Runeheim's Skull appears as a blackened dwarven skull with white runes and glyphs carved into it. It also has a large blood opal embedded in the forehead. The skull is squat and square, a dwarven skull. The skull has an almost palpable aura of evil about it. Those who spend time with it will feel like the skull is watching them, listening to them and will feel an general sense of uneasiness around it.
The exact origin of this item is lost to history, but there are a few scraps of legend that cling to it. During the Age of Sorrow, there lived a dwarven thief named Angus Runeheim. He was fascinated by magic, especially the dark arts of necromancy and dabbled in spells better left alone. One version of the story states that he spent too much time in the company of the darkest spells and that they corrupted him. Another version of the story states that he struck a bargain with a dark lord that granted his blackest wishes of power, but corrupted his soul in the bargain. It is known that glyphs were tattooed into his shaven head and the blood opal was embedded in his forehead when he was still alive.
Upon his death, his body arose from the grave and plagued the dwarves underground for years before the undead creature was finally slain and burned. The skull, however, survived. It was buried, but later retrieved by unknown forces. It has surfaced from time to time over the years, usually in the hands of a necromancer or, occasionally, in the hands of a bandit leader.
While the skull is held, the possessor gains the following benefits:
The possessor is immuned to possession and all manner of mental domination or mind affecting spells.
The possessor can use the skull to animate the corpses of dead creatures. Up to ten creatures can be animated. These creatures must be no larger than the average human and they must be mammals. For instance, a human, orc, dog or horse could all be animated. However, a reptile, slug, insect, slime creature or energy creature could not. These creatures, once destroyed, can be replaced by animated new corpses, but no more than 10 can be controlled at one time by the skull.
The skull can be used to override the commands of some one else's undead creature and obtain control. This can be used on only one "foreign" undead creature at a time.
The skull allows the possessor to speak to the spirit world. In this regard, it acts as medium between the possessor and the spirits and it will speak with an unearthly voice. It can only be questioned in the dark of night and it will only answer three questions each night.The skull can be asked any question about the past, the future or distant people and places, and the skull will answer. As is typical with the spirit world, the responses are often cryptic, vague and may be posed as riddles or prophecies.
Runeheim's Skull functions normally in all stellar phases.
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.