawbacks.

  1. Wearer changes alignment to neutral evil while the crown is worn.
  2. The crown cannot be removed unless Myrkul wills it. Normally the only way the crown is removed is when it teleports itself away.
  3. The crown can use suggestion once per day on the wearer, and can possess the wearer for up to 20 minutes per day as if using a Magic Jar Spell.
  4. The wearer slowly turns into, an undead being over the course of two years. Use of the crown’s abilities advances this process 1d4 months per use.
  5. The wearer is paranoid and possessive about the crown, keeping all others away from it.
  6. All beings within 60 feet of the crown while it is worn must make a Wisdom save or be affected by a Antipathy/Sympathy spell.
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