Rod of Orcus (4e Artifact)

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Rod of Orcus

The Rod of Orcus is appropriate for characters in the middle of the Paragon tier and upward. The rod functions as a +6 Morningstar, and/or +6 Implement (rod, staff, wand, or holy symbol).

Rod of Orcus
Paragon Level
This evil rod is nearly 3 feet in length and formed from cast-iron, it is topped with four skulls each facing outward from each other. The cold metal shaft, although wrapped in black leather, seems to drain energy from anything it touches while giving its wielder the unnatural powers of the unliving.
Enhancement: Attack rolls and damage rolls.
Property: The rod grants you Darkvision.
Property: When wielding the rod you gain Resistance 5 to both Necrotic and Poison damage.
Property: The rod grants you a +2 to saves or checks against effects with the Disease keyword.
Property: You gain a +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks made against intelligent undead.
Property: Unintelligent undead ignore your presence, unless you attack them or by action cause them to be damaged or endangered. At that point they attack you as they would any enemy.
Power (Encounter♦ Fear): Standard Action. 1 [W] damage and the target is Immobilized (save ends). Saves against this effect take a -2 penalty.

Goals of the Rod of Orcus

  • Be reunited with Aphasius.
  • Cause the destruction of all life.
  • Spread the worship of Orcus.
  • Empower the undead against the living.

Roleplaying the Rod of Orcus

The Rod of Orcus is a dark and malevolent item. If it has a soul it is something pulled from the depths of the Abyss, bent on the elimination of anything that has life. It hides its contempt for any living wielder as best it can, knowing that soon he/she will be transformed into the undead. The rod does not communicate directly with its wielder, but instead drives them forward with intense feelings of compulsion and desire. Rewarding them with waves of pleasure when they follow those drives, and punishing them with feelings of fear and sadness when they do not. Often wielders will find themselves in a near state of ecstasy as they perform the most hideous of acts at the will of the rod.

Concordance

When the rod is first lifted the wielder learns its name and nature. At that point they will feel a compulsion to claim the rod as their own. If the wielder agrees they join with the rod and begin building concordance with the rod, and they gain the powers granted by its properties above. If they disagree the rod vanishes in a Necrotic burst causing all living creatures within 5 squares to take 15 Necrotic damage and ongoing 10 Necrotic damage (save ends). It reappears in a suitable crypt or tomb miles away to await discovery again.

CONCORDANCE
Starting Score 5
Owner gains a level +1d10
Owner kills a Lawful Good or Good aligned being (maximum 1/encounter) +1
Owner uses a power with the Necrotic keyword (maximum 1/encounter) +1
Owner worships Orcus +2
Owner or ally kills a worshipper of Orcus -2
Owner or ally kills an undead creature (maximum 1/encounter) -2

Pleased (16-20)

"The sublime joy of undeath flows through me."
The rod and its wielder are nearly one with their desire to cause death and suffering. Every foul act performed by the wielder sends shivers of ecstasy through their bodies, while acts of goodness cause them to shriek in terror.

Property: The owner gains Immunity to both Disease and Poison.
Property: The Resistance to Necrotic damage increases to 15.
Property: The owner gains Aura of Despair (Fear), aura 5; enemies within the aura take a -2 penalty to attack rolls against the owner.

Satisfied (12-15)

"I can see the only way to make all my suffering end."
At this point the rod is very willing to both reward and punish the owners behavior with extreme waves of emotion. It will even reach into its wielder’s mind and feed emotions into them based upon the very thoughts they are having, not waiting for the wielder to actually take those actions. Soon the owner will find they can only dwell on the most gross and profane of thoughts in order to keep the rod satisfied.

Property: The Resistance to Necrotic and Poison damage increases to 10.
Property: The bonus to saves or checks against effects with the Disease keyword increases to +5.
Power (Encounter, when reduced to 0 hp♦ Necrotic): Immediate Reaction. Close Burst 5; level +2 vs. Fort; all enemies within burst take your level +2 Necrotic damage and ½ your level +1 ongoing Necrotic damage (save ends). Saves against this effect take a -2 penalty.

Normal (5-11)

"I sense what I must do."
The rod sends out trickles of pleasure when the owner even thinks about committing a evil act. These trickles become blasts of joy, if the acts are carried out. The rod ignores thoughts that go against its wishes, but if those acts are performed it sends out waves of fear and nausea.

Unsatisfied (1-4)

"I have a growing feeling of dread and suffering that will consume me if I do not obey."
The rod is finding it intolerable to be in the possession of one so obviously not in line with its goals. It retracts many of its bonuses and continually sends out waves of fear and depression. It will reward the owner with intense bursts of pleasure if he/she even so much as thinks a dark thought, but will quickly resume punishing them until it becomes more satisfied.

Property: The owner loses all Resistances to Necrotic and Poison damage.
Property: The owner loses their bonus to saves or checks against effects with the Disease keyword.
Property: The rod’s enchantment bonus drops to +4.
Property: You lose your bonus to Diplomacy checks made against intelligent undead, and instead suffer a -2 penalty to Diplomacy checks made against intelligent undead.
Property: All unintelligent undead encountered will immediately move to attack the owner. They may change targets once attacked by another being, but until then will continue to attack the owner as best they can.

Angered (0 or lower)

"I fear I have angered forces far beyond my control."
At this point the rod is sending out waves of utter terror and futility. It wants nothing more then to be rid of its owner and will soon leave to find a better host.

Property: The rod’s enchantment bonus drops to +2.
Property: The wielder gains Vulnerability 5 to attacks and effects with the Fire keyword.
Property: All attacks made by undead against the owner gain a +2 bonus to hit.

Moving On

"The rod must continue its ultimate quest."
When the rod feels it is time to move on it does so in a shadowy burst of dark energy. The rod vanishes in a Necrotic burst causing all living creatures within 5 squares to take 20 Necrotic damage and ongoing 15 Necrotic damage (save ends). If the rod is “Unsatisfied”, or worse, the owner will take 40 Necrotic damage and ongoing 20 Necrotic damage (save ends, although the owner suffers a -2 penalty to saves against this effect). If the rod is “Pleased”, or better, the owner gains the Mummy Champion (if their class power source is Martial, Primal, or Psionic) or Mummy Lord (if their class power source is Arcane, Divine, Elemental, or Shadow) template and becomes an NPC, just before the rod vanishes. Within a few months it reappears in a suitable crypt or tomb miles away to await discovery again.



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