A candle inside of a skull is a typical creepy feature in cultist's lairs or haunted places, but what if they served a more practical purpose?
The Ghost Lantern
This magic item appears to be a mostly intact human skull adorned with riveted metal and a steel ring handle at the top. There is a single beeswax candle shining light through its empty eye sockets. Their gaze seem to cast a misty haze over the doorway you just passed through. The air has a noticeable chill to it and the hairs on the back of yoru neck stand on end. Do you dare pick up the eerily lit cranium?
Ghost Lanterns come in three different levels of function:
The 'Gorgon's Gaze' Ghost Lantern - Otherwise known as the Phantasmal Medusa, this Ghost Lantern stop spirits from moving when they are caught in its light. Simply aim the dual cones of light that your candle sheds from the eye sockets in the direction of any creature of spiritual energy, manifested or not, and it will be unable to do anything other than defend itself until you take the light off of it. Sometimes, the creator will carve a few snake-like symbols on top of the skull as a vague indicator its properties.
The 'Eye of Truth' Ghost Lantern - This Ghost Lantern has no power to stop spirits. The power of this one is to detect them. It reveals all invisible or ethereal creatures, living or dead, within its light. Often times, these Ghost Lanterns will be seen wearing spectacles with a thin metal frame and ruby lenses.
The 'Graverobber's Special' Ghost Lantern - The ultimate in spirit warding magic. This Ghost Lantern combines the features of the previous two with the limited-use ability to force a spirit to manifest itsel. There lanterns are usually recognized by silver teeth in the skull.
I purposely did not include any History or Background for this item. It is meant to be a Generic Magic Item, something anyone with enough skill will have the sense to create. That said, the powers can range from being a decent boon to a life-saving benefit depending on the situation and if their powers have been identified. Use with caution.
Black Skull of Fiery Defiance
This jet-black cranium contains a single red candle. The handle is a tattered rope looped through holes cracked in the top. It appears to have been subject to intense heat and flame over a long period of time.
The Black Skull wards against normal fires and fire spirits. To thrust the Black Skull, held in hand, into a fire, is akin to using an umbrella to deflect falling water. It will repel flames up to a distance of about six feet, but it does nothing to diminish the heat.
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? Responses (11)
Very useful when facing spirits.
Super cool. I just started a game and this is going to be used ASAP.
It should be noted that this item is similar to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_of_Glory a Hand of Glory. I honestly had never heard of this before I showed a friend this submission. If you like my Lantern, check out the wiki article for even more fun.
This is a very good submission. My only complaint would be that there are so many other skull lanterns yet to be made. This feels like a teaser.
Another lantern might control one particular ghost and the wielder can use (or force the ghost to use) a 'fear' power over anyone who sees the lantern. Thereby keeping your 'rituals of the night' undisturbed. Make a mistake, such as breaking the lantern, and the ghost goes medieval on the wielder.
Another lantern might summon a specific ghost and force them to answer a number of questions.
Another lantern might act as a 'turn' ability on all undead who see it. But if the candle goes out the wielder is now the number one target of all undead in the time zone.
Another lantern might act as a trap for a spirit. Someone who unknowingly touches the skull is instantly spit out of their body and the waiting nearby spirit is granted immediate possession of said body. The new person is stuck in a limbo waiting for someone else to touch the skull.
Anyway, I think I'll shut up now. I could go on for a while. You get the idea. Good submission.
Ghost Lanterns. Love it! And i like Redgre's suggestions for additional lanterns
I originally thought this would be a great addition to the Garage Sale from Hell. Upon reading, this is an honest solid cultist/ necromancer item that is not something someone would confuse as a mundane item or not know its power. The folk lore on this would be interesting.
I like this as well - perhaps there could even be ... 30 varieties? :P
I like that idea.
30 of these bad boys is a good idea.
Very nice! I always wondered what those were for. I also wonder if similar magic is used in a Jack-o-lantern to ward off evil spirits.
Nice useful item