View Full Version : [RIVALRY]Thief of Hearts (rookie entry) - UPDATED!

2007-02-09, 03:38 PM
Squatting amongst the cracked and weathered pavestones, the young would-be burglar cursed his foolish pride – and ill-timed tongue for the dozenth time in as many minutes. His earlier boast to his comrades at the Whispering Wench – fortified by a tine or two of the tavern’s finest – seemed at the time to be an easy enough thing; he would sneak into the old Black Tower by light of the full moon, and snatch a bauble to prove he’d dared it’s inner rooms, something his friends hadn’t been able to muster up the courage to attempt. After all, in the light of day, the squat, half-ruined monolith looked decidedly benign; no one had seen nor heard from it’s lone occupant for many years, and was long thought abandoned, in spite of the many whispered tales of hauntings and evil deeds. But now in the rustling darkness, the place had taken on a far more sinister aspect, and the young man crouching fearfully in the shadows realized he’d taken on one too many dares. “I’ll just snatch an’ old bottle from the alchemist, and make up a grand tale”, he thought to himself, and turned to flee the building. But the burglar’s departure was abruptly brought up short by a bony hand from the darkness – that fastened itself painfully around the terrified boy’s neck. With a strength that belied it’s withered, near skeletal appearance, the shambling creature effortlessly lifted the boy off the ground and brought him around to face its master, it’s foul odor of rot and decay nearing causing the thief to wretch.

Watching in horror, the burglar could but whimper as two evilly glowing eyes glaring out from a shrouded figure descended the dusty staircase before him. “Paugh! Barely grown, this one is!” a sibilant voice rasped from deep within the cowl.

Peering closer, the apparition asked hungrily, “Did HE send you, then? Come to fetch your master’s heart’s desire, have you?”

Futilely struggling for breath against the ever-tightening grip of the undead servant, the last thing the young thief heard was a peal of insane laughter, followed by that insidious voice trailing into blackness: “He’ll have to do better then that! No, my young friend, he’ll come to do his dirty work himself – and when he does, there will be a reckoning…”

Alistair Rosvok is a necromancer with mighty power – and an even mightier ambition. His love of power was rivaled only by his love for his beautiful young bride, Allysa. Sold into apprenticeship to the necromancer as a child by a desperate peasant, Allysa soon blossomed into a lovely maiden with a sweet disposition, and captured the heart of the ambitious mage. Not a man to be easily ignored, Alistair persuaded the naïve young girl to marry him, promising wealth and comfort beyond her imagining to the end of her days.

To secure his fortune, Alistair embarked upon a bold plan – to create a magical vessel capable of killing and capturing the soul of another living creature, preventing its resurrection. With this malevolent device, Alistair planned to assassinate the King, a well-loved monarch who was widely regarded as the source of recent stability in the land, and hold his soul for ransom, knowing the assembled nobles and clergy would pay a great deal to quickly secure his return to the throne, and prevent an even costlier civil war.

Though he had the necessary power, Alistair needed one component to complete his creation – a rare black sapphire of sufficient size and quality to contain the potent magics required. After months of searching, Alistair finally discovered the location of the perfect jewel; unfortunately, it resided in the extremely well-protected vault of a wealthy silk merchant, who had no intention of selling the gem to Alistair or anyone else. Anxious to retrieve the sapphire, Alistair hired the services of one Dorian Cresslyn, a master thief of some renown, to “fetch” the bauble for him, promising to trade Cresslyn any one other valuable item in Alistair’s possession that the thief might want. Knowing the mage had an impressive collection of magical items and treasure amassed over the years (and secretly yearning the challenge of successfully breaking into the guarded vault) Dorian accepted.

It nearly cost the dashing young rogue his life, but after defeating the many traps and challenges, Dorian wrested the precious sapphire (along with a few choice morsels for himself for the trouble) from the merchants vault. Sorely wounded, the thief stumbled back to Alistair’s Tower, and collapsed on his doorstep. Overjoyed at Dorian’s success, the necromancer placed the injured thief in the care of his wife to recover, while he locked himself away in his laboratory with the gem to complete his creation. The process took many days, and Alistair came out only to eat, neglecting all else – even Alyssa, so focused was he on his magic. During all this time, Dorian slowly mended, and he and Alyssa began a friendship that bloomed into something more, as neither could deny the growing attraction between them. Alistair finally emerged triumphant with his powerful new weapon, and offered Dorian his reward, as promised; any item of value (besides the gem itself) in his possession. Dorian boldly asked for the only thing Alistair had that he truly wanted – Alyssa.

Alistair soon realized what had happened while he was absorbed in his creation, and flew into a rage. Feeling betrayed by his wife, Alistair strode across the room to his trembling bride, and placed the sapphire on her breast. With a single harsh guttural syllable, he tore Alyssa’s soul from her body; she dropped lifeless to the floor. “Then, take her, and get out!” he cried to the stunned thief, and fled from the room. Heartbroken at the sight of the stricken Alyssa, Dorian gently picked up her body and hurried from the tower. He went straight away to a local temple, and begged them to revive her, offering all his amassed wealth. But the clerics, though they had the ability, found their spells were cast in vain; Alyssa’s soul, bound within the sapphire still in Alistair’s possession, could not return. The best they could do for the anguished thief was cast magics to preserve her body, until such time as her soul could be released.

And so it stands to this day. Alistair, still sequestered within his dark tower, plots his revenge – unable at present to carry out his plot against the King as the gem can only hold one soul at a time, and he is unwilling, for the moment, to release Alyssa. And Dorian, for his part, spends his time between sitting at Alyssa’s side in the bedroom of his manor, and planning his assault on the tower, to retrieve the sapphire and release both their hearts.


This large black sapphire is shaped vaguely like a human heart and radiates evil; animals and other creatures sensitive to such things will shy away from it. The wielder must succeed in a melee touch attack to activate its awful power; when placed against another living creature and the command word is spoken, the victim must succeed on a Fortitude Save (DC 22), or die, and his/her soul becomes bound within the gem. A successful save means the victim takes 3d6 + 17 points of damage. Once a soul is imprisoned within, the gem is warm to the touch, pulses faintly in the rhythm of a human heartbeat, and a swirling mist can be seem within its obsidian depths, if one looks closely. This item can only be used once per day, and only one soul can be held thusly at a time; the soul, once trapped in the gem, cannot be returned through clone, raise dead, reincarnation, resurrection, true resurrection, or even a miracle or a wish. Only by destroying the gem or dispelling the spell on the gem can one free the soul (which is then still dead). A non-evil character who possesses a soulstealer gains one negative level. Although this level never results in actual level loss, it remains as long as the sapphire is in the character’s possession and cannot be overcome in any way (including restoration spells).

Strong Necromancy [evil]; CL17th; Craft Wondrous Item, Soul Bind, Slay Living; Price 155,080 gp.

Alistair is a cunning, spiteful man with an unquenchable desire for power – and an obsession with death. He fears being alone more than anything else, and is afraid that death will leave in that state, eternally. Though he wants desperately to release Alyssa’s soul, so that he can use his creation to bend the kingdom to his will, he cannot abide the thought of her returning to Dorian’s side. Being bound by his own code of ethics, he had no choice but to fulfill his promise to Dorian, and give his wife to him in return for the sapphire. Now Alistair waits within his tower, believing that Dorian will return to claim the gem, knowing it is the only way he can free Alyssa. He spends his time bolstering his tower’s defenses, both mundane and magical, in anticipation of the return, and researching ways to prolong his life, hoping eventually to overcome death itself. He holds out hope that once Dorian meets his end, Alyssa would return to his side once freed from her imprisonment.

Alistair Rosvok
Male human necromancer 17
CR: 17
Medium Humanoid
Hit Dice: 17d4+17 (95 hp)
Initiative: +2
Languages: Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Goblin, Infernal, Orc
AC: 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +4 armor)
Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +13
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Base Atk +8/+3; Grp +9
Melee Attack: +3 quarterstaff of Necromancy +12 (1d6+4/x2)
Ranged Attack: +1 shocking burst returning dagger +11 (1d4+3&1d6 ele./19-20x2; add.1d10)
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 2nd):
0 -- Detect Magic (x3), Light, Disrupt Undead
1st -- Cause Fear, Chill Touch (x2), Ray of Enfeeblement, Shocking Grasp, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall
2nd – Locate Object, Scorching Ray, Arcane Lock, Ghoul Touch, Spectral Hand (x2)
3rd – Gentle Repose, Vampiric Touch (x2), Halt Undead, Dispel Magic, Gaseous Form
4th – Fear, Animate Dead (x2), Enervation, Scrying, Bestow Curse
5th – Magic Jar, Blight, Dismissal, Contact Other Plane, Permanency, Telekinesis
6th – Create Undead, Undeath to Death, Circle of Death, Analyze Dweomer, Contingency
7th -- Control Undead, Finger of Death, Ethereal Jaunt, Limited Wish
8th – Temporal Stasis, Create Greater Undead, Trap the Soul
9th -- Soul Bind, Mage’s Disjunction

Abilities: Str 13, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 20, Wis 12, Cha 14
Skills: Appraise +4, Concentration +13, Diplomacy +4, Disguise +6, Escape Artist +13, Heal +5, Hide +14, Knowledge (religion) +3, Listen +14, Move Silently +11, Ride +14, Sense Motive +12, Spot +14, Use Rope +4 (+6 with bindings)
Feats: Iron Will, Spell Focus (Necro.), Greater Spell Focus (Necro.), Spell Penetration, Greater Spell Penetration, Craft Staff, Craft Wondrous Item, Scribe scroll, Empower Spell, Maximize spell, Spell Mastery x1
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Possessions: +3 quarterstaff of Necromancy, +1 shocking burst returning dagger, Bracers of Armor +6, Soulstealer.

Dorian is a charismatic scroundrel, who has stolen the hearts (and purses) of many a noblewoman. But his heart belongs to one woman – Alyssa, the wife of Alistair, his former employer. He is well aware that Alistair still lives within the tower, and that he possesses the gem that is somehow responsible for Alyssa’s current condition. But Dorian is also aware of Alistair’s formidable power – and hatred for him. He has no doubt that if the wizard were to capture him, his death would be no easy thing. Dorian is currently doing all he can to bolster his skills, and seeking a weapon to use against the foul undead minions that Alistair has populated his tower with; without that assistance, Dorian cannot hope to prevail.

Dorian Cresslyn
Male Human Rogue 10 / Dungeon Delver 4
CR: 14
Medium Humanoid
Hit Dice: 14d6+13 (86 hp)
Initiative: +8
Languages :Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Orc
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
AC: 21, touch 14, flat-footed 21 (+4 Dex, +4 armor, +3 magic)
Base Atk: +9/+4, Grp: +9
Attack: +1 Short Sword of Subtlety +10/+14 on sneak atk (1d6+1/19-20 x2)
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +15, Will +6
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 8
Skills: Appraise +18, Balance +7, Climb +12 Craft (Stonemasonry) +8, Decipher Script +13, Disable Device +22, Escape Artist +8, Gather Information +12, Hide +19, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Listen +19, Move Silently +19, Open Lock +23, Search +20, Spot +12, Use Magic Device +17
Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Danger Sense, Blind Fight, Dodge, Improved Evasion, Nimble Fingers
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Possessions: +1 Short Sword of Subtlety, +2 leather armor, +3 ring of protection

2007-02-09, 04:14 PM
Very nice. :smallsmile:

One thing I'd like clarified: if you make your Fort save against the Soulstealer, but the damage kills you anyway, does your soul get sucked away simply because you died with the Soulstealer on you, or does the Fort save resist that?

2007-02-09, 04:28 PM
Ah - good question. My interpretation of the rules of magic concerning such things, is that although you die, because you made the save, your soul is free to return to the body if such restoration magic is performed.

One other possible use of this item this brings up (and I'm not sure if it would work; I suppose it would be a DM discretion thing, though feedback would be nice...), is that once the Soulstealer has captured a soul, if the soul's original body is subsequently destroyed or possessed by another, could the wielder place that soul in a different body?

B.T.W., the description didn't mention that the same command word used to trap the soul can be used to release it.

2007-02-11, 12:09 PM
The soul would Die or go insane