Song of the Dead (Enchanted Flute):

A shadowy figure stood in the mists. It was hard to tell if the figure was male of female, appearing to be completely concealed in black robes including a hood hiding the face and head. The figure appeared to be slim but nothing more could be seen. Through the mist, gravestones could be half seen. There was the odor of decay all around. The dead rested here although they did not rest deeply.

The figure brought what appeared to be arms up to where the head and there was an object in the figures hands. After a few moments, a haunting tune could be heard. The sound appeared to penetrate the ground. Suddenly, a hand could be seen. The skin was tight against the bones of the hand and the hand looked virtually skeletal. The hand was joined by a second hand and a desiccated head pushed it was through the earth.

More dead followed the first. Some were almost completely skeletal while others were almost fresh. As one pulled out from the ground, the guts fell from the abdomen of the dead man. Worms could be actually be seen wiggling around the remains of the intestine. In some cases, the creature looked through vacant sockets while others looked through eyes glazed over.

The shadowy figure pointed its right arm. The dead slowly walked in the direction the figure pointed. In the distance, a bright light could be seen.

There are many stories about enchanted musical instruments on the Palladium World. There are flutes, harps, lutes, and other instruments which alchemists create. The vast majority are relatively simple magic items, mostly enchanted so that they play music more sweetly than normal instruments. Others are more powerful and have one special power or even several in some cases.

"Song of the Dead" is a flute which allows the player to control the dead. Various priests of religions of death claim to have been responsible for the creation of the musical instrument. No one really knows for sure although the legends about the item appear to be of relatively recent origins. The first few stories told about the flute are believed to be not much more than a hundred years.

Even though slight creepy in appearance, the flute still has a beauty about it. Song of the Dead appears to be made from a black metal with raised silver designs on it. These silver designs are of bones and tiny skull. There is no sign of wear on the flute.

Like the appearance of the flute, the notes coming from the flute are slightly spooky. Even so, the flute plays beautifully and virtually anyone can play it. When someone with no skill with a flute attempts to play the instrument, they will play as if they have a skill of 60%. When played by one with skill in a flute, they will play the instrument as if they are professional. They also will have a bonus to play of +10% to skill rolls.

The flute can be played to control the dead and has two basic magic powers beyond the ability to be played wonderfully. The first is that the flute can be played to repel the dead. This ability can be used up to three times per day and a total of 6D6 animated dead can be repelled each time the flute is played. The other ability is that the flute can be played to wake up the dead or "animate" them. This ability can be used up to three times per day and the undead can be animated up to thirty minutes per activation. Up to twelve animated dead can be woken up when the song is played.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2008, Kitsune. All rights reserved.