The Sage Skull

A highly unusual and singular item.

Extremely rare – One of a kind. POW 12
INT 18.

History: The skull once perched on the shoulders of a learned scholar who traveller far and wide in his quest for knowledge. His high intelligence and perfect memory led to his head being a great store of information, be it trivial, worthwhile, vague or arcane in nature. He became the man of the hour, sought after in court and petitioned by other seekers of knowledge, who would travel great distances to speak with him. As his fame grew, so did his ego. Eventually he believed himself to be of such importance that the world would be greatly disadvantaged were he to die. As a result of this belief, he met with sorcerers and alchemists of great power and made specific arrangements. The scholar lived to be quite eccentric in his old age, given to bouts of rambling. When the scholar was on his deathbed, these same enchanters gathered and performed a ghastly ritual, the details of which are too grim to repeat in this text. Suffice is to say that the result was the sages skull.

Description: The skull is encased in a thin layer of pewter, the entire surface of which is marked with runes and arcane symbols. Its eye sockets are plugged with jade and its jaw is hinged with copper joints, will allow it to speak. The skull contains all the information that the scholar once knew. Unfortunately the process of creating the skull also resulted in the scholars by then huge ego and very eccentric personality.

Usage: The skull can be used once a week. It has a 85% chance of knowing the answer of any question asked of it. It has no senses so will be unable to, for example: identify a potion by taste, name an animal by sight or give directions by the position of the stars. A detailed description of anything to be identified in this manner may work, depending in the describer’s ability to draw a picture with words. (A speak own language check should suffice, although GM’s discretion may be exercised here). It understands most major languages. (Once again, the GM should identify whether a characters language is in much use).

The scholars eccentric personality and ego will shine through at every opportunity. It can take offence at certain questions and give vague answers. It can ramble on and provide information, which is of no practical use. It cannot lie and must answer questions posed to it. If it does not know the answer, it will tell a similar story and very rarely, will state that it hasn’t a clue. A favourite game it plays is to ignore any questions posed to it unless they are addressed in a certain manner (GM’s discretion, maybe something like “O most sage skull, what…”)

As mentioned above, the skull can be asked a question once per week. If no question is asked the skull will suddenly volunteer some sort of information on its own, once a week has passed since it last spoke. This could have al sorts of consequences.

Thus, although the skull has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. Its caustic personality usually means that it does not stay in one persons possession for long. Some of the more proficient owners of the skull have mastered the are of asking questions with a simple yes/no answer.

This article was first published on XIII August MMII

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