Retirement Plan Ring
Being alligned with Evil does tend to make the afterlife a little less appealing. Unless one can somehow claw their way up the heirarchy immediately, one should be looking towards a long, long, long, time of torture and servitude to greater spirits, before any chance of reincarnation will occur. One of the first things Smart Evil Cultists and Priests learn is how to avoid final death.
Full Item Description
This item can be a ring, a pendant, belt buckle, or even a pair of boots. The items tend to be of metal (or have metal parts to embed the spell) as they last technically forever.
Being aligned with Evil does tend to make the afterlife a little less appealing. Unless one can somehow claw their way up the hierarchy immediately, one should be looking towards a long, long, long, time of torture and servitude to greater spirits, before any chance of reincarnation will occur.
In short, the True Retirement Plan sucks.
One of the first things Smart Evil Cultists and Priests learn is how to avoid final death. Having a familiarity with spirits and binding gives them a head start in this area.
The smart evil cultist binds their own soul to an item in such a way that it will be retrieved from any spiritual location or magical binding. Unlike most of these binding spells, there will be no compulsion for obedience and no limit on their magical power. In addition, the item will be enchanted to enhance magical mind control or enhance the possession attempt of a spirit. If there is time, a compulsion to wear the item as much as possible is given.
The item is then given to an appropriate young person as a gift. The young person should be strong, good looking, and well connected. (Some people give said items to young cultist recruits, just so they will still be part of the organization).
So when they die, their soul is yanked back to the item after a time. From there, the Smart Evil Cultist, will then begin to work their will upon the wearer. It depends on their skills, enchantment they have access to, and personality that determines how the subject is replaced. Slowly the cultist dominates the subject, either just controlling their mind or possessing and dominating them. (the advantage of control is that if something bad happens, the spirit in the item can take over the next wearer, the disadvantage is that they can be lost or captured - never to see the light of day again).
It can be the ultimate escape hatch. The Evil cultist's mind is now buried in the Duke's Sweet Young Daughter. Who would suspect her? And if the Evil cultist bides their time, they will be drawn into the world of nobility and power... where a few subtle self serving spells will cement their noble power.
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? Responses (7)
Given a long enough timeline, these items will become increasingly common, so that there exists a group of long-dead evil cultists in control of the world. This can be either a formal alliance (they are more likely to figure out someone else's domination, as they have first-hand knowledge... and paranoia), or an informal rivalry between the undearly-departed.
I can easily see a centuries-dead cultist cultivating his own dynasty of dominated host bodies, even selectively breeding them for certain desired traits. I can also see, again given a sufficiently long timeline, a young & healthy noble given more than one of these 'gifts' at a time.
That is a thought. However, if said items were 'common' people would be on the look out for said item types (or at least those who clash with Evil Cultists). Heck, PCs will be on the look out for these things the moment they see them in print or as part of your world pack. After the PCs begin to do it, they will probably get the 'Good' religion people to help them look for these things.
Heck, if the Prince gets a number of items with similar spells on them... somebody might catch on. (And since people will watch The Prince for changes after they wear an item (in a magic world) there is little chance you can pull off such a great snatch... so aim for the Chancellor's son and grow into the position).
Since secrecy is their primary advantage, it is probably not a common spell taught. It is probably something taught special between master and apprentice, or something buried in the old texts. I would think it might require special research to do. After all, you would have to 'share' your power/ advantage with others you teach the spell to, so why share (i.e. teach someone else the spell/ concept).
Besides, if your apprentice is really worthy of being a Evil High Priest, he will find your item, and prepare things so you will be his slave/ servant... your knowledge and power at his disposal... when you die. So do you tell your understudies anything about your retirement plan?
The smart plan is really not to bind yourself to the item permanently, but to use it as a temporary home until you can take a host. Then you should make another item as insurance against the loss of your current host. And to Geas your apprentices into helping you and not being able to harm you and your new host.
There might be a Cabal of OLD SMART EVIL CULTISTS bound in items out there. They are all the survivors of Good Guys hunting for their items, their apprentices utilizing them, and the intrigues of each other. They probably get very little done, as they are constantly plotting their own plots, plots against each other, counter plots, and doing some serious political manuvering at the same time.
Very useful unless the person dies early from being murdered, or some foul disease,and the item is buried or cremated with them.
This is something that will make an appearance in my campaign to be.
Still liking this, years later. Great idea, totally making an appearance with my next mage PC. (What, you thought NPCs were the only ones who want immortality?)